Category Archives: MMOs
Over on Massively, they recently asked about our favorite fluff items.
This was supposed to be my response:
Well… if you had to ask me about a few of my favorite fluff things…
*music is cued*
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Pillows with chocobo feathers and string…
These are a few of my favorite fluff things!
Head of Onyxia and jump jet boot thrusters
Gygax Dice, Golems, and Tauren-made mustard
Golden guns, Furniture, Scepters of Kings
These are a few of my favorite fluff things!
When the dogs bite, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad…
I simply remember my favorite fluff things,
Then I don’t feel so bad!
As with any game, there are wonderful and not-so-wonderful things to think about when you’re playing it. The following are some of my issues with Final Fantasy XIV in its current state, as well as the plan the Square Enix Development Team has with that particular aspect of the game moving forward.
1. The same tilesets for the world you’re traversing, all jigsawed up.
Simply put, I dislike how the world was created using a handful of tilesets to represent an entire living, breathing continent of a world.
THE PLAN MOVING FORWARD: DESTROY THE WORLD. BWAHAHAHAHA. Then rebuild using more tilesets, presumably.
2. Levequests are your bread and butter means of gaining experience.
Levequests are essentially repeatable quests people can do to gain experience for their various fighting, gathering, or crafting classes.You gain back 4 levequest allowances every 12 hours, and can stack these allowances to 99 to power through levels as needed.
The game has quests, but those are few and level dependent, and while you can sometimes get a hefty stack of gil from them, as well as some gear, the levequests are the bread and butter means of gaining experience.
THE PLAN MOVING FORWARD: From what I’ve heard, the plan moving forward is to give people more quests and make levequesting a more optional experience for everyone. Options are good, and being able to do quests more for great stories appeals to me immensely.
3. The usable, but annoying-to-use User Interface
To leave your party in the game, you need to open up your menu, click on “Party,” go to “Party Details,” then click on “Leave.” It works if you’re using a controller, but as a keyboard + mouse guy, it’s a bit annoying to have to go through the same hoops.
Now, that same bit of logic runs through some other actions, like changing your gear. It is usable, but it’s not fun.
THE PLAN MOVING FORWARD: DESTROY THE WORLD, then make a newer UI that works with modern sensibilities but doesn’t sacrifice accessibility for console/PC controller gamers.
Right now, I’m playing Final Fantasy XIV and having quite a bit of fun. The old annoyances I had with the game that made me leave before have been mitigated significantly, and Square Enix’s team for the game is really working hard to show people that the Final Fantasy MMO is a force to be reckoned with.
Things I personally love about this game in its current state:
1. Structured Freeform Progression: This is the term I use to refer to how Final Fantasy’s leveling system allows you to be the kind of fighter, harvester, or crafter you want to be.
Changing the tool in my hands changes my class, and there’s a certain satisfaction in leveling up new crafting classes just to see LEVEL UP flash on the screen. Basically, it melds the structured leveling progression of most MMOs with the freedom to not be pegged as a particular class if you feel like switching.
2. Simplified Crafting
Originally, FFXIV’s crafting system damn near forced you to multilevel crafting classes if you wanted to be self-sufficient. To make something of a low level in a certain crafting field, you had to be a high level in a different field (or know who to talk to) to get his stuff you needed to make your own stuff.
Recipes have been streamlined to require fewer components from other fields or at least need specific items from a different, equally or lesser leveled tradeskill. Old recipes still exist though, and those recipes have a “dated” prefix to refer to them being part of the old echelon. You can still try and make those items for XP if you wanted, actually.
3. There’s finally an explanation for seemingly random shit.
There are two resources that seem to be very useful now, and they are http://ffxiv.mozk-tabetai.com/ and http://mooglebox.com. One is a great item, loot, and recipe compendium, and the other has a gathering tool that explains what you have to do in the gathering minigames to net specific items from gathering more readily.
4. The Future and its Story
The game is gearing up for a reboot called A Realm Reborn. They will pretty much wipe the whole damned planet out and literally shut down the servers prior to launch to move all the characters onto new servers for the reboot.
The best thing about this for me is that they have a freaking story explanation for the entire event, where (if memory serves) someone teleports every person on the planet to the end of time and then throws them back into the future of the world after a meteor crashes onto the world. Something like that. Basically… you get a cool lore entry about the sundering of Eorzea as a private reward for sticking by the game.
Anyway, if you feel like playing the game before the reboot, sign up and join my character Victor Stillwater on the Masamune Server. Cheers!
I’ve been in quite a haze really. The past few days have had me seeing more anxiety about a job application than normal, and it’s led me to not want to play anything, not even The Secret World.
I missed out on a bunch of Funcom points as a result which makes me feel bad because, I mean… hello? Free stuff.
Anyway, it’s also a bit detrimental for me, as I’ve been looking for inspiration for my second MMORPG.com TSW article… and thankfully, Ambermist of Tastes Like Battle Chicken had an excellent post that I wanted to delve into further with some research.
Here’s to hoping my upcoming article turns out well.
For reference, please sing these lyrics to Susan Boyle’s version.
I dreamed a dream of subs gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
That Old Republic wouldn’t die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving…
I once was young and unafraid
And subs were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
For content done. Now whines are wasted…
But the Earnings Call’s in sight
Investor voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
And they turn your dreams to shame!
And I’d still I’d dream of subs, you see
That TOR would live the years in splendor…
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather.
I had a dream TOR’s life would be
So different from this hell it’s living
So different from what it seemed
Bad choices killed a dream I dreamed….
