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Musings and Stuff.

Random thoughts and musings.

Author: singsofdeath

Roleplaying in MMO's. Thoughts...

Posted by singsofdeath Monday January 5 2009 at 12:13PM
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So...again, a blog entry of mine that has been inspired by the crowd of DF fanbois who have recently also begun to claim the domain of RP for themselves. Since DF is no longer just the dream of any MMO gamer, but now also the dream of every RPer, I've decided to put some more thoughts into this and into the argumentation they use to justify that.


Since I also said I would not participate in said thread anymore, I'm taking this to here. Anyway, let's begin by analyzing the pretext under which the DF Fanboi-Club promotes DF as the "TRUE" Roleplaying Game.


1) Danger lurks around every corner. You are never safe. Gankers, Exploiters, Griefers and so on are all part of the RP experience in DF.


This statement boggles my mind. The crowd that has been attacking me in the thread has stated over and over again that DF is closer to real P&P RP than anything out there. I disagreed. I pointed out DF will not be any different, RP -wise, than any other MMO. MMO's are, by their nature, not exactly spawning grounds for "Real" RP.


But to explain further. Let's say you actually play P&P. You get together with a couple of people (at a convention) and you have your characters laid out and you have thought of a nice background for him/her and you start playing your character with the group, in the world the DM creates. You have your character plot against your friends characters, because he/she is an evil bastard. You may even get to fight one of your friends in an ambush to surprise them.


Along comes a guy you do not know. He obviously wants to play along, so you think to yourself, sure. He proceeds to create a character, but not with any sort of "person" in mind, but by maximizing skills, getting every possible advantage he can have from the rules. He begins playing, but he doesn't actually play a role, he just randomly attacks you and your fellow players characters. He knows the rule-book inside to outside and uses every trick possible, exploiting every little loophole, all the while never -ONCE- actually participating in any sort of "character-interaction" besides killing your character and laughing about it happily. After a while of this, the group dissipates. It's simply not fun.


So, dear DF-Fanclub. That is "TRUE" RP for you?


2) Defining Roleplaying:

The funny thing is, the brigade in said thread seems to believe they now not only have the definition of a "TRUE" MMO, they also have the definition of "TRUE" RP. They go on to claim that acting has nothing to do with Roleplaying. They also go on to claim that all that "stupid talking in chat" has nothing to do with RP.


Let's examine for a moment what RP is then, shall we?


RP stands for Role Playing. Inherently, that is a very easy to understand word, right? You play a role. Simple as that. Now, what does that include? To most RPers, playing a role is not just steering a set of numbers through a premade world and using rules to get things done. To most RPers, roleplaying means immersing themselves in the world. One plays a part of the world, a character -IN- said world. That includes speaking, that includes background, that includes behaviour and demeanor. It includes everything.


RPing is more than just letting your character run through the world. RPing is about "being" your character for a while and acting like he would in a world into which you try to project yourself into. So yes, it has a lot to do with acting. To those people who laugh and tell me that RP has nothing to do with acting, please, take a moment to learn what RP is about. It's not about numbers and mechanics and whatnot. It's about story, about -your- characters story.


It's a sad thing to see people no longer caring about the immersion, about the story, about telling a tale with your character and now even touting this as "TRUE" Rping.


3) Go away and learn to RP. Acting is not RP. Saying funny lines is not RP.

Acting has everything to do with RP. And someone who does not understand this has either never played a decent RPG-Session or has never understood the concept behind RPG's.


According to D&D's definition, RPing is about: "When you play the D&D game, you create a unique ficitional character that lives in your imagination and the imagination of your friends. One person in the game, the DM, controls monsters and people that live in the fantasy world...."


It -LIVES- in your imagination. It's not just a piece of numbers and mechanics, it has a life, it should have a story, it should be interesting and if you play said character, you do not just run it around to roll your dice, you run it around to play (or act) its life.


Another popular RPG, Shadowrun, states in the beginning chapter, that an RPG Adventure is much like a good book or a movie. Only you do not just watch it, but you define it. The GM gives you a general guideline, a world, a "STAGE", and you place your character in that world. You -play- it in that world. In other worlds, you act.


