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Spouse Aggro #67
Mon, 12 Jan 2009 05:31:00 GMT [download/play]



The Highlights from show 67!
 
 * Boy, what a topic this week!
 It's THEORY CRAFTING TIME!
 We talk about this lil' thang going round that makes people add up crit chances and agility points. There is, as with anything, GOOD and BAD. What are your ideas? Do you play, oblivious to the workings behind-the-scenes? Or do you add every point you can, hoping to smash the hell out of everything in your path in such an efficient manner that you make THE GODS THEMSELVES CRY?
 
 Show Links:

 The Thread from Which the Show Sprung: HERE.
 
 Tipa's Blog, Which Shall Tell you More About Spellborn (other than mine): HERE.
 
 Make sure to go to our blog at spouseaggro.com to read all about these games, see screenies and videos and to read articles!
 
 Send your email to Leala at epicdolls@yahoo.com or
 Beau at voyagesofvanguard@yahoo.com .
 
 Go to www.spouseaggro.com for blogs, sights and information!

 Now GO LOG IN!
 
 The Turkeys

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Episode 67 Discussion Thread

'just what I needed' by JamesTaylor
Submitted on 2009-01-12 12:53:35 CST
Just what I needed to start the work/class week off. Will help get me through the boring work shift today.

As always, thanks for putting together great podcasts you two. I still miss the old VoVs with Luper though too :(



'min/maxing' by JamesTaylor
Submitted on 2009-01-12 23:08:33 CST
I'm interested in knowing what has caused this disgust you have for min/maxers (@ Beau, not Leala). Not what you hate about them, but what has made you so against the idea of min/maxing, raiding, and "theory-crafting." It's like one stole your lunch money when you were a kid or something :( Something traumatic. It's not that I 100% disagree with you, I feel ya, but I just find it interesting how much you're against that playstyle.

But that said, I think you're looking too much into the name the "pop culture" has given it (Theory-Crafting). It's just min/maxing, which has been around since the dawn of RPGs. It's getting the most out of your character, items, weapons, armor, skills, etc, so you can be the best you can be.

I do it, but I'm not ashamed of it (you can't really play WoW and say you don't 'theory-craft', because WoW is a game BASED on gear basically..it's the cheese dangling on the hamster wheel)

In the end, like what I put on your write-up about theory-crafting on spouseaggro.com a few days ago - it's just down to playstyles. Everyone plays for different reasons and in different ways. Some may play a mix of all the extremes (hardcore Min/maxer or hardcore RPer being the extremes for example). To each their own. The problem is when those of different playstyle, start bringing their trash on your lawn. We could be having this exact argument about extreme RP players if we really wanted to. I'm sure there are some theory-crafters out there who scoff at the idea of RP like you do min/maxing formulas. :)



'No they didn't take my lunch money.' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2009-01-12 23:14:02 CST
And nothing traumatic.

I guess it's just sposed ta be a show 'bout MMO's. This was just a subject. I guess it's one of my thangs, just like if it was a raider having a show about how much he hates RP'ing.

Honestly though, I never say I hate it. Any of it.

I make fun of it...but I make fun of everything. lol

Beau





'I must object most strenuously!' by Burtimus
Submitted on 2009-01-13 03:31:08 CST
Truly, I must say I find the discussion regarding theory-crafting to be a bit bizarre, perhaps even absurd.

Y'see, it's like this: back in the day, when all us slope-headed, knuckle-dragging neo-gamers used polyhedral dice carved from the knucklebones of wooly mammoths (or disco queens -- long story), we had to endure the inevitable Rules Discussions.

Now, if you never had to sit through one of these six to eighteen hour long rituals, a Rules Discussion is where one or more aggrieved players would confront the game master (as often as not yoours truly) with their dog-eared, weatherbeaten copies of the game books and argue about The Rules. Their approach was somewhere between trial lawyer and rabbinical. They would point out how the wording in the books would bear their interpretation that yes, their characters are immune from every form of harm, humiliation or hazard posed by any lowly scum like the aforementioned yours truly.

It is here, in this Rules Discussion, where the term Min/Maxer or MiniMaxer was first conceived. For y'see, back in these days, we had no avatars. We had only the numbers and the dice. And interpretation of those two factors were the most important perogative of the game master. So players (some of them, anyway) became quite adept at establishing precedents, arguing their positions and making the absolute best possible use of every single point.

The irony may be obvious. Here we are, decades later. The single greatest achievement in MMOs to my mind is that while the math is still there, it is submerged. The rules of the game are a mystery, freeing players to simply experience the world and learn for themselves.

