I HAS PC Life and Interwebs

31Aug/144

WildStar’s Fast and Dramatic Decline

I am getting the feeling my other report (Wildstar's Slow and Undramatic Decline) was a bit too optimistic. Perhaps the sky is falling after all (at least on Nexus).

Be prepared for some hard hitting journalism today on the final day of Blaugust.

Exhibit A

First - the President of Carbine, Jeremy Gaffney, announced this week he is no longer the President. He announced this on Reddit and the official forums. The official title talked about how he is "taking on a new role" and if you read between the lines he doesn't really share whether or not he was asked to move on or personally decided to. A snippet (and the link)

I have a personal “no bullshit” policy (which I think I’ve infused Carbine with as well), so let me give some context here without getti

“Focusing on family” is most often, in my opinion, a horseshit excuse you hear from executive types (usually departing with a forcible shove). 

He then goes on to share that he is  going to focus on family - he is a cancer survivor and I love his candor and openness. Having been through that it is really hard. His moving over letter is the type of thing WildStar fans have come to know and love about him. Gaffer was the man behind the vision, preserver of the style of MMO they wanted to build - a grindy, 1% focused, hard game a la World of Warcraft 2004. Him moving on is also the sign that that seemingly failed vision is now looking at a more causal focused game.

Exhibit B

One of WildStar's best (and most popular) fansites - WildStarFans.net had it's creator stop posting and updating. Players became used to visiting here for the latest and up to date news. Originally he left things pretty open and  said he was reprioritizing and focusing family (sound familiar? Isn't that the hotshot excuse you hear from executive types when making up an excuse that the Gaffer talked about?) and was non-committal on whether he was still playing the game or not.

He did edit his farewell post and post that he was still playing - but he didn't share any specifics if he was enjoying the game or if that had any part to do with it. Regardless - fansites and podcasts are the pulse of the community of the game, and bring the community together. When the most popular ones start going the way of the Rowsdower (equivalent to a Nexus dodo bird) then you know things are bad.

Exhibit C

I was listening to the WildStar Nation podcast this week (again) and the 4 hosts announced that their next podcast, #50 (they have been podcasting WildStar for a year) will be their last. This podcast was getting 30,000 downloads a month (which is 10% or 30% of the WildStar subscriber base depending on what numbers you like - WildStar isn't sharing) and was usually the #1 downloaded WildStar podcast (stats were shared by them on various podcasts). It was a pretty somber mood from the guys (Haystack, Militus, Dopamine and Bear) and they were just honest that one of them had already quit and the other's were having a hard time logging on.

They are funny guys and one of those tongue in cheek remarks was along the lines of "WildStar was able to kill a guild of 500 people in 6 weeks". They had a guild and that is what happened. 500 gone / disbanded in 6 weeks. Craziness. I have enjoyed the WildStar Nation podcast more than I actually got to enjoy the game so sad to see them go. The truth is, again, the pulse of the community here. If the biggest fans of the game aren't sticking around then who is?

Why Again?

While that question may sound like it is referring to us looking at why the game didn't grab and keep the attention of the fans of the game and general MMO population it is actually also the answer.

Why again, would we build in barriers (40 mans, attunements) into a sub fee MMO while the entire genre is moving to easier and more accessible? Just to be different? Who said that is what players actually want?

That fun answer is that some players did want it - and some are now fighting WildStar for now switching to easier (making some attunements steps more reasonable, etc.) 5 mans are supposed to be fun and fast now, easily completable by 5 random strangers (not so in WildStar). Raids are supposed to have varying levels of difficulty so everyone can have the experience. Why are we designing games the same way we were playing them 8 years ago - when the games from 8 years ago that are still going strong have so drastically changed themselves to fit what gamers want?

Gamers don't have the time to slog through "that" MMO - there have been reports that people need to grind for 3+ hours a raid night to just get enough cash to buy consumables and pay for repairs for that 6 hour learning raid. That prep is unacceptable these days - and it is really no surprise. Gamers pay billions of dollars annually to speed things up - look at Clash of Clans, for example. The whole business model is speeding things up. People do not want to go slower. Especially in a sub fee environment where the gating feels like it is just to stretch out your sub.

Add to that, they built in a cash shop where you could buy CREDD with real money to skip some of those grinds. And we all know that the only game that can get away with having both a subscription fee and a cash shop is World of Warcraft.

