The Daily Grind: Have you ever boycotted an MMORPG?

Blizzard Watch ran an editorial yesterday quoting former marine biologist and World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street on the subject of video game boycotts: "I would not advocate boycotting a game as a way to make a statement, especially if deep down you still love the game. You’re just not likely to drive change as a result."

It's not a new idea, but it's one worth revisiting whether we're talking about something as big as economic and political sanctions or something as small as quitting a video game with a big ol' flounce: Even if a whole crapton of people quit over something terrible in a game, it's unlikely to have much of an effect since the developers won't know why. There will always be exceptions -- like the NGE or monoclegate -- and they're such outliers that they have names. For the most part, games really can't react to a few thousand people quitting over a patch here and there. Boycotts just aren't specific enough.

This is why it always bugs me when gamers say things like, if you don't like the way a game is going, leave! Don't try to divert the developers from their vision. I'm with Street: If you love the game, stay and fight. Be loud, be those annoying guys on the forums and Reddit, those tipsters who send rants to the press, who agitate to make games better rather than shrugging and moving on, the games decaying behind them.

Have you ever boycotted an MMORPG? Did it work?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today's Daily Grind!
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149 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Have you ever boycotted an MMORPG?"

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Fenryr Grey

Plenty of times. I avoid all F2P MMO like the plague and EVE Online with its plex-system.

Valen Sinclair
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Valen Sinclair

If by boycott you mean unsubscribe or stop playing because the game is boring or crappy...sure.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I don't boycott. I leave. Ask me why I left, I guess.

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Pedge Jameson

I myself really detested the forum "Petitions" when they used the be all the rage in MMO forums. Until the trolls decided it just wasn't working. Remember the "Rollback NGE! and /sign" garbage? Yeah, that's progress.

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Jay Madison

I don't "boycott". That implies that I shout to everyone that I'm quitting and why.

If I am not satisfied by a game, I quietly unsub, delete it from my hard drive and I simply don't play it, and I move on to another game.

that said, I can't rightly recall a specific game change that caused me to do such a thing to a game. For most, I just stopped finding enjoyment in the game.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Sure I have. This assumption that "if you boycott then you don't let the studio know what it is you think needs changing" is a bit short sighted. Very often the time at which players boycott is after a "long enough" bit of time voicing their disapproval. "Long enough" being a relative measure at which the player doesn't think it's worth their free time anymore to troll forums and spend time lobbying when they could be spending that time having fun doing something else.

Also, the idea that developers don't know, especially when talking thousands of players, the "why" when they boycott is complete and utter hogwash. They know, it's just a matter of whether they care. If it's over something that they don't want to change/reverse, then they feign ignorance followed with an "oh well, they are gone so really no point in changing course now". You have to have the most completely lousy, horribad community manager to not know why such a significant chunk of your player base bails. Yes, not all of them are going to sit down and write a page and a half over why HOWEVER there will be a thread on your forums (if you don't block/lock it) with a bunch of "yup" and "this" replies that tells you why.

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Slaasher

I agree. I will voice my opinion on the forums of a game. Probably many time if I am unhappy and I care about the game. BUT there does come a time when its just not worth the effort anymore. This isn't work. I'm not getting paid to "stick it out." If something becomes unenjoyable and I don't like the way something is going then I leave. I don't leave messages on the forums. Why would I? I have already fought the fight.
I also just unistall and leave.
Why would this person encourage us to stay and be unhappy. being unhappy isn't the reason we game. AT least in theory :)

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Funny but someone, maybe it was a developer said LTP for their game rather than address the issues that game had. I learned to play a different game and that particular game has never seen another cent from me. Some people are so full of themselves that they will never listen so no point talking.

Celestia
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Celestia

I went so far as to have them delete my account so I would never be tempted to give them my time or money. I'm speaking of Trion, of course.

NCsoft killed City Of Heroes, my all time favorite, most hours logged game, and I still didn't boycott them. That's how deeply offended I was by Trion's unforgivably hostile customer service.

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mysecretid

That's genuinely interesting, and has got me curious about time-frame (i.e. when they were good vs. when they were bad).

Why? Because the best customer service I ever experienced with MMORPGs was during the brief time I played RIFT. Not only did they solve my problem, but the manager stepped in and gave me a bunch of digital pets and toys as a thank you for my patience.

