Whining about whiners

Mines of Moria has been out just under a month and the experience has been great for me, but not for all.  The forum trolls have returned with a vengeance and it seems this also relates to the Halloween zombie event of WoW.  Basically, a lot more pop culture references have been popping up in LOTRO.  From a quest in the “bat-cave” (ask where it is in the Advice channel and hilarity ensues), to Snow White references in several mirror quests, to 300 “this is Sparta” moments it seems the developers are really trying to include these inside jokes which will make the majority of people smile at the “Easter egg”.  I say the majority because it seems some people have sprung up and complained that their immersion is ruined.  Why?  Because Tolkien never included Batman or a crazy goblin king screaming “This is Goblin-town!” while throwing an orc down a pit.  These whiners got me thinking about the similar whiners in WoW’s zombie event.  They are basically all self righteous forum trolls who can’t stand to have the continuity or “sameness” of their virtual world disturbed.

What I’ve come to notice is that this loud minority has a big impact on games over time.  Like the M-Team pointed out, there used to be a feeling of the unexpected in MMOs (i.e., the Asheron’s Call meteor).  Now we all play in almost static worlds where the unexpected is limited to whether or not the great gear at the end of a boss run drops or not.  I think its great that devs try and incorporate things like the zombie event and Easter eggs for the masses, but these ideas seem to get shut down by the little assholes who have had one too many Kool-Aids while playing the game and can’t stand that they may have to change their play pattern for EVEN A DAY.  The fact is these low-lifes have taken the Massive out of MMORPG.  Gone are the world ending events, the dev-controlled raids in PvP/PvE, and it seems now that even easter eggs are doomed to die.

We are basically all playing single player RPGs (and not great ones at that) with co-op.  Other than that raids every Friday at 9 PM EDT, we keep to ourselves or our little sheltered group of MMO buddies and run through a persistent world with no hope of change.  What world events like the zombie events, and even Easter eggs to a lesser extent, do is bring people together for a collective round of fun.  It’s when these things happen that you truly appreciate the MMO community you play in daily, but yet never used to its full potential.  This is when we talk to more people than the five “regulars” and become past of a Massive community.  That’s also why developers invest time and money into holiday events.  Though they are usually fluff, these world wide events bring servers together in ways that nothing else can.  But then whiners like Jason come along and complain that the content is useful, and the loudmouthed drunken idiots usually end up having their way.  I’m just kidding Jason.  I would never blame anything like this on you.  For things like this we blame Mark.  The truth is that we are, for the most part, playing MORPGs rather than MMORPGs.  I hope that this trend of little to no world events and listening to the whiners does not continue, because its making MMOs feel like a much smaller place.

May your adventures always be Massive.

14 Comments to Whining about whiners

  1. Chris the Unspeakable's Gravatar Chris the Unspeakable
    December 9, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Partly true. I say MMO genre is suffering from a bit of that “burnt out” sickness every genre suffers after several years of massive popularity. Just like with first FPS games. After the Doom there there was a FPS game created every 10 minutes. Then everyone had enough of it … then came Quake and the circle went round and round. Same with MMO. It’s hard to raise a level after WoW but since they managed to do it after Ultima Online – it’s just a matter of time. After new Diablo is realesed whoever forgot why they play MMO in the first place probably will come back to their senses.
    If not… well… to hell with’em – they are bots anyway – organic but still just bots.

  2. December 9, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    “You shall not PASS…………………………….go.”

    I so wanted him to say that…really…

    Anyways, the issue with LOTRO more so than WoW is this perceived lore canon and the fact that the game offers this in spades…

    At least it did at one time..

    It tries to be serious all the time…but, now, the slap heard round the world that started with a “Magic using” class, is dribbling down into the issue with quests also not sticking to lore.

    WoW should easily get away with this, as it is a cartoon in it’s own right. Turbine pushed the hardcore (and oh so boring mechanics) of the story.

    Now, Turbine deserves this attitude.

    Also, the issue with the Zombie event is how it interfered with actual gameplay, which is what the main complaints were. People were stopped from proceeding to quests, etc. Chaos ensued that ruined a players ability to progress.
    The quests in LOTRO just shows how whiny the LORE apologists really are…that MMO is full of them. It does not ruin their progression to other quests or makes them unable to perform (skills that is…)

    Bah, humbug!

    (PS: It is also a noted fact that I am the 100% hateboy for LOTRO, so please try not to misconstrue all above language to be just out of hate, no matter how much it looks that way)

  3. December 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Let me clarify a few points here.

    I’m all for world altering events that change the landscape and advance the storyline of MMO’s. We really haven’t seen much of this lately and it’s a shame. More live events would be fantastic. Mythic seems to be on the right track so far and we can only hope that they continue with the trend.

