Friday, 3 February 2012

The MMO Rational Complaint Department

When I make an MMO, it will let you design costumes and characters like CoH and change them constantly like DCUO and upgrade stats like SWTOR. You will be able to change jobs and subjobs like FFXI. It will have a friending system like CoH and FFXI. It will have an auction system like CoH that looks like FFXI. It will be pretty like Aion and FFXIV. It will have multiple options to level based on your personal play styles like SWTOR. It will have useful companions like SWTOR. It will have crafting and combat like Tera. It will have interactive guild stuffs like CoH and Sims. It will let you have sexy time with any PC or NPC of your choosing. And it will be f2p like Guild Wars.
It will be nothing like WoW and Chuck Norris or anyone who talks about him will not be permitted to play it.

Will it have ponies, my friend asks hesitantly? Oh, it will have SECURITY ponies, I proudly inform him.

But. Since I’m not making an MMO or even remotely have the skills or funds to do so, I will, instead, play the ones I enjoy and make use of constructive criticism and proper testing and bug reporting processes to help improve the game and therefore, my enjoyment of said game.

Why would I do this? Well, because, though I’m not a programmer, I’d like to think that, if I were a programmer, I’d probably shoot myself in the head because it is too damn expensive to find all the ragey ragers who hop onto forums to write ragey rage posts about all the horrible things wrong with my game that are, apparently, ruining their lives. Excuse me. “Lives.”

Because, you see...
 “What the fuck is wrong with this game? The frame rate is FUCKED up!!! Fix this or you're going to lossse subbs?! Aren't you spending like 15 billlion dollars and you can't FIX THE FUCKING FRAME RATE!!!” ~DB ;) 
Or alternatively:
“Framerate suxxors” ~DB ;) 
...would not inspire me to care about your issue with the game, much less help me understand what the actual problem is in order to save you from these heinous, life altering stresses.

 Creating and releasing an MMO to the hounds these days must be an incredibly daunting experience for several reasons, not the least of which are:

  1. No one wants to “pull a Square Enix,” 
  2. Our society is too used to having things our way NOW NOW NOW, 
  3. Our society is determined to compare everything to everything else and is angry when something both is and isn’t exactly like that which came before. 

 An MMO is created to grow and change over time. It ought to be playable and enjoyable at its launch, with content to last a good while and with its major structures in place, but it should not be expected to be perfect. Going from a relatively small group of beta testers to thousands or millions of users means that there will be a large collection of unforeseen issues that come into play. Bugs are going to happen. Things aren’t going to work exactly as intended. But there is a good chance that none of these problems will completely ruin a player’s ability to progress or enjoy the game in many other ways. Whether or not these problems do completely ruin the game, report them in a pithy, rational manner. Be patient. Or LEARN2PROGRAM and go get hired at the company in question and see things from the other side.

 At the end of the day, if a game fails, I will partially blame the angry gamers who don't bother to give it a chance or make an effort to do their part to help make it better -- but of course, such people won’t think like that. They will take the failure as proof that the game really was suxxorz and deserved to fail in the first place.

 Pity those people don’t actually ragequit the game when they post about doing so. There’d probably be a lot less lag, at least.
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