Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Remembering where you come from

When I started this blog my posts seemed to come from a different bonedead, a bonedead who didn't post as much shitty shit as I do these days. I am going to try and reconnect with that bonedead today, hopefully you enjoy.

After Warhammer's shiny faded I was feeling really down about MMOs as a whole. Understandable, some may say, but in truth this was my problem and my fault.

As you know I have returned to SWG. If you look at some of my first posts you will see that I was playing SWG on a 14 day trial and was complaining about it (me complain? no way!). There have been quite a bit of changes since then, the biggest one being that Munitions (read: Weapons/Armor) Traders can now make weapons of any level and they can be as good/better than the ones you get from the Legacy quest (I'm talkin low levels here).

What does this mean for me? Well it means that my dream of having a shop right outside of Mos Eisley selling newbie gear is possible for the first time since the infamous SWG revamp. I think that calls for a celebration! But I can't do that just yet because it takes time to get to that point. You can't just throw a celebration party in game at your empty bare ass house with your vendor only stocked with cheap ass power, especially when your house is about as far from Mos Eisley as you can be without leaving Tatooine.

No no no, I will need to reach level 90, I will then need to craft myself a bunch of elite harvesters/heavy harvesters of most kinds, not to mention a couple houses (why not), a butt load of furniture, and anything else I can think of. Then I will need to change professions to a Munitions Trader, spend a lot of time gathering resources that meet Weaponsmith quality standards, then make a fuck load of newb weapons of many levels. Then I might be ready.

But how will you get the word out about your celebration/grand opening bonedead? Well there are these things called the official forums, I think that would be a good place to start. Then I would probably get a droid and program it to bark out news of the celebration including waypoint coordinates and set it outside of the Mos Eisley starport, right where newly created characters spawn (and everyone and their mother walks by).

I wonder if players can increase a game's subscriber base by their actions in the game. I bet they can, because we all know they can decrease the subscriber base (ruthless ganking anyone?).

Today's pipe dream: Creating a new player welcoming guild. New people make a new character and see us around them offering help and freebies, sure some of them would act like spoiled little bitches, but after a few weeks that should go away hopefully lol. But we round up a few at a time and then take them back to our Guild mansion city palace which is decorated so elegantly that even the most hardcore of the hardcore PvPers would consider trying out RP. We perform a couple of initiation rituals and generally make them feel welcome.

I wonder how many new players spawn at Mos Eisley, do a few quests in the Legacy line, get bored and just quit. I bet we the players are capable of improving SWG's retention rate. Wouldn't that be something. A game many thought to be dead/dying comes back to life thanks to the players, which would lead to more attention from SOE on the game, which means more content/updates, which makes everyone happy.

All you see around the internet is people complaining about how the company did it wrong (for any game) and how people are quitting in droves and it's all the company's fault. Take Warhammer for instance. If everyone stopped queuing for friggin scenarios and started communicating with each other and planning events etc, their servers would've stayed more lively. Just look at Averheim. They planned a city siege right off the bat which must of brought an amazing sense of community to that server. I see that they were a server that could transfer elsewhere during the server consolidation crisis of 08, but I also see a post titled: "We need to stick together Averheim" in which the whole server discusses transferring as a whole instead of splitting up. I wonder if that has anything to do with the first major city siege attempt.

The players can change the games in ways the devs can only dream of, the majority just don't know it. Shit, I didn't even know it until today. I have a feeling that most of the older MMO players have known all along and that is why they stay in their group of friends through many MMOs, because the players make the game into the game you want to play.

/rant off

In SWG I currently have 2 accounts subbed. On one account I have a 50 Trader and 30 Spy on the Chilastra server. This is the Trader currently selling cheap power that I've been talking about. He recently made his first Elite harvesters at a disappointing BER35 (max is 44). On the Bloodfin server I have a 90 Trader and a 50 Jedi. He doesn't even have a vendor but I think he is going to soon. I don't even play the combat classes though I hear of a new Meatlump Theme park (series of quests like what Jabba's palace used to be before the revamp) and this new theme park is geared for level 50s or so. The 90 Trader also made some Elite harvesters (at the same time as the 50) and they ended up being BER44, hooray!

On the other account I have a 50 Smuggler and 20 Medic on the Starsider (RP) server. This account was my Complete Online Adventures account which comes with the ATRT mount of awesome speed. I created a Trader on Chilastra with this account, got him to level 14 which gave me enough expertise to maximize my sampling capabilities (gathering resources without harvesters) and sent him over to Mustafar. Mustafar has the best metal in the friggin game, but you can only mine it by hand. So I've got my level 14 just sitting out there and I occasionally log him in to sit there and mine phat resources while I go afk, coming back only occasionally to click the Ignore survey device button so I can continue sampling. I plan to do this on Bloodfin as well.

