I don’t want no part of this..

I just found this video…

Surely, It’s been around on many blogs already I guess, as I hardly check those anymore and it’s a few days old already.

All I can say is that it makes me want to distance me even further from this game. I know it’s just one crazy person and it’s not saying anything about people who play in general. The thing is that it kinda reminds me to that “need” I used to feel to login every now and then: just checking mail, AH, calendar, daily, etc, etc, bloody etc. It wasn’t an overwhelming need (well, sometimes it was), but it was there nonetheless. The need wasn’t because of the incredible amount of fun that I just couldn’t resist anymore, NO! It was only because things had to be done, because a day lost was emblems lost, gold lost, less life lost :)

I’m SOOOOOO glad that’s gone!

You know, I had 1600 glyphs on the AH when I last logged in.. These are all timed out from my mailbox right now, and I… I just don’t give a crap!

I probably made around 4000g gold from those also, which is what I usually got from a full AH post.. but, no problem.. screw it..

Same goes for 45 mails all maxed with stacks of herbs.. gone! …Not even the slightest feeling of regret.. Well, perhaps that these poor plants were picked for nothing… ah screw it, it’s just pixels!

I guess this is it.. forever this time.. Wow is over for me, I don’t like it anymore, and right now I really don’t want to be part of it anymore.. stopping my automatic payments as we speak..

Glad that’s over with… ;)

So, what’s next?

I’ve been watching more and more video’s from Star Wars: the old republic, and I like it. I like their idea about it too: they think of “epic” battles as where one man beats strong or multiple opponents. Not like wow, where 25 beat one. That’s hardly epic, that’s just ganging up where you’ll always be just another cog in the machine.

Besides, I really like the Bioware games too. I loved mass effect 1&2, they’ve got a real eye for quality. My feelings towards lucasarts have been dropping though, but I just hope they’re only lending their label because SW is their franchise. The Bioware story crew is more than capable of telling good stories themselves, but don’t take my word for it, even the biggest game cynic on the planet says so (at 3:00 if you can’t handle hilarious sarcasm ^^)

The thing is, I’m not even that much of a starwars fan!  Then again, I never was much of a dungeons and dragons fan too (f.e. I stopped playing dragon age, even though the game is technically very good). I know one big starwars fan though, the only RL friend of mine that still playing wow right now, so I’ll get probably him to switch too :)

Don’t worry, the face on the preview isn’t an in game character, that’s just a developer. The game looks exactly like you’d expect from a SW MMORPG, or any SW game for that matter.

Anyway… That bountyhunter looks absolutely sexy (no, not in a gay way!), so I already know what my first choice is going to be :)

Stealth douchebags!

Streak of negative posts FTW!

Guess that’s just me, lots of people tend to annoy me ;)

I’m still not playing WoW, but this is something that popped up, because this can happen in any game… and does… It’s about a situation I come across a lot, because I’m the kind of guy that often needs some time on my own, so I tend to play on “secret” alts, or under different names, depending on the game.

So who are those stealth douchebags? Me? because I like some me time? Nah.. doesn’t everyone needs a break from the social circus every now and then? I’m not hurting anyone.

No, I’m talking about people you know, like guildmembers, or friends (at least you thought they were) that always seem like a nice guy/gal. Always friendly, social, etc. But who have another side which is not so visible…

Until you’re playing on this alt.. Well, I was, many times.. which didn’t have the prestigious guildlabel, or simply isn’t as well known, or well geared as the main(s). You queue up for a dungeon, or raid, and you get into a group with that someone you know… For a second you think about telling who you are, but you remember that you did that before and therefore you’ve got 3 other chars that used to be you’re escape chars, but everyone knows them now, so they’re in your guild as one of your alts now.

Anyway! ..This person has no idea that anyone he/she knows is in the group, and acts like a complete douchebag. Completely different than you ever knew him/her.. Blaming everyone, blaming YOU, complaining about gearscore, the full douchebag package!

And there you are.. biting your lip (well, fingers ;)), because you SOO want to reveal who you are right now.. but you don’t.. because you don’t want to lose yet another escape char in the process..

Believe it or not, I’ve had this happen quite a few times!

And I still don’t know how to deal with this. I don’t like to tell the rest of the guild I’m playing some alt that’s just mine, so I can tell how I know.. I’m very aware that doing that could (and will) be taken the wrong way. And who could blame them? But nobody is perfect, and this is just my little quirk. I play games to get away, and sometimes I even need to get away from the game (or the people).. It doesn’t mean I don’t like them, sometimes it’s just because I’m cranky myself and don’t want to bother them with it..

Nothing is more annoying than to know the truth about someone, but you’re not able to tell it.. And meanwhile this person is getting praised and loved by the rest of the group, and I’m starting to look like a douche for not congratulating him/her on some drop or whatever..

