Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 11, 2007
 
A déjà vu experience

So I'm surfing around the MMO blogosphere and find an interesting article on 2007’s MMOG Doom and Gloom on Plaguelands, written a couple of hours after my post yesterday on the same subject. Krones is writing well, and I obviously agree with what he is saying. It just nags me that I don't know whether he, hmmm, let's say "borrowed" the idea from me, or whether great minds think alike and the post was pretty much the natural response everyone has to the Gods & Heroes cancellation.

Obviously all MMO blogs pretty much report the same news. But it gets a bit creepy when even the editorials start to resemble each other. I'm all for having a blogosphere discussing one subject, in this case MMOs, from all angles, with the bloggers reading other people's blogs on the same subject and finding inspiration and subjects to discuss there. I just don't want it to degenerate into groupthink, where a reader just needs to read one of those blogs to have read them all.

What is needed to avoid groupthink is a devil's advocate who is argueing the exact opposite of what everybody else says. Especially when the current mood of everybody is one of gloom, due to all our hopes for a great new MMO for christmas being foiled. So for my next post I'll try to come up with some arguments why the state of the MMO market isn't as bad as it might look right now, and why there are some great games ahead for us.
Comments:
Well it's a bit like saying all news stations are covering the same stories as each other.
That is inevitable really.

What makes the various blogs worth reading is the different viewpoints of the authors.
Blog on!
 
It just nags me that I don't know whether he, hmmm, let's say "borrowed" the idea from me,

Everyone is discussing it; Gods & Heroes seems to have been the trigger for a retrospective of the year's events and the state of MMOs at the moment.

You didn't "borrow" your editorial from mine which I posted before you, and it would be somewhat dangerous to get into a 'the person who posts it first or who thinks they're the most popular has the only valid or original idea and everyone else is just copying them' mindset.

Topics orbit around the blogosphere endlessly, and if one thinks they're writing original content, in general they can think again. And if one thinks they're going to be the only person writing on the topic, or discussing it in a unique fashion, again I think they are probably slightly delusional.

It'll be interesting to see whether the devil's advocate posting works. It'll also be interesting to see if anyone has already done it.
 
I aovided the gods and heroes thing after I talked about Perpetual layoffs a week or so ago, I knew it was going to be covered to death. The key is to find the right spin on a story, but I just wasn't that caught up in it.
 
While catching up with my google reader feeds, after my hols, I found a number of similar posts by different bloggers. Most were regarding news about certain games...something that I find a turn off when reading. It just means Iin the long run that I have less feeds to read.
 
Being discussed by everyone. I actually saw the subject here about third in line. It's nice to see everyone's take on it, even if the macro gist is the same the explanations/fixes proposed are a little different.
 
Ditto to what PVThudson said. This is why I usually try to avoid covering "news" on my blog. If it's at all interesting, there are ten other people commenting anyway. Plus, most of the people who read blogs will have known about it already because they watch the same sources we all do.

I find that it contributes far more to the blogging community if you hold off on commenting unless you're taking an idea further than "here's what just happened" or "blogger joe said X, and I agree with him."

Saying what everyone else is saying is a good way to bore your readers and drop off feed lists.
 
That's funny - your next post, in which you discuss the MMO world in light of the Movie industry, reminded me of a post I made yesterday - I was wondering if I had scored some link love, but in fact I think it's just that some of the connections are easily made.

As others have noted, it's the conclusions drawn after that that make it a discussion. For example, in the post I referred to earlier you seemed to indicate that a big budget game could be great. I worried that we would see homogenization (well, more of it) as the budgets increased, just like Hollywood.

In fact, I think with these blogs for the most part we are discussing one big idea (MMOs) and maybe a half dozen slightly less big ideas (gameplay, social aspects of, a few others). So on some level one has to expect repeated topics and ideas. I think the trick is that some will be, let us say, primary sources (the blogs with interviews, or insider tips), and others will be secondary and tertiary. It is to be expected that the secondary sources will all cite the primaries, and so on.
 
"It just nags me that I don't know whether he, hmmm, let's say "borrowed" the idea from me, or whether great minds think alike"

If you think even a handful of your ideas are truly novel, you need to get over yourself.

I read you regularly, and appreciate what you have to say. But short of current news items, most of it has been said before in one form or another. So as not to excuse myself ... most of what I write has been said before as well.
 
That's funny - your next post, in which you discuss the MMO world in light of the Movie industry, reminded me of a post I made yesterday - I was wondering if I had scored some link love, but in fact I think it's just that some of the connections are easily made.

I think my attempt to escape from groupthink failed. After I wrote it I also saw that potshot had written something about Hollywood movies in comparison to MMORPGs earlier today. *Sigh*
 
Okay.
< devil's advocate >:

Whats with all this need for new MMOs, anyway? All this doom and gloom is due to people being so picky and impatient after having such massive improvements over EQ1 with the release of WoW. You think there's going to be a WoW-like leap (in quality, not subscription numbers) every 5 years or something? Psh, how long did EQ2 go before WoW come out again?

Now that everyone has such high expectations, and has been fantasizing on possilbities that are barely practical with today's technology, simply having lots of content is going to get the new MMOs nowhere. And really, I can see multiplayer-type advances coming a lot slower than single-player advances have come in the past. Why do you think most single player games don't have multiplayer for more than 32 people, and in some cases (rts) 8?

< /devil's advocate >

Ok, so that wasn't great, but it was the best I could do. Personally, I'm still going strong on WoW, having fun messing around and experimenting with all sorts of things in the game (not to mention just socializing). Why the hell would you give up on a game anyway after burning out on only what the developer intended you to do? Why do you think NWN was so successful? Because everyone loved the original campaign that much? =P
 
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