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All Posts by Nifa

All Posts by Nifa

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Originally posted by GreenJelly
Originally posted by Disdena
Originally posted by GreenJelly

Clearly states in many area's that this person violated the terms of conduct, and this person violated a number of their rules.  Yet for the GM's to turn around and threaten a BAN on the one who reports the violation is absurd.  In addition, the comment made is extreme in nature.

See, that's the thing though. It does seem absurd that a GM, given the situation as you have described it, would respond in the way you have described. The more reasonable conclusion—by far—is not that there is a problem with LOTRO's policies or their enforcement, but rather that there is a problem with your description. I very much doubt that we are hearing the whole story.

OK...

This kid has some issue with me from some Kin that we left in good standing.  I really don't remember the Kid, but he has kept me on his hit list (He attempted to contact one of My Kin Leaders, etc)...

The Kid makes a remark in response to something I posted on GLFF (a user created channel everyone uses)...

I call the kid a (censored)... and was given a day suspension... I really didn't care much, I figured I did break the rules... But I also assumed that action was taken with his actions.

A few days later I mentioned something in GLFF, and here is this Kid back in my face with more comments...  I reported him to the GM's and was told that If I continued to "Abuse the Reporting System I would get banned".  I contacted his Kin leader, who again we left in good standing with, and he got kicked out of the kin.

His rage continues and the vulger comments increase.   More of the same, insults of me, insults of the kin I was in, insults of my wife... So after about a half an hour I send in another report.  Soon after I am talking to a GM and he is telling me that if I make another report we will be banned. 

Their was no time limit mentioned and the only reason/explination I got was that I "Abused The Reporting System"....  As far as I know, in 3 years I find that someone is harassing me in away that I can not simply type '/ignore' and I will be banned from the game.

I recorded the entire thing, and kept all records (including all tickets filed, all emails, etc) but I did loose abit of one conversation because the game crashed on me... Its about 4 pages long, and quite boring read (thats why I don't post it)

What it sounds like it boils down to, OP, is that you and the guy you got into a long-term pissing contest which finally came to blows publicly in GLFF and you stooped to the level of a "kid" and you want Turbine and the mmorpg community to condone your - admittedly wrong - actions so that you can feel justified about your one day suspension.

As a woman, I'm not offended by another player insulting you by calling your wife a blow up doll.  Why?  The player is implying (as others have already stated) that your wife is non-existent because you are incapable of maintaining a relationship with a real live human being - a state your admitted (or at least implied) continued guild-hopping seems to back up, as does the fact that you have engaged in a long term pissing contest with another player whom you classify as "a kid," whether the player is, in fact, a kid or not rather than simply adding the player to your ignore list and enjoying the game like any normal mature adult would do.

The fact that you attempted to portray the situation as one where only the other player was in the wrong until several people here called you on it only further lowers my opinion of your tactics and maturity level.  Hope you aren't on my server in LoTRO.  The fact is that you deliberately violated the TOS of the game in how you handled the situation in using a "censored" word directed at another player, deliberately skewed the situation in posting it here, and then repeatedly reported the player for a situation that you deliberately exacerbated.  Were I a GM at Turbine, I'd have also taken action against your account as well because what it looks like based on what you've said here is that you deliberately provoked and exacerbated the situation with the other player specifically so you could report him in the hope that a GM would take action against his account and in so doing, you got caught and are now pissed off about it.  Frankly, in my opinion, you got off easy and should learn your lesson.

 

edited for spelling

Originally posted by Ihmotepp

When will Muslims join the rest of the world in the 21st century, and embrace freedom of speech? If you have to force people to listen to your ideas, maybe your ideas aren't that good?

When will Christians join the rest of the world in the 21st century, and embrace freedom of speech? If you have to force people to listen to your ideas, maybe your ideas aren't that good?

When will Jews join the rest of the world in the 21st century, and embrace freedom of speech? If you have to force people to listen to your ideas, maybe your ideas aren't that good?

When will Republicans join the rest of the world in the 21st century, and embrace freedom of speech? If you have to force people to listen to your ideas, maybe your ideas aren't that good?

When will Democrats join the rest of the world in the 21st century, and embrace freedom of speech? If you have to force people to listen to your ideas, maybe your ideas aren't that good?

