Friday Links: Female Appearance, Stupidity, God Mode And Community

There have been some great pieces in the blogosphere in the last week or so!

In fact, the entire ‘sphere seems to be waking up a bit at the moment – there’s a lot of quality writing and ideas out there. Very much enjoying it.

Here’s your dose of thinking to round out the week:

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Weekend Roundup: GW2 and General MMO Interest

Guild Wars 2 seems to be leading the pack still in the non-WoW world – but there’s also been a bunch of interesting general articles on MMORPGs this weekend. So, enjoy:

  • Azuriel writes a typically cynical post about Guild Wars 2, but makes some interesting comments about the way the endgame is balanced” There’s also an option to go part of the other way (in-game gold > gems), but that doesn’t make Arenanet money. So they have a major financial incentive to keep the value of gold high, the availability of gold for players low, and a myriad of constant small gold-sinks in place (think death penalties, waypoint costs, repairs, trait books, etc.).”
  • Zeli writes a great post about why she will happily help defeat Skill Challenges in GW2 again and again and again“I do this because others have done it for me. I do this because it’s the right thing to do. I do this because it benefits and strengthens our server to have our community members skilled up. I do this because it’s what we do in GW2.”
  • Jeromai writes an inflamatory but very interesting post explaining why he thinks that most “game guides” are simply cheating“This is a rant against those who don’t want to think for themselves, who eschew discovery and learning, slavishly following other people’s instructions on how to do something.”
  • Want to know what happened last week whilst I was off? Then I’d recommend checking out Spinks’ excellent weekly(ish) links post for the week that was“At the GDC (Games Developers Conference) there seems to have been more interest in ethics in gaming. Gamasutra cover the panel on ethics in game design via some choice quotes…”
  • And Clockwork looks at the problem of RPing with people who insist on altering the game’s lore“Like with everything, there are degrees of offense. In a way, simply creating a character is revising the world in some way. The issue is more about how big of a “ripple” the revision makes in the fabric of the story.”

Enjoyed today’s posts? Please consider telling your fellow players about them!

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Podcast reviews, RP love and hate, and That Certain Tree

Two great posts from bloggers who joined us via the Newbie Blogger Initiative today, plus an overview of SWTOR podcasts you might want to check out…

  • Blogging veteran Shintar of Going Commando writes a really detailed review post on the top four SWTOR podcasts currently out there“One thing I’ve found remarkable about all the SWTOR podcasts I’ve listened to so far is that none of them have been badly made, even if some of them didn’t personally appeal to me because of the hosts or the content. “
  • Brazokie shares some of the aspects of MMO roleplaying that she finds can make or break an RP experience“Back when I was a kid, playing “imagination games” around the house and backyard, there was the crucial moment all girls would raise their hands and demand to be the princess. “
  • And How To Pour Sand Back In The Box writes a post in praise of the older, slower style of MMO gameplay, and memories of one particular Everquest tree” This particular tree is nothing special to most, but to me it is a tree located precisely outside the window of the Crushbone Keep throne room. Often, I would climb up it from the outside to see who was camping the room and if they wanted any help. Eventually, however, I started climbing up it and looking in just to have a conversation.”

Enjoyed these posts? Please share them with other people who might enjoy them too!

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The etiquette of RP interruption

One of the wierd things about roleplaying, as seen in World of Warcraft, is that it’s a perculiarly semi-shared space activity. Sure, some people play LARP games in nightclubs or bars, where not everyone’s pretending to be a vampire, and others run around with rubber swords in public forests, but in either case, the boundary’s pretty clear – you’re either shouting “by the power of Khorne I CAUSE YOU TO FLEE!” or you’re walking your dog and worrying whether some of those darn kids are going to hurt themselves with their rubber swords.

in WoW, by contrast, you’ve got a strange shared space, where anyone could suddenly break out in RP if they so choose – let’s face it, we’re all pretending to be orcs here – but some do, and some don’t. And even amongst the ones that do, there’s no actual agreement that they’re all in the same universe – a whole bunch of different guilds can be playing different styles of RP game within the same virtual space, some silly, some serious, and some… well, ERP-alicious.

