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All Posts by Tanemund

All Posts by Tanemund

4 Pages « 1 2 3 4 »
73 posts found

I didn't even have to open this article to know you'd be shilling for DAoC once again.  It wasn't anything about the game that made the game great.  It was the gamers that made it great.  I love how the fan boys always trot out, "If it was 'done right' it would be huge" yet "done right" inevitabley translates to "put in the mechanics I like and leave out the rest."


If they redid DAoC the way it was at launch, you'd HATE it.  It was origionally built for table top gamers who wanted an alternative to EQ.  To the first generation of DAoC players the game wasn't about RvR and if you were around during those times you'd know that.  It was about the journey.  The adventure to get to level 50 and that included RvR.  Then realm points came and the serpent entered the garden.  The gamers were the ones who abandon the realm system in favor of the eight man system, not the game. 


This touting of the three realm mechanic is a relatively new phenominon.  People used it to explain why they thought Warhammer was a "failure".  I think it's about time that this was place very high on the list of "games killed by the people who played it" and the game itself should be mercifully put down.  The two thousand people stlll playing will find something else to do with the money they spend on three monthly account fees.


And now I'll wait for you to shilll for DAoC again, however, you won't do it again for another five articles because you think that makes you appear to not be a fanboi.

Another DAoC 2 post?  Thinly disguised but immediately recognizable with the addition of "at least three factions". 




Nothing to see here.  Move along.

Originally posted by Morcotulcon

Originally posted by Tanemund
Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

there are a lot of threads on our forum, where people try to describe pretty precise, what features are leading into the wrong direction and what is expected for the future. this forum is not full of whiners and naysayers as you assume with your statement above.

do you expect, that we vote for their crap, just because they keep ignoring us otherwise? how weird is that?

PS: OK, Perpetuum is no crap. it just came very late, therefor pretty unknown and a niche game for the time being.


To me the Vote isn't the key.  It's the general negative tide that is constantly flowing here.  "None of the Above" is a vote for general throw your hands up frustration.  I'm not saying that kind of frustration isn't warranted.  I'm arguing that it's not constructive.  Think of the Devs as employees.  If all you do is give your employees negative feedback they get discouraged and eventually will move to some place that makes them feel they at least are appreciated. 


Perhaps this should have been a separate poll.  Something about overall satisfaction with the direction of the industry as opposed to having the option to say, "It all stunk" in a game of the year poll. 


The voice of this forum is only the voice of the 200 odd people who post here.  It is exrreme arrogance on our part to think we speak for the vast majority of gamers out there.  In truth people are playing these games and paying to play them, so they devs did something right for someone. 

I just don't think we should yeild to our frustrations is all.  It's too easy.

Although I partially agree with you, I think you have to consider that this IS a good fact too. If we see this poll have this results this year and the next year the "None of the above!" have much less people, than we can get a great conclusion to see if the years are going well or not. We just didn't had this choice before, but in the next few years we might have good conclusions about the success of the genre along the years and the satisfaction of the players. You have to remmember another thing too: most players have frustation about one game but they might end up liking another game, but this year there was no new game to considerably caught their attention.


Another thing: this site has 1,290,576 members, so at least 200,000 must post here (a little more than 10% I'd say)... multiply your "200 odd people" by 1000. =)

Edit: just got 2 more members while I was writing the post xD


Many members, but how many of them post?  Again many people read, but few post.  I didn't see a total number of votes cast in this poll.  I still think it's more than generous  to believe that many more than 200 people post here with any regularity.


The point is that even if we say, for the sake of argument, that 32% of the members of this site agree with "none of the above" that vote really says nothing except tell the devs that there are 32% of the people reading this site that just can't be pleased no matter what they put out.  Like I said, I've been as viriulent in my critisims of games this year as anyone else here, but I'm beginning to wonder if that isn't making me one of the people that the Devs simply dismiss as a perenial malcontent. 


No one is saying you don't have a right to be disappointed.  The question is how you handle yourself when you're disappointed.  Do you rant and rave and throw things or do you attempt to make the situation better.  The messaage is always clear to the person sending it, but the person receiving it might read it in an entirely different light.  We risk marginalizing our own opinions expressed here as nothing but the wailings of the Ghost of MMO past. 


None of that addresses the fact that putting "None of the Above" on this poll changed the nature of the discussion from, "Which of these was the best game put out in 2010" to " Who thinks 2010 was a crappy year for MMO releases?"  I object to that question being stealthed in by the Staff under the guise of Game of the Year.  The poll was not intellectually honest in it's question.  The question the poll really asked should have been asked in a separate poll, open and honestly instead of snuck in so that it can be used as some kind of negative referendum on the state of gaming in 2010. 


