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Genjiko Blog

About this night headache

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Totally agreed with these words from Gaming Nexus review: "Dark Souls makes me sad and I don't mean because of its grueling difficulty. Don't get me wrong, the game itself is an awesome experience but there are some serious, yet simple, roadblocks to overcome in order to enjoy it on the PC and quite frankly, that is unacceptable in today's day and age. PC gamers deserve better than this and this experience could easily have been much, much better."
I really recommend not to support scrub developers and half-done products, there are decent game franchises plus nice indie works which worth being invested.
And I should add, the "brilliant hardcore" is not only the game which had the only difficulty level ("hard"), there are plenty of products with configurable difficulty (for example, legendary mode in Skyrim without overbuffing character too much, or heroic raiding without being overgeared in World of Warcraft).
To my mind, the exceptional difficulty of DS is one of those myths no-lifer gamers love to construct as compensation of achievements in real life.
And yeah, since what time should i purchase gamepad for RPG (!!!) game? This is not Tekken with 2 clock-wise circles combo, right? Imo, this is the ultimate face punch to the face of PC gamer and overall one of the most frustrating and horrible game experiences in my life.

My reply to video about real value of Collector's Editions

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Posted here: http://uk.gamespot.com/dead-space-3/videos/are-collectors-editions-of-games-actually-worth-collecting-6404021/

"Every person is unique! Some things in CE like coins, statues, story and art books, videos with extras etc are great for inspiration plus they have nice nostalgic value.

Of course, certain CEs are disappointing since things are made without much inspiration, for purely commercial purpose. But please let's respect creative value of some games.

If you enjoy specific art and lore it's your right to purchace CE cause material forms of some virtual things you experienced only in digital world have really great inspirational and nostalgic value - even for casual gamer, not so addicted to gaming itself.

There are never too many things which have real value for specific person, so few CEs won't really hurt, unless you are CE-holic, addicted to living in virtual world and treating endless CEs as continuation of gaming obsession in real world."

Pandaria

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I have really controversial impression.

The game got really improved and polished mechanics. Combat process is more enjoyable now even when doing daily routine (like killing monsters one after another when questing).

On the other hand new system that encourages reputation "farming" and endless questing looks like serious torturing for players used to play in more creative, challenging way (heroic raiders, arena players, skilled guild officers etc.). In my opinion, game should respect not only interests of relaxed casuals but also interests of dedicated players and veterans used to challenges and solving non-trivial tasks.

It bothers me that now PvE aspect with reputation "farming" crashes into game style of so called "challenger" players. People used to logging to game only for 3 hour raid and high quality coordinated action now feel game aggressive system interferes real life schedule in really annoying way. WoW quest system in spite of combat mechanics improvements is outdated. From psychology perspective most quests are designed mostly for 8-10 years person, they also suit player style only if played as background activity. Gathering items, killing N enemies, playing mini-games can be fun first few hours of gaming then it becomes a real torturing for person with good thinking skills, a kind of stuff that hurts person intelligence in some manner. Of course sometimes the game checks player reaction and tactical thinking skills but most of the time game process is a routine.

For me it's confusing - why questing aspect, one of the weakest sides of game, with really outdated conception (kill X, gather Y, activate/destroy Z - in comparison to nice Elder Scrolls quests it looks very dated) and low part of enjoyment, was treated as core part of new expansion. Questing aspect requires serious reconsidering and redesigning to meet requirements of 2012 game industry. Otherwise it should be designed as optional, minor aspect of the game.

Players with naive thinking or those who try WoW for first time accepted MoP expansion in very positive and excited way. For those seeking challenges and tracking game industry events for long time it gave a reason to look at current state of game industry and reconsider creative value of some developers.


Ratings:
Graphics 7/10. I can't judge it too strictly. It uses quite dated engine which is not to be dramatically, models got better detalisation, more effects etc.
Sound and Music 8/10. Good and sometimes great as it is typical for WoW music. Some melodies got too much dramatism (Lion Landing), Pandaria main screen music is a modification of classic wow melody which some players love or hate.
Fight mechanics - I don't rate it, it uses same WoW desine, quite polished and responsive, but for some players it looks dated and not quite realistic though sometimes fun and addictive. For example no mechanics like press X to dodge 100% or jump behind the obstacle to hide from explosion damage (though some raid fight mechanics and some specific class talents provide some guaranteed defense or some real time avoidance). This system has its pro and contras, its lovers and haters.
Enjoyability - varies from 2 to 8/10. Depends if you are new to WoW or experienced player who seeks for challenges. Raiding and challenge mode dungeons are solid and enjoyable. PvP has "as always" state, where developers struggle for PvE vs PvP, or Classes Balance vs Class Unique Style.
Game innovations 3/10, Expansion unique features 6/10, Franchise progress 2/10. New class, new zones, new encounters, 2 new bg zones, 1 new arena. Challenge mode. But overall game is same. This is the expansion which brings new content but doesn't improve game conception much. Such formula can be attractive for new players, but for veterans it risks to become "reason to quit" factor, since linear questing, dailies routine, pvp balance in state "as always" etc is not a step forward. Also developers should consider monotony/routine and replayability value factors since for veterans those are the strongest ones.

