Saturday, August 4, 2018

Conversation Starters For All Occasions.

As I mentioned yesterday, this week's Blaugust theme is "Ideas for topics that the participants can then mine for the rest of the month". I have some. No, don't thank me. Seriously, don't thank me. You haven't read them yet...

Hats, cloaks or shoulderpads?

Which does the best job of making your character stand out from the crowd? Which looks the most stylish and which the most ridiculous? Do shoulderpads the size of small castles break immersion? Is that thing on fire? Does a feather in your hat make you cool (yes it does and you're crazy for even asking).

My character, myself.

Character play - what even is it? Did you just make that up? How's that any different from roleplay? Are your characters you or are they them? If they're them, are they real? What does "real" mean, anyway? Is it normal for heroes to talk like toddlers? Just sayin', bro. No offence. What does "normal" mean, anyway? Why be happy when you can be normal? Why be normal when you can be happy? Why be yourself when you can be your elf?

Act your age, not your level.

Do you grow into your MMOs or grow out of them? How old were you when you started playing? Did the age you were make a difference to how immersed or invested you became? How has that changed as you've aged? (You have aged, right? You're not some kind of elf, are you?).

Inventory management - curse or blessing?

Local or global? Manual or automatic? Bags or boxes? How high is a stack?  How come some developers go to 10,000 while others think ten's plenty? Why do video games even have stack sizes in the first place? Which MMO has the best banks? Should bank doors be big enough to admit horses? Dragons? Is that safe? Is that a safe? Is it always better to craft your own storage bins or is it okay to get one off the rack? If you could do a post on Inventory Management every day and twice on Sundays (and some of us could, naming no names) - should you?

It's the Economy. Stupid?

Do MMOs need economies? Do MMOs need economists? Are you rich? Do you want to be? Were you ever? Is broker-sniping PvP? Why are some goblins obsessed with money but others just love snot? If you can buy everything in the cash shop with in-game currency does your game even have a cash shop? How are those guys staying in business, anyway?

Jump! Everybody jump!

Does it drive you nuts when your character can kill a dragon but can't step over a knee-high wall? Is it legit to climb over things you aren't supposed to climb over just because you have a space bar? Who can do a five-foot standing jump? In plate armor? Does breaking out of maps break immersion or is being under the world underrated? How high can you climb? Can you see my house from up there? Did you remember to take a picture?

The Next Big Thing

Does this genre have a future? A roadmap? When's the next one coming? How long have we been waiting here? Who's driving this thing, anyway? If Blizzard is more profitable now than ever is WoW really dying? How long has WoW been dying? Didn't WoW die already? People still play that thing? What happened to all those WoW-killers? Didn't anyone remember clones have short lives? Did no-one watch Blade Runner? Weren't those replicants, not clones? Where are all the WoW replicants, now, eh? Eh??

Blognation! Under one groove!

Whither blogging? Who says "whither" these days? If blogging is so over how come the YA bookshelves are full of books with characters who blog? Why do all those characters aspire to a publishing contract? Does that say more about the writers, the publishing industry or blogging itself? If no-one blogs any more why do kids keep coming up to me and asking where the books by bloggers are? Is it because of all those characters in the books they read who blog and have publishing contracts? Or is it because they can't pronounce "vlogger", which is what they actually mean? If vlogger is a real word why does Blogger's own spellchecker not recognize it? Professional jealousy? Could Blogger be... alive???

 The Blog That Ate Itself

How many times can you recycle your own content before it gets so thin your readers can see right through it? Do you still have readers? Do you want any? Do readers matter? Who am I writing this thing for? *tap* *tap* Is this thing on? I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.


  1. “If you could do a post on Inventory Management every day and twice on Sundays”

    Speaking out of sheer selfish hope-to-gain, YES PLEASE to anyone reading. I know even less about how other players manage their inventories than learning a skill rotation (and I learned some helpful tips for that off Reddit). My version tends to just mean “throw everything you want to keep” (aka everything) into other things with spare slots and make new characters if you have to for more slots.

    I bounce right off “throw this stuff away, it’s useless” advice (because it’s never useless to me and I’ll probably need it later) and could use more organzing tips that are less extreme.

    1. Challenge accepted! Er, well, kind of...

      I'll commit to doing something at least semi-serious about inventory management for Blaugust but although I see it as core gameplay and love doing it I'm not actually very good at it, as must be apparent from the screenshot in the post above.

      At various times I have successfully re-organized my inventories across multiple characters so they both look neat and make sense but it's very much the exception not the norm. I tend to do much the same as you - buy my way out of trouble with more boxes, more banks and - in extremis but more often than I care to admit - more characters.

      There are better ways, though, and I know some of them even if I don't practice them. I bet there are other Blaugustians who have super-efficient routines for keeping everything close at hand, itemized and easy to find. Perhaps they'll share!

  2. You have so many good ideas here. I don't know if I should try to put my thoughts all in one post or spread it out over the rest of the year. I'm leaning towards a giganto post.


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