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Reader Comments (67)

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 3:16PM Ohhlaawd said

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More an indictment of MMOs in general than F2P games.

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 3:17PM Zuljundwumn said

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Oh my god... This post about the wow raider is just... Insane.
I was wow addict, so I know what he's been through, but... Man, thoses answers he gets... Seeing people congratulating him for this insane no life schedule is just wrong.

You can dedicate your life to your passion, but this is just too much.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 2:40AM Unverfied B said

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@Zuljundwumn

Addict? Really?

He isn't doing this because he's an addict, he's doing this (for only a few weeks) because he wants to achieve something. Those top tier guilds are professional gamers, for those short periods until everything is beaten wow IS REALLY their second (or first :P) job, and I'm sure they get enough monetary compensation from their sponsors and advertisers, not to mention the fame (read e-peen) and recognition.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 4:28AM pcgneurotic said

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@Unverfied B

I didn't know WoW players had sponsors and so on. I thought that kind of thing was only for organised, competitive leagues of FPS and RT games.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 6:20AM Zuljundwumn said

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@Unverfied B

Yes, at this point, it is an addiction.
I bet anything you want that if you stop this guy from playing for a week, he'll just go berserk and start shooting at people.
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Posted: Feb 11th 2011 8:10AM thesage42 said

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@Zuljundwumn

You don't know what you're talking about. These people play really hard for a few weeks and then when the bosses are all dead they can go months without playing barely anything at all. They are not addicts, they are just in it for the competition.
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Posted: Feb 11th 2011 12:00PM Zuljundwumn said

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@thesage42
Nope. I know what I'm talkin' about.
Defend them if you feel like it though.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 3:18PM Birk said

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Beau, awesome article. I often find myself swinging between the two pendulums of this spectrum, most often when I am returning to WoW.

This is certainly no knock on WoW; it's just the game that I find myself being most "serious" in. Coincidentally, that fact is the reason I usually burn out on it so quickly. In games like Lotro that I play passively, I am far more focused on exploring and having fun.

But when I inevitably go back to wow, I seem to revert to my overachiever goal-oriented loot hungry evil twin. For raids I have done many things i regret, like missing real world events or classes.

Why do I do these things? I don't want to blame wow culture, although I do feel that there's a certain expectation of how a level capped player ought to conduct themselves in terms of gearing and gameplay (for risk of being a "scrub").

But I'm not seventeen anymore. I can make my own judgments for myself about how to spend my leisure time without comparing myself to the pack. So why do I continually fall into this pattern of behavior, I wonder?

Either way, I inevitably come back to my senses after one too many raid-grindfests and dungeon runs. At that point, I always swear off the mind numbing and colossally boring infrastructure that is repetitive raiding. ( I like to equate it to a big game of SIMON, not to undermine those of you that do possess the skill to execute raids flawlessly).

But for some reason, after months pads and I forget all about it... I go right back.

-Birk

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 4:45PM Kualtek said

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@Birk You pinned me exactly, Birk. I follow much the same pattern. Sometimes I try and legitimize this habit as being competitive. Other times, I wonder if I got my competitiveness by playing these games with restrictive rules over how a 'good' player should act.

I think that these exclusive clubs of high-end raiders are something many of us (and by us i mean geeks who were generally unpopular during grade school) want to be a part of. From what I read in the article and what you said, I think this allows us to be 'better' than others when we may fail at articulating ourselves in life. It also lets us feel like we belong to a club few others can be a part of.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 3:23PM InspectorDubplate said

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that was amazing! you must have been mulling over this for some time because this is very well put! nice work :D

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 3:39PM kgptzac said

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I fail to see thee logical correlation between increased amount off grinding in f2p games. if any, the relationship should be a decreased amount of grinding due to the ability to trade rl money with in-game stuff.

the problem of obsessive gaming long preceded online games.and with game developers increasingly catering heavy grind elements, I can't help but wonder which part of such play style is fun.

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 7:14PM kgptzac said

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@kgptzac

argh please excuse the pathetic typos... need to practice with Swype a bit more I guess.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 3:57PM DancingCow said

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The problem is cultural.

We live in a society where 90% of the wealth and power resides in the hands of 10% of the population. And no matter how hard you work or sacrifice etc., most people have very little chance - other than eg. winning a lottery - of breaking into that top 10%

That leaves 90% of the population (usually subconsiously) feeling a bit inadequate/lacking/powerless.

MMOs speak directly to that need. In an online world, RMTs aside, no-one is born into power and work is rewarded with both achievement and status.

Show us someone who is obsessed with MMO'ing to the point of spending 10 hours a night playing, after a full day of work, and you're showing us someone who _desperately_ needs what MMOs provide.

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 8:04PM Birk said

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@DancingCow

With all due respect and no intent to offend, it's thinking like that that precipitates the "cultural problem."

90% of people have very little chance? If you mean don't have the opportunity, I would be hesitant to agree. Many have come from little and made much of themselves.

I'm more inclined to believe that 90% of people have very small odds for achieving anything other than mediocrity, and breaking in to that "top 10%"...which in my opinion is a considerably inflated estimate unless you're talking about the absolute pinnacle of wealth. And in that case, it's hardly a point of contention with those that make marginally less than that, of which there are many. (Millionaires, that is).