Everyone has the right to be disappointed.  The issue is if that disappointment will be used constructively or destrutively.  The Staff gave us the rope and we used it destructively and it seems that we're proud of it.


In the final analysis doesn't it bother you that our entire community opinion seems to have been reduced to, "It all sucks!"  That sounds like something you'd read on a  bumper sticker. I've always believed that if a person can view a bumper sticker and agree that it encapsulates their enitre world view then they're not very well thought out and probably not someone who has an opinion worth hearing.  We risk becoming that person if all we ever say is, "That sucks!" and this poll is just the latest and most graphic example of that general tide of opinion that is constantly present on this site.

Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

there are a lot of threads on our forum, where people try to describe pretty precise, what features are leading into the wrong direction and what is expected for the future. this forum is not full of whiners and naysayers as you assume with your statement above.

do you expect, that we vote for their crap, just because they keep ignoring us otherwise? how weird is that?

PS: OK, Perpetuum is no crap. it just came very late, therefor pretty unknown and a niche game for the time being.


To me the Vote isn't the key.  It's the general negative tide that is constantly flowing here.  "None of the Above" is a vote for general throw your hands up frustration.  I'm not saying that kind of frustration isn't warranted.  I'm arguing that it's not constructive.  Think of the Devs as employees.  If all you do is give your employees negative feedback they get discouraged and eventually will move to some place that makes them feel they at least are appreciated. 


Perhaps this should have been a separate poll.  Something about overall satisfaction with the direction of the industry as opposed to having the option to say, "It all stunk" in a game of the year poll. 


The voice of this forum is only the voice of the 200 odd people who post here.  It is exrreme arrogance on our part to think we speak for the vast majority of gamers out there.  In truth people are playing these games and paying to play them, so they devs did something right for someone. 

I just don't think we should yeild to our frustrations is all.  It's too easy.

P.S., Maybe the staff could help us a little by inviting the devs to a constructive discussion or two about their games.  I'm sure there are many people here that are willing to work with Devs in helping them understand what gamers like and what they'd like to see more of.  I think most Devs would like to hear from people who can have a civil discussion on the topic of the game and come at it from a constructive angle such as, "Do more of this" and "Emphasis more of that.".


This might lead us to more games we are happy with.

I'm not sure this result is something this particular gaming community should be proud of.  I think it shows a lack of discernment on our part as consumers.  I think it shows that as a group we simply gave up and rather than even try we declared all of 2010 a failure.  Millions of people around the world have found fun in the very games we've condenmed with a broad brush.  If anything this makes us look like a pack of emo nerds who dress in black and lament the fact that the world is totally worthless and against us. 


All the staff has done here is hold up the mirror and let us see our own faces.  Was I disappointed in some of those games?  Yes, however I did manage to find some fun in them all except for STO.  STO left me feeling duped, but that had more to do with Cryptic's marketing than the game itself.


If we could, as a group, concentrate our efforts on what areas of a game we like and explain why we like it, the gaming developers might get the message.  We've tried screaming about what we don't like for a decade and I think the development companies have finally become numb to it.  It's like kids.  If you yell at your kids all the time they eventually just don't hear it anymore.  We've carried on our war with devs so long they've probably begun to regard us as perpetual malcontents that will never be happy and therefore should be ignored.


To me this looks like nothing but the ultimate expression of frustration and the final step in marginalizing the opinion of the forum community here.  We've told the gaming companies that everything they put out stunk this year so why should they even care what our opinion is going forward?


I'm as guilty as the next guy in this, so try not to get your backs up too much at me.  Maybe our new year's resolution should be to start from a positive angle in 2011 and say, "We liked this mechanic or we liked that feature.  Could we get more of that and a little less of this?"  Constructive criticism can be resepcted.  A collective throwing all of our toys out of the pram will simply get us ignored.

It's too easy to vote for the whole year so I'm going with STO.  The magnitude of that flop is still being measured.  First off it was an iconic IP that people were literally begging for.  Then comes Cryptic cynically selling beta spots to people for the price of a lifetime subscription to their other dud Champions Online and then teling those people who bought lifetime subscriptions, "Oh, wait.  We didn't mean you'd get into STO beta".  Then there was the Klingon disaster and the game just imploded from there.  I'm convinced that the only reason it's still in existence today is Cryptic was so aggressive in selling long term subscriptions.


To me it reads like an epic MMO scam.  Crytic robbed a lot of people from Atari on down.  The other games on the list might have flopped but STO flopped and yet found a way to rob people.

