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Keen’s Regrets of 2009 and Resolutions for Next Year

I have to be careful how I look at 2009.  This year has been one with many regrets and it would be easy to fall into a negative mindset.  I think it is far more productive to look at my regrets and try to learn from them, grow from them, and plan for next year to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Regret: I missed a great year of Console gaming.
I don’t consider myself a console gamer like Graev. He will play every major console release. That’s his preferred method of gaming. Mine has always been PC. Yet, this year I look back at all the titles released on the Xbox 360, PS3, and even some on the Wii and I can’t help but wonder why I haven’t made the transition to at least a partial console gamer. Demon’s Souls, Assassin’s Creed 2, Uncharted 2, Resistance 2, Killzone 2, Ghostbusters, Batman, Brutal Legend, DA:O etc., etc., the list goes on. We got all these games in 2009 for the consoles and I didn’t touch any of them. Many of them are exactly what I enjoy: RPG’s, Medieval, Adventure.

New Year’s Resolution: Become a Console Gamer even if it’s just a little bit.
There’s going to be a lot more console gaming for me in 2010. I plan to take the list of games from above and get through at least three of them. I’m also going to sit down and play the games that come out in 2010. It’s going to require a conscious effort. If it’s a matter of feeling disconnected from my community that I’m always on Ventrilo with when gaming then I’ll pull out my Netbook that I got for Christmas and set it on my lap to voice chat. I’m not going to miss out on another year of great gaming simply because I’m a PC gamer.

Regret: I got discouraged and a little more jaded because of the MMO scene.
As I pointed out yesterday, the year for MMO gaming has been dismal. I let this get me down. There was even a moment when I threw my hands up and said “I think I’m done with these games”. It was after Aion’s launch and I was in my 30’s when I started realizing that I wasn’t able to enjoy the game anymore. 2009’s MMO’s all started out as great prospects. They looked great on paper. The ideas developers were presenting seemed to coincide with exactly what I wanted. When reality set in that they once again exaggerated, lied, or presented their game to the players contrary to how they actually designed it (or planned to continue designing it) I started asking questions like: “This is it? This is the best these developers have to offer?”

It took a while for me to realize that I could look at these games and learn more about what I do not want, how to detect a lemon sooner, and how to avoid it in the future. When I looked up I realized that I hadn’t done a good job explaining these feelings on the blog. I explained them on the forums, talked about them with Graev, and even to friends on ventrilo but for some reason I wasn’t getting them to the blog. When I did get to the blog it seemed like I was bipolar. One day I liked a game and the next I didn’t. There was more to it but it was my fault for not portraying that.

New Year’s Resolution: I’m going to do a better job this next year writing about my experiences with the games.
I’m going to do a better job of stating it how it is to you guys. That’s always been my plan. It’s how we started the blog — as gamers telling the players everything, exactly how we see it — and I want to do a better job of living up to that. There are thousands of you that read what I write every day and I want to continue providing you with the type of content you’re looking for when you visit this blog. It’s always been about the truth, the raw emotion, and broad discussion of gaming. It’s going to be a lot better in 2010.

Regret: I’ve lost touch with what, exactly, I want in a MMORPG.
Do I want hardcore PvP or objective and goal oriented PvP? Do I want themepark or sandbox? Do I like games with the quest-to-level model more than grinding? In Darkfall I questioned whether or not hardcore was really for me. I thought I liked grinding and then I played Aion. I’ve lost a little bit of my identity to this swinging pendulum we call a MMO industry. Every way I turn I see extremes and a new way of doing this and that. What was once grinding, or what I thought was grinding, clearly isn’t the same thing today. Questing to level is actually fun in some games and not in others.   I didn’t analyze things well enough this year.

New Year’s Resolution: I’m going to find myself or do a better job at working towards understanding what I want.
This next year I’m going to do a better job of looking at how things are changing so that I can identify why I liked something five years ago but do not like today’s version. I think this will help me understand how to better critique the design of these games as well as avoiding the problems I mentioned in the previous regret. I hope that while I break down the various changes that we’re seeing we can get some great discussions going. As developers begin changing the way they design MMO’s, and we can’t deny they are, I want to stay on top of it better.

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