I'm not suggesting I don't believe you (I do) -- it's just interesting to me how customer service can rise and fall to such extremes.

The worst customer service I ever experienced? Far and away, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Surly CSR kept closing my ticket because he couldn't see a record of me owning an essentially worthless (except to me) housing item which had disappeared.

I kept re-opening the ticket and reminding him that the missing item was the problem.

Eventually, I tried a housing console command I read somewhere, and made the lost item reappear (it had randomly "clipped" into the floor of my housing and "vanished"). I ended up solving my own damn issue because the CSR couldn't be arsed to do anything himself.

Cheers,

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Brodie Snoek

Not sure, but I've definitely boycotted a development studio and I still do. After the butchering Rift and Defiance both got, I'll never touch a Trion product ever again.

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Rottenrotny

These comments are... funny.
Something tells me GC knows more about what motivates game development changes than the armchair devs in the massively comments section. (◔_◔)

I believe the best way to get things changed in a game is to use the officials way to give feedback. Forums, tweet to the them on twitter etc. Boycotting is like throwing a tantrum when no one is around to see or care about it.

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Mr Poolaty

The Sims Online

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Mr Poolaty

But I still played lol

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Scrungle

I just stay away from blizzard crap. I don't "boycott" as much as I just don't support them.

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Sally Bowls

The occasional emo rage quit but no boycotts.

Go ahead and post to forums and fan sites if it makes you feel better, same as you yell at the newsreader on TV. But this same Ghostcrawler said that he had a boss that told him not to read the forums. I understand that advice; For one thing, there are cheaper people to find the rare wheat amongst the chaff. And devs have said that 10% of the customers read the forums and 1% post. I long maintained that it could be financially more profitable to do the opposite of the forum/beta warriors - the Wildstar Syndrome - do the forum posters really provide much insight into what the bulk of your customers think? Does reading Fox News or Huffington Post forums give you much insight into how the public feels? Are game forums any different?

FYI: I have heard devs say 10-15% leave a MMO each month. GC also has said that when WoW subs were really dropping, that the number of people who unsubbed each month did not go up that much, the subs changed due to the decline in new/returning players. In round numbers, about a million players leave WoW every month. So it would take a staff of over a hundred people to read "why I left your game you idiots" comments if everyone left them.
Also means that "listen to your customers" may not always be the thing. E.g., should EVE and Wildstar be listening to their customers or should they be seeking feedback and insight as to why 99% of the people who played a MMO this month chose not to play theirs?

tethyss
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tethyss

So it would take a staff of over a hundred people to read "why I left your game you idiots" comments if everyone left them.

Or just one correctly configured reporting engine on one PC, which I assume Blizzard has since there is a (pretty granular) survey presented when you cancel your sub.

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Sally Bowls

Depends on your definition of granular. I am not sure if the crusades people were talking about boycotting could be deduced from choosing from a dozen or two choices. but yes the categories do help.

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Fair Mores

Story time
Years ago, around 2010, I noticed players organizing on the forums asking for an unusual feature they wanted implemented. Something about changing the appearance of your armor for cosmetic purposes...anyways i liked the idea and participated. These threads would cap out and new ones would have to be made, over and over. To my knowledge this had been going on for a long time before I discovered it and it went on long after I left.

Finally during one blizzcon QandA, when you can skip all the bureaucracy involved in talking to the devs and talk to them directly, someone mentioned implementing this feature. They not only said no but they mocked the person and the thousands of fans who supported this idea by calling it "WORLD OF DRESSCRAFT".

Sometimes you can't communicate with the devs, English doesn't work bacause you can't talk to a wall. You have to communicate with the man who pays the rent and writes the paychecks the devs live off of, the boss. And he doesn't speak English either but he does speak GREEN. You unsub and you make them read the forums, the fan sites, you make them ask the question "what do the fans want so I can put it in the game and maybe bring back the 2 million subs?"

In my opinion, millions of players are enjoying trnasmog in WoW completely oblivious of all the work, and players leaving, it took to put it in there.

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wild-abyss

God, I love world of dresscraft, though.

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Vexia

It always baffles me how Blizzard turns down fan requests at Blizzcon Q&As by straight-up mocking them! Like what kind of pretentious rudeness is that when you could simply say "no" or "we have no plans for it"?

