Perfect Ten: Conversations with anthropomorphic concepts of MMO studios

Every so often, a man needs to have a conversation with some anthropomorphized concepts. I do that every few years. In the past, I’ve usually focused on more philosophical concepts. I had a great conversation with Insight and really learned a lot about myself in the process, for example, and I can’t stop thinking about my talk with Contemplation. My dinner with Indulgence was fun, too, even if I would up spending far too much money on it; I feel like scheduling a chat with Regret the morning after was a bad idea.

Most recently, though, I decided to have some conversations with studios. Not their representatives, but with the actual studios themselves. Some of those conversations went better than others, though. You don’t need to take my word for it, though; I included the most interesting ones just past the break. I double-checked with Honesty first, so we’re good, it’s all fair.

This isn't anything like Overwatch and I don't know why you'd say that.

1. Hi-Rez Studios

Me: Nice to meet you, Hi-Rez. We’ve never really talked before.
Hi-Rez Studios: Hey, it’s a pleasure. I like your shirt.
Me: Thanks, it’s a –
Hi-Rez Studios: Here, try our shirt.
Me: What the heck? That’s my shirt?
Hi-Rez Studios: What are you talking about? We just made a shirt.
Me: That looks… exactly like my shirt but in different colors.
Hi-Rez Studios: Pure coincidence. And look at the stitching? This is quality stitching on our shirt.
Me: But that’s still my shirt. Were you even going to make that shirt until you saw my shirt?
Hi-Rez Studios: Look, man, people are going to need shirts either way. Are you going to complain about the fact that I supposedly copied your shirt, or are you going to try on this super-comfortable new shirt?
Me: …are you guys ever touching Global Agenda again?
Hi-Rez Studios: As soon as that’s half as profitable as shirts, sure. We have made so much money from this shirt.

I know, you expected some EQN jokes.

2. Daybreak

Daybreak: We’re going to be so good for gamers.
Me: What – who are you?
Daybreak: Here, do you like this window? It’s a terrible window. Let’s smash it and replace it with a better window.
Me: That’s my window. This is my home, you just barged in here and I didn’t want to see you. Where did you come from?
Daybreak: Not enough people really appreciate windows. We’re going to make a better sort of window.
Me: You just smashed my window! I liked that window!
Daybreak: We had to get rid of that window to bring in our new window. This is even better than the old window.
Me: That’s a piece of cellophane held to the wall with duct tape.
Daybreak: See? It’s better!
Me: No, it’s not. I wanted my window.
Daybreak: We’re going to split this new window into two windows, so you can look at two different versions of the same landscape.
Me: I never thought that Smedley would be the one preventing you from self-destruction.
Daybreak: We were real surprised, too.

Too much forging ahead making everything worse to do!

3. Blizzard

Me: Hey, Blizz, what’s the – oh, crap, dude, your place is on fire!
Blizzard: Oh hey, what’s up? We’re just chilling, making plans for our next party.
Me: Your house is on fire.
Blizzard: Yeah, it happens.
Me: No, it doesn’t just happen. Your house is on fire now. You can do something about that.
Blizzard: People always leave our parties around this point.
Me: Because you are letting your house catch fire.
Blizzard: There’s nothing we can do about it, really.
Me: The fire. You can put out the fire. You can address the actual very real fire which is burning right now.
Blizzard: They’ll be back.
Me: They wouldn’t have left at all if you would put out the fire. There is a fire, do something about it, how do you live like this?
Blizzard: How would we even start putting out a fire?
Me: You have enough money to install a sprinkler system! You can put fire extinguishers every two feet! What the hell, dude, put out the fire!
Blizzard: There’s nothing that can be done. It’s the circle of life.

This wasn't really what you cared about anyway, right? Right.

4. ArenaNet

The past:

ArenaNet: Check out this design document for our first expansion. E-sports and raiding are the future of Guild Wars 2!
Me: Really? Are… I don’t think that’s right.
ArenaNet: Nah, it’s totally right.
Me: But… but your players are here because you don’t focus on those things.
ArenaNet: They’ll stick around.
Me: It just… look, it seems like there might be long-term risks to alienating your audience to serve a short-term fad and a design philosophy your players dislike.
ArenaNet: Risks like everything being perfect forever and making all the money, you mean?

