Tag Archives: World of Warcraft

#419 Talking about my Connections to the Gaming Scene

This Tuesday it seems like the floodgates opened up about an indie game developer behind Depression Quest being accused of using her personal connections and influence to gain favorable news stories about the game the dev made.

Despite everything blowing out of control, and the backlash from the people who was trying to control the story from developing and the major problem that was brought up with this story was not the alleged adulterous techniques that was used but how there was no transparently with the some of the members in video game press when talking about the game dev and the game while it was on greenlit phrase on Steam.

At it is at this time I want to sit down and talk about my past interactions with the gaming industry, my Twitch and this blog and what it means to you and me.

 

First things first, when I created Be MOP a couple of years ago I did not set out to try to build another videogame news website, only the time to update every Monday Wednesdays and Fridays there was no way I could complete with the any of the news sites. So I crafted Be MOP with the intentions of one World of Warcraft player writing about his adventures in the Beta of the Mists of Pandaria and my opinions about the most recent developments, soon after I became burnout on WoW this site soon evolved into a general video game blog about whatever topics I want to discuss.

Over the hundreds of posts I had two public moments I want to bring up, one is a small interaction and the other is more complex and interesting to talk about. Both are not bad but moments but they are things I want to talk about while the internet is on the topic of video game media and transparency.

The first encounter was about a year ago when I met the creator of Neocolonialism on the floor of Boston Fig, while making small talk and buying the preorder of the game I mentioned that I am video game blogger and I have an interest in politics topics and I had my own blog. A while later I received an email from the creator that included with my first advance copy of a game, which helped me write a blog post about the game, as seen in Be MOP #295.

 

Since then I have not been in contact with Subaltern Games in over a year, and that was nothing wild, I bought an indie game, received an advanced copy of the game, and gave my opinion about the game. I would almost not mention it but I did not make any comments about the backstory at time of writing the game.

 

The second interaction with the gaming world is a bit more interesting to talk about.

As many know, my most recent gaming project has been the upkeep of my Twitch channel and hosting a stream four nights a week. In my introduction blog post I mentioned that the main game I would be streaming would be the ARTS/MOBA Infinite Crisis (Be MOP #370).

After doing some research and preparing myself for creating my Twitch project I came to the conclusion that Infinite Crisis had everything I was looking for as a new streamer, it was a game still in the beta, it had a small community, and that game, since being a ARTS/MOBA had a lot of replay value for the stream, and most importantly the game is about superheroes fight each other which gave me, an avid comic book fan, the option to tell stories about my favorite Superhero cartoons and comics. 

Choosing Infinite Crisis for my preferred game to stream was not a random choice. I was first introduced to the game when I signed up and got into the closed beta, which you can read all about in Be MOP # 247. Shortly after the writing the post I dropped the game for a while for other -more complete- games I had in my library.

During my time attending this year’s PAX East I saw the Turbine’s Infinite Crisis presence there and after looking around the booth and seeing how far the game progressed it got me interested enough to pick up the game again, which you can follow in Be MOP #367.

During the few weeks I started streaming Infinite Crisis I stumbled upon Infinite Crisis’s Streamer Partnership program via talking someone who was in my chatroom at the time. After that stream session ended I sent in an application for the program in the middle of May (5/18). The requirements to get into the IC Twitch partnership program is to “meet the requirements of streaming regularly, do not run inappropriate content and show your referral link prominently on your page, [and then] you should hear from us within a couple of weeks.” and continued on with my regular life.

Per the norm, I often gather inspiration for blog posts from the interesting games I have been playing lately and with the sudden influx of playing and talking about Infinite Crisis on my stream four nights a week, we saw the publication of my “DC’s ability to print money with Infinite Crisis” (Be MOP #373) and my “Enough with all the Batmans” (Be MOP #382) posts.

Soon after that (June 28th) i received an acceptance letter from Infinite Crisis congratulating me on getting into the Twitch Partnership program.

BrURvVACYAAmlSH

But what was it?

Being in the Infinite Crisis partnership program means that each week streamers, like myself, are emailed four codes of the newest and latest released cosmetic costumes of the current champions with the instructions to hand them out to our viewers. While I have not every given cash and I hand out every code, goods goes through me and a cynical person could argue that I am paid with in game items that are valued for real life currency. 

