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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Did Ruin MMOGs for You?

Posted by MikeB Friday October 2 2009 at 11:45AM
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This week I’ve discovered an interesting topic currently being discussed on our General Discussion forums. The thread I’m thinking of is called “Did ruin MMOs for you?” and was posted by the user Ozreth. In the original post, Ozreth discusses the difference in the way he views MMOGs and the genre now that he has been a longtime member on our site, and he wonders if all our in-depth coverage and the sometimes overwhelming amount of information on our forums has essentially ruined MMOGs for him. He says, “I sometimes feel like the discovery of this web site is what began my downward spiral of MMO gaming. Not only did it open my eyes up to so many new games that I tried them all and felt stale afterwards, but reading all of the stupid critiques about games makes me actually notice and be annoyed by the smallest things in game that I probably never would have noticed before.”

Oddly enough, I entirely understand Ozreth’s plight. I’ve been a gamer all my life, but I only got into MMOGs in my mid teens, starting out with the much maligned Star Wars Galaxies. I didn’t visit forums then, or really have many expectations for the game. I was just a huge Star Wars fan and finally the “right game” came along to get me to take the dive so to speak. When I first played Star Wars Galaxies, it was a total mess, but I really didn’t pay attention to it because I was still having so much fun, oblivious to the common issues the game exhibited, issues that seasoned MMOG veterans had  experienced in many games before it. Eventually, I did get onto the game’s forums and read about the overwhelming amount of issues the game had. Having read all these things, it became incredibly hard to not notice them now. Eventually, I sought them out, and fortunately for my job I have a good eye for them, but unfortunately I’ve also lost my “innocence” as Ozreth so aptly describes it.

Spending time on forums, especially forums like ours where we have such a passionate community can be both extremely informing and also incredibly deflating. So, I suppose the question I would ask Ozreth would be– is it worth it? I would say yes, and a simple reply by user windsoul44 illuminates why,” MMO sites have saved me countless amounts of $$$.” Also, an Nizur makes an interesting point, adding, “ has helped me more easily research and weed out some games. It's also introduced me to some games I had never heard of before. Forums always attract trolls, haters, fanboys and more, but the extra information available here outweighs the junk.”

Zaxxon 23 says, “most mmos today are mostly copies of each other with subtle differences.” And he would be right on the money. The fact of the matter is, the MMOG genre is high risk, and so the genre is saturated with a lot of derivative dreck that doesn’t really do much differently. The coverage here at, and the passionate community that we try to cultivate here can really help inform fans of the genre in order to help separate the wheat from the chaff.

I know it might sound like were tooting our own horn here, and in some ways we are. But I genuinely believe that PC gaming, and more specifically MMOGs, are definitely a genre where being more informed can save you a lot of headaches. However, there is something to be said about that “innocence” that Ozreth describes, as being an informed consumer can be a double-edged sword. As qazyman says, “Ignorance is bliss aye.” Sometimes, I would have to agree.

Editor's Note: This is an edition of a weekly column by Community Manager Michael Bitton. Each week, Bitton takes to our message boards and examines a specific topic raised by our community. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of, its staff or management.

ic0n67 writes:

There is not a single MMO that I was discouraged from trying by reading something that the users have posted.

If I was on the fence about the game there was a reason I was on the fence about it to begin with. It is human nature to find opinions that match their values even if they don't have a conscious opinion on the subject. It is a good thing when you are on the fence about something that you find someone who will talk you out of it just because your experience in an game (or anything really) that you were iffy about and had a bad time is far worse of a thing than if you were iffy and turned away when you really could have had a good time.

Personally: Right now I am on the fence about Champions Online. I'd like to give it a shot, but if I do and I end up not liking it then I have lost time and money on something that isn't good. On the flip side if I walk away and not give it a shot I am no better off then I started. Yes I could give it a shot and end up loving it, but there are many other sure things that can fill that void making it so there is really not worth the gamble.

I have played Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft, Everquest 2, The Matrix Online (... yeah ...), Warhammer Online, Dungeons and Dragon Online, Perfect World, and probably others that I can't remember. Not any one of them I would have been talked out of trying by anything that was said on these forums; although three of them I'd love to be able to return, but I gave them a chance and I did it on my terms ... that cost me $120 ...