When will Governor Palin join the rest of the world in the 21st century, and embrace freedom of speech? If you have to force people to listen to your ideas, maybe your ideas aren't that good?

When will President Obama join the rest of the world in the 21st century, and embrace freedom of speech? If you have to force people to listen to your ideas, maybe your ideas aren't that good?

When will Tea Partiers join the rest of the world in the 21st century, and embrace freedom of speech? If you have to force people to listen to your ideas, maybe your ideas aren't that good?

 

One can literally insert the group of their choice and make the statement applicable.  In each case where I have inserted a new name, the statement applies:  Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Republicans, Democrats, The Palins, the White House, the Tea Party folks, people representing different races and nationalities (I chose to leave the various races out lest I start a flame war), straights, the LGBT comunity - all have gotten offended over silly, stupid, minor, idiotic things that have absolutely zero effect on them personally.  (Except in the case of gay marriage and adoption, which does affect the LGBT community directly and personally, but has absolutely no effect on me personally, nor does it affect any other straight adult.)

Allah, God, YHWH...can defend Himself.  If Prophet Mohammed is His chosen Prophet, I have no doubt that Allah will defend his honor - Pakistan does not need to do it for Him, nor does the Vatican or any other branch of any religion need to defend God or Christ or any Prophet or anything else associated with Deity.

 

But freedom of speech means just that: freedom of speech.  Not just for those ideas that we embrace and agree with, but also for those that we loathe and would fight and oppose with our dying breaths (something which our entire country, and especially our government - Congress and the President - seem to have forgotten).  Voltaire said two things along these lines that I wish someone had the good sense to still be teaching in our schools today:  "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so," and “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”  It seems to me that in this country, which was founded on the principles of both quotations, we have lost sight of those principles in the interest of promoting our own ideals, and, even more sadly, in the interest of promoting our own ideals as being "right."

I've seen several posters in this thread say the game is single-player with tacked on co-op.  I have two questions:  1- have any of those posters actually played the game?  2 - have any of those posters read or seen any of the interviews out of this year's E3 that clearly stated that the game is literally "built around group" play (as in, groups of 3-5 players)?  I've not played the game either, but that doesn't sound much like a single-payer game with a tacked-on co-op that you pay a sub for to me.  Before engaging in that popular sport of jumping to conclusions, at least do a little research.  Those interviews are all over dozens of sites besides this one like Kotaku, Joystiq, Kombo, and, of course, swtor.com.

 

The game has high expectations to live up to, but no, there's not a lot of solid information out about it.  Part of that has to do with the fact that BioWare won't talk about anything that isn't solidly implemented and written in stone - meaning, if they're not willing to guarantee that it will be in the game at launch, they're not going to talk about it.  While I can respect that to some extent, as it prevents some backlash after launch, it is irritating prior to launch, which is when we, as players, want that information so we can know whether or not we want to put a game on our "to watch" or "to buy" lists.

One thing that does seem to be apparent at this time based on some of what has been said is that there may not be space combat at launch (but, of course, we do not know that for certain).  But hell, SWG didn't have space at launch and 6 months later when they did implement it, it had - and as of about a year and a half or two years ago when I left the game - still has problems that haven't been properly addressed.  If they're going to implement space combat, rather than cram it in half-assed at launch, I'd much rather they took their time and got it right from the beginning, which is something SWG never even tried to do.  So maybe they don't launch with it.  Ok, I'm willing to give them some time to work on it, maybe launch it in an expansion, so long as they make an effort to get it right and don't botch it horribly like SWG did.  If they screw it up, I'll be among the first to join the torch and pitchfork brigade.  I can't speak for anyone else, but 90% of the reason I stayed with SWG as long as I did was simply because, even as screwed up as space was (and it was a totally screwed up, buggy mess!!!), it was space combat that, unlike EVE, I could jump right in and play at any level.

