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Op Ed

Gamasutra - Can Games Become 'Virtual Murder?'.
If, in this hypothetical future, we're capable of stripping away our empathy and compassion to murder a 99% realistic virtual human (and maybe even enjoy it), will we be psychologically any different from people who actually murder those of flesh and blood? Having perhaps unintentionally trained ourselves to become cold-blooded killers through systematic desensitization, will we be emotionally capable of doing the same thing in waking life?

IncGamers - WoW is Killing itself. Thanks Ant.
Yeah, that's right, you heard me. WoW is in the act of committing suicide, and Blizzard don't even know it. Now, before you get all huffy and angry with me (save that for later, you Blizzlovers, you), allow me to give you a bit of background. And when I say background, I mean way, waaaaay back, to the games that inspired WoW in the first place, and to where these games went wrong.

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15. Re: fundamental problems in WoW article Jul 3, 2009, 04:41 peteham
 
WoW is committing suicide, but it's not because of raids and battlegrounds... it's because Blizzard is getting progressively lazy with their content (just look at their just released preview of the upcoming T9 armor sets; all cloth sets look the same, all plate sets the same etc.)
Heh, this is exactly the sort of thing I WAS expecting from that article.

Regarding T9 sets and how they look, what percentage of the player base do you think will ever obtain most of those items? My guess is very small, less than 10%. While I was still playing the game, the bulk of which was pre-TBC, there was at at most 2-3 guilds per faction doing the latest stuff. BWL accessible? Only the top guilds were able to progress there in the beginning. You know, the ones with members who could dedicate entire evenings to progression, week after week. AQ made this even more pronounced, with ever mounting repair costs and potion-farming taking up even more time. The large majority will never see this content until it's nerfed into oblivion.

To me, blizzard trying to open up some of the stuff, making it playable by a larger potion of the player-base, is unquestionably a good thing. Just as making both raids and instances shorter time-wise for TBC was a good thing. Of course, the hardcore raiders always piss and moan about carebears and easy-mode. Naturally, I have no problem seeing that if someone has spent twice the amount of time on something, they should be rewarded accordingly, but what's so bad about some not-so-hardcore players getting to finally see the insides of Nax etc.? To you this may be recycled content but to most players it isn't. Slightly inferior drops also seems like a good trade-off to me.
and is trying too hard to make end-game appeal to ALL castes of players, instead of catering to the hardcores that made the game popular in the first place.
Cue the requisite hardcores-made-this-game-what-it-is line.

In any case, I think the whole "Blizzard is killing WoW" argument is crap. It certainly doesn't look as if they're struggling to me, at least not any more than they should with a framework that's starting to show considerable age. They could probably lose half their subscribers and still be the biggest MMO out there. And unless everyone suddenly quits overnight, which seems unlikely, they'll have plenty of time to downsize as needed when the recession eventually starts to occur. WOW will go on and be sustainable for at least as long as EQ if Blizzard decides to keep it on life-support. Though of course, for the final hold-outs, they will have to change their direction somewhat but as of right NOW, I don't think the most significant part of their revenue-stream comes from hardcores..

This comment was edited on Jul 3, 2009, 05:18.
 
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14. Re: fundamental problems in WoW article Jul 2, 2009, 21:35 eunichron
 
It was large scale raids and battlegrounds that made WoW popular in the first place. For anyone that played the game since Day 1 can tell you, the population was fairly small until Blizzard started implementing more raid-friendly mechanics (MC was originally nearly impossible because stats such as Defense for tanks and Spellpower for casters didn't even exist in the game)... and the popularity of WoW exploded between the releases Blackwing Lair and Naxxramas because of the polish and ease of access to the raiding game (at least comparably to EQ and DAoC), and the maturation of battleground PvP.

WoW is committing suicide, but it's not because of raids and battlegrounds... it's because Blizzard is getting progressively lazy with their content (just look at their just released preview of the upcoming T9 armor sets; all cloth sets look the same, all plate sets the same etc.), and is trying too hard to make end-game appeal to ALL castes of players, instead of catering to the hardcores that made the game popular in the first place.

This comment was edited on Jul 2, 2009, 21:35.
 
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13. Re: fundamental problems in WoW article Jul 2, 2009, 18:51 space captain
 
First up: EverQuest. EQ was a very, very good game.

wrong. thanks anyways
 
Go forth, and kill!
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12. Re: munch munch Jul 2, 2009, 18:38 space captain
 
when they really nail down the tech that can create a virtual reality by feeding signals directly into your brain - thats when the dream will grow teeth

the externalization of humanity's power will be complete, and the invisible Skynet megacorp will slurp that juice like a vacuum powered whore
 
Go forth, and kill!
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11. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 16:51 Buckermann
 
Dear Hellbinder,
the world is changing. That's just how it is, even if you don't like it. And while it seems that the youths get ever violent, I'd like to inform you that violent crimes have steadily declined over the past 25 years in western, developed countries.

But I have my own theory why you think that everybody is rude, filthy, mean and out of control:
Nobody likes a preaching, self-righteous, intolerant know-it-all. If you act like a asshole, you will be treated like a asshole.