Which is all fine – until, as I Like Pancakes describes, two different groups end up crossing the streams :

“I was very much looking forward to RPing with A that night because I wanted their relationship to develop to the point where Saxsy would become her assistant as Ambassador to Stormwind. I was also looking forward to it because A is a great role-player, although she doesn’t have a lot of time to RP between raiding and farming for gold (unlike me, she is not fabulously wealthy). So any time is special.

We were RPing in the back table of the Slaughtered Lamb, which is the tavern on the far end of the Mage Quarter. It gets a mild amount of foot traffic, but not as much as the other taverns, and that tends to be a good place to go if you want to be left alone. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t quite far enough away, because after several minutes, S, a person I had a very brief encounter with a while back, walked up to us and said “Hello pancake girl.” “

I’m an old-school pen-and-paper (and, yes, LARP) roleplayer myself, but I haven’t roleplayed in years. A friend of mine is the coordinator of a 400+ person RP guild, though, and I hear a lot about similar dilemmas from him. RP in WoW is quite simply a new experience, and rules of etiquette are still evolving.

It’s particularly interesting to hear about the range of ways in which a fairly set world – the world of Azeroth – can be interpreted and extended. Part of the genius of WoW’s creation is the range of genres it encompasses, from dark, serious fantasy through Pratchettesque humour through to borderline science fiction (or at least science fantasy). On the one hand, it’s easy to see how you wouldn’t want another roleplaying group getting their Twilight all over your Game of Thrones, but on the other hand there’s clearly a lot of richness to be had from random encounters and sudden crossovers of stories – and it’s fascinating to read about how the rules and expected behaviours for such things are evolving.

Do you RP, and if so, do you have strong views on this? Would you rather keep everyone else’s World of Warcraft seperate from your group’s, or would you rather see a great big (wait for it) melting pot?

Quote taken directly from Jana’s article on I Like Pancakes .

Find I Like Pancakes’ homepage at i-like-pancakes.tumblr.com .

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Roundup: Plethora Of New WoW Blogs

There have been a few new blogs to hit the WoW blogosphere recently, and this time it’s quite a varied selection to choose from. RPers, PvPers, raiders – I think almost everyone has something to add to their reading list today. Even warriors are getting a voice*, not that I’m biased towards warriors or have five of them or anything.

So, without further ado, let’s welcome our new bloggers to the WoW blogosphere!

  • Moments In The Life of a DK – Lady Erinia is a death knight fan. She’s already talking about a good mix of things from DKs in Cataclysm to finding hidden camps with her guild, to her shiny new gaming computer. All of her posts have a sense of enthusiasm about them, which is really nice to see. Keeping an eye on this one, even though I’m not a DK.
  • Noob Raid – a fresh, new raider’s perspective. Our host is Annmariah, who’s regaling us with tales of her raiding and dungeoneering. I’m looking forward to seeing more posts, and wonder if we’ll get any ruminations on what it feels like to be a new raider right now, in old content coming into new.
  • Light without Life – focusses on RP, but has some chat about casual play as well. So far Cerylia’s doing an interesting thing with her post style, and mixing up OOC and RP talk, both from the point of view of her main character. I particularly approve of her post admiring her hunter’s pet ‘family’. Not that I’m a big softy or anything.
  • Sword and Board – very new Protection warrior blog. So new it’s still smoking gently and the press is still running down. Warriors are the flavour of the day here, though it looks like Vosskah will be throwing in some thoughts on raid leading and tactics. Looking forward to seeing this one progress.
  • P vee P – very clean and professional looking PVP blog. If the fact that Cenoir’s started off with a meaty four part guide, complete with diagrams, on healer placement in battlegrounds is anything to go by… well. Cynwise might have a contender in the making for the top PVP blog spot!

So, let’s welcome our new writers aboard! Alternatively, do you know of any bloggers just setting up shop, and can you give them some spotlight time? Let us know in the comments, contact form or via twitter!

*Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I don’t thnk warriors are represented by any other blog that’s regularly updated right now (WoWInsider aside)?

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