I’ve been spending a lot of time lately checking out different MMOs and doing a lot of reading. In my “travels” the one thing that seems to astound me, however, is the general lack of care for one’s reputation. I understand that an entirely different generation of human beings are now playing MMOs but I do have to ask, “what happened to reputations?” Why don’t these players worry about their credibility and integrity?
To begin with I think a large part of it has to do with the community. When I was coming up in the MMO world there simply weren’t a lot of games and server transfers were difficult. If you were a ninja looter, a jerk or a liar we tended to know you. If you were on the high end circuit in EQ it was extremely easy to find out if someone was a dirty player even if they weren’t on your server. We, in essence, self policed. We avoided people with a bad reputation. In the modern world of cheap character transfers, tons of servers, and a multitude of games it is hard to make a name for yourself, good or bad!
It isn’t just the community though. A lot of players I have run across just don’t seem to care. They’re seemingly more concerned with “me” and what “they want” than its effect on those around them. It is just something I cannot understand. I’ve always been deeply concerned with my personal reputation and that of my guild. In EQ2 I, and other officers, invested a massive amount of time in turning over our image once we took the guild over. It was a rough task but we did it and I say it was worth it.
I use the same character name on every game I play with a matching forum handle for a reason: I’m not hiding. In fact I want people to possibly recognize the name because most that have played with me will go, “oh Ferrel, I know him.” With my name comes my credentials. I’m honest to a fault and I always speak my mind. You know, at all times, exactly where you stand with me. I’m loyal, driven, and eager to help anyone who wants it. I’ve carefully nurtured that reputation with my actions. Most of my guild mates have done the same and we’ve done our best to ensure Sodality has a positive image. Is this a fruitless pursuit?
Ultimately I say it is time well spent. There may be more players out there who don’t care about reputation than ones that do but I think it still matters. After all, the older players will recognize the efforts we take. Then again, I might just be grabbing at how things used to be. What do you think?