Friday, June 26, 2009

Not Dead, and Not playing WoW

This shall be brief.

1. I"m not dead. I've recently got promoted at work and have a ton of other things to do now, but with more pay. Huzzah for that.

2. Part of the reason I've not posted is due to Internet issues at home *Thanks to a wireless USB adapter that has went insane.*.

3. I am resuming my old course. WoW is currently boring me so I'm wanting to return to my old wanderings of different MMOs. I'm a "WoW" tourist as Tipa mentions in one of her posts, however I may say I'm enjoying my vacation.

I'm currently playing Runes of Magic and S4, which I will post some pics up and talk about each of the games once I find enough time to do so. Until then...uhh...

*Vanish*

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who says Frost can't dps?

No comment required I hope.

Ah, it has been some time has it not? However I'm not here to go on about how I shall soon post and to tide you over here is a few sentences. No, I'm actually going to sit down and type out some conversation and hopefully get some feedback to said conversation. It has been a long time, so let me make some updates.

This is me.


While I have some decent gear I suppose, my weapon leaves much to be desired. Regardless I do some decent damage, upwards to 3.5k - 4k on raids. Sometimes even more depending on the fight and other misc. circumstances. So why is the first topic called "Trash Talking"?

I went to a 10 man Naxxaramas PuG (Pick up group), hoping to finally get an upgrade for my weapon. While I didn't get an upgrade, something did occur on the raid. With us was three guild members from a raiding guild. One of them was a rogue by the name of Spacebott.

This is his gear. (He may have different gear for pvp, so if it doesn't look like pve gear..it probably isn't what he was wearing to the raid.)

As we were progressing through the wings, his two guildies started to give him crap for being beat on damage by me. ( I am referred to as " That Deathknight", instead of my characters name/whatnot.) As we make it up to Patchwerk, the rogue starts talking on vent on how no one ever beats him on Patchwerk, and my damn AoE's will not pull me ahead like it has been during the whole raid. Then he goes on about how DPS is nothing compared to damage done. (Mind you, I'm beating him on BOTH damage done and DPS.)

So we start it up. I wish I had pictures of my recount, but sadly I didn't think I would write an article about this encounter. So we kill Patchwerk, and the rogue is talking to his other guildies
about random BS. I, on the other hand, politely mention that his perfect record just got soiled.

Vharian - 786k Damage done
Spacebott- 725k Damage done

He then says yeah right, and doesn't talk anyone but his guildies for the rest of the raid...which was just one more fight as all three of them left soon after.

As a little side note, I'm frost DPS spec btw. =) .

So what's the topic today? Trash talking and things of that nature. What do you think about the whole trash talking aspect in not only MMOs, but most games in general on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network? Leave a comment..or suffer.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Still Alive

I find that the song " Still Alive " From Portal is running through my head as I type this during my lunchbreak at work. After reading a few comments about rather or not I still remain in this mortal coil, I've decided to make a small post about any updates with myself and a type of ETA of when the site will resume normal functions and the like.

Well, my new job goes well and I'm making more money then before, which is <3.> I've become hooked to the Deathknight class and just recently got mine to 80 and starting to do heroics and get epic gear.

In short I'm having a lot of fun, though I miss writing desperately. The only kind I have been doing o late is trying to gather notes together to write a small novel idea that's been stuck in my head for several months.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to write an entire article about something that went through my head when my group and I went through Oculus. This was the first time any of us had went to the instance, and none of us bothered to look up the fights. Needless to say, we died a few times on a few of the bosses, but had a blast figuring out what to do.

Well that's that for now. I'm sorry for the lack of posting, but know that I got 2 epics today for my deathknight, so huzzah for me? (Epic belt from H Nexus, and Epic legs from H UK.)

Oh, and while I get beat the crap out of by others I'm sure, my DPS is 2.5ish k in heroics. Rawr.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Walking Manual?

Impossible! A post!

It has been some time since an update has graced the halls of "The MMO Experience", and for that I offer only my sincere apologies and blame Resident Evil 5, work, and my renewed interest in World of Warcraft. Before I get into my topic of the day, which I have spoke about on Twitter a few days past, I'm going to go ahead and give a brief update on myself!

Ahem.

Well, I got my Paladin to level 55, mostly during a sick day from work where I tried to ignore the ravaging virus that plagued me by laying in bed and playing WoW on my wife's laptop. Thanks to a new recruit in the guild I'm in, I hit that requirement to make a Death Knight. Now I've played a Death knight before,(for all of 5 minutes) but I was really interested to have the chance to take my time and explore the overpopulated, overpowered, and overrated class. From what I've read on Deathknight blogs and web pages(Too many to list here, but the foremost in my head is www.skeletonjack.com.), the introduction quests that lead you to 58 are amazing and filled with all kinds of intriguing quests, interesting tidbits of lore, and other such goodies.

Let's start with the fact I love the storyline of Warcraft, though I still believe that MMO's are a poor canvas for a storyline to be expressed. However I was quite impressed with the DeathKnight's introduction quests, and I had a blast doing them. So kudos Blizzard, you proved to this cynical gamer that quests in World of Warcraft do NOT have to be all "kill 5 rabid gorillas with chainsaws".

Now, on to actual post as well as the hopefully lively discussion!

/Casting Resurrection...

The other day, while I was playing World of Warcraft with my wife (who plays a Shadow priest), we decided to go hit up Zul'Farrak. I'm happily going as my level 51 Ret Paladin, knowing full well there isn't much there in terms of gear or exp, but I just wanted to have fun and help my wife level up. So we invited a shaman, a warlock, and another ret paladin for our misadventure.

We go into the instance, all of us talking and having fun, pulling 2-3 groups at once just because we can. However, midway through the instance, the paladin starts complaining. (Not me..the other paladin..)

" God, you're not even prot spec, you shouldn't be tanking, we don't even have a real tank. " He says to the group, even as I pulled 2 groups and he pulled 2, resulting in a close call as I tried to steal aggro from his mobs before they axe'd my wife, who was healing. I laughed, said it didn't really matter at this level, and we went about goofing off.

All of us but the paladin. (not me I said!)

He then went after my shadow priest wife..

