Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
 
Seeing SWTOR from different angles

I am somewhat of a medium core gamer. On the one side I do not share the hardcore gamers' belief that games are important, that they matter. I do not believe that performance in a video game is a valid source of deriving self-worth: Somebody whose greatest achievement in life is being good at some video game in my eyes is a pathetic loser. For me games are just games, a form of entertainment. On the other side I am not completely casual either: I play more hours than you would expect from a truly casual player. And I spend time reading and writing about games, which really casual players wouldn't.

Thus for me it was interesting to see how my wife reacted to Star Wars: The Old Republic. It struck me how she is much more of a typical casual player than I am. Discussion about signing her up for SWTOR involved arguments like on which weekend to open the account, as she wouldn't be playing during the week. And she was worried whether she could solo the game to the level cap, as she doesn't want to get involved with groups.

After trying SWTOR for an afternoon, my wife said that SWTOR was "more addictive than WoW", and wanted he own account. Meanwhile I got a CD-key from a friend who had a spare, so we'll set that up next weekend. But my wife also had some points of criticism for SWTOR: To her it seemed very linear. She was missing having a choice where to go to quest, and having the choice to do various "non-adventuring" activities, like fishing. I considered telling her about datacrons and space combat, but then decided that this wasn't an argument, as she is notoriously bad at the sort of jump-and-run gameplay needed to reach the datacrons, or the pew-pew twitch gameplay of space combat. There is a better chance that she likes crafting and the gathering nodes, which she hasn't seen yet on the starting planet.

While we didn't talk about it, it was very clear that any raiding endgame content for her was not a argument for buying a game like SWTOR. She played World of Warcraft for 7 years without ever raiding or even doing a 5-man instance other than in a duo with one of my high-level characters. And because she plays a lot less than me, monthly cost is more of an issue for her than for me. The monthly subscription business model favors those who play more, while the casual players have to bear a far higher cost per hour of entertainment.

While many hardcore players for years have lamented about games like World of Warcraft being "dumbed down" and "catering to the casuals", I don't think that the current model of MMORPGs can be made much much accessible to the mass market casual player. The monthly subscription business model requires a certain minimum degree of involvement from the player to not be a waste of money. And the dual structure of leveling game plus endgame is somewhat of a badly aligned hybrid pleasing nobody fully. A casual player would probably be happier with a version of SWTOR which had more planets and alternative story threads to visit, but a "game over" screen instead of an endgame.
Comments:
Somebody whose greatest achievement in life is being good at some video game in my eyes is a pathetic loser

Im just curious, e-sports are beginning to be a big thing. What's your stance on that then? For someone being good at playing Starcraft 2 it might very well be his/her greatest achievement in life to win a big competition in that.

I don't know much about it, but if it will be quite as big as other sports there might even be some bucks to be made out of being a very good player.

But I agree to some degree in any case. That you got the Uber Sword of Uberness from Epic Dungeon 43 in World of Whateverness might not be the greatest thing to write in your CV.
 
Yes please. I would really love an mmorpg with a game over screen and I am not particularly casual in my approach to gaming.
 
"Somebody whose greatest achievement in life is being good at some video game in my eyes is a pathetic loser."

Unlike those individuals who devote their lives to, say, running around in a circle faster than anyone else, and whose courage and dedication is an inspiration to us all ;-)
 
I don't have much respect for people running in circles or throwing / kicking balls either, unless of course they are making tons of money with that. Economics tells us that money is a placeholder for added value, and obviously some extreme cases of sports (and e-sports) have such an added entertainment value that they deserve both recognition and money.

The guy bragging to you about his leet raid progress is pathetic because he is at best a wannabe, and made less money from raiding than I make from blogging.
 
Hi Tobold.

I'm going to try and be extremely diplomatic right now, so I hope you will respond in kind.

Off-handedly, you managed to infuriate me by managing to simplify the self-worth of every human on earth into such a basic construct, even alluding to a money = ++self-worth idea in the comments.

Without going much further, I do wish you would be more mindful of the complexities of life with whatever you write.
 
