MMORPG psychology

What is it that makes people play so much? The list is probably as long as the code for what makes the warriors do what they do, but why do YOU play?

For me, it’s simple. I like to play computer games. Before WoW, my favorite genre was Real-time Strategy (RTS for n00bs out there). The top of my list in order of longetivity is Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3, Age of Empires, and some C&C Red Alert back in the day. I probably have more playing time under my belt than most 30 year-old pilots have in the cockpit, but would not say that I’m a great player at any of them.

I eventually beat nearly every game I get. I love a good First Person Shooter (FPS), beginning with Castle Wolfenstein, then Doom, Doom 2, Quake, Unreal, Quake 2, Quake 3, UT, Half-Life, and the list goes on. I like racing, flying, and yes, even text games. I don’t break any records, but I enjoy them to the fullest.

What has been true with all the games I’ve ever played is that they end. Some even have a “The End” screen.

Sure, there’s multi-player or mods, or custom scenarios that add unlimited replay value. Notice the problem with that sentence though: “replay.” Playing it over and over again.

Let’s contemplate WoW’s setup for a bit. First, you have 60 levels to get to what they call “end game instances.” That entails over 12 24-hour days of play time, many people even more. Gitr is up to about 7 1/2 days for level 43. Once you hit 60, you can play for months before you’re ready to take on the biggest, baddest bosses and use an unlimited number of group compositions to take them down. Let’s say you do all of that. THEN you can try to do it with another class or race. It’s too much work to calculate the combinations now because only certain races can be certain classes, but it comes out to about 30 different combinations of gameplay. Multiply that by an average of 30 days each for beating every boss.

Wait. There’s more. Then you can move to another server, say get some RP/PvP action where you get ganked every 10 minutes. Now we’re talking 50 days per toon.

I also play because I can choose between competing against the computer or human players at any time. I need to work with humans, which adds a huge attraction of uncertainty of the outcome. If I trip my PvP flag, I can suddenly be faced with the danger of encountering a flesh-and-blood adversary 17 levels higher than me.

Since I still live at home, the question has been posed, “Is there a 12-step program for getting off that game?” It really isn’t a matter of addiction for me, but that I’ve always switched to a new game by now because it ends. I would normally be on my third game by now. I haven’t even finished the Age of Empires 3 demo yet, nor Doom 3, and haven’t even gotten around to downloading the Call of Duty 2 demo (although I did ask for it for Christmas). If they really want me to stop playing WoW for a while, it’ll come. LOL

AH success at last

I’m not giving away any trade secrets on my blog, but I have had a great 2 days in the AH. With some incredible tools and seemingly providential discernment on what to do, Gitr’s investor got all the money back from Saturday night’s 65g loan, plus a sizable amount of interest for the trust to make good on it. Of course, with a whole week to pay him back, there must be some good stuff going on to give back that much purchasing power so soon. Oh, there is.

I am really excited about my new nich, which will allow me to get the ‘latest and greatest’ instance AND soloing gear. I do have a big suprise up my sleeves for 4 guildies, but it will probably take a week or two for that to happen. Just in time for Christmas.

As some of you know, I still live at home [ 🙁 ]so even though my playing doesn’t keep me away from my girlfriend, missing appointments, or missing work, my play time is at least observed by those who think my time can be better spent. What is my point here? I can play the AH in 20-30 minute intervals and call it a half-day, log back in, and shout for joy as Gitr brought in 3-5 times more than he spent. Last night I logged out with over 380g posted for sale.

A very nice bonus of this new activity is that I have lots of rest xp to use tonight. My biggest problem will be avoiding the temptation to stop what I’m doing to go back to IF to put more inventory up for sale. My goal today is to level to 44 and get 700g in currency and inventory.

I wish I had a great philosophical topic today, but I don’t…they kind of just come to me. Hopefully the other blogs manage to take up my slack so you aren’t left wanting.

Uldaman weekend

I hit 43 some time Saturday around lunch, I guess. I was invited into a like-level run with an all in-house group to Uldaman. It was my second time in there, so it wasn’t completely new, but we had some quests and no healer. Right. 5 toons, no healer.

The group consisted of me on the verge of 43; Inebriate, 39 mage; Homerjay, 47 warlock; Foashin, 44 mage; and Whitekalen, 46 warrior. It was touch and go as we went on and faced more and more difficult mobs, but it was really our fault, and likely mine, being the n00best of the group. The rest of them all have 60s, or even multiple 60s and run all the time. Now their alts are actually high enough to fun with me and help me out.

The problem that around that I KNOW was my fault was quite simple and easily remedied. I saw that White often looked like she was going to shoot her crossbow to pull, but didn’t. She must have been walking around with it pulled out from shooting a runner or something. Well, one time we were in a room with a bunch of mid-40 elites and she pulled 3-4 from the left and I pulled 4 from the right. I was the only to die, but that was fitting. I have no idea how everyone else survived, but that was none of my concern.