Suddenly my November F2P conversion  prediction is looking really solid. And that's not to be a jerk - I'll actually go play when that happens. There is a lot of Nexus I want to explore.

All of this also makes me think of ESO - a game I have never played. How is it faring? Did it find it's niche? I wonder this because is there really any room for a newly launched MMO to have a subscription fee anymore? The falling (wild) star would indicate to me that there isn't.

 

 

30Aug/143

I Has Blog Title

A fun and side product of Blaugust has been bloggers finding various topic-filling days and sharing them with one another. These community style posts are great - it's part "getting to know you" and it is always fantastic to see the varied, differing and interesting viewpoints in and around BlogNation.

With a couple days left and a dozen or more draft posts on the go I don't need this post to keep me chugging along, but I really LOVE the idea and think it is a lot of fun! Over at I Have Touched The Sky is one of those topics - a look at why that blog is named how it is, and a question to other bloggers on how they came up with their own blog names.

I'm biting.

When I was ready to start my blog the hardest part for me was finding a name. I spent hours and days thinking on what to name this future award winning blog - centre of the BlogNation universe and place of sharing, growth, and quiet contemplation. (*ahem*)

Back to reality - some of the obvious choices for me was using my online names and history - Braack (EQ/DAOC), Bleyzn (DAOC) or the more time-relevant Couchon (Wow) and some of their adventures. Couchon's Couch. Braack's Bachelor Pad. Again, all amazing selections - perfect for any young blogger trudging out on their own. Of I also tried to work in "Worlds" and "MMO" somewhere (and glad that I didn't now as I like all gaming..) so it could have been Couchon's Couch in Canada or Braack's Bachelor Pad in Berlin. The more I type those the more I think I should make another blog..

Back to reality (again) - I hated internet memes and especially the LOLcats and everything around to do with stupidity and the internet (wipe that smirk off of your face, dear reader). The whole I CAN HAS and things that surrounded that internet dumbery (yes, I just made that word up - it fits!) I delivered my own dumbery and actually wrote down I HAS PC when asking my friend to find me a URL.

Surprisingly (*ahem*) it was available!

My friends laughed as I said it and honestly I was tired of thinking about it and just wanted to start writing - so I went with it. It was kind of like pulling the Bandaid off really fast by the end of it all. The "Life and Interwebs" tag came later as another homage to not taking things to seriously.

In the end I am happy with it - it is my own little corner of BlogNation and while I wish I had some sort of compelling or exciting story to share about my silly blog name - I think it reflects the blog, the relaxed nature of how I talk about things here, and the people who enjoy stopping by.

29Aug/141

I Win X-Com

Lovely game.

I think there were some great opportunities to flesh out the plot and story much deeper but perhaps that wasn't core to the tactical "sim" from the outset. The production quality, gameplay, and spirit to the original was kept well in tact and exceeded my expectations. I wasn't sure if it would live up to my high expectations - but it did. Ultimately a satisfying gaming experience.

My favorite squaddie "Pitbull" didn't end up the sacrificial lamb at the end of story which would have been very fitting but there was no way for X-Com to know she was my favorite. Would have been a nice death to end the story and plot elements but not that big of a deal. I immediately jumped into the expansion and playing through again - will be interesting to see the improvements.

I am most excited for The Long War mod to the game - it feels like it would be the better game of the three (counting it as it's own) but I really want to get through the expansion first that introduces new elements. It is like playing in the minor leagues. I was in AA with the original and now I'm in AAA now but gunning for the big leagues. I upped the difficulty this time around (the first was rarely a challenge) and I am excited to move up. Have a couple weeks ahead of me to get there on my current gaming schedule. It plays on my Surface Pro 2 so bonus that I can play off my main gaming rig.

