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This Hobby is Cheap!

Google defines cheap as: Low in price; worth more than its cost. This is spot on when it comes to gaming. In yesterday’s entry I very briefly mentioned how over these past few months I have discovered that gaming is so cheap compared to other hobbies it’s almost incomprehensible. Let me share just a very brief insight into my own discovery process.

The average game runs about $64 including tax. I can get a bare minimum of 10 hours out of almost any game, and most actually exceed 30 hours. Some even breach the 200 hour mark like Battlefield or Call of Duty.

The average dinner for me and my fiancé runs about $35. I’m not talking a trip to Taco Bell. That’s more like $12 or less. I’m also not factoring in those $100 dinner nights or the even semi-nice $40-50 range. Straight up average costs about $35.  One night of dinner costs half the price of a video game. One meal. To make things a little more fair, I should probably calculate this on an individual basis.

Let’s itemize a few more expenses I’ve been able to experience over the past few months.

  • Movie Tickets: $12 each
  • Admission into Disneyland: $150’ish? (We have passes) / Halloween Party: $63 (or $56 with our passes)
  • Going anywhere: $3.45 / Gallon of gas (I get my gas at Sam’s Club and that’s what it was to fill up yesterday)

Those are just travel and event type hobbies or recreational activities. If you buy comic books, Magic the Gathering cards, modeling clay, or anything else you’ll also start to see how the prices quickly surpass gaming. Granted, there are single moments of greater expense that can be absolutely worth the higher price tag. A trip to Disneyland can be a magical experience and worth that price of admission (especially for young children) but on the balance these activities are premium for the entertainment value.

A monthly subscription to a MMO costs me $15. That’s like the gas to the theater and a ticket for one stinkin’ night. I can potentially get 30 days of play time. Let’s be uber conservative and say I’m one of those guys who can only play on Friday and Saturday nights. That’s still 8 nights or 8+ hours of entertainment for $15 vs. ANYTHING else.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to complain about the cost of the games or their upkeep when I can’t do anything else without paying substantially more. I’ve always been a value driven person. I’ll stop paying for a subscription to a MMO when I feel the MMO isn’t good enough to justify it — I’ve NEVER stopped because $15 is too much money. Looking ahead, I can’t imagine ever reaching a point where I’m having to tighten my belt and say, “Gee, I have to cancel that subscription to my MMO so that I can go to the movies once this month.”

Think about what you pay for in the world then think about gaming in terms of value. Everyone won’t agree, but I think most of you — if you’re being honest — will have no choice but to see the same thing.

Free to Play is a manipulation of the way our minds think. We don’t really need our games to be free. I’m happy paying such a relatively low price for a quality product that will give me 2-200x the value. I don’t need an even cheaper product for an even cheaper price. Just keep providing me with great value.

Conglomoblog-o-boredom

I’m in a mega gaming drought at the moment. Nothing in my Steam collection — despite the numerous unplayed games — catches my eye, and none of the currently released wanna-be-popular games are giving me the itch. I’d rather go to Disneyland or watch a movie. That’s seriously something I hope to have remedied soon. I’ve learned that other hobbies are WAAAAAY more expensive than gaming… ffs people need to stop complaining about paying for games and subscriptions.

I’m going to just talk on a few random points that I don’t feel like transitioning into their own posts.

Camelot Unchained

My anticipation continues to grow for what I hope is a great game releasing in a little over a year. They launched a new website and continue to communicate at a steady pace. *Beats his head against the keyboard* I just want a game I can live in again and truly progress a character. I want a game where the devs understand what I want and stop trying to chase the “next-gen.” City State Entertainment looks like a fun little team.  I support them.

H1Z1

I’m still waiting for this one. I think it’ll be a lot of fun to jump into a sandbox survival game made by a AAA company. Yeah, yeah, insert SOE remarks here. I’m still hoping, and I think it has promise to be a game that I can at least lose 50 hours in.