And here we are.

Ditching all of that so we can enter... the Rules Discussion.

Screw it. I'm breaking out the Donna Summer LP.



'I must object most strenuously!' by Burtimus
Submitted on 2009-01-13 04:13:52 CST
Truly, I must say I find the discussion regarding theory-crafting to be a bit bizarre, perhaps even absurd.

Y'see, it's like this: back in the day, when all us slope-headed, knuckle-dragging neo-gamers used polyhedral dice carved from the knucklebones of wooly mammoths (or disco queens -- long story), we had to endure the inevitable Rules Discussions.

Now, if you never had to sit through one of these six to eighteen hour long rituals, a Rules Discussion is where one or more aggrieved players would confront the game master (as often as not yoours truly) with their dog-eared, weatherbeaten copies of the game books and argue about The Rules. Their approach was somewhere between trial lawyer and rabbinical. They would point out how the wording in the books would bear their interpretation that yes, their characters are immune from every form of harm, humiliation or hazard posed by any lowly scum like the aforementioned yours truly.

It is here, in this Rules Discussion, where the term Min/Maxer or MiniMaxer was first conceived. For y'see, back in these days, we had no avatars. We had only the numbers and the dice. And interpretation of those two factors were the most important perogative of the game master. So players (some of them, anyway) became quite adept at establishing precedents, arguing their positions and making the absolute best possible use of every single point.

The irony may be obvious. Here we are, decades later. The single greatest achievement in MMOs to my mind is that while the math is still there, it is submerged. The rules of the game are a mystery, freeing players to simply experience the world and learn for themselves.

And here we are.

Ditching all of that so we can enter... the Rules Discussion.

Screw it. I'm breaking out the Donna Summer LP.



'@ Beau' by JamesTaylor
Submitted on 2009-01-13 05:22:39 CST
Glad to hear you still have your lunch money :) haha

It is a good topic though, was a great podcast. It's just a mix of me playing devil's advocate, and seeing it from both sides, as a player who considers himself both a min/maxer (not extreme though) and someone who tries to immerse themselves in the actual RP of the gameworld as well.



'Thanks for the comments..' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2009-01-13 05:53:58 CST
...I assure you that I was not referring to or not looking in the eye some player sitting at a desk with his buds or at a gamers convention with his guild, while that player had discussion about adding up stats.

Also, I said in the show that I was very aware that this practice has been around since humans could be obsessive. (or, at least, indicated that. Unfortunately, as a "ranter," I barely remember half of what I say. ) To be honest, though, I would rather be remembered as someone that was himself than someone that thought out every sentence.

I am more "angry" at this "newer" thought process that I seriously believe is way more prevalent in gamers that grew up on the internet.

Fads get passed on the internet faster, to put it super duper simply.

Since me and the wife have been online, I have noticed when certain things became more active. Blogs, words, phrases...and usually I can tell when they are going to get passed around even more.

Like "grind" being used as an actual integral part of gaming, as an un-official rule.

It's not the term "Theory Crafter" that is new, or the concept. But like I said in the show, one of my reliable indicators is the VG forums. When it starts to come there, you know that shit is being passed around a lot.

And i do not like the idea of taking something that, while done by every nerd as part of his/her gaming lifestyle to some degree, is supposed to be good fun, and turning it into another reason to feel "forced" to do something like grind. Yes, this might be more of a particular blog-o-sphere idea, but trust me there are plenty of players that now feel like "grinding" is what you HAVE TO do.

I believe that making more rules will pull the curtain so far back that the types of MMO gaming that I like: leveling (to a point), quests, grouping...will just start to be ignored by gaming companies for faster concepts.

Also, like I said in the show, ( I said a lot, so I HOPE i said this in the show) a game company cannot make games for players that obsess. There will always be limited man hours, and when we obsess to that point, all that will be left are the giants like WoW that can afford the dev's to keep up with the obsessing. I LIKE WoW, but I like indie companies too, just like my music.

I hope this makes sense. Call me paranoid, but I am telling you...this habit that used to be fun (adding up stats to be the BEST) is going to turn into a "forced" chore for lo;'s of players, and in turn the companies will stop making things that use that information.

Maybe that's not such a bad thing?

Beau






'I'll ad my 2 gold to the discussion' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-13 06:06:31 CST
btw Hi James o/ nice to meet you

About min/max lets face it some times it's all you got left in some games so you do it to have something to do, OR you just like numbers, it has nothing to do with RP because RPer's can min/max if it is in a way and reason that would closely resemble reality or some role in RL. Like RPing playing some fighter in a ring with gear and weapons.