I tend to be on the cynical side when it comes to my posts about MMO gaming.  I'll take a shot at any part or person in the industry when I thik it is called for.  I do it for various reasons at various times but in the end the result is a, shall we say, negative slant to my posting history on this and many other boards.


Well Saturday afternoon as I was cleaning up in the basement I came across a box full of old games I'd played.  On a lark I pulled the games out of the box one by one and I felt a smile coming over my face as I looked at each game.  That smile came on because I was recalling the cool stuff.


The first game I ever played online was Starfleet Command II:Empires at War and it's twin Starfleet Command:Orion Pirates.  It was there I cut my teeth on PvP combat and learned what it was to be a part of a group of gamers.  I was a member of the Klingon Empire then and through the wonders of voice comms (Roger Wilco anyone?) I got to meet, for the very first time, other gamers like myself.  I found out there were others like me and getting to be a part of a gaming community.  There I was Qi'Garth, the Dragon's Bastard and I did battle from my ship, the Foresaken, and Disruptor Bolts glittered blue in the dark.


The next game was Dark Age of Camelot, my first MMO, which I took up a couple of months after it's release in 2001.    I can't recall exactly.when I started, but I do recall my first night as I logged on and saw all those avatars running around this virtual world and t hinking, "Each one of those is being run by a real person!" and the seeing the number of people on each server nearing 3000 was amazing to me.  In DAoC I got to do all those things I'd done playing Dungeons and Dragons on pencil and paper.  I ran through dungeons, faced monsters, collected coin and experienced a world full of people.  In DAoC I got to go exploring and adventuring and I got to do that in places I'd only read about before.  It was like someone had read my mind and stuck a sword in my hand and said, "have at it!"  I found out there were even more people like me.  There I was Aiogath "Sockfoot" Cleavenhardt, the broke hearted champion of the realm of Hibernia and later I would be Dirgyth Grymfrost, the one eyed and jocular dwarf berserker of the realm of Midgard.


The next game was City of Heroes which I tried upon it's release .  In City of Heroes I leaped tall buidlings in a single bound and fought hordes of bad guys bent on world domination.  I spent hours designing a costume and a back story for one of my all time favorite characters.  It didn't matter that the game was totally devoid of loot or PvP at the beginning.  I was in it for the show and what a show it was.  In City of Heroes I was Nox Noctivagus a lycanthrope and slave to his mistress, Cimarron.


The next game was World of Warcraft.  There I found there were not just thousands, but millions of like minded people in the world.  All of us were searching for a little adventure in a place different from our real world lives.  A little escapism in a huge world full of stuff no one had ever seen, but had read about. 


And there were others.


City of Villains where I brought the stalker Madame Cauchemar to life.


Lord of the Rings Online where I made a spectific point to take my little hobbit, Curly, to the House of Tom Bombidill.


Pirates of the Burning Sea where Nathan "Sockfoot" Ravenhart the pirate sailed the Caribbean chanting, "T'is a short ane merry life we lead, lads!"


Warhammer on line where Guthrum Bloodfrost the Chosen stalked the realm of Chaos.


Which brings me to the cool stuff.  Each avatar I breathed life into took me to places and did things that I'd never have done in real life.  Through them I got to see and do things I'd only dreamed of.  Each avatar introduced me to real life people I'd never have met but for them and their in game counterparts.  Some of those people I have lost contact with as I've moved from game to game, but I hope that sometimes when they look back on their gaming past they smile and remember having fun with my avatar in their game of choice.  I hope I've played some small role in one of the pleasant memories of cool stuff they did in those games and I hope those memory makes them smile as I did this Saturday afternoon.


Do you remember the cool stuff?  What was the most fun you had with a random stranger in game, whether it became a life long friendship  or simply a single dungeon crawl or night of farming?  Tell us a story that makes you smile to this day.

