50 ways to leave your MMO
May 01, 2008 15:52:27

"Just drop the program off the bus Gus,
Don't need to discuss much.
Just hit the delete key, Lee
And get yourself free..."

In the words of the immortal Hawkeye Pierce (a character from Mash played by Alan Alda for those not in the know) "If I don't like a party I leave it." Now make no mistake friends, just last week I wrote an article for my New Attitude column called "Looks aren't everything" the point of which is that even if a game doesn't look like a cut from a cg video, even if the game is old, if it is fun to play it is a worthwhile game. Case in point - SOE keeps servers open for their games as long as the server is being paid for. How do I know? They consistently say so; everyone from John Smedley himself to their community managers. Want proof? Take one look at EQ1 and Matrix Online. From a personal viewpoint when I recently bought a new computer one of the first games I installed was Quake 1. Yes, Quake 1 from all the way back in 1996. Why? Because it is just plain fun to play, that's why.

That all being said, it is the height of arrogance (and more than just a small indication of gross stupidity) for a columnist to think that just because he or she doesn't like a game and doesn't play it any more that this somehow means that a game is going down the tubes. Recently we saw this with the number of Pirates of the Burning Sea servers being reduced. Immediately the internet was rife with articles announcing that Pirates of the Burning Sea was "sinking" (clever huh?) Never mind that the publisher of the game (SOE) has always kept games open where there is a small yet dedicated community, never mind that they saved Vanguard, don't consider the track record of EQ1 (nine years and counting) it can't possibly be that the developers at Flying Lab Software are simply adjusting their servers to meet initial demand.

Yes, there will always be gamers to whom the glass is not only half empty but to whom the other half is full of toxic waste. As grandmother used to say, "Time to wake up and smell the coffee".

For a long time I played an MMO on a server that didn't make a nickel and was kept open for less than 10 people total at one point. Why keep a server open when it is such a losing proposition? The answer is because everyone involved loved the game and the company of the people playing it. Yes, that seems an odd and difficult attitude to understand for some.

So let me make things a bit clearer...

Lets drop the "virtual" from the discussion for a bit, and just concentrate on the "reality" part for a bit. The business world is often the living embodiment of the old adage that tells what direction it all rolls down hill in. I have first hand experience of a business where an outside audit showed that the problem with a company was incompetent management. Management naturally assumed the problem must be the employees and reorganized the business. This sort of hubris is not limited to the business world - the anonymity of the internet seems to encourage the sort of self-serving attitude that lets gamers forget not only that there are other players behind the pixels but that there are real people who created the pixels in the first place - real people with real jobs and real families that love real things like eating and keeping a roof over their heads.

Don't misunderstand my point here - I am not saying a game shouldn't be criticized. After all, as the old Army adage goes, "if a soldier couldn't complain she wouldn't' be happy." In fact, it is through the process of CONSTRUCTIVE critique that a game developer improves the game - even when that criticism is poised in a form that is "sharper than a serpent's tongue." But when it comes to endangering someone else's job? My attitude has always been that if you want to endanger a job start with your own.

In the mean time, if you don't like a party - quit. If an MMO, or the community of gamers that play it, becomes too unbearable there keep in mind that there may be at least 50 ways to deal with it, but one best way...

...just hit the delete key, and set yourself free.

See you online,

- Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on May 01, 2008 15:52:27 CST (comments: 2)


'Been thinking a while...' by Akely
Submitted on 2008-05-17 09:02:40 CST
I've always adhered to the "if a soldier do not complain, (s)he is not happy". The crux is to listen to what they complain about. If it is important stuff (for them)I try to solve the problem. It is nuisances I know they have nothing worse to complin about and I just work them harder.

I feel the party/game anology is a bit off. (Yeah yeah - I know it is just a way of getting a point through) Games a WAY much more complicated than a party. They are also a lot longer... And it is possible to like everything at the party - except for the fact that your ex shows up with a new partner. In that case it is better to ignore what you do not like and concentrate on the fun parts.

What I'm saying is that I'd rather have people try to politely and constructively participate in the customer/company communication on improving the game. I feel not having any forums for fear of being abused is childish and cowardly. There, I said it!

'Ahhh noooooooooo!' by Floss
Submitted on 2008-05-25 06:54:08 CST
After reading the 50 ways to leave your MMO, I realised I had come up with the most painless way to do it. No umm-ing or ahh-ing about whether or not I should quit. I simply had forgotten to update my credit card details and the account went "on ice" without even a whimper.

But now that I have read the article I am thinking " OMG! 63 Mil SP EVE toon not training arghhhhhh"

I shall try to be strong and not re-activate my account to keep skilling my toon, just incase something comes along in EVE to stop it being like a second job and a chore.

When the game stops being fun, you deffo should stop playing. After all that's why you went in there in the first place wasn't it? TO HAVE FUN?

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From the desk of Julie Whitefeather


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