Global Chat: Are MMO players too mean to game developers?

    
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Is it too easy to forget that MMOs, like all video games, are made by people just like you and I? Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut thinks so; he says that our inability to see devs as real folks breeds hostility and makes it “hip to be mean.”

“I have a hard time viewing these companies as the evil empires they are made out to be,” Belghast writes. “No one sets out wanting to make a horrible product, and no one deserves to feel like they are hated by the people that are supposed to be their fans.”

The blogging community has plenty of kind, helpful, and critical words to say this week, including a return to Star Wars: The Old Republic, a guide to Guild Wars 2 achievements, and why data mining messes up the fun for all of us.

The Pale Tree: How to achieve things and be an achiever

Whether you’re completely new to Guild Wars 2’s achievement system or are looking for a few helpful tips, this guide is a solid overview on why you should care about achievements and how to best go about getting them.

One thing I never knew? “The current system gives you rewards for logging in, and then you can complete different daily achievements that are on a rotation — three are required to get your AP. What you get varies based on the highest character level on your account.”

Kill Ten Rats: SkySaga first alpha impressions

Curious about the voxel sandbox SkySaga? So am I, which is why I’m keeping tabs on posts like this one. Ravious got into the alpha on a recommendation and wrote back that it’s “awfully polished” but that it fails to explain key concepts to newbies.

“When I was done with each island adventure, I was heavily loaded down with new materials. This was the heart of the game, I felt: resource collection by raiding shared instance-islands filled with combat, exploration, and destructible things,” he said.

Harbinger Zero: A few random thoughts on the return to SWTOR

Coming back to a game after a long absence can gift you with a fresh perspective to appreciate details that you had either taken for granted or completely forgotten. I enjoy reading posts like this one, in which Harbinger makes a list of what a re-entry to an old MMO feels like.

“It’s the little things that I appreciate in the game. That big knife sticking in the torso of the defeated barbarian master belongs to me. Most games that animation would disappear on death, but not here,” he notes before continuing: “It’s also the little things that are frustrating. My Agent has a blaster pistol in every cutscene (and uses it in more than one), but I can’t equip or use one at all in the game.”

Occasional Hero: Bear-ly playing LOTRO again

ChaosConstant has taken Lord of the Rings Online up once more, and God help us all, he’s found a passion for bear puns by playing the new Beorning class.

Oh, and he really likes the class beyond bad jokes, in case you were wondering: “I feel like the Beorning class is a big deal. It’s an interesting idea; you can basically fulfill all three roles of the trinity: DPSing, healing in man form, and tanking in bear form… It’s probably the closest thing to World of Warcraft’s Druid I’ve seen in any game I’ve played. I say that bear form is the tanking form, but either they’ve made the first few zones easier or the Beorning is a truck; even in man form I BEARly take any damage and can kill pretty fast.”

Out of Beta: Data mining and the death of surprise

Jellyclock tries to see both the good and bad in players’ efforts to data mine games, but ultimately the verdict is that it’s not healthy for us or the studio.

“[Data mining isn’t] all bad, but it eliminates some of the mystery, and in cases like special events it removes any sense of an unveiling,” Jellyclock writes. “It can also create problems for players that don’t want to know everything beforehand, as the community will expect that you know everything new going into each new patch. The knowledge can also be a problem for developers, who will suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of inquiries about changes that were experimental.”

Inventory Full: Your favorite MMOs — now in tablet form!

Would you love to be playing your MMOs on a tablet as well as a PC? Personally, I would love to see this happen, although I am dismayed that there has been so little effort to do MMOs big and right on these mobile devices.