During my streams, whenever I try to hand them out I constantly try to remind and tell people where I got these codes from and why I am handing them out. A bit down the like during another past transparency scandal I started adding this comment in the panel section of my stream:

My shtick is that I come up (or borrow) Comic Book related riddles for each stream session and the first person to correctly answer the riddle wins the code for the night, and while this might be at the bottom of my screen throughout the stream I am constantly drawing attention this specific panel

My shtick is that I come up (or borrow) Comic Book related riddles for each stream session and the first person to correctly answer the riddle wins the code for the night. While this panel might be at the bottom of the screen throughout the stream I am constantly drawing attention this specific panel. 

 

But even before that I made a promise to myself to not about my adventures in the Infinite Crisis game post partnership acceptance,there were a few posts that I wanted to write after “Enough with all the Batmans” but every time I sat down I just felt weird writing it, call it a politician’s intuition. If there was a time I had to write about the news from Infinite Crisis I would make it perfectly that I am in that program. 

What does it mean to you?. But this is also to tell you that you are allowed my viewers to know that this is more than enough grounds to discredit my opinions on Infinite Crisis if you want to and I would understand your skepticism, but I can tell you that if you stop by my stream you can tell I genuinely enjoy the game and I have fun talking about the game. 

As I mentioned before the purpose of this post was to make sure that everyone knows what my interaction is with Infinite Crisis, what I have done to make it known, and what it means for you moving forward. I am planning to continue to write about and stream Infinite Crisis and other videogames for the foreseeable future but I wanted to transparent as can be and open up the lines of communications with you guys as well moving forward.

 

 


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#416 Spare an Extra Buck for Extra Life? Follow Up

It is election season all over the states and just about now all the politicians are coming out of the woodwork shaking hands and asking for money, and I am no exception.

Instead of asking for money for my own political organization to secure my seat in the NH House of Representatives I want to bring to light a charity event that I am a participating in this fall.

Extra Life Facebook Cover Photo_v2

 

I talked about this event a few months ago when I signed up with this event, but Extra Life is an organization that gathers players from around the world to come together on October 25 to marathon videogames for 24 hours in order to raise money and awareness for that gamer’s favorite hospital in the Children’s Miracle Network. This is my first year participating in the Extra Life event and my goal is to raise $200 for Boston Children’s Hospital.

So far, between the first time I wrote about Extra Life and now we were able to raise 125 out of 200 but we are still $75 away from reaching our goal, which is way I am writing this post to see in the hopes that we reach the goal before October deadline.

From my political experience I know that blindly asking for money with no payoff will wield little results, so there are a series of thank you to those who donates. Everyone who donates any amount through the my extra life profile, from one dollar to a hundred, will be featured on my  “Extra Life 2014 Sponsors” section on my Twitch channel. Because Extra Life is advertising themselves as a videogame marathoning event, those who donates $1 per hour for the entire day, for a total of $24 or more will be entered into a raffle to name out of our pet chickens that we received as baby chicks earlier this spring. 

She has grown up quite a bit but she's still just as adorable.

She has grown up quite a bit but she’s still just as adorable.

(Post Publishing note: because there was a slight miscommunication between me and my mother when she was writing her blog post about this event, the new rule is that anyone who donates ANY amount will be entered into the raffle to name our pet chicken)

 

As a little extra incentive IF we are able to reach the fundraising goal of $200 before late October I have promised that, come October 25, I would stream my 24 hour gaming marathon on Twitch for everyone to see.

If you are interested to seeing your’s truly try his hand at a 24 hour stream session then head on over to my Extra Life profile and donate to a worthy cause. The Extra Life page accept all major credit cards, all donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the funds raised will be going to Boston Children’s Hospital.

 

Thank you in advance for your generosity

 


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#412 Games from my Backlog Reflection

As I realized in my last blog post, my monthly “games from my backlog’ project quietly and unexpectedly reached it’s one year anniversary.

This entire project was something that was born after realizing how many games that I had in my library just collecting dust after I canceled my World of Warcraft subscription and just realizing my slight addiction to Team fortress 2 and various other time sinks(as talked about in Be MOP #360)  and this was a way to knock out some game titles that I have been meaning to play or that i gathered along the way by dedicating a each month a few games to play for my limited free game play time.

