Lots of little thoughts here today. I’ll start by gloating, of course, since I am a jerk.
It’s Good to Be Right:
It seems that World of Tanks has won the Golden Joystick for “Best MMO” title. A lobby game. Without a persistent world. Like D3.
From a month or two ago:
I’m getting some flak, particularly on Reddit, about D3 not even being an MMO and not being designed with collectivism in mind regardless. I disagree on both points. First, simply breaking MMORPG down clearly indicates that it is an MMO. It’s nonstandard, but so is Vindictus, another MMO about which I don’t think anyone would argue with the label. By definition, an MMORPG must be massive, multiplayer, and online, and you must play the role of a character. D3 clearly does all those things; that, alone, should define it as an MMO. If we look at the “four pillars,” again, it fits. There is character progression, exploration, combat, and story. I’m not sure why people resist thinking that it’s an MMO, but that’s how and why I define it as such.
The biggest argument against my definition had to do with the persistence of the game world. It made a lot of sense, really, and I was swayed enough to let the argument rest, even if I didn’t personally agree. Well, the vote’s in. The video game industry agrees with my definition. Striving to find middle ground, I said then that we were probably witnessing an evolution of what MMO meant, that the definition might be shifting towards new styles of games that wouldn’t have previously been considered MMOs. I mentioned NWN, in fact, which debuted when MMOs weren’t really on the radar. Nowadays, I’m sure parts of it would be considered an MMO; the online, persistent worlds, but back then, it wouldn’t have occurred to any of us to label it that way. So it seems the definition has shifted. I want to thank Tobold for posting on it, as I probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
Collectivism and Individualism Revisited:
Doone recently contacted me about a follow up he’s posted to the Individualism and Collectivism shared topic that originally aired a few months ago. His piece, titled “Virtual Worlds, Competition, and Emergent Behavior,” reviews what we discussed before and adds several new contexts for the argument. I really enjoyed his piece and wanted to make sure to highlight it now, though I’ll also be adding it to the “round-up” post from before. Thanks, Doone, for continuing the discussion!
I was told when I first bought mists that I would either love or hate the Grummles; that there was little room for middle ground. I had no idea at the time what this person was talking about. Then I bumped into the Machinma posted on Rohan’s site entitled “Luckydoo Rap” (I’m not fancy enough to know how to embed). My first introduction, then, was a carefully scripted one meant to entertain and amuse. When I ran into them in game, then, I had some context for their strange speech patterns and behavior. Put simply, I like them. I think they’re a unique culture added into Azeroth that, while it clearly has roots in the Sherpa lore, avoids the ofttimes racist undertones that Blizzard frequently finds. It’s been most enjoyable to run into all the references from the Luckydoo Rap that previously made no sense, such as the Hozen “wikket” taunt and the various named NPCs.
Instances in the Mist:
Lastly, I did my first Mist Instance with my wife. We went random and drew Shado-pan Monastery. Our tank was underwhelmed with the random choice; apparently, the place has a bad reputation, but we had no wipes during our run. We did have a couple who left after the third boss; I guess they didn’t get the drop they wanted. The couple included the healer, so we had to wait a bit before we could continue, and immediately thereafter were greeted with a literal “gogogogogogo” as soon as the replacements joined the group. I bit my tongue, though; I’m not the tank any more. I don’t really have a right to complain about being hurried because it’s not me that’s actually being hurried. Still, what a jerk.
At the end, I asked the tank why he found the place so undesirable, as it had been a pretty good run. He concurred and simply pointed out that most groups he ends up with can’t do basic things like focus fire adds, click floating dead pandas, and get out of ground death. It seems, then, that I was lucky in my LFD group, but that it’s just as bad as it’s always been. I’ll take what I can get, though, and be glad that the “gogogogos” don’t apply to me any more.
It was also odd not to run recount. Apparently my wife was running it and was not happy with her performance (she’s a ret pally, so I have no idea if they still stink or not), but I got a lot – a lot – of procs on my free lava spell (oh, I switched to elemental by the way; two casterish melee was getting boring). Not having that information, though, made me much happier; every proc was a glowing ball of happiness untainted by the possibility that I was at the bottom of the dps. So overall, it was a good experience, with a pessimistic hint at the future.
Stubborn (with a clean yak)