The big dilemma here is: I could stop having secret chars (at least on the same server) and be able to tell the truth about these people.. But if I do this, I will also never know this truth because they would know me.. Honestly, I like to know this truth, even though it brings me into a not so pleasant situation.. I guess I’ve got this rare mental condition where I would rather be a bit more miserable myself than to unknowingly support an asshole.

Luckily though, the opposite happens too..People in my guild that never/rarely spoke a word in /g or TS.. people who I hardly knew existed, turned out to be very helpful, social people in PuG’s.. For some reason they were a bit shy in the guild, but were actually really nice people.. In those cases I feel like a real jerk for secretly spying on them (even though it’s not intended), but those people have the effect on me that I login to my escape chars much less.

The world needs more of those people.

Do people like to be abused?

A strange realization came to me yesterday, while I was playing Left 4 Dead 2. Not much unlike Wow, this is a coop dungeon game, mostly PvE, but with PvP options. Some of the latest additions in wow have also clearly been copied from this game (dungeon queue, votekick system): there are many similarities.

One of the things that is similar too is the abundance of stupid people and assholes.

Of course, that goes for any game on the planet.

In any game you’ve got three types(*) of players:

  • Stupid players (have no idea what they’re doing, and also not listening, or cooperating)
  • Abusive players (decent to good players, don’t cooperate, blame anyone but themselves, but never help)
  • Normal players (decent to good players, who cooperate, give advice and help)

*) there is a fourth kind: the griefers, who are a combination of assholes and stupid people, but they’re always handled correctly so I’m leaving them out.

In game these work like rock, paper, scissors.

At least they should.

  • Stupid people will pester the normal players away.
  • Assholes will kick, or pester the stupid people away.
  • Normal players.. SHOULD kick the assholes for being an abusive prick.

The reality is, that assholes never get kicked. The normal players just put up with their shit, long after the stupid people have left.

Normal people are (still) in majority in most games. This should mean that the system would work itself out. The asshole will get rid of the idiot before the normal people leave, then the remaining normal players will get rid of the asshole after being tired of him/her.

I consider myself one of the normal players that wouldn’t hesitate to kick an abusive prick (also hopeless stupid people btw). And believe me, I’ve tried each and every time.

It nearly always fails. Most of the time, I get nobody else to vote yes.

What you need to know is that, in left4dead, votekicking is almost automatic. Whenever you votekick some random guy, people will just press yes without going through the enormous trouble of thinking for a split second if there’s actually any reason for this: “it’s probably deserved”, they seem to think. And yes, this get’s abused by funny guys a lot.

In wow, this may be less so, because you’re more aware of your groups actions (3rd person (over)view, out of combat kick restrictions, having to cope with one less (in l4d the computer takes over)), but it still happens.

Therefore I’m so surprised that in the case of kicking an asshole, there’s a clear favoritism for this kind of people. They’re the hardest to kick of all, by a mile.

So, I’ve been thinking about this, but I can’t really find a logical answer.

Why would any sane person want to have an asshole in the group, who’s constantly blaming and calling names? Even when this guy is clearly not THAT good himself?

  • Is it because this guy gives the illusion of being a good player, because he criticizes the other people?
  • Is it because people are afraid of him? Even though he can’t do much about it, and there’s no way he can get back at you?
  • Is it because people automatically see him as leader, and protect him, even though him being around or not does not change anything? because he’s not actually leading, he’s just blaming?
  • Is it human nature to respect assholes? Do a lot of people actually LIKE to be abused? Mildly comparable to S&M, where people enjoy being the slave.

That last one might seem extreme, but if you’ve ever heard of the Stockholm syndrome, it’s not that odd at all.

The main concern I have with this is that if people continue to let these guys be the assholes they are, it will only encourage them to keep doing so, and encourage others to become that way. The problem is, there isn’t anything I can do about it alone and I’m predicting that the amount of assholes will only grow more and more, unless more decent people snap out of it and act against those assholes.

Or… is there actually a good reason for allowing these guys to do what they do that I’m not seeing? I can hardly believe it, but I’m keeping all options open, hoping to find one that makes sense…

Quitting… for now

I kinda knew this was coming a long time. I haven’t been playing warcraft for about a week and a half, and I can’t even get myself to click the icon, if only to clean my mailbox. I guess I’ve reached the completely bored state again.

This has happened before. Three times to be exact. This will be the fourth. I doubt the last, though.

The reason I knew this was coming was simply because I’ve been logging into the game way to often for way too long for just one reason: to do the daily/weekly stuff.

I didn’t do that stuff because I liked to do it. Hell, no. I was happy when my daily boring dungeon was over with. I was happy when my JC did his daily quest. I was happy when I filled the AH again with new glyphs, enchants, gems, etc. I was happy when I was done with all that stuff and could quit the game, because there wasn’t much else to do anyway.

