Tobold's Blog
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Remember me?

I was discussing Dr. Richard Bartle's opinion of Rift as a WoW expansion with somebody on chat, and the person I was talking with said something along the lines of "Oh, Bartle, that's the guy with the Bartle Test, isn't it?". Not "the co-creator of the first MUD", or "the writer of Designing Virtual Worlds", no, most people only remember that one article about achievers, explorers, socializers, and killers in online games. Or not even the article itself, but some bastardized multiple choice test that wasn't even created by Dr. Bartle himself.

In a similar vein, when Paul Barnett’s involvement in a possible remake of Ultima IV in online form was mentioned on this blog, one commenter immediately remembered Paul for his "bears, bears, bears" video. Now that was a great video, and one could say that the enthusiastic hyping of a feature which then ultimately didn't make it in that form into the game neatly summarizes people's disappointment with WAR. But I seriously doubt that Paul Barnett views that video as the defining point of his career, and the one thing he wants to be remembered for.

That makes me wonder what people remember me for. Probably not for any of my real life achievements, because I hardly ever even mention them. But even of my blog posts I doubt that the ones I think are my best work are actually the ones that stuck in people's memory, if they remember me at all. What do you remember me for?
The Eve flamewars. Never before I have seen a more comprehensive application of the trollface.jpg tactic.
The WoW blog guy.

(Just kidding!)
You're the carebear.
The Freezing Jihad.
You will be remembered as "the guy who claimed that he is Gevlon".

Kidding of course. No one will remember you, me, or anyone. But they will remember our ideas, as if they accepted them, they are their ideas now.

You're likely to be remembered for your ideas by people who strongly reject them.

You're right about Tobold though; I would be surprised if some of "my" ideas weren't originally his. I can't tell without asking someone else for each idea, though.
Two things:

The Eve posts. With all their hypocrisy, hot-headedness and self-deception, mostly on your part.

But you're also the guy who suggested that I make my own blog and I probably need to be quite thankful for that ;)
The guy who hates EVE and is always getting into fights with Syncaine. Syncaine being the guy who loves writing about how much he hates MMOs, and then plays more of them.
I agree with Gevlon.

Otherwise i mostly remember you as the guy who wrote lots of interesting articles on the MtgO forums, to the point of dominating them, in a good way. Apart from strategy what stood out (in my perception) were your (futile) attempts to create some form of community (perhaps one resembling that found in the non-pro real life MTG environment), instead of a shark pool as you saw it at one point.
Why, for thoughtful, balanced, creative blogposts about mmorpg. I particularly enjoy your strength in economic analysys, your ability to think out of the box, and your vast experience with mmos.

There are particular subjects like atitd, pve vs. pvp (joshuazap is right: you're the carebear), explaining your position on wow ("neither fanboi nor hater"), crafting (boy you sure like that ;-P), the identity games with gevlon and fake nils, eve, the holy trinity, and your constant struggle with the trolls.
But that's not the point.
I remember you as that Belgian Scientist.
You are the rational European blogger who I have relied on for 5 years to play MMOs so that I don't have to. What started in 2006 as reading your blog during school because I couldn't play WoW on school computers has long since become a 10-20 minute daily activity that fully satisfies my desire to play video games.

I certainly remember your flirtation with LOTRO. To this day (and we've had this conversation before so perhaps no need to revisit) I cannot figure out how you do not regret the lifetime subscription.

I remember your on and off bickering with others in the blogosphere. Most painful, though, has always been your breaks from blogging. Your summer holidays are perfectly reasonable, but the silence makes resubscribing for a month oh so tempting.

You are a tactical guy -- vocally not a super mario bros advocate. This has always intrigued me as I too love a good game of chess, but thankfully I am just now entering my prime and I have never seen quick response times as a barrier.

