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Reader Comments (25)

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 3:10PM hereafter said

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I love this soapbox so much. Everyone wants to cash in on being "right" as early as possible. My only guess is so that if reality happens to line up with their ill-conceived predictions, they can lean back in their computer chairs and feel briefly smug before moving on to poison some other despised game's community.

Or maybe they're just bored and a little spiteful. I don't think there's really a way to fix it, you just gotta hope the trend fades or changes into something more thoughtful.

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 3:24PM nimzy said

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Imagine my surprise when my mother revealed to me she spent a few dollars on an upgrade to her leveling speed in a certain casual game. Argh! The people who spend money on those free-to-play games are everywhere -- and that's the point.

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 3:31PM madcartoonist said

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People are protective of their brands. They are the same was with things like video game consoles, computers, or what car they drive. What they like is great and everything else sucks. There are so many MMOs out there now that everyone should be able to find one that matches their taste.

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 3:52PM Naru now in 3D said

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The facebook "social games" are mostly candy-coated turds that are even more obvious about using dirty psychological tactics to squeeze money out of you than MMOs. And everything I've ever read about Zynga as a company has made me hate them with a passion.

HOWEVER, this one game WeTopia actually uses the evil social game model for good; they donate 50% of their profits to important charities for kids in Haiti and the U.S., and even the free gameplay helps fund the charities and donate clean water and hot food to kids in need. Ellen Degeneres endorsed the game, so it has to be legit, right?

I'm only slightly ashamed to admit that I'm actually enjoying a social game quite a bit, thanks to WeTopia, since it gives me a justifiable reason to play :)

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 4:02PM Naru now in 3D said

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Oh, and more on-topic with the article, I hope that many of us take your point to heart and try to be a little more level-headed with our MMO biases.

The SWTOR back-and-forth between the fans and the haters would be much more entertaining if each side listened to each other's points and modified their arguments accordingly, instead of this "It's Great!" "No it sucks!" "Nuh-uh!" "Yeah-huh!" repetition-fest.

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 4:18PM Celtar said

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@Naru now in 3D -The SWTOR back-and-forth between the fans and the haters would be much more entertaining if each side listened to each other's points and modified their arguments accordingly -


Exactly Naru, sadly as you pointed out this didn't happen and tends not to. no matter how many of us call for reasoned debate on what the posters feel are strong or weak points.

I have a lot of issues with SWTOR and yet anytime I try to post the things I am not happy with and why, I get flamed. Which amounts to there not being any productive conversations on the topic. Which I think hurts the game long term because the developers won't get reasoned debate on whys to improve the game.



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Posted: Dec 20th 2011 5:10PM (Unverified) said

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@Naru now in 3D : I fear fanbois can't be reasoned with. After getting into the Diablo 3 beta I posted a lengthy piece of feedback on their "Beta Feedback" forums, which was 95% positive and 5% relatively minor concerns.

I was immediately flamed by someone for "complaining", with the flamer signing off with "god I'm sick of you people" or words to that effect.

What kind of dialogue can you POSSIBLY have with someone which such a severe case of tunnel vision that he will even flame someone for holding the heretical view that only 95% of an unfinished game in beta is great?
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Posted: Dec 20th 2011 4:15PM Celtar said

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This part sums up SWTOR pretty much on the mark.

- that it's a revolution in gameplay (when it's more of an evolution in presentation, with much of the gameplay amalgamated from other sources). Eliot-

This part I disagree with...

-Both camps aren't really making predictions. They're stating what they want to happen, based on whether or not they like the game, and then finding whatever arguments would back that up. Eliot-

When I make my opinion known it isn't because I harbor some wish to make what I think happen. To me your comment is simplistic and not on the mark. I post my opinion based on what I observe whether I like or dislike it and why I like or dislike it.

I also post because I want to see corrections and improvements. But to "want" a game to fail or be bad to me is a waste of my time. I agree with a lot of what you posted in the article Eliot, like the point that if you don't have an interest in a game then you don't. That said, I wouldn't think of it as a 'fail" because I had no interest in it.

If you asked me, I'd tell you why I have no interest in a game, activity or what ever. Also I will quickly point out that my opinion can be changed by further info to either make me want to do/play/watch what ever the activity is or not to by further info.

Basically I don't get this need to wish ill of something that I am not interested in, to me its not an either/or situation. It isn't a either you are for me or against me mentality since that is quite a limited frame of mind in my opinion.

One persons waste of time is another persons obsession or happy place. lol

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 4:22PM (Unverified) said

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Let me just say, for the record - I have no idea if SWTOR will be a smash success or not.

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 4:26PM ndessell said

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Damn straight, now im not going to give a rat butt about any MMO besides eve as they currently have my credit card on tap.