" You're a shadow priest?!!!? ROFL! We don't even have a healer or a tank, this group is stupid, there is no way we can do this. Those spells you are using are stupid, they use too much mana!" He says as he pulls all the scarabs while we're killing toward the lizard boss. (The one who summons all the lizards...obviously.)

What was she doing? She was using Holy Nova(I think that's the name, the AOE holy spell Priests have.) on all the scarabs the other paladin pulled. Is it expensive in the mana area? Yes, but thanks to Judgement of the Wise, she and the rest of the group had almost an overabundance of mana.

It doesn't stop there.

He next gazes at the warlock.

" OMFG! You're not using your imp?! Are you retarded? Imp is the best, or succubus, Stop being a noob. "

The warlock was using his Voidwalker, in case the other paladin pulled too many and I needed an emergency backup tank to take some off me or so the warlock told me in a tell in response to that accusation. I responded he could use any pet he wanted and I wouldn't pester him to change. If this was a heroic dungeon or a raid, then I would ask him to use the "best" pet for the situation, however it wasn't..

We were just having fun.

So what did I do? Well I was tired of this paladin ruining the fun of 4 other people (While the shaman didn't get hit with any messages, she made it quite known she hated people like that.), so after the event with Bly, he was booted from the guild and placed on ignore.

What's is wrong in the makeup of the human psyche that some people are forced to try to point out that someone is doing something that isn't the most effective way of "doing things".

Yes, I wasn't a tank spec and someone that is would have been more efficient than the job I performed.

Yes, Holy nova is a very expensive spell and there are other spells more mana friendly.

Yes, A voidwalker is usually a poor choice for a group setting.

Yes, I shouldn't gleefully jump on some one's back in the parking lot and demand they take me to Undercity while out shopping.

But there are "ways" of trying to help people use more effective methods in MMOs. I once grouped with a hunter (I was on my hunter as well.), who asked if I knew how to double trap. I honestly didn't, though the process seems beyond obvious once he explained it to me. He didn't insult my intelligence, or go to mock my "newbie" hat that I was apparently wearing.

Is it an inferiority complex that makes most "assistance" from people come off as insults instead of actual help? Do people just like to swagger in their Elite world of min/max and make sure to always point out to others where their mistakes lie?

That's today's discussion kiddies. What do you think about people trying to explain how to play YOUR class?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mini-Update + Mini MMO Discussion

I'm about to play some ol "evil" Dungeons & Dragons, so there won't be an update until later tonight/early this morning. However just a quick "Here is what I've been doing.."


Raising lock picking is horribly boring, on par with fishing.

So for a small discussion while I go immerse my players into a fictional world of madness and despair (I'm such a nice DM), what is some of the most tedious activity you've done in an MMO but did so for the benefit it brings?

I bet most will answer with farming..so...mention something else eh? ;)

Discuss.

Friday, March 6, 2009

WoW Can Save Your Life?

An interesting post I found while trying to kill time before work was about a boy who saved his sister's life on WoWFailBlog.com. So how does the brave young lad save his sister? Let me explain the story.

And please understand that while this story is old, its news to me so I'm sharing it now. Probably not the best " We're back in business " post from The MMO Experience , but I thought it appropriate. Expect future nonsense that strives to be serious soon as I try to sort out what I want to write about first.

Anyway....

This 12 year-old Norwegian boy saved his sister as well as his own skin from one of the most dreaded occurrences that can happen in a cold climate. No, not a snowstorm, not even hypothermia. Nay it was the dreaded " Moose" attack. While I'm obviously coming off as sarcastic, and while the scenario of a killer moose seems comical, these creatures ARE actually quite dangerous when they want to be.

The boy was, apparently, an avid player of World of Warcraft. When the moose started to act threatening toward his sister, he started to use "Taunt" , which he knew from his experiences in WoW that it would make the moose stop attacking his sister and go toward him. (Is trying to keep a straight face while typing this) Once he was the "target", he then proceeded with another highly valuable WoW skill, Feign Death.

Apparently the moose lost interest in the non-response boy and wandered off. Once the moose was no longer in sight the boy sprang up and ran home.

While I must say Kudos to WoWFailBlog.com for bringing this story to my attention, and obviously the most important matter is the child is safe, the source of his survival skills makes me blink a bit. I can't really put my finger on it, however it seems almost wrong that WoW knowledge saved the day..but thankfully he didn't try to "bubble" and hearth away.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The MMO Experience isn't Dead

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. To give a reason of why The MMO Experience has been so dead lately, I've been under the knife so to say for surgery, and I'm just now feeling up to tinkering around on my computer with somewhat coherent thoughts.

Though, there were never many here to begin with eh? ;)

Anyway, I should be back to posting and all that jazz soon. I'm truly sorry for the delay!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shocked, Stunned, and Confused


My day started out normal...

I've been playing MMORPGs for some time. Since the 90s actually way back when EverQuest: Ruins of Kunark was released and found it's way into my heart.(and wallet!) With that in mind, I've seen some really bizarre things. From raining gold (EverQuest 1 glitch), to everyone spawning high in the heavens and falling on top of each other, making a "Tower" of Death.(World of Warcraft)

In short, I've seen some wacky stuff.

However yesterday must take the crown in sheer madness. I was in Thousand Needles in World of Warcraft. I had just recently achieved level 30, got my class mount, and sold a pair of legs for 200g. It was a swell day as I was Arikara, a nice unique looking wind serpent to finish up a quest line. If you're unfamiliar with Thousand needles, or World of Warcraft in general, the area I was in is basically huge flat lands with massive un-worked stone pillars going high in the sky. Some of these pillars are wide enough for small villages and the like, and have bridges connecting them.

I was such a bridge..when..

Inconceivable!!

Yes. That's a huge dragon walking on a narrow rope bridge. Now I'm pretty knowledgeable about World of Warcraft, though all the new stuff in Wrath of the Lich King is , well, new to me. So imagine my shock when I gaze upon a dragon from all the way in the Caverns of Time in Tanaris.

I was intrigued. A bit confused, which is normal, and perplexed. So I set off to investigate the matter like a good journalist.

Off to discover the truth...and the destination of this madness.

