Friday, December 16, 2011

Gaming (Draft)

So, today I will do a post I should have done a while ago. Before I dive into the topic, let me first give my regrets in about two weeks, as the topic of this blog will quickly change to Passion 2012, as I have an obligation to do something so that we can be satisfied I am getting an amount of school time equivalent to two weeks. I'll delve into that in the next post.
Today, I speak of a “hobby” that has taken at least 187 days of time from my life. It has been controversialized due to the overdosing of such activities, and has been directly linked to several disabilities. I speak of gaming.
First, a quick recap of my gaming history, which closely mimics my real life. First was Kal Online, which was as broken a game as it could be. Basically, the publishers decided to release the Korean version in America, forgetting to translate anything. The Americans who got the game, sadly, were shoddy translators. I played this game until even I, with my closed world and innocent eyes, became disillusioned to the worthlessness of it all. Half the game was a box icon.
I moved onto Hero Online, a game I got hopelessly addicted to right about the same time my parents realized I was addicted to video games. Many nights were spent up, hoping nobody else was awake.
After my hard drive crashed, and forgot what the game was called (yes, I really forgot), I went onto Trickster and Maplestory. Trickster (made by Ntreev, or GE Interactive) was a fun little game, though the developers changed several beginner areas quite frequently. Every time I come back to that game, I find myself in a place where everything is overpowered, and sondering how come, since those same entities were beginner monsters a year ago. But I digress; I still consider is a very high quality game, and recommend it to anyone. The graphic and bloom lighting in this game is fantastic.
Another game by ntreev, Grand Chase is an incredibly fun dungeon brawler. You pick one of (I think 13) different characters, each of which starts with a quest line designed to level you up fast. I have yet to see an uninspired dungeon in this game, and playing through them is fun and shaves an hour fast.
Maplestory, though, I consider terrible. It might have been what I played with, or maybe I was doing something wrong, but I went everywhere I could in that game, and was forced to level up by just going around the countryside murdering things. This was an aggravating game, and I left by level 25 (out of 500, I think).
Let's see, where did I go from there... I delved into Guild Wars, and the only thing keeping me from obsessively playing that game is the sheer fact that I can't find the physical disks to install it again. A great game by a great developer, and I can't wait for Guild Wars 2...
After a while, I saw an advertisement for Runes of Magic. It was said to play up to World of Warcraft, as a “free WoW”. Now, as a person who's seen that phrase thrown around quite a lot, I found myself skeptical as I downloaded the game. And I got so unthinkably attracted and addicted to that game. On the one character I have played on that game, I have logged 3, 597 hours of total gameplay. That's 150 days. Almost half a year in three year's time. Sadly, the game didn't do much to warrant my affection. If you look at the business behind it, Frogster America died after three years of uptime, and the European counterpart has assumed control of the American servers. FA seems to have done the worst possible job it could. Now, knowing people inside the company, I know they did what they could. But the game's history is a litany of across-the-board nerfing, mistakes, deleting things on accident, crashing, more crashing, downtime, etc. It is a really terrible game, and I want a refund on my days missed.
Onto greener pastures. I have rediscovered Kongregate, an online game publisher, and have found glee in the game Gemcraft. Also, Nexon made a quite enjoyable game called Vindictus, though I find the game quite unfairly balanced.
So, why do I keep playing Runes of Magic? Well, at the moment, I don't, because all the nerfing has finally caught up to my class (in my eyes, when you nerf one healing class and leave another one alone, and that one you leave alone is already quite annoyingly overpowered, I’ve have enough), but when I did, I only did so because of one word: social interaction. I know most of you are now crying over me, but I have an explanation. I don't mean I find true, fulfilling friendship online, I mean that I simply find that computer games provide a promise of interaction—all I need do is say something and I'll get a response. The game's a giant chat program. Real life provides a suggestion of interaction, though, whereas the interaction online gets only so far (you can't hug, or punch someone online)m the interaction offline can go anywhere. This means, as consistently in my life, the interaction when I present myself to an offline event, I commonly find myself at odds with the real world. Whereas I can sit and think out a response in typing, I cannot in real time. I find myself almost lost.
Though, worry not, I am fast overcoming this. Small talk still evades my mastery, though, which leads to hellish misunderstandings. Oh well. At least the usual physical debilitating effects of gaming aren't seeming to affect me. I thank a metabolism equivalent a bird for that. 

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