Real Gamers Don't Game.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | 75

If you're reading this, it's very likely that you have more than a few MMORPG's under your belt. You probably played a lot of video-games as a child, and you likely identify with gamer culture. I can relate to this, definitely, but as I continue to examine the issues with videogames I've come to realize something quite peculiar.

I don't even play games

and you probably don't play games either


Not really, anyway. I'm sure that if you're completely honest with yourself, you probably don't either. At some point, game theory and hype became more interesting and entertaining than the actual products themselves. After all, our imaginations can't disappoint, but game studios definitely can. Sure, we may put in a round of DOTA2 or try the next niche sandbox MMORPG, but if I reflect on the last time a MMORPG made me want to cut classes, skip work, and lie to my cool friends, it's been a really long fucking time.

Nothing lives up to the hype, no game will ever break the mold, and as new gamers become jaded old gamers the cycle persists. I no longer see games in development as 'innocent until proven guilty' because their failure isn't Schrodinger's Cat. The games are dead, and we all know it. It's become so bad that AAA projects where millions of dollars have been spent in development can't even give themselves away, while ones that may never release are more profitable than ever thought possible.

The only games that even pique my interest are independent, and that's only because they're being developed by people who haven't been repeatedly flogged by an uncaring corporate industry. This is sort of a segue into the next section...

Recapturing the Magic

A story about a boy who loves to hate games


The road to redemption is long and filled with whiny forum warriors, but the prize is well worth the journey. We need to get back to a time where people made games because they love games, and not to please shareholders. Nobody runs the risk of actually starving to death anymore, and the barrier between creativity and production is thinner than ever.

We also need development dream-teams to stick together, and not get canned because of publishers imposing ever-increasing and superficial standards where none are needed. Think about how many projects you've seen that had a mish-mash of old derelict BioWare employees who were involved in wildly impressive games. Didn't they do a good job? Not good enough to warrant a paycheck after release, apparently.

Mostly, we just need the old people to retire (or die) and let people who have a vested interest in the industry assume their roles. That sounds pretty bleak, but game trends tend to progress like social issues (slowly), and, one day, we'll all be old fogies being blamed by the younger generations for ruining their telepathy games or whatever. We'll always be wrong, and never understand why... then we'll all die. Sunrise, sunset.

It just takes time.


In the past, I've called trends in game development 'pendular'. We've been on the back-swing a long time, but it's conceivable that eventually we'll make progress again with or without direct action. I find this comforting, as I'm extremely lazy.

I'll leave you with this: Imagine if you will a game with unlimited hype that meets all your wildest expectations. You can't do it, can you? So we continue to call ourselves gamers, and never play games because we're all edgy as fuck. Good day.

75 comments :

  1. Thought provoking read, and I agree mostly, except on two points.

    1) I don't think that the current industry vets are to blame for the lack of innovation or quality in the games we're seeing. No one - whether they've been in the industry for one or twenty years, is willing to put it all on the line to do something amazing. Everyone simply sees dollar signs and measures risk vs reward in terms of investment of both capital and time.

    2) I don't think it's cyclical - I don't think the industry has been around long enough for any real cycles to be established. I think we've been on a downward spiral, especially in the MMO community, ever since WoW came out.

    I also think what we really need to solve this problem is community collaboration. Look at MMO emulators, like SWGEmu or even totally open source MMOs like Planeshift. These are massive undertakings by communities of developers and artists - and they are proof that something can be accomplished if everyone stops worrying about money, and instead focuses on creating memorable experiences for gamers.

    Of course - we're just as much to blame, because we choose to throw our dollars at big name publishers and encourage them to keep investing in the same shtity product that we've all come to hate and shake our finger at.

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  2. You see just as many (or more) problems come out of collaborations than you do out of the 'develop in a cave' approach. Communities are incestuous, and only cater to the vocal minority.

