I listen to a lot of podcasts. For the last several years, my sanity during the morning and evening commutes has been maintained by a trusty list of shows that are currently of interest. Recently it occurred to me that I’ve never actually posted about the shows that I enjoy, which seems odd considering that I’m such a proponent of word-of-mouth advertising for the medium! First of all, I do almost all of my listening on a mobile device, my Samsung Galaxy S5 using Shifty Jelly’s Pocketcast app. I think I paid $3.99 for the app, but since I’ve already paid, I’m having trouble determining if that price is still accurate (simply shows as “installed” in the Google Play store page). At any rate, it was a small price to pay for an app that does exactly what I need with suitable customization that I literally use every single day.
This month, we have a special roundtable episode that includes members of The Gaming and Entertainment podcast network. This rowdy crew saw fit to discuss all manner of gaming topics, from upcoming expansion packs to the changing mobile gaming scene to Syl’s hidden desire to shower with World of Warcraft soap. Please be sure to visit all of the fine podcasts of my guests this month!
We’ve all been there. That stack of rainbow goodberries has been taking up a spot in your inventory for far too long. It’s time to craft. As the monotonous filling and re-filling of the crafting bar begins to lull you into a hypnotic state, a new movement in your peripheral vision catches your attention. Guild chat!
This is a strange first impressions post for a couple of reasons. First, Guild Wars 2 will be three years old this year. I purchased the game when it launched in 2012, but only recently started playing it in earnest. So, it may be the absolute last “first impressions” post about GW2 on the Internet. Secondly, my highest level character is currently in his low 60’s, and though leveling in GW2 is a pretty fast process, that still represents a few months worth of playtime for me. My impressions have been developed over that period of time instead of the relatively shorter period spent on past reviews such as Wildstar, ESO, and Archeage. Truth be told, I prefer to spend more time in a game in order to provide a more well-formed opinion, but interest level and business model sometimes conspire against me.
I’m in an interesting position right now in my MMO gaming in that I’m playing two at the moment, one as an old, grizzled veteran and one as a bright, naive newbie. Essentially, I’m in two different stages in these games, which got me thinking about how different our viewpoints are depending on which stage we currently happen to live in. At first, I thought that perhaps these “stages of MMO gameplay” might equate to the stages of grief, but after further reflection decided that that was a rather poor comparison, as those stages are all leading up to the acceptance of the reality of an event while these stages represent your particular feelings toward an MMO depending on a variety of factors, which may in fact never be completely represantative of reality. Experiencing these stages is a personal thing, and while we all experience them to some extent, the intensity of, and length of time in each stage can vary greatly.
Back when the Contains Moderate Peril podcast was a thing, Roger and Brian used to wax nostalgic about how MMO’s seemed to capture a point in your life, a snapshot if you will, where everything just came together perfectly. Time passes, situations change, and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever experience that “first time” MMO feeling again, though we may spend years trying.
In listening to discussions on MMOs over the past several months, I began to notice that when I hear a certain game being discussed, I tend to always have similar reactions to that title, whether they be positive or negative. Considering this, I figured that I must have a ranking in my head of my favorite and least favorite MMO’s, and it might be interesting to try and list those rankings out and decipher why they fall where they do on the list. Of course, thanks to personal taste, you may or may not agree with my rankings or the reasons for those rankings. It’s a fairly diverse list, and now that I’ve ordered them it has become pretty clear what elements I look for in an MMO.