Friday, December 5, 2014

Here Comes A New Challenger!

Look back and think, what game was it that you can always remember fondly and still play again no matter what? For me, one of those games happens to be the Street Fighter Franchise. I remember playing Street Fighter II as a kid in the arcade, I was so enthralled by the characters (Blanka was my favorite since he could electrocute people and the animation was fun) all the amazing moves and being able to play against my friends, trying to see who was the better fighter. I have even played the very first Street Fighter game which is a rarity all in itself. So when earlier today it was announced that they would be making a Street Fighter I was excited! Even more excited was to hear that the game would be exclusive to Playstation 4 and PC. Now for some that may put a damper on them if they don't own either one, but lucky for me I own both!

Street Fighter has spanned for more than 25 years now and continues to grow and create more and more fans. And I can't wait til next year for when this game comes out and to be able to play against my friends in matches. I'm sure more and more details will be released soon later on, but the announcement so far just has me itching to learn more. 

There is a link I found that showcases a video that is apparently being removed since the announcement was technically leaked early. So if you hit the link, hopefully you'll be able to see it. 

Makin' Money While Fraggin dem Noobs!

Electronic Sports or eSports has begun to rise in popularity not just in the gaming community but in the general public. A big push for eSports would have to be ESPN's live broad cast of DOTA 2 International Tournament Event that occurred this summer. The International is a worldwide gaming competition where professional players compete to become the top contender. Since DOTA 2 is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game or MOBA for short, players in groups of fives are in teams as they battle it out to be the number one team in the world. The biggest interest besides bragging rights was the $11 Million dollar pot for the champions. 

The international saw major known Major League Gaming teams (MLG) send their best of the best to represent them and attempt to win that grand prize money. The popularity of eSports has also seen the rise of professional players. They will train vigorously and spend countless hours playing to perfect their skills in order to be the top contenders. While some might see this as a waste of time and money, they'll fail to realize that a professional gamer can actually make a living and bring massive income from their winnings when competing at professional tournaments. 

With being a professional gamer it doesn't tie a person down to one specific games. Various tournaments are held for all different type of game genres. Fighting Tournaments for games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat or Dead or Alive, there are tournaments for sports games such as Madden or the NBA 2K franchise and genres for MOBA and Real Time Strategy games with StarCraft II being one of the most popular ones. And you might think that the money they make is problem not enough to be considered doing. But an article run by CNBC showcased a retired gamer named, Dave Walsh who was making close to $250,000 a year! You can read up more about it at the link posted here (

Now the rewards are enticing and may make a person consider becoming a professional gamer to enter tournaments and win large cash prizes, but also take time to consider and realize what you'll be getting into. Most, if not all professional gamers dedicate their lives to honing their craft. They spent massive hours of gameplay to perfect their skills, create strategies and study various aspects of the game to increase their knowledge and capability of the game. It's more than just run in, shoot and kill to win. Players will examine maps and layouts for new levels, study the stats of various characters and their abilities of not just their favorites but every character in a game. It may seem like fun and exciting opportunity and it still is, but don't take their work lightly. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Moar Heelz Plz!

One feature about MMO's is the ability to not just play and questing on your own. But to also join like minded adventurers and group up to handle larger than life obstacles. Throughout games like Wow, or SW: TOR you'll encounter various quests and instances that are going to be too difficult for one player to tackle alone. This allows the player to form a group and each playing having a designated role in order to complete the objective. Every player's role will be vital when entering Dungeons or Raids and communication is also expected if you hope to survive these tougher and larger than life enemies. The most common role's player will take are usually split into the three types; Tank, Healer and DPS (Damage Per Second).

As the title suggests the role of the tank in a group is to be the one who has heavy armor and lots of health. The primary job of the tank is to go in first, keep the enemies focused on you so that they won't attack your colleagues In order for a tank to be efficient you will want armor that's going to also allow to have the largest amount of health and other defensive abilities. Many of your abilities are going to designed to have the enemies attention towards you or "Aggro" as it is also referred. Those abilities may consist of "Taunts" or "AOE (Area of Effect)" attacks to keep large groups of enemies focused on you. 

