Leader

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Apathy

I've been playing games for as long as I can recall.  I have always had something I've wanted to play, and couldn't wait to play it.  Even if it was an old game I was eagerly returning to.  For the first time in my life, I have a very hard time playing anything for any length of time.  After about ten minutes, I get bored, and want to do something else.  The problem is that there is nothing else.  There is no game that can capture my attention or desires, and things in real life don't appeal to me either.  I guess its depression, but that doesn't even seem to quite fit the bill.  Its more apathy than anything else.

The realization of this started when my friend came over and we played some Nazi Zombies (WaW edition, not the remakes from Black Ops).  It was fun for a little bit, and after he left I tried to play a little on my own and got bored of it before I died the first time (that was by round 4, I rarely make it past six or seven solo because I'm such a great FPS player).  Zombies is a challenging game for me because I am so bad at FPS, and its PVE, so I don't feel bad about being owned by eight year olds.  At any rate, a game that usually interested me instead did nothing to hold my interest.

I really don't even know why I'm sharing this on a blog I haven't updated in some time.  I doubt any readers I did have are still around, and reading (those that were probably could care less about my personal problems, and would rather this post be about something relevant to gaming).  If you're reading thus far, then I'll continue to rant about my life.  I think I'm entering a deep bit of depression, that is hard for me to escape.  My life is in terrible shape.  I work making slightly above minimum wage, part time, smiling and being nice to some of the meanest, cruelest and dishonest people you will ever meet.  I have a Master's degree in a useless field in this economy (English), and my options for careers are to get a different degree, pay a great deal of money for a certification of some sort (either a technical certification in programming or a teacher's certification in English), or continue to slave away in my personal hell, and look for jobs I'm underqualified for by a fairly arbitrary set of rules.

I've been told English is a skills degree, that if I want to get a job I need to highlight my skills.  I have excellent problem-solving skills...in fact, I enjoy playing with problems to find interesting solutions to them.  This is the same reasons I like strategy games....it teases and works my brain.  I like breaking games within the rules, for the same reasons.  I have strong written and verbal communication skills...this is from years of writing and talking.  I can communicate ideas very clearly and concisely, especially if I'm trying to convince others of my point of view.  I have very strong rhetorical and logical skills.  This is, again, thanks to years of writing papers arguing everything from abortions to the zeitgeist.

Problem is that these skills are useless in a job search.  Anyone who is a problem solver or is required to think critically as a job role is in middle or upper management...they are decision makers...not a job given to someone with little experience.  Strong communication skills are great....until the fact that I an anti-social and prefer to do my communication in written form comes up.  Rhetoric and Logic are similar to the rest, useful but only let run free in the upper reaches of the corporate world....

anyway, that's about all for now.  Sorry to bore you with my personal problems.
-VG

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bored of Eve Online, Perish the Thought...

I've been looking for something to occupy my few minutes of spare time, and believed that Eve Online might do it.  However, a patch released today has taken the final bits of fun from the game for me.  I'm not going to whine and say that things were better in the olden days, but merely mention that the game has gotten to be too difficult for a casual gamer to play without paying the subscription fee (for those that aren't aware, Eve Online has a system in place where you can buy game time via an in-game market.  Other players can sell game time in exchange for in game currency, and you can buy game time for in game currency).

The reasons for my inability to continue playing are based on a few facts:
1. PLEX (Pilot License Extensions, or 30 days of game time) are currently around 500 million isk.  Last time I played they were closer to 350m.  This high cost is the first factor to the problems with gameplay.  I now have to earn at least 500m each month to pay for my game time.

2. Faction items have been moved to the regular market.  Most of what I did to make money was sell faction items on contracts (along with a good number of other people).  Now that this specialty market has been merged in with the regular market of Jita, the time and skill training I invested in it is useless.  Meanwhile these items have been handed over to the regular market traders, to whom it represents one buy order out of three hundred....as opposed to a contract which was one out of about thirty, you could finagle up to one hundred or so total if you used a corporation.

3. Mission Rats no longer drop several items they used to (T1 modules).  This significantly reduces income from reprocessing that was a viable second income source beforehand.

4. Mineral prices have skyrocketed, making everything more expensive.  if I loose a ship in a mission, it costs significantly more to replace it.  My ammo costs more, as do replacement drones.  Basically, everything I use is more expensive.

So these changes have 1. removed my primary income source and 2. made any alternative untenable as well.  What's the point in playing your game CCP?  I don't have 8 hours a day to mine or mission just to make "rent."   It is unfortunate that you have one of the best ideas for a skill system and use in-game currency to play, but are unable to keep a stable, fun game.  Needless to say I will not be resubbing after my 30 days is up.