I think it is time the west sees a pay by the hour method. Something like:

$1 an hour up to $20/20 hours. After you reach that mark you are automatically subbed for the rest of the month. Hourly billing would be calander month. So if you subbed 25 Jan and played 20 hours your auto monthly sub would expire 1 Feb. that way people can't cheat the system and the company receives more revenue for an hourly subscriber if they exceed 15 hours, but doesn't make them look greedy by charging them over 20 hours for the month.

There are some games I would gladly pay $1 an hour to play because I know I won't get a $15 a month fee out of.
 
pardon, you don't have respect for people running in circles or throwing/kicking balls ???

I really hope you didn't mean what you wrote just there...
 
So it's only ok to do sports or play games if it is fun, but to excell in these is only fine if you can make money with it?
 
It is totally okay to play games, kick balls, or run in circles for the purpose of having fun.

But if you think that being slightly better at playing games, kicking balls, or running in circles makes you a superior human being, although you are still far from actually excelling in these activities, and you don't stop bragging how much better you are in playing games, kicking balls, or running in circles than I am, then I think you are pathetic. Everybody is better at *something* than somebody else. And if the only thing in your life you can be proud of is being part of the 17th guild on your server having downed some raid boss, that really isn't worth much.

Money certainly isn't the only universally recognized marker of real success, but it is one of the primary ones. Others are in the area of family life. These are markers of success which are universally recognized, and have been so for thousands of years and nearly every human culture. Somebody coming and saying "well, I flunked all my exams, and my family left me, but I have a better highscore than you do in this video game" by all objective measures has gotten his priorities wrong.
 
As you suggest, the world is bigger than hardcore vs casuals. People want the same things in a game (progress, achievement, socializing, challenge, distraction) but at different degrees and paces. Let's say we had a raiding-only game. One guild is uber-hard-core and must be the first on the realm to beat the latest boss. Another group is ok with being second and is considered casual in comparison to the first group. Yet compared to many other groups, the second group would be considered hardcore. So it seems to be a continuum rather than two groups.

Some people suggest grouping vs solo aligns with hardcore vs casual but this analogy is false.

In wow, we have not two but three games - character levelling (both group and solo), ilvl pvp (both group and solo) and ilvl pve (group only). In all cases, you could have hardcore and casual players. In all cases, we have a "game-over" screen, either hitting level or item cap -- that is, until the next content release.

Curious then to see if SWTOR will use the Blizzard method of moving the carrot by adding new content while simultaneously obsoleting a previous layer. Can story telling continue indefinitely or will people find that untenable with vertical progression?
 
""
... and you don't stop bragging how much better you are in playing games, kicking balls, or running in circles than I am, then I think you are pathetic.""

-Well, now yer backending into a fuller description of what you mean and it seems disingenuous.

There's nothing unhealthy or off-putting by someone being a little happy/proud/pleased with an achievement in something they enjoy. In fact, those activities can actually increase lifespan, general happiness, and connect you to others that also enjoy those things for multitude of benefits. Gaming theory, and the metrics behind how and why people play games, backs up this assertion.

What i *think* you left out in your quote was later added in the comments regarding bragging. Whether you believe it or not, there are some very nice, well-adjusted, and otherwise contributing members of society that *also* are very good at video games. They may even think that's their 'greatest' achievement only because they won an award or got press for it. But in itself, to think that makes them a loser is not only short-sighted, it's also terribly generalized and just flat out uninformed.

Certainly, you are entitled to your opinion. But i don't think we're ever going to see eye to eye if this:

"I don't have much respect for people running in circles or throwing / kicking balls either, unless of course they are making tons of money with that."

...is truly how you feel. To automatically categorize people that exercise as people you don't respect (unless they make money, of course, because that makes it all better) is just...well...i'm not sure i have the words.

Tulsa_ld
 
Wow this comments thread has become far more controversial than I expected. I guess any time you use a phrase like "pathetic loser"on the internet you are going to offend someone.

While I share your contempt for gaming braggards, I think you may have insulted a whole class of people who are in fact worthy of respect. If some one puts an inordinate amount of time into something and achieves a very difficult goal I think they can be proud of their achievement even if it has no obvious material value. This applies to the guy who builds a model of the starship enterprise from matchsticks (or minecraft) but it also applies to those who achieve server firsts and similar goals on an mmorpg. Such achievements are not going to cure cancer or stop World hunger but they do tell us all something about the human spirit and,I believe, make this World a richer place.