There are minor things that bother me (space flight on rails, cartoony graphics), but overall, hell...I've played WoW and other games that were far, FAR worse in the graphics and transportation department.  I like my eye candy and I really like my exploration, but there is not a game made these days that hits 100% of my personal enjoyment points.  The reason for that is that we all have such different tastes in what it is that we want and/or enjoy.  Personally, I'd be perfectly happy to never see PvP in another MMO because PvP, as a general rule, has a habit of bringing every arsehat that can't act over the age of 12 into my little pixellated world.  But that's why games have ignore commands, isn't it?  ;)

 

Things like accents are minor cosmetic issues for me personally, but yes, as another poster pointed out, what you're hearing there is a reasonably heavy Coruscanti accent.

Originally posted by MikeB

Free to play columnist Richard Aihoshi wonders at some people's unwillingness to accept LOTRO's announced change of business models.

Richard Aihoshi

After the announcement 10 days ago that The Lord of the Rings Online will become free to play this fall, it took almost no time at all for the silly reactions to begin.  Considering the hate-on some people have for anything and everything F2P, it was no surprise they didn't like the news.  But it was almost comical to see some of the spin doctoring they engaged in to try to soften or negate the impact on their tender psyches instead of simply admitting what's happening with the game and in the MMOG market. 

For example, one point of view was put forward stating this isn't an important development because LOTRO doesn't qualify as a major subscription title since it only has a single-digit share of that market.  The problem is that if we apply this particular criterion, practically every single release aside from World of Warcraft could adopt F2P, and not one of the conversions would be significant.

Read It Is What It Is.

The "columnist" is correct in that, yes, it is what it is and yes, the industry is moving towards a hybrid model and has been for some time with Sony, Blizzard, Turbine and several others choosing similar paths.

What I don't understand - and the reason I can rarely be bothered to log in and post here anymore - is why it is acceptable for a columnist to treat readers here in this manner continually.

The forums here are already nearly as bad as the forums on some game communities (can anyone say SWG, specifically Scylla, in the old days?).  Do we really have to tolerate this kind of abuse from a member of the staff as well?

 

What follows is language I have never dragged myself into the gutter to use here, but Mr. Aioshi (Aihoshi - however they want to spell it this week) has earned it and I am tired of trying to be polite.  I'll take the disciplinary action on my account.

Aihoshi (didn't it used to be Aioshi?), you sir, are a douchebag.  Instead of writing a column for mmorpg.com, you should be getting warnings and perhaps even a ban from the staff...but they apparently don't moderate the forums, so why would they moderate an arrogant jackass who gets away with the crap you do under the guise of "journalism?"

Originally posted by slashbeast

Richard writes about F2P games, and only F2P games. While the topic at hand is about LotRO going F2P, the subject of F2P games and Item Shops in general is completely relevant here.

*eats food with fly swatter in hand*

EDIT: After having read this - http://compendium.ddo.com/wiki/DDO_Store_Guide

My opinion of F2P/Item shop still applies to DDO. The XP and Loot boosters still give an edge over P2P players.

*chops on food*

*puts on brakes as train comes to a screeching halt*

I can't speak to DDO because I haven't played the game since before it went to the hybrid model.  I can, however, speak to LoTRO because I have played since beta, I do play, and will continue to play after the hybrid model takes effect in the fall.  I'm a founder and a lifetime sub holder.

Lifetime sub holders will automatically be converted to VIP subs under the hybrid model.  We currently get and will continue to get rest XP...just as WoW players get and many other games grant.  Rest XP is nothing more than an XP boost that lasts a certain amount of time.  VIP players can also use destiny points to purchase an extension to that XP boost if they so desire or use destiny points to purchase a means of removing dread (the death penalty) or any number of things to assist them in game.  Players who use the free client do not automatically get rest XP, nor can they spend destiny points (in some cases, they don't even acquire DP if I understand the explanation correctly).  The item shop for LoTRO, as I understand it currently, simply allows those players who choose the free client with the a la carte item shop to purchase the same options that VIP players such as lifetime sub holders already have available.  It evens the playing field for all players across the board.

This kind of a la carte item shop I have no problem whatsoever with.  Now, if they start selling my level 15 founder's mount or the other items that founders received (the cloak and ring each character created on the account starts out with) in the item shop, I might have a slight issue with that because those were rewards that founders got for a reason (if I recall, it was beta testers who opted for a lifetime sub before launch at the $199 price.  The original non-founder rate for a lifetime sub was $299 - but it's been over 3 years, so I could be mistaken).  This kind of shop levels the field so that even the free to players can have the exact same game experience, should they so choose, as those of us who have paid either for a lifetime sub or those who continue to pay a monthly sub fee, so I don't really see anything wrong with it.

