Friday, January 21, 2022

Has Runes of Magic Lost their Friggen Minds? Ding 100 AGAIN!

So I log on yesterday and my guildmate, Eni, immediately barks in chat, "Sting, do the event." Therefore, I immediately went to work collecting 100 Coins of Petals, clicked over to Veranas Channel 1, and turned in my 100 coins . . . what came back to me was a 50,000,000 exp orb and 10 1,000,000 talent point orbs. The real shocker came when I saw that turn in could be done . . . 10 TIMES EACH DAY!! That's just insanity.

It's . . . real . . . and . . . beautiful?

So I start thinking to myself, where can I find the largest concentration of low level enemies with the fastest respawn time? I started going around to a few old haunts in Northern and Southern Janost, and they were ok, but they weren't great. Then for some reason I remembered an instance that I've soloed through several times called The Heart of the Ocean.

The Heart of the Ocean is a great instance. You have to complete a quest chain to gain entrance, and I had already done that a month or so ago. The Peak quests I've been doing lately have been really wanting to send me in to battle against the fourth boss there, so I'm pretty familiar with the layout.

Loopy Dungeon is Loopy!

In between the third and fourth boss there's a group of 12 fish warriors blocking your way. Come to find out, these warriors respawn . . . it might actually be the only group in the entire dungeon that does this. If you run the easy instance of the dungeon, only 8 of the warriors respawn, but if you run the normal instance, all 12 respawn.

Thank you for stacking up in a nice AoE right there

Typically none of these respawns drop loot, but during the event, all of them drop a Coin of Petals. So, here I sat and nuked ,and looted, and nuked, and looted, and etc. until I had all 1000 Coins of Petals that I needed.

Roasted Ayum Initiate!

It was boring but effective. The next thing I knew, I was back in Varanas Channel 1 and talking to Frank. (Now that's a good Event NPC name: Frank).

Frank and Friends in Varanas Central Channel 1

Frank gave me back 9 more 50 million experience orbs and 90 more 1 million talent point orbs. I switched my class to my often forgotten 3rd class choice of Knight and made 10 clicks to bring my knight level from 43 to 89 in the span of less than 10 seconds.

It's hard to explain the feelings I felt in that moment. It was a reflection on all the time I spent to get my Mage from 43 to 89 . . . all the quests . . . all the begging for help . . . all the time . . . and really all that I had learned.  Here I was a level 89 knight who had never even played the game as a knight. No, all I ever really wanted from this game was to play as a Mage/Rogue vampire.  That's it.

This morning, I logged on and did the same thing and went back to Frank with another 1000 Coins of Petals. Five more clicks and my knight was level 100.  Five more clicks beyond that, and I had earned maybe half of a peak level.

To be honest, gearing 3 classes for one character seems like it's going to be a lot of work and money. I'm able to survive in Korris with my current gear on the Mage, but my Rogue is still wanting . . . I haven't even thought about gearing a Knight.

Look, I don't want to say that's WHY this event exists (to get a player to the part of the game where they'll spend more money), because if that's the case, they really should have made 1.5 exp the standard exp gain rate in the first place (as I've argued before). 

Overall, this game feels like a multiboxer's delight.  I can't tell you how many people call their characters "toons" in this game, and while that typically gets under my skin because it belittles the time you put into developing your "character." An event like this seems to naturally encourage making multiple level 100 (I'll go ahead and say it) "toons." Throw away characters you can just add to your personal army. Really, it's not odd to see a pile of characters sitting on top of each other with the same name only with a slight variation -- imagine StingiteA, StingiteB, StingiteC, StingiteD, and StingiteE all riding a 7 person bone dragon mount together.  Yeah, I don't like thinking about it either.

I don't know. It's weird. I can't even believe the event rewards are so good right now.  I guess if you really want a max level character in Runes of Magic without all the pains of actually leveling, yesterday was your day to log on and start playing. Not to worry though! You have a full week.  This crazy event is running through January 27th.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Blocked at Level 100/100 in Runes of Magic

So, last weekend on Friday, it happened! I was just doing some simple quest in Splitwater Coast while working through the new Spirits of Despair quest line. Bonus experience was again turned on last weekend, so leveling came relatively quickly. The moment I hit 100 on my Rogue to complete my 100/100 level felt mid-breath. One moment I was getting supply sacks to give to the commoners, then the next moment it all changed.

I'm just a simple vampire riding his spider, helping farmers with their supply sacks until . . .