The game simply turned into a chore, a boring job.

I don’t even care about new gear anymore. Ii simply wouldn’t change much. I’m close to being goldcapped, so I could even buy lots of great upgrades easily, but I don’t, because I don’t care. There’s not much to do for me with this new gear, even if I decided to finally join a guild.

In fact, all a long I knew this was the main reason I didn’t join a guild. I got plenty of requests, a shaman, especially a resto/enhancement shaman is probably the most wanted class on my server. Every time someone asked my to join I found some excuse to either stall, or not join at all. The reality was I just didn’t want more obligations/reasons to be online.

How can a game be fun if everything feels like an obligation? Well, it can’t and it isn’t.

I guess blogging was just one of the many things I tried to keep myself interested, but it failed also.

However, I still like to talk about the game, I still follow a bunch of other blogs, so I guess there’s still a part of me that likes it. I guess I’ll probably return sooner or later, like I did before. I might even write a post every now and then in the meantime.

For now, I’m waiting till there are new things that interest me again, like a new patch or perhaps a new raid/dungeon.

Equipment healing!

Last couple of days I wasn’t able to use my machine. My monitor, which was slowly dying on me for a while, got to the point he was blowing out his last breath. The screen slowly fading out to eternal darkness.

Somehow, I almost felt relieved. Disconnected from the internet, games, all that stuff that is costing me way too much time, so I deliberately didn’t do a thing about it for a day or two. I still have a crappy old laptop that can handle mail and a single page in it’s browser, so nothing really crucial was missing.

Usually, I’m easy with broken things. I get rid of it and buy brand new stuff. That’s a lot faster and easier. Especially with electronics, an upgrade is always nice too, so any excuse to get something new and better is happily accepted.

This monitor was kinda valuable to me though. It’s one of the last high resolution non-wide screen monitors around and those almost impossible to get anymore, unless you’re willing to pay 3x as much as a comparable widescreen monitor.

I hate widescreens. I never understood why anyone would wanna buy one (except as TV), but apparently everyone does. I think the name “wide” is misleading. It’s not wider, it’s flatter. I’ve got the same huge left & right borders when I’m browsing as widescreen users have (especially on pages like this, that still focus on 800 width screens), but I don’t have to scroll up and down after every single line I read. I sometimes even turn this screen a quarter circle to get a “high” screen, which is great for blogging, text editing, browsing: anything except gaming, graphical work, or watching movies of course, but I’ve got a big ass TV for that, so I’m not going to watch movies on a TFT monitor.

Gaming on a widescreen is gimping yourself . Definitely if you’re also an FPS gamer like I am, but even games like wow have problems. You need to scan your eyes over the entire screen like you’re watching a tennis match. This takes more time than you might think, and it seems like you see more, you actually see less, because if you see the right side of your screen, you hardly see what happens left. The biggest annoyance however is that the huds leave an even smaller part of screen usable. It’s easier to overlook the voidzone on a wide screen.

But enough of the rant, I realize I’m probably a minority with this opinion anyway. The point is, this monitor will be difficult to replace.

After a long unsuccessful search for a decent replacement for my monitor, I got pissed off and tore the damn thing open. Perhaps something could be fixed. Old CRT monitors usually had loose components, which you could easily fix with €5,- soldering iron (or the old fashioned smack on the side), who knows, perhaps  TFT monitors have similar problems. I couldn’t see anything wrong with this thing though, no smoking parts, black burns, rat nests, nothing.

I didn’t want to give up yet, so I searched the internet (what else?). At first I couldn’t find anything. Everywhere the conclusion was simple: TFT broke, throw it away, buy new… I still kept searching and searching until I finally stumbled upon this page. I don’t even know how I got there anymore, but it promised that TFT monitors could easily be fixed, something that I was hoping to find!

The main tip was: check for broken condensers. Broken condensers are easily spotted because of their bulgy top: these supposed to be flat. For the non electronic experts, condensers look like this:

And I found two that were broken! The pictures shows one of them, if you look carefully you can see it’s not perfectly flat.

I took a gamble (not much to lose anymore), went to the local electrical store, bought new ones, replaced them at home with a crappy old soldering iron. And what do you know, it worked! My dead monitor is alive again! The screen looks so bright again, like new.

It has been running for a few hours now, and still no explosions, regional power outs, or even a broken fuse!

What do you know, I’m an equipment healer too now :P

If you’re not afraid of a screwdriver and a soldering iron, keep that site bookmarked. Broken condensers seems to be a common cause for monitors to break down, it’s quite easy to fix and can save a bunch of money. And there’s not much to lose anyway… Well, perhaps some burned fingers, or a chance of electrocution, but that’s a small price to pay, right? ;-)

So here’s the WoW graph..

