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.