A feature Online games need to have

So MMOGames.com is looking for writers and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. If you’re willing, see if you’re able, too. I love how mmogames tends to recruit bloggers, many of which i’m reading on a regular basis. Bloggers make for a very different tone in their articles, and it shows. I’ve said it before, and i’ll do it again: mmogames is a rising star in the mmo site business- i don’t know about money, but quality-wise and as a “collection of blog posts”, it’s great. Now, i’m not looking for a job, but i found their writing prompt interesting:

500 words on 1 feature all multiplayer games need

Here’s mine.

Read More

eSports and the Olympics

While Twitch is a big thing nowadays and has been for some time and i have more history as being someone who’s watching others play instead of playing myself (at least in my youth when people still hung out to play games together), i haven’t found much joy in watching others play games. There really is only one exception: Rocket League.

So yesterday here i was, watching Rocket League’s watchamacallit championships instead of the olympics- and it made me think. Back when i was a kid, athletes were more or less “normal people” excelling at some type of sports. Their training routines were “normal”, as was their behaviour. This might, of course, be a simple case of rose-tinted glasses, but one thing that’s bothering me with professional sports nowadays is that it seems to be cranked up to eleven. Everything needs to be perfect. Remember those muddy soccer/football games? Today, there are roofs over the stadium, maybe even electrical, to provide the players with dry grass, cut to the perfect length. They even go out on the field before the match and “test” the grass. In the european championship, the teams even went out the night before and decided whether to give water to the grass again or not (it was a thing in one of germany’s matches- the more technical germans wanting to water the grass to be better suited to quick play, the other team declining).

And then money comes into play, as well. European Championship, World Cup, Champions League and soon the european nation’s league in football are all hyped up events where the executives ideally want us to go out to public viewing areas and shower their sponsors with money. Instead of giving local businesses the opportunity to profit from such events, they send them out of the area so they can’t “steal” money from official sponsors. When i read the news about how non-sponsors are prohibited to use certain hashtags on Twitter, i rolled my eyes. While it must have been true for some time now, i feel they’re sucking the fun out of these events for everyone- the athletes just as well as the viewers.

It was interesting to watch the Rocket League stuff. Sure, the players are sponsored or part of professional eSports teams and i’m sure there’s a lot of “professionalism” going on behind the scenes, but it still felt much more down-to-earth than pro-sports do. I still enjoy professional sports, but it was that lighter tone that stood out to me yesterday; it didn’t feel like they were blowing the thing up to more than it was and watching these matches was actually fun- although matches i watched were very one-sided affairs.

What i’m reading (or listening to)

It used to be the case that i had much time- i could watch tv series, read books and play games. That’s about 15 years ago, though, and especially with the birth of our son, me-time is a rare good. As i start to write this, it’s 9 p.m., so i have two, maybe three hours left to spend as i want. Now, playing games is still doing ok, watching tv series is, as well. What has been swallowed, somehow, is time to read. You see, i mainly read in bed, choosing to go to bed early (around 8 pm), start to read and see where it takes me. If the book in question entertained me, i might have read up until 12 a.m. or later.

As our son is still co-sleeping in our bed, that doesn’t work anymore. I do, however, still consume books when i go to bed- because i listen to audiobooks now. Sure, sometimes i still do read, but it’s a much slower progress as it used to be. It’s even slower than the audiobook-listening, even though i usually fall asleep within 5 or 10 minutes of listening. However, i still get to enjoy great stories. Here’s what i’m listening to or reading at the moment.

Read More

Being supportive 2

Interesting. On my old blog, i had this post about being supportive of the few (and getting even rarer) companies who bring MMORPGs to us- at that time, it was about Trion’s up-to-then unknown imported game. Today, i’ll return to this topic in regards to Rift’s new expansion Starfall Prophecy- this post started its life as a comment on Psychochild’s blog, but i felt like it was getting too long. TLDR would be: “don’t hold a grudge”.

Trion once was that highly respected company- everyone cheered when the news broke that they’d be publishing ArcheAge. Then something bad happened and now they’re struggling – reputation wise.

Here’s the thing, though: what big MMO devs/publishers do you know? Blizzard? Cancelled their latest MMO in favour of a lobby shooter. Daybreak? Ha, well, they seem to be downgrading lately. Turbine? Already on their way out. Funcom? Is struggling and needs to do something other than MMOs to actually earn some money.

Now, we can have all the business model talks or how exactly each and every company developing MMORPGs went wrong, but i’d like to state something else:

I feel Trion is on the right way.

Read More

Ending the summer break

Oh well, doing daily posts is going to be fun ūüėČ All in all, i’ve got a couple of drafts waiting to be written, but as i realize today, sometimes it’s not so easy to make time to write- i’ll need to flesh out some of those ideas when i have more time. So this will be a short one.

Yesterday, i ended my personal summer break from Elder Scrolls Online and logged into my main character to do a bit more than buying clothes. Finally, i’d have to say, as this was my plan for more than a week now.

Coming back in isn’t so easy, though- it’s good that Elder Scrolls Online has a limited skill bar that makes returning and re-exploring the rhythm of combat a bit easier. I’m still in Malabal Tor, level 38- i guess i could venture ahead into the next zone, but i’ll stay in Malabal Tor for another while.

