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Imagine Online

Okay first of all lets get the fanboyish gushing out of the way *deep breath*

*cough* Ahem, right then back to my game experience.
This is my second time playing Digital Devil Saga online and I gotta say, I am stuck about the same place I was last time. Except last time my demon went into the tunnel and came out with the thing I needed on the first try, I did not lose three demons like I have now! AND I am having trouble leveling up because I seem to get crappy experience from what ever I am fighting and have no Wilder/Avian/Brute type Demons so I am not happy with the Demon families I am using and that is just making the experience that much harder even though my guy looks awesome (The Bull Comp is Sweet) But I am trying to Balance Spear Melee type attacks with Debuffing while still keeping room for Zio skills because well, lightning magic is always the best magic (Duh, although wind is a decent substitute IF you have no other choice) But still I am a little too unspecialized I am tryin got be a one man party and as always it is hard. Can Anyone help me get out of this and up to at least level 16 quick with a level 12 demon? AND I CANT FRIEND A JACK FROST WTF!? I CANT HAVE THE FLAGSHIP CHARACTER! BOO! Well thats about it for now....Peace!

Maybe I can try some Conan online....meh....need a Mechwarrior MMO lol

Ja Ne!

About Me

Hello all, I guess I have to explain who I am to all ya'll taking a look at the researcher profiles huh? Well lets just say I am a crazy Irish man who smiles too much and is way too loud...so just an Irish man. Hahaha sad but true no? I am a Trinity Communication major named Matt or Robert which ever you would like to call me. Or Zanthor, the choice is yours. I am a long time gamer who finally found a research project that fits his desires! AWESOME RIGHT!?I have played video games for fun since I was a kid on the NES starting with the crappy NES Power Rangers game (WHICH WAS SUPER HARD) and that one mech game I can never remember but was always awesome (IT HAD THAT HUGE MECH WITH FOUR HUGE VENT PORTS THAT WERE LIKE SUPER MISSLE LAUNCHERS!!) ...I digress. I was kind of a casual just playing on occasion gamer till I found Mechwarrior 2 and became a full on gamer. I found I really like FPS games and RPG as well as any Mech game, I have literally played every single Mechwarrior/Battletech video game released to date that I know of including the original RPG ones. So yea I have been gaming for a while and loving every moment of it. I started MMO's with FFXI as a SAM/RDM (HAHA later it was a SAM/DRK and then finally I conformed and became a SAM/THF) named Shast on the Carbuncle server. Gotta say those were fun times, I played most of the way through high school and became an absolute addict for a while before breaking the games evil spell over me and freeing myself! To return to console games. I still play MMOs but never to that depth again, I have played Star Wars Galaxies, Espada: Sword of the New World, Digital Devil Saga Online (BTW Digital Devil Saga may be the greatest RPG to date bar NONE! I like it better than Final Fantasy [insert number, yes even seven I know blasphemy right?]) as well as various other free MMOs and am currently playing Aion in my spare time ASMODIAN FTW BABY! I love to talk to people and would be thrilled if any of ya'll dropped me a line here or in any game! I am also on Deviant Art as a beginning writer with the name Airkelsier (Try to figure out those two refrences, i'll give you a cookie!)

Ja Ne!

DDO vs Free Realms

Okay, I gotta say it and I know it is not going to be academic or becoming in anyway but GAH FREE REALMS INFURIATES ME! I WANT TO CRUSH THERE SERVERS WITH A BAT. Okay...berserkery aggression statements out of the way the two games are very different. I could not really get into Free Realms because I am a Killer type player I like to fight, slay and destroy everything around me I guess its closer to a Berserker but anyway it was hard to do that in Free Realms. Sure you could fight and do instances and what not but there was no depth or strategy to it, and in PVP it seemed just who would hit last and who was a higher level that determined who one (especially in Ninja vs. Ninja PJ!) It was very different in DDO, as a Fighter/Barbarian even though I was a melee class I had alot of depth and scope to my abilities which allowed me to think up patterns and strategies to take down opponents other than just WARFORGED SMASH (which admittedly is very effective.)

