You’re Kidding Me.

This is amusing as hell.

By the way, I’m working on an article about gaming journalism. If you’ve ever worked for a print rag and you have some time to kill today, email me, will you?

Edited, 6/27: Thanks for all the responses, y’all. Turns out there are ELEVEN of you, and you all have a lot of experience in the industry 🙂

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30 Comments

  1. zcline said,

    June 22, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Its a trap! Email you about what?

  2. June 22, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    It’s gaming madness coming to our shores, turning all our children into hooligans and whores.

    Unlike the whimsical board games of your youth, today’s highly technical multicolored whirligigs of evil have your precious children in their thrall… and you might not even know it!

    Thought D&D was bad in the 80’s, did you? Well, Satan has a new vehicle now, friend, and he’s taking your children on a one-way joyride to hell! Get them the help they need today, before they’re just another sad miscreant on a street corner with a tin can and a “Will Turn Tricks for A DS” sign.

    *grin*

  3. Hanna said,

    June 22, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    It’s interesting, the addictive (in the general sense) properties of online games, especially the Blizzard ones like Diablo II and World of Warcraft. I presume they’re not much different than any of the other games out there, but they’re the ones I have the most direct experience with.

    They seem almost designed to require a huge amount of time and effort in order to experience the content. From what I’ve observed and from anecdotes, the “grind” of reputation and raiding and pvping and dungeons that require the coordination of 25 to 40 persons over the period of four to eight hours. I can’t even imagine spending that much time. Which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good long session of following fed-ex quests and gathering quests and whack 20 moles quests, they offer me the freedom of being able to stop at any moment and take a break.

    Yet there are so many other activities in the games that you simply cannot take a break without ruining the experience for everyone else in the group. And only by almost obsessive involvement with the game can someone reap the rewards that peers pressure other peers into obtaining. I find it all very intriguing.

    To question the game design is to open oneself to jeers of wanting “free epics”, or getting something for nothing. The bar which has become somehow socially accepted by gamers is set so high, it seems to require “addictive” behaviors to meet it. This feels to me like a game design issue.

    Blizzard has recently added a new type of quest to World of Warcraft that limits reputation rewards (which open up access to the purchase of crafting recipes or the purchase of Rare and Epic rewards) to a once-a-day activity to offset the obsessiveness of “the grind”, but still, so much of the game leaves so few options for gaining this reputation in what is now almost forty different factions by way of repeatable quests. To me, this is the height of bad game design. Why make dozens and dozens of unique quests when you can make the same quest repeatable?

    Repeatable quests are the true Scourge of World of Warcraft, in my opinion. I wish they would vanish from the game. They are the antithesis of fun in my experience.

    I’m disabled, which (for my particular disability) means I can only play the game for short periods of time, needing breaks. So much of the content just doesn’t allow for that. I’d bring up the possibility of ADA crackdown on MMOG designers who make games that seem to me to be actively hostile to me, but I’ve settled for a reduced experience and finding my fun where I can, when I can, how I can.

    I can sympathize with game designers, though. Limited resources and the ability of many players to blow through content at a rate that just boggles my mind makes this all a difficult problem to solve, if there are any solutions for it. What works for me makes the game (which already has the reputation as being the easiest MMOG in the world) even more ridiculously easy for those who seem to be able to accomplish the impossible, making their characters accomplish feats I can only dream of. And there are way more of them than there are of me.

    That’s my take on the whole issue. And yes, certainly people are going to exhibit addictive behaviors. Pathologizing it isn’t really the solution. In the U.S., though, we are a society that almost worships addictive behavior when it’s considered “productive”. Within gaming communities, that addictive behavior seems to be seen as a strength. I can’t imagine the work that goes into being the first guild to complete the highest end of content, but they are lauded for it because within the community that is seen as the be-all-and-end-all of productivity.

    Those outside of the community don’t see that at all. I don’t know if either side if “right” and expect any truth lies somewhere in-between.

