Words Fail.

[12:02] (name redacted): http://www.moorgard.com/?p=186
[12:02] (name redacted): !
[12:04] Sanya: /peer
[12:05] Sanya: *I* am not going to say anything about MMO players being too sophisticated for peer pressure, given that MMO players also think the slutty elf armor in WOW is hot.
[12:05] Sanya: But still. Words fail.
[12:05] (name redacted): yeah
[12:05] Sanya: I should make this into a blog entry.

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43 Comments

  1. mystery said,

    January 24, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Wait, slutty elf armor isn’t hot?

  2. David Burke said,

    January 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Based on your previous writings, I was shocked at the idea that words would fail you. However, having seen the linked article, I can understand why your erudite soul was left speechless. That has to be one of the most misinformed approaches to marketing that I have seen in a long while. I assume that came from Marketing and not Community Relations; if not then Fury would seem to have even more problems than was apparent to date.

  3. Genda said,

    January 24, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    It’s juvenile at best and insulting at worst. I can’t imagine that they thought this was a good approach to say “Hey! You might not have liked us before, but we’ve changed things (we think for the better) so come back and see us.

    An email like that would be a right-click, add to spam filter moment for me.

  4. Igniferroque said,

    January 24, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Yes, slutty elf armor is hot.

    And yes, that email is just dumb. Ranks right up there with CNN’s zipper sound/Paula Zahn ad on the “What were they thinking?” scale.

  5. Retina said,

    January 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    …and they wonder why nobody plays.

  6. Sam said,

    January 24, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    How many more times can Fury fail at something?

  7. Damion S said,

    January 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Wait, slutty elf armor isn’t hot?

    Slutty elf armor is always hot.

    Wait, is this thing on?

  8. January 24, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Meh. I say, why not do it? It’s a PvP-centric game, they aren’t really risking anything that’s not already going away, and it has a slim chance of succeeding by a large margin.

    The one thing I question is saying “And the stats show that once you have won 3 games, you are extremely likely to play dozens, if not hundreds more games.” Why does the player care about that? They don’t want to hear a prediction about how much they’ll play after they start winning, they want to hear about how much fun they’ll have.

  9. Matt said,

    January 24, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    To respond to your implied question, I am unaware of any demonstrated correlation between sexual sophistication and susceptibility to peer pressure.

  10. Parizad said,

    January 24, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    That site is filtered from work. /sobs.

    Ooooh BlackBerry… nvm!

    Okay, read it, and it made me laugh. I can see humor in it. Maybe that just means I’m a jerk. IDK. /shrugs

  11. VPellen said,

    January 24, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    You know, even though I’ve never played fury, I can’t help but admire the guts/stupidity of taunting your players. I may just have to go and play this game, now.

  12. Flim said,

    January 24, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    hmm, I imagine that email would just bug me if I received it, but it seems to have hit people’s radar.

    I’d heard about Fury being a horrible experience for the newbies back when it launched but I’d heard nothing about them having made changes… till this email.

    Maybe they go for the “any publicity is good publicity” angle 😉

  13. GreyPawn said,

    January 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    “denigration-based community management” Hmmm. *rubs chin*
    You suck too much to join my community? Patch notes would take on a new tone.

    Update 2.3
    – Warriors receive +200 HP.
    – Fixed bug with treasure spawns in Fetid Fens
    – You were secretly adopted and no one loves you.
    – Evil mage spawn rate has been increased by 1.4x
    – Generally, you suck. Our game rocks, but you suck.

  14. Michael said,

    January 24, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Not sure how this is different from all the other ads that we are all buried under every day. So they used the word “loser”, so what?

    As far as the elf issue… it is not the armor, it is the sluttiness itself.

  15. Krinsath said,

    January 24, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Wait…there’s something wrong with slutty elf armor? I mean, if we’re going to include dragons and fireballs why NOT plate armor that takes on the form of a thong and shin guards? In the list of “things that are unrealistic” that’s really the one people pick on? 😉 My only complaint is that if it’s done to the female characters it should be done to the male ones as well…not that I WANT to see it, but fair’s fair.

    Anyway, as far as this goes I can see the idea of taking an adversarial marketing approach in a PvP-centered game but to bring it down to a middle school locker room level is just…yeah. It’s a decent idea, badly carried out in that it’s likely to turn more people off than it attracts. On the flip side though, isn’t that the hallmark of MMOs? Good ideas that just weren’t done properly the first time through?

    I submit that if it wasn’t for the slutty elf armor, the MMO industry couldn’t survive the number of similar gaffes it makes. 😉

  16. Marc said,

    January 24, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I was quite surprised when I received this same email. So surprised, that I submitted it to kotaku.

