Friday Blogwar Failure

May 18, 2012

Exhibit A: Unfiltered comments from EVE players about Gevlon.

Exhibit B: Tobold’ed comments section at the little green guy’s site.

Protip: Posting tough and then not having the confidence to back it up is not a good look.

Who knew Gevlon was so socially sensitive?

EVE: Social goblin

May 15, 2012

Gevlon, once again, has disappointed. A few months back he set the moderate goal of just buying a Titan, rather than reaching market-dominating levels of ISK to truly impact New Eden the way major market barons do. Today, even the Titan goal is being abandoned, replaced by a lowly Carrier.

Now Gevlon states the reason for this is that he wants to be a social butterfly and share with everyone his ‘secrets’ to making ISK in EVE. He also states that because he was so social in his chat channel, he missed out on lots and lots of ISK. Pretty sure the ‘M&S’ term would be inserted here if this was on his blog, right?

Oddly enough, this declaration comes right around the ISK amount EVE vets suggested he would plateau off. Coincidence, I’m sure.

Of course now everyone can get as ‘rich’ as Gevlon. I’m sure the key to his success is ingenious market ideas, and not an inhuman tolerance for mind-numbing activities and a wealth of time to carry them out. After all, EVE might be 9 years old, but it’s only thanks to Gevlon that the idea of hauling skill books has finally been discovered. I don’t doubt that future posts will also include earth-shattering stuff. I hear you can make good ISK buying stuff at starter systems?

(On a less sarcastic note: I’m disappointed because it would have made for interesting reading to see if Gevlon could achieve success at the upper levels of EVE’s economy PvP game. Bowing out at this level robs me of entertainment, especially because nothing that Gevlon has wrote about as been anything truly clever in terms of making ISK. It’s all been the standard station trading/hauling stuff, which is less about strategy and more about grinding/time, and still vastly under-performs pilot trading.)

EVE: Aim higher

April 11, 2012

Back when Gevlon (and countless other bloggers) droned on and on about WoW AH ‘strategies’ I always laughed to myself. Posting that you dominate the kiddy pool just makes you look bad, and the only people who are impressed by such an ‘accomplishment’ are the clueless (I believe Gevlon calls them M&S?) So when Gevlon started playing EVE I was rather excited. Finally his ability to hyper-focus and to grind beyond the average tolerance of a human would be put to the test, and the results would be documented for all to enjoy.

This post, about his ultimate goal now being simply to get into a titan, is disappointing. Getting into a titan is not hard. Literally ANYONE can do it. Troll the character bazaar, buy a pilot, setup a secure (not with Mittens) trade for the ship, boom, done. And joining a null-sec alliance with a titan is like joining a casual raiding guild with an all BiS healer; only the best will reject you, and the best WILL reject you.

If Gevlon truly is on some holy crusade to prove that his way of playing a game (but not having fun, fun is for M&S) is superior, he should aim for something that is an actual accomplishment. Earning 7b ISK in two months of pure ISK grinding is only impressive to the clueless (M&S right?). All those people telling you they earn what you earned as passive income in a day? They are not saying it to upstage you (you are not on their stage, or even in the same building), they are saying it to try and give you some perspective. 7b ISK, or even 700b ISK, is not an impressive amount amongst those who care about large ISK totals. Remember this story? That’s impressive, and not just because of the ISK total.

Forget the titan Gevlon. Aim for something above the easy reach of a M&S. CCP is practically inviting you to try with the upcoming mineral changes, and those who truly care about ISK totals have already started the race. Time to catch up.

Dear blog owners

April 1, 2012

Today does not make your otherwise unfunny blog funny.

Meta-blogging: WTF is up with #crap?

March 13, 2012

Noticed a few blogs are doing this. Someone fill me in on the why? Is it some new meme I missed, or does it get you ‘followers’ on Twitter? 

Looks ridiculous.

New blog I’ve been reading

March 2, 2012

Quick note: I like this blog about life in a wormhole. Good writing style, interesting stories, and written in a way that I think will be enjoyable even for non-EVE players. Head on over and check it out.

Blogging is srs bsns

February 27, 2012

This is one of those “it’s a comment but it’s too long so it becomes a post” deals, in response to Keen’s post about hype/excitement. I’m likely near the top of people who have criticized or at least taken a cheap shot at Keen for getting too hyped up about a game. In my defense, there is a Friday every week.

