While writing a reply to Azuriel’s post on whining whiners, I was overcome by a rush of grief. I do not disagree with the overall sentiment; we all know that time means change and that the story of the new generation replacing the old is as ancient as mankind itself. We all know too, or should know, that MMOs are business and part of a capitalist machinery. Indeed, I have written on it myself before.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting online games fashioned after yourself, it would be odd for it not to be so. Most of us are reasonable enough too, to be able to understand other viewpoints while wanting what we want and even to sympathize with the other side, different as it may be.
Yet, there is an insight I believe newcomers of the MMO genre are often missing in these discussions. Be it that they simply lack empathy like that, or the knowledge of history, or the care for either. However, if you were trying to understand and look deeper into the veteran rants, you would discover something else there; something that goes beyond the whining that is particular to anyone just disagreeing with a status quo or trend. There is disappointment for one thing and something a little sadder, too. A melancholy maybe that no newcomer can ever share.
So, I do not ask of anyone to understand who cannot or won’t; but I can assure you that it’s there and it makes a difference. And it’s not a personal thing aimed at the new kids on the block, no – in fact it’s not about you at all. That would be flattering yourself too much.
Since at this point all my chances at a frivolous and merry Friday post on Raging Monkey’s (with apostrophe) have passed, I decided to copy-paste my comment here once more. I actually think this matters.
While I absolutely agree that we should be blaming developers, rather than players and that tastes differ (lol how I hate that one), I think there’s a fundamental difference in ‘whining’ here among both groups which you fail to see. whining both may be, motivations however are usually the interesting part.
you see, there’s something very… well….let’s call it saddening about belonging to the “members of the first hour”. it’s a phenomenon known in many branches mind, not just the gaming industry. it’s the hard core of people who by dedicated support make a brand/industry what it is – sometimes for years on end that little circle of ‘geeks’ are the only audience to keep that business from dying. nobody else cares for it, the mainstream in fact mocks it, but that core remains faithful and makes survival possible for that industry.
then…usually after a couple of years, that business gains some more attention. slowly but surely popularity grows and with it, money too. from there it’s always the same dynamic: popularity = more money, more money = changes/investments to become more popular.
the die-hard circle? well, not needed anymore. of course, that’s capitalism. but there are companies who never forget where they came from, few as they may be, and who always remember the faithfulness of the member of the first hour. many do not.
and you might not understand that, because your entitlement springs from something entirely different. I’d say in both cases entitlement is wrong – but if we have to choose, then the first group has a LOT more reason to feel entitled than the second. and we should always try and understand reasons.
and indeed, this goes into what Oestrus said above too; maybe one day when the faithful have departed for good, you (*ed. the devs) will ask yourself if that was really the right call. but alas, it is greed that will be the end of us all, so much is for certain.
And with that and more gloominess than usual (for which I do apologize), I leave you all for the weekend; I wish you the best you can possibly have.