I'm honest here. I do not think that a lot of immersive RP -CAN- happen in MMO's. Why? Simply because of the nature of people. RP in small groups is fun and works. RP with thousands is near-impossible. Add to that that rules on RP Servers are seldomly enforced and you end up with a world in which players run around just to disturb and break your immersion, because it is fun for them.


No, for RP, I personally have gone back to P&P and IM RP. It's no surprise that one of the most successful RPG's is actually not called an RPG, but a "Storytelling" Game.


So, DF-Fanbois. You can call your game the saviour of Roleplaying, but you are deluding yourself. Sure, more freedom adds to immersion, but at the same time, it gives other players many more tools to break that immersion. And since DF has not even announced an RP server, and even if they did, they most likely do not have the staff to actually enforce RP Rules, you will not be looking at a whole lot of Roleplaying on DF.


I said it before, sure there will be RP. But there will also be a whole lot of people who want no part in RP. Some of those will just ignore RPers. And others will grief them endlessly. That's the way it has always been in MMO's. That's also the way it will be in DF. And in my opinion, even more so because there are just that many more ways to destroy immersion for other players.


In closing, I'd like to point out to all those ridiculously pompous people in the thread that started this, go out and actually play an RPG. Don't play a dice-game, but play a storytelling game and maybe...just -maybe- you might understand what RP is really about. Leave your dice at home and just tell a story with others. Cooperative storytelling. And then tell me again that someone busting into your room and absuing game-mechanics to gank your party for the sole reason because the "player" is an ass, has anything to do with RP.


P.S.: Anyone who even thinks of accusing me of not liking PvP or not liking the thought of facing danger with my character, please just shut your holes. I've played RP's and I've played my characters against other player characters. I've had characters of mine -die- and I've had it be a real shocking moment, not just some "oh my, well let's roll a new character".


Ganking can be part of RP. It's about the mindset and the obvious "NOT-RPing" in a game that destroys immersion and thus destroys the RP experience for me.


Posted by singsofdeath Monday December 8 2008 at 8:16AM
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Long time no see, eh? Yeah, I've been quiet for a while on the Blog. Heated discussions have emerged on the Forum about a certain game that shall not be mentioned here for the time being. The discussions surrounding that game have grown far too emotional for them to be rational anymore.


Thus, I turn to a subject that has crept up, often before and, in latest news, with the announcement of SW: TOR, a game I personally look forward to (explanations on this later). The issue I am talking about is of course, the opinion of some people that the newer games are really Singleplayer Games with a Multiplayer component tacked on to justify the 15$ monthly cost.


I want to examine this claim for a moment and also present my personal thoughts on the matter. So let's do this step by step. Many people claim that modern day MMO's are no longer truly Massively Multiplayer. They bring forward some compelling reasons for that:


1) Modern MMO's are most often made in a way that they can be played solo for a majority of the content. The soloable content is usually the actual "Leveling" process (as demonstrated in WoW), while grouping is only starting to be really "necessary" if you want to delve into the endgame. People complain that this encourages people to play solo and thus destroys grouping in these games.


2) Instancing. A major problem for many people, instancing or zoning is a tool used by developers to lessen load on bandwidth and computers, oftentimes a sign of weak code or non-optimized engines (as thoroughly demonstrated by AoC at its launch). Instancing, they say, destroys the illusion of a large world and leaves you feeling much more -alone-. Furthermore, the use of instances for "Storylines" as demonstrated by LotRO and FFXI, also alienates players from each other, they say.


3) Accessibility or "EZ Mode". Games are too easy. This somewhat ties into point one, but goes beyond it. Many people claim that because games are so simple, the need for communication is cut down. Take for example EVE Online. The tutorial barely shows you the ropes of the UI. How do you play this game? You don't get many clues, and beyond mission-driving and mining, you will have to get in contact with other players to get anywhere. In contrast, WoW, a game that is praised for its accessibility. You log in, a simple tutorial explains the simple mechanics and from thenonout, anyone can play the game up to and including end-game (albeit it helps to actually know what you're doing and be good at it, it is -NOT- required).