There are a few things that play into all of this. The first, and really central point, is that following/playing an MMO is closer to a religion than a hobby (or should be). When you are all-in on an MMO, it dominates your time, and the better the MMO is, the more time it takes up. And in a ‘real’ MMO, the more time you put in, the more fun it puts out. Before the casual ‘solo-hero’ revolution, MMOs were as much about WHO you played with as WHAT you were doing, and the ‘who’ only mattered if they stayed logging in month after month. “Guild hoppers” were the tourists of the genre before we had enough titles to allow tourism, and neither term is one you want associated with you.

Under that approach, someone who is in/out of a game in 1-3 months is unhelpful at best, and a ‘problem’ at worse. Combine this with the religion thing above, and if Keen hyped and then left your MMO of choice, that can rub people the wrong way. This effect has noticeably decreased as MMOs become more content rather the community focused. In SW:TOR, does anyone even notice if someone else stops playing? Is it even possible to notice? At least in Skyrim Steam shows me who is playing while I’m playing.

Another aspect is one that Keen mentioned; the pre-release talk about features that likely won’t work as written/hyped. Rift is one example that comes to mind. Pre-release I believe Keen made a statement that thanks to the soul system, you can build any character you want in Rift. That was simply not true, and if someone (me) wanted to make a point of Keen creating unrealistic hype around a game, that was a great example.

At the same time, Rift’s soul system is a hell of a lot more flexible than the other members of that clone army, so the spirit of what Keen wrote is still sorta true, if just stated incorrectly. If you don’t get hung up on the exact wording (although really, what fun is that?), you get the point and move on. If it’s Friday, or you just hate Keen, you don’t (unless Tobold has a PvP post up anyway).

Experience is also a factor, both with MMOs and blogging itself. When you are new to MMOs/blogging, everything seems fresh and new to you, and you truly believe you are sharing revolutionary ideas/thoughts, and you sorta believe the devs because hey, why would they lie? As you progress towards bittervet gamer/blogger, and go through multiple releases that fail to not only live up to expectations, but outright lie about features/goals, you stop trusting words/hype and consider anything pre-beta as a maybe (or in the case of Rift, even beyond).

GW2 is a good example of this right now. ArenaNet will tell you that GW2 has an active combat system. If the only MMO you have played is WoW, that’s sounds true-enough to you. If you played UO, or AC-DT, or Darkfall, it’s not exactly as ‘active’ as ArenaNet tries to paint it. Now it’s the job of PR to create hype, so not-really dynamic content like rifts in Rift are called “The most dynamic content ever”. They are lying, but it’s their job to lie. Since bloggers don’t get paid (other than me, buy Darkfall), just accepting the PR release and running with it opens you up to skepticism or ridicule, especially if you can already spot the hype just on what they have released (GW2 will have ‘massive’ battles, limited to 300 people. 300 is not massive if you play EVE. It is if you play WoW).

The final piece here is being the ‘white knight’ for a game. Not only have you bought into the hype, but you also defend the game from all criticism and refuse to believe that flaws exist even in just the facts released (GW2 non-80s being able to contribute meaningfully in WvW for example). This not only comes off as silly, but also reduces the value of your otherwise solid insights. You might have made nine good points, but if your tenth is clearly a copy/paste belief in PR spin, it’s the tenth point everyone will focus and comment on.

With all of that said (told you it was too long for a comment), I still read Keen’s blog because it is entertaining, and the ‘white knight’ aspect has been toned down big time over the years. When you blog for as long as he has, you are bound to write a few things that you later look back on and shake your head. So long as the head-shake posts are far and few between, and you own up to them (everyone with WAR), the blog remains entertaining and the author credible (whatever that means in the MMO blogging world).

It’s all fun and games until you start making millions

June 30, 2011

Via a link in Tobold’s soon-to-be-departed comments section, this RPS article is pretty funny, and the comments related to it are hilarious.

I’m also surprised this has not happened yet. Not the whole “two paragraphs for free” part, but the ability for people to pay for ‘fluff’ related to commenting and such. I’m 100% positive that if offered, some people would pay a monthly charge for their comments to look different from others, be it a special icon or different text. Customizable interface, more RSS feed options, priority ping-back location, etc. People would pay for this stuff.

WordPress should get all over this, and then take an Apple-like cut of any of the profits, in exchange for handling the whole transaction backend so all I have to do is enable fluff at whatever prices I want.

Pure genius IMO.

