As Vahkris mentioned in his first post, he has recruited me to post the occasional guest column on his blog. The decision was made because we feel I offer a different and clearly more awesome-er (it’s a word) perspective on things in the gaming world than he does. While we both have a deep love for all things gaming, especially the MMORPG genre , our histories in gaming as well as our gaming styles differ greatly.
Vahkris has been playing in the online gaming format through MUDs since his childhood, whereas I still don’t even know what a MUD is. My first foray into MMORPGs was back in 2002 with the original EverQuest. Up until this point my gaming experience was primarily focused on console JRPGs, hours upon hours of Counter-Strike, and Starcraft LAN battles with my “friends.” I put friends in quotes because FUCK YOU TIM AND YOUR PROTOSS.
While Vahkris is encyclopedic with his knowledge of all things MMO I prefer a more “Oh god oh god, I don’t know what I’m doing….” style. Fancy people call it “learning by doing.” Fancy people are also assholes. My knowledge and research outside of a game is usually limited to making sure I know what I need to do to not embarrass myself in front of my friends. Vahkris usually knows more about the game I’m playing then I do, regardless of if he’s actually playing it or not (see EQ2, WoW, SW:TOR). It’s actually creepy sometimes.
Where V is a patient, world exploring, quest text reading crazy person, I prefer the level up to max asap, hard core raiding, token grinding crazy style.
I know enough to know what I do not know
Our original plan for this first guest column was for me to discuss Bioware’s popular MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Specifically, why I feel that this game is bad for the MMO genre (and also, terrible in general). During the writing process, however, I found that I was having difficulty obtaining enough detail to meet the standards that I require of myself when presenting an opinion. After all, if I’m going to make an argument, I want to be sure that I have sufficient evidence and knowledge of the subject material to defend it. This viewpoint is contrary to almost every single argument on the internet since Al Gore invented it, but that’s how we differentiate ourselves here at ABQ.
You see, I only played SW:TOR til about level 26 and then got bored and cancelled my account. I guess technically I was bored by like level 15, but I’m stubborn and cheap and wanted to get the most out of my money. Apparently getting most out of my money is code for “spending 10 hours playing a video game and not actually enjoying any of it.” Therefore, I missed out on the real challenging group gameplay (all group content up to this point was really just 4 people whack at boss til boss dies), the majority of PvP , as well as max level raiding. And since SW:TOR is one of those games in which people like to overlook the tedium of level grinds by saying that claim that the real, fun experience doesn’t begin til max level, I think its safe to say that I did not experience most of the game. Note: This is also a ridiculously stupid argument. If you’ve intentionally created a game in which the “real” game does not begin until you’ve played it for like 40 hours, then you are bad at designing games (see Final Fantasy XIII).
I want to be clear here. I am not saying that my views on Bioware’s MMO attempt are unsupportable; far from it. I am still thoroughly convinced that the feelings and concerns that I developed during my play sessions are accurate and lead to a factual, supportable opinion. However, as I am missing out on the direct experience of over half of the game, I feel it is not my place to release this opinion on the game as a whole.
So where does that leave us? Why am I writing this? Why are you reading this? I dunno. Cuz. Stop being a dick and asking me all these questions. Ass.
I just figured I’d make a quick, short post as an introduction of sorts. To explain who I am and what I like and then give you a little hint as to what is to come in future guest columns. My plan is to try to drop by here and post about once a month to give my unique perspective on things in the gaming world. I’ll try to keep this limited to MMOs, but as I’m not currently playing one and V seems to have Guild Wars 2 on freaking lock-down, I might have to spread out to some other games/gaming news. My next article, however, will be on something I have a lot of personal experience on: The World of Warcraft. Why its good, why its bad, and why I quit ne’er (hopefully) to return.
Until then…keep questing. Or whatever the fuck is you people do.
(I’m sorry, that was mean. I was trying to come up with an awesome sign off tagline and I couldn’t think of a good enough one and it frustrated me. It’s not you, its me. But also, its you.)