And by the way when are the Swtor free trial coming, i would hate to never have played 'another' star wars Mmo.

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 5:30PM (Unverified) said

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Great piece!

I especially like "when it's more of an evolution in presentation,"

Really opened my eyes to what is fueling my awe with TOR.

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 5:47PM (Unverified) said

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Well, ever since World of Warcraft started catering to the Farmville minded gamer, the one who wants to spend 5 minutes and see every reward without actually investing anything into the game, WoW has stagnated and not grown.

Vanilla ended with 8.5 million subs, BC ended with 11.5 million. A year into Wrath Kotaku had an article talking about the 1st quarter of 2010 conference call where it was announced that WoW was still at 11.5 million subscriptions. 500,000 were only added AFTER the late summer 2010 release of Wrath in China, and we now know that China absolutely hated Wrath. Cataclysm has seen subscribers leave in droves.

One of the main symptoms seen with World of Warcraft has seen Blizzard willingly retcon the story to fit in any little gameplay that these "casuals" want, the same "casuals" who care nothing for the Warcraft story. As a result the comics and magazine have been cancelled, The Shattering saw poor sales, the 3rd pre-Cataclysm novel may not be released at all (sort of pointless since the Cataclysm story is now over), and poor sales among all other Warcraft related merchandise.

Because of this Blizzard has run away it's core Warcraft fan. These Farmville-style players will not be the ones pre-ordering and lining up at a store's doors to buy Warcraft 4 or WoW 2. I'm not basjing Farmville-style games, they have their place, but so to do games that appeal to gamers that want to be immersed into a world environment and follow along a story. The 2 are not really compatable and game companies need to decide which style of gamer they are designing a game for and make sure they make the best game toward that end. WoW is living proof you can not cater to both types at the same time.

Posted: Dec 20th 2011 6:38PM CricketB said

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@(Unverified)

Have you ever actually played FarmVille?

If WoW were to adjust to a FarmVille mentality, you'd be more gated, more restricted and would need groups of friends for just about anything worthwhile. Meanwhile WoW is opening up, letting you do more solo content, allowing faster and easier progression.

The very core of Zynga social games is that they're fun enough that you want to get to do more and progress faster and for that you have to pay. Zynga puts out some interesting content - FrontierVille (aka PioneerTrail) or CastleVille even have quest mechanics and an overall story. It's the frustrating limit to actions and the requirement of an entire network of pragmatic gaming acquaintances that makes these games so profitable and so annoying.
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Posted: Dec 20th 2011 7:05PM (Unverified) said

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@CricketB
I'm not talking about the specifics of Farmville. I'm talking about the casualness of it. The fact you can play it for a few minutes with no "investment" emotionally. There will never be novels or comics based on it. There will never be "Farmville The Magzine". No one will make models of characters from Farmville and sell them. That is not the audience that gets into that.

And an MMO like WoW was never meant for faster, easier progression. Look at the vast number of people who have killed Deathwing in just the 2 weeks it's been out. Do you really think this casual, Farmville player is going to spend a year constantly going into LFR to kill Deathwing for the next 45-50 weeks until Mists of Pandaria is released? Obviously Blizzard doesn't think so or else they wouldn't have done there "Get D3 free for paying for a year of WoW".

If you like Farmville, great, more power to you. I'm glad that there are games out there that fit your style. But why does that gamer have to go into a game like WoW and then demand that it be changed to suit them and push away the core audience that has gotten into a story that has essentially been destroyed to fit that casual style.

And if that casual style of gamer is such the majority, why hasn't the game grown since it began catering to them?
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Posted: Dec 20th 2011 9:01PM StClair said

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Here's where I take issue with you:

I'm a "casual" player in that in that I have neither the time, nor the inclination, to go raiding. Most of my characters, in any game, are still mostly attired in quest blues and greens at the level cap, maybe some purples that they've crafted... and that's it. I've enjoyed seeing the world, I've been immersed in the story... and now, to see the rest of it, you want me to spend a month of my time grinding the same "episode" over and over before I can move on to the next?

No, pass. I have better things to do with my time. I'd rather be *enjoying other stories* then pecking away at the Skinner box and following the holy strat to defeat the boss and have a chance at getting one more piece of my set of tier gear. You have mistaken "treating the game like a JOB" for dedication, commitment and immersion.
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Posted: Dec 20th 2011 9:04PM StClair said

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(always hit return too soon)

If it was up to you and others like you, maybe 10% of the players, at most, would ever get to see and take part in all of the story. (The other 90%? Who cares, they haven't EARNED it.) The people who make these games don't seem to think that's right or fair, and I'm glad.
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Posted: Dec 20th 2011 11:00PM (Unverified) said

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@StClair
No, I am not saying that. But let's be honest, the story of Warcraft got pushed away in Wrath and completely destroyed in Cataclysm.