A series you can catch up with by reading all installments right now: Be MOP #258, #268, #281, #294, #307, #320, #334, #346, #359, #372, #385, #398, and #411.

Between that start of this little project I have removed about 30 games from my backlog, on top of a whole bunch of other games I played on the side.

Look how organized everything is, that habit does not reflex my organization of physical collections

Look how organized everything is, that habit does not reflex my organization of physical collections

 

Since, setting this up and forcing myself to games I might never have picked up by myself, I have found some favorite new titles and genres , They Bleed Pixels, Cloudberry Kingdom (and opening the floodgates to any pixel perfect and indie platformer), the Walking Dead series, Deadpool and Dust: an Elysian Tail. Basically any other game that I have dedicated a full blog post to or mentioned in future posts during or after the initial month.

Some of the games I picked were non-starters for me, like  Serious Sam 3 (motion sickness Be MOP #352) Borderlands 2 (lack of players on hand to play the game with co-op), & Gotham City Impostors, Final Fantasy VII, and the first Assassin’s Creed (lack of drive to boot up or play through the game).

Contrary to popular belief – or what this project’s mission might have been at the beginning-  its not about completing or even beating theses games it was about working through the mammoth amount of games I have trying out new games, dusting off some that I bought ages ago and just now playing, and trying new types of games after years of playing just one or two games exclusively from Highschool through College.

I am going to continue this project for the future because it is fun and pushing through and playing games I would never have thought to pick up I believe I am a better well rounded gamer because of it .

and studying for my blogging and streaming patterns it looks like I can not stop partaking in projects that has no dedicated end mark

and studying for my blogging and streaming patterns it looks like I can not stop partaking in projects that has no dedicated end mark

 


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#411 Games from my Backlog for the month of August

Good morning everyone, today’s not only the start of the weekend but the start of the  new month, and that means I go partake in the long running project of trying to curb the amount of games currently sitting on my backlog by picking a few games to dedicate my extra play time complete, or at the very least get enough of the taste of the game to see if I would enjoy that genera for future games. Last month I picked the two games, LEGO Batman 2 and Ducktales: Remastered.

I played a couple of hours into Lego Batman and it was a wonderful beat and smash em up game staring Lego version of everyone Gotham’s best and worsts characters, and the game itself got plenty of characters as well with the dialogue in the cut scenes and how they were able to add several musical scores from classic Batman and Superman themes into the game which is a very nice touch to add. But my years from World of Warcraft I have been able to quickly identify what a time/grind sink is and is the definition of grind sink, with hidden collectibles, secret objectives, and a quota of money collected by destroying destructible props on the set.

Which is not a bad thing, I think everyone should have game in their library to go to when you want to play a game but just turn off their brains for a while. I had my daily grind in World of Warcraft and currently have the goal of completing the Pokedex in X/Y. While I do like the idea of Lego games the Batman title was just not for me it was just too dark of a city to run around in but I still have Lego Lord of the Rings, Lego Marvel Super Heroes in my library and the other handful of Lego games on steam to find the perfect Lego game to spend countless hours just grinding and exploring.

Ducktales: Remastered was a game I started and finished while broadcasting it on my Twitch Stream and as I said on the stream, I was never raised on the Ducktales television show OR the game so the extra effort Disney put into to remastered edition was appreciated but I felt like I did not get the full effect compared to people who picked up this game when they played the original game on the NES. Over all though it was an enjoyable platformer although a tad limited (but it excused considering that it was on built for the original Nintendo console)  I can see how aspects of this game was the inspiration for other future games like say Shovel Knight and every other 2D indie platformers.

 

that Moon music though, I can see why it's so legendary.

that Moon level theme though, I can see why it’s so legendary.

 

With most of our summer done lets look forward to the new month with a couple of new games to play through for August, and it was not until I started writing this post for today when I realized that this month is the one year anniversary the “games from my backlog” project found way back in Be MOP #258.

One of my first three games that was on the chopping block was Tell Tale’s Walking Dead and what better way than to come full circle and play through the second season of The Walking Dead. While I have already made my arguments that games such like these maybe should not be called videogames but categorized as something else (Be MOP #259) I do want to follow up on the story of Clementine and see how the walker infested world has changed since the end of Season One.

