MMOs Need More Bastards

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MMOs Need More Bastards

Your MMO could use a few more jerks in it.

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Play EVE.

Nuff said really - plenty of bastards in that still!

Haven't played WoW I see.

EVE currently has some ongoing shenanigans where an alliance is trying to crash the economy for a particularly useful resource. By stockpiling it and then killing anyone trying to mine for it.
And it's working.

This is the best article I have read on the escapist in a long time. I played ultima online back when it was lawless and loved it. Years later I bought a wow subscription under the impression that MMO's had grown more immersive and polished over the years and it hurt to discover that the experience I had fallen in love with was all but dead.

EVE is a good example of the kind of environment Ultima had, Star Wars Galaxies prior to the New Game Experience also had some nice elements of player agency that you wouldn't find in a modern MMO.

What's the point in living in a dead world? Why do people pay to be the slaves to masters who can change the rules of the game at will?

I'd much rather be murdered or cheated by another player than by a thoughtless algorithm building invisible walls and siccing powerful mobs onto me to keep me in line.

There are plenty of places to get your PvP fix around, if you're looking for player conflict. However, I believe you are fundamentally wrong when you say what players want is completely unregulated free-will and open conflict. If they did, games that offer that - like EVE - would dominate the market. They don't; I think consumers have voted.

You can still come across this level of 'realism' in some MUDs. Shame it's hard to translate to the mass market. (just having a pvp server doesnt really count)

ldwater:
Play EVE.

Nuff said really - plenty of bastards in that still!

Or *pick your free MMO game of choice*.

I wouldnt touch wow etc. with yours but Eve interested me for exactly the reasons mentioned in the article. Having said that the idea of playing and the act of playing were poles apart. It just felt like a second job without the pay, having to log in at set times to change skills, mining, etc.

Painful.

If these sandbox games were really as viable as pundits say, then they wouldn't have to spend so much time trying to convince us. I've seen a lot of these types of articles and discussions recently, but a lot of it seems like rose-tinted nostalgia.

There's something else going on here. The real issue is not the loss of true sandbox games. Games like Mortal Online, Wurm Online and EVE all cater to that niche. What's actually bugging the people who make these complaints is that the big dogs aren't sandboxes. They don't just want more sandbox games, they want lots of sandbox games so that they have their pick and so that more money will be put into big AAA sandboxes. Yet they want this in a market that's trending towards less investment (F2P) and is trying to court new, non-MMO players to turn a profit. In the current climate, games that require more commitment and investment aren't nearly as viable as they used to be. The vast majority of players are looking for a weekend diversion or something they can unwind with a couple hours a day. Yes there are players that want to really live in another world, but most just want to vacation in one. They want a room at the resort, they don't want to work there.

EVE is chock full o' bastards

Seriously.... it can be an extremely harsh place.

I played some Mortal Online, a real joy ... here I was practising swinging my blade at a tree ( I understood merely swinging would improve your character use of the weapon ) and a fellow gamer deliberately stood in front of my swing, took a hit and used the ultimate spell in the game... he typed 'guards', then looted my corpse after the gaurdians of justice had beaten me to a pulp. True skill that.

It happens in every game where you give the player too much freedom, Mortal Online I got ganked so often it took me 2 weeks to find a tree to chop down wood, in Age of Conan the players would wait at the spawning point of an area and gank the incoming player before he had actually loaded into the world... he would be dead before he could see the action.

Players wouldnt just act like thieves and bandits in the game world, they would abuse and exploit every glitch possible, hack the game if they could do so safely and pick on new players because its easy... they aint playing the game, they are having fun by purely ruining the game for others, I mean why kill a new player that doesnt have anything of value to take ?
In EvE they have a competition called Hulkageddon... the aim of the game is for players to attack and destroy players that are mining, not to steal the ore or materials but purely as a score tally, x amount of z mining class ship... the ones who destroyed the most was the winner, hell there was even prizes.
That was a lot of fun for the miners you could imagine, as a Hulk costed a lot in ISK plus took a relatively long time to skill up to use... co-incidently the ones who organised the event used to sell many Hulks, and the price of the Hulks shot up.

The true problem is to allow freedom to play as a evil character, but not be a griefer and that is the hard part.

Pretty much what everyone else said, EVE. Overflowing with asshats, bastards, greed-driven corporations, and everyone's riding a high horse.