It’s a wood zone, difficult to navigate, which makes it a bit more difficult to find the places i need to go to in order to continue questing. I managed to finish one series of quests and filling up my inventory, which surprised me- i thought my bags to be practically endless now with the crafting bag. But i guess at some point, 100 swords, bows, armors and intestines fill the backpack just as well.

Once again, as i’m playing on a new PC, i was surprised at how beautiful the game is and how much i like the minimalistic UI it uses. So, my feet are on the ground again, now i need to take a look and see where i am, where i wanted to go, what i wanted to achieve next.

What i liked about playing ESO exclusively

The time of playing Elder Scrolls Online exclusively has passed. The summer break put an end to that. Playing one MMORPG exclusively has positive and negative side-effects on my playing habit, although one could argue that the positive outweigh the negative aspects.

All in all, during those six months, i felt more invested and more connected to ESO in particular but also MMORPGs in general, which is strange considering my interest in other games was basically nonexistent in this time. Another interesting side-effect was that i didn’t think about¬†what to play when i was in the mood for gaming, it was a simple decision of wanting to play or not. And for once, i thought of things like reaching the level cap and maybe playing single-player games as achievable.

Read More

MMOs are not about playing with friends

A while back i came across this quote when i read a post about Jaedia returning to Guild Wars 2:

…I love being able to play with my friends, that is the big draw of MMORPGs after all,…

Hannah Richardson-Lewis, Returning to Tyria

Hannah/Jaedia is a great blogger – i enjoy following her blog and posts on mmorpg.com and i find myself agreeing with her for the most part- but this statement is something i don’t agree with, even if i know i’m probably blowing her harmless sentence up more than i should and MMORPGs are different for all of us, it’s that statement that inspired me to draft the following post a couple of weeks back, only to edit and publish it now for Blaugust.

Read More

Plans for august

In august, i’ll slowly phase out the summer break i’m on since the end of june. In real life, we moved houses, but by now we’ve almost settled in. Of course, there’s still stuff to do, but there’s no need to rush and no hectic anymore. There’s not going to be a holiday, either, at least not one that takes weeks, as we’ve already been to China this year and with the recent move, we’re not going to go on vacation now.

So i’ll be playing a bit. I call off the MMO Wanderlust i had, because it took me to weird places. The MMO line-up for the rest of the year is set: Elder Scrolls Online, World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV. I’m not going to say that i won’t play any other MMO, because i probably will, but these should be the major ones, with ESO returning to the front-and-center while FFXIV and WoW will play support roles.

Read More

Deadmines 2016

In World of Warcraft, i’ve finally made my way through the Deadmines. It was the¬†one dungeon i simply had to do for nostalgia’s sake, so i put my Discipline Priestess on hold at level 21 to be able to run it.

Although i knew that most early WoW dungeons are 20-30 minute-affairs nowadays, it took me some time to gather the courage to go at it as a healer- normally, i love the support or hybrid role, ideally doing damage by default and helping out with heals/off-tanking if the group is in trouble.

That’s why up until today, the vanilla WoW Druid below level 30 or so is my favorite class i’ve ever played- because the Druid could do it all. Of course, even in early WoW, at some point you had to decide what kind of Druid you wanted to be and the group expected you to hold your role instead of being cat-elf-bear-cat during one run.

The upside? This way, there’s almost no possibility of messing up- instead, you help your teammates if they’re in it over their heads. As a healer, though, i had responsibility and actually, the only way to go was to mess up. Nobody’s going to tell you what a great healer you’ve been if everyone survives- but if one group member goes down, guess what?

Read More

ESO shopping day

I’m slowly preparing myself to return to Elder Scrolls Online, which is supposed to be my main MMO again come september. Yesterday, i read Xannziee’s post with a couple of screenshots as well as her impression with ESO (she made a detour through Black Desert for a while). There was an outfit i liked, so i asked her what it was.

Of course, it turned out to be an outfit from the crown store. Knowing that a couple of those are going away in a few days, i checked the ESO website if that outfit was among those who are going “out of stock” soon- and it is. So in i went to purchase it. I also had a look at a few of the other items who only remain for three days now, and found another outfit and two sets that interest me. I haven’t decided on the sets yet, but i purchased the solo outfits that interested me. Coincidentally, they seem to be originated in the Valenwood, which is the region i’m questing in since…about forever.¬†

Read More

The Hybrid Journal

August is almost upon us- and with august comes Blaugust. This year, i wanted to take part- to get back into the groove of blogging and to slowly phase out the summer break.

So this year, Blaugust will be a relaxed affair- you don’t really have to commit to a schedule and you “win” by participating. Seems easy, right? All you have to do is fill out a small form. But what is that i see?

Read More

The sub strikes back – now what?

Woe is me, i’m falling into a trap again! I was really enjoying the first six months of this year when i played Elder Scrolls Online exclusively. Of course, MMO wanderlust was still a thing, but i kept it under check- until the summer break, that is. Interestingly, actually having even less time to play made me ponder my options more than before. Elder Scrolls Online is a great game, but to be honest, it’s not something you log into for half an hour or so to dabble a bit in and log out after a short time. The story-and-lore-heavy quests take time, which is a good thing. But it also means that you have to devote that time and i’ve found it quite difficult to do in the bright season. I¬†don’t know about your place, but summer in Germany means daylight from about 5 am to 10.30 pm- i know it’s very different in China, where it’s dark at 8/9 pm in the evening (Shanghai area). It’s more “difficult” to lose yourself into a game.

Read More