I Have A Name

It’s Joshua “Riknas”. You can use Joshua, or you can use Riknas. If you really feel like it, you can use them together like a title or even alternate between the two every time you decide to mention me. My only request is that you spell the names correctly. While I appreciate those of you that have given me shout outs and linked to me, it would be really awesome if  “Riknas” or “Riknas Rants” would actually be spelled the way I just did, I even keep it on the top of the webpage and everything; it’s the way you spell it if you type it in to Google or on your URL tab.

Of course, if you’re doing it because you thought my names are too boring, by all means let me know and I’ll see if we can work something out. I’m not going to actually go over the misspellings I’ve seen; I feel that would be in poor taste on my part and would be too much like pointing fingers at people. Suffice to say, there have been far more typos for my name and website than I had originally thought possible…it makes me sad.

Just figured I would let everyone know.

Riknas, signing off.

An End To The Archive

Hello everyone. Today I would like to announce the end of my archive posts. Although I said I would only use them for “rainy days”, I found that I just didn’t like having a huge backlog of posts available, and stretching out their use for weeks. So in the end I decided to keep to a daily posting schedule using the archives, while sprinkling in new posts and guest posts to keep the blog from getting stale, so to speak.

That said, I have finished posting up everything I wanted to from the archive, so from here on out all posts will be new and fresh from the proverbial oven! See you soon!

Riknas, signing off.

What’s a Nerdy Bookah?

Really guys, I can’t figure it out. I mean, I get what it means to be nerdy, sure. But what’s a Bookah? Is it even supposed to be capitalized every time? Is it just “bookah”? My first thought is, “Well, I guess its a weird misspelling of ‘booking’.”  But that still doesn’t make a whole lot of a sense. I mean, sure. You can book something. But what’s a nerdy booking? Are they even booking anything?

Maybe I’m not even going in the right direction. Bookahs might actually be some kind of strange animal that no one bothered to put in the dictionary. It could be that these bookahs” are just extremely nerdy. Actually, maybe bookahs are a type of animal that are specially geared toward booking things, does that make sense? Hmm…


So…I did a guest post on Mobile MMOs and MMO applications at the Nerdy Bookahs blog. Go check it out.

Riknas, signing off!

iCan’t Wait (Archive)

Hello again Internet, it’s been too long my friend. It’s Riknas again, and I actually have something worthwhile mentioning, unbelievable as it is. While some people say otherwise, it’s a little known fact that Pocket Legends isn’t actually the first Mobile MMORPG (Or MMMORPG, if you will). Rather, the first attempt was Era Of Eidolon. Unfortunately, the game is now deceased. In fact, I only once came across it myself, not even on my cellphone at the time. Instead, I first discovered the main (Now defunct) site which encouraged me to play the game using a drawn cell phone, so what few keyboard buttons I was able to play with would show the corresponding buttons of the phone being pressed. Essentially, it was encouraging me to start clicking on the phone interface, and then to download it to my own phone. At the time, I was disgusted at being forced to do something so silly as playing a game on something other than my computer. Never mind that, when I did, they had the gall to force me to pretend I was playing on a phone!

In retrospect, I regret not playing it more, as the experience literally lasted a matter of minutes before I was dissatisfied with the controls and dropped the game, not even bothering to try putting it on my personal phone. Far from a masterpiece of a game, its a shame to see something so different disappear. Even trying to dig up any mention of the game was remarkably difficult; which just goes to show how quickly the game slipped under the radar, as I was unable to find ANY information about the progress being made in the game, or why it even shut down. Albeit, if there’s no information at all and no one covered it, it’s likely to say it wasn’t able to develop any audience of any kind, which made it all the more tragic. Even the original company, WatAgame has either shut down, or seen radical changes making something called ‘goSupermodel’, which is supposed to be a special community for girls, (Don’t you dare ask me to look at that…though I probably will anyway, as part of a separate entry). In the end, I feel almost responsible for the game’s disappearance because I never gave it a chance myself.

That said, while Pocket Legends isn’t the first to tap into the Mobile audience, it is the first to try making an MMMORPG (sorry, you’re right, it’s too long of an acronym) in 3D. Furthermore, considering the fact we’ve heard of it, that’s a good sign that the game will have at least more longevity than its predecessor. I haven’t looked at it, but considering that it is debuting as both the first MMORPG on both the iPhone and recently released iPad means that both Space Time Studios and Apple will be getting themselves a foothold in a new market. Color me interested, I’ll be investigating this game soon.