At a much lower level, I am never going to make the Starship Enterprise out of match sticks but I still feel a little bit of pride when I manage to build a lego model of the starship with my kids even though we are only following instructions. Likewise I would not deny any gamer a feeling of pride at overcoming a final boss or completing an armour set even if the are the n millionth player to do so.

As for chasing a bag of air around a field you have got to remember that football is not a matter of life and death.......it is much more important than that.
 
pardon, you don't have respect for people running in circles or throwing/kicking balls ???

I really hope you didn't mean what you wrote just there...


Well I mean it.

Sporting prowess is a notional concept that is good on paper. Competing against yourself or others. Good sportsmanship. Potential inspiration to others. etc.

Yes, it's all very "Chariots of Fire", isn't it.

However, the reality is frequently the opposite. Competitive sport and the associated business and social culture that surrounds it is hardly edifying.

Just checkout UK Premier League football. Read about the top players, their lifestyles and what they do and then comeback and tell me about how courageous, dedicated and inspirational they are.

Now gaming is a great social pastime and a respectable leisure activity. But it is nothing more.

There have been many reports and so called studies recently, tortuously trying to link gaming to "alternative skills" or highlight it as a form of social/group problem solving.

Really?

So like white hat hackers, there are queues of gamers simply gagging to help out at CERN or cure cancer, or simply fix the economy?

When success in gaming becomes a viable attribute to include on your resume (other than in the now redundant hobbies and interest section), I will consider changing my outlook.
 
If some one puts an inordinate amount of time into something and achieves a very difficult goal I think they can be proud of their achievement even if it has no obvious material value. This applies to the guy who builds a model of the starship enterprise from matchsticks (or minecraft) but it also applies to those who achieve server firsts and similar goals on an mmorpg.

I have a lot more respect of somebody who builds the starship enterprise from matchsticks, or a cathedral in Minecraft, because those activities require a lot of creativity and real skill. I do not consider downing a raid boss to be in the same league of difficulty, especially not if it wasn't a world first, and the "skill" consisted of repeating moves as shown in a YouTube video.
 
God forbid tobold express his feelings...he dare he.

Seriously, if you are such a hardcore gamer that the thought of someone not respecting your achievements offends you...read another blog?

I think what tobold might be saying is that while in a certain light any "sport" or "game" achievements might be impressive...in the greater world at large they are insignificant.

However in a field like say pro sports, where the the competition literally involves huge percentages of the population, it's a different matter. For example...UW many lawyers are there compared to people who play soccer? Since the latter is so much larger, I think it makes sense to show a lot of respect to pro soccer players.

That being said, personally I feel a really successful and "leet" lawyer, doctor, or scientist is much more worthy of my respect in general than athletes for example.

I might be proud or happy of an achievement in sports (well, more so as a teen for that...) or gaming, but I in no way feel anywhere close to as proud as having graduated university, landed a job, or having my first child.

For me the latter has become the single greatest accomplishment in my life..and I bet most with kids would feel the same.

However my point is that at different stages in your life different things are important, and if someone has different feelings on what deserves respect or whatever then why let that offend you?
 
If she liked fishing, then I would think she would enjoy the space combat. The only difference being that you get XP from daily and other space combat quests.
 
Not to derail this discussion by talking about the actual subject of the post, but...

I do not equate "casual" with "only questing," or even with "non-repetitive content." Ask yourself, why does your wife dislike grouping, when Gevlon of all people (the least social person you know) has no problem with MMORPG grouping, even excelling at it?

Grouping in an MMORPG is not a fun, social experience. It is a competition, even if that competition is more like golf in which you do not compete directly, but instead compare scores after. Still, you are there to perform and to win, or else you lose and you suck.

Solo instances, even at progression difficulty, could absolutely be casual. You play when you want, you stop when you want, and you have no pressure from or responsibility to others.

Your wife dislikes the end game because it offers nothing to casuals, not because it inherently can't.
 
Just out of curiosity Tobold, has your wife tried LotRO? It would seem to have much of what she's looking for.
 
No, she hasn't. Didn't show any interest in it when she saw me playing.
 
-Every single response, and Tobolds original writing, are making some huge leaps in logic and placing assumptions into their statements that just doesn't make sense.

