Archive for October, 2013

The One With The Polite (Hopefully) Rant

If I were a better player and had a quicker reaction time than I do, I’d likely enjoy PvP. Running around pwning the opposite faction is probably a lot of fun and the Bloodthirsty title would be an awesome one to have. I think it would be less fun to run around and gank your own faction, but that’s just my opinion and it’s certainly not based on experience. However, I can say for certain that not willfully participating in PvP and choosing to live life peacefully on a PvE server yet dying because you accidentally flagged yourself is not fun. Neither is it fun to die because a member of the opposite faction purposely stepped into your AoE to force you to be flagged. When these types of incidents happen I stubbornly just stand there until they kill me. I refuse to put up a fight because I want them to know they just killed someone who was not interested in their little games. I don’t want them to brag about how they owned me; I want them to know they killed someone who wasn’t even defending themselves. Do they actually see it that way or feel bad because of it? No. I’m quite certain they are laughing hysterically and hoping I’ll run back and rez before the 5 minute timer wears off so they can kill me again. Sometimes, because I foolishly believe every person has kindness buried somewhere within, I do rez and they do kill me again.

Sigh.

This subject is on my mind a lot these days thanks to Bloody Coins. I am still limited in my playtime currently, but in my few excursions to the Timeless Isle I have been killed while AoE’ing a rare and getting flagged. But hold on, I’m not actually going to complain about that (well, I complain out loud with obscenities at the time it happens but it fades). It’s inconvenient and I don’t love it, but I don’t begrudge anyone who’s interested in gathering the coins for doing what they have to do.

But hold on again, I am going to complain about 1 specific incident that happened to me a few days ago. See, the Neverending Spritewood is the purple crystal that spawns near the tree that has all the Nice Sprites dancing around it and clicking on the crystal triggers them to turn into Angry Sprites. Killing Angry Sprites triggers some Scary Sprites and killing those gives you a chance to receive the rare Dandelion Frolicker pet. Did you know the Neverending Spritewood is only clickable once per day by each character? It is. If you get lucky enough to spot it and click it you can’t click it again until the next day, even if you see it again.

So I am going to complain about the fact that the other day, during a rare 1 hour chance I had to login to the game, I was robbed of my chance to try and get the pet to drop by a Night Elf druid from my own server MY OWN FACTION. I happened to spot the crystal and saw no one near it. I ran over, clicked it and prepared myself to pull a group of the angry sprites. I approached them, targeted one and started my biggest AoE. A split second later, I saw a someone run up in cat form and the next thing I know I am dead. I had only gotten 2 of the sprites killed. Now someone flagging themselves and then wandering into the midst of my AoE while I’m helping bring down Houlon is annoying, but when I rez I still get to loot Houlon. Same with the rest of the rares on the Isle. But in this particular instance it’s not just you getting your Timeless Coin and me still getting credit for what I was doing. It was cruel, in my opinion. Days later I am still upset about it, which is silly and certainly won’t change anything, but it’s true. Maybe this person didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to simply start the event over. Maybe she did and just didn’t give a fuck. I’ll never know. I passively, aggressively whispered her to tell her how disappointed I was but I got no reply, which is probably for the best. No need for me to turn into an asshole just because I perceived someone was being an asshole to me. I did immediately tweet her name out and I apologize for that. Twitter is so instant it makes it easy to try and name shame there. I’ve done it more than once, but I don’t like myself for doing it.

What is the purpose of all this rambling? I just wanted to get it off my chest so maybe I can stop being so pissed off about it. In a couple of weeks I will be able to start playing more again and there will be more chances to trigger the event and try to get the pet drop. It’s no big deal, right?

Grrrrr….

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Has The Timeless Isle Rekindled A Sense Of Community?

We’re right around the 1 month mark since patch 5.4 revealed the Timeless Isle to us and by now, for most players, killing rares and collecting coins has become more an act of routine than one of unbridled enthusiasm. Let’s face it, the area is not that big. It doesn’t take long at all to discover all of its secrets and plunder all of its booty before you turn around and start the whole process over again.

Unfortunately my game time became a bit limited the day before the patch went live and remains so currently, so my observances and opinions about the Isle may differ quite a bit from players who have the opportunity to spend hours there daily. That being said, I’m still wildly enthusiastic about the place. I haven’t yet gotten to complete every achievement, kill every rare or even open every chest; not to mention finding the time to let my alts do the same, but I love the place. I love the fact that you can’t turn around without tripping over loot and Timeless Coins, but more than that I love the fact that you can’t turn around without tripping over other players too.

