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Reloading... Stories Around the Virtual Campfire

Posted Thu, Jul 07, 2011 by Ethec

Welcome to the 31st edition of Reloading…

“The best way to teach people is by telling a story.” – Ken Blanchard

Everyone can use a feel good moment to start the day.   Let’s go with this…





In last week's column “Nerd Rage of the Firelands”, I told my story of the PvP furor that is rolling across servers during the Rage of the Firelands quest chain.    Some of my columns receive no feedback, some feed a dribble of 5-10 emails and once in a while, not as often as I would like, I receive a flood of email, 50, 100 or more that tell their own story.

Nerd Rage of the Firelands generated more feedback than any of my previous columns since resurrecting Loading… as Reloading…    Here are a few snippets.

Via Twitter

From @jstoyanoff  -- “@BoomjackTTH By trying to please everyone, #Blizzard will please no one. #worldofwarcraft”

Every change sends a wave of discussion, trolling and carrying-on through the World of Warcraft community.  @jstoyanoff is absolutely right, you can’t please everyone.   As a business, Blizzard (and any other game company) is in it to survive and maximize profits.   The question is where do they press their resources to generate the largest return?  If they don’t keep their customers happy they will leave.  

Fortunately for the WoW team, there are no greener fantasy MMO pastures at the moment.    Players can try the free-to-play options out there, but are any of them as deep and involving as World of Warcraft in the long term?  Are players to the point that they will try a sci-fi sandbox game like EVE?  I’m not sure that they are.   The chasm between those markets is deep and wide, but it’s not impassable and if anyone can find the hook it is probably CCP, especially if they let the folks who understand PR handle the PR and keep the “economics” folks away from the general public.

Via Email:

From Richard – “The new raid looks nice and the trash is wildly varied in difficulty from relatively easy Magma Lords to the confusing turtles throwing the party all over, to the pyro-whatever guys with their three shielded satellite elementals that rage fire AoE all over.  The huntsman is kind of tough, but we’re getting him figured out.  I’d say overall it’s not a bad gig,… “
--
From John – “The AoE scenario you presented is a common one, and people have been raging about it in MMOs since UO. Basically, the consequence of bombarding a section of the battlefield with Chained Lightning or a Meteor Swarm was that lighting and meteors aren’t selective. The same went for fire, poison and paralysis fields. A vocal portion of the players (I don’t know if it was a minority or otherwise) raged about getting flagged and PK’d each time they simply tried to use a spell they worked to get/learn. They felt it wasn’t fair that they were being punished and their gameplay was being ruined by people in the way whenever they would unleash totalhelldeathcarnage in the middle of a public hunting area.

I know my bias toward wanting more consequence to action in gameplay is kinda evident there, but that’s what all the raging seems to come down to. A certain portion of the playerbase wants to be able to drop infinite selective-targeting nukes.
 
Now, to be fair, even though I disagree with them, I can actually see where they are coming from and I empathize with them.  Selective targeting has been the norm for over a decade now. MMOs have become more popular and have to appeal to a broader audience. AoE skills that aren’t choosy about their targets are really only fun for casters who enjoy tactical combat and targets who enjoy attacking players that really weren’t looking for PvP combat.”
 
Thanks to everyone who wrote me.   I’m sorry that I could not write each and every one of you back.   If I took only five minutes per email to give you a reasonable reply it would have consumed almost seven hours of my day.  As it was, reading the great feedback set me back to the point that I was still plugging away with work well after my family had retired for the night and were dreaming of Firelands raids and EVE ISK. 
 
Do you agree or disagree with the readers’ opinions above?  Let me know.
 
In other news, Arxkanite has posted a dandy reason why using iLvl over GearScore is just well, hurting yourself.   I’m not sure why, but Arxkanite always remind me of Strongbad.   So… here is my favourite Strongbad moment.
 
What do you think?

As always, you can contact me a number of ways:
  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Telepathy (Just make sure it’s during business hours.  I hate to be woken by this stuff)

Until next time,
John "Boomjack" Hoskin
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