Apparently, two paladins had been pulling this dragon all the way from Tanaris. You can slightly see one of them in this picture, however you'll see more of them as I show the progress of this journey. So I hopped on my new faithful steed that probably wondered at his rider's sanity as he followed a huge dragon that could have sighed in his direction and destroyed him utterly.

Location: Lower Barrens, approaching Crossroads...

As I took screenshot after screenshot, not really knowing what I would want to use in this post, the most amusement I got was from other people that happened upon the scene. It would always some low level person in their low-mid teens running in my direction, seeing the dragon, stop, then immediately run the opposite direction. I can almost visualize their eyes widening in terror like a deer gazing at headlights as they simply stop moving for a good couple of seconds...

Then flee.


You can almost see the tauren's eyes widen in pure shock and horror..

The great journey continued onward for some time, until at last the destination was in sight..

Even the pigs came to stop and stare.

Immediately upon entering the city, I imagine the dragon wasn't too happy to see two dragon heads on pikes. However the residents were QUITE happy to see the great wyrm, as everyone and their cousin started beating the dragon down as he was continued to be pulled toward Thrall, the orc chieftain. What was hilarious was there were even a few people deciding to role play and goof off with the mini-event.

Read the text, it's worth a chuckle.

All in all, this took a boring grinding night and turned it into an enjoyable experience with quite a few chuckles. Perhaps the best part to me was seeing how no one was attempting to grief or blamed the two paladins of doing such. In fact the whole city seemed to gleefully jump in arms to slay the beast and play along. There were even people encouraging to do more events, perhaps PvP with the alliance, and "role" play the whole event for kicks.

This warmed my little nerd heart, and reminded me why I enjoy MMORPGs in the first place.

So on to today's discussion! Tell me about some of the crazy events you've experienced in an MMO. No glitches please.(that was another post.) It doesn't have to be World of Warcraft related, just any MMO where something out of the ordinary happened.

I close with a picture of the two paladins that pulled this off. The "tankadin" is to the left of me, Relea, and the "healadin" is Kanira, who is on the huge woolly mammoth.

I want to be like these two when I grow up..

Monday, February 16, 2009

MMO Issues: Dual Spec

A great RazorFen Kraul run, got Corpsemaker!

I'm fresh from an instance that was actually a decent PuG run, and enjoying all the neat changes in the highly addicting World of Warcraft. Today has been quite a fun day for me. Prior to ripping the heads off razorfens, I finished F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. While I must say the game is challenging, creepy(Terrifying at times), and overall fun, I was really disappointed in the ending. Why?

I won't ruin anything, however it does end rather abruptly and is an obvious set up for the next game/expansion. It just seemed to sudden, and the game only clocked about a good 7-8 hours. While I will not get into my fury over how short games are these days, I'll simply go ahead and talk about what I wanted to converse about today.

If you've been paying attention, Blizzard will release a new game mechanic called "Dual Spec". This will enable players to have more than one spec that they can switch between if they either..

1: Go to the Lexicon of Power in any capital city

--or--

2: Use a new crafted item that summons a Lexicon of Power to them. The item requires more than one player to summon it.(Think how a Warlock summons someone.)

Blizzard is using this new game mechanic to make it easier on people constantly having to switch from a PvE(Player versus Environment) and PvP(Player versus Player) specializations. What is good for PvE may not be good for PvP. So instead of having players spend countless amounts of gold, they can just switch over. Also one could use a Solo spec, a raid spec, so on and so forth. The benefits are quite sound for World of Warcraft players.

What about the possible negative points?

One issue I would like to bring up for open discussion(Give me your opinion) is how would this affect guild looting? Already there are people who want to take loot for their DPS set/Tank set/Healing set when that is currently not their spec, even though people who can use it now want it as well. What happens when this new game mechanic hits the floor?

For example, let's say Retribution Paladin (which is a DPS spec) switches over to Holy(Which is a Healing spec) so the raid has enough healers. Then, hypothetically speaking, let's say a weapon that Paladin has been wanting drops. Should he be allowed to roll/spend points on it over people that came to the raid in their DPS specs? How would that work to placate the other members that will be somewhat upset to have a "healer" try to take THEIR dps gear?

Of course, this comes down to one of the MANY flaws of a game that bases it's character advancement with "gear" lust. People become obsessed with getting better gear because frankly there is all there is left progression wise for them to continue in a game like World of Warcraft. Regardless, how do you deal with that type of situation?

I know that I personally would allow that person to roll on the weapon, but what do you think? How should guilds set up their policies for dual specs? I frankly believe that many smart guild leaders and officers will already be discussing this issue to avoid any situations once the mechanic becomes live.

So today's discussion: What possible policies or just "rules" should be implemented by guilds for dual spec, if any?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Epic Fail at GameStop

This just happened...oh..maybe 10 minutes ago.


I walked into my local GameStop, where I'm somewhat well known to the employees. Not in a "This guy causes crap and needs to be feared" kinda way, but in the "We talk about our stupid customers to this guy" way. So I walk in, grab a copy of F.E.A.R. 2, 2 copies of Wrath of the Lich King(One for me, one for my wife), and I wanted to pick up a 60 day subscription card for myself.

Sorry, this particular one isn't for the website...but I may have another giveaway soon.

So I walk up to the desk, give the initial greetings and explain why I haven't been to the store in a few weeks. I then INTEND to ask for a World of Warcraft subscription card...instead I say...

" I need a World of Warcraft prescription card please. "

To explain myself. I work for 1800 Medicare, and thus I deal with medication and other health information daily. It was an innocent slip.

The employee looked at me funny, and I then correct myself and ask for a subscription card in which he replies by laughing his ass off, shaking his head, and telling me..

" No, you were right the first time. "

Epic Fail or Epic Accidental Joke? You decide.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Contemplating the MMO Experience

Since late last night, a question has been plaguing me. I couldn't shake it all day at work, on my drive home, or even now as I sit at my desk. I'm surrounded by the spoils of nerd war, and yet a question nags at me and I cannot begin to answer it.

Where better to write about my thoughts than my own site that is some strange lovechild of blogging and a pseudo attempt at video game journalism? Perhaps in the course of writing out my thoughts I'll discover the answer, or one
of you, my readers, will assist me in some way.