Two weeks ago I wrote about a graph about gamers statistics. Accidentally, I browsed across that site again today and what did I find? A graph dedicated specifically to World of Warcraft:

The Unbelievable World of Warcraft
Via: Online Schools

I have wondered a few times before what the upkeep of their servers was costing Blizzard. Considering the amount of money blizzard is making from the game, I was curious how much of that was actually going into their server park.

Now I’ve got a number: 50 million per year.

Which is still nothing compared to the revenue, because only US and EU already generate 16 times that amount per year.

So, let’s see, even if those 150 developers made a million a year, which I doubt, and EU/US is their only source of income right now, which it isn’t, that means 600 million is left.. I’m pretty sure the office rent, business lunches, management, the marketing department and the cleaning lady aren’t burning the rest completely. Still, I can only guess how much of that money is profit. Can it be that most of it is profit? I get the strong feeling it is!

A job in game development sounds more interesting each day..

Why do I have this blog again?

The last couple of days have had me thinking again why I started this thing. My original reason was to have some place of my own where I could spew all my thoughts, annoyances, rants, wonderful ideas and plans to take over the galaxy. Up till now I can’t say I didn’t enjoy my own little place of horrors, but I started wondering about what I’m really getting out of this all. I know my original reason was because I couldn’t stand blogs with a different opinions that put a cork in mine, so I wanted a place where I could freely dump what I was thinking, without the restriction of any opinion dictators (yes, pre-moderated blogs, I’m talking about you!).

Up till now, it turned out to take up masses amount of my time, while most the readers I’ve accumulated so far seem to either get misdirected from some travel sites (what the hell is up with that?), or got screwed by google while they were looking for some decent information. Sure, I knew it would take time, especially since I have hardly acted out any of the plans I wrote in one of my first posts. I guess I just didn’t feel like it.

Anyway, what got more and more clear to me is that there are a gazillion wow blogs out there. Every day I stumble upon more blogs like this one, small time starting wow blogs with hardly any attention. Some seem to have been around for a long time also, but are still sitting in a small dark corner.

Why don’t they get more viewers? Well, like I’ve explained in one of my earlier posts: people need to know that you exist before they’ll start reading for one, but you’ve also got to catch peoples interest. I don’t need an extensive research to figure that out, it’s how it works for me too. I discover blogs either by a search, or via other blogs. That last one, however, is by far the most effective method. If a blog get’s mentioned on another big blog, traffic will skyrocket. I’ve gotten to know nearly all blogs that way. The first one was via a google search, the rest via links and blogrolls.

So, there we’ve hit the biggest problem.

At the moment there’s a relatively small group of blogs that get most attention from the wow community (whatever that may be). These blogs are the first hits you’ll get when you’re looking for wow-blogs. These are the ones that everyone has on their blogroll, so if you know one blog, you’re likely to find them next.

So, effectively this means that to get your readers, you need to get known on these well known blogs first.

There’s only one way of doing that, and that’s become a regular commenter on theirs. With interesting comments, of course. You’ll get noticed, at least by the comment readers, and they’ll click your name sooner or later.

It shouldn’t pose a big problem if you’re someone very social that also likes to talk a lot, though it does also mean that you’ve got to like these known blogs, or at least, care for their topics enough to react. If you really want to become as big as them, some of them need to like you enough to put you on their list, not only so you reach more people via them, but it also boosts you in search engines.

The fact is, at the moment these blogs basically have an oligopoly on wow blogging. If you’re just starting a blog out of the blue and want to get readers without getting boosted by them, your only hope lies with the search engines. With the gazillion small time competitors out there however: good luck to you!

You can write a lot about specific subjects on which you can be sure to be googled often: like making gold, boss tactics, pvp tips: any interesting guide. Perhaps big news items too if you’re fast with it: my post about elitist armory still gets google hits today, for example, but I don’t have good enough sources to pull this off regularly, I just happened to stumble upon that one.

So, where am I going with all of this?

I just realized that I don’t care enough for keeping a blog to go through all that trouble. I could simply remain one of the gazillion small timers and perhaps over time grow a little while doing what I’m doing. The more important question is: do I really care about much attention? That answer is: no. I’m just not so much a social creature in that way. I just like to put my opinion out there, that’s the reason for having this blog. If it isn’t read however, it’s not really effective. To get it to be read, I need to put in effort that go far beyond my goals. This is my conflict.

My conclusion for now is that I don’t think that wow, a game, is important enough to me to put all that extra effort in. I’m not dropping the blog, but I’m not going to post as regularly as before either. Posting takes a lot of time and I was posting nearly every day, without really trying to get people to come here. That’s just a waste of time.

If I ever change my mind about his, I’m going to put all effort in, not just half of it. For now, I’m just going into relaxed-mode.


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