Sunday, February 3, 2013
It's a war with no repercussions. Conflict without reason, boring in my book. I'm sure the fights themselves are fun. But at the end of the day, there's nothing important or news worthy that will come of it.
As for faction warfare. There's fighting. Lots of it from time to time. Some big battles in Kamela, the other day, that I knew about (thank you endless Jabber broadcasts), but just didn't have the motivation to take part in.
The rest of New Eden? The same ol' same ol'.
I have an idea for a jump freighter guide. The ultimate guide. Skill plans for freighter and cyno pilots. Guides on placing cynos on stations effectively. I'd actually like to detail every single station configuration. What stations are safe to place cynos on, what stations should be avoided.
I'm not sure how much work is required here. I'm not even sure how many different station configurations there are. Twenty? Forty? No idea. And couldn't find a Google search that could tell me. So it may be something I'll scale down once I figure out the work involved. About all I've done is take screen shots of the Fweddit home station in Egghelende. Probably the easiest and safest station to cyno anything on to.
I've been playing Path of Exile. I'm nearly finished Act I, and already getting bored of it. The game play is repetitive, the combat a tad too simplistic. And some features of the game are annoying me to no end. The randomized nature of the instances isn't appealing. And the fact that if you take a break in town for longer than fifteen minutes, any progress you made in an instance is wiped, that the instance is repopulated and re-randomized is frustrating as well. I'll probably finish Act I, and then call it a day, uninstall the thing.
I'm glad that it was a free download. I would never have tried it otherwise. I'm really reticent about paying for any games, because I know that the chances that I'll bore of the thing after a few hours is exceptionally high.
I get bored of non-MMOs quickly. I've only ever finished one game in my life. That game is Ico. Maybe it was the minimalism. Or the puzzle/problem solving. Or the emotional content. Or the fact that repetition wasn't a major design element. You weren't returning to a save point twenty or thirty times to try to get a single set of tricky timings down pat. I hate repetition, I hate repeating game elements over and over. Ico was more intent on playing out a story than trying to frustrate the player. The story was strong, the emotional element was strong, and that's what kept me playing until the end. Perhaps it was the fact that there were only two characters, your avatar tasked with saving this one ghostly girl; you began to strongly connect and relate to the task. As such, it drew you into the game at an emotional level. That's not something I'd ever experienced in a game before. Ico is a true work of art.
I played Shadow of the Colossus, was quite excited about it when I'd heard it was from the same designer that developed Ico. I played about half of it, before getting bored and putting it away. It certainly had many of the same elements that made me want to finish Ico. Strength of story. The emotional bond to the characters. Unfortunately it failed in terms of repetition. It became frustrating taking down the colossi, making that fifteenth attempt, because there were several "moves" that had to be made, each requiring an exactness of timing. Fail one of those elements, you failed the colossus and had to go back, start from scratch. I wanted to play out a story, not test my button pressing timing and accuracy over and over again.
That said, I have seen the ending of Shadow in highdef. So, whereas I only ever conquered eight or nine of the colossi in game, I was able to view the twenty-five minute cut-scene ending in the right emotional mindset. I'd played enough of the plot to understand where the story was leading, so I was still able to really appreciate the emotion in those final scenes. In a sense, I feel like I did complete Shadow.
I guess I'm attracted to games that play out more like film, less like finger-twitching time trials and exercises. Unfortunately, not many games make a real effort at film and story, the focus always directed towards repetition, twitch gaming, and button-mashing workouts.
Whenever Team Ico gets around to releasing The Last Guardian, I'll probably buy whatever Sony system it's on, just to play it. Considering the delays, it's looking like it might be the title that launches the Playstation 4.
Sheesh. After writing that, it's causing me to reflect somewhat on EVE Online. Especially faction warfare. The player-content side of things, the meta-game, is starting to seem kinda circular, a snake eating its own tail. There's only so many different ways to troll Late Night Alliance, before you start repeating yourself. The mechanics don't lead to actually caring about the warzone. You take a system, you lose a system. For the most part, you prefer to take systems, not so much caring if you lose them. You want to have more systems than your enemy, but that's about the extent of the caring.
The reward system directs the player into a type of game play that doesn't really make much sense from any aspect of story. Taking systems will be good, the reward system says; defending them, that's not so important.
I'm not suggesting any fixes here. Just stating that the faction warfare mechanics lead to something less than shallow. Beyond limiting immediate opposition reward, there are no repercussions to anything that a player, a corporation, an alliance or a faction might do. You'd think that a war would have some overall effect on the factions participating, in all of their space (taxes, loyalty point stores, station mechanics, that sort of thing), but no, faction warfare exists in a bubble that affects nothing outside of it. (Except the market, in small ways, but the market is hardly a story element that is going to excite anyone.)
Faction warfare is a meaningless little microcosm that is easily ignored by anybody not involved with it directly.
So, faction warfare having ripple effects that pass through all of empire space, that is not a road CCP is going to travel. So we're left with what we have. Faction warfare is what it is. Accept that it's limited and insular, or not. I haven't decided yet.
Maybe I just need to recharge the batteries. At the moment though, I'm feeling a little bored with EVE Online. A little bored with the Mr. Fix-It expansions. (I am anxious to hear how the 2013 expansions change directions, or not.) A little bored that this vast gamespace, the many constituent parts, still feel insular and disconnected from each other.