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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at, write for, run and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

Actually, most players are NOT complaining.

Posted by beauturkey Friday October 23 2009 at 11:27AM
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I have been involved in the gaming community/communities for several years. I have become very familiar with many developers, have become friends with some, and have been able to travel and write for many good people. I am telling you, if there is one hobby/part-time job that will allow you access to it's inner-workings, it's playing MMORPG's. Needless to say, after these years I have a pretty good feel as to what the community, spread throughout hundreds of games, does and feels. I am not claiming to be anything but a good estimator, but I pull from quite a few sources. And let me tell you, game to game to game, the community acts in pretty general ways.

Here are some myths that, if judging only by certain game sites/forums/blogs, spell out doom for the MMO industry. First of all, let me say that a good general rule (one that most community managers know about) is the 1 in 10/ 10 percent rule. That rule says that only about 10 percent of your population visits forums, writes about your game, or gets involved with the community. You will find variations on this rule, but it's usually about the same everywhere. A site like represents that 10 percent, spread throughout many games.


1) A game has failed once it has reached a certain number of players: No, it hasn't. A game has failed when it cannot be played. As long as a server is open, that game is doing more than thousands of games that never got to the point of release. Also, if the game had a several year run and then got down to 10k players, consider the entire history of the game or you are only looking at a small part of the picture.

2) MMORPG's are less innovative than the games of the past: Actually, they are more innovative than ever. If you do not think so, you are only familiar with a few or several larger games. Saying this would be like judging a genre of music based solely on it's most popular artists. I would like to say that Hip Hop, for example, does not innovate. But that would be stupid, considering all the garage-practicing Indie Hip Hop bands that will be the next generation or are busy playing live.

3) MMORPG's are less fun now-a-days: This usually comes from some blogger or podcaster that...get this..does not play those older games anymore and instead plays games that are out now. It might sound cool to call yourself a "vet" (despite MMO's short, short, short history) and to think of the original EQ as the best game ever, but I for one do not want to go back to one hour loading times and bug ridden horror-fests.

4) Loot didn't matter back then, and communities were closer: If you think that a player that spent 2 DAYS raiding after a nice sword was freer with his love and his gold than a player that was able to get his in several hours in a less buggy game, then you either very naive, very naive or very naive. Just because we had to sometimes rely on other players for buffs or transportation does not mean that every time you went up to a player providing a service he or she went: "Hi there! I hope all is well, would you like an absolutely free teleport?" The transaction DID go that way many times, but nice things happen these days as well, I assure you.

5) RMT/Cash Shops/Micro-Transactions have ruined MMORPG's: No, they haven't. It didn't happen in EQ2, WoW, EVE, LotRO, or any other game (almost every single one of them) that has had some form of  "You give me money, I'll give you something extra." Players that say that games have been ruined were fine with RMT when they bought an extra account (RMT) extra character slots (RMT) XP Potions (Cash Shoppery) Server Transfers (RMT) Hairstyle/Name changes (RMT) or that shiny limited edition box-set that gave you (you know what's next) special items in exchange for your real life money.

Here is the truth:

Most players are playing. Most players are not writing blogs, posting on forums or hosting podcasts.

Game are more innovative, trying new things and adding more functionality all the time.

There are more games that run on cheaper systems and need lower system specs then there were in the past.

There are more choices as to how to pay, and for how long, than there ever were.

Connections are faster, and computers (even cheap ones) are faster. This has made for better looking games that can be downloaded within hours, if not minutes.

Communities are larger, so the proportion of bad-talk is larger. Also, you have a more-varied playerbase that didn't grow up on PC's like we did, and are still discovering forums, blogs and podcasts.

In other words, the land of MMORPG's IS all sunshine and rainbows. Things are freaking WONDERFUL. I think well all get burned out once in a while, and we all get a little angry (well, some VERY angry) once in a while. Most of us are very passionate and intelligent people. Nerds are wonderfully tolerant of others, and come in all shapes and sizes. But one glance at how much money MMOs made last year will tell you that we are all pretty happy in this community. So next time you are visiting some popular forum or gaming site, and it seems like every post is a complaint or whine, remember that while those players are writing their complaints, most are simply having fun in a game.