My first few thoughts on suggested improvements still stand (reprinting them below for ease of reading) plus some more:

  • Squad facing - I loved this in the original game as placement and cover for your squaddies was paramount. Avoiding flanks, coverage, safety, etc.
  • Challenge - yes, I am on Normal, but it is pretty easy (so far). I'm glad it is not as punishing as the original and I can always up the difficulty on a new campaign but not really interested in restarting. This isn't surprising of course.
  • Base placement - you pick a continent but not an exact place. I was always a fan of Northern continental bases. What other game let's you make Canada a focus, where you can save the world and eat a lot of Maple Syrup?
  • Squad armor graphics - little too much I think. I wish they started off more like soliders and less like Mechs.
  • Squad size limit - give me 8! Why not 10?
  • Map sizes - Maybe it is just because it is early for me (15 hours in) but all the maps seem really thin. Not much to explore. Go forward in the way you are facing and you will find the bad guys. In the original I loved having to cover all sides of the ship.
  • Map flavor - need more interesting backdrops. Every UFO I have shot down lands in the woods. I want it to crash into a football stadium
  • Choice of Nations - this is nitpicky - but I want some Canadian troops! Didn't get one. Maybe that is editable with a mod, but I kept waiting for my own, personal, Captain Canuck.

I know you are thinking "Thanks Isey! Thanks for looking at a game well over 2 years old" but thanks to our good friends at steam they are giving away this awesome series (both the original and the expansion for $16 CDN). Or they were rather, last week. (it will probably be on sale for $6 bucks in another month or so). If you haven't played this game now is the time. Even if you never played the original this title does enough to show you what all the hubbub was all about. Tactical glory!

I'll report back after the Long War Mod and all the difficulties and challenges that represents as that will be truer to the original X-Com experience.

28Aug/145

Happy Birthday to I Has PC! 6 Years Old!

Belated. It was yesterday. This is a nice reminder that I am terrible at birthdays.

August 27, 2008 was my first blog post ever. I can't fully recall why I started blogging - I was spending a lot of time on various blogging sites and my comments kept getting longer and longer. I think I finally decided that it would be easier to write my own posts and link back instead of annoying the author of various sites with my incessant rambling and observations.

I didn't think much on a style or theme and I just picked one and ran with it. Some of the old posts are fun to read through and I often link back to my old posts - mostly when there is an "I told you so" (WoW needing to link armor stats to role type - 2008! - which they are finally doing in Warlords of Draenor) or revisiting a viewpoint I had stated previously that I still felt relevant.

Sometimes when I go back and read posts I think there have been some really great ideas that would translate well into modern MMO land and other times I felt like I was just another blogger with the same feelings on the same old topics. I quickly found some circles of blogging friends and while many are gone now (Writers Resting In Paradise Blogroll to the right) many persist today. And as I find new sites and read new blogs, or people discover mine, I expand my blogroll. With my sports background and slant I call us BlogNation much like the Red Sox Nation or other groups that align around commonality. It hasn't stuck anywhere else that I can tell, but I figure if I keep writing it maybe it will someday.

My style hasn't changed too much. I am a pretty "conversational" blogger - I write as if we are having a pint at a bar. Throw out an idea or opinion and welcome a counter discussion. This is a fun way to blog because I always keep my mind open. Some would argue I write as if I had already had 10 pints at a bar. That has been known to happen as well.

I had two extended "vacations" from blogging - six months starting January 2011 in which I became very, very sick (lost over 60 pounds, night sweats, swollen glands, couldn't stay awake for longer than a couple hours at a time) and had every symptom of lymphoma from a textbook. They spent months testing and digging (lymphadenectomy, bone marrow, you name it) and I was actually checked into a Cancer centre for weeks - except they didn't find cancer. I was at infectious disease specialists, all sorts of specialists, no one found it out. And one day I just started feeling better again. They kept wanting to cut me open to dig around to find out what happened but I stopped letting them. That time was pretty scary, caused me to withdrawl a lot, but also to celebrate life a lot more in the end of it all. Nothing quite like being certain you are fighting for your life - even scarier when you don't what you are fighting against. I found it hard to justify spending hours blogging when I didn't know how much time I had left.

Could be why I have a soft spot for charity and people raising money for diseases and causes. Hell, a month ago, my entire team and partner network raised thousands of dollars at 1am in a bar (in 30 minutes) if I would shave my head - in the bar - so yes, of course I did. It is only hair and will grow back.

For the record, it is growing back terribly. Still worth it though.

My second vacation was when I was battling divorce. Gaming was an addiction for me in many ways - not that I couldn't stop, but being unhappy in my marriage drove me to game more. She loves TV (I hate TV) I love games (she hates games) - so never common ground. We ended up finding common ground (pretty easy when you have an amazing kid) and our marriage has been great ever since. Something about the first 5 years that is the challenge, as there are curiosities if people can (and will) change. In the end letting people be who they are is critical to loving and understanding each other. I am not suggesting my advice to marriage counselors still though. It works for us!