The reason I used the second account for this was because the Complete Online Adventures comes with every expansion, whereas my main account has every one except Trials of Obi-Wan which allows you access to Mustafar.

It feels like I haven't played in days when in reality I just didn't play yesterday. I've got my Elite harvesters mining up a bunch of good shit, when I return today I will probably move them to another resource. There isn't much active participation required at this stage in my Traders' careers.

Well that is all I have time for right now, gotta get back to work!

Hope all two of you have a great day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Playing Casually

MMO gaming just doesn't have the attraction that it used to for me. There just isn't that much diversity, which everyone has pretty much known for a couple years. However I don't think that is the main reason for my loss of interest. I'm honestly not exactly sure what the main reason is. So I'm going to attempt to figure out why they don't hold my attention.

In my MMO prime I played for a few reasons:
1) I wanted to be a recognized name in the games I played. The first to do certain things such as hit max level first, be the best PvPer on the server, the best anything. I just wanted to be recognized on my server as a top dog. When I think about it, not many people get that kind of recognition anymore with server transfers, dying servers, even the existence of classes limits your ability to "shine". I still remember names from DAoC/UO of the top dogs. To name a few: Swiftdeathz, Yohanicus, Bullvine, Eran Darkenstorm, Garret Jax, even in FPSes: Kyle Miller (KSharp), Johnathon Wendell (Fatality). I know more first and last names but I think I look nerdy enough!

2) I wanted competition, which most games provide to some extent, however, it usually takes some time before you can even compete. I didn't need to be the best to compete, but I knew that through competition I could become the best, and I have the drive and motivation to do that. The problem is that I usually am unable to zombie out enough to reach the point where I can compete. I pretty much never have. I've reached max level, but then you get another grind to get gear/more skills/more levels/etc which is fucking disheartening. Especially when you feel so accomplished when you finally reach max level, you feel like you've finally done something, and they smack you in the face with yet another grind. To make it even worse, the new grinds aren't always easy to figure out, the game doesn't tell you, there aren't guides on it, you can ask someone who could give you an answer but odds are later down the road someone will say "You're doing it wrong".

You know, I could sit here and act out the victim, trying to make you as upset as I am about not being able to have fun in MMOs, but what the fuck is that going to accomplish? Diddly friggin shit.

I have to play casually, I have to try to not care about it, I have to keep it simple, and I have to be consistent. That is it, if I can keep doing that then I am going to feel like I have accomplished something, that something being having fun.

I have had fun on 3 occasions recently. Once during some Quake 3 with my brother and his roommates, Scoutzknivez in CS 1.6, and running a business in SWG.

Quake 3 (or more importantly the mod Rocket Arena 3) is one of my favorite past times, way back from when myself and the people I know still lanned. We could play this game for hours with a couple of good friends and it would not get boring. I think the reasons I enjoyed this was because: 1) I was playing with my friends. and 2) Because it takes 2 rails to kill your opponent, so after being hit once and hitting the other guy once you're both on the edge of your seat trying your damndest to fucking kill each other. Not to mention Rocket Jumping.

Scoutzknivez provides me with the same feeling as Quake 3 multiplied by about 10. It is faster paced, you have more maneuverability that requires practice/skill, you only have 2 weapons and both generally require 2 hits to kill someone but also have the ability to kill people in 1 hit. It is fucking intense and gives me such a rush sometimes that I'm truly fearing for my in game life at times, that is immersion most MMOs can never provide. In fact I notice that I only feel similar in MMOs when I have extremely low HP and my opponent does as well.

With SWG I have always wanted to be known as a merchant with quality goods and the lowest prices. Now we all know that you can't have 3/3 when it comes to Quality/Time/Price. However, in SWG power is a resource that pretty much every trader needs. Now there is power that provides 2 units of energy per 1 unit of power, but the majority is just 1:1. So what I have done, since quality doesn't really matter here, is focused on being the Cheapest and the Timeliest. I am basically having my cake and eating it too. I sell the cheapest power on my server and I'm only a 3rd of the max level. Quantity may be limited due to my level, however, I'm profiting hand over fist so I will be able to rectify my quantity (Timeliness) problem by buying bigger harvesters. Now I had been working on this for around a week and no one was buying anything. I even had small stacks selling for 1k, 2k, 5k, etc for the newbies that are starting up and find themselves lacking power. I also sell larger stacks at 10k, 20k, 30k, etc for the lazy people. My price? 2 credits per unit. I honestly do not know the average price for power, but I am almost positive that it is at least 3 cpu. I reach this conclusion because the cheapest junk/grind Ore is 3 cpu, one unit of power equates to anywhere between 10-20 units of ore. After a week, I got my first sales from 2 customers and they bought up all of my big stacks. I made 100k and spent maybe 30k. My costs will go down severely after my next batch because I don't have to buy a couple of harvesters, I've just got to pay maintenance.

