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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 9:15AM Tom in VA said

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After an article like that, I feel it is only appropriate to unleash at torrent of outrage at you, Kyle. ;)

But, seriously, you make a good point. Well said.

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 9:26AM MrGutts said

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Kyle,

Are you reading the Champions online forums right now? :)

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 9:39AM (Unverified) said

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I agree with your sentiment. In my opinion forum/community anger usually falls somewhere between two things; a developer or publisher doing something that is obviously motivated by greed, or making a design decision that people didn't expect, or are poorly informed on.

About greed; you can't blame them in the sense that business is basically motivated by greed. Its the system that needs changing to prevent that. We might have the most free societies here in the western world, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for one hell of an improvement.

As for design decisions, I think a lot of anger is often born out of ignorance. Especially when people haven't played through the issue or change to see if they like it.

But you know what? Overall I think forums and games communities are just a microcosm for all the people in the world. Theres nothing new to be learned here - its just easier to identify the factors.

Personally what I find frustrating is that people don't listen to each other, in general. It causes the same topics to come up again and again, even when answers have already been given. Call it lack of intelligence, call it ignorance, lack of communication skills, or plain illiteracy, whatever - its definitely prevalent in the world of forums.

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 11:02AM (Unverified) said

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Just because people are up in arms over something doesn't mean they are working on "pleasure principle", never mind the fact this is entertainment and pleasure is the first thing in mind when considering it. (no, I'm not taking this personal, but I've seen it far too often of late not to say something)

While L4D2 I believe was a "knee jerk" reaction, such responses are due to the fact that MOST OTHER company's would have been doing exactly what people thought they were doing (ala halo 2) . I however have never known valve to do such things to fans...well other then take their sweet time releasing new games. Also, they have kinda been sneaky about the micro transaction business over at Cryptic, so I can see how some feel like its a greedy move(pay-to-play+micro-trans).

I hardly doubt the thing in the back of their minds is an "evil" voice. Often "fear" hides behind "anger". People are afraid of getting screwed due to the fact that they have been by this industry on more then one occasion. Here we are (in the united states) in the middle of an economic hell storm and game designers are raising prices and charging for things (like extra costumes) that used to come to a player just for playing the game.

Also, I think they get tired of people on the "journalist" side of things being some what unsympathetic and thus feel they have to react more harshly because none has their back. Like when you hear a VG journalist say something like "wow! I'm a huge fan of your game!" in an interview with a developer rather than, "do you think you will be fixing the broken item system in your next patch?". If someone more close to it would say something, maybe people wouldn't feel the need to “yell” from the back of the room to be heard(or forums)?

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 12:19PM Samael said

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Well said, it is disheartening to see VG journalists gushing at a new game, and also not asking the right questions, sometimes because the company would not grant any more interviews if they did, it just all seems like a marketing ploy and nothing else.
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Posted: Aug 31st 2009 12:16PM (Unverified) said

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I think it would be more appropriate for those who are so self-righteous as to obey the simplest Id impulse to 'vote down' comments that they feel are tasteless or unwarranted.

At least the author of such impulsive responses has a second, and even third chance to re-evaluate their words and actions, as they proof-read their own responses, and again when they confirm them via email.

But it is the self-ascribed censors out there; the ultra-impulsive slaves of Id, that slam the negative response "Vote this Comment Down" button that should really check themselves at the websites' front gate. For how much impulse-control does it take to stop them from voting down every single comment they themselves deem as less than worthy for a particular article or bit of news?

You talk here about internet tantrums and vocalization on-par with a suburban teenager, but say nothing about the self-righteous indignity of those who I would describe as nothing more than the potpourri addicted librarian school-marms of the internet; their wicked hands raised with the nerf-bat of censorship and punishment to be levied on the behinds of those they would seek to control with their negative reinforcement.

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 4:34PM Amblin said

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As a happy nerd rager, I can tell you that I am never sorry when I vent on a forum. You know why? Typically, because it's about something valid.

Game companies are now growing greedier in the persuit of bigger profits (as any good company should) however, when that greed is as blatant as it currently is (£10 extra for CoDMW2 anyone?) as a paying customer you need a way to voice your opinion that will actually be listened to.

Companies in the game industry are on a march toward your wallet and currently want it to remain a one sided affair. You have no rights in the EULA's and long may it continue. Pay a subscription and microtransations for full game content? XBox live has a lot to answer for....

And what will we do? Suck it up and pay, they have the gaming smack and we're addicted.

Well to get back on topic, Nerd rage has gotting the community more action than any mild mannered petition or forum post. When a CM sees 1000+ posts the majority of which are baying for blood, we get action.