Diablo 3

Diablo 3’s latest big patch is pretty cool. I made a Barbarian for the new “season” where players basically start over and see how well they can do. There are new legendaries to find, new rifts, etc. My friends powerleveled me to 70 in like an hour and I’m already decked out in legendaries (Only my boots are amazing so far). D3 is fun because it’s mindless.

Graev is Playing…

Graev is playing Disney Infinity 2.0 and Hyrule Warriors. I’ll be trying to convince him to write blog posts on those soon. Disney Infinity looks pretty cool. I played about an hour with him so far. Worth checking out if you have the money to throw at a very expensive franchise.

Does this mean we can have Warcraft 4 now?

warcraft3

Just looking at this makes me want to re-install.

Now that Blizzard officially cancelled Titan, a game they never officially announced, does this mean we can have Warcraft 4?

Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime says they’re not going to work on another MMO at this time. They’ll continue working on stuff like Hearthstone for sure, and now my hopes are as high as possible that they’ll finally decide to go back and try to revive the strategy genre they helped define. What about Starcraft, you say? Warcraft strategy games are so very different. Warcraft 3 specifically focused on a very small unit count in order to maximize micromanagement. Hero units created a significant mechanic that I haven’t seen used the same since. They feel like night and day to me — and I’m good at Warcraft strategy games and horrible at SC.

In a way… I’m excited to see what Blizzard does now. I don’t want Blizzard to focus on MMOs.  Less MMOs the better. Bring on the other games that’ll actually deliver a full and complete experience!

Good News for EverQuest Marketing

Two days ago Omeedd Dariani left Sony Online Entertainment. Omeedd was the Senior Brand Manager of the EverQuest franchise. I mean no disrespect to Omeedd as a person — none at all — but I am very glad to see this happen. You may recall my ‘Dear SOE‘ post from only 14 days ago where I basically laid it all out to SOE that I wasn’t happy with the direction they are taking the EverQuest franchise’s marketing. I didn’t want to point out names of the people I thought were to blame (though I did point out people I was okay with… read between the lines)… I’m now okay saying a big part of my problem has been Omeedd.

Here’s a quote from his post on Reddit where he explains his reason for leaving:

I chose to leave because my direct supervisors didn’t support the community-first marketing approach we’ve taken on the EQ Next/Landmark teams.

Which community? The streaming community? The real “community” hasn’t been represented at all in Landmark or even EQ Next. If you’re not an avid Twitch.tv chat user or a member of the Omeedd fan club then you probably feel like I do which is: (1) Ignored, (2) Frustrated by a lack of real information about the game(s)’ development, (3) Wondering why the huge drop in maturity level, (4) Craving some good old-fashioned MMO marketing where mechanics, lore, and even nostalgia drive hype.

I don’t know why I feel this way, but I started to feel insulted by SOE’s focus on creating an inner-circle of community members. There has been a huge sense of favoritism and a tie to people like the live streamers that has left a severely bitter taste in my mouth. This “SOE Insiders” program needs to be stopped immediately. Having to watch other streamers to get in-game items, having to have one foot in-game and another foot out to participate in this “community” has been quite ugly. The antics of promoting streamers and everything but the actual game will not be missed, and I hope SOE takes notice and continues to clean up.

I’ll say it again: I want SOE to focus on their forums again. I want a huge shift back to their own website with regular updates. Get me excited about EVERQUEST not just some guy waving his arms and drinking scotch on a live stream. I want EverQuest blog posts on a weekly basis revealing one mechanic at a time. You market an MMO by slowly releasing information and conveying it with a story and an explanation around it that reveals a bigger picture. This is elementary stuff. It’s how you properly excite this market without unsubstantiated hype.

When thinking about the EverQuest franchise, I should be thinking about how I can explore Norrath, become one of the characters I see in concept art and how my adventure will unfold; I shouldn’t think of Omeedd or Twitch. Here’s hoping that this means good things for the REAL community of the EverQuest franchise.

Happy Birthday Graev

adventure-time-birthday

Happy Birthday Graev!

I hope your special day brings me lots of good food and presents.