Present day

ArenaNet: Aw, hell.

It's a world of human wreckage.

5. Carbine Studios

Carbine: Hey… hey, man. What’s up?
Me: Holy crap, Carbine, what happened to you?
Carbine: Lots of stuff. It wasn’t my fault.
Me: Are you… do you live in this flophouse?
Carbine: It’s less that I live here and more that I hide whenever the owners come around.
Me: Dude, you don’t deserve to be living like this.
Carbine: Listen, do you want to maybe… let us stay at your place for a few days? I’ve got a million-dollar idea, I just need to get it off the ground.
Me: Is this million-dollar idea pre-Trammel Ultima Online mixed with a totally different game people would want to play?
Carbine: I mean… that’s part of it…
Me: Carbine.
Carbine: (sobbing) I… look. I need help, man. I need help.
Me: Please stop carrying around those “Most Anticipated” trophies. That is really creepy.

And nobody knows you're getting it right.

6. Square-Enix

Me: All right, let’s get this over with. Talk about how you’re going to hurt me.
Square-Enix: What?
Me: You know, punishing mechanics or bad games or content droughts or something.
Square-Enix: Is… is that what you expect?
Me: Past experiences would indicate it.
Square-Enix: Do you actually like games, or is it some kind of Stockholm syndrome at this point?
Me: I am never going to get over the fact that you now look like the most competent person in the room.
Square-Enix: Hey, do you want another monthly update for our game in maintenance mode?
Me: More than anything.

huh

7. Funcom

Funcom: My friend! Remember how you really needed car rides from me but couldn’t stand the shocks on my car?
Me: Ugh, yeah. You’re a good driver, but that thing felt like riding in a paint mixer.
Funcom: Good news! I’m getting the car completely rebuilt from the ground up. Shocks so smooth you won’t feel anything!
Me: Oh, hey, that’s wonderful!
Funcom: And no more roof!
Me: I… wait, is it a convertible?
Funcom: Nope! It just won’t have a roof any more!
Me: But… what happens when it rains?
Funcom: Excuse me?
Me: Car roofs protect you from the weather.
Funcom: …
Me: Hello?
Funcom: It’s really just a moderate fix for our car.
Me: Wait, I’m… so there is going to be a roof?
Funcom: Completely rebuilt from the ground up! No roof, good shocks!
Me: Are you high right now?

NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT

8. Blizzard, again

Blizzard: Buddy! Don’t you love e-sports?
Me: The restraining order says fifty feet and it means fifty feet.
Blizzard: But we learned our lesson! This time our game contains no story internally whatsoever!
Me: Get out of my house!

It's been real, and it's been fun, and at times it was arguably even real fun.

9. Zenimax

Zenimax: Check out our new cake! We based it on a Thomas Kincaid painting.
Me: Thomas Kincaid is awful, guy.
Zenimax: Don’t be mean. He had a lot of technical skill.
Me: Yes, but his art doesn’t speak to anything. There’s no soul to it. It’s just something you hang in a hotel lobby.
Zenimax: All right, but try the cake.
Me: …dang. You guys made a really good cake.
Zenimax: So, want to see our next Kincaid-inspired cake?
Me: I’m filled with conflicting emotions that lean toward yes.
Zenimax: We also made a great mash-up album of songs you hate!
Me: You know, Square-Enix just lets me feel positive about a friendship. We’d get along better if you stopped adding all of these caveats.
Zenimax: You want to watch a compelling supercut of the Star Wars prequels?
Me: Dude, seriously.

why

10. NCsoft

NCsoft: Bad news is that I smashed the heck out of your front door. Here’s the good news: I’m sorry.
Me: Leave!

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
Editor’s note: In case it’s somehow not obvious, these interviews are satirical, not real.
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27 Comments on "Perfect Ten: Conversations with anthropomorphic concepts of MMO studios"

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

The future’s made of Eliot’s insanity,
but I always seem to talk about this love he has for,
Simple, nifty, often fun article-ology.

BUT NOW THERE IS NO SOUND FOR WE ALL LIVE UNDERGROUND.

Reader
Zen Dadaist

I admit, I LOL’d. Awaiting part 2 with Cryptic, Trion and the rest!

