Liebster 2: Electric Bougaloo

Warning: this blog post title has nested in-jokes that will only make sense to a few people. 😉

I was recently nominated again by a fellow blogger via the Liebster chain-topic that has been doing the rounds the last month or so. Although I already did a post to answer questions I’d not followed the Liebster formula at all omitting to post eleven facts about myself. Since I liked the questions Bhagpuss was posing me I’ve decided to have a second go, so this is Liebster 2: The Revenge! Eleven facts about myself

  1. I just turned 40, so I’m not as ancient as some gamers but I can just about remember a time before personal computers and I grew up in the glory days of 8-bit games like Knighttime, Fairlight, Head over Heels and Ring of Darkness.
  2. I’m a computer systems guy by day, networks and operating systems, so perhaps MMORPG gaming at night is a bit close to my work…
  3. But I’m also a bit addicted to studying, since my original Batchelor’s degree I’ve gone back to do a second BA, an MSc and now I’m working on the PhD.
  4. Connected to 3, I love languages and have learned six (beyond English) at least to a conversational level. I learn languages because I want to use them, not out of pure academic/linguistic curiosity. Someday I hope I’ll be fluent enough in at least one to play gaming (tabletop RPGs) in that language…
  5. My favourite food is Italian – the vast majority of their cuisine; seriously how can one nation get so much of it right?
  6. I love espresso-based coffee (cappuccino, macchiato etc) due to a temporary caffeine addiction induced by work trips to Rome back in 2007.
  7. Rome is also one of my favourite cities to visit although I haven’t been for years. I love cities with proper history – not stuck in museums but actual ancient buildings or ruins that you can visit and just be around. Rome does this so well. Just sitting in the Fori Imperiali in the sunshine was a magical experience.
  8. Despite the last three answers I’d rather live in the Caribbean somewhere than the Med, though probably the South American mainland rather than an island. The climate, food, music and culture blended together is my idea of heaven.
  9. My favourite colour is red but I wear blue more.
  10. If I won the lottery I’d like to chuck it all in and be a travel writer.
  11. I’m a recent Kindle convert. I used to read paper books only but Kindle’s are *so* convenient for holidays and they’re readable in bright sunshine (see 8 above).

On to the questions Bhagpuss asked me:

1. Are MMORPGs getting better all the time or going downhill fast?
I can’t say I’d subscribe to either extreme though I do think a lot of the free to play convert games are heading down a dark path of fewer and poorer quality updates and more monetisation.

2.Which cancelled MMO do wish you’d tried when you still had the chance?
Star Wars Galaxies, I had the month free time from buying the box in its early days but the game was so bewildering to someone new to the genre and so far removed from anything I’d played before that I just didn’t find it at all attractive.

3. And which cancelled MMO (including ones that never made launch) do you wish was still up and running?
I wish I’d given Vanguard more of a go and much, much earlier as by the time I tried it (just before the F2P conversion) it was so sparsely populated it didn’t feel like I was playing an MMO at all.

4. Flying mounts or underwater zones?
I prefer flying mounts as combat in 3D is actually too hard on my brain cells. That said it’s only the preference between the two, I actually am happy to have neither…

5. What I.P. from books, movies, comics or T.V. would you most like to see turned into an MMORPG?
Shadowrun but as a proper MMORPG not a squad combat game (as both new Shadowrun games are). I want a single character per player, immersive, fully realised world to play in with the option to play a decker (how meta – a virtual world in a virtual world), a shaman, a samurai or whatever else I want. The possibilities for political and faction based player-initiated gameplay (players hiring other players as runners) are mind-blowing.

6.MMO cash shops: a welcome opportunity to give yourself a treat or a pathetic attempt to wheedle money out of the weak-willed? Or does that depend entirely on whether they sell anything you actually want?
They never sell anything I actually want. I’ve bought a few things from the Neverwinter store but the attraction soon wore off. Even convenience items like potions annoy me actually as I’d rather craft them myself.  I’ve really changed my mind on this more recently I think now that I compare FFXIV with some of the F2P games I’ve played.

7. Geez! Haven’t we seen enough dragons already?
Nope, dragons are awesome. Especially dragons that run for president of the United States 😉

8. Has playing MMOs had any noticeable effect on your physical or mental health, positive or negative?
Not long-term that I’m aware of. Playing Tera’s or GW2’s action combat systems are too stressful and hard-wearing on the fingers for them to be good ‘main games’ but otherwise MMOs like all gaming are a stress-relief if anything so I’d say a positive thing for sure.

9. Do you PvP? Did you always? Or ever? If you changed your mind, why?
Never, unless forced by content blocks (WoW’s heroic quest chain in Pandaria). Such attempts at forcing PvP down my throat have led me to quit more than one MMO (WoW, Allods, Tera to a lesser extent).

10. Would you put “playing MMORPGs” on your resumé/C.V.?
Nope but then it’s not relevant to my work.

11. Do you play “in character”? Sometimes? Always? Never?
Sometimes. I used to a lot in WoW with friends. I’ve rp’ed a bit in LOTRO as well and now in FFXIV I’ve just started thinking about it as well. As a hangover from WoW days in any game all of my ‘/say’ talk is in character and all of my ‘/party or /guild’ chat would be mostly out of character.

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