The Daily Grind: How do people misunderstand your favorite MMOs?

    
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Not this.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a column in which I opined that younger me thought of Ultima Online as a place for hardcore PvP players first and foremost. The point was made in that same column, of course, that younger me was wrong. UO certainly had a PvP population, and it wasn’t a game that was “for” me even then, but that was hardly the only component of the game. It was just what I picked up from outside sources.

But then, the reality is that unless you spend lots of time reading and writing about MMOs, you kind of have to base your opinion on a game based on very little information. Thus, you wind up assuming that Second Life is nothing but kinky sex roleplaying, when it’s really only 90% of the game (the other 10% is trolling). Or you think of EVE Online as nothing but gigantic corporate wars, when the reality is that a lot of the game is mining, playing the economy, and smaller players trying to not get caught in those titanic clashes.

That’s just a handful off the top of my head, though, and I’m sure you have some others. Tell us, dear readers, how do people misunderstand your favorite MMOs? How do you feel the knee-jerk reaction to a given game misses the mark?

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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PhoenixDfire

I get so sick and tired of people saying that Elite:Dangerous is mile wide and an inch deep and it’s just space trucking simulator. There is so much more to game than that but detractors don’t go looking for it. It’s easy to get locked into a pattern of play or trade route and you think that’s all there is to it. The interesting stuff is outside this comfort zone. That’s always the problem with sandbox games, it’s up to the players have to find the good stuff.

I mean, it’s got the best space combat engine / flight model since the old X-wing games (going bounty hunting with friends or getting involved in a PvP dogfight is great) but that’s hardly ever mentioned.

The signposting for this content has been lacking but that’s all going to change with the new exploration mechanics that’s coming in the next month.

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Kayweg

Trying to explain your favorite MMO to another gamer, you’ll at least have some common ground. And with them i don’t find it very hard to clear up misconceptions about a game simply by using facts and describing my own experience.
But trying to explain it to a non-gamer (family, work colleagues, friends, etc), which means most of my acquaintances, is completely futile.
The best you can hope for is a raised eyebrow or a forced smile with barely concealed spite.
So basically, i don’t.

Specus
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Specus

Eve Online – Many people believe that Eve Online is nothing but a gank fest filled with reprobates, miscreants, and psychopaths. Granted there are a few floating around in the game (name a game that doesn’t have a few), but most of the people are reasonable and I’ve never been attacked in an unfair manner (I’m not a PvPer). Honestly, I think most of the people I’ve run into in Eve are much better than those I’ve run into in WoW.

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Utakata

Yeah, I get this with TERA a lot. Certain folks start behaving like peeps who play that game should stay away from school yards. And what not. While I agree there are minority that do…as they have those in all games. Most players there are quite safe I suspect. No need to lock the children up when they come over. O.o

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Bruno Brito

I don’t know if i feel like i’m scared of those players or anything. I don’t think they’re dangerous pedophiles.

I’m just a bit embarassed by how tolerant of Tera overssexualizes it’s women and shove children in such ambience. It’s a bit…uncomfortable.

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Utakata

To be clear, I wasn’t speaking of the “overssexualizes” of its characters. There is no real misunderstanding there, lol…and I spoke as of much in my entry to last week’s WRUP about that very thing. Rather, in relationship to the DG’s topic, I wanted to clear up the assertion that all TERA players are pedo’s that have been argued here before by a few trolls in the past.

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McGuffn

Wildstar seems ripe for this but you’d have a hard time trying to pick which party has a misconception of the game, the players, the general audience or the developers, among other groups.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Lots of people mistaken Age of Wushu for typical asian F2P crap. It couldnt be further from that

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Bruno Brito

Really? What would be your definition of Wushu?

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Koshelkin

at it’s core it’s the best pvp sandbox ever created but marred by bad decisions of the publisher. It had a wealth of PvP options and an intriguing, deep and strategical combat system. It also had excellent world building and music.

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Bruno Brito

But i’m not denying any of that. I’ve played Wushu. But i remember it well being a P2W crapfest filled with paid skillsets, and being a game based on time that you could pay to circumvent.

I loved Wushu, had a lot of fun playing my Royal Guard, but i really don’t think Oleg is right here. The game WAS a P2W crapfest. The core game was fun, indeed.