First, i am *not* a hardcore gamer. I play about 5 hours a week, 5-8 hours over weekends. And i have enough accomplishments in my life that i don't need to hold up any epeen for gratification.

Second, to Roger Edwards, you stated you do no respect athletes, but then continue to only give an example of a niche within a niche within a select group of athletes. Sure, pro scan be buttheads. But that wasn't the comment in question. It was:

"pardon, you don't have respect for people running in circles or throwing/kicking balls ???"

It didn't say anything about pro sports, celebrities, etc. Neither did Tobolds statement. A lack of respect *in general* for people that enjoy exercising and feel a sense of accomplishment when they win a pickup game, league softball tourney, etc. is just goofy and seems to depict anger towards people that enjoy those activities.

Second, the 'so called' studies related to game theory, video games relation to same (MIT has a great lab and research series going on ten years now re: video game research and benefits both socially and individually for appropriate models) are scientifically shown to occur. There is more than one Fortune 500 company that allows employees break time to play online cooperative games. Every single one took a baseline prior to implementing the rule (as part of the MIT pilot program) and every single one showed marked improvement in productivity and reported employee satisfaction.

Next , to J. Dangerous:

"Seriously, if you are such a hardcore gamer that the thought of someone not respecting your achievements offends you...read another blog?"

That isn't what Tobold said, if you read the statement. First, he points to a subjective 'greatest achievement' standard and if you are most proud of a video game achievement, you are a loser. all subjective terms, and i don't have a quibble there. But the statements related to a lack of respect for folks that simply enjoy those activities and fell proud for doing them is just mean. Further, the comments after the article prescribe to these people a mutually-exclusive identity. The assumption that only a 'loser' would be proud of such a thing, and the even more ludicrous statement that getting paid for those achievements somehow validates them, is uninformed and odd for a gamer to say.

In the end, all of the assumptions in the article and in the comments, from gamers no less, bothers me. Not because i am personally offended, but because it is uninformed, short sighted, and presupposes things about people never met nor spoken true that just isn't reality. I seem to be the minority, though, so i'll just end here and wish everyone happy hunting.

Tulsa_ld/Jergis
 
Okay. I agree that the attitude of being superior to someone because of winning something in a game is pathetic. But I also think that the attitude of being superior to anyone as a human being for ANY reason (other than fun-for-all consensual roleplay) is pathetic.

Being proud about doing something well doesn't have to be elitist and pathetic. You seem to have missed that in a huge generalization.

Just like some rich people are sweet, generous, and grateful that they had the opportunities they had, where other rich people are snooty bastards who think that unemployed people should just die already, there can be a huge range of attitudes from people who are good at games.

MMOs to me are about strategy, teamwork, and having fun with other people. That's definitely something to be proud of! That I'm somewhat good at it, doesn't belittle anyone else. That someone else is better than me doesn't belittle me.

And if I brag about my gear I'm just happy to have it and will be happy to help others get sweet gear too!
 
But the statements related to a lack of respect for folks that simply enjoy those activities and fell proud for doing them is just mean.

Even if you feel proud of your game achievements, I would bet you that there are different levels of "proud" in your life. You can make the "call mother" test: For which of the following events would you pick up your phone and call your mother to tell her of this proud event?

- You killed Ragnaros on hard mode
- You finished college with a degree
- You got married
- You had a child
- You bought a house

If you don't expect your mother to be proud of you when you killed that raid boss, why would you expect complete strangers to admire you for it?
 
Just because you don't respect or understand the achievements of others doesn't mean they aren't achievements. Listing human activities which you either don't participate in or don't take seriously and then denigrating those who do is, at best, impolite.

Obviously it's your blog and you can be as rude as you like to whomever you like, but good manners cost nothing, as my grandmother told me when I was small.
 
Then I have to disagree with your grandmother here: If good manners are so cheap, why are they so exceedingly rare on the internet?
 
-Well, since you quoted my message, i will provide a response.

""If you don't expect your mother to be proud of you when you killed that raid boss, why would you expect complete strangers to admire you for it?""

-I don't expect them to. I never did. I never generalized like that.