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  3. Outside of MMOs: Game companies could still be developing great games for the SNES/PS1 that
    are infinitely better and more in-depth than a lot of today's games. Indie
    game devs seem to be doing exactly that (especially in graphical style) and expanding on what retro consoles were already capable of but never did.. My only complaint is I'd like to see much better (and more normal) art in indie games (FF6 didn't have balls of light chasing each other, etc.)..

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  4. It's so easy to get graphics in a game now, there really is no excuse anymore.

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  5. I enjoy games that have emersive worlds that you can truely enjoy. I owned a NES and pretty much all of the platform systems to date except the most recent ones. I got tired of paying $50-60 for a game that didnt allow for a more casual experience everyone is all gun ho about end game, end game gotta rush to the end before everyone else does like its some race Im dont feel sorry for anyone who has to stay back in to 8-16 bit world you wanna be there stay there you wanna live your sick and twisted world with games like GTA, Saints Row where it encourages kids to walk up to people in cars and either pull them out and shoot them or just shoot them in the car or just walk up to someone and slam their face into the ground all while naked and dont start with the zombie crap and that crap about Tera and Pedos really your gonna be that juvenile if thats the case then you need to stop playing any games that have young characters in them that includes teen characters hell who knows some of you punks might actually be getting off on some your own little twisted fantasies if you dont like MMO's dont play them and Migue and all of you little pukes under 30 I have played many games long before you were even thought of if you cant tell the diff between reality and virtual reality you have no business what so ever playing any games period cause your obviously either not intelligent enough or have no common sense to know the difference you pukes make me sick. You know what I just though of a few games that are still popular liek yeah FFxi and ARR those have Tarutaru for xi and Lalafel for ARR but I guess you idiots have your heads so far of Tera's rear-end ranting TERA is game for Pedos so does that mean your gonna rant about every game that has race of young looking chars as pedo games oh and about the female armor about females being made into sex objects how many normal whiney women out there do you think can fight battles let alone do it in heels please tell I really wanna know so for all you femmie bum kissers out there did it feel good to get casturated the femtards hmm....I mean since were all adults here right. Serioulsy enough of this Pedo crap grow up already.

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  6. Holy wall of text. Please learn to paragraph.

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  7. Except that art requires artists. The games I've worked on and the game projects I've started and never completed, always are lacking in the art department. I either have to rely on art others have created and licensed for public use, or make my own developer art - which never turns out well.

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  8. The prob. with MMORPGs, is most people must think ok it must be
    Massively Multiplayer in the co=op sense, why else do people cry about
    “oh X player killed me”? Why is balancing such a big pain, I mean ok
    there is some thought that has to be put to it. Why is it so hard
    though, this weapon or spell does +slashing/fire fill the ______ this
    armor guards against _____ type of damage, the answer is so easy, but
    almost no dev. can seem to think of it. Or maybe the reason is they cave
    to the pansies for more $$. Eve has a alright system, they have
    factions, but it is really open PvP. If we must cave make it a system
    more like that high sec/low sec/null. Just add it to something besides
    MS Office. Great point about WoW, (the mostThe prob. with MMORPGs, is most people must think ok it must be
    Massively Multiplayer in the co=op sense, why else do people cry about
    “oh X player killed me”? Why is balancing such a big pain, I mean ok
    there is some thought that has to be put to it. Why is it so hard
    though, this weapon or spell does +slashing/fire fill the ______ this
    armor guards against _____ type of damage, the answer is so easy, but
    almost no dev. can seem to think of it. Or maybe the reason is they cave
    to the pansies for more $$. Eve has a alright system, they have
    factions, but it is really open PvP. If we must cave make it a system
    more like that high sec/low sec/null. Just add it to something besides
    MS Office. Great point on WoW, the most carebear game with War in the tittle I ever played. I tried, thought skrew this crap & quit. I think it would be awesome to have the resources to do a game. I have ideas, but would want help coming up with a cool MMORPG idea, or maybe not put it in that category, So it won't be a magnet for carebears with nerfbats. Ya you think your great axe is powerful, can it kill a whole game. :D I am excited about SoTA, I hope that won't be another letdown. So heres to hopen a true sanbox comes out soon.