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming everywhere.
So prepare, say a prayer,
Send the word, send the word to beware -
We'll be over, we're coming over,
And we won't come back till it's over, over there.
            In World War I thousands of U.S. “Doughboys” crossed the sea and fought in the trenches, on the sea and in the air of Europe.  Singing songs like “Over There” and chanting “Lafayette we are here!” they disembarked from the troop transports that brought them to France and helped end the bloody stalemate that the war had become. Thanks to the Doughboys World War I ended on eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.  That day became known as Armistice Day in the United States and yearly people celebrated the end of what was called The War to End All Wars. 
            To this day the only surviving World War I veteran, 109 year old Frank Buckles, the last of the nearly 5 million men who served in World War I, still lobbies the U.S. Congress for a national World War I memorial to be built in Washington D.C.
            Barely twenty years later World War II erupted and again the whole world went to war.  This time thousands of U.S. “G.I.s” crossed the oceans of the world and fought a war on two fronts to stop the dictatorial oppression that threatened to engulf the people on all continents.  Thanks to the G.I.s victory in Europe was achieved on May 8, 1945 followed shortly thereafter by victory in the Pacific on August 14, 1945.  In 1954 Armistice Day became Veterans Day to remember all the veterans who fought in both of the World Wars and those who fought in the previous wars the U.S. had entered.
            Today around two millions of the over sixteen million who served in World War II survive.  It is estimated that 850 of them die each day as the estimated median age for World War II veterans is 86 years old.  Many will die alone, their deeds forgotten and their heroism unacknowledged. 
            Since World War II millions of U.S. troops have answered the call and gone over the oceans to fight for the U.S. in places such as Korea, Viet Nam, Beirut, Lybia, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and countless other places we may never know about.  Most of those soldiers probably did not even know such places existed before they were deployed there, and yet they went without question and did the job.  Their efforts have helped bring peace and stability, not only to places where “peace” and “stability” are alien words, but to our own country and the world at large.  Some of them are home, and some of them are still out there on the front lines standing tall and strong and defending the U.S. from those who would see it destroyed.
            Today millions of those troops struggle daily to deal with the horrors of war.  From post traumatic stress disorder to cancer brought on by exposure to Agent Orange to Gulf War Syndrome to limbs lost to I.E.D.s these veterans bear the scars of war and daily have to ask for help that should be theirs by right and without question. 
            Because of the efforts of these soldiers, from the Dough Boys, to the G.I.s to those that stand on guard this very instant in the world today the sight of troops bearing the Red, White and Blue of Old Glory on their right shoulder is a powerful symbol that the forces of justice and peace have arrived to set things to rights.  Because of their efforts and vigilance billions of people, not just in this country but the world over, sleep secure in their beds.  And for that all they ask in return is that on this one day you remember them; those that fought in places most had never even heard of, so that the United States of America could survive and thrive in peace and security.
            On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in many places around the world people observe two minutes of silence in remembrance of the twenty million people who lost their lives in World War I.  At some point today take that much time to remember the millions that served the United States of America, saw it safely through dark times and passed it on to us today.

In Flanders Fields


Lt. Col. John McRea

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 


George McFly kicks Biff's arse again!

It sounds a bit like people are wishing for The Matrix where they can jack in and live another life.  The trouble with that is who would want to jack in and be a peon?


In a world without consequences there is no disincentive for someone to misbehave.  For example there is no moral pressure against killing in an MMO.  In fact there are no morals at all because there isn't social pressure to have any.  In real life if you want PvP you join the army or you get in a bar fight and end up in jail.  And you've got that perma death thing to deal with where you lose are your phat lootz!  In game you just shoot someone and they might be inconvenienced by having to go to the bindstone or lose some loot.  Champions of sandbox gaming inevitably get down to "Yeah, we could gank anyone and take their lootz!  Its awesome!"  Not exactly a great seller for people looking to escape life for a bit rather than enter into another on where they can get picked on with impunity.


That's the inherent problem with sandbox MMOs.  Anonymity and lack of social consequences mean people will sink to the lowest common denominator.  It takes a lot of effort and planning on the part of developers to present the players with a sandbox environment taht won't degenerate into complete anarchy.  The devs in sandbox game have to build in a sort of morality (consequences) for bad behavior into the game to make it more likely that people will buy into an online society rather than an online gankfest.  Its much easier and probably cheaper (from a design standpoint) to make a theme park and have everyone be a "hero" in the same story.

1. The game's still in beta!  No, actually it sucks in beta.


2. The game has only been out for ____ months!  No, actually it sucked in beta and its continued to suck.


3. Just wait 'til next patch!  Until then it sucks.


4. Send in a player feedback form if you want this addressed.  Oi.


5. Tell us what you want because that's the wonderful thing about MMOs!  We can add content as we go!  How about a GAME WE CAN PLAY!


6. I can't go out because I have to wash my hair.  :(

Talk about a conclusion you coul d see coming from a mile away. 


I didn't read all the replies and frankly I quit reading the article after part II because it became obvious where this was going.  It was a nostalgia piece through and through.  That's all.  Now it's come down to "Back when we were first gaming we walked to school, uphill, both ways and we were damn glad to get the beatings from the teacher because we knew it was for our own good!  You kids just don't get it!"


