Well, it’s that time of year again, time to deck the halls, if you didn’t deck them as soon after Thanksgiving as your little hands could get the plastic Santa out of the attic, and wait for all the warm fuzzy feelings of the Christmas season to overwhelm you.
Forgive me if I’m feeling a little bit cynical this year, I normally let myself get caught up in and carried away with the fun and excitement of the season, but this year I’m finding it a little bit more difficult. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s been a busy year and exciting year, so Christmas just doesn’t feel that exciting or what it is, but this year I’m finding it hard to locate the magic.
With that said, I’ve been trying to get into the spirit and with that in mind, I wanted to dedicate my blog to the magic of Christmas and what, if I could harness all of those Christmas miracles and wishes and use them to my own MMO based ends, I would do.
So, let’s adhere to the golden rule of wishes: I get three. I assume the same rules apply for both Christmas and Genies:
I sincerely and wholeheartedly wish that we could all take a less negative spin on things. It honestly bothers me that we live in a world where we always assume the worst about people and scoff at the idea that there’s any honesty left out there in the face of the all mighty dollar.
I bring this up because I’ve noticed a couple of growing trends. The first is the assumption that all MMO companies and developers are evil, black hearted people who are literally sitting around trying to figure out how they can ruin your gaming experience while still pocketing your cash. Most recently, at least around here, that’s been the default assumption for many people. That makes Jon a sad panda.
What makes Jon an even bigger and sadder panda is that the same philosophy is applied to media. Why is it that whenever I write something negative about a game, people think it’s because their competitor advertises at our site and if I write something positive, this same people think it’s because they advertise on our site? Why is it the assumption that when I, or any of my colleagues express an opinion, that people assume that it’s bought and paid for?
While I’m not saying that some development companies aren’t in it for a quick buck, nor am I saying that there aren’t any dirty journalists out there (though not at this site). I just think that these should not be our default assumptions.
I wish game studios would be given the time that they need to actually complete a game. I mean, I don’t know for sure who’s at fault for this. It could be the publishers / investors demanding too fast a turn around for too little money, it could be studio heads estimating low on what they’ll need in order to complete the game as promised. It could be any number of smaller factors all aligning to much up the development schedule. I don’t know. The thing is though that I, and many others, are tired of games that aren’t launch complete when they launch. It’s hurting the industry, so whoever’s to blame, and you know who you are, I’m sure, please stop.
We all know that MMOs are works in development, even after launch. That’s one of the truly awesome things about these games. A game six months to a year down the road doesn’t need to be the same as the game at launch… it shouldn’t be.
There is, however, a difference between a game with room to grow, and a game that’s not done. When a game launches, it should be and feel like a complete product. The things that are added to it should actually add something, they shouldn’t finish something. Talking about features to your fans and then cutting them pre-launch is going to make the game feel incomplete so either make sure those features you’ve yacked about and juiced people up with are in the game, or do what more and more companies are doing these days and stop talking about a feature before the feature is in the game. I can’t miss something I didn’t expect to be there in the first place.
And no, before people start assuming I’m thinly veiled calling out Cryptic for their recent STO announcement, I’m not. If I wanted to complain about them specifically, I would. This isn’t the first time that something similar has happened, and we don’t know what the results are going to be. I’d rather point my icy gaze at games of the past that have done so and suffered for it.
World Peace – I figure I’m about as likely to get the first two as this last one, so I figured I’d shoot for the moon.