Off-Week Update (01-21-2014)

I managed to survive MAGFest WITHOUT getting sick? How the HELL did that happen?!

Unfortunately with the polar vortex (yay buzzwords),  botched deliveries, and several dental appointments screwing up  my schedules, my output has been all over the place. Recaps first? Alright, on to the recaps.

Backtrack: Neverwinter
Yes the Backtrack Block episode that wasn’t in the Backtrack Block. This was due to, as I stated, the new class being launched all but a few days into December. I wanted to make sure I got that portion covered, because it’s one thing for a game to update after I do a Backtrack, and it’s another for them to update THAT MUCH. I am still very much saddened by the state of the community. I was figuring that it was going to be a 50/50 endless bickerfight between the roleplayers and the goofballs, but the server merger, lack of RP support from Cryptic, and game’s relative proactive disdain from D&D fans meant the jerks got a hold of this one out of the gate and never let it go. When I say this game has a worse community then Maple Story, I mean it. There are places for reprieve in Maple, but in NW, there is NO escape. Yes, muting the chat is a solution. The point is, IT SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE ONE.

Sidequest: Dawngate
This was sprang up on me from a viewer (Tebble, to be specific) who told me he had a code for the game if I was willing to check it out. I was severely lacking in Sidequest material, considering TESO is STILL under NDA, and Wildstar is under “special snowflake” limited NDA exceptions, with me being unable to get an answer from Carbine’s press contacts. Regardless, Tebble claimed to have a code, but it wasn’t working, but I didn’t have much trouble applying for a key, and Waystone is giving them out like candy. It really wasn’t a tough MOBA to grasp, and everything I stated in the video applies: It’s competent, has interesting ideas, but it’s hardly groundbreaking. But again, there’s something REALLY weird about seeing wannabe “Major League Gamers” and meta-lovin’ min-maxers shouting at people in a freaking BETA-WEEKEND ONLY CLOSED BETA. For a game with NO TUTORIAL. A game that could completely change the way it plays in the very next patch.
I mentioned I had a theory as to why that is, and while I might eventually write a massive rant on it, it’s pretty much summed up thusly:
MOBA players are nerds being forced to be jocks.
What I mean by this, without everyone preemptively getting mad I used the term “nerds”, despite that being inevitable, is that we have a group of people who normally are not very socially adept, being placed into an activity that requires them to be so. Most “nerds” are introverts. Myself included. We expect things to work a certain way, and tend to rely on ourselves more than others.
In sports, you must play as a team. You must know your team, and your opponents, strengths and weakness, and communicate your strategy in a manner that best benefits everyone.
Us nerds tend to play games where we are the ONLY hero. Sure in MMOs, you have other who help you, but who are the NPCs generally speaking to? Who are they thanking for helping them? We’ve been playing single player games for so long that we are used to being the SOLE reason the world has been saved. If you lose, it’s failure. We’ve failed ourselves, and those who were depending on us to help them. We don’t want to lose. Losing means “the end”.
In sports, SOMEONE has to lose. It’s the nature of the games. There can not be “two winners” in every match. You can play to the best of your ability, do everything as you always do, and STILL end up losing. (Another reason I hate the concept of “the meta” but that’s a separate rant.)
I’ve seen sports coaches talk to their teams after a losing match. They (usually) don’t belittle their players. They understand the team that beat them was just better that day. They talk up all the good things they did, and identify what they did wrong so they improve themselves. They don’t mock a specific player claiming “it was all their fault”, they don’t call the other team names, and they sure as shit don’t get endlessly mocked by the winning team. Being a “sore winner” is just as looked down upon as being a “sore loser.”
Since nerds don’t understand this, they tend to see their teammates as “tools” or obstacles. Perhaps even NPCs. They are other people who must do everything they tell them to do. I understand that there needs to be a “team leader”, and someone to coordinate these moves and let their team know what should and should not be done. The “quarterback” if you will.
The biggest issue is that nearly EVERYONE on the team thinks they are the quarterback. The want to be in charge. They want the glory. They want the satisfaction, and if they don’t get it, well it’s clearly the fault of everyone BUT themselves.
You cannot ALL be the quarterback. For every touchdown pass thrown, there was someone to catch it. For every touchdown ran in by the QB, there were several people blocking others in order to keep his path clear.  Just like you were able to finish off that carry because the tank kept the assassin off of you for long enough, or the healer kept you at just high enough HP to outlast your opponent.
Team games require people to play roles, and not every role gets the glory. Supports and tanks don’t get to ride the top of the scoreboard, but without them, you’re not nearly as capable as you think you are. To quote the Rucks/Bastion announcer pack from DOTA2, “Nobody likes to play support, but everybody likes to win.”
Of course, losing is still something that’s going to happen, and it’s not always someone or something else’s fault. The character isn’t “OP”, “the lag” wasn’t messing up your game (or as often as it tends to get blamed), your team doesn’t “suck except for you”. Sometimes you are just bested. Accept that. Move on to the next match, and don’t be such a pile of shit over it.

