Monday, July 19, 2010

Decisions, Decisions…

I’m currently torn between two video games, those being StarCraft 2 and Warhammer Online. Both games appeal to me in different ways and I know enough about my gaming habits to know that only one can win. I’ve never been able to really balance playing 2 video games at once.

On the one hand I have StarCraft 2. I started playing the StarCraft series when it first launched back in… what 1998? The StarCraft series has always appealed to my competitive nature. Back during StarCraft Brood Wars I use to play in 2v2 Tournaments hosted by IGN. The overall sweeping strategies of the game never clicked well enough with me to be to competitive in the 1v1 scene. Now that has sort of changed.

During the last 3 months of Beta I’ve found myself getting better and to the point where if I applied myself a little more, and actually sought out practice partners, I think I could make a splash in some of the smaller tournaments. The general strategies just seem so straight forward now I’m mainly just working on my mechanics. With 20-30 hours a week I’m fairly confident I could start placing in tournaments, the minor ones nothing major. However I love to play with my friends and most of them just want to do 2v2s or 3v3s. I would prefer to just do round robin 1v1s all night and talk to one another in Skype while we play.

So then I have Warhammer Online. I’ve played this game off and on since closed beta. A friend gave me his Beta account early on so I got to see how poorly development was handled of this game from day one. I love WAR though. The game is fun, the classes are fun, the world is interesting and PvP is dynamic. WAR’s only downfall now is the lack of players. If Warhammer Online could pull another 100-200k subs out of somewhere this game would have the power to continue to grow. Right now I feel it’s in a holding pattern that will soon dwindle away.

All that aside the game really is fun. I have always loved MMOs and MMOs that are about more than JUST gear are my favorite. WAR isn’t just about gear, it’s about Renown Rank. Gear IS important, but renown is more so. The way WAR is designed people don’t seclude themselves into tight knit groups running the same dungeons over and over again. The player base is forced into the open world and must work together in order to progress. No isolationism allowed! WAR is a game I can see myself being enveloped in. I’m playing with 2 real life friends at the moment but I know if I found a good friendly guild I could stay in WAR for a year or longer.

The Horizon… In 1 ½ months Final Fantasy 14 comes out. I fully intend to play it. For the last 7 months there hasn’t been any decent online games. Now I’m stuck between 2 and a 3rd down the road.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ahh to blog.

Believe it or not I’ve written at least one post a week since the last one. It’s just that by the time I’m done writing them they feel like I’m just trying to talk about how great I am. Honestly I think this post may go the same way… (If it does you’ll never know though huh!?)

Tobold posted something about being ashamed of being a gamer. With the whole Real ID debacle that went down recently I can understand the misinterpretation of a large portion of the community. I have never been ashamed of being a gamer in my life. To me being ashamed of something means I regret doing it. I never have. I love video games; I love everything they have brought me in my life. I understand that the good things and the bad things have all brought me to where I am today and I like where I am today. I am a productive member of society with a full time job, military reservist, wife, kids, pets and I own multiple pieces of property. Why should I be ashamed?

However I have a very good friend who I play video games with. He is the same age as me and we met through the Military. He lives with his parents and has no job other than our reservist pay. Guess what? He isn’t ashamed either. He is happy. Isn’t being happy the point? He loves everything that video games have done for him and accepts everything they have taken away. Everyone in our Unit knows we play video games and often times when we are in the field we have a Wii and Xbox 360 with us.

I don’t think ashamed or even embarrassed are accurate descriptions of my… or our feelings towards how we present our gaming hobby to society in general. I know that no one in my military unit will judge me based on the fact that I play video games. We are in a technical field so in fact many do play, and those that don’t seemly write it off as a none issue.

Enter the civilian world, the free market. Here I keep my gaming as much as secret as possible. The people who do the hiring and firing aren’t of our generation. They don’t understand video games beyond what Facebook is providing them with or what CNN reports on… which more often than not isn’t a good story on us. When people apply for a job at my work now I’m the first one to see their resume, and I google everyone. If I were to see some Real ID posts come up from that person I would probably put their resume in the back of the pack assuming I didn’t throw it out all together. We don’t need to hire gamers, even though I am one. (I understand the hypocrisy there)

I want to choose who knows I play video games and who doesn’t. That should remain my choice and not the video game company.