Saturday, 10 December 2011

Powergaming: "Oh god how can you find that fun?"

Busy week, busy busy week.

Family trip south got cancelled so instead I worked a couple of extra shifts (I do part time volunteer work at Cancer Research.) My usual Friday shift (even though I'd already worked Monday because I wasn't originally able to do Friday) and a special shift on Thursday. We'd gotten a license from the local Council for Thursday only, letting us go out about the town centre for the day to fundraise. So off we went with the collection Cans and stood there in town looking as pretty as we could (watch it now) raising money.

Of course no one told us there was a Hurricane that was centred in Scotland some 90 or so miles to the North. Explains why it was a bit cold, also explains why my hair was flying all over the place...

And why I was dodging flying struts from collapsing market stalls, and the occasional Christmas tree from the shop at the top of the road. Still we made near to £150, good times.

While stood there freezing my nuts off though I had the time to think about blog post topics. One that seems to be a dividing line between myself and several friends in the gaming community is Powergaming, also known as theorycrafting and min/maxing.

When I play games I have a tendency to go for powerful setups and builds. People ask me why I simply can't just turn on a game and enjoy it without having to go for the perfect way of playing it. For me it's the reverse, I can't see how people can enjoy a game knowing that they could aim higher and achieve bigger things. Whether that's a setup that does more DPS, runs a level, mission or dungeon faster or becomes a ridiculous combine that utterly breaks the game, but you do it just because you can.

The case I have in mind with that last example is Skyrim. Now I know already that the best weaponry will come from Blacksmithing and that the best Blacksmithing improvement is to bounce skill effectiveness between Enchanting and Alchemy. After that, you can then use Enchanting to put two enchants on at once just to completely annihilate the crap out of targets, and then poison your arrows for fun.

Does it break the game, somewhat, not as badly as a caster class with 100% Magika reduction on Destruction spells mind. But is it fun? Of course it is.

Now here's the kicker, does it get boring after a while? Eventually yes, yes it does. But the fun isn't just in the finished product, it's in the building stage.

Anyone who is part of a theorycrafting community (at this point I'd like to give a shout out to the DK community over at #Acherus for asking the questions, finding the answers and generally helping each other out for the goal of benefiting the Death Knight class) will tell you, the final execution is only part of the artform that is Powergaming. Design, trial and error and calculation are all as much a part of it.

Of course, that's never the bit that comes up public viewing. You get the Youtube video of the Machariel that runs the whole of L4 Angel Extravaganza in the time it takes you to do the first room. You get the guy who pulls off insane DPS and ranks #1 on WoL or you get the photos on Imgur of 7k damage Daedric swords.

It's like baking, sure at the end of it you get a delicious cake, but there's a whole process before you eat the cake of making it. Some people out there enjoy this bit, possibly even some of you who don't get powergaming! Meanwhile others, like me, prefer to just eat the damn Cake.

Unless it's Cheesecake, no thanks.


Monday, 5 December 2011

My first blog entry!

And it's not even on this site..

Ok so before I decided to kickstart this blog up I was chatting with the ever wonderful Myhrial Arkenath about many things, one topic that constantly comes up is my gripe about the EVE UI.

Now I've always been a bit OCD with settings in games, to the point where my WoW UI was completely custom and set to my own specifications, with mouse bindings, extra bars and a few tweaks (LUI makes awesome UI base packages. If you still play WoW on a decent machine and are thinking of a new UI look them up! The base UI they give you is amazing as it is, but the level of customisation you can have with it makes it second to none.)

So she asked me to write her a guest blog about my thoughts on EVE Online's UI system and changes/improvements I'd like to see done. You can find it here.

Other than that my weekend was capped off with my latest parody song in EVE Online going public. My EVE character, being a goof that he is, tends to spend his evenings drinking and thinking of strange and wonderful things, some of which are actually funny (most are not.) And every so often he comes up with the idea for a parody song (which is whenever I get inspiration for them) Before now they took a day, or a weekend at most to write, this one took the better part of Eighteen Months.

Personally I think the time I spent pondering, writing and rewriting it paid off. But I'm always interested in more feedback, do remember the Intergalactic Summit forum is strictly in character, so if you post there do keep that rule in mind.

Will be away from gaming till the weekend, visiting the family as I don't see them over Christmas. So have a good week!


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Starting afresh.

This must be what, the third blog I've tried to keep now? So I'm doing some very crucial things differently.

1: This is a generic blog, my previous two blogs were focused on a WoW class and an IC EVE Online blog. There will be posts about EVE (mostly OOC but possibly some IC!) possibly even WoW related posts (I don't play it any more, but I like to keep an eye on how things are going.) But there will be plenty of other things, though I'll try to keep it gaming related (which isn't hard, it's my biggest hobby) Feel free to pick and mix, I'll tag my posts appropriately.

2: I swear to not give a damn about replies. I use to write some really long thought out posts on my previous blogs and be dismayed when no one ever gave me feedback or a reply. Which leads to ...

3: I'll be writing about things because I feel like it, not because I feel I have to. It's not a diary, it's just a collection of thoughts stored somewhere online, and who knows, other people might find them interesting.

Otherwise why else are you here?

Anyway in the spirit of doing everything completely backwards I'll finish with an introduction. I am the Northern Goblin, it's a nickname fused from my "Goblin" nickname at University, given for drinking large amounts of Hobgoblin ale and the traditional "Northern Monkey" moniker that comes with living in the better half of England.

I'd carry on but hopefully this blog will give people a sense of what I get up to over time. Oh and I also have a twitter:!/Northern_Goblin