Your statements never said anything about expecting others to admire them, at least not initially. *That* is the problem i have. Yes, bragging can be annoying, problematic, and all sorts of other things if excessive/unhealthy focus is the result. But the initial enjoyment of the achievement is not deserving of scorn, or else you wouldn't be playing a game.

If you have a problem with the bragging part, be clear about that. But if your problem is simply the derivation of satisfaction from achieving something in a game, as you stated:

""Somebody whose greatest achievement in life is being good at some video game in my eyes is a pathetic loser""

-Note not one mention of bragging, only the entirely subjective term 'greatest' achievement. Gamers with developmental disabilities would be one group of many that your generalization disregards as pathetic.

""I don't have much respect for people running in circles or throwing / kicking balls either, unless of course they are making tons of money with that.""

No mention of bragging, only the broad generalization that you have no respect for people that exercise. Bragging, mentioned later in this topic, is obviously not the main focus. If you want to shoehorn it in now, your choice, but that was not your initial focus or statement.

If the problem is the bragging, i agree to an extent. But if the problem is simply valuing the achievement, then it's a hypocritical argument. It also is devoid of any middle ground, as shown here:

""
The guy bragging to you about his leet raid progress is pathetic because he is at best a wannabe, and made less money from raiding than I make from blogging.""

If someone tells their guild about their progress in game, that is a shared achievement that they can enjoy. I don't see how it is automatically 'pathetic'. These sweeping generalizations are dangerous, and coming from a gaming community that has a hard enough time fighting generalizations from the outside is disappointing. I'm not hurt, offended, or intellectually injured.

I'm just disappointed.

Jergis
 
There clearly is some joy involved in reaching an achievement in a video game. I feel that joy just like everybody else, I can celebrate a downed raid boss with my guild just like everybody else. But the issue I have is clearly with people who can't put that "achievement" into context. People who believe that these video game achievements are "meaningful", who believe they make them superior human beings to the "stupid casuals".

It is not just the bragging, it is this general attitude of superiority of the hardcore players I rail against. People who believe their game achievments are worth more than real life achievements. I call them pathetic losers, because to me it appears that these video game achievements must be all they have, otherwise I can't explain why they so constantly feel the need to spit on people who aren't as good as they are in those video games.

Ultimately a raid achievement has exactly the same worth as a Farmville achievement. Which is not very much, compared to what really counts in life.
 
@Tobold:It is not just the bragging, it is this general attitude of superiority of the hardcore players I rail against. People who believe their game achievments are worth more than real life achievements.

Who are these people? Do you actually meet people out on the streets who say: "I downed Ragnaros, don't talk to me, casual scum."? No, you'll find these people on the forums/communities of their respective games. Everything needs to be placed in context, and within the context of these games, yes, their achievements are quite better than your own achievements, making them superior.

Think about it a little. If you seem to think you have the right to belittle them in real life because your real life achievements may be better than their real life achievements (which your postings heavily imply), then they have every right to belittle you in-game because their in-game achievements are better than your in-game achievements.
 
"It is not just the bragging, it is this general attitude of superiority of the hardcore players I rail against."

Who cares if people feel good about themselves because they do something in a video game? There are plenty of people out there who work 40+ hours a week at a crappy job, can barely pay the bills, have health problems, or whatever. In fact, a lot of us are like that, particularly in North America. Some of us, I'm sure, go home at night and earn a new elf hat and for a brief moment feel pretty good about ourselves.

The elitist attitude here is yours. I'm glad that your life is apparently so awesome that you cannot understand why anyone might find some sense of achievement and self-esteem in their video games, or sports, or any hobby, but yours is is an extremely privileged view.
 
Gotta say if you're proudest accomplishment is having a baby or getting married, i'd call that pretty pathetic as it takes no skill and you can accomplish either with no actual acts of responsibility following the deed. I would even call it more skillful to defeat a raid boss a part of a team then either of your examples of mom-worthy accomplishments.

This is why generalizations like you made are impossible to defend and are a waste of time trying to shore up with your maze of followup statements. Admit it was dumb and move on.
 
Tulsa_ld/Jergis

In the end, all of the assumptions in the article and in the comments, from gamers no less, bothers me. Not because i am personally offended, but because it is uninformed, short sighted, and presupposes things about people never met nor spoken true that just isn't reality.