This, I think, sums up the arguments that are most often used. I am not going to get into the discussion of Sandbox-games versus Linear games here, since that is another topic and too obstruse to even begin discussing at this point.


Anyway, my thoughts on these points:


1) To an extent that is certainly true. I often however say that the real reason why this way of making games leads to more soloers, is the players themselves, not the games. As an example, I'll use myself. I -always- play in a group. Minimum is two people, that would be me and my GF. We rarely, if ever, do anything alone. When the chance presents itself, we play with other people. When we need to, we group up with others, either in our guild, or randomly (guildies preferred, but hey, that's only human, isn't it?).


So despite the game being soloable and despite the fact I could, if I wanted to, level my characters all by myself, I do not do it. To continue my example, I will use a friend of mine, who is working a full-time job at odd hours. This means for him, he rarely gets to log on when most of his friends do, exept on weekends. It means that he is also more often than not, online when the server population is at a low due to the time of day. Still, he can do something. He can level, he can quest, he can progress and then when the time is there, he can continue to play with his friends.


So, making a game solo-accessible is not a problem. What I do agree with though, is that grouping and generally socializing, should have perks, advantages over soloing. It is all nice and well that I -can- do something by myself, but when it is all the same, progress-wise, why should I want to group up with other people (besides the obvious reasons of friendship and collegiality)? While I personally can't understand why people would solo in a game that allows them to play with their friends and other people, there are tendencies in younger players that go towards soloing despite the option of grouping/socializing. This needs to be adressed. Grouping must be attractive and must yield better rewards or faster progression.


2) Instancing. Oh the difficulty of the subject. Yes, instancing can, when done wrong, destroy any sort of illusion of a wide, open world with many people in it. Zoning and Instancing however are valuable tools and if used "wisely" they can work perfectly well. An example of this would be EVE. EVE is "zoned", as in, every system in eve, is a world of itself. You cannot fly from system to system without using the zone-doors (the Gates). In this universe, it fits. It doesn't bother people because the illusion of an open world is more or less left intact. The vastness of space makes this solution understandable and accepted. In the same vein, SWG was zoned. Each planet was a zone of itself, albeit a usually very large one. This also helped create the illusion of openness. You had to travel through an instance-door (a shuttle) to get from planet to planet, but that didn#t bother people, it was alright in the context.


Much different in Fantasy MMO's where cutting up the world into instances/zones is uch more difficult to explain. I can understand why people have a problem with going through a pass and being unable to see 10 meters ahead because the zone-border is there. It destroys the illusion. Plus, it leaves players feeling more alone, particularily if we get to zoning of the kind where multiple copies of the same area are created to lessen server-load. This leads to situations where two players are at exactly the same spot, but can't see each other because they are in different instances.


While I understand the frustration with this, I also think that instancing and zoning are not necessarily a complete evil, even in Fantasy MMO's. Story Instances like in LotRO and FFXI helped you immerse yourself in the storyline. Scripted cutscenes in said instance would not be destroyed by random people jumping in and shouting ROFLMAOLULZNUB! and while some may see that as a lack of realism, I see it as an advantage to my gaming experience. When I live a story, I want to experience it fully, not be distracted by a horde of stupid people wanting to ruin my experience.


Following this logic, I would say that instancing can be used, it can be good for the atmosphere of a game, but it heavily depends on how it is implemented. Do the zones feel too small, too constricting? Do we have multiple copies of a public zone? Or are there wide, open zones/instances that let you roam for quite a bit before finding any borders, and these borders being presented in a somewhat plausible fashion (a thick jungle, a steep mountain-wall, a roaring river with no bridge etc etc)? Do I still have places where I meet everyone, where social activity is at its height and no one feels left out because they are not in the right copy of the instance?


Balancing instancing/zoning out and integrating it in smart ways is vital. If it is done right, it is not much of a bother (to me), but it can indeed hurt the immersion and the feeling of "massiveness".


