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  • DarkWalker
  • Member Since Oct 28th, 2008

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A Mild-Mannered Reporter: Countless marvelous powers {Massively}

Apr 5th 2012 12:21AM I don't play CoH because I very much disagree with a few game systems, but even if I was playing, new powersets don't exactly draw me.

You see, I have a tendency to create all my characters at the start, and be done with it.

In WoW, I have long standing characters of every Vanilla class and race, spread across both factions, but for any class or race introduced after that, apart from looking at their starting zones, I didn't really play them; those characters are parked right at the exit of their starting zones, and for the most part I didn't touch them ever again.

In DCUO it's the same thing. I have a character using each of the powers that were available at launch, but despite having a lifetime sub (which means, among other things, I get every new power set for free) I've yet to make a Light, Lightning, or Earth character.

Usually, for me to actually pick a new class/race/power/whatever, the game must allow my character to basically switch between them for free. Otherwise, if I'm going to throw away all development on an old character and start anew, I might as well also change games to something I haven't yet played, and thus some game where I still get the thrill of discovering new things and learning what makes the game tick.

The Daily Grind: What's on your MMO bucket list? {Massively}

Apr 4th 2012 10:24AM To avoid frustration, I wouldn't add to my bucket list anything that heavily depends on other players. So, content exclusive for groups would be out.

What would remain on my list, as far as MMOs go, would be finishing the solo history on a few, namely LotRO and GW2. For the kind of epic experience usually associated with MMO group content I would instead add a few single player games to my list.

(In case anyone is wondering: I don't trust the community. I usually treat MMOs as if, within the bounds defined by the game rules, the community would be doing their best to prevent me from having fun. Thus, I only take for granted content I can still do solo even if the rest of the player base is intent on not letting me play, and I don't even consider a MMO that does not have enough solo content to keep me happy - and my bucket list would reflect that. )

Why I Play: EVE Online {Massively}

Apr 4th 2012 1:05AM @halfcaptain
"""Anyway, I might not be able to convince you to give eve another go, and I totally get where you're coming from, but once my brain really clicked with the death penalty and palpable sense of risk, I was hooked. Just trying to get that point across. """

Yep, I understand. As I said before, EVE it's a game for players that like to take risks. It's just that I don't like to take real risks.

This does not make EVE a bad game; it's simply not meant to please everyone. CCP decided early on a niche and aimed squarely at it, and they did a terrific job at making a game players in that niche enjoy. Listening to an old time EVE player, you often find someone who wouldn't trade EVE for any other game - and there are more than enough such players to guarantee EVE will continue for a long time, barring some kind of disaster. On the other hand, the niche aspect can often make EVE the wrong game for players that don't fall into that niche, myself included.

And it's a pity for me, since I would otherwise love EVE. Unfortunately, I really can't play a game with that kind of risk; the need for planning and caution almost killed my enjoyment of the game in the first place, and the frustration at losing a ship was the final blow that drove me away.

The Soapbox: Casual is as casual does {Massively}

Apr 3rd 2012 10:22PM I believe the best way to describe casual players as a whole is that the casual player does not like being forced to fully commit to the game in order to enjoy it. Instead, he wants something he can enjoy at his own pace, without undue pressure.

Of course, the casual player's pace, preferences, etc, is something that vary wildly from player to player, and even change with time for any given player. You will find casual players that are skilled enough to beat about every challenge the game might throw his way and that progression-oriented guilds would fight over. You will find casual players that actually play more than most hardcore players. You will find casual players with such a deep knowledge about the game you wonder if he isn't actually a developer. And so on.

Also, I believe conflict between casual and hardcore players arise mostly when hardcore players see content as something that should be earned. One (unfortunately common) example of this kind of thinking is the pretense hardcore WoW players that are against the LFR tool and it's easier raid difficulty on the grounds that beating the last boss on each expansion should be a privilege reserved just for the very best raiders.