    Love,

    Hanna

  4. M Grey said,

    June 22, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    And here’s what it all comes down to right here:

    “Last fall, the family found a therapist who “told us he was addicted, period.” They sent Michael to a therapeutic boarding school, where he has spent the past six months — at a cost of $5,000 monthly”

    When you’re charging $5k a month for treatment, of course you’re going to try to have it legitimized.

  5. Khan said,

    June 22, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Yeah, and the “large group of doctors” in the intro wanted our insurance to help pay for treatment too. *facepalm*

    From the Intro: “The telltale signs are ominous: teens holing up in their rooms, ignoring friends, family, even food and a shower, while grades plummet and belligerence soars.”

    Dr Obvious: “It’s almost like they’re becoming adolescents.”

  6. Servitor said,

    June 22, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    I guess I don’t understand why the parents don’t remove access to the games, if they’re causing such an issue with their child’s day to day life. Seriously–take the Xbox and drive it to a temporary storage place and stash it there, if you’re at the point where you’re willing to pay $5k for therapy. Uninstall the games from the family computer, put the computer in a place where everyone can see it, and don’t let your kid spend every waking moment of his time at a friend’s house where he can play the game.

    I’m sure there are hard cases where there seems to be no way to stop the behavior, but geez.

  7. Skyles said,

    June 22, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Its a great example of clinical-excuse – finding a psychological or physiological reason that “its not my fault” instead of saying “I’ve been a bad parent” or “I’m miserable with my (family/school/work) life and try to tune it out.” We grow up, get out of school, and we still want to bring a doctor’s note to life to make sure we get those excused absences.

    Should the parents be monitoring and controlling time spent playing video games, just like they should be monitoring and controlling time spent vegetating in front of the television? Of course they should – but its easier to put the computer or television in the kid’s room and enjoy the blissful hours of silence, at least until the the kid starts to develop undesirable behaviors that outweigh the value gained. Then it’s “that evil game, it was out of my control, I’m not at fault!” instead of “it was just easier parking him in front of that screen than actually spending time with him and doing something active together.”

    When people develop obsessive behaviors, those in a position of responsibility for the obsessive individual (they themselves, parents, bosses, friends) always want to find an excuse, an explanation of “why its not my fault.” So the symptom gets its own diagnosis, is treated as if its the sickness – “see, it was out of my control, I am blameless!” Better to find out what’s caused the obsessive behavior and deal with it than to vilify the symptom (pool/billiards, trading cards, collectible card games, roleplaying games, collectible board games, computer games in general, chess, football, track, dance…)

  8. Justin said,

    June 22, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    This is nothing more than the latest scapegoat. People are unwilling to admit the true source of their problems and blame video games.

    So Bob, you lost your job because you played too much WoW and wouldn’t go to work? Sounds to me like you don’t like your job all that much.

    If people are destroying their own lives, they have bigger problems than just playing a video game. I would call it a symptom and not the cause.

  9. Aufero said,

    June 22, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    The bar for what’s considered abnormal has been lowered continuously in in the last 40 or 50 years, so it’s not completely impossible for “video game addiction” (under some suitably medical name) to be added to DSM-V by the time it comes out.

    The part that article gets wrong is the assumption that being added to the DSM makes something a disorder – it doesn’t. Video game addiction would likely be added under axis IV of the DSM, which is for contributing factors to other disorders, not things that are disorders themselves. Just about any stressor can be a contributing factor.

  10. NerfTW said,

    June 22, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    I’m not defending labeling it an addiction in itself, but the woman in the article DID take the game away. She was physically threatened. Shockingly, small people can have children larger than them. So saying she wasn’t trying just shows you weren’t reading the article.

    Now, the cause of his outbursts is debateable. I’m amazed any therapist they went to “pooh poohed” the situation.