This is another import role while in a group. The healer's primary task is to make sure that they keep everyone alive during the fight. Their abilities will be focusing on regenerating health to the tank and other members so that they keep on attacking and take down their foes. Since at times a healer's armor and health points will be low, the group is going to want to make sure that little to no damage is made to the healer. So the tank has to make sure that the enemies are attacking him and not the priest/ shaman who is throwing massive regenerative spells at him. At times a healer might have a small trick up his sleeve so that in case for some instance the tank loses Aggro, they can evade the enemy or stun them momentarily while they re-position themselves and keep on healing the group. And if for some reason a teammate is to fall in battle, a healer will at times have the ability to resurrect that fallen character so they can continue on into their dungeon or instance.

DPS (Damage Per Second)
The job of a DPS is simple but also necessary. Keep on attacking the hard and fast to make sure they go down quickly as possible. For a DPS your weapons and abilities will inflict the most damage. Some times though not often a DPS may switch roles between the tank or healer. A DPS character does have a primary focus but can also be a jack of all trades and will have the ability to fill in various spots while in your group. This tactic at times may not be reccomend so use it very sparingly. But if you find yourself in a group as DPS you have but one objective. HIT VERY HARD AND VERY FAST.

The roles of Tank, Healer, or DPS are only just for small groups. For much larger instances such as Raid where 10-60 players may be involved, it isn't uncommon to find 2 tanks and 4 healers with an army of DPS heroes taking down Gargantuan bosses. 

But all these roles all have a primary task in order to survive these difficult dungeons and raids. And this to have open communication with everyone in the group. Make sure everyone is aware of their duties, who and when to attack, what little tricks need to be done and so on. Always be mindful of your surroundings so that you don't wander and attract a large horde of bats that could end up wiping out your entire crew. The best groups and guilds out in the virtual world are the best because they are constantly communicating with one another. 

I will attack a video that gives an example of bad communication and overall leadership. It's an older video but also very popular and know in the MMO World. So enjoy the small Onyxia wipe video (Warning: Contains Graphic Language, NSFW)

Monday, November 17, 2014

And why shouldn't my Night Elf have a Pink Mohawk?

Continuing on with my posts about MMORPG's (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) I wanted to explore out some a key feature that is a common staple in most of these games. And that is the ability to customize and create your Avatar/ In Game Hero. 

In games such as World of Warcraft (WOW), Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (SWTOR) or Guild Wars 2 (GW2). The player is given the ability to decide various features that you character can have. Many times you will be able to choose various races (Humans, Orcs, Elves, Cyborgs, Gnomes, Rodians, etc), hair color, hair style, eye color, facial features such as tattoos or scars, Gender (Male/ Female), or even times body type (Tall, skinny, Buff). 

A lot MMO's allow players to create an avatar to represent them in-game. Since the overall essence of an RPG is to the assume the role of archetype character who progresses in skills and levels while completing tasks, missions and various tasks throughout the game. Certain MMO's allow the choices for a character to make to have long term consequences either good or bad depending on the players choice. An example can be seen in SW:TOR where certain quests will allow the player to have choice between and light side (good choice) or dark side(evil choice).  Overtime in the game if you continue to make dark side choices the avatar's appearance will begin to change. The ability for an MMO to give the player customization options allows the player to express themselves individually within the fantasy virtual world. While most games you control a preset character such as Mario in Super Mario Bros, or Lara Croft in Tomb Raider; the player is controlling the hero and is confined to a pre-determined fate. Whereas in MMO's, you create your character, you have the ability to name it, give it a personality, choose where you want to go.
A interesting article I found created various tests and surveys that attempted to examine how players use the in game tools for character creation to create an ideal version of themselves than that of their real life versions actually are. The article is written by Katherine Bessiere, M.A., A. Fleming Seay, Ph.D, and Sara Kiesler, Ph.D. and much of their results did prove their hypothesis that many players create their avatar to be an ideal version of themselves. At times their character will have characteristics and traits much different to the player.

The article can be found at this site

In my next post I think I'm going to attempt to locate more research about the psychology between a player and the avatar them emulate while playing an MMO. There are various articles that I've browsed to showcase results where most players attempt to emulate a character with greater values and characteristics than themselves in their own lives. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

1st Entry in MiniProject 2

This is a formal greeting and introduction to my blog for my 2nd mini project in my COM 3322: New Communication Technology! My focus will be that of gamer culture that focuses on MMO's or Massively Multiplayer Online. More notably it will be centered on MMORPG's(Massive Multplayer Online Role-playing Game). Also to help identify my blog posts focused on these particular topics, I will make sure to add labels for them such as COM3322, MP2, MMO, Gaming.

