The Weatherman Was Right: Dark Clouds

While in the middle of an ongoing series that will likely span a good hundred postings or so, I take a quick break to look around at recent happenings and embrace the irony and sadness of it all. The MMORPG sphere never leaves one lacking for topics to address…

A Moment Of Silence

Today marks the 11th anniversary to the attacks on the WTC in NY, which was decidedly an eye-opening experience to many Americans in that terrorism is real. It’s unfortunate that it had to occur this way, but awareness has been gained.

The world forgets about yesterday, but many live daily with the losses of 2001. And today is no different either, sadly, as the world loses more lives to meaningless violence.

Trent?

In the emu sphere, as we speak, a terrorism of a different kind is being fought. One of the largest DDoS attacks has been launched on many internet-based web services and has affected GoDaddy, live WoW world servers, and the emu community as a whole.

Thankfully, the wild west that is the internet will eventually sort itself out, but for now it’s about weathering the storm. Eventually your war brings about collateral damage with a larger force. Somebody always has bigger guns..

I Think I Reddit Somewhere

Lastly, on Reddit today, live WoW developpers (incl. Ghostcrawler, Kalgan, Watcher) held a Q&A session aimed at the launch of MoP. Given how Reddit works with the point and upvote system, I found it highly ironic to read that all of the top comments were immediate pushbacks about cross-realm functionality (emphasis mine):

I am playing on a low-population server (5ppl online right now, wednesday primetime 50-60, 4k items in the auctionhouse, 2 raiding guilds left on the server) and it is no longer fun to play there. The auctionhouse is almost empty and every article is heavily overpriced (compared to other servers), the trade-chat is very slow (10-20 lines per day), but what really bugs me is that I can’t find/build raids anymore. The thing I love about WoW by far the most is raiding, but there are no people left on the server to start pug-raids. Having a guild where I can raid with my main-character is the only reason I stil play on that server (despite having a great community there with rl-meetings etc). I know for sure that my server is not the only one like that. The new crossrealm-zones wont help either, since they just “fill up” the leveling-areas, but do not change anything regarding raids (where the latest content will not be accessable via battletag-xrealm-raids) or a more populated trade-chat. So on regards of all people on my server, here is my question:

tl;dr: (When) will you do something to help/save the dying/dead servers like merging some of them? I would even be willing to give up my beloved toon’s name for being able to have fun again.

It’s a nice effort, but in the end, the bottom line is: it doesn’t address the problem’s cause. Like the medical industry today, our MMORPG heavyweights are prescribing for effects only.

This lead into other top comments (emphasis mine):

This. A thousand times this. I also play on a low population server, and while CRZs are pretty neat, they do absolutely NOTHING for the actual server economy.

How does Blizz plan to resolve the issue of essentially deserted servers with failed player economies? Is this even on your radar?

A cross-realm idea is neat in theory, but terrible in practice. The live community (what’s left anyway) is finally learning.

I was one of a small crowd that immediately saw the negative implications that an exposed talent tree would have while inspecting people. I even disliked the BG function becuase I knew that yup- sure enough- it would kill world PvP. But when the server transfers hit, the community fell apart. When cross-realm nonsense began, I saw myself to the exit.

But there were many who praised these functionalities for the convenience that they bring. And I don’t dispute that. But the thing I recognized then, and the growing crowd with which I stand recognizes now, is that you can only apply a bandaid to a wound. You cannot apply a bandaid to a failing bandaid. And this layer after layer of adhoc bandaids leads to more and more bleeding… until eventually their entire playerbase has bled out. Because I guarantee that it’s coming, and in no uncertain terms.

THE MMORPG CONCEPT WAS DESIGNED, AND NEEDS TO BE CONTINUALLY FOCUSED ON, BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER THROUGH CHALLENGES. MAKING THE FOCUS ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE: TECHNOLOGICAL FEATS, ‘ENDGAME’, ETC. IS A TICKET FOR FAILURE.

Sadly, the comments ended in typical, modern-day Blizzard-farce which received the most upvotes of all:

Wait – we’re supposed to answer questions about Mists of Pandaria? I was hoping to just post pictures of my cat for karma.

I say, it’s sad to see just how far a company that was built on the mantra ‘for gamers, by gamers’ has fallen in its respect they have for those who built them into the financial success they are. They might do well to take a page from the emu book, of all places.

It’s Always Most Violent Before Clearing Up

And so goes the raging storm in life, just as in the MMO sphere. I do wish happy gaming sessions to you, fellow MMORPG enthusiasts! While today might not be the best our genre has ever seen, the storm will abate soon. It’s only a matter of time now…

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About Ahtchu

Jock. Nerd. Holistic. Game theoretician. Can recite the alphabet backwards.
This entry was posted in Game Design, Life in General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Weatherman Was Right: Dark Clouds

  1. Ahtchu says:

    Milady@Hypercriticism left the following link in a comment that is right on target with infringing rights and Blizzard. I highly recommend reading, being aware:
    Looking Inside Your Screenshots

    More reading (basically saying the same thing):
    Activision-Blizzard Secretly Watermarking WoW Users

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