fieldnotes fieldwork talk

Another MMORPG

Field Notes Final

Just out of curiosity, I started to play Star Trek Online. Adam form class first told me about this game a while back and asked if I played. I responded with a no because at that time I was not interested in playing another MMORPG always-online game. I had enough. After looking into it and seeing that you can start playing for free, it got me curious.

Do most of these always online MMORPG’s have grindable daily/weekly quests, bounties, activities that you can do in order to gain experience or new stuff?

So I went about and created a new character. Not that much different than any other RPG. You created a character, choose how they look, what faction or class they are and an alliance to be a part of. After which the game takes you through the tutorial. Honestly, it wasn’t different than every other game. You start off at the central hub and you go from point A to point B. Getting the tutorial text on the screen telling you how to do different things.

After which there has to be a certain point in which your character gets put into this world. In this instance, you get assigned to your ship and it gets attacked by “Bad Guys”. In this case, the Klingons, attack the ship that you are on, the caption of the ship gets taken and then killed. So NATURALLY, your character gets made caption. You take control of this ship than it takes you through the ship combat tutorial.

This this tutorial takes you through different missions. In these missions you learn ship combat and a brief history of some of the prominent enemies within the game such as the Borg.

This is a picture of Adam streaming his gameplay through Discord to me, to just show me his game. He is much further than I am and at a much higher level. On the top right-hand side of the screen below the map, it the quest objective box. The type of quests do change as you progress through the game. The quests get harder, make you do different types, give you progressively better rewards and currency in order for you to upgrade your ship, crew, character and so on.

This has not been any different in any MMORPG that I have played outside this class or during this class. Destiny, WOW, ESO, Star Trek Online. All have activities for you to do in order to gain experience and loot. Some more mundane than others but all of them have the same undercurrent.

-Put repeatable activities in the game that rotate on a daily or weekly basis in order to keep the player base constantly involved within the game. No matter the cost. –

I understand this idea is the core of all always online games. keeping the player base involved and always doing stuff within the game. But like I have said in my white paper. This isn’t a good means of keeping the community happy or engaged. More meaningful activities have to be put within the game that gives the players invested time, value, and meaning.

Sadly, we aren’t there. Although many games are changing the bounty/quest/mission system to be more valuable towards the players, this is something that takes time. It will happen, progressively, as we the community, continue to be invested within the games that we love, and spend many hours playing. But this is a slow process and we as players have to be patient and understandable in the technological limitations or resource constraints that these different developers have to overcome. So-be patient-.


Week 14: The Final Week

I really didn’t know what to do in game at this point. I have completed all the beginner missions, I’ve interacted with nasty people In chat, and I’ve reached the pay-to-progress point that is the way this developer makes any money off of this garbage fire of a game. I sure am not willing to pay any amount of my hard earned money for an experience like this. I would much rather play Minecraft, or any other game where I don’t have to go online. I play games as an escape from other people, not as a way to socialize. I guess MMORPGs just aren’t made for people like me and I guess that’s okay. I don’t really know what I was supposed to learn from this whole exercise other than how to become a neckbeard 101. I guess we were supposed to learn about how virtual work is real work and how these seemingly separate entities are really one and the same. I just don’t have that kind of relationship with video games. They function as an escape from reality, not an expansion of Capitalism and it’s ideals of work and the need for it to be valued. I just want to have fun and lose myself for a bit in a virtual world. EVE Online just isn’t that for me. For me it boils down to depressing repetitive office Excel Simulator. I might spend enough of my day doing that in the future at my future job that will hopefully still exist at the end of all of this. I don’t need to spend any more of my life doing that than I have to. I don’t think ill ever play another MMO in my life after this experience, but I do respect the level of work and community that goes into these games and the players that play them, even if most of them were assholes to me, the outsider.


Week 13: EVE Online

How would I improve this game? After taking some time to do some outside research on the game, its player base, and common criticisms I have three suggestions for improving it.

1: The User Interface

The problems with the user interface of this game are immeasurable and sometimes unbearable to me. I play this game on a 2K monitor and the UI scaling makes the buttons very hard to see and press properly when there are a million of them all over the screen. Secondly, I don’t need all of those controls! the learning curve for this game is simply way too great.

2: The Horrible Chat

The pure vitriol spewed in some of these chat channels just made me quit and log off of the game when I saw them. There desparately needs to be some kind of monitor system with admins that can shadow ban people or put them in some kind of time out box for an adjustable period of time. Seriously it is ridiculous and really turned me off to the game.

3: Why is it so empty and boring

Why do I basically only have my ship, boring click commands to shoot at and approach stuff, but a million buttons that do nothing? The tutorial for this game kinda sucks, enough so that there is a dedicated beginner chat channel (only one with nice people in it) dedicated to helping you figure out what you are even supposed to be doing. Why not add planet exploration, or mining, or interacting with other players avatars in a space port? So Boring. And I am a sci-fi aficionado and I am saying all these things as part of the target audience.