I don't know where to go from here, with this website.

Forgive me if that sounds horribly depressing or extraordinary "emo". I don't mean that I have NO path to go, just too many to choose from. I would love to have a fraction of the hits and popularity of sites such as WorldofMatticus, yet there are so many paths to go from there to reach that that I stand at the crossroads.

Should I go the route of paid advertisement on sites, GoogleAdWords, and others? Should I continue the route of posting on other peoples forums/sites/twitter/and other social networking? Should I do both?

I apologize if this is coming off as whining, I'm simply saying my opt
ions are a bit overwhelming in the terms of how many I have. I know the end result which is to have a respectful, interesting, and somewhat cult popular website. Perhaps even make actual money writing in some type of career in the future.

I will end with this. The most insightful information I've learned regarding blogging and websites in general have been from others. So I'm asking for your insights or opinions as I try to see how to make The MMO Experience grow. After since my first giveaway I've really wanted to make this successful to do fun things like that in the future, with perhaps a much larger number of participants. Let me kn
ow, and thanks in advance for both your patronage and your wisdom.

Danshir

PS: To make this MMO related and to kill the somber mood...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Art of DPS - Also an MMO Rant

An interesting post found by Holy Discipline made me think about today's post, which is the first since my first giveaway here at The MMO Experience. The post is regarding some basic rules that DPS classes must follow to be "good" at their class. While for the most part they are really common sense (Which doesn't mean people FOLLOW them, they're just common sense for anyone with a brain.) , the entire thought of guidelines for a person to follow just seemed to click in my head with something I was thinking about throughout the day yesterday.

I'm not going to be so arrogant and tell you I'm some paragon at ANY type of game, or any aspect of life. I've never understood how people could go to someones website and feel as if they are in the virtual presence of someone greater than themselves because said person is recognized as a great player. However I will state that I have played 3 Rogues and 1 Hunter, got them both to "high" end raiding status, and was known to at least be considered "good". (If anyone says differently, stating something along the lines "Danshir used to wipe us constantly, don't listen to his delusional nonsense"....urr...pay them no mind!)

What these various guides do not tell you is how to go beyond a typical "good" player. It's all well in good to know that one of your LEAST priorities as a DPS class is actually focusing on the damage aspect, but going from good to great is....what?

I can give my opinion on it.

A good hunter will trap on pulls, making sure to pull the target away from the group to avoid AOE damage, and time his trap so he can get 2 down to maximize how long the monster will be taken out of combat. A good hunter will use misdirection and all his tools available to ensure the aggro stays where it needs to be, on the tank, and not gank aggro himself. That and having a decent amount of damage in between these various tasks will mark you as a good hunter.

However you won't make people shocked and stunned with JUST that sadly. How do you go beyond that and truly make you it a work of art for people to praise you for? (Again, only my opinion, my person experience, and what SOME probably disturbed minds have said about me.)

A GREAT hunter, or any dps class really, will focus on all those tasks as WELL as keeping his dps high. Recognize the limits of your group/raid. For example, on my rogue if I was grouped with someone that seemed to be a decent tank, I would start using Blade Flurry and see if I could gank aggro on the 2nd monster.

If I ganked, I stopped using it. If I didn't then I had just made a note in my lil brain that I don't have to be so cautious with aggro, even on secondary monsters. This enables more options to increase your dps WHILE maintaining the unity of the group. (IE You're not constantly ganking dps and making everyone mad.)

Of course it's easy to say you need to do this WHILE maintaining your DPS as high as possible, but in execution it's rather difficult. Especially if you're participating in a "Pick Up Group" where you never know how good a tank is until the group has started and you've probed a little bit. So here is my set of guidelines to not only be a GOOD dps class, but to excel and have people make you their friend in case they need DPS for a heroic instance. (This practice is generally reserved for Healers/Tanks, as DPS classes are a dime a dozen. However I've had quite a few people make me their friend not because I was INSANE dps, but because I was a good player with good dps at the same time. At least that's what they said. I'm still under the firm belief I epic fail. Though on one occasion the rogue in our group had 500k dmg over all, I had over 1 million. *toots own horn*)


1: Always see what limits you have to work with. Bad tank? Hold back a little until you find a good pace. Great tank? Let loose and go insane!

2: Always verify with the group leader which icon they want you to pay attention to for whatever (if any) type of crowd control you need to perform. Do it quickly then resume your dps

3: No matter how squishy you are, if the healer is about to get sent to the abyss, take one for the team and take aggro if you can. The healer is almost ALWAYS more important than a dps class in terms of group survival.

4: Don't get lazy. There will be times that a situation calls for an entire switch of play styles. A great example is back in BlackWing Lair when all the tanks fell down dead on Vael, and I, the wittle Rogue, became a tank. You can either stay where the DPS goes and wipe the whole raid, or you can show that you listened to the WHOLE raid strategy and go where the tank needs to go, pop evasion, and become a hero. (I didn't, I did the former and wish I hadn't became lazy. Learn from my mistake eh?)

5: The Number 1 Rule for a DPS class is this: Your DPS is 0 if you're dead.

--------------------

Today's discussion has nothing to do with my rambling that you've just read. If you learn anything from what I've typed above, then you've learned something from a madman! Good for you! Anyway, today's discussion is about parts of group edict in MMOs. What made me think of this was today I was invited to heal a Razorfen Kraul group. I was the last person they needed. However we couldn't start the dungeon because 2 members of the group continued to delay stating they were off doing something else and we would have to wait.

What is your opinion on people making the whole group wait while they do something by themselves? Should they be booted from the group? Should you wait on them in silence? Is that proper group conduct? Discuss =).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winner of The MMO Experience Giveaway!

We have a winner! Number 7!

It's official! The number drawn *you can see proof of that from the picture above* was lucky number 7. Which happens to be RavenPhoenix, so congratulations to her! She's already received the card number and made sure it works, and all emails sent to me with your physical addresses were deleted.

So there will be NO evil plots being hatched by yours truly using them. I swear...would I lie?

I must say I truly enjoyed running this event. It was a blast to organize it, get all the stuff together, and finally roll the dice. I fully plan on doing this again, though WHEN is a question I can't answer at the moment.

