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Five Facts About Launch Day

William Murphy Posted:
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A while back we wrote a List all about the rituals of Launch Day.  That was largely based on the opinion of one Bill Murphy (me).  This week though, in honor of the birth of Trion’s baby known as Rift we’re going to go the route of complete and utter fact.  That’s right, in an event that’s been heretofore unseen by human eyes, I’m going to write a List based completely and utterly on factual evidence.  No opinions, no predictions, not even the slightest hint of editorial content.  No sir-ee, this List is going to be nothing but cold hard facts surrounding one MMO-dom’s most fanciful events: The Launch Day.  So sit buckle up, count your rosary (or whatever else might give you peace) and prepare for a wild ride down the “Fact Lane”.  Get it?  

EDITOR’S NOTE: None of the following is actually fact to anyone other than Bill Murphy.

5.) No Server is Safe from A$$-hats

There are several facts on this List, and each of them could probably be considered a top contender for “Truth of Truths”.  But this one carries over not just from launch day, but into all of a game’s life.  You will look to find a server where you can be safe from them, but every single shard you create a character on will be home to some manner of highly annoying person whose singular goal in the online world is to make everyone else hate him or her and “LOL” as he does it.  Don’t think you’re going to be okay on an RP server either.  Chances are you’ll find the more annoying ones there, based on the rather clever and diabolical reasoning that a true asshat feeds on making role-play folks’ blood boil.  You have been warned.

4.) There Will Be Capped Players

One thing that always makes me shocked, then appalled, then confused, and finally in awe is the notion that on launch day of any given MMO there will be at least one player who is at the end game.  There’s no real explanation behind how they manage to exploit the system so adeptly.  Perhaps they play in shifts with friends, or perhaps they use some exploit or another that wasn’t caught in time for release.  Or perhaps they’re just nerdy gods among mere mortals.  In any case, regardless of the actual point in doing so, there will be some player who hits the cap by the end of day one.  Or at least before the first week is out.  And once there, they will quickly begin a campaign of complaints aimed at the lack of end-game or how easy the game was to “beat”. 

3.) Your Name Will Likely Be Taken

It was one of my Launch Day Rituals from a while back, but as is the case with most any game these days there runs a pretty good chance that when you go to create your first character and get your most beloved name/s reserved on your guild’s server… it will have already been taken.  And what’s more angering is that you will hardly if ever see these characters played.  It’s as though someone knew you wanted to name your Mage “IPwnFaces” and they just took it away from you without blinking.  In all fairness, if you were going to name your character that, I’m actually kind of glad someone stole the name and sat on it without using the thing.  Shame on you for being that guy.

2.) People Will Compare Anything to WoW

The next two items kind of go hand in hand, so bear with me.  The thing I’ve noticed more and more since 2004 is that with every single new release there will be a slew of people in the general chat arguing over how each game is somehow a copy of World of Warcraft… even if that game bear little resemblance to Blizzard’s product other than the fact that’s played online.  I suspect this is because for a lot of people WoW was the beginning of their MMO addiction.  But that’s no excuse.  I don’t remember people charging into DAoC and saying, “Zomgozzors… this is just like Meridian 59.  Lame.”  It didn’t happen back then, and it shouldn’t happen now.  MMORPG is a genre of games with many titles that share qualities and plenty that diverge from the beaten path.  Some folks don’t and possibly can’t grasp this.  For them, I am proud to use the /ignore command.

1.) There Will Be At Least One Guy Who Paid $50 to Complain

And finally, but perhaps most importantly, every newly launched game will come fully equipped with at least one person who will have gleefully spent at least $50 on their copy of a new game only to log in, play for ten minutes, and then spend the rest of their time talking about what utter crap their investment was.  They won’t log off, cancel their subscription, and demand a refund leaving the rest of the population to enjoy the fledgling moments of a new game.  Instead they’ll stay interminably logged in for what seems like days content to feed on the happiness and mirth of other paying customers.  They’re the person who talks on their cell at the theatre, the guy who farts in a public restaurant, and the reason (once more) someone invented the ignore command.  You may not be able to convince the offender to move on, but luckily you just don’t have to.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.