3) The famed EZ-Mode. Games are too easy. They no longer challenge you. This dicussion touches on the subject described by me in another post, but I will not go there today. Today I want to speak solely about the problems that surface with grouping/social issues in a -too- easy game. Much like the first issue presented here, I believe most of this is a problem of the people playing the game, not the game itself. Playing a game should be fun, you should be able to jump into the world and start having fun right away, at least that is the opinion of many. I can understand and value games like EVE however, which offer you little to no help and just sort of...throw you into the mix.


However, let's ask ourselves, is it really the games accessibility that creates solo-ers and anti-social players? Are we really blind enough to think that because a game is easy, a social and friendly person would suddenly stop being that way and resort to being all alone and mopey?


Seriously, I believe many issues with the solo-friendliness in games are directly related to the decline of social skills in people, in RL, as opposed to the more simple/easier ways to get into a game. Ideally, a game should be easy to play, difficult to master. The basic mechanics and basic ways of playing should be quick to understand, the UI should be easy to figure out and the controls should be intuitive and responsive. To become -good- in the game however, investment should be required.That is learning how to play your character the most effective, learning how to cooperate in a team, learning how to respond to a multitude of situations, learning how to correctly assess a situation and react to it accordingly etc etc.


Investment has to pay off, otherwise we're out of the RPG genre, but it should nonetheless be easy to first get into the game, because otherwise many people will ask what they are doing there in the first place, when all they wanted was to have a bit of fun in a game with friends.



Yes, games have been getting more simple, more accessible. Yes the claims put forward on this matter are valid and correct in a way, however I see a lot of black and white painting on this subject. It is not as easy as to say "any game with instances is crap", or "any game where you can solo is crap".  These are gross generalizations and most often false. It depends on many things. The community, the way of implementing those features, the content and last but not least, the way you, yourself play the game.


Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the issue. Thanks for reading and see ya around!

I am better than you! (because I like other games)

Posted by singsofdeath Wednesday September 24 2008 at 2:55AM
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So, another day, another blog. This time, it will focus on something that has been nagging me for a long while, but which I haven't put into words yet. This is an attitude that is growing more open in recent times, but has been there for a long while in "disguise" so to say, or rather, not as vocal as it is now.


I am talking about the people who think themselves better "gamers" or even better "people" because they like a different kind of game. Yes, you guessed it right,a bunch of the DF Gang (particularly the ones posting here, many of them at least) fall into this category, but they are not the only ones. I noticed this behaviour as well in my time in EVE Online, though, as I said, these people are not as vocal outside their own game.


Now, let me specify for a moment, what I mean here.


I am not talking about the "my game is better than your game" discussion which is silly in itself. No, I am talking about the people who actually -believe- that their taste and their desires for games are more important and also, more valid than anyone elses. I am talking about people who claim that only -THEY_ know what a good game actually is. People who are so deluded with their elitism that they seem to have forgotten that it is games we are talking about and that the one thing that defines a -GOOD- game is that it is FUN for the one playing it.


So, these days, the DF Fans come out and denounce every game out there and as if that were not silly enough, they also denounce the players of said games. They throw around phrases like "people playing WoW would not recognize a good game if it bit them", "we are the people who know how good games should look like" (obviously not quoted by the letter). And even if someone replies to that effect, telling them that they are welcome to play their game while others will play others, they reply with scathing remarks and silly little jibes.


So, why? What makes these people believe they are so superior to us? Yes, i count myself as one of the denounced side, because unlike others, I've had fun in other games and I consider them good games for that. I've had fun in (*gasp*) WoW, I've had fun in EVE, I've had fun back in DAoC and even had fun back in UO (the little while I played). So basically, all these games have been good games, since they served their purpose (in my case) well. They let me have fun and let me enjoy the gaming experience. But according to some people, that is wrong. It is -wrong- because....well, because they say so.


I enjoy diversity in games. And I know that diversity is something the MMO Market greatly needs right now. It needs a game like DF to succeed so other companies can learn from it and can adapt. The hundreds of basically same games with a different skin slapped on are already somewhat stale and that is why I wish games like DF, Earthrise and Fallen Earth and the like all the best. I hope to see them take off and succeed enough to be considered a financial success, so that larger companies will take a bite out of that and learn from them.


