I Want To Quit You, Internet

I managed to land a probation on The Escapist the other day.  Though I question the logic of nailing me with “trolling/obnoxious behavior” over a post that largely endeavors to get the other party to stop with the trolling/obnoxious behavior, I nonetheless interpret this as a sign:  I’ve become a surly, surly man.

I blame you, Internet.

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If you only have one Agenda this year, make it a Global one

The first week of Spring 2010 has thus far been punctuated by miserable failure.  Nevermind that my homework isn’t particularly completed — the first week largely being an orientation week, it wasn’t particularly assigned, either.

No, I’m more concerned that I spent perhaps a quarter of a budget that was intended to last me 5 months on a week.  Some of this was for my books, which is commendable enough.  The rest largely went to eating out (a decidedly lazy habit of mine) and entertainment expenses.

I’ve plenty to entertain me already, and could probably entertain myself regardless, and therefore any entertainment purchase is hard to justify.  However, I like to think that, at least as far as entertainment expenses go, I’ve been frugal:

  • $55 on some Zalman headphones, very well reviewed and probably the cheapest way to get some reasonably good quality 5.1 sound (outside of crafting your own with potentially poor results).
  • ~$45 on a Dungeons and Dragons Online, but on things that will persist forever rather than become inaccessible in after only 3 months of $15/mo subscription payments.
  • ~$60 on Mass Effect 2 which, as far as I’m concerned, is a mandatory gamers’ purchase on a magnitude that may be seen maybe twice in a year.
  • And then there’s ~$45 I spent on Global Agenda, a soon-to-be-released game from Hi-Rez Studios… which is, of course, what I’d like to talk about today.

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MMORPGs: No longer monthly subscription material

Though I have blogged in the past about how I found it to be an encouraging sign that Dungeons and Dragons Online was going free to play, only now after I have had a chance to play it a bit do I really realize just how significant this is for me.  It really has more to do with where MMORPGs are in gamers’ lives these days.

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2009 For Me Is Wrapping Up

As common knowledge would indicate, failure to update this blog regularly would result in the world stopping spinning, causing the Earth to heat disproportionately and bring about the end times.

Thus, out of the great responsibilities this brings to me, I am creating a blog entry about my easiest of topics: what I’ve been up to since the last blog entry.
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Greetings From Purgatory

Having the week of Thanksgiving off from classes has been nice, but I haven’t had a whole lot to feel thankful for.  My game design hit a bad turn, and I haven’t actually played many games so much as I have wasted a lot of time this week.

I’m still working on actually establishing a schedule of what to do, and when.  I seem to be a largely helpless soul who really can’t control his destiny all that well.

  • I blame MMORPGs.  They’ve somewhat trained me to grind away the hours endlessly doing nothing particularly enjoyable or productive.  As far as games go, MMORPGs certainly know how to occupy a quantity of your time, but they generally don’t do so at a very good quality.  They’re escapism personified but, at the same time, a very poor substitute for reality.
  • I blame my age.  When you’re 32-years-old, you’ve probably got enough sense in your head not to give a damn about picking up virtual trinkets. Consequently, I spent a lot of time in MMORPGs not playing a single character but rather bouncing from one character to another, which has actually strengthened my tendency towards cognitive dissonance.
  • I blame derivative design.  If MMORPGs were something more than grinds, perhaps they could have been something great.  It’s this desire for them to be something more that causes me to keep trying them, long after I knew better.

The bottom line is this: this is no longer an MMORPG-centric blog.  It hasn’t been for awhile.  The reasons are outlined above.  I’ve lost faith.  MMORPGs are no longer special, there’s hundreds of them, and they’re seemingly unable to do anything particularly interesting.

Other types of games, on the other hand – those have some potential.  They’re less focused on being a staging ground for mass hysteria and more focused on being genuinely entertaining.  The details are many and varied, but suffice to say a developer’s motivation changes when they’re not occupied with stringing people along for $15 a month.

Of course, part of the trouble is that I’m going through some things right now…

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I need to play less, create more.

I’m not sure what public significance this has, other than perhaps putting myself under a bit of peer pressure to get this done.

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One Shot: Grinding To Vahalla

I have an interview up on Grinding To Vahalla.  If you’re curious to read more about the method behind my madness, give it a skim.  Thanks very much to Randolph Carter for an excellently conducted interview.