Now, if the item shop started selling recipes or armour that were rare drops from difficult instances or raids, then yes, I would have a serious problem with it.  But so long as it creates a situation where free players can have all five inventory bags instead of three, can have and spend destiny points as I can, can gain rest XP as I can, can engage in skirmishes and PvMP as I can and, most importantly for new players, can use chat and the AH as freely as I can, then no, I really don't have a problem with the item shop as it is currently proposed because all it does is levels the playing field between the paid subscription holders and the players who opt not to pay a monthly fee.  If they choose to nickel and dime themselves, that is their choice, but some folks really would rather pay $5 per month than $15 and they should have the right to make that decision for themselves, in my opinion so long as it does not impact everyone else's gameplay and only impacts their own.

 

TL;DR:  under what I understand to be LoTRO's current proposal, it is the P2P players and not the free players using the item shop, who have the advantage.  Check your facts.

Mike, no offense, but y'all are behind the power curve on this one.

This article's been on my guild forums for three days now. ;)

I prefer text to voice for several reasons. One being immersion. Another being the fact that, as others have mentioned, there are a lot of younger players playing games now and there are times when young boys hear a female voice over vent and things get..er...a little uncomfortable for the female, who simply wants to play the game. (Yes, this has happened numerous times)  So, generally speaking, I simply prefer to either not use voice, or to "not have a mic" when I do unless I know the people in the voice channel reasonably well.

 

As a side note...Jamie, is there seriously a game where people play deer?  Why in the name of all that is pure and good would I want to do that?  I'm all for finding new and interesting ways to communicate, but limiting my communication to dancing and nuzzling isn't quite what I have in mind...

Tux, I think, hit the nail on the head with this one, though a little more bluntly than I might have said it.

After several years of having dealt with SOE/SCEI across multiple games (at least until about a year and a half ago, when I canceled all of my subscriptions to their games), there is little that they can do in terms of money that can really surprise or infuriate me anymore.  I returned, briefly, during the vet trial to SWG when the GCW patch was launched, discovered that I still wasn't thrilled with the state of the game, and walked away, quite content in my decision to move on to other games.

The fact is that any company is about profit.  Most companies give at least a cursory concern to the needs, wants, and desires of their customer base in the pursuit of that profit.  In my experience, Sony gives the least amount of concern to the customers of most of the major multi-platform or multi-game companies.

Now, we can all sit here or on other forums and complain about how Sony is this or that and how Smedley is Satan incarnate or what have you.  That's a reasonable course in that some companies do react to public consumer backlash in time.  Sony, however, does not seem to be much affected, policy-wise, by bad publicity.  Other companies might change a policy or issue a refund after bad publicity and consumer outcry. Sony only clarifies a policy after backlash, they do not change it and they only very rarely issue refunds (some have been extraordinarily lucky to have their subscription fees refunded on learning they could not play without paying for a transfer, something which I guarantee will no longer happen since the information has been posted publicly on the SWG forums since their company legal policy is that if the information is posted publicly, there will be no refunds).

In the case of Sony, past experience has proven that bad publicity does not achieve anything, nor does public or community outcry.  Only consumers speaking with their wallets and affecting the company's bottom line does.  Complain all you wish, but be prepared to back those complaints up with action as Tux has done, as I have done, and as thousands of others have done.  And then be prepared to wait a few years for SOE/SCEI to realize that they did, in fact, make a mistake before they admit to it.

Just my two cents' worth, based on my 5 years or so experience in dealing with SOE.

 

TL;DR - don't be shocked or surprised by anything SOE does, especially where money is concerned. If you have a complaint, best voice it with your wallet, not your keyboard.

First, it is not new that we send agents into 'enemy' (or even 'friendly') territory to see what our enemies are doing.  All nations have done this since before most of us here were born.