However that doesn't mean that i think they are the only way to go. I do not think they are the only truly, good games. They will be (/hopefully) good games, but they will serve their purpose while other games, such as WoW, WAR and the like will serve theirs. And if you are too narrowminded to accept that there's more than one "good" kind of game out there, then you should really take a step back and ponder if you are taking this all too seriously.


These are games. They are here to entertain us. Just because someone enjoys something you don't doesn't make them a less worthy person. I like classical music, other people my age joke about it because it's not exactly typical for a person my age, but I like it and I consider it truly -good- music unlike a lot of the stuff in the charts these days. Does that mean I thrash every other music because it is not composed by a genius from Austria? No, I can enjoy other music, too.


I repeat, we are talking about games. Your taste in games is not "better" than anyone elses, just different. There are measureable things in games, to measure how "good" they are. These are things like the absence of bugs, the polish of the game, the fluidness of animations etc.. This can be measured and a game with great ideas but poor execution will be a -bad- game.


But that's not what most of the people these days talk about, is it?


I have better taste than you....because I play a game with different features. Come on...who does NOT realize how silly that sounds?

A New Hope(Hype?)...

Posted by singsofdeath Monday September 1 2008 at 8:20AM
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So, this weekend has brought us all something many did not expect, others prayed for and still others were certain would be ground-breaking. A new sort of life-sign from Darkfall, a large, HD Video, taken, as stated, 100% in game with Developers behind the controls of the characters seen.


And now, the Forums have been in an uproar all the last two days. Threads have been started about the same topics numerous times, and the praise for the game has, in some cases, gone far beyond the realm of the appropriate, as has the oftentimes ludicrous counter-wave to said claims. It's an all out fanboi-vs-hater war all right, with everything such a war needs and....boy doesn't this sound familiar?


With little to nothing as proof, people claim this game will be awesome. Those same people claim it will be a game that people like me (unimaginative, lazy people with no taste whatsoever) will never be able to play, because it takes so much more skill than any other game out there. They proclaim that their game is much better than any other (even though not they nor anyone else have ever played it so far), their tastes are better and they are the only ones whose opinion counts in this matter. The zealousness with which this game is being hyped is astounding to say the least.


In part, I can understand that. DF promises to be what many many "veteran" gamers have been looking for for a long long time. It promises to be a huge world where the player is the one shaping the world with unparalleled freedom and by the strength of his/her skill alone. It's appealing, it is promising...


It is also much too early to say anything apart from: "This looks promising." followed by "Let's see how it actually turns out."


Of course, people do not like to hear that. Some of them anyway. The merest notion that something could be wrong with the game is summarily dismissed by some. Some claim that even masses of bugs would not make this game bad, simply because of the concept behind it. But mostly, the people place their full faith in the Developers to "do things right", despite having no evidence that they are doing so in many cases.


So, Darkfall is a new hope for many people. It is a "beacon" of hope for those who enjoy sandbox, and sandbox only. It promises to deliver what the market may very well need. A breath of fresh air. If it can live up to the promises, it might just make other companies see and might just cause changes in titles yet to come. We can hope for that. I hope for that.


The Hype that is now starting to surround this game is growing and growing and with it come all the hallmarks of over-hype. I caution everyone to fall into the same trap that many (myself included) have fallen for in the days gone. Until I am play-testing the finished, polished game for free, I will remain a skeptic and continue to point out possible problems with the game. And there are possible problems. Even if people don't want to see them or gloss them over with the best and final argument of the DF Crowd "Gameplay is everything".


Until the game has delivered on all of its promises (or at least, most of them), it remains just that.

A Hope.

I must be a Masochist! (According to some people here)

Posted by singsofdeath Sunday June 15 2008 at 4:54AM
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Yes, I must be. I am playing and enjoying Age of Conan.


