Once regarded by scientists as the most elusive and difficult to come across of all the geek classifications, the Phantasia Fundamentum Habitaculum Geek is now among the easiest to study. Because of a swing in online relationships, driven by both social networks and MMORPG’s, this fantasy geek will come out from its basement dwelling place almost monthly to attend conventions and increasingly more public events such as book signings or game releases.
Characterized by his long hair, neck beard and lightsaber, this geek is a Sci-Fi-Wiz. There is no H.P. Lovecraft, Forgotten Realms or Tolkien book written that has evaded his eyes. Nor can you make a comment about any of these writings without a snide and condescending remark escaping his lips. He is elite, speaks both Klingon and City Speak (if you don’t know, don’t ask), and can draw you a timeline of every Star Wars book, movie and comic book ever made.
Because of the intense study of all things Sci-Fi, he is overly susceptible to trolling. Not realizing that he is the target of provocation, it is commonplace to see the Phantasia Fundamentum Habitaculum Geek spin into a rage leaving him red-in-the-face and out of breath for several minutes. Thus it has become a hobby for predators to lay traps for this basement dweller by using misspelled Sci-Fi character names as their WoW handles or yelling in public chat that Jersey Shore is better TV than Doctor Who.
Because of the rise in popularity of Comic-Book Movies and the consequential economic explosion from Sci-Fi culture and its merchandising; scientists estimate that by the year 2015 “the Jedi Way” will be a recognized, major course of study in most Ivey-League schools, there will be an MMORPG accredited high school and every library in the US will have a larger graphic-novel section than biography section.
As the gamer generation gets older (not that I would admit I’m old) we are scouring the internet for quality games that we can enjoy with our kids. To my joviality there are catalogs of games that include the exact factors I have learned to value in gaming: Character development and customization, stories that go deep, and some even take place in universes WE have loved from a young age (Star Wars, Marvel, etc…).
With browser-based engines, and mobile gaming where it is we should have seen the “World of Warcraft” for kindergarteners by now. The problem is that the companies that are creating these fantastic games are doing TWO things wrong that leave me not trusting nor willing to pay a dime to play them.
1. Cookie-Cutter Content
I understand that games for young kids will need to have more repetition than those made for adults. But that doesn’t give a developer an excuse for one-dimensional gameplay. There must be, at least, an opportunity for more difficult and skilled situations to push the player into growing beyond button mashing, and a purely offensive mindsets. As a grown man with a bit of experience and cognitive thinking I BETTER be superior than most others I’d play against in a game made for elementary students.
2. Charging for Everything
In an attempt to reach a larger clientele and giving people a trial run before they pay anything, developers have created a double tax. You can play most of these games for free, to an extent. If you want to progress above a beginner however, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee. This unlocks more areas of the game, and the ability to level higher. I’m OK with monthly fees. BUT, they have another fee! The “Item Mall” is a place you can buy items to customize or make your character more powerful, for a small fee of REAL WORLD money. You don’t have to buy these items to play the game, but they make certain things only available in the Item Mall. Like transportation. You can only buy the convenience of faster transport in the Item Mall. Oh! Andthe best items in the game are only available in the Item Mall. Pretty soon you find yourself unable to beat things you are equally leveled with. Pushing you to make an exception to your “NEVER buy from the Item Mall” promise! But then at the next level you must make the same exception, and so on…and so on…
I say pick one, and stick with it. If I’m paying a monthly fee, DONOT charge me for content beyond my membership. I’m not going to let my kid play a game where the richest (or most frivolous) players are more powerful than the most skilled and dedicated.
Of course there are exceptions to these issues. But what I’ve found is that games that lack these issues are poorly made, and not of a good enough quality to play.
Your education is a very important part of your life. It can shape your future, for good or bad. There is, absolutely, no reason to put lesser pursuits ahead of your schooling. Unless, let’s say, a new video game is coming out. Maybe, it’s a new MMO (massive multiplayer online) game, or a first-person-shooter (which could also be online). Then, maybe for a day, it is okay to miss your statistics class (it’s the middle of the semester, and there aren’t even any tests that week), right? Wrong.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to jump on my soap box and tell you how video games are rotting your mind (they might be, but I’m not telling you about it – they improve hand-eye coordination, after all). Trust me, I have missed plenty of classes, at plenty of colleges. Along the way I have learned that even classes that may seem useless, are very important to your gamer health.
