I don’t need to explain at this point about the recent comments from Richard Bartle and the response by the MMORPG community. If you haven’t been following it there is a good link explaining it better than I ever could. Me doing this post at this date, have sadly missed the height of this topic that has been circling around the blogging community. Maybe I can dredge up sour memories and beat that dead horse a little more.
I have to admit that before I read Wolfhead’s post I had no idea of who Richard Bartle was: “The God Father of MUDS”, “The Creator of Virtual Worlds”. I once tried playing a MUD early in my university days. I didn’t get it. I loved the text adventures that I had played on my friend’s Apple IIe but MUDs seemed like too much work. I never hung around with the right geeks to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons. It wasn’t until as recently as the past couple of months that I have tried playing D & D.
In regards to the Bartle controversy I actually had more fun reading people’s comments. There were many thoughtful responses as well as many hilariously childish responses.
As far as I broke it down was that the MMOGs that were out right now and under current development were being accused of being copycats of each other and innovation was being compromised over polish and streamlining. Why play Warhammer when we all have played World of Warcraft? By reading the actual text I know that this comment was meant as tongue-in-cheek and was taken out of context. The main message put out was that developers were not innovating and creating true virtual worlds. They were more content on following Blizzard’s business model and createing a “fishbowl” of a game. Fishbowl being a virtual world that never changes with a very strict set of rules that limits the player’s ability to mess around with things.
Do we really want the “Sandbox” virtual world that Bartle suggests that we should all be playing in? I for one have seen Second Life. It’s not a game. It is a virtual world created by players in a no limits environment. By abbreviating all MMORPGs (Massivley Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) as MMOs, people wrapped up in this controversy seemed to have forgotten the “G”. World of Warcraft is a really fun game. So is Everquest 2. They have different rules different limitations but I have played them both and they are really fun games. I used the word “games” many times to emphasize that I am not playing an MMOW.
WoW and EQ2 and all the other titles could be compared to playing the board game of Monopoly. Where Second Life, or the much talked about Virtual Worlds can be compared to Playdough. They are both fun, but different kinds of fun.
To answer my question I asked above, to come down to it, PEOPLE ARE JERKS. Yes Jerks. Given the opportunity to take advantage of, or humiliate another player for any little reason they will do it. And this is where my discussion comes into my experiences from World of Warcraft.
I imagine if the player base from WoW had the ability to create things that you can create in Second Life, I can guarantee that within 5 minutes there would be player made penis creatures attacking me with ghonnoreha fire balls.
Being a new player with no gold, I have quested gear. With areas completely devoid of players or others my level to complete instances with, the only other enemy players that I come into contact with are twinks that are speed leveling to 70. I think I win about 1 out of 3 PvP encounters. For this reason it has been advised to me that I should not expect to win a fair fight in Battlegrounds because they are filled with bored level 70s who have level locked lowbies with twinked gear. Already when I get beat at a PvP fight I get corpse camped and teabagged. One clever Orc that corpse camped me had learned how to take the orc language as it appears to me to say “A N A L”. Are you telling me that someone who took the time to translate Orcish into “A N A L” wouldn’t take the time to create a diarrhea emote? I know if I had the time to devote that is the FIRST thing I would do. For sure my character would have an “Ass-Helmet” with an everlasting sparkler sticking out of the business end.
Why? Because people are jerks. We take everything pristine and untouched and try our best to make a joke of it.
Blizzard know this and that’s why they have a fun fish bowl of and MMOG with multi-millions of subscribers and barely a fraction of those have heard of Second Life. Sony and Mythic also know this and want as many people as they can to subscribe to a game where their players wont get virtually pooped on.
The best business model ever: “Warhammer. A game where we are pretty sure you wont get pooped on”. You can use that if you want Mythic. But I require a royalty check in the mail each month along with my free subscription.