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Tazuras

Very good. I hope part two is not too far away :D

Reader
Caio Muniz

I find the Hi-Rez one really funny, but really, you can easily find videos on the Paladins demo dating back to 2013, and videos comparing characters in Overwatch to the gameplay in Global Agenda… and it gets pretty silly to be on Blizzard’s side after that.
Your article really proves the point that the poorer studio gets the blame for ripping off even when all evidence points to the opposite. And more importantly, the media themselves are the ones imposing this kinda thing. Just annoys me a bit.

possum440 .
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possum440 .

You missed an opp for a Red5 studios conversation…….this cannot be forgiven.

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Sleepy

I think it would go something like:

Me: So…
Red5: ESPORTS!
Me: what do you think caused…
Red5: ESPORTS!
Me: Could you have turned around…
Red5: ESPORTS!
Me: Um…
Red5: ESPORTS! PvP! Wait, No PvP! ESPORTS! ON A BUS!
Me: I’d have fired you too.

Reader
Utakata

Left pigtail: What’s anthropomorphic concept mean anyways?

Right pigtail: Hell, if I know!

Me: Shush you two, I am trying to read! >:

Reader
Bryan Correll

I’m not the biggest fan of ESO’s aesthetics, but Thomas Kincaid? That’s like kicking them in the nuts. And then pouring brightly colored paint on said nuts.

Reader
Kurt Shadle

I’m thinking we need an “Eliot’s insanity” tag for posts like these. I don’t ever want to miss one.

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Bannex

Pretty much the best thing I’ve read on this website. Wish we could like articles.

Too soft on square but that’s my personal bias…

WHERE IS TRION?!?

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johnwillo

Can we get a similar piece about Massively OP staff members as MMO companies?

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johnwillo

I’d be okay if you wanted to stop interviewing actual MMO company representatives and just did this going forward.

semugh
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semugh

2 blizzard 0 crpytic… im outta here…

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Legend Of Vinny T

Eliot is waiting for the personification of Cryptic’s PR agency to provide the personification of Cryptic’s replies to his questions.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

We have a whole list of studios to tease if we ever do another take on this kind of column :D

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Nordavind

Me: Hello Niantic!
Niantic:
Me: So, what’s the plan with Ingress.
Niantic:
Me: Are you going to address the cheaters?
Niantic:
Me: How about sell…
Niantic: THERE IS A NEW ROUND OF ANOMALIES COMING UP! TRAVEL THERE; BUY STUFF AND TICKETS!
Me: Oh, great, you’re there.
Niantic:
Me: Hello?
Niantic:
Me: So, you made a new game. Cool.
Niantic:
Me: You know, this new game has a ton of players and attention. You should consider communicating with the community.
Niantic:
Me: Really.
Niantic:
Me: Oh, I give
Niantic: Hello players! We will make this the greatest game ever.
Me: Ok?
Niantic: Great things are coming! Best game ever.
Me: But…
Niantic: We promise.
Me:

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

They have top men working on it!

mystwen
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mystwen

Eliot, you are the reason I started supporting through Patreon last year. This article is a reason I will continue!

I was screaming at the screen when they started to change the direction GW2.

ArenaNet: Aw, hell

Priceless!

Stopping counting the times I screamed at the screen over Blizzard decisions in WoW. It’s my own fault I now scream at decisions in Hearthstone. But at least I spend no money on that one.

Bravo!!

FVerret
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FVerret

That was really funny.

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BalsBigBrother

Oh god Eliot don’t ever stop being you seriously just keep doing what you do (more often) and I will be happy with whatever the world throws at me on any given day

*wipes tears of laughter from face*

*bows respectfully*

:-)

Reader
Sorenthaz

In the extended edition Elliot realizes HiRez is acting awfully familiar. The mask is pulled off and Blizzard sits there with a smug grin.

Also Carbine pretty much applies to Trion too. :/

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bigangry

Eliot… Eliot, I want you to read this loud and clear, okay?

This is HILARIOUS.

Thank you.

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squidgod2000

How do you have a Defiance shot at the top and not do Trion?

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Greaterdivinity

Me: I never thought that Smedley would be the one preventing you from self-destruction.
Daybreak: We were real surprised, too.

I died, thanks for that.

Did not expect these to be as funny/on-point as they are, nice work!

luxundae
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luxundae

Please do this more :)

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