I immediately received a pop up that told me to stop what I was doing, head over to Veranas, and talk with Leya Peak, who was in charge of giving the quest for peak experience. So that's exactly what I did. I transported back and talked to Ms. Peak about her Peak Quests.

You might say she's well read . . .

I accepted her quest and was immediately greeted with a complex task. Defeat 3 bosses on hard mode in the highest dungeon of the highest zones in the game.  These were zones I hadn't even taken a step in, but the rumors of the difficulty of Vortis had not fallen on my typically deaf ears . . . and I was confused.

That's . . . not as simple as it sounds . . .

I headed over to the guild's discord to ask how one coordinates this task that seemed insurmountable, and I was greeted with the cries of "READ THE GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS." So I read the guild announcements and found that there was . . . another way! DUN DUN DUN!

That's right. You don't HAVE to do this horrible quest to defeat Zeyj, Sunlight, and the Phantom Anubis, but instead there is a slower and easier way, and that is this: there's a guy who will give you a quest once every two hours. You might be able to do it, you might not. Good luck . . . this is all just part of the grand roadblock between level 100/100 and level 100 (1) / 100.

Basically, you go talk to the Mystery Hermit in Logar (dude's across the way from the Snoop portal on a hill), he has a new target every two hours.  If you finish it, he gives you 3 peak fragments. You exchange 12 peak fragments with the Donkey Merchant next to the Mystery Hermit for an endless star energy. You can get all 3 endless star energies this way instead of doing the hard mode bosses to finish the Peak Level quest.

Me and all the other fools hanging out with the Mystery Hermit and his Donkey . . .

It's now been 4 days since this happened to me, I have 9 peak fragments as of this blog post. Yup. 3/4th of 1 out of 3 star energies. So, the reality here is that most targets from the Mystery Hermit are out of my league for soloing. My lucky 3 targets so far have been a boss in the Heart of the Ocean instance, a boss in the Origin dungeon instance, and (. . . and this is just weird, but appreciated) 30 level 5 bears in Logar.

So, if things keep proceeding the way they have, it'll be half a month before I can proudly exclaim that I have completed this quest. What this has done to me as a player is as follows:

- Completely stopped high level questing.  If I'm going to quest, I don't want to miss out on the exp for peak levels. I'll do low level quests on my 3rd class of knight, which is now level 41. (So technically my levels right now are 100 Rogue / 100 Mage / 41 Knight)

- Increased my daily mini-game playing. While I'm stuck and can't quest, I definitely can play mini-games to earn Phirius Shells, so I can buy a few epic rarity level 100 items from vendors. Malatina the clown, Lylia the child house decorator, Andor the trainer, Mahler the goblin hunter . . . all those crazy weird mini-game types . . . they're my best buds these days.

- Typical Daily Quests are still ok. To play mini-games, you need to do your daily quests because the mini-games all cost Phirius Tokens, which you can really only earn in the mini-games themselves or through daily quests. This is also supplying me with some gold, which is needed for buying crap at the Auction Hall.

My new favorite Daily Quest spot -- 40 seconds to completion

- Logging on every two hours while I'm awake.  Every two hours, I gotta just check to see who's up. Just dropping in to check the Mystery Hermit is my new jam.

- Behold . . . Mirrorworld. I didn't even know this was a thing until yesterday.  I was complaining about how difficult it is to level my pet, and my guildies started giving great advice like they always do. One of them was to make sure to do my Mirrorworld runs everyday.  I'm like . . . what's that? As it turns out, it's a little side system full of mini-solo dungeons where you earn currency to buy stuff like Golden Eggs. Go figure. You can run three Mirrorworld dungeons for free every day.

I probably should also start working on my tradeskills at this point to help feed the money beast. I guess if I'm REALLY bored I'll do that as well. 

Until then, I'll be waiting patiently at the roadblock.

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Playing Hoops! Level 70 Elite in Runes of Magic

Seems sometimes all we do in MMOs is jump through hoops, doesn't it? Collect 10 of this, kill 12 of that, run over here, escort this dude over there . . . yada yada yada. It's quests like the level 70 elite skill quest in Runes of Magic that push it over the top though. There's "quests" and then there's "QUESTS!" in all caps and with an exclamation point at the end.

Here's the deets:


Hoop 1: Get both classes to 70.  Not just one class . . . both classes. Got it.

