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Thread: Observations On Gamer Culture

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    Rift Master Sinistrad's Avatar
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    Default Observations On Gamer Culture

    While I certainly have a laundry list of MMO titles under my belt, I've also put my fair share of time into WoW. Sometimes it was out of boredom, other times I genuinely enjoyed the experience. That said, I've been playing WoW off and on since inception in 2004, and my main has almost always been my mage; I briefly leveled and played a priest, but moved back to my mage shortly after hitting 80.

    Yesterday, as I was mindlessly running through heroics wishing Rift were out, a couple of other players decided to bring up the subject, blatantly, of how "arcane mages are such noobs." They brought it up of course, because I was an arcane mage. I immediately conceded that arcane mages were the new easymode for DPS. It's kind of hard to argue with one-button DPS'ing and about 4 different ways to escape or delay aggro. After agreeing with them, I decided to point out my "history" with this particular character.

    In 2004 when I rolled my mage, anyone rolling arcane was a noob because arcane sucked. Wait a minute, so they are too good and easy now, so it's for noobs, and back then when it sucked it was for noobs... because it sucked? Anyway, I pointed out to them, that I'd had the character since 2004, and that I've always liked arcane, always been arcane, and always will be arcane. It wasn't a matter of good vs. bad, it was a matter of flavor and playstyle. Their response? "Cool story bro."

    Too often we get so caught up in the details of the game itself, we take no time to look at ourselves, the community. I was performing just fine with my mage, I was not getting the party wiped, I was filling my role well and in some cases going above and beyond. Yet, the community in that game was such that I was immediately labeled, packaged, and shipped to noobland. Worse yet, this opinion had to be shared, with me, in an insulting fashion just for existing. It did not matter my history with the game, or the fact that I was arcane because it's what I've always liked despite its ups and downs, it only mattered that I was. For that, I was ridiculed, not on merit, but because these kids were bored and felt like insulting someone.

    The sad truth is, I see this everywhere, not just WoW. Ninety-nine percent of the time I ignore them, or even simply leave, but today it really put me off gaming all together. What everyone here needs to realize is that the people make the game. As long as the game isn't a steaming turd, a community forms around it, for better or worse, making all flaws and features of the game almost a moot point. So, next time you're going to insult someone based on something completely arbitrary, ask yourself, is that the kind of game in which you want to play? WoW is popular, sure, but game mechanics are not the only reason so many people are looking for something new. If everyone who does not want to put up with a certain kind of behavior leaves, then all that are left are the people who behave that way. Remember that.

    Here's to hoping Rift does not suffer the same fate, for that would be a real tragedy for the MMO market.

    P.S. I was extremely tired when I wrote this (going to bed now) so please forgive its rambling nature. I normally do far more editing on any serious threads I start.

    "That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die."
    --H.P. Lovecraft

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    Plane Touched Maser's Avatar
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    Although my list of played titles (EQ, EQ2, WoW, LotRO, Vanguard) may not be as many as other people, I have to say I have only ever witnessed what you described while playing WoW. My cumulative time in WoW was nowhere near that of EQ or EQ2, but when there I always played a Hunter because I didn't care for any of the other classes. If that wasn't bad enough, I loved the Night Elf race. Oh the stigma! Oh the snickering! My first group ever in WoW didn't last five minutes before someone said, "oh look, another Night Elf Hunter." I never experienced or heard of any "classism" in any of the other games I've played.

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    Ascendant Elux's Avatar
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    I also have a large number of MMO's to my name (played). I would just like to say I understand fully where you're coming from, every day I see people trolling, people shouting, people insulting others over chat, and the thing is, It's not the gaming community which is causing that, It's the society we currently live in. The best days were on EQ1. Back when everyone would help you for hours just to get you something and a simple thanks would be all you needed to feel proud of doing something. Now everyone is either "GIEF GOLD" or "GIEF EPIC" or they just won't help you with is quite pathetic really, people are far too into themselves now and It's quite upsetting to see the change from EQ to WoW.

    I do believe that RIFT at the minute has a mature and a friendly community, which I hope will reflect on the game and it's members. Fingers crossed for release.

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    Plane Touched Ware's Avatar
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    Whenever people get together it seems that someone will always try to define a hierarchy of merit. To people that care about that kind of stuff it's essential that they be recognized as at the top of that hierarchy so they conveniently define the hierarchy to favor themselves. In the offline world it's career, money, title, toys, race, gender, etc. and, in the case of gamers, play style, items, spec, faction, server type, etc. These people surround themselves with a narrowly focused group of like-minded individuals who are willing to buy in to their contrived meritocracy and, together, they try to bully others into accepting that their hierarchy is valid and, therefore, to submit to their superiority.