Eve Online: week 12

My experiences with EVE Online have been varied. Sometimes, I have great interactions with others who encourage me to continue playing and give me helpful tips on how to make my way in a cold and empty galaxy. More often than not though, these other players tend to be quite toxic and hostile towards me and others. In some online games, it is inevitable that you interact with the slimy underbelly of the gaming community. All orders of distasteful individuals come out of the woodwork: racists, homophobes, xenophobes, you name it. Especially in light of Coronavirus, the xenophobia displayed on the platform made it quite unbearable to play with the chat box on at all. The thing is, the point of this assignment is to interact with other players, it’s about games as a virtual society not the boringness of space spreadsheet simulator. I quite frankly don’t understand why people even enjoy, pay for, or play this game at this point. I think my future blog posts will encapsulate how I feel this game would be improved.


Week 14 (4/4)

How did the MMO go?

I play all types of games, from first and third person shooters, side scrollers, platformers, strategy, and even a few VR games. EVE Online was the first MMO I have ever played and it went exactly the way I thought it would have been. How was it?

EVE was an experience. It was hard, frustrating, and pretty lonely at time. It was also intriguing, adventurous, and exciting. As it was my first MMO ever, I was lost. The tutorial was good at explaining the core mechanics but never mentioned 75% of the other UI. People were talking in the chat, but I was never in the right one or knew how to get in contact with the right people. EVE has so much going on it feels like I am living in another world. The scale and depth of the game blows my mind, just the complexity and life that the universe has to offer. I see clearly why people love MMO games. I have never felt more immersed in a game then when I played EVE, it was unique. I just cannot play it, not without help. For me, I could only join a MMO if I did so with a community, someone that was willing to walk me through the game, get used to it and let me tag along. What makes these kinds of games so good and beloved is the players and how they keep the game alive. Most games rely on scripted AI and cutscenes to interact with a player, but in EVE it is the player interactions and factions that give EVE purpose.

So EVE was great, I would have loved it. There is so much to do, discover, and interact with that I could play for years. My only problem is that I literally do not know how to start.

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World of WarcraftFieldwork

Cindy Kuai

I believe that many people like to play MMORPG games because there is a fantasy world in the game, this world has everything that cannot exist in real life. This is why I like games. At WOW, even if I do nothing, just sitting there to appreciate this beautiful world is also a kind of enjoyment for me. I think this is also one of the charms of the video game.

I found an interesting treasure chest reward with a prop called “Lucky Flower Road”.
When I used it, flowers will be left in the places I have passed. I find it very interesting. Although these seem to be insignificant small designs, it looks beautiful and can make the player have a better mood.

I believe that many people have the same thought as me. The reason why I am obsessed with games is that I want to escape reality and not face some cruel facts. I often only want to play in the virtual world and forget the difficulties. I think through this game, I understand more about the operation mode of the MMORPG game and the various ways to design the MMORPG game


Week 13 (3/4)

Micro Transaction Epidemic

Almost every MMO game has an in game currency of some type. A way for players to value, buy, sell, or trade their equipment and items. EVE Online is no different, except for the use of 2 different types of currency. There is the universal, standard currency, ISK, which can be used for everything in the game. Usual actions in the game get you more of this, like fighting, selling, missions, standard gameplay. The second is a premium, called Plex. This is only attainable through buying it with real money. This premium form of currency in games bothers me.

For the average player, they don’t want to spend money on a game once they already get it, and if they do then it is usually small amounts. EVE online is different. I want to play a space game where I have a huge ship and get into big battles. I can only do that if I play this game consistently for months, or even years, to build and save up enough credits. Or I can cash out huge amounts of my real money and buy any ship I want right now.

The price of this ship is 10 trillion credits. If I wanted to play this ship, I would have to play this game for years or spend thousands of dollars of my hard earned money to get it. I like to play games that are skill based, where the playing field is even and it is the players that determine the outcome. My problem with trying to play an MMO, especially ones that have been out for a long time, is that the people who have put thousands of hours into the game, and those with too much money for their own good, are always going to have an advantage over the general player base.

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World of Warcraft, Fieldwork

Cindy Kuai

I felt that the number of players has increased recently, probably because of the coronavirus. I noticed that some high-level players appeared. Today I still continue to do tasks, but I found that there are many players in the castle that seem to be forming a team, they have very advanced equipment, and one person seems to sit on a dragon. I think it is very interesting. I stood there watching them. They may also found me interesting, and one of them shot me with a strange light. I didn’t know what that is, but it seems that I didn’t die from it. Besides, I have no chance to communicate with other players. I saw some people join the chat and talk about the coronavirus. WOW as a virtual space gives people in isolation a good chance to talk.

There are some high-level players

I flew to the castle today to complete the mission. This is one of my favorite experiences because I always dreamed of flying in the sky.

I believe games like MMORPG mainly consist of interactions with players and teamwork to complete tasks together, and I spend most of my time in my own adventures, so I realized that playing with your friends in MMORPG, and support each other can provide a better experience, because if you play by one person only have endless tasks, and it is worth continuing to play while fighting side by side with others.


Fieldnotes Week 12

Wanted to give a little update. I have switched to ESO and there are a lot more players interacting and doing events together.

There has been a bunch of comradery between players. Asking for certain quest items and other materials.

Even though I am in the “starting” area, Morrowind. There have been a lot of players and a lot of fun and interesting quests. Such as a quest for Barilzar. Where you had to go to a random castle on the coast and turn on these crystals in the correct order.

So all in all, I believe the game and the community is pushing ahead without much change. Well, I do think that since the quarantine, there has been a lot more engagement within the online community of not only ESO but all online-based games, MMOs or not.