Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Terrible Idea: “It gets good at level 25!”

(It’s time to liven up this blog with some invective. As I read around the blogosphere, I’m often struck by the sheer idiocy of some of the sentiments expressed. The “Terrible Idea” articles will be a series of brief pieces where I yell at people who I think are representing opinions deleterious to the spirit of the MMORPG revolution. Beware that my expressions will be strong.)

My leisure time is valuable to me. If you’re going to give me a game and tell me that I have to play it for thirty hours before I have an honest shot at having some fun, I have better ways to spend my time.

Bootae has it right in this paragraph from his Aion review.

There are 2 key areas that an MMO developer needs to get right. Those being both the starting and end game experience. Your first hours in a new MMO need to grab you by the short and curlies, make you love the experience and drive you forwards towards the level cap. It needs to be good enough that we ignore any mid level grind, our subs happily staying active all the way until end game. (Bootae)

If I don’t see redeeming qualities within the first two to ten hours of gameplay, I’m shelving your game—and probably shelving it for good. I don’t think this is unreasonable whatsoever. If a game doesn’t respect my time enough to give me some of its patented fun content at a relatively early phase, I am not going to respect that game back. I certainly won’t re-up a subscription for a game that doesn’t respect me as a gamer.

“How can you have a valid opinion of an MMO without reaching max level and playing end-game?”

If my opinion isn’t as valid as some crazy grind-happy weeaboo who has spent four hundred hours killing aroused mushrooms, I don’t have a problem with that. I’m not a professional journalist. My opinions are biased towards a certain set of playstyles that are made remarkably clear if you read even the last five posts on this blog. I don’t need to suffer through forty hours of crap to know that a game isn’t worth my time. If it’s not worth my time now and it isn’t worth my time after a few more hours, I have better games that i can play. Even if my opinion is not “objective”, it’s still valuable. I value my time highly and so should you—I don’t put up with this garbage and neither should you.


Marty Runyon said...

I wholeheartedly agree. No matter how good the endgame might be, it's not worth putting up with a bad game that leads up to it.

Tesh said...

I value my time highly. That's why I don't play subscription games. ;)

As for the topic at hand, Shamus has a great article on the same topic:

Give Me Dessert First

I wholeheartedly agree with both of you.

In the comments for Shamus' article over at The Escapist, someone suggested that MMOs are work where you have to qualify for the fun stuff.

They were serious.

This is mindblowing and utterly idiotic. I qualified for "the fun stuff" when I *bought the freakin' game*. If devs don't get that, neither do they get my money. It's pretty simple.

Long past are the days when I prostrate at the altar of the game devs, flagellating myself in the vain hope of catching a few crumbs of fun at the feet of my Liege.

Carson 63000 said...


If you want to build a game that involves four hundred hours of killing aroused mushrooms.. then killing said mushrooms better be as much fun as tearing through packs of enemies in Diablo 2. Or dealing out the headshots in Counterstrike. Or careening through pedestrians in Carmageddon. Or any other activity in any other game which was designed from the start to be a fun game for people who want to have fun, not as an addiction trap for Achiever-type personalities.