I am spending a good deal of time playing in an alternate reality, again, that many refer to as the game world of “Worlds of Warcraft”
It is ironic.
How I never really understood or questioned why they referred to it as ‘worlds’ before as I was always logging in to one server.
Ok before I dive into that subject more, I have slept for three nights in the apartment I am at that I have until the 13th.
Thanks again, Emily!
Unfortunately, I have slept like absolute shit. The cold’s is certainly feeling better, and I missed torrential rains yesterday (fortunately), so there’s clearly been some benefit.
This is bizarre though. Two years of sleeping outdoors. And most nights I sleep extremely well.
However. I can actually hear the electricity in the walls.
I’m going to shut off the breaker in a couple nights once I polish off my frozen food.
I’m sleeping on a futon that’s uncomfortable and about a foot too short for me, that doesn’t help, but I did spot a mattress leaned up against a trash bin on the way here. So HOPEFULLY it will be there and I’ll drag it back to the apartment to sleep on .
If not, then it’s the floor for me.
On another note. Most equipment – period – simply isn’t built to be used frequently, as the true test of anything is – give it to a homeless person.
Case in point: A laptop computer. I had mine a grand total of a month before accidentally closing my earbuds in the case in the tent one evening, which smashed the screen making it unusable. Shortly after, I removed viruses off a guy’s computer in exchange for a monitor and VGA cable he wasn’t using. It took about a week to learn the cable was shoddy, so I helped someone else with a web site in exchange for a new cable (among other things).
Now that cable I accidentally left behind at Starbuck’s, and the general motto at coffee shops in Hollywood seems to be, if it’s not nailed down assume it’s yours. I never saw the cable again.
So without money I was considering thievery. Fortunately, my friend Bennett actually had a spare cable which he gave me.
That was 5 months ago.
Over the last month, that cable’s been on the fritz, winding it up and shoving inside a bag day in day out has resulted in the reds and blues occasionally disappearing, which makes for a fun green screen which is not fun to play games with.
So yesterday, Bennett says he’s going to Fry’s. I was given a couple extra bucks by Cary so I figured a $10 cord was a good investment. We get there, and Bennett picked up the tab.
THANK YOU BENNETT!
He’s a great guy!
I’ll try to make this extra heavy duty one last a little longer than the last one. No promises though.
Now if I could only find a tent from Walmart that doesn’t fall apart in 6 months or less. Cheap Chinese shit manufacturing has made most of the shit we get in this country absolutely crap any longer, so when I do get out of this apartment, this is the fifth tent I have had in three years that will need replaced soon. Stupid, I tell you, I’m sending vicious negative energy and nasty karma your way Walmart and China for making this homeless guy’s life more annoying than it should be. Thank you, for the inexpensive tent, but fuck you very much for utterly eliminating competition and making it so I have no realistic alternatives to inexpensive equipment. Hopefully you don’t wonder why you’re #1 on my “Must steal from this company” list if/when I have to replace my equipment and have no spare change for yet another $45 tent that’s gonna fall apart in 6 months or less.
WITH ALL THAT SAID, BACK to the subject at hand.
Worlds Of Warcraft.
If you’re interested in playing the free Vanilla server is here: https://en.nostalrius.org/
As I have dove into WOW, it has brought back some memories of things that – while it’s a great experience – it’s the static and grinding nature of that experience that often gets mindnumbingly tedious.
I originally played Everquest back to back with Worlds of Warcraft, one right after the other…
And while WOW certainly made questing easier and more obvious and certainly developed a richer and more vibrant story line, characters, and world, what it did right it took away some in the process. But NEITHER offers true dynamism, not that’s tangible.
Now a couple times things happened inside these worlds thanks to GMs – a dragon, for instance was spawned in Orgimmar, one of the major Horde cities, which ended up annihilating everything. Another time, a player teleported from a dungeon after being hit by a pretty nasty DOT which would infect the players next to you, so this character thought it would be pretty funny to take it to a city and see if it would infect the NPCs.
Sure enough it did. In fact, it devastated the entire city, and Blizzard (the creators of WOW) quite literally had to shut their servers down and manually remove the virus from the city through their code. Trippy but true.