Have a nice day.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 16:40 Beamer
 
He makes a good point, though (and editorials split into two parts aren't uncommon, if always annoying.)

MMOs do die when people get to the end-game. Just a fact of life. They get to the end-game and need to find a way to keep people happy. While the developers try to figure that out a new game comes out with a new mechanic and tons of sweet new gear. The old king withers and dies - the people just wanted a new challenge.

I don't play MMORPGs so I don't know what WoW is doing or if it's working. I just know that they need to do something or else something new will come along. Yeah, they've got that whole critical mass thing, but so did Everquest. Hell, so did Myspace. Eventually something supplanted both of them. It's inevitable that something will with WoW, too. It'll just be fun to count how many fail miserably before one succeeds.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 16:40 sir
 
The WoW article reads like a jaded Blizzboy's rebuke of his former lover. He doesn't spend much time discussing the game in question, and when he does he makes a few observations that thousands of halfwit trolls made when raids were introduced to the game back in 2005. Is he serious when he asks why did Blizzard introduce them? Can he really not figure it out? Tune in next week and I might give you a dull, uninspired answer....  
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8. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 15:08 nin
 

Hey guys, it's Hellbinder! Fuck fuck fuckity fuck!

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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7. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 15:05 Cutter
 
Virtual murder? Like what occurs in books, radio, TV, and films already and has for a century now? You mean that sort of virtual murder? And just like cartoons, oddly enough this has inspired massive waves of homicide. Why's that? Oh yeah, because most people can tell the difference between fantasy and reality FFS! Most of the OpEds we get are pretty asinine, but these two today really are ludicrous.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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6. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 14:51 Hellbinder
 
its just amazing reading the utter filth that comes out of your mouths as you spew profanity and violence at someone for writing an article about game violence.... while you claim that game violence and media violence has no effect.

Do you really think that people used to act, talk and think like you people? your filthy in your minds and hearts. People everywhere are rude and out of control. Teens and young adults are foul mouthed violent, rude and selfish.

funny, i don't see that kind of behavior out of kids raised by there parent without exposing them to the games, music, movies and TV of today.

You are all walking examples of how the media has ruined this generation. the next generation is even more scary.

You are all brain washed, filthy minded, violent, rude and mean. The celebration of that kind of behavior put into your minds for years is a large part of the reason.

Wake up to how you act and think and see the truth.
 
The Whales name is Bob.
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5. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 14:45 Zadig
 
PVP and raids are killing MMO’s? That’s nonsense. His description of the alarm clock ops in Dark Age of Camelot is exactly how the strategic PVP in Eve works, yet it continues to grow. PVE players will go where the best treasure is, regardless of whether it’s fun or not. Farming is a bigger danger than “raids” to an item based game.

What kills an MMO is habitually raising the level cap. It starts the downward spiral that leads to ghost towns and painfully simplified content (“dumbing down”). Developers need to stop remaking Everquest and look at other business models besides “make WoW clone”.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 14:42 Ruffiana
 
Why the fuck do we give more merit to people's opinions if they're posted on a game site, blog, whatever? The whole concept of what makes someone a 'journalist' on the internet is a joke.

This is just some random douchebag no one's ever heard of posting an 'editorial' as if he's some kind of qualified expert rather than just another random MMO player who's somehow convinced someone to let him post his opinions no an official game site rather than tossing it out into the game forums to fester like the rest of the shit posted by every fanboy or hater of every game ever made.

This is a rant against Everquest and DAoC...nothing more substantive than that.
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 13:22 Agent.X7
 
I love predictive journalism. Keep spouting the same shit over and over, and if/when it actually comes true, you can claim you knew it all along.  
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2. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 12:32 peteham
 
Goddamn it, the lengths sites will go to, to get hits!
Yeah. A cliffhanger for an editorial, wtf?
Was pretty much expecting a hardcore WOW-player's rant when I saw the headline/summary, but it turned out to be an interesting read. It still depends on his conclusion, though. To be continued

He does bring up some interesting points, and apparently has a fair amount of MMO experience. I was once a casual WoW player myself, and his observations seem correct to me. Can't remember any patches where they really introduced anything of substance aside from raid dungeons. Perhaps a new battleground once in a great while. In any case, loads of effort spent for the minority that raids regularly. Even though these people probably constitute their subscriber backbone, the amount of effort leveled at them seems a little bit disproportionate.

On that note, I hear that Lich King (which I haven't played) has introduced an easy-mode for raid dungeons. Sounded like a good thing to me; at last I would've been able to see some places I'd only heard of previously. My semi-hardcore buddy did not agree, though, and I can sort of see that angle as well.
 
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1. Re: Op Ed Jul 2, 2009, 10:38 InBlack
 
Fucking game journalists, "Here is this really interesting theory, but come back next week when I will proceed to MAKE MY POINT!"

Goddamn it, the lengths sites will go to, to get hits!

This comment was edited on Jul 2, 2009, 10:55.
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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