Welcome to dealing with humans.

We can be as logical, philisophical and factually correct about things when it suits us and then it all goes out goes out of the window when we see fit.

Please note that such behavioural traits are common to any discussion on religion, politics or sport.

To clarify a few points, I picked on a certain niche market aspect of sport with my comments, which you rightly picked up on. Okay, I'll happily go whole the whole hog for you. I have no repesct for people running in circles or throwing/kicking balls. My lack of respect doesn't affect them though and I get to think that their endeavours are fruitless. A win win for everyone.

Re your MIT reference. The gaming based research points to improved productivity and employee satisfaction. However, it doesn't say it makes you smarter. So, feel free to put "I play games, so I'm more productive and content" on your resume and let me know who your next interview goes?

It would appear that you've have barked up a few wrong trees in your post and subsequently missed a few peoples point, so are you as equally "uninformed, short sighted"? No. I forgot, your just dissapointed :)

Back to the topic in hand. What clouds this debate is the lack of a common held scale of what constitutes as a valid achievement. Hence some people will nit pick over this. However, common sense allows us to differenciate between the simple pleasure in completing a raid, winning at cards, or playing Bukaroo and the self delusional concept that having a top tier player on a PVP server makes you a god among your peer group and suitably equipped to provide top level consultancy services to the government.

Thus Tobolds assertions are plain and do not need to be hectored in such a pedantic fashion.
 
There will always be boasting and trash talking in a competitive area where people have invested a lot of time in something.

I don't think even hardcore gamers are telling their mothers about Heroic Rag raids, but it's clear that gamers care about Achievements and iLevels.
Developers know this and willingly create divisions in the community in order to keep everyone playing/competing.

I think people are sensitive to the 'pathetic losers' comment, as this is exactly the kind of terminology used by non-gamers in the mainstream media to perpetuate the 'adolescent male living in the basement' myth which prevents games from being treated the same as novels and films.
 
I think people are sensitive to the 'pathetic losers' comment, as this is exactly the kind of terminology used by non-gamers in the mainstream media to perpetuate the 'adolescent male living in the basement' myth which prevents games from being treated the same as novels and films.

Well, then maybe the hardcore players should stop calling the casual players "pathetic losers" (or "noobs", or "morons & slackers", or "dumb"), and they wouldn't get this backlash from regular guys like me. You will never get mainstream success from an activity where your sense of self-worth stems from denigrating others in a chat or game forum.

There are plenty of people out there who work 40+ hours a week at a crappy job, can barely pay the bills, have health problems, or whatever. In fact, a lot of us are like that, particularly in North America. Some of us, I'm sure, go home at night and earn a new elf hat and for a brief moment feel pretty good about ourselves.

So you got a shitty life and tell me that the solution is to go home and play video games? And anybody who instead worked to study and better himself is an elitist bastard? That sounds not a lot like the American dream, but rather more like Aldous Huxley's Soma. Or like what the aliens did to the humans in the Matrix: Keep them quiet by producing the illusion of success in their brains. Excuse me for not believing that those illusions are real achievements.
 
Well, then maybe the hardcore players should stop calling the casual players "pathetic losers" (or "noobs", or "morons & slackers", or "dumb"), and they wouldn't get this backlash from regular guys like me.

Sounds like a vicious cycle to me. Casuals calls the hardcore players "pathetic losers" in real life. Hardcore players then go call casuals "pathetic losers" in game. Casuals then go...
 
There's a real funny standup comedy bit with Dara O'Briain on this topic on video games (look it up on youtube).

The fact of the matter is, video games are still being lumped with entertainment media like BOOKS,MOVIES and MUSIC . Now, if you finished a book or watched a movie, does that count as "bragging rights" or an achievement?

For most people no, and i am sure anyone who does use it as some sort of trophy would be considered a bit of a weirdo if not a "loser".

So yea, alot of the mainstream consider video games as something that "anyone can do with relative low effort" . Just like with reading, some can read faster sure, but everyone can finish a book eventually.....

Kinda like bragging you've watched Twilight before everyone else....think about it a little..
 
Wow, it seems like every time I come back to this blog Tobold is making some black and white attack on people with less objective social worth.