I'm now studying computer science at a prestigious university. I came here thinking I might graduate into the gaming industry and put to work the ideas you have always formulated so logically. However, it's amazing what reading and studying, and the occasional N64 game, will do to suppress ones desire to play MMOs. My work with computers will now affect the gaming industry only indirectly, at best.

Still, I foresee myself continuing to follow your blog for as long as you keep posting -- or at least remain mildly interesting.

-silent but grateful fan
I remember you as the host of a blog that has long and sometimes interesting comment threads. I'd need to be reminded of any specific thing you'd posted about.

I think of you a bit like the blog equivalent of the host of a radio phone-in. You choose the topic and introduce it, then sit back and let discussion flow, stepping in very occasionally to move the conversation back on track.

The Bartle Test is the first thing I'd associate with Dr. Richard, too. I didn't know he didn't even devise the test itself, though.
Haha! I'm afraid that as we chatted in SAN, even though that was nearly a year ago, I'll remember you as the down to earth guy who was very nice, and shared some experiences that were helpful in relation to my situation :)
oh, and The WoW Blog guy :P
You're not quitting, are you? This sounds terribly much like a setup for a farewell post.

If you quit, I won't tell you what I'll remember you for! :P
As the antidote to the Gevlons of this world.
>"Oh, Bartle, that's the guy with the Bartle Test, isn't it?".

Cool! They don't remember me for picketing the Blizzard offices demanding that WoW be closed down.

No, Richard. What causes the biggest outcry at the moment is not necessarily what sticks in memories for the longest time.
I sincerely hope Tobold that you will be remembered for some brilliant new creative endeavour that you haven't even started yet. I know you are a bit down on blogging and mmorpgs at the moment but you can be proud of Tobold's MMORPG blog whether you choose to keep working on it or to move on to a new adventure.

If you seriously are looking for highlights from this blog I will offer a few of my own:

- The fact that your informative, and well written blog was one of the things which inspired me to play mmorpgs and also to start a blog of my own.

- The Order of the Rose Croix saga. You gave us ringside seats to some epic guild drama.

- Your most recent EVE online experiment and especially the terrific final post.

- That glorious day when you fooled me into thinking that you might actually be "real Gevlon".
I've never even watched the "bears, bears, bears" video, but that is exactly how I summarize the WAR experience these days: identifying the problem, summarizing it neatly, identifying a solution, and then willfully failing to implement it.

When you introduced the world to the new blog of one of your readers, syncaine, who had generally provided insights in the comments to your posts pretty consistently before then. And of course his very comment on that post that he was a blue and not a red any more.

Man, reading all of syncaine's old comments and then comparing it to what his blog became, it really feels like two completely different people.

For seriously though, I tend to think of your blog as...well, the WoW of MMO blogs. Tobold's blog is the juggernaut in my mind that is on top and really divides the MMO blogosphere into two parts: Pre-Tobold (Really, made up to 2006, when Tobold's was still relatively small) and Post-Tobold.

Your adventures in LotRO stick out the most to me, even though interestingly enough I haven't played much of the game. After that come the adventures in EVE and ATitD (Specifically, your most recent incursion where you went into depth about the game).

Despite you being mostly about WoW, I don't think of your WoW exploits all that much...which I suppose is weird. They function as a sort of baseline for me I guess, a background noise in which everything else becomes signal. I mean, I'm not saying I don't enjoy your WoW posting, I really do, especially since WoW is the MMO I have put the most hours into, but it just doesn't jump out as much.

Your early wow posts are the ones that stick with me the most out of all the WoW ones, when you started to grow a bit tired of EQ2 and picked up more and more time on the early WoW. Your wonder and amazement at the game are STILL entertaining to go back to.
Oh also, the fact how you CONSTANTLY fall prey to egotism and hurt feelings.

I mean, that sounds mean, but trust me here, I am a dyed in the wool fan of yours. While it is a flaw of yours, it really makes it come home clear that there is a person behind the white generic blog front, a person with a ton of opinions and not just a machine dispensing posts.

