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The List: 10 Defenses of MMO X

Column By Jon Wood on January 22, 2010

Last week, our list focused on the top ten reasons to hate MMO X, a look at some of the more predictable and clichéd responses to the launch or even production of any new MMORPG these days. As in most things, there are two sides to this particular coin and where there are people predictably complaining about a new MMO, there are always going to be an equally vocal group of people out there to disagree with them in their own predictable ways.

This week we shine the spotlight on those out there who, rightly or wrongly, rise to the defense of their games, ready to take up arms with their own set of clichéd verbal choices, sometimes ridiculous and sometimes spot-on.

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I want to say a special thanks to forum posted Herods for pointing a couple of these out to me. They amused me so I thought I'd include them here.

#10 It's in Beta

This one is one of my favorite defenses of a game because it can be so right and yet so wrong at exactly the same time. On the one hand, it's true, people tend to judge a game extremely roughly based on their beta experiences, even complaining about things like bugs, server stability and downtimes. These are all things that should be expected in beta and most of the time people are quite right when they use this as a shield against an onslaught of hate.

With that said, there are also times where it's a bit flimsy. First, is when the complaints that people are having are about fundamental design flaws. Those won't be fixed in beta. If they don't like the core of the game, they're not going to like the final product. The other is when you get into the Open beta phase and even that depends on how people are getting into said beta. If they arrived in the beta through paying for it, the game should be showcasing, not testing at that point and the closer the game gets to launch, the less this holds up.

Now, with that said, beta is still beta, things can change even right before launch, so don't dismiss this defense out of hand.

#9 It'll be complete in six months

This one, I think is actually stretching things just a little bit far. This particular defense is most commonly used by the more hardcore of the folks from the previous defense, "It's in beta."

The reason that this particular defense gets any credibility at all is because of the ever-changing nature of MMOs. MMORPGs, by their very definition, are constantly being changed via regular patches and updates.

Unfortuantely, in recent years, the "updatable" nature of MMOs has allowed some companies to release products that are less completed and polished than their old er counterparts.

While any MMO can and should get better the older that it gets, this should not be used as a defense of a game that simply is not in a release state when it goes live.

#8 It's an indy game

We've all heard this one many times when a game from a new studio, or one without the financial backing of a major publisher gets into the world of making games. I am personally a huge proponent of independent MMOs because that is where a great deal of the innovation in our industry is going to come from.

The problem with many indy games is that, in many areas, they often do not line up well side by side with their AAA counterparts, prompting heavy criticism, and staunch defense.

While I agree that indy games need to be viewed as such, and their status needs to be taken into account when discussing the pros and cons of the game, the fact remains that indy MMOs often charge the same fees as AAA MMOs, which is what often prompts the attacks on the game in the first place.

In short, if you don't want to be treated as an equal to AAA games, don't make me pay for your game like it was one.

#7 You're Nothing But a Troll / Hater

Ok, I'm going to start my summary of this particular choice by saying that, and I can't say this loudly or obnoxiously enough: NOT EVERYONE WHO DOESN'T SHARE YOUR OPINION IS A HATER OR A TROLL. I'm sorry you all had to see that. I'm obviously not talking to everyone, but for those of you that this applies to... you know who you are.

Now, while I think that this defense gets thrown around way too often, I will say that there most certainly are haters and trolls out there who aren't making their comments based on any experience with or knowledge of the game, who just want the thing to fail. That's a troll or a hater, and should be called out as such.

It's a perfectly legitimate defense, just make sure that before you use it, you check to see if the person you're defending against really is a hater, or just someone with a different viewpoint.

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