So I’m going to do it by saying that I love MMOs, I love gaming, and I love writing.
I have an awesome job I love writing about technology and helping my fellows out at Rappler, and despite being in the company of awesome people at work and online, I sometimes feel like I either hate myself or I feel like I’m missing out by not writing what I want to write.
Instead, I play games or sleep a lot to bridge the gap in between days when I feel sad, like I do now.
I can’t promise a daily blog, but I do believe I’ll be using Games and Geekery as a test bed for some thoughts and ideas that may eventually see print on the day job.
So I just turned 30.
I’ll have more on this in a day or so. For now… Hello!
Purchased a personal Internet line for myself with a different ISP.
Done with elections coverage for Rappler, for the most part, and our intrepid coverage had me going on camera to talk as well as write. That was scary!
Here’s a link to the start of my on-camera career, with Maria Ressa calling on me to speak. Yes, that is #orangeshirtguy in action!
That said, if you’re interested, Rappler actually has the running tallies for the elections, both from the official count and our unofficial Commission on Elections-Rappler Mirror Server count.
Anyway, now that I’m with Safe Shark Hosting and I’m regularized at work, I look forward to writing more soon, aside from work.
I love you guys!
Just for reference… it took this long to make a post not only because of my other duties, but because Sky Broadband, my Internet Service Provider, couldn’t seem to login properly to the blog for me to see the editor in its normal state.
That’s really sucky.
There are a lot of ways to add incentives to playing video games. In addition to achievements, there’s also the lure of items you wouldn’t normally be able to see without some degree of work.
I’m lured into continuing WoW due to a number of things, and I’ve decided to write them up as goals for me to achieve as I continue playing the game.
Goal One: Reach level 90 on my Hunter and my Monk.
I really want to see most of the content for this expansion, and in expansion’s previous. As such, I want to take my old hunter, whom I moved off of an oceanic server onto Baelgun, out of retirement.
I also enjoy playing my monk, even if it has a wild sort of playstyle. Love martial arts.
Goal Two:Battle Pet Supremacy
I would like to take a pet battling team to the top of the leveling game, and make it a force to be reckoned with. Preferably one from each family.
Goal Three: Get some specialty mounts
There are three mounts I’m particularly interested in, and those are the Mekgineer’s Chopper from Wrath of the Lich King, the Raven Lord Anzu’s mount from Burning Crusade, and a camel from the Ramkahen faction in Cataclysm. None are flying mounts, but I already have my helicopter jet engineering mount, so I’m pleased there.
Goal Four: Have farm, will travel.
I would like to get a farming system set up on Pandaria. Hoping that particular aspect of the game expands into housing, but for now, I’m just interested in the awesomeness of it.
That’s what I have planned for WoW. Of course, there’s no telling what game might catch my fancy, but I’m hoping that, between WoW and TSW, I’ll be pleased during the majority of my playtime.
Most of us know that playing Magic: The Gathering (MtG) is a ton of fun but it’s a fair bet that most of you have no clue that the game can actually help prepare you for a career. The long hours put in during MtG games and the problem-solving nature of the game can help many later in life.
One path that some MtG players are taking is that of professional poker. The reason is because the money is good.
Depending on who you ask, David Williams or Brock Parker are considered two of the most successful MtG players who have transitioned to the world of professional poker.
David Williams is a poker pro who burst onto the scene in 2004 after finishing 2nd in the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event behind Greg Raymer and taking home $3.5 million. Since that time, Williams has added multiple poker championships including a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and a World Poker Tour (WPT) title. He also finished first at the 2012 MtG Grand Prix at San Jose California. His career earnings are over $8.4 million in tournaments so far.
Brock Parker has actually been playing pro poker longer than Williams, but it wasn’t until 2009 that he became a household name. He won two bracelets in the summer of 2009 at the WSOP in the same week and has went on to win several titles since that time. With over $2.5 million in total earnings, his success at the tables has influenced other MtG players to try their hand at poker.
Another well-known MtG player to successfully move to poker is Gabriel Nassif. He has two Pro Tour titles, numerous top 8 finishes, and a Player of the Year honor in 2004. In this interview with MtG champ Gabriel Nassif, he talked about how he got introduced to poker and how he plays dozens of events at the WSOP.
