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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:26PM (Unverified) said

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Yet you're here anyway, reading posts and comments :)

The "don't read the comments" thing is a joke, because it's impossible. Like staring into the lights of an oncoming train before it smashes you. Over and over again.
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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:01PM (Unverified) said

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Sadly the pvp isn't all that amazing either ;/ And I'm huge on pvp. I still play darkfall every weekend when my clan does their big sieges (though I'm pretty bored of just about everything else in the game)

If you play a melee character, it's pretty painful flying. Even on the ground it can be annoying with all the rubberbanding. Players aren't where they seem to be usually. Their remedy to this was "extended weapons" for melee, giving them a greater melee range... But thats 45+ so I never got a chance to try it. The fact that they had to add something like that is sort of a testament to how broken it is though.

Honestly WoW has a much better pvp system, with more balance. If I really want to pvp in a themepark style mmo, I will most likely do it in WoW.

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:00PM (Unverified) said

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You're my favorite in the whole world, Sera. )

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:01PM Cendres said

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This is a great piece for the average gamer to read and realize what you do as a living, and maybe a few will start thinking a bit more before they flame to high heaven.

But, I have to say that personally a lot of your opinions about Aion I will never agree with and I won't be reading what you have to say about it anymore because I'm pretty sure I again won't agree and will just get incensed about it. That said I still enjoy your other articles and you are a very entertaining writer. :)

As for Aion Source I was quite involved there for a time but I can't deal with that community any longer, and I would advise visitors to not take anything said there to heart, ever.

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:07PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Don't worry dear. Don't plan on talking about Aion in an opinion way again for a while. Just the facts ma'am, just the facts. ^_^
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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:02PM Softserve said

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I run MMeOw, which has a couple of benefits: it's only focused on one game and it's small. I can't begin to compare it to Massively. If you guys link to one of our posts my visits go up 500% lol.

So I won't pretend to know what it's like in your shoes. At the same time, I can't find it surprising. I've been lucky since the LOTRO community is pretty nice overall. We disagree on things, we agree on things, we complain about the game, we love parts of it. Whatever.

I used to run another fan site, though, called Digital Devil Database (focused on Shin Megami Tensei and Persona before it became "cool"). It's still around, but I left a long, long time ago.

That was a site where, to 99% of people, I was always wrong. I was always not doing enough. I'd get nasty e-mails about how some sentence on the site was wrong (that usually wasn't), but I could count the number of friendly e-mails I got on one hand. I'd consistently ask for help with no response, but then get horrible comments about how I didn't do enough of this or that from people who were completely unwilling to offer even 2 minutes of their time to make things better.

I suppose if I got paid I could put up with it longer. It did have the benefit of interviews and free games from Atlus, although good luck getting 1% of the attention of a big site that pays attention to their games for an hour of a year.

I couldn't take it anymore. It's funny because my current job involves things I'd consider more stressing. My team works for Fortune 500 companies... but even if I got paid more, I don't know that I'd ever go back to that situation. Gamers can be some of the nastiest people on the planet.

I think you guys are doing a good job and I enjoy your column. I hope the people at Massively do realize that some of us appreciate what goes into these things, even if sometimes even we are snarky on these comments lol.

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:03PM NebsiNsaNe said

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Seraphina your a terrible PvPer and don't know what your talking about! I could do your job better!

Sorry. I don't really believe that. It just needed to be said. This comment thread is all rainbows out of unicorn a**es and i needed to add some balance.

But I failed. LOVE YOU BRENNAN!

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:09PM (Unverified) said

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I'd probably find your job endlessly amusing...
and I would probably answer every single death threat and angry email with endless sarcasm, which would provide me with the aforementioned endless amusement.

But I'd probably infuse that sarcasm towards the community, or the game, in any post I made...which means I probably wouldn't be very neutral like a journalist should be. *shrug*

People wouldn't post at this site if they didn't like it.
Keep at it.

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:14PM atmablue said

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Not to be the voice of dissent here, but did you really expect a different response from the visitors of a fan site for a game that you just bashed? Moreso, did it really affect you enough to write an entire two page article about how hard your job is?

I enjoy your articles, but I would hope that by now you would have realized that your target audience is probably still mostly in high school. You aren't going to get a mature response in a lot of cases with these folks.

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:17PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Oh, no, I certainly didn't expect some radical change in their behavior. Just went out to defend my statements, but while I was doing it I really just realized that we very rarely talk about what our jobs actually entail and how they work. Everyone just kinda assumes what a gaming journalist does, but those assumptions are usually not accurate. That was kind of the inspiration for writing this.

