Yes, I literally talk to you about this year’s Newbie Blogger Initiative. No need to write much, just click on the Play-button below and hear why you should join!
POSSIBLY SPOILERS FOR AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 AHEAD!
Hey, remember back in high school when you had to hand in assignments for your literature class? You know, the ones requiring you to write your own short story, following the “rules of writing” you had been discussing in class for the last three weeks? And remember how you would get your short story back, with a remark of the teacher saying: “good overall story, but a piss-poor ending that made me angry enough to shout at strangers in the street”?
No? That never happened to you? Well, it might have happened to the writers of The Amazing Spider-Man back in 2012. Not in their literature class, but after hearing the opinions the audience had about The Amazing Spider-Man, director Mark Webb probably realized his writers needed some more time to up their skills and let them go. Had the new writers for the screenplay handed their work over to a literature teacher, he had probably told them that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had a grandiose ending full of possibilities for sequels, but still had asked them to re-write the script. Why? Because the first eighty percent of it are boring, uninspired and just awkward.
Adult life is time-devouring. I said that several times on this blog, but reality keeps reminding me of this harsh fact. When one-third of your day is filled with a job, the other third with sleeping, you need quite some impressive micro-managing skills to get all the other things done. One of these other things is probably gaming. Sooner or later, however, you’ll notice that you have only an hour or two a day to truly devote to that. That is, if you don’t want too much wife / husband / girlfriend / boyfriend / bootycall aggro or really want to do the dishes today (psh, like you will). Then again, your still-in-university or in-between-jobs friends are way ahead of you, so you want to at least do some catching up. What to do, what to do?
Well, dear reader, it’s time for a compact lesson in gaming time micro-management, inspired by a cool post written by the Godmother (who should just call herself the Mistress of Garrisons by now). Where she gives you tips for a bucket list, I want to help you guys out with three easy tips to optimize your game time!
1. Know your goals
Wanna hit 90 with that alt in World of Warcraft, or do you want to make some progress during the beta weekend of WildStar? Different goals require different methods and different time amounts. Creating goals gives you something to work towards to, including a sense of completion once you reach one. Give yourself clear goals for the week, and see that you work on those.
2. Know your time budget
On a good weekday, I have about two hours worth of consecutive gaming time. This means that I can plan my goals around that, making sure to not reach for the unreachable. Try to track your average daily time budget, and adjust your goals to fit them. Your rare minutes of gaming time will feel less worth if you try to achieve too much in too less time.
3. Get SMART
In the business world, companies like to formulate their goals SMART: specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic and time-related. When creating your goals based on your wishes and available time, run them through these five letters and see if they have all five components. A goal which can’t be measured doesn’t provide a clear finish line, while a goal that is not ambitious enough will not feel rewarding. The SMART-formula is not the alpha and omega, but it is a good foundation for creating strong goals.
Limitations are meant to challenge you, and the lack of gaming time as an adult just tests your time management skills. Yeah, you won’t be able to raid 8 hours a day like back when you were a teenager, but then again…do you really wanna go back to that if it means having acne all over again and being the nerd of the class?
Wait, one of those two never actually changed…
Complexity is one of the most discussed topics in MMO country, and with good reason: in an age filled with simple, mass-pleasing click-games like Candy Crush Saga and Farmville (does anyone still play that?), we “true” gamers desire games that cannot be immediately understood by our grandmas and little brothers. We want titles that take time to ease in to, that have us browse the Internet in search of the perfect “build”, force us to take a crash course in Excel to make that spreadsheet and make us talk with abbreviations like “DPS”. We want to get lost in the numbers, we want to be made dizzy by the possibilities…we long for complexity.
We? Well, to be honest, I don’t.
Syl and Murf have been at it, both writing excellent pieces on the topic of the abscence of democracy in game design and voting with your wallet. Both articles take different angles, but are essentially about the same thing: the amount of say gamers have in the development process of the games they play. Because I have the urge to add my opinion to the discussion, let me throw in my two cents when it comes to the relevance of the “vox gameri”, or the voice of the gamers (Pig Latin ftw!)
I will never complain about having friends. Really, I like the luxury of having a bunch of people I can call up whenever I want to, to do whatever we like to. I like that their interests, hobbies, hopes and dreams overlap with mine, and that they can stand me even on my worst days. The thing I don’t like about friends is that, sooner or later, you’ll have to sort them into different “circles” because some just don’t play well with each other. I’m not talking about friends that hate each other for some reason. What I’m talking about are friends from one side of your life who just don’t get the friends from the other side. The one side is in this case your “regular” social side (school, college, work), while the other side, your “true” side, is the geeky, nerdy, gaming side. While some of these friends will overlap, a large part will not, leaving you to divide your precious free time between the two camps.
But what can you do about it? We are all many-faceted personalities, and our choice of friends reflect that. I just need people who I can talk to about a rough day in the office, but I also need someone to geek out with when a new trailer for Days of Futures Past hits the net. I need people to get drunk with in the city, but I also need fellows to binge-game an entire weekend, living on nothing but pizza and the fading health of my body. I need diversity when it comes to my friends, so I will have to live with splitting my time between them.
