Global Chat: What gets us grumpy in MMOs

    
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Front lines.

Whoever said “always look on the bright side of life” obviously never talked to gamers, because we are a notorious bunch for looking at the dark side. Even when you’re a generally upbeat player, such as Tales of the Aggronaut’s Belghast, sometimes you need to vent some steam about what makes you grumpy in MMOs.

“Now lets switch over to a problem that is most represented by Final Fantasy XIV but goes for any game with a similar system,” he wrote. “I hate having to keep track of physical items that I am only holding onto for cosmetic purposes. All this does is serve to bloat our banks as well as the amount of items that you are having to store for a specific character.”

Faction walls, gender locks, and no damn beards are also things that make him a mite bit salty. But read on for more grumpy essays, including sexism in SWTOR, inconsistencies in MMOs, and the worst types of players in WoW Classic!

Going Commando: Should there be sexist NPCs in SWTOR?

“I’ve been spending more time replaying story content lately, especially the original class stories and other older quest lines that I hadn’t done in a while, and one thing that I’ve been finding striking is how often NPCs treat you differently based on your gender. I wouldn’t actually say that it happens a lot, but it happening at all is still a stark contrast to more recent content releases where your sex makes no difference whatsoever.”

Gnomecore: Battle for Azeroth — the ultimate story review

“You can’t deny they were building up the Old Gods theme ever since leveling experience in BfA (Stormsong, Vol’dun, Nazmir) – and yet it was clearly a side dish, very poorly and illogically connected to the main story of faction war.”

Mailvatar: Turning the trinity up to 11

“Since my return to the game I’ve made a couple of friends (or let’s rather say acquaintances) with whom I’ve been running some dungeons every now and then. Not only are TSW’s dungeons really great fun, doing them again also reminded me of the fact that this game allows for even more creativity when designing your class and build than I’d initially remembered.”

Don't call me Kyle right now.

GamingSF: Inconsistencies that bug me in MMORPGs

“The inconsistency that I keep forgetting and that annoys me every time is that, in Classic, entangling roots only work outdoors. It’s possibly just a nod to the entangle spell in Dungeons & Dragons, the most likely inspiration for this spell though not the restriction. There is plenty of foliage in Wailing Caverns, either of the Razorfen instances or later ‘indoor’ dungeons, why should this spell not be useable? Even worse some dungeons have very clear ‘outdoor’ components, even if they are still instanced.”

Misdirections: Is Blizz phasing out raiding?

“I think we are in the midst of a game-altering change to WoW raiding, but it is being played out so slowly that we are not really aware of how significant it is. I am not even sure Blizz realizes how big the change is, nor — distressingly — am I certain it is even planned on their part.”

World of Warcraft Classic: Five worst types of players in Classic

“This is a huge peeve of mine — DPS players who only care about doing big numbers to look good on Warcraft Logs. You know these guys: they ignore mechanics, pull aggro constantly, and are the first to post in your discord channel about their 95% parse on a fight that you nearly (or repeatedly) wiped on.”

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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Ironwu

I absolutely do not like daily quests that are tied to major features, are extremely limited in number, have targets on long re-spawn timers, and have targets that drop resources people NOT doing the daily need for other purposes.

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Malcolm Swoboda

For me, I want outright homophobic NPCs. (Disclaim: gay) But not in all games (and MMOs is problematic; the biggest thing people want with them is a comfortable environment with friends, not the most mature points with storytelling; yes, including Secret World, which is still relatively cartoonish). And within generally affirming stories. And not necessarily a moral story with that NPC, just worldbuilding. If need be, have a list of trigger warnings at the opening, whatever you like.

That is, its not for all things, but if you’re going for social realism, that’s not a bad thing nor should thinkpieces about how this promotes harm against me/my group should be automatically believed in. Maybe it just increases immersion in the setting and nothing more, okay?

Not going for realism? Unless there’s a great point to it, buzz off with that junk. Its unnecessary, thus your inclusion of it is a choice. A homophobic choice.

Replace homophobia with racism, sexism, and other bigotry as you wish.

Personally I think at least mild sexist content is rather ingrained in Star Wars. Maybe its not, but that’s what I think. Not necessarily sure all of it should go away, but instead minimized and counteracted with stronger anti-sexism. Leia’s in the slave outfit insinuating even more than an outfit (no matter what Disney pretends). Then Leia chokes the hell out of Jabba and makes a run for it to save the galaxy.

I don’t love media pretending there’s no problem. There is a problem. There’s a lot of problems. Often the point of media we’re consuming isn’t to focus on certain real life problems, but sometimes reminding that its a real thing that realistic feeling characters encounter and overcome is .. well it feels helpful to me, not just something to taboo and sanitize. Though context, like intended audience, can change that.

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Ironwu

This all sounds very nice and good and fair. Until one starts to look at where making ‘entertainment’ out of such concepts leads.

All the things you mention are trigger issues that throughout the centuries have caused countless deaths and suffering.

To perpetuate them through gaming for the sake of ‘realism’ seems like a very bad idea to me.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I’m perfectly fine with mature subject matter, thanks.

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Bruno Brito

Depends.

There’s a character i love, a lot, from the MK franchise: Erron Black. He’s the cowboy of the game.

Erron is more than 150 years old. He’s been kept alive by Shang Tsung’s magic, and he’s a mercenary. And on the entirety of MKX, he catcalls ALL the female cast. Every single one of them except Mileena and D’vorah. He catcalls Jackie, Sonya, Cassie.

In MK11, Erron is tamer on his forwardness, but his dialect is stronger, he’s from Wickett, and it shows in the way he speaks. Where in MKX he sounded like the cool mercenary, in MK11 he still sounds calm, collected but with way more regionalism and figure of speech. One could say he’s a parody.

That being said, it’s also shown one of the reasons he’s the way he is: He actually killed his father and beaten the everliving crap out of his mother because they were abusive to him during his childhood. It makes sense, he has a similar backstory to most lone drifters: Bad household on a backward town.

It’s quite explained in some of his interactions with Cassie.

Erron: “My ma would have loved you, Cassie Cage.”
Cassie: “Aww! Sounds like you miss her bunchies”
Erron: “I hated ma.”

Erron: “I grew around tough women.”
Cassie: “Didn’t they teach you respect?”
Erron: “They taught me to hit back.”

A huge part of what makes Erron, Erron, is his background as a hardened kid growing up to be a soulless cold killer. He’s also sexist and prejudiced towards anything strange because he’s a relic from his time. At the same time, it’s shown from his interactions that he has a ego but not enough to be suicidal: He doesn’t go far into underestimating anyone, prejudice or not, because survival is the art of the humble.

Mature subjects and characters are done wrong all the time, but when they’re done right, they enrich a backstory and offer a good character. Wanting or not, those times existed, and people are a relic of them, it’s not feasible to erase it.

Even if you want to offer a way of fighting against that, you have to show that first. And it’s not something to be had everywhere.