Heva Clonia (Episode 52)
I wanted to like this game more than I did. I was thinking it might be a World MMO with a more robust and involved pet system, as the trailer seemed to illustrate. Instead, it was a fairly no frills beat-em-up styled game with no real challenge. There’s amusement to be had, but it wears thin pretty fast. Scary that I’ve had more to talk about from my mini-sodes than my main ones.

Browser-Based: Kart Rider Dash
I was surprised this game was still around when I found it. It’s not exactly like it was as a client download, but still a fairly solid racer for what it is… This was also the last video of mine to appear on Blistered Thumbs (good thing since people were using the comment section of that video to complain about BT before the shutdown announcement), with the remainder, including this episode, to appear directly on TGWTG. While I know most people reading this tend to leave comments here, if they leave comments at all, I wouldn’t mind receiving comments on there as well, mostly to show there are people actually watching it on there. I have yet to put a full episode up there yet, so we’ll see how this goes.

Sidequest: Aerena
This game snuck up on me, brought to my attention my MegaGWolf, who asked me if I was interested in looking at the title. I tend to like turn-based strategy games, despite being pretty terrible at Advance Wars (Prefer Sami in AW, AW2, AW:DS, Lin in AW:DoR) and never properly finishing any of the Fire Emblem games. I have to say that the developers are very cool, as well. I streamed a few matches a while back, only to find out the player I was against (and unable to beat) was one of the developers, and we proceeded to chat for a while. Another developer commented on the video itself, offering up a way to obtain a key for those interested in trying the game out. If even remotely interested, I highly suggest checking it out.

Recaps over, time for some quick news.

I’ve been working more and more on forming a community, and the community board at is taking off quite well. We are up to 100 members already (Far more than I was expecting for a board we originally made for Age of Wushu.) We are also getting more regular streams going, including SMITE NIGHT on Sundays, and some random Secret World excursions. Feel free to join up if you’re interested. There’s plans for other games going within the community as well, and SMITE is pretty active in the board and Raidcall.

My schedule is still in a bit of a shambles. After talking with a former developer of another game I was interested in doing, and finding out the direction it went in, I decided to downgrade it from full ep to Browser-based. It should come out sometime this week. As for the new full ep, I decided to upgrade something I was going to do as a Sidequest but as I mentioned elsewhere, Aeria’s idea of a Closed Beta last all of a week and is full access. Since the game in question is on open beta now, it qualifies. Hoping that gets done before the end of the month. If only I could stop making dental appointments.


Posted on January 21, 2014, in News and Updates and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. I believe you indeed were able to “hit the nail” when it comes to mentality of people playing team-games in general.
    …Which sort of reminds the time when a player in opposing team started to berate me, because “I” wasn’t killing him constantly…
    (Not Bragging necessarily; Just showing that there indeed are people who blame everything aside themselves (unless of course someone indeed is actually power-playing/exploiting)).
    (Opens a post on Ubert-SMNC-forums at Screeshots2.0-thread)

    ((By the way, to those who aren’t aware yet, there are quite simple url-expander tools avaible for safer browsing; here are some of them listed: ))

  2. -Id like to check out aerena, but I don’t really like betas I think…

    -I think what your writing about MOBA’s is pretty much exactly one of the problems with the genre.

