Tag Archive for form

Worth Doing Well

Any job worth doing is worth doing well.

Any job with acceptable compensation (be it monetary, spiritual, emotional or other) is worth doing.

Any job I take on will have acceptable compensation. (I don’t intentionally commit myself to things that I know I will hate doing and gain no form of reward from.)

So, by the transitive property, any job I take on is worth doing well.

If you live your life by these simple rules, it is possible that you might have a job that sucks, but you should never suck at your job. If you find yourself being terrible at your job, you either need to find a way to be better at it or find a job that is a better fit. By knowingly, willingly being terrible at your job, you are choosing to make your own life worse and having a negative impact on everyone you interact with. Conversely, by doing your job well, you will have a positive impact on the people you interact with, and that, in turn, has a chance of making you feel that your job doesn’t suck.

For Your Consideration

I have held, and will always hold, that it is the little things that matter most.  You can have two items, two stories, that are in large strokes exactly the same, but it is the little details that end up endearing one to a generation while the other winds up mostly forgotten, completely independent of its success.  The endearing tale could be one that hardly makes anyone any money but it a cult favorite for decades, and the “forgotten” one could make millions in the short-term and in a few years people barely remember that it existed.

Almost every MMO these days uses some form of the color con system.  Red often means that it is going to be hard or impossible to beat, some form of grey or green often indicates an easy kill, with shades of blue, yellow and more in between to let you know your chances if you decide to fight it.  And yet, beyond the color or number or whatever other indicator they use, there is nothing more. We are, at this point, expected to know what that means.

A giant diseased rat scowls at you, ready to attack. What would you like your tombstone to say?

Sometimes, however, I think we’ve lost something by moving entirely to numbers and UI indicators.  EverQuest added flavor to the consideration system by spelling it our for you, giving you your faction relationship and a difficulty assessment all in one quick message.  But the most important part of it was that while some information might be readily available in your targeting window, you had to actually /con the target to get the message.  It lent just a little push toward the RP in MMORPG, that your character, that you, had to stop and look the target over, reading his demeanor and body language, that your character was a hero who kept abreast of clan markings and signs of madness, that the hero you controlled, that you embodied, would be able to look at a monster and say, “Not only does that thing probably hate my guts, I’m pretty sure he’ll beat the crap out of me too.”

To me, it’s the words that made that happen, and it is the lack of words, the purely UI based blinkies and numbers that make my brain flip immediately to math and calculations and I wind up saying, “The level disparity will reduce my effectiveness to the point that I don’t believe my DPS is enough to bring his hit points to zero before he does to mine.”

It’s just one more things that brings me again to my conclusion that I seem to be out of sorts with so many MMOs because they’ve reduced themselves to being just games instead of being more than games.

A Week of Tweets on 2010-11-14

  • When you hear rumors of layoffs, is it poor form to ping people you know to find out if a) it's true and b) they got hit? #
  • There is nothing wrong with being wrong. You make it wrong by pretending you aren't. #
  • This is the beginning of the end of the second half of the fourth quarter of the middle. Now if I can just figure out "of what?" I'll be ok. #
  • I wish people would stop linking that Cracked article about why a zombie apocalypse can't happen. It has so many flaws… #
  • Good bye, Mr. De Laurentiis. You made so many films I love. Thank you. Rest in peace. #
  • 7483. Still way behind, but it feels great to finally have my congestion cleared and to be writing again. #nanowrimo #
  • Friday is upon us! Rejoice! #
  • Rejoice? But I have joiced yet! I am disgruntled. I'm not sure how I got gruntled in the first place, but now must regruntle. #
  • Why am I awake at 2:50am on a Sunday? #

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The clothes make the hero.

Lord of the Rings OnlineArguably, the title is true for most MMOs since they are all pretty heavily gear/item based.  But what I’m talking about here is just the look of your character in game.  Over two years ago I wrote a post trying to find drawbacks in implementing a system that divorced form from function.  And just four months ago, I made another post on appearance items.  Now, thanks to Melmoth over at KiaSA, I’ve learned that Lord of the Rings Online is implementing a Wardrobe System.

What’s really interesting here is that they even went a step farther with their design than I imagined anyone would.  First, putting an item in the wardrobe will copy the name and look (no stats) and then you can sell, give away or even destroy the original item.  Let me say that again, if you like the look of an item but don’t care for it for any other reason, you can copy it to the wardrobe and then get rid of it.  Second, with some restrictions, your wardrobe is available to all the characters on your account on the same server.  Got an awesome looking hat that you want to wear on all your alts but it requires doing a high level quest and having certain reputation?  No problem!  Just put it in the wardrobe and all your alts can wear it!

This is one of those features that every MMO from here on out needs to copy.  The days of mismatched, ugly but good gear or self gimping with weak gear to look good should be over now.  As Melmoth says, no excuses any more.

Ask me no questions…