    In closing, YOU ROCK SANYA! I’m a fan. 🙂

  17. Apache said,

    January 24, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    that nimrod nicked my name 😦

  18. Athryn said,

    January 24, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    I mean, come on the game was published by Gamecock, which is I think more or less the laughing stock of the gaming world right now for all their various antics. I saw the email and thought to myself “yup, that’s right up their alley.”

  19. anon-e-mouse said,

    January 25, 2008 at 12:05 am

    I thought this was extraordinary too at first. Then I remembered that this is an Australian produced game. Ozzies have a huge, culturally, competitive streak. Sports are a national obsession and there is nothing worse then losing. To an Ozzie, this email would be goading of the highest order!

  20. CuppaJo said,

    January 25, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Riffing on GreyPawn (“denigration-based community management”):

    Patch Notes V1.3

    +Reduced HP of Blorgar boss mob because you pathetic losers can’t seem to kill him.
    +Added HideHelm option because the RolePlayers were whining about something completely insignificant to actual gameplay again, but they have money and are easily pleased which is more than we can say for the rest of you.
    +Nerfed Sword of the Raging Emo Kid since some jerk found a way to exploit it, told all his guildmates who posted it on the forums and basically ruined it for the rest of you.

    (Please note: I love all of my RPers and have zero RP hatered in my heart. I was just RPing Teh Ebil Community Manager.)

  21. Hades said,

    January 25, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Fury had a lot of promise, but the F13 interview pretty much summed up what went wrong. Other gaming review sites pretty much said everything that needs to be said about why the game bombed.

    But if this is the best they have to offer for a turnaround marketing strategy, I’m glad we got the hell out of their once we saw the Dec 14th patch screwed over the game.

  22. Calaruis said,

    January 25, 2008 at 12:49 am

    …and they wonder why nobody plays.
    I think it might have more to do with the fact that the game basically sucks. PvPers don’t have a problem with losing. They have a problem with bad gameplay.

  23. lxsli said,

    January 25, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Bastard CM From Hell?

  24. Surley Scarab said,

    January 25, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I kind of like it. I’ve never played the game but if I had and had goten that email I would have tried it again just because they made me chuckle.

  25. UnSub said,

    January 25, 2008 at 3:00 am

    As an Australian, I just have to comment that we aren’t all Marty McFly and being called a Loser via email isn’t going to set our blood boiling. After all, we receive email every day that tell us we can’t satisfy our girlfriends / boyfriends and that our genitalia is small and non-functional, so being called a loser is actually a step up 😉

    But I take it as true that once you win 3 games, you’ll play more Fury. Once you’ve played the 4 – 8 hours to learn how to play the game without existing only to make other players feel better, you’ll probably stick around. But you have to be broken in special ways to last that period of time. Fury’s major problem has always been its steep learning curve.

  26. pharniel said,

    January 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    #23 – your ideas intrugie me and i’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    BCMFH would rock on toast.
    especially if you could get guest gigs from “simon”

  27. Jeremy Dalberg said,

    January 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I’m not sure there are enough ex-CMs who have no desire to get another CM job, ever, to do a proper BCMFH. Would be entertaining as hell, though.

  28. Arrakiv said,

    January 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Well, we’re all talking about it…

    ‘Course, we probably aren’t all playing it, or praising the concept either.

  29. TPRJones said,

    January 25, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    “Will this campaign usher in a bright new age of denigration-based community management?”

    Well, this isn’t THAT new. Denigrating customers has been a long tradition in the MMO industry, this is just more … flagrant. It’s actually somehow refreshing.

  30. Earnest Dodge said,

    January 26, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Calling your players losers really isn’t so far off from telling your players that they are earning “welfare epics” by losing their way to the top. I tend to agree with both of the insults but it’s rather odd that this sort of flippant attitude can be seen in both the worst and best of games.

    I actually tried out Fury during the beta. After an hour or so of character creation and running around trying to get skills, I entered the pvp instance and was promptly killed 1.5 seconds later. The game was completely off my system within 5 minutes.

  31. Tet said,

    January 27, 2008 at 9:24 am

    No thanks, I’m comfortable with my loserness.

  32. Frank S. said,

    January 27, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I have to say, it’s not something I would have thought of. Still, not enough to bring you back to a game. Can’t dress a pig in mud up and expect people to like it any more than they normally would and all that.

    And to just continue the mildly amusing trend, since when does armor have to be elf armor to be slutty? Blasted elves.

  33. Calaruis said,

    January 29, 2008 at 12:59 am

    And to just continue the mildly amusing trend, since when does armor have to be elf armor to be slutty? Blasted elves.

