An idea to make MMO’s more Engaging

Given that I’m not apart of a larger online community that plays online games and most if not ALL of my friends don’t play any MMO’s (save for the occasional WOW straggler, and thank you but no… And by that I mean never ever again). It occurs to me that the one thing missing is the bond you create with either additional playable characters or the NPC’s in the realm.

Sure these named characters exist, but thanks to the hashed and rehashed systems, these NPC’s request 20 spleans and that’s the end of it. As a result every MMO has really felt, well, empty. Its teaming with other player characters and more and more the visuals are just breathtaking. But when you solo in these games they feel really void of any depth.

How do you fix that?

Excellent question!  A couple thoughts that come to mind are that you could make this more like an old-school RPG and actually have Party Members as it were. People whom you can either control (or not) in combat and they run around with you in this vast world. They can have their own story arcs and engage you in a way that I’ve found every story in every MMO just simply lacking. You want Character Development? Then have you character develop by intermingling with NPC’s. They might grow fond of you or for their own selfish motives come along with you for the ride. In worlds vast as these, you could have Hundreds or thousands of options. And just think, that high priest who stands in that one spot might actually be useful for something. They join you on your quest and when you go to next town, he’s ableto get you into see the high chancellor of Yarlesburg. Or perhaps your party Members split when you enter cities and through their mere existence you’re able to access more missions and story.

I know this is no small ask, but just think of all the quirky interactions you could have via Dragon Age where in you team up with another actual player and your parties intermingle. They chat, perhaps people come and go through dialogue cut scenes.

I want to play some of these games pretty badly until I actually play them. The repetition and hollowness just kill it for me. And the occasional co-star for a mission further drives the lack of depth. Why not try something more dynamic and interesting? Get me to care about my character, the people, and the world I’m in?

Ah well. There’s my two cents.

Update: A penny more. Also? Banter. You ever notice how when you interact with NPC’s you get monologued? Who in real life walks up to a stranger and willingly stands there while three pages of back story are thrown at you? Context is great… but if I only have a handful of missions with/for you. I don’t care if your family was burnt and now I need to pilfer their poltergeist forms. Come with me and pilfer the ghastly beasts. Engage me in conversation. Don’t lecture. Give me some incentive rather than gold and experience point. Why the hell should I care?

And there’s the crux. Get me invested in what I’m doing. The world should be fun in its own right. The goal shouldn’t be grinding. Why do people play Team Fortress 2? Certainly not story, but because its fun. Find that balance of a game with a story resulting in 60-100 hours of play time with almost infinite replayability (League of Legends?) and bam… You’ve got a solid gold unicorn.

A Facebook Detox

With my nerd glasses properly perched, precariously on my nose I sit here and sigh… Figuratively speaking.

I’ve got a bad habit worse than food and its called, browsing the same four sites over and over again. The sites I’m lurking on aren’t exactly uncommon or unknown to most. But darn if they don’t distract me from what I’m trying to get done.

The sites are:

  1. Facebook.com
  2. Engadget.com
  3. Macrumors.com
  4. Kickstarter.com

So as of tonight, I’m stopping this browsing habit. Why? Because while technology is important in my field, I find that the articles in these websites lead to more consumeristic tendencies that I care for. Namely I can either afford to buy (or back in the case of Kickstarter) more crap that I don’t need or pay more off my student loans.  Frankly, I want those loans gone.

End of story.

So instead, I’m done. I’m going to use this wonderful extension called Stay Focused to try and cold-turkey myself back into the world of the productive. Basically I can block or limit the amount of time daily that I have access to sites. Wonderful eh?

I’m sure some curses shall be uttered over the next few days. But I’ve got too many ideas to keep getting distracted by cute baby cows and the latest review.

Real World Strikes Back

Scary food is scary.

Networking is a reality when you work as a professional in pretty much any career. So given the favored passed time of meeting for lunch was bound to come into play.

Enter today.

I’m torn. Its impolite to not eat, but then eating is definitely off-diet. Sigh.

I’m thinking I can grab an iced tea (no sweetener) and then grab a salad with no dressing in lieu of a shake or two?  Not ideal, but definitely controlled and not the end of the world.

If there are no salads that are simple enough for me to eat, I’ll default to a shake I bring with me. Not the coolest move, but definitely the right one for me.

Ah well. The ease of getting back into the diet is rather invigorating. The one change I’m thinking I might need to make is my workout. At the moment I’m on a  build program designed to promote muscle growth. With my lack in excess calories to burn, I feel should focus on more of a weight-loss regime than a build especially since I won’t have the strength to push myself like I have been.

The real world isn’t going away.

 

Definitely easier this time…

She LOVES to toss salad.

Day 3, mark 3.

Last night I made the steak salad…  oh man. Good gravy it was good! Though I think next time, I’m going to make it with chicken and add tomatoes or some bell peppers to it.  It really needs something to compliment the flavors of vinegar based spicy dressing.

Aside from that (and astonishingly) I only had 4 shakes and a workout. All in all I’d say yesterday was a success. :)

Now, what to make tonight? We’ve got some organic chicken sausage that needs to be used, more greens and quinoa. I’m thinking a simple skillet for dinner.

Think its going to be easier this time around…

Chimchurri and Flank Steak Salad

Day 2, mark 3.

So yesterday went off without a hitch. I had ground turkey cooked with poached tomatoes and greens. All served on top of some baked baby red potatoes. Delicious. Though the few strawberries from our garden (iddy bitties) were sooo good. I did get hungry and at the end of the day fished with another shake.

5 shakes. 1 bowl of good food and some strawberries.

 

So I think it’s going to be easier this time around. Its very simple when other food simply doesn’t exist on the “edible” list- That, and I know what to expect and what I’m getting myself into this time. Tonight we work out… And maybe have flank steak salad for dinner.

 

 

History Repeating

Day 1, mark 3.

The revenge-ning, the reckoning, whatever you want to call it. I’m back on the shake diet… 100%.  The world is once again black and white.

Do I eat anything during the day? No.

Do I have anything outside of a simple dinner? (Protein, Fiber, Greens) No.

Do I get one day a week that I can have normal foods so that I don’t creatively atrophy? YES.

It’s a little bit of the same. A little bit of something new. Basically, if I get hungry I can have as many protein shakes as I want. But dinner is limited to about an Ikea bowl of simple, good foods. I’m talking baked chicken, beans, veggies…  Nothing fried, avoiding dairy… All that jazz.

The goal here is the same as last year.

Get down to a good weight. Get down to a good cut weight and maintain something at around 10-12% body fat.  At the moment? My workouts are going well…  I’ve gained more than 50% in strength since the start of the year.  I’m building muscles like crazy… I think. By the end of the year I’m hoping to be able to bench 200lbs. I mean, I’m already squatting 200 plus, so lets balance this body out.  Just imagine if I could press that with my shoulders? Damn…

Anyways, the goal here is to start a cut and gain cycle. Basically, at first I run a “cut” diet where I’m in a caloric deficit and get down to a good spot, maintain it for a while… No added sugars, no saturated fats, no polysaturated fats.

Followed by the cut, is the gain. Same kinds of foods, just more of them. The excess allows for rapid muscle growth. You just have to have enough of the building blocks in your body to actually build the muscle.

Black and White.