What does disturb me, however, is the fact that some of this information (or, perhaps, disinformation - also a common practice in intelligence) is being released in such a manner.  Although, with some of the more paranoid rulers that we have in the world today, including those right here in our own country, perhaps having some of them see "demons in doorknobs" is not the worst strategy ever.  A man constantly on guard is worn down so that eventually, he lowers his guard.  It is not unlike the old story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  Tacticians have used this children's tale for years as a means of getting the enemy to lower their guard because it does tend to work about 95% of the time.

Still, the press should have better sense and so should the White House/military/intelligence agencies, especially with three civilian kids currently imprisoned in Iran on "espionage" charges.  Way to lend weight to trumped-up charges against American citizens, guys.  Bravo.

I've blogged on this very thing.  GearScore, in and of itself, has the potential to be a useful tool.  It's fairly well-known, for instance, that ICC requires a GS of around 5k to survive.  4.9k is certainly doable for a skilled player - and though I am more than certain that there are those who will disagree, one's gearscore is not now, nor has it ever been, directly proportional to one's skill level.

As someone has already pointed out, it is true that not all WoW players are skilled and it is also true that WoW does not necessarily require a great deal of  skill in order to accomplish great things.  Still, it should be pointed out that with skill, players can accomplish far more than they can without it (reference the recent article about the rogue who soloed Patchwerk on 25-man difficulty.  I don't care who you are, that takes skill and knowledge of your class and I promise you that I am not nearly skilled or well-versed enough yet in the class on my rogue to be able to even consider such a feat, nor would I even try it at this point).  A skilled mage with a 4.9k GS can raid with little to no difficulty.  In point of fact, my Paladin has a dismally low GS of about 3.9k because of  multiple extended game absences due to my health and yet the only raid I have not been able to go on and achieve a good measure of success at (in fact, I won't even set foot in the place or try to) is ICC.  The low GS doesn't hinder my ability in any other raid, including Ulduar, nor does it hinder my ability to tank or heal heroics.  Gear certainly helps, but gear is no match for skill and knowing one's class.  Period.

The fact that much of the WoW community uses GearScore as a discriminatory tool to promote their own laziness is not something that can be helped, unfortunately.  Those of us who choose not to do so are in the minority, it is true, but we can be found if one chooses to look for us.  It is a simple matter of finding the quiet folks who simply don't ask the question or who, when a player apologizes in /party for their low GS or for having just hit 80, smile and say something along the lines of, "no worries, we had just hit 80 on a toon once or twice before, too.  If you'd like to hit a few more after this to gear up, let us know and we'll be happy to help."

 

 

*edited for spelling

I think it goes right back to treating the person on the other end of that internet connection as a person and not as a collection of pixels on your computer screen - or at least that's my opinion.

Back in the early days of SWG, I ran across a kid (he was about 12, so that qualifies as a "kid," hehe).  He was exceptionally well-mannered and matured, loved playing the game, and had and unusual amount of time to spend playing during daytime hours.  I didn't think much of it, since he was in another part of the world and since his dad also played and ran with us in nearly everything we did.  Figured if dad was there watching and didn't mind, everything must be fine.  Like Jamie's friend, he'd log off rather suddenly and be gone for days, but again, I didn't think much of it - he was quite young, after all.  His dad would always log off and be gone with him, but again, not something you really think a lot of - boys have dozens of thing to do outside the virtual world.

One day, his dad logged on without him after a few weeks' absence and told me that the son had passed away.  He'd had leukemia.  And thanked me for playing the game with them and helping make the kid's last months happier.  And yes, it made me sad and yes I grieved for the boy, just as a few years later, when one of the guys on my server that I palled around with and talked to frequently in chat and on vent was killed in an accident, I grieved and was sad.  I'd known this guy for several years online, and even though he could sometimes be a real jerk (usually when he'd been drinking), I'd genuinely liked him.

 

The reality is, even in gaming, we are playing these games with real people.  If any member of my multi-gaming guild was ill or passed away, it would devastate me.  Many of my guildmates are friends in real life that I speak to on the phone at least weekly if not daily.  Several are people that I live close enough to that we make plans to meet up a couple times a year as our schedules allow.  Some, I even live in the same town as, so our meetings are far more frequent.  Even those in my guild that I don't have a close a relationship with are not mere pixels, they are people - they're kind of like those cousins that you don't really hang out with all the time, nor would you, but they're still family.  But then, maybe I just have a different view of how I should treat people - no matter where I "meet" those people - than what most of society has.

