It isn’t the game…it’s you

I got inspired by this post over at lowered expectations. Thank you sir, for stirring my blood a bit on a subject that has been bugging me for about a year now: gamers.

I’ll put this out there right now: Rift is the “Jesus” game you guys have been waiting for the last 5 years. All the talk, and the podcast discussions (…yes..I miss it…), the blog entries about “Innovation! DEAR GOD INNOVATION!!” is in Rift right now and for some reason, gamers are still not satisfied. Gamers are still looking for that perfect mistress that will never, ever come to them….and if she ever does, it will end up being like Weird Science all over again. It’s not the games that are the problem guys…it’s you. You, my dear gamers, are running around chasing tails and I’m here to tell you that it’s YOUR tail that you are chasing…not someone else’s.

In Trion, you have a HUGE mix of talent that has:

(a) Given you all the standard MMO stuff that you are use to: Maps. UI. Quest Journals. Quest Helpers. Character Paper Dolls. Skill Trees. Stats. Action Bars. Levels. etc…etc…etc.
(b) Given you something different to play with: Rifts, Souls, Invasions, Footholds.

This studio has been hugely available to the gaming community in many different formats that’s it’s getting hard for me to count. Tell me…how often has a Blizz dev been on a community podcast?

Yet still…ya consume and consume…theeeeeennnn ya bitch and bitch and bitch. Seriously. If you find yourself in this camp of gamers then I suggest that you’ve gotten soft. You’ve let yourself go to the point were you need to take up a more difficult genre and get your mojo back. Here…I’ll get ya started. You need to take a breath, look in the mirror and re-evaluate where you came from because I’m not recognizing the culture that is forming out there right now.

True. Rift has it’s flaws….and that is the nature of artistic software (…see what I did there…heh…), but it has all the ingredients that make a great game. A while back I said that this game is Trion’s to screw up. I may have to change this to say that this game will be huge loss for gamers if they don’t get off their ass and….like Lowered Expectations suggest…put some effort into actually caring about their hobby again.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 15 Comments

SOE Fan Faire 2011

The plan is for me to attend this year in Vegas. All arrangements are made.

I’m really looking forward to it. So, if you want to hang out, let me know :)

…and yes, I will be blogging and maybe podcasting like a madman while there, so stay tuned.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 9 Comments

Farmville LOLs

Just got this from Zynga…the non-gaming gaming company:

Dear Farmer,

We noticed you haven’t been on the farm in a while. We know life gets busy, and we’ve been busy too – hard at work making FarmVille a better place to play!

When you return, you’ll find FarmVille:
Faster – Now, accept all your gifts and requests in one place.
Fresher – Enjoy new quests, co–op farming and a green house where you can make new crops!
Easier – New vehicles, like the Hot Rod Combine, mean less waiting, more farming

FarmVille English Countryside – inherit a whole new farm to tend in the beautiful English countryside!

Dear Zynga,

You’re right, I have been busy…playing real games and yes, I know you’ve been busy; continually making the heroin-soaked-rat-pellet dispensers that you call games.

I will never return to Farmville, but I find it intriguing that you would use the words “Faster”, “Fresher” and “Easier” in association to any of your products.

Tell you what. When you actually start making games, maybe I’ll start playing them but for now you’re hardly a consideration for my valuable gaming time.


Posted in Editorial by Darren. 3 Comments

Wanna know what the problem is…?

…game developers are so busy chasing Angry Birds and KickYourAssVille that they sometimes forget to actually make games.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 5 Comments

Rift – Don’t worry…gamers have short memories

Sometimes I hate being around North Americans and our culture in general. We’re a spoiled lot who expect everything yesterday and it damn well be better than what we got last week. Jeepers, it’s no wonder we’re all on anti-depressants and souped up on Red Bull….we’re all running around with our pants on fire trying to satisfy demanding asshats who live in their basements. There is a silver lining to that behavior though: short memory. Don’t worry guys…in two weeks time you’ll be saying “what server queue?”. I really had no big issue with server queues over the weekend. When I did encounter them, it was about a 10 minute wait to get in which I really don’t have an issue with as I do have other things to occupy my time with. Seriously folks…it’s called “waiting”. I know…shocking concept when you’re high on stimulants.

Yeah…so if you have low tolerance for asshats like I do, stay away from the Rift forums. Nothing but usless bitching from the usual, spoiled rotten suspects who’ve lost total perspective.

…mooooooving on.

Over the weekend, I probably had some of the best memories burned into my head by playing Rift. I lost count the amount of invasions I helped with and the number of Rifts closed, but I tell ya…it was just awesome to see the balance between MMO gamer selfishness and community goals finally reached. Just yesterday, on the Bryeil server (…gawd I hope that’s how you spell it..) a zone wide event kicked off in Gloomwood. This zone event happened right after a major fire rift event. All of a sudden a message went up saying that the main town was being invaded by warewolves and other nasty things. One of the goals was to take out 5 bosses that spawned in various places in the zone. It was really something to see that many people co-operating in an MMO event. There were at least 50-60 people traveling in a nice group towards these areas as one big raid group. On the RnH vent server, I remarked that it was just wonderful to see that many people just getting together for this which a guildie said that he has never seen anything like it before. I agree…I have not seen this much in the way community building events in any MMO before. It’s just…refreshing.

Time will tell though. The players have been given every tool that they can ever possibly want to group and make this a true massively multiplayer game…but in time, will we use these tools or start sidestepping them? You’ve got to remember, that WoW has taught us all one thing: let’s play our games alone together. How deep has that thought been buried in our minds? I have seen some examples of players falling into old, selfish questing habits during my adventures, like, spawn camping and tagging when it takes half a second to invite others to group wanting the same name. Like giving up the first two seconds of a PvP event, or going AFK instead of helping out the group. All of these things are lessons from WoW. The lesson of being a selfish MMO player whose ONLY goal is to improve his standing with…well…himself. Rift has everything there. Trion has made it sooooo easy for you to interact with other players so that you can help build a community instead of building up your gear score. You can do both, and not be a douche. If Rift fails, then I think MMO gamers are truly broken.

We’re still only a week in. Remember that Rift has really hasn’t officially launched yet, so we still have a long way to go before we really find out if this game has got legs. Right now, I feel that Rift has a lot of momentum behind it. Technically speaking, it’s made no mistakes…server queues don’t count because those are expected glitches, not technical mistakes. Game wise, it’s all there. Right now, I’m not seeing any downside to how Trion is managing Rift. I don’t see a “WAR thing” happening, because their community is not tiered like WAR was. The population looks pretty even and healthy across the zones…for now. A year from now, how will a level 1-20 character experience Rift? Will it be as fun as my adventure has been? No one really knows, but here’s hoping Trion figures out that little problem.

So. Despite the usual negative, predictable MMO culture that we live in, I think Rift is off to one of the best starts I’ve seen to date….including LOTRO. The team over at Trion seems to have the luxury of having time to design their game instead of putting out tech fires that should have been solved months ago, which is a huge advantage. I’m extremely optimistic about this title and even if it does go BOOM in a year, I’ll still have those memories burned in my mind.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 10 Comments