After money and in-laws you know what causes the most divorces in the world right now?  High School Reunions.  People go to them and get caught up in trying to relive the past and it messes up their present and future.    One thing about these boards, and internet message boards in general, that you can bank on is that the glass is ALWAYS half empty.  I'm as guilty as the next guy for jumping ugly on the latest and greatest.  Somehow that has become the indicator of an "intelligent and discerning" gamer and anything less is derided as rabid fanboi-ism.  It's become a knee jerk reaction to simply down something because it's new.  Maybe if we let the new games be what they're supposed to be instead of trying to shoe horn them into places where they don't fit, like our memories of the past, we'd find out that these new games are actually pretty good and there is a reason that they are sporting good subscription numbers and our old favorites are closed down or on life support.

Personally I'd like a little taste of something from World of Darkness.  A video, a screenshot, heck I'd even take a post card.  Just a little something to show that WoD isn't sitting on a desk somewhere still in the "ideas" phase.


It's rumored that they'll probably hold their tidbits for the Grand Mascarade, but PAX seems like a good place to give WoD fans a little tease.

Game mechanics are important but in the end it comes down to the players.


I played DAoC from release right up to the release of ToA.  I didn't quit because of ToA, but it didn't help what I felt was the core issue and that was the shift in community attitude from Realm v. Realm to more of a Player v. Player environment.


Dark Age game mechanics split the PvE and PvP arenas of the game.  The PvE areas of each realm were off limits to other realms.  However everyone knew that when they stepped through that boarder keep, even if they were only going to PvE (which you could do on the frontier) they ran the risk of encountering memebers of enemy realms who could kill them on sight.  So in one game you had PvE and full Kill on Sight PvP. 


The PvP and the PvE didn't intersect much.  A player's level gained in PvE impacted their performance in PVP.  Gear gained in PvE impacted PvP but the items gained in PvE were available to all through regular game play.  In that avatars of relatively similar rank had relatively similar gear and no one had a completely optimized avatar.  The game wasn't set up to do that.  The two sides of the coin existed co-equally and did not intersect in any way that wasn't within control of the individual player.  If you didn't feel like you were geared well enough or you weren't high enough rank, then you stayed in your realm and no one messed with you.  When you felt you were ready, you joined the party.  If you never wanted to PvP, you didn't go out into the frontiers.  If you wanted to PvP, you went out onto the frontiers any time you liked and you could even level out there if you liked your leveling flavored with the constant threat of being ganked.


Slowly the developers began to break down that wall between PvE and PvP.  First they introduced realm points, used to make a completed toon more powerful by giving them extra abilities.  Next came gear that was only obtainable in PvE that made a toon more powerful in PvP (Epic Armor).  Then came spell crafting and alchemy with the addition of Shrouded Isles loot and quests, all PvE materials, that allowed people to optimize their toons and make them even more powerful in PvP.


The final nail was ToA where the gear and abilities gained in PvE could make a toon into God Mode PvP.  With the right combination of abilities and gear a single group could get inside a keep and hold off an entire realm.  As a result of this PvP was elevated to the status of "end game" and PvE became something that had to be endured in order to get to the "end game".  Instead of the whole game being an adventure to be experienced it became a simple pathway to the frontier.  PvP moved from being something the community did together (Calls to Arms when the ______ inviaded your realm's frontier) to something that groups did and the realm was reduced to simply a set of abilities and powers available to the group.


The great secret to the game is always lost in the telling of it's legend.  The secret was that PvE and PvP were separate parts of the game that the players CHOSE to be involved with when it suited them.  It was the community that motivated people to participate in the RvR segment of the games by asking all able bodies to respond and help defend the realm's frontier keeps and relics. 


As soon as the walls between the two began to break down the playerbase began to favor one part of the game (RvR) over the other part (PvE).  One became the Holy Grail and the other became the Dirty Word.  No longer did people participate in RvR as a community.  They did it to gain individual awards and the game mechanics favored that approach.


So I agree with the OP that a game with PvP in it must have PvP in it's design from it's inception and it can't be stuck on later with duct tape.  However I think for most of the playing population there needs to be separation and choice along with community involvement in PvP.



The success of World of Warcraft proved this and this alone.  What an MMO needs to have large subscription numbers and therefore succeed is a large and rabid fan base that is already built in.  The Warcraft franchise and Blizzard had a huge playerbase already established before they put out World of Warcraft.  Blizzard and that playerbase had built up a lot of good will which Blizzard then carried over into the making of World of Warcraft.  That playerbase adopted and supported World of Warcraft.  There was an implicit bargain between Blizzard and that playerbase that went, "Put out a polished and playbel game that meets our expectations and we'll buy and support your game.  Blizzard kept up  it's part of the bargain by delivering a polished and playable product that fit that playerbase's expectations and then the playerbase kept it's part of the bargain by playing.