Why? Very simple. I came to this conclusion after quietly reading these forums for a while. No, I am not going to say these Forums are riddled with posts that are painful to read (I'll hold my opinion on that to myself), but I am talking about the apparent -fact- that I am playing a game that is so obviously total crap and BS and broken everywhere and so on and so forth, yet I am having fun with it. So the obvious conclusion is, I am a masochist! I love torturing myself through endless broken quests, love waiting for non-existant support and love, getting stuck everywhere, plus I love grinding without sense, I love being banned without reason and I love a lagfest!


Or do I?


Now don't get me wrong. This is not a place to slander all those of you, who certainly have valid problems with the game, be it that you simply don't like it, or that you encountered a huge bug that entirely broke the game for you.


I am talking about all these people, I won't give names, but you will know them, who keep posting in every thread that crops up and proclaim that the game is so bad, that, according to them, anyone playing it, must be an idiot. I mean, judging from what these people are spouting, there is simply -NO- way that -ANY- sane person could -EVER- enjoy the game now.


So why then, am I having fun?


Is it because I am trying to shy away from the truth? Do I -force- myself to play the game even though, deep down, I really do not enjoy it? Am I blinding myself to the truth that others, so vocal in their crusade to convert everyone, have long accepted and made their own? Me, and the other people in my guild? And the people on my Friends-List? And the friends playing on other servers.


Or could it be that I am not blinding myself, but that I am enjoying the game nonetheless? That I have yet to encounter game-breaking bugs? That I actually like the graphics, the combat, the mechanics and the content offered? Could that really be?


Do you think there might be people out there who do not share other people's opinions? Could that REALLY be?


Think about it for a moment, and look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why you think you hold the universal truth to people's joy and fun in games. Ask yourself why you think your opinion, or that of anyone else for that matter, is in any way important to another person. Ask yourself if you don't want to change your tone of posting, your way of expressing your discontent, and instead of painting everything in your, personal view, and making it the ultimate truth, allow others to have their own opinion, without trying to make them look like idiots.


Frankly, I am sick and tired of replying to people that continue to slander the -players- of AoC as idiots because they are enjoying the game that they are playing. Or postulating that they are helping a company rip the gamers off. Or claiming only their version of reality is the true one.


Again, I do not mind people giving valid reasons for quitting, nor do I mind people not liking the game. It's the people who seem to be on a crusade to "save" all the others from a horrible game that can't possibly be enjoyed that bug the hell out of me.

The New Age of MMO Gamers.

Posted by singsofdeath Friday May 30 2008 at 3:58PM
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As a prefix, no, I'm not a person that has played UO from the very beginning and spent millions of hours inside it. I did dabble in UO a little back in the day, but since it was at a time in my life where many changes occured to me, I could never devote nearly enough time to such a game at that point. That changed when DAoC hit the shelves, which I played for  quite a while.


Anyway, the point of this Blog is a simple question. How have MMORPG Gamers changed over the years?


I ask this mainly due to one reason.


Today, the people, the community attached to all MMO's seem to be riddled with a vocal subsection that is increasingly loud in both volume and slander.



Let me go into a little more detail here. When I was first playing UO, even for the little time I did, I had a certain sense of the community. I talked to some people and listened to others talk, I read community sites and so on and so forth. In short, even in a short amount of time, you get a sort of picture of the community if you decide to look for it, and of course that was doubly so in the games that came after that for me.


Did I ever hear people slandering other games? Mhh, not that I can remember. Certainly not to the degree that it is done today. I can't remember one instance where, for example, people in DAoC were ranting constantly about how much UO is a crappy piece of game. Or vice versa. Sure, there were some remarks and maybe even the oddball thread dedicated to the issue, but it was kept in boundries, it was small.


And today. Look at what we have today. Seriously, you'd think the people playing MMO's are a bunch of zealots dedicated to their one true god (their game), and anything that is not their game has to be attacked, slandered, destroyed. Any person playing any other game has to be cleansed, has to be made miserable for even considering playing another game and enjoying it, has to be branded heretic to the true spirit of the God! The amount of the people with this kind of attitude is simply starting to stagger me lately.


It seems as though gamers these days are incapable of allowing others to have their fun without trying to make them look like idiots for obviously not seeing the Light. Anything not conforming to those gamers view of MMO's will be disregarded or ridiculed. No matter where you look, it seems the same, no matter which game you go to, if you look at the official boards (or unofficial in some cases), it's a festival of insulting each other.