When you first purchase a new release, chances are you will be playing it until something forces you to stop. If you’re like so many of my friends and fellow employees: you’ve taken off work, started a fight with your significant other so they leave you alone for a couple of days, stocked up on energy drinks and food stuffs and of course moved some sort of waste bin next to your seat (don’t ask). So you have all the obstacles you can control out of the way, but unless you called in a bomb threat to have your classes canceled (and that’s not nearly as funny as it used to be), you still have class. Sure, skipping it would be easy, but then you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of all the benefits going to class has:
Sleep. Very important. While plugged into your new game, that is the furthest thing from your mind. Going to class gives you an opportunity to let your brain and thumbs rest, as you doze off to the sounds of your teacher mumbling, and your classmates playing Angry Birds on their Ipads.
Social Interaction. Sure you could be getting some sort of conversation during your gaming, depending on how social of a game you have been playing. Is swearing at a 13-year-old really a healthy form of communication?
Exercise. Even if you drive to class, you still have to walk out of your room, then walk to the car, hopefully they’ve placed some stairs somewhere in the building for you lazy people, and you should take those too. Sitting for as long as you probably have can lead to blood clots and embolisms, nasty stuff.
Sun Light. Vitamin D. You don’t have to get a tan or anything, but correct amounts of it improve your disposition, and I’m not going to hang around you if you’re going to act all grumpy.
So there you have it, a couple good reasons to take a time out from gaming, to go to class. I probably should have put this out a month ago, all you Skyrim players may not have missed so much school then.
How many nerds does it take to get a hot girlfriend? It all depends on how shallow the girl is. It seems to become more and more apparent as we get older how terrible women are. They get these preconceived notions on what they want in a man, and if they find a guy that has all these traits but is it also a nerd……ohhh hellllll no! He could be kind, gentle, loving, thoughtful, good with kids, etc… but as soon as he decides to log into SW:TOR for a fun night of nerd times, it’s over, and all of the good traits he has are long forgotten.
I think though, to be fair, this goes way beyond females and their handed down view-points they get from their parents and the friends they surround themselves with. And has more to do with the overwhelming judgements that we all decide we need to screen people through before we allow them to be close to us. Even nerds have their “status” in their WoW games and their SW:TOR and any other MMO. In this world it’s called elitism and the feeling that only the people who are considered badass and good at the game deserve to be treated well by others.
Once we realize that just simply being polite and laid back can actually go a long way, we might finally get past all of our bull shit that creates barriers between us and the people around us. Think for yourself, and whenever you have an issue with something ask yourself this question. Is it me that has an issue with this, or my parents and friends that have told me what I should or should not like? At the risk of sounding like a hippie, we all just need some love and to be a little more laid back through our various walks of life.
WITH THAT SAID!!!! SW:TOR……..SIMON’S RATING : 6 out of 10 stars.
Now just wait a second, I know what you are thinking. Everyone that I talk to hears me say how awesome this game is and how much fun I am having. Which are very true things. BUT Bioware, the creator of the game, needs to fix the many many bugs. I know this will take some time and a lot of effort on their part and I just hope people are still playing when they do figure it out but until that point comes and they prove they can not only create but also maintain a viable MMO they are stuck with my barely better than average rating….. Get owned.
A friend that I play SWTOR with just admitted to doping his girlfriend with sleeping pills so he could get a better night of gaming. Although I’m 70% sure he’s joking, it made me laugh. I couldn’t stop laughing because I was picturing the scene from Dumb and Dumber (shown above) where Loyd poisons Harry with “Turbo-Lax”. I pictured a Jedi making the same face as Jim Carrey’s character. Then I thought “that’s not a bad idea”. So instead of sleeping pills I opened a bottle of wine. It actually made for a perfect evening because I still had an hour of queue time to wait out. Cheers!
