Thursday, February 03, 2005

Holy Fuckballs! An update

Yea, I've been lazy, posting on other websites, because it's not like any of you jizz monkies read this fine site of mine. I figured I would make an update for myself, YEA, ME BABY ME, fuck y'all. I must admit, I like updating my site, because I can shine and show everyone my true immaturity. I post on official game forum-websites quite a bit, you know the ones that actually have rules. The man is keeping me down with them fuckin rules. I feel like a corporate fuckwad with some stick up my ass. So, it feels good to blow a load here and shoot the shit, get back down to my roots. Anyhow, enough blabber... Without further ado, Pitfalls presents:

Wowzer

Edit: Finally, I got this rewritten, it was better the first time around, but shit happens.

I saw this and had to snag it, can you believe this shit? Not only do the Korean gamers get laid for being hardcore, they get all the cool catch phrases too. How would you like going home after a kick ass nite of pvp at the local pc baang (net cafe) and having your girlfriend, that thinks you're the mutha fuckin king, give up her punani, screaming you are the wowzer while you hit it? I'm sure that shit is fairly common for your typical hardcore gamer considering how huge the gaming scene is overseas.

Where to start, lets see.... Well, what has everyone else covered that I should cover 5 days later. Because, that's how I work, last minute, my boys do all the reporting, and than I chime in with my thoughts, the best of both worlds. In the spirit of the Wowzer and warrior protest, I will cover some thougts on protests in virtual worlds.

Yea, you know those protests where people get together for a cause. Like those losers that stand outside in front of the white House, thinking they can actually make a difference. And guess how many of those losers actually do make a difference, not many, only the ones like Michael Moore that get to hand pick other losers he can use in his movies to make a buck off of. The thing is, in a virtual world, every player can make a difference when protesting, the players do have some control, players have that greater chance of getting the attention of the lawmakers of said world. Imagine a crowd of a few thousand blocking White House traffic for hours on end and all the drivers in the DC area forced to drive at 5 mph because of that small crowd, crash and burn mother fucker, or better known in virtual worlds as LAG. And something of this scale, the crashing of the world, is much easier to organize online than it would be in the real world.

These virtual protests have actually been happening for years now, maybe even decades. Back in the day as they say, when I was still flogging the dolphin to JC Penney ads and playing Mario 3 on the Nintendo. Even as far back when UO was king, there were player protests. I always wondered if any protests happened in Muds, so if you happen to be reading this and know of any that did. By all means, share it with me, because I want to get an idea of how far players have been bitching about virtual worlds on a massive scale. The only evidence that I have found is here, it's pretty damn old school.

I love protests, it really shows how much people care about the game they play. Even if the shit is negative tension towards the developers. If, I was a developer, I would be happy if players were protesting in my game. Think about this shit, seriously, really fuckin think about it. The recent WoW warrior protest serving the purpose to get the attention of the developers is a perfect example. The cries and pleas of hundreds if not thousands of gamers wanting to be answered all at once. The rabid fanbois talking for days in-game, on forums or even in real life about how they were pissed the fuck off at Blizzard and couldn't wait for this protest to prove that they mean business. Some of those people probably went as far as cancelling real life plans they might of had, lying to real life friends and family members to hide their shame of protesting in a video game. And some of you were there, don't you fuckin lie, just watching it happen, because hell that shit is interesting in a virtual world that some of us care more about than we actually realize. Hell, Deja fuckin Vu. I wasn't even at that protest, I was probably sleeping or trolling some random forum like I normally do, but here I am writing about it. If you still haven't read what happened with the WoW warrior protest, slacking bastard, and want to see what went down from a few gamers that were actually there, there's no better place, than our boys at Cesspit and AFK Gamer. Thanks guys and awesome reporting.

Lets take a look at one of the older protests in Everquest and what players were upset about a few years ago. Oh my, what do we have
here. The same shit the fanbois in WoW were protesting about, the warrior class. Man, there must be a whole fuck ton of warriors out there with some serious sand in their vaginas across the mmorpg spectrum. That's just one of the more massive player protests that happened in Everquest. Lets see here... Ah, here we go.

Another well known protest that wasn't on a massive scale, or even held in-game for that matter, but actually held some clout was the one by the most famous player to this day in mmorpg history, Guild Leader of Fires of Wankage, er Heaven, Furor Planesdefiler. Some of you might remember when he gave SOE an ultimatum (no link) to fix Plane of Time in X days or they would leave Everquest and turn their site into a WoW fansite. Well, in the end, that's pretty much what happened, a few months after the deadline he posted it was over. FoH packed it up, a lot of people were extremely happy about this, but at the same time SOE ultimately lost. How did they lose? They lost out on a ton of publicity for Everquest after FoH switched over taking a huge following with them. Currently there really are no more FoH's left in EQ that a ton of people (including people that don't even play mmorpgs anymore) flock too.

