Archive for the WoW Category

The Lost Art of Community

Posted in Blogging, Everquest, WoW with tags , , , , , , , , , on 01/12/2011 by Jeremy (Jmo)

If there’s one thing I can say was EverQuest strongest asset, it was community building. I went into EQ knowing only one other person that played the game, and came out 10 years later with more friends than I can count. It was an odd side effect to playing a game. Before EverQuest I’d only really played Single Player games or played with friend on the same TV screen. Even the people who played things like Unreal Tournament or Half Life/Counter Strike didn’t exactly get to know each other. Yes, I know there are exceptions to that rule, but for the most part that was the case.

EverQuest changed that paradigm of gaming for me and a plethora of others. See, the reason I feel that this was the case with EQ (and UO and DAoC), was that you really needed to have help to advance in the game. There were no handouts, and if you tried to go alone you wouldn’t get very far. The only way to truly level up and strengthen your character was with a group. Because of this you had to get to know your fellow Norrathians. For the longest time, and for the majority of my level, I can name 10-15 people whom I grouped with more than anyone else. These people quickly became my friends, and we ended up joining a guild together. To this day, I still keep in touch with most of them.

This whole feeling of unity and camaraderie is lost on the current generation of gamers. With the onset of World of Warcraft and other modern MMOs, online gaming has become more of a solo experience than it has a group experience. Even the higher end dungeons in games are more of a “Queue up, don’t talk, get your loot, and get out!” The whole “Brothers in Arms” feeling is gone. I really think this type of gameplay is killing the true experience of what a MMOG is supposed to be.

I’m not saying we need to bring back corpse runs, massive XP losses, or mob grinding for leveling. But something really has to be done to bring back the social aspect of these games. The closest things I’ve seen at all lately is one of the main reasons I’m looking forward to Rift. That would be the title aspect of the games, the Rifts. Trion has taken the initiative to create content that encourages teamwork early on in their game. Even so, I don’t know if it’s enough to really bring back that feeling of needing to group. While I hope it does, I think MMO developers need to come up with some sort of system in their games that encourages and rewards players to work together throughout the game, and not just in the raiding portion. Guilds and groups need to matter and feel a sense of accomplishment.

MMO gamers are starting to act more and more antisocial towards each other. It used to be said that games like EQ could help shy teens and young adults really break out of their shell and learn to integrate better into society. I wish I could find a link to the study, but there was one done at one point talking about this exact fact. As time has gone on, and games have become more and more solo friendly (or solo forced?), we are seeing a growth in players who fit into [NSFW] John Gabriel’s Greater Internet F*ckwad Theory.

Gamers already seem to get a bad wrap in the media. The stereotypes are attrocious and the growing asshat-ish attitude isn’t helping. I truly believe this all goes back to the shrinking art of community. Guilds don’t even mean as much today as they used to. It wasn’t abnormal to see guilds of 100+ players in Everquest and even early WoW. In fact, that was an average size guild. Everyone got to know each other as well. In the past few guilds I’ve been in in WoW, players rarely –if ever– communicated in chat. In fact, even most raids didn’t see much chatter. It was more “you better know the strats before you get to the fight or you’re going to be kicked,” and a lot less of “hey guys, let’s strategize and learn this fight!”

It really saddens me to sit back and look at what’s happened to the social aspect of MMOs. I really hope that some day we will at least move back in the right direction, and back to the true meaning of what MMO means. Until that happens, I feel we will continue to see a growing trend of anti-social and anti-teamwork behavior.

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The Raid Leader’s Manifesto

Posted in DDO, Everquest, Gaming, Guides, MMO, MMORPG, PC, SWG, SWTOR, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , , on 07/10/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Those who read my blog and know me in game (whether it be WoW, EQ, SWG, or any other world I’ve stepped into), know that I’ve spent much time as a raid leader. And if you didn’t know, you do now! If you know anything about raiding in MMOs, you know it’s hard work, but if you think that just being at the raid is hard, try leading it! I garuntee your stress level would be through the roof. Anything that goes wrong is pinned on the raid leader, regardless of actual fault. For some, being the leader of 25 (72+ when I was leading in EQ) is not an easy task, to others it’s a breeze. It can be game making, or game breaking. In the end it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Clockwork Gamer had this awesome post yesterday about what it means to be a raid leader, and I thought I would share (full article at the link).

The Raid Leader’s Manifesto

I am a raid leader.

Time is my enemy. I recognize that the most important number on any raid is not the mitigation of my tank, the health of my target, or the damage of my raid force – it is time I have left on this raid.

Anything or anyone that interferes with the limited time I have before my raid breaks up is aiding my enemy. Raiders who show up unprepared, raiders who have not read the strategies I’ve written, raiders who do not listen while plans are discussed, raiders who get into conversations during fights, raiders who did not work on their character since the last raid – these are all collaborators I must halt or overcome in order to perform my duties within the time my raid force has alloted me.

As a raid leader, I am impatient. By definition, patience is a virtue that requires time. Time is my enemy. I grow frustrated when the raid is taking too much time. I do not care about dying…I care about dying slowly. I do not care about wipes…I care about recoveries which take too long. I do not care about careful pulls…I care about pulls which hold us up. If I must repeat myself, I am wearied. If I must wait for a recovery, I become irked. If I our raid wipes frequently due to the same mistakes, I grow upset.

When we run out of time, the raid is done. If I have lead my raid well, they will have accomplished something new, performed better, or moved faster than they have in the past. They win when they gain new loot, see new enemies, or learn something different. Any or all of these things are referred to as progression. When my raiders do not progress, I have lost the raid. In order to avoid losing, they must progress…and they must do so within our time constraints.