No one person should base their opinion on what they read on these -- or any -- forums. If they have interest talk to someone who likes the game and/or try a demo. There is a lot of negativity on these forums because something isn't precisely how one person would want it and they attack the game that in their opinion is 99% perfect. Any game that is in production should not be getting negative hype from people unless there is a serious problem and you won't know that they is a serious problem until a beta comes out. All this speculation is very disheartening and I avoid this site a lot anymore because on it. But hey you give a person a soapbox and the a false sense that their opinion matters and it is what you get.

Fri Oct 02 2009 1:26PM Report
Terranah writes:

Blame the messenger? 


Critiques follow one of two paths, or a combination of the two.  One, blame the game.  Two, blame the players.  One path is constructive, the other is just useless grumbling that achieves nothing.


Here's a thought.  You can't change people, but you can change a game.  So if there is dissatisfaction it would be easier to change a game.  Now, have mmo's changed since they first began.  Yup.  Has the mmo audience changed?  Also yes, but as I stated it's easier to change a game.  Perhaps mmo's have not changed for the best?  Maybe make the games that gamers are clamoring for instead of the same game over and over with a different skin.


SWG is a good analogy.  It was transformed into something the majority of SWG players didn't want.  They changed the game.  People didn't like the change.  Now did the mass of players change their likes/dislikes and expectations of the game and continue playing.  No, they voted with their money.  As long as game companies refuse to listen to gamers they will fail, because at the end of the day it's a service industry and people vote with their money.






Fri Oct 02 2009 2:25PM Report
Terranah writes:

What the hell, this program doesnt know what an apostrophe is?  LOL

Fri Oct 02 2009 2:27PM Report
Guintu writes: didn't ruin any MMO for me, most current MMO's do that very well on their own.  I'm still looking for that MMO that doesn't bore me to death.  I'm hoping Star Wars: The Old Republic, STO, Stargate Universe Online, or APB can do this.

Fri Oct 02 2009 2:34PM Report
kobietruman writes:

i find a great resource

without it i would never have discovered Saga of Ryzom - probably the greatest pleasure i've had playing an MMO

and who doesn't love playing the forums :)

of course some take the forums here much to seriously but for the most part i've read and participated in some great discussions

Fri Oct 02 2009 2:42PM Report
Ozmodan writes:

Like any forum, you always have advocates and detractors when discussing any of these games.  They both have their points, it is up to you decide if it applies to what you like and dislike. 

I really don't grasp how reading a forum can ruin a game for you.  It can sway or discourage you from playing it yes, but I would not classify the information as ruining it. 

I know for a fact that this forum has saved me many dollars on games that I was initially interested in and after reading comments on the forum, thankfully avoided them.

Lately I was very interested in Aion, but from comments on this forum it was an easy decision to avoid it.  It is just not my type of game with issues that would inhibit my fun.

Fri Oct 02 2009 2:49PM Report
dj-wedge writes:

I don't believe the problem (if you choose to categorize it as such) is with the site in general but with the forums. The opinions on the articles are generally good. The access to screenshots and updates specific to a game, awesome feature. Lots of good stuff here.  But forums in general are dangerous places to roam. And the opinionated gaming public does not disappoint.

Fri Oct 02 2009 3:08PM Report
tommh writes:

 As people develop their knowledge in an area some of them will start to become sophisticated.  Books, TV, movies, sports,  or games are all the same in that respect.  This sophistication will reach different people at different times but the trend is there. Commentators and critics HAVE to have this knowledge and generally its this that they are valued for. 

While this sophistication can be seen to have a cost, its not really a choice. Its a function of the kind of person you are.

One thing that critics and this site tend to do is to over value novelty and innovation. Its only natural for someone who's played a million MMOS to be sick of stock mechanics like level progression or clickables but many times these are standard for good reasons and players who aren't as Jaded won't have the same reaction.

This bias suits me fine by the way, as I'm as jaded as they come.



