This happens to me often with gaming - I hit dry spells.
This occurs when life gets too busy and/or games get a bit dry for me. Thankfully, right now I am in the former - just busy. This, in turn, makes blogging more challenging because if you aren't playing then there's not much to talk about. And if you do have time you would rather be playing instead of writing about it.
We call these, "first world problems".
I'm 25 rubicite away from the final crafting upgrade in EQN:L and its probably a solid 3 hour burn/zengrind. Excitedly, there is a patch on Thursday that promises new biomes - SNOW! I love the outdoors and my favorite backdrop is a lake, but also love winter sports/shenanigans so hey, I'll take a frozen lake and snow. This raises a couple quick conundrums.
One is that I like my claim, and where I am. There is a ton to do with it and we are only a couple patches away from claim expansions which makes it a whole new world for building. My good friend Mehlan has joined the game and claimed beside me so logging in now I find him there, waddling away, so I can say hi and hang out. So for those two reasons alone, not moving.
The second is hopefully they have meaningful seasons - has any game? I don't recall. Why can't I have my lakeside cottage.. and winter wonderland for half the time? Something tells me to add that to the "captain obvious yet awesome" list of what would make the same-old MMO the new-awesome MMO. (See: combat mechanics, leveling mechanics, endgame content, equipment issues . etc.)
Oh, EQN:L tip if you are feeling lonesome, /join general (chat) - people are connecting there and always a stream of chatter. Makes the nights fly by.
I'm starting to wonder if I really am done entirely with World of Warcraft - usually I play out the expansion to the end but the daily grind of the uh, daily grind quests of MoP had me leaving early in the expansion. Now I feel less connected to WoW than ever and I wonder if that slide means the end and no Warlords of Draenor for me. My friends still play and I miss their chatter (and envy their dedication).
I didn't get far in Diablo III - level 20 I think? Before I realized this game wasn't as fun as the first two. The potion chugging loot-fest just got boring fast. I heard there have been some nice changes so I may check it out again. I did pay for it, after all. Something tells me I may like the Crusader class but there better be a trial or something - not shelling out more for a game that didn't capture me in the first place.
Speaking of games I didn't finish/start, GW2. Level 37 was my breaking point. I read a lot of bloggers who love it but I now feel I am so far behind the story that I missed out on the game. Is that the danger of too many updates?
I was >< that close to becoming a LOTRO blog for a while and even queued up the Warden (after much bitching about it) but alas, right now its EQN:L or bust. And bust it is.
Again, the worries and problems of a modern day adult gamer. Too much to do, not as much time to do it. Somehow manage to blog about it though.
This sat in drafts and I never got around to finishing it. Now the info is really outdated, but still - wanted to talk about companies that make games really briefly.
First, we have this nice reminder of EA being voted worst company to work for (again)
Add in a whole bunch of short-term stock thinking, churn and burn/crunchtime production mentality and man, I can't help but think:
Is it really a surprise we get crappy games?
Then I read this gem from over at Valve - their awesome employee handbook
And this - the Bteam website
Is Corporate (North) America ready for an epic showdown? Is it all coming to a head as hard working humans reject that they need to be taken advantage of to earn a living?
Can we have purpose AND profits?
(side note: go read Tony Hsieh - Delivering Happiness)
I have been travelling for work the past couple of weeks (and doing so until this weekend) so I haven't been working on my masterpiece (*cough cough*) in EQN:Landmark. And I am missing the game.
My travel PC is a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and as I have mentioned in the recent past, I love the unit. Its awesome on planes, the battery life is amazing, and I have adopted the pen input to take over what I would have used to have used my mouse for. It's a great machine. Bit pricey, but huge fan.
Problem? Integrated graphics. The stats on a MS Pro 2 are actually pretty beefy:
Surface Pro 2
- Windows 8.1 Pro
- Dimensions: 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 in
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Casing: VaporMg
- Color: Dark Titanium
- Physical buttons: Volume, Power
- Storage* & Memory
- 64/128GB 256/512GB
- 4GB RAM 8GB RAM
- Screen: 10.6 inch ClearType Full HD Display
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (widescreen)
- Touch: 10-point multi-touch
- Durable display
- CPU & Wireless
- 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor
- TPM Chip for enterprise security
- Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology
I am not telling you all of this because I get a cut - I am actually telling you about it because by all accounts, this game should play EQN: Landmark but it doesn't - some texture issue that everything above ground (props) render nicely, and I get great FPS but the VOXELS textures all come up black - so hard/impossible to build, impossible to mine/collect (anything but trees).
I am SUPER excited for when they fix this (they say they are) because I am looking forward to drawing my building items. The pen input and EQN:L should be a nice match made in heaven.
The building bug has hit me and it reminds me of a story we use in our business discussions.
Three bricklayers are all working on a site. A man walks up and asks the first one:
"What are you doing?"
He answers "laying bricks"
He asks the second man - "What are YOU doing?"
He answers "building a wall"
He approaches the third man, who is working with a big smile on his face - "And what are you doing?"
"I am building a cathedral"
Go build cathedrals. Its all about perspective.
Interesting observation as I was travelling through the USA and watching Olympic coverage.
Canada counts good medals as the ultimate qualifier (odd considering their demeanor) for medal standings. Most gold medals is first, if tied use silver as a tie breaker and then bronze as the "rubber match".
A country with just 15 gold medals is better than a country with 14 gold, 10 silver, 4 bronze.
USA evaluates by number of total medals. Each is worth the same. If you have 40 bronze you are better than a country with 39 gold.
Guess which country had the most of what last Olympics in Vancouver.
They should talk it out and come to a fair compromise - 3 points for a gold, 2 points for a silver, 1 for a bronze. I'm sure whoever would "win" under that setup would agree to that!