Originally posted by Khalathwyr
 

I agree that people shouldn't approach others in an ignorant manner. That said, the other side (developers) in this aren't 100% free of guilt with respect to the respect they show their customers. Respect is earned and most MMO companies haven't done very much to maintain a high level of respect.

And on that , I agree with you fully.  I also agree that the executives are not going to face the customers because they know exactly how most of us will react: with great hostility.  I refuse to believe that the majority of those of us who are reasonably serious about our gaming truly believe that the developers are responsible for much of the lunacy we currently see, but, as you say, they are the ones with the intestinal fortitude to face us - whether because they choose to or because it is their job to do so.

And yes, it really is a two way street.  There are some developers and community folks who have and show little to less than zero respect for the customer and so the customer reflects that right back to them.  In those cases, well, those personnel really don't have a lot of room to ask me to give them what they are not willing to even pretend to give to me.  I also agree with you there.

But for a dev or community person who has at least made an attempt to show a modicum of respect and courtesy, I will always try to give them the benefit of the doubt where ever possible, just as I would prefer that they would do with me. ;)

 

 

(As to the military, been there and done that myself in terms of what I did and who I worked with and no, I never, ever rely on the media there, either - especially since I also worked in the news media for a few years after I got out of the military and I know better than most what goes on in the television newsroom.  You really, REALLY cannot believe everything you read or hear in the media, folks.  Trust me, I used to write news copy.)

Originally posted by Khalathwyr
Originally posted by Nifa
Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

It is just as easy to express your concerns or complaints with proper etiquette and start an active positive discussion. Why players feel the need to come up with as many version of "You Suck" or "I hope you die" is baffling.

 

I truly think that is the root of all of the issues now. Why would you want to read that crap as a developer? You don't nearly as much positive feedback because those who enjoy the game are playing it and have no need to go to a forum. So all you would get to read all day is hatred posts that are made to be as angry and evil as they can, since in their warped mines that is how you get a point across. But the opposite is true, you post like that and your point is lost forever. No one will waste time reading it and responding since you didn't take any time to post properly.

 

The die hard fans of MMOs need to relax a bit and remember to tell themselves it's just a game. Seriously it is just a game. There is never a need to nerd rage out and make 10 posts in a world with as many expletives as you can conjure up. Simple post "I am not happy with change to X, why was it made and can we get it changed back.", then maybe a discussion can be started where a dev will explain why the change had to be made. You never know, that positive discussion might lead to the dev realizing it should be changed back too, or to you realizing it did need to be changed and it makes sense.

 

So yes, it is an unpopular position on a gaming forum full of players. But I truly believe the hardcore fanatic gamers are the cause of all the communication issues and hatred flowing around. If they learn to relax and post like an adult then I'm sure more communication will result.

This. A thousand times, this.  I think it may be the first time SnarlingWolf and I have ever agreed on anything, but he is spot on.  If you curse and...er...snarl, your point is generally lost in the hostility, but if you are reasonable and adult, you just may start a discussion that could end up getting some compromise - or, at the very least, getting you an explanation of the changes you are upset about.

This approach was tried I know (I was there) with the NGE and it got no where. That event and the publicity it got is a large part, I think, of why the shift had been made to primarily going straight to the hostility route as well. Do a poll. As gamers who are active in this hobby if they think any developer really listens to their suggestions or do they (gamers) think that developers use those suggestions in discussions about games.

I'm willing to bet the results will be 80+% that No they don't think so. And this is not to say that "nah nah" players know everything, like some people here will try to construe it. Players do know what they like (again, contrary to some of the mind readers around here) and while I'm not saying 100% have great suggestions their are some great ones out there.

THere are ways developers can do polls once players log in to get feedback. They can have community managers posts threads to see topics of concern, then cull that list and use those in in-game surveys. They can include feedback boxes also allowing 150 to 500 word replies as well. There are easy things developers can do on a monthly basis that they aren't doing to grow the sense of community and that player input is truly valued.