Fri Oct 02 2009 3:29PM Report
perkoli writes:

 Well, i think that innocence have been lost in many things thanks to the internet and forums (more especifically), but i found it more positive than negative, because the informantion you get previous to test the game is very important to know basic mechanics of gameplay and in the end there is no perfect MMO (and never will be) its all about what you like and what you dont, so we will always be playing that an amount of people flame about and hate a lot.

I give an example of this Vanguard which i think its a very complete and fun game but since its launch have been destroyed by people who hasnt played it and some havent even tested it.

Fri Oct 02 2009 3:31PM Report
shava writes:

I have to say that this site has discouraged me more about gamers than about games.

Fri Oct 02 2009 3:49PM Report
HeliosXII writes:

While didn't "ruin" MMOGs for me, it certainly made me hate my fellow gamers more. There's so much childishness and negativity on here, it's really pathetic. It's like you have to be a troll and hate every MMOG out there before you're allowed to bloody post on the forums. Meh.

Fri Oct 02 2009 3:51PM Report
cwRiis writes:

I think it's a silly topic.  Information is available.  If you find having the information detracts from the experience, then don't access the information and restore your own sense of mystery and discovery.

MMOs are communities.  Communities are made up of individuals.  Put them together and you get drama.  If you can't sometimes handle the drama of the forums, then take a break from the forums.

And finally, for every negative, there's a lot of positives.  Celebrate the availability of the services which you can choose not to use if it doesn't meet your needs.

Fri Oct 02 2009 4:10PM Report
NovaKayne writes:

MMORPG and the community have given me insight into games but, never would I say it ruined a game for me. 

THere are the obvious trolls and those who feel that since they do not like a game NO ONE should like the game.  I have always felt that games were more about the individuals taste and what they liked to do.

I like to see the various POV on games that is given from  I like the polls and hype meters on games.  I have found some really interesting games from thi site that I believe I would never have known about had the site not been here.

Fri Oct 02 2009 4:20PM Report
wahala99 writes:

I have definately tried fewer games since starting to read  And I think I have learned to read between the lines a bit and avoid being overly influenced by the hype,  Before mmorpg Iollowed every word written about WAR (was hapily playing ... well fairly happily playing WoW).  The hype made me excidedly pre buy the game and get into the open beta and headstart programs, and I played for several months .... till most of the peeps I had started with left ... so I went back to WoW.  Since then I have only tried games with free trials ans so far am still playing wow.  I think I am a bit spoiled.

Fri Oct 02 2009 5:00PM Report
eburn writes:

Actually, being 28, this is inevitable to happen to anyone in ANYTHING!  Honestly I get this way with comic books, books, school, work, new occupation. So on and so forth.

I think the dilemma is game companies aren't coming to and researching what annoys us.

Fri Oct 02 2009 5:53PM Report
luciusETRUR writes:

Eburn.. the problem with forums is not everyone goes to them, so "researching" what annoys everyone is a little more complex.

Fri Oct 02 2009 6:43PM Report
eburn writes:

You know tho'. It's their job to make a game that will get people to play. If some zit faced kid can clean up diarrhea in McDonald's for 7 bucks an hour, some nerd can do some research. No matter how difficult it might be.
These sorts of sites are very robust fields of data for developers and while I'm never a subscriber of the philosophy 'try and make everyone helpful' you can at least see what's redundant and avoid it.

Fri Oct 02 2009 7:10PM Report
JDexter writes:

Nah, IGN ruined MMOs for me many years back. ;)


I like the coverage here on I come here for news and stories about MMOs, I take things like the polls or the way MMOs are rated by the playerbase, but really, no one can do much better (if at all). I do try to not use the forums much, but that's not this site's fault, it's like that on every gaming site and official forum.


I make up my own mind about MMOs, and this place just gives me the info I need to decide if the game's playstle will warrant a look at it from me. I mean a game with hardcore PvP would not be a game I'd ever play, but telling me that is helpful.


Keep it up!

Fri Oct 02 2009 9:54PM Report
krsna27 writes:

This site provides users somments on the games and ratings which I use to select games to play. Also the games in development and general news is also good to read.  


Sat Oct 03 2009 2:32AM Report
Fail writes:

Well for me its like I spend less time with one game since Ive been reading Being informed about all these games that are coming our way, that are supposed to be way better (they say ;)) makes me move on to other games, waiting for the holy grail of mmorpgs, which will actually never come. 

