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-.

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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

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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.

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Week 11 (April 6th – April 11th) – Field Notes (2/4)

The Allure of a Static World

Bryan Afadzi

In the reality of our current world, it is obvious that society is not functioning as “normal” per se. Restaurants are closed for dine in, schools are switching to all online classes, and many people are having to switch to new working environments at home.

Life changing global events are just one part that contribute to the overall dynamic-nature of the “real world”. There is always constant change to be seen in our world and being alive means finding the best ways to handle oneself amidst the uncertainties and challenges that are bound to occur.

Despite this however, virtual worlds seem to provide an interesting reprieve from the real world’s unpredictability. While the actual development on the game world may be affected by the dynamic state of the real world, the virtual world itself is not prone to mass global pandemics or extreme weather conditions affecting its entirety. Instead, it may be considered to be a more “ideal” reflection of our world.

Planned Final Fantasy XIV update delayed due to real world COVID-19 concerns.

At the time of this writing, is currently the day of Easter and while people in the real world are social distancing and spending time at home, Gridania is filled with colorful decorations and players engaging in festive quests in bunny suits. In my play sessions this week, I came across many players partaking in these sorts of quest and generally being jovial as they went along, catching chickens and running around in bunny suits.

A festive Gridania, complete with colorful eggs and Easter decorations.

A “Forest”-side Chat

One of the interesting things about the culture of Final Fantasy XIV is that at any given moment, you will pass by players just going about their own business, completing quests and riding around on bird-like creatures known as chocobos. Due to the amount of independence one has, I found it easy to find myself questing alone and feeling almost isolated. Despite this, however, the community at large is still very welcoming and helpful.

During my travels in the forests of Gridania, I was running around trying to progress in the story when I came across two adventures. Both of them were low level, however one happened to be a veteran player who was playing alongside their friend, a newer player to the game. I had the following dialogue with them, having a chat and meeting a new person.

Note: In the this dialogue, my player character is named “Auvure Cinnabar” and omitted lines have been indicated by “[…]”.

Sabethela Moon:hi
Auvure Cinnabar: hello
You wave to Sabethela Moon.
Sabethela Moon waves to you.
Auvure Cinnabar: how are you?
Sabethela Moon: good
Auvure Cinnabar: are you new to the game?
Sabethela Moon: no
Auvure Cinnabar: oh? how long have you been playing?
Anthony Tavern: Im new
Sabethela Moon: 3 years
Auvure Cinnabar: oh wow thats a long time
Auvure Cinnabar: im new lol
Sabethela Moon: lvling new to in my friands fc
Sabethela Moon: toon
Auvure Cinnabar: oh thats really cool
Auvure Cinnabar: one of my longtime player friends invited me to play as well
Auvure Cinnabar: especially now thats theres a lot more time to play
Sabethela Moon: that cool you liking it
Sabethela Moon: yaa lol
Auvure Cinnabar: im really liking it so far
Sabethela Moon: that good
Auvure Cinnabar: i usually play more traditional final fantasy games but this one is just different enough
Sabethela Moon: i like it
Sabethela Moon: if need help poke at me if i am on
Auvure Cinnabar:ty: ty, i appreciate it
You show Sabethela Moon your uncontainable jubilation!
Sabethela Moon cheers you on!
Auvure Cinnabar: i'll see you around!
Sabethela Moon: later
A casual chat with an unknown player in the middle of a forest.

Though a short meeting, I had found another welcoming friend who was willing and open to helping out a newer player.

Even when there is a numerous amount of events going on in the real world, I’m starting to understand why these virtual world are so lucrative and populated by many players. You can just be starting the game and have no idea what anything does, but there will still be people who are willing to spend some time conversing with you and helping you understand the laws of the land. In this sense, virtual worlds can often feel reassuring, losing oneself in the vast world that is laid before you and being absorbed in the sheer beauty of the world.

Gridania at day.

Week 11 Fieldwork

“To what degree do synthetic world resonate with social upheaval?”

This is the question that has been presented to us, for us to analyze and think about. During this time, most of us, if not all, have been stuck at home due to a global pandemic. We have been faced with stressful situations. Whether that would be in relation to school, work, family, social life, money, the economy, travel, social distancing and many other things that have been presented to us. During these times, many of us have been thrown off our normal routine and forced into a much more secluded, less exciting, mundane even, day to day routine. Where before this global pandemic, our daily schedules were much fuller and more diverse.