So why is that? I realize that, even today, these people are not the majority, but they have grown so much louder (and more numerous) within recent years. Some will claim WoW is responsible for it all (because after all WoW is responsible for everything bad in terms of MMO's ^^), some will say that's just the effect of a growing community.


But why does it have to be that way? I'm not against competition. A healthy dose of competition is certainly needed to make things work overall, but does competition have to equal a state of continual warfare between gamers? Have we indeed reached a point where it is impossible that people simply realize that others might have differing views and allow them those views without trying to discredit them and make fun of them?


I look at these forums and even though realizing it only represents a small faction of the whole, it is sad to see the amount of pure venom running through the posts. People unable to accept that other people might be having fun in a game that they could not grow to like. Unable to cope with different opinions thus they must be attacked and destroyed by any means possible. And I am not talking about people giving honest reviews and posting negatives about any given game. Critique is a wonderful thing in itself, but you have to agree that what some people do these days goes beyond mere critique. It's pure hatred.


This is not just a subject for the huge flame-war around AoC and certainly not just aimed at those attacking this game. It is as much aimed at some of those "defending" it, at others attacking different games and still others "defending" those. It's an all out state of misery as I see it and I really have to ask myself...


What happened to the community to have changed so? Was I blind before? Is it the rapid growth? They say Growth sometimes hurts. If that is the case then I can only hope that eventually, these things will return to their smaller, quieter levels in the future. Until then, I'd urge certain people posting on these boards and on other MMO's boards, just take a moment to think before you post yet another attack that proves only one thing:


That you can't be happy with others having fun where you can't.

FunCom and PR....Paradox?

Posted by singsofdeath Monday May 19 2008 at 2:53PM
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I am puzzled.


First off, let me say I greatly enjoy playing Age of Conan. I am having tons of fun with my gf, exploring the world, killing things and players and generally enjoying the beauty of the game in itself. Second, I know there are many others like me. I talk with them in game, I see their comments in the OOC Chat, I read their posts in various forums. I am not alone with my enjoyment of the game.


Now, of course there are people who are complaining. There always will be, but from what I see and hear, I think the game got off to a rather decent start.


Which brings me to why I am so damn puzzled.


The decisions of the FunCom PR team are slowly reaching the borders of...incompetence? I suppose that's the best word to use right there. With their recent announcement that DX10 won't be in game till Q3 this year, they've really struck another chord of disgrace right there.


Why? Why come out two days after Early Access is opened and divulge this information? Fanbois will say, because they only now realized they can't patch it in till full retail. I call BS on that. If they would delay it for a week or so, I could believe that, but they are delaying it for 3 -Months-. That's not something you realize just a few days ago. If they have 3 Months worth of work to do, they knew that before then.


The haters will, sad as it is, most likely have it right. FC feared losing subscriptions if they announced that their game would launch without one of the prominent features implemented. Thus, they decided to wait until the Pre-Orders were shipped out before announcing this. While Sieging and Spellweaving are in and they at least managed to quiet the fronts there a little, this then, has given haters a whole sack-full of ammunition for their attacks on the game.


And the worst thing about it? I am rather sure it was not needed. The game is a good one. As I stated above, I enjoy playing it and it looks very pretty already and I am -not- alone with this. Maybe they would have lost a few subscribers, but in the long run, won't they lose more by distributing information like they did in this case?


I don't know, I am not a marketing expert, but it seems to me all that FC accomplished with this little stunt, is to aggrevate people. Not because they really miss DX10 in the game, because as I said, the game looks beautiful even without it, but because of the incredibly horrible PR work that is being shown here.


I for one will continue playing the game. Because it is fun and I am enjoying it greatly and I believe the development team at FC have done an incredible job in their own right.


But I would suggest to FC to put a close glare on their PR department from now on. Many of the decisions made by the Public Relations Department recently have only caused a whole lot of damage and if this continues, a good game will die, not because of game-breaking bugs or missing content or missing polish...


But because of the way information is handed to the players.