Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

As It Is In Life, So Shall It Be In Mass Effect

Funny things happen when one falls in love, both physically and mentally. Let's not go into the physical however. No, let's not. We could be here all day.

I, for one, am usually blessed with seemingly inexhaustible stores of patience, especially for the inanimate things of the world. And it was with this renewed vigor that I decided to give Mass Effect 3 another go, despite all the other games I'm currently investing in. I had sighed and pined for months for this game, in what seems now like another life time, so it seemed only fair I didn't give up on it so soon.

So I sat down on my bed, turned on the faithful 360 and set to it. As soon as the title screen came on I felt like something was amiss, or rather, not altogether right.

First take this into account.

Now, I don't know about you but, to me, this music got me in the mood. In the awesome-by-proxy, shoot-people-in-the-face mood.

Now consider this.

Oh, it's good, I'm not saying it isn't. But it brings me down more than it pumps me up. I'd rather cuddle than kill at the sound of this. And this mood continues throughout the game. Ambiance music is gloomy and mellow. I know there's a war going on and that wars are a sad affair. But you could at least try to get my blood flowing so I'd actually feel like doing something about it.

And this whole lethargic feel of "war is sad" is the backdrop for everything. In every screen, during every thing you do, there is this undertone of sad. I haven't finished the game yet but I see where this is going. This is just too much sad build-up for my taste.

During the first two installments of the saga I always felt like the situation was dire but Shepard was ready and willing to step up and own face. Now it's more of a lackluster day job affair for her. Yes, she's the savior of the galaxy and all things organic but we knew this already. We're moving on rails here people, let's just get this over with.

I'm going to finish the game. Soonish. I may be a bit too content at present to actually be able to stomach all of the "sad" in the game but, if push comes to shove, I'll just set the difficulty down to slap in the face and breeze down to the finish line.

Just so I can start bitching about it like everyone else.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Tank-Healer Dance

Where have I scurried off to? Well, you know when you get so passionate about something that you kind of lose yourself in the moment? And you know when that something isn't a thing but a one? Also, haven't been playing anything new. But this had a point other than vain apologies didn't it?

I'll be the first to admit: I'm not the most experienced of MMORPG players out there. In fact, my repertoire is fairly limited. My first big one was WAR and I've just recently decided to give Aion a whirl. Oh, shush you hatemongers. I have my gripes with the game as well but circumstance dictated and I, as the good girl I am known to be, acquiesced. But from what little I have seen, heard and experienced, there is this core fundamental rule all these games seem to cling to.

I'll introduce the topic with a little haiku-esque adage I heard just the other day while I took the mop to the floor.
"If the tank dies, it's the healer's fault.

  If the healer dies, it's the tank's fault.

 If the DPS dies, it's their own damn fault."

Most of you will agree that, although a bit extreme, most of the times the saying rings true. The tank is there to take the beating for everyone and the healer's there to make sure he can survive it. In doing so, he's perceived as a threat and it is then up to the tank to become an even bigger one. The dance goes on and on until things are rendered immobile and pronounced dead. This is not a broad sweeping statement. It covers mostly PvE instanced encounters of the softer kind. I acknowledge the usefulness of DPS classes and that they too have an important part to play but often times with a lesser responsibility load. And, usually, your choice of DPS player (not to be confused with character) is irrelevant while your choice of healer/tank combination is not. Is it any wonder everyone blames either the healer or the tank?

Life isn't made of instanced PvE alone is it? Let's take large-scale PvP then and the only true experience with it I've had. How would one rate this partnership then? Equally as important? Maybe. Ideally, tanks will be the ones to receive the burst damage from enemy lines and they will be relying on their healers to get them through it so they can cause the disruption they set out to do, all the while looking after the safety of their own files as well. This, to me, seems more of a one-sided relationship seeing as aggro isn't an issue and healers are a target regardless of a tank's efforts. Usually. That's when crowd control becomes the most useful. But the safety of DPSs is now an added concern.

So, what's my point in all of this? My point is this: why? Why is the mechanic always the same in that there has to be an archetype to take the beating and the healer to keep contesting for it? Oh, what is that you say? There's something coming out that goes against this premise?

Yes, from what I hear GW2 does not sport dedicated healing classes. And that, against all expectations, is what leaves me the most curious about the game. I've heard it say time and time again that healers are the demise of many a MMO. Which is harsh because it's what I am, a healer. But here you introduce to me an environment where it's every man for themselves in a big battlefield against other factions. It makes me curious.

I still haven't got the money for it and I am definitely inclined to give it the tOR treatment. Imma wait it out.