Sunday, August 19, 2012

I'm Not as Young as I Used to Be

The family and I (and a friend and another relative) were up at Gen Con today for their Family Fun Sunday.

Five years ago --hell, try two years ago-- I'd have not blinked an eye about a 1.5 hour (each way) day trip and then walking around a humongous vendor/demo area for several hours, playing games and soaking in the atmosphere.  I could have gone back for more without hesitation, or sat up and talked about the experience for hours into the night.

But now, all I want to do is take a nap.

I suppose it's only natural that as time marches on, people change.  When Soul and I started this blog back in 2009, I knew very little about MMOs and WoW in particular, other than the standard jokes about "Warcrack" and "people who make RPGers look like they have a life".  But throughout the life of this blog, I've learned a lot about MMOs, and more importantly I've learned more of what I don't know.

It's very easy to sit back and start grumping like an Old Man hanging around the Dal fountain, but without purpose all it does is seem like whining.

I realize I've sounded a bit like a Negative Nancy the past few months about things, but a lot of that is driven by my need to look at things with a critical eye.  When people zig, I zag.  I am the "yes, but..." hovering around the edges of the MMO blogosphere, fully realizing that I can't buy into the hype and remain honest.

"Mists is gonna be the best thing evah!"
"Yes, but...."

"TOR is gonna be so awesome that it'll have sprinkles on it!"
"Yes, but...."

"TOR sucks major donkey dongs!  It's an unrelenting piece of trash!"
"Yes, but...."

"EVE is full of people who think that Lord of the Flies is a good learning experience!"
"Yes, but...."

"GW2 is chock full of awesomesauce!"
"Yes, but...."

Things are never cut and dried, black and white.  People who tell you otherwise are missing the point.*  Every game has pros and cons.  Some people like games that others detest; is one right and the other wrong?  No, both are right, because opinions about games are just that, opinions.  A post about what I think about a game is subjective while a post about something independently verifiable, like mechanics, can be objective.

Most of what I write is subjective, because I think it important to explore that hazy grey area between what the game provides and what I believe.  

For example, I've not been shy in my opinion that I dislike Warsong Gulch.  I've spent way too many hours being farmed by Rogues and one-shotted by Hunters on Adelwulf to have a high opinion of that BG.  It's a game where one person going AFK or getting DC-ed can be all the difference in a win or loss.  However, I do know of other people who absolutely adore that BG, and consider it WoW's crowning achievement in the development of the PvP battleground.

Who's right?  Everbody, because these are just opinions about the BG, not independently verifiable data.

However, what is really important about opinions is how well they're defended.  Any ol' Blood Elf can pipe up an opinion, but there's an eternity's difference between "It sucks!" and "It sucks because..."  Does the "because" portion of the opinion make sense?  Does it hold logical water?  Can you appreciate the position in spite of disagreeing with it?  This is what sets the intelligent "Yes, but...." apart from other net pontifications.**

What I'm hoping for is to provide a reader with some actual understanding of my position on whatever it is I post about.  I realize all too well that I can be obnoxious and stubborn when I want to be, and I have to constantly fight that tendency when I write.  Others have put the bar so high that it'll take me years to even approach it.  Still, this is a journey, and I'm in this for the long haul.

And my highly biased, totally undefended opinion about Gen Con?  It rocks.  Seriously rocks.

There were a few Old Republic fans present... ***

And I finally found one WoW cosplayer!  There's Vanessa VanCleef at 6:20 in the video clip.

*Or they are NPCs populating an MMO.

**If you want examples of really well thought out and defended opinions and speculations, go see Rades' Orcish Army Knife and Cynwise's Warcraft Manual.  Just be prepared to read; both can be very thorough in their arguments.

***From Nerd Approved's Flickr account.  Unfortunately, I couldn't decide just how many Blood Elves were actually cosplaying Link and his girlfriend.  There were plenty of folks in attendance wearing WoW themed t-shirts, however.

EtA:  Added a reference to the source of the pic.

EtA: Cleaned up some English.  Oy, my old English teachers would kill me....

EtA: Added a video clip for a WoW cosplayer.


  1. WSG and IOC have the biggest disconnects between fun and winning for a healer. Babysitting a Flag carrier, without any action for minutes then dieing in 10-15 seconds swamped by 4-5 players. Bleh But I would not say 1 player makes a difference in your average pug. If your lucky, more then half are paying attention to something more then mindlessly killing/dieing.

    1. In a game as small as WSG, one person not messing around in the mid or defending the FC or going after the EFC can make all the difference. If the majority of your team is in the mid messing around, the number of people actually playing the game shrinks to 4-5 at most. That is a very low number, but it can be overcome by a well played/well trained team. I've seen three player guild groups just eat another team alive in WSG.

  2. WSG is a hit-or-miss for me. I usually go Prot and FC for that BG most of the time. Having that pocket healer with you makes a world's of a difference and gives me that "you heal me, I'll protect you" mentality, waiting to cap the flag. But when I zone in and there are no healers around and everyone just rushes to the middle and stays there.....yeah, those are moments when you just want to /afk out...

    1. WSG can just drive me nuts, even when I'm on Q or Tom as Ret. You have to travel in a pack, because otherwise some rogue will be CC-ing you right at the graveyard. If the opposing side's rogues aren't doing that, then you've got a chance. But if you're a Lock and they're doing it, you might as well wait for more people to show up in the GY before you respawn.

  3. I hear ya; these days more than ever I feel I've changed greatly in some of my views and preferences in MMOs - and I certainly DO wanna nap often! ;)
    I think that's life, we grow with every experience and grow out of them, too. it's fine to change your wishes or opinions, to want different things....and we're never going to run out of wanting, heh.

    very true on balanced opinions too - there are no absolutes. however, very balanced articles can be a bit too serious or journalistic for my personal taste; I sorta do allow myself to hype and bash a little for the fun of it - after all by doing both in equal amounts, balance is restored in the end, right! ;)

    1. You know, here in the States the word "balanced" in an opinion has been distorted by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News. Still, I knew what you meant.

      In my case, I'm not looking for balanced so much as defensible. I tend to be a bit of a contrarian, so when the great mass of bloggers are all saying one thing, I tend to look harder at the opposite. That said, I'm not going to say something if a) I don't believe in it and b) I can't defend it. If I do state something I can't defend, I'll say as such.