Of course, most MtG players will tell you that the game isn’t about money but about the challenge and the fun had while playing tough opponents. With that said, the fact that millions are up for grab each year in the game of poker make transitioning from MtG a tempting choice for many. Williams even said in an interview that as time passes that more and more MtG players will make their way to poker. It seems that the money card is the most powerful of all.
Boy, am I rusty.
I have not had a good update on Games and Geekery in a few months, so here are some updates on my end.
The first update is a job-related one. In addition to my work for MMORPG.com as a columnist, I’m also a news writer for a Rappler.com. I do mostly tech news, which is nice. I hope to one day branch out though, if they keep me on after my probationary period.
With regard to gaming, I’m trying to strike a balance with work, play, and other leisure activities. If I can fit some exercise in there, that’d be excellent.
As for the blog… well, Games and Geekery is not going away, and I should focus on improving my home base, so to speak. I will slowly work on adding more content and redoing the blogroll as a separate page over the weekend.
I’ve also updated my blog guidelines to reflect the potential for ad-based guest posts on the site, primarily to pay for hosting. As such, these should be few and far between.
More than anything else, I love writing. I cherish knowing my words mean something, and I hope to continue doing that no matter what happens.
*hugs everyone on the Internet*
My friend @FoxSynergy posted that tweet I just linked, which essentially starts a comparison between GoLion and Voltron, two robots that are essentially the same, just edited for different audiences’ sensibilities.
This made me imagine the following scenario, in which new commenters bring up with what they think are better robots than the offering previous. After I thought about it, it seemed like an interesting parallel to MMO discussions.
Voltron < GoLion (the anime Voltron lions was based on) < Leopardon (Japanese live-action Spiderman) < Tauburn (Star Driver) < Yuusha-Oh GaoGaiGar < Every Mobile Suit Gundam known to man, save for the G-Gundam series because that was the black sheep of Gundam < G-Gundam, because G-Gundam was the BEST HOTBLOODED anime in its time period. < Doraemon + his noncanonical dramatic ending due to the death of the mangaka who made Doraemon (technically a Robot) < Aquarion < Aquarion Evol < Evangelion mecha < Every Super Sentai Robot known to man < Every Power Rangers Zord and Megazord known to man (which is essentially the Super Sentai Robots, but fewer due to less seasons and with different names ) < The Daleks < The Cylons < Peebo from Bioman (justified since people are starting to mention smaller bots) < CL4P-TP < nanobots < The Mighty Orbots < Someone rereads the discussion from the end to the beginning and realizes people have diverged severely, and posits SDF-1 Macross as a response < argument ensues over the definition of “robot” versus “transforming ship” < random passerby mentions Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh < CHOU TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGANN WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE? < I come in and talk about how my mom beats all of them because she hugs me and supports me and tells me she loves me. < Everyone sheds a tear and leaves to hug their mom.
Syncaine made an observation recently that had me reflecting on my gaming history and what I wanted out of it. In his post, he talks about how the MMORPG has changed fundamentally in terms of its method of providing people with enjoyment.
Some MMOs seem exist in a sort of experiential vacuum, wherein a solo player can do a lot by himself, and fun can be had without the need for a group to run through content. The opposite type of MMO has a more collectivist bent, where the enjoyment of the game’s actors is derived from group experiences, whether it be against monsters or against other people.
Both attempts at providing entertainment for people are valid, but the nature of the player each game brings in is decidedly different.
What Syncaine’s post left me with was a sense of disappointment, partly in myself but also in my circumstances, because I cannot seem to commit to an MMO anymore.
In my case, my second MMO ever was World of Warcraft, and I played that for seven months straight when I first got it and was relatively unemployed after college. I didn’t worry about timezones, and I joined a cool-sounding server name and found a guild that I liked, called In Strict Confidence.
My strongest memories of playing MMOs were as a result of being in raids or in groups, because I learned from the people I was interacting with. Being with people, even virtually, helped me to grow as a person and part of my personality now, from my demeanor online to my diplomatic, thoughtful nature, is a direct result of learning to be with people online.
I now get the same rush of friendship and camaraderie from my friends on Twitter and from my friends in real life. The games I play don’t necessarily need to provide that high of friendship and camaraderie for me anymore, but it helps to hook me in.
