Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I can see why he isn't calling himself Lum the Mad any more

Scott Jennings picks up a thread from Massively and pretends the questions were meant for him. That results in some hilarious answers and a general impression that the players asking the questions are a lot more mad than the developer answering them.

Quoted for truth:
I know this is really hard to believe for a lot of people, but MMOs are designed the way they are because someone wanted to play that game. Really. Everquest was designed by MUD players who wanted to make a MUD in 3D. Dark Age of Camelot was designed by Everquest players who wanted less punishing PvE and good PvP. World of Warcraft was designed by Everquest and DAOC players who wanted to play a better Everquest/DAOC. Rift was designed by World of Warcraft players who wanted to play a better World of Warcraft. And so on down the road.

"Rift was designed by World of Warcraft players who wanted to play a better World of Warcraft. And so on down the road."

I lol'd.
Thanks for linking to that, it's a good read.

I don't work on games but I do work on large software projects, and I am so glad our customers are nothing like average internet-posting MMO players.
And soon there will hopefully be enough (different) MMORPG that there is no clear line of successors.

.. If Rift is a better WoW then Blizzard is truly on the wrong side of MMO history.
It really shocks me how offensively ignorant some players are. Do they REALLY think that devs are stupid or lazy or greedy or evil? What the hell?
"MMOs are the only type of game where you can see proto-societies form, where people cooperate on a global scale to achieve their goals – they’re the type of game where people really care. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in something people care about?"

Epic! At the same time though, I'm still waiting for an MMO that actually achieves this feeling. :)
@Sine Nimone:

SOE has done enough to convince me that, yes, they are at the very least greedy and lazy. In EQ2 Live (i.e. not the F2P version), I think having a cash-shop of such magnitude and cost is outrageous; rather than develop content and neat ways to put things in-game, they load it with things that, frankly, should already come with the horribly over-priced expansions, not to mention the sub fee.

Same again with Allods; they were stupid, greedy and arrogant beyond belief. Of course, developers are real people, you shouldn't bash their hard work, yadda yadda yadda, but at the end of the day that doesn't matter because actions speak louder than words. And most of the words that come from developers in the present era are marketing, PR bullshit that makes me /facepalm at them even more.
Lazy? I guess churning out expansion after expansion, game update after game update, and piles of cash shop content is some variety of lazy. I would classify it as the subtype of lazy known as 'not lazy at all', but hey, call it what you want.

And you do realize if companies don't make money, they disappear and everyone loses their jobs right? That games that make more money get more budget to do more cool stuff?

I'm not saying everything that EQ2 has done is roses and sunshine. I think the free/paid server split was a bad idea (despite all the customers whining for it non-stop), and the cash shop is a bit on the pricey side. So I don't purchase from it except during sales, or when points are extra cheap to buy. I guess I should have been personally insulting the developers though, that sounds like a better plan. eq2forum, ahoy!

PS Did you know that Lum hates you?
I dunno... seems pretty mad to me... especially since he went out of his way to say he hates me. :( *Sniff*
@Nollind Whachell: Second Life has long achieved this. No really.
In regards to what Sine Nomine said, it sounds to me like the impatient forum posters often confuse the developers of the game code/art with with the business decisions made by the company overall.

As an example, I personally write code and am not particularly greedy, but my company charges high prices for the work that I produce. Is my employer greedy? Perhaps they are. Or perhaps they are a business who's main purpose is to make money. My personal goal is to make the product as nice as possible within the confines of my job.

I guess what I'm saying is that the actual game-developers aren't necessarily in full control of everything that happens with the game. Therefore, yelling at them to "change it now" and calling them names isn't terribly productive and is often a waste of mental energy.

But, if people are using the word "devs" as shorthand for the overall business that sells the game, well then that just confuses things. :-)
Some questions are legitimate and his sarcastic answers are sometimes stupid - because he's not answering them - and definitely not funny.

Also I'm not sure if it was sarcastic or not but when he said that EVE Online model was a not assured investment. Really? and that "rich companies avoid these investments" then we're never going to see anything creative if developers share his idiotic mentality. If everyone thinks like him then we would never seen a game like EverQuest because back then it was not an assured invstment.