    -haveaclonia and cartrider dash: not really my kind of games. the first one looks kinda boring, the second one…well, a browserbased racing game… no, thank you

    -And my last point: I watch your videos mostly twice. Here and on youtube or on tgwtg(or blisteredthumbs wherever they were before)

  3. This article describes a lot of the basic, general mentality of the worst of the MOBA community. Thankfully, I haven’t been hurt TOO much by them (I play LoL on occasion), because I’ve usually been careful and my brother is able to pull me away from the game if I start to lose my temper.

    Many gamers use games as an entertaining escape from the real world, or as a way to wind down after a long day of work/school/stuff. For those gamers, a MOBA or other E-sports-focused game is way too stressful to properly enjoy the way they want to enjoy it… but they play it anyway, because everyone’s playing it. Single player stuff can only last so far before the games start to bleed together, and there is also the fact that a multiplayer-centric title essentially has unlimited content that is naturally more dynamic than a single-player experience. This is because the challenge is focused squarely on other human beings who are unpredictable in terms of individual behavior: you never know if someone is going to accidentally feed the enemy Ashe and drag the team down before you start a game, and it may be the case that it may not be that person’s fault because the enemy Ashe may simply be hyper-skilled at the character, but etc….

    Point is, multiplayer stuff is VERY stressful, especially with MOBAs, so combine that with an audience that is generally more stressed-out than another audience, and you get an extremely high potential for the nasty behavior we see in the MOBA community.

    To be honest, IMHO those who use video games to de-stress are being morons. Video games are, by design, intense and immersive, and demand the attention, focus and agency of a person. If someone is already stretched thin by a day’s demands, then a video game isn’t going to recharge them, or put them into a position where they can fully tap the entertainment potential of a video game. At that point, they may need a nap more than they need another match of DotA 2.

    That may be kind of harsh, but it is how I generally feel. Gamers may be using games in a way that is detrimental to themselves, by chasing the phantom of entertainment while their nerves get frayed at the edges, which causes them to emotionally stumble into the fiery depths of GAMURR RAEG hell.

    Seriously. Next time a person who reads this sits down to play their favorite MOBA, I want that person to take a nap first. Yes, you. Not for long, set a timer on your alarm/phone/watch/etc., and set it for whatever you can manage. If all you can manage is a few minutes on the couch, then do that. Once you’ve taken your rest, then head into LoL. See if you do better, or at least feel better about your performance. Keep an eye on how you feel: if you start feeling the rage build up, finish whatever match you are on, then step back from the game and take another nap. If you are the kind of person that needs to think about the match if it really upset you for whatever reason, then think about it while you rest. Don’t go rushing into another match if you know that you are at your tolerance limit, and are about to RAEG.

    That’s my two cents about the matter. I don’t expect anybody to actually do what I am recommending, but I hope they at least think about the concept. Who knows, there are likely several other factors that I am not thinking about; maybe their environment is just stressful in general, and may not have the chance to properly manage their stress. To those who are in such a position, I do sympathize with you. I am in a stressful situation myself (Senior year of college, Mechanical Engineering), so at the very least, I can relate. Life is tough, and feels like all it does is put road blocks up to see how we respond to them.

    With some observation, patience, and learning from successes AND mistakes, all road blocks can be overcome, but it is not easy. Video games are not the crutch that will allow you to get over those road blocks, and may actually divert resources away from that crucial task of learning from life’s obstacles. Video games have their place as the most powerful and immersive art form to date, but they have their limitations as well. Just because something is new, fresh and powerful does not mean that it is what your life needs, or that it will fill a hole that something else may better fill.

    We human beings have the distinct advantage of free will, which is humongous compared to other known life forms. I am not talking about the simple ability to choose between different outcomes due to one’s actions: I am talking about deliberately choosing a particular outcome for no other reason than “I just wanted to do it.” In nature, animals will always choose the outcome that benefits them the most, in their individual judgment and within the scope of their physical limitations. With humans, we can choose, and have chosen, to do whatever the heck we want, regardless of the predicted outcome. We have often chosen to do something that harms us a LOT more than it benefits us, and there are people who actively advocate certain actions that have no physical, tangible benefit, and who follow through on that belief.

    For everyone who is a member of this outrageously overpowered species, that’s a lot of responsibility, to crib from Spider Man. Learn how to use that responsibility wisely. Sure, you may still choose to do whatever the heck you want, but there is no excuse to not at least have your eyes open and be ready to learn from whatever choice you make. After all… you never know what choice may be your last.