The fun was thinking, shit, this business idea is going to flop, people don't want to buy power. Logging in and hearing that little email notification got me so excited, I was hoping I wouldn't see any STRUCTURE DAMAGED! emails, and was extremely happy to see Vendor Item Sold emails as far as the eye could see. Now that I've got it set up I don't need to monitor it every day, so I don't pressure myself into feeling like I have to play more because I'm being a slack ass in advancement. I figure if I just make a bunch of money, build my business up, and establish a customer base that I will ease myself into the community (which I never do because I just don't know how). This will open a lot of doors for me if I ever want to play the combat game of SWG, which I would love to do someday.

I just took a small 30 minute break to check my business and what do ya know? I made another 100k. Now one thing that I noticed this time is that only Solar Power was purchased, leaving me with a ton of Wind Power just sitting in there collecting dust. So what do I do? Keep making bigger stacks. The small stacks aren't selling, as long as I have 5 stacks selling at 5k, I can focus on getting 5 stacks at 10k, and so on and so forth. I used the Wind Power to build the steps on the ladder and the Solar Power to build the highest stacks, because those are almost guaranteed to sell. My thoughts now are definitely on the future, I may be done with Wind Power as soon as I can afford to either grind to the appropriate level needed to make different power harvesters or just buy harvesters from someone else. You have to spend some money to make money, but you don't want to go spending it all before you make any, so I will definitely need to be careful. If the Wind Power sits there after I upgrade my harvesters then I will probably sell it for 1cpu just to get it out of the door. I will still be profiting selling at 1cpu, but there is no need to sell that cheap yet. If I start to get some competition, I will most definitely lower my prices to less than 2 cpu. If I am persistent my competition will give up due to such small profits.

Looking further into the future of my business, after my power business is established, I could see myself expanding into Minerals. Just the basics at first, but I would most definitely sell it extremely cheap. I will probably only sell specific types of Ore, say high conductivity ore and advertise it as great for making Crafting Stations/Crafting Tools. I would also sell ore with high Shock/Heat Resistance along with high Unit Toughness and advertise it as great ore for making the best harvesters.

I can't focus on the future too much though, if I get ahead of myself I will start getting my hands caught in the cookie jars and quit due to bruised fingers. I must take it one step at a time, slowly establishing myself in each market, until I eventually take over as the number one Structures Trader/Resource Harvester. But I must focus on taking it one step at a time, establishing myself as a Power farmer, then as a specialized Ore farmer, then as a Harvester salesman, and eventually covering all things Structures. But for now, I am a simple Power farmer, which has been taunting me to roleplay and is quite appealing.

I watch more movies and television these days than I have played games, and I've had more fun in the games when I play them than I have in a while. Playing casually has really made me a happier gamer and a happier person in general.

So get out of the rat race that is your standard MMO community and take your time to have some fun (if you haven't been due to trying to fit in and go with the grain of your average MMO community).

Happy Holidays to everyone and I wish you all the best.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wewt wewt, cruise tomorrow

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh aye yi yi yi yiii-e-iii

Budum dudum dup dup, dup dudup

Christmas music is pretty sweet, unlike every game I've ever played. I'm bored guise. What ever will I do?

I'm, dreamin, of a whiiiite, Christmas!

I go on my cruise to Mexico THURSDAY! I've got a decent amount of work to do before then, but hey, blogging is important too!

When I get back I don't know wtf I'm going to play. I accidentally let my DAoC trial pay for a month, motherfuckers. So now I've got like 30 DAoC accounts. It should still be going when I get back, but that doesn't mean I want anything to do with it.

Darkfall is supposed to be coming out soonish. Everyone is already creaming their pants over it, you know, because they're pretty cool guys like that.

Here's my beef with Darkfall: Twenty years later....
Just kidding, but seriously, that video fuckin sucked dude. My horrid DSL buffered so many times that I saw things most probably missed. Like one of the character's feet was fucking in the ground. Not just the dirt ground, but a ramp, you could see it coming out of the other side. Not much, I know, but still, it's been fuckin 20 years dude, cmon.

Now it's time for a segment I'd like to call: Where the fuck is DAoC Origins?
WHERE THE FUCK IS DAOC ORIGINS?
Thanks for joining us for another segment of: Where the fuck is DAoC Origins?

