Age Of Discovery

Following last week’s episode, we come to session number eight in the series on the preservation of Vanilla. Today exemplifies everything that was explained last week. I am pleased at this opportunity to reinforce theory with activity.

An Anecdote

I asserted a great many things in last week’s post. Perhaps an addendum is required for one statement in particular, that of:

It was not content that was lacking, it was the imagination of those who complained.

It’s important to underline that imagination enacted can, and is, limited by the toolbox that a given game offers. In a MOBA, for example, I cannot exactly roleplay to great lengths. There is no continuity between games, the matchmaking system makes it difficult to act out accountability… as gamers, we play a reactionary role to the design decisions in the game we play. It is from here that our imagination can, and should, take over. But the point I need to make here is that MMORPGs were designed to be social, to be a self-contained world free of political castes. Their inventor has mentioned this, black on white, on more than one occassion. In a true MMORPG, not MOBA or FPS or RTS, we are truly limited only by our imaginations.

Thank You, Prince Henry

In last week’s post, the main takeaway was that there are more paths of progression than the simple leveling, and that these paths can all be traversed in more than one way. Questing need not be the only way to level, talents need not be the only way to specialize, etc. WoW Vanilla has this quality to it.

If I needed to highlight one example in particular, that of exploration should be used. In an online world, this should be obvious. But in order to truly be exploration, it must be allowed to organically manifest, it cannot be a ‘go to location x by way of path y and report back the z activity you witness’. No. You must be allowed to get lost.

The Value Of Gaming

When I talk to non-gamers about this hobby, I ensure I illustrate the real-life applications of gaming. Well, perhaps I shouldn’t say ‘hobby’ as this might be too weak an association. A ‘way of life’ perhaps? I game; I am a gamer, just like I work out; I am a jock, just as I study and speak languages; I am a linguist. Yes, I think this association is right, I take ownership here.

People who allow games to control them? We’ve all read the newsfeeds, and it’s unfortunate. Perhaps equally unfortunate are the incorrect takeaways with which people conclude. It wasn’t the game that coerced the gamer into binge gaming, resulting in death. It wasn’t the game that coerced the family into forgetting to feed their child. It was negligence spawned from an addictive personality. Dynamite is a tool, positively useful to clear mountainsides, or harmfully useful in munitions to bring about mass death. But the dynamite cannot be blamed for how it is used. After all, its inventor never had those harmful intentions. Recurring trends.

The true value lies in that games are a nesting bed for real-life lessons without the risk of real-life setback. What do I mean about this? Anyone who’s ever been involved with the professions or crafting system in any 2001-2006 era MMORPG has by consequence picked up true, real-life applications of the market system. Hell, I’d bet dollars for donuts that an ingame tycoon at Eve can play any stock market to great results, if they aren’t doing so already. There is value here.

The connection I have with that of exploration is rather simple. I run daily. Every so often, perhaps twice a month or so, I take my dog out on a run specifically to get lost. The aim isn’t to run a personal best, it isn’t to keep the run inside or above a given duration. The explicit goal is to allow for whatever is to happen… happen. Anyone with the most modest of a cranium will be able to guess what kinds of results this yields: a change of pace (no pun intended), new running paths that become future favorites, a dog’s day made much happier with the new and strange smells of new locations, very tiring runs because of unexpected lengths…

Stimulate the minds of those who play through your game. Allow for exploration and discovery. Encourage behavior ingame that is good for life application.

The Play Session

Today’s play session was… awesome! It was filled with a multitude of highs and lows that any gaming session could bring, filled with intrinsic rewards like discovery of a new field and extrinsic like leveling twice in the same session. In the (coming up on) 8 years of playing WoW off and on, Vanilla is still fresh and showing me her secrets. In the face of a declining rate of level gain, I am pleasantly welcomed with a momentary boost.

Death count: (+3) 6

I felt a calling that needed answering. From where this calling comes, I do not know. I know only that I must answer it. It has been growing for some time now, but today it rings like a crescendo in my mind. It cuts my thoughts like shards through my soul.

I am to be a great, powerful warlock. The dark whispering asserts this. I gladly heed. The denizens of Brill have been freed from the terror of encroaching Scarlets thanks to me. The locals here at the Sepulcher have tasked me with liberating their forest of the abominations that this Arugal has created. I am thwarted in my herbalism progression by an evil force that is jealous of me. My demons are spiteful of my power and seek to undermine my growth.

They only feed me, all these facts. I am naive no more.

I have been diligent in my focus on herbalism. I have pledged hours of daylight to ensuring I am outfitted with the latest and trendy potions here in Azeroth. I won’t go without the elixirs that will boost my natural attunement to the shadows. There have been others, apparently, who seek access to the potions that will rightfully be mine. I am a day late, two copper short, of collecting the Briarthorn that was available last time my slumber ceased. My resolve is further strengthened.

I have grown accustomed to Kal’s antics. He is just a pawn to me now. I sought friendship with a demon, and I was wrong. He is a peon, he is a crutch, he is a servant. I am prepared now for his moments of disobedience. I am not phased. He is welcome when he is around, but he isn’t missed when he isn’t. I don’t get angry, I just punish through soul shard containment.

The cold, unwelcoming winds of this land ceased for a moment today. I found myself in a glade that only now, in undeath, have I walked. Prior to my Transformation, I cannot say I stood in the grounds that I stood in today. In the bittersweet of undeath, I tasted freshness for the first time since my Awakening. This forest is full of wonder. But alas, not all is Silverleaf and Bruiseweed around here. Azeroth is at war. The evil I must fight will not rest if I stop and smell the Mageroyal. I take my moment of discovery and hold it close, but locked away. I will need a place of solitude to find myself in the upcoming trials that face me.