Due to some medical issues going on, I'm having to fork over $1200 more than I thought I would have to, which is the reason why there are no runner-up prizes like I wanted to do. I do apologize for that. However I did the budget to where I could still purchase the card, as I had promised to do the event and I didn't want to let you (my readers) down.

So the next giveaway will probably occur just when I can afford it. If you're feeling generous you can donate to the site, which will go toward hosting events like this in the future. However it is not
necessary in any way.

Again, congratulations to
RavenPhoenix for winning The MMO Experience's first giveaway!

Tomorrow will begin normal topics/discussions. One of them being my first time healing in an instance!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Last Day for The MMO Giveaway

This is just a reminder. Today is the last day to enter. You have until 11:59pm EST or you will sadly be disqualified. Make sure you have BOTH a comment on either this post OR this one. Also please remember, because there are some people who have not, to email me with SOME part of your physical address otherwise your entry is considered incomplete and you won't get your number mailed to you prior to the drawing.


With that said, good luck to everyone!

There will be no "normal" post, as far as normal goes around here, today. It's my daughter's first birthday so I'm going to be doing that all day.

Take care all, enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, February 6, 2009

World of Warcraft: Subliminal Messaging

Just a brief reminder about "The MMO Experience" raffle going on. If you want your free 60 day World of Warcraft subscription card, remember to sign up here. Now on to the post!

A little rumor going around in the World of
Warcraft community is the possibility of the Spirit Healer's unearthly whispering is in actuality some subliminal messages. According to rumors, the messages range from..

"Play World of
Warcraft..."

--to--

"Give us your money.."

Here is a brief video found on YouTube
demonstrating the event.




A few interesting facts one should should note is..

1: This person plays on a private server.

2: He states this is (or part of) the reason World of
Warcraft is so successful.


I must say I was curious when my wife brought this to my attention. So she promptly died in-game so we could listen in on the supposed brain washing done by the evil hypnotists known to us publicly as Blizzard Entertainment. All sarcasm aside, we actually did hear the phrase "Give us your money". Rather or not this was due to us actively listening for that particular phrase and hearing something LIKE it I can't tell.

So listen to the video, and discuss what you think about this. Even if IT actual subliminal messaging, do you find yourself insane with righteous anger toward Blizzard? Do you even care? What are your thoughts toward more...questionable forms of advertisement?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rogue vs Paladin

This has nothing to do with today's post.

Lately I've been having a somewhat of a conundrum upon my head, that is quickly going from an annoyance to brain wracking madness. A problem I've had in the past from all the way to EverQuest to whatever MMO I'm playing is sticking with a character. I can't really explain the whole situation, but I must be some type of dilettante in the sense that I constantly want to sample other classes.

What's
fighting in my head now? Paladin vs Rogue.

Logically speaking, the Paladin is the best choice. A Rogue can ONLY ever be a
dps class, while the paladin can fulfill all three main roles. (Tank,Healing,DPS) However I truly can't decide to the point where I feel as if my mind is made up.

It probably doesn't help that I've been trying to get everything organized for the big "The
MMO Experience" raffle that is currently in effect. (Please check here for more information on how you can enter for a 60 day World of Warcraft subscription card.). However despite the work it is, I'm having a lot of fun offering a gift to the community. Depending on how well this goes I may do this much more often than I had originally planned.

I know I'm not the only one that just stares at the character creation screen, pondering what class/race/name/etc. Is it the large investment of time that makes us so carefully pick out a character in these types of games? After all, we will be looking at them for a long time if we intend to stick with these characters until late game raiding.

So today's discussion is this. What made you decide to play your current character in what ever
MMO you are playing? Was it just random chance that you found your character or was it careful consideration? Discuss, and please sign up for the raffle!

Author's Note - Supposedly the Spirit Rezzer in World of Warcraft whispers the words " Give us your money ". I just listened for some time to try to verify this rumor...and it seems true.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The MMO Raffle has Begun

If you want to score some free game time in World of Warcraft, you've come to the right place! The MMO Experience Raffle has finally started. So how do you get signed up?

There are steps, and evil rules...

1. Make a comment to any of the raffle posts*there will be one each day until Sunday, which is when the winner(s) will be chosen. You need to use some type of account.(Blogger,
WordPress,etc)

2. Send me an email with your
username/email and address. This won't be used for evil purposes, just to prevent people from cheating. Plus if you want the actual physical card instead of me just giving you the number on the back, obviously I would need your address anyway. Send all emails to ThaShirow(at)gmail(dot)com.

To enter into the contest you have until Saturday 11:59pm. From there I will be getting all the names together and where they will be associated with a number. To make this more
MMO related, I will then /random 1-*how many entered* to pick the winner. The first winner will receive the card, while 2 more winners will receive runner up prizes.

Luck to you all!

A Stroke of MMO Genius?

I look like this all the time..

I truly wonder how many readers I'm going to lose/gain with this post...


An idea I had while mindlessly informing people that they had absolutely no idea what they were talking about (I work at a call center...help me.) refused to get out of my brain today. The internal struggle between flesh and idiotic brain was quite an epic conflict. However, as usual, my brain told the rest of me to shut up and to talk about what it wanted me to talk about.

You may could have guessed it already, but I'll spell it out for the blissfully ignorant.

Magic: The Gathering.

Yes, that evil card game that is bound to summon Lucifer himself. (An interesting story, in high school I was once informed by a substitute teacher that the game was evil incarnate and I was going straight to hell for playing it.) While I don't play the game anymore, nor have I in several years, I do still read the novels that is either based on the game...or the game is based on.

I don't recall which. Obviously it didn't start that way..but..anyway.../endtangent.

An MMO based upon the STORY of the whole Magic: The Gathering series, most pointedly in the era of Urza Planeswalker and Phyrexia. Now while I wouldn't recommend it to be a "card" game a la Wizard 101.(Wizard 101 does it very well, but this isn't what I had in mind for this idea.)

Now what does it have? The ability of "planeswalking" enables there to be several worlds of vastly different geographies, populaces, races, monsters, and challenges. There is already an established storyline that is truly enjoyed by a large number of nerds. You even already have two factions that a player could pick between.(Urza's Academy and the Spheres of Phyrexia, a place of evil sentient artifacts to put it simply.)