For my second game I am choosing the indie platforming game Tiny Brains, not only because t was one of the few Indie games that was picked up by Sony for one of the games for the PlayStation 4 launch titles but because it was featured and recommended by one of my favorite YouTube celebrity  featured it on his show and recommend it to everyone.

 

And it is an indie platforming game with that extra third dimension which makes it stand a head of the sea of 2D platformers

And it is an indie platforming game with that extra third dimension which makes it stand a head of the sea of 2D platformers

 


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#410 A Response to Are Game Demos Dead?

A few days ago I was reading one of Gamemoir‘s Question of the Day that as the question, “In an age of alphas, betas, and early access has the humble demo seen its day? They raised an interesting question, with growing trend of Closed and Open Betas, Steam’s Early Access even the release of  Technical Alphas the gaming world has seem to forget the option for releasing a demo of a full game, but I think that is because the limitations the gaming companies had in the past.

Currently we live in an age with constant and relativity high-speed internet connect to almost every part of our lives. With that not only can we send out tweets on our smart phones but every video game player, or anyone else who consumes any different bit of media, has the ability to broadcast their thoughts and opinions about that product for everyone to see and read about the game before going to the store. I talked about this before, where thanks in part to many different YouTubers I was able to see how the first few levels of Shovel Knight plays and handles in their videos while I hear the host’s provides commentary about their opinions and thoughts on the game on a whole, which was exactly what the idea of Demos were suppose to do, give you a brief taste of the level designs, controls, and the game on a whole before committing the full price purchase of the game.

I think the last demo I got was from Blizzard with their 7 day free trial of World of Warcraft

I think the last demo I got was from Blizzard of their 7 day free trial of World of Warcraft

 

With faster and more stable internet connection molding of this and the previous gaming generation, we have also seen gaming companies use the ability to use the internet to reach a more of their player base at the speed that could never be done before. This is something we see as with the big push for opening sourcing their Closed and Open Beta testers to the public which does help the finished game in the long run while also getting a free taste of what the game could be instead of the game developers building an entire game and then taking a financial hit of carving up a section of the completed game, burning it onto disks, and paying for the cost of shipping it out to local gaming stores like in the old days. While the idea of opening up the entire internet to test you game was a great idea at the beginning the open beta trend has also been used to advertise the game and get players  to play a segment of the game, turned into a marketing tool to advertise the game as a way to get more people talking about the game with the hope to raise more money from preorders before the game is finished.

 

That last comment should come with a disclaimer that while  most game developers use this practice correctly it takes just a few rotten game devs to ruin the idea for me

That last comment should come with a disclaimer that while most game developers use this practice correctly it takes just a few rotten game devs to ruin the whole idea for me 

 

With a more connective internet and the ability for people to hear and read testimonials about any game and even have the option to play early builds of the game it does look like having demos of games added to your personal gaming library does seem like a dying fad.  But from a different perspective the idea of demos are still alive and well in Best Buys, Walmarts and Gamestops when you see a demo version of a device on sale in the game aisle that you can easily pick up and play a demo version of the latest game releases right there and then, and if you go on Steam there are always one or two full games free to download and play as much as you can for during Saturday and Sunday from their Free Weekend promotional event.

 


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#408 A year without World of Warcraft

I was looking back at my old posts this month and I noticed that it was this month, one year ago, when I made the decision to end my multiple year long, uninterrupted, World of Warcraft account (Be MOP #253)

this was the same time as I was graduating from college, kinda like the last sentence of the previous chapter of my life

this was the same time as I was graduating from college, kinda like the last sentence of the previous chapter of my life

 

What is more impressive with is that I have stayed away from World of Warcraft, not coming back for the Siege of Orgimmar patch, the when the reveal and the beta of the Warlords of Draenor was announced. Unlike some of my other friends I did leave the years on Azeroth bitter or looking back on my years playing with bitterness. If you remember I left World of Warcraft not because a game decision from Blizzard or because I hit a gamer’s equivalent of ‘rock bottom’ it was because I was guildless and  I was burnt playing one game, almost exclusively, for years.