And as we now know, Khalathwyr, the NGE was, in fact, a decision that cannot be blamed on the developers.  It was the Sony executives, Julio Torres (who worked for LucasArts and was their man on SWG - he did not work for Sony, a point he reiterated in my presence when I spoke with him for over an hour back in '05 or '06 about the NGE), and the developers carrying out those instructions and perhaps giving suggestions of their own - so again, it really is quite unfair to blame the developers for the NGE.  They are being paid to do a job and as part of their job, they are required to suggest the best and most efficient ways to implement the orders their bosses have given them, whether they agree with those orders or not.  If you work at McDonald's and your boss tells you he wants a proposal on his desk by next Friday suggesting ways to drastically change the look and feel of the Big Mac, no matter what the customers have to say about it, if you wish to keep your job in the short term, you will put that proposal on his desk.  Let the McDonald's corporation worry about the damage to the company and you do your job.

Do players trust developers? Possibly not.  What I can say unequivocally is that, any time I have approached a developer with the basic respect due a human being and the same common courtesy and respect I give the barista at Starbucks when s/he makes a mistake on my coffee order, I am treated with a great deal of respect and common courtesy in return.  These men and women are not pixels on a screen, nor are they virtual punching bags: they are men and women doing a job that they are ordered to do by their bosses, the same as the rest of us.  They are not perfect; no one is.  I strongly believe that is is irrational and highly unrealistic to expect them to be perfect and yet, it seems to me that frequently, that is exactly what people seem to expect of them.

Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

It is just as easy to express your concerns or complaints with proper etiquette and start an active positive discussion. Why players feel the need to come up with as many version of "You Suck" or "I hope you die" is baffling.

 

I truly think that is the root of all of the issues now. Why would you want to read that crap as a developer? You don't nearly as much positive feedback because those who enjoy the game are playing it and have no need to go to a forum. So all you would get to read all day is hatred posts that are made to be as angry and evil as they can, since in their warped mines that is how you get a point across. But the opposite is true, you post like that and your point is lost forever. No one will waste time reading it and responding since you didn't take any time to post properly.

 

The die hard fans of MMOs need to relax a bit and remember to tell themselves it's just a game. Seriously it is just a game. There is never a need to nerd rage out and make 10 posts in a world with as many expletives as you can conjure up. Simple post "I am not happy with change to X, why was it made and can we get it changed back.", then maybe a discussion can be started where a dev will explain why the change had to be made. You never know, that positive discussion might lead to the dev realizing it should be changed back too, or to you realizing it did need to be changed and it makes sense.

 

So yes, it is an unpopular position on a gaming forum full of players. But I truly believe the hardcore fanatic gamers are the cause of all the communication issues and hatred flowing around. If they learn to relax and post like an adult then I'm sure more communication will result.

This. A thousand times, this.  I think it may be the first time SnarlingWolf and I have ever agreed on anything, but he is spot on.  If you curse and...er...snarl, your point is generally lost in the hostility, but if you are reasonable and adult, you just may start a discussion that could end up getting some compromise - or, at the very least, getting you an explanation of the changes you are upset about.

Both the OP and the other posters are right, because everyone is entitled to their opinion.

In my opinion, yes, a lot of things about SWG have improved, not only since the NGE went live, but since I quit actively playing almost two years ago.  I did a vet trial when the GCW update went live and saw many improvements.  During the same vet trial, I saw a lot of things that had me cringing and ./facepalming repeatedly.

So, yeah--I agree with both the OP in that the game has improved dramatically in some areas and I also agree with Tux and others in that the game has declined so far in other areas as to be unplayable for me personally.  That does not mean, however, that I feel that I have the right to slam the OP, Badger, Tux, or anyone else for having an opinion that differs from my opinion any more than I believe I have the right to slam someone for thinking that STO - which I loathe - is the greatest game ever to be released.  We all have differing opinions about what we want to play.  Some people want to play SWG and good on 'em.  Personally, I closed the door on the game a while back and don't regret the decision - but I still advise those who ask me about the game to download the trial and give it a spin, even if it's not a game I want to play because I recognize that what appeals to me may not appeal to others and vice-versa.

