In the light of recent posts, I thought it might be interesting to discuss why so many people take the "it's a conspiracy" view of of things they dislike in the gaming world. A wonderful article I once read (sorry, can't remember the reference) said that conspiracy theorists tend to view the world as divided into 3 types of people: "investigators" such as themselves who have spotted what's happening and are trying to expose it, "conspirators" who know the truth and are trying to conceal it and "dupes" who have been fooled by the conspirators. Since the investigators are certain that they are right, any evidence that is counter to their world view must have been faked by the conspirators and swallowed by the dupes.
One sees this mindset in game forums all the time, with fans of a new game that is "much better than WOW" decrying all those who criticise any aspect of it as liars or fools. There were several epic threads on the Fires of Heaven Vanguard discussions like this, with both the "pro" and "anti" Vanguard factions seeing themselves as revealing a truth that "the man" was trying to suppress. Anyone who said anything good about Vanguard was reviled as a Brad McQuaid fanboi and anyone who pointed out any problems was attacked as a WOW fanboi. The recent WAR discussions here seemed like a (milder) version of that debate.
Why is it so hard for some people to accept that a given game might have strengths and weaknesses?
I have to say, despite seeing things like the previous post's "Anonymous" comments quite often in various places, it simply boggles my mind that certain people's egos are so wrapped up in the game(s) they play that any kind of criticism against the game will become (in their minds) a personal attack on them ... and then you end up with those hugely flaming trolls who consider the other person as an idiot with an agenda, a hater for their game, a fanboi of another game, and on and so forth. The insecurity that this type of behavior displays is amazing. It's like they need others to validate their choice of game--and since anyone who doesn't make the same choice as themselves appears to be "attacking" that particular choice somehow, they get really defensive.
If they truly felt confident in their choice, or if the choice wasn't so wrapped up in the way they view the world, or if they had a more open mind, they would see that other people's different choices do not take away the validity of their own.
Another topic: With patch 3.0/Wrath Blizzard tried to adress the tanking shortness. Things I could discover in this direction are the implemention of a (really cool and strong) tankclass (deathknight of course) and huge buffs to existing tanking classes, making holding aggro very easy even on multiple mobs. Whats your experience, is the tanking shortage gone?
From what I have seen it isn't. Like I suspected from the start, nearly every deathknight out there downright refuses to do anything other than dealing damage and the rest can only be persuaded to sometimes tank when they can still keep their damage spec, which is not enough for heroics.
One glance into the LFG-tool (combined with some armory-action) showed me a ridiculous amount of damage dealers desperately searching for a tank and some few healers who will get invited as soon as a tank is found. And when our usual group was one DD short and we asked for one DD in the LFG-channel we got about 15 answers within one minute.
If we can settle for "tanking shortage is still there": What can be done to *really* adress it?
Kiseran, you make an interesting point but I find on my server that it is completely the opposite. Lots of DKs *are* willing to tank and as a result there is no tank shortage, in fact, we seem to have gone back to the good old days of healer shortages again. Maybe this just illustrates how player behaviour can vary from realm to realm.
Tobold, I don't really know why this "conspiracy" mentality exists on the forums. A lot of the time I think that these people must surely be attention seekers? I can't see any other logical reason for it, unless they just enjoy arguing pointlessly and aggressively with other people? Who knows?
I play what I enjoy. Lately I've been mixing my WOW time up with some Little Big Planet on the PS3, it's good fun... wait, I'm not a PS3 fanboi, I just enjoy the game... I've got a stick, keep away! lol
I've found lots of DKs that are "willing to tank", but zero so far who could actually hold aggro. I wonder if this is a problem with the class, a reflection of that fact that people have had less practice starting at 55 or the fact that the DK has attracted a lot of people who simply don't know how to tank. Has anyone found a good DK tank?
I wonder if the fundamental problem is this: tanking is simply harder than DPS, so fewer people can do it well.
@Sven: We could persuade one of our guild-DKs to tank some heroics some days ago. He resepecct to full tank and everything went very well. He was fully able to hold aggro from any number of mobs, allowing our DDs to spam AOE nearly from the first second of the pull. The damage he received was a bit spiky from melee mobs and he got nearly *no* damage from casters.
Wrath has a lot of long epic and very cool questlines. Do you have a favourite so far and why? Also, we know Bartle was commenting on some of the morally grey quests (the one that got me was the forsaken one which sends you to find some prisoners in an enemy camp and ... kill them. Not free them like in every other rescue the prisoner quest, just kill them. And you have to do it to get to Wrathgate), do you think it's still a game you'd want kids to play if you had any?
Taking the "Warhammer is shrinking" post as a starting point, I wonder what your take is on a blogger's role in the shaping of an MMO community. Many games have seen a huge focus by certain influential bloggers (whoever is flavor of the month) only to be abandoned or repudiated following release (Warhammer only being the most recent example of such - more of the same coming for SWTOR, STO, etc). Much of the negative reaction seen on forums and blogs stem from the initial " this game is dying because X and Y don't like it anymore, that's their whole readership leaving the game".
It's nothing short of ridiculous for anyone, let alone some anonymous poster, to suggest that Tobold hates WAR and is trying to foment some conspiracy to destroy it. Look at his posts over the last two months. He was posting so often about WAR, and in glowing terms that he actually attracted the attention of EA/Mythic who then offered him a free account. They wanted to continue tapping his prestige and gain more free press for their game. Then go back and look at the last couple months of his WoW posts. Not exactly glowing press for that game.
I do not agree with everything Tobold says, but he is pretty fair. If you ware a WAR fanbois and don't want to read about what everyone but you apparently knows, then you might want to go read a blog that is less truthful and more partisan.
