Goodbye NBI 2016


Today is the last day of the Newbie Blogger Initiative this year, where did the time go? I feels like just a few days a go I was setting up the blog and getting ready to publish my first post.

NBI gave me the motivation to finally start something I’d been thinking about doing for a while. I finally started a blog and I’ve posted at least once a week this month, often times more. It’s also taught me that if I don’t actively make an effort to stick to a posting schedule, the writing doesn’t get done. After a month of keeping up with it, I’m hooked. I enjoy the writing process and I like having my own little slice of the internet.

I’ve played a lot of games this month and I thought about games in a way I hadn’t before. Instead of just playing, I have started to think about what I think about a game or what would be interesting to post about.

I enjoyed most of NBI taking place on Discord. It felt more alive and interactive than a forum would have. While I may have not posted a lot in the Discord, I was always around checking out peoples articles and trying to keep up with chat. There are so many great people in the community with excellent advice and support. I’m so excited to be a part of it.

Until next year, So Long NBI!


NBI 2016: 6 Features I Want in My Perfect MMO


This may have been last weeks NBI 2016 writing prompt, but it’s been a busy week and not a lot of writing has been done here. I really need to stop telling myself I’ll write tomorrow, because that doesn’t happen.

Thank you Faeldray at Lair of the Wolf Dragon  for coming up with the prompt.


1. No Mini Map

One thing I notice myself doing a lot in RPGs and MMOs is spending more time watching the little arrow cross the mini map when traveling than actually looking at the character and scenery in front of me. I think ESO’s compass bar to show you which direction the objective is really helps to limit  map starring.

2. Training Skills By Using Them

I’ve always liked when skills have to be used to make them more powerful. It makes more sense  that if my character never uses a skill then it shouldn’t get more powerful when he levels up or puts an ability point into it. Games like FlyFF used to have this and it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed Runescape so much. While I can see how some could see it as a grind or a time sink, it’s another enjoyable layer of progression for me.

3. Voice Acted Quests

I’ve seen arguments against the voice acted quest. That people can read faster than the character can talk, that it ruins immersion, that it’s usually poorly done. If I have an option between reading or voice acting I’m going to choose voice acting every time..It’s not that i don’t like to read, I love to read, but in a game I’d rather the characters talk to me, it feels more alive that way. I noticed when I was playing FFXIV that I’d read through the quest dialog or story dialog and by the end of it I had no idea what I just read. Maybe I’m just lazy when I play a video game.

In MMO’s I do prefer the silent protagonist though. In Guild Wars 2 it irks me that every player character sounds exactly the same. I like the Secret World’s approach where the NPC’s are voice acted and my character asks questions via text

4. In-depth Gathering Classes

If I could play a game completely and utterly as a gather I would. I love to gather. I love going into the world, finding the resources, and hording collecting them. Runescape had this to some extent, it wasn’t super in depth but a lot of the skills weren’t either, you leveled up and could collect different things and use different tools. I wasted many a summer day cutting down yew logs. Finaly Fnatasy 14 has some pretty fun gathering classes as well. I kept hearing they were a grind but when I finally tried them out, I spent almost as much time leveling them up as I did running dungeons with my combat class.

5. Classes Advancements with Branching Specializations

I first experienced this in Flyff. You started out as a vagrant, after level 15 you chose a more specialized class like a mercenary or a magician, at level 60 you picked an even more specialized class like a Knight or an Elementalist. It added this carrot on a stick that if I grind out a few more levels I can wield a new weapon or get some better skills. I wouldn’t have had so much fun though if the title didn’t change. Outside of Korean grinders I’ve only seen this in Final Fantasy 14. I’ve been eying Tree of Savior because of their immense class system but haven’t heard great things about the game so far.

6. Robust Wardrobe System

Let’s get to the real reason to play MMO’s dressing up virtual dolls. It’s odd, it bothers me knowing everyone has the same voice in a game but it doesn’t bother me that everyone looks the same. I have no problem looking like the guy next to me as long as the armor looks awesome. Through Diablo 3, I have found the joys of transmoging and mixing and matching armor. I like the way Diablo 3 saves the style of the armor/weapon when you pick it up and it can be applied like a skin whenever you’d like later on. One of the strong points of Trove for me was collecting different weapon, hat, and face styles to mix and match later on. I also want some vanity items to drop even if their stuff like extra hair styles or slightly different looking armor, or weird outfits, but then I guess there would be nothing to sell in the cash shop.

Looking For MMO: Dusting Off GW2 and TSW


Choices, Choices, Choices

The great thing about  MMOs is that there are so many to choose from. There’s the AAA Acronym titles we all know and love. There’s  free to plays, like a lot, where do you even start? And then there’s even more free to plays from really small developers that you can find on Steam if you look hard enough. Games where the entire server population is 30 people and the graphics are pixelated 2d stick figures. I’m not really sure why, but I find some of these really charming sometimes.

This past week I’ve been exploring the MMOs I already own, which admittedly adds up to grand total of 2.  I patched Guild Wars 2 for the first time since the expansion released and I reinstalled the Secret World after picking up the Complete Edition on sale last weekend.

I have been reluctant to play both of these titles  because of the low performance on my laptop. I’ve been “saving” them for when I finally get a PC good enough to run them well. It’s not that they are unplayable, the graphic setting just has to be on low.  Well life happens, the PC keeps getting  pushed further and further into the future. So I figured, life is short let’s play through them right now.

Taking It Slow

The last time I put any serious time into Guild Wars 2 was maybe two years ago. I was home for winter break and a couple of college buddies mentioned they wanted to start playing again once the semester started back up. I didn’t get a chance to play with them when the game released so I was excited to finally do some group play with friends. I spent the whole 4 week break trying to get my character to 80. This wasn’t exactly the most fun way to play, it turned into kind of a chore. I was clearing zones as fast as I could to get the xp and not so much to take in the game. By the time I was at level cap I didn’t really know what was going on in the story, I barely knew what all my abilities were, and I had blown through the game without really seeing it. By the time school was back in session, I was burned out and my buddies never actually started playing again .This time around I’m slowing it down. I’m setting out to see the whole game instead of just the endgame.

As for the Secret World,I bought the Secret World at the wrong time. I saw it’s urban fantasy setting and unique weapons and classes and bought it on an impulse. I wanted to play  a lot of combat and I didn’t much care for story. It turned out the Secret World wasn’t great on combat and had a lot of story, so I put it down and didn’t come back. Over the years, I’ve heard about how good the writing is and how unique of a game it is so I decided to try again with a more patient attitude.

My Thoughts So Far

Splitting time between two games hasn’t lead to much progress in either of them. I did get enough time in to settle on a class and do some of the starting zones.

Usually when I play any game that lets me pick a class I tend to gravitate towards the ranged DPS. There’s just something about running around with a bow that appeals to me. Also I always hate spending money on health potions and prefer to take out my enemies before they reach me. When I started my new character in Guild Wars 2 I almost picked the Ranger. I decided I wanted to try a class I don’t play very often and get up close and personal with a melee playstyle. I have enjoyed running around the Plains of Ashford with my Char Warrior. I managed to get him to level 10 and start the personal story.

I really need to sit down and with The Secret World and sink some time into it. So far I’ve picked my faction, the Illuminate, I’ve got some weapons, and I’ve been running around Kingsmouth. I have really liked the voice acted quests and the stories so far, I just haven’t had as much time as I would have liked with it. Hopefully I can change that in the coming weeks.