  11. VPellen said,

    June 22, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    *Bangs his head against a table.*

    Missing the point, missing the point, missing the fucking point.

    I’ve been over this in numerous discussions, and it’s starting to tire me. Every time somebody brings up video game addiction, most people seem to quickly take sides on either “think of the children!” or “it’s not real it’s not real it’s not real!”

    I’m inclined to believe you can be “addicted” to video games in some sense. That’s fine. I have no problem with acknowledging that. It’s the fact that most people seem completely blindsided on how to deal with it. You can’t “detox” on video games, it’s not a bloody substance for Christ’s sake. At best it’s a psychological addiction, but even then, as Justin said quite well, “it’s a symptom, not a cause”.

    Knew a guy once, he was a nice guy, but completely non-social. He played an online game, won’t say which. He was playing 12 hours a day at one point. No friends, never got out of the house. Funny thing was, he utterly hated the game. It was one of those Korean grindfests I think. Only reason he stuck around was because of the second family his guildmates become. They were serious friends, serious pour-your-heart-out and tell-your-darkest-secrets-to friends. He stopped playing one day, bam, cold turkey, after about two years of devoted playing. Why? He had a falling out with his closest friends within the guild. He never looked back. He wanted to see his friends again from time to time, but the game? The game meant nothing.

    People don’t become addicted to gaming or online gaming without it giving them something they can’t get in real life. The laughably ironic thing is that eventually they will classify video game addiction as legitimate, and when they do, they’ll be forced to actually work out why it’s addictive, instead of just waving the flag around. I look forward to seeing the looks on their faces when they realize people resort to playing games because their life utterly sucks, and that it’s not some evil mysterious mind-game that game designers have been slipping into their games like s sort of perverse psychological poison.

    Until then though, there will be some people who will be miserable and “addicted”, and nobody will really know why. You have somebody who’s addicted to games? Here’s a clue for you, try talking to them about their life. You might be utterly fucking astonished to find out what’s depressing the hell out of the people you love that you were too thick to notice because you were looking to pin the blame on some foreign substance.

    Sigh.

  12. Max said,

    June 22, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Ironically, as a sufferer from social anxiety disorder/agoraphobia /whatever you want to call it, my therapist has been supportive of MMORPGs in that it provides such a degree of social interaction. MMO therapy anyone?

  13. Ebenezer said,

    June 22, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    What about us adults?

    How long till I can qualify for SSI disability and draw a monthly check to support my addiction!

  14. kyan said,

    June 23, 2007 at 5:50 am

    The flaw I find in this is basically that video games offer a source of fun that is sort of unique in how accessable and sustainable it is.

    Consider all the real life activities you think of as incredibly fun. Paradise beachs, skiing vacations, whatever. Then throw in doing them with your friends. If those things were as easy and accessable as video games, they’d be indulged in just as often. Why? Because it’s fun. Of course folks want to do what they find fun as much as possible.

    Which is really what gaming is slowly evolving as: the virtual medium in which to easily simulate what we find fun.

    I think the “addiction” comments are arising from the fact that it’s catching people off guard. They’re getting too much fun and too much social satisfaction and fulfillment in a way far easier than we’re used to. Thus in some cases–certain game styles with certain people–it’s replacing or overwhelming the other sources.

    But as a whole, it’s simple a matter of: gaming is fun; gaming is easy to do; we like to do fun things as much as possible; thus we’re gaming a lot.

  15. Barbara said,

    June 23, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    When I was a Jr. in High School, I pulled away from my friends, spent all my time in my room, and did nothing but read books. I even snuck books into class and read them under the desk. My grades suffered. My social life suffered. But I don’t think I was addicted to reading. I was mainly 16.

    If that woman’s son was threatening and belligerent when they tried to take his games away, that’s a sign of a bigger problem. Without a lot more information, I have an impossible time believing that’s anything to do with video games. He’s possibly got some psychological issues or has possibly been raised badly. But you can’t tell me he wouldn’t act the same way if they threatened to take away his car.