Tobold, you never addressed what Pzychotix said:

Who are these people? Do you actually meet people out on the streets who say: "I downed Ragnaros, don't talk to me, casual scum."? No, you'll find these people on the forums/communities of their respective games. Everything needs to be placed in context, and within the context of these games, yes, their achievements are quite better than your own achievements, making them superior.

This is a very good point but you passed right over it.

In an earlier comment you mentioned multiple levels of "proud" but then immediately suggested that you only believe in one level of achievement. Nobody thinks successful raids are their "greatest acheivements" and you know that. I wouldn't call my mom about Ragnaros just like I wouldn't tell my guild about getting a house. It's you, Tobold, who doesn't understand context.

Assholes will be assholes no matter the situation, there's no need to keep bringing your skewed perspective of what the definition of achievement is when the issue at hand is nothing more than assholes being assholes.
 
Assholes will be assholes no matter the situation

No. Just look at John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory to see how specific circumstances can turn ordinary people into assholes.

Today's raid environment is more likely to provoke people into being assholes than they would be if they were playing some other game together. And a false sense of superiority based on a false sense of "achievement" is very much behind that.
 
What is your greatest achievement, Tobold?
 
I dunno. I love SWTOR as Im an avid Star Wars fan, but also understand and can relate to the issues your wife raises. I happen to love the story and enjoy the combat but it is missing that 'openness'

What I want (in a perfect world) is a growing environment where I start in a city or town thriving perhaps with other characters who want to do non-combat activities. Then let me E-X-P-L-O-R-E. I want to walk around, find unique locales, fight things, get XP and level up... forever. Not sure if that is technically possible but that would be my idea of an MMORPG. The fact thats its online would make me believe they could constantly expand the world.

If Im going to play online, and SWTOR is my first PC MMO experience, then I dont want to see a game over. That would instantly relate me to a console title and make me question why would I pay a monthly sub for something that ends. I would most likely cancel my sub if the content ended. Why stay?

I never played Star Wars Galaxies but from seeing youtube videos and reading the Wiki I think they had the right idea. Level up based on what you do. Make the entire economy based on the community. Allow exploration with the caveat that there is something worth to explore. Doesnt make sense to have a HUGE world but only with 10% content.
 
""We can be as logical, philisophical and factually correct about things when it suits us and then it all goes out goes out of the window when we see fit.""

-Unless, y'know, we see fit to be/try being that way all the time.

Happy hunting.

Jergis
 
Maybe I'm just different but my mother asks me all the time about if I'm winning at various games and sports I play. Be it a few hands of bridge at the club, a very casual curling league, or events at the World Boardgaming Championships.

And yes, that I do well at these things does make me feel good and can make me feel superior to people who don't do well at them. Superior, that is, at those specific things. Not that I'm a better person overall by any stretch! You can be better at making babies if you like. I'd rather be better at Le Havre. Maybe that makes me a pathetic loser? I don't know that I care. I'm happy!
 
@Tobold

The raiding environment doesn't turn people into assholes. I and the majority of others are kind and polite in MMOs and don't feel superior for achievements in games, but that doesn't mean we can't feel some amount of pleasure in accomplishing something in a game.

These people you talk of who are provoked by the raid environment are already like that, they just cover it up for polite society. The anonimity of an MMO allows them to be assholes (hence why I say it's just "assholes being assholes"). The same thing often happens with driving.

This has nothing to do with achievements in games being false. Some dicks are given a convenient platform to flaunt their assholery and you use it as a way to generalize your claims about how fun achievements are not real achievements.

I guess you don't plan on replying to Pzychotix, though I still think he made a great point. You mention context but then coninuously compare game achievements with those made in the real world. Not only that, but you claim there are people who consider stuff done in games as their "greatest achievements", when nobody is actually like that. The biggest issue is that you say accomplishments in games are fake, but then only use made up extremes like "greatest achievement in life is being good at some video game" to support that argument. Why not just admit that an achievement is contextual and it's wholly possible for someone to feel gratification for some in-game accomplishment.

The last big problem I can't get out of my head is that you seem to only have problems with game or fun related superiority. I can't shake the feeling that you actually use a better than/worse than measurement of people's values based on your definition of real achievements because instead of saying "arrogance is bad" you narrow it down to anyone who feels any amount of pride in a game as being incorrect. So do you think a sense of superiority is justified if someone meets your requirements for real world achievements? If this was true, it would make you a far bigger elitist than most, and this post frustratingly ironic.
 