Going back to Syncaine’s post, I wrote in a comment to him about how he made me think, and how in my reflection I realized I sort of feel left out because I do not have a long-term commitment to a game. It seems (to my mind, at least) I still miss the rush of growing as a person by interacting with people in a virtual world doing something epic.
Syncaine replied to me with the following:
I suspect that part of the issue is that you are judging the games just on the content as you experience it solo, which is going to yield less-than-steller (sic) results (MMOs are not great for that, even solo-focused ones like SW:TOR, compared to a real sRPG).
When you play with a set group, much of the ‘content’ is experiencing the stuff together, so even bugs or grind can become a source of amusement because you have 10 people in vent bitching about it and laughing rather than just you smashing your head into it solo.
Look at something like a fleet Op in EVE. Would anyone find that even remotely fun as content in an sRPG? Waiting around for hours, shooting structures, and going home? Of course not. But get 250 people into Mumble, and it can be a riot, regardless if a fight happens or not. And when a fight does happen, it’s better than anything a single player game could ever hope to create in terms of epic, memorable moments.
That’s why people (should) be playing MMOs; for those rare but awesome moments. Sadly a lot of today’s MMOs are incapable of providing such a moment due to poor design and an overemphasis on the solo at the expense of the group.
I agree with him, really. At the same time, it also made me fearful.
What he’s written also means that I cannot provide the same commitment or be in the same social circles that would allow for the fun of an MMO in a group setting. I not only live in a different time zone from most people who would play something like Darkfall: Unholy Wars, but I’m also going to start a job that requires a worthwhile time investment to be good at.
I value the opportunity I’m getting at this new job, but it also makes me sad that I can’t be an important part of that bright world where people are fighting a good fight of epic proportions against dragons and liches and Cthulhu-like monstrosities.
Then I have to remind myself to calm down.
Because I have to remember that as much as the online worlds beckon to me, I’ve already connected with hundreds of people and made tons of friends who’ve helped to shape my personality and make me better than I was six years ago.
And I will keep making friends online and in the physical world, and my interactions with them will improve the person that I am, and ultimately, allow me to also impact their lives meaningfully and (I hope) for the better.
Two pieces I wrote came up this week for people read on MMORPG.com. One was a discussion on progression via levels and skills for Devil’s Advocate, and the other was my explanation for why Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn might very well be a defining moment in MMO history.
On the one hand, commenters on my Devil’s Advocate Post mentioned Asheron’s Call as a game that sort of fulfills the melding of Levels and Skills, and due to my never having played it, I completely skipped it as a talking point.
I felt embarassed. At the same time, I was thankful. Someone had pointed out an issue with my article and it had given me an idea to sort of compare Asheron’s Call and Project Gorgon. It was a good angle to take, and one that I’ll explore for the next Devil’s Advocate.
On the other hand, I also received a comment on the FFXIV post that reads:
You sure did gush a lot for a non biased column.
How much does one of these columns cost a company?
For me, I can read this as trolling, but after the Eurogamer issue that occurred recently, it touched a nerve. As I’m also starting a job at Rappler, a social news site in the Philippines, on November 1, it made me anxious to have my ethics as a writer put into question. Basically, it really stung.
I responded thus,
Just so you know, this isn’t the Devil’s Advocate for this week, and as far as I can remember when I wrote it, I did not mention that I was unbiased.
I like the Final Fantasy brand. At the same time, I will admit that I was disappointed by FFXIII and FFXIV. The information given so far for the game gives me hope, and the potential of a game like this to be a defining moment in MMO history makes me pause, because it can cost tons of jobs and change lives if it fails.
I am enthusiastic for the game based on its potential, but at the same time, I’ve played enough games to know that the potential for something to be good does not make it good unless I try it and make that distinction for myself, based on my personal opinion and my understanding of the situation.
The idea that I am some sort of paid shill is a hurtful insinutation on your part, and while I would defend your ability to say it on this forum if push came to shove, I will not stand by and accept your accusation. Frankly, as a fellow person on this planet, I am hurt by your words, and I honestly hope that you would actually consider the gravity of what you’re saying to me or to anyone else in the future.
In any case, this is just sharing on my part. I take great pains to make sure my pieces are well-written and meaningful, but there are really a ton of variables I can’t account for. I know I should let it pass, but it really soured an otherwise happy day.