Tag Archive: uphill both ways

Making a Generation of Bad Players : WoW

There is nothing like a Timewalking event to make you appreciate old school MMO players and feel bad that newer MMO players haven’t had to learn what used to be “core competencies” in MMOs. Now to be sure – these skills aren’t as important because they aren’t prevalent in today’s gaming but for anyone who grew up when MMOs had a modicum of challenge this will be very familiar territory.

Love the old, ugly, mish mash of levelling gear

The setting was a 5 man Timewalking Dungeon from the Cataclysm expansion – specifically Throne of the Tides. I am levelling my 4th and 5th characters to cap (more on that later) and my Shaman has a heal spec which I spent many years playing so into Timewalking dungeons I go.  Throne of the Tides has some large pack pulls (5+) and very specific mobs that cast greater heal. With the de-levelling and gearing you can’t just muscle through it. You need focus fire, and interrupts, and/or CC. The first run I did of this dungeon was with “newer” WoW players. They just kept full AOE, no interrupts, and we literally spent over 5 minutes bashing our heads against a single pack until we wiped. I, as a healer, was the only person trying to interrupt. Even when I Hex’ed a healer (hard CC) someone would hit it to bring it into AOE fest. I took the time and energy to try and explain.

More ugly gear, my tanking set. Gross. Love it. Orange and Purple should match better.

Not only did they not get it, the Mage didn’t even have Polymorph on her hotbar. I kid you not. Of course, makes sense, because if you never have to use a spell/skill why bother? I remember those pulls “back in the day” and we would do a SAP, POLY, HEX, FREEZE TRAP and prioritize the others, rotating interrupts. When done it was a wonderful coordination and really made you feel like a team. Now it is just gather up as much as you can and AOE it all down. The beauty and intricacies of the genre are completely watered down.

But there is hope.

That group fell apart because people refused to communicate, mark mobs, and try something different. So I requeued up and decided to try again. This time I got a group that cleary was from the Cataclysm era. The tank marked mobs. BLue square was hunter trap. X was Polymorph. Was explained once, and everyone excuted throughout the whole 5 man. It was still the same old, same old WoW experience because no one said a word after the “rules” were set until the final piece of loot dropped (“ty all”, was the crux of it.) but it was a well oiled, experienced machine.

The Shaman class hall, on the edge of the Maelstrom is frightening and beautiful. Waves crash up and spray. I haven’t tried jumping in. Yet.

Rest of the runs were a mixed bag of both which was when I realized that a lot of players either just don’t know any better, or don’t care to put in the effort. All of this means that there is probably less complexity on it’s way in future games and they will continue to be questing snore-fests.

No wonder why nothing really new is coming out in the space “for the masses”, and hopefully the niche titles will try to recapture at least some of the personal responsibility along with personal loot boxes.

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.

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.