Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Playstyle of I, Gamer (part 1)

This blog has completely changed the way I play MMOs. Not all the time, but more often than not I am playing Lord of the Rings Online with an eye towards this blog.

The first thing that evolved rather quickly was my screenshot usage. To be honest, I feel that I get some pretty good shots, but those aren't just dumb luck. I try and find good angles, good action moments, etc. while I am playing. It also does rely on dumb luck. This warg screenshot found in this post took me a few minutes to get the angle correct and make sure a warg spawned where I needed it. Then as I fought it I continually spammed the screenshot button, and I got about 20 screenshots for the fight. That's part of the process. If you get a load of screenshots, one or two will be gems.

For my screenshot taking style here are my tips:
  • Take a ton of screenshots. When I play in high-energy/intensity areas, I turn on a screen capper program as well to take a screenshot every 20 seconds.
  • Keep the camera a little closer to your character than you normally would. My conventional playstyle is to zoom all the way out to gain the best zone control, and the 50 pixel tall character makes for horrible screenshots to pass on to you.
  • Spin the camera. I even have trouble with this one because it does require more conscious effort.

If I had one wish for LOTRO it would be to have repeatable content far more accessible for my Storytelling posts. I have not played through LOTRO, and sometimes I do miss good or crucial moments. For example, when I was playing through Book 2, Chapter 8 the group leader moved the story on before I had a chance to click on Danassen. I figured out what happened by reading my quest log and re-clicking on Danassen to get a dumbed down version of having to kill Neven, but I still missed it. There was also a lot of better text and actions throughout Book 2, Chapter 8 that I would have preferred to capture, such as Radagast spearing Ivar with lightning.

My wish is something I am looking forward to for Warhammer Online and Guild Wars 2. Warhammer Online will have an epic storyline similar to LOTRO's, which may or may not be repeatable, but the game will also have Public Quests, which are bite-sized, repeatable quests with a small bit of story to them (amplified in the Tome of Knowledge). Guild Wars 2 is going to have an event system that seems (with the very little we have heard) take the Public Quests of WAR and turn it into a more organic cause and effect system.

Regardless, LOTRO is very deep and rich, and I have plenty of material. My playstyle did have to change a little in order to get some better screenshots, but when I pull up the folder with 100-200 screenshots from the last hour or two of playing, it is like reviewing those great moments again. Even if you don't run a blog or care about journaling your character's efforts through an MMO, you might want to consider running a screen capper while you play just to see what pops up.

1 comment:

Disseminated said...

You can replay any instance any time via the relection pools in each zone. It doesn't cover every quest but it'll cover Book 2 Ch 8. Though with that being a fellowship quest you could just do it over with the next bunch that needed it. ;-}

Of course it would be nice to be able to just jump into anything anywhere. Tho dramatic limitations make that a problem that has yet to be solved for a reason (with GW's henchmen being about the best option to date).