For a long time I was confused when playing SWG a while back, I could not figure out why people were doing the PvP in SWG when it was just run in circles someone dies then respawns and they come back to the circle.

I then realized it was a numbers game and not about the tactics.

PvP in SWG after NGE is about Buffs and numbers and not about the Tactics, I like to RP my PvP not buy talking that's to hard but by using tactics, no one would fight running in circles for no reason like taking ground or whatever in RL.

btw to me min/max and Raiding are not particularly the same, but I do think raiding is cool, to me it is sometimes fun to CooP and take over an area of NPC at the very least.

But what I like doing best is getting into the story and good quests with adventure were I got to figure out what to do and where to go, right now LotRO is one game that does that for me.




'salutations FarSpace' by JamesTaylor
Submitted on 2009-01-13 06:29:53 CST
/wave

To add some more, I think Leala hit the nail when she told the quick story about her Rogue's talent spec in WoW (going combat daggers, when swords/maces is the usual combat spec weapon of choice).

I make my specs, based on what I know and think of personally as *the best* (to me) from my experience and time playing the game. Sure I could go google the best leveling spec or raid dps spec, but I would lose that part of my character that was "me."

The min/max of EVE Online is what keeps me from ever playing it. That game is the worst abuser of having to spec "right" or you're "useless" in the eyes of most players. They have a stat in the game that the entire community professes as USELESS for crying out loud. Better not be the "noob" who stumbles in and puts points into that statistic.



'theorycrafting and RP' by repairbot74a
Submitted on 2009-01-13 10:17:04 CST
I really enjoyed the show guys.

I just wanted to say that I did have some difficulty getting into raid groups pre-wrath, and I did have alot of other players (especially at the beginning of wrath) laugh at me and point becuse I refused to re-spec my rogue. I was then and always have been a sub/daggers rogue because, well, that's what my rogue does. I like being sneaky, and pretending to be a little, kinda goofy gnome who likes to sneak around and tinker with gadgets is why I play the game. I wasn't gonna spec combat just because that was the most powerful spec in the game for PvE (I quit doing PvP a while ago because it stopped having any strategy involved in it).
I like the RP aspect to at least that degree. I even joined an RP guild for a short period of time- they would log in and type long-winded descriptions about what their toons were doing while sitting in stormwind... what? what is the point of a graphics engine if you are going to do that- I mean, it's fine, but I'm not going to pay 15.00 monthly for a glorified instant messenger. I want to get out and quest and get involved in the story that is already there.

Ironically, as Wrath evolved and the 'Theorycrafters' began looking at the new mechanics, HaT deep sub rogues were suddenly the 'best' raiding spec in the game...

I Have had many arguments with my wife (who is a semi-serious raider) about the game and how it 'should' be played. I hate that in a 5 man pug I would say- hey why don't we try the fight this way, and have the response from everyone be 'no, thottbot says you have to tank him over here' or something.

And I've stood up to people who have said I would do better DPS if I respecced. I mean, sure, eventually I tinkered with things here and there, but I would never give up that part of the game that makes it fun for me- being the character I chose when I started the game. I never even respecced at all thru original WoW and BC, except when a patch erased all my talents and made me.
Also, I've never copied down a spec off of a web page- it would take all the fun out of it. I enjoy, to a point, understanding some of the underlying concepts that make the game work- but if it ever comes down to 'have this gear or you can't run with us' prevailing over the whole game (and minmaxing is getting way out of control, so maybe it will be coming soon) I'll give it up and go read a book



'Oh yeah EVE' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-13 12:52:46 CST
Tha twas one game were I actualy said ok to min//max, but not really because I diod not get the Tech 2 battle ships or even att cruisers actally just T2 Frigs, they were so expecsive, not worth the huge amount of time.

When it came to being pushed to max in EVE it seemed you had to or you could not even do a mission. And I was not goin to spend real money for a time card to but isk for T2 BS's

So in the end for now at least I left EVE because really you don't play the lore, you play your own lore whitch is kind of whatever and why is it the only story you play? at least both EVE lore and our own., those missions get old the 1st day. That gets old fast,

I'm glad to hear the personal stories in podcasts though :)

So EVE pretty much is about min/max oh yes. fine but after I got my 52 ships I could not think of a reason not to retire and life on a luxery space station in Gallente space ha-ha-ha :)



'Borf!' by Burtimus
Submitted on 2009-01-13 19:49:33 CST
I wasn't trying to suggest I have a problem with the subject matter, nor the presentation. And I don't recall saying that anyone was wrong, Beau, you DID say it's been around forever. My point was merely how far we've some. As in not very.