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  9. if werent trying to be a dick then why did you say it in the first place
    like the name implys I dont like whiners sides I did'nt know I was taking and English test. Man what is it with people in todays society always looking for something to pick apart or point a finger at I weep for the future of this world and it doesnt take an english major to read that man stop with the prefectionist whining.

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  10. DId you really just copy and paste the same comment twice? Come on...

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  11. Right, but as opposed to the classic systems, there are unlimited tools for artists that all work just fine for games. Artists are a dime a dozen too since we live in a hippie culture.

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  12. I'm not entirely sure that the hype for Stick of Truth helped my impressions of the game, but I guess it's really only been a detriment to ambitious projects.

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  13. As long as you are paying them, sure. A lot of indie projects are unfunded though, or don't try to collect compensation till after the game is finished. Very few artists are willing to work pro bono.

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  14. I said it, because you could make the internet a better place for everyone, just by taking the extra time to use punctuation. I'm not a perfectionist, far from it - I just understand that breaking long diatribes into readable chunks, goes a long way in getting a point across.


    Honestly - you seem to be the one doing the most whining in all of these comments.

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  15. This exact comment was posted in your article about pvp : http://www.ihatemmorpgs.com/2014/08/pvp-defined.html#comment-1534997795

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  16. I don't think hype ever pays off - I think you just feel less disappointed when the game lives up to the hype. It's not like you get anything for being a fanboy, except ridicule from those who don't like the game you are raving about.

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  17. I will attempt to reply to this although I barely understand what the hell you just wrote.


    None of us like Tera. It is shit.


    No one wants to live in 8-16 bit world still but what exactly does graphics have anything to do with gameplay? If the game is fun, I play it.

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  18. I wrote about sort of this the other night; that we buy hype and not
    games anymore. However I am also critiquing MMO veterans including
    myself because we may not have been part of the problem but nevertheless
    we have not been part of the solution either.

    a Critique: Against All Cynics.
    http://massauthority.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/a-critique-against-all-cynics.html

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  19. So sue me, it is a good point I think.

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  20. I stopped being a gamer in favour of becoming a slacker precisely because it's so easy to just imagine 'perfect' games. But the 90s? Really? I've never played any MMORPGs since I got through that 'phase' by playing MUDs. In the 90s... But I've enjoyed playing RPGs and such well into the next decade. Arcanum was great, and it was released 2001. And I've had the occasional relapse into Diablo 2 every now and then, and that was released in 2000. And when I play I usually do want to skip work and sleep to keep playing. But I never actually skip work. Unless you count skipping sleep until I'm unable to stay awake at work. That happened once. In the 90s.

    I was really gung ho about Fallen London when I started almost a year ago. (Does browser-MMOs count?) I still play it just as much, though I've now mostly gone back to sleeping three hours at a time rather than waking up every hour to click on the cards that refresh every 10 minutes but don't accumulate past 60-69 minutes. Not feeling as gung ho about the game now though. Now I just don't want to miss out on resources while waiting for my enthusiasm to return. Which probably would happen quicker if I gave the game a rest instead of paying attention to it every waking hour. If I was still gainfully employed I'd probably try to play it at work too, even though I used to have only sporadic access to a computer.