Hoop 2: Head back to Varanas and talk to my man Daris. You remember him?  He's the guy eternally standing in the middle of the ring of class trainers in Varanas.  That dude. Why's he standing in the middle like that with everyone staring at him? I don't know. Seems like that would get old after a few decades. Anyway . . .

Daris . . . forever the center of attention . . .

Hoop 3: Daris sends you to talk to Votakai. Here's the problem though . . . Votakai sits behind a huge army of pixies in the Sanctuary of Balance deep in the zone Chrysalia. Those pixies will agro and kill you dead unless you've progressed far enough in the quest line that they ignore you.  So, not only do you need to be level 70, but you also need to be far enough along in your quest storyline so the fairies don't kill you.

Tread carefully friends . . . pixies . . . yuck

That Sanctuary of Balance is where all the dragons hang out in their human forms when they're doing that dragon astral projection thing they call Sleepwalking, so they need to guard the sanctuary and who knows why pixies were the best choice, but there you go. That's Runes of Magic for you!

Hoops 4-33: So, I didn't get the full gist of why this is happening, but back in a desolate corner of the Ancient Kingdom of Rorazan, Votakai is in his dragon form and is doing his Sleepwalking thing, and you need to protect him from an army of elementals. Somehow you got tangled up in this mess and Votakai is being punished by his elder dragon teacher named Norhonsar?

Unfortunately you can only take the residual heat from 10 of these particular elementals at one time. When you've killed 10, you get a blessing from Norhonsar to protect you and a little trinket called a Proof of Protection that proves you helped out 1 time . . . now do this 29 more times . . . OH!  Did I forget to mention that you can only defeat 10 elementals per hour?  30 hours later . . 

Forever locked in battle!

Hoop 33: You did it!  Now witness your great failure as Votakai dies because he was Sleepwalking for too long thanks to Norhonsar being an overzealous teacher. 

Hoops 34-35: Well, that sucked . . . Norhonsar tells you to take Votakai's soul to 2 random locations all the way out in Tergothen Bay because  . . . and get this . . . Votakai always wanted to see the human realm. Why in the world would you take his soul to Tergothen Bay of all places . . . it's like . . . let's go visit that dingy looking weird zone where bandits are always attacking you out of nowhere for no good reason. That sounds like a nice place! YEAH!

Hoop 36: OK, so now what . . . quest is complete . . . who the heck do I turn it in to?  You'd think you'd go back to Norhonsar in the Ancient Kingdom of Rorazan since he was the one that told you to take Votakai's soul on a field trip to Tergothen Bay, but he does nothing for you. He just sits there looking guilty and depressed. 

No no no . . . listen . . . you need to go all the way back to where you first talked to Votakai and click on a pedestal there. I know, it's strange, and you may not even remember the Sanctuary of Balance after the past few days of jumping through hoops, but YOU GOT THIS!

Hoop 37: Votakai then turns into a dragon ghost, you click on him, and request the level 70 elite. It's a small hoop, but an important one.  I don't know why you get rewarded for failing to keep him alive, but as long as I get my skill, you do you, Votakai. Anyway, yeah, you don't want to waltz away from the Sanctuary thinking you did your quest turn in and now you have your elite skills. Make sure you do that last step or you'll just have to trudge back there a day later when you realize you missed a final step.

Sleep well, Ghost of Votakai. Thanks for the elites!

And there you go!  Level 70 Elites for both of your classes! It's a crazy involved quest just to get a skill that they should have probably just given to you as a reward for your hard work of reaching level 70 in both classes. What'd be the fun in that though, right?!


Personally For my mage / rogue side, I got the Pride of the Baron skill. It encourages me to crit a lot so I can health drain a lot. Time to build a crit monster set of gear?

Pride of the Baron!

For my rogue / mage side, it gives me a nice AOE skill that consumes 10 knives and makes my dps jump while doing aoe damage every tick for 30 seconds.

Got be real . . . this sounds way cooler than my vampire skill . . .

And that, my friends, was an amazing MMO quest. I liked it. Next up . . . the epic weapon?! yeesh I don't know. I have a couple pieces and parts already . . . I just don't know if it's really worth it at this point.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, January 3, 2022

Ding 100 -- Runes of Magic 3x EXP event Redux

This morning at 2am Central, the amazing 3x experience week wrapped up in Runes of Magic, and let me tell you . . . it is HARD to go back to regular experience gains now. It feels slow . . . tedious . . . and all the other adjectives that make you think negative thoughts. BAD! TERRIBAD!

But let's stick to the positive thoughts! 