Yes, I said it. I love the fact that the Isle is a bustling hub of activity. What’s weird about that is that I don’t normally feel that way when I’m in other zones trying to quest or level or grind rep. During those types of activities, people just typically seem to be in the way killing the mobs you need to kill, mining the ore you need to sell, etc. But the Timeless Isle isn’t a quest-driven zone or a leveling zone. It’s a loot zone. A fun zone. A relaxing place to simply pwn things either by yourself or with the help of 32 strangers that just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Which brings me to my point – do you think the Timeless Isle has helped rekindle a sense of community? I do and I’ll tell you why:

General Chat has been full of people getting along. Impossible, right? I thought so too, but alas I was wrong. It can happen (at least on my server I see it happening). People are asking politely about spawns and other people are answering politely. People are announcing loot & getting grats in return. People are sarcastically announcing the same old loot and getting laughs and good cheer. People are providing details about rares and locations. New noobs to the island are lost and asking for help and actually getting help. It’s the weirdest shit and I’m so glad to see it. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some instances of asshattery; but they don’t seem to be happening nearly as often as they used to.

How are things on your server? Am I the only one seeing these types of positive interactions?

The One With The Fireflies

I am currently taking a class titled “Online Games: Literature, New Media and Narrative” where we’re comparing and contrasting how the various forms of media (books, film, games) tell a story. The class is centered around Lord Of The Rings not only because it is such a rich, epic story but also because it is a prime example of a story that has succeeded across multiple forms of media.

I won’t bore you with a lot of details about the class or my recent experiences as a first time player in the LotRO MMO, (though the game is beautiful and I am totally going to post some screenshots at the bottom of this entry) but I did want to share a bit about this week’s discussion question which Professor Clayton posted on our class forums. The question was basically asking us to describe our experiences exploring Middle Earth in-game and wanted our opinions on whether we enjoyed exploring and discovering the world slowly or if we preferred opening the maps, seeing all the locations and getting there as quickly as possible. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it.

Now I haven’t yet spent much time exploring things in LotRO because the new Timeless Isle here in WoW keeps calling to me, but I do know my answer to this question because it’s the same answer I would give regarding any game, including WoW. I AM AN EXPLORER. Do I take quick flight paths? Sure. Do I use my hearthstone a lot and use special items in game to transport me to places instantly (Shroud of Cooperation, I am looking at you)? Sure. But I also spend way more time than most people skipping along through the nooks and crannies of the zones just to see what I can see. I may not do a completely thorough exploration my first 2, 15 or 35 times through a zone – after all I’m on a mission to level, gear up, find herbs, battle pets, etc. But at some point, I’m going to waste hours and hours just looking in every cave, checking out every house and trying to jump up every mountain as high as it will let me.

Is that the most efficient use of my time? Hell no. I am terrible at doing dailies, profession cooldowns, dungeons and the like on a daily or sometimes even weekly basis. I’m aware I don’t always prioritize my game time correctly and I’m also aware these things are why I will never be ahead of the curve. It’s easy to see that here on this blog where you will find me posting a screenshot about an achievement I just got that everyone else had 6 weeks ago. Some of you may shake your head and wonder why I don’t wander off and play something else, something that moves a little slower or is simply a fluff game instead of the srs bzns that is WoW. Well to those people I say … if it weren’t for me derping around and wasting time, how would you ever know that in Paoquan Hollow, inside Master Bruised Paw’s house, you can find a jar of fireflies sitting on the table?

fireflies

What is your view on how important exploration is to your gaming experience. Do you like maps that are empty until you discover a new area of the zone or would you prefer everything be visible to you in all zones right away? Once you do discover an entire zone map, do you ever come back at any time to look at things slower and notice more details or is it just a terrain you move through simply to get to where you are going? Does it help with immersion? Do you even care about immersion? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments OR better yet, write up your own post about whether or not exploration is a part of your game.

And now I will sneak in a few of the LotRO screenshots I have taken so far. I promise this will not be a habit (unless the people demand it).

lotro 1
lotro 2
lotro 3
lotro 4