Now, I need to go log in. This writing stuff is taking me away from my game!


DAS1337 writes:

I'm going to disagree.  And no, most people are not intelligent.


You talk about being ignorant and nieve.  Well, saying the MMO industry is all sunshine and rainbows is pretty close to the definition right there.


As a whole, games are less innovative.  They don't have to be.  They can survive being a WoW clone.  Companies very rarely take risks anymore.


The only choice is combat.  Even professions in most of these games require you to be of a certain level to make various items.  What happened to fishing, mining, smithing, lumberjacking.. etc, for hours?  Now they require you to fight if you want to be good at a job.


Communities are larger, thanks to WoW.  But, they are meaner as a whole.  Most games promote solo play, and the only reason to group is for a selfish reason.  That reason is to become stronger.  No longer are the days where you group to have fun.  Grouping to socialize.  It's all about how you can progress as a character.


Opinions are opinions.  But it's easy to see that the quality of games has gone down(discounting technology) as time has passed.  Companies are solely interested in money, not making gamers happy.  If they can do both, well, they were lucky.

Fri Oct 23 2009 2:21PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 I am not going to debate your opinions, being that they are YOURS. :)

 But look outside of the better known games, and you will find more innovation than ever. You will find it inside those "larger" games, too, but I am not going to try and convince somebody that doesn't believe that. 

 Point being, if you don't see risk-taking, you're not looking at the same stuff I am. There are games that are doing incredible things, everyday.




Fri Oct 23 2009 2:31PM Report
Trucidation writes:

Speaking as someone living in Asia and not having bothered with most of the "mainstream" MMOs (as defined by westerners), right off the bat I can tell you most MMOs are crap. A few nifty features here and there, sure.  But as a whole most games don't really "innovate".

To address the points you raised:

1. I never look at player count. Popularity count has always been a stupid yardstick IMO. I don't know what the deal is with you westerners, if a game hasn't got at least X players then it sucks -- well, sucks to be you guys, but I play a game because I want to find out what it's about, not how popular it is with the "omg me too stupid to think, me just follow herd" crowd.

2. I want to sort of agree with you here since I've seen lots of neat games with nifty features, but as a whole they tend to follow stereotypes as well. Game X might sport interesting implementation of feature Y, but as a whole game X still fits neatly into pigeonhole Z. There aren't really many games which make you go "wow, where did that last half day go?" because it did so many things right. Plenty of games do a FEW things right, but fumble on so many more.

3. lol EQ? I played since MUDs on dialup. But that doesn't matter. Smaller communities tend to be closer knit. That can go either way, though. The general populace tends to be crap in most MMOs. You usually need to join some sort of smaller social grouping (i.e. a guild) if you're looking beyond "PARTY PLZ" and "HEAL ME" conversations.

4. Here I agree with you. I don't understand this crazy thinking. People were the same greedy assholes way back in text-based MUDs just as they are in MMOs now. Always have been, always will be. It's up to the devs to create environments that encourage FRIENDLY interaction. There's a reason Atlantica Online makes it easy to help people (because it rewards you, duh), versus most games which are basically gankfests in the end (no content + bored players = disaster).

5. I don't know why western gamers (read: stupid white 8 yr olds) hate microtransactions. If you grow the fuck up and get a job, you'll understand something about economics. And as a guy running a business, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy something from you. A 2-click $1 online purchase is definitely more accessible than signing up for a $15 monthly subscription.

As a player, of course I can see that there are some drawbacks (daddy's credit card syndrome), but it's not like I don't understand WHY companies go for microtransactions. It's just a fact of life, business life to be precise. As a player I don't really care, in fact I welcome it, because it doesn't tie me to some arbitrary "oh shit, I paid $15 this month, i better play my money's worth". It's more like "that thing looks cool, i think it might be worth getting".

Yes, I'm aware of gold spammers and money scammers. But they aren't non-existent in subscription based games either, are they?

Of course some pricks are gonna spend $$$ and immediately blow past you even though you've been playing a hell of a longer time than them. But if the game doesn't totally suck and has been designed correctly, this shouldn't be a problem. It's just that the history of cash shops is littered with stupid things that unbalance the game. I don't mind companies selling fashion sets for players to show off - because those don't affect gameplay. What I do mind is games which create a gap between the haves and have nots.