  16. Scott said,

    June 25, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Thank god they got Morgan Webb’s comment on this.

  17. DJ Jester said,

    June 25, 2007 at 8:20 am

    *sigh* So yet again, the medical community would rather label something as a disorder instead of telling people to PARENT their children.

    This really drives me nuts. Games can make you loose track of time, and for those with no lives, they can loose themselves in it b/c it is so much fun.

    As for those who get violent b/c mommy takes the game away, well, Mommy needs to get violent right back and smack the little brats back into place.

    I was bigger than both my parents by age 15, do you think that stopped them from smacking me around if I deserved it? HELL NO. My mom would grab a spatula and start smacking me in the knuckles or on the head if she needed to (not that it ever happened more than once).

    If a kid doesn’t know they’re not incontrol of their surroundings then they’ll go wild, if they have rules and those rules are enforced NO MATTER WHAT, they won’t have a problem. If they do go nuts, then as someone else already said, that’s signs of a bigger problem.

  18. Jeff Freeman said,

    June 25, 2007 at 8:39 am

    No worries, VPellen… the opinions of the extremists don’t really count for much. Psychiatrists don’t even call addiction addition any more – it’s just reporters only have something like a 50-phrase dialect.

    Won’t be long before there’s an online course for it.

    But as a whole, it’s simple a matter of: gaming is fun; gaming is easy to do; we like to do fun things as much as possible; thus we’re gaming a lot.

    I’d agree that’s the norm. Most people don’t have a problem with booze or gambling, either. It’s abnormal. Downright crazy.

    And we all know you don’t try to cure crazy people with “psychiatry”.

  19. Soukyan said,

    June 25, 2007 at 11:46 am

    I wouldn’t blame the games themselves, but I have seen several people display common signs of addiction with regards to online games. While the writing in the article may be laughable, there were some valid points. At least one of the parents attempted to take the game away. As with any addiction, there are combinations of factors involved, including family and friends. As Jeff points out above, gambling is a gaming addiction as well. So does it matter what the game is and whether it is on a computer or not? Aren’t gambling games just as addictive whether they are played live or on the internet? Whatever the case may be, perhaps it was a slow news day at MSNBC.

  20. Georgia said,

    June 25, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    Well that article is funny as heck, but the contradictory article on CNN this afternoon makes it even funnier: http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/fun.games/06/25/addiction.video.games.reut/index.html

  21. Khan said,

    June 25, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Well, the CNN article gives me some hope that cooler heads will prevail.

    I’m not saying that some people can’t be addicted to video games (or coffee or alcohol or [insert whatever]) but that if there is some addictive quality to them, perhaps it needs to be studied before asking people to pony up money for heightened insurance premiums (or shelling out $5000.00 for a “treatment” for a “disease” no one actually knows how to treat). If video games are life-crippling to some people, why not to all people that play them? What makes me able to keep a job / raise a family / shut the thing off that someone else may be missing? As VPellen mentions, is there one thing in particular that is addictive separate from other things (social / video stimuli / action-reward …)?

    I’m old enough to have seen the same arguments the first article made but instead of computer games, it was D&D. “D&D made my teenager all angsty and secluded.” “D&D is the Devil,” is a more extreme way of putting it. Some people may have an adverse reaction – violence or withdrawl symptoms – to D&D just like they may have one to video games. Those cases are likely to be the minority, however, and again, merit study before people start coming up with “cures.”

    And why is it that most of these mysterious Enemies of Society(™) – rock music, D&D, video games – seem to appear when the kids are teenagers? Do that many parents have difficulty remembering what they were like as teens? When some people become parents, do their own memories get white-washed into an episode of The Waltons? Maybe we should be studying that?

  22. Goedel said,

    June 25, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    The great thing about the internet is that anyone can say anything without worrying about the nuances of reality or actual expertise.