I ended up as a 100 Mage / 95 Rogue, and holy frickin' crap, I WORKED during that week of exp to get that far. You know how I mentioned the 3x experience ended at 2am Central? I was there.  I was there with 4 other addicts from our guild and a slew of other people talking in world chat. In fact, I earned all of level 95 on my rogue in the last 30 minutes of the event. Saturday I spent well over 12 hours in my chair just busting through quests as fast as humanly possible so I could get my mage side up to level 100. The only thing that stopped me was family, food, cats, holidays, and the new season of Cobra Kai.

You remember how I was following the Morrok line of quests?  All of that went totally out of the window somewhere in Syrbal Pass. I might have been able to tell you how it all eventually wrapped up, but I was too concerned with gaining as much exp as humanly possible before all the goodness ended, so I stopped and jumped ahead to zones the would give more exp bang for the buck.

Jill and Morrok have some serious relationship problems . . . *popcorn*

It's actually left me in a really strange state in the game where I feel a bit . . . exhausted, lost, and under-geared? So here's my plan . . .

1- Chill.

Seriously. I was not chill last week.  Now I need to just log on, do my dailies, work on random stuff like my level 70 elite skill . . . you know . . . minor stuff.  Re-center myself a bit.

Here's a nice Avatar-Esque bodo village to find your zen.

2- Get Back on Track.

Quests back in Syrbal Pass are giving around a million xp each. (Just for frame of reference, some high level quests were giving me 15-20 million xp during the 3x exp event.) It's not bad, but at level 95 it's also not great.  You have to complete 5-6 quests to get a 20th of a level. That said, I really wouldn't mind completing ALL the quests in the game.  It's a good challenge. 

3- Get "Decent" Geared. 

I was asking in guild chat tonight the easiest way to get geared at level 100, and the response was use a credit card.  yeah.  People trade premium currency for gold and then spend the gold in the auction house.  Outside of this though, it does seem you can get decent level 100 gear that doesn't have perfect stats for around (rough guess) 5 million a piece. It'll take some doing to get to that point, but it doesn't seem out of reach.

I could also run minigames to convert Phirius Coins into Phirius Shells and buy gear through a vendor.  It's a slow process, but doable.

I could also run level 100 content with a full group . . . maybe someday!

I'm sure there are other options, but those are the ones offered up in guild chat . . . and mind you, all these solutions don't even involve the tier'ing and stat'ing of items that happens once you have a piece of equipment.  It's a long arduous process that could take a long time to get yourself in a pretty good spot.


Of course, rumor has it that another 150% event will happen this weekend!  I may be at it again!  

A Vampire's Job is Never Done in Runes of Magic

It really would be nice to get to 100 Mage / 100 Rogue.  At that point I could start earning "peak" levels. That's right.  You aren't truly max level at 100.  There are many more Peak levels you earn when you have two classes at level 100. 

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

3x Experience Week and Chapter V in Runes of Magic

Team . . . team . . . look. I've been playing a TON of Runes of Magic. My company gives me this week off as a benefit and it lined up nicely with this Runes of Magic benefit, and so I've been benefiting . . . a lot. 

I started at level 67/67 and now I'm level 82/82.  So basically 15 levels on my rogue and 15 levels on my mage, and it's been a whirlwind of just GO GO GO when I log on. I've tried to snap a few screenshots of major story plot here and there, but at this point it's a bit of a blur. So, please forgive me if I get some of this wrong . . . let's talk Runes of Magic Chapter V -- Fires of Shadowforge!

The Shadowforge dwarves are now awake after a dark age where they lived in a "deep slumber" thanks to some dark magic gone wrong.  (At least that was the lore they made up so they could introduce dwarves as a playable race five expansions into the game.) Their story all unfolds on the continent of Balanzasar, which initially requires a trip involving a dragon. (after that point, you can just use Snoop)

Yeah . . . let's trust the demon that wants to help us and all that . . .

Dragons are pretty crazy in Runes of Magic. From what I understand, they do this kind of astral projection called Sleepwalking that involves traveling an elemental network that isn't visible or palpable. If anyone was to lose their way during sleepwalking, they'd either lose their mind or just outright die. You'll frequently talk to dragons in their human'esque form. It's all very complicated, and creates a kind of interesting triangle of conflict between the dragons, the elementals, and the demons.

