[Insert Witty Title Here]

Hi. It’s FRIDAY! And while I am happy that the short work week is almost over, I am also, at the time of writing this, emotionally tired from the stresses of the work week. Some people seem to take short weeks and compress what would normally be 5 days of stress and deadline marching into the 4 days, rather than properly treating them like the 4 days they are. So despite being very happy that there’s a weekend in front of me… I’m not that relieved. Of course, part of the reason for that is I will be ‘on call’ again this weekend. Often little comes of that, but it limits the options on what I can do with the weekend.

Mhari and I are doing okay other than my being tired. Mhari has started an exercise program, which seems to slowly be starting to pay off with a little more energy for walking. We’ll see how it goes longer term. As for myself, I get a LOT of walking in on any day I go into the office, as I am getting off BART 2 stations past where I need to, and walking back to the office. And then at the end of the day, I walk back to the that station rather than going to a closer one. And on my lunch break I walk 1/2 to 1 mile as part of things.

However, on the flip side, I am not getting to bed as early as I should. I did better last night, but I don’t feel it much. I’m not sleeping well due to heat trapped in the apartment from the warm to hot days we have been having. And fans, while they move the air, don’t really get rid of it. I really need to rig a fan into my window and set it up as an exhaust fan for this sort of thing. That would help.

On with other things…

City of Heroes, Issue 15, has gone into Open Beta on the CoH Test Server. I am unimpressed. This one is tiny. There’s a bunch of changes to Architect badges to prevent some abuse of the Architect that they were linked to. Those badges encouraged certain types of activity in the player-made missions that was not conducive to what was intended for the system. They made there be rewards for things that people who where not as actively constructively creative had to seek other ways to receive. So it promoted things like building ‘farming’ missions for various things. And it caused a great deal of friction in the community in the process.

I think the changes they did were needed. I know -I- was getting driven away from AE missions (or MA missions, if you will). Partly because the number of farming missions that were being written and how they mask the good missions due to needle in a haystack issues in finding the good missions. And the other reason was because of the manner of some of the people hanging out in AE for farming purposes. They were often rude and seemed to figure that if you were there, you were also trying to find a team to farm with.

As to the rest of Issue 15… meh. There is a new Task Force (for heroes) and a new Strike Force (for villains). Both are for levels 45-50. And require 4 players. I really shouldn’t complain about these, as they ARE new content, and from what talk there is about them, my friend Bruce Harlick is the main writer/driver on them. That should make them VERY good. And I DO look forward to playing them.

The other addition to the game is a ‘toolkit’ for people testing their AE missions. Again, I will likely find this useful and I look forward to using the tools.

However, other than the changes to the badges, those two high level Task/Strike Forces, the toolkit stuff for AE/MA (as well as a few new maps, a level selector and some other MA tuning), some Arena changes and the usual small slew of power adjustments… this issue is darned bare of anything of interest.

There are no new power sets, no new archetypes, no new low- or mid-level content, no new invention sets, no new zones, nothing ‘large’. Yes, all the little things taken together, when to add them all up do amount to a fair number of good things. But it feels… lacking. Especially called ‘Anniversary’. Of course, if they release it to the live servers at the end of June, I can always call it a wedding anniversary present for my wife and I.

My bet is that this is so ‘light’ because of there being ‘Going Rogue’ as the ‘Next Big Thing’ and all their main focus is likely on that new ‘faction’. It sounds like as much work as City of Villains was. THAT I am looking forward to… in a major way.

On other things… I am playing Fallout 3 as my ‘gotta play something different so as not to burn out’ game. I am enjoying it!

Well, that’s it for me. I better get to work and get the day over with so I can get what weekend I can. Have a good one, folks, and thanks for reading.

Little to say

I really don’t have anything to say, today. So I will keep this real short. Mhari and I are doing fine. I am majorly looking forward to thsi 3-day weekend we are about to have. And I need a freaking dang vacation! A -real- one. Not some convention weekend, not a family trip, not something where there is a single dang OBLIGATION in it at all.

I am also sick of being team leader in our MMO games. I love playing the game. But I don’t always like having to be the one that picks the missions and drives the team. I have enough stress in my day job. I want to coast and enjoy myself in my games.

Anyways, enough of that. I am writing this while stressed out with my employment. And I need more peaceful sleep. That’s why I want this weekend so badly… it may be a convention weekend for others, but for myself it is 3 days of rest. Though I do have to take my car into the shop tomorrow for the state mandated expenditure of money called a Smog Check.

Take care all, and have a GREAT Memorial Day weekend!

Yay! Rah! Rah!

Yes, it’s that time. It’s FRIDAY and we can all look forward to 2 days of not worrying about work… except for those reading that have to work on the weekends, this weekend, or whatever weekend. It’s also one weekend closer to NEXT weekend which is Memorial Day weekend which is the unofficial start of ‘summer season’. However, this will be one of those strange Memorial Day weekends that comes a ‘week’ earlier than normal due to June 1sts falling on a Monday. So rather than it being 2 weeks until the end of the school season, it’s 3 weeks.

There was something boingboing pointed me to, and I am going to quote the same part they did. It’s from the keynote speech that Charles Stross (a science fiction author and more) at the LOGIN 2009 conference in Seattle this past week. (Click here for the speech as posted by the author himself):


So, let’s look ahead to 2030.