Looking back I am glad my years in Azeroth, it was a costly experience yes, but it was an experience none the less. It was only from my years of playing World of Warcraft: I have realized and got a hands on experience on what is needed for a good team composition and what makes an amazing teammate (Be MOP #103).  Because of the years of listening to World of Warcraft podcasts and reading the strategy guides of the latest 5 man dungeons and raids, I have experience and learned about good and bad game play mechanics which I used when describing why Super Mario 3D Land was fun for me (Be MOP #349)

Most importantly of all playing World of Warcraft gave me the opportunity to create this blog, and with that I have dramatically improved my writing style and techniques which is amazing considering a few years ago I had some terrible writing and testing anxiety. While this blog has not cured my anxiety, I have seen improvement over the years in how I write from forcing myself to write something -anything- every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

 And World of Warcraft  has continued  helped me even after leaving the game

World of Warcraft was the gate way to the PC gaming platform, before WoW I never picked a PC game having gaming experience be limited to the family Nintendo system, but over the years I have bought better and better gaming laptops to handle the newest expansions and to preform better when I am needed the most in a raid. As a result I had a pretty nice machine to adequately run current PC games on Steam.

It was only after WoW when I paid attention to the other offers (humble Bundles and weekly sales) that were happening on the other side of the PC gaming world

It was only after WoW when I started to truly pay attention to the other offers (humble Bundles and weekly sales) that were happening on the other side of the PC gaming world

 

Because of World of Warcraft and blogging about it for so long it has gave me the blogging experience on how to write blog posts  continue blogging about general videogame topics, something I do not think I could have succeed in the way that I did the get go. All that blogging experience and confidence helped me take the leap into creating, and broadcasting on my own Twitch account, something I know I could not have done without this blog giving me confidence and experience on how to talk to people with my own voice.

As a result from my year of writing about other games all these posts has helped me focus and form my own opinions about other videogame topics. From the silliness of a moral dilemma I have with Tf2’s hats (Be MOP #254) to the more pressing problems with pre-ordering games, hacking up content of the main the game to sell as exclusive gaming platform perks or DLC for extra profits to, to the videogame company’s love of  Bullshots (Be MOP #348).

Now, most importantly, I do not have to worry about getting the most value out of my monthly subscription I feel less guilty spending my nights playing games of other generas and a because I am no longer in a dedicated raiding group I have a free-er schedule to actually play these games. A full time job does interfere with my preferred gaming schedule but because my job gives me money each week to buying MORE games and other things, I am inclined to let my job eat up the majority of my week.

Looking back, even though I know I am never going back to World of Warcraft (Be MOP #375) I  do not regret any of years leveling up my characters, chain running instances and raids, grinding for dailies, or hunting for the rare achievements in the game because it helped be grow into a better gamer and a better person on and off line.

 


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#400 How Far We’ve Come

Today is a big milestone for me, this Monday is the 400th Be MOP post! What makes this milestone truly impressive is that it is the 400th Be MOP post without skipping a beat on my Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule that I have set in place with my first post that I made two and a half years ago. This means I wrote through all of my college finals, every sick day, every snowstorm that caused a blackout, and everything that happened to me in my Post-college life.

Looking back on some of my first couple of month’s posts it is amazing how short some those post actually were.

Looking back on some of my first couple of month’s posts it is amazing how short some those post actually were.

 

I have mentioned this before but the Be MOP blog was the result of a winter time walk down main street of my college town, the week before my Juniors finals, and experiencing an early Quarter-life crisis when I realized that I was just a Political Science student, with no minor, soon to go out to the world in just a few short years.

To top it off were people out there who were just a little bit older than me making a living from playing and writing videogames, a job option that was very appealing to me, and I was no where close to being on that track for that sort of career path. Although looking back I was already making some money from writing about videogames, it was just too inconsistent for my liking.

I was actually waiting for WoWinsiders next call for submissions, which was scheduled to return soon before coming to the realization that i could publish these thoughts by myself.

I was actually waiting for WoW Insider’s next call for submissions, which was scheduled to return soon before coming to the realization that I could publish these thoughts by myself.

 

When I first started BeMOP.wordpress.com so long ago I had no idea that it would last for this long, even during my transition from experiencing burnout from World of Warcraft to writing about PC and general gaming events.

