December is here and so is another challenge from Ambermist of Tastes Like Battlechicken. Sadly, it is also probably the last monthly one she will be ensuing due to other commitments. If anyone else picks it up I will do try to rise up to the challenge too. In any case, here is my thanks to Ambermist for these. They have been fun and a good exercise for the good ol’ brain cells. 🙂
Anyhoo, this month the challenge are a few questions but all about the same theme: Our favorite things on games. I will just copy the questions she gave about it for organization’s sake and because it makes it easier to write it in a more coherent way.
I almost skipped this month’s challenge from Ambermist of Tastes Like Battlechicken. The challenge of this month is basically telling about someone (or several someones!) who did something good that left some kind of mark on you.
What makes this tough isn’t so much the lack of good acts I’ve seem while playing games (or even outside it) as much as thinking of one that could be turned into an interesting narrative. Even the one I am just picking now might not fit quite well with the challenge. It is one of those that got etched into my mind and perhaps might be an interesting story to tell. Even then this post might be a bit scattered all over the place as there are a lot of different emotions attached with this memory. Well, with all my memories of those times actually. Anyhoo, let’s get to the story.
It all happened back in the old days of Lineage 2, when things were harsher, death was much more of a big deal at all levels and so on. I was just minding my own business as always when suddenly one of our clan mates said that he was just PKed by someone outside the gates of Dion. When I got there, my clan leader and a couple other members were already there. Apparently the PKer was some permared who had just gotten to one of the safe borders in Dion, thus standing in a non-PvP area.
To me it took a few games to get to that point. In my first years of MMORPG I was pretty ruthless, only keeping things I had immediate use for or that were actually collectable stuff. Then on Lineage 2 things started to change a little since due to the terrible crafting system and harshness of the game back in the days, it just made sense to hoard materials. Since all gear was completely tradeable it also made sense to stash them away for a future character or help out a friend in need.
…. or would it be the ratonga behind the man? Hmmm….
If you are wondering what the hell I am talking about, it is this month’s challenge by Ambermist of Tastes Like Battlechicken. The idea is basically to give a peek about the person behind the blog. Sadly, I skipped last month’s challenge which was to tell a story involving a MMORPG of our choice. Unfortunately, I could not think of any interesting stories to tell. There were sure lots of epic or funny moments moments in my MMORPG history but nothing that led itself well to an interesting narrative. This month however is a topic I can write something about that I hope might be interesting to somebody.
So, here are some facts about this guy who writes this little blog:
I am a brazilian. Or if you want to get technical about it, half-brazilian, half-japanese. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about japanese culture. Or even eat japanese food. I know, it sounds strange but my mother is the most pragmatic woman I know. So I guess she didn’t see much point in teaching those things to me and my older brother. She is also second generation, with my grandparents from her side being the ones who were actually born and raised in Japan. The part about food though is my fault since I am terribly picky about food.
My grandparents, from my mother side, never learned to speak portuguese. Yet somehow I was always able to get along pretty well with them. Sadly they passed away when I was still a little child so I never got the chance to learn japanese to actually talk to them. Ah, well, I will always have the best memories from them, despite the language barrier. 🙂
I learned to speak in english in a course for it outside school at… 11 years old, if I recall correctly. My mother thought it would be one of those required skills to get a good job in the future (she was right). I didn’t abandon it without completing it though since I got really tired of all those silly stories they make you read in those kind of courses. Plus the years were starting to drag by. I learned enough to get by myself though so the rest of my english was honed through lots of reading of tabletop RPG books (which were pretty much never used), games and reading websites. Go internet!
I wasn’t confident in my english skill until I started to play MMORPGs. I can read and write without issues. But listening and speaking is still hard for me. How hard? Well, this is how people in voice chat sounds a lot of times for me. To be fair I am pretty sure I sound the same when speaking english.
I started playing video-games back at the Atari days (whenever those were. It is been too long). Although I don’t think I really got into them until the Super NES and a little game called Final Fantasy VI. That was the point where I really started to get interested into all things gaming. Before that it was usually platformer games or action games (I forgot the actual term) which could be played by two players with my brother. On the PC it usually was strategy games or adventure games.
My first real MMORPG was a little known title called Fairyland. As far as I know it is long gone by now. I think it was originally produced taiwanese company whose name I don’t remember anymore nor who did the american version of it. Anyway, as the name implies it was a game where all the quests were based around fairy tales. It was interesting to see how they turned some fairy tales into quests. It also had an interesting pet system, where pets were like party members. Pets also had elements so having the right pet for the right battle could make things a lot easier. Oh, combat was also turn based in the same style as Final Fantasy VI.
The name Rakuno was one I made up when I started playing Everquest 2. Originally my intention was to make my ratonga my “main” character. After much pondering about a name, I started to try thinking about things that would have to deal with stealing since ratongas have a natural tendency toward kleptomania. Eventually I thought about the word gatuno (a not very common word for thief, robber, etc. in portuguese. The most common word being “ladrão”). Change a couple letters and voila! New name that sounds original enough.
I chose a ratonga to serve as my person on this blog because they are the coolest race ever. If I had god like powers I would use it to put ratongas in every game in every MMORPG! Thinking well, maybe I just should use such powers to transform humans into ratongas. The world would be a much better place that way.