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Pedge Jameson

Someone at Blizz was asked about player housing and he snorted and guffawed back a huge "No" as "how fun it was" to be so obnoxious. I was so wanting to kick my computer because of his attitude. From what I hear the dev was a PVP addict and hated anything related to housing or immersion. Anyone remember who he was?

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Vexia

All of these stories make it increasingly difficult for me to want to continue playing Blizzard games. Feedback is one thing, but it seems like a surprising number of the development team have this sort of attitude. I don't think you can feedback/forum post that away.

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Pedge Jameson

This was on one of their live streams, I mean he snorted guffawed right at the guy interviewing. It wasn't even a fan but the damn press!. I don't think the guys there anymore, none the less it was sickening.

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McGuffn

One thing I've been thinking about recently is that the people who try to fight and change a game should be actively opposed if you like the game already. Are people agitating for open world pvp with corpse looting and permadeath in your pve carebear title? You should oppose them! Same with introducing or cutting back features like housing, raiding, adjusting group sizes, hard modes, adding story content, changing loot drops, changing skills, adding new content versus fixing bugs, streamlining player choices/talent systems, or deciding the game really needs an NGE.

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ichi sakari

anything Trion, never again

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Vexia

Well, when you subscribe, you often have the ability to make forum posts or submit feedback to the support team. MMOs are so complex that I understand it can be hard to discern what factors contribute to player decline or retention. That's why I like games that include periodic community surveys and unsubscribing surveys, if relevant.

However, I absolutely do not think it's a good practice to continue spending money on something you don't like in hopes that it will eventually become something you do like. Asking that of someone who is 100% ready to quit the game/unsubscribe is ridiculous. If you find yourself in that situation and want to see a particular change in the game, it's best to leave the above-mentioned feedback before you go, or make your voice heard on another public platform like a blog or Reddit. Just understand that those changes may or may not happen.

It's still amazing to me how Blizzard can do so poorly at the art of understanding what players want and still make money hand-over-fist. There are probably some people who won't unsub from WoW until the day the servers go dark.

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NeoWolf

Up until a year or so ago the answer would have been no. I don't like to write anything off permanently as things can always change (in theory).
But then after the umpteenth time of having to deal with the shameful disgrace that is NCSoft and affiliates (carbine etc.) customer support and essentially being called a liar for weeks while dealing with yet another issue of their incompetence and provision of anything BUT customer support in sorting an issue THEY made, and then when they finally accepted I was correct in the face of incontrovertible proof they then refused to even apologise.

Since then I told them to stick their games where the sun don't shine and I will no no longer touch any game by them or theirs no spend any more money with them. (shame really, I was lookin forward to blade and soul). And considering the years i've spent in thier gamez and the literal thousands of pounds I've spent with them the loss is most assuredly theirs and they can suck it!

In fact they should count thier lucky stars they were not operating out of the UK here as the trading standards laws and business oversight laws we have here about customer care would have allowed me to nail them to the wall for the way they treated me.

So yeah :) I have.

I do support the idea of boycotting games although it shouldn't be done for nought but instead in instances of when developers just are not listening to thier communities as a wholle or treating them poorly.
Far too many games these days are in the mindset of they can do what they like and ignore what their customers tell them on some issues despite it hurting the majority because customer views don't align with the company "plan". etc..
And when communication doesn't work the ONLY way to make companies take notice is to affect their bottom line. In fact nothing makes them pay attention more than removing their beloved cash from the equation.
And to iterate I am not referring to individual requests and issues but so much as huge glaring issues majorities of playerbases have on certain things, which companies then ignore because changing it isnt in line with their grand plan of what they want to do with the game.

I would say however never believe the hyperbole, don't be a sheep and jump on a hate train just because others are saying something negative, make opinions for yourself. Someone else bad experience is theirs and won't necessarily be yours.

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Robert Mann

No, and yes. No to boycotting. Yes to avoiding companies. The primary reason why is that I refuse to support a company which treats customers poorly, given any choice of whom to do business with. There are a few things where all the choices are bad, and that stinks (like ISPs right now in the U.S.) This isn't limited to games, of course!

That said, Blizzard is on my list for that, so Ghostcrawler can say what he will and it doesn't really matter to me. The company was rude to many a player on the forums, and when your official representation does that, it is goodbye! On the other hand, I NEVER request anyone to join me... so I am not boycotting in any way, merely choosing with whom I wish to do business.

ceder
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ceder

I boycott studios more than games. If the studio is bad, fleece customers, etc then their mindset with 1 game isn't going to be miraculously different with another.