Oh, there'll always be some gap, I'm talking about not making it stupid simple to screw that gap. Like selling items that make you deal 20x more damage than players who don't buy them. That's a balance problem, not a microtransactions problem. People have to learn to fucking make the distinction. Just because companies have traditionally fucked things up by selling stuff they shouldn't be selling, doesn't mean that they WAY they're selling the stuff is wrong.

Fri Oct 23 2009 4:00PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 I will sort-of agree that if you took, for example, all the MMO's in all the world and compared them, then you would come with more duds than winners, probably. Again, though, we are talking about opinions and nothing that we can measure.

 Still, my other points still stand: there are more good MMO's now, especially in NA< than every before. And I thank you for your points on the "other" games outside of this market. I play mostly F2P games, but currently have 7o MMO's between my two PC's. If it is playable, I have played it. And while one MMO might not have all the innovations from all the MMO's, no one song has all the innovations that one genre should have, either. And MMO's are as cheap as songs, if not CHEAPER, in most cases (f2p's are more numerous than pay-to-plays.)

 Thanks for the comments! :)




Fri Oct 23 2009 4:24PM Report
beauturkey writes:

PS: I wont get into a "balance" debate either, since I believe it is not possible or desirable. I'll save that for another blog. lol



Fri Oct 23 2009 4:26PM Report
DeDroa writes:

Wow, you really put that into perspective. I guess it really doesn't matter how many flamers are out there, because everyone else is having a good time.

Fri Oct 23 2009 4:44PM Report
daltanious writes:

Mainly I agree. I have no doubt micro transactions ruin any game. "Hey, I have a lot of money so I will but a lot of life potions and I will rock!" However I would strongly distinguish between wow payed character transfer and Rappelz (to name one) buy potions or special cards. In wow NOTHING I pay extra will influence GAMEPLAY

Sat Oct 24 2009 3:32AM Report
daltanious writes:

hmm ... clicked by mistake on save .... continuation below ....


... while in Rappelz was like night and day difference. And I also strongly disagree with Trucidation's 5. - the problem is that at the end of month I have discovered that i did 30(!) clicks for 1$ to playing pure crap of game ... while later I have payed ONLY up to 15$ for playing very good wow, aoc, lotro, war .... game. This is the reason I always say there is NOTHING FREE in life! There is always price to pay, sooner or later. Usually that later is more expensive.

O, yes, fyi ... im stupid white 46 years old and money is not problem for me so sometimes I had concurent 3 subs to GOOD payed games because I wanted to compare. That micro transactions have nothing to do with money. 

Sat Oct 24 2009 3:37AM Report
daltanious writes:

Btw ... forgot to add as I know a loooot from my friends with small kids (being in computer industry I have a lot of exprience regarding this)..... GW, Rappelz, ... to name few from F2P world ... are mainly played (imo) by kids because PARENTS do not want to pay monthly fee, they are afraid to use credit card on internet, .... etc etc .... And they of course even do not use micro transactions.

For me for at least 2 past years main guideline to try any MMO out there has become "if it is F2P I will not play".

Sat Oct 24 2009 3:42AM Report
beauturkey writes:

  Being able to choose what realm your character can move to, buying extra character slots or buying extra accounts actually effects game-play as much, if not more, than an XP pot. 

 First of all, there is no rule that says that leveling is the only way to play a game, or is the only goal of a game. There are many goals, and many players view extra storage just as important as anything. Having an alt to dual (or triple, or quadruple, all that players have done) gives you a REAL advantage in game. You mean to tell me that a guy that can control 3 or 4 actual in game characters at one time has no "advantage" in game equivalent to an XP pot?

 Secondly, there are so many games you would need to define "advantage" per each game. In most games, if I level faster than you there is no advantage. 

 What is the advantage? I get to loot faster than you? Loot is endless.

 I get to the titles faster than you? Titles are endless. 

 I get to a high level faster than you? High levels are endless.

 Even in PVP, the playing field is the same: players can "buy" some advantages, but we all know that in most cases PvP is determined by the player that knows his character/what buttons to push, and not by the one that has no idea what he is doing. 




Sat Oct 24 2009 8:09AM Report writes:
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