Sat Oct 03 2009 6:30AM Report
nate1980 writes:

My first MMO was DAoC, which I picked up in 2002. I found MMO's when searching for a computer game to play. My choice was EQ or DAoC, when I realized by reading boxes that you could play with other people. DAoC had the more interesting description on the box, so I bought that one. I occasionally hear EQ brought up in DAoC during the years I played it, but not usually. I played DAoC from 2002-2005 off and on due to deployment with the Marine Corps before I even learned what genre I was playing in or that there were more games like the one I was playing. The last year I played DAoC, I started hearing a lot about WoW and people would bash the crap out of it, but in a more mature way. The community as a whole was light years more cohesive and mature than they are today. I heard about SWG's Total Experience while at GameStop one day, and I pre-ordered it. While researching SWG, I found; this was in 2005. I didn't get involved with this website really until after the grind for Jedi got to me. I went back to DAoC for the Classic Servers, but the game was never the same after I tried SWG. Since then, I've tried every game on the list that was P2P on this website, and have read so many reviews and what not, that I agree that this website has done more harm than good for me. I stuck with DAoC due to ignorance of the genre, but that ignorance didn't mean I wasn't having fun. Now with so many games to play and releases per year or every two years, there's no reason to stick with one game for more than a few months anymore, compared to a few years before. I'm learning to avoid the forums for games I want to play or that I am playing. That way I avoid the hype and criticisms the game gets, so I can judge the game and learn about it myself the old fashioned way. Only once I try a game and decide it's not for me do I come on the forums to talk about it, so those who do read the forums can get my two cents. If this website didn't have forums, it'd be a lot better. The reviews, news coverage, and previews of games are a benefit to consumers, but the forums have made this website a joke and ruins MMO's for those reading them.

Sat Oct 03 2009 11:30AM Report
Inktomi writes: actually enhanced my knowledge and experience of mmorpgs. The fact that their is a list of games with a filter enables me to look for any mmo I want to try, if it's free and what type is it. always keeps me up to date on all the latest developments. Many news articles, first impressions and reviews help me make some of my judgments as a consumer.

I also had a chance to meet like (a few) like minded people in the community and has helped me broaden my horizons both in and out of game. Through the eyes of other players I get a chance a vicarious experience that might save me money. And I also make footnotes on what games I would like to try in the future.

I have played quite a few games during as a member of It has a wealth of information even though I have to weed through some trash once in a while, overall it has been positive. has it's flaws, as anything in life does, but without it I would resort to a costly process of trial and error.

And it's free. 

Kudos 2 U

Sat Oct 03 2009 1:32PM Report
vaylgar writes:

You know I have been a MMO gamer since the beat of Ultima Online where even before MMOs i used to Beta test for Origin and Raven Software I used to skin for games like Heretic 2 and Quake 2. I have been havingt this problem ever since everquest 2 came out , and I never reallt thought about it , but that was when I started reading forums and bug reports and about payers cheating useing gold expliots , monster kill expliots ect ect ect and I have not been able to stay in a MMORPG or any other MMO for getting "Stale" I never linked it to that, but I have to say you put this in words I have never been able to exactly convey to myself as to why I cant keep my fun going in a game anymore. I have played in my time MMO wise the following:

  • Ultima online 10 years  (on and off) quit when Richard garret and his team were basicily put out of Origin and Ultima online 2 was crapped right before beta started. 
  • Shadowbane from beta test,
  • AC1,
  • AC2 ,
  • EQ (5 years orginal EQ was the best! besides ultima online in its day),
  • Eq 2 (sony ruined this game IMO),
  • Age of Conan,
  • Star Wars Galaxies,
  • DAOC, 
  • DDO Stormreach (I am back in this game again becuase I have played AD&D since 1978 and I still love the game and now its Free to play and you can buy your modules just like in PNP AD&D so i am back here for now.
  • RYL 1
  • RYL2
  • Horizions
  • Eudeamons online (Korean games just dont do it for me but ill list these anyhow)
  • KAL online
  • Cabal online
  • Maple story
  • Pirates of the Carabian online
  • Pirates of the burning sea
  • Runes of Magic
  • SAGA online (log in every now and then cause i spent over 300 dollars on cards)
  • Magic the Gathering (still play this every now and then cause i have several thousand cards i need to get rid of )
  • PLay Wizard 101 (kids game)
  • WoW (I didnt like it or a lot of the rude kids who played it)
  • Combat arms (too many hackers)
  • Sudden attack (all hackers)
  • Wolf team (VIP hackers only but still sucks)
  • Crossfire (everyone hacks )
  • Chronicles of Spellborn (couldnt get into the game)
  • Dungeon runners (boring)