Bhagpuss was encouraged by Final Fantasy XI’s mobile adaptation to experiment with loading a couple of MMOs on his Windows tablet: “Given that I carry my tablet with me everywhere, though, it does open up a whole new set of possibilities that weren’t there before. As windows-based tablets are improving in quality and affordability all the time, the future for MMOs on the go is looking a lot brighter.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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Noxerran
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Noxerran

necropsie Your rights as a customer are exactly two things.  You can pay for a product and consume it, or decide the product is not worth the money, and refrain from purchasing.  If you feel that the content you received that month is not worth what you are paying, you are well within your rights to walk away and stop paying them money.  You are not within your customer rights to personally berate the developers.  To use your analogy when you are served a badly prepared meal, you send it back or leave the restaraunt.  You do not get up, go into the kitchen, and scream at the chef.  I imagine most restaurants would kick you out for that behavior, but for some unfathomable reason it is accepted on the internet.

cald
Guest
cald

devs should generally ignore most people on the internet especially these days.. there are tons of people out there who just have to complain and cry about something.. even the smallest little thing they will cry so hard it will make others like them cry..

carson63000
Guest
carson63000

ShawnHargrave I’ve been reading MMO forums for more than a decade and I cannot believe that anyone could sit there and claim, with a straight face, that the problem with most of them is too much moderation and too many rules.

I have never seen one single (official) forum that didn’t suffer from the opposite problem.

EO_Lonegun
Guest
EO_Lonegun

jeremy2020 It’s not about belief. It is about behavior. The loudest (and mostly negative) voices will be heard and in most case the things they say and do are not a representation of the whole gaming community.
Trust me, I don’t lose sleep over this. I just think that gamers do not need to live up the stereotypes that people already have about us.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

EO_Lonegun I favor letting them spend their time how they choose and just going about my own business. If their discourse is providing no value then there is no need to spend my own time on it instead of trying to enforce my belief in the way they should operate on a message board.

Most places have an “ignore” function that is underused.

jeremy2020
Guest
jeremy2020

Game developers or PR people have made it a point to disassociate developers from their players. I think it’s hard to complain that people don’t see them as “people” when the norm has been to go out of the way to make them that way. 

For example, when SWTOR was running early tests in Austin, they brought 8 people in play the game and then have a discussion. We were told that we would not speak to any developers and that feedback was not going directly to the developers because it is hard to take criticism on something they worked on…so we spoke to a 3rd party marketing firm rep. That directly feeds into developers being dissociated from their playerbase.

Now look at like at Marvel Heroes or Camelot Unchained. Sure there are people who ridiculous, but they have a ton of support from their players and I’ve seen people be very understanding of problems and delays in-game chat in MH because the developers have explained the difficulties they face with certain things without a lot of “PR talk”.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

enamelizer It’s interesting because the guy being interviewed insulting PR people, Players, Media, etc. Seems like he must quite the unhappy person.

Ekphrasis
Guest
Ekphrasis

No problem, thanks for your comment.
In all honesty, it’s simply a case of semantic as opposed to intent to condone poor behaviour.
I just couldn’t think of a better word than outspoken at the time. Replace outspoken detractor with nasty troll if you prefer.
Although i do take the view that constructive feedback (even delivered rudely) is still more useful than fawning idolisation.
You are right though. Neither extreme is or should be acceptable.
These groups simply can’t deal with nuanced opinions and frequently, presenting them with a balanced argument only results in you becoming a target.

enamelizer
Guest
enamelizer

breetoplay NoYou I use this script, it is fantastic. 
FYI: If you use Chrome, you can use the Tampermonkey extension to run any Greasemonkey scripts like this.

enamelizer
Guest
enamelizer

The interview that prompted Belghast’s post is really interesting, and is absolutely worth a read: http://www.nodontdie.com/anonymous/

“Here’s a truism: No one happy goes out of their way to shit on other people’s work. No one I’d want to be friends with would find that a useful or productive use of their time. So the only way to deal with people like that is to remove their power by not paying any attention to them.”

This hits the nail on the head for me. People with a positive outlook on life have no interest in slinging mud with negative people, so you are left with only the chronically negative and deeply cynical people being vocal and thus seen as being representative of the larger audience.

Bree and Justin eluded to this in a podcast, that the closing of the AOL site caused a huge outpouring of support they did not expect, and it caused them to look at MMO players with new perspective.