Monthly Archives: October 2009
On a whim, I decided to go and look at how the end of the world might be like in MMOs, and took a quick trip to google to look for MMOs that have died.
For the most part, this brought up images, articles, and videos of Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, which failed to really catch on with the demanding MMO populace. According to what I’ve understood, the end of Tabula Rasa was supposed to be a massive war against the enemy, leading finally to the huddling of the masses inside populated areas, dancing at the end of the world.
That’s not always the case though, as it happens. A good number of thriving MMOs these days have a story that begs an exploration of how the people in it would experience the end of days. While the end of every MMO will eventually come at the flicking of some hypothetical switch that kills servers dead, it’s the hours before the end that make everything interesting. Here are some of my ideas as to how certain MMOs will ramp up the story for the end of their runs.
And yes, there will be a lot of dancing in the streets.
Here’s a treat for those of you folks who’ve tried Gearbox Software’s Borderlands or are still on the fence about buying it. They’ve released another trailer that showcases some of the many things you can do in the game, from gathering tons of loot to punching a midget’s legs off.
Watch, and enjoy!
Over on Twitter, I was contemplating creating a Philippine Word of the Week thing for this, my games and geekery blog. Longasc replied with a semi-brilliant, completely ludicrous, but rather funny idea to make some of the words I introduce per week swear words or words describing human anatomy.
Hence the creation of PWN: Philippine Words for Noobs.
Now, my actual language of mastery is English, but I’m proficient enough in the lingo of my native tongue to have enough of an idea of how to best translate the ideas used by the word or phrase in its different contexts.
In any event, let’s take a trip into the amusing side of Philippine Culture and Ideas as we explore one commonly used swear phrase: Putang Ina.
And yes… swearing en masse in multiple languages follows.
I got my first bit of email today from someone who was reading through the blog and found the posts on LOTRO, and was possibly referring to my bad luck getting into the game at first. I realized that while I did get to play the game, I never really finished the story on that, so I thought to take some of my newly found free time to talk about what happened there.
For lack of a better term, I was awestruck by the kindness of others. I was posting on Twitter about my troubles before, and some folks offered to help me out, not just with moral support, but also with an opportunity to play the game using a Founder’s Account trial key. I loved the game from the 10 days that I played it, but due to a lack of a credit card at the time (I’m still waiting for that card, actually, and have followed up with the bank numerous times) and a lack of prepaid cards for LOTRO at the game store (They only serve WoW, alas.), I wold have ended up unable to play, had I not found someone nice enough to go out and buy a physical copy of the game and send me the key.
Alas, that month has come and gone, and I have not been able to resubscribe not because of anything external like luck, but because I decided to pass on the kindness I experienced with someone else.
You see, I had a friend who had her money stolen by someone else. For lack of a better term, she went from having enough money to paying the rent to going flat broke. I lent her enough for her to pay the rent for her apartment, which in LOTRO terms would be around two or three lifetime subs to LOTRO.
Given her predicament, I don’t really expect her to get back to me with payment, but I can live with losing a little money so long as it isn’t a scam. Genuine kindness is something we ascribe to noblest of heroes, so I guess, for once, I got to be someone’s real life hero instead of just playing as one virtually.
In the wasteland, the land laid waste
The fruit of knowledge has a bitter taste
And the bliss of ignorance can never be replaced
It’s lost in the wilderness*
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m quite looking forward to the Game of the Year Edition of Fallout 3. At first, it was because I’d be given a chance to finish the game that I’d started, but then my reasons changed somewhat.
I want to start a new game, with a whole new character and approach, and this time add user-made modifications into the game.
I was originally supposed to write a quick bit on Fallout 3, and then go to bed, but circumstances change, and I feel the need to process what happened so as to not make the same mistakes in the future.
As a Communications Major and sometime journalist, there is a certain thrill in ferreting out news or being relatively quick in reporting it online. It was my job for two years, so I’ve grown accustomed to that feeling. At the same time, I’m happy to note that due to my training in school, I’ve managed to have a certain respect for ethics when it comes to reporting things as they happen.
As it happens, I found a link on one of my usual haunts for info, and it was regarding Lord of the Rings Online. I wrote about the breaking news, sourced it, and published. Job done.
Within the hour, Turbine managed to contact a different news outlet with a clarification that negated a good amount of the news that was reported. So I made an update, sourced the second news outlet in the update, and updated the post.
It should end there, I suppose, but I feel responsible for my work. For one thing, I don’t know how many people may have now been misinformed by reading the news I wrote, and how many other people have been spreading that misinformation. I feel responsible for getting people’s hopes up. I did the responsible thing and edited my report in a timely manner, as is standard practice. However, one thing they never taught in Journalism class was how to let things go, how to let damage control happen as it will. It’s not as if I can twitter every individual who ever read the article with an update… though, I did almost try to do that.
