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


"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.

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,

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 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.


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


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

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(
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