I am going to stop there cause i think i got my point across there are a bunch more i cant even remember over the years I played that I got stale with immediatley .

I am sorry I didnt stop to change some of my spelling but I think you explained it so perfectly beyond what i could put into words with my feelings. 
I wish they would come out with a game that NO information would be released on so we could explore the game instead of reading about it before hand.

I understand they need marketing but there is a way to do that without letting the cat out of the bag.

Sat Oct 03 2009 3:57PM Report
vaylgar writes:

I should amend the above with this statement

I dont think these types of sites RUIN the games totaly but I do think the information should be controlled more.

I love sites like this for learning about new games coming out but i dont want know everything so when i start the game there is no discovery for me or exploration.
I am a old fashion dungeon crawler and I love to explore and die from walking into traps and learning the game myself.

Sat Oct 03 2009 4:02PM Report
sbob writes:

one thing to think of as well is the 'crirical' review site is nothing new. Have movie/book/play reviews also ruined those as well? For the more astute readers reviews and such should be at most a guide not your final source. Of went by some of the reviews some sites gave to movies might miss that one you can enjoy. A review site to me is just another resource that I use to make my own take on something. They have as much value as you put into them.


Sun Oct 04 2009 12:52AM Report
Jamkull writes:

 good article, the main thing for me is to simply weigh the good with the bad.  And you have to try and ignore some negative information because there is not one single MMO that is going to please everyone.  And there are some people in the world that will never be pleased by anything, and they are very negative by nature.  So you have to take all information on message boards with a grain of salt.  simple look at what all are saying and find that happy medium, because the truth is always somewhere in the middle.  But nonetheless, if you feel a certain game is fun and you enjoy it, then stick with it and try your best to ignore those bad rumors that others have to say.  Thus it makes you sort of a fanboy in a way.  But if that's what it takes to stick to what is good for you then do so.

And I agree with what sbob said...

Sun Oct 04 2009 1:33AM Report
Limitations writes:

No. I wouldn't say ruined mmorpgs for people. People who talk trash about games ruin the game for people.  I think one time or another every trashes a game without knowing it. People who take it too far ruin reps, and style.

Sun Oct 04 2009 4:39PM Report
maxtlion writes:

I don't believe that this site or any other objective information site ruins the games at all. What you have to bear in mind is that after even the best researched, most objective, impartial article is posted about a game, you then have to take with a pinch of salt the vast majority of subjective, emotional, abusive and biased comments on that article.

MMO players are like the mob of Rome - easily swayed one way or the other by blood (nice graphics) and carnage(whatever PVP system is used) - then just as easily repulsed when their own vision of MMO perfection (Nerf warriors etc) is not pandered to precisely.

It's a symptom of today's society that we are conditioned to want more and more, that we need to keep up with the next guy/girl. This sort of site gives you the best possible way of researching a game before trying - but ultimately the only way to get a complete picture of anything is to try it. If you get to a particular stage and find it's not for you, it is frustrating (I found the endgame raiding in WoW was a very disappointing "final stage"), but if you don't like it, don't play it.

There are other things to do ni this life except play games on computers/consoles. Heck, you might even enjoy them if you tried as well ;¬)

Yours objectively,

Mixing MMOs and Aussie Rules football for the last 5 years!

Mon Oct 05 2009 5:06AM Report
battleaxe writes:

I think the site is great.  I wish it had been around a few years earlier so it could have dissuaded me from trying some of the early stinkers.

Mon Oct 05 2009 11:23AM Report writes:
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