Back of the Bus
Mar 04, 2008 18:56:59

Back of the Bus
"You know, you supposed to be some slick killer. Now look at you, all back of the bus..." - Nick Chinlund as Toombs, Chronicles of Riddick

From the time I set foot in the wilds of Felucca, in Ultima Online to the first time I got my 50 million isk ship blown out of zero security space in Eve Online there has always been one common factor throughout - whether player versus player (PvP) was designed into the game (God bless CCP's great big heart) or tacked on as an afterthought (curse you Turbine). As much as players scream themselves hoarse and pound on keyboards until their fingers bleed calling for "balance" in PvP that isn't what they want at all. When Frank Sinatra first belted out the words to his now famous song "My Way" he hit the nail on the head - they don't want balance, what they want is to have it "their way". Whether it is someone SCREAMING IN A CHAT CHANNEL or hurling epithets over a Ventrilo server there has always been someone who spends there game time (and mine unfortunately) trying to get everyone else to 'do it their way'.

Just about anyone who has ever typed the words "World of Warcraft" (WoW) onto a keyboard has now heard the famous audio clip of a raid leader in screaming "THAT'S A 50 DKP MINUS" at the other members of a raid. Sadly, that seems to be "par for the course" more times than not when it comes to raiding and pvp. The question this raises in my mind is why on earth this nonsense has to persist in the MMOs that we have delivered to us each year?

Part of the answer is that human nature just is what it is - sort of like the expression "kids will be kids." But quite frankly enough of this load of dingo dung is enough. Now everyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a Rob Pardo fan girl. All the same, while WoW didn't originate many of game mechanics we see in games today, they sure made them popular - Activision/Blizzard is the 800 pound gorilla on the block and imitation is the trend rather than the exception these days.

But quite frankly, enough of this load of dingo dung is enough.

These days, in order to succeed raids, whether those raids are pvp or on a boss in an instance, have to be done with such military precision and such a exact classes of players that it would make the best of Navy Seal teams green with envy. Getting into a good raiding guild or group of some sort has become tantamount to applying for a job. Even if you can get in to a good raid group (good luck) like as not what you can look forward to is hour upon endless hour of raiding an instance, waiting for that last piece of your armor set to drop, and even if it does hoping you can win the roll, or have enough DKP (dragon kill points - a popular system of allocating "Phat Lewt"). Realistically you have a better chance of winning the lottery. And even if you go through ALL THAT, the next time an expansion for your game comes out, your hard won loot will be made obsolete by the next run of the mill drop - and that my friends is called "mudflation."

Someone should do something about it...

In fact they do, and then developers do something about it, those same players who made you go through job application to get into a raiding guild, who screamed "that's a 50 DKP minus" at you, or those players who trotted themselves down to a pvp zone where the players are 40 levels below them to create mayhem - all those players a scream bloody murder. They are "cut to the quick" as the immortal bard has said. Sometimes developers give in. But sometimes - go bless your harts EA/Mythic if you actually carry it all off - they don't.

Yes I know that the "blogosphere" has a tendency to play up the possibilities for Warhammer Online until it is an event just short of the Second Coming. But everything I have found out about the game so far seems like they are certainly doing it the right way. And it isn't always the big things that make the difference. Sometimes it is the little things that really set a game apart. Not long ago, for example, I read in interview with one of the devs for Warhammer Online who talked about a system they were creating to turn a player into a chicken to goes back to the lower end zones with ganking the low end players in mind. I have no idea if that will actually come about (oh I sure hope so) but some things are being put into place by the good folks EA/Mythic that are nothing short of genius. Enter the world of the public quest and open raid objectives - genius. If the final version of the game is produced with game mechanics such as these, gone are the days of raid leaders who scream "that's a 50 DKP minus" and treat raid membership like a job in a fortune 500 company. If the proof of the Warhammer Online pudding is half as good as the promise we will all be able to say to the players who caused others so much grief...

...You know, you supposed to be some slick pvp killer and raid leader. Now look at you, all back of the bus!

See you online,

- Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Mar 04, 2008 18:56:59 CST (comments: 1)


'There is no solution' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2008-03-06 12:08:52 CST
"Realistically you have a better chance of winning the lottery."

Pushing hyperbole a bit far, aren't you? Or is the lottery that easy to win in your locale?

On your general premise, that there is somehow a set of game mechanics that will put the power gamers and min/max maniacs in their place, I disagree. Experience shows that they are like water, that they will flow into any mechanic given them and find the points of weakness and exploit them to the full.

It really is amazing at times, how this play style adapts itself to almost any game.

And they will adapt to that holy grail of yours, Warhammer Online, and they will be screaming in chat for their guild to get to point X because a given public quest or raid objective is better for the guild and so on.

And it will happen because they care about "winning" the game (and they define "winning" themselves, so there is no point in telling them there is no such thing) while the rest of us just want to play and have fun.

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