I have played Star Wars the Old Republic for about four days now. I was one of the lucky ones who began playing on day one (hour four) of the pre-release. I’m a fairly casual player and my guild was assigned (by Bioware) to a server called The SwiftSure. So I log on and create my toon and start enjoying the world. Now let me tell you, by all accounts, this game is wonderful. However, two days later I try to log on and find myself #1289 in line, with a five-hour wait. It’s not just my server that has this issue, but many others as well.
Two arguments come up:
1) We pay to play, not to wait. With this I 100% agree (even though this is pre-release, it bodes poorly for release time). A queue is unacceptable. If we are paying to play a game, we deserve to be able to play it. This means the company spends money on servers, on increasing caps, maybe even offering to move guilds and their members to lower population servers. This is only fair since many of those solutions are easy. Yes a large server is good. But six hour queues I will never pay for, actually, I won’t even pay for a 30 minute queue, but I will pay to play.
2) I have seen many people say on the forums “This happened with WoW, EQ, Warhammer, and Rift” and my thought is “…and still no company has learned?” Bioware claimed huge things about this game, and the sheer number of pre-orders shows that we bought in. They can’t see that data and still overload servers just with pre-launch guilds and pre-launch randoms. They have a unique opportunity to take action, open new servers now to get ready for the HUGE influx of even more players that will join in the next month. ESPECIALLY for a CHRISTMAS release. I mean really. I am stunned at the lack of planning and anticipation. I have school, a job, family, and friends. When I have a free hour to play, I want to log on and play, not log on and wait.
I understand that this “always” happens, and since it does, this “WoW killer” should have seen it coming. Get your act together EA/Bioware. Don’t blow your opportunity to shine in the MMO market. Otherwise you’ll become just another DCUO….
The wait is over (at least for those of us that preordered like normal human beings). But already I’m noticing the same old barrage of comments about how World of Warcraft (WoW) did “this” better, or “that” better. I agree. There are things that WoW has done really well. Many things. That’s why it changed how people view MMO’s. The people who I interact with in The Old Republic (TOR), have stopped playing WoW years ago however. So why did you stop if it was so amazing?
Here’s the reality: it got old. But they don’t like that they can’t have it both ways. They don’t want a World of Warcraft cookie-cutter game with a Star Wars story line. But they also want all the good stuff from WoW. So this is what I hear from almost every person that feels the desire to bring it up (I don’t just hear one of these, I hear them both, FROM THE SAME PERSON always):
Yeah, that’s cool I guess. But they stole that from WoW and just tweaked it a bit.
AND THEN LATER…
2. Why don’t they have __________ like WoW?! FAIL! Do your research!
Is it a perfect game? No. Is it fun, and new, and exciting? Yes. Will it be as good as WoW? In some ways it can’t be. WoW was the beginning of the change. It’s like saying that U2 is the best band ever (this is an example not a statement of belief). Well OK, but what about the Beatles? They started this whole revolution in the first place, and they did it really well!
I’ve decided that I will play TOR. Because a large part of my WoW friends are all playing it too, and I get to relive a bit of that life, while still moving on. I just can’t stand the negative attitudes simply because “its been done before”. It’s all been done before, that’s why I feel so at home.
Through my extensive research of the many things “Bat” (that means I read a lot of comic books), I have picked up a lot insight into the way the Caped Crusader thinks (I also watch the movies a lot). With the impending release of the new MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, many people are excitedly discussing the game all across this internet. Here is my addition to that dialog.
WARNING: GAMER LINGO BELOW!
I know the first thing on most people’s mind is, what kind of character would Batman play as? Well, that is easy. Of course, he would play a melee dps. Probably something like a Jedi Sentinel, he has lots of experience with this kind of thing, it is the obvious choice. You may say, what about some sort of support role, he is good at leading and organizing the other Gotham City vigilantes, the Outsiders, even the Justice League of America from time to time. Yes, that is true, but he is just doing that because he has to do it. He doesn’t like having to tell the other costumed super heroes how to do their job. They should know how to do it already, he just does so, because he knows they’re going to screw up his plans if he doesn’t help them out. His main function is inflicting pain and suffering on the twisted criminals of his city.