Neither will and the debate continues. Canada will claim whoever has the most gold medals is the Country who won the Olympics and the USA will claim most medals is. That will probably stay the same unless the USA gets the most gold medals (they have used this argument in Summer Olympics) or Canada actually becomes a sporting dominance outside of hockey.
Information is only useful when used properly. That "properly" is hard to define. How about "when used without prejudice or dishonest intent without personal or representative regard"
Think also - anytime a politician uses data/stats.
(hopefully I get to play video games again so my thoughts can stay more focused)
What a great little text/flash/ascii game.
There is a lot to do and discover once you get past the idle games part, and I was disappointed one of my discoveries led to the end of the game - I felt I had more to learn and discover but I actually "won" (by accident. I thought I was still discovering...). Playing through again to see if I missed anything.
Sometimes the simplicity is in the delivery, and I am glad www.killtenrats.com shared it.
If you haven't yet, go play it now.
Since we are on the topic: reminder of Gods Will be Watching for other cool games worth playing =)
Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays.
Time to reflect.
Time to love
Time to remember
Time to blog.
Best to you and yours and a fantastic 2014 is in store for us all. I promise.
Full disclaimer - I am not big on card games. Actually, to be more clear - fantasy hard games. I didn't play Magic: The Gathering, or Pokémon, or any of those fine pastimes. Pull my nerd card if you have to. I did play quite a bit of Texas Hold'em and other traditional card games so I understand basic concepts on how cards work. Card tricks are also fun to watch.
When I was invited to the Hearthstone beta I thought it could be a fun way to enter into the fantasy card space. Blizzard has a history of ease of entry and since it is all digitized I wouldn't have to worry about spilling my beer over any actual cards. This could work!
The nutshell review: Fun game, but completely pay to win. Saying that, you may say "duh, its a fantasy card game!" and they all revolve around what cards you have and how much you spend. The obligatory analogy here is playing Texas Hold'em but depending on how much your opponents spent, they may have 10 aces available in their deck and you only have 4.
As soon as the playing field isn't level to start you don't have a game of skill, you have a game of chance - but one heavily influenced by how much money you have invested in your "chance". I will agree with you that Poker is also a game of chance but it is one where all players know what cards are in deck.
You can also not spend and still grow your deck but cold hard cash skips over any effort. You might get one pack of cards a day, every day, if you play a couple of hours. Or, you could get 100 packs in 5 seconds. Up to you.
That being said, I am still going to continue to play it in the beta - I am having some fun while learning and because I haven't anything personal invested in it (except some time) I don't mind that it is built around the frustrating aspect of most PVP that its 81.93% "blowout" 18.07% "close". There isn't a lot of evenly matched because you have several random aspects. 1, the skill/experience of your opponent. 2, how much they have spent on their decks.3, how they have built their decks and 4, what random drawing order of the cards has occurred. I suppose you should add a 5, the random drawing of your own cards (and I will assume at this point your own skill isn't random.. right?). There are a few extra chance and pay to win elements there that aren't available in traditional card games.
Perhaps the 'fantasy cards' industry is built around this and everyone is accepting and understanding of this. As an outsider just dipping his toe into the space it is a bit of a turnoff.
I've been doing a bit of housecleaning around here and have tagged some of my blogroll with a new designation -WRIP. Writers Resting In Paradise! It's over half the list now itself. I spent a lot of time clicking, reading, and commenting on those blogs even though they haven't updated in 6 months or longer (my random chosen timeframe for the WRIP designation.)
I like to keep them listed there as a sort of homage to my personal voyage in blogging and who knows, maybe they will come back! Even if they don't I really appreciate the part they have played in my own (in) consistent blogging efforts.
On that note - any recommendations on who else to be reading these days? I try to randomly choose links when I visit other blogs, but sometimes a straight up recommendation is just better.
Enjoy your weekend and don't worry about the WRIPs - paradise sounds nice.
Not incredibly special considering some of the other options but the truth is there were a few times were it looked like I would never hit it. 200 posts over 5 years isn't a ton, but hey, that is my on again off again post style. Trying to fix that - don't hate!
Maybe if I start playing more interesting games and/or writing more pertinent and/or interesting posts, I'll make another 200. Just as long as it's not by 2018 =)
The Canadian Lynx is an interesting predator. It lives almost solely on the snowshoe hare - and is very effective at catching, killing, and eating them. While that is not particularly interesting in itself (a cat predator eating a bunny for dinner) what is fascinating is the lifecycle the Canadian Lynx is doomed to repeat.
Because the Lynx is so effective at catching and killing the snowshoe hare, and as the Lynx breeds and adds more to its family, they end up almost hunting the snowshoe hare to extinction. At this point the Lynx population start dying off because of the scarcity of food. There ends up being a tipping point where the Lynx has almost hunted itself to a dangerous level of near extinction - at which point, the showshoe hare starts repopulating. Rinse repeat. Every 10-14 years or so.
Nature works in such fantastic ways - ideally, if Nature were sensible she would introduce another predator to hunt the Lynx (humans can hunt them, but they are typically in very remote and unseasonable locales) thereby keeping the lynx population fairly consistent, also keeping the snowshoe hare consistent. This does not happen.
In gaming terms I do not believe the population of gamers is growing to the extent to support the companies that make the games, and the excess of titles that are on or coming to market. We are the snowshoe hares and companies are the Lynx. I think we are seeing the result of the nature of the market adjusting for this realization though as games are funded in other ways and the profileration of the indie genre as a viable way of game making once again. This creates different payment and cost styles and overall is healthy for the environment. It is a positive adjustment.
This Lynx metaphor is also a good one for our economy which requires being in a perputal state of growth. Eventually that growth will not be realized and things will reset. Hopefully we are smart enough to not be doomed to repeat like the Lynx.