If you want a world like that play Eve online. Although I would be interested in a fantasy MMO with the same kind of system.

krellen:
There are plenty of places to get your PvP fix around, if you're looking for player conflict. However, I believe you are fundamentally wrong when you say what players want is completely unregulated free-will and open conflict. If they did, games that offer that - like EVE - would dominate the market. They don't; I think consumers have voted.

Yeah, pretty much this.

Sandbox games have always been niche. The vast majority of MMO players are just looking to spend time running around a pretty world with a pretty character, hanging out with friends and generally engaging in good old-fashioned escapism. They definitely don't want their pleasant time to be interrupted by douchebags. This is why casual-friendly themepark MMOs will always be the most popular side of the genre.

For people who want games like the article mentioned, EVE is currently out, ArcheAge will be out soon enough, and Ultima Online is still hanging on. Any more than that and you'll start saturating the market.

EmperorSubcutaneous:

krellen:
There are plenty of places to get your PvP fix around, if you're looking for player conflict. However, I believe you are fundamentally wrong when you say what players want is completely unregulated free-will and open conflict. If they did, games that offer that - like EVE - would dominate the market. They don't; I think consumers have voted.

Yeah, pretty much this.

Sandbox games have always been niche. The vast majority of MMO players are just looking to spend time running around a pretty world with a pretty character, hanging out with friends and generally engaging in good old-fashioned escapism. They definitely don't want their pleasant time to be interrupted by douchebags. This is why casual-friendly themepark MMOs will always be the most popular side of the genre.

For people who want games like the article mentioned, EVE is currently out, ArcheAge will be out soon enough, and Ultima Online is still hanging on. Any more than that and you'll start saturating the market.

Ultima Online is still around, yes, but as I mentioned in the article, it no longer caters to hardcore players. And I know about EVE, but honestly that's just about it. Personally, I don't like EVE, and no, two options (maybe one, I haven't looked into ArcheAge) does not count as "saturating the market." We currently have tons and tons of games using the WoW casual model. I'm not saying that just because a game allows jerks, it is therefore good. That would be like saying "I like sword games, therefore any game with a sword is good." I feel like the market shifted before developers even had the chance to explore the possibilities of working within a free will framework. Like any other business, new ventures tend to follow success. That's the only reason you see 100 games model off of the same rule set, not because consumers have somehow spoken. Yes, more people play Bejeweled than even something as popular as Uncharted, but does that mean Naughty Dog should close down? With only one current viable option, one filled with problems I might add, there's no way you can say that only the WoW model works. I'm waiting for a mainstream game handled by a major company to step up to the plate and try it again. UO wasn't perfect--far from it--but it morphed before allowing the system to evolve and refine. We lost an entire system of gameplay because of that.

Ugh, far too many care about what makes them feel good then rather what's fun.

I played UO. Yes we had griefers, we had people who'd camp the moongates(think public mage portals in the middle of the woods) and every kind of problem.

However. I played a merchant and it was still fun for me. You know why? Because I played it smart and not like an idiot.

Easiest example is seeing someone walk up to a guy covered in black wielding a large halberd and saying "Hey can you give me stuff?" I've seen it happen. So when I go outside of town and see said noobie's body looted, cut apart and the like I laugh it off as he killed himself.

Playing in a Sandbox is fun. You just can't play like an idiot which most people don't bother turning on the brain when they play mmo's like WoW. You know how you deal with griefers? You have fighter friends who know that they get discounts for dealing with people. You build reputations as being protected and willing to barter rather then fight if given a chance( REAL REPUTATIONS NOT BLOODY FACTION MEASUREMENTS). People like you some people don't you deal with it and you play it smart, you know if the road is covered in bodies, time to leave the road and find a new path.

It's just not for this generations easy work, good reward gamers. They've been playing games that for the most part don't care if you are being an idiot or being the smartest gamer on the server. So you end up with a whole lot of gamers who wanderer around a "dangerous" world completely oblivious to any threats because they have no threats and if they do encounter a threat they consider it a exploit of a griefing and not gameplay. It's sad.

Skill balance issues aside(tank mage, tank magers everywhere..) UO was a great idea and it's sad it's still the most open mmo I can think of.(Sorry eve, you don't have a cooking and begging skill..)

I played Conan which was pretty much like this and the result was no one ever got anything done or made any friends because everyone was fighting each other. Ultimately it failed...

I much prefer the set factions of horde and alliance in WOW tbh rather than a crazy and pointless free for all.

EVE Online as has been said before. PVP with real tangible risk and reward is awesome, shame fantasy mmos are too concerned with making players grind and run instances to give them real pvp.