On a random note, it has been dang cold here lately. In a related random note, I never seem snow! Well, ok, I’ve seem it on TV and movies. But you know what I mean!
So, this is it. The final challenge set by Ambermist of Taste’s Like Battlechicken. This week she tasked us with finding 3 blogs that participated in the New Blogger’s Initiative, aka the NBI, and give at least one reason we like each blog. Sounds easy right? Well, that is what I thought at first too. Then I realized that no matter how awesome the three blogs I end up choosing are, I will still feel bad about it. There are just too many awesome blogs that are participating on it for me to just pick three!
In fact, let me point out to a list of the blogs participating on the NBI. There is one list here, categorized by topics, made by Windsoar of the Jaded Alt blog. If you prefer a handy list with each author’s name and tweeter, Shadowspnd of World’s End Tavern made one for newbies and one for sponsors. Check out the rest of their blogs too while you are there! 🙂
Alright. With that said, let me introduce you to three newbie blogs that have caught my eye for a reason or another:
Everyone probably met that one person that can’t stick to a game for very long. Perhaps that might even be your case (it is certainly mine!). Apparently the term for these kind of people is “butterfly gamer”. And as the name of the blog implies, The Butterfly Gamer is the journal of one such person.
Right now, leelubutterfly is trying to stick to just one, to get to the level cap on Aion before Guild Wars 2 is released. It is interesting not only because of her writing (and screenshots!) but also to see her discover new and interesting things about Aion as she goes along. As someone that just started out in Aion it is interesting to see the experiences of another newbie in the game.
Of course, I am also interested to see what other games she will end up playing too. I guess that makes me a butterfly reader?
If I had to describe Ravalation in a few words it would be “a feast to the eyes”. Not only her posts are filled with beautiful screenshots (some times with her own drawings too!) but it is all accompanied with very interesting text too. It is like a combo of pure bliss!
Right now Ravanel is writing about Lord of the Rings Online, Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic. I highly recommend her blog to anyone interested in any of those games. 🙂
While I do have a preference for blogs about people’s personal experiences playing games, I do also like a good discussion about them. Kemwer has been one of those blogs I have been finding myself reading just for that purpose. No matter the topic of the post it is always with a very intelligent and well articulated argument.
His blog (correct me if I am wrong, please, Kemwer!) seems to have a slant towards Guild Wars 2 right now. Though he certainly doesn’t limit himself to just Guild Wars 2 and has made a few posts about Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 and even some more general discussions about MMORPGs.
Wait! There is more…
Ok. So I can’t pick just three after all. Let me list three more blogs before ending this post. But to keep with the spirit of the challenge, in some sort of twisted way, I will just list them and let you find out by yourself what makes them great! It probably won’t be too hard. 🙂
They are also blogs that are participating on the NBI although as sponsors. Without further ado, here are three more great blogs that just make my day whenever they update:
Or so I usually say. In practice there is always a character I end up playing more than the others or who earned a special place in my heart.
So, on this week’s challenge, posed by the lovely Ambermist of “Tastes Like Battle Chicken”, it is exactly to talk about those characters. Which I will do with the utmost joy. Because characters are like our own children. Give us an excuse to talk about them and we’ll do it all day!
In my case it will be two of the characters that have a very special place in my heart. They are probably the ones I spent the most time playing on and growing with during my MMORPG career. If you can call playing MMORPGs for years a career that is.
Also, I apologize for the lack of screenshots. This is a post that screams “Fill me up with screenshots!” but I found out I have no good screenshots of Rakuno to post. Alas, I find myself still having to do my little EQ2 protest so I can’t even log in to take a decent screenshot of my beloved character.
So, this week Ambermist over at Tastes Like Battle Chicken gave us a new challenge. It is the “Why do you do what you do?” which is basically to answer with a picture… uh…. why do you what you do! She was nice enough to give us the option to answer it with text too. You know, just in case there is someone graphic challenged. *coughs*likeme*coughs*
My original intent was to actually answer it with a picture. I suck at anything graphical however. Even stick figures. So as the week went by I realized I had less and less time to try making even a decent picture for this challenge. Time for plan B then which is to write it!
With that said, this is my answer to Ambermist’s challenge!
Boldly going where no man has gone before…
… except for those who were already subscribed or were the developers. *clears throat*
Anyway, that phrase sums up one of the things I love about MMORPGs, the feeling of getting into a completely new world, with its own history, its own conflicts, nations, rules, etc. The more open the world in terms of exploring and strong lore, the more I like it. Ok. Perhaps not completely open. Some guidance is always nice so we are not totally lost wondering how things work. I guess my version of a good open world would be open enough so you can go off exploring on your own, being rewarded with finding spots for cool stuff like spots to harvest a crafting material or some neat lore detail. A bad world implementation would be one where you feel you are just going from point A to B doing a laundry list for some soulless NPC.
It isn’t made for any game in specific. Any generic fantasy game will do. It is also meant as a parody of some of the things way too common to fantasy in general. Basically this is what happens when you mix:
1) A developer who can at best write some really atrocious fanfiction with a Mary Sue as the main character.
2) A marketing team trying to tap in the latest fad while simultaneously trying to create a new one (even if it is just like the old one!)
Born from the combined dark forces of those two is the following monstrosity…