It has been decided, so it is said, so it is done.

Black Desert online it is. I played the latest beta and I really like it. I’m not going to make the mistake of saying that THIS GAME IS THE ONE IT WILL CHANGE MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!

However, I think it looks neat. It also looks really sandboxy, a lot more sandboxy than you realize. A lot of commentators have missed this.

Draw a line. Put ArcheAge on the left. Now put Life is Feudal on the right. Now stick Black Desert in the middle. That’s where I think it sits.

For those of you contemplating its imminent release, (this weekend if you have the platinum package), here are a few useful links for you to get started:

1-60 levelling guide.

Google doc with a lot of neat stuff on it.

More awesome start guides.

I’m gonna be a ranger:

My gaming friend, Wassabi, has four rules for avoiding an MMO.

Rule 1. Stay away from the hype train.

The amount of MMOs in the past that have been hype train collateral damage are too many to mention. Invariably they disappoint, but they disappoint the hype train fanatics so much that they turn full circle from being the game’s biggest proponents to becoming its most ardent opponents.

Rule 2. Avoid Korean MMOs.

Korean MMOs are different from Western MMOs as they are geared to a different audience. Things that go well for a Korean population might not be such a good idea with a Western audience. A good example of this was ArcheAge’s expansion that raised the level cap five levels requiring a brutal xp grind. I imagine Koreans love this because they have no life. It didn’t go down too well with the Western playerbase, ie most of them quit.

Rule 3. Forget RNG gear progression.

Advancing in gear with the use of a random number generator is a roller-coaster ride of pure masochism. The highs are incredibly high but somehow they do not make up for the soul-crushing lows.

Rule 4. No Alpha or Beta.

Back in the day if you had an invite to test the alpha version of WoW’s next expansion you were a god in the eyes of your fellow gamers. Now you are merely a pawn and most of the time you have to pay for the privilege of doing the company’s work for them.

So there you have it. Those are the four rules on what to avoid in an MMO.

By the way, Black Desert hits all four of these criteria so based on that you should stay far away from that game.

I’ve just downloaded Black Desert and I’m going to be trying out their beta.

Do as I say, people. Do as I say not as I do. I thought you would have learned by now.

I got back in touch with my old ArcheAge group the other day. They were pleased to hear from me. The poor dears are still struggling on at their server in a loyal attempt to keep things going before server mergers happen in a few weeks time.

The GM is Wasabi and he is the only gamer that I’ve played with that I’ve met in real life. This is because he is a top gamer and guy and we also live in the same city. That helps I suppose. Anyway, I rang him up the other day.

“Dude, it’s Noisy.”

“Noisy. When you coming back?”

“I’m ready. What are we playing?”

Crickets.

That’s the problem in a nutshell right there. Wasabi is trying to talk me into going back to EVE which I played for a heartbeat many moons ago, but I’m not so sure. So we’re trying to find a game. Isn’t it just a little bit sad that it’s difficult to do this? You’d think with all the games out there that this would be easy, but maybe that’s what makes it so hard.

Anyway, we need help. We’ve got some good gamers and we’re looking for a game. Any suggestions? (Please don’t say Dark age of Camelot. It looks awful.)

Let’s face it, Zoe Quinn, the woman who sprung #GamerGate to life is flat out crazy. Which probably means that the sex was pretty good. Considering she used to take her clothes off for money, (known in the game as ‘stripping’), I’m sure she knows how to have a rollicking good time.

Unfortunately, her best known roll in the sack resulted in her tango partner revealing all to the world and it quickly spun out of control. In an attempt to retake control and spin the narrative, (misogyny!), Quinn began legal proceedings against the man.

Those proceedings have now been dropped. You would think that she’d do it quietly, but ex-strippers don’t do anything quietly. I have gone through her 3000 word diatribe so that you don’t have to, and I can summarize a few glorious points here:

“… I’ve been measured and silent and obedient for so, so, so long, but if I’m going to write about denied humanity it needs to be like this …”

Ahahahahahaha! You’re kidding right? Crazy like a harpy more like it.