Bioware, if it can tap into the large and rabid KOTOR fanbase with SW:TOR, will produce a hit.  What do KOTOR fans expect?  Story told through NPCs and cut scenes as well as the ability to chose the avatar's destiny.  What's SW:TOR got that they're always touting?  Story told through NPC and cut scenes along with the ability to chose the avatar's destiny.  The only question is if iwill play with the loyal KOTOR following.  If Bioware can tap into that audience, they'll do well.  If that audience doesn't like it ... Warhammer.

My general sense is that traditional MMO fans will find this as unfulfilling as Warcraft.  Why?  It's not built to appeal to them.  It's built more for an RPG audience that already exists in large numbers and Bioware is trying to turn into monthly junkies.

It's not about hating on "Freedom of Choice".  It's hating on the recent trend of games to go to what was heretofor preceived as an "inferior" model.  People just don't like change.  They're used to MMOs being P2P and therefore any change in that model upsets them.

First off the F2P model does away with the "exclusivity" factor in MMOs.  Anyone with a computer can download and play an F2P.  It's very accessible and attracts a different crowd.  The general bias seems to be the crowd isn't "grown up" meaning since anyone can download it you get a lot of "kids" playing it.

Second the perception is that F2P changes the traditional MMO currency from "time" to "money", meaning that a player does not have to "earn" the uber sword of pwnZ0rz.  They can simply buy it from the item shop.  From the advent of games it has always been that "time in game" = knowlege, power and rewards.  To people who are used to trading the "currency" of time for in game items the F2P paradigm is offensive because we gamers have been told that  the "right" way to achieve in games is to spend time in game and have probably adjusted their lives and playstyles to fit into this paradigm.  Therefore anything that threatens the P2P model threatens the established order of things and therefore is "bad" to the people who adjusted to the P2P paradigm.  Query whether it is more offensive to get "pwned" by a person who can spend 12 hours a day on line or a guy who can plunk down his Visa with impunity.

Also lets face it.  No one likes the idea that the guy who is getting all the benefits in real life, such as having a great job and great credit, can use that great job and great credit to get ahead in the fantasy world as well.

Finally there isn't a clear understanding of what the F2P model really is.  It's evolved in a relatively short time, but people are still viewing it through the initial experiences.  True some games allowed players to simply buy the best stuff, but those games struggle just like games that require someone to spend huge blocks of time in the game.  In the end it becomes too exclusive. 

Then in the best of the F2P games the items shop is used to sell vanity items and "shortcut" type items like "The potion of 4 hours of double XP!".  Also they sell certain "content" such as DDO and if you don't pay then you can't play that area.  They allow players to still acquire items using the currency of  time, but they also allow people to use their credit cards to "keep up" or "get ahead" in areas that the people spending time will eventually get to as well.

This taps into the persistent and mostly apocraphal belief that it is patently unfair that some nOOb who doesn't play as much as me can log into the game, spend a few bucks and wipe the virtual floor with me.  The idea that "better gear trumps skill" is highly offensive to everyone because we all believe we're terribly uber, especially in the fantasy world of MMOs.  This complaint is rampant in every game, even P2P games as someone who spends 12 hours a day in the game is "rewarded" with better gear and begins to kick ass, yet people deride their success by saying, "you have no life and no skill.  Fight me on even terms and my leet skillz will shine through."  This is just as offensive to people as getting mauled by someone who logged on 20 minutes ago and bought themselves the "Two handed sword of 'leet pwnZ0r" and proceeds to maul everyone who's been playing for weeks "learning their characters." 

Finally there is the gamer's perception that all MMOs should be about "competition" that prevails in the MMO community at the moment.  When people talk about "character advancement" what they really mean is the ability to kick other players around the virtual map either in PvP or in the "Phat Lewts" catagory.  It's no longer satisfactory to be part of a community and experience the game through and with that community.  Now it is about being at the top of the heap. 

Early MMOs were more like renaissance fairs online.  Thye communities were strong and the game was more a chat room with swords.  Sometime between then and now the idea of being the best became the prevailing attitude and the game became a vehicle not for socializing but for the gamer and the gamer's small group of friends to prove their leet skills.  Gone were the days of cooperation and so began the days of isolation.  Community was relegated to the purgatory of "General Chat" and even that has degraded.  It's amazing how few people log on and actually try and meet people anymore.  Pick Up Groups (PuGs) are now considered as something like an MMO root canal because, "People suck at the game."