However in these trials, I will have my cherished Trolls Blood potions. I gained two levels in power, I can gather all that the Forest offers, I have a fresh stash of my precious, my Trolls Blood. I have grown, the power is miiine.

 

Series: Vanilla Preservation Project

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About Ahtchu

Jock. Nerd. Holistic. Game theoretician. Can recite the alphabet backwards.
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4 Responses to Age Of Discovery

  1. Twan says:

    Looks like rebirth is down like other wow emu servers, do you know when they are due back up?

    • Ahtchu says:

      Yes, apparently there is an absolutely enormous internet storm since late last week targeting online services. WoW emus, GoDaddy and Blizz world servers have gone down. Some of them have stayed down…
      Rebirth’s f(o)under did manage to reroute attacks for all of Monday evening but apparently it’s down again like the rest. He has been feeding nearly bi-hourly updates via Twitter and Facebook. The ongoing attack means anything I post here with “up” time speculation will be obsolete within hours. Check those feeds instead.
      To give an idea of the magnitude of this DDoS: “Our enterprise DDoS protection was able to scrub and provide clean traffic to the server for nearly 2 days, at which time the attacks went from 3 gigabytes / second to nearly 19 gigabytes / second, and nearly 500,000 packets per second, which is well beyond our threshold of mitigation.”
      I might add though: an emu f(o)under who provides a 100% free-of-charge, no-donations-accepted server with active DDoS attack wrestling of this magnitude while giving updates? Why, live MMORPG companies don’t even provide that quality of service! Perhaps later on in this series I’ll make a post about proper game PR…

      • Milady says:

        Ahtchu, the vanilla emulator I have been using has also been compromised, but the developers claimed that the attacks have nothing to do with those that the other emus experienced. Here’s the thread: http://www.wow-one.com/forum/topic/27415-notification-attack-on-our-services/ and the comment of one of the developers: “I would like to urge all members to stay calm and not jump to any conclusions before solid evidence has been delivered. We do not consider coincidence as solid proof. If money would be a motive here, we would have been contacted about this by the person(s) behind this attack. Even though we will not negotiate with such people, we have not received such request. Neither are the methods used the same as in last weeks attack used on several bigger projects. At this point, the possibility of a – or a group of individuals – is still a plausible theory we are investigating”

        But they could be wrong. How likely is it that an individual or a group of individuals targets the main private servers at the same time and with such ferocity? It could be a rivalling group, or Blizzard itself, now that we have learned just another disturbing tidbit about their security measures: http://www.ownedcore.com/forums/world-of-warcraft/world-of-warcraft-general/375573-looking-inside-your-screenshots.html

        The attacks are absolutely ravenous, I do not know if every server targeted will be able to counteract. Let’s hope both our servers remain healthy. Feenix already has changed hosts, and expects to deliver the service today. Since your server is privately funded, it might be the case that it lacks monetary tools to fight this harassment. In any case, I will pray for it to stay afloat, even thought I’d love that you’d come to mine ;).

      • Ahtchu says:

        I feel strongly that it’s a PR spin. Valkerie is claiming their downtime is due to merging databases with a now defunct Scriptcraft. The aggression of the attack (details previously posted) and the timing of all emus getting hit is a strong indicator. Is it proof? No, but where there is smoke…
        The f(o)under of Rebirth is decidedly tech-savvy to a degree that he became independently wealthy through his craft. The proof of this is the very experience-able visit to Rebirth and witnessing <50ms ping stateside and in western Europe, with ~100ms ping from players in eastern Europe. And this is a co-located server (think: EvE Online) that boasts over 99% uptime through over a year of service. All this being 100% free, actively anti-donation. So this verifiable statement addresses basically the rest of your post.
        1. When he updates us with the details of the attack, he speaks from a position of experience, and one of active involvement with the problem. He says the botnet is size x with y targets and been going on for z days? I'm inclined to believe him. He states the DDoS is "assuredly EXPENSIVE" on his end, it begs to reason that the person(s) behind the attacks have wallet enough for more than 1 site. Also, he assures us this attack is not Blizzard themselves.
        2. He does not lack monetary tools. While I've not seen his bank account, I do know a little bit about extrapolating information (engineer and all). Ya… he doesn't lack monetary tools 😉
        3. I can say that unless Rebirth shuts down, I will not (nor cannot for the sake of the project) be going anywhere else- I think you'll understand. Before settling on Rebirth I researched all of the 1.12.1 emus (Feenix/Molten/Qgaming/Scriptcraft/Valkerie/…), trying the most promising. Either because of donations, pay-to-win (sorry: donate-to-win), poor scripting/pathing/LOS… I walked away from every one except Rebirth… which was the stark opposite. It's paramount that this project take place on a high-integrity server for the project to have value, and paramount it takes place on a legal one too (read: no server donations, 1.12.1 ToS client ownership to consumer) for its continued documenting. The fact that the server has the best hardware (really, the hardware list is jaw-dropping) and most dedicated server GM? Well that’s just icing that seals the deal 😉 You know, when the project is complete, I might just stick around a while longer, maybe farm some twilight texts…

        Thanks for that link. This is extremely unfortunate action, and will link it in yesterday’s post. I hope your gametime is fruitful Milady! Thanks also for your reply here (and such clear wording you have! /jelly).

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