Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Warhammer Online - The fans still do not get it

Reading across the blogosphere, I of course happen upon a very irate post by Zubon on Kill Ten Rats.

Basically he admits defeat and decides to cancel his WAR account after a mass of gold spam tells.

"Despite claiming to be serious about goldspam, I have been getting tells from the same guy since last night. This would not be a problem except that the game’s ignore list does not work."

"I have canceled my account, although I will be playing out the month. Without tells. Great, I must throw out the basic means of communication in-game because the game does not have a functioning system for chat or player harassment."

This of course brings the "FANS" out of the woodwork...

"You’re seriously canceling your account because of the occasional goldspam /tell and the ignore list not functioning properly?"

"Based on the majority of your (Zubon's) posts you seem to prefer LOTR and CoH which is weird because I actually grouped those games together in a post I did not long ago. Basically I thought people that like those games enjoyed PvE game play combined with good content creation tools and wouldn’t like Warhammer very much."

"I find it strange that you would judge the game this harshly over this issue (goldspam) when its a plague that effects all MMO’s."

As we can tell, most people have targeted Zubon due to this supposed Gold Spam Outrage.

What amuses me the most about this post is that this is NOT the only complaint. It is as if the fans found this one post of a player canceling and target him due to his one comment...

Yet, if we go back a couple of days...we find this post

Not quite ready for Primetime

With at least 11 issues, and a comment of

"There are probably more, but those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head."

So, it is NOT just a single issue, but a compounded list of issues, with one major outstanding problem being the last straw and a cancellation to ensue.

But, all we need to do is look at it simply as "Launch" blues.

So many issues. So many problems, and MMO's are just rampant with bugs and problems compared to most games on release.

What actually causes such a flux of problems? Is the MMO too large codewise to release with no bugs or minimal non game breakers?

And why is it not ok to just quit for now, and come back when the issues are fixed or at least alleviated. I quit my first month of Age of Conan and came back after 4 months, and I am pleased I did so.
Why should we as players continue to support this mentality of "Hey, we can just release this game now, and fix it later" development.

Maybe the MMO as a whole needs to make adjustments to it's development.
Release smaller worlds and focus on polish. Then while the game is being played and "paid" for, using this cash to hire more devs, create new content as they progress. Release some of this content free, and then charge for other packs of items, armor, weapons, graphic packs, textures...etc.

Again, going back to Conan, look at a game which made the huge mistake of overstepping and under delivering (more the Developer to blame). Yet, all along they had the perfect single player game.
Funcom could have released this box. Then continue development of multiplayer content (but still have mini-pvp games to entertain until said content was released).

Allow the player to pay for access to the world as it grows in content or beta test for a fee, etc.

A lot of issues could be avoided if not for the "We must compete with other MMO's" decisions that are made (AoC again did NOT need 80 levels...what a waste)

How could a company avoid these launch issues? Throw your opinion in on comments, I am interested in your thoughts.



Stargrace said...

Ah, good 'ol mob mentality, how I love thee! How dare someone speak out about WAR and some issues they may be having with it. I know, I've got the same 11 comments on my site when I mentioned a particular thing or two that wasn't working out for me.

As far as issues at launch, they happen. I don't know that there's any sure fire way to avoid them, if there were wouldn't these companies be taking efforts to eliminate them right from the get go? Beta's don't seem to be enough.

As I read more and more blog posts from people, I dislike the whole "I'll give the game another chance" and "lets just wait it out for it to get better" mentality. The players are not supposed to be impressing the game. It's the games job to impress the players. Players say these mistakes are OK by paying the monthly fee. Speaking with your wallet as the case may be. I'm sure I could think of more to say on the issues here but I'll leave it at that.

Openedge1 said...

You are so right.

I knew Funcom kept making mistakes with Age of Conan. I canceled.
I knew Turbine had it set in their mind how they wished to approach the issues in LOTRO. I did not like what they did to Middle Earth. I canceled.

I took my money back. I left my feedback and went on.
But, I DO go back and see how they have progressed.
If they are still making mistakes, then I will be vocal about it..
I am paying for it, and I as the customer have every right to say what I wish.

Players complain that no one should use analogies as "MMO's are different"


If we have an issue with a car, we take it back and get it fixed or get a refund..
Food? Electronics? Clothes?

You name it, and we can be compensated for poor quality.
Why should an MMO developer be different.

"Oh, give it 6 months and it will improve"

Why not NOW!

Yup, we could go on for hours on this. Needless to say, the quality in my opinion is getting worse for MMO's, and people will continue to accept it and say "It is good"

WAR needs more work, just like AoC, Tabula Rasa, LOTRO, Vanguard, etc.

Quit releasing this crap please.

Tesh said...

As far as I'm concerned, a game has to be finished before I buy it. The MMO (or any online game, pretty much) mentality of "release now, patch (finish) later" is idiotic. It's bad business. It forces the subscription model into what essentially plays like an extended Beta. (Of course, I loathe the sub model, but treating early adopters as testers is simply wrong.)

That gamers put up with it is just bizarre to me.