Tuesday, March 17

I am hardcore!

This epiphany hit me yesterday. I always considered myself casual and carebear. I am pretty sure I am actually still both of them. But somehow hardcore has been added to it as well. Although my hardcore-ness is not exactly the opposite of casual or carebear. I am hardcore in the sense that I like things to be (unnecessary) difficult.

When Vanguard got released you had to really run long distances, and I loved the idea that it really was a journey to go from Ca'ial Brael to Khal. It took me two months before I traveled to far away Thestra. But then they introduced the riftways and the world got a lot smaller. Now they even dumbed it down further to show all riftstones and routes on the map (and I suspect I don't even have to unlock them anymore).

Another example is from Age of Conan. Originally the harvest nodes where hidden on the regular zones. It was nice to roam around and bump into them. But they decided that it was apparently too hardcore, and it took all the fun out of random exploration nodes. Same with the caravan drivers that started service to all zones instantly, making travel non existent.

I was reading up on the ultimate hardcore game, Darkfall, and read about half hour travel times to some dungeon. I think that might be fun the first time, but it is going to be very tedious in the long run. They can't really fix that in that game, so I think it means another group of players will get bored with Darkfall very quickly. I think will never play Darkfall, but it is interesting to see some of these things in a game. Just too bad hardcore is associated with PvP and huge group raids.

A few posts back lani mentioned that Anarachy Online is hardcore. As usual there is wisdom in that statement. Nothing is obvious in AO. Trying to figure how best to get your implants sorted out and installed is more complex than a Windows DLL dependency. The end of the line for our AO adventures came when I mention the social clothing quests. I loved them, but Lani almost did an instant uninstall.

But the real thing that made me hardcore happened when I checked out the coreUI thing. It chews it all out for me. I don't want to know everything, and have everything perfect in place. I know it slows down my progress and even disturbs lani since I am lagging behind. But I am getting a kick out of doing it the painful way. And even a bigger kick when I can tell somebody else in a chat channel my clumsy discoveries.

Hmm, now my post sounds a bit like "Look at me, Hardcore Phe, a true gamer". But that is not what I meant. I just realized I am more hardcore than I thought I was. But since I am otherwise the opposite of what describes a hardcore player I might have a hard time finding my ideal game. I better make sure chapter 6 in the ideal MMO, 'Hardcore features', gets written and implemented.


  1. Well halelujah! She finally figured it out :-)
    I've always felt you were the more hardcore.
    I'm more a casual hardcore. Or softcore player :-)

    I.e. I don't mind a challenge, but the challenge should not be overcoming design flaws and inconsistencies. That's what got to me in AO. The inconsistencies, and the elements of the game that dead-ended because things had been discontinued. I don't recall it being any specific type of questline. The 'machineguns' and other rapid fire weapons that have a lower rate of fire than real life flintlock rifles were gettign to me too. Immersion.

    I like a challenge, but if it becomes tedious... That's a fine line.
    Long term goals are fine, I like something to live forward to but games are ultimately to relax. Not to turn into some auto-piloted activity. I'll pass when it turns into that.

    I think real hardcore games and gamers are self-defeating because they are so competitive. hardcore isn't so much associated with PvP as it is with competitive achievement, not to mention a great tendency to look down one's nose at everyone less holier, I mean hardcorer than they themselves. You automatically started to defend yourself, backing away from that aspect of the hardcore gamer to think itself better than anything. That's significant.
    But the net result is it's hardcore players who end up making and using stuff like Infomap for Vanguard and need it to stay competitive. That's the self defeating element. The hardcore player makes his own experience easier, smoother whenever he can. Then starts complaining it's cookie cutter :-)

    Sidenote: AoC had a bug at launch, resulting in nodes not showing up. The "vision" was always that once you found them, they'd get automapped. They didn't make a change to make the game less hardcore, they fixed a bug in the automapping tool. Before that I was mapping them myself, because that was fun.

    Does it help if I tell you I turned off most of the information providing options of CoreUI?
    It's Infomap that you object to the most I think. It's included by default but can be kept out. The benefit of CoreUI for me is mostly in better hotbars (that autochange on switching forms if you so wish), "normal" mousebutton behavior, doubleclicking a diplomacy card plays it and thereby reduces the RSI. Stuff like that. Besides I just like looking at what they come up with.
    Also I like having whatever tools you need at your fingertips and the built in web browser. The map information overlays I turned off myself as well. It was fun mapping them out and contributing to Infomap when it was still a fledgling project and I'm still thankful for the citymap overlay for Ahgram, but having every spot of potential interest mapped out is fun to look at for all of 2 minutes in a "wow look what they did" kind of way. Then you turn it off. I did mention me turning off two-thirds of the options, right?

    Am I still cool enough to hang out with Hardcore Phè now? :-)

  2. P.s. When did you frustrate me?
    Please tell me when you do. I seem to be unaware of it when you do and I think I should be. :-)

  3. P.p.s.

    So, what saying is you're really a Hardcore Sheep? :-)

  4. I was thinking something like that too last night. But the sheep doesn't really fit at all. That's why I really liked the wolf/sheep post by syncaine.

    I am the opposite of a wolf, clearly. I don't kill, I don't go to ACME to buy gadgets, I don't run in a huge pack to take out the giant.

    But I am also the opposite of a sheep. I do not take the paved paths, or follow the other sheep to take out the giant.

    I am a hardcore explorer and a hardcore socializer. Although my hardcore socializer part is a bit complex. And the hardcore exploring part can mean hours of grinding on one spot to find out what is there in the end.

    Ok, enough self discovery blah blah. My next post will not all be about me, me, me.

  5. Hmm, are you talking sheep as in following the herd, or as in a non-wolf non-violent kind of way?
    You're the latter, not the former. And as I understood it, Syncaine also meant the latter. But I could be wrong.

    Maybe you're a goat?

  6. Yeah, he talked about the latter. In that sense I am sheepish. But all the other things that make a sheep a sheep don't apply. I tried to think up a more fitting animal but they are all either killers or herd followers.

  7. That's where I have to disagree.
    Killers, Player Killers and Herd animals aren't opposites.
    I firmly believe one can be something that's neither. I think you'd have to look beyond the Wolf/Sheep - Carnivore / Herbivore categorization to maybe the Omnivore.

  8. Maybe you misunderstood me (and the wolf/sheep mis-analogy). The MMO player is not split in hunter and hunted, Carnivore/Herbivore. But the animal kingdom pretty much is. I could not think up any animal that would represent our type of MMO player. All non-pack/non-herd animals I could think up are killers.

    An aardvark maybe?

  9. Aardvark eat ants right?
    But I do understand, that's why I went for the omnivore.
    Oh and the analogy is pretty good, considering most carnivores are scavengers rather than hunters :-)

    Are drop-bears / Koala's an option?