Just before that, I’d experienced my first epic drop ever. BoE to boot, too. Gloves of Holy Might dropped from a miner boss near the back door to Uldaman. He was in a room with an Archaeologist, Geologist, and 2 body guards that I’m not sure what they were. We took the last 3 down in good form in under a minute to our great gladness of his loot. We all passed to do a greed roll. Because my memory is so bad, I can’t remember exactly why, but White got them and gave them to me to sell on AH. When I went to put them up, there were 2 already up. One was for 150g and the other 100g. I told ‘Neb’s alt, Intoxicated, to grab them up so I had a chance to sell the ones we got and put them up for 2g higher than mine. We are still waiting for them to sell.

I have started up my AH business and am making out quite well. I started with 12g of my own and worked up to 30-something and bought all I could and posted them. Things were going along nicely and noticed how nice things could be “if only” I could buy just this one thing that I saw. I asked a guildie for a 65g starting capital loan due Saturday. They agreed to that. My guess is that they will have their return today or tomorrow after the patch (please let it be tomorrow). I have great plans for the money, to which my guild will get great honor, much in the same way if I ever get large sums of money. 🙂 I will prove to be an excellent steward of what I am given and bring in great returns on investment.

Sorry for the lack of screenshots today. The runs were so busy and cramped that a good shot never really popped up when I was thinking, “blog.” I am going to ask around, but if you read this and have a solution, please post a comment. Is there a mod or other program for free that lets you store screenshots sequentially? I really hate ALT-Tabbing to Photoshop to paste a shot before continuing on with gameplay. Some of your blogs have so many shots, I can’t imagine that you all take that many breaks during raids to dump the clipboard to be able to take another shot. If that is the case, gratz, because I can’t do it. Heheh.

Tanking: Fury or Prot?

New topic: Can I draw more aggro right here, right now by putting on a shield and getting in defensive stance without a respec? With a respec? My goal in running instances is obviously to take as much damage as I can away from everyone else. My method for that has been to do so much damage that I piss everything off into wanting my head on a platter. I currently own the [Collection Plate] have had no interest in getting anything better until I need to respec or use it in Fury. This isn’t really a “I think you should do this” topic, but a hard fact scientific inquiry about aggro. Are there formulas out there for calculating how much aggro I can get and hold?

As a level 42, I’m not yet to the point that I’m taking on anything that hits for more than 300-500 in a group with at least one healer. Therefore I’m never really in any *real* danger unless my support dies if they draw aggro from healing too much.

I spend the vast majority of my time soloing, so I’ve built up a fierce Fury build with 196 STR for damage increase to kill things before they kill me. I have no interest out there soloing in lasting out a fight.

Gitr’s going at it again

I heard from a fellow guildie that I needed to slow down in Uldaman tonight. It came in a whisper from someone who wasn’t in my party. I asked how he knew.

“I heard it on TeamSpeak. You’re really going at it, they say.”

Yeah I was. I dealt 41% of the damage and took 50% in a 5-man with a 37 mage, 38 druid, 36 warlock, and a 38 rogue. I was going a bit fast, but then again, I could afford to from time to time. I had a good pace with other groups, but not this one. It just didn’t feel right. I don’t know if it was because it was a new instance for me, or….. SHE was in it.

Yes. Miss Anti-gun. It was brought to my attention by a co-worker that I failed to mention that she is a fellow guildie. Well, this time she WAS the party leader, so I already knew no guns. That is probably the reason, because I am always using my gun when I can’t charge. We made it quite a ways in. I’d have to look at a map, but we beat the tall statue woman that looks like the princess in Arathi Highlands and then proceeded to kill 2 more big areas that were pulling tons of mobs linked together. First, a hall with about 7 scorpions, then 8 miners, and then a room with 8-10 miners. We wiped in the room trying to proceed out from there and called it a night. Why? Because it was 10PM and our leader has a bedtime. That’s right. Miss Anti-gun is still a kid. At one point I asked if I could shoot to pull and she said I’d have to wait until she ran into a corner and hid.

Enough about her. I got massive xp for not really doing anything tonight. I ran with Tox’s alt, Inebriate again. In STV we tried quest after quest and got decent xp all the way. I had a Singing Blue Crystal quest. Too bad it wasn’t ever the one ‘Neb had. 🙂 We went from place to place without them. Then, when we did start, the poor guy’s ag radius was too big. We wiped twice and eventually let the healer rez us to do the Uldaman run. I really enjoy running with Tox/Neb because he understands the game and the tactics involved. Never really getting mad when I’m stupid helps my training a lot, so I don’t get frustrated.

/*props to Tox

The AH had me drooling right before logging off. For the first time since I hit 40, I saw the legs I’ve wanted for more than a month. One day at work, we were looking to see how long it was going to be before I could get leggings better than my mail legs with +5 defense and 391 armor, which for some reason are not showing up on now. Anyway, we found them in [Golem Shard Leggings] at level 41. Very nice. I want them, I want them. Time to get l337 skillz in herbalism now to make extra money. One day with a mount should do it.

I got my skinning up another 2 points last night, up to 294 now. Tox is going to take me bear or bat hunting for 55s to finish off my skinning and get his reputation up.

Good night, and thanks for reading.