    The DSM-IV already has pathological gambling as a real disorder, and it wouldn’t be much of stretch to see something similar for MMOGs.

  23. Jeff Freeman said,

    June 26, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Not surprising, Goedel: Game fans are worried that ignorant reporting of this newsbit will assign blame to the games as the cause of the disorder; so they’re quick to defend their hobby.

    And… reporters are fairly worthless when it comes to anything involving magic , science, demons, teens or whatever spooked the wits out of Lindsey Tanner for this story. Such loaded language! The culprit is video games. They’re heroin. One young man killed himself: and that was not an isolated incident, as in addition to that, a teenager thought about it. A very nice boy was transformed by video games into a total dick.

    Meanwhile the doctors want it covered by insurance. I’d imagine the patients do, too; if they’d really like to stop, play less, address whatever other issues are messing-up their lives.

    Ok, so… A Doctors’ Group is trying to convince the Healer’s Guild that the Psychiatrists don’t know how to play their class.

    The President of Video Games assures us that games are fine – and hell, that’s good enough for me.

    Scully says the Psychiatrists will spend the next five years looking into it, because man are MMOs grindy as hell.

    Dr Pierce says none of this is necessary, as treatment is adequately covered by insurance if you just remember to write something else on the form. Ta da, it’s covered by insurance after all.

    Dr Brody agrees: Things not covered by insurance are frequently symptoms of more insurable afflictions.

    If it were up to me, I’d say treatment for behavioral issues of this sort ought to be considered reasonable medical care, regardless of which specific activity is the focus of the behavior. Why are they making a list? Why can you only add things to the list once every five years?

    I think I know why the insurance companies want to distinguish between behavioral disorders to such a degree. So they can differentiate between such behavior as stalking an attractive woman, which is not a mental disorder (because come on! She’s hot.) Versus stalking a slightly less attractive woman, who really ought to just be more appreciative of the whole thing.

    And I can imagine that Lindsey Tanner would suggest that something ought to be done in the first case – mental disorder or not – before that hot babe causes any more damage than she’s already done. How many stalkers have to essentially ruin their lives with lengthy prison sentences before Americans wake up? One? One and a guy who thought about it?

    Lindsey’s telling a story here, and stories are just more compelling when you throw in a bogeyman, some out-of-control-teens, and some corpses.

    Naturally, I can also sympathize with the game fans who wish all these people would shut up.

    I can even understand how ESA President Michael Gallagher came off sounding as though he’s on the side of video games. If that is indeed his position on the matter. Considering Lindsey Tanner wrote that part of the article, too; I wouldn’t be surprised if this so-called “entertainment software” association doesn’t even exist.

    What I do not understand is how Dr. Michael Brody could cling to the notion that people who find it abnormally difficult to alter their own behavior (regardless what it is), are suffering from some sort of “mental” issue which ought to be treated through “psychiatry”. Right? Like it’s some kind of soul-disease causing distress to the mind. Maybe he thinks it’s somehow possible to impair a persons judgment and self-control by altering their aura.

    Notice that Morgan Webb practically goes out of her way not to even mention the name of the one person who knows more about the history of psychiatry than all the President’s of Entertainment Software Associations combined? Me too.

    If there were any sort of real journalism left in this country, Tom Cruise and Jack Thompson would be head to head on Crossfire right now.

    I’d watch that for a bit.

  24. June 26, 2007 at 2:14 am

    […] Sanya posted a link to this article: […]

  25. Calhoun said,

    June 26, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    While I’m not about to support the PTA/soccer mom kneejerk perspective that everything which is weird or strange to adults must be bad for children, I think that there is a valid argument that a lot of MMO design which can be described as a “time-sink” can also be defined as “negative reinforcement for obsessive compulsive tendencies”. Which could be construed as addiction if you’re not grasping the process of maintaining subscriber retention.

