Definitely not about Guild Wars 2, honest

Hugh is taking a few day’s break, so instead of the Potmeister you know and love, the Pot is being curated by Johnnie, who you vaguely recognise and just about tolerate.

I have some tremendously exciting, Pot-exclusive, breaking news for you all today. Apparantly, there’s this new MMO called Guild Wars 2 and it’s going to launch in a matter of days! Why we’ve not heard anything about this until now is beyond me, but I’m breaking the silence and bringing it to your attention now. MMO Melting Pot: First for news!

Yes, the GW2 anticipation has been dialed up to 11, with many bloggers barely able to contain their excitement (the Pot staff not least amongst them, we must confess). Unsurprisingly, GW2 has been the topic of conversation across the blogosphere recently, but I thought I’d buck the trend slightly by drawing your attention to a couple of non-Guild Wars topics.

First of all, Beruthiel at Falling Leaves And Wings writes a funny and telling piece about how hard it is to move on to a new game before finishing a game in progress. This will ring true for a lot of us, I think. A lot of gamers have a completionist/perfectionist streak, and this is one of the times when it can be a hinderance rather than a help.

” “Well, if you aren’t having fun with that game anymore, you’ve finished it to the extent you wanted, you played through the fun, and you can move on. There’s no rule that says you have to complete it”.

But, but…I’m not DONE. I have a couple of more levels in the upside down world, and I haven’t BEATEN it yet. How can I be FINISHED?! What about Luigi? What about Peach? WHAT ABOUT TOAD?!?! How can I simply leave them to their peril and not complete the game?”

Secondly, if you haven’t been following the shared topic of ‘collectivism versus individualism’ that’s made its way around the blogosphere recently, I’d strongly suggest you take the time. The topic was originally proposed by Stubborn at Sheep The Diamond, who provides a good list of the different bloggers who have so far responded. We already featured Apple Cider‘s article, but this shared topic has prompted many other great posts as well.

Spinks discusses the topic from a sociologist’s point of view:

“I have always enjoyed the frontiersman, independent playing style in a virtual world. But actual interdependence with real people also makes for a very exciting gaming experience. Your social skills will matter. And having other people being dependent on something that you can do does a lot to make a player feel ‘needed’. A lot of players enjoy this; for example I know I get a kick from being one of the few players in the guild who has some desirable craftskill recipe”

Over at Raging Monkeys, meanwhile, Syl gives a detailed post examining the extent to which cooperation is incentivised by the game itself:

“Back in vanilla WoW, we didn’t just group up because of some notion of social altruism, curiosity or friendliness; at first, we grouped up because we needed each other in rather existential ways. We grouped up in order to survive or to progress faster, to access better loot or more content. There’s a common purpose of many individuals come together and each of them wants something – and that isn’t even a bad thing. What it certainly is not though, is some chapter in a romantic novel on social bonding and making friends for life. In fact, the classic MMO standard is the most incentivized realization of cooperation I can think of”

I really love shared blogger topics like this, and seeing the community engage in discussion that spans several blogs and covers several different viewpoints. Kudos to Stubborn for starting this latest round!

Have you heard anything about this exciting new Guild Wars 2 thing? Let us know in the comments!

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Spinksville: For The Tank!

Spinks over at Spinksville has turned her thoughts to the lack of tanks in random groups and has come up with some practical steps all players could use to take responsibility back into our own hands. Y’know, in a non-vigilante, non-mass lynching way.

Spinks points out that we have an ever-increasing shortage of tanks in the LFD system. Sure, tanking’s easier in some ways since we all piled on boats to ask Arthas why he’s Wrathful but not in all ways. Tanks take as many knocks from strangers as from hostile enemies. I’ve been running as a low-epics geared tank; Spinks is right in saying that people will at best comment on a tank’s gear and at worst insult the player before any trash monsters can try wearing said tank like a pair of forlorn-looking sandals.

[pullquote]tanks get a reputation for being punchy – it’s a natural consequence  of psyching yourself up for a fight[/pullquote]I sympathise with Spinks’ point about the LFD tools – sorry, tool – encouraging tanks to exude a pugnacious aura. Just the other day I zoned into a dungeon in progress having just finished a dungeon with a rude group. I and the previous tank had been mocked before the dungeon had loaded. I snapped. I briskly tanked three consecutive packs perfectly then stopped and told the offenders Where We All Stood. They quietened down and the group took a collective sigh of relief.

That’s where Spinks’ ideas for solving the Insult-A-Tank craze generally work., depending on your definition of her word “complain.” Firmly confronting players being rude to anyone, including tanks, clears the air. It gives everyone even ground to see where they stand and reduces the risk of falling into passive aggression in random groups.

Spinks has strung her third solution a little higher than I would, mind. While I generally agree with her and her first point is amusing (I hope she made it in the spirit of irony) there’s something to be said for chilling out about all classes. Dungeons are meant a place where people can gear up, right? Pure classes don’t have to perform N times as well as hybrids. Although it doesn’t hurt to bear in mind that the chareging kitty druid might be letting some steam off recently flamed bear fur.

What do you think – is the Insult-A-Tank craze a real problem or just hot air?

_Quote taken direct from the linked article. Spinksville’s homepage is here._

_Related articles: Making Dungeons Fun Again_

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