The question that you should ask is not even what Batman would play, but if. That answer: OF COURSE NOT! Are you not familiar with Batman? He’s busy, saving the city, and the world, from evil doers. I imagine he pays someone to play for him, so if he ever needs to jump online as a high level character to smite The Calculator’s evil virus in the game, he would be prepared. Of course he may just leave it up to others in the Bat family (like in Oracle: The Cure #1-#3, or Red Robin #18-#21).
Do you have a particular situation or question that you wonder what Batman’s stance would be on? Leave a comment here or on Twitter.
I woke up today, Dec 14th at 6:45am. I worked late last night, so I slept hard. I had three choices:
Call in sick to work and play SWTOR since I’d been given access to early release (since the 13th at 6am) but haven’t even had time to login yet.
Login and make a character, at least to claim some names I want for my characters. (I hope Han Solo is still available o_O)
Write a blog post to keep up with my goal of at least one post a day, since today could be as busy as yesterday.
I hope this shows my maturity and my ability to have control, while hating my life until I get to play the freaking game I’ve been waiting for, since before my kindergartener was born. All of you that have had time to play or took vacation to coincide with the early access, I hate you until I catch up. That is all.
Star Wars: The Old Republic announced long ago that they were approaching crowd control in a new innovative way. They call it Resolve. Each character has a Resolve Bar under their life bar that fills when CC is applied and once its full, it turns white and they gain temporary immunity to all CC. When I first read about this concept I got excited at the potential a design like that had. Unfortunately, the most recent working implementation of Resolve in Beta testing is a far cry from what I expected. I still have faith that they can salvage the design but my confidence in the design team is dwindling every second the changes aren’t made.
Last time Resolve was functional in the Beta, it worked like this:
The Resolve bar made an assumption when a CC spell was landed that the CC would last full duration, and the bar filled immediately according to the max CC time of the spells landed.
The CC that triggers the Resolve immunity is not itself affected by the immunity. Only CCs landing after the Resolve immunity is triggered can be ignored.
The Resolve bar would also account for multiple CC spells even if they landed at the exact same time. For example, if you received two 4 second stuns at exactly the same time, Resolve would react as if you were stunned for 8 seconds even though you were stunned for a maximum of 4 sec.
The bar would reach full when you received a total of 8 seconds of CC, granting you a short period of CC immunity.
So why is this a horrible design? Often times the CC does NOT last full duration due to CC breaking abilities, or “sleep” mechanics( a CC that is only effective as long as no damage is dealt to the CC’d target).
With a Resolve bar that doesn’t have anything to do with the length of time the character is actually CC’d, you could end up gaining CC immunity after only being CC’d for a fraction of a sec, or you could be CC’d for 15 sec without the CC immunity helping your cause. I have experienced both scenarios on the SW:TOR Beta.
Here are examples of the 2 scenario extremes I just mentioned:
If someone uses an 8 sec long “sleep” on you from an empty resolve bar, it immediately fills making you immune to additional CC. This means someones resolve bar could go from zero to full immunity via a “sleep” that is broken immediately.
On the other side of the spectrum, I’m going to use some specific references to help illustrate. Let’s say you’re playing against a skilled Juggernaut and Sorcerer. The Jugg Force Leaps leaving you unable to move for 2 sec, then stuns you for 4 sec (potentially 5 if spec’d?) , now you have been CC’d for 6-7 sec and your Resolve bar is still not full. Then comes the handy 8 sec “sleep” cc from the Sorc . It is possible that you could be cc’d for 15 sec before gaining immunity due to Resolve. The stun-to-sleep tactic is very popular in Huttball to literally CC players to death on the fire vents.
So the previous two examples show how you could be CC’d for less than 1 sec and gain resolve immunity, or you could be CC’d for 15 sec without immunity. I am confident with the amount of negative feedback Bioware has gotten they will come up with something a lot better than this.
The way I originally assumed it would work was that the Resolve bar would fill dynamically by the amount of CC the character is enduring. For example, if I am “sleep’d”, the Resolve bar would fill up for every sec I was CC’d until it reached the max, at which point I would be broken out of the CC and gain the temporary immunity. Seems reasonable right? This would make for some interesting situations where players would have to decide if they wanted to use their CC breaking abilities or just wait out the remaining amount of CC required to trigger the Resolve immunity and save the ability for later. FTFY.