Free Respec Taken Away…

Allow me a little latitude, if you will, and I will give you some background. Glow Girl’s alter-ego works for the US government. I do work in the field of intelligence and I work in a place that is open 24-hours a day, every single day of the year bar none.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there were about three people manning a room of about a hundred desks. Hospitals were open. The police department was working overtime. The grocery stores were closed. The department stores were closed. Every non-emergency place with very few exceptions were closed to give people time to be with their families.

Yet this showed up on the forums the day before Christmas Eve:

Well its been a week since the official Warshade/Peacebtringer thread was created and we have a huge amount of feedback from the community with no responce from the devs. Now that Christmas is around the corner that only compounds the negligence. So I’m hoping the devs notice this thread, since obviously they dont read the one they created.

Christmas compounds the negligence? Let’s see. Is this aimed at the people who have worked extra hours, seem to be in the office fixing bugs and answering complaints in the middle of the night, and post to the forums more than any MMO Development team? Does the alleged negligence enter into the equation once a programmer who has worked on this project decides to go and spend some of the money he’s earned to buy his kid a Big Wheel?

As they say in forum-speak: IMHO, the only thing I see compounded is ignorance with posts like that. While the poster is most likely writing from his home waiting in anticipation of a moist turkey breast, he’s wondering why a Developer isn’t ignoring his family so he can work on Warshade community feedback.

On Christmas Eve, at 2:49AM, that same thread received this post:

We do read the threads. However, some of the Devs are with their loved ones right now celebrating the holidays. It may be a few days before dev posts pick back up. Thanks for understanding everyone – and Happy Holidays.

Cuppa “not(sic) I am NOT responding to posts at 2:50 am on Christmas Eve” Jo

Whoah. We’ve got a community rep working on Christmas Eve? I work in a room that protects the nation and I’m not working on Christmas Eve.

In fact, CuppaJo posted more on Christmas Eve, including having to moderate some threads because people can’t seem to be nice. Grammar nit-picks, posters telling other posters their problems aren’t important, and outright flames populated the boards like a bacteria colony. Even the holiday cheer couldn’t cure this sickness.

Here’s a sampling of posts I read on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:

* One particular dolt 2 days ago wanted to do the synapse TF and invited me 3 friggen times.
* Pull that stick outta your [censored], youll probably feel better.
* or maybe….. you’re lying your [censored] [censored] off.

What has the gaming community come to when they take the time to log-in and complain that other peoples’ family time is cutting into their entertainment? At precisely what point should I become disgusted at some player’s lack of perspective beyond the orbit of their own head? I can tell you the answer to that because I have arrived at that point.

This game has the most responsive Development and Community Rep staff of any MMO ever. This is beyond contestation. I’m not a fanboi (or fangrrl) and I have my gripes. The one thing I simply cannot fathom is how support for this game can be dinged in any way.

Simply put: If this support staff doesn’t make you happy, stop playing all MMOs. You will never achieve happiness in this type of game.

When I titled this article I did so to prove a point. People will come in droves to find out why something that takes programming, testing and design is being canceled. Very few even bat an eye when something gets fixed.

Check out the forums if you don’t believe me. The longest threads are the complaints. Find me one over 5 pages with a “thank you” for fixing a bugged mission while the players were still on-line.

MMOs are powerful because they aren’t just a virtual world where you show up, interact with a bunch of pixels on your hard drive, and log-off having spoken to nothing but the ether. There’s people behind the heroes. There’s people behind the buildings and baddies. Thousands of people across servers on both sides, player and developer. This makes a community.

City of Heroes, Cryptic Studios, has gone out of their way to build a real community by hosting forums, town hall meetings, and actually having people at all levels up to the Lead Game Designer respond to players. As part of that community you have a social responsibility as you would in any community. When you see or read someone post, exploit, or killsteal it’s up to you as a member of that community to do something about it.

If someone runs down the Development Team on the forums and you think they’re wrong, tell them. If you see something that hurts the community in the game, tell them. Communication helps build community.

Petition, post, and participate. These are my 3P’s for the New Year.

To the team over at Cryptic: Thank you for working your tails off to give me a much needed diversion from my day. Take it from Glow Girl, you deserve any time off you were able to take.

To everyone in the community: Even if you don’t celebrate the season in the same manner that I do, I still hope you have good fortune on the days I call Christmas and New Year. I hope you have a light heart and experience some joy. And I dearly hope you appreciate what it is you have instead of lamenting what you don’t.

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