    On the other hand, “Holiday Events” are usually just full of fluff and never really add anything to these games at all. The notion that these types of events actually bring the community together is laughable. It’s as if the developers don’t have a creative bone in their body. They think “whoa…***insert holiday here*** is coming! I guess we better add some lame items, quests and decorate our capital cities with ornaments so our community actually thinks we give a rip.”

    And these easter eggs of which you speak are all well and good, but do they really add anything to the game besides a brief chuckle?

    How about this? Let’s really blow up these worlds we play in and make them truly alive. Adding a few cute ponies to commemorate “The Harvest Winter Festival of the Ancients” isn’t gonna cut it for me bub.

  4. Chris the Unspeakable's Gravatar Chris the Unspeakable
    December 9, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s comming. Sooner or later they will need to hire someone more than a GMs with qualifications high enough only to ban gold sellers spamming chat windows.

    I say that hired fulled time “trend setters” or someone who would actually play the game and got payed enough to entertain the rest of the population.
    Like sort of full time old school pen and paper Game Masters- “here, we pay you that much, you play on this server, make it interesting for others. Here are the tools and access to admin panel. Just dont mess up with a code and ban 50% of other players”

    I have zillions ideas for the use of this- even little tastes like – personal encounters. You do your quests as usual and out of nowhere there is an epic character aproaching you. NPC at the first glance but after a while you would learn that this is a human being. Those encounters would not have to be often. I can guarantee you that even a couple of them would create LEGENDS.

  5. December 9, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Good points! Oddly enough, I was playing WOW during the Zombie event and I didn’t even notice it. I am definitely a fan of the unexpected in any game, especially an RPG or an MMORPG which are both story driven to some extent. On Easter eggs, I have no opinion as I pay little or no attention to them and I actually find the complainers to be hilarious. I’m not so sure that it’s the whiners who have changed the game as I believe that it the financial rewards that drive the game designers. If a game does not have mass market appeal, it will not sell well and it will not generate subscription money. I do believe that good, quality game ideas and mechanics win out in the long run, but it is a rocky road to gaming nirvana!

  6. December 10, 2008 at 8:47 am | Permalink


    Since when did I say that you were hating on me? I never got that impression, although I’m kinda amused that you thought that I thought that you thought that you were hating on me.

    To quoth Keanu…whoa.

  7. Onigato's Gravatar Onigato
    December 10, 2008 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I remember the Early years of EQ. We had a server GM that sometimes performed world events on the fly. People usually were slaughtered (by choice) fighting the GM controlled monster but it was fun. Back in the day, Surnames were a big deal. I talked to him and was able to get a special surname that I wanted where it included spaces and an apostrophy. That’s right…. ” ‘ “. That was UNHEARD of in EQ… heh. So I had a very unique character name for my druid. It even broke the naming rules policy they later drafted, but my old name was grandfathered in/protected.

    Thaywolf a’Lan Mandragorian

    No comments from the peanut gallery on if that last name looks familiar. ^_^

  8. December 10, 2008 at 9:35 pm | Permalink


    What you failed to mention is how much plat you dropped on the GM so he/she would give you that name.


  9. December 10, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Actually I quite like being able to play these games single player. I’ve said before I’d pay good money for a single player offline WoW.

    At the same time, I think that current MMOs are nowhere close to harnessing the potential of truly massive multiplayer interaction. I would like designers to design better MMOs, and those who seem to want to make single player RPGs that suck up subscription money to wise up and sell their products as the single player games they really should be. *coughBioWarecough*

  10. Onigato's Gravatar Onigato
    December 11, 2008 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    @ Jason


    Back in the early days of EQ, Server GM’s had a lot more power and flexiablilty to do what they wanted. So I just caught her (HIM) in a good mood. Besides, what does a GM need with Plat when he can go to his special place (CM Heaven) and just click NPC merchants for any item he wants for free? LoL

  11. Chris the Unspeakable's Gravatar Chris the Unspeakable
    December 11, 2008 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    GMing is so much more than being an ordinary traffic warden. GM – Game Master, a server GOD. You piss him/her off = you die or your life is miserable. I say one or two “secret wanderers” per server appearing from out of nowhere just to talk to random players asking them to do a quest would be something new. This would make a game less predictable.
    Imagine meeting a Chaos God avatar of some sort in Warhammer asking you to meet them at same place, same time tomorrow and provide them with a sacrafice of human flesh in exhange for a cool item or a special skill.
    The quest would be as simple as getting a group of ppl to “team up” just to offer them as a sacrafice. This is what I call Chaos :)
    Of course your victims would have a chance to survive by winning a fight with a demon, but imagine what kind of spin would it give to an ordinary daily grind…

  12. Onigato's Gravatar Onigato
    December 11, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    This kind of stuff used to happen. But due to bitching of others saying it’s an unfair advantage, bad press, or it going to the GM’s head, most companies have put a serious limit/shackles on what they can do.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Be On the Show! Email Us
Podcast RSS
Blog RSS
Current Poll

How often do you play MMOs?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Blog Categories
Fave Blogs