This week, I have mostly been quietly raging to myself, as an acute case of the man-flu sapped the energy required to do more.
It’s a funny time to be interested in games. By ‘games’, I don’t just mean the final product that we become the end-user, of course. The whole structure and mechanism around games is suffering from some chronic growing pains, and while wonderful new ideas and possibilities are opening up, teen tantrums seem to be coming along with it.
This time it’s even made its way into the mainstream press, and I see the look people give me when I tell them what I do in my spare time. Then we talk about Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn and I’m forced to smile and politely agree that ‘games don’t really matter, they’re just for kids anyway!’
Understandably, it’s a time of great change; we’ve all been guilty of identifying a little too personally with a commercial product. I can say that with some confidence, knowing this is an MMO crowd.
So we struggle to express our emotions; we make earnest, yet sophomoric, declarations (I’ll be case in point, here) that we know would solve everything if people would just listen. While we may be unsure what it is we want, exactly, we can smell which end of the bull what you’re giving us came out of.
So I’m angry this week; I’m feeling sick, for once I’ve been embarrassed to say I love MMOs and videogames in public and now I check to see what’s been happening and I see WildStar, ArcheAge and Destiny all spoon feeding us crap like we wouldn’t notice.
So forgive me if I take a break this week from talking about how bright our future is while I deal with this.
WildStar has seen the inevitable dip in its user-base and is exploring options for mega-server technology. I’m sorry, but are we expected to believe that Carbine Studios did not expect their numbers to drop after the first few months? I’m sure they’re not stupid, and I don’t think it’s humanly possible to be that arrogant, so they didn’t tell us about their plans. Seems like a pretty smart move, and one that will benefit players, so why not be up front about it?
On the other hand, they’re also claiming they didn’t realize how many players would want to play solo, and that the game is ‘too hardcore’ for many, so they’ll be introducing changes and new features to accomodate.
The plan seems to be to lie to and alienate the players who decided to stick around for the long haul. What a shame. I was really hoping WildStar would pull it out of the bag and be a success story - it’s incredibly well made and the team seem passionate about what they have - but if they carry on like this, I expect they’ll end up yet another casualty of the MMO grinder.