Thankfully due to advances in technology, we have a lot more means of communicating and staying in touch. But there is one aspect that only a synthetic world can offer. That is the opportunity to escape. Now, I’m not meaning escape in the physical sense but more on the psychological sense. A synthetic world gives us the means to experience things that we could not experience in the real world and give our minds a rest and detach from the stresses of the “real world”. I put the real world in quotes because reality is based on perception and some of us may consider the synthetic world as real or even more real than the one we live in physically. We may wish to spend all of our time within these worlds only to disconnect for the basic functions. Such as, eating, sleeping, drinking and using the bathroom.

Why wouldn’t we want to be within these worlds? Why wouldn’t we want to be immersed within the worlds and communities that bring us joy, happiness, beauty, and connectivity with those from around the world? Worlds that can make us temporarily forget what is going on within the real world or any situation that we may be in. For example; If you want to be a space ninja with powers of light that can be brought back from the dead or a druid exploring and slaying beasts, humans and other creatures within a vast world. Maybe you want to be the captain of your own ship, on the shining seas or out in the vastness of space. Or maybe you want to relive some childhood memories and get the feeling of nostalgia. Whatever the reason, synthetic worlds, computer games, can give you those opportunities.

So how do synthetic worlds resonate with social upheaval? Well, they form a place of sanctuary, escapism and a place of gathering. Where if we were to look for places like these in the real world, they would be few and far between or at least not as easily acceptable.


week 11 Fieldwork (2/4)

Carmen Tian

Fieldwork (Week 11, April 6th)

Due to COVID-19, I found that the players are very active in the guild. I do not know if it ’s the same in other regions because I play the Chinese version of this game. The main content of the player’s chat is about people who are concentrated in recruiting guilds. I saw that the Guild used COVID-19 to promote its clan by promising to build a close community during this time and welcome everyone to join. In the guild, you can also see that everyone expresses their emotions through online chat, and more people join the chat, know each other together, and participate in the game. I think this has something to do with COVID-19 because, in the past, the group chats in the guild was not very frequent, but now because of a practical problem that everyone faces together, there are many common topics that can also make everyone more active, and get closer. So I think it is a good opportunity for WOW to improve the enthusiasm and participation of players in the game.

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Cindy Kuai

World of Warcraft

I have played World of Warcraft before, so it is not difficult for me to start. But because my account has been lost, I re-registered a new account. I have been playing this game for a week since my experience tells me that as an independent player, I started with the hunter profession will be easier because I have pets that could help me. I like this game. Although many people say that World of Warcraft is outdated and the quality is not exquisite enough, in my opinion, the world inside is still attractive. Although I think in terms of character selection, this game is not friendly to girls, because these characters are not pretty enough. And women like beautiful characters. For a new character, most of the time I was completing tasks and fighting monsters, it seems a bit boring. I think it ’s not good for players to spend a lot of time walking, because each task is far away from each other, and sometimes players can’t find the place. However, I think if I join a guild or other community, it will be more interesting to fight with other players, but obviously, my level is not high enough.

Work with other players

I was helped by other players in a cave mission. My mission was to kill thieves, but they were too many. Just when I did n’t know what to do, a player came in and killed me a thief. , She may not be for me, it may be because the thief blocked her way. Then she continued to enter the cave, I followed her, and she quickly found the explosive, I was very happy because the cave mission is one of my most annoying tasks, I often get lost in it. Her rank is similar to mine, I would like to add her as a friend, but she left quickly and did not give me a chance. So I haven’t had time to communicate with her. Most of the time in the game I still complete the mission by myself. Sometimes some players will come over because they have a common mission with me.

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My role
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I’m doing the task

My mission is always in the wild, and it is very far away. I think these wolves are very interesting. If I stand behind the tree, they could not find me. As long as we keep a distance, they would not hurt me.


week 10 Fieldwork (1/4)

Carmen Tian

part one (Week 10 Mar 30th)

World of Warcraft follow-up experience

It’s been two weeks since I first played World of Warcraft. To be honest, my personal gaming experience is average in this game. First of all, I do not really like the picture quality and scenes of the game, because the scenes look a little outdated and the colors are relatively simple. And in terms of tasks, the only thing I did is that I have been keeping fighting monsters, so I think the tasks are also relatively simple so far, and sometimes I may get a little bit boring. I think the fastest way to meet others is to enter the guild and join many different communities in the game. Players can play monsters together, and promote and publish events through guilds. I haven’t yet been able to participate in some missions similar to monster battles, so I mainly focus on participating in auxiliary tasks, that is, to fight some monsters with low attack power.

