I have been mostly just playing League of Legends lately. It does free to play exceptionally well. Sadly, my experiment isn't going as I had hoped although my sample size is small. Through 27 games, 7.41% are decided by an intentional feeder, 7.41% a Troll Pick, 11.11% from an AFK, 55.56% of my games are heavily lopsided. That leaves 18.52% of games that are close and "good" (meaning a marginal improvement at best). Since I am taking the game a bit more serious I realized that the champs I played the most I am the best at (oddly enough, eh?) but I like to mix it up a bit -so I end up not playing optimally.
So, Jack of all trades, Master of none.
My new experiment, along with the outcome tracking, is to only play with 8 champs total - two options per lane. (I don't jungle, which for non-LOL'ers is a needed role. I never bothered to learn and don't feel like it. I'd rather support - which teams love to hear -so I can always get out of jungling.)
I am picking my favorite 8 and whatever role I am playing I am solely going to play from those 8. I'm curious if I will improve enough on those champs that my experience will change. With each LOL article I write I'll include a picture of one. Wukong (last LOL article linked at the top) is my preferred top laner, and I love playing Fizz (above) mid or top.
I haven't given Riot money in a long time (mostly because I only get 1 good game out of 5) but for fun I am running 10 game challenges. For every 10 games in a row that don't have an AFK'er, Intentional Feeder, or someone who needs to be banned (racist, homophobic, typical internet ass-shatery type) I will buy a skin from Riot. (around $10). We'll see if I have to spend a dime. That is the only part of the game that irks me. Bad part is that I am doing my provisional games for s3 ranked so the scales are definitely tipped in my favor.
And oh, ARAM games don't count. Although it is a really fun way to play.
It's HTML 5 and give me headaches in Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8, but works great on Chrome.
It's part of Ludum Dare 26 which is a weekend gaming contest of some sort (too busy trying to beat the game instead of researching).
Go play it - it's fun, and I haven't won yet which is really getting to my self esteem.
My critical analyis is that it needs to be more theme-park and less sandbox. Or, it's just a Friday morning and I am being silly.
I played a lot of League of Legends during season two. It is a game that fulfilled my PVP spirit and as my first (and only) MOBA had a lot going for it in the way the games played out. It is kind of like baseball - your individual effort really has an impact on the team as a whole, but you can win (and lose) regardless of how you do. The team and it's ability to work together at the end of the day is how winners are determined. One amazing player on the team can tip the scales, and LoL has a pretty neat sweet spot of group vs solo play.
Add in a ranking system, roles you can't auto-join as (but must be filled to win the most effective way) and internet anonymity and you get the expected ass-shattery. So much so that I decided to quit. While Riot has a team of PhD's and behavioral studs doing some interesting work in the space, the truth is, the results weren't there.
I started tracking how my games were ending up to personally judge my experience in the game. I focused on removing my emotions from it (in the name of SCIENCE!) and to be as accurate as possible. The goal, for me, was to see what it took to have fun games in LoL - I didn't have the aggregate data to play with that team PB&J (Player Behavior and Justice - for Riot - fun name!) had, but I had my hours. I tracked 167 games - which average around 45 minutes each. That's over 125 hours of gaming for me. Here is what I found.
9.64% of all games were decided because of a troll pick or intentional feeding. (someone purposely meant to lose)
15.66% of all games were decided because of an AFK (one team missing 20% or more of their team)
56.63% were lopsided (20 minute surrender or should have been. Only one team had a legit chance of winning)
All of that means, only 18.07% were 'close' or 'good' games. That's around 1 in 5, and if that is what it takes to make a good MOBA, then you can count me out.
I am only bringing this up because I recently read/watched this article at Gamasutra that talks about player behaviour and the things that Riot are working on in that arena.
I am going to try and replicate my own experiment and see if it has gotten any better. I loved the game - but the investment of only getting 20% 'good' time while playing it wasn't worth the headaches of the other 80%.
Got this little Diddy hot on the heels of the EA suit.
"If you had a PlayStation Network account, a Qriocity account, or a Sony Online Entertainment account at any time before May 15, 2011, you could get benefits from a class action......"
I'm guessing I got it because I am in their database already. I'd rather have Canadian Tire Money than Station Cash though.
Despite my obvious and clear negative reaction to the original thought of supporting Mark Jacobs, a couple things happened that was a tad silly and makes me a soft person. No no, not that kind of soft but mushy nostalgic soft. First, I tried to find the Stratics boards which were the main boards I used to chat it up about DAOC. Weren't they the official boards at one point? Either way, they are changed but still there. It shows that I have made over 700 posts there back in the day, but alas, only a handful of them are find-able. I guess they migrated and/or scrubbed the hell out of the old boards.
A little google-fu took me to these boards where I recognized names from the server from 2001. And it felt strange yet nice to reconnect and then I realized - the same feelings that made you dislike or distrust a dev (fairly or unfairly) are the same that made you feel connected to the people within that gaming community. And that's the key, isn't it - that there is any feeling whatsoever, in a MMOSCAPE dominated by apathy. Who cares what happens in any recent MMO that doesn't require people to make the game great in the first place.
So heck, go support Camelot Unchained. The $5 you spend might just make meaning in an MMO again. Even if it doesn't, that's just one less trip to Starbucks this week. I even give you permission to cancel your WoW subscription 10 days early this month so you can afford it.