    Simply put, the vast majority of MMO titles out there have some aspect to them where the player who invests the most time in some repetitive, banal task is given the greatest reward… a glowing weapon, a shiny piece of armor, a misbegotten abomination of nature to ride about the center of town before the admiring eyes of all. While I don’t feel the game instills addiction in the player, it certainly plays into the role of addictive nature, or OCD tendencies. Call it “the grind” if you want a fearful buzzword for the six o’clock news, but it is clear that those whom invest the most time and effort into the game achieve the most recognition and power for their avatar. It gives them a chance to stand out from the ocean of players in some fashion.

    To me, this is the inherent flaw in player perception of MMO design: in the traditional single-player sci-fi FPS, fantasy RPG, space combat sim, etc, the player is the hero, the protagonist, always the one the story is centered upon. We inherently expect this, we’re not going to be playing second fiddle to some NPC or Johnny Down The Street, but to be relatively unique we have to achieve something truly challenging or exhaustive. Enter stage left, the time-sink reward system. The first person in an MMO to become a king, a jedi, a fleet captain, to craft a legendary weapon, to unlock a unique mount… in the years I’ve been playing MMO titles, I’ve seen people go on some truly ridiculous marathon gameplay sessions to “achieve” something uncommon so that they might be known or remembered by other players.

    Chalk it up to the desire for attention, feeding one’s ego, or just rampant insecurities demanding outside validation, but when someone plays for three days without sleep to be the first level 70 in World of Warcraft, there’s something negative to be associated with the “grinds” the game offers the player. There is a problem here, even if the game isn’t the source so much as the medium. I think the real issue lies more in the consumer’s ability to, well, [i]consume[/i] 6-10 months worth of development in a week or two. The solution to that issue is a whole other matter, however. Static worlds, piss-poor AI, and shackling the hands of GMs who could otherwise stage dynamic events… we’re years away from resolving that. Addressing those issues and creating truly dynamic environments would allow for subscriber retention without the need for the developer’s crutch of time-sink gameplay.

    Short version: Games aren’t addictive, but people with addictive tendencies or validation issues play them to excessive lengths. My end-user take on the matter, in any case.

    And it’s nice to see you’re still doing your thing, Sanya.

  26. imweasel said,

    June 27, 2007 at 6:54 am

    “I guess I don’t understand why the parents don’t remove access to the games, if they’re causing such an issue with their child’s day to day life. Seriously–take the Xbox and drive it to a temporary storage place and stash it there, if you’re at the point where you’re willing to pay $5k for therapy. Uninstall the games from the family computer, put the computer in a place where everyone can see it, and don’t let your kid spend every waking moment of his time at a friend’s house where he can play the game.”

    Then the parents would have to be…you know…parents. And the kids would be responsible for being…you know…kids.

    No one wants to take ‘responsibility’ anymore for anything.

    Hence the expenditure of 5k a month for ‘therapy’.

    It’s just aboslution so parents can wash their hands of responsibility.

    Damn. I wish I had 5k a month to spend right now.

  27. Tovin said,

    June 27, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Does this mean when WAR launches I can take some mental health days?! Cause man am I gonna be sick for like 2 weeks! I can just tell!

    T

  28. Taemojitsu said,

    July 2, 2007 at 2:25 am

    Video game “addiction” imo is mostly a matter of fuzzy thinking/losing perspective. Not understanding just what benefits can be obtained from success in the game and how it might affect you later on. A good solution may or may not be to simply learn to understand game design, why the game is the way it is, how it could be better or worse. This should help you think more objectively about your actions and the value of any particular achievement in-game. Or, if the motivation is mostly social, then learn to at least begin to discuss your real-life circumstances with in-game friends, so you have a motivation to improve those real-life circumstances so you look better.