It makes your blog rather...wabi-sabi if you'll excuse the pounding of a square adjective into a round description.
There is, of course, the possibility that you won't be remembered at all. That is the fate for most of us.
magic the gathering online guy
I agree with Christoph that your most memorable post was "The Freezing Jihad" -- you nailed WotLK long before its release.

As for what you'd be remembered for overall, probably "most famous MMO blogger."
I suppose I will remember not so much the conversations as the venue. In spite of the internet and its denizens, you created a zone of relatively high intelligence and civility where MMOs and the meta questions were (I mean are; hang in there) discussed.

It is an accomplishment.

And yes, the commenters are correct: all of the posters and their beliefs will one day go the way of all flesh.
Honestly, I remember you most for when I first met you - your thoughtful and insightful posts during the 4e vs. 3.5 "Concerns & Criticisms" flamewars prior to the release of D&D 4e.

But "Syncaine's nemesis" is a strong contender.
"The Man Who Couldn't Stop Playing WoW."

Your championing of Luminary and by extension the F2P movement, and then dropping it off of a cliff never to mention again.

Also, Syncaine wars, but they are dead now he is playing Rift.
I know I found your blog after having started playing my first mmo, WoW. I think I stuck around because of your posts about other mmo's. Your time in ATitD was definitely a fave. I feel like I am reading an explorers log for pieces like those.
Tobold>What causes the biggest outcry at the moment is not necessarily what sticks in memories for the longest time.

Well so long as the people who make death threats don't remember, I'm happy. (Actually, I don't recall right now if I got any death threats for that one; even those don't stick in the memory).

Why are you wondering what people will remember you for anyway? It's your influence that's important, not your name. Are MMOs better because of you? Well yes, almost certainly. So why would you care beyond that?

It doesn't matter to me that few of today's MMO players know who I am. Knowing my name isn't important. What is important is that every time they sit down to play, they're playing, in part, with me. You can say the same thing. That ought to be enough for anyone, surely?

What an interesting concept. I actually remember you for the 3-4 things you've said about your real life. You're a scientist/academic/other that publishes papers (and quite a few of them) in real life. For some reason, I can't recall much else except that you generally have excellent, well thought out opinions about MMO's (all MMO's)...
For me the most memorable thing you've said is that WoW sets the bar for other MMOs.

It wasn't obvious to me when I read it here and I'm convinced you are right.

It's interesting to watch the genre develop based not on innovation but on matching WoW's polish as the industry says you are right.

I believe you said this before AoC and WAR came out, they should have been reading your blog.
The guy who got into a Blog war with Syncaine.

Seriously though, the guy who introduced me to the mmo blogo-sphere through your blog. As well as being quite possibly having the most influential and interesting blog I've read so far. (At least, that's my opinion anyway.)
You're the smart guy that predicted the Cataclysm expansion in October 2008 AND named it: "Not 10 more levels added to the endgame, but a cataclysm striking the old world, and changing it."
I remember you as the guy who brought some of my trolling posts to a larger, and therefore more entertaining, audience. And I am eternally grateful, because those were damn fun.
Probably as "that guy who is almost a rival for syncaine" in the long run, in the short run "the guy who's blog tends to open a lot of discussion".
I'll remember you for trying to objectively analyze MMOs, a quixotic goal to be sure, as born out by your refusal to recognize how your own subjective feelings color the analysis.
The guy that pretends to be open-minded, but actually is close-minded like all of us.
The provocative MMO design blogger who struggled to withstand the heat he generated.

If anyone remembers bloggers at all, of course.
Although some people here chose to express it in a quite negative way (apparently due to a need to prove their own superiority), I'm actually quite happy about the comments showing that I am remembered as a human being, and not as a flawless, emotionless, content-producing robot.
I mainly remember you for your presence in the MTGO forums and some of your MTGO newcomer guides. It was obvious then that we would be reading more from you.
You will be remembered for narcissistic, navel-gazing posts, much like this one.
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