“… You need to see unsanitized, reckless honesty just as much as I need to write it …”

Translation – she’s about to lie her ass off.

“… I’m writing this and examining it as I go through the fog of someone with PTSD …”

This really is a gross insult to people with actual PTSD, like returning soldiers for example.

“… I don’t know if the tears are out of frustration of having sunk a year and a half into this awful system for seemingly less than nothing, or if it’s out of relief …”

Oh please, you spoke at the fucking UN for chrissake, with that other fucking fraud, Sarkeesian.

“… My ex, who we’ll call Creep Throat because seeing his name makes a knot of anxiety rise in my throat, will be notified soon that the charges were dropped, but not why …”

I’m pretty sure he knows why – they were baseless charges, you psychopathic bitch.

“… I’m sure he’ll launch another salvo of flat out lies and spun truths …”

No, no, baby – we’re pretty sure you’re going to do that.

Then there’s a whole lot of blather, (at one point I think she’s trying to blame dropping the case on the fact that police murder non-whites, but that’s so far out there I just can’t be sure), but finally we get to this:

“… Going to court is like rolling the dice, the precedent you established isn’t up to you, and I didn’t want to risk becoming a tool in the next Creep Throat’s arsenal if we lost …”

And this:

“… You probably know that judges and juries can be biased and hold backward views and assumptions …”

Translation: I did not have a case, there was no case, the court would have ruled against me, and I only like going to court if I can guarantee that the judges will be biased for me.

“… The courts do not favor a lot of women simply for being who they are …”

The horror! You mean, you don’t just win because you’re a chick? Where’s the fairness in that??

“… Even beyond that, you have to be well behaved and silent about the proceedings, or risk pissing off the judge and giving the defense attorneys ammo to work with …”

What, so acting like a crazy bitch in court could hurt your ‘case’? That’s obscene, man.

“… I believe in standing up for sex workers and people living with mental health concerns …”

You don’t say?

“… and I don’t know what would have happened if I had kept my mouth shut when I was targeted two years ago …”

Yes, you do. You wouldn’t have spun this out into an entire career.

“… The spin is even more successful in these cases, because of how disconnected judges, lawyers, police, and juries often are from the internet …”

Fancy that. The law doesn’t consider all your internet ravings to be evidence. Who whouldda thought it?

“… What good does any of this do for anyone? It’s been almost two years now, and I desperately want to move on with my life …”

No, you don’t. You’ll spin this for as long as you possibly can.

“… I’ve done a lot of healing, a lot of building what I feel like are more workable pushes to improve the lives of people being abused online, and a lot of self-improvement. I’m getting to a place where I’m kind of ok …”

Could have fooled me. You still seem bat-shit crazy.

“… I have less energy to do casework at Crash, less energy to meet with tech partners to tell them how to do better and the ways they’re fucking up …”

Would you be upset if you didn’t have Zoe Quinn around more often telling you how you’re fucking up your job of which she knows next to nothing? No? I didn’t think so.

“… less energy to make my goofy video games about feelings and farts …”

This post, man, it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.

“… I’m tired of being afraid of being honest. I’m tired of watching people hand out “just go to the police they’ll protect you” while I silently scream and bite my tongue, because I know the advice-giver is giving horrible, ignorant advice …”

Terrible advice because how do you go to the police when they know that you’re just making shit up? As for tired of being honest, whoa boy.

“… if someone decides to go to the cops about their abuser they should be doing it with a more informed and prepared plan than I ever did …”

Must make up stuff better next time …

“… The least I can do to make that right is to be honest and open with the world …”

She sure does use the word honest a lot, doesn’t she? Now I wonder why that is …

“… And again, sorry if I’ve put my foot in my mouth through any of this unedited brain dump …”

No, no, Zoe. It’s been awesome. Thank you.

 

Reading one of Wolfshead’s infrequent posts is like cuddling up on the couch on a cold night with a bottle of red and a copy of Notting Hill. Or is that just me …?

Old Wolfie has his latest post up, where he laments at the state of MMOs, and how Everquest was better, and how WoW betrayed us all, and how we betrayed ourselves, and you know the drill. Of course, he’s right, but you can get a bit sick of hearing it. Kind of like yours truly bleating on about the feminazis. Actually, I haven’t done one of those for a while.