Reader

Pardon me, but he is a bit full of it. Developers certainly know "why" people quit when they quit in mass. We are certainly not a silent community.

Sony Online Entertainment certainly knew why Star Wars Galaxies player base vanished over night.

Warner Brothers certainly knows why former Asheron's Call players have no interest in any of their other products.

So yeah, not buying that line. The changes to SWG and the boycott/exodus it produced sunk that ship and they certainly had the chance to correct it. The players fought tooth and nail, they were dismissed as a fringe minority. Subs tanked. No point sticking around and spending money on a product you hate.

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Danny Smith

Not really, if a games not fun i don't play. Played WoW for like 8 or 9 years but too many of the team that made the game i liked left and the replacements made the game into a fun void. I had my good times and wasn't going to pay to not have fun so stopped. Wasn't really a grand moral outrage gesture.

I mean i guess the closest would be enjoying Swtor pre rise of the hut cartel but the lockbox pushing got really gross so i stopped.

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McGuffn

Stay and fight will probably become stay and be ignored, which is what Street and the game studios want, because you're staying.

So boycotts can be effective, and also, most boycotts are a form of fighting anyway. Silent boycotts probably won't get you what you want.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Nope. I dont see much point - either I like the game and I play it or I dont like it and I dont. Actually you can count me boycotting subscription based games, since I dont play any of them for quite a while. Sub model imo is archaic for MMOs

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Wendigo Runner

Pretty much anything by Nexon, Daybreak, Trion, and it looks like My.com is going to be added to that list very soon. RIP Revelation. Not that I'm surprised about My.com's pay2win behavior to be honest. Such as is.

Beyond that, not really. Cryptic is a defacto member of the list but I still hold very loosely onto my old STO account. They don't get money from me but I log in maybe a few times a year. So that's kind of a thing.

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Castagere Shaikura

I have never but i remember back in Anarchy Online a big boycott of turning one of the major neutral hubs over to one of the factions. The protest was so huge that the devs changed their minds.

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theblackmage75

I'm sure Ghostcrawler meant well and he does have some credibility with his point. However, I'm as wary of taking boycott advice from a game developer as I am of accepting protest advice from a government or homeopathic medicine advice from a member of Big Pharma. The notion that sticking around and complaining is what moves people to change just doesn't jibe with my experiences.

The outcry that seemingly moves any company to action is always underscored and empowered by the threat of losing customers and losing money.

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Wendigo Runner

Spot on. They're just a lot of words to say "stop complaining and continue giving us money".

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Mark Johns

Makes me think of The Guild when Vork boycotts the game.

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Bryan Correll

It helped him win back Erin Gray, so that was a big win for him. A big win.

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Crow

That's the kind of person I always visualize in these situations. They're all Vorks.

purplecopper
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purplecopper

Oh really? Didn't people make an uproar about Real ID when Blizzard wanted to make it mandatory, but players threatened to boycott/unsub WoW, which made Blizzard back off and made Real ID optional?

Seemed like it worked in that case. Or is that an exception and not the rule?

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deekay_plus

with real id i think it was someone doxxing one of the realid blue posters with limited information he provided that swayed blizz on it. lol

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Wendigo Runner

Yeah I remember that. They didn't care until they had to actually deal with the consequences of the system. Good on whoever doxxed 'em as I doubt that anything would have been changed otherwise.

boredinbc
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boredinbc

I've stopped playing games for a variety of reasons, usually it's because I am not having fun. That might be due to mechanics, balances, monetization schemes etc...but I have never actively boycotted a game that I like playing as a form of protest.

Boycotts are largely politically or ethically driven. Quitting a game to protest low employee wages is a boycott. Quitting because the subscription price went up, is not.

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jay

How else are we as players suppose to influence dev's, and press upon them the seriousness of things they are simply overlooking? Granted boycotting something infers that you have an organized movement with a lot of people doing it, communicating, and making their needs clear.

Most of the "boycotts" I've seen in the MMO sphere are a bunch of haphazard players on forums and social media disclaiming that they are boycotting studio X, with no organization, set goals, or lines of communication open to the dev team.

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Crow

How else are we as players suppose to influence dev's, and press upon them the seriousness of things they are simply overlooking?