(yes, I know it doesn't work that way. But it should, no?)
Funny enough, I managed to convince a DAOC rep (now EA.. damn you!) that I had enough intimate information about my old account, that even though I didn't have the email address for it anymore.. its mine again. There is no free trial, no 'welcome back' not a thing! But hey, I'll buy a month - if only to remind me why it badly needs updating and that supporting CU was worth it.
The Canadian Lynx is an interesting predator. It lives almost solely on the snowshoe hare - and is very effective at catching, killing, and eating them. While that is not particularly interesting in itself (a cat predator eating a bunny for dinner) what is fascinating is the lifecycle the Canadian Lynx is doomed to repeat.
Because the Lynx is so effective at catching and killing the snowshoe hare, and as the Lynx breeds and adds more to its family, they end up almost hunting the snowshoe hare to extinction. At this point the Lynx population start dying off because of the scarcity of food. There ends up being a tipping point where the Lynx has almost hunted itself to a dangerous level of near extinction - at which point, the showshoe hare starts repopulating. Rinse repeat. Every 10-14 years or so.
Nature works in such fantastic ways - ideally, if Nature were sensible she would introduce another predator to hunt the Lynx (humans can hunt them, but they are typically in very remote and unseasonable locales) thereby keeping the lynx population fairly consistent, also keeping the snowshoe hare consistent. This does not happen.
In gaming terms I do not believe the population of gamers is growing to the extent to support the companies that make the games, and the excess of titles that are on or coming to market. We are the snowshoe hares and companies are the Lynx. I think we are seeing the result of the nature of the market adjusting for this realization though as games are funded in other ways and the profileration of the indie genre as a viable way of game making once again. This creates different payment and cost styles and overall is healthy for the environment. It is a positive adjustment.
This Lynx metaphor is also a good one for our economy which requires being in a perputal state of growth. Eventually that growth will not be realized and things will reset. Hopefully we are smart enough to not be doomed to repeat like the Lynx.
CEO resign? Check.
Voted America's WORST Company (again!) ? Check.
Part of a class action settlement, that anyone in the USA who bought any (or all) of three titles, on any (or all) of four platforms? And you can make up to 8 claims for a total of $162.96. ?
This is old news, I am certain, in blognation but I am always out of the loop.
(I know the order is wrong too - but hey, that's the order I heard of the events.)
Amazing things have happened in MMO advancement. Graphics, systems, play styles, game modes, etc. etc. etc. We have come a long, long way from multiple week grinds to get a level and losing all of your items (and even levels) upon death. Most of us, while we may look fondly back on the memories of those times, never, ever ever want to go back there again.
It was good when it was good. It was all we knew.
It forced us to need each other.
Not just EQ, with it's punishing death penalties and XP bars that wouldn't move for days.
I'm talking DAOC as well. In that game if you didn't have players you didn't really do anything. And when you were doing anything you had to always be on your toes in case there were other players.
Both had their own special magic because of the other player component. Both of those games made ties that have lasted the test of time, wow clones, and free-to-play bonanzas. Is anyone making them now?
GW2 - beautiful game. I leveled to 40 on it without being in a group, and barely working alongside other players. Granted, I went into that game solo, but wow - trying to talk to people in that game left blank stares and worse. After 40 levels of solo content, I just stopped logging in.
Even WoW - in a guild there, but WoW is so antisocial now. Log in, solo dailies, do a 5-man heroic, logout - all without typing a word. There are people there, but they might as well be NPC's. It's like I'm dancing with myse-elf. And sadly, I'm in a guild. What happened to epic guild chat? Green /gu flying up and down the screen? Too many buttons, and no downtime happened.
The only conversation I have had with anyone is my foray back into Blood Bowl. Matchmaker online puts you 1v1 and there are 2:00 min turns - turn based. So you have 2 minutes to chat to your opponent while he is making his moves, and he chats back while you are making your moves.
Downtime = Chat. Chat = connecting. Connecting = sense of belonging/camaraderie. Which all equals paying the monthly fee, continuing to play, contributing to the community, etc.
Maybe I am doing it wrong, but what I wouldn't give for some downtime.
No, the headline isn't even a half ass metaphor for the emotional state of the typical MMO veteran player right now.
It's about the movie/musical/video game (wait - what?)
Les Miserables is one of those instances where I really am reminded how little I know, and how uncultured I am. The movie is the first experience I had with Les Mis (that's the trendy short form, right?) and of course was driven by my wife's desire to see it more than mine. She had participated in the school play when she was a kid.
I just thought Les Mis was a play, and always was. That is certainly what it was to me. Cue instant Wikipedia interest article to learn that:
- It is a book written in the 1860's
- The English version is 1500+ pages
- Has a really engaging and interesting plot line
- Is ruined by singing
Maybe that last line isn't fair, since Les Mis is most famous for that - but after reading the plot summary of the original works - damn, that would make a really deep and disturbing visual feature. The singing part feels like it ruins what could have been completely amazing movie if they focused on the plot and character development.
Due to the time period I am sure the book doesn't read so smoothly.
Besides being utterly embarrassed I didn't realize the musical stemmed from one of the great literary works of all time (arguably) is that completely my fault or the fault that modern day society only consumes it from broadway?