Sunday, April 24, 2011

"You're Not in Azeroth Anymore..."

I play video games.
I play video games, a lot.

Console, PC, Handheld. You name it.

But what I play religiously, is something that is classified by a genre called MMORPG.
Which stands for massively multi-player online role playing game, or a fancy abbreviation for an "online" game.
Where many players are connected trough the internet and essentially play on the same server.

My resume includes titles like Runescape (super old school MMO with dinosaur graphics), Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, EVE Online, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, Lord of The Rings Online, Aion...

...and quite recently a game by the name of Rift. Which has taken over my life.

[ I know this blog post is supposed to be on "places to be", but I just cant think of a place, and I thought what better place to talk about then Telara, the virtual world of Rift, in which I spend most of my waking hours travelling and frolicking about. ]

So yes, I am going to talk about a virtual, fictional, made up place. Called Telara. (I'm a nerd, deal with it.)

World of Telara

I am not going to bore you with detailed description you the game's mechanics and game-play and whatnot, so I'm just gonna' briefly give you an Idea of what Rift is all about, and a tidbit on MMO history...

So basically, World of Warcraft, commonly known as "WoW", has been ruling the MMO kingdom for sometime now... With over 8 million subsriptions world-wide... (Yes, you have to pay to play MMO's, monthly.) Then this company called Trion decides to be bold and make an MMO to directly challange WoW, which is Rift. Hence the title of this post, "You're Not in Azeroth Anymore..." which is the slogan Trion use to spite WoW (Azeroth being the world WoW is located in).

Telara, theres so much to talk about when it comes to an MMO world. I'm not gonna describe in detail every one of it's qualities, and rather talk about the stuff that I like most about it.

First and foremost, it's landscape. Rift has AMAZING graphics, even on my mediocre PC, its stunning.
It's rendering of all the different types of topography and landscape really shows that the developer put a lot into making this game. The geography of Telara is divided by it's two factions, which is Guardian, and Defiant. Just like in the real world, every zone or area has it's unique landscape and even weather. Which is also one my favorite things about this place, because it helps you immerse yourself in the game. From the desert areas of Shimmersand, to the grassy hills of Moonshade Highlands, its beauty still, after months of game play, captivates me. What I like to do sometimes is get on my mount and just run around and enjoy the Scenery, while trying not to get "ganked" (player kill) by players of Defiant faction.

Moonshade Highlands
One thing that I touched on just now was getting immersed into the game, or immersion as many MMO players  and game developers like to call it. Basically, this means how the game mechanics or feature helps you to get transported into game, and make you feel like you're IN the actual game world.

And one of the things that really helps with this in Rift is, well, rifts. 
Rifts are portals that randomly open up ANYWHERE in Telara. Meaning while you're out doing quests, or out hunting for Defiant to gank, a rift "tear" can pop up beside you, and monsters will eventually start coming out of it. So essentially anyone who is near has a choice to fight all the baddies and close the rift. You can also   ignore it and walk away and do your own thing, but wheres the fun in that? If you have a comrade beside you or a fellow faction member, you and him can group up and take the rift down. So basically these are "public" quest whereby anyone can join in and contribute.

An example of this is when I was out questing, and a rift tear popped up right beside me. So I used my planar lure, which is an instrument to open rifts, and let her rip. Monsters poured out of it and I couldn't handle it. But lucky for me, there were other Guardians out running about nearby. So they joined the public group and helped me take it down.

A rift tear.
The rift feature makes the player feel like they are a part of something bigger. A higher purpose of some sort.
And not just an insignificant entity in a huge world. It also instills comradery among the same faction.

I am not going to ramble on. I know this is not really interesting. But if you let me I can probably spend hours talking about this awesome game called Rift, and my awesome virtual second home I call Telara.


I'm out. Take care. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Chilling out, maxing, relaxing..."

So the blog topic for this Week is places to be.
Kinda confused about this topic. Do I write about places that I want to visit? Or places that I've been to before?
After about 5 minutes aching my noodles trying to firgure it out, I finally came to a conclusion.
I shall write about places that I most frequently visit and spend my time at.

I present to you, Patio@9.

It is located about 100 meters from my house.
Yes, its a "Mamak" place. Right beside it is a sort of western restaurant called "Star Cafe". Which I also frequent. Patio@9 is a sort of run of the mill mamak restaurant, with food like roti canai, nasi lemak, tosai etc2. Not to mention teh tarik.

But the main reason this place attracts hordes of people is most probably it's shisha. (Hookah)
There are two Shisha stalls here, competing for customers, therefore the quality is always top-tier.
I guarantee one will never be let down by the awesomeness of the shisha here, coming from a guy that used to live in the middle east nonetheless.

So almost every other day, you will most probably find me here, from nine to one o'clock at night, eating, smoking shisha, drinking teh tarik or watching a Man Utd game.
You're most welcome to join anytime.

Thats about it really. I'm out for the day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Fast and Not So Furious.


The world is so impersonal these days. With sending texts, writing on walls and liking statuses. Is this really how human interaction has evolved? To a mere click and a scroll?

Hey, I'm not "banging" Facebook here, I use it myself.
Just the whole state of communicating among peers has got me thinking. Oh, and one thing that really freaking peeve the hell out me is, someone burying their face in mobile phones while in the company of others. I mean, seriously, why even bother? Please, just GTFO with that crap.


Yeah, sorry about that...



After around 8 months of doing basically nothing, (and by nothing I mean sitting at home playing WoW and quite recently Rift at home and occasionally going out to smoke Shisha and play Futsal.) I have finally started college again.

The course I have chosen is "Diploma in Communication". After my failed attempt at studying Law at Brickfields Asia College I have decided not to pursue that career path anymore. Although, being a lawyer is still in the back of my mind. Maybe sometime in the future I shall consider it again.

Hey, even the famous Gurmit Singh failed his "CPL" exams
6 times before becoming one of the best lawyers in this country.

Place of study? Taylors University. Lakeside Campus.
Yep, Taylors. Where the skirts are short and the people's attention span are... shorter.
Well, college isn't a new thing for me. I have experienced college life before. But college life inTaylors is a whole different ball game.

When I was doing Law at BAC, life was a tad more relaxed. Go
to class, listen to the lecturer talk about "judicial precedent" and "obiter dicta" for 2 hours, wait for the bus, wait for the train, go home. Then spend 3 hours writing essays and reading up on "English Legal System", rinse, repeat.

At Taylors? Way more fast paced. Well maybe because there's more classes, but it sure feels fast. The past 2 weeks has been a huge "blur" for me. Meeting new people, making new friends and getting to know the lecturers that I will be seeing on daily/weekly basis for the next 2 and half years or so.
Studying communication also requires you to be in sync with the current happenings and stuff, which I rarely am. Maybe I should pick up a newspaper now and then or flip the channel over to CNN for a quick update of the latest news.

So anyways, I better wrap it up.

TL;DR: Communicating has become impersonal. Done nothing for 8 months.
BAC = Slow/boring. Taylors = Fast paced/exciting. :D

*Internet Jargon Guide*

GTFO: Get The 'Freak' Out.

TL;DR: Too Long; Didn't Read (for lazy people who don't wanna read through stuff)

Thats it for me. Thanks for reading.