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  1. #1

    Be excellent to one another.

    /* wall of text warning */

    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.



  2. #2
    Be...excellent to each other... on dudes!

  3. #3
    Excellent post Ani! So glad to have ya around :-).But she rite though. we all need to see common ground and help get this game heard more. Yes it has its issues and they will be their awhile, In order for this game to be the best u want it to be is ya gota stick with it. Eve had a rocky start and fallen earth and well most mmo's first year is always a bumpy road but after that things slowly pick up! So its a matter of loyalty and patience. if ya have 0 patience n want it now, welp go find a new game. :-)

  4. #4
    First off... San Dimas High School Football Rocks!

    More importantly, well written and well said. Thanks. Good read.

    Central message is spot on, imho. I will endeavor to keep it in mind, particularly when frustration and tempers flare.

  5. #5
    I think the pill was hard to swallow for some people, that this was not a professional endeavor into the sandbox mmo realm, but more along the lines of someone's personal hobby. All the hype invested festered and turned into a rage equally potent due to Jordi's shortcomings, both in terms of technical ability and public relations (gaffe).

    While I admire those who choose to carry this game through it's darkest hour, it truly shouldn't be expected of anyone. Many would rather hold their "donations" for something like Tsunami relief or Cancer research and stick to purely having fun with games. Crazy, I know. :P

  6. #6
    Armand, I hear you. But the thing is, I don't expect it of anyone. And you've been pretty constructive that I've seen, although I haven't tracked your every post (but we've been neighbors in game).

    What I want is for the folks who are flaming on extra-narsty to reflect that this might be more about them. If you don't like the game, and you don't like that it's an indy with a small staff on at least two continents, and you don't want a community-discovery sandbox campaign (I've described this as "A Tale in the Desert goes native"), then isn't there one of two choices?

    (a) Realize that you were, whether due to Jordi's folks or due to your own preconceptions, brought into the game with ideas that were not matching what the game is, and is likely to be for the indeterminate future, and let the f* go, or;

    (b) (Wo)Man up, and make it work for what it is, and grow enough dev, community, and market support so that the thing can reach potential.

    The flaming on these forums ranges, for the most part, from neurotic to psychotic. I really really really want people to prove to me that this isn't just a symptom of sandbox communities. ATITD and Eve say "not necessarily." Second Life and to some extent SWG, not so much. So if we are building a community culture, wouldn't you rather be, Eve/ATITD?

    And if you don't, what *DO* you want? A pound of Jordi's flesh? C'mon! If you hate it, if you think it's "unprofessional" (excuse me, but SOE is polished and professional and also rat-bastard goons who don't care about game communities except as they dully perceive bottom line interests; Blizzard has gone from a great games company to a conglomerate subdivision trying to be the Disney of games,...) -- then leave, and find the Next Big Thing Flavor of the Month. If you don't *like* rocky road ice cream, don't tell everyone rocky road sux because it ain't vanilla.

    Whatever the hype was, and whatever the current transparency is (and I have had a few things to say about that elsewhere) it is what it is, and you can make it better, or you can spoil it for those of us who are trying to make it better, in which case -- I say your choice of game (that is, spoiling mine) is really questionable, and you might want to consider what it is that makes you choose that game?

  7. #7
    another good post ani. you must got alot on ur mind!. btw ill try n be ingame soon. Seems i have gotten addicted to the LOST (tv show)

  8. #8
    Well put, shava, thank you.
    I sometimes think that MMO players don't even deserve their dream game...some of us are so extremely impatient and unforgiving. All of the really good games started small and buggy.

  9. #9
    I totally agree. And very well put.
    I was there for SWG, and I am one of those still crying about the ruin. I can be a real hater irl, but when sub'ing to this forum, I was really amazed by the anger in the air. I was impressed that people seemed to be well articulate, but surprised at the tone. People really insult each others intelligence and linguistic capabilities alot here. With such a hostile environment, many will prolly never dare to post on the forums, which obviously aint good for the community.
    I have a lot of negative things to say about the game, but seeing that everyone are aware of it all, and drawing on experience that positive feedback motivates far more then negative feedback, I opt to keep a positive and somewhat optimistic tone. In that faint hope that this will come to be 'that game'. I'm glad (some) others feel the same.

  10. #10
    I appreciate your posts Ani. Well said and if nothing else maybe you have gotten the over emotional to settle a bit.

    I really enjoy this game. I will be here for as long as it continues and i enjoy it.

    It is just a game folks. Why all the emo reactions? it is a small game with HUGE potential.

    Yeah they have not pulled off everything that they hope to ... YET. can't wait? maybe YOU don't fit this game.

    Like you, I worry much less about those that rage quit, and more about those that in game, in irc and on the forums rage destroy the very thing they claim to love. Out of frustration that they have not gotten what they demanded, like a small child they throw fits, and their conduct displays who and what they are.

    The end though is what you describe... the end of potential players coming here and finding a fun gem of a game. All due to folks purposefully driving away the very thing that could get them what they are after ... paying customers that help fund this Indy game into the future.

    These vitriolic mouths are what WILL kill this game. It has much better game play than any game I was playing in 2003. Example Horizons... great crafting and fun world where you could permanently make your mark... It had much less going for it than this game and folks including myself played for years ( 6+ for me )

    So it's time to just take a deep breath folks. Work on your skills, and stats. Try something new. Make yourselves the core of a great game, not the core of the players that killed it.

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