I fucking hate companies and business and money and shit. Why can't we just have some fun games, seriously, why is it so goddamn hard?

Here should be some rules to follow if you're going to try and make a fun game:
Rule 1) If you're working on the game, you have to play MMOs, like MMOs, love MMOs, and be fed up with current MMOs.
Rule 2) Shut the fuck up and listen to me.
Rule 3) PLAY THE GODDAMN THING.
Rule 4) Not suck.
and finally,
Rule 5) Give me money.

Questioning the rules is blasphemy. My logic is undeniable, etc, etc.

I just want to have fun man, I JUST WANT TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES AND HAVE FUN, WHY IS THAT SO HARD?

Here are some things I like about MMOs:

1) Leveling quickly. When I can level fast, I really feel like I'm accomplishing something. Especially when I'm leveling faster than my peers, it makes me feel like I figured out how to do it faster, therefor I am better than my peers. I like that feeling.

2) Not leveling slowly. There is nothing more boring than hitting the same 5 goddamn keys over and over again. I fucking hate playing a couple to a few hours and not leveling. That is stupid fucking bullshit and you fucking know it!

STOP MAKING YOUR GAME GRIND LONGER SO YOU CAN GRIND MY FUCKING WALLET LONGER YOU MOTHER FUCKERS.

"Oh but 15 bucks a month is nothin', gigglesface." FUCK YOU GUY

If you have Altitis don't feel bad dude, it is the game company's fault. There is nothing wrong with you, you just like playing games that are rewarding and there is nothing wrong with that.

What are all of these WoW kids going to be like when they grow up? Fucking slaves to whomever they work for?

DO AWAY WITH LEVELS. DO AWAY WITH TIME.

HIT THE RESET BUTTON ONCE IN A WHILE.

The one thing I keep hearing is that if you want to have fun in an MMO you need a group to play with. Why? People like me don't play MMOs and if they do it is probably WoW. I bend over at work so that I don't have to at home. Even the thought of playing with people bores me. What the fuck are we going to do? Go guard a bridge somewhere and make people pay the toll or fuckin die? No, because games don't let you do that. "EVE DOES LOL" Yeah, it does, after three months of dick suckin and ass kissin. No thanks buddeh.

Why can't I just be allowed to grief people in peace.

Now don't get me wrong, I love griefing (without a v amirite?). Usually I want them to quit the game, but not every time. The saddest part of grieifing is when someone who shows some promise (aka keeps coming back for more) quits. That shit sucks dude.

When I was a CS noob I would play in servers 1v1 with good people (because everyone slowly left because he was raping them) and let them rape me over and over until either I killed them or they quit. Why? Am I some weird fuck who likes losing all the damn time? No, it is because I fucking wanted to learn and get better and not be a fucking noob.

BEING A NOOB IS NOT A GOOD THING, YOU FUCKIN NEWB.

That is like saying, well he's not that good at flying planes to be honest, but at least he likes what he does.

That is not good, I mean, am I wrong? I want the best goddamn pilot flying my planes, I don't want some dumbfuck who barely passed the test.

GET BETTER AT YOUR GAMES OR GO BACK 2 AIM.

People want more socializing in their games, how about instead of flirting with faggots on the internet we FUCKING COMPETE AGAINST EACH OTHER?

If your real life is so goddamn boring that you have to go online and pretend you're a fucking wizard to socialize then maybe you should fucking uninstall every fucking game you own. Maybe.

So many goddamn incompetent gamers.

Let me ask you a question (directed at anyone who has played [and hopefully excelled] team sports):
Is it more fun losing a game because your teammates are stupid and bad or winning a game because you guys fuckin own?

Does no one take pride in their hobbies anymore? I thought the goal of having a hobby was to get better at it, but what the fuck do I know, right?

So to sum it all up.

Devs: Learn to play newb.
Players: Learn to play newb.

OH MAN WE ALL GATHERED OUTSIDE THE DUNGEON TO HIT THE SAME 5 BUTTONS FOR 4 HOURS STRAIGHT, I WONDER IF THE BOSS IS GOING TO DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT THIS TIME.

Fucking seriously, am I the only person on the goddamn internet that feels like this?

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm a lot like Sandals (flippity flewp)

Man, I've already got a job. I really don't want to have to analyze my games that goddamn much. It ruins my fun by trying to find fun.

When I reached what would normally be fun in DAoC, I didn't even remember the encounter (a.k.a. THE FUN). It wasn't fun because I was trying to hard to have fun, if that makes sense.

So here is a short list that sucks a lot of ass, you butthole:
1) DAOC - 6 hours until fun
2) Warhammer - Instant fun
3) Battlefield 2 - A few games until you have fun

There, are you happy now? I IS!