When I am emperor, I would like to force software companies to FIX one release before moving on to the next release…
But I worry such a radical move would crash the entire system.
Spam is poop. No one wants their email pooped in. This problem is even worse in social media. If email is a hot tub, social media is a public waterpark. No one should poop in the water.
Facebook made me think of making this post–and when I logged into my WordPress account, there were 693 poops sitting there, stinking up the place.
When I am emperor, anyone found guilty of spamming will be sentenced to forced labor–shoveling poop on a pig farm.
I don’t normally post about society’s dirty underbelly, but it’s time for the world to know:
I am forming a new political party. The Party of One’s membership is extremely exclusive, and our goals are not to be shared with the uninitiated.
Everyone likes to dream. Often I see tweets like, “Pineapple Pig is the name of my next band.” Or water cooler conversation like, “When I run this company…” or “If I were the president…” Well, if you’re going to dream, dream big.
I don’t want my brilliant ideas watered down by advisers and committees. I certainly don’t want them subject to voting. When something bugs me, I want to deal with it–permanently. This may sound frightening, so it is important for you to understand what my leadership will mean. To that end, I will post future edicts. This way, when I seize power, you will know what to expect.
Important note: I will not be a benevolent dictator. I will be the emperor. Occasionally benevolent, often mad, but never questioned.
When I am emperor, no one will park in my spot!
Robert Jordan passed away five years ago, leaving his epic Wheel of Time incomplete. Brandon Sanderson stepped into the job, adding three more novels to wrap the major plot lines. This series is 14 books long, and includes over 3,000 named characters. I cannot imagine the level of effort required to step into this project.
Beyond the technical difficulty, the Wheel of Time has sold over 40 million copies. That is a lot of fans to please (or anger.) Mr. Sanderson, I can just imagine you at your computer chanting, “No pressure, no pressure…” while you work. Thank you for meeting (and sometimes exceeding) my expectations; you did a fantastic job.
This is my first ever visit to an MMORPG. In theory, I like social gaming. In practice, it isn’t for me. This alone puts me well outside of Bioware’s target audience. If you love social gaming, you may not care about anything else I have to say. I tried the game immediately following the release of Ancient Hypergate (1.6), so if that was a long time ago, things may have changed. I only played up to level 12 with a female Jedi Knight, which means I started the ‘Rescue the Doctor’ quest on Coruscant. I wasn’t watching the clock, but I think it took me over 6 hours to progress that far.
The good: SWTOR is attractive and generally sounds good (the voice acting can be uneven.) This is Bioware storytelling, so you get to run around, talk to people, and fetch items for quest givers. All standard RPG stuff–but standard because it works. The opening cinematics are fantastic. Even if you have no interest in playing this game, you should watch them.
The medium: This game encourages social behavior. I kept seeing messages about earning experience and other rewards by engaging in conversations with other players, teaming for quests, and so on. This aspect of the game just doesn’t fit my personality, but you might love it.
Free-to-play is frustrating. You will earn experience points slower than subscribers, and many features and equipment become available to you well after subscribers already have them. For example, Subscribers can buy Sprint before free-to-players. The worst penalties kick in after level 10. These may sound like complaints, but they are not. Bioware needs to make money, or the game will just go away.
Should you try free-to-play? Absolutely. It’s free. What do you have to lose? Just be aware that you will probably have more fun if you subscribe.
The bad: The standard RPG approach to quests that forces you to traverse the same area multiple times. Watching subscribers sprint past me made this even more onerous. I am a completionist, and try to explore areas and complete all quests. In a single-player RPG, if there were Flesh Raiders (really? what kind of a name is that?) in the student training grounds, I wouldn’t leave until the problem was resolved. In an MMORPG, the monsters just continue to respawn. This is a practical necessity (otherwise there wouldn’t be anything for the game’s second player to do), but made it kept reminding me that I was just playing a game. A related gripe was that I would complete the optional ‘kill 45 bad guys’ quest, but couldn’t cross an area without getting jumped by more of them as they respawn. It is bad enough that I have to make multiple trips through the same space (without sprint)–but forcing me to re-fight the same enemy over and over got old fast.
My biggest gripe is the control scheme. If you’ve played Knights of the Old Republic, you can get around in this game. (If you haven’t played it, you should.) Bioware decided to take away the auto-attack and command queue this time, which means you have to baby-sit your basic attack instead of focusing on the best tactics for the situation. I made numerous small mistakes because I was looking at a ~1 second cool-down instead of looking at the enemy. But if I didn’t watch that cool-down, I would miss my turn (there is no pause in multi-player), resulting in most of my deaths. This leads to combat that feels tedious, not tense. Ultimately this is what made me decide not to play anymore.
The uncertain: The Old Republic includes Heroic Areas designed to force players to partner up. The enemies in these areas are much harder than normal. For anti-social players like me, Heroic Areas represent a nearly impassible obstacle. If you’re ever part of a game design team, think about better ways to encourage your players to team up. Borderlands’ system is great: a bigger team fights tougher enemies for more points and better loot. This leaves the game accessible to soloists while encouraging social play.
We’ve come to a point where the things people say carry more weight than the things they do. Yesterday evening Chris Matthews, host of Hardball, said he was glad the East Coast “had that storm last week.” Today he’s apologizing and it makes me sick. He shouldn’t owe anyone heart-rending self-abasement over this, a polite explanation of what he actually meant should be enough. It makes me sick that a verbal slip on the air garners more outrage than if the man had punched a nun.
I’m addicted. The ending they put on this game really put a damper on replay value but I keep going back to the multiplayer. The problem is server uptime. Often (2 or 3 times a week?) I am disconnected because the EA Servers are down. This afternoon it’s happened twice. What kind of IT department are you clowns running? Is this really just an extended beta? Get your poop in a pile, guys.