It seems to me that MMO designers have been creating class systems poorly starting with EverQuest. I consider EverQuest (and all the other clones since) a closed class system wherein you are pigeon holed into an archetype before you really know what you're going to enjoy - kind of like choosing a major in college. The only thing all the accounting majors out there are happy about now is the fact that they don't have to sell their man juice to put food on the table.

In my opinion designers have just become lazy and uninspired and are falling back on class systems that have been around since Dungeons & Dragons. But they aren't even doing that very well - at least in D&D you could be a fighter/mage/thief and enjoy all the benefits of those classes, you just leveled a lot slower. The only argument I have in favor of a closed class system is that the class lines are very well defined and designers may try to achieve "balance" between classes. There is probably some number cruncher at Sony who had an epiphany whilst giving their daily rim job that forcing players to start from scratch when they want to try a new class would make a larger profit. I didn't mind this as much when I was in college and had more free time than Casey Anthony - but now that I'm older with responsibilities and a child I don't intend to smother with a pillow I'd prefer to just stop playing than to start from scratch. After multiple expansions in an MMO this could easily mean 80+ hours spent mindlessly killing moss snakes and kobolds.

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Nothing gives me a case of the Tuesdays* quite like logging on, having ignorantly not read any patch notes or forum posts, and finding my talent tree reset. I suppose you could say it is my own fault. There is a fair chance you are right. I should make it clear I am not blaming Blizzard for this. I understand the logic behind many talent point resets, why things have to be done, blah blah. Doesn't matter. Since when is rage ever logical?


My non-logical response to my non-logical rage? (No, it isn't anything akin to some of the tantrums you'll find on youtube if you search “world of warcraft freak out” though that'll entertain you for a while if you're bored.)


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Priapus - IRL

There was a time in America when it was acceptable, even expected, for a man to be a completely juvenile asshole.  It was considered commonplace not to just drink at work but to drink heavily. There was a time in this, the greatest of all nations that you could bang your secretary without getting fired and getting your firm sued for every last liquid asset on their balance sheet. It was in this golden age where women would dutifully be waiting at home for their man with a properly built drink and a four course dinner in the oven.  But it was not to last.

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Trooper Fail

I just finished watching the new Star Wars Old Republic trailer that was presented at E3 this week and I have to say it looks pretty good. For something that was announced almost three years ago it probably should look pretty awesome. Considering they’re shooting for late 2011 release and they’re not in wide spread beta yet, I am going out on a limb and saying they won’t be releasing till early to mid 2012. Granted, it took like seven years to develop WoW but not to fill Blizzard’s head with anymore delusions of grandeur but, WoW was really groundbreaking. We look at WoW today and think it isn’t cutting-edge but when it came out it was pretty bad ass.

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Have you ever listened to an album so much while playing a specific game that you start to believe the music is part of the actual soundtrack? For me, this happened with Final Fantasy VII in college. I had been listening to the Radiohead "OK Computer" album almost as often as I was watching white trash beat each other with chairs on Jerry Springer. At some point in the last 10 years I've convinced myself that the song Exit Music is playing in the background as Sephiroth walks through fire stabbing all the goody two-shoes in the face, or maybe it was when they killed Aeris. I googled this the other day to make sure I wasn't imagining it but all I can find are youtube videos made by fans...

There is a section in a book I've been reading about Cognitive Biases, one of them being "False Memory" in which your brain confuses imagined events with actual memories. It goes on to say, "Your memories are constantly rewritten in light of your current context: age, experience, worldview, focus, and so on. That incident at your sixth birthday party? It probably didn't happen that way, and it may not have happened at all." Personally, I remember sticking my face into my own birthday cake at showbiz pizza when I was six, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make that up for myself... I still have nightmares about the freakishly real animals playing instruments on stage. So, Is it possible the music in FFVII is similar to Radiohead and they've just blended together for me, or am I just imagining something that never was?

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Old school BB:STV

 

June 24th will mark my 5th year on World of Warcraft so I've found myself thinking about it and how I ended up sucked in. I've taken many breaks over the years, most for months at a time. Once was to move Germany (and then move back two years later.) Another two breaks were to focus on my studies and plow through finishing my degree.

 

The latest was a trifecta of fail: First I started working nights and was exhausted constantly. Then the power supply on my PC went rogue (not in a good way.) When that was fixed? My wireless internet spazzed, shit the bed and died. When sleep, PC and internet were fixed I logged on only to find my talent points reset. Again. (Later I shall have to blog about the impotent rage-fit I experience every time I have to redo a character spec. Today is not that day. I need to sleep soon.) I logged off, removed my credit card and played Rift for a week. (HA!)

 

Always, I come back.

 
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Single player games have to be pretty amazing for me to pick them up. I rocked the original Dragon Age almost as hard as I rocked Dragon Warrior for Nintendo circa 1986. Ahh, just thinking about metal slime, goldman, and Eldrick's Armor brings back so many awkward childhood memories. It was a foregone conclusion that I'd be huddled up in a dark corner whispering sweet nothings to my copy of Dragon Age 2 when it came out. This article was totally going to be about how "Dragon Age 2 Rocks", but the more I got to thinking about it the more I realized the wool had been pulled over my eyes. For a game I played religiously for two weeks straight you would have thought it was the best thing to happen to me since I got my Dungeons & Dragons Fortress of Fangs for christmas! No really, that was pretty much the best toy ever - the picture does it no justice. However, a few months after our separation I finally see the truth. Akin to a gold digging ex-girlfriend, Dragon Age 2 only wants you for your money.

Gameplay
I hope you saved some of your allowance to purchase a new space bar. The gameplay is probably 90% the same as before with small modifications to the skill trees, party commands, and equipment. Was I the only one annoyed that I could only equip my party members with weapons and not armor? The gameplay isn’t all bad, no reason to fix something that isn’t broken and keeping controls the same lets old players get started quicker. The Mage and particularly the Rogue feel a lot squishier and the Tank feels a little more solid this time around.

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So there I was trying to log onto EverQuest 2 to kill a few moss snakes when I can't get past the login screen. Side-note: Not that I really want to play EQ2 mind you, but the only alternative is to spend time with my wife. Just kidding, my wife is awesome, but I just spent all weekend with her and I need a little time to myself. My alone time just happens to consist of role playing a talking, man sized lizard with magical powers. Don't judge...

Anyway - I do a search for the official forums (since finding anything on a Sony site without google is impossible) hoping to find an answer to this riddle. Lo and behold I'm greeted by an image of Firiona Vie looking like she just shit herself. Which is really traumatizing because I always imagined her like this instead. It's good to know that the original FV model has held up better than the original EQ after 13 years.

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Pop quiz, hot shot:

 

So it’s your birthday. You’re out at the bar taking shots of tequila and pounding back vodka and sodas like you were trying put out a fire in the nether regions of your upper-G.I. tract. Then it hits you, you have to raid in 15 minutes and you’ve been going at it at this pace for the last 6 hours.

 

What do you do?

 

Well, if you’re like me, which you’re probably not, you go home and log on. Which is just what I did.


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Yesterday Blizzard announced that they were going to try and bribe tanks to queue up for the punishment that I call: “random dungeon finder roulette”.  

 

Before I get into rubbing your fat faces in all the extra loot I am going to score, or the high probability that I am going to delete a superfluous rare mount, I want to take a minute to address the reason why Blizzard has to bribe me to tank for you slack-jawed morons.

 
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