Intermission

Just a quick update to let everyone know that part two will be coming at some point in the future. When? It can’t be predicted. You see, people think of time in a linear fashion, from cause to effect, when in reality time – and specially the time the relates to my writing – is more like a ball… made of timey-wimey stuff. So it will come at some point.

In other news, I will be contributing, collaborating and generally drinking all the rum over at KTR with that gang of scallywags. Just started, so go check it now before I start writing more for them and things inevitably go to hell from that point on.

Social Gaming pt.1: L’enfer, c’est les autres

“Hell is other people”, wrote Sartre. He missed the rise of electronic entertainment as a social phenomenon by a few years, dying in ’80. Too soon. Still, one wonders what he would’ve thought or said had he lasted a couple more decades and witnessed this age of purples and fora.

The cynical in me thinks he would’ve said exactly the same thing.

There is one nebulous constant in these things we call MMOs, PEGs and MPGs. That is, the ultimate quality of the game – how many imaginary units of pleasure we extract from it when we play it – is directly tied to and controlled, willingly or not, by the other people who also play it. It’s difficult to put a finger on, on one hand because it’s not contemplated at all in the game design, on the other hand because it’s an intangible we’re generally not very comfortable dealing with.

This is the first one in a series of posts that will dive into the murky waters of social gaming. Maybe even come back with a pearl. Read on. Continue reading ‘Social Gaming pt.1: L’enfer, c’est les autres’

A blogger is never late…

… nor is he early. He writes precisely when he means to.

Well, I’ve been playing LOTRO for a while now. Everyone in the world must have posted their impressions, but I thought I’d wait a bit and not rush only to say things I’ll retract or amend later. I know myself, and I know I have a big mouth sometimes.

I’ll just make it short and sweet.

Continue reading ‘A blogger is never late…’

Biometrics to the rescue

As I was browsing the web today – at light speed and without being able to pay attention to anything, as usual – a little blurb caught my eye.

Talking about gold farming, it said something a bit scary. Not scary in itself, perhaps, but scary how we should have seen it coming earlier. Mentioning the new ‘trends’ in RMT and gold farming, the blurb said how some professional gold farmers were turning into hacking and mass raiding of accounts instead of the dirty daily business of collecting gold the hard way. Some farmers were finding this to be faster and more ‘efficient’. My thinking is that if it really is faster and more efficient, it’s only a matter of (short) time until the rest of the farmers catch on.

How to combat this? Biometrics.

Continue reading ‘Biometrics to the rescue’

My own little hall of shame

Well, maybe not so much a ‘Hall of Shame’ proper, but it’s definitely a list of blanks in my gaming history. ‘Hall of Shame’ is just more catchy.

I’m not a thorough gamer, and I can admit that without problems. I haven’t played every game ever made by humans, and I’m fine with that. There are some games that I just naturally avoided without even touching them as if they were an antimatter enema. See, I don’t need to know which doctors can perform the procedure, or if my insurance would cover it. I just avoid it. I know there’s nothing there for me, other than the elemental forces that make up the very universe, clashing and releasing a vile torrent of subatomic pain – a burning cosmic feast in my exhaust.

Some others I just never got around to play because I was playing something else/better at the time. So even if I could have gotten around to do it, I probably wouldn’t have cared much.

But, the problem is that everyone else seems to have played them, and I’m reduced to being some sort of a pariah when the subject comes up. It’s not that I feel bad because people dismiss my expertise in them – I know I don’t have any experience with these games. It’s different. With some of these titles, the mere mention of having never played them kicks me a couple of steps down the unspoken gaming hierarchy. It usually starts with “Eeewww… you really never…? Eeewww!“. It ain’t pretty.

Some of them, top of my head:

Continue reading ‘My own little hall of shame’

Leveling – Not just for players

I recently got tangled in a tasty, albeit short forum discussion. We were discussing LOTRO, and at some point one of the participants said, quote, “Is this another game that unless you play with your friends as much as they play you’ll be left in the dust?”. To which I naturally felt the urge to reply, “Why shouldn’t you be left in the dust if your friends play for a week and you don’t?”

It went from there, and I got more or less dogpiled (but in a very good way), which gave me the opportunity to think a little about this. Meaningless musing follows.

Continue reading ‘Leveling – Not just for players’

Community Service

I keep getting hits from search engines. Which is good. Problem is, they’re all about the same thing.

They’re all looking for the LOTRO Hi-Res Texture Pack. As if I had it. Scratch that, as if I could ever download the darn thing. I’m not getting a 1.8 Gb file over this ridiculous “DSL”, as the brochure says.

However, let it never be said The Better Game is not out to help people. No sir. You can get said massive texture pack simply by heading over to lotro.allakhazam.com and getting it from there. Be warned, though, they want you to become a premium member. Whatever that is. But it’s there for download.

That means, stop bugging me. Over and out.