Honestly, they're not supposed to do so. Sure devs want "feedback" but the data they collect on what people actually do in game is what drives focus. Games that have catered to vocal playerbases almost always miss the mark for the larger picture.

A smart dev will realize that people unhappy with the game aren't going to be made happy by being pandered to. What is happening is that people want the game to be different... but those people aren't devs are have merely a tiny sliver of context to understand the actual depth of decisions. People are almost always completely oblivious to the fact that devs have more limitations and issues in getting things to change/world than is generally accepted by a playerbase.

Players see a bug or issue and think it is easy to fix. It rarely is ever "easy".

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Schmidt.Capela

You can only boycott a game if it's a game you actually want to play even with all its current flaws; not playing something because of a feature, or the lack of a feature, preventing you from enjoying the game isn't a boycott, it's just sane spending habits.

So, for me at least, no, not for MMOs at least; while I'm not against boycotting games, all MMOs I would otherwise boycott were ones I wasn't going to play anyway.

I did, and do, boycott other games, though. For example, regardless of how good the game is I will not purchase any game with DRM I consider abusive, like UPlay or Denuvo (and if such a game removes its DRM afterward I will only purchase it with a 60% discount or better). I spent about a decade boycotting EA, and even now I won't purchase anything from the Origin store because I consider its very name to be disrespectful to Origin Systems, my favorite developer back when EA acquired and killed it. I vowed to not purchase anything from Frontier or that David Braben is involved in any way for a decade (which ends in 2025) over the way Frontier handled the removal of the offline mode from Elite Dangerous (I'm not boycotting Elite Dangerous per see because I find that game, as it currently stands, not worth playing anyway). And so on.

Truth be told, part of what enables me to do so is having an almost 4 figures games backlog. I could refuse to ever spend another cent with games from now on and still have games to play for the next decades, more so because I don't mind dated graphics.

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Kurt Shadle

Yup i have which is why I agree it's absolutely pointless. I've boycotted SWOTR despite being a huge Star Wars fan and refused to buy anything from the cash shop in BDO. Both are due to cash shop issues I have with each game. Neither has made any difference at all as both games are going strong.

Luckily for ESO I've already proven to myself that it's pointless because they're starting to irk me with their cash shop as well.

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KryptonianGL

Ghostcrawler can suck my big hairy ones! Bree what you both are saying is pretty much a bunch of BS that makes zero sense and here's why:

I am actually boycotting SWTOR over the assinine Dark vs. Light patch!...And, they should know exactly why I've left the game, because, when you cancel your sub, the game gives you a feedback form to fill out on why you left -- which I did!

So, I'm not sure as to why they wouldn't know unless:

A. You don't fill out the feedback form
B. They don't present you with a feedback form upon cancellation
C. They don't bother to read or pay attention to feedback forms

Furthermore, bitching on the forums often gets you nowhere because a lot of games silence you by deleting your posts the minute you do -- no matter how respectful or classy a manner you present your frustrations or argument! In addition, they will tell you to post on Reddit, because more than likely they can just ignore you there if they so choose.

That Jedi mind-trick crap you two are trying might work on the plebs, but I ALWAYS vote with my wallet! I'll vote with my wallet and bitch about it on the forums and if they silence me, that just verifies to me that I made the correct decision!

There are far too many fish in the see (i.e. games out there) to put up with the BS of some of the devs out there looking to screw their customers with a d*** big enough for an elephant to feel it!

Finally, voting with your wallet often times is the ONLY way to get through to stubborn-ass business/company heads!

My 2 cents worth!

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kgptzac

I agree with the sentiment. However for regular forum readers, threads made by people quitting are mostly not worth reading. Luckily most MMO are F2P now so ex-players who no longer play can still participate in discussions and sometimes we can know what made them quit, outside of a "omg another rage quitter thread" context.

But with subscription based games, they definitely should have offered to listen to why you are cancelling subscription. Writing a succinct, respectful, and informative paragraph there is logically the best avenue to get your dissatisfaction heard, assume the company you're dealing with is willing to listen.

So in conclusion: do both. Make a (non-shitposting) thread that worth others reading on the forum, then copy paste and email the company. Most people wouldn't go this far, and if the company can't take a hint, (unfortunately it's hard to tell from outsider point of view), then it's time to back the f away as far as possible from the game/company and pursue your fun elsewhere.

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KryptonianGL

Well said!