Do think it will magically change people's minds? No, but perhaps some will find it interesting to see how things work and just how people will almost always react negatively to what you have to say.
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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:15PM (Unverified) said

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http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/04/16/

This is your audience. Just thank your stars you aren't Ghostcrawler. :)

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:18PM Seraphina Brennan said

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CMing is one hell of a job. Those guys... yeah... all hats off to the community management staff. If I could bake a cake for all of them, I totally would.
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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:20PM (Unverified) said

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I read the thread you linked to... Ouch. The fact that they kept calling your comment a review made me want to bang my head on my desk.

In any case, I enjoy reading your articles Seraphina. Keep up the great work :)

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:24PM (Unverified) said

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I'm a little disappointed that you disregard people's opinions, based on the tenets of your job that people aren't aware of.

You are posting articles, even if they are opinion pieces, that you are hoping to be taken as fact by those who read them, this presents a unique problem for an MMO writer; in that you will almost never have the personal experience required to do such a thing legitimately.

So you write about Aion, from the perspective of someone who hasn't taken part in 99.9% of the game, whether you are a grinder or a casual player, level 17 is a very weak, unrepresentitive position to be coming out and forming opinions, based on what you perceive as fact.

This is the point at which sweeping statements begin to fall on deaf ears, and ire is raised toward you from the playerbase for it.

Perspective comes in here, you are happy to call out Aion players as fanboys and trolls, because they blanketly insult your writing and your person, yet you then immediately fall back onto your own fanboys and trolls here. I'm not saying this to attack, I'm saying that if you apply the same rules to those here as there, you have to address both in the same manner, and both have valid points right?

I don't envy your job, because as a games journalist you do not have that rock steady position of being able to say that you actually played the game, with other genre's, writers always have that. They played a game from start to finish, and experienced what it had to offer, therefore, whether you agree with them or not, there opinion automatically holds weight because they went through the same process as the reader.

Obviously, that is impossible with MMO's, especially when it is your job description to cover as many as possible, however, that does not change my feeling that you are simply not able to speak to players on the same level, because, quite frankly, you didn't attempt to achieve that; to get to your current level, you can't have played Aion for more than say, 10 hours? Yet you still formed a cast iron opinion on the entire game from that, then proceeded to write about it in that fashion.

Unfortunately I don't have a solution, but you do need to realise that you are in a position of influence of minds, and take responsibility for that, your opinion matters to people.

Don't devalue it and yourself by condemning a game that the majority of the playerbase simply honestly believe you have not played, in every meaningful sense of the word.

Reading forums and using that material to make posts about bitter and disgruntled players, is not legitimate, if you want to make those, you need to be part of the community yourself.

Perhaps Massively should recruit a couple of people who consistantly play a couple of MMO's; and put enough time and effort into them to be a part of the community they are trying to speak to. If the budget allows.

Hopefully you'll read this and contemplate, rather than wasting both our time by dimissing me as a troll.

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:38PM (Unverified) said

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I believe you're asking for something that is better located at a focused fan site. I do not believe she is writing her articles with the intention that it becomes factual. She's writing it with her impressions of the game. Also, I do not believe she has condemned Aion. Moreover, she has done nothing more than express her point of view within her own venue.

I think you need to re-read what you have written, compare it to what she has written, and discover the vast amount of assumptions you have made.

It's only human for someone to get fed up with the utter grotesque mannerisms of people online. And really, it's very informative for a reader to understand what goes on behind the scenes.
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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 7:01PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Knqui, perhaps you took the wrong statement away from my post. I do everything in my power to actually communicate with my audience. My e-mail is freely posted for people to contact me, I'm always talking on my twitter, and as you can see from this thread, I'm in the comments and always willing to talk with people about their opinions.

Do I personally get the time to play Aion as much as I'd like? No, no I don't. However, I always attempt to make up for that by reading fansites, getting information on the logistics of the game (like exp, time played, etc.), watching friends play it and perhaps get to areas I have not, get hands on with "press characters" (on a select few games) where I get to experience the content as a higher level player, talk with the developers, etc. I never make my opinions lightly, and I try to put as much time into them as possible.

So, while I may not play as much as a person devoted to that game, I like to think that I spend more of that time researching it as much as possible. Like I said, most of this job is research -- it takes up a huge portion of my day. And I don't just research my side of my argument... I research the opposing side so I can understand their opinions as well and weigh them all accordingly.

However, players rarely get to see my research. Plus, I know some people might get angry when they hear that some developers offer special press accounts with high level characters so we can check things out.