Players that subscribe to this kind of (elitist) thinking will see any change meant to increase access to content as a dumbing out of the game while catering to the "casuals". They not only fail to see that actually hardcore players are reasonably rare, but also don't notice that preventing the majority of the player base from seeing the end game content - which is often the most carefully crafted content in the whole game - is a move that alienates those players unable to make it into the end game and makes it easier for them to just leave the game for greener pastures. Unless the game has enough content that casual players will never want for more content - and casual players can actually play a lot - it's better to find ways to allow casual players to see all the content.

A game that caters to gamers that want harsh challenges locking out content, a game where casual players need not apply, can have a place on the market - but it will necessarily be a niche game, and most likely a low budget one. A game that actively pushes away casual players has, as a potential player base, perhaps just a tenth of the gamers compared with a similar game aimed at casual players, and thus will have to make it happen with perhaps a tenth of the funding of a more mainstream game.

Flameseeker Chronicles: What's your golden carrot? {Massively}

Apr 3rd 2012 4:08PM The carrots that work for me:

- First and foremost, fun. I do a lot of things in a lot of games just for fun, even if there is no reward attached.

- Other in-game rewards, but only things that don't involve randomness. I won't ever do some piece of content just for a random chance to get something; when playing some game, I pretend any random rewards don't even exist. But rewards that don't involve an aleatory element are fine for me.

- Regarding rewards, I favor things that don't occupy bag space. Titles, reputation, map and quest completion, anything that is tracked independently of the bags and where getting it does not limit my ability to carry or earn other things. I'm more likely to go after some mostly useless reward that does not clutter my bags, even if I don't think I will ever use it, than to go after a really fun novelty item that will also clutter my bags.

- Among things that take up bag space, I usually only go after gear upgrades and other kinds of essential gear. I only go after Novelty items if I like it really a lot, and even then only if I can get another copy after destroying the first one.

My "anti-carrots", things that actually make me give up on doing content:

- Travel time. If getting to where I need to be involves more than half a minute of idleness, I start having second thoughts. If it takes as much time to get there as it takes to do the content, I give up on the content, and sometimes even on the game as a whole.

- Having to ask other players for something. This is why I always strive for crafting self-sufficiency and never try to assemble groups; I don't like to ask things out of strangers. If a quest requires something crafted with a profession I lack and there's nothing on the AH, I'm more likely to create an alt and level crafting than to ask other players for it. If I need to do some group quest and would need to ask other players for help, I'm more likely to drop the quest chain.

- Random rewards. Not only I consider random rewards as if they didn't exist, if the rewards are actually important for progression they might push me away from the game as a whole.

- Unique rewards that go in our bags and would be desirable at any time. Unique in the sense that they can only be obtained once, or else a limited number of times. Desirable at any time in the sense that they don't lose their value, or else remain somewhat valuable (perhaps due to a unique appearance) even after they were made obsolete by other rewards. I tend to avoid any piece of content with such a reward until I'm sure I either don't want the reward and wouldn't mind destroying it, or else I figure I want it and can spare a permanent place for it in my bags.

The Secret World pre-order packages feature beta access, lifetime sub, and more {Massively}

Apr 3rd 2012 2:43PM I'm only going to pre-order if:

- More information is released about travel. How long it takes? Supposing I have a few friends waiting for me in the other side of the game world, how long will it take for me to catch up with them? Is travel the same boring WoW/LotRO/whatever fare where players just click a destination and wait while the character slowly and automatically goes there?

- Also, more information about how game servers will work is released. Will players be segregated and stuck at a single game server, like in LotRO? Will players be able to change servers, but be charged for it, like in WoW? Will players be able to change servers for free, with some limitations, like in Rift? Will players be able to change servers at will, for free, like in GW1? Will the game use some kind of single-server tech that allows players to group with anyone else, any time they want, like in DCUO/CO?

If the answers to those questions please me, there is a good chance I'm going to get the Grand Master package. If I don't like the answers, there's a good chance I won't get into the game, ever.

The Secret World pre-order packages feature beta access, lifetime sub, and more {Massively}

Apr 3rd 2012 1:48PM @(Unverified)

Depends on where you live. Here in Brazil, most boxed games that include anything even marginally better than a manual often go for double or triple the US price.

SC2's CE did cost $275 in Brazil, and it didn't even have a figurine.
TOR CE was going here for between $350 and $400.