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  21. The prob. with MMORPGs, is most people must think ok it must be
    Massively Multiplayer in the co=op sense, why else do people cry about
    “oh X player killed me”? Why is balancing such a big pain, I mean ok
    there is some thought that has to be put to it. Why is it so hard
    though, this weapon or spell does +slashing/fire fill the ______ this
    armor guards against _____ type of damage, the answer is so easy, but
    almost no dev. can seem to think of it. Or maybe the reason is they cave
    to the pansies for more $$. Eve has a alright system, they have
    factions, but it is really open PvP. If we must cave make it a system
    more like that high sec/low sec/null. Just add it to something besides
    MS Office. Great point about WoW, (the mostThe prob. with MMORPGs, is most people must think ok it must be
    Massively Multiplayer in the co-op sense, why else do people cry about
    “oh X player killed me”? Why is balancing such a big pain, I mean ok
    there is some thought that has to be put to it. Why is it so hard
    though, this weapon or spell does +slashing/fire fill the ______ this
    armor guards against _____ type of damage, the answer is so easy, but
    almost no dev. can seem to think of it. Or maybe the reason is they cave
    to the pansies for more $$. Eve has a alright system, they have
    factions, but it is really open PvP. If we must cave make it a system
    more like that high sec/low sec/null. Just add it to something besides
    MS Office. Great point on WoW, the most carebear game with War in the tittle I ever played. I tried, thought skrew this crap & quit. I think it would be awesome to have the resources to do a game. I have ideas, but would want help coming up with a cool MMORPG idea, or maybe not put it in that category, So it won't be a magnet for carebears with nerfbats. Ya you think your great axe is powerful, can it kill a whole game. :D I am excited about SoTA, I hope that won't be another letdown. So heres to hopen a true sanbox comes out soon.

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  22. Not really my cup of (fallen) tea, but browser games definitely count.

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  23. Good reading, even when it lacks the proper amount of insults and denigrations, a clear indication that you're getting old and therefore, a fag.
    I agree with you, it's been a long time since i felt that fuzzy warm feeling when playing a great game. Hell, i even have fond memories of my times playing WoW Wrath of the Lich King, when i had tons of friends to raid and PvP with, making it my only actual social situation in a MMO. Now i just mute everyone in every single game because i know they're retards or 13 year old kids (which are the same in most cases).

    I have to say that lately i didn't really "played" a game until i found Divinity: Original Sin, which is a very good RPG similar to Baldur's Gate - of course, nothing can compare to that masterpiece, but D:OS managed to keep me awake until 3am in the middle of the week while solving a weird puzzle or fighting a hard boss. I recommend you give it a try, you'll probably like it (at least until the storylane start to turn into a mess and they put FUCKING ROBOTS AND TALKING SNOWMANS into the mix).
    I assume you already tried the Enhanced Editions of Baldur's so i won't say anything about it, but if you haven't heard about them, then you suck. You suck balls.

    Regards from Argentina.

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  24. You clearly haven't been following my divinity streams.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--oIvLyuYXU

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  25. Nate (if I may; I have a habit shortening names) what are the downfalls of Tera? I lost track of it when I read a Jason's Winter article about why he will not play Tera. Since then I am not sure what they have done to the game or whether they have improved it at all.

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  26. It was made for pedophiles. Avoid.

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  27. Postives: combat is good
    Negatives: Everything else


    Although there are wold boss mobs you can fight that are kind of cool. It is a very repetitive game and I just did not enjoy the leveling experience. Having a capped toon handed to me did not increase my desire to play it.

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  28. You know what I sorry I actually wasted my time coming to sad excuse of a site cause all you do pick apart what everyone says you obviously have some serious hate issues to deal with. Gumbler you could make the internet a better place by not being a perfection arrogant prick. I hope you could read it this time the site is a total waste of vitual space but its been said "HATERS ARE GONNA HATE" so true with you pukes.

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  29. Is your name deliberately ironic?

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  30. "The only games that even pique my interest are independent..." I would be interested in knowing which games these would be. You seem like you know what your talking about, and if you have a hint of a good game, well I want the fucker too!

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  31. When i see the word "stream" i usually just alt + F4 whatever i was reading at that moment. To be honest, i never actually understood the point of it. It's like... watching someone else having fun while playing a game? Why the hell don't you just play it yourself????
    Nevermind, considering the fact that there's probably someone streaming himself taking a dump, and even worst, people watching it, then i guess i'm the problem and not everybody else.
    Now i'm just ranting about random stuff, it's your fault by the way. You created these monsters, complaining at 2am for no reason at all.

