Guild Wars 2, and the Player Dynamic of Online Gaming

 

So, lately I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 (It’s awesome and you should try it out if you haven’t already, by the way). A funny thing happened to me the other day. I can’t recall exactly what I was up against,  but after a certain point in my early wanderings, my luck ran out – I couldn’t take them all on, and my last stand was…less than glorious. I was dead.

A random player happened upon the area: I’d never seen him before, and we’d never had any prior affiliation. He proceeded to slaughter the foes which ended my life. Just as I was about to return to a waypoint, he paused, turned, and revived me, then continued on his merry way without so much as a word.

This sort of thing, I’ve come to learn, is normal in the game world- even if it’s  tacitly unusual in pretty much every other MMO on the face of the planet. Curious, isn’t it?

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The First Indie Roundup

I’ve been mulling over exactly how I should structure this, and I’ve had an idea. Each installment of the Indie Roundup’s going to feature a project or two that’s currently on kickstarter, a recently funded project, and an indie game or two that you can try out for yourself. This series is still in the experimental stages, naturally- I’ll need your opinions on it before its survival is set in stone.

In any case, let’s get started, shall we?

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So…It’s Been More Than a Month

Long time no see, folks. For those of you who are still following me (I’m sure there’s at least one of you) I apologize for the lack of content. August was…hectic, to say the least, and as a result, I more or less suffered a complete and utter creative drain. Truth be told, I’m still recovering from that. Ah, but you’re not interested in hearing excuses, are you? I’ll wager you all want to know what’s going on with Double Crit now- namely, whether or not I’m actually going to start posting readable content again any time on the near future.

The short answer is yes. Definitely, I promise. At least, until I get hit with another bout of insomnia and my sleep schedule borks itself yet again. That’s been known to happen, I’m afraid. It’s rather irritating. Anyway, here’s an idea of what I’ve got in store for all you fine folks this month:

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Is The Traditional MMORPG Business Model Dying?

The MMO simply isn’t the powerhouse that it used to be. When it released back in 2004, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft effectively took the industry by storm, gathering millions of subscribers in a matter of months and transforming them into one of the most instantly recognizable gaming organizations in the world (though, to be fair, they’d kind of already managed that with Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo.) WoW’s had a good, long run, crushing virtually every competitor that attempted to step up and challenge them, but for over a year now, even they’ve been losing subscribers by the millions.

It would appear that it’s time for a change.

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Seven Indie Games you Need to Play

I’ve been on a bit of an indie gaming kick of late, so this post made sense to me when I started writing it. You’ll have to forgive me if it’s less coherent than what you’re used to- I’m essentially running on fumes at the moment, so my mind isn’t exactly functioning at its best.

Today, we’re going to look at a few awesome indie games which, if you’ve not done so yet, you should make the effort to play. With the advent of Kickstarter and the Humble Indie Bundle, independent developers have really come to the fore lately. And why shouldn’t they? The very nature of their development means that they can go in new, unique, and innovative directions which larger publishers might often shy away from, they’re inexpensive, and they’re made just as well as any AAA title you might see.

Coupled with Baldur’s Gate 2, they’ve been consuming much of my leisure time of late. Here are a few titles from my own personal list of favorites, sans Minecraft- everybody knows about that game by now. Same deal with Amnesia.

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Teamwork, Morale, and Trash Talk

I’m not sure how else to start this post, so I’m just going to come straight out and say it- League of Legends has one of the most toxic, hostile, and hateful communities I’ve ever seen- it’s nearly as bad as DotA’s. On some days, I can’t even go one game without being cursed at, or hearing somebody cuss out somebody else. Even The Tribunal isn’t fully addressing the issue. Even though they’re faced with the possibility of losing their accounts, these adult-sized children will throw a temper tantrum if someone so much as moves in what they feel to be the wrong direction.

Of course, this problem isn’t unique to League of Legends- or even the MOBA community. As Extra Credits pointed out in one of their earlier installments, harassment in online games is an ever-present cancer, and I don’t think I’ve met a single person who’s not encountered at least one individual that made them re-evaluate their faith in humanity.

We’re not going to talk about the gaming community at large- Extra Credits already did an excellent job addressing that issue. Instead, we’re going to zero in on games where teamwork is necessary- games such as HoN and LoL.

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