Nov 28, 2007

[5 Lessions in 5 Years]

I've been tagged! Man, I totally missed this one! D=
I haven't been playing MMOs for 5 years yet, but I think I've got 5 lessions anyway.

1. A Guild Lives or Dies By Its Structure
Organization is the key to success. Write down your guild's values and goals, and uphold them. Support your teammates, think about morale. This is not just for raiding guilds; any strong community needs open communication, structure and goals to thrive and grow.

2. A MMO is Only as Fun as The People You Play With
In a MMO, the people you're around make a big difference in the atmosphere of your experience. Being a guildless soloer who only does pick-up groups gives you a totally different feel than a person in an active, close-knit guild. I never would have stuck with WoW past the first year if I hadn't had my guild.

3. Your Gaming Time is Your Own
Running lowbies through content, giving gold, etc. is fine... but be aware that some folks will milk you for all it's worth unless you put boundaries on your time. It's not a bad thing to log in and just want to play for yourself, don't be ashamed to stand up for that.

4. I Love You IRL, But Can't Stand You Ingame.
It's not always ducks and bunnies to get RL friends/significant others playing the same MMO as you. =P

5. Remember to Have Fun
Sometimes, you just need to sit back, stop the rep farming and instance grinds, and take a ride thru the zone you went through at level 2 and wave at the lowbies. Find creative ways to do silly things. Remember to make your own fun sometimes, and don't get stuck on the treadmill.

Nov 16, 2007

[Blizzard: 1 Hackers: 0]

Warden has been quietly updated in the latest WoW patch, basically breaking all current bots and hacks for the game. And, of course, the people who made it their mission to override Warden, are crying about it.

The Warden program scans your computer for illegal processes that are influencing the game (speed hacks, bots, etc. has been decried as and evil 'breach of privacy' by some players (those who're running those bots and hacks, most likely). Most of their arguments are just whines from people who hate having their 'freedom' to cheat forcefully denied. Scott sums it up:

But the real bottom line: if you don’t like Warden and find it an invasion of privacy, vote with your pocketbook and don’t pay for WoW. It’s really that simple. Histrionics on message boards aside, playing WoW is not some kind of constitutional right, it’s a contract between you and Blizzard. As part of that contract, Blizzard is going to be looking over your shoulder while you’re playing. If you’re not OK with that, there are, believe it or not, other online games out there, some of which have been rumored to resemble WoW to varying degrees.

Game developers have not only the right, but the expected duty, to enforce a clean and open playing field. As black hats get better at breaking them, white hats are going to get sneakier (and sometimes overbearing) in protecting them. The arms race will never end.

Or as we say in WoW: Q.Q more, nubs.

Nov 7, 2007

[Once Again, the Grind is the 'Real' Challenge]

Via Warcry:

"In keeping with their insane ability to tear through content, the first Illidan kill by the Chinese guild The Seven was recently [Oct 29th 2007] reported on the WoW forums.
While we've seen quite our share of Illidan kills on this side of the world so you may be asking "so what?"
Burning Crusade came out on September 7th in China, meaning it took only 51/52 days for to level to 70, gear up, and kill Illidan. From the screenshot you can see that many members are still sporting their tier 3, which speaks volumes for how powerful it actually is.
Naysayers may say that due to the various bugfixes and changes that went live prior to China even receiving the expansion they had access to a much better tuned Outlands than we did, but you can't deny how impressive this is, even if they had a little bit of an easier time of it than we did."
  ...Because removing attunement quests, bugged trash mobs, and rep grinds makes it 'easier' to kill the top Outlands raid boss while wearing mostly Old World T3 Gear. Right.

Yep, many MMO players have a very weird definition of 'difficulty'. I'd say this Chinese guild did an amazing job, seeing as how they were largely undergeared and still beat the Black Temple encounters this fast. But in the bizarre e-peen contest that is getting 'World First' raid kills in WoW, any excuse you can use to diminish someone else's achievement (and believe me, the cattiness I've seen between 'hardcore' guilds trying to demean each others' raid progress is hilarious in it's pettiness sometimes) is fair game. Sad that folks can't even give a 'grats' to these guys without adding an '...even though you did have it easier than us!' snark.

  Lots of comments in that thread about their 'sub-par' gear too. I guess people are totally missing the point of how that makes what they did actually cooler. People are always whining about how gear > skill in WoW. A case appears where people overcame a gear handicap, it's all suddenly 'lol! What lamers!' Hilarious.