A fantasy MMO with similar systems to EVE
99% player driven economy
gear 'fittings'
passive game progress like the skill training in EVE
real risk in PVP/PVE
no hand holding of players like gear protection, banning scammers, banning lite griefers and completely safe zones
no classes, everyone has access to the same arsenal potentially

and the main thing that every fantasy mmo I've ever played is missing, actual exploration with hidden non static sites like maybe temples, ruins, villages etc.

That would be tits

I applaud you, as I also like gameplay such as this. However, the game I played was a more recent one. Minecraft, and on anarchy servers, not the other ones. I enjoyed the almost schizophrneic nature and horrific atmosphere the game articulated, but I myself was probably the closest thing to a "good guy". I've only griefed twice, I've stolen from people maybe five times, and both of those crimes were necessary for my survival. It was a dog eat creeper world, and one I couldn't get enough of. Sadly, it seems the anarchy servers' fate will be similar to Ultima's. I have yet to find an anarchy server that I enjoy. Most feel too heavily modded or have too much of a bad playerbase (by bad, I mean people who prefer to add mods to the server)

The most fun I've had with an MMO was in the WoW vanilla, back when flying mounts where not there to ruin outdoor PvP and classes where still unbalanced enough to make things challenging and/or easy. When Stranglethorn Vale was a gank fest and, as a leveling druid, your only capable pvp ability was moonfire spamming the ally.

I think it was also fun because the game was new, fresh, and very few people actually KNEW how to play anything. After a while it wasn't just the expansions that ruined the fun, it was the players too. Sure, the story in WotLK was awesome and the idea of war was cool, but all the freedom we used to have was lost so that we could spend our days leveling in a "social" RPG and our high end time in the air on our mounts or in some fancy city. There were no more 40-man raids moving to MC and meeting another 40-man raid and duking it out.

So no, I don't think we need more assholes. I think we need less rule-based games. The assholes are still there, they're just sterile.

Mike Kayatta:
Ultima Online is still around, yes, but as I mentioned in the article, it no longer caters to hardcore players. And I know about EVE, but honestly that's just about it. Personally, I don't like EVE, and no, two options (maybe one, I haven't looked into ArcheAge) does not count as "saturating the market." We currently have tons and tons of games using the WoW casual model. I'm not saying that just because a game allows jerks, it is therefore good. That would be like saying "I like sword games, therefore any game with a sword is good." I feel like the market shifted before developers even had the chance to explore the possibilities of working within a free will framework. Like any other business, new ventures tend to follow success. That's the only reason you see 100 games model off of the same rule set, not because consumers have somehow spoken. Yes, more people play Bejeweled than even something as popular as Uncharted, but does that mean Naughty Dog should close down? With only one current viable option, one filled with problems I might add, there's no way you can say that only the WoW model works. I'm waiting for a mainstream game handled by a major company to step up to the plate and try it again. UO wasn't perfect--far from it--but it morphed before allowing the system to evolve and refine. We lost an entire system of gameplay because of that.

The problem is, people can only play so many MMOs at the same time, especially if, like a sandbox game, they're hardcore and require a lot of attention in order to be played right. Casual themepark MMOs have more freedom in this regard. Since the potential market for sandbox games is tiny compared to that of themepark games (see here), new sandbox games would mostly end up digging into each other's playerbases rather than reaching out to new players.

It's unlikely that a WoW-like phenomenon will occur with a sandbox game, because WoW got lucky: it came out right when people were beginning to see computers, the internet, and games as something for everyone rather than just for the nerds, and that combined with its casual appeal made it able to nab millions of people who had never really been gamers before. The hardcore crowd that a lawless sandbox game would appeal to are already playing games for the most part, so you're not likely to see a massive explosion of new players from an untapped market in that case.

And since MMOs cost so much to make, developers tend to aim for netting as many players as possible rather than trying to please a niche. This is why ArenaNet has decided to abandon the PvP systems that made the original Guild Wars so notable: it just wasn't financially viable for them to add them to Guild Wars 2, because the population that cared about them was so small. They decided instead to perfect a system that more people could enjoy, inspired by popular games like Team Fortress 2. This decision made a small portion of their fanbase very angry, but those people are small change compared to the number of people they could bring in with a more accessible system.

If ArcheAge does well, we might see a few more sandbox MMOs cropping up in the future. But as I said before, and for all the reasons I've already mentioned, they will always be niche and there will never be many of them.

I do rather agree with the article in that the premise was abandoned too prematurely.