Whenever I am online, I am either raiding or preparing for a raid.  When I am online between raids, I talk about raiding. I discuss raiding. I ask questions about raiding. I try to get my raiders thinking about raiding. I want my raiders to understand that success in a raid does not start in a raid zone.

Groups are the way to success. Before I ever step foot into a raid dungeon, I know that our raid force’s success has already been largely determined. I realize that the best way to prepare for raids is to prepare raiders and the best way to prepare raiders for raiding lies in groups. I know that we bond in groups. We gear up in groups. We prepare for raids in groups.

Mine is a thankless job. I accept this. I accept that if I am polite and the raid fails, I will be berated. I accept that if I am kind and the raid is slow, I will be judged. I accept that even if the raid is a success, so long as I am not polite, I will be criticized. I accept that when I do well, I will rarely hear it. I accept that when the raid fails, it is my fault.

If I believe I am acting firm, I am being rude. If I ask someone to leave the raid, I am a jerk. If I call out someone on their performance, I am elitist. If I reserve any loot for a critical raid class, I have favorites. If I remain quiet, I am weak. If I chat, I am distracting. No matter what I do, I will never please all of my raid force. No matter what I do, I will always be compared to other raid leaders who do things better than I.

It is irrelevant that the very people who tell me what I am doing wrong as a raid leader are rarely people who have ever been a raid leader. It is irrelevant that the reason a raid failed is due to one person making the same mistakes over and over. It is irrelevant that the target was just too hard for the raid force we brought. Any time we fail the raid and any time I am criticized, the fault is mine.

I take failure personally. Each time we fail, there is something that I could have done differently. I could have explained the strategy differently. I could have benched a different raider. I could have chosen a different target. There is a never a raid which fails which is not my fault. That is the responsibility which is mine as raid leader.

There are no second chances on raids for the leaders. Each raid is a trial. Each raid is a judgement. Each raid is a review. If I perform well, raiders will continue to follow me. If I perform badly, they will stop attending my raids or even seek a new raid force. This is the reality I live with. This is the the only thanks I will ever truly know – that if I do my job well enough, I will be allowed to continue to do my job again in the future.

I am a raid leader.

110% accurate, so you followers out there, remember this the next time something goes wrong on a raid. Don’t be too hard on the guy organizing it all.

DDR Meets WoW

Posted in MMORPG, WoW with tags , , on 04/01/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

I love April Fool’s Day, and this year is no different. There are tons of fun little pranks and news stories being thrown around in the MMO World. CoH: Golden Years is a good one, as is WoW EU’s Pimp My Ride. There are also some “eh” ones, like the Guild Wars “Everyone’s a Stick Figure” prank (which, by the way, was ALREADY DONE by Sony in Everquest 2 or 3 years go).  Anyway, Blizzard pretty much takes the cake again with this year’s “Dance Battle System.

While it is no “Molten Core for the Atari 2600” like last years prank (which was really freakin hilarious), it is still really funny. Check out the link above to laugh your ass off.

What a Great Idea!

Posted in Everquest, Gaming, Gaming News, MMO, MMORPG, PC, Retail, WoW with tags , , , , , , , , on 01/17/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Even though my current “main game” of sorts is World of Warcraft (again), I’ve always been a Sony fanboy. Whether it be their consoles or their MMOs, I’ve always at least given them a shot. Most of the time, I have not been let down.

Earlier today there was an announcement put out about a new way to get your hands on SOEs MMOs. Steam. Yep, you heard (read) me write! Sony’s main MMOs are now available for download on Steam. Why do I care? Steam reaches over 15 million people. These 15 million people now all have a ton of MMOs more readily available to them, including Everquest. If it wasn’t for EQ, I wouldn’t even have this blog. It’s what brought me into the world of MMOs, and for that, I will be forever greatful.

So my props and kudos to SOE, for taking a step in the right direction, where marketing and distribution are concerned. Wish them the best of luck in this endeavor, and truly hope that this will actually cause a spike in subscription numbers for EQ, EQII, Vanguard, and any others that are now on Steam.

As a side note: For those that don’t know, I spend a lot of time as an Admin on NotAddicted.com and have recently started hosting the site’s PodCast. Be sure to check out Not-A-Cast, and NotAddicted, when you get a chance. I keep it fairly short…for now. Also, I’m scheduled to be on an upcoming No Prisoners, No Mercy Podcast as well. Stay tuned!

Again, I Stand Amazed

Posted in Gaming, MMORPG, WoW with tags , on 01/05/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Well, it’s a new year and one of my Resolutions is to try and keep up on writing on a normal basis, either here on my blog, or working on a book idea I’ve had milling around in my head for years.

But to hold everyone over until my next post, check out the video that WanderingGoblin had posted today…just… insane…

If Bush Played WoW

Posted in Gaming News, MMORPG, Political, WoW with tags , , , , on 12/18/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)
If Bush Played WoW

If Bush Played WoW

I don’t know where it’s from, but one of my WoW guildies posted it on our boards today, and I had to share.

Holiday Happenings

Posted in Everquest, Gaming News, MMORPG, SWG, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , , on 12/17/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

It seems that the Holiday Fever has taken over all of our favorite MMOs.

Sony has a list for all of their games posted here.

WoW has Winter’s Veil, as well as WAR and their drunken games. What have you thought of it all so far? Post your thoughts and comments here! I’ll be posting mine as the week goes on.