Having an invented pseudonym name under a post doesn't make a poster any less anonymous. My message was not an accusation of conspiracy directed towards Tobold, whose blog I read and enjoy, nor a questioning of his im/partiality, but a question concerning bloggers in the WoW/WAR/SWTO/STO/AION/Stargate/Spellborn/Wizard101/Pirates etc blogosphere and their influence on MMO communities. I do not believe any one person has the power to destroy a game/company's reputation, and I do not believe that Tobold has a hidden agenda as you so eloquently pointed out. I simply wonder whether Tobold, whose blog this is, and who is very much outside the world of commercial game review, being more a "voice of the community as it were (whose opinion is valued by players and companies alike) feels that his and other bloggers opinions have any measurable influence on the shaping of communities evolving around MMOs in this case. My apologies if this question does not seem valid.
It's not just MMOs where a lot of people seem to be insanely into there game, and attack others who don't like it. The same pattern seems to occur with movie nerds, politics, and comic books as well. (Plus possibly some others I haven't noticed.) It does make sense, that once some forums and blogs become overly negative and angry, that they would stay that way (the forum/blog will repel less negative/angry people, and it can be hard ot argue a point, or get attention, when a bunch of people are "screaming" at each other.), though it is hard to tell how things get that way in the first place. It does seem that things that get people emotionally invested get them more suspicious, angry, and aggressive at "defending" anything that seems to go against their point of view.
he used to write insightful blog about his experience in mmorpg, always avoid controversy and never spread rumors.. he slipped a couple of times by spreading false rumor in his blog (unfounded rumor about roll contribution in WAR) and saying without evidence that WAR is 'shrinking' at uncomfortable pace (again with no real data to support him).
No, he is not a WAR hater and he dont have any agenda to destroy WAR with his blog.
its just that his blogging quality is dropping to the level of other fanboi/hateboi blogger around the net, almost no difference now. There was a time when reading tobold's blog is a guaranteed a nice and fair and level-headed writing. now it seem the time is past..
time and time again tobold slipped from a calculated cool game blogger into his real persona, the one that cannot bear other people's opinion and branded every different opinion as trolling and insulting. i guess the real tobold is not as nice as he want people to think. again it is strange to see people from democratic countries (no im not from US/EUR/AUS) cannot read/take different opinion and always find a way to censor it lol..
btw , its nice to see tobold fanbois fanatically defend their idol lol .. tobold cant do anything wrong you think ? he is just a blogger geez.. you are as bad as WAR fanbois / WOW fanbois / xxx fanbois roaming thru the game forums defending their prefered game.
ps: im the anonymous poster who start questioning tobold and get branded as troll, you can see the bad engrish and bad grammmar in my writing. feel free to attack my engrish instead of the post lol
if you want to see a good blog that dont resort to rumors yet go straight to the point on whats needed to improve a game, go to this guy's website. maybe you can learn someting from this guy. He loved WAR but he is not blinded by fanaticism and he listed all the point that can improve the game. This kind of writing is better than just spouting rumors and doom/gloom without evidence. This guys is a gamer as he played WAR,WOW,L4D and other games. Your blog used to be like this, quality wise..
Interesting that people are having problems with DK tanks so far. As a DK myself, I haven't gotten as much tanking chances as I wanted as there is almost always another tank in the party when I am invited. But every time that I have tanked, I have done it fine. I can hold agro easily (At least when people don't go all out on targets I am not directly attacking) and while my mitigation is...well, subpar, no healer has found it impossible to keep me up, they just need to be a bit more on their toes.
Right now I am not tanking much because I just hit 80 and am starting heroics and my tanking set isn't quite up to bar. My stats unbuffed are at 21k HP, 494 def, 10% dodge, 12% parry. Not quite enough, so for now at least I stick to DPS. But I am slowly building up tank gear.
I am also curious why people take MMO criticisms so personally. If you point out ANYTHING negative about the game they enjoy, they take it as a personal attack. It's a bit...odd. For example, in the latest one, the pointing out that WAR is shrinking, a lot of people accuse you of being biased and hating WAR instead of taking the time to ask if anything is wrong, and, if it is, how can it be fixed.
By the way, I *do* recommend reading Keen & Graev's Blog. Although if you are terminally opposed to WoW, you might get a shock once you read there that Keen is playing a Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King now. He is currently at the end of Outlands, which he didn't find special (something I can agree with). He'll be heading to Northrend next, and I'm looking forward to read what he thinks about that in comparison.
Keen & Graev run a good blog, but if you are looking for some place that consistenly praises the same game over and over, you might get disappointed. If anything Keen even changes games more often than me, and especially on PvP games (PotBS, AoC) is very much falling into the common trap of early hype followed by disillusionment.
I've concluded that many MMO players have an attachment to their game(s) which is similar to the following kinds of attachments: sports fans attachment to a certain team, believers attachment to a certain religion, an individual's attachment to a certain political party. In each case there are "reasons" for the attachment, but yet the attachment, in its core, goes well beyond "reasons", and instead becomes a visceral, deep-seated, dispositional type of attachment. It's quasi-tribal in nature, just as it can be for a sports fan. It goes beyond rationality and plugs into something deeper and darker inside people.
MMOs have been like this in the past because they, in the past at least, have tended to be longer-term commitments. In this way they were very different from single player games. People developed a commitment to a game, and became a part of its "tribe". And a part of being tribal is dislike of other tribes, defense of one's own tribe against other tribes and the like.
As a result of this, we'll likely see more, not less, of the "fanboi vs. fanboi" type discourse in the MMO world. While MMOs are beginning to have shorter half-lives than they used to, the interesting development in recent years has been the formation and hardening of the tribe well before the game has been released, and even before most tribe members have even played the game. This accounts for the very sharp exchanges we see between fans of existing games and fans of games that have not been released yet -- something which defies all rationality.