For myself, I'm too much a roleplayer to be of any use in any of these games. Oh, I'm clever in my way. It's a sort of animal cunning. But I cannot and will not sacrifice my sense of fun to become a member of an elite corps of raiding superheroes kitted out with the finest gear, repeccing to the latest "best" builds, stuff like that.

When I create a character, I build a caricature of some aspect of myself, or perhaps some odd paradox to make him/her/it interesting. All of my decisions about skills, specs and abilities I choose for that character are consistent with the concept (or if not, done for a deliberate reason).

So, like Beau and many, many others I will never be one of the "cool kids" or whatever you want to call them. I play for the sheer fun of it, and the merry hell of playing a cool game with smart, funny people who like to have fun.

I'm doing it all wrong, I know, but I have fun doing it.



'Me and Burtimus almost had our first bromance fight..' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2009-01-13 22:40:28 CST
...but don't worry kids.

We were just talking about gaming, and it's hard for us to understand what the hell we mean sometimes.

In seriousnocity, I understand what ya meant, and was just responding to those that might be reading and not posting. Seriously. I see you.

I mentioned that on the show, players playing some sort of superhero part, and how I am playing the most minimal guy I can. That just seems fun..being someone stumbling through everything.

If there is one thing I would do if put into a world that death didn't mean anything, it would be to flop my way through everything. :)

Beau





'LotRO' by Shawn
Submitted on 2009-01-14 12:59:30 CST
I'm glad you're enjoying LotRO, I think every MMO gamer should try it. The kin I'm in now tried the game when it launched, HATED the running animations and never tried it again. I got them back into it in July and they promised to look past the run animations. Now they all have at least one max level character and are LOVING the game.

I think you (Beau) and I have similar play styles and views on enjoying our games, so
I'm curious to hear how you like LotRO after trying it for a while.



'Min/Max, Raiding, LOTRO' by Brad
Submitted on 2009-01-14 14:53:08 CST
I got a good chuckle out of the min/max conversation as well. My wife and I often chatter about that a good bit on our way to work and at home. I run a mud and when we were very active years ago it was amazing what the players came up with about how the "code" worked. Sometimes their arguments would be so aggrivating when I would even tell them how something worked, yet they wouldn't believe it, I ended up posting a snippet of code with an explanation about how it worked. I think even then there were still doubts. I imagine game companies are in the same boat.

I'm kinda in the boat with Leela, I have a love/hate relationship with raiding. It can be an absolute blast to do, but usually to do it well you end up joining a guild/group full of jerks. The only thing holding the group together is the ability to raid well, other than that you probably wouldn't even associate with these people. My wife and I both went through that recently in WOW - we wanted to see all the content and raid, but knew after a bit (seeing everything at least) we would get tired of the "raid grind", and likely the people/drama, and leave the raid guild. One night in Malygos we were sucking pretty bad, and it kinda turned into a blame game/-50dkp guy rant, and we decided it just wasn't worth the trouble any more (again). So here we are, back in more of a casual raid/social guild with some folks we've known for years. We have cleared everything but Malygos, but seen all of the content in the game.

I've got a toon in Spellborn now, hope to put some more time into it to see how I like it. It look interesting at least, and will be a nice break from WOW.



'Start your own guild! :)' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2009-01-14 15:02:25 CST
That's what Leala did. And they maintain a "healthy" relationship with raiding, or at least try to. But they have to be open about it, and are honest about the drama raiding can bring.

Just be honest about it from the beginning. If it's starting to suck, leave or tell the leadership. Often the leaders dont hear how it sucks..so how are they going to know it is? They just keep chugging away, without ever knowing that half the players are sending tells to each other going "this SUCKS I'm so mad..." lol

Just speak your mind from the beginning.

And thanks for the comment! Spellborn is great.


Beau




're: Start your own guild :)' by Brad
Submitted on 2009-01-14 18:32:33 CST
Oh no, not going down that road. I've run a mud for the past 10 years and frankly I just want to enjoy being a player, not running a guild or being an admin in some fashion. I'm probably one of the few players who will go into a guild and straight-up tell the leadership that I do not want to be an officer. I just went back to a prior guild I was in for about a year. I'm on a pretty large server on the horde side (Area 52) and there are a good bit of successful pug groups out there, so I end up just pugging raids - and do pretty well in them. Course thats only when I want to grind the same raid instance I've already seen too many times already :)


'all that work and back were you started % wise' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-15 00:53:26 CST
Has anyone had fun PvPing at 1st in an mmo when it 1st comes out but then everyone started having to min/max in the game? And then you had to spend all this time just to buff your self or whatever, and then, you and your opponents were back were you started off % wise anyways?


