NBIMMO: Be Open Minded (…Unlike Me)

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The Newbie Blogger Initiative has been rolling the last few days with some pretty amazing posts in the process.  From the sponsor side there have been all sorts of posts on how to get started, how to choose your topics, and how to mine information and keep up with various bloggers.  Out of all the advice we have been giving have started to pour several new and fledgling bloggers.  I’ve been amazingly impressed by the turnout, and Syp deserves some kind of a medal for starting this boulder rolling.

Some of the blogs to come out of NBIMMO already

There are a good number more bloggers participating in the program, but I specifically picked the ones that had no posts prior to the launch of NBIMMO.  If I missed anyone in the process apologies.

Belghast’s Are Bitter

Today’s post is very much related to NBIMMO, but not as directly as the previous two days.  The first day I gave some pretty general tips, and yesterday a specific tutorial for using Reader to power your blogroll.  Today we are getting into much more esoteric territory.  This is very much a life lesson I am having to force feed myself. 

I will be the first to admit that quite often I am a dumbass and one hundred and ten percent wrong about many things.  But often times I tend to take a pretty pessimistic view towards the online games and the gaming industry in general.  After several cases of being let down in the past, I often times walk into games expecting the worst.  Today’s lesson at hand then, is to try your best to keep an open mind towards new experiences.

Enter TERA

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When I first saw TERA, I saw the skimpy clothing, and the truly ridiculously over sized weaponry I can remember thinking to myself: “Oh god, not another useless low-rent eastern grind fest”.  it has all the earmarks of that trope.  Final Fantasy art style… check.  Buxom women wearing next to nothing…  check.  Unrealistic fantasy weapons in an inexplicably steam punk setting…  check.  This game was not at all on my radar, I had completely written it off.

A funny thing happened.  People started talking about it being a blast.  Talking about how fun and revolutionary the combat system was.  Even more shocking, these people were all folks that I deeply valued their opinion.  At first I thought there was some new internet madness spreading around, I mean can’t they see this looks like yet another game in the long line of Lineage clones?  In a fit of what I thought was my own madness I decided to go ahead and pick up a copy.

Bel Admits He Was Wrong

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Funny thing is, they were right.  This game really is a blast, and the combat really is revolutionary.  The game is definitely the equivalent of gaming junkfood.  It has some amazing gameplay, gorgeous visuals, and every time you see one of the scantily clad females run past you feel bad about yourself for enjoying the game.  But the game is like this magical slot machine, that you mash buttons furiously until you can set up a series of chain attacks…  then win prizes.

I am not sure if at this point I could actually see myself subscribing to the game, but if I had not allowed myself the possibility that the opinions of other players could be right, I would have missed out on all the fun I have been having in it.  I’ve gotten to a point where I have been so jaded, that I have a real hard time looking past the few negative things to see all the good.

Remember Guild Wars 2

gw047Thing is this is the second such game I had written off, but that turned out to be really enjoyable.  Based on bad experiences in previous testing, I had written off Guild Wars 2 as a game full on hype, but weak on enjoyment.  I decided almost begrudgingly to get in on the beta test weekend.  Last weekend I wrote up what I thought was a pretty positive review of the game, talking about all the things I enjoyed about it.  I listed a few weak points, but as the commenters pointed out, they aren’t all “bad” things.

Since the close of the beta weekend, I have been anxious for the next one.  I’ve gone from feeling the game was a marketing sham, to being hopeful that it will see a summer release and not wait for the holiday season.  Once again I have had to alter my opinion.  Had I stayed closed minded about the game, I would have missed out on one of the more enjoyable weekends I have had in recent memory.

Basically, I Am Wrong Often

I’ve gone through many such cycles recently. Twelve year long wait, I was frustrated that Diablo 3 was nothing revolutionary.  After playing it for a bit, it actually grew on me.  I had quite a bit of fun reliving some of the fun times I had playing Diablo 2, and now am looking forward to being able to play the game with friends.  I had some big time expectations, expecting a game that would walk on water, and ultimately set myself up for a disappointment as I watched the feature set shrink.

I am trying very hard not to be as pessimistic and bitter as I have been in the past.  I am trying hard to keep an open mind as I look forward to games.  Since I have been wrong so often, it is making me adjust my outlook on lots of different games.  While I had originally written it off, Mists of Pandaria may just be one of the best things to happen to WoW in a long time.  I had made fun of the pet battle system, but after seeing some footage of it in action, I have to admit it looks pretty great.  I can’t really see myself returning to the game, but honestly at this point who knows.

I bemoaned the fact that The Secret World was a Funcom game.  I was determined that just because I didn’t like Anarchy Online or Age of Conan, that ultimately this new game would end up being something I wouldn’t like either.  But that is ultimately unfair, because the studio that built the previous two games, isn’t exactly the same as the one currently building TSW.  So as I hear more details about the gameplay, classless advancement, and the awesome Lovecraftian settings I have to say I am getting excited.

Learn From My Mistakes

Ultimately my advice to you, is to do the things I have failed miserably at.  Keep an open mind, try to stay positive, and don’t let yourself get disappointed enough that it destroys your motivation.  The last of these is something I have struggled with more than any.  Every major lapse in content that Tales of the Aggronaut has suffered, has been due to the fact that I got the wind knocked out of my sails, due to some game. 

I’ve been bitter and angry, like I was with my perceived downfall of the game I loved so much, World of Warcraft.  I’ve been disappointed by a game that turned out to be something I didn’t actually want to play.  I’ve had disappointments in raids, disappointments in patches, and disappointments in accomplishments.  Each time I have allowed myself to get knocked down, and developed a nasty case of not knowing what to say.  I think the trait of a truly great blogger, is that they just keep writing, regardless of what they are feeling.  This is why I will never actually be great.

But with my current trend of keeping on the positive side,  I realize that while great posts will come and go, and with them your spikes in readership. The important thing to me however, is the community you build with other gamers.  This initiative has given me a good deal of hope that we are in fact still a fairly cohesive community, and as such willing to help each other out.  While I am still a grumpy old man, NBIMMO has given me hope for the future.  I really look forward to the coming games, and coming posts.