It’s one of those social challenges we all have, but that are actually not problems at all. Some people just don’t get along well, but they all get along with you. Ain’t that just what counts?
So, readers, how do you cope with your gaming friends versus the rest of your social connections? Do you hop around between different circles, or do you drink your Friday pints with the same people you raid with twice a week? Let me know in the comments!
In a world where we want to get more and more out of the games we buy, replayability is a word that gets thrown around rather quick. As a buzzword, gamers are quick to use it in order to praise or criticize a game. It’s no longer enough to have a strong storyline of fifty hours: gamers want to be able to replay that story with new tools and approaches. They want to take their experienced character or a totally new one through an identical experience, but possessing means and powers they had not on the first run through. To sate this thirst for replayability, more and more games contain “legacy” systems, which grant new things to those who have already completed the game once. These new things range from new powers to increased experience points, but they always augment the new play-through in a way. Not everyone is a fan of these, but I want to take the time to tell you why I believe legacy systems are the key to a great replay.
Yesterday, Mentum died. Who’s Mentum? Well, Mentum is…uhm, was, my hardcore Crusader in Diablo 3. He was strong, willful, proud. Most of all, however, he was stubborn. Raised to fight evil in every corner of Sanctuary, Mentum would not retreat from the hordes of demons standing between him and the Prime Evil that must be put to rest. No matter how large the pack, Mentum would leap right into the fray, smack his shield into an ugly visage and strike with his blade, calling upon a wrath fueled by divine purpose. No one could stop him from smiting evil. No one…but death.
Because this weekend has been nothing but relaxation for me, I’ll give you a post that fits the laziness of the past three days. So, dear readers, what have I been up to?
When it comes to gaming, I’ve been hopping around from one game to another. I’ve been busy gearing my boosted Dwarf Shaman in World of Warcraft, surviving hordes of demons on my hardcore Crusader in Diablo 3, and I decided to join the building and exploring fun in Everquest Next: Landmark. The latter one has been a real ad-hoc purchase, and I’m not disappointed so far! It feels like a 3D version of Minecraft with fine music, giving it an almost meditative vibe. I’ll make sure to give Landmark some time in between my Blizzard games.
Far away from the MMO games, I finished Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition just a few hours ago. Despite my still remaining opinion about naming this action-packed epic game Tomb Raider, I have to admit that I enjoyed every single minute of the game. The story is enjoyable, the gameplay more than fun and the whole thing looks so freaking beautiful. Really, if you haven’t given this game a try yet, put it on your to-do list!
For the coming week, I’m planning on spending some time with Lorellis again, so you will see a new Faffing to 90-post. Also, I’ll be building and gathering in Landmark, so there will probably be a post about that as well. Finally, since Game of Thrones is about to head into its fourth season, I won’t hold back with my opinion about the first episode.
All in all, look forward to an interesting week here on The Chindividual!
There’s just some things too damn embarrassing to do. One of them is playing Twister without any clothes on. Next to deciding to play a game that forces you to grope your fellow players in order to not fall with your (now naked) buttocks on the ground, you will also show everyone all of your mortal husk. As much as we think of our own bodies as beautiful works of art (at least I do), the reality is different: everyone’s corpus is littered with imperfections and flaws. Standing around butt-naked is already bad enough, exposing all your weaknesses to the world around you. The only thing worse is to play a game like Twister naked, forcing you to throw around every bit of excess fat, loose skin or abundant body hair. Everything that people can criticize about you is flung around, as you try to win a game that is already pointless to win.
This year’s April Fool’s, Blizzard thought playing butt-naked Twister was a good idea.
It started of well, with a barrage of cool announcements, all of them obviously jokes. My personal favorite were the patch notes for WoW 6.0, which showed that the developers know what their target audience is about. One-liner after one-liner, Blizzard delivered a cool prank everyone could laugh about. A few other obvious April Fools followed, and soon a link to a new ArtCraft article popped up. ArtCraft! Heck yeah, finally we’ll see some new models! Right? Right?
This was the moment where Blizzard thought they were doing well in their game of April Fool’s Twister. Right hand on good joke, left foot on brilliant fake patch notes; so far so good. Why not up the ante? People are laughing about how we’re bending our body ever so gracefully, why not show them all of it? So Blizzard decided to pull down its pants, throw of that XXL shirt and come out with the big guns: a fake ArtCraft article.
Now, a fake ArtCraft article isn’t bad. It’s nice to play with your audience expectations. What’s bad is to illustrate a sensitive topic in it: gender depiction. I don’t feel attacked by it, trust me. In fact, I could get a good laugh out of it. A little bit of satire doesn’t hurt me, so when Blizzard decided to continue playing in their bare skin, I was the guy in the audience laughing about how ridiculous they look. To Blizzard’s regret, most of the audience didn’t like seeing them naked. Most of the audience wasn’t entertained by that ArtCraft article. Most of the audience was at least mildly enraged.
So, while Blizzard’s busy getting dressed and recouping from a backlash no April Fool’s joke of them has ever seen, all I can tell you, dear readers, is that there’s two things not worth your time: writing satirical, out-of-taste April Fools articles about gender stereotypes and playing Twister butt-naked.
Oh, also, asking your Twitter followers for article ideas is also dangerous. You might end up writing an article like this!