Anyway, there’s a line on his post that kind of rang a chord with me:

“… You know what? I’m tired of playing games …”

You know what? Me too.

I tried Sunless Sea last week during its free promotional period based on good old Syncaine’s advice to have a look. It was … pretty boring, actually.

It’s amazing that with all of these fantastic graphics and powerful computers that we have that the game-play has just crashed. Reminds me of that old song from the comedy group, Not the Nine o’clock news:

Sex is boring, pain is fun!

I want to cut my fingers off, one by one.

There ain’t no point, in staying alive,

I want to be dead, when I’m 25!

Bored with sex, and now we’re bored with video games. Whatever are we going to do? Maybe a nice big war will come along so we can have a little bit of fun before we go out in a blaze of glory. Or brew up in a tank, a pile of human torches locked in agonizing death.

Shit, that doesn’t sound good. Come on you terrible game designers, come up with something good, and do it quick!

So I’ve decided to come clean and put my book and personal blog out there for the gaming community. I hope that some of you pick it up and like it. It’s been out for five months now and it’s done pretty well for a first book. Right now I’m working on the sequel as well as a fantasy novel set in the present day.

My first book, ‘Pushing Rubber Downhill’ is a memoir that follows a time of my life when I was young and without much direction. It shows how I became a rafting guide and worked on four different continents and in the process achieved personal growth and change. It’s a road map to get you from A to Z when you thought you were going to B.

amazon title

My new blog is now a lot more active than this one but you can still find the same cheery take-downs of the foolish and silly that you’ve all come to know and love here at ‘The Noisy Rogue’. And I will still try to post here from time to time when the gaming mood takes me.

It’s the new year, it’s 2016, and the MMO industry has about as much life as the 6th army at Stalingrad. This post over at TAGN kind of sums up my severe ambivalence to the genre as a whole. Now I know it’s a small game and nothing like the big budget monsters that we routinely think about when we talk about MMOs, but that’s kind of the point. Check this out:

 

heroessongcrop

 

Reading that game description makes my eyes bleed with fatigue. “Become a legendary hero in a dangerous and mysterious world of magic and …” oh Buddha, kill me now. That’s the best you can come up with? Even when we’re going small we couldn’t excite an Indian at a cricket match. And they want 800K to make this shit. Anyone who actually gives them money will just underline the rule that a fool and their money are soon parted.

I tried Life is Feudal, really I did. I gave it a good shot. A few of us built our castle and hauled the wood and stone around, and hammered stuff, and cut wheat, and stitched our leather, and hung it on a tanning frame, and it wasn’t any fucking fun at all. It was just hard work.

Now there’s Naval Action which has just launched in some bastard Beta/Alpha form where they want you to pay full price to test it for them. Once again it looks amazing, eye-boggingly realistic, which then gives me great pause. Yes it will be realistic but will it be any fun? Apparently you have to actually navigate by compass and sextant which could easily lead to you being lost and sailing around in enormous circles until your entire crew dies of scurvy. Sounds like a lot of fun! (sarcasm).

Maybe some of you dear readers, (all 137,489 of you), (sarcasm), know of an MMO coming out that will be fun. And worth the time investment. And worth me wasting eons of my time when I should be working on my second book. But you don’t because there aren’t any.

The rules for good game design according to me:

Rule 1: It’s gotta be fun.

Rule 2: It’s gotta be interesting.

Rule 3: Capture some imagination why don’t ya?

Rule 4: If I’m not waking up in the morning and I’m immediately wanting to play this game then you’ve failed on the previous rules.

Rule 5: It’s better and more fun playing the game with other people than by yourself.

Because, I mean, these are supposed to be fucking MMOs, right?

We peaked in 2007, as a genre and an industry. Just admit it. Nothings fun any more. It’s fun for a bit but then you have a sneaking suspicion that it’s only fun because you’re really hoping that it will be fun and you’re trying your best to make it fun and then when that realization hits you …

It’s not fun.

Where is the love? Fuck that. Where is the fun?

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