    But i'm glad you're enjoying D:OS, i'm just a little disappointed about the fact that the storyline is such a mess. I'm constantly finding NPCs talking about stuff that i've already done like it's a great discovery, or funny quests like bringing the head of the imprisoned goblin to the guy in the miner town, who got gang raped by the villagers moments ago and somehow my characters completely forgot about that small detail.
    And the absolutely WORST thing about this game: every single NPC seems to be joking about something. Everything's a reference to pop culture or a silly pun (Cataclysm WoW anyone?), i have no idea why they decided to come up with that stupid chatting but i hate it with a passion. I feel like i lose a lot of immersion when i talk to mushrooms and they joke about humans, or meeting a depressed troll because he has no girlfriend.
    I guess i just love the more dark and serious ambience of Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale, or even Ultima, to give some common examples.

    Aside from that, it's a very addictive game and the artwork behind it it's awesome. The music is kickass and the graphics are exactly what i look for: simple but appealing to the eye, with isometric view and also i can run it in my wooden computer with no problems at all.

    Good night everyone.

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  32. Oh yeah, my streams are 99% dicking around and 1% dicking around. The game's story is TL:DR and I don't give a fuck about it at all, but the game itself is really quite good. How does that work?

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  33. Putting me on the spot? Games like Rogue Legacy and The Stanley Parable support my argument. Good ideas, not polygons, make good games.

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  34. Hmm, I got Stanley Parable in the steam summer sale. I should check it out.

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  35. Obviously, these games aren't perfect, but the indie tag lets you see past all the missing frills and really appreciate it for being a game. If EA released either of those games, they'd be shitty.

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  36. YEAH Miggy tell us what indie games you're looking forward to.

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  37. I don't think he watched your stream recap.

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  38. I feel like you're expecting a certain answer. Endorsements cost $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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  39. As an English major, I'd like to point out I'm the only one who seems to have made it through the wall of text without complaining. So apparently it DOES take an English major.

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  40. As an English major, yes, you should DEFINITELY COMPLAIN!
    What's wrong with you?

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  41. Miguelito has several times made reference to a game he seems very partial to, it's called "Hyperbole".

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  42. There's a game called Hyperbole? Sounds up my alley.

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  43. I dabbled heavily in Linguistics. I'm a failure to stuck-up grammar nerds everywhere.

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  44. If that were the case, you'd realize that dabbling heavily isn't dabbling at all!

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  45. Im glad i broke myself of this before it became a thing. When Warhammer was in Beta back in 2007/2008 I drove my ass all the way to Boston (from Nashville) to stand in line @ PAX to get a Beta Pass. Sped home, plopped in the code, got "invited", uploaded videos on YouTube exposing it for what it was, immediately banned. Fuckin' Mark Jacobs. I guess in hindsight I should be thanking him.

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  46. Yeah, they were the first company to put out informal video updates CONSTANTLY, and it worked. Now you see that all the time.

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  47. Btw. Archeage is dead in Russia already. Despite 24hour server queues in January it is just another 2 mother

    Also tip of the year for archeage Econ.
    Don't do anything just grow goats on your farm. They make most gold per h. No reason to craft or farm or grind. You will just buy anything you want.
    In Russia and Korea archeage is sometimes called Goatage. All land is filled with goatfarms,mgoatfarms everywhere.

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  48. I'm going to call it Goatage forever...

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  49. Ever think that the problem isn't the games, its us? I keep wondering this. Is it perhaps getting old that made us have such high fucking standards for games? I am a product of the UO and EQ generation.Now I am in my 30s and still call myself a gamer but apparently like you, I no longer play games.


    Probably not, way easier to just blame it on the fact that games these days fucking suck. If I win the lotto I have full intentions of making a re make of DAOC, with no stupid ass shareholders. It will not be kid friendly, it will not be modern titty baby gamer friendly, it will in no way make any fucking money. Guess what? I won't give a shit because I will be to busy playing it by myself. =)

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  50. You're right. People shoot people. And people also make all the shitty games we have to choose from now.

