Friday, September 3, 2010

Schadenfreude and the delusional gamer

I’m perpetually in the middle ground. Very rarely do I get so caught up in my opinion or beliefs that I can’t on some small level understand someone else’s opposing beliefs. The problem where I do experience this sort of fanaticism is when I am confronted with incidents of schadenfreude. I understand some games won’t be good. The combat can be unresponsive, sure that could be game breaking for you. The User Interface could be unintuitive, again reasonable to complain about. You don’t like the graphics, the classes, the IP, what have you? I’m fine with that.

What I’m not okay with is hating a game for being something different. Just because it’s made in the East doesn’t automatically doom it to failure in the category of “Asian grinder”. When Warhammer Online was in beta our guild was talking about it. Two members who had not played the beta kept posting in the Warhammer thread that the game would suck and that it was a WoW Clone. I constantly edited out the vulgarity and had to constantly send them messages. It was okay to not like the game, but you can’t say it sucks without trying it. You can see the graphics are unappealing or the IP doesn’t interest you, but you can’t comment on game play if you never played it. I was called fascist for it. I thought it was fair. The fact that they hated Warhammer Online so much drove me to greater heights of defending it. It actually led to my denial of how bad… buggy the game was. (For the record it was a good game with an unfathomable amount of bugs)

This brings us to the present. I’ve been very on the fence with Final Fantasy 14. I’ve done my best not to get excited about it. I’ve heard many bad things from friends who have been in beta. However on a Facebook thread, all my gaming friends have a group, someone start posting about how bad it would be because it was an “Asian grinder”. He hasn’t even played it yet. This led me to ALMOST reply back defending the game… wait I think I will…

Okay back. I didn’t defend the game but defended grinders. That’s what gets me though; because this game isn’t what they are use to its automatically black listed. It’s a Final Fantasy game, there is going to be some form of grinding. No scratch that, it’s a MMO that hasn’t been our for 5+ years, it has to have grinding.

People look at World of Warcraft today and think, leveling is so fast and smooth every MMO should be like this. They seem to overlook the fact that WoW has been out for 5 years and everyone has already experienced that early content. That’s why Blizzard is about to revamp all of the pre-50 content. World of Warcraft has a lot of content at all levels. It has had 5 years of release to aquire this content. They can afford to speed people through low levels without worrying about people getting bored. New MMOs can’t do that. Imagine if Vanilla WoW had the leveling speed it does today. Imagine the complaints people would have had about the lack of content or the ease of it. The only reason people don’t complain that leveling is to easy in WoW is because they have other things to do.

I’m smart enough not to blame Blizzard for this. It’s the gamers who are making the judgments. I really think that either the mentality of these people needs to change or they will never find another TRUE MMO enjoyable. They will only find happiness in short instant action games. WoW is great at letting the casual gamer with no time do something. However that has caused the WoW gamer to forget what a MMO starts out like. They don’t remember the grind. They don’t remember the bugs. The only know the now.

This seems off topic from what I meant to write about. Bottom line is I can’t stand people who want things to fail because they are different. I can’t stand people who don’t keep an open mind. I think FF14 is going to suck but I’m still going to try it. Not because I blog, I don’t write nearly enough to be called a blogger, but because I’m a gamer who loves MMOs.

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