I think the inability to let go is one of my personal faults, and it’s affecting my better judgment in this regard. It should be easy for people to do, but for folks with obsessive-compulsive tendencies like myself, it can be a struggle, I guess. I suppose all I can hope for is that the damage is minimal, and that people won’t be too annoyed with the non-newsy news I put up.
Turbo: The Movie is a fun 20-minute romp through the future of gaming, and it’s an action-packed, special effects-filled future, to say the least.
Turbo: The Movie is essentially what some people have coined Karate Kid meets Tron. Imagine a world where a fighting game can be controlled using a full range of motion: all the adrenaline of an actual fight without any of the blood. In this world, cybersports is a big draw for teenagers, and of these games, the most popular is Super Turbo Arena 2.
The movie follows the young Hugo Park as he tries to fight his way to victory in a tournament for the game, in order to earn money to try and help his brother, Tobias, who broke his back while fighting in a real-world kickboxing tourney. As you can expect, there’s a definite student-sensei vibe between the brothers, and there’s even a short training montage as is standard in these sorts of films.
Anyway, what am I doing talking about it, when you can just watch it below? Feel free to leave your impressions in the comments.
It’s a bit late, but I’ve only really managed to start blogging again due to real life concerns such as storms and school. Luckily, I’ve finally got some actual time to start writing again.
Anyway, Tobold’s got a nice story and discussion going on over at his blog, and I like it to call it the parable of the Elephant Sculpture, for the simple reason that “story” doesn’t imply some sort of deeper meaning that one can take away from it.
For the sake of keeping the parable intact, I’ve opted to repost it here. You can also check it out at the above link, and follow the discussion there.
The Parable of the Elephant Sculpture
Once upon a time there was a sculptor who made an elephant sculpture. It took him years to make, and the effort of many helpers, because his elephant sculpture was huge, and of exquisite craftsmanship. Every single wrinkle in the elephants skin was sculpted to the finest detail, and all the dimensions were so realistic that the sculpture was almost life-like. Once he had finished his sculpture, he proceeded to sell it. And because the sculpture was so well done, it achieved a high price at an art auction, and sold for 11 million.
The other sculptors saw that, and thought that they could earn such big money too. Obviously the public wanted elephant statues, so they all started making elephant statues. Only they didn’t have the patience of the original sculptor, and wanted to get rich too. So their elephants were much smaller, of inferior craftsmanship, and not life-like at all. Some were rather roughly hewn, others decorated with gaudy stones to distract from the lesser quality. But when these inferiors elephant statue copies were put up for auction, they didn’t sell all that well. Some didn’t sell at all, so bad were they. Some attracted initial interest before the auction, but when the buyers saw the inferior quality, they only bid 300,000 for it, and the other sculptors were much disappointed. “Oh!”, they cried, “the original sculptor was lucky that he made his elephant statue just when the market wanted one. Sculpting is dead, nobody will ever get more than 1 million for his sculpture.”
Meanwhile the original sculptor was back in his studio, making a sculpture of a tiger. A huge sculpture, and of exquisite craftsmanship. Every single hair of the tiger’s fur was sculpted to the finest detail, and all the dimensions were so realistic that the sculpture was almost life-like. I am sure that once he is ready and puts it on the market, he will get more than 1 million for his new sculpture. You see, the public didn’t yearn for an elephant sculpture at all, they just appreciated the size and great workmanship. And all the imitators would have better spent more attention to detail than just copy the basic shape of the elephant sculpture.
I trust you haven’t left this blog post completely after checking out the discussion on Tobold’s blog, so I thought to weigh in with some of my own thoughts.
While I do agree with the parable as it relates to MMORPGs, I find myself wondering if the symbolism is lacking somehow. For instance, my first thought after reading it was about smaller, lesser-known online games that seek to have a niche audience, like Fallen Earth. Would that be an elephant statue that’s appreciated by a small subset of people because they appreciate the love that’s been put into the piece? Would Lord of the Rings Online be an imitation elephant rather than a separate type of entity altogether or an elephant with an ideal amount of craftsmanship that wasn’t noticed as much by the viewing public as a result of the large crowd developing around the well-sculpted elephant we know as WoW?
Honestly, I’m not sure how to answer my own questions.
I suppose what I took from Tobold’s tale and the resulting discussion surrounding the symbolism was that everyone ascribes value to something in differing amounts based on their own preferences or experiences. The elephant in question doesn’t matter as much as the value given it by the people who are experiencing it.
Some of them may have seen elephants before, and therefore have different ideas of the value of an elephant. For some people who’ve never seen an elephant before, a massively well-crafted and detailed sculpture may simply blow them away with awesomeness.
Personally, I’d like to be awestuck by awesomeness a second time, because sometimes, if you’ve seen and experienced one MMO, everything else feels like the same damned thing.