Monday, November 11, 2013

Fast Travel in MMOs

My least favorite convenience item that exists in games is "fast travel." I'm probably in the minority of MMO gamers with that statement. The pro argument for fast travel is you spend less time getting to where you want to be and more time doing things at that place. The problem I have with fast travel is it just makes the virtual world you're in shrink.

WoW is a perfect example of world shrinking. Back when I played during vanilla, getting from point A to point B was often difficult. Some of my favorite moments in that game were me deciding to go through zones that were a much higher level than me and having to dodge mobs. I would be in my 30s and run from Tirisfal Glades to Hillsbrad Foothills by way of Western Plaguelands, or going from Arathi to the Badlands. The dungeon/raid finder and getting mounts earlier and flying mounts have really made the world seem a lot smaller. I remember on my first 60, I didn't have quite enough gold to buy an epic mount and my guild leader gave me the difference (300 gold, not an insignificant sum in those days.) I bought it in Brill and ran down the road to the bulwark and back and I felt so fast.

The world of EVE feels a lot bigger nowadays than WoW and I'm fine with that. I like that there are a couple elements of fast travel but they're either not open to everyone (jump bridges) or they're not really reliable methods of travel (wormholes.) I'm glad autopilot forces people two slowboat those last few kilometers. I would be fine with they removed autopilot from the game, although I'm sure there are some gate campers out there who wouldn't be fine with that. I also like that there is no shared bank and inventory management is a key part of the game. If you want something from Jita, you have to go to Jita and get it. It can be annoying if you need to go pew pew something but you don't have a particular mod, but that's part of the game.

Friday, November 1, 2013


I have no time to play EVE right now but I certainly have time to read and talk about it. Something I've wanted to do for a while is talk about the other blogs I read and why I read them. A blog post about bloggers; how very meta! I'll probably do a few more like this as I think of them.

Gevlon Goblin, for those of you who have never heard of him, has a blog at I've been reading his blog for a long time, back from my WoW days. I initially started reading it when I went on a quest to find blogs about making money on the auction house. He had some pretty good ideas about how the markets worked and I used some of his techniques to run my glyph business that made me quite a bit of money with very little effort.

Probably because of his interest in in-game economies, he stopped playing WoW and started playing EVE. This is a reasonable decision for anyone who is interested in seeing a living, breathing "fake" economy in action. I didn't start playing EVE until after he switched but his blog probably was a small reason why I started playing EVE as well (another blogger who influenced my decision to play EVE was Wilhelm from The Ancient Gaming Noob.)

The comments on his blog are some of my favorite to read, mainly because the people who comment on his posts vehemently disagree with amost everything he writes. This is mainly because of Gevlon's "I'm always right and everyone else is wrong" attitude. People don't like to be called stupid (or "morons and slackers") so they're certainly going to argue with people who do so on a regular basis. You can tell when he writes something that makes sense or isn't very controversial because those posts rarely have many comments.
A big point of contention between Gevlon and his critics is his use of ISK efficiency as an end-all-be-all metric to determine how good someone is at PVP. He has spent a lot of time suicide ganking miners in highsec using catalysts so his efficiency is pretty high. He likes to compare his KB stats to those of huge corporations saying "I'm just as good as them, look at all the ISK I've destroyed!" He mocks people who look for "good fights" despite never having engaged in any himself. He finds the idea of solo frigate-on-frigate combat stupid. His latest project is a corporation where people solo gank (or dual box gank) miners and then attempt to teach the miners afterwards the ways they could've prevented being ganked. Every day the footnotes of his post contain "anti tears" from miners who said, "Thank you for killing me! Now I know I should tank my mining ship!"

Personally, I don't agree with a lot of what he says. One of his criticisms is people who play games "for fun" and he says since fun isn't a measurable metric, he doesn't use it to rate activities. Not taking having fun in consideration for people who are playing a game sounds pretty stupid to me. What's the point of playing a game if you're not having fun? Take high-end raiding in WoW for an example. The top guilds in the world spend a lot of time working and practicing at trying to get first kills in dungeons. They probably spend a lot more time preparing and practicing for raiding that a lot of people spend at their actual jobs where they get paid actual money. However, why do they do it? It's because they find the activity fun. If they didn't, they would quit and go do something else. In my limited hardcore raiding in WoW, I was having fun, even if it was frustrating or a lot of work. If I didn't have fun doing it, I wouldn't have done it in the first place.

Check his blog out if you're looking for something to put you in a confrontational mood.