I don't know what there would be to reply to. All achievements are contextual, we all agree to that. What you apparently don't agree to is that some contexts are more important than others: Family, work, study, real world friends are important. Games are not really important.

If you call somebody a moron and slacker for having a lower gearscore or dps output than you, and you do so on a blog which can be read outside of a game, you left the context of the game. If that wasn't true, then why do you get so riles up if I call these people pathetic losers? Hey, they are just pathetic losers in the context of this blog, didn't you just say that excuses everything?
 
@Tobold: If you call somebody a moron and slacker for having a lower gearscore or dps output than you, and you do so on a blog which can be read outside of a game, you left the context of the game.

If that wasn't true, then why do you get so riles up if I call these people pathetic losers? Hey, they are just pathetic losers in the context of this blog, didn't you just say that excuses everything?


That's a bit of a stretch, don't you think? It's still quite within the context of the game, since it's a blog about that game, talking about others within that game, even though the blog isn't being written inside that game. The readers of that blog are most definitely reading those articles within the context of the game.

Similarly, I think that the context of this blog, at least in terms of your readership, leans much more hardcore gamer than real lifer, so when you say these things, we don't read it in a "real life" context. This would make us relate rather for the "pathetic losers" than your viewpoint.
 
Hi Tobold,

While your observations of game design are mostly cogent, you just can't resist pulling the 'casual v hardcore' tribal angst card, can you?

If I didn't know better, I'd swear you were trolling your (younger) readers!

The whole point of your post seems to be lost in the tired vitriol over your use of the 'pathetic loser' label.

Not something a writer, whose USP is intelligent and mature commentary on MMORPGs, would do, but I guess that's one way to elicit more responses.

Anyway, I have a poser:

A casual player would probably be happier with a version of SWTOR which had more planets and alternative story threads to visit, but a "game over" screen instead of an endgame.

There is in fact a 'version' of SWTOR like that, with probably a more involving storyline. It's called Knights of the Old Republic 2! (unless you are averse to playing an old game released in 2005, of course)

So my question is: why would a casual player, like your wife, gravitate to a big-name MMO, when her gameplay needs seem to be more than adequately addressed by cheaper single-player games, or even 'freemium' Facebook games?

Is she playing the MMO because someone she knows is playing it? What is the appeal of MMOs for such players, who 'doesn't want to get involved with groups'?

Suppose a game is made up of 3 dimensions: SOCIAL/COMPETITION + GAMEPLAY + CONTENT

Not much SOCIAL in single-player games obviously, although this is changing, with leaderboards and vanity pages for in-game avatars.

I'd argue that Well-crafted single-player games generally have better GAMEPLAY + CONTENT (for example, Skyrim, Mass Effect, KOTOR).

So the only thing really going for MMOs is the SOCIAL/COMPETITION dimension.

If a player like your wife claims that group and raid content is not his or her cup of tea, why would that player still pay a monthly sub to play an *inferior* game?

Is there a fourth dimension that I'm missing here?
 
It's still quite within the context of the game, since it's a blog about that game, talking about others within that game

Even better then! You can't be possible insulted then, as I was clearly talking of real life pathetic loser, which as you say is a different context as the game. I freely admit that in the confines of the game, the hardcore gamer is not a pathetic loser. In the game he is the person with the most status, the king of achievements. Only in real life he is a pathetic loser.

So now, what about your claim that if the bragging and insulting is only contextual, the casual player can't be insulted by being called a dumb moron and slacker? If that is true, the hardcore gamer can't be insulted by me calling him a pathetic loser in real life.
 
@Tobold: So now, what about your claim that if the bragging and insulting is only contextual, the casual player can't be insulted by being called a dumb moron and slacker? If that is true, the hardcore gamer can't be insulted by me calling him a pathetic loser in real life.

Quite true. The only thing I was trying to point out was that if you feel free to be insult hardcore gamers in this way, then you should similarly not be offended when they call you a M&S.
 
I can't possibly stop them from calling me a loser. The only thing I can do is point out that in a different context it is them who are the losers, and not me.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool