WoW Getting a Gatekeeper
Back in the beginning of January I crafted a post talking about how much I enjoyed The Gatekeeper encounter in The Secret World and how I felt it was a good thing to have in a game. I extrapolated this further and said that World of Warcraft really needed a similar Gatekeeper mechanic. At the time they had the proving grounds but they were universally ignored by players. Based on a post from Watcher on the forums… it seems like Blizzard is thinking along these lines as well. If I had to build a requirement for queuing for random heroics, I would have said that more than likely it would need Silver or better in the proving grounds in a specific role. Turns out based on that post, it seems Blizzard was thinking the exact same thing. Will this usher in a new area of better pugging? Honestly I am not sure.
The biggest thing that I do like from the statement is that the requirement is apparently completely ignored with a prebuilt group. This means you will still be able to carry your friends through the heroics to help gear them up. Those friends will just have to meet the proving grounds on their own if they want to be turned loose out into the wild. In the grand scheme of things this is just raising the bar on the heroics, but not really doing anything to fix the social causes for me not wanting to queue for them randomly. Without a “social justice” system similar to that of League of Legends or Final Fantasy XIV people will still be as big of dicks as they are today. It really is a catch 22… folks complain that no tanks want to run randoms… but when you do tank a random people generally treat you like shit. I decided some time ago that it was a package of frustration I could deal without in my life.
I have slowed down greatly in my time spent in Landmark. I am done with the bulk of the structural work on Belgarde Keep and now have begun some of the fine detail work. In order to complete this I really need to finish upgrading all of my machines, and that means farming copious amounts of materials. Namely mind numbingly farming burled wood. Thankfully since I am on a forest island, I can pretty much just roam around in my “front yard” to find this, but it gets really boring at times. As a result the bulk of my Landmark playtime is reserved for when I am watching netflix or something similar. I’ve already begun joining the AoA channel like I talked about yesterday, but for the most part there has been nothing but radio silence.
Last night however I got to meet a person who was new to me. Zarriya apparently is a longtime member of the Multiplaying community and friends with Zeli, so when she popped on we were both happy to have someone else to talk with as we built away. Funny thing is, she was not on very long before she wanted to pop by my claim and see the work I had done. It is wierd how this feels in a game like Landmark. It almost feels like inviting someone over to your actual house. I was a good ways off from my homestead so as I ventured back there she started on her way over as well. This is one of the areas the game really needs improvement. Firstly the friends list is not working, but even more so… we need an easier way to find each others claims.
I was impressed at how fast she found it off the /loc I gave her, because quite honestly… my brain does not function well on a coordinate grid system. If I could do like EQ2 and set a waypoint to the coord I would be happy…. actually I don’t know if that is in game or not. It just feels cool to have visitors in this game, since you have put so much work and effort into building your structures the way you want them. Right now I am mostly working on the sub basement, which I intend to be a dungeon. No proper keep can really go without one. So to start I’ve built a series of equal sized cells. Now I want to do some more open holding pens, but really to do that I need to gather up a lot of iron. Still very much enjoying the game, but also really looking forward to having more systems in place.
It’s Okay to Not Like Things
A good friend of mine linked me this video yesterday and it seems relevant lately, with the whole force fed narrative of Wildstar vs Elder Scrolls. While I like both of the authors of this article, the piece that MMORPG.com ran yesterday just feels like linkbait. If you are a fan of the MMO genre and want more games to be developed… we realistically need BOTH to succeed. There have been so many big name MMO failures over recent years, and even if you do not play the game any longer.. it still hurts to see one close down. The community is still reeling from the loss of Star Wars Galaxies, and similarly from City of Heroes. Both games had extremely vibrant and devoted communities, and both player bases are still trying to find a new home.
Similarly a certain segment of the population was being happily served by Warhammer Online, and Vanguard will have a similar player base abandoned when it closes down this year. Losing ANY game is a horrible experience. I will be honest… I like both Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online. I think they are both interesting games. The problem is I know for certain that I like one of them enough to pay a subscription fee, and the other one… I am not quite sure about. As a huge supported of Elder Scrolls, it feels like around every corner is another person trying to… pardon the colloquialism “piss in my cheerios”. So I do at times get defensive of ESO, because I think it is a really fun game. That is not to say that that I don’t also begrudgingly enjoy Wildstar quite a bit.
Personally I would love to see both games do well and find their own little niche. We need successful MMOs that are not named World of Warcraft. If we don’t then this might be the last round of AAA MMOs we so for awhile, or at least ones that were designed without having a massive cash shop component in them from day one. I still think the free to play MMO is alive and kicking, but the ones designed from day one to be free to play… feel money grubbing. They feel like they want to nickel and dime you to death each time you play it. SWTOR is one of those game I would love to be able to play periodically, but I just cannot stand playing it in their free to play mode.
I just wish I could get players past the tribalism of red versus blue. I am a carebear at heart, and I just want us all to get along. After all each of these games is a niche within a niche within a niche. Gaming as a whole is still a relatively small community, and when we attack each other we only serve to alienate people who might be waiting in the wings considering joining in. Right now the real decision if I play Wildstar will be based on launch timing. Right now we have Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls coming out in March, and Elder Scrolls Online in April both of which I am deeply committed to. I assume Warlords of Draenor will be a Christmas 2014 release since no word of the Friends and Family Alpha has leaked yet. So if Wilstar releases during one of the lapses… I might give it a shot.
Not So Neighborly Bel
There is a bit of brutal irony in me talking about it feeling good to have a virtual neighborhood in Landmark. We have lived in the same place for over sixteen years, and at this point we know exactly two neighbors. I consider myself “on waving terms” with several more, but really we know the family to the south of us, and the family that has been mentioned so many times in other posts that previously lived across the street from us, but now lives about five houses down the block. For the most part I like it this way. While it may not come across as such in my posts, I am pretty deeply introverted, so after spending the day dealing with people… I just want to shut the doors and see no one by my wife until the next day.
The funny thing about it is… apparently I am known by my neighbors but not my wife. In part this comes down to the fact that I get home about 4:30 when lots of other people are pulling into their houses, whereas my wife often times works late and doesn’t get home until 8ish some nights. A few months back we had a few fires in our neighborhood. Due to the extreme effect smoke has on me, my wife went out to investigate. Upon meeting some of our neighbors they asked her if she was “new in the neighborhood”. They apparently had never seen her and didn’t know she existed. Maybe it is not normal to live somewhere as long as we have and not know the ins and outs of everyone in the neighborhood. Thankfully the neighbor I write about so often… keeps track of everything going on and can keep us up to date on the intra-neighborhood politics. For the most part where we live is a pretty quiet place made up of a mix of aging folks that bought the homes during the 80s, and working class families with young kids.
My brother in law used to have these massive impromptu block parties in his neighborhood, and while it was nice that he knew every single person… it also felt fairly claustrophobic to me. For me going to work each day and “acting normal” is extremely draining. By the time I get home, I simply don’t want to have to care about the other people living around me. Its awesome that they are there, and are all relatively nice… but I don’t need to have any more people in my life that I have to interact with regularly. I am more than happy to cocoon up on the couch with my laptop and a game and forget the people outside my door exist. The irony is… that I end up playing multiplayer games. I think the key there is that the interaction with other people is on my terms, and in the quantity that I desire when I desire it. When someone rings our doorbell, or calls on the phone… it always feels like a horrible invasion of my personal space. I guess I am just wired oddly.