Let sleeping dragons lie

On the continent of Balanzasar you'll be working first through the Ancient Kingdom of Rorazan then on to Chrysalia. From Chrysalia, you'll move on to the Merdhin Tundra. Beyond that is the Syrbal Pass.  That pathway is where I've been questing.  Enemies in Syrbal Pass have been hitting me for anything from 4k to 7k a hit, and it's getting nastier by the level as the enemies catch up to my gear.

Beyond Syrbal Pass is the final zone of Balanzasar: Sarlo.  At the rate I'm going through these quests and leveling, I'll most likely end up there sometime today or tomorrow.

Apparently me getting all this juicy experience all quick like this is both good and bad . . . good because I level and improve my character's stats and equipment possibilities . . . bad because I'm developing a talent point debt by leveling so quickly.  That 3x experience makes me move on to areas three times as fast and so now I'm getting three times less the talent points I'd usually get from grinding . . . or something like that.

It's a future me problem that will probably make it harder on myself at end game content because I won't have my skills at max level, which means I'll be a level 100 character whose powers and abilities (the main source of damage) hit like a level 80 character.  I suppose more to come on that development!

As for the story behind Balanzasar, it all seems to center around getting the true dragons on your side while dealing with a couple questionable demons named Sismond and Maderoth. Sismond makes several appearances throughout the main quest line as he gives you questionable but somehow helpful advice in your quest to take care of Maderoth . . . because Maderoth is going to take down the elemental lord, which would be bad for dragons who travel the elemental network.

It's a council of dragons, who all look like humans, agreeing to help humans . . .

Spoiler alert, you guessed it, they both turn out to be bad: Maderoth is a boss in the dungeon known as Belathis Fortress and Sismond is a World Boss later on in the level 90'ish zones. It's pretty clear to see that Sismond just wants to get rid of his competition and saw a fortuitous advantage with a temporary alliance with the stupid mortals. Demons . . . can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

So there you have it. I've been blindly clicking on yellow exclamation points that turn into grey checkmarks, and then turn into yellow checkmarks. Wash, rinse, repeat.  Bring it on!

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Runes of Magic -- Interesting Resource Gathering Mini-game?

I've taken a short break from leveling in Runes of Magic in anticipation of the triple exp week coming up tomorrow at the crack of midnight. Instead I've decided to take some time gathering herbs, which I've never really seen done well in any MMO I've played so far to be honest. 

Gathering in most MMOs goes a bit like this . . . 1- find a node spawn on the ground, 2- click it, 3- get item from node . . . and there you go.  um, yay? The most fun you can have with this activity is probably when you race people to get nodes and win, but it really sucks if you lose. (Also a bit of a jerk move to race like that.) Most MMOs offer you a leveling path for resource gathering and this both gates progression in higher levels and brings players back to old zones.

I've seen it done a variety of ways including the use of special harvesting tools ala Guild Wars 2 or with no special requirements at all ala Wizard101.

Seeing as how Runes of Magic attempts to build off of what you find in World of Warcraft, there definitely is an herbalism proficiency leveling track, but I think where they improved on the WoW model was in the meta-mini game of herb collecting.

After doing this for a few hours, it's seems to usually go a bit like this:

1- Find a node and click on it to harvest 2-7 items from the node.

2- The act of harvesting then begins a buff counter at the top of your screen indicating how many resources you've collected.

Shoot for 100!

3- Every 10 resources collected within the 10 minute "Collected Amount" buff counter, a couple of things happen. First, you gain a secondary "Easy Harvest" buff that helps you collect items faster.

Getting faster the more you collect!

The highest I've ever seen this secondary buff rise to is 9th power based on the counter. Second, you gain benefits every 10 points your counter progresses. For example, here's an example of one run to 100 that I received:

  • At 10 points -- Gain the Easy Harvest buff that helps you gather faster.

  • At 20 points -- Gain leveling experience for my Mage. Secondary buff levels to 2 (that's an extra 5% harvesting speed).
First level of combat experience from harvesting at level 67.
  • At 30 points -- Easy harvest levels to 3 (again an extra 5% speed).

  • At 40 points - Easy harvest levels to 4. Proc'd Nimble Harvest buff, which meant 30% more experience from harvesting nodes for the next 30 seconds.

  • At 50 points -- Easy harvest levels to 5.

  • At 60 points -- Easy harvest levels to 6. Gain more experience! this time, it was twice as much as it was when it proc'd at 20 points.

  • At 70 points -- Easy harvest levels to 7.