Now obviously this idea would pitch better to someone who has played the game or read the books than someone who has done neither. However I just wanted to share the little idea in my head because, to me, it sounded like it could be quite a bit of fun.

So today's discussion is what type of world in either novels, movies, television, etc would you like to see translated into some type of MMO fashion.

Oh, a small note. I just noticed all the insane changes Blizzard has done to the Paladin class. I'm now stuck in Limbo trying to decide to play a Paladin*To eventually be a Healadin* or continue on my Rogue.

/sigh

Sunday, February 1, 2009

MMO Questing - The Creator and Bane of Atmosphere

Before I begin today's post, there is something I want to go ahead and get out of the way. After some earlier comments about the whole "Ads vs Donations" discussion a few days back, I've decided to go ahead and throw up a donation button. I may make it something more elaborate later where it can show how much has been donated, the goal, and just some type of funny interaction. But as I have no earthly idea how to do that (If you do, I would love for you to drop a comment/email and explain how.) it's just a plain old button until any future modification can be made.

Now WHY should I have the audacity to ask for donations is something you may be thinking.

It's really there for a couple of reasons. One is my whole raffle idea seems to be very popular, and I'm quite excited to give out presents to people such as a
World of Warcraft subscription card, Key chains from Jinx, and other nerdy items. I could either...

A: Do this maybe a few times out of the year using my own funds

--or--

B: Accept donations from the community, help pay back what I spend on the site and help fund more events such as this.

To put it simply, the button is there if you want to use it. Nothing will change with the site if you do or do not except for perhaps more public fun events where I can give out prizes.

Now on to the post and discussion for today!


--------------

Imagine this, if you would.

You had just recently killed
Illidan Stormrage, Lord of Outland. You are at the apex of power in your little MMO, World of Warcraft, and there is no longer any challenges left to conquer. Then you go on to fight Kil'jaeden, the last known leader of the Burning Legion...

So what are some of the first quests for the next expansion,
Wrath of the Lich King?

Kill 6 snow mice.

..........................

My thoughts for you today are about questing in
MMOs. How effective quests can truly immerse a player into a virtual universe and make them feel like the actual hero they are playing, and how a horrible quest can utterly ruin the experience to bored tedium and /quit.

So what IS questing exactly? Well kiddies, it's basically a task given to you by an
NPC(Non-playable Character) for you to perform for some type of in-game reward. Generally there is some type of lore associated with the task as well in an attempt to draw the player more and more in that virtual universe. This generally ranges from very menial tasks for low level characters (IE Delivering items from one NPC to another, Killing low level monsters, performing some type of task that can be done without any assistance.) to assisting with a threat to a kingdom or the entire world.(IE Killing Onyxia, Stopping Rallos Zek, Stopping the fabric of Time being ripped.)

It's interesting to note that the game
EverQuest was really lacking in the whole quest department until recently. Most players would only ever complete maybe 3-6 quests during their entire time playing. Not a day, but from the day they started to the day they quit the game entirely. However one of EverQuest's strong points in my opinion was the "epic" quests for each class. Each class would have a quest specific to them alone that could take months, even years, to complete. Part of the reason was due to the game's horrible use of low drop rates on rare items and their use of "place holders" for monsters.

(Simply put. You would have maybe a 5% chance for the "rare" monster to spawn instead of a normal one, then a
similar chance for the item you want to drop. It could take hours/days to get the monster you want to spawn....let alone drop the item you wanted.)

Now while the process could be horribly
tedious, the tasks you were performing were not menial in the sense of some level 80 Deathknight being told to sweep the floor. With that point let me escape this tangent and get back to the main subject.

A good use of questing to make the player (YOU) feel like you're part of the game's "story". That you are changing it with your actions instead of the world staying forever in a static state of
existence. (Which it is, why haven't the gnomes moved back into Gnomeregan yet? I've killed Thermaplugg at least 20 times..) This is called immersion, ambiance, atmosphere, and what have you. This was the charm of Dungeons&Dragons and many popular single player RPGs. A good use of questing is also simply good story telling, except you're letting the player take an active part of that story..

Which is what the player wants.

The polar opposite applies as well. Horrible use of questing only breeds boredom. Having players perform drudgery isn't going to make them happy, no matter what the in-game reward happens to be. It also a clear reminder that the player is doing just that, playing a video game. Now while menial tasks is expected at low levels, it shouldn't be expected after a player has just recently slain a
demi-god.

Let me play Devil's
advocate here however. Is it feasible to ask developers to make every single quest an epic encounter? No. For the simple reason that eventually what is epic and the highlight of your MMO career is suddenly the norm. I wouldn't be so proud of my achievement of finishing my Paladin's epic quest in EverQuest if I had performed dozens of similar quests. A player wouldn't be proud of doing the Wrath Gate quest series in World of Warcraft if he had done a few hundred similar quests prior/after.

So where is the happy median?

...

That wasn't a rhetorical question! What is it?! That is today's discussion. What is the balance needed for fun, entertaining quests and to keep the epic quests from becoming simply average? Or if you want, just talk about your experience with questing in various
MMOs in general, or any quest that you found particularly memorable.

Discuss, and enjoy the Super Bowl(
Commericals)!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The MMO Recap

You know those kind of episodes from your favorite television shows that are really just a huge collection of clips from previous episodes?

This post is the written equivalent!

Now before you run off, damning me to the last layer of Baator to have a nice chat with Asmodeus,(I'm about to play D&D...leave me be I know what kind of horrid nerd I happen to be.) this one actually kinda makes sense.

At least it does to me.

I've recently received a much larger reader base, which truly makes me smile a bit when I think about it. I appreciate your patronage, your comments, and all that other crap. However since I've got this influx of readers I've not got to show some of my best(By that I mean hilarious) work that I've done in previous days. This also gives me more time to write the article that I was going to post today, and more time to reveal a secret surprise I have in the oven.

Not literally in the oven.

So....Recap!

MMORPGs are EVIL!!!!111!1 - A satirical piece written by me in response to someone blaming videogames on acts of violence.