(And no, I would not sell power, so no “comment goes to the top”, or “ability to delete other comments” or anything like that. I do have standards!)

Delicious red drops of MMO community goodness

June 2, 2011

What I object to is that in EVE the players with all the advantages are the leeches who pay nothing. In the F2P model the people who pay at least get some advantages over the people who leech. – Tobold

It’s an interesting take, and one that I 100% disagree with.

First, I’d never call the most successful EVE players leeches, as that’s just incorrect. In a sandbox, it’s that player base that DRIVES the content of the game. 0.0 stories? Yea, not driven by Joey Casual. Joey is also not planning a BBC-reported bank heist. Actually he’s not planning anything, he just shows up and does what his FC tells him to do. No FC, no goals for Joey. Now who’s leeching?

But maybe EVE is unique in this aspect, much like it is in just about all others. What about WoW?

That UI you enjoy so much? Yea, it’s not from Joey putting in the work. And no, it’s not from Blizzard either. A ‘leech’ created it. That dungeon you just completed? Thank a ‘leech’ for creating not just the dungeon guide you used, but the build you run and the guild comp you use. Because Joey Casual just logs in to collect his epics (once the content is nerfed down to his level).

Podcasts, web comics, and um, blogs: Joey Casual doesn’t creating a single one of em. The ‘leeches’ do. Forum posts that point out hard-to-find bugs, or imbalances, or lead to great additions? Joey, at best, just reads those sometimes.

Tobold is correct in that the F2P MMO model does indeed work in reverse. The more you play, the more you pay. Love an MMO so much that you want to see all the content and play it to the fullest? If it’s EVE, it’s going to cost you nothing. If it’s a traditional F2P game, enjoy paying $100s a month. Also enjoy knowing that while you do invest a lot of time/effort into the game, ultimately it’s your ability to spend money that determines how successful you are. I don’t know about you, but I feel like a real winner when I go to the store and buy a World Championship trophy to ‘proudly’ display at my house. Oh yes, real men buy accomplishments.

On a different level, which game would you likely get more into; the one you can eventually play for free, or the one that’s going to increase in cost the more you play? Now if we’re talking single-player games, I could care less. You want to blow $100s to collect all the Pokemon or whatever? Knock yourself out.

But MMOs are different, because they (should) emphasis community and player relations/interactions, and nothing crushes a community faster than everyone half-assing everything. The worse kind of MMO community is when everyone logs in once a week or less, and there is no continuation or momentum; just a bunch of random characters occasionally checking in and knocking something out before disappearing again. That’s so un-MMO it’s disgusting (remind me to blog about the whole “lets play five MMOs at a time” thing another day), and that’s EXACTLY what F2P encourages. “It’s free, hop in and out whenever you want, wheee” is just such a horribly unappealing sales pitch for an MMO. I want community, I want dedication, I want players who are INVESTED in the game. The more everyone around you cares, the more you care, and the better it just makes the whole thing.

Edit: Plus what exactly does it say about your game if your sales pitch is “Hey, we are fun for short bursts every now and then!” What’s that? SW:sRPG just called. Oh.

Casual and MMO don’t mix. They just don’t. At least not in the way I view an MMO. If your view of an MMO is an online collection of solo tasks and random names drifting across your screen that you occasionally get matched up with to roll over something as mutes, well, we are talking different genres. I don’t know what to call that style of game, but it sure as hell isn’t an MMO.

I like playing with the ‘leeches’. I like being around passionate players that drive communities and content forward. I like being around people who are invested, who care about what happens, and who ‘get’ what’s going on in the virtual world. It’s fun to log in nightly to pick up where you left off the night before.

That’s just me though, leeching away.

Single server time, soon?

May 13, 2011

My Raptr name is Syncaine. Feel free to buddy me. That is all… for now.

Is technology ever going to get to the point where we no longer need shards for an MMO? If yes, will design shift to accommodate that, or stick with the tiny zones, tiny shards, dozens of servers model? I’m pretty over the whole shard thing, and I think it really holds devs back in terms of world events and a progressive storyline, not to mention cheapening player achievements (not the WoW kind) due to only a fraction of the total base being affected by it.

Imagine if the tech was already here, how silly would an upcoming game like SW:sRPG sound when pitched as an MMO? Now what if the tech arrives in, say, two years. Does SW fully shift out of the MMO space, or does the space split between truly massive single-world titles and small ‘group’ community ones?


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