Time

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.”

“Time, the devourer of all things.”

As I browse through the blog archive here, I can’t help but wonder what the hell happened to my life. How did I ever get to spend so much time playing video games?

The answer is obvious … family and life. Two children, a full time job, yada yada … the usual suspects.

Nowadays, I spend maybe 2 to 3 hours a week playing World of Tanks Blitz, the mobile version of the well known PC version. And it’s not even quality time, because the game is at times very very frustrating. Wait, I’ll rephrase that. Having to engage with other people in this multiplayer game is at times very frustrating. But that is usually the case in a multiplayer environment these days.

Massive multiplayer games are definately off the list. Way to time consuming and I’m going to be honest to myself here, after more than two decades of playing mmo’s I can honestly say I’ve seen it all, heared it all and definately played it all. No matter how next generation style it is, you can bet your *** it’s the same old thing.

So what now?
Honestly, no freakin’ clue. Twitch is a drag to watch these days. Seems like every other gamer out there is trying to ‘make it big‘. What ever happened to playing because you like to?

Maybe finish my huge backlog of games on GOG.com? Write about that?

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FFXIV dungeon and other complete nonsense

Victory!

Dungeon two has been completed as well. Pretty much the same linear stuff as the previous dungeon. Start, run towards final boss, kill. I do liked the design more. Felt more like a real dungeon.

Laz0rs and magic, it wouldn't be Final Fantasy otherwise.

Laz0rs and magic, it wouldn’t be Final Fantasy otherwise.

Up close and personal.

Up close and personal.

– I think I got some loot, not sure to be honest. The loot / gear drops so far have not been impressive. Intentional? FFXIV not centered about gear gear gear?

– Ten more levels to hit level 30. Then I need to get Arcanist to level 15 in order to unlock the White Mage.

– Playing a MMO without any connection to the lore and everything else is annoying. I get the Warriors of the Light stuff, the historical battle and sacrifice, the different ‘states’, the Adventurers, but it just doesn’t connect to me (like in an Elf / Orc kinda way).

– Maybe it’s just me and my life at the moment. So busy… work work work, daughter going to kindergarten soon, pregnant wife, still lots of house improvements to do … and I’m probably forgetting a dozen of other things I have oppressed in the back of my mind. I feel old …

– Ha! Interesting. I just read this:

World of Warcraft killed the MMO genre.

It’s and old(er) article, from a former Blizzard developer. I kinda agree with him, and then again I disagree with him as well.

It used to be a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.
Now it is called a Massive Multiplayer Online Game.

It is nothing more than that. The genre has evolved. It has become something different. The classic veteran mmo players they talk about in the article are now a bunch of old(er) farts like myself. We are OLD(er) now.

The current generation of people that are getting into MMO’s are a new breed of players, gamers. And it’s a breed the marketing and psychology / social guys have studied well.

Gamers, players today (warning: Generalization here!) don’t want to immerse themselves anymore, they don’t want to dream up their own game, they don’t want to roleplay anymore. Why not? Because they never learned how to. Everything is provided / implanted into their brains already. Through careful psychology & social marketing. Or whatever you want to call it.

When we old farts first went into the mysterious world of MMO’s like Everquest or Ultima Online, we were pretty much blank sleeves. Sure we had our fantasy fix from novels and comics, and the occasional fantasy game (Atari, PS, Sega, PC). But for the most part, in this new world of online fantasy games, where we met others like us, we chose our own identity for the most part.

Nowadays, young people / gamers / players have a very very hard time looking for, and finding or creating their own identity. Who can blame them. From the moment they wake up to the moment they get to sleep they are innerconnected with their mobile device, their favorite gaming platform. And constantly bombarded with marketing, about the ‘perfect’ identities.

So what do you get? Massive Multiplayers developed in close relationship with gaming psychologists, social engineers, all building the next perfect game. On rails, handheld, fast, checklist heavy, constant little gratifications to keep your brain saturated.

” The applications in game design become clear when you look at what Skinner and other psychologists found.

While experimenting with pigeons, researchers found that the pigeons were more likely to push the lever more often when there was a only a chance that they would receive a reward, even more often than when they always received one.

Specifically, they were most active when the chance of receiving a reward was 50%. This is an intermittent reward schedule: it gives a chance at payoff for any given action.

Specifically, they found that the most effective reward schedule was a variable ratio reward schedule – inserting randomness into the equation such that there could be many pulls of the lever with no payoff, but the average payoff is set. “

” Zynga is notorious for using variable ratio reward schedules in their social games like Farmville. Even World of Warcraft uses them by having killed mobs only drop the loot you need for quests some of the time and not all of the time.”

Anway, this turned out way longer than I intended it to be, and to be honest, it’s a bit of a beaten horse isn’t it?

Life goes by so fast these days …

And the more I think of it, the less I understand.

Gone are the days when I could just play on pretty much every evening, happily strolling away in a virtual world, grinding my teeth on digital things. Nowadays, I’m a happy camper if I can squeeze in an hour or two every couple of days. And the funny thing is, this ‘change’ didn’t take long to happen. Now that I think of it, probably three to four months or so.

This is not a rant or anything, and I’m not saying my life is better or worse now. It’s just weird, that gaming suddenly got thrown in the backseat. And I’m not sure why it’s over there or who threw it in the first place.

And then I look around and see fellow bloggers posting beautiful articles and opinions, and I think to myself, where do they get the energy? The time? The time to play AND write cool / great stuff. On different games, all the time. How the hell do they stay organized?

Now I admit, when it comes to organizing I have a lot to learn. And to be honest, my ADD and ASD isn’t really helping me either. I’m always all over the place. This, that, this … that … It is tiring you know? Just take a loot at the archives of my little blog. The amount of times I have revived the blog and started fresh are countless (drama-alert!). Maybe I should at least get points for persistence?

Sinatra once said ‘THAT’S LIFE’ …

… And boy was he right.

No I haven’t died. (Thanks for that email, it made me laugh)

Combine a new job with parenthood, and add a whole bunch of provider issues that lasted way way to long, and you get a prolonged absence of blogging (and online gaming).

But I’m back, with a vengeance. Kinda.

So what does that mean? Beats the living crap out of me, but it sure sounded like a Die Hard movie.

My WOW account has expired, not because I did it on purpose, nono I forgot to mention that, because I also have some credit card issues.

My bank decided to issue me a new card for reasons unknown, and on top of that they send the new card and info to the wrong address, and also blocking my old card in the process.

So that left me hanging for a while, waiting for the bank to sort the mess out.

Due to the provider issues I haven’t been online for quite some time, making me forget basically everything about GW2. Did I mention I’m old?

So now I’m back, with a credit card, and an internet connection. And a 15 month old daughter that thinks she’s 15 years old and in puberty (or something, I am NOT an expert on this. I just deal with it as I go along).

My little princess

My little princess aka Beetlezombelle

So what have I been up to gaming wise? I’ve been entertaining myself a bit with unplayed PlayStation 3 games I had lying around. Like Deus Ex Human Revolution and Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning.

Fun and entertaining, but no massively multiplayer games ofc.