I would rather pick a digital-only, $250 "Grand Master Pack " with a lifetime sub, instead of a CE that is likely to cost $250 -$400 here.

Breakfast Topic: Do you like PvP? {WoW}

Apr 3rd 2012 12:58PM I love PvP - as long as it's done on a mostly level playing field, and I don't have to schedule matches. In any game where there's some kind of power progression, and progressing a character in power actually makes a meaningful difference in PvP, I don't do PvP.

In other words, I keep out of PvP in WoW, and most likely won't even try PvP in Diablo 3. On the other hand, I love DCUO Legend PvP (where players use reasonably balanced pre-made characters that can't be improved in any way), and will most likely play quite a bit of GW2 PvP (where Arenas will bring every player to max level with all skills and a full set of free BIS arena gear, removing any kind of power progression; and World PvP will bump everyone to the power level of a max level character).

BTW, my problem is not exactly that I don't want to face players with more powerful characters; if that was the case, I could just put up with being underpowered for a while until I assembled a set of good PvP gear. This is a factor too, but my main issue with WoW's PvP is that I find any PvP where I'm more powerful than my opponents boring and frustrating. I only get to really enjoy PvP if both I have a fair chance to kill my opponent, and my opponent has a fair chance of killing me.

Why I Play: EVE Online {Massively}

Apr 3rd 2012 10:03AM @halfcaptain
"""But if you had purchased and 10 fit smaller, more cost effective ships that you all but planned to lose, you might see it differently. """

This is actually part of my problem with EVE. Instead of trying to get interesting components and assemble an impressive ship, I would be just selling any expensive item I got my hands on and settling for a boring workhorse.

In games where I won't lose my gear, when I get some shiny new piece of loot that is an upgrade - or even a sidegrade - it's something to use and enjoy.

In EVE, if I get some nice loot, I won't use it; I will just sell it to the highest bidder and get a boring lump of cash instead.

I'm actually good at figuring out the risks. I'm just bad at taking them. If I stand to lose hard-earned resources on failure, even a 5% chance of failing is too high for me. As I said before, in EVE, even 0.8 space had more inherent risk than I was willing to put up with.

The TOR devs, when talking a long time ago about why TOR wouldn't have any kind of harsh death penalty, described it as the "purples stay in the bank" problem, where players would get incredible gear but never use it due to the fear of losing it. I'm a prime example of that kind of thinking; I won't ever use anything that is hard to come by if, by using it, I actually have any risk of losing it.

I otherwise like games similar to EVE quite a bit. For example, I have every game in the X series; they are perhaps the closest single player equivalents to EVE. And, while it's quite easy to lose hard earned ships and components in that series, I can abuse savegames to hedge my risks and undo big loses.

Of monks, mains, and the ability to change {WoW}

Apr 2nd 2012 5:47PM I'm a bit different when it comes to what I would like regarding alts.

I love to change my play style, try new things, as much as I can. At the same time, I usually can't stand grinding things again.

In WoW, this means I won't, ever, get to the end game any character that can't do all roles (Tank, Healer, DPS); I quickly get bored with a character with just one or two roles and abandon it. My highest non-paladin, non-druid character has been stuck below level 50 for a few years already, and most of them don't even reach 20 (and I do have at least one character from each class, in each faction).

This is the main reason I'm actually planning to play TSW: that game won't use classes, and instead every character will be able to learn every single skill in the game, and hot swap them whenever out of combat. It would be as if, in WoW, not only we had infinite specs in place of the current two, but we could pick them from any class in the game. The rest of the game looks nice, too, but if it wasn't for the class-less design and the free and effortless spec changing, I would just have discarded it as some World of Darkness wannabe and not looked at it again.

It's also why I actually have a lifetime subscription for Free Realms. Yeah, it's a kiddie game, but it enables players to change their profession (equivalent to WoW's class) at the drop of a hat, and also features unlimited and free teleportation across the map. Being able to change to any "class" in the game at will, and having no time at all wasted in travel, actually brings the enjoyment I get out of Free Realms in line with what I get out of a more "adult" game like WoW.