    For a really sneaky attack vector, use the game itself to point out how your gaming experience will degrade as time goes on, how anything you do now will be “useless” because of a future break in the amount of fun you can have playing (or, e.g., how any endgame achievements at lvl 70 will be trivialized in the next expansion, /lol). The obvious weakness of this approach is that it requires an in-depth knowledge of the game in order to be able to cricitize it… and of course, also relies on the game itself having flaws. 😀

    But as for why I decided to make this post: game design!! Reply to post #3. I recently came across an interesting comment on the intarwebs: “it doesn’t feel like there’s as much time to make movies now as there was at lvl 60”, re WoW. Presumably this is pressure caused by the continuous and gradual progression present at the lvl 70 endgame, with repeatable daily quests, 10-a-week arenas, and of course the endless rep grinds. But consider: at lvl 60 there was similar “casual progression”. See: wintersaber trainers, Argent Dawn rep, furbolg and Darkmoon Faire rep. But the difference is that none of these rep grinds were required for anything else, and all of them could also be done continuously instead of once-per-day or 10-per-week.

    I’m still not sure if the once-per-day thing was a good idea… the justification for introducing them was that it allowed the devs to reduce the total amount of effort to reach a reward. But might that not also devalue the “worth” of the reward to the player? And what about the feeling the player might get, of being strung along day after day, week after week, only being allowed to complete a small amount of progression every time period.

    With the original WoW 1-60, the devs didn’t increase the length of the grind to the level cap because they didn’t want to penalize casual players. Hardcore players might reach the level cap quickly and start to become bored, but they could always roll an alt, and the devs did not want to balance the game on the hardcore players. I really wonder if that philosophy is still present in WoW’s design today. It is what the devs intended to do with the daily quests, but as pointed out it’s a pretty flawed design that is not clearly better than the alternative grindy choice. And the rest of the endgame design, from 280% flying mounts at 5k gold to endless rep grinds before you can even start on the “casual” raid instance to the honor gain that was nerfed in 2.0 as a result of preform honor farming groups (now obsolete), does not seem to be oriented towards the capabilities of the casual playerbase.

    Here’s a question to think about: is it better to have endgame content that is completed, after much time and after considerable difficulty, by the most hardcore guilds, and then farmed into the ground by them in order to obtain the best gear that will make them feel like they’ve accomplished something and gives them a reason to keep playing? Or is it better to have endgame content that will be completed once or twice by almost everyone, possibly in order to fulfill quest requirements, and then almost no one goes back unless they like getting trivial gear upgrades?

    Meuh.. I hate to get cliched about this, and sorry if I’ve turned this into a rant, but it’s a matter of keeping the raiders happy vs letting everyone experience the content that’s being created.

    And the WoW devs are raiders.

  29. Taemojitsu said,

    July 2, 2007 at 2:39 am

    From a cynical standpoint, a lot of the problems with TBC could be seen as, well… marketing flaws. “Let’s introduce a whole bunch of stuff that will make people want to buy this $30 expansion!” Never mind that doing it that way will make the game less fun than if those things weren’t done. Hooks that exploit fuzzy thinking.. that therefore lose their power against people without fuzzy thinking. Sacrificing game quality for the sake of subscription numbers… it’s a shame that people end up seeing the flaws anyway.

    That and, yeah, the raider angle. Or more specifically the “zomg leet epix!!” angle. =p Is it possible to accomodate these type of people without destroying the game, as happened at lvl 60 and is happening again at lvl 70? There are things that could be done. But the problem is the devs don’t seem to care to do them.

    Raid or die, people. Raid or die.

    Sorry I’ll stop. Sorry! Sorry… >.

  30. Taemojitsu said,

    July 2, 2007 at 3:14 am

    Eh.. btw, Sanya, this is what Tseric had to deal with. Customers who were foaming at the mouth because their concerns were not being addressed. He took their concerns to the devs, and their reply..? Learn2play. So that’s all he could say to the customers. How’s that for being a community manager!

    (this is a test: %3E.%3C)


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