This is Riknas, signing off!

The MMO Tab Chronicles

Hello everyone. After doing my guest post on Browser MMOs, it reminded me of the fact that we covered a handful of those games ourselves back on the Free Play Blog. Now, since I’m still waiting on The Secret World beta weekend and will want to give it thorough coverage, in the mean time I will be supporting the original blog topic by posting the reviews of the games that we did look at. You can check out the first review here!

That’s all for now!

Riknas, signing off.

Credit where it’s Due, (Part 2)

Last Time, On Riknas Rants…

Joshua “Riknas”, observes the state of the MMO genre, noting the mortality rate of the online games in custody of the larger studios, now he-

Hey, stop that!


Riknas will fight with the personification of italics and bold text in an epic s

The hell I will!

Aww, come on…


The caps lock key makes its move on-

I said stop!


No, and no back talking either! Back to online games…

As I said earlier– Erm, as I said earlier, despite the difficulties that well known companies have grappled with in the online gaming market, there have been some that have weathered the storm, while others have actually weathered the storm, while others actually have actually prospered.

Many of these developers are independent groups that managed to carve out a safe niche, slowly growing, or simply trudge along happily on their own with their isolated community. Smaller teams, or single MMO developer groups are what most come to mind. Most likely because their entire company’s livelihood, they hold onto their project tighter than a boa-constrictor wrapped around an idiot’s neck. Jagex, for example,  of of the (in)famous Runescape, has not been affected by the server merges of Warhammer, the shutting down of The Matrix Online, nor do they care about the expansions released in World of Warcraft. The same can be said of eGenesis of the rarely virtually unheard of, “A Tale In the Desert”, that exists in such obscurity one could almost consider it a small MMO cult that lives in its own special commune, fenced off from the rest of the internet. Other companies that manage to typically go unnoticed are the F2P MMO groups such as gPotato, Aeria Games Entertainment, and Suba Games.

Naturally, that’s not all there is, as we can not forget CCP which has worked on it constantly for nine years, putting in an obscene amount of effort to expand the size and accessibility of their massive single-server game, while keeping it new an entertaining for the people that have been around from the start. Along with that, we can not ignore the years Aventurine spent just to make Darkfall, which set the MMO community aflame with its release, and they have already went through great pains to create radical changes and additions to the game. Also, standing proudly alongside them we have Funcom and Turbine.

Dark days…for who?

I won’t deny that Funcom has me starry-eyed with their upcoming title, “The Secret World”, however one can not deny the Norwegian developers’ dedication to their products. One would think that with the critically acclaimed point-and-click adventure game “The Longest Journey” , they would simply continue with that. After the catastrophic release for Anarchy Online, people would not have been surprised if it shut down only a few years later. And yet, it has been over a decade since the game’s release, and instead of slowly withering away they have elected to revamp the graphics engine and system mechanics for a new generation of players. Facing similar issues with the release of Age Of Conan, Funcom was once again slammed for allowing servers to be overpopulated and unfinished system mechanics. Conan was also criticized for “deceiving” the players with a fully voiced starting area, that disappeared once you finished it, causing players to wonder, “Did I walk into a different game?” or questioning whether your sound settings were working right. Even so, Funcom continued to improve upon the game, smoothing over system problems, filling content in where there was a gap, and even adding in more voice acting. Not long after, we discover they are working on a third online game, which many of us now eagerly await. While one might argue they are their own worst enemy with the release date problems, they continue on making new games while supporting their older titles, and consistently using graphics that have been cutting edge for their time. And for that, I applaud them. However, what happens after The Secret World remains to be seen…

He won’t let you shut down their other games.

At this point some of you might say, “Riknas, you brilliant man! What a profound line up you created!”

 Flattery won’t convince me italics, and you can’t hide in the left alignment.

Darn it…

As I was saying, some of you might say, “But, Turbine? Don’t you remember Asheron’s Call 2? They shut that down!”

While this is true, I would argue that was a much tougher call, having had no other games to back themselves up beside the original Asheron’s Call. Also, while two years ago they lost their independence after being purchased by Warner Brothers Interactive, they have continued to protect all their other titles admirably. Well done fellows, well done. Hopefully other developers will be able to expand on their own stable of games like these folks have.

That’s all for now, see you next time.

