The Daily Grind: Are there MMOs that turn you off just based on history?

    
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THE LAW

We were having an interesting discussion in work chat the other day about EVE Online involving Brendan and me. Brendan, obviously, is the expert on the game, and he was noting that a lot of the changes made to the game over the past several years are an attempt to design the game more toward players who don’t necessarily want the open-waters free-for-all PvP atmosphere. I believe him. But at this point I still won’t step back into the game, simply because years of development and cultural narrative around the game have been focused on that aforementioned free-for-all open-waters PvP environment.

Whether or not that’s still the environment, its own history isn’t easily disentangled. And if the designers want to change that narrative, that’s a problem.

Of course, sometimes that history is a fair reason to be upset with a given game; if you didn’t want to play H1Z1 back in the day due to the history surrounding then-Sony Online Entertainment, you have no doubt felt yourself rewarded for that skepticism and recalcitrance. At the other end of the spectrum you have games that do genuinely change from launch, and sometimes that history gives a picture of the game that is no longer accurate if it really ever was. So what do you say, dear readers? Are there MMOs that turn you off just based on history?

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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mysecretid

Here’s another contribution to this discussion that I just remembered:

I stopped buying PC games published by 2K Games because their most recent terms of service/End User License Agreement for PC is, well, horrific.

As in, “it should be illegal”, and one day, lawmakers who actually understand the internet will make it illegal, if we’re lucky.

The company asserts that, by buying and playing their games, this gives them the right to take and to store any and all information on you that they can access, and gives them the right to sell that information to anyone and everyone they choose, without notice, permission, or potential repercussion.

To be clear, if this sort of rampant personal data collection were to happen anywhere in the offline world, they would need a warrant, at the very least. As above, it would likely be ruled illegal as any sort of general policy.

The text of their latest EULA appears below, for the curious:

“INFORMATION COLLECTION & USAGE

By installing and using the Software, you consent to the information collection and usage terms set forth in this section and Licensor’s Privacy Policy, including (where applicable) (i) the transfer of any personal information and other information to Licensor, its affiliates, vendors, and business partners, and to certain other third parties, such as governmental authorities, in the U.S. and other countries located outside Europe or your home country, including countries that may have lower standards of privacy protection; (ii) the public display of your data, such as identification of your user-created content or displaying your scores, ranking, achievements, and other gameplay data on websites and other platforms; (iii) the sharing of your gameplay data with hardware manufacturers, platform hosts, and Licensor’s marketing partners; and (iv) other uses and disclosures of your personal information or other information as specified in the above-referenced Privacy Policy, as amended from time to time. If you do not want your information used or shared in this manner, then you should not use the Software.”

“The information we collect may include personal information such as your first and/or last name, e-mail address, phone number, photo, mailing address, geolocation, or payment information. In addition, we may collect your age, gender, date of birth, zip code, hardware configuration, console ID, software products played, survey data, purchases, IP address and the systems you have played on. We may combine the information with your personal information and across other computers or devices that you may use.”

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Baemir

That would have been ‘horrific’ several years ago. These days that’s just a standard privacy policy. People don’t care enough to fight back, so expect them to become more and more abusive.

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Schmidt.Capela

There is some pushback. It’s why Europe has the GDPR (which, incidentally, is why the EULA includes an “where applicable” severance clause; without it the EULA would simply be illegal in Europe). It’s also why in January 1, 2020 the California CCPR goes into effect, which will basically grant everyone in the most populous US state protections nearly identical to those of the GDPR (making that section of the EULA null and void in California too).

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mysecretid

That’s encouraging news. Hopefully, more regions will get similar legislation going, Schmidt.

I’m really not just some guy yowling about “Oh noeees! The technology! The change!” I realize that a connected world means that some forms of privacy are going to erode.

But, I suspect that we both know that one of the ways people’s basic rights get harmed is through gradually “normalizing” the loss of rights (“Nothing to see here. Move along!”).