Meet the players in the game

When I hit a big spider in a cave, a player came in to help me fight it together. Although we didn’t have a practical chat, I followed him to do other tasks because he helped me fight spiders. He is a very friendly player. When we fight other monsters together, he gave me the right to kill monsters. I noticed his game level is 48, which is much higher than my level. So for now, I have a very good impression of players in this game. I admit that I don’t know many people in this game, because most of the time I don’t find a proper opportunity to communicate with others. Maybe it’s because this is my first time playing games like MMORPG and it makes me a little confused sometime. Overall, I don’t think this game attracted me, and I do not know if it is because my level is still relatively low or I have weak skills in playing games.

Second Fieldwork Assignment

As a beginner in World of Warcraft, I will always be attracted by the NPCs of various characters in the game. This NPC that looks like monster. The following picture shows him walking towards me. I am curious if he will make some moves if I stand still. As a result, I was ignored like a grass under his feet, and then my screen flashed, I am alive again. This is a little ridiculous.

This NPC came towards me and stepped on me.

I always receive some simple tasks from NPC, such as taking things and killing a certain number of monsters. I was very excited about the game’s freshness at first, but after playing for two days, I found that before I reached a certain level, the tasks I could do were limited, simple, and boring.

Players get missions from NPCs.

Most of the time I fight monsters by myself and get tasks from NPCs in this game. I see some high-level players with equipment and characters. As in the picture below, you can see a character riding tiger, and also saw some players in the game driving the cars, which similar to the kart cars.

Some of the players gathered together.
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Week 10 (30th March – 5th April) – Field Notes (1/4)

Bryan Afadzi

UI Unlike Any Other Final Fantasy

I am no stranger to the JRPG genre of games, playing titles like Kingdom Hearts, Bravely Default, and other excellent titles. Naturally, as most RPG players do, I also have experience with the Final Fantasy titles. However, unlike the rest of the series, Final Fantasy XIV Online happens to be an MMOJRPG, meaning everything is more open ended and vast in scope.

Upon getting into the game, the most apparent thing that I found notable was all of the UI elements being thrown right into your face.

Various amounts of necessary information for the player, ranging from chatlogs, to current quests

I am primarily a console gamer, and with most console games, the UI does not take up most of the screen due to the developers knowing exactly how much info is totally necessary at any given point and will usually limit it. What I’ve discovered with FF14 is that, like the game itself, most of UI can be customized and tampered with in order for the player to fine-tune their experience. Most other Final Fantasys do not allow for this kind of freedom, making this entry stand out even further.

Bustling Nightlife

After going through player creation and intro cutscenes, I was plopped into the starting town of Gridania, a town located deep in the heart of the forest with tons of greeny around. The game had me going through tutorial quests, talking to NPCs, and the like. Alongside learning the ropes of the game, this town was no short of other human characters. In fact, there were so many that their nametags were taking a lot of my screen space! Final Fantasys are no stranger to having populated towns, and in series tradition, Gridania is no different.

A myriad of player characters gathering around a warp point, known as Aetheryte

Despite the quiet nature of town located deep in the forest, it was still bustling with players left and right, taking on quests and attending to their own desires.

An Aetheryte warp point giving off a radiant glow at night

A Kind Stranger

One of the starting quests tasked me with going over to one of the kids in the town. My goal was to get her to say more than “…” when talking to me and to achieve that, I had to learn how to emote. Emotes are as they sound like: giving off some reaction or doing a silly little dance. While I was able to get her to say something other than “…”, I’m not sure if I got a favorable result…

I got insulted by about a 10 year old just for trying to introduce myself. Oof.

The story goes that her father died in a war and she hasn’t smiled in however long, so by me doing some silly emotes for her, I was able to make her laugh. Cute. Through this tutorial quest, I learned how to emote. Yay! So naturally, with my new found power, I went and used it on another player, and to my surprise, they reacted back. What occurred afterwards, was me making my first ‘online’ friend.

Quarantine brings out the best in people it seems!

Once I waved at this stranger, I started talking to them and introducing myself. This time of quarantine has put a lot of people indoors with a lot more time, and through that I was able to relate to another player and even obtain some helpful welcoming advice. If the FF14 community is as welcoming as this complete stranger, it seems that I will be in for a wonderful adventure ahead.

My first friend. Neat!