    On another note, with all the gamers like us who say "If I win the lottery, I'm going to make that perfect MMO!", how is it possible that not a single one of us has won it yet? On top of having a lifetime of letdown in gaming, apparently we aren't very lucky either.

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  51. The number of people qualified to make the perfect MMO is a much smaller pool than the number who claim to be qualified. Systems design requires a lot of forethought and effort.


    I'd venture to say that the type of person who thinks they could win the lottery is not the same type of person who thinks about balancing PvP and PvE systems in their spare time.

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  52. For certain, but I think the idea is that IF one wins the lottery, they would at least attempt then to employ somewhat qualified people to help. Then again, who knows. The logistics are a whole different story... I was simply saying there hasn't even been a tough-luck story, "Man wastes entire lottery winnings trying to make his dream game." Although, I suppose Curt Schilling pretty much did that... with his earned money :P

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  53. Curt Schilling is a great analogy. Here's a guy who loved shitty games, so he decided to spend his money to make one. Most people really don't think too deeply about the games they play. I'm pretty envious.

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  54. Early Access is indeed the devil. It front-loads incentive for developers who then blow their load all over Steam, with no real incentive to complete it afterwords. Rust and DayZ are perfect examples, both which have been in Alpha for almost a year, and in Rust's case, they started an "experimental" version, and no longer even work on the original... and they are making it with the money they got. The first Rust is basically a legacy product at this point. Even worse, the people who were most interested in these games become burnt out and are long over it before (and if) it ever actually releases.

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  55. Let's be honest... Most people don't think too deeply about anything.

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  56. Don't get me wrong, I in no way think I can win the lottery. Besides from what I hear you have to play the lottery to win it so that automatically disqualifies me from the whole thing. Just saying, in some alter universe where I actually did play the lotto and won it....


    On a side note I would probably just stick myself as the role of making sure the game doesn't suck and helping with story line, I would totally hire a team of people to do the rest....


    As far as your dislike of DAOC, I don't give a shit, doesn't change that fact it is still one of the greatest games made. Find another game that got the concept of RvR right, or a game that found a balance between PVP and PVE. Not to mention a story line people understand and love. As far as I am concerned they got more things right then any other game since. I am referring to pre TOA expansion by the way, TOA fucked that game over.

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  57. Then WoW happened. Then the Asian's started making games, bringing us to where we today! A steamy cesspool of shit games.


    By the way, I am a female and I really want to know. What the fuck is with the Asian games? All the chick models have huge fucking eyes and giant tits. Is the situation the pathetic that big tits and giant fucking eyes sell more games then a decent storyline these days?

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  58. Rose tinted glasses aside, DAOC did have functional faction PvP, but I'm not a huge fan of restrictive factions. Also, DAOC was extremely grindy, but I suppose that was the norm at the time.

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  59. Even worse are games like TERA that sexualize children far beyond the Hollywood norm.

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  60. Please for the love of all things holy bring back the grind!


    Why your at it, bring back classes. I am so fucking sick of classless games, who thought that was a bright idea? Oh yea, the same people who think not having to invest any time into your character is a good thing.

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  61. As an Ultima Online native, I find classes and grinding to be new ideas, rather than old ones.

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  62. I play Skyrim. League. Mine craft. And occasionally popular titles on the super Nintendo. Everything else in the existence is half baked flopping crap. Don't even get me started on MMOs.

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  63. The only MMO that had me was runescape. And as soon as I got a decent functioning computer I no longer has a trash cup to mask what a horrible game that was. MMOs are a vial curse set forth on gamers where friends are required. Your pockets get triple dipped. The media is just bland it makes you blind.

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  64. Notch was a god to create a game that allowed the player to change it. Why be forced to enjoys bad design desicions when you can mod it a essentially create a masterpiece????? No other gaming industry has done this before.

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  65. The devs that create MMOs are the rubble to the industry. I would even go to say it's fair if they have their families starved out of shame. Runts don't belong in the sight of the best.

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  66. Masterpiece is subjective, and Notch didn't make minecraft for modding. It's just a symptom of being written in shitty Java.

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