My three personal favorite  posts:

1) Greatest Fantasy Movie Ever (2009)

In this one I attack the silly idea of healing by describing what the typical raid encounter would look like if it was a blockbuster movie. You don't see Gandalf sitting in the back row during the battle casting heals on Legolas, do you? In it I suggest a better way (slower paced combat, blocking and dodging graphics) - its dumb that a 10' sword goes through characters entire bodies. Hits should cause REAL damage, and instead of inflating numbers, having glances, misses, and dodges should make up the difference. I like to be immersed - swords and axes cutting through immobile toons doesn't cut it. I want MMO combat to be more like MOVIE combat. When your sword goes through someone, that's when the blood comes.

I linked back with a GREAT example from Batman: Arkham in a more recent post. The tech and will is there. This should be the next innovation in MMO combat. In that game you rarely get hit and when you do you feel the impact. It shows that with 10 mobs around you you can still have contact combat. Besides, in this hyper-world of ADD and circle strafing, slowing it down and having combat meaningful and impactful would be a great innovation.

2) Can the End Game be the Game? (2009)

I tackled how silly leveling is and how Wow is wasting resources on planned obsolescence content, and that if more resources were created for "max level", repeatable content instead of one and done quests - there would be better, and more content, for all. I see a lot more agreement on this type of idea today - if your content doesn't really start until the "end game", why not start there in the first place?

3) The 6 Wheeled Car (2008)

This was my PVP slanted point about relative power. DAOC and WAR showed me the biggest fundamental flaw in PVP games - you have such ridiculously giant disparities in power between levels. A level 1 can't even HIT a level 40 - that makes no sense (again, immersion.). So my idea here is to have levels multiplicative. So 40 level 1s could indeed be an EVEN match for a level 40 character. Or 4 level 10s or 2 level 20s. A level 40 is "god mode" in comparison to level 1s and that just feeds into my #2 post above - if your PVP character has to level 40 levels before being able to enjoy the game, why have levels so multiplicative? This alone ruins open world PVP. If you had relative power levels it could make open world PVP thrive.

Funny looking at that they are all old posts. I haven't seen these concepts used in my modern day gaming yet but I still hold that they would be a welcome offering for gamers who like immersion and could enhance a current day MMO offering.

So 6 years. 325 posts (12 drafts) and 1144 user comments.

My blog isn't that popular and I am fine with that. It has been a journey and I believe the journey is the destination and I never stressabout who is reading and how many comments there are. That part is is important for anyone who blogs or who wants to blog. I know I'll be around for another 4 years (at least) doing this so I will have a 10 year anniversary. Health and life willing.

Looking  forward to more of this journey with you - and thank you for stopping by. I do enjoy the company.

27Aug/148

Ice Bucket Challenge

A phenomenon is sweeping the world right now. Kids, adults, politicians, celebrities, baristas, judges, landscapers - hell, just about everyone - is dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads. After doing so, they nominate some friends to also dump ice water buckets over their heads (typically within 24 hours). All of this bucket dumping is for a good cause - it is to raise funds for ALS. The "rules" are if you didn't dump a bucket you have to donate money instead. Most are donating AND dumping water. There are Instagrams, videos on Facebook, twitter - all over. Everywhere except Blaugust.

To date it has raised almost 90 million dollars. Not bad at all.

The story here is great - and it's time to bring it to Blaugust.

First off - what is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

I watched a YouTube video of someone recently diagnosed and it runs in his family. He shared how scared he was because typically you live 2-6 years after diagnosis. Here is that video - it is very powerful because it comes from someone with ALS. (You HAVE to watch past the 2 min mark. Skip past the male-bikini car wash if you must.)

There have been a lot of fun and interesting ones. Here is Leonardo DiCaprio (compliments of David Beckham) who adds in a social justice twist and challenges the CEOs of major gas companies AND the Prime Minister of Canada.

Patrick Stewart declines in the most fitting, sophisticated way that you would expect him to. At least he wrote a cheque (probably big!)

