Friday, April 07, 2006

Bored : Angry : Excited : Musing

(Special thanks to Gwen Stefani for the title inspiration...amongst other things..)

Bored: Oh God, am I bored with World of Warcraft. It's a bit more than that, but essentially I am bored to tears with the game and the gameplay. I'm not going to preach like I have had some road to Damascus style epihpany and try to persuade everyone else to be equally bored with it, but I am going to have a little rant. Before my latest sojourn to the USA, I started playing EVE-Online with the 14 day trial. It was good. But not good enough apparently. I got to the part where you really do have to team up with someone else and well...I just couldn't be bothered to even start thinking about it. The game sat on my laptop for a while, whilst I was away. I had plans of playing it for fun when in the states but never got around to it and then when I returned my 14 days had ran out and I had the choice - renew for cash or not. I chose not. Why? Because I realised that rather than being a great new game it was an average new game which was acting as an attention placebo in the run-up to Wrestlemania. So what to do? I know, I will download the WoW patch and see what I can do there? Patch downloaded and one scant session later I was resplendent in the three pieces of Feralheart armour I could get relatively easily and ... well, that was it. From thereonin it would be more runs at previous dungeons (not wholly unacceptable) and raiding (yawn) - if my feral druid can surpass the newly arisen Class Spec Nazi Syndrome. Essentially....not a lot to do, really. Bored. Of course, I could do stuff with my guildies ... which leads me nicely onto

Angry : Oh lets not beat around the bush here - fucking furious. As I have illustrated in these messages for the last few months, our guild, the Dungeoneers, has been growing at a considerable rate. The problem is that where once is was a slow and steady growth, we recently underwent a merger and to all intents and purposes I really feel it has been a failure - and that was hammered home yesterday when the guildmaster of the guild that we merged with said this:

"When we moved to Dung we moved with the sole purpose of being able to do bigger and better things ie ZG and MC etc(we also believed that was what Dung wanted to do). "

Nothing about sharing our ethos on the game then? Nothing about being laid back gamers? Apparently not because ever since Day One of the merger we (being the old Dungs) have been put under intense pressure by these newcomers to change almost every single aspect of the way that we play. DKP systems, raid management systems, class quotas, mandatory voice comms and an absolute emphasis on raiding over having fun. Indeed, one of the more vocal ex-members said this...

"anyway as soon i can relog ill left the guild... today i've killed: Hakkar, Razorgore, Vaelastrasz and Onyxia...but can call me moaner, whiner or whatever you want but still at least im doing something else than sunken temple..."

And this really hit home - the guy is measuring some sort of success by hitting the correct buttons in the correct order to get the correct response from a series of pixels on a computer screen. Somehow there is a degree of increased self-worth in this? Somehow you become a better person by having different coloured markings on the 'equipment' your 'character' has on a screen? That's fun? I remember when fun was jumping into lava pools, making last stands against what felt like dozens of gorillas, hunting down elite giants when we really shouldn't have been able to and fighting a dragon for the first time - and then laughing about it all down the pub.

And then it hit home to me - the difference between now and then is that when I started playing it was great because I could chat to my mates and play with them in a non-roleplaying, non-pub situation. Now, I barely know who I am talking to, which country they come from or even their real names. Sure, there are some of the guys that are friends, but many of them are just ciphers on a screen. The intimacy has been lost and thus, much of the charm of the game has passed. And that annoys me because of the niaivete of us all in thinking that we could grow like that and continue, that we could buck the system for too long. Ah bollocks.

Excited : Of course, with every cloud comes a silver lining. I have been released from the shackles of the Raw Deal World (by and large) and it feels great. The World Championships were a personal highlight for me and I had an amazing time. I also regained a lot of my love for Raw Deal. So, I hear you ask, what? Well, this has coincided with my friends showing interest in the game again and a local guy becoming a manager in Middlesborough. Thats all very very cool indeed. It means that I can play casually with my mates and still have a possible competitive outlet if needed. Hell, even my interactions with the online playing community have been better mannered as well. Its good - it's reminded me about my love for the CCG 'scene' and how it is about meeting friends and having fun. c.f. my comments regarding WoW....

Musing : P&P has hit the terrible wall of cancellations. Happens every so often with our games - a prolonged period of missed games due to any number of obscure reasons. It better survive, as I have many many plans that I jotted down on the train to London. An entire rebellion backstory to unleash and the secret behind the Confed gene harvesting as well. Damned players and their damned lives...

One other thing that has happened is that I have had a serious yearning to write again. Oh strange and bizarre muses, how you fuck with my head!


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