Twas the Night Before Blaugust

Zyngor | Friday, July 31, 2015 2 Comments

Twas the night before Blaugust, when all through the web
Not a hashtag was stirring, not even for some celeb.
The keyboards were cleaned by compressed air with care,
In hopes that August soon would be there.

The bloggers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of frantic posting danced in their heads.
Their family, unrealized of what was to come,
Those who did may have thought their loved one was dumb.

When out in the blogosphere there arose such a clatter,
I rushed to my bookmarks to see what was the matter.
Scrolled to the Nook and clicked in a flash,
The page finally loaded, thank god it didn't crash.

What I saw next amazed me to the core,
Blog posts were spilling in, a reading galore.
A whole crew of bloggers were making this work,
While the Internet was continuing its usual quirk.

With these entries coming in, so lively and dear,
I knew in a moment Blaugust was here!
More rapid than Top Ramen, in they came,
Users making posts about their favorite game.

"Now Day One! Now, Day Two! Now, Day Three and Day Four!"
Bloggers keeping with the pace, and posting even more!
My reader was filled with entries to peruse,
A whole month of crazed blogging, there's nothing to lose.

My Twitter was exploding with hashtags and frivolity,
Folks writing in on these blurbs filled with quality.
Retweets and favorites and replies en masse
From every puppy-dogged man and every sugary-spiced lass.

And then, in a nanosecond, I saw in a tweet,
A brief, 140-character message so sweet.
As I cocked in my head, and perused the text,
It was Belghast cheering us on, not at all vexed.

This man was our muse, our beloved creator,
Who delivered this challenge, an Internet waiter.
A bundle of prompts he had flung on his back,
For those who had felt they were going off track.

His cues - how they helped! His advice - how merry!
His writing so eloquent, his words like a cherry!
His issued some rules to keep things going straight,
"Please follow them well, and all shall be great."

So the bloggers kept posting, day after day,
Some felt just fine, others were in dismay.
Schedules were altered to think a point through,
"Eh? Who needs a shower? I got a post to do!"

Ideas were bounced off among users' blogs,
This kept things flowing like a machine's cogs.
Amidst the craziness of posting date by date,
Comments were shared, like "This is great!"

Some schedules broke, others stood strong,
Some posts were short, others were long.
It didn't matter who'd win or who'd lose,
The blogosphere was stronger, no singing the blues.

And as August wrapped up, the folks gave a cheer,
Drank sodas in merry, perhaps even a beer.
But a common shout arose in such a fine crew,
"Happy Blaugust to all, the insanity is true!"

So longZ to RaiderZ

Zyngor | Friday, July 17, 2015 0 Comments
Sometimes a gamer will decide to cut ties with a title that has escaped their realm of interest, and that's cool and all, but that is not the case for today's post. Here I'll be talking about the ties being cut unto the player, due to a virtual world's demise.

Today I decided to log into Neverwinter Online to check on a couple of things. My laptop had been on the fritz for about a month, so I had been unable to do any kind of gaming beyond a bit of light entertainment on a tablet (and becoming addicted to Temple Run 2 and Pocket Mine in the process). For awhile, I had also been simply keeping up with some Neverwinter crafting through their excellent Gateway feature, allowing me to craft out-of-game.

Anyways, I popped open the Arc client (Perfect World's "Steam"), to notice I had a message waiting in my inbox. Opening this message lead me to the news that RaiderZ servers will be shut down August 7. Apparently its Korean developer MAIET was "no longer operating anymore," and the lack of any updates to the game for so long prompted PW to cut its ties and send it out to the sea of drowned MMOs.

I may have only had one character in the game, and perhaps he only got to level 25 (max level was 40, I believe), but it doesn't mean I won't miss its absence from the collection of MMOs out there. It should come to not much of a surprise to know that I'm a bit of a free-to-play (F2P) fan(atic). When RaiderZ had launched, it served its niche of an action-oriented MMO in pretty much direct competition with at-time pay-to-play (P2P) TERA.

I'm not sure if there was anything that RaiderZ "invented" on its own. It really did play much like TERA, with reactive controls and movement during combat. No Tab targeting here, buddy. And I hope you're smart enough to manually dodge those big enemy attacks. Class choices were a bit flexible, allowing you to dip into a second class after a certain point. I ended up starting with Sorcerer, and eventually spent some points into Cleric for a bit of healing.

Lighting my way to victory...sorry buddy
At least on my end, attaining gear was pretty much exclusively done through crafting. Upon killing and looting corpses, I would gather various materials (and there was a lot of inventory was not pleased). Eventually, upon accruing enough loot, I could basically craft a whole leveled tier of armor. Some tiers were more of a premium upgrade (usually a blue text on the pieces would make that clear) that would require some more premium material - usually something that would drop from a boss or some unique enemy.

As solo of a player as I normally am, I even did a bit of group play back when I was more active in the game to attain these more premium crafting materials for the better gear. It wasn't anything terribly difficult, but still required at least half a brain due to the action-based combat. Like I said, MAIET didn't exactly re-invent the wheel with RaiderZ, but it was probably one of my first action-based MMO experiences. If you've ever switched between playing this control scheme vs. a tab-based fixed style (like that of World of Warcraft or, in my case, LOTRO), you'll understand there is definitely an added level of finesse required to successfully make it through the day.

RaiderZ isn't the only MMO that'll soon be out of my rotation - several months ago I found out that Lego Minigure Online would be switching from a F2P model to buy-to-play (they recently issued the re-launch June 29). Again, realizing that the majority of my gaming experiences hinges on F2P, I was a bit saddened by this news. Having been a fan of the 'ol LEGO blocks in my younger years (and not much ashamed to keep messing around with them in current ones), this game was a bit of a guilty pleasure in a possible anonymous sea of a much younger audience. Maybe if my funds should ever be much more fundy, I'll go back and be able to support this title and leap back into the sea of e-bricks.

Anywho, even if it was not in an extremely regular rotation of gaming, it'll be sad to see the RaiderZ servers part ways with the public. I hear there may be private servers floating about, but I normally prefer to stick with official servers in the sake of (hopeful) safety and game support. In the more recent years, I had also danced around in the action-based worlds of TERA and Neverwinter Online (both of which are still officially supported), so I won't be left to rot among the action MMO genre.

I know there'll be more action-based titles in my future. If things go well, I hope to give Wildstar a try after its F2P launch - which, if I read correctly, utilizes a lot of positioning and telegraphed attacks. Others too shall rise to fill the eventual void of my forgotten least until I discover those lost games' icons thrust upon the far corners of my desktop, longing to be re-visited.

So long, oddly-dressed man. Rest well.

For the audience: Have you lost MMOs due to shuttering of the servers? Which title(s) were they, and how did you celebrate/cope its closure? Share below!