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Be excellent to one another, even when backstabbing (literally or economically or whatever) each other. Because if you can't deal with the game as it is, then maybe you should decide the issue is as much about *you* as it is about the game. The Eve community manages to be awesome in its contention and bickering, but the folks here seem just amazingly out of control. Sit back, breathe, and try to figure out: "Do I really belong in a sandbox game that requires crafting and (eventually) combat both? That will likely require diplomacy among tribes? That is based on community discovery and not on themepark rails?"
Ask yourself, do I really grok what a sandbox is, or am I just bringing some spoonfed entitlement attitude to this game?
Like a lot of Xsyon players, I'm a sandbox fan. Unlike a lot of folks here, I remember the ranting and freaking out of player bases for both Eve Online and Star Wars Galaxy launches (note: I'm not proposing SWG as a total sandbox, but it had more elements than most, praise Koster....
From the wikipedia entry on SWG:
The base game, titled Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, was released on 26 June 2003 in the USA and on 7 November 2003 in Europe. A localized version for the Japanese market was published by Electronic Arts Japan on 23 December 2004. Japanese acceptance of the game was low, and in November 2005 the servers were shut down and existing accounts migrated to US servers.
At the time of its initial release, the game was very different from how it is now. Vehicles and creature mounts were not yet implemented. While player housing was available at the time of launch, the ability to incorporate groups of houses into cities didn't come until November 2003. Each character and creature possessed three "pools" (called Health, Action, and Mind; or "HAM") that represented his or her physical and mental reserves. Most attacks specifically targeted one of these three pools and any action the character took also depleted one or more of the pools. When any one of those pools was fully depleted, the character would fall unconscious. Combat, then, required the player to carefully manage his or her actions to avoid depleting a pool.
May I say, the combat mechanics were a little better than what's here...a little. It didn't exactly roll out the welcome mat to noobs, but then, in 2003, most MMO players were not exactly mass market gamers either. Are you?
It goes on to document how the skill system went through multiple revamps (don't. mention. Jedi.) and so on.
What it doesn't mention was how the community RAILED, spat, freaked out, and hated at the Verant Interactive devs *constantly*, and in the vast majority, without much constructive criticism. The first years of SWG were full of bile and vitriol, and many many many posts that said the game was doomed and that it sucked, that the devs did not listen to the community, and so on.
The result was that LucasArts and Sony decided that their subscription numbers were too low, and remade the game -- they gutted the skills/professions system into a pretty standard MMO fixed class system, and removed a huge number of features that really made the game work for their contentious community.
And you know what? The SWG "vets" have not ceased to pour vitriol and bile in MMO online forums since -- for Sony destroying their community. But you know why Sony destroyed SWG as it was created? Because obviously it had no market, outside these people who didn't even seem to like it. And that's why non-indy groups don't do sandboxes.
Well, some years later and more than a few games later, I'm reflecting on that. And I have to say that, although I keep to my oath never to give SOE a penny of my money, I have to say that this community is teaching me something. The SWG community owns a large share of the blame for killing that game.
MMO fans love to argue. Hell, if we were talking about futbol or NASCAR or breeding race horses, people would expect us to bicker like fools. It's what fans do. Fans -- from fanatics -- basically means "people with unreasonably strong opinions."
So, I will not say STFU, folks, but I will say this -- if you want this game to have an equal chance to SWG or Eve to grow up into something you can be proud to say "I was there at the rocky start and stuck with it," you need to think about Notorious Games in a slightly more generous light. You have to stop ad-hominem attacks on the devs' collective integrity, and put your ego aside just a little bit and think, "Is this game worth two matinee movie admissions a month."
You need to start refuting some of the BS being propagated by the (are they all from Darkfall?) ragequit kiddies on other forums. You need to start contributing to the wiki and publishing guides since (duh) this is a discovery based game.
Use your words. Well.
Otherwise, what we're doing here is not only killing the goose that (watch that vent!) may yet lay the golden egg we've been promised (easter bunny jokes aside), but we're also stunting the prospects for future sandbox MMOs -- because anyone looking at this game community would guess that it is impossible to keep a sandbox community happy, subscribing, and in the age of social media, spreading the (tough) love.
Stop thinking about this as spoonfeeding, and think of it as more of a collaborative process. That's what sandboxes are. The joy of finding unintended uses for game mechanics. The joy of guessing why a certain thing is set up just so (and the tease of never knowing if you contributed to the direction of the game by having a dev go, "OMG, that's better than my original idea of that!).
Imagine this as a pen and paper campaign. You start out day one rolling a character. You and the gamesmaster have never played before, and only the GM has anything but the player's guide. So you don't know what your stats mean, you don't know what the course of the campaign will bring, and you spend the first half dozen play sessions arguing with your party, and with the GM going "Oh, crap, I completely screwed up how I ran that last melee, let's get a do-over..."
Now you might ragequit, but somehow, the distance between your keyboard and the GMs makes you think that you are exploiting them. along with this two-matinees-per-month thing.
Now fall back, think about it, and ask, how much am I paying per hour. Do I enjoy being frustrated like this? Am I the sort of person who deals with a sandbox community well. Do I have the potential to gracefully enjoy a game which is not a themepark, and due to sandboxy-ness, is almost by definition never a finished product?
Then decide if you have the potential to love this thing, and if you do, use your words well. And if you don't, find another game and let the rest of us figure this out in *friendly* contention.
You may commence fire.