Gender Switch-a-Roo - A true story that happened to someone I knew. This was prior to being able to switch genders in World of Warcraft. It involves virtual love between a virtual man and a virtual woman....and neither one of them is a woman. One of them didn't know that...just..read it.

Paragon of Humanity - Another satire. Written in response to the whole "If Blizzard doesn't release an "elite" patch, then a lot of casual players will lose their heroes and role models as the hardcore raiders will leave the game."

Subscription vs MT - A post about the hate that most subscription MMO players have for their arch-nemesis, players of Micro-Transaction games.

The special "surprise" is that I just sent an email to RedEagle games about an interview concerning their
Wheel of Time MMO being developed. I'm hoping they agree to chat with me as I'm a fan of the series written by the late Robert Jordan.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Question of World of Warcraft MMO Lore

It's friday! Huzzah!

I'm about to go out and celebrate the fact that for a few days I won't have to assist people with their Medicare issues by enjoying the company of some friends. Now however I would still like to get a conversation started of a more casual nature. Tomorrow I'll post a few ideas I had at work..but that's another story.

With the release of
Wrath of the Lich King, and the future patch that will let players face off against King Arthas/The Lich King/Ner'zhul, the storyline will soon have most of it's characters with evil delusions of grandeur axed.

So if you're interested in the lore of World of
Warcraft, where do you think the story will go from here? Will Deathwing the former Earth Warder finally take center stage in World of Warcraft? Will Sargeras somehow be resurrected and lead the Burning Legions?

Where do you think the storyline will go from here? Let's discuss. Personally I would love to see
Deathwing be the lead villain.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An MMO Idea: Fellowship Benefits

Shouldn't loyalty be rewarded?


If you've spent any length of time in
MMOs such as World of Warcraft, you've met the people that once they've obtained what they want from the hardest instance your guild can conquer, they /gquit and join a guild further up the chain. Now I won't go into the subject of whether or not this type of behavior is "right" or "wrong", but rather or not should an MMO developer reward someone the longer they stay in a guild.

Here is my idea.

To put it very simply, have a brand new
NPC be available near where you purchase a guild tabard and start a guild charter. This NPC will sell special "pets", patterns, and other cosmetic items as a reward for players that have remained in a guild for an X amount of time. The longer you stay, the more rewards you can purchase. I was even considering the idea that after a certain amount of time you can get special "buffs" that you could use perhaps once an hour.

Now I'm not certain what type of buff this would be. Obviously it would have to be to the extent it wouldn't break the game in any way, just be an added benefit for not switching guilds constantly.

So today's discussion is this. Should developers reward players for being loyal to their guild and not switching, or should this fall under the actual guild leaders to try and maintain loyalty? Express your opinion about the whole "I got what I wanted and now I'm gone" attitude.

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Worlds.com "Interview"

12/30/08

That is the date I asked Worlds.com for an interview concerning their recent lawsuit against
NCSoft, creator of such gems as City of Heroes and Guild Wars. This was the pipe dream of an aspiring writer/journalist wanting to try to do a somewhat important interview. I didn't expect to get it, and I told some of my blog friends (Such as Tipa of WestKarana.com and OpenEdge1 at Simple and Complex.) about me sending out the email.

01/05/09

The date that Thom
Kidrin, the CEO of Worlds.com answered my sally at fame. His answer?

Danshir:

I welcome your questions and to the extent I can provide answers to them I will.

You can post my email but I would also like to review your website.

Thom

The next day I started to send out my questions to Thom. To be kind, my first question was the typical "Tell me a little about your company, what you do, etc". Immediately following that was a series of questions relating to the actual lawsuit, what Worlds.com thought about the outrage towards them from the online community, and other such tidbits. I'll list a few of the questions I had..

Question 3. No sense in ignoring the huge elephant in the room so let's discuss your lawsuit with NCSoft. A question on a lot of gamer's minds are why Worlds.com is starting the lawsuit now. The two patents that have been infringed upon, if I'm reading them correctly, have been for infringed upon for several years by different companies. Yet it wasn't until near the end of 2008 that Worlds.com took legal action. Why?
And...

Question 4. Another question I'm hearing on blogs, forums, and news websites are "why NCSoft?". Was there something in particular that made Worlds.com choose that company over other companies?

These are obviously the questions that I, and a lot of people I've spoke to on forums and blogs, want the answers to. These questions, and quite a bit more, were sent out on 01/06/09. The only answer I've received from him is the answer to the very first question, the "shameless self advertisement" one. Not that I'm above shameless self advertisement, but I generally try to provide entertainment too, or at least information.

So what to do?

I'm going to release the information that I have on hand of course. Why? Because some of my answers are within what he gave me, if you move it underneath the monocle.

In 1994 Worlds was spun out of Bill Gross's Knowledge Adventure; an educational software publisher that grew to be the third largest educational software publisher in the world and was initially know as Knowledge Adventure Worlds. Titles included; Dinosaurs 3D, 3D Body and Undersea Adventure. When Worlds Chat was launched in April 1995 the company name was changed to Worlds Inc.

Worlds partnered with Steven Spielberg,
Starbright Foundation, Sprint, UB Networks, Tandem, and Intel to create an avatar virtual world for kids confined to hospitals, Starbright World. The worlds came online at five pediatric hospitals in the United States in late 1995. Patent 6219045 was filed on November 13,1995.

In 1996-97 under contract Worlds developed private worlds for IBM, Visa, MGM, Sony and Disney.

In 1996 we also launched Alpha Worlds now known as Active Worlds which had everything that Second Life now does.

Worlds Inc. was acquired by Worlds Acquisition Corporation in Nov 1997 and changed the name to Worlds.com

Between 1998 and 2001 Worlds developed and launched the following worlds in revenue sharing partnerships with the following brands:

Universal Pictures Animal House,
Polygram, Hanson, David Bowie, NY Yankees, British Telecom, World Wrestling Federation, Aerosmith and Coca Cola China.

Across all our 3D Worlds network our registered user base reached over 1,000,000 by the end of 2001.

On August 3, 2000 Worlds filed additional claims as a continuance to our 1995 patent 6219045 which resulted in patent 7,181,690 issued on February 20, 2007.