So to start it off I want to talk about a major developer and powerhouse in the MMORPG and that would be Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard is widely known for their MMORPG titled "World of Warcraft". Since it's release it has has over 12 million subscribers and over four expansions with a fifth one being released next week.

Aside from MMORPGs Blizzard has created Real Time Strategy games such as Warcraft and Starcraft, Action Hack and Slash RPG's such as the Diablo franchise, and today recently announced their new IP which is titled "Overwatch" that is slated to be a MMOFPS (Massive Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter).  I have attached a link with the announcement for your viewing pleasure. So far the cinematic is intriguing and gives a Super Hero/ Villain feel to it. The style of artwork has a bit of an animation but more highly detailed to resemble that of Japanese Animation. I was actually pretty excited about this announcement and hope to learn more about it as more information will later be released.

So hope you enjoy the trailer if you haven't seen it yet.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Things I've done, things I've liked Pt. 2

This is a continuation from my previous post, I recently talked about some of my favorite games from past to current. And even choosing those was difficult seeing as I have so many games that I can list. But now this part of the post is to showcase some current images that I have created. Being an Art Student I spend lots of time sketching or creating some kind of art. I've dabbled in photography, screenprinting, digital art, sculpture to printmaking. But one thing that I've always enjoyed as a medium is pencil, marker and ink. I love to draw and always have. I still have various sketchbooks filled with doodles, sketches and pieces of work. I'm an avid user of the website and many of the subreddits it has to offer. The most recent subreddit that has caught my intrigue this summer is r/redditgetsdrawn. Where users submit photos of themselves, friends, significant others or family members; and request other users to put their artistic abilities to use and create various works for art for them. So naturally I've begun to submit some of work and see if the OP (Original Poster) likes my work or not.

One of the most recent ones I made was one where a user wanted to be drawn as a mermaid and even drawn swimming with whales. So I referenced the photos she provided to create her as a mermaid swimming down towards a whale. She was very pleased with the results and I'm glad I made her happy.

And just tonight I've decided to draw a friend of mine. This is not a request but I felt motivated to draw her. I decided to keep it minimal and just use pencil and ink/ brush. She has yet to see it and hopefully she is flattered by the work. And just a little secret (it's for her birthday). 
That's all I have for tonight. Enjoy reading my post and taking a look of my recent work that I've done. As always, constructive criticism is appreciated and don't forget to follow me on instagram @thabmg60 as well as my twitter @thabmg60. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Things I've done, things I've liked.

Looking back at video games and what two games I've enjoyed the most, it took me some deep thought of what games I've truly enjoyed. Hell I've been playing games since the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), I remember my parents got me the deluxe package set that had the console, two controllers, zapper light gun, and Super Mario Bros/ Duck Hunt game package.

So from Nintendo, to Playstation, to Dreamcast, To Xbox and PC and next Gen; I have a large library of games to choose from. But I would have to say one of the games I have enjoyed would have to be Final Fantasy VII for the Playstation (PSX/ PS1). When it came out it was a digital masterpiece, with cutting edge 3D graphics, cutscenes and battle play system that included limit breaks with fancy cutscenes along with various animations for characters and monsters. The story that started off with a bunch of eco-terrorists tryong to stop a massive corporation, to find a group of powered individuals who are now chosen to save the world from mass destruction. I spent countless hours playing the game and running through the main story plot, then going back to attempting to find all the secret weapons, items, materia, chocobo's and any other little easter eggs that they threw into that game. And with rumors always spreading of a reboot, it just boost my nostaglia for this game even more. I still actually play it from time to time on my pc now, granted the graphics are outdated, but I enjoy so much that it never bothers me.

And looking back at another video game franchise, I can't help but think of a more current game that has sucked out endless hours from me. This game, I have developed a love/ hate relationship with it to be honest. There have been times where I just want to give up, uninstall it and forget about it. But then there are times I enjoy every minute of the action involved in this game. I am talking about Defense of the Ancients 2 or DOTA 2 for short. DOTA 2 is the sequel to the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) mod that spawned from the Warcraft 3 game for PC. It's a multiplayer game where you are teamed up with four other players, from there you choose your hero/ champion each with different abilities and powers as you attempt to defend your towers and base from the opposing team, along with trying to attack and destroy theirs. I can probably go on for hours about this game, but I'd rather not. If you have ever played similar games such as League of Legends, then you'll know what I'm talking about. But for now, here is the cinematic trailer.