  • At 80 points -- Gained an amazing amount of that yummy leveling experience! Easy harvest levels to 8.
70k experience! Nice!
  • At 90 points -- Easy harvest levels to 9. Proc'd a better Nimble Harvest buff for another 30 seconds (this time it was 50% experience gain).

  • At 100 points -- I hit the cap!  My resource collecting buff goes away and is superseded by 3 minutes of super buff where every node I harvest for the next 3 minutes gives me double the experience toward leveling your harvesting proficiency and the fastest resource gathering speed in the game! My Easy Harvest buff expires . . . .

Something like that . . .

So, this kind of creates a minigame in a way where you try to land yourself in an area with lots of resources right as you hit 100 points; otherwise, it's a wasted buff.

Now, you can totally just ignore this little buff game and collect herbs, but I really like the effort they made toward trying to gamify the typically boring experience of collecting resource nodes.

My only wish here is that they double downed on the fun slot-machine mechanic to resource gathering. This predictable mini-game is fun enough by itself, but there can be fun found in randomness and everyone likes extra surprise rewards when doing something as rote as gathering herbs in an MMO.  For example, unearthing a treasure chest or finding gardening seeds! Spawning a rare enemy! Stuff like that!

I will say that as far as resource gathering goes, I kind of like the approach they've taken in Runes of Magic. It at least keeps the interest going while you're out collecting stuff from the ground. 

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Following the Conductor

When I was 19, I went to college for 2 quarters and then dropped out for a few years before changing my major. One thing I'll never forget from those times were my music classes. I took Music Appreciation, Introduction to Jazz, a Music concert experience class, Music theory, Marching Band, and Orchestra. I didn't have a music scholarship because they weren't going to give me much money. No, I was there on an academic scholarship because I worked hard on my grades as a high school kid, BUT I wanted to be a music major at the time (that didn't last . . .).

It was equally painful when it was my academic performance in Music Theory that cost me my full ride. I got a C-, which was my worst grade ever, and a painful realization that I wasn't going to make it as a music major. But what I was thinking about today were the high moments of those 2 quarters! Being in a Marching Band with a full percussion line was epic. I met a lifelong friend there. Introduction to Jazz gave me a love for Coltrane and Miles Davis . . . but today I want to focus on a cool moment that happened during Orchestra. 

The other drummers, and really the whole band, were way better than me, and pretty much everyone had a major attitude about our conductor. The comments generally were that he was hard to follow, the orchestral music he wrote was strange, and in general they all just seemed to dismiss him as not being good. I don't know if any of them really paid him much attention up there while he was slinging his baton. For some reason, he just hadn't earned the respect of the band.

I didn't get to stretch my chops much, and the older and more veteran players stuck me on the giant bass drum, which had a relatively simple part where I didn't play much. That said, it felt like the stakes were high, and I was intimidated with imposter syndrome to the gills thanks to realizing my skills weren't quite what I thought they were. (College was an eye opener)

So there I was one day, and I was reading the music, playing, and watching our conductor. All of a sudden, he was looking at me and really threw his directing fist in my direction, so I responded by playing louder. He did it again, and a third time, and each time I responded as well. He stopped the whole band, and said that I had impressed him right there, and as far as he was concerned I had what it took to go far in orchestral music.

The rest of the drummers that were playing along looked over at me, and said, "What did you do?" Again, intimidated and not knowing I did anything special, I just said, "I'm not sure." They all silently chuckled and continued to dismiss him as crazy. I hadn't put it together yet. 

The truth as I've come to believe it is that I watched him, I responded to him, and we communicated together as the music was playing despite what the music on the sheet said to do. I like to believe that I showed a non-musical, musical talent, which is the "ability to follow the lead."

Two thoughts:

  1. So many times in life ego gets in the way of collaborative cooperation, and I've seen it happen several times when someone goes too strong in the project because they think they know the end product better than those that direct them. That technical excellence sometimes taints the project, and it creates what I would term "well-intentioned dissonance."

  2. Reacting with your lead when direction is applied can be incredibly satisfying, and especially when you see excellent results together because of that labor. I think that shift away from personal ego and toward shared ego is the essence of building an excellent camaraderie and great work experiences. 

. . . and that's how I see it as a C- music student dropout who was also told I could go far in orchestral music by a conductor who had no respect from his band.

What does this have to do with a video game blog? 

I have a few MMORPG parallels that are coming to mind (saw someone rage and delete his account just the other day), but I'll let you put your own fine print with that in the comments. I just wanted to get that experience out there since it was rolling around in my brain today.

Happy Dueling!