In June 2001 Worlds terminated all full time employees as a result of the .com bust and resulting
Internet market meltdown. The company continued to maintain its service as well as continued software development on an as needed basis and under contract licenses.

During the intervening years there have been thousands of user created worlds and Avatars developed using Worlds tools and hosted on the members
PC's. This user created content has been an experiment in organic growth and the sharing of virtual construction between thousands of Worlds users. This user created content on Worlds Peer-to-Peer 3D network now has hundreds of private user worlds

In September 2007 Worlds began a restructure which entailed a new Board to bring the company back into SEC compliance and to upgrading the core technology platform.

November 2007 Worlds signs a private development agreement with MTV.

July 7, 2008 Worlds signed Rapper
DMC of Run DMC to develop DMC World set to launch early 2009.

December 11, 2008 Worlds retained Lerner David
Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik LLP (LDLKM), to enforce Worlds' patents.

December 24, 2008 Lerner David
Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik LLP files patent enforcement action against NC Soft on behalf of Worlds.
Isn't this interesting? In 2001 Worlds.com terminated all their full-time employees during the .com bust THEN they began reconstruction in 2007. Perhaps I'm being too cynical here, but why is the picture of an innocent company suddenly finding itself in the grip of an evil tyrant in my head? Ok, what I'm getting at is this...

Why suddenly sue companies that have been infringing upon your patents when you could have done this prior to now? Why after 6 years from it's collapse did the company suddenly begin to reconstruct itself and
establish a new Board? I know I'm leading, please forgive me, I'll stop being subtle.

What if Worlds.com didn't WANT/CARE to sue prior to this? What if Worlds.com was reconstructed for the sole purpose of this lawsuit? I know that what I'm saying is very conspiracy
theroy-ish, but hear me out. The patent they filed wasn't official until Feburary 20th, 2007. A few months after that they began to renew their company and then over a year later the infamous lawsuit between NCSoft and Worlds.com was born.

So why
NCsoft? It's simple. NCsoft is the weak member of the herd at the moment for this type of action for two reasons. One is the downfall of Tabula Rasa, and the other is the fact NCSoft is a Korean company. Now why does that fact matter? Here is an excellent quote from VirtualWorldNews.com...

"Being a foreign defendant in Texas is not a pleasant thing," he said of NCsoft, which is primarily a Korean company. "The juries are, many would say, biased towards American plaintiffs and have a propensity to offer high damages. Some defendants might view them as an unfriendly jury and it might make the defendant more likely to settle."

Many observers have speculated that since Worlds.com's patent was only granted in 2007 and filed in 2000, there may be too many examples of prior art, including NCsoft's own games, for the patent to stand. Roth explained that the patent itself is actually continued on from a much earlier filing date, November 13, 1995, putting it ahead of NCsoft's founding in 1997.


I rest my bloody case. I wanted to be neutral in this matter with Worlds.com, I wanted to try to be a good "journalist". However I can't stop feeling somewhat dirty for even offering the chance for Worlds.com to give their side of the story. So while I do apologize to all of you that I couldn't get the answer from the mouth of Worlds.com as I had promised, I hope you found this article somewhat enlightening and entertaining.

My discussion for today? What do you think of this lawsuit? Who do you side for if anyone? Leave some comments and let's discuss shall we? Now excuse me while I take a bath.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An MMO Story: Why I love my Rogue

I couldn't think of anything witty to say here, so, Stab!

The past few days have been pretty interesting. Before I go into my lil story of a boy, some swords, and a Troll being oblivious to his impending doom I would like to give a few updates about the site, myself, and that poor gnome I keep telling you to kick.

First you may have noticed the utter destruction of advertisements.(unless it's image exchanges between blogs) This was due to a few complaints heading my way about them. So I've decided to go without ads until I figure out a way to do it in a very pleasing manner. Someone mentioned to me to have a weird
PayPal donation box, but I kinda feel like that's even worse than having ads. The next step is probably throwing a shoe at someone and demanding cash for it.

Not a bad idea for some people though.

As for that gnome...who cares?

Excitement at it's finest....

Aside from fishing, I've had a blast playing World of Warcraft again. For one I got to play in probably the best designed low-level zone in the game, Ghostlands. This place is truly heaven incarnate if you want to level quick, get decent quest rewards, and overall have fun. While I was happily stabbing things in vital organs with my happy-go-lucky attitude, someone slams a flag at my feet and demands a duel.

Which was....odd.

So I gaze at this flag wielding madman, and discover to my surprise he's another rogue, just like me. We're the same level too. So what do I do? I mean I haven't played a rogue in over a year, WELL over a year in fact.

Deep breath,
Danshir. Focus....

I threw a shoe and demanded money....and it worked!

After giving the other guy some first aid,(It's amazing what a band-aid can fix! Horrible gaping wound with ruptured organs? No problem!) I went on through out Ghostlands doing quests left and right. I really cannot stress how well designed this area is. However there was one quest in particular that I couldn't do by myself, one involving two huge abominations that weren't too friendly to Blood Elves.

I know I probably should have asked in chat who wanted to group up and do this quest, gathered a party together, and slay the beasts with teamwork and tenacity. Instead I decided to take the quick easy fix by asking a level 80
DeathKnight to "...just wade in there, sword swinging.".

If you help me, I swear I'll post a picture of you on my website...

All in all it was a very interesting day on my Rogue.I'm practically itching to get more into the end game challenges. Between killing elite monsters solo, dueling some Orc chap in The Crossroads about 15+ times(He won three, I won the rest, but he was pretty good.), and raising the pick lock ability (Which is SO much easier now, if your new to WoW you have no earthly idea how hard it was back when WoW came out.) I've had plenty of entertainment and things to write about. Even at this low level, which I didn't expect.

So that's all for today. I have something very "special" in store for tomorrow so stay tuned for that! Also, wish me luck as I've applied for a paid writing job that may be my foot in the door to bigger and better things than being a
CSR.

For today's discussion I have a two part question to hand to you.

1. What do you think about blogs/websites having Donation links?

2. What was the most fun you've had in an MMO? This can be a particular event, a certain class, or an aspect of the game itself. Elaborate and let's talk eh?

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