There have been a lot of "ice bucket fails" as they call them, but really, as long as the money is being donated who is to judge at a person's skill of dumping ice cold water (or getting dumped on). They add some humor.

And some Epic ones - check out Paul Bisonette from the Phoenix Coyotes!

So I am even going to depart from my norm here. I am a pretty private when mixing my private life and my blogging life. I have always had a level of discomfort with my career and my hobby and in "my generation" it was (is) often unfairly looked down upon. So while I talk about my family here often I do post under a gaming name and tend to keep things as my "other life". Anyway - I was challenged four or five times through my social circles and work, and even my entire family was challenged so we did it together (and had some fun with it).

That isn't my normal hair - or outfit!

I challenge:

Wilhelm - The Ancient Gaming Noob

Bhagpuss - Inventory Full

Izlain - Me vs Myself and I

and

Belghast, father of Blaugust!

Remember - you don't have to dump a bucket of ice water over your head if you choose to donate!

26Aug/143

Death, Taxes, Gaming.

"The only guarantees in life are Death and Taxes" is one of those old quotes that stand the test of time. Having been playing a lot of X-Com lately I caught myself doing something that I regretted afterwards which made me think about death in gaming a lot closer - and I realized I didn't like what I found (with my own behavior). The stage is set.

X-Com is a tactical game where the goal is to defend the Earth from alien invaders. As you play you encounter new aliens and start learning why the invaders are there in the first place. Slowly but surely I have been piecing together the puzzle and while doing so, doing a pretty good job of keeping Earth away from panic. I have lost Mexico as a supporting state of the X-Com program but the rest are pretty safe and secure. (Sorry, Mexico). One of the great parts about X-Com is that the soldiers you use on field missions can improve with experience, and gain ranks and access new skills and strengths. They also die - permanently. All that being said they are generally devoid of any personality and the skill trees are standard - so you can have the exact same soldier where the only difference is name and nationality, plus some stats that influence how they behave in game. My favourite squaddie (short form for squad mate, I'm not sure if that's standard terminology but that is what I use!) is "Pitbull". She is an American support specialist. I don't even know her real name (if squaddies live long enough, they are granted a nickname). Pitbull has saved my other squaddies and often has single handedly changed full outcomes. She is max rank now and never, ever misses a shot. She is amazing. I love seeing her lead missions and is the closest thing I have to a "super soldier".  She has helped me advance so far in this game. She died yesterday, and I did something I never thought I would.

I reloaded the earliest saved game so I had her again.

This was perplexing to me. Reiterating here - I don't even know her in game name, she is a "tool" in my toolbox to stop the alien invasion. She has no personality outside of her shared and easily copied skill set. The reason why this perplexes me is I was reminded of death in other mediums and comics, for example, I HATE when people are killed off and they are always brought back. It sours the experience. With that long winded intro I am going to look at a few games where I have experienced death, and some observations (and questions).

Comics

Thalen's post "On Retcons" popped up on Anook this morning and it reminded me of my own views on death in the comics medium. I hate it. When Superman "died" the first time it was made out to be a HUGE event in the DC universe. I was a Marvel comics guy through and through but I still bought that edition so I had it preserved - a moment in history! It was in 1992 and I thought it was a brave, bold move and that the comic world would be shaken up forever. Think of the stories they could build off of this! The other heroes picking up the slack, how the DC Universe would change without Superman.. wait - what?

The death of death having meaning, you mean.

Superman taught me one thing. Death is temporary. Death lasts exactly three months in the DC Universe. That tainted comic deaths for me forever. Of course, Marvel is equally (if not more) guilty of this - my favorite comic book character is Colossus, from the X-Men. He has always been my favorite since I was a kid. Sure enough, read through his "life" here at the Marvel Wiki and its a disgusting ruin of an amazing base character. Deaths, rebirths, alternate realities, blah blah blah. I'll never buy another comic. To me, there is nothing wrong if you run out of content and much like Thalen's article (where Nick Fury was sun-setted quite nicely for his character and then brought back in a poor way) just let the stories end. Harry Potter ended. The world is fine with that. If you tinker too much with your assets they aren't assets anymore.