    Because Elf outfits in MMOs tend to look like this:

    Santas_New_Help

  34. Tony Hilliam said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:02 am

    i have a small penis, sorry, makes me angry at the world…

  35. Count Nerfedalot said,

    January 31, 2008 at 12:32 am

    How is this different from “John Romero’s about to make you his bitch”?

    Oh, other than the MMOness I guess?

  36. Kitashla said,

    January 31, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    I got that email. Way to ignore the fact that the game still sucks on many more fundamental levels than just how often we’re losing.

  37. mythago said,

    February 3, 2008 at 4:00 am

    In the list of “things that are unrealistic” that’s really the one people pick on?

    Well, yeah. Because I don’t look at a dragon or fireball and get that feeling that the Art Design Team is leaning over my shoulder, breathing heavily and going “Dude, isn’t she HOT? Man, I would SO hit that. Don’t you think she’s HOT?”

    (For comic fans who read Top Ten, you may remember the scene where a particular team member dies horribly, and her science-hero designers show up at her funeral to ask the station chief if they thought her boobs were big enough.)

    Maybe they were hoping that their e-mail would be SO outrageous that people would admire them for having the stones to do something so ridiculous? The alternative is that they are dumber than bread mold.

  38. Tony H. said,

    February 6, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    A very late comment to this blog post but, I just had to throw in that find all the outrage or general dislikeing of this e-mail to be rather silly. I mean I actually chuckled at the e-mail. It’s completely tongue-in-cheek and only intends to inform the user that the developers are changing the game and people who left should give it a new shot.

    Have we all lost our sense of humor these days?

  39. Jeremy Dalberg said,

    February 6, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Well, congratulations, then. You’re their target demographic.

  40. Tony H. said,

    February 6, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Okay, but why do you have to make it your comment so subtlety hostile? I don’t see what’s so wrong about the piece and everyone’s individual explanations just seem to fall into this idea that we should all play way too nice with each other. Any attempt at humor might, *Gasp* accidentally insult someone! Isn’t this a blog about an industry where people need to have a thick skin?! I mean come on, laugh a little!

  41. Signet said,

    February 8, 2008 at 10:58 am

    “lxsli said,
    January 25, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Bastard CM From Hell?”

    Both the Community Manager (Alex Weekes) and the Assistant Community Manager (Dan Gray) had resigned prior to this email going out.

    Says something, doesn’t it.

  42. Phaltran said,

    February 19, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Way late on this thread, but I didn’t see anyone else express a similar opinion.

    Isn’t this catering to their target audience? PvPers tend to be young-adult/juvenile (or at least socially and mentally immature) males. Calling each other “loser” and “bitch” and dropping f-bombs is just part of their lingo and they believe this to be acceptable in any environment. Every experience I’ve ever had with a PvPer, in game or out, has been negative and reinforced the above assumption. Even people I worked with, grown men in their 30s, who played WoW and other games for the PvP aspect exhibit this low-brow, foul-mouthed, “killing other people is fun” attitude.

    For years I’ve always heard players preach the difference between PKs and PvPers (PvPers not wanting to be put in the same class as PKs). “PvPers fight other people for the challenge because the AI is too simple.” From what I’ve seen online and in real life, PvPers kill for the joy of killing, and somehow accepting and practicing that mindset devalues others in their eyes, in the game and out.

    Sure if I’d have received an e-mail like that, it would be in the junk mail folder after reading the subject. Of course, I’d never go near a purely PvP game so I wouldn’t be getting anything of the sort. “If you sleep with dogs, you’re bound to get fleas.”

    As for elves and armor, I don’t care for the night elves in WoW at all. They’re too animalisitc and too far from Tolkien’s elves which I consider to be the paradigm. Cartoon characters revealing pixels of virtual flesh does not excite me.

  43. Dan Gray said,

    February 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Phaltran:

    Talking in general terms, the competitive brand of PvP player appreciates professionalism and straight forwardness more than any other. One of the traps that ‘some games’ fall into is that they believe that can appeal to this demographic with gimmicky campaigns.

    In Fury’s case the very open approach initially used in newsletters was by far the most succesfull within the community at the time. They appreciated the honesty and were willing to tolerate issues that they knew the developers were aware of.

    Sadly as time went on the key issues just weren’t resolved, and more were tacked on. The open and honest approach became convoluted under the strain of justifying the many questionable design decisions, to the point where it was no longer effective.

    The thing you have to keep in mind in the context of Fury is the uniqueness of it’s audience. The supposedly competitive PvP in Fury didn’t really attract your typical MMO player. The promise of tournaments and prizes brought in fairly well known groups such as the World of Warcraft BG9. These are highly competitive players who view gaming as more of a sport. It is to be taken seriously, and that is where the amusing marketing gimmicks fail.


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