There are certain phrases that crop up over and over in the MMO world. You see them in signature files, as ripostes in flamewars, and scrolling across your screen in open chat. Chuck Norris and Leroy are latecomers to the catchphrase scene. Here are five quotes (and their histories) that have been around for almost as long as there have been MMOs to play.
Catass is the common term for grind, for boring repititions, for multi-hour raids requiring dozens of people to hurry up and wait. Lots of people say it, without any sense of where it came from. Well, here's where it came from. This article represented one of the first attempts by a member of the media to describe the MMO phenomenon to outsiders. The phrase "den of cat ass" caught our collective imagination, back in 2000.
#4 "I disagree with what you said."
I have a serious bias when it comes to this one. The news of my making the jump from ranter and writer to community manager had just been announced. Ranting does not pay in actual money, whereas industry jobs do. These days, a media type switching to the dark side to work for a game studio doesn't garner so much as a raised eyebrow, but in 2001, people who got into the industry for filthy lucre came in for a certain amount of disparagement. One message board discussion of my hire quickly turned into an epic flamewar. One of the participants. G. Bob, was a former writer/ranter who himself had just made the jump to working for the industry as a community manager. One of the participants was just a moron.
The moron said: "I dunno, maybe I'm living in a fantasy world but perhaps some people put their integrity and principles above and beyond the almighty buck. Some of us have to live with ourselves."
G. Bob replied: "You know the worst thing about the community job is? You can't say things like "it's amazing that somebody with that much man-dick in his mouth is still able to say such stupid things". Instead all you can say is, "I disagree with what you said". "Hey Binky, I disagree with what you said."
Sadly, the original thread is long gone, but I saved that quote into a text file that has sat on my desktop ever since.
#3 "I will taxi to victory!"
Not every MMO launches in good shape. Okay, make that "almost no MMO launches in good shape." Server instability, exploits that the asshats didn't report during beta so they could level/get rich faster than everyone else, and more. But some launches are legendary for their problems, and grow even more legendary when someone gets drunk and liveblogs his attempt to play a title released way too early, with way too little documentation. Did I mention the game was aimed at a particular type of simulation player who dearly loves recreating every real life movement necessary to use a piece of equipment? Only back in the day, we didn't call it liveblogging. We called it IRC. Check it out.
#2 "Shut up and give me my ten bucks per month, little man. My Porsche needs some performance upgrades."
It was one of the first examples of a developer really stepping on his own foot - without being particularly at fault. Sure, it shouldn't have been said, but the boards were crackling for months over it. Milo was a character artist for Verant (the studio that was spun off from Sony to avoid risk while they made one of them newfangled MMOs, and eventually brought back into the Sony fold when it turned out that EverQuest wasn't so much a risk as a license to print money). He wrote a fun little Q&A column for Everlore, a now defunct EQ fansite. His column was supposed to be about EQ artwork, and therefore was not overseen by anyone at all. He wrote with humor and style... and due to a general lack of communication from the dev team, quickly became a focus for every nutjob who played the game.
Nutjobs are one and all convinced that MMO devs are all filthy rich, rolling about in a pool of money. This is so far from the truth that insiders regularly joke about it amongst themselves. Back in August of 2000, Milo blew off one of the more hysterical nutjobs with the quote heard round the internet: Shut up and give me my ten bucks per month, little man. My Porsche needs some performance upgrades.
It was his last column.
#1 "It's working as intended."
Every MMO company in the world has an employee utter this one in public, because who doesn't love a public hanging? Whatever "it" is that's supposedly working, saying so on a message board is practically a guarantee that the thing in question is horribly broken, or an agility item that improves when you buff charisma, or not connected to a drop table despite being a boss mob.
I can't possibly link to all of the bloopers this one has been connected to over the years. You're invited to list your favorites in the comments!