There are so many ways to expand on a free world MMO that could go a long way to overcoming the fear of being preyed upon mindlessly and open it up to a wider audience.

Take looting player corpses. It's easy to make a system that rewards a kill yet doesn't strip the victim of all their possessions. A random item could be dropped appropriate to the victim's level but they don't loose their actual gear. All their gold on them, however, could be taken. Smart solution: use a bank. We don't all carry our wealth on us everyday in real life so if you're a smart player you leave most in a secure place, especially if you're going somewhere dangerous.

Towns could have safer areas than others. Being in a highly populated part with many guards would be a safe bet but to an organised raid you're still in danger of dying. It wont stop a nimble fingered pick-pocket unless a guard catches them or indeed a rogue merchant however.

I could go on but my time is limited. There really is so much you could do with this.

krellen:
There are plenty of places to get your PvP fix around, if you're looking for player conflict. However, I believe you are fundamentally wrong when you say what players want is completely unregulated free-will and open conflict. If they did, games that offer that - like EVE - would dominate the market. They don't; I think consumers have voted.

The problem is, there ARE gamers who want completely unregulated free will.

Face of Mankind, an MMO that I was recently kicked out of for supporting a griefer group, had actually gone through a civil war.

The developers said that players, who up until then made their own laws and voted for their own leaders, that the developers would be takign over the 'government' to ensure players could have fun.

What they didn't know is that a vast majority of players already were having fun with the political intruige and cross faction politics, with a hint of combat here and there.

A group was all for it, openly supported the developers. This same group were the ones who were angry that they could be killed for doing anything [since Face of Mankind is one of the few open PvP mmo's still around], disregarding the fact almost all the factions had self regulations about attacking fellow faction members or other factions.

The other group knew what was eventually going to happen, which did happen, and took up arms to make the developers realize that nothing was wrong, that the world was thriving.

in the end, almost every High Command of every faction that didn't side with the developers was perma-ban'd, and those that did side with the developers became hated with the community.

Essentially, you were either part of the pre-fuck up playerbase, or you were part of the post-fuck up playerbase.

Why did I get kicked out of the mmo? BUILT [the 'griefer' group] joined the FDC [the games military faction] because we sucked. With the exception of a handful of players, the military for the game was nothing more than cannon fodder, and was no longer fun for players.

All I said in Teamspeak 3 was "Hey, missed you guys", and immediately, despite my previous actions, despite working with the internal security division, and despite personally leading raids on colonies that we had objectives on, I was a troll.

So said a player who just happened to be higher rank than me, who was also one of the players whom was whining to the developers.

But, that story might of gotten of track....

Look at games that does have open PvP in them, if players didn't want open pvp or total free will, then those games would not have those servers on them.

Darkfall [through all it's failures] is a prime example of this. During it's development, every fan I talked to about it had something in common, they used to play Ultima Online, before it became the carebear game it is today.

Players want free will, they want a world that they can make their own, but we are forced to play by the rules of companies who really only look to profits.

One reason I'm in my second or third year of developing my mmo from scratch.

This sounds like the same issues in playing any online multiplayer game! It also sounds like Netflix's cluster fuck up on raising it's prices 60% when new competition has entered into the once monopolized online video streaming market.

I hope if the Fallout MMO gets off the ground there will be plenty of player-controlled dickery.

Kudos! Well written and very valid.

I did not have the pleasure of playing in UO during those days. My first MMO experiences came from Everquest, and honestly much of the scenarios youve describe ring ever so true with me because of what Everquest originally was.

Everquest at one time (the Brad's Vision days before Planes of Power) held elements of what is discussed here. Back in the day it was up to the player to "carve out your own story" within the game. It wasnt encouraged, it was essentially expected. There was such a joy to that.

However that is something that was the absolute best thing of MMOs. An experience unlike any other you could have at that time that was truly like immersing yourself in another world. Modern MMOs make no attempt to even try to create an experience like that. (Well Arguably EvE online does, but its more on an economic vein) And really I think that is why I have basically all but given up on MMOs as a genre because none of them even attempt to hold a candle to the adventure I crafted for myself in the interest of being "fair" and "Fun" for everyone. I am hoping ToR or GW2 might be able to recapture a little glimmer of this, because it was truly one of the best experiences gaming I have ever had in my life, Even though I ended up at the time breaking a keyboard as well as ruining the right click on my mouse out of frustration at the time.

