Rivalry between MMO communities has seemingly never been more bitter. You only have to venture onto any sub-Reddit or forum to find a barrage of posts slating one thing or another form X or Y game. While comparisons between products are fair and inevitable, it seems somewhat strange how tribalism has reached the point where logic and reason go out the window. I’ll freely admit that I hold several games in high regard, Guild Wars 2 and Dark Age of Camelot being two of them. That doesn’t mean however that I’ll dismiss every other.
Over on the Black Desert Online sub-Reddit there’s a post discussing the dye system. For anyone unaware, you purchase the dyes from the in-game store and the color you get is purely random. Once you consume that dye, it cannot be re-used. To dye your full armor set the same color, you’d not only need a lot of luck but very deep pockets. It’s a ridiculous system and no one of of sound mind would rightly defend it. Of course people will try and my favorite response so far has been the predictable “But Pearl Abyss need to make money somehow!”.
There’s no doubt that massively multiplayer games are expensive, but in the case of Black Desert Online the game has already been out for several years and everything players in the West are now playing, has already earned its fair share of revenue. Anything gained on these shores is purely extra (subtracting the costs of regionalising the language of the game). That aside, what I found interesting about the Reddit discussion and the excuses presented for such daylight robbery, is the fact that there are quite clearly other games on the market that do dyes so much better. You only have to look at Guild Wars 2 and the generosity of what is available to realize just how poor Black Desert Online’s attempt is.
I pointed this out on the Reddit thread and unsurprisingly, receive a predictable response back:
“yeah, lets ignore the fact that gw2 is a failed game with a small user base for a mmo”
Now, it’s difficult to know where to even begin with a statement like that. Besides the fact that as of 2015 Guild Wars 2 had 7 million active accounts, it would be difficult to truly suggest it was a failure. I’d also argue that as a user base, 7 million is a fair amount. You only have to look at their revenue to see that - although not as high as ArenaNet would like - they don’t do too badly.
Even if I were a rabid Black Desert Online ‘fanboi’, at what point does mudslinging with such inaccuracy become valid argument against a design decision that’s clearly terrible? There was a time - a long time ago now - where fans of the genre would often praise the competition and what feature they’d like to pinch. All I see now is bitterness and rivalry that serves no real purpose. It’s absolutely fine to like one MMO. It’s fine to like multiple. It’s ridiculous to blindly slander another just because it’s not the MMO you happen to be playing right now.
What frustrates me so much about this issue isn’t just the blind faith that fans of these games place in their product, but the fact it’s just so dismissive of good ideas that could benefit the game they play. I might love Guild Wars 2 (I thoroughly enjoy Black Desert Online as well) but I also freely criticise it where it’s due, and heap praise on other games that do things well. WildStar, as one example, has the best raids in any MMO I’ve ever played and they put Guild Wars 2’s to shame (Guild Wars 2’s are still good). It doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said and nor does it mean I don’t enjoy Guild Wars 2 any less. This whole “us versus them” mantra game communities are continually chanting is exhausting and is only fit for the playground.
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