Most people have such low odds of doing anything considerable because they hide behind statistics such as these. "Oh, well...the money is all with that 10% of folks, and is completely inaccessible to me. So...I suppose I'll just wallow away in my heroic-mode raid here and try and accomplish something tangible." I'm not ragging on people like that, but making wealth "inaccessible" due to outside circumstances is just a way of making an excuse for our laziness, or our desire for the certainty and significance that comes along with suffering with our fellow plebes in the nine-to-five.

Anyhow, this wasn't aimed at you really, DancingCow. Nor hardcore raiders, or what have you. People who want to spend ridiculous amounts of time raiding (and, if you read my post above, I've done so as well to a lesser extent) should feel free to do so without any guff.

But saying that people do it because they don't have the "chance" (read: opportunity) of doing so in real life is garbage. You make your own chance in life; whether that's by killing internet dragons or owning the stock market is up to you.

-Birk
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 8:07PM Birk said

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@Birk

Case in point: While many were blowing their noses and crying tears of agony into their handkerchiefs over the devastating US recession, many MANY opportunity-driven entrepreneurs were making millions.

Glass is half full.

-Birk
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 8:27PM DiscoJer said

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@DancingCow

Oh please. While that might be true, at the same time, the rest of the 90% has more "wealth" than being rich and powerful did 30 years ago (much less years and years ago).

I mean, seriously, if your "disadvantaged" can afford to spend 10 hours a day playing video games, then your society is doing rather well...
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 8:46PM xBludx said

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@DancingCow

Interesting point you raise here. But I don't think winning the lottery can even put you in the top tier.

If you're interested this issue, read Superclass by David Rothkopf.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 9:26PM Birk said

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@xBludx

A lot of points covered here. To just mark on them for the sake of brevity...

My point is exactly what you're saying, Tempes. That society DOES believe that there needs to be an upper, middle, and lower class...and it'll naturally happen because of people buying into that ideology and identifying with one of the above.

I'm not talking about disadvantages. Everyone has disadvantages (and by the way, your concept about buying into the University Degree for magical success is an outdated model; these days, University doesn't buy you much).

If it's your illusion that everybody is locked into the social class of which they are born into, then I'll not fault you for it. After all, the vast majority of the population falls into the same category of beliefs.

In my experience, how you frame your situation is a lot more powerful than what you do.

-Birk
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 10:56PM Birk said

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@Tempes Magus

I understand where you're coming from, but it's infinite loop concepts like that that really keep thinking in a rut.

Of course people have to rely on others' approval to succeed in life and in the marketplace; it only makes sense. If you're not creating value, then you can be working as hard as you want you will get nowhere.

If you want to talk about backwards culture, its the armies of folks out there participating in schemes to milk the money out of people without providing them any value. Mark my words though; it's not a sustainable business practice anymore, especially with the expansion of the global marketplace where people can start a company on nothing and suddenly have an audience of millions

-IF they can create the value to do so.

I really just want to say something about this:

"The biggest factors are things you can't control, like genetics that lead to a more intelligent brain and luck in what circumstances you find yourself in such as having a football scout at school the day you set the school's record after not even getting close any other day despite being hungover that day."

Theories like this are why Freakonomics is a massive best-seller right now. Don't get me wrong - I LIKE the book. But somewhere inside, people are looking at statistical evidence based on the mean of standards (in a society that you've professed is backwards, for the most part) and making excuses about why they cannot measure up.

I'm saying that claiming a "more intelligent brain" would take you into that top 10% that Cow was talking about, or any of the other disadvantages you listed would stop you from doing so, is simply not the case.

Knowledge does not equal profit or value creation, and anyone can create value if they focus on doing THAT rather than what seems to be the main focus: Making Money.

Knowledge is certainly helpful, but look at the over-educated masses of "lifetime students" and "armchair business experts" that do nothing to create tangible value in the marketplace. They're stagnant; rotting away in their theory-complexes while actual innovators are out capturing hearts and making the big bucks.

I agree...the whole working harder to make the buck theory is garbage. You need to do something you believe in, and love. Call me romanticized, but look at it practically: if you're not doing something you believe in, then the guy next to you who DOES believe in it, and DOES love it, is going to get that promotion/deal/sale. Hunger is what drives people, in the same way that sitting in Dalaran and watching that epicc'd out dude roll past you makes many folks "hunger" and "drive" to follow in his footsteps.

The problem is, if your only hunger is to get enough money to pay the bills or survive in your class group - then that's all you'll likely ever get.

No value added, No value given.

Anyways, that was a rant on my part anyways. I'm not claiming to have it all figured out, and I'm not trying to win some sort of pissing contest about who can succeed and who cannot. I just want to stress the fact that people who believe hard enough in something (AKA the class system, the oppression of the masses, the fruitlessness of trying to make a difference) will try the hardest to prove it.

And if you try to prove all of those things, you most likely will. For yourself.

-Birk
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 4:00PM Ocho said

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This is why I read Massively.

Rock on, Beau. You hit the nail on the head and aren't afraid of the backlash. Its very true that because of this behavior in MMO's that I don't feel like an "average" player. Up until recently, I never played on weekends. Didn't have time. Then on weeknights, I only played for 3 hours tops as I would have to get up to go to work the next morning. Because of this, I'm not a raider and as such am seen as far below "average". After reading this, I feel a little closer to "average".

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