And another time. Someone (or something) hacked into the WOW world and they were creating floating orcs spelling something out. THAT one I saw, and thought it was pretty interesting, that someone had the skill to get in and do that to begin with, but what were they trying to spell?
That I will never know.
Now here’s the thing.
The dynamism with Worlds of Warcraft is more randomly related and requires the direct intervention of GMs – or players and hackers to create.
But like Everquest, Worlds of Warcraft is largely a static and highly predictable world.
So much so. It can be boring at times.
Sure, the company introduces upgrades which become costly and as the original WOW saw it’s user base water down they also saw their product’s quality go right down the tubes with it.
But this isn’t dynamic.
This is programmers creating static fixed path upgrades and only rolling out those changes when they’ve been properly tested.
But lately. There’s a couple things I have seen in this ‘version’ of WOW that I had never seen in the others:
Gazelles and Kodos flocking across the plains, and running in unpredictable patterns.
And an occasional (and VERY annoying) Infernal appearing in random places such as huts – just killing everything it sets its sights on.
So if these… World… programmers, want to add more dynamism, here’s a couple ideas:
- There’s a lot of ‘tribal’ lore and elements throughout the game. The internet has plenty of dynamic music generators out there, why not take influences of aboriginal culture and song and mix up animations with the dynamic music and create spontaneous shows for us?
- Weather’s nice and all to have. But try experimenting with the surface textures to show dry paths and grass versus wet ones or snow covered ones. This could make it cute to have dwarven snow shoveler animations too. It doesn’t have to alter the game play, but it certainly helps make the environment more dynamic. Adding in dust to paths you walk on would be a +.
- City bustle and operational hours. Sure. there’s people who walk the paths of cities to give the appearance of bustle. But where’s the city dweller’s housing? They all stand all the time in their booths and their homes are nowhere to be found. Build a domiciles area for the inhabitants, if anything JUST for the visuals, and also ‘rotate in’ shop keepers based on predictable hours.
- Speaking of predictable hours. There’s a clear rotation of the sun in the sky. Create a ‘game time’ and WOW calendar, and display that clock in game (rather than an Earth based one). Even more. You can create quests and events around times and days, in game, which are detached from real world events (or maybe loosely linked to give a hint there’s another world ‘out there’). But be sure to keep it ‘immersive’ and reflective of the lore in game.
- With the game time. Create seasons. With the seasons. Maybe vary the weather patterns. Maybe exposing some snow covered areas and displaying things that wouldn’t be there in other seasons.
- Allow items to be dropped without it evaporating into thin air and let others – yes others from other factions if need be – pick up those items. While SURE this could absolutely backfire and create clutter, if you include some form of erosion with items dropped you might actually see players building terrain based on dropped items. I’m not a huge fan of this idea. But it’s certainly something that can be toyed with.
- Create STOCK and finite inventory. In the (my) real world, if you don’t see something on a shelf, you can order it, but you won’t have it instantly. And while 3d printers may fulfill my Star Trek dreams one of these days, to help with creating a more dynamic environment, sometimes it’s nice if that environment actually depicted a finite supply. This will also increase the market based economy, rather than the contrived communism based thing it currently resembles. Here’s why: When I as a player can figure out that no one is actually bidding on something I bid on and am counter-bidded quickly and figure out it’s a programmed response based on trying to make the market appear dynamic, I get annoyed, and disengaged from wanting to participate at all. Creating finite supplies helps maintain scarcity, and may require adjustment of the underlying eco system to work properly – but it will also encourage player unions and community surrounding the production of goods and material. IF that’s what you want, that is.
- Introduce migration patterns for some creatures. Especially smaller animals which can clearly have more terrain mobility.
And a few final pieces of advice for the WOW programming team altogether:
- Fix the line of sight and line of sight oriented collision detection with projectiles. Why? I am, quite frankly, REAL tired of getting shot and killed through a hill by an arrow or a fire spell which should, by all means, dissipate or be deflected off a hill.
- Fix line of sight aggro. Why? I like sneaking, and don’t like playing a rogue. Sometimes, it’s fun to sneak into areas you’re not supposed to be in by leveraging the
In any case. That’s it for tonight. I’m tired. Have a headache. And hoping tonight’s sleep is better than I have had recently.