And now that I think about it, What they say about WoW is true... They did soooo much for the MMO genre =/

Heres hoping someone will be able to recapture that formula and create a new world like that because it is sorely missed, and NOT being serviced in the modern age.

EVE Online is the exception, and I find that an extreme shame. I play and enjoy modern MMO's, but in every single one, I'd be telling people, 'I'd be playing Ultima Online if the bizarre camera angle didn't make me feel sick.'

Even modified, UO is leagues ahead of every other game in terms of player freedom.. okay except perhaps EVE Online again, but it beats that in a few areas. There are a few games trying to bring that back but.. unfortunately they're all independent projects with horrifyingly poor graphics implementation. Okay some not quite so, but the most advanced one at present has eyeballs poking through the sides of characters' heads.

I think.. it's a mark of the transitional phase we're in. Online worlds have evolved technologically that they're no longer a niche product, but still aren't advanced enough to present a proper, living world, something much more easily spoofed with Ultima Online's original time and playerbase. Maybe once it can be done more truly .. we'll get a step closer.

I also think the insistence of players on 'quests' as acceptable content is another problem factor. 'Quests' and 'raids' were a symptom of trying to give players the illusion of a meaningful existence in a world that, for various reasons (including technological) would always render their actions meaningless. The genre needs desperately to get away from static content like quests scripted out by developers. My first MMORPG was Ragnarok Online, and people may think me weird for saying, but I haven't felt as free in an MMO (EVE-aside) since leaving it for more Westernised, quest-driven fare.

God knows, I pine for the day I can play a merchant in a medieval-fantasy world, and derive a meaningful experience simply from trying to take goods from one town to another against risks of nature and everyone else. .. Think Spice and Wolf >.>

Maybe we'll get a step closer to the 'online worlds not games' situation come CCP's World of Darkness job.. thanks for the nice article.

viranimus:
Kudos! Well written and very valid.

I did not have the pleasure of playing in UO during those days. My first MMO experiences came from Everquest, and honestly much of the scenarios youve describe ring ever so true with me because of what Everquest originally was.

Everquest at one time (the Brad's Vision days before Planes of Power) held elements of what is discussed here. Back in the day it was up to the player to "carve out your own story" within the game. It wasnt encouraged, it was essentially expected. There was such a joy to that.

However that is something that was the absolute best thing of MMOs. An experience unlike any other you could have at that time that was truly like immersing yourself in another world. Modern MMOs make no attempt to even try to create an experience like that. (Well Arguably EvE online does, but its more on an economic vein) And really I think that is why I have basically all but given up on MMOs as a genre because none of them even attempt to hold a candle to the adventure I crafted for myself in the interest of being "fair" and "Fun" for everyone. I am hoping ToR or GW2 might be able to recapture a little glimmer of this, because it was truly one of the best experiences gaming I have ever had in my life, Even though I ended up at the time breaking a keyboard as well as ruining the right click on my mouse out of frustration at the time.

And now that I think about it, What they say about WoW is true... They did soooo much for the MMO genre =/

Heres hoping someone will be able to recapture that formula and create a new world like that because it is sorely missed, and NOT being serviced in the modern age.

Thanks!

I was wondering when an EverQuester would jump in. I remember back in the day there was a major rivalry between the two games. Eventually EQ won out, but to this day I've never even tried it because of my "UO pride." Looking back, I feel as though I just missed out for no reason. :) It's such a shame that games like UO and EQ are some of the few games out there that you really can never replay. If you missed them, you missed them forever...and that sucks.

Any of the players I DM for can attest to the suffering that makes for a fun game.

BlindTom:
This is the best article I have read on the escapist in a long time. I played ultima online back when it was lawless and loved it. Years later I bought a wow subscription under the impression that MMO's had grown more immersive and polished over the years and it hurt to discover that the experience I had fallen in love with was all but dead.

EVE is a good example of the kind of environment Ultima had, Star Wars Galaxies prior to the New Game Experience also had some nice elements of player agency that you wouldn't find in a modern MMO.

What's the point in living in a dead world? Why do people pay to be the slaves to masters who can change the rules of the game at will?

I'd much rather be murdered or cheated by another player than by a thoughtless algorithm building invisible walls and siccing powerful mobs onto me to keep me in line.

Thanks! Originally, I really wanted to mention the Galaxies thing (though I didn't have room for it) because it's such a great example of how developers listen to all the wrong people when making changes. I think the point was proven the second that game lost most of its player base after its "reworking." The whining vocal minority is such a pain in the ass. I think devs should start prioritizing complaints by level and/or time with game. Not ignoring the newbies, mind you, just listening more to the vets who have been spending subscription money for months and months...you know, the actual reason the game became a success to begin with.