Posted here: http://uk.gamespot.com/world-of-warcraft-mists-of-pandaria/user-reviews/807076/

Very good arcicle: Understanding the Psychology of WoW Addiction

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07FEB 2012

Balancing WoW and Real Life: Understanding the Psychology of Addiction

ByLilpeanutIm on a quest for balance. Specifically: Balancing WoW and family life. I dont spit out words that my actions cant cash. So if I say that my family and my kids are important to me, then I damn well better make them a priority over my games. I lost my baby girl to a rare disease and if theres one lesson Ive learned, it is to make each moment count.

I find myself playing the game less and less these days, but it has taken me years to get to this point. One thing that brought some understanding was to know the psychology of addiction and the mechanics of how the game takes its hold over me. An article onhttp://www.cracked.comhelped to open my eyes and I want to help others bring that balance to he lives of others too, but first allow me to explain that psychology of addiction.

Heres the simple truth about WoW: Its absolutely designed to get you hooked. The entire business model revolves around you paying a monthly fee, and you wouldnt keep paying if there wasnt something that kept you coming back.

Dont believe the developers of WoW have used psychology to get under your skin and keep you forking over your money?



Take a look at these three methods of behavioral reinforcement that youll encounter in game each and every day:

Instant Gratification.
In the real world, our actions dont always pay off as quickly as wed like. Theres often a huge delay between when we put in the work and when we actually receive the reward.

Addictions often trigger because of a reward response, and few rewards are easier to grow accustomed to than the instantly gratifying. This is why prescription drug addicts may start by taking pills orally, but will eventually progress to the quick release of shooting up their drug of choice. WoW has capitalized on this aspect by making rewards occur quickly, especially when you first start the game.

Your first questgiver is right by your spawn point. Your first objectives are steps away. It takes just a few kills before you hit level 2, and you can instantly hearth back and collect all of your rewards at once if you dont feel like waiting a whole two minutes to travel.

Youre far more likely to keep doing any activity in game because you know it will have a quick payoff.

Random Rewards.
Psychologist B. F. Skinner is famous for an aspect of behaviorism called Operant Conditioning. Skinner placed rats inside boxes and attempted to condition them to press a lever. At first, food was released every time the switch was pressed, but Skinner found that while this method reinforced the behavior initially, when the rats were full they no longer pushed the lever, knowing that when they got hungry again, they could have food.

Skinner found that when the lever triggered a food release only at random intervals, the rats would press it all the time. Between the fear of not getting the food when they needed it and the satisfaction of having the food eventually, he could keep them pressing the lever indefinitely.

While some things in WoW arent random, like the amount of XP you need to level or how many skill points you need to craft something you want, many of the truly addicting aspects are.

You may kill the same bosses each and every week when you raid, but theres no guarantee theyll drop that last piece you need, so you keep killing them. And while you can generally tell the caliber of your team when queuing into a battleground, you never know just how much honor youll end up with, and if youll get enough for your next piece.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Its the win that keeps you glued to the stool in the BG casino. (Some nights, however, I couldnt get a win to save my life. You know those nights where Horde just isnt with it? Some nights all I do is get raped by rogues. Do I like getting raped on the battlefield by rogues? Of course not. But its the @400 honor points Im after).

Great Rewards, Little Risk.
Abraham Maslow was the first psychologist to plot out basic human needs in order of importance. Designing the hierarchy in a pyramid, he placed physiological needs like food and water at the bottom, safety above that, love and belonging next, then esteem, and finally self-actualization.

Maslow went on to suggest that if the first four tiers of the pyramid arent met, the top of the pyramid can never be realized. Or in laymans terms, if youre feeling hungry, tired, unsafe, unloved, and insecure youll have a very difficult time actually achieving anything.

Thats absolutely not the case in WoW. You can kill a dragon on an empty stomach. You can PVP on a flickering WIFI connection in the middle of a train station. You can be a complete dick and still get to 85. And because everything is completely anonymous, whatever problems you have with yourself just slip away.

Its great reinforcement, because youre getting a massive reward with very little effort on your part. But just like an addiction to alcohol or heroin or anything else, it gives you a false sense of accomplishment. Who cares if the house is clean or the kids are fed or the bills are paid you feel fantastic!

Now of course Blizzard isnt designing their game with malicious intent. But its important to realize that there is real science behind most of the games mechanisms. And when you educate yourself about why youre getting addicted, youre better able to do something about it. And hopefully you can have better control over the amount of time you play and achieve that balance between WoW and family life.

Do you ever feel like youre sitting in front of a slot machine while playing WoW? Have you found that life balance? If so, do you have any tips for people who havent quite gotten there yet?

http://healovertimeblog.com/balancing-wow-and-real-life-understanding-the-psychology-of-addiction/