My Perrenial Problems with WoW

The New Stormwind

Have you ever tried to go back and re-read the original Dragonlance Chronicles?  It’s rough.  I loved them when I first read them in middle school. They weren’t the first fantasy novels I had read (that honor goes to Magician: Apprentice), but they became part of my hook into the genre. This year, I went back and re-read them during a lull in the book release schedule.

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32 Things I’ve Learned at 32

32 Sign

 

For my 32nd birthday, I did a little exercise of writing down 32 things I’ve learned by age 32.  I don’t promise any gems of wisdom or earth-shattering insights. But I thought it would be fun to do.  Interestingly, it was more challenging that I thought it would be.  There’s a big difference between knowledge and wisdom.  Not to say I’m wise, maybe just wiser than I was yesterday. Anyway, my 32 at 32 – hope you enjoy.

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A Brief Discussion of Class Balance in MMO

When it comes to ‘balance’ in a game, everyone is an arm-chair developer.  Reading forums, you’d think that creating class balance was the easiest thing in the world, and it would be so obvious when class balance is off.  That rogue who can stock lock you for 4.5 seconds once every 10 minutes is clearly overpowered!  Healers shouldn’t be able to heal themselves in PvP because it’s unbalanced and they can’t be killed.  There are a thousand examples that anyone with keyboard and a tenuous grasp on the English language will give you, often whether you want them or not.

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DPS, Recount, and TheoryCrafting : How DPS Changed How We Play

DPS logo

 

MMOs have gone through many changes over the years, both good and bad. But there’s been at least one change that I think has left us worse than we were before–DPS. DPS (Damage-per-second for the uninitiated) has become the bane of the MMO genre.  We have become so obsessed with this one concept that it has changed the way MMOs are designed, consumed, and critiqued–and not to our benefit.   Now before you start foaming at the mouth – hear me out and let me explain myself.  Let’s look at beginning years, hopefully without the rose-colored glasses this time.

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Zynga Lays off 520 people; Asks Friends to Help out on the Farm

AllthingsD reports that Zynga lays off an additional 520 people, shuttering their New York and LA offices.  

I really don’t think this is anything people didn’t expect.  Zynga has had nothing but problems since their IPO, seeing huge fall offs in sales.  More than that, they shuttered their New York offices and their LA offices.  It’s a total workforce reduction of 18%, which is huge.  I hope all those affected by the layoff find work quickly.  It’s a shame that this is a trend we are seeing more and more often in the gaming world, and I’m really hoping it doesn’t become the norm.

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Accessibility in MMOs – Part 3

 

So, I received a few comments on Part 1 and Part 2 that I was being entitled, elitist, pretty much a general asshole–all these things that I really wasn’t intending and definitely don’t think of myself as being when I was trying to talk about Accessibility in MMOs. My bad. So I decided to write a 3 part to this series to hopefully clear up some of the concepts that I didn’t do a good job of communicating the first time. Continue reading “Accessibility in MMOs – Part 3”

Accessibility in MMOs – Part 2

Lich King
From Joystiq

Update 4/1/2013: So, it sounds like I might not have correctly conveyed me intent with this second half of the piece.  I’ll write a follow up that will hopefully clarify my thoughts, and make me look like less an elitist bastard.

This is Part 2 of a 2 Part series on Accessibility in MMOs – read Part One here.

What WoW attempted to do to offset the accessibility swathe was to  create different tiers of difficulty for gamers corresponding to how much effort they put into the game.  For the top tier there was Hard mode raiding, middle tier was regular raiding, middle lower tier was heroic dungeons (generally speaking, of course).  But this tiered approach misses the mark in that it still assumes the lowest common denominator.  You have to turn on the heroics in the dungeons, or the hard modes in the raids.  The core game play is still geared towards the player wants the lowest common denominator.  You have to essentially *ask* for things to be harder. Continue reading “Accessibility in MMOs – Part 2”