I have never rage-quit a game as I seldom if ever rage that badly over a game, period! Even with the rampant cheating that was going on in SWTOR PvP, I never rage quit. I am just not wired that way. I just try not to let games get to me that way. It's simply not worth the stress and harm it does to you when you allow it to. After all, it's just a game! I always try to remember that.

So, when I do finally decide to leave a game, it's typically after I've given the decision ample thought. And yes, I do usually submit feedback or posts that get my points across in a constructive, meaningful way and if it gets me nowhere, so be it.

Like I said in my previous post, there are just so many games out there that it's rarely ever worth my time to stay unhappy or let my aggravation fester -- even if the game takes place in the DC or Star Wars universe, which I love!

I have a hard enough time deciding on the games in which I want to pursue my fun, so I often look at it as, "Oh well, the devs for this game just made my decision easier!"

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Nordavind

define:boycott

* withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.
* refuse to buy or handle (goods) as a punishment or protest

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Dobablo

Most gaming boycotts seem to be against design decisions with which I agree.
Ultimately I'm not going to stop playing a game that I still enjoy. I'm not a good martyr.

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Dreema

I'm not sure boycott is the right word, but I've quit playing quite a few MMOs over the years because I've hated how bad they've become. The last one was WoW. One dumbass design decision after another, too much time with too little content, spending most of WoD stuck in my garrison because there was nothing else to do, etc, etc. Does that really count as a boycott?

The only game I've ever really boycotted was SWToR because I got so sick and tired of hearing Bioware blow their own trumpet before the game launched that by the time it came out I just had no interest in playing it.

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johnwillo

This isn't really a boycott, but I backed away from World of Tanks/Warships/Warplanes after Russia annexed the Crimea. I know that the game company has nothing to do with the actions of the country that they're located in, but I just don't want to feel like I am helping the Russian economy when they are (effectively) in a low-level war with their neighbor.

I suppose if I was a TRUE supporter of Ukraine, I'd play World of Tanks non-stop without spending any money, in order to drain Russian resources.

But it's not a real boycott... I just feel too conflicted to enjoy playing.

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Viktor Budusov

Except that Wargaming isn't Russian company at all (it's in Belorussia). But it's ok for brainwashed ones. :)

zennie001
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zennie001

"brainwashed"

Can you discuss like a civilised person?

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johnwillo

I was unaware of that, I appreciate the correction. While I no fan of Byelorussia's government, at least they are not (currently) annexing their neighbors. Looks like Wargaming's current headquarters are in Cyprus... that has to be for tax reasons.

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Dobablo

Non buyers are a resource that feed gold ammo and tank buyers.

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Arktouros

If you aren't paying for the product then you are the product :)

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Schmidt.Capela

It's one of the ways to make F2P work, yes.

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Aywren

I'm not sure I'd call it a boycott, but I have walked away from a few games and never came back due to practices I couldn't support.

ArcheAge and I parted ways after a few months, despite my love of the little farm I'd built and all the sandboxy elements to the game. I didn't like the cash-grab direction it was going, and I refused to support it with further sub or purchases. So I gave my farm away and left. I have never even felt tempted to log back in again. I think it was one of the smarter gaming choices I've made.

I'm also not very pleased with the design choices and vision changes GW2 has made over the recent years. While I'd not consider this a boycott, I refused to purchase the expansion -- the first and only Guild Wars expansion I have not purchased since GW1 launched! I was previously a big supporter of Anet and Guild Wars in particular.

I now only log in to ensure I bank the new living world episodes so that if by any chance I did decide to play again, I wouldn't have to pay for that content. It doesn't look likely I'll ever see it, though, since their living world content is locked behind the expansion that I've chosen not to purchase. I still see this as a huge missed opportunity to bring back jaded players (like myself), but that's a grump for another comment.

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Nordavind

First things first, yes. I've boycotted a game. The boycott of TSW is still in effect.

Secondly, boycotting a game is not mutually exclusive with giving feedback on why you left. Don't know why that WoW dev seem to think it is. Also, money talks. Of course a dev says "don't leave, stay, change from within!". It means you'll feed their piggybank while being unhappy with (parts of) the game.

Lastly, the ruckus (from both stayers and leavers) causen by the thing TSW, did make Funcom partially change their behaviour on the matter.

Edit: Oh, and I boycott all things SoE/Daybreak.

