I love my local hobby shop. I go there at least once a week. The people that work there know me and I often get into long conversations with them. I see regulars there and always say hi and they treat me with respect and politeness.
So it really took me off guard when two random guys I’d never seen before started testing me on my Warhammer knowledge. I stood there with my newly purchased miniature in my hand answering questions about lore and gameplay. I was so confused on what was happening I simply stared, blinked, and answered while they grilled me. Once they had finished their questions about Warhammer (and begrudgingly decided that I knew enough about it) they switched to comic books. I’ve never been a big comic reader, but I knew enough from TRU talking about it at the kitchen table. I answered what I could until they stumped me on “which issue did red kryptonite first appear?” I told them I didn’t know and they smirked at each other and walked out of the store murmuring “I just hate those Fake Geek Girls.”
MMOs are a tricky thing. These are games that not only ask for our money for either an initial purchase, a monthly fee, or the newer trend of micro-transactions, but they ask for our time. And a lot of it. We spend hours, days, weeks, sometimes months of accumulated hours on these games. When investing so much of our lives to a game we need to love our characters.
Neverwinter is one of many MMOs that give us an extensive character creator. Cryptic has always been good at giving us control over our “other-selves” from City of Heroes, to Champions Online, Star Trek, and now Neverwinter. Other great character creation games are Spore, APB, Conan, Tiger Woods games, and the Saints Row series. The developers of these games understand how much time they’re asking for us to invest and give us the option of creating the perfect character.
Why does it matter you ask? Because we as gamers need to identify with our character. We need to make a character that represents us in some way. Sometimes it’s through making one that looks like us, or looks like our ideal us. Sometimes it’s making a character that looks like how we want to play such as the skulking rogue or the valiant paladin. Other times it’s just making something pretty that we enjoy looking at on the screen. No matter the reason, it’s a very important part of WHY we play. If we don’t like our characters, then why spend the time playing them?
Yesterday, Microsoft revealed their new console the Xbox One. In the last 24 hour period we’ve heard a whole lot of bitching going on from the “hardcore” gamer world. So, here’s a few words for those unhappy controller-hogs out there…
“You’re going to buy it anyway! And Microsoft knows that!”
Microsoft did exactly what they needed to do in order to make the Xbox One the most important part of the living room. They focused on simple interaction and usability, broadcast television, sport integration, and Xbox original content. That’s what catches the attention of the rest of the world.
There’s plenty for us gamers as well. There’s Smart Match so we don’t have to waste her time with badly matched opponents, in-game recording for to show off sick headshots, a revamped way of tracking achievements, better graphics, more power, better motion tracking, better voice recognition, game connection to secondary apps, and more. We all are the most excited about how easy it is to jump in and out of a game, which comes in handy in a house with five avid gamers and only one “big” tv.
So stop your whining! There’s plenty for everyone! And the more Microsoft can sell to the non-lifestyle gamer world, the more money they’ll have to make us awesome new IPs and improved sequels to the ones we already love.
The final comic in the PS4-Bot series. Eve is just going to have to move on.