And because of little blog I have:

  • dramatically honed my writing abilities
  • 200+ WordPress followers
  • a Twitter account and now it has grown to 500+ followers
  • the confidence to add ‘blogging’ to my resume. (the same resume that I submitted to get my current post-college job)
  • started a Twitch Stream and soon after got accepted in the Streamer Partnership Program from Infinite Crisis.
This one email made my week

This one email made my week

 

For today I just want to say, ‘Thank you’ to everyone who ever stopped by or left comments on this site, swung by my Twitch Stream, follow me on Twitter and even enduring through every single political inspired posts about videogames, literally none of this could be possible without you guys and I thank all of you because of this. It really makes my days and helps motivate me to push through the days when I was hit over the head with writing block and I have the days when I do not want write about anything.

To anyone who is still hesitant about starting or continuing their blogging/streaming experience, start now and just keep going. You might not always pump out your best quality works all the time but you will eventually improve day by day, week by week. Even if you do not get noticed right away, it is better to start building a background of quality content that you can pull up any time to prove you have a solid history of writing or producing content rather than waiting to come up with the perfect way get famous with your debut.

 


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#375 What items would I buy from a F2P store

I might have mentioned on this blog before that I have a personal policy against buying anything for myself in Free to Play games. A stingy policy I know, but that policy stops me from paying through the nose for every cosmetic items and every new champion the company constantly pumps out. That being said I do not have a policy of putting money in the F2P market, over the past few years my brothers and I have bought and traded Riot’s League of Legends IP cards for our Birthdays and Holiday because we have all reached that point where my brothers and I no longer want to be gifted stuff, but rather items that we can use.
But because Birthdays and Holidays only come once a year and on top of my purchasing policy of mine makes I do realize that this make it difficult for game designers and the people behind new games like Infinite Crisis and Heroes of the Storm to gather information about my purchasing patterns.

Even though I do not often vote with my wallet that does not mean I should not have a say on what items should be sold in the game. So for today’s blog post, to give the people at Infinite Crisis, Heroes of the Storm, and every other ARTS/MOBA, and F2P game a break I am going to give a quick recap on the few item I have bought in the past when I was at F2P checkout line.

First WoW, now this? I should start charging for my marketing insight and data....nah Im just going to blog about it for free.

First WoW, now this? I should start charging for my marketing insight and data….nah I’m just going to blog about it for free.

Just like yesterday lets cover the types of items that I have sworn to never going to buy from the F2P game:

My first rule is to never pay for in-game boosts/advances that unbalanced the game, this policy is easy because do not play those games where you can gain the upperhand by outspending the opponent.

The next rule I have is never to buy anything that I can earn.

This extends from the champions themselves, extra skill pages in League of Legends, Stolen powers in Infinite Crisis and EXP boosts in the game. Paying for all of those items are for the lazy and it is foolishness to spend money on those items compared to all the other things that could be bought from the online store. On top of that buying shortcuts in the game to the rewards you want seems to be counterproductive to what a game is supposed to be.

After being scorned I will never buy a pallet swapped skin of a champion ever again. This comes after buying the Phantom skin for my favorite League Champion, Karthus when I first got my hands on some microtransaction credits. If buying EXP boosts and champions are lazy on behalf of the player, this is laziness on the game developers to add these slightly changed models into the game. Granted this was a relic of Riot’s older policy on skins, like Nightmare Cho’gath where they just change the colors around and placed it on the store shelves. Now it looks like Riot and good game developers are moving away from this practice and are putting more effort into the skins they create now. In my defence I only bought the Karthus skin because it was a part of the first category of reasons I would buy a skin because it was a holiday skin or a limited edition skin.

Last christmas my brother game a few Riot IP gift cards and as a result I brought a Snow Day Ziggs, a skin that has the bomb enthusiast champion be decked out in snow gear and Riot switched out his normal bombs with snowballs and icicles. Those snowballs and icicles are actually serves a nice segway into the next, final, and greatest reason when it comes to buying a cosmetic skin because there is something special added than the original champion

I am a sucker for once a lifetime deals. Shhh keep it a secret through

I am a sucker for once a lifetime deals. Shhh keep it a secret through

Whether it be added and cool particle effects or a part of history I want to see that the skins that was creative, unique, and most importantly of all see that the game developers actually put some time and effort into it. Two perfect examples of that are the TPA or SKT skins that Riot created after each team won their Worlds championships and the Clark Kent Superman from Infinite Crisis. Something that I can resonate with and that I can show off and something that justifies my choice of giving the free to play gaming company my money.