'You 2 hit it on the head' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-15 01:08:37 CST
"not going to be able to go back playing normaly.." & "over use and abuse... eats it self alive..." at 37:00min in I heard this the second time around and it was it so well said and done to me I want to say you 2 got it right imo. I just think this makes allot of sense to me and I agree with it And I of course I also agree there is nothing wrong with it if you anjoy it, & your not telling anyone what do do or anything.

Great podcast the both of u, thumbs up. :)



'state of the union that trumps Obama's?' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2009-01-16 07:51:39 CST
you guys have such an "end of the world" podcast vibe about gaming and i love it!!! ok, let me first state i AM one of those unhealthy gamers. i play WAY too much but im somewhat of an abberation... i'm what i might dub "softcore"??? i have never heard the term "theory-crafting" or "min/maxing" which is crazy because ive been playing MMOs since 2nd gen... (dark age of camelot, anarchy online and on...)

so, what i gather is that theory crafting (in your opinion?) kinda goes hand in hand with raiding and guilds/groups having pre-reqs to join that wont allow entrance without a certain setup...

WoW jerk- "what spec are you?"
WoW loser- "i have most of my points in the 'labrynth' talent tree with a few in 'the dark crystal' tree, and i eventually want to spend a few in the 'princess bride' tree because i love that skill **you killed my father- prepare to die**, it does a lot of damage!!!"
WoW jerk- "sorry, you dont play your ponywarrior right. /kick loser"

since when did MMOs become a dictatorship???

now i dont think that its the ONLY definition of min maxing but im sure that 85% of players that fit that description are raiders...

so let me explain my preference... i do too much solo due to my shitty disposition, and i prefer co-op with friends/family when i get the chance, with a general hatred of what WoWs raiding has unleashed unto the MMO landscape. but i played much D&D and tabletop games as a child and i LOVE the numbers aspect of a game because i think that part of the reward of adventuring could and should be seeing numbers increase as well as looking at cool new gear that your character will wear.

so yes, im an abberation, i LOVE numbers because i like to know what does what, but i have NEVER gathered a group in ANY MMO to gather "set peices" of blue/purple gear like guilds in WoW do...

i think putting a group of 20-40 members together to run an instance that needs players creating and arguing over player created rules to figure out who gets what is lame. i played WoW for 3 years and tried raiding a HALF-time and hated it. people expect you to play the way they think you should and of course the loot distribution is already figured out...

so, im sure i travelled off the path of discussion a bit, sorry. its very late and im very tired, but i really enjoy the discussions you two have and i hope that this odd peice has shed a silver shadow upon your topic.

cheers, thanks for another swell cast.
...im also available for batmitzvahs and guest starring on any future podcasts.



'It works in eve...' by JoeH
Submitted on 2009-01-17 09:15:52 CST
...but not much else. Theory crafting is essential in almost every aspect of eve, and to be honest Im finding it fun. then again, I'm finding mining fun :P. But I think it works in eve, since eve isn't really a game, it's more of a world. Since there is such absolute freedom, that makes theory crafting a key part to doing well.

But I dont think it works in games like DaoC or WoW. Since When I play games like that, I usually get armour that looks cool, rather than being teh uberness.

Though a good system was in LOTRO, with that you have your cosmetic armour, so I can pick my pretty armour. And then if you want you can wear your uber armour underneath too.



'@JoeH' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-18 01:13:53 CST
Oh yeah, so that's what those extra tabs are for in LotRO.

I agree about EVE and it seemed ok too. I would still be playng if it wasnt for logging in to only change skills 1-5 times every 2 days on average, I could not take it anymore. that and I did not go into it with a group of friends.



'where do I get the music in the show?' by Ceadrick
Submitted on 2009-01-25 06:38:02 CST
I may be blind but I didn't see anything about the music or where you got it from. I liked it. I hate music for the most part, ya I'm weird, so when I hear something I like I buy it. If you have a web site for it let me know. On another note I liked the show.

Ceadrick



' The music is from Frou Frou...' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2009-01-25 14:07:25 CST
...is called "Close Up." Great uhm, "band." hehe I think it's a chick and a dj or something, I dunno.
Thanks, though..we will start adding the songs to the show notes!

Beau