As others have said already, even within the most linear, themepark-y game, it is still possible to create one's own story and do as one wishes.  In my own experience, the only thing limiting me within the games I choose to play, despite how they've been developed (with or without specific stories prewritten by the development team), is my own imagination.  I don't have to stick to the story the developers wrote for a quest if I don't choose to; I can simply give my character her own motivation for completing the quest - whether it has anything to do with the reason the questgiver gave me or not.

If a player doesn't care for the ongoing storyline (for those of us who played MxO, we're very familiar with hating what the devs were doing with the storyline), there's no hard and fast rule that says they have to abide by the storyline (and in MxO, many of us ignored some of the stupid, stupid things the devs came up with and came up with our own stories while sticking to the lore).  Most MMOs today have some kind of lore accompanying them, so there's no real need to stick to a specific storyline if you don't care for it so long as one at least loosely adheres to the lore - at least in my opinion.

A good article, Jamie, but like others who have already posted, I wonder if maybe you have just had some rotten luck.

I've been in a number of RP guilds, most of which would be considered "hard core" but none of which have ever been critical or "nazi-like" about it.  They've welcomed both non-RPers and folks new to RP happily and been mature and friendly about handling sticky situations - and as another poster stated, some of the "saves" have been positively hilarious.

Depending on the game, I can be 'hard core' or 'casual' about my RP - it also depends on my mood that day, but I am also careful not to ruin others' immersion as a matter of courtesy - but I don't demand that others do the same for me. *shrug*  I enjoy RP, as do my guildmates, but I and others understand it's not everyone's cup of tea.

As with any subset of players, though, you're bound to run into jerks...just please don't lump us all into the "elitist jerk" category, if you don't mind. ;)

Originally posted by NightCloak

Why wouldn't you put weight behind non-American numbers?

If of ever 100 users that spend money on the website and 29 of them are German, why is that not to be considered?

The locality or target demographic makes no difference on the legitimacy of the actual results.

 

Precisely.  NightCloak sums it up well.  20-some-odd percent is 20-some-odd percent, regardless of where the company is located or what the target demographic of the customer is.

Considering, too, that PlaySpan is a legitimate company operating as a publisher-licensed third party vendor offering only those items which can be legitimately obtained via a publisher's website, one can consider that some game publishers do not necessarily work and play well with EU banks and bank cards, which is what makes a service such as PlaySpan necessary.  Allowing a third-party vendor to take on the responsibility of processing overseas payments keeps EU customers happy and prevents an imbalance between NA/EU customers (which I have seen with companies such as Sony and others before when there have been some sort of problems in processing EU bank card payments - which I don't understand the issue there and won't pretend I do, I have only seen the problem crop up a few times), then it becomes necessary to "put weight" behind the non-American numbers.

Originally posted by Dorken

Im still trying to understand what John is trying to point out here.   

 

I think, perhaps, the following excerpt may be the point:

Do these numbers provide concrete proof, for example, that Americans as a whole spend almost 20% more on these kinds of items than anyone else in the world? No, but it does go at least some distance towards suggesting it.

Many of the posters here that rail hardest against cash shops are Americans.  Still, the numbers from PlaySpan suggest that we Americans have the deepest pockets (or at least are willing to spend the most money for our digital shinies) when it comes to virtual goods.

Personally, so long as the cash shops aren't selling items that affect gameplay (stat boosts, XP bonus, things of that nature) and are only offering "fluff" (cosmetic) items, I don't have a problem with them.  It is cash shops that sell items that are not available through normal gameplay that give those willing to spend real life money a clear advantage over those unwilling to spend real life money (apart from a normal subscription fee, of course) that I take issue with.

Good list.  I'm looking forward to both Cataclysm and Rohan, but in all honesty, if they did release an expansion to LotRO that let players play through as one of Sauron's forces, I'd never play that expansion.  I'm truly disinterested in that aspect of the game, have never PvMP'd in LotRO, and have no desire to do so.  Also, I cannot see how such a thing could be made to work without turning the game into a PvP-fest, which is not how the game was designed.  I grant that there are probably many, many LotRO players who would be excited by a "Forces of Mordor" expansion, but there are probably equally as many who, like me, really wouoldn't want any part of it.

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