In china they say luck favors the bold.
I know this is really hard to believe for a lot of people, but MMOs are designed the way they are because someone wanted to play that game. Really.

I'm sorry, is the argument that someone wanted the Art team to dedicate X amount of time to make $25 mounts in the cash shop, as opposed to them using that time on anything else? Or that dungeons should go back to lasting hours as 5m mini-raids with dungeon bosses requiring interrupt rotations in randomly generated groups? Or that millions of people enjoy quests on rails in their MMO expansions?


I could see an artist saying to him/herself, "Man, you know what my game is missing? A sparkle pony!"

Said hypothetical artist would then continue, "And I do so like eating food under a roof."
Scott recognizes that Rift is MMO 3.0

Here’s my way of looking at it: Angry Quote
“The act of selling software is initiating a fee based feedback loop with a greater number of beta testers.”

One of the things I love about capitalism is that the metrics are so clear. Either you make gobs of money and drive a great Angry toy car OR you don’t… I DO like talking abstractly about great artistic technology or games even. But in the main I like talking about making money with technology being the method of unlocking the bank. Commerce crystallizes thought like no other motivator I’ve seen.

People like food, shelter and the occasional diversion. These things cost money in our world. Therefore, people are incentivized to make money.

Great technology questions of the ages can be answered by the simple question of ‘does it make money?”. “Hey I want to do this _blank_ style of game. What do you think?”
- Does it make money now? Er No
- Will it make money in the future? Well maybe…
- What about your game makes you think that people will pay gobs of money for it? Well it’s going to have robots!

That’s a feature. “What is so compelling about this game that will guarantee it will make money?” In one sentence please…

It’s like WOW only better. [YES that will get you funded]
It’s not like WOW at all and you WILL NEVER EVER be required to kill 10 fozziles! [yeah we’ll be in touch]

Another great quote from Scott in his post:
"I’d ask all mmo devs out there why are they so afraid of sandbox (or hybrid) games like EVE, …"

"Because rich companies got that way because they are risk-averse and prone to investments that are reasonably assured. Sandbox games like Eve are most definitely not assured investments."

AMEN and say it with conviction.
@Angry Gamer:

I see you have a point to make (on several blogs) but you need to tone down your comments if you want people to take you seriously. Constantly screaming and shouting and exaggerating everything to the extreme will get you nowhere.
Constantly screaming and shouting and exaggerating everything to the extreme will get you nowhere.

It won't get him anywhere in comment sections. If he would take my advice and make his own blog with all this angry screaming and shouting, he could be quite successful with it. Just look at syncaine!
@Angry Gamer

MMO 2.9 maybe, definitely not 3.0.
@Moonmonster: oh, yes, I forgot all those other MMOs that don't have ridiculous cash shops actually don't produce any content at all, and the only way to keep funding such an amazing rate of content delivery is to milk your playerbase for every last penny. I mean, two overland zones per expansion? That's a truckload right there. How silly of me to think that other developers do more with less.

You know what is lazy? Developing content (which is, you know, their job. It's not like it's some side project their investing their entire lives in) and then putting it on the marketplace to make a cheap buck. That's lazy and greedy. Which is what I said.

Far be it from me to point out the obvious, but SOE's expansions aren't exactly innovative and nifty, are they? Look at DoV: its main selling points are X number of monsters/quests/items/AAs added (how new and interesting!) and two rehashed features from other MMOs: i.e. PQs and flying mounts. Only with much less of them. Aha, now I see where my sub and station cash monies went. To new and innovative features. Gotcha.

Meh, people have no problem calling other developers and profit-making companies greedy and lazy; I don't particularly see why I should shed a tear if someone reads this and thinks "how can you be so cruel?" To make it up to the people at SOE who actually did a good job: whoever designed the Fae, Kelethin, the Illusionist and whoever composed the opening music: you guys are amazing. So have a gold star sticker, and I hope you guys got a decent share of the monies.

Also: oh no, someone on the internet whose blog I don't follow and whose opinion I really am indifferent about doesn't like me! The horror!
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