Also do not tell anyone in videogame marketing team but I will go to the ends of the Earth for a free skins, weather it be waiting hours at PAX Expo hall for convention handouts, Facebook events, surveys, or authenticating my account. You name it I have done it, within reason, for the sake of getting a cosmetic skin for free.

Also do not tell anyone in videogame marketing team but I will go to the ends of the Earth for a free skins, whether it be waiting hours at PAX Expo hall for convention handouts, Facebook events, surveys, or authenticating my account. You name it I have done it, within reason, for the sake of getting a cosmetic skin for free.

 

Be Careful, dear reader, with this information that I have shared with you today on this public blog. I wrote this post with the intention of providing my thought process during the few times of the year when I have the money to purchase microtransactions so that videogame developers can take this data and make skins and cosmetic items that are not more appeal more towards me but to make skins that are more worthy to buy to everyone.

 


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#374 What would bring me back to WoW?

A new expansion of World of Warcraft is on the way to the beta testing phrase. I have not been keeping tabs on the development of this expansion as much as I usually do, but as usual Blizzard is expected to get a bump in subscription for that business quarter from people coming back to their game. Now that I am no longer playing WoW I am a part of the ideal demographic for Blizzard to advertise to get me back to play and subscribe to Warlords of Draenor. Today I am going to take out the middle men that comes from all the marketing studies and focus groups and I, a burned out WoW player, will tell you and any Blizzard employees reading exactly what Warlords would need to do to get this potential customer to get back into World of Warcraft.

buckle up guys this post is going to be a doozy

buckle up guys this post is going to be a doozy

First I want to start out with listing some features that are not be the main reason to get me back to playing World of Warcraft:

I am going to return because of the newest features and improvement to the game play. I have solo-leveled a mage through all of Outlands and I have raided as a mage from Wrath of the Lich King to Mists of Pandaria. During those times I was forced grind through some ridiculously long quests and I was asked change mage specs that I did not originally play as nor liked using when I was in the raid for the sake of doing the most optimal for damage towards the raid boss. If I were to come back to World of Warcraft I will play as a mage and  if I want to raid I will find a way to raid. It does not matter to me if Blizzard changed the class mechanics or if they simplified the talent system again I will find a way around those hurdles so I can play as a mage again.

 It is not just mage but my mage, the my first character I ever made in WoW.

It is not just mage but my mage, the my first character I ever made in WoW.

 

Secondly the lore and story of the expansion will not get me to pack my bags for Azeroth. This might be a big surprise for my long time readers that the lore will not get me to playing since I have written dozens of Be MOP posts about my love of the lore in the game and how I can draw parallels to other stories and events outside of the game but during my hiatus from WoW I have been playing other games and catching up on my comicbook collection. While I was playing those other games and reading the latest issues of Spider-man I realized how much quicker other games and media are able to tell their stories in the span of a few hours or a few weeks than the months or years it takes Blizzard to tell the full saga of what happened between the Horde and Alliance in the new world. If I hear the story of the game is interesting enough from my other friends then a quick trip to a WoWWiki will get me filled in on everything I need about the game without having to log into the game.

 

I started to come the this realization at the start of my burnout phase, when I got frustrated that I had to wait until the next raiding content was created and polished to a shine before learning about what happens next in the war.

I started to come the this realization at the start of my burnout phase, when I got frustrated that I had to wait until the next raiding content was created and polished to a shine before learning about what happens next in the war.

Now that we got those out-of-the-way I want to talk about the two things that would get me back into the game.

The first thing that might get me back to playing Warlords is another subscription bundle similar to what they did to lock players into playing the game during the lull between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria. Way back in the early days of this blog (as a matter of fact the THIRD Be MOP post I have ever created) I wrote a wonderful post that broke down and game a dollar price value on everything that was in the first World of Warcraft annual pass. After doing a bit of math I decided that paying for one year of World of Warcraft was giving me enough of valued content where the actual cost per month to play WoW as just under half of the normal $15 asking price.

I realized that this was an old post but until I had to edit this post and find the pictures I did not realized HOW OLD the annual pass post was

I realized that this was an old post but until I had to edit this post and find the pictures I did not realize HOW OLD the annual pass post was

 

But the biggest feature that would get me to resubscribe would be my friends and a video game social network. After unsubscribing from World of Warcraft and letting enough time past to see why what kept me going and why I left without bias, the main drive for logging in was the my raiding group. Each weekend I would log in and group up with the same bunch of people to take on the next big raid boss and progress through the current raid. It was talking and socializing with my raiding and real life raiding friends, telling stories, swapping tricks and class secrets that kept me excited and invested in the game. That investment would show by logging in every day to complete the same dailies, spending hours farming cooking materials for the right ingredients to make the best fests and -most importantly of all- to continue to invest $15 a month into the game. The main reason I left the game was because the Cataclysm guild I belonged to dissolved somewhere between the transition from Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, once the guild fell apart I felt lonely because I was just playing WoW by myself and I did not want to go through the hassle of either spending more money on a character transfer or seeking out a raiding guild that fit perfectly in my existing schedule.

That being said, I do not think I will ever return to the game because the window of opportunity to really play the game has closed. Since I left World of Warcraft in the summer after I graduated college I have found a full-time 2nd shift job, I now have college bills to pay off each month and between those two I have the other games to get through on my Steam backlog and I have to keep up with my Twitch channel.  I just do have the free time anymore to raid every weekend, let alone trying to fund the monthly subscription on top of everything I am currently doing. I guess this is goodbye to World of Warcraft for me, it took me the act of writing this post to realized that nothing Blizzard could do, save for during WoW free to play would get me to redownload the game client. I do hope that Blizzard the best for the newest addition to their game but it looks like I am not ever going to come back to my mage, which is a bit sad but at least I can thank Blizzard for the years of entertainment and the years of slowly training to be the component video game player that I am today.


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#366 The ARTS era of Gaming

This week I am still going trough all of my PAX East loot , going through all the pins and giveaways and entering any and all codes I was handed on the expo floor.

Between everything I noticed that a common theme of the free beta tests and games were for existing or start-up MOBA games or as I call them, Action Real Time Strategy games (or A.R.T.S for short) It seems that the ARTS genera will be the go to PC game for any company in the 201Xs.

Currently we have; League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Dota 2, SMITE, Heroes of Newerth, Infinite Crisis, Dawngate, Magicka: Wizard Wars, Orcs Must Die: Unchained, and all the others that I forgot.

 

Too many launchers....and I intend to play all of them

Too many launchers….and I intend to play all of them

 

It reminds me of the last decade, where we saw every gaming company and their dog create a Massively Multiplayer Online game like; World of Warcraft, Rift, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, ESO and all the others I forgot to name.

With the end of the last decade we saw that most -if not all- of the MMO companies caved from the popping of the MMO bubble, forcing most of them to go Free-to-play.

The question is will this A.R.T.S bubble pop the same way? Because these games are not are based on a monthly payment plan, so people like me can be subscribed to multiple titles of the same genera. With the introduction and how these games are built around microtransactions these games can easily be supported by the 1 or 2% of gamers that spends a ridiculous amount of money at the online store page.

The problem these A.R.T.S games now have to face -at least my guest is- would be competing with each other on how to woo the MOBA/ARTS base to spend their free time and eventually money on their game rather than their competitors. The multimillion dollar question is how? Heroes of the Storm will have Blizzard marketing advertising power, with the appeal of free palette swapped skins. Dota 2 had more complexity and all the champions are free to play from right out of the gate. Infinite Crisis has the allure of having every DC comics Super Hero you or I have ever heard about become a playable character And League of Legends is getting ahead by just being popular.

I know there is marketing term for when a company doesn't need to advertise it's product because it is so popular....It is like the Apple/Iphone effect.

I know there is marketing term for when a company doesn’t need to advertise its product because it is so popular….It is like the Apple/Iphone effect or something.

 

On top of the question. ‘How to get the ARTS players to play their preferred game’ the other question is ‘How to make a new ARTS game that is different enough in-game play or giveaways to comfortably compete with the other, established ARTS companies.’

The first company that can come up with solid answer to those two question can dethrone LoL, HotS, and everyone else in the market.

 


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