Riknas signing off.


High Latency Living

Hello again internet! Don’t you just hate when lag, or high latency, is in the way of your MMO or general online gaming? Yeah, issues like that are annoying, frustrating, sometimes catastrophic, and other times even heartbreaking.

You know what isn’t annoying, frustrating, and sometimes catastrophic (No promises on the heartbreak though, depending on your point of view)?

A lot of things actually…
But this time I’m talking more specifically about High Latency Life, which is a cool blog that happens to be significantly better then actually living with high latency, and dare I say: enjoyable. Today I had the privilege of Chris “The River” putting up a guest post I wrote for him on Retro MMOs. It was a fun article to write, and I suggest you check it out on his site. Then subscribe to his feed…and then leave him your social security number, and then mail me your paypal information (credit card number works too).

Riknas, signing off!

The Blogging Idols (Archive)

This is a logo of a B, not an 8. Idiot.

Greetings once more bloggers, casual readers, aficionados and obsessive fans! Doing like I do, I’ve picked yet another of the more self-aware topics in the MMO-Blogosphere. Of course, you could say that there are far too many blogging circles, friends, and networks for it to be something so simple as a sphere, and so I encourage you to imagine it as a dodecahedron instead. I’ll give you a bit to go and Google what a dodecahedron is (because apparently, I put in too many links.)

Done looking it up? Okay. I understand, it takes a bit.


Got it? Gooooood.

So let’s get started shall we?

We shall. Although I’m sure not all of you do, I’m also quite certain that plenty of you read the blogs of others, yes? It’s just something we do. If we like blogging news, it’s only natural to find similar thoughts or comforts with other vocal members of the community. Some are personal friends of ours, some have the talents (or money) for their own personal domain. Others happen to run free Blogger or WordPress accounts, (in fact I’ve recently mentioned those) if you look through my previous entries. Pay no mind to that though, but focus on the idea that there are well known bloggers using all of the aforementioned sources. Sure, they may find the casual reader because of their origins, but they have ultimately drawn attention for other reasons. In my earlier mentions, I had been rather vague, so let’s shine the spotlight onto some people and take some analysis into the writing styles the others present to us.

Let’s start with someone I’m sure many readers are familiar with; Beau Hindman. In the MMO world, we could think of this fellow as part of a “celebrity pairing” as he has had the excellent fortune of being with his podcasting wife Leala Hindman. Both had their own respective audiences, and both very…well, varied I suppose. Eventually, like transforming robots, they came together in epic proportions and created Spouse Aggro, fusing their audiences together and ultimately drawing on a new one, like creating an epic hybrid animal, only far less exciting once you realize you’re just thinking of a few different kinds of people, instead of a giant transforming robot or fire breathing godzilla rip-off. In the end, what the Turkeys provide is the most natural form of blogging, which really consists of just sitting and talking about what’s on their mind. With this sort of Average Joe approach to things, it’s a nice change of pace from the typical overly passionate rage or spewing cynicism. They don’t really start talking about what’s right or wrong…they just talk. As a final note, they have spanned the most mediums, having their own personal domain for blogs, a Ning network, countless podcasts, and their now more frequent videocasts, or as Beau calls them, “Vodcasts” (I admit, it does sound catchy.)

On the other end of the fence of not really doing a whole lot, we have Tobold. Tobold is probably the most reclusive of the bloggers that I’m aware of, but countless people recognize this name. From what I know, he declines to podcast, doesn’t really advertise, and keeps almost entirely to himself, he doesn’t need to cross post his blogs to get attention. Why this that? His writing seems to match the personality that he shows; No nonsense. There is very little catching up on his personal life or discussion, and what he presents, is typically presented as fact. Unlike myself, there is no round-about speech or beating around the bush, it’s always to the point and has a seemingly deliberate confidence without any emotions leaking out, and he’s had plenty of time to hone it. For nine years he has been an automatic machine pushing out food for thought. Being around that long makes it very hard to disregard what he says entirely. Again, with his no-nonsense approach, he does not have any flashy site tools or an impressive domain, it’s just a straight up blogger domain with his internet alias as the web address.

It’s not often that there’s a third side to the fence. Physically speaking, there’s actually four sides, but they are far too narrow for people to bother considering them. For the sake of maintaining the analogy where we stick to the important sides of the fence, let’s assume that in this imaginary blogger town, Tobold is in the middle, with Beau Turkey on the left, and the third blogger on the right. So it’s the other side of the other fence…Don’t spend too long trying to make it work in your head though, it’s kind of silly.