Gaming

I have four instances in gaming that stand out to me with gaming and death. The first is the aforementioned X-Com and "Pitbull" eating a Muton sandwich. The second is going a bit further back but very similar - to Blood Bowl, another turn based game that you can improve your characters and I had a whole post based around the antics of my Wardancer. I ended up losing her to randomization eventually - but she had to stay dead because it was a live game vs another human being.

The third instance  is in the Walking Dead - when the protagonist died (we all saw it coming) It clearly felt like a part of the narrative and the introduction of the true protagonist all along (the little girl). It felt satisfying how he died, and how he kept her safe for so long.

The fourth is in Mass Effect 2 - at the ending attack on the Collectors depending on what actions you took your squad mates would live or die. I cheated on this one too (shame on me) because I was emotionally invested in the characters I had spent so long developing with.

Inconsistent behaviors to me considering my comics stance? At the same time since they are different mediums, can I be excused? The Comics rant is pretty consistent with my Walking Dead experience - the narrative. At the end of it all I react to death in games on different motivators and in the above examples of X-Com and Blood Bowl I had ties with my characters through achievement. They weren't fleshed out or personal but they helped me achieve things in gaming and because of that I wanted to protect them.

In Mass Effect 2 I wanted to protect them because I had developed a relationship with the characters and wanted to preserve that. Like protecting your little brother from harm.

In the Walking Dead I accepted the death as part of the overall narrative and that death actually improved the experience overall. Great story, great sacrifice.

So I ask you - do you go out of your way to save your protagonists or let the dice fall where they may? Is it different depending on game or genre? We all know MMOs care nothing of death or penalties, but what about other games when those deaths are more permanent?

 

25Aug/1410

Bloggers are Old

One of the interesting observations about reading through the various "Influential 15s" that was circling around not too long ago and the more recent "21 Questions" in the past couple of weeks is that it really shows the age of most people blogging. We are an old bunch! The Starting computer/first game for the TOP 10 straw poll I pulled from the existing posts out there is as follows:

  1. Atari 2600 (11)
  2. Pre-home systems (arcade/pinball) (5)
  3. Original Nintendo (4)
  4. Sega Megadrive (3)
  5. Commodore 64 (3)
  6. Zx Spectrum (2)
  7. Apple 2e (2)
  8. Intellivision (1)
  9. Colecovision (1)
  10. Original PlayStation (1)

33 responses is about the same they do for Presidential polling right? While the one person had a PlayStation (which came out in 1994) the rest are all solidly pre 90s. So either Blogging is art (hah.. I called it art!) for the elderly gamer or we are just suckers for writing about lists of things. Perhaps both. Will there be a OneNote challenge for the next list?

me pondering my next post

This is not a "Blogging is dying" post by any means. I see a ton of activity and read and participate in a lot of blogs. I am just curious where the youth *are* on the net. IF they aren't blogging, let me guess - they are on Twitter? YouTube? Podcasting? What medium is the up and coming space for the next generation of pundits that are talking about our favorite pastime?

Maybe they ARE blogging and I am just not in the blog-circle. I am genuinely curious of the thoughts and opinions of the gamer who only grew up with WoW, and want to know where to find it. Also, just socially, what would it take for the youngins to start and maintain a blog? I am curious if the groups that do the Newbie Blogger Initiative and other community building ideas are reaching the young or if its just not the way things are done anymore.

For the record, I am 40 years old. That may be young to some of you - I am just curious where the 20somethings are talking about their games and why they aren't on my lawn.

23Aug/145

Steampowered Hoarding

 I am staging an intervention. Yes, for you. I know, odd that you just randomly came to this site and realized that there was in intervention just waiting for you? Don't leave - stay. Here, I wrote a letter about my feelings and I am going to read it to you. One moment, Dr. Drew is just in the other room, entering now.

Tell me how you really feel...

Dear You,
 I am here today because I love you. Throughout my blogging life, you have supported me in everything I have wanted to do. You stood proudly in the comments section - even when I wrote bad posts, replied to me in your own comments section and even put me on your blogroll.  I always admired your sunny outlook on life and love of helping people. Over the last 12 years your involvement with blognation has been inspiring. It caused the whole interwebs to take notice providing us with an opportunity to become closer as we did something good for others together. I miss doing this with you.

