I promised, and all was quiet. I got one item out. So, time for a recap.
I wanted to post a rant last night on the economy of my server in Aion (Perento), and that is still coming. However, my new PC started lacking reliability after a little while. The whole thing turned off, but the fans kept running. I let this go on for a few days, and then started tinkering to try and get it to work. It seems that reseating the CPU and setting the BIOS to defaults has worked, and it hasn’t gone down in the last ten days or so. Considering we had the ‘Indian Summer’ that tested my fans (to the point where they were peaking at about 5400RPM on the CPU fan), and the Ascension Festival in Aion these last two weeks meant that my computer needed to be on a long time (the reason I started spotting these problems), I would say the problem is fixed.
Now while I’ve been going through almost every software issue available (including reinstalling Windows), I’ve remade acquaintances with my Wii. I rented Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, and I’ve pretty much been addicted to it. It’s a simple fighting game, but with the use of the classic controller it becomes playable, and downright fun. I haven’t even tried any of the modes other than Arcade, but that’s because I’m determined to beat Slayer, who is the penultimate opponent. I’ve got no idea how to beat him and more often than not I turn my Wii off in frustration. If you have a classic controller, just get it. £13.99 is a steal for what’s on the disc, and it’s a very retro hand-drawn feel, something I feel recent fighting games should appreciate but don’t.
So this week I’m working on a video intro to my content. Got a good idea from working on some sample projects from Videocopilot, so we’ll see what comes of it. My old one is too long, and too low quality. I’m going to blog, and my rant on idiocy in MMOs is imminent.
Oh, and I just completed my first piece of Balic gear. Didn’t crit, but I’m not angry it didn’t. Just means another piece to work on when I have a full set and can concern myself with proc’ing eternals.
First please do not consider this as a letter of complaint, as it isn’t intended to be so. I’ve been playing Aion for a long time now; since CBT5, back when Aion was still in 1.0 and the limit in the game was that you couldn’t reach above level 30, and I believe that Steel Rake was the endgame instance. I’ve had a few dealings with the community coordinators and the GMs, and I have a few points of contention that I think are worth airing. So please, take these to heart, and take them from someone who likes playing Aion and will continue doing so for a while.
Continue reading ‘A letter to NCWest.’
When I quit Aion, I felt like I was looking at the end of something rather than the beginning of something else. The legion had collapsed, I felt like I didn’t want to move any farther into the game, and the game itself was just starting to feel stagnant. There was very little for me to do. I hadn’t even changed my weapon since before 2.0 when I was with Cyrus. My armour had an upgrade, but other than that I was out of things to do. And then I looked at RIFT, and figured I would just move on to another game.
The problem was that I was getting stale on MMOs in general; or at least the ones that were designed to be long-term. A Super-High-Rate Ragnarok Online server isn’t going to flip the same switches as Aion did, and vice-versa. But RIFT just felt like I was starting with nothing again and I had that feeling of entitlement that I had just gotten so used to. I had some of the best gear in Aion and had enchanted it to the point where it was almost guaranteed to fail. Going back to nothing felt backwards. So I quit RIFT which even by my standards was a bad purchase. The winds just stopped blowing the MMO sails.
But having stopped playing MMOs (for now), I’ve found myself feeling less stressed. I’m having to hide my annoyance and anger less because it isn’t there in the first place. I’m not saying that playing an MMO makes you a bad person; for other people it can make their life more fulfilled and in considered doses it has social and intellectual benefits. But how I played my game of Aion made me a bad person. But several things have changed physically that have aided that change:
- Time – I never realised that I had ever had so much time on my hands since quitting. I know that over a hundred hours a month is nothing compared to some people but I would like to think that my playing habits were more on the addiction end of the spectrum than I cared to admit back then. Having that extra hundred-plus hours back is invigorating. I have time on my hands whenever I need it. That knowledge in itself has just eased the stress back, as I can always set time aside for something without considering the larger picture. To put it into a perspective that non-gamers can understand; remember when you were last dating someone and you were in the stage of almost being joined at the hip outside of work? I probably spent more time a week playing a damn game than you spent with your partner.
- Mindshare – When you play an MMO to the extent that I had done, you start to think about it a lot more than you normally would any other game. I play Team Fortress 2 occasionally, but I do not spend my time on the bus thinking which the best weapon is for the Heavy, or whether using a Huntsman as a Sniper is as effective as an Ambassador as a Spy. But when you’re playing an MMO you’re more liable to think that way. Hot topics are often what the plans are for that day: Do you do that dungeon that was just released, or do you go on an alternate Character and twink their gear? Or do you just go and grief the opposing race as best you can, simply because you can? I personally kept thinking about the Trade Broker and Auction House and how much Kinah (in-game money for Aion) I could make in a day. It also bled into the ‘I don’t have time for X’ mindset, because the MMO has taken precedence. And that can be lethal in almost all aspects of life.
- Health – Now watch as every single person against games readies their keyboards to comment in agreement: MMORPGs in large doses can affect your general health. Now I’m not talking physical health related to spending too much time at the computer. You can buy all sorts of gadgets and lumbar-supporting this and wrist-supporting that. Your time spent on the computer can be in as a damage-minimising fashion as possible. It doesn’t change the fact that the player’s health will be damaged when MMO gaming is an addiction, and it goes too far. You sacrifice preparing decent meals (or even throwing ‘Steam-Meals’ in the microwave) for snacks or take-aways. I actually made humour of it to laugh it off. More than once. My life was quite frankly down the toilet, and as I was doing this freaking awesome things in Aion, I didn’t care what happened in my real life as much as I should have. I won’t entertain the particulars, but saying that my personal hygiene was rota’d in with work I think will be enough.
- Wellbeing – I am separating physical health from emotional health for a reason as they both impact equally hard. I said earlier on that you can gain the mindset of ‘I don’t have time for X’. This can also be grouped in with ‘I’ll do X later, I’ve got a raid/dungeon/MMO-activity soon’. Everything starts to lose precedence to the MMO, and as you take it seriously you stop caring about your real life. So what if you offend someone at work, you’ve got your gaming to do when you clock off. So what if you drop going out, you’ve got that awesome proc’d armour you want to break in. Not only does that ignore the social aspects which you’ve been nursing online with your Guildies or fellow Legion members, but walls are being built around you without you knowing it. You (forgive me for sounding so philosophical) limit yourself and your potential to ones and zeros on a server which could be disconnected tomorrow. Being successful in an MMO means you are limiting your own success in life. Everyone deserves the right to have their legacy upon the world; not everyone receives that right. And squandering it isn’t good for the mind, or the self-perceived soul.
I know I sound like a self-help book now, but this is something I’ve wanted to get off my chest. Everyone ‘suffers’ in different ways when overplaying MMOs and games in general, and these are mine. I’m not posting them here to get someone’s attention, or even say ‘don’t let this happen to you’ like a Just Say No video to be shown to children when the topic of drugs comes up. This is for me; so when I feel down and think of picking up Aion or RIFT or any other MMO again that’s going to demand my time, I can look at what had happened to me. And that (here comes the philosophy again) like everything in life, it’s a balancing act.