Yet when I tried F2P games, what did I find?  People socializing and an actual community.  Why?  Dunno.  Maybe people didn't feel pressure to "achieve" since they weren't paying for the game.

Me, I don't give a hang.  I figure on a subscription game I'm going to plunk down 200 to 300 dollars per year.  Anything less than that is a bargain to me.  After all, nothing ventured ....

"Hardcore" to me has become a description of a playstyle as opposed to a description of a game.  A game may support the "hardcore" playstyle, but I'm not sure "hardcore" can describe a game itself as if you adopt my view then any game can be "hardcore".  "Hardcore" in my opinion has several aspects.  The simple answer is I have a tough time describing it, but I know it when I see it.  With that said I'll try to put some boundaries in there for a definiition.

First I recognize "hardcore" as doing that one aspect of a game to the exclusion of all else that does not advance you in that chosen aspect.  For example if you are a "hardcore" PvP player then you will ignore all aspects of the game that do not advance your goal of being ranked among the top PvP players in the game.  A hardcore PvP player will view PvE as at worst a waste of time or at best a way to obtain trinkets and gear that advance them in their PvP pursuits.

Second I recognize "harcore" as a belief that the game must "punish" those who fail to achieve the goals of the chosen aspect of the game.  It's much more sanguinary than "Oh, I got kicked to the bindstone."  "Harcore" means that victory can gain you something tangible and that loss costs something tangible.  I think everyone would agree that corpse looting is a "harcore" mechanic while a simple ghosted corpse run is on the other side of the scale.  Getting locked out of a PvE instance for a month if you die to the final boss would be considered "hardcore" whereas a simple "Go back to the start of the crawl" might be considered less so.

Third I recognize "hardcore" as a commitment to spend a disproportionately large portion of one's game time on that particular game mechanic.  A "hardcore" raider in WoW spends his or her game time on running the instances or preparing to run the instances.  "Nights off" are rare and it requires a personal commitment to endure the farming and preparation and be present for the raids.  The player's enjoyment of the game is derived from fulfilling the personal commitment.

Fourth there is an "exclusivity" or "elitism" element to "hardcore" that blends in with the commitment requirement of "hardcore".  No eveyrone can be in the club because if they are then the idea of "hardcore" breaks down.  It's not "hardcore" if everyone who logs on for 30 minutes a week can do it.  To be in the "Hardcore" playstyle club the player must show the commitment to that aspect of the game and may be derided for not putting in the commitment those that espouse the "hardcore" doctrine do.  Use of catch phrases like "L2P" and "noob" and "bads" and "zergers" and even the term "casuals" can be indicators of a "hardcore" playstyle.  "Hardcore" playstylists tend to wined up grouped together so long as it furthers their goal in the chosen mechanic.  Like any other game mechanic guilds or friends that do not further the goal of the individual player are quickly discarded in favor of others who's commitment matches those of the "hardcore" playstyle player.

Fifth there is a "study" aspect to "hardcore".  A "hardcore" playstyle requires not only the commitment in game, but a commitment outside of the game as well that is measured in study of game mechanics or whatever aspects of the gmae that someone intends to be "hardcore" in.  "Hardcore" inevitablely requires "Min/Maxiing" as any game mechanic that does not further the players goal in the chosen area must be either adjusted or discarded.  The player must have "the" spec and "the" gear etc necessary to be tops at that chosen aspect.

Finally there is a "Phyched Up/Burnt Out" cylce aspect.  Since hardcore requires high commitment, energy, time and sacrifice it inevitably leads to two things.  The newest members of the "hardcore" playstle club have the most energy, drive and highest commitment while those who have been at if for a while are subject to a "burnout" where they no longer wish to be "hardcore" anymore.  At this point there may be attempts to reconnect with old "non harcore" friends or reroles to new servers for a "fresh start".  After a time a player might return ot the "hardcore" playstyle, select another area to be "hardcore" in or simply reject the "hardcore" playstyle all together.

Within those parameters any game can be considered "hardcore" so long as it supports that kind of playstyle.

Every community has it's elitists, it's drama queens and it's asshats.  Being on an "RP" server isn't an innoculation against things which exist in the MMO community as a whole.  So I can't see calling out the RP community solely for what exists in the community as a whole.  That's not to say that the RPers don't have unique issues.

The greatest damage to RP comes from homoginization.  MMOs are generally built around combat and to participate in the content everyone has to be a fearless adventurer.  No one is allowed to be deathly and irrationally afraid of worms to the point where they can't participate in the content.  So everyone is a battle hardened warrior of some kind who always casts the right spell/buff/heal at the right time or they'd find themselves sitting around with nothing to do in game.  Not even role players are willing to put up with in game incompetence, be it real or feigned.  Try RPing a crafter for once.