-VG

Friday, March 30, 2012

MMO Blahfest

After a brief interlude with WoW, I've played several free MMOs (none were good enough to warrant mentioning, even ones I've played before), and dipped "seriously" into facebook gaming again (that lasted a whole week, I am shocked) before realizing that all of it is not going to hold my attentions for very long. I can't quite put my finger on it but there is some reason why I am not entertained by these games anymore....

One part of it is the unchanging landscape of all of it. Warhammer online came closest to satisfying that itch, but partial free to play isn't free to play, and i'm not going to pay to play a game that has such low upper level population. In most MMOs, no matter how many bears you kill there will always be more bears...no matter how many times you win at Warsong Gulch, the enemy keeps coming back. I understand there being areas that are heavily fought over, but my God, please let them actually be fought over. Wintergrasp and Tol Barad are good....now do that with most of the major areas of the world. Nothing game breaking, but keeps that you can capture with your guild would be nice (as Warhammer was supposed to have, not sure offhand if it does or not).

I want to be able to have an impact on the world. Guess what, in Star Wars Galaxies, having a house that people could walk into or knowing that Jogosh the Bounty Hunter used armor I made for him was awesome. Coordinating attacks to take out enemy bases and blow them up was cool, as was fighting so hard to defend our base and turrets that our enemies had to pay a group operating out of Russia a bounty to destroy them. It was hectic, tense, and fun. Sure parts were grindy, but the immersion made it so the grind wasn't so bad. I do recall that weaponsmith and droid engineer were particularly grindy, but that's about all I recall about those professions.

Anyway, back to basics here, I'm not looking for a game that requires me to group up, or need friends to do stuff with (or to send stuff like a lot of facebook games). I want to be able to play and enjoy a world that I can have an impact on. Not saying I want no socialization, but why not let me effectively socialize with people I don't know. Finding customers in SWG was fun most of the time, and most of my guilds were people I never knew before the game (one such guild was so great that I followed its leader into WoW and a handful of other MMOs, and we're still good friends today, but I remember that I met him by chance on SWG). I want to have fun, not just a grindy, messy, waste of time.

-VG

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blizzard's New Scroll of Ressurrection

Okay, I tried it, and its very sad how little of the game i have played....

I activated my scroll, changed my lvl 30 druid into a lvl 80 druid, and played a dungeon with my friend who sent me the scroll. Then I played through the first dozen quests in water-world, and the first few dozen quests in hyjal, tried a little pvp, tried a little guild politics, tried to keep my sanity in trade chat....

I think the part of me that liked WoW is broken. No matter how much I try to remember what I loved about this game so long ago, it isn't there. Probably because the guys I played and had fun with (and always drug me back into the game) are now off playing TOR (which as mentioned, I refuse to play until its survived 7 months). I think this whole scroll thing is a great idea, Blizzard, it allowed me to see that I don't want to play your game anymore, especially when most of why I was playing it was to get all my characters to 85....skipping that much of the game (30-80) showed me just how little I was enjoying the goal and how much I was enjoying the levelling and bullshitting.

Oh well, looks like I need a new hobby.
-VG

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Blizzard to limit goblin and worgen creation

i have heard a rumor from a fairly reliable source that blizzard is going to prevent new goblin and worgen characters from being created after mists is released. if you have characters of those races you will still be able to play them but no new goblins or worgen can be created.

he also said you could race change into goblins or worgen but you cannot start new ones. this will make the two races essentially paid only races which is a bad precedent for wow.

just a rumor.
vg

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

World of Warcraft, now even easier

Got an email in my inbox today saying that a friend sent me a scroll of resurrection for world of warcraft, and it included not only a free level advancement to 80 for one character but also cataclysm for free. First I thought this a scam, but the likelihood of them knowing a character name of someone I knew and my email address seemed a bit improbable. Everything about this deal seems legitimate, on top of getting seven free days, a free realm change, and a free faction change.

WTF Blizzard? Is the game not easy enough as it is? I really don't get how this is good advertising, except maybe for the fact taht if I started to play again, I wouldn't need the cataclysm (as I have it) or the realm/faction change (as my character is on the same realm and faction as my friend....but I'd probably still use it on another character) or the free character levelling (as again, my character is 85, but I'd use it on another character). This just seems really screwed up....

-VG

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Where does the time go?

Where does the time go? Seriously, with a full load at work and a home life I feel like I have no time to update this blog. You'd think rants and raves wouldn't take that long to come up with, but apparently they do....

In terms of real updates there's not much interesting going on here. Trying to learn a few new things in life to expand my skills. Got my Master's degree finally, but am still working for mega-evil incorporated retail store. Hopefully those new things will start making appearances here.

Thinking also of using Kickstarter to fund a startup for a project that has been on the back of my mind for some time. Will keep it posted.

Just clearing out cobwebs.
-VG