2K Games is neither a government, nor a law enforcement agency investigating crimes. They have no demonstrable need for this level of access to — and control over — people’s private information.

It’s one thing to collect such personal information for internal use; it’s quite another to treat that information as a profit-making commodity to be sold openly, at will, with impunity.

Again, not saying “technology is bad!”; merely saying that I think that we’re at a point where the law needs to start catching up with online reality.

Thanks for the update!

Cheers,

Veldan
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Veldan

Hmm. It’s true that if a game really disappoints me at launch, I usually stay away forever. However, that’s not really because of its history, but more because I know MMOs never change that much for the better that they’ll go from “I hate this” to “I love this” for me. They’ve only ever done the reverse.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Cant recall anything. If game is appealing to me, I dont care what kind of drama and shitstorm it went through, I’ll just play it. If game is dull for me, I wont play it even if whole Massively site will jump in excitement about it and call it the best MMORPG ever.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

Going to add my voice to the EVE contingent. On my second attempt in about 2014, the new corp I was a member of was constantly wardecced and I couldn’t do anything outside my base station without being harassed. That wasn’t fun to me, so I left for good. Really that simple.

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Anstalt

All of them I guess

I only play MMOs from launch. My playstyle is endgame/community focused and so I have always found that the first 6 months of an MMO are by far the most enjoyable. There is a relatively even playing field between players, the community is at it’s best and most vibrant, there are few resources to call upon so you actually have to learn for yourself, and also the endgame community hasn’t totally outgeared everyone so raiding and pvp is enjoyable. Also, launch versions of MMOs are usually their most challenging in terms of content, which suits me.

So, if an MMO isn’t able to convince me to join at launch, it’ll never be able to grab me.

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Armsman

I have a similar experience in EVE Online – played off and on from 2007-2009; but honestly found the in game community nvery toxic; and CCP seemed to ENCOURAGE that type of behavior; so yeah, once other space based MMOs began to appear (STO and SWToR); and I also realized CCP’s promise of “Walking in Stations” (first touted in 2006) seemed to be vaporware; I quit and have never looked back.

CCP has done nothing over the years that has changed my opinion of how the actually administer EVE (oh they talk a lot about changing the player atmosphere); but they’ve taken no real substantive action to do so (IMO) as they realize these are their hardcore base – and they don’t want to piss them off.

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PanagiotisLial1

I had a quite different experience. Back on 2012 I wanted to take a break from WoW and was looking games around. I just happened to notice there was an article in a forum about scifi games(which I love, Anarchy Online for example) and decided to give it a go without expectations.

So I went to the site and I saw it was subscribers only but it was letting me a 14 day trial. It felt a bit hard at first cause it was different in controls than any mmo I had played and well I was still in a section of that long tutorial they had when someone greet me and asked me if I needed any help. I asked him some things and after he offered to invite me to his small corp but I was honest and told him I was on trial and wasnt sure if to continue and if I didnt I couldnt pay for sub right away but more like end of the month. He then suggested me to send me a by-invitation trial which back then was 30 instead 14 days but I had to remake account.

By the second week or so I knew I liked the game and already had made some friends in and out of that corporation. A bit before my subscription expired, the corporation leader traded me out of the blue a plex(that adds 30 day subscription) and told me to repay it whenever I can. At some point that corporation got inactive and had to move on and found for the next 2 and half years a lowsec PVP corp that used LVL 5 missions to finance their PVPing.

But what I wanted to tell you, by sharing my experience, its a lot depend on if you happen to meet a good group players in your first experiences

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Baemir

Same. I also had a great experience as a newbie in EVE.

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rafael12104

ArchAge.

I played through the worst of that debacle but when they started blanket banning innocent players I left quickly. (Yes, it happened.)