Person, your Steampowered Hoarding has become a problem that you cannot control on your own. It is affecting your relationship with the whole blognation and me. Friday night, when James, Mike and I came over for dinner, you smelled like alcohol when you answered the door. You bought a humble bundle while we ate, and you kept sneaking back to the computer room to buy Friday night steam sale titles. By the end of the evening, you had mixed up all of our names, and the names of the games you had just bought.

We have reserved you a spot at a treatment center. They are expecting you tonight. It is not far from here, and a taxi has agreed to drive you. I have already packed a suitcase for you; it is waiting in the car. And, you don’t have to worry about finances, the treatment facility has contacted Anook and arrangements have been made. All you have to focus on is getting well.

You won’t have to worry about the house, the dogs, or the blog. Willhelm is perfectly capable of taking care of the dogs and Bhagpuss will do the housework on his own and Zubon will come by to help with everything. Your Steampowered hoarding doesn’t have to go on any longer, help is waiting for you. Please, will you take the treatment that is being offered to you today?

Love,
 Isey

what your Steam Library looks like

Letter outline compliments of writing an addition letter 411

 I try not to use STEAM too often. Ever since that fateful day when they stole $18 out of my wallet and refused to give it back. I started looking at them for what they really were - an enabler! They assist people into the sick, sad and pointless Steampowered Hoarding and once you start, it takes a full intervention to get out.

Looking at my own Steam library is what showed me the light. Here are games I have yet to play (or even install) because I got such great "Deals" on them:

  • The Witcher 2
  • Skyrim
  • Batman Arkham City
  • Dota 2
  • FEAR 1
  • FEAR 2
  • FEAR 3
  • Guardians of Middle Earth
  • War in the North
  • Mortal Kombat Kollection
  • X-Com Enemy Within
  • .... and more if you count less than 10 hours played...

I know that list is nothing compared to most, because I only STEAM socially. I'm not a heavy user like most. Some weekends, the odd party during the week. I'm not addicted - I don't wake up in the morning and STEAM or anything like that.

The solution is clear - just don't buy unless you plan on playing the game in the next 14 days. It's a simple rule. If you haven't bought it already there is a reason for that. If you are only buying it because it is on sale, then you probably don't really want it to begin with.

The best here is that it will ALWAYS go BACK on sale on Steam - so if you miss it once, don't fret - you will have ample opportunity to buy it (and probably not play it anyway) when it goes back on sale again another time when you aren't playing or planning on playing it anyway.

Steam does a great job of giving such great deals that hey - you are silly NOT to buy. It's like I tell my wife - if it's on sale don't buy it for the sake that it is on sale - buy it if only you really want or need it. You still have to spend $20 even if it is %50 off from $40 - and you don't gain the difference in your pocket - $20 isn't magically appearing in your wallet when you buy it.

Please - if you or someone you love STEAMS, call the hotline. It has to stop!

 

22Aug/140

C=64

Funny how we are sometimes reminded of how things were. The 21 questions post from yesterday really had me looking at my gaming roots with question #(whatever the question was) and I thought long and hard about my Vic-20 and C-64. I googled M.U.L.E (one of the best games I recalled from those days) and was searching around for a graphic to insert.

By doing so, I found this list. That link is a link to the top 100 C=64 games of all time.

Wow, just wow. Out of the top 20 I remember playing 14 of them. Out of all 100 I remember playing a LOT of those. That’s crazy! And while I recall fondly M.U.L.E (ranking #17) I also now remember a lot of others that were amazing classics at the time. #8 Archon, was one of my favorite games of all times. I just completely forgot about it. If you grew up on the Commodore systems go check it out - guaranteed to bring back some amazing memories!

I’m 40 and my memory is failing.

The Sega list for Sonic Ultimate Games Collection (linking Izlain) is a cool list and my best friend in public school had a Sega that we played the crap out of. Golden Axe especially (and football..) There have been so many games that I am starting to forget about them.

My first real PC was a Compaq 386 SX-16 (google for a picture) and I paid almost $4000 dollars for it. A whole summer of wages (minimum wage was $2.95 when I started my first job) plus a loan from Grandma. That was when I was introduced to Starcontrol 2, Xcom, and Civilization. World of Warrant (RTS) and Command and Conquer. So many classics!

Although, I also recall that I used to dial up and go to BBS's to try and do an online D&D and chat in 8 bit text glory.

As I get older I start to believe that knowing and remembering history is more and more important. Even for gaming.