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Modrain

Boycotting to make a statement is basically driving to death something that you think is worth your interest, for the sole reason that it isn't exactly the way you want. That's a pretty peculiar way to express oneself that I never tried.

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Jack Pipsam

I boycott all NCSoft games.

Put aside their history, namely I personally bitter because they deleted my account. They did a major account merger, but I was unaware of this process. So when I returned to try Wildstar, I found my old account didn't work.

To my surprise and horror, I lost everything. My Aion collector's editon stuff, gone, my characters gone and everything else linked to that account too.

I tried to get it fixed but they told me it was impossible to do. So I don't touch their games anymore.
You don't just take away my account, delete my stuff and then expect me to be a customer again.

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imayb1

I knew that big merger was going to cause a mess. They did it over a year or so of time-- first offering bonuses to do the new account thing, then offering bigger bonuses, and finally making it mandatory. I'm sure plenty of people didn't switch in time and those that stopped playing and tried to come back never will.

antheriel
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antheriel

Really sorry that happened to you! That sounds highly unpleasant.

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Grimjakk

Yeah, not really 'boycott'. I'm a customer. If I don't like something, I take my custom elsewhere. But in general, these days I just don't have the time or energy for in-game drama.

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Arktouros

It's always amazed me how complicated people make things.

If you aren't entertained or aren't having fun with your entertainment product seek another.

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Rumm

This is the correct answer.

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Vunak

I still refuse to play Neverwinter because its a slap in the face to the old NWN1 and 2 games. Other than that I dont boycott anyone. Though TRION the studio is very close to me never touching another thing they touch.

I'm still seething mad at Daybreak/SOE for canning EQ: Next and even more mad that they ruined StoryBricks which was a true innovation in the AI field for MMO's and games in general.

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Crow

I'd be madder if SOE shut down entirely and saw ALL their games shut down or get sold off bit by bit to numerous third parties.

DBG saved so many games, and their first outside big deal was to swoop in and save LotRO and DDO. Bookmark this comment, because in five years we're all going to be praising DBG for being the only company willing to come in and save games from shutdown. If DBG has been around when CoH shut down they likely would have bid for that property as well. 100% within their current strategy.

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Arktouros

I grew up playing hardcore gankboxes. But year after year, game after game, we lost more and more PvP features. UO was an unmitigated slaughterhouse FFA PvP with full loot. EQ we only got a FFA PvP server with single loot. AC we got a FFA PvP server with preventable loot. Then we lost FFA PvP and it was faction based with DAoC and AO and only coin drop. Game after game we lost more and more PvP options. Quit DAoC because I thought it was carebear as hell having to be teamed up with people I hated and meaningless coin drop.

I was in beta for many of these games and made many impassioned pleas for more PvP options. I'm not too proud to admit this started out with flaming, personal attacks everything you'd expect out of a FFA PvPer. Anything less than FFA PvP was carebear bullshit. As the years passed and this was ignored and we kept losing more options I tried everything. Reasoned arguments, thoughtful discussions, merits of each and everything in between. Every time 100% ignored. Around LOTRO beta I gave up.

After a while you learn that really forums are pretty much just a place for people to bitch, moan and argue. A repository of whine. Some customer's college paper length essay on why they are quitting is just part of the customer churn to companies. Many companies now seem to run internal teams of players where they get their actual feedback and not the forums. The only time I've ever seen actual change come out of companies are when there's feedback that has universal backing from the entire game population. But in an environment of constant trolling and dank memes getting everyone on board with something is absurdly rare.

So bitching or complaining or boycotting or sticking through it or anything in between doesn't matter. The only use complaining about things does is provide catharsis for getting your frustrations with the game out there. Expecting a multi-million dollar corporation to change their ways or business plan or game model because you don't like it is insane. The only thing companies care about is money and until your cause grows big enough to affect their bottom line then it's just noise.

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Robert Mann

This is why I so strongly support the idea of different games for different players. The problem isn't that you like FFA PvP, or that others dislike it, but rather that every game is trying to please every customer... and it never works.

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johnwillo

>A repository of whine.

A whine cellar?

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Arktouros

A basement of bitching.

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Manastu Utakata

I presume here the boycotting is refusing to play a game because they're hoping their actions might implement change in a game they've come to so much love and respect that's losing its way. Or made a potentially game breaking decision...or two. As oppose, walking away from a game entirely because it has become so awful, unplayable and/or just not my thing, there is no hope for it. Therefor, just flat out quitting it with no intention of returning to it.