ASnogarD:

In EvE they have a competition called Hulkageddon... the aim of the game is for players to attack and destroy players that are mining, not to steal the ore or materials but purely as a score tally, x amount of z mining class ship... the ones who destroyed the most was the winner, hell there was even prizes.
That was a lot of fun for the miners you could imagine, as a Hulk costed a lot in ISK plus took a relatively long time to skill up to use... co-incidently the ones who organised the event used to sell many Hulks, and the price of the Hulks shot up.

The true problem is to allow freedom to play as a evil character, but not be a griefer and that is the hard part.

That seems like a smart business plan to me..

Hire pirates to destroy ships knowing those ships would need to be replaced then sell the replacements for a profit over what you payed the pirates.

I was in a corp who focused on things like this. There are also Merc groups miners could have hired to protect them, they chose not to. Or joined a Mining Corp that mines in groups with guards for protection, I have hired myself out to protect mining operations before as well...

These people arent greifers, they are using their brains which seems anathema to a lot of people these days.

Parnage:
Ugh, far too many care about what makes them feel good then rather what's fun.

I played UO. Yes we had griefers, we had people who'd camp the moongates(think public mage portals in the middle of the woods) and every kind of problem.

However. I played a merchant and it was still fun for me. You know why? Because I played it smart and not like an idiot.

Easiest example is seeing someone walk up to a guy covered in black wielding a large halberd and saying "Hey can you give me stuff?" I've seen it happen. So when I go outside of town and see said noobie's body looted, cut apart and the like I laugh it off as he killed himself.

Playing in a Sandbox is fun. You just can't play like an idiot which most people don't bother turning on the brain when they play mmo's like WoW. You know how you deal with griefers? You have fighter friends who know that they get discounts for dealing with people. You build reputations as being protected and willing to barter rather then fight if given a chance( REAL REPUTATIONS NOT BLOODY FACTION MEASUREMENTS). People like you some people don't you deal with it and you play it smart, you know if the road is covered in bodies, time to leave the road and find a new path.

It's just not for this generations easy work, good reward gamers. They've been playing games that for the most part don't care if you are being an idiot or being the smartest gamer on the server. So you end up with a whole lot of gamers who wanderer around a "dangerous" world completely oblivious to any threats because they have no threats and if they do encounter a threat they consider it a exploit of a griefing and not gameplay. It's sad.

Skill balance issues aside(tank mage, tank magers everywhere..) UO was a great idea and it's sad it's still the most open mmo I can think of.(Sorry eve, you don't have a cooking and begging skill..)

Ahh I remember the good ol days of UO, Started out as a vender in a player run tavern near Moonstone! Eventually moved up to building golems while training myself up in the moonglow graveyard.

It was beautiful seeing people relaxing near a fireplace sharing stories while player servers sold ale and off at another table a couple of people played high stakes backgamon and there were two player guards at the front of the tavern to keep out bandits.

I miss those days.

Mike Kayatta:
MMOs Need More Bastards

Your MMO could use a few more jerks in it.

Read Full Article

Kudos on the article. This is the first one that has ever brought a tear to my eye remembering all the good times I had back in those days, articles dont normally do that to me!

Bravo!

(Sorry double post)

The reason the model is used is that it no one wanted to open the box and deal with the real issues, how do you give freedom to the masses and clamp down on the griefers and monkey wrenchers? If they could answer that then you would see freedom but until getting rid of those sad slack jawed no skill talentless greifers is one of the main focuses you will see casual players scrambling for the safe games that don't allow people to ruin what they barely have time to enjoy as they are having to work more and play less.

Interesting fact most griefers are students or low income slave labor meaning they have the most time and are the most bored, both egual a bad time for someone in a game. Ala EVE online! I know as I was a miner in that game and spent a long time dealing with griefers.

Yeah I know I'm in the minority but while I love their RTS's I've never liked Blizzard RPG's. The genre has evolved since but from a period around 2000-2005 the much deeper and slower paced CRPG's like Fallout or Balders Gate were phased out in favour of quick mindless hack & slash Diablo clones. Blizzard is a weird company when it comes to RPG's, they don't really craft them the same way a Bioware or Bethesda does, but rather go an almost Farmville-like route by making it them widely accessible with an intentionally systematic design to keep people grinding away for countless hours.

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