I also noticed a lot of the difference in art style. Free Realms seemed more like a Saturday Morning Cartoon than a game to me. It had really soft unobtrusive characters with easy to recognize and categorize people and items, and clearly recognizable good people vs bad/mean people. Where as DDO seemed more like an adventure novel/movie kind of like Lord of the Rings. Alot of earthy tones, clean crisp lines in cities while still seeminging kind of chaotic and ramshackle in certain areas. With the ability to create intricate and amazing features without them seeming over the top or childish or campy (check out the emcampments off of Storm Reaches' Market and you will see what I mean!) It all has the ability to be breathtaking instead of childish overcompensating.

Then there was the chat function. LORD SAVE ME THE CHAT FUNCTION *rage and fury*. In Free Realms I couldn't say ANYTHING my group was laughing at me the whole time because no matter what word I chose it got me in trouble with the censor and caused me to say nothing but "#######################################################################################"
At any time! And yes I understand that they are trying to protect the children from preadators and offensive/obscene ideas but come on now the number one cant be said but Fing can be its absurd! It needs to be tweaked. DDO seems to have no chat filters other than obscenity and I bet if I looked in the options I could turn that off should I so choose, but the reason for this freedom is probably because of the maturity of the audience because yes I do understand that the games are aiming at two separate audiences.

Thats All I Got For Now Children


Game Mechanics

The most insightful thing about the game mechanics is how basis the gameplay for many games is at their very core. Watching old favorite games, and new games being broken down into their most basic elements was very odd, because you normally only think of those games in terms of their overarching strategies, and stories and visuals never what you are doing at the very core of the in game actions. It makes all of the games people play seem a lot more...simple...when you break them down that way.

One game mechanic that I think all games require to some degree is prior knowledge. If not prior knowledge of a certain area to make the game make more sense, then the prior knowledge of proper strategies and the like because without knowledge of strategies and game abilities many players are at a severe disadvantage and lose games. Besides Prior knowledge, or rather a good knowledge base it is good for players to have this as a basis and many games do rely on players knowledge of certain aspects of our world in order to have them be understood. Another game mechanic I found missing from the list in class was "choice" it is a very large game mechanic especially in newer games. It is the ability for the player to make choices that affect the world around him. "Choice" in different situations and how they affect the game world is a common game mechanic in more modern games.

Well thats what I see...

Ninendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii has been a break through device since it was first announced a few years ago. When people first saw the controllers they could not believe what they were seeing, they looked like TV remotes, and the fact that they were motion controlled controllers was completely outrageous! People had never even considered such a thing possible or useful on a console system before. It caused the Wii to be mocked and ridiculed by many gamers before it ever even came out.

But then came the reasons why it was a motion controlled interface the controllers weren't wands, they were what ever you needed them to be in the game. all of a sudden they were bowling balls, baseball bats, golf clubs, swords, guns, and even imaginary devices that helped immerse the player into the game. Even though waving the remote looked silly from an outside viewer, the critiquing and complaining vanished seemingly over night and in its absence was a din of praise.

The Wiimote allows for an immersion level into games that has never been seen before, all of a sudden your direct actions are mirrored on screen, one of my favorite examples of this was in the game No More Heroes (EPIC) in which when you weren't fighting you had to do menial labor jobs like cover up grafitti, or pick up dangerous scorpions and you had to act out the actions with the Wiimote in order to have Travis Touchdown do them in the game it was pretty cool. But the devices don't just stop at the Wiimote, there is now a camera for the Wii that allows you to use your voice, there is the Wiibalance board, and the Wii-steering wheel as well as what ever peripherals come out fo the next Tony Hawk game that has an actual skateboard deck in the box. By allowing people to actually have their movements be consequential to the outcome of a game people are burnign calories and becoming more immersed then games (physically) then ever before and because of this deep level of interaction the future possibilities of control inputs is simply staggering.

Or at least thats what I think.


Blog Assignment 2

Well here it is, time for a second blog assignment dealing this time with the cultural landscape that is available to MMO gamers, and at times gamers in general. I chose to look at Kotaku.com, the Escapist.com and Massively.com to take a look at first general gamer culture, then at the MMOPGER (HA Zeropunctation) subculture.