So… Pet Battles Online.
In other news, I’ve got a new article up on MMORPG.com discussing themes in Lovecraftian horror and how it relates to and influences The Secret World. Have a look via this link. Just note that I can’t currently read pages on MMORPG.com due to an ISP system issue, so if any readers here have questions over there they’d like answered, I can answer them here or you can put a note there and message me through MMORPG.com’s system and wait a bit.
My previous post mentions that I’ve basically been hopping from game to game to find enjoyment, but I think it’s time I learned to do a bit of game juggling.
Currently, I have a six-month subscription to EVE on a new account, and at the same time, I will be enjoying Gulid Wars 2 and The Secret World and what they have to offer, slowly but surely. I don’t want to make any of them a main game (unless I think all three are my main game), but all of them provide something different and appealing for me.
EVE: Internet Spaceships and Sandbox goodness
The Secret World: The lore and mythos is intriguing, and Investigation missions are boss.
GW2: Free-to-play fantasy with action combat and potential longevity.
I’ve never really tried to multitask gaming before, so if you folks have any ideas on how to best juggle games, let me know!
On another note, I’ve been dealing with some frustration regarding my connection to the Internet recently. I had trouble patching and playing certain games, and more recently, certain sites, like MMORPG.com (my workplace, basically) and Steam’s Store pages (Missed the last few days of the Steam Sale as a result) do not load properly, making it difficult to actually read or click anything.
I’ve been managing the frustration by focusing on other activities, but I’d just really like for my connection to be stable so my browsing and gaming can go back to normal again.
I don’t ever remember stepping into a quantum accelerator, but I do remember sitting in front of a computer, writing this blog post, mostly because I’m doing it right now.
It seems that I’ve become the epitome of a quantum game leaper. Or hopper. Or Hip-hopper.
The point is this: I spent a month and a half in LOTRO and currently have a three month sub there. I switched to RIFT for five days, then moved to The Secret World for two weeks, then Star Trek Online for one week, and now I’m contemplating going to EVE Online to round out the pre-GW2 time.
At the same time, I want to maintain a sub to The Secret World, mostly because I want to see what Ragnar and Funcom do with their commitment to monthly updates. So… we’ll see what happens.
For now, I’ll keep leaping, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each leap will be the leap home.
My main character in LOTRO, Civrot the Warden, is probably a lot paler now than he used to be. Except for a short jaunt to the front door of the Mines of Moria, I’ve not actually stepped outside Moria in quite a while, and I find myself feeling rather dreary at the prospect of staying here for a long while.
Travel times are long, locations are sometimes confusing, and the enemy density is quite high, though I’ve heard that’s already been tweaked down a notch.
Sure, there’s a sense of wonder that comes over me when I imagine the place being constructed, but I miss the sunlight.
Here’s to hoping i reach the end of the Moria epic chain soon enough. /salute
A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
–From “Twenty Conversations with Borges, Including a Selection of Poems: Interviews by Roberto Alifano, 1981-1983.”
The above is one of my favorite quotes about writing. As someone who thinks himself a writer, I’ve come to realize that every experience we have shapes us and changes us little by little, and by writing about these things, I’ve come to effect change both in myself and perhaps in the minds and hearts of people who read my writings.
Now Jorge Luis Borges probably never expected me to take it to the interpretation of shared experiences in the virtual spaces of MMORPGs, but I’d think he’d be okay with them, as they are still interactions with a world, and the things that do happen to us in games mold us if we are receptive enough to learn from them.
Now, World of Warcraft is my second MMO (Ragnarok Online Philippines came before it), and despite it being the second MMORPG I’ve ever played for longer than three weeks (six month stint in vanilla WoW, and then returns here and there), there’s a strong enough connection between WoW and myself that I feel compelled to write about how World of Warcraft effected change in my life.
Perhaps the most poignant tale I can think of related to World of Warcraft and my life was that prior to playing WoW, I felt deeply compelled to earn gear and become stronger and feel epic. I wanted to be cool in a game space because I didn’t feel cool in real life. In Ragnarok Online, I farmed and purchased enough wood to acquire a Sakkat, a korean straw hat basically, because I thought a warrior in-game looked awesome in it. I would run around killing treants repeatedly in one zone for their loot. This mindset traveled with me from playing Ragnarok Online back in college to a point after graduation, when I was jobless and depressed and wanted to feel better about myself through playing WoW.
There was this one time, when my guild and I were in Blackrock Spire, that I was so frustrated with not getting any loot, that I essentially rolled on a purple ring that didn’t have stats useful for me, winning it, and leaving the run because I felt so angry.
My guild leader and I had a talk through email, and I got a reprimand, and I basically felt like crap afterwards because they were congratulating me on the winning roll even if the ring wasn’t right for me.
It was then that I realized that while gear is in important in the game to winning battles, the acquisition of gear should not be the driving force for playing something. I changed myself. I apologized to my guildies, and I basically spent the remainder of my time in Vanilla WoW (up till now even) espousing the virtues of not focusing on the loot. I talked to new guildies about how getting loot to members who needed the stats on an item would ultimately help the guild as a whole progress through content.
Basically, I became really gung-ho about being a good person above being a good raider or player or whatnot.
Of course, there are other things I could talk about regarding how WoW changed me, such as souring me towards overly streamlined mechanics, and raiding and whatnot, but I’d rather look at WoW as a positive force in my life. Without the experience of a guild in WoW, I may not have been as receptive to being nicer to people and thinking about the good of others.