We can confidently predict that by then, computer games will have been around for nearly sixty years; anyone under eighty will have grown up with them. The median age of players may well be the same as the median age of the general population. And this will bring its own challenges to game designers. Sixty year olds have different needs and interests from twitchy-fingered adolescents. For one thing, their eyesight and hand-eye coordination isn’t what it used to be. For another, their socialization is better, and they’re a lot more experienced.

Oh, and they have lots more money.

If I was speccing out a business plan for a new MMO in 2025, I’d want to make it appeal to these folks — call them codgergamers. They may be initially attracted by cute intro movies, but jerky camera angles are going to hurt their aging eyes. Their hand/eye coordination isn’t what it used to be. And like sixty-somethings in the current and other cohorts they have a low tolerance for being expected to jump through arbitrary hoops for no reward. When you can feel grandfather time breathing down your neck, you tend to focus on the important stuff.

But the sixty-something gamers of 2030 are not the same as the sixty-somethings you know today. They’re you, only twenty years older. By then, you’ll have a forty year history of gaming; you won’t take kindly to being patronised, or given in-game tasks calibrated for today’s sixty-somethings. The codgergamers of 2030 will be comfortable with the narrative flow of games. They’re much more likely to be bored by trite plotting and cliched dialog than todays gamers. They’re going to need less twitchy user interfaces — ones compatible with aging reflexes and presbyopic eyes — but better plot, character, and narrative development. And they’re going to be playing on these exotic gizmos descended from the iPhone and its clones: gadgets that don’t so much provide access to the internet as smear the internet all over the meatspace world around their owners.

If this sounds like a tall order, and if you’re wondering why you might want to go for the sixty-something hardcore gamer demographic, just remember: you’re aiming to grab the share of the empty-nester recreational budget that currently goes in the direction of Winnebago and friends. Once gas regularly starts to hit ten bucks a gallon (which it did last year where I come from) they’ll be looking to do different things with their retirement — the games industry is perfectly positioned to clean up.

And then there are the younger generation. Let’s take a look at generation Z:

The folks who are turning 28 in 2030 were born in 2002. 9/11 happened before they were born. The first President of the United States they remember is Barack Obama. The space shuttle stopped flying when they were eight. Mobile phones, wifi, broadband internet, and computers with gigabytes of memory have been around forever. They have probably never seen a VHS video recorder or an LP record player (unless they hang out in museums). Oh, and they’re looking forward to seeing the first man on the moon. (It’s deja vu, all over again.)


There’s a whole lot more to what he said there. Read it at the link I gave. It’s worth the read. But the part I am focusing on at the moment is I am going to BE one of those ‘codgergamers’ he talks about. I will be 68 in 2030. And I expect I will still be gaming then as I game now, if one illness or another doesn’t cut my life short. There’s TWENTY YEARS more gaming in my future between now and then. And in the LAST twenty years a HECK of a lot of amazing things have happened. Twenty years ago we didn’t have WoW (launched in 2004 – 5 years young this coming Nov 23rd), Everquest (launchd in 1999 – turned 10 years young this past March 16th), or even Ultima Online (launched in 1997, it will be 12 years old on September 25th of this year).

In 1989 SimCity is released, the first of the ‘Sim’ games… The original Gameboy was released by Nintendo and the ill-fated Lynx was released by Atari. Console Game machines that were popular were the Nintendo NES (the Super Nintendo is 2 years away) and the Sega, with the Sega Genesis being launched in this year. In computers, the Amiga 500 was the gamers machine of choice with the IBM PC starting to gain ascendancy with the wide spread use of this thing called an ‘adlib’ sound card, but it’s 2 years before a dedicated ‘accelerated video chip’ will come out of S3.

A lot of things happen in twenty years. And while I am really, really, really looking forward to the recently announced City of Heroes Expansion: Going Rogue, I am sure it is going to be a really amazing time for us future ‘codgergamers’. And I am really looking forward to that ‘Lots more money’ Mr Stross was talking about. *chuckle*

Mhari and I are doing well, we’re looking forward to our weekend. In gamespace we started a new group of heroes Monday on Pinnacle server in City of heroes which I have called ‘Rat’s Brigade’ when I formed the supergroup upon hitting level 10 on Tuesday. We did this because two of our regular Monday players for Flying Fox’s team on Guardian could not make it. They are all in a Task Force, so playing without one of the Tanks and our plant controller/healer didn’t appeal. We’ll be playing Flying Fox’s group tonight to make up for it and playing Thrilling Adventures back in it’s normal slot next week.

Wednesday the Wolf Pack on Protector server red side had a good night, and ended a little early due to a number of us being a little over tired. Not unusual with the Wed group. We were down 2 players there, too, with Tigrise out for conflicting commitments issues, and Pack Handler out because it was his birthday and his wife took him to see Wicked and to dinner.

Last night I sort of fooled around a bit on Second Life and did mostly nothing. It felt good, but time went by awfully fast and it was bedtime before I turned around and looked.

Well, I better get to work. I want to get out the other side of it and get to the weekend! Thanks for reading! And go read Mr. Stross’ full keynote.

Busy… so busy

Okay, so another week has gone by. It’s been a strange one for me, filled with a few doctor appointments, transit woes and just generally being real, real busy with work things. Health wise, Mhari and I are doing mostly fine. My doctor gave me high marks for improvement and isn’t changing my medications any.

I just really don’t have much of anything to say again this week. So I am going to keep this short. Nothing really has changed much in my life from the way it’s been the past few weeks. So I don’t see the need to say anything other than I am writing too many words for how little I have to say.

Maybe I will write more and have something to write about next week…