Instead of getting actual content for the first patch, the Farmville type casuals who cried "I want the ZG and ZA mounts back" got their wish. For the sake of "accessibility" the story was obliterated.

There are a lot of things I would like to do in life, but circumstances prevent me from doing them. I don't go to someone and say "You must change this for me". But that's what's happened with World of Warcraft. As a result, the Warcraft franchise is in danger of dieing. The fact that outside merchandise can't sell is a sure sign that the core fan base is leaving.

The so called "Wrath babies" love saying how Wrath did so much for the game, but yet the game has NEVER grown catering to that "we want rewards for no work". First we heard "we don't care about gear, we want to see the content". Well, they made LFR. Pugs in it killed Deathwing the very first week. What is being said now? "Why isn't the gear as good as what drops in normal?", "I didn't get loot yesterday so I should be able to roll on loot today even though it's the same week!". When fans of Warcraft actually talk about the story, Farmville casuals always make snide comments and look down at those who want to enjoy the story.

If you don't have the time to raid, well, I am sorry you don't. But then maybe an MMO, at least some MMO's, aren't for you. A game like Guild Wars sounds like it could meet your time restrictions better, and it's a great game. But why demand that a game be watered down and destroyed just so some people can get "shinies"?
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Posted: Dec 21st 2011 2:39PM brokenaces said

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@(Unverified) From a WoW player who's yet to hit 85 on even one character, allow me to say something. Raiding is not the be-all and end-all of World of Warcraft. Some of us play to spend time with friends, to explore, to have fun. You know. Fun? That thing you play games for?

The friends I play with tend to be knee-deep in the new raids when we cross paths. But it's still fun to hear about all the crazy stuff they get up to and know that lots of people can have the same wacky time of it.

If that makes me a "casual", so be it. At least I'm enjoying the game in my own way.
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Posted: Dec 21st 2011 6:56PM (Unverified) said

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@brokenaces
But that's just it, it's the Farmville style casuals that has demanded that raiding be the end all be all. The demanded that attunements be removed. Attunements were long quest chains that told the bulk of a story that led up to the raid. The raid itself was merely the climax of the story.

Take Black Temple in BC for example. The attunement had you go and work with Akama and you learned that Maive was imprisoned, but that Akama had actually turned against Illidan. But Farmville-style casuals were all screaming "you're blocking us out of seeing content!!! It's too hard/takes too much time/requires us to group with people to do this!" So of course Blizzard caved in and removed all attunements. This led to the major plot advancements almost completely disappearing.

World of Warcraft exists to tell the Warcraft story, or at least that was it's intended purpose. It did not break Everquest's subscriber records on it's very first day because a bunch of people who didn't really care about Warcraft decided to join the game. It did so because there was a large core fan base. The problem is, the so called "casuals" came in and demanded that the game stop catering to the Warcraft fans and start catering to the entitlement/welfare gear base who does not care about the story Blizzard has created for nearly 20 years. I'm not saying any player anywhere should not be welcomed, but you don't go to say a Star Trek convention and tell them that you're a Star Wars fan and they need to stop catering to Star Trek people. Well, that is essentially what has happened with WoW and that is why it's in the mess it's in.
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Posted: Dec 21st 2011 7:04PM (Unverified) said

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@brokenaces

Just a PS to my above reply to you.

In the leveling process, it was the Farmville style casuals who, when Blizzard announced major changes to the old world to bring them up to date, that some things not be removed. Because of this, you have a disjointed, schizophrenic old world where zones and quests make no sense. Just about half of the quests in leveling zones are from pre-Cataclysm and make no sense whatsoever in a post-Cataclysm timeline. A good example is the Missing Diplomat line. This was events that took place shortly just after the event in WC3 where Lady Katrina Prestor (Onyxia), the daughter of Deathwing (aka Neltharion, aka Lord Daval Prestor) kidnapped King Varian. You went on this LONGGGG quest line about how he was kidnapped on his way to Theramore for a peace meeting with Thrall. It was supposed to be finished in game. Because of work Blizzard catered to to the non Warcraft fans, it got finished in the comics instead. But it's still in the game and it makes no sense for it to be. It ends with Jaina basically saying "Oh yeah, that's old news and Varian's back (which you already knew since your character almost certainly has had interaction with him). Now go to Stormwind and see BOLVAR for your reward." And yes, it did say Bolvar who used to be in Stormwind pre-Wrath.

It was also the Farmville style casuals who made demands in increased experience that has completely destroyed the leveling process making it a joke and making it so you skip so many zones that you can barely follow along with what story remains in the game. They whined it took too long to get to max level.
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