First is Kotaku, a long time friend of mine who is rather ADD if I must say so myself. For those who do not know Kotaku is a gaming news blog. Which means they post stories about gaming and when they do they post about ANYTHING about gaming almost (At times I wonder if there is any kind of screening process), Lately there has been a blitz of everything Rockband/Guitar hero about upcoming artists and track lists which has just gotten...well...annoying but they report an anything gaming for instance UC Irvine has a Gaming Research Center, Cosplayers of Video Game Characters, what Video Game Execs are doing heck even the video game happenings of the writers, if it has any connection to video games it will be posted on this blog (probably). The articles seemed unfocused, they are like a shotgun blast of information thatyou have a 50/50 chance of being interested in and with an absurd update rate the idea for Kotaku is using quantity to find something for everyone. it is an easily navigated sight through scroll but with the SHEER VOLUME of stories it is much much faster to just use the search function which is very efficient. This resource has shown interest in DDO and FreeRealms but only in a news perspective. I am not sure if Kotaku is subsidized by its advertisers or not because it is connected to a myriad of other cultural blogs such as the Sci-Fi cultural blog io9 and the like all of which may be subsidized by advertising...actually scratch that with the HUGE banner adds and interactive displays about upcoming big name video games the site probably is, OK NEXT. I believe in reporting on transnational gaming issues and when games are region locked or not to inform the public does keep the international picture in mind. They also seem rather accepting and open to transnational play and are interested in it on some level.


I visit the escapist about every Wednesday to see the newest Zeropunctuation video, which are humorous little videos of Yahtzee Croshaw breaking down all the hard work of game developers everywhere and nit picking their every last flaw. But the escapist has much more to offer than just Zeropunctuation. It offers news and videos based in and around video games and their culture. The website is for the Escapist Magazine, which to me seems to be focused towards people who are avid video game players/Fantasy/Sci-fi/Anime fans. It is not the best resource when looking for news and stories about gaming and MMOs while it has a few they are not as plentiful as other sites and are basically written in a magazine format which is more short and sweet then anything else. It is unclear to me wether or not the escapist has reported on Free Realms but because of the following that DDO has I would assume that there have been some articles on it, however they are very hard to find. There are no big advertisements on the site promoting anything other than the different parts of the Escapist which leads me to believe that the group is self sustained through some kind of subscription fee. And finally as far as I have seen transnational play has never been that large a topic for the website, it is mostly focused on American gamers and their culture/habits.


Massively is another news site that is centered around gamer culture, but more specifically news about a certain subset of gamer culture: MMORPGer players. The sight mainly talks about New MMO's coming out features of MMO's news in the games, strategies for the games kind of an MMORPG Almanac. It seems to be a very interesting and well written site that can help MMO gamers through their games and learn more about them and keep up to date on other MMOs as well. The site is very search friendly making it very easy to find articles on the MMOs that you really want to know about (*cough*...Aion *cough*). There are actually TONS of articles on the site about DDO, Free Realms and Transnational play since most every MMO is sold in multiple countries. Most of its advertising comes from EVE like many gaming/MMO sites but other than that it seems standard banner fair for the site, all of its sponsers are centered around gaming and MMOs. All and all its a very interesting site with good insight and alot of information about MMOs and the underlying theme of Transnational play.

That is all !....For now.....



Well here we go, I'm Matt from Dallas.

There ain't really all that much too me I'm an athlete and a gamer as well as a snowboarder and an amateur novelist mainly who smiles way too much. Im a Senior working towards a Major in Communication and minors in New Media and Politics. I plan to go into the Government towards the State Department/CIA once I am done with school but I got a little bit of jet-setting to do before I can so I will be traveling the world for a bit I guess to get more perspective on our world as a whole. And I am starting to ramble I guess. Oh Well.

In terms of Video Games and things that pertain to this class I don't know. I like RPG's I like shooters, I like games that can challenge me and I like games that can tell a great story. It doesn't matter to me where games or gamers are from, I have played Japanese games and I have played games with people over seas and found enjoyable experiences in both. I guess I am hoping this course will help me take a more analytical approach and in depth study on how video games and virtual worlds are uniting people around the globe and what these Microcosms of our world can tell us about people and their habits. 

Should be interesting to say the least.




There is my extra credit site professor!


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