I tried to come back when they began to offer restart servers etc. I had planned to join a few of MOPezens in the game for some good fun. But after I downloaded it, I couldn’t bring myself to login. Heh. It was like some weird experiment on human behavior.

Turns out I couldn’t get over the games history no matter how much Trion claimed it had changed.

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mysecretid

When I first tried EVE Online, I lasted about five minutes and quit (it was far too different from what I was expecting).

A couple of years later, I decided to try the game again, now that I knew more about what it was, and I logged into my old account

Early in my session, I asked for help finding a local star-system for a mundane cargo delivery drop in newbie space, because I’d looked for about 20 minutes, and could not find my destination.

I asked in the new player help channel.

A couple of minutes later, this guy just goes off on me in the channel, claiming that I was abusing the new help channel. Swearing at me. Deeply angry.

I explained that I was new, and that I was pretty lost. Just wondering if I could ask for directions.

He gets even angrier and more abusive.

Eventually, I say I’m done listening to him.

He starts sending me private messages about how he’s checked my player inception date and history, and he knows that I’m not a new player, and that I’m just abusing the help channel.

In private chat he threatens “to find me and kill me”. I will hunt you down in real life, count on it. And so forth.

I look to report him, only to realize that (at least at that time) CCP did not really moderate in-player behavior at all. There was no one to report to that I could find.

It goes on, and I realize this is not just some “ROFL prankster”, but a truly insane person.

I come back in later in a different form — he finds me, and starts in. Any time, day or night, he finds a way to start threatening my life, even after I thought I blocked him.

It’s absurd, I tell him, you want to kill me because you think I “misused” EVE’s in-game help channel? Dude doubles down on it. He’s very mentally unwell.

Apparently, he did make an effort to try to trace my real-life identity and location, but he didn’t succeed.

He’s the reason I will never, ever play EVE again. He’s the reason I have more online aliases than a low-level intelligence agent. He’s the reason I won’t mention my first name here, ever, even on good ol’ Massively.

I’m thankful that I have a friend who works as an an FBI agent in the US …

EVE is tainted for me as a player, forever.

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Melissa McDonald

that’s pretty bad. I once had a guy waiting for me at the gate when my plane landed because i mentioned I was traveling that weekend. He figured out my flight and everything. I walked right past him as he peered down at a little scrap of paper and I did a double-take because I thought I recognized him. I think he failed to recognize me because I had my hair in a braid and glasses instead of contacts. Later that evening he badgered me to tell him what hotel I was staying at so he could visit. I didn’t.

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mysecretid

That’s terrifying, and I’m happy to read that you escaped unscathed! Yeesh! Good thing you had the instinct to change up your visual style so you might pass unrecognized!

On a different note, it’s good to see you posting here again. The site’s readers benefits from engaging, articulate posters.

Be well, be safe,

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Baemir

Dude… you got trolled. You should have put him on ignore.

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mysecretid

Actually, no. I covered that bit above. Put the guy on ignore, but he found a way to come at me anyway. Tried to come at me in real life. Not a troll; a psycho.

Ernost
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Ernost

There were several doxing incidents when I was playing Archeage as well. PVP games seem to attract these psychos like shit attracts flies.

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mysecretid

Indeed. There are good people who PvP, of course, but sometimes it seems like the jerk and psycho contingent drowns the good players out, precisely because the bad types are nasty, and loud, and up in everybody’s faces all the time.

Glad you got out of Archeage safely, Ernost! :-)

Be well, game on!

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Barnoc N'Draak

I will completely write off a game and/or game studio if the monetization annoys me.

EA, Blizzard and Bethesda are dead to me.

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Dividion

ArcheAge – The server merges and Trion’s lack of respect for the effort people put into acquiring plots will keep me from supporting them again. Someday I might hop on to sail my boat around, because those mechanics were pretty awesome, but otherwise they did a very thorough job of driving me away.

Veldan
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Veldan

Are you aware Trion doesn’t exist anymore? There’s different people running things now.