    And on that note (and after a post that went a LOT longer than I intended), I shall bid you folks adieu for now.


    Mr. Album

    • Geez, just how bad is LoL to inspire that, hah..

      “Dota like games” require you to have a knowledge of the game. If you randomly play any of them with zero clue what you’re doing it’s not going to end well.

      But it’s up to you how you go form there. Do you deny it and cuss out everybody else? Do you learn to play the game better? Do you practice instead of ruining matches for everybody else? Do you sum it up to “moba’s” and say they’re all inherently a cesspool?

      Do you prefer playing checkers to chess because you don’t want to bother to learn anything in chess beyond knowing how the pieces move? You really shouldn’t play any of the “moba’s” then…

      Hell, even Chaosd1 here had a stream where he tried Dota 2 and went from “What is this, how do I even…!?” to slowly learning how things worked and after a few games he seemed to start realizing it’s not that complicated if you don’t expect to know it all immediately…

      • Does a MOBA, whether DotA or LoL, become less stressful when you know what you are doing?

        You are right, these games have steep learning curves. When a gamer is stressed out, as I mentioned above, how well do they adapt to a steep learning curve? And once they do master that curve and understand how to play, does their knowledge allow them to relax?

        I will make an educated guess and say “no” for the bulk of the community. Ask a pro who is one of the top players if the MOBA they play gets easier once you reach the pro level, and see how they respond. They will likely say some form of “heck no,” again, an educated guess from me.

        There is an assumption that those who master a skill have an easier time with that skill than those who are learning it for the first time. The fact is that higher levels of skill create more complex problems that require the higher skill level to solve. Skill does not decrease difficulty; it presents new challenges that need a higher skill level to beat. In a MOBA, that means going up against more skilled players. Thus, the difficulty remains intact, and, in theory, so does the potential for stress.

        You are correct, but this was an aspect that you had glossed over. Make of my thoughts whatever you will.


        Mr. Album

        • I play games to have fun I don’t want to spend several hours researching how to play my character “properly” the only reason I enjoy DDO is because I already have a PnP background so have a general idea how things fit together. Other than that I’d much rather be playing a single player game or a “Couch Co-Op” game with my buddies…for me the second u add competition its ceases to be a game.

          • Oh and the fact that DDO doesn’t have any sort of PVP helps too

          • That’s fine, but that’s like saying “Strategy games suck, I just want to shoot stuff mindlessly!!” it doesn’t mean games that require you to learn/think are bad..

    • That’s my primary reason for staying the hell away from MOBAs (aside from the fact that the community in those games is less than pleasant): I play games to have fun. MOBAs are not fun. They are WORK (well, at least that’s how most players seem to act o_O ).

    • This whole MOBA conversation that started seems like it would be better placed in the forums, to keep the comments section from being too long. But, here is where it’s taking place, so I’ll add my two cents.

      I do think the assertion of John (Or Chaos, not sure which he prefers) that MOBAs force nerds to act like jocks is apropo in certain ways, since most gamers did grow up playing single-player games, where they were the only ones exerting control over a game world, and were truly the masters of their destiny. Unless the game was broken, everything in the game world could be expected to behave a certain way. Whether the AI was good or bad, unless it was programmed really terribly, it could at the very least be expected to behave the same way every time. Playing a MOBA forces you to play on a team with other people, and those people add the ever-present element of true unpredictability. Because your teammates are controlled by other people and not AI, unless you’re playing with the same group of friends every time, your teammates simply cannot be relied upon to do what you expect them to do every single time. And when you can see that a situation would have gone better if your teammate had done what you expected and made the right play at the right time, you feel very frustrated about not being able to control that aspect of the game. It’s true that if your teammates were on top of their shit and did what you were hoping they would do, your games would go much better overall. But because gamers have been playing games where they could control everything for the better part of their lives, playing a game where there are elements that they can’t control, and will never be able to control, is such a break from the norm for them, that most people just don’t know how to cope, so they get frustrated and lash out, much in the same way they would lash out against shitty AI partners in a game, except what they lash out against is other people…

