Apr 30, 2008

[More Fluff, plz]

via The Greenskin:

There can more rewards for character development than seeing your XP bar inch its way across the screen, renown-point tally rise, and hotbar clutter up with newer, more powerful abilities. There can be more to it than jumping on a never-ending raid treadmill (grinding for gear in one dungeon so you can enter and grind the next, ad infinitum).

Yet these are traditionally the core concepts MMORPG design is based upon, and rightly so, because they are what usually keeps people coming back for more. However, there comes a point when you can give us a little more… raise our expectations

Call them what you will—cosmetic or fluffy—rewards of this nature can be just as valuable in giving players a sense of accomplishment as the more obvious rewards we’ve come to accept.

I agree 100%... as someone who loves fun, cosmetic, customization-type items (I could care less about stats, stats are boring!) more games need 'fluffy' fun ways to 'develop' your character, instead of only having the 'progression' stat treadmill as the only option.

I mean, is seeing +1 in front of your new sword's name really as cool as having instead a rare, super cool-looking mount or player title?

Apr 5, 2008

[Be Imba!]

Okay, this is a neat little character analyzer for WoW. If you want to know what instances you're best equipped for, and what aspects of your gear are weakest, this is a nice little resource. As expected, my own characters are far from 'imba' -- min/maxing was never my strong point. This site helps simplify all that stuff for people like me. =P

[Not Gaming, But Still Geek-related]

This story just blew my mind, I can't help but snark about it:

Now a fixture at Department of Homeland Security science and technology conferences, SIGMA is a loosely affiliated group of science fiction writers who are offering pro bono advice to anyone in government who want their thoughts on how to protect the nation.

The group has the ear of Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary Jay Cohen, head of the science and technology directorate, who has said he likes their unconventional thinking. Members of the group recently offered a rambling, sometimes strident string of ideas at a panel discussion promoting the group at the DHS science and technology conference.

Among the group’s approximately 24 members is Larry Niven, the bestselling and award-winning author of such books as “Ringworld” and “Lucifer’s Hammer,” which he co-wrote with SIGMA member Jerry Pournelle.

Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants.

“The problem [of hospitals going broke] is hugely exaggerated by illegal aliens who aren’t going to pay for anything anyway,” Niven said.

“Do you know how politically incorrect you are?” Pournelle asked.

“I know it may not be possible to use this solution, but it does work,” Niven replied.

Words fail. I always knew Niven was a bit of an ass but I'm still baffled at his 'logic' (and really, the entire SIGMA concept itself -- I mean, wtf thought that was a good idea?).