Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random Shots: Biding My Time

  • There have been a number of topics sitting in my queue waiting for me to push out to the blog. However I none of them have excited me enough to actually write a full post about them. So I'm going to save myself a bunch of stress and combine all of those snippets here. Then we'll start March with a clean slate.

  • Sherlock - My wife and I couldn't wait to watch the new episodes of Sherlock when the second series aired, no matter how we had to do so. I've already enthused about the first episode, but I meant to come back and write about the next two. We thought that The Hounds of Baskerville was the weakest of the three, though watching while our baby was playing did not help. The Reichenbach Fall was an amazing climax for the series, though, and has us itching for a third series. No word yet on when the DVD is due, but it will be worth the wait.

  • Order & Chaos Online - This might be embarassing to admit, but the MMO that I've spent the most time in over the last couple of months (even more than SWTOR!) is the crazy Gameloft WoW-alike (and if there is one game where you can't deny that description, it is this one), Order & Chaos Online. For a game that you play on a tablet, it runs reasonably well and is not awful. It is pretty basic, but it's actually pretty playable. Damning with faint praise, I know, it's a real thing here. And I bought it on sale for 99 cents, so I've already got my money's worth out of it.

  • The Lost Art of the Rant - My first introduction with the MMO community was not through the games themselves, but instead through the websites devoted to them. And the site that caught my attention was Slow News Day, the rather controversial descendant of The Rantings of Lum the Mad after he turned pro. Slow News Day didn't last long, but it left a strong impression on me. One of the things I miss about that community was the fire they had for the games that they are playing. Blog are so polite now. Sure, games have gotten better, so the opportunities to rant are rarer. But it's something that's been lost to time, for better or worse.

  • The Downward Spiral of the Cash Shop - I probably could go on for days about this topic. If there was ever anything to rant about, it will be this one. It is my contention that cash shops will always drive toward more and more broken options as the store ages. Even for developers with the best of intentions, they will run out of good ideas and turn to bad ideas if they expect the revenue stream to continue. Look at EQ2 and their winged flight. Look at LotRO and their gear. If they don't keep adding to the store, revenues will dry up. And good ideas will absolutely dry up sooner than that.

  • Don't be surprised if there are a lot of SSX posts here for the next few weeks. My Xbox Live gamertag is AnjinM if you want to compete. I'd love to see you all on the slopes.

© 2012 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. Oh the immense power of bullet points to clean out a drafts folder. I envy you sometimes.

    I wish I'd been able to watch season 2 of Sherlock, but it's not on our local PBS yet and I haven't looked into alternate means.

  2. Sherlock is indeed damn awesome. Watched season 1 on Netflix, foaming for season 2 to show up on streaming.

    On item shops, I think the sudden popularity of lockbox gambling illustrates the danger of them pretty clearly. A system designed seemingly from the ground up to get a small percentage of players to spend absurd amounts of money.

  3. Holy cow, thanks for the heads up on Sherlock!