      However, I’d say the experience of playing on a team in a football or baseball game is different from playing a MOBA in enough key ways that the two can’t be conflated so easily. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll use football. In a football game, it’s very rare that you’re going to be playing on a team with a roster completely comprised of people you’ve never met before. When a football team takes the field for a youth league, high school, college, or NFL game, the people on that team have at the very least been practicing with each other for a matter of weeks or months, in which time they’d get to know each other as players and people. So when it’s game time, everyone pretty much knows how their teammates are going to play. When someone makes a mistake, no one really gives them shit for it, because they’ve seen that person play before, and they know how well that person can play the game, so everyone just concentrates on doing better on the next play. I’ve watched a fair share of NFL games, and I’ve never seen teammates giving each other shit over bad plays that were made, no matter how bad the play was. They understand it won’t help the team play better, and it won’t help them win. Plus, because they know their teammates and care about them as people at least a little bit, they don’t want to do anything to hurt their feelings. If you get matched up with a team of random people for a flag football game in gym class, you still know your teammates, since you go to the same school and most likely have classes together, so probably at least some part of you doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of a teammate. If nothing else, you know if you act like a real dick to someone in class, you’ll get in trouble with the school. Same thing when you get together with a group of kids from around your neighborhood for a game of football. Odds are good most people know each other, and after the game is over, you’re still going to have to see each other afterwards, because you all live together, so it’s in your best interest to be nice.

      When playing a MOBA (once again, unless you play with the exact same group of real-life friends every time), you get matched up with a team of random people from all across the world (or at least all across your sever), who you’ve never met or played with before, and will most likely never meet in person or ever play with again. Odds are very good you won’t even remember each other’s names once the match is over. Despite the matchmaking system claiming to put you on teams with other people of your relative skill level (which is another rant altogether), It is still a huge crap shoot exactly what type of people you’ll get matched up with, not to mention what type of mood they’ll be in. Everyone has lives, everyone goes through shit, most people don’t share these facts with other people in a MOBA game, because they know those other people will either not care or be openly hostile. And of course, everyone thinks they’re good at the game before the match starts (some more than others… “This is a smurf, my other account is Plat” anyone?) unless they openly admit that they’re new or trolling. Because you’re aware of the fact that you don’t know and will never see this person, you feel much more free to lash out at them when they make mistakes. We all remember Jonathan Gabriel’s greater internet fuckwad theory… At the same time, because there are very few immediate consequences for it, most people aren’t discouraged at all from trolling and deliberately sabotaging the game for everyone. Because hey, it’s a free game that they didn’t spend any money on, so if they get banned, it won’t be any loss to them, and it will take so much time for that ban to actually come down that it’s barely worth thinking about. People get pissed at you and start yelling at you for doing badly, intentionally or otherwise? No problem, just close the end-of-game screen, forget about it and start up a new game. Putting the in-game punishment systems aside for a moment, there’s no real, immediate, human-to-human emotional consequences for anything you do in a MOBA game like there is in a sports game, so no one has any problem with acting like a huge prick.

      Wow… this ended up being way more long and rambling than I would have liked…

      tl;dr: MOBAs are not like sports games, because when playing a team sport, you are at the very least familiar with your teammates, as opposed to MOBAs where you have no personal connection to your teammates whatsoever, nor they to you. Also, the average jock at least doesn’t act like a prick to the people he plays the game with, as opposed to the average MOBA player, who acts like a gigantic asshole to just about everyone he meets.

  4. Aura Kingdoms…? Animu!!!!! Ugh, at least it doesn’t try to pretend otherwise I guess..?

    I tried it bored out of my mind, groaned when i saw all the random crap it wanted me to install just to play the game, went through the hassle, and realized how dull it is.

    Didn’t even level up stats or anything and breezed through it, dumped everything into agility for some attack speed eventually. But when I did so it said I learned “Dance #4” through like 15 or so.

    Going through them, it’s all vocaloid/anime stuff that I’m glad I have zero clue about.

    But I did it in the level 10 town and got a lot of creepy people asking me questions or naming the dances, asking me to take my costume off so I was naked.

    Which probably highlights the fanbase, hah..

  5. Aura Kingdoms incoming haha

    I have been playing since the stress test cant wait to see what you think Chaos. (Stomphoof of Tumblr)

  6. The community board link leads nothing currently…or my PC hates me…one of those :P

  1. Pingback: Off-Week Update (03-19-2014) | MMO Grinder

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