In most fantasy based MMOs these days (and even in most non-fantasy based ones), there are only three functions a player performs at the root: take/absorb damage, deal damage, heal damage. Most games also usually have one class that is designed to exclusively do one of those tasks. A warrior tanks, a cleric heals, a wizard or rogue does damage. Then we introduce the hybrids and controversy ensues.
In real life, at a real job, it is perfectly respectable to have people who specialize in small skill sets working alongside people who have two or three lesser specialties, not to the depth or quality of the single set specialist. I’ve encountered this in my own life, worked with a guy who was aces at building databases and understanding database structure however his every attempt to ever do user interface work not only looked horrible but failed to function. I’ve also worked with people who can build the most beautiful web pages but couldn’t properly lay out a database design to save their lives. Personally, I live somewhere in the middle, I generally do all of programming work from UI to database with a decent degree of competency. I’m not the best at any of it, but I do all of it well enough. Usually in a work environment, its best to have a team built mostly of specialists with one or more generalists to support everyone else and to translate and transition work between the specialists. See, when the UI guru and the DB savant get into a knock down drag out over design, I’m the guy who knows enough about both to be able to talk to both of them and make them see that they are actually agreeing with each other, but using different terms, or to make simple suggestions for both sides to bring them to a point where the work can get done.
In game design, this is where the hybrid should be. He should be a mix of tanking, healing and damage dealing, any two or all three, to various levels but never as good as the single focus classes. Hybrids should also be rare, and largely confined to group settings, because the whole point of the hybrid is that he supports other classes in doing their work by picking up slack or boosting just a little. The problem, of course, is that hybrids are often more dynamic, by design, than the single focus classes, and so they attract more players. While many people are content to be a specialist in real life, in gaming they want to be able to do everything, on one character. So you end up with a bunch of people playing Paladins because they want to tank and heal, but then they complain when they do neither of them as well as warriors or priests.
So, what’s the solution? Is there one? Does it need one?
I’ve got no answer to those questions… but maybe other people do, and I would love to hear them.
This is where we look back at the year and see how we did…
… or not.
In the grand scheme of things, unless I have set in motion unseen events that will lead to the destruction of mankind or its salvation, not much of anything important happened to me personally in 2007. Although, I dare say, this year, this blog has taken on a more cohesive shape, and I hope to continue that and expand that to the root website in the coming year.
All in all, in my corner of the world, things have been smooth sailing.
In preparation of using the root website for something, I’ve moved a bunch of my personal items from there to this blog. The Poetry, Parodies and Writing tabs contain the bulk of it. Feel free to check them out, or don’t.
Soon as I get myself organized, I’ll do up a post of the future of probablynot.com.
The other day I happened to notice that the main probablynot.com page had gotten a couple of new incoming links. Its odd because, honestly, no one really reads that site, they come here to the blog. But I suppose if you were Googling, since the most recent posts are RSS fed to the probablynot.com root site a person might get directed there.
As always, I like to know why people are linking to me, and what they have to say.
The first link was actually from back in July, so I’m not sure why it took so long to show itself, or perhaps I haven’t looked at my own root site since July 23rd. The site appears to be a collection of book reviews. I’ve seen these kinds of aggregation sites before, and I actually think its kind of neat to be scraped for it. Cool.
The second link looked funny. While the first site was a blog called “Crime Always Pays” and the post with my link was “The Monday Review”, the second site was called “Crime Review: The Monday Critical review”. It had nearly the same information. I say “nearly” because it was the same info, but it had been passed through two filters: the first changed some words to synonyms, and the second inserted some ad keywords. In fact, the entire site is just rife with Google Ads, and looking at the profile of the blogger, he has a bunch of similar sites all designed to draw traffic, collect clicks, and (he hopes) generate money.
Looking deeper, the second site copies nearly every post from the first site, up until August 1st at least… which lead me to examining the first site a little closer and noticing the review of mine wasn’t the only review of that same book to be tapped. In fact, page by page digging through the archives shows that it really is just repeating the same books over and over, slightly randomized. The site is chaotic enough to suggest it is hand made, but repetitious enough to belie that and show its true colors of most likely being a bot generated site.
I hate these kinds of sites. An aggregation post or site doesn’t bother me too much, but these automated Google Ad factories piss me off. And now I’m on one. Worse, in their quotes of me, they quoted my link to the book I reviewed with my Amazon Associates ID, so I may actually make money from this abomination.
The thing that irks me most however is that their link uses one quoted line of my book review and the link back to me does not go to the full review, but to the root site. Even now, that post has already scrolled off the RSS and doesn’t show there. Searching the root site you’ll never find that review, its on the weblog subdomain. My ill gotten traffic is being directed to the wrong place.
Oh well… its the Internet. There isn’t much I can do about it.
In recent weeks I’ve watched all of Rescue Me, a show that airs on FX. I have the first and second seasons on DVD, and the third season I downloaded from torrents (but I’ll pick up the DVDs when they come out). And, damn, this show is good.
If you have never heard of it, the simple premise is Denis Leary plays Tommy Gavin, a New York City firefighter. His house lost four guys on 9/11 and when the show begins its 3 years later but the tragedy still lingers.
As the show unfolds, it follows the lives of Tommy and his crew. Tommy in particular is interesting to me because he is a hero, really. His character is that when he’s on the job he is perfect, almost superhuman, in his duties. He saves lives. Meanwhile, his personal life is in the shitter. He is separated from his wife, he’s an angry beligerant asshole, and he begins seeing ghosts. Not really, this isn’t some Sci-Fi show, he’s obviously just halucinating, but it begins to make him unravel even further. Denis Leary plays the character superbly, from scene to scene he makes you love him, hate him, root for him, root against him… as Tommy fights his demons, you really want him to straighten out but at the same time when he knowingly takes the low road, you completely understand why he does it.
I can’t wait for season four.
If you haven’t seen the show, I seriously recommend picking it up.