Sunday, April 18, 2021

Who Invented These Lists?


Here's what I've been playing this week:

Guild Wars 2 - Every day, two accounts, dailies, World vs World, occasional PvE.

EverQuest II - Every day, one account, Overseer dailies, inventory maintenance, some PvE.

EverQuest - Every day, one account plus another trading offline, Overseer dailies, restocking.

Valheim - Most days, tailing off towards the end of the week, exploring, hunting goblins.

Dragon Nest Origins- Most days, leading to every day towards the end of the week, leveling up, trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing and how the game works.

DCUO - One day, checking out new episode, grabbing the freebies, some PvE, playing with my pets.

Occupy White Walls - One day, checking out new update, adding music to my gallery.

Try not to hit the window.

I have a list as long as Plastic Man's arm of games I'm thinking of playing. Or Mr. Fantastic's. Or Elongated Man's. Or even Stretch Armstrong's, I guess. Weird how many times that gimmick's been used considering how peculiar it is. Did any kid ever have fantasies about being able to make their limbs fifty yards long? I mean before they saw it in a comic book? Flying, super strength, invisibility - sure. Stretchiness? I doubt it. 

There's a dysfunctional tradition on this blog where I post lists of games I say I want to be playing or at least that I have some vague idea I might play. I think this might be one of those posts. 

It wasn't going to be. It was going to be all about Dragon Nest Origins but as I was sketching it out in my head I got this nagging feeling a lot of what I was about to say had been said already. By me. On this blog. 

So I took a moment to go back and read all my previous posts about the various versions of Dragon Nest and damned if I wasn't right. See that picture of Dora, right up at the top? I took that yesterday because I was going to say something about how she'd gotten her first costume and how I wasn't convinced it was much of a look. 

Turns out I said that five years ago, the first time she got it. Another Dora, that is. Although it's the same Dora, really. (Is this the metaphysics classroom or is that down the hall?). I could link to the post but what's the point? Just click on the tag for Dragon Nest if you're interested. I'm sure you can find it.

Any chance whoever translated this quest could do all the others?


On the subject of the many iterations of Dragon Nest... geez! I had no idea. Or, apparently, I did, because I linked to the wikipedia page in one of those old posts. I even made a sarcastic comment about how comprehensive it was. I looked at it again today. There have been (at least)

  • Four iterations of the base game (Dragon Nest; Dragon Nest 2.0.; Dragon Nest R; Dragon Nest A: Will of the Gods).
  • Seven regional variations, all somewhat different.
  • Nine spin-off titles, mostly mobile games.
  • Two manga spin-off series.
  • Five commercially-released singles featuring songs either from or about the game.
  • A "drama CD" (I think that's an audio book?).
  • Two full-length animated movies (You can watch the whole of the first one here).

That sounds insane until you realize that, in 2013, Dragon Nest had two hundred million players. And I talk about it as if it's some cute little indie game! 

After that, I thought twice about the post I was going to write. I had some nice screenshots of quest text all ready to illustrate the wildly varying quality of translation in the game only I already did that years ago. I was going to make some comments about how I'd just about caught up to where I was last time I played only a) I already did that years ago, too and b) now I've reviewed my posting history on Dragon Nest, I realize I still have some way to go before I get back to my all-time high-water mark.

It seems I did once manage to help Hubert repair his airship. I have been to the big city, Saint's Haven. I even had a farm, once. None of which I can do right now. Dora's done all Hubert's quests and his airship is still grounded. She's level twenty-four, which is when the Saint's Haven questlines begin, but she has no way of getting there and untilshe does she can't go to the farm, even though the game tells her she should.

Not much point pretending I'm all caught up, then. I clearly have some more work to do. That's fine. I'm enjoying it. I am determined to get farther this time than in any of my previous runs. Providing the server stays up, that is. 

I do have something to say about Dragon Nest that I haven't written about before but I think I'll save it. It needs some working up with stuff from other games and I'm still letting it percolate. This picture's a clue :

Pretty sure that's someone's bio from their EQ character page c. 2001.


So here we are with another of those list posts about games I'm playing and games I might play. I do them because I like lists. Let's not pretend otherwise. I was even going to get all meta and do a whole post about lists and how suprisingly few of them turn up on mmo blogs considering what a staple of a) the internet and b) nerd culture they are. 

Is it okay to say "nerd culture"? I mean, it's linguistic reappropriation, isn't it? Which would make it fine when used by members of the formerly-oppressed group. Except I never really was a nerd (yes, I'm aware I might be one now...). 

We didn't really have nerds when I was growing up, or we didn't call them that (or geeks or any of the other hyper-Americanized terms that now have global currency). There were plenty of individuals who didn't fit in and got a hard time for it but there wasn't the same configuration of signatures and signs that would suggest any kind of unifying "culture" into which they might fit. 

Looking back, I seem to tick any number of the boxes but my boxes don't seem to have been in the same order or even the same warehouse. I think the particular subset of weirdos I hung with from the late '70s through the mid-90s was altogether too boisterous, loud and arrogant to feel oppressed by pretty much anyone. I'd sure have hated to have to have spent any time in a confined space with us. Not to mention nearly everyone was over six foot tall... I always felt short and I'm five-eleven. Or I was. I've shrunk a lot since then, of course.

I had a lot of ideas for that one (the meta-post about lists), ranging from my personal experience in APAs, where list-making was so predominant at one time there had to be rules about whether or not it counted as minac, to the much-maligned listicles used by commercial websites like Buzzfeed. I was going to extrapolate a thesis whereby the once-exclusive format had been devalued and degraded by abrasion with the mainstream. It was going to be very erudite and insightful but I couldn't be bothered to finish it. It's so much easier just to bang out a list.

Minac? Oh, that's "minimum activity". Since APAs generally had a maximum number of participants and there was often a waitlist, you were required to meet certain basic levels of engagement or you'd be kicked out. Kind of like Blaugust only with tasers. 

Take that, Lord Doljonijiarnimorinar!


Anyway, to the list. Well, the next one. These are the games I'm thinking about playing:

Disco Elysium - I accidentally updated it to the final version and the patch notes try to sell it as almost a new game. People said it was supposed to be highly re-playable even before that so maybe...

World of Warcraft - I did all the prep so I could go on playing after I let my sub lapse and then the moment I stopped paying I stopped playing.

Neo Cab - There must be more than half of this one I haven't seen and it should be possible to play it through again with virtually no duplication of content whatsoever. And it's great.

Genshin Impact - Couldn't even tell you why I stopped playing this one. The GI screenshot folder is still my slideshow for desktop backgrounds.

Elder Scrolls Online - I went back and posted about how much I was enjoying it and then I stopped. I guess I just don't enjoy enjoying myself.

Blade and Soul - See ESO.

Neverwinter Online - See Blade and Soul

Star Wars: the Old Republic - See NWO only add a couple of years.

FFXIV (free version) - I think you get the picture...

My Time At Portia - I ought to try and finish it before the beta for My Time At Sandrock arrives.

Yonder - It's like My Time At Portia only even prettier.

Rift - I like Rift. It's pointless to play it but I enjoy it when I do. I could practise that enjoyment thing I was talking about in a risk-free environment.

Why won't it fly?


That'll do for now. If I played that lot I'd never have time to eat or sleep. Or work. Not that I'm doing much of that right now.

Of course, if I didn't feel the need to come up with a couple of thousand words of this nonsense every day I'd have time to play at least a few of them. But I'd rather do this.


1 comment:

  1. Heyo!

    Hope you're enjoying yourself in GW2-landia. Currently going through the story and gearing a Guardian Firebrand on my end.

    :D Cheers to ya!


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