So, no, I do not just read fansites so I can make posts about bitter trolls. If people are angry then they usually have a reason, and I like to get to the bottom of said reason.

Take the "Aion is grind" comment that I started this article out with. I can pull up charts that show the game's dwindling quest experience and heavy reliance on monster farming, I can pull up the average play time of a person if they farm X mob in Y area at the rate of Z, I can speak with my own experiences in Aion, I read the experiences of others, I watch the content through the eyes of a higher level to see how it plays, and through all of that I make my opinion. My opinion is that Aion could have done it better. But even with all of the thinking I put into that opinion, you still may not agree with me: that's ok. If you're having fun (as fun is always the bottom line when it comes to my opinions) then I can go straight to hell.

Lastly... no... I never wish for my opinion articles on a game to be taken as fact. They are opinion. They may be well-informed opinion, but no opinion should be considered as a rock hard infinite truth.

As to your idea to recruit people who play one or two games religiously -- we have done that in the past and we still have that in the present. Brooke Pilley was our WAR man, we still have Brendan Drain who only does EVE, Rubi is hardcore into Guild Wars, Eliot is stuck in City of Heroes, Kyle is addicted to Star Trek Online, and Tateru only deals with Second Life and virtual worlds. We all have our "main game," but as a site we sometimes have to cross out of our games and talk about other games. It's the nature of the beast, especially as we try to talk about the MMO industry as a whole around here, and not just a specific set of games.

As you said, this is just a series of hard calls and grey areas that have no real right answer. We just try to do the best damn stuff we can do, and I hope I can keep delivering it.
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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:50PM Mr Angry said

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Interesting opinion.

My issue with what you have said is, how long do you have to invest in a game before you can have an opinion? And what is wrong with dismissing people's opinion, after all, it was what has been done in this one instance? How long of fluff do you have to trawl through before you can start having the fun, in fact, why is there this filler in there anyway, why not straight to the part that people are playing?

If Sera spent 3 weeks playing, then people who played for 4 months would criticize, you just can't win. People will always claim to know more, MMO's are competitive, this transfers into the community as a whole, even when just commenting.

Another issue is that MMO players are a bunch of shut ins who will happily shout down every person they can because it's sadly the only thing they are passionate about. People are emotionally invested in their hobby, it shows, and so reactions are a little more excessive than is reasonable for a regular human being when communicating regarding their hobby.

You just have to ask yourselves, would you want to hear an opinion piece from someone who does nothing but play games for months on end, or someone who has a a slightly more balanced view on life and the industry in general and can better articulate what can be slightly turgid and confusing game mechanics and make it at least read well?

I don't disagree with what you said, but newspaper journalists aren't always at the scene of the news story as it happens, detectives aren't at the scene of the crime, it's informed, and if you get it wrong, well, you'll get it right another time. Anyone who feels differently should seriously think about picking up a pen themselves and trying it.

I don't believe in MMO communities, it's a whole bunch of individuals who shout loudly until they are acknowledged, so seeking their vindication for anything you write is rather a thankless task.
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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:52PM (Unverified) said

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Aion was awarded the biggest disappointment of 2009 award, by someone/people who have comparitively not even played the game.

If any other games journalist, or any journalist at all for that matter, did that, then their reputation would be destroyed and their opinion would become void, not to mention the repurcussions for the site itself.

I'm not saying Aion had to be played for hundreds hours to form an opinion, but this is basically equivalent to if a reviewer placed a 1/10 score on Dragon Age, after playing it for half an hour.

Come on.

The relaxed boundaries on reporting on MMO's go both ways, you can't say it's okay to barely play it then write about it, because that's your job, then freak out when someone calls you up on that for giving it a really negative "award".

Also, the article being about how hard the job is didn't help the case either, considering whether it's true or not, the perception is that it's a damn sight easier than a hell of a lot of other jobs within that payscale.

Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:58PM (Unverified) said

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The reply button doesn't seem to be working for me, I'll try another browser.
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Posted: Jan 7th 2010 6:57PM (Unverified) said

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I appreciate what you're saying, and the parallels you've drawn, but even if you break this down to facts and facts alone, taking all emotion or preconceived notions out of the equation, it still results in an unfavourable position for the writer.

Tell me the facts you based upon putting such a nasty label on a game, from your position of not knowing, not experiencing, and not participating, and I'll tell you why each of them is wrong from the perspective of someone who has all of the above.

As for how long? I don't know, but again, factually, the character was unable to do anything but quest, in two tiny areas, the character did not experience boss fights, PVP, high-end PVE, instances, character progression... The list goes on. Neither did the writer.

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