Also you've got more jilted/unrequited lovers, wrongly accussed and wounded soul characters than you can shake a stick at in the role playing community.  Too many people seem to think that Role Playing is spewing a long tale of woe to everyone they meet.  Everyone is up to scheming for world domination or foiling some nefarious plot for world domination.  Murder, rape, kdnapping and death are every day occurances, sure, but they don't happen to the same people every single day of their lives.  But that's what you get in the RP world.  How about a nice RP session about eating your favorite breakfast or on how pretty the flowers are today?  Give the huge events a rest for a week.

Then there is the incessant plague of vampirism that blights the RP world.  I'm sure it's only gotten worse with the advent of Twilight.  Thanks to that particular series the Vampire has been toppled from the lofty perch of baddest mother to stalk the night down to angst ridden emo kids who fall in love with their food.  (Thank the gods the Wolfman is still out there tear assing around the woods at night killing the unwary, spiking babies off the ground and generally ruining everyone's sleep.)  But where ever you go on whatever server you're bound to run into the vampire (probably spelled VampYre) squad walking around IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!  Every other vampire should be required to fall on a stake and re roll as a tax collector or a dentist.  You know ... something thar really scares the bejebus out of everyone.

Then there is the group who gets into RP for the sake of trying to get some action.  You know cyb0rz.  The crew who runs around with their virtual fly unbuttoned.  Yet somehow this whole lascivious crew runs riot and no one gets pregnant or gets a social disease. 

Finally there are the emotional black holes who are into RP to deal with their own real life issues.  They suck everyone around them into their vortex of despair and moodiness.  The wounded butterfly crowd convinced that the world is responsible for their lot in life and instead of escaping it in game they bring it in game under the guise of role playing and use every dungeon crawl as a group therapy session.  A good rule of thumb is if your character is dealing with the same kind of angst you're dealing with in Real Life, delete the character and start over.  I know gaming is cheaper than therapy, but come on.

I'm sure there are a bunch I missed.  However before anyone gets to feeling at all superior remember that these types exist in all facets of the community and there is a good chance you've been in at least one of these catagories more than once and probably this week.

Things have evolved in the MMO world.  Some for the better and some for the worse.

First off I don't think it's right to blame WoW or any other game.  I think the root cause is that we players got caught up with the idea of "endgame".  Somewhere there was a shift from communtity and leveling being what the game was about to community and leveling being something that has to be endured to get to the endgame (raiding or PvP etc). I think the change happened when we players became obsessed with the rewards and the length of the leveling tredmill. 

Think of the leveling tredmill like a daily workout.  There are people in the world who love their workouts and build their days around them.  Then there are the rest of us who view the workout as something we must endure to get on to other things.  It's not my favorite part of the day and honestly I wish it was shorter.  Along come people who try and sell me workout machines and routines that they claim will give me the same work out in less time.  If I believe them, I might try it. 

If you don't view the leveling tredmill as fun, you want to spend as little time on it as possible.  That's just human nature and it isn't wrong.  It also turns the argument over who changed first, the Devs or the Players, into a kind of chicken vrs. egg argument. 

This is coupled to a persistent belief that a player must somehow be "rewarded" for every minute they spend in game.  By "rewarded" I mean everyone seems to think they should get some kind of pixellated feedback in the form of a pretty new shiny or an some kind of movement on a progress bar simply for showing up.  Thus the leveling tredmill is literally stuffed with carrots and cakes to keep the players moving along.

The truth of the matter is that we playes are responsible for our own good time.  If we subscribe to the theory that we have to blast through lower level content to get to something else the chances are that we will view the lower level content as more of a nuisance than anything else.  The other option is to learn to love the workout.  As with all life how a person games is a simple choice to stop and smell the roses a bit.  Devs are simply respondnig to market forces and if more players would chose to view all the content of a game as equal then Devs will respond. 

If you think about it the idea of an "endgame" is antithetical to an MMORPG.  MMORPGs are about persistent worlds to be explored and experienced and by definition that has no "end".  Actually it is us players that choose to value one part of a game more than another and refer to it as "the endgame". 

As I look back on my MMO career which is now nearly a decade long and spans more games than I care to admit to the best times I've had in any game were spent with other people, either strangers or friends, doing something that was pretty simple, repetative and probably silly.  They were times when we bent the game mechanics to our will and made the game fun for ourselves and it can happen in any game regardless of whether it is a "sandbox" or a "themepark".  It just took a little imagination.  In the end that is the key, isn't it.

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