The amusing thing about this, is that Blizzard picked up Furor as a game designer. Love him or hate him, this is a good move because the man knows his shit. If you don't agree, that's fine, you are ignorant and I sound like an ass kisser so we both lose! Even, Brad McQuaid said he would of offered Furor a job at Sigil Games if he knew was looking to get into the industry. And too those developers that say, if the players don't like it they can leave our virtual world, guess what in that case they did and SOE fuckin lost out big.

Back on topic, how about another SOE Game, where the developers pretty much fucked up on how they handled customer's relations during last years swg credit duping proest. Thankfully, Jeff Freeman and Raph Koster handled the communication more clearly soon after on numerous blogs and forums. SWG probably has more protests than any other game, but on a lesser scale that aren't widely publicized outside of their own community.

Some of the player protests in SWG I find to be a bit more humurous than what I've seen in other games. Probably because you have a lot of Star Wars Geeks playing and I'm more of a Lord of the Rings nerd and naked gnomes have more style. I really almost feel bad for the SWG developers, I really do. The beautiful thing with a game like SWG is players can actually crash the server much easier than another mmorpg, which is why they rather whine in game rather than on the forums. What were the developers thinking when making a game labeled mmorpg. (Massively Multiplayer, hello?), but if you come together for a protest our game can't handle the load and since you're going to crash the server we will ban your puny playing ass. Nice Move! Sadly, that's bullshit, I can't blame the developers for that and neither should you. It's actually because of some server infrastructure shit, honestly, not much the SWG devs can do about that.

I do have to give SOE some credit, in some cases they have responded by bending over backwards and holding all-paid-expenses trips to their offices in California, better known as player summits. Where they hand pick players or "leaders" in the player community that can discuss their concerns with the developers face to face. In a response like this, ultimately the players do win, because they made an impact and their voices have been heard, but the company wins as well, even more so than the players do, which I will get to in a minute. Yes, we're almost done, keep reading...

So, the point is, these protests have been happening for a long ass time now and in many other different virtual worlds other than the ones I mentioned. Now, the thing about these virtual protests is that some fucking reaction needs too happen, be it crashing the server, a GM responding, etc. If nothing happens at all, the players efforts have failed and they look more stupid, especially among their peers.

Now, the developers need to use these protests to their benefit, and I mean benefit as on a whole other level. Force these player protests too happen in your virtual world. Make sure one class is fucked up and rotate them out after each protest happens and the dust settles a few months later. Let the players think they are actually contributing to their class or whatever they happen to be bitching about. It could even be an encounter, EQ used this tactic as well. If your game is good enough, players will keep playing and this will pay off in the long run. Man, I'm an evil son of a bitch now that I really think about it. People love bitching, and when people come together for the sole purpose of bitching it promotes community interdependencies on a massive scale.

A perfect example of this player bitching would be Everquest, where the classes to this day are still unbalanced and fucked up. And yet its retention rate for subs alone was at least 400k for 4 years and still going strong.

Now, look at a game like EQ2, where the classes are TOO balanced. Players are not going to be protesting and asking for the classes to be unbalanced, they may whine and complain, but it's illogical to have a protest in-game over that, so a large base of players will quit since the game may be lacking in other areas as well that are not worth protesting, because there harder to change (World Design) or some of those players may of actually gotten interested in other virtual worlds in due parts thanks to their protests.

On another note, about the subs for EQ2; I don't care if the recent press release says EQ2 has 310k subscribers, for all we know that could be a load of shit. That could be very well be the, lets play our SOE trump card, the SOE-All-Access-Pass, but not mention how many of those 310,000 subscribers come from that.

Now, think about the player summits SOE has had on several occassions. It benefits SOE by giving them wide spread publicity across many mediums, some that are not even specifically EQ related at all. If they had to actually pay for that kind of publicity in the real world it would cost them much more than handpicking a few leaders of the playerbase and flying them out and giving them a bunch of freebies... Food for thought.

Ok, now back to WoW and the results from their recent player protest. I applaud the resposne from Blizzard and how they handled their later protest. Temporary-suspensions, claiming zone disruption, this was a smart move and than later I was even more shocked when the players, warriors in particular got what they wanted, some answers. I haven't seen this level of developer feedback on a particular class in a long time. Kalgan, gets mad props for doing this as it probably took him hours to reply to all this shit. If you would like to check out his response, it's quite long, Abalieno has covered it very well, here is part one and part two. And as you can see, Kalgan shoots down player generalizations and assumptions left and right, there is a reason why this man is being paid and the rest of us are fodder, paying to play.

And with all that finally said, my fellow gamers, you are the WoWzer.
-Krones

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