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Koshelkin

I think what he wanted to say that it isn’t *just* a P2W crapfest but that there’s more to it than what meets the eye. I don’t deny that Snail made a lot of mistakes with the title but I also pity the developers which need to bow to Snails decisions because they filled the game with original and intriguing ideas while keeping a 100% wuxia vibe.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I wouldnt call it “the best pvp sandbox ever” since it obviously belongs to EVE Online. But it was the best PvP focused MMO in many years when I played it and one of the most innovative ones too. Also for having pretty bad engine it is a very pretty game with excellent world design. I never captured so many beauty screenshots in an MMO.

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Koshelkin

It depends if you like Eve combat or not, which I don’t. Eve is one of the MMOs I want to love but just can’t and the main reason(probably even the only reason) is the combat.

kjempff
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kjempff

Calling Everquest “an asian grinder”.
Listing Everquest with WoW. Even vanilla WoW is fundamentally different in design, not to mention later version that just moved further and further away. Wow started the story driven themepark era and you can categorize it with Everquest2 which is also a fundamentally different game than Everquest.
Calling everquest simple and say stuff like “turn on auto attack and go afk 5 minutes”. Now I have played a whole lot of mmos since Everquest, even 300 days /played in WoW which is ridiculously simple compared.
I have yet to find any mmo with such complexity and versatility in combat as Everquest, where you can tweak your playstyle for efficiency to such a degree, and where you can log in for years and still learn new tricks daily. It is just that some players are lazy, some don’t play other classes or observe and ask/discuss how others play, some see no point in tweaking their play and trying new things because they are “doing fine” … and these people wipe a lot, can’t break in a camp and time a spawn rotation, they pull trains, take bad decisions, kill slow, don’t get into named kills, know what to do when a mez get resisted, optimiza mana useage and regen, do hard dungeons and so on and on.
All of this because of emergent gameplay, instead of micro managing player combat (which is also the reason mmos “dumb down”, because the simpler and more generalized the dev can make it, the easier it is to control unsanctioned methods). Anyways, yeah for combat no mmo I have tried has reached any complexity to compare with Everquest(around 2005, in 1999 it was much simpler).

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Arktouros

Biggest misunderstanding I see is PvE players on sandboxes and why they have the elements they do. They’re either so traumatized from an experience or have this extreme prejudice based on other people’s experiences it really distorts the reality of what goes on in those environments.

Like there’s this ridiculous notion that there’s crafting in those games to try to “lure” the PvE crafters to the game as fodder to the PvP players. Crafting is there because it’s the most reasonable way to replace gear in item drop systems. It’s also the preferred system for PvP players because crafting allows for a communal effort (IE: “All you fuckers need to go out and get us metal”). But every time it’s “Oh they’re just trying to lure in fodder for the PvPers!” and it’s just silly.

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Utakata

A lot of PvP’ers liked SWG though…

*InB4 that wasn’t a real sandbox*

…well it seem to me the parrot was dead. o.O

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Bruno Brito

How isn’t SWG a real sandbox?

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Utakata

Also to be clear, I am ribbing those who have taken the position that sandboxes can’t work without PvP. Also a misunderstanding. :)

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Arktouros

This was super not apparent and to be clear it’s not my stance that sandboxes can’t work without PvP. They generally just don’t get made as far as games go.

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Utakata

I will at least agree to that. And thanks for the clarification. :)

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Arktouros

Yeap. You likely got that impression from the discussion on World’s Adrift where the devs were saying it was impossible to make the physics engine not cause damage. Personally I play single player sandboxes all the time which are purely a PvE experience by lack of other players.

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Arktouros

SWG came out right after Shadowbane. Most PvPers were, of course, going to be playing Shadowbane instead.

Personally I can’t comment on either game because I wasn’t playing games much during those few years before WOW.

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Bruno Brito

I’ll say GW2 and the hardcore and casual stuff.

And Archeage and people really thinking it would be a fair game. That was fun.

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rafael12104

Meh, I had this wall.txt ready for this type of question complete with admonishments for both devs and players. But I’ll can that.

Yes, we seem to take the easy road. We accept generalizations made about particular games without really taking the time to check them out. We buy into the hype and to the mania and yet, most of the time, no game is as good or as bad as advertised.

Why can’t we accept that the survival of the genre depends on variety and not the next WoW killer?

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Hikari Kenzaki

Yep. I’ve said this more than a few times.

The average gamer has the need to stuff every new game into an existing box. Be it time constraints, money concerns or just wanting to sound important, we try to compare a game to other ones we’ve played before. And then once enough people start comparing a new game to the same existing game, it gets dismissed as unimportant.

Every game borrows from others, but if you take the time to discover what makes a game unique, you may find a new favorite. Or a new one to play occasionally.