The more important question that should be on your mind (Unless of course you already know, in which case, congratulations!) is, “Who could the third blogger be?” For those who know me, the obvious answer is Syncaine! Because I can not say one without saying the other, very much like Yin and Yang, day and night, etc, etc… Now, it’s very possible that what I say can be taken the wrong way, especially for the analogy that I’m using to compare these two, which could very easily be interpreted as offensive. As such, I will clarify at the moment I mean absolutely no harm, and that exaggeration is used to help demonstrate differences between the two. That said, let’s move along.

Do what it says!

Syncaine refers to himself as the Hardcore Casual blogger, and it seems to fit what he wants. He does not take an absurdly outrageous opinion on things like the stereotypical Hardcore Gamer who wants everything to go back to the days of EQ where you have to force a conversation with NPCs and wait for a couple hours to get on a boat. However from what I have seen, he expresses a stronger degree of passion towards concepts and interests akin to that of “Hardcore” individuals (I mean, really. He likes DarkFall). While this isn’t to say he doesn’t use facts or is reckless, his passion (at least, to me) is his truth, as opposed to Tobold’s truth, which is conveyed by a serious lack thereof. Hammering point after point, Syncaine is fueled by a brilliantly burning fire of a veteran attitude. It resonates well with the jaded concepts of many a blogger or podcaster who have emerged onto the scene to express their thoughts. His time spent is a fair two years of experience, equivalently a third of Tobolds. Of the web design, his approach is the medium of Beau’s and Tobold’s, as he utilizes his WordPress account with a small ad with a blog roll and some other useful, but simple, features.

So, there’s three of the greats (If I didn’t list you, and you think you should be up there, sorry. This post is long-winded as it is,) whom I think are good representatives of the three archetypes that I see as the pinnacles of MMO blogging. With all that said, what’s your style? Do you intend to try and follow the foot-steps of one of these three, a hybrid, or are you some strange new blogger of your own, who blogs entirely in Sanskrit and Iambic Pentameter?

Try it.

((This archive post has been edited to better reflect the current times of blogging))

A New Foe

Greetings internet. Remember how I discussed my objective to fight against the search term “Diknas”. However it has recently come to my attention I actually have a second nemesis, and his name is Rick. Testing the Google search for “Riknas Rants” my computer promptly punched me in the face and my microphone detached its wire and tried to strangle me while the computer screen cycled demotivational posters that were best applied to me, until my eyes rolled to the back of my head and…

Wait, what was I saying?

Anyway, Google disappointingly asked me, “Did you mean Rick’s Rants?” At which point I wept and threw myself to the floor, desperately trying to find a sword for me to impale myself on. In the end I could only find my wooden kendo sword and found that after four tries, all I could successfully do was hurt my stomach and crack one of my ribs. I have since elected not to do that again.

Anyway, I now realize I must fight on two fronts to reclaim my name. I must not falter in this endeavor. I will not surrender to these two. Rick? Diknas? It’s on.

Riknas, signing off.

Funcom’s Still At It

One of the earliest screen shots for the new engine.

Hello once more! No, this isn’t a Secret World post just yet. Rather, I wanted to draw attention to something else, especially knowing that The Secret World is on the horizon.

While Funcom is currently more well known for the development of Age of Conan, and the aforementioned Secret World, we can not forget their first online game, Anarchy Online. Despite the tremendous difficulties that Funcom has dealt with their debut MMO release, Funcom has continued to support it in a way that we normally expect from a single-MMO developer such as CCP or Aventurine.

Back in 2007 (three years after the game had become Free to Play) they had announced their intention to revamp the game’s graphics engine and “release it fresh”. Many of us had long since discarded the change to be vapor ware, but after the release of Duke Nukem Forever, we know anything is possible.
That said, five years later they have continued to develop this new engine, and went so far to say in a Massively Article that not only is there going to be a graphics overhaul, but an overhaul to the entire game, changing the starting experience and even going so far as to change the system mechanics and “content interaction”. While many would say the graphics update is long overdue, I think the extra time spent to change the rest of the experience is definitely worth it. Not only that, with the Online Gaming in such a negative spot right now, this might be the perfect time for Anarchy Online to try and make a comeback.

Riknas, signing off!