You post in a sensible and logical way, you get ignored. Do you think cryptic would have relented over their gaff if the communty wasn't un uproar?

The real crux of nerd rage is typically this, a real problem or slight by a company on it's customers. AoC, CO, SWG all got the grief they did becuase they forgot MMO rule #1 Comminuty is the blood of the game. Piss it off and it poisons you, push it too far and it will kill you. And as we all know, they don't forget.

If communty managers actually had the responsibility and authority to make decisions then I think we would see much less rage. I forget how manytimes I have been stuck hitting F5 to watch a forum to see a response to a major issue a MMO is suffering.

Typically you here nothing for on average 8 hours or over a day. This is the biggest issue. While the dev's inspect their navels trying to understand how they got into the position they are in, going form one meeting to another, no-one is talking to the community and in this day and age of instant information, waiting doesn't go down well with most people.

I recall all to often the long silences on the forums of many an MMO. If CM's could actually talk without 3 different forms of proof reading and authorisation, basically companies were more transparent, then rage wouldn't have the chance to bud and grow.

IMHO MMO companies need to actually build an emergency team and procedures. Shit it's the fan, enact the plan. I wonder that not many dev companies get this but hey, that's life right?

Long live the rage, without it the internet would be a lesser place and I wouldn't have my lifetime sub to CO.

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 5:08PM (Unverified) said

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Yor articl is braking my emersion! If you evr write on lke that agen I wil tayk e my guild with 43 membrs and we wil ALL nevr reed you agen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or yor cite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 4:46PM (Unverified) said

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There is of course the flip side of this coin...

How many times have I seen on this website and many others like it, pure puff pieces. The ENTIRE Champions Online look just after Beta was pure puff....not a bad word to say about the game at all. All the piece did was sell the game to people by highlighting the good parts, the custome design, the powers system etc etc. It didn't mention any of the problems in gameplay that several testers had mentioned.

You now are holding an ingame meet up. More advertising and back slapping for a game that isn't even as good as CoH was.

Of course this is understandable, you derive your income from games companies giving you access, if you annoy the company today they give exclusives to your competitors tomorrow. Without access your knowledge is no better then ours and our reason for frequenting the site falls away as we are drawn to other sites.

So while you are up on your high horse just remember that the world is a land of extremes. You have one extreme which is the fans who want what they want and get peeved when they don't get it and you got the journalists who want what they need and are not inclined to push the boundaries too hard. Somewhere in the middle you can find reality.

Posted: Sep 1st 2009 12:31AM agitatedandroid said

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I've nothing against the roar of the forums. I understand the feeling that you have to make 20 threads on the same topic. I can vaguely understand getting so angry over a video game.

All that said, what I don't understand is the utter lack of civility or for that matter, grammar and spelling. The most amusing post you will see on a forum is someone badgering the developers over a bug in a post that's barely readable. If I was the developer my only response to that would have to be "We'll fix the bug when you fix this post."

If the forum nuts insist on ascribing the most hateful intentions to the developers then I'll continue to judge the majority of forum posters of suffering from a drooling type of stupidity.

Posted: Sep 1st 2009 3:36AM J Brad Hicks said

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It's a lovely sentiment. But it's hopeless. And not for the first reason you'd think, not because Internet users are loathsome pools of nerd-rage, but because there are a ton of companies out there who just do not GET one of the first rules of customer service in the 21st century: your customers will tolerate anything except being lied to.

In the pre-Internet age, if you felt that a company was lying when they said (for example) that no, it's not our product, it's you, you're the only one who's having this problem, then people were mostly willing to believe them. But in the Internet age, it is far too easy for people to catch you in a lie, and even easier for the person who caught you lying about your product or about your company's behavior to get the word out to thousands of others, to get the word out to maybe even most of your customers.

At least two recent MMO ventures thought that they could bypass this by not having a single official forum where their customers could compare notes. See how well that worked; one of those MMOs is now entirely gone, and the other one is down at least 70% in subscriber count over the last year.

No, rule one, and any company that learns this one and sticks to it can avoid just about all of the nerd rage in the world, can build trust with their customers, can not just mollify those customers but turn them into evangelists who are rooting for your success: when you screw up, admit so as visibly as possible, as publicly as possible, and even more importantly as early as possible; never, ever, ever deny that you made the mistake, not even once. Apologize, tell your customers right up front that you're disappointed with yourself, ask them to hold you accountable, and tell them (this time) the absolute truth about what you are capable of. As long as you do that, it just about doesn't matter how slowly things improve; people will give you time to improve, people will even forgive future mistakes, because at least you were honest with them.

You'd think that companies whose whole product is an online service run over the Internet would be the first people to realize this. Instead, sadly, they may end up being the last companies to do so.

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