18 April, 2007

"Griefers" :)

I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I'm playing WoW again. Because I'm playing with an old friend, it's a lot easier to stick with it.

After visiting the enchanting trainer in the back of Uldamon, we run into some skull level alliance. That means they are at least ten levels higher than we are. They challenge us to duels, make chicken noises; all the disrespectful behavior morons do when they think there are no consequences. We set our Do Not Disturb flags, thereby shutting down their duel requests, Sangie spits on them, and we take off for the outpost. They follow.

On the way back, Sangie realizes she's less than half a bubble from 40 and wants to kill some wolves so we can get that taken care of. (I had previously dinged 40 that night.) The griefers (Kallel and Kaidance on the Muradin server) decide to have some fun with us. The warlock starts fearing the wolves as we fight them. Unlike some other monsters, wolves are actually smart enough to get reinforcements when they are feared. As the new wolves come in, we're fighting two or three at a time. One actually starts chewing on the warlock, but I'm too busy to enjoy it and know that it's not really more than an annoyance for someone that high level.

Sangie wants to go. We're not really in control of the situation. I refuse. Obviously, as my healer, it's really her call, but she accepts it. I've dealt with enough jerks in Joint Ops to know that these are n00bs. Sure, they're way higher level, but griefing is an art, and people who think spamming duel requests to lowbies is comedy are n00bs at griefing.

So we keep fighting. Sangie plays it smart and saves mana for heals, in case we get too many. But we never do. Kaidance keeps fearing any time we do significant damage to a wolf. And since there's two of us, we can get a wolf down to half health in no time. We never have more than three at a time. My health and Sangie's mana never get low. And I'm making sure to put bleeds on all the wolves so they come back two hits away from death. This "griefer" is actually PULLING FOR US! Fabulous!

I couldn't be more pleased, but Sangie's still not feeling it. We still didn't have control of the situation, and at some level it felt like the griefers were still winning. Pallies have a spell that makes it so the mobs can't run. Now Sangie's still just level 39. That warlock is at least fifty. (It turned out she was 59.) But she takes a shot. This part is all very clear to me. We're running over a hill to get another wolf. The griefers are in hot pursuit, still clueless to the fact that they've done nothing but help us so far. Sangie drops her seal on the wolf. The warlock starts to fear... and nothing happens. There's a bigger than life fear icon over the wolf, but it doesn't budge an inch. My clever girl has just schooled a level 59 warlock. Slow thinkers that they are, it takes another wolf or two before they even realize they've been beaten. Sangie dings. We head back to camp, and the last thing they hear as they take off is a hearty Tauren chuckle fading into the distance.

Here's what I consider the moral of the story. People are jerks. Luckily, they are also stupid (myself included).

Seriously, griefing on a PvE server? How bottom of the gene pool do you have to be? Don't give me that Horde vs Alliance crap. When was the last time you actually role-played? The only reason you grief Horde only is because you're too scared you might actually have to deal with the consequences if you griefed Alliance. Of course, that's probably not even true. I'm guessing you're the type of folks who snag ore and chests from Alliance lowbies when you think you can get away with it. You're bad people, and apparently not too bright. Hopefully you grow out of it someday or at least grow a pair and roll PvP.

12 April, 2007

Because I Felt Like Being Snarky

I read too much gaming news, and there was a lot of it today. I guess the fiscal quarter transition brings it out. I'll never write for Kotaku or Joystiq, but for some reason I felt like writing for myself today. This post is simultaneously quite informative (if you don't read as much gaming news as me) and pointlessly snarky. If you enjoy that sort of thing, read on.

  • Sony is halting 20GB PS3 production after less than six months on the market. I guess even pretending they had a low low entry point of half a grand was too much effort.
  • Nobody is excited about the 1337 edition of the 360. (Maybe if it doesn't eat disks, charge for multiplayer and cheat codes, and break down in under year like many of the regular 360s seem to...)
  • Sony is increasing production, which I guess is to reflect that they're now selling units in Europe, since they seem to have more than they need in the US.
  • Microsoft is getting called out on horrendous channel stuffing. They put so many units in the channel last Q4 (4.4 million) that they're estimating only moving 1.6 million for the entire first half of this year.
  • There are rumors that with the fiscal quarter sewn up, Nintendo may decide to unleash some secret stash of Wiis into the marketplace. On some level it seems reasonable since the Wii should be the easiest of all the systems to build, but it seems like Nintendo has been doing their manufacturing on the cheap to wring out every last penny.
  • EA, and I think a few others, basically admitted they screwed up by not putting enough resources into Wii dev. The PS3 (which they put full resources behind) had production problems with blu-ray and slow adoption at a $600 price point. What $16 billion dollar company could have afforded the analyst coverage to have foreseen that?

In the interest of fairness, I've never made a game console. I'm guessing it's really, really hard. But even with that, I can see one simple thing, all three console makers got greedy, and it's probably costing them millions. In fact, I'd almost say game consoles are over. Sony and Microsoft are selling home media centers and Nintendo is selling to grandmas.

See if you can enjoy this analogy. We're gaming city. We're not the envy of the living room entertainment nation, but we've got a respectable economy. Our little city is just fine. Oh shit.

Everybody is screaming. Stuff is blowing up left and right. The news is going apeshit. Godzilla and Mechagodzilla (after all, they're largely interchangeable) are fighting for control of the nation. They're throwing DVR lightning bolts and myspace missiles at each other. Downloadable content is raining down like a friggin' meteor swarm. Although in this already laughably broken analogy, their real effect seems to be driving up real estate prices so that no one can afford to live here anymore. :) In the meantime, the army is trying to herd us (and everyone in the rest of the nation) into trucks to take us to some ghetto ass voting channel minigame refugee tent city.

So what do you do? Where are you going to be when the dust settles? Where do gamers really end up in the battle for the consolidated living room?

First to go. Last to know, eh?