And yeah...I've done both. :)

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Tulerezzer

I have boycottd DeyBreak Games, does that count?

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CthulhuDawg

I am starting to worry about their patronage of my favorite games of all time. I went the exact opposite path you have taken. I'm currently working on farming all the epics for all the classes and making sure my mains have completed all content. If they disappear I want to be ready.

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Crow

This is such an unfounded fear. Everything DBG has done can be clearly identified as correcting the mistakes of SOE's intense mismanagement to beneficial outcomes.

First off, SOE was about to fold entirely. What did DBG do, exactly, after they transitioned from SOE, rescuing the studio? First, they cut the money-pits that directly caused SOE to be in danger of losing ALL their games and/or having therm split up like kids in a terrifying divorce. These are positives. A negative financial studio can't make any games without a spectre of absolute terror and insane pressure.

Then what did they do? They reaffirmed the P1999 agreement and then immediately got the ball rolling on highly desired progression/legacy servers. I mean, what jerks!

And then, the icing on the cake! DBG stepped in and saved both LotRO and DDO.

I mean, I get the negativity in narrative but it is completely unwarranted when you look at what DBG has actually done and how intensely they've doubled-down on the games in their portfolio that are actually working and healthy. The addition of their publishing duties for SSG just further nail home the fact that they're responsible businesspeople who also are investing in older games with dedicated playerbases.

To be frank, if DBG were around when CoH shut down, I would not at all put it out of the realm of possibility that DBG would have seen it akin to how they're seeing SSG as an opportunity.

At the end of the day DBG's actual actions and the actual outcomes are insanely positive and sparking of trust. The largest issue any MMORPG studio (or any game studio in general) can come up against is that knowing how to sell and budget and do all the boring financial stuffs is more important than anything else and has led to an astounding number of indie failures. Many before they even get started.

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Tulerezzer

Pretty sure the progression servers were in place before the sale, since I came back to play on one.

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Crow

It is so easy to google this stuff. The DBG transition and CN sale occurred in Feb 2015. Ragefire and Lockjaw opened (?) in May of 2015.

Care to address anything else? or did you just think you had a clever gotcha?

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Tulerezzer

Nope. I was mistaken since it was almost 2 years ago. My bad. I wasn't trying to be clever, I just didn't devote enough research time to my post.

Was the groundwork for the progression servers done after the sale also?

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Tandor

Boycott a game in order to protest against something? No, if I don't like a game or what the developers are doing with it then I don't play it, but not in a way that I'd call a boycott. They're just games, sometimes people take them way too seriously.

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Gadgets-4G

I was pissed when EQ 1 shit on Druids about 4 months after release. I spent hours bitching in-game about the god's who had forsaken the Druid and left them gimped and shitty.

I also boycotted briefly the invention of Trammel but in the end embraced it and profited greatly.

I boycotted AC2 as incomplete bullshit when it was released.

I think the forums are the proper "Forum" But game designers get increasingly narrow focused as time goes on and players who have learned to live with the "problem" will just spout the L2P line. Developers hardly ever abandon a plan once hatched so it's usually just a waste of good seething rage.

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Alex Malone

I don't believe in boycotting in order to make a statement or drive change. It never works unless you can convince a significant proportion of the pop to follow you.

That said, I will boycott games or vote with my wallet under certain circumstances. I boycott all games published by EA as experience has shown me that 99% of the time, a game published by EA is going to be overpriced and will under-deliver. I refuse to support a company that operates that way. Likewise, I also now avoid any games that have Jeff Hickman involved in any sort of authoritative position as again, experience has shown me that he destroys any games he touches and hasn't learnt from past mistakes.

In the past I have tried to stick with MMOs and drive the change from the inside. My last attempt was with SW:TOR. I started in closed beta and stuck with it until just before the first expansion. The entire time I spent ages sending in suggestions, providing data, linking to scientific theories of psychology and complaining in an attempt to get the game pointed in the right direction (so, roughly 2 years of constructive criticism). However, when they announced their first expansion it finally sunk home that they weren't going to deliver on any of the development promises, they weren't going to fix any of the broken features and they weren't going to improve the game. Instead, I finally admitted that Bioware had failed to make a proper MMO and so I quit. 4 years on my decision proved correct - they did nothing to improve the game, instead just focusing on solo questing.

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