    Gamers, it seems, are just much more vocal and passionate about their shared delusions of merit than others. Their contrived hierarchies make up enough of their identity that they just can't just sit by and let others enjoy a gaming experience without attempting to enforce their viewpoint. Unfortunately, those who aren't interested in this charade are often forced to play along with it in order to accomplish their goals or, in your case, have it visited upon them in the virtual equivalent of having some cult member knock on your front door.

    The best you can do is try to surround yourself with people who share your particular hierarchy of merit and do your best to ignore everyone else...

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    Plane Touched Hool's Avatar
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    MMOs have traditionally had to juggle their share of socially feral narcissists. Fortunately, their numbers are few. However, their curmudgeonly malignant attitude can be as contagious as it is an effective deterrent for keeping casual players away.

    Should their self righteous cries of criticism in any way find their way into the developers and producers ears, and the bridle that steers game direction start to cater to these special interest cliques, then they will ultimately be the only ones left playing the game.

    Who knows why they are so bitter, perhaps the subconscious screaming at them to log out and get a life, or some terrible insecurity masked by their online identity is somehow satiated each time they demean others, mark posts with one star, rant without contribution in forum threads, or defaecate by other means on our otherwise forward-thinking and friendly MMO community.

    Never forget, a problem is a gift you need not accept when it comes to these types.

    Laugh and the world laughs with you
    Cry, and you cry alone
    For even the earth must borrow its mirth
    ...but has problems enough of its own

    Cheers,
    Hool
    Last edited by Hool; 11-12-2010 at 10:12 AM. Reason: sp error corrected

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    Soulwalker Schmee4592's Avatar
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    Not that this was the case with your experience but what you have noted tends to be the way young dudes relate to one another. It isn't meant to hurt, it's simply a means to generate conversation. Obviously this is just a stereotype but it seems to hold true a lot. With a close group it tends to go down in a playful way, but some folks do it to strangers too and it's generally not well recieved by those unaccustomed to it.

    In fairness though, half of communication is interpretation so sometimes that bad perception is just the reflection of our own insecurities. Emotion gets the best of all of us from time to time.

    As some have suggested though, if it bothers you it's easy enough to find like-minded folks in these games so don't waste much time thinking about it. Just find some friends who don't interact that way.

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    Shadowlander Pk_Starstorm's Avatar
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    Bah, anyone who whines about a class is just jealous. Mm hmm.

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    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Play with me and we'll prance through the fields of Freemarch together without a care for min/maxing!

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    Rift Master Sinistrad's Avatar
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    Hehe, sure Maeloda. I'm sure that I'll end up with some WTF? build that will be made fun of mercilessly, but which I enjoy playing. I think sometimes people forget they're supposed to have fun with their characters.

    "That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die."
    --H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maser View Post
    Although my list of played titles (EQ, EQ2, WoW, LotRO, Vanguard) may not be as many as other people, I have to say I have only ever witnessed what you described while playing WoW. My cumulative time in WoW was nowhere near that of EQ or EQ2, but when there I always played a Hunter because I didn't care for any of the other classes. If that wasn't bad enough, I loved the Night Elf race. Oh the stigma! Oh the snickering! My first group ever in WoW didn't last five minutes before someone said, "oh look, another Night Elf Hunter." I never experienced or heard of any "classism" in any of the other games I've played.
    I played a night elf hunter through most of my wow days as well. I was mercilessly ridculed and called a huntard often, usually by then end of the run though people would tell me that they were impressed with my knowledge of the class and my playstyle. I ended up on alot of friends list because of that and had no problem finding a spot in a group or raid. After 3 years of playing a hunter though, I decided to roll a tank and within a month I was discriminating against the hunter class just as I had been. The class really did attract an astounding amount of bad players.

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    Ascendant Elux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinistrad View Post
    Hehe, sure Maeloda. I'm sure that I'll end up with some WTF? build that will be made fun of mercilessly, but which I enjoy playing. I think sometimes people forget they're supposed to have fun with their characters.
    Fun? :S

    Raid > Gear > OWN.

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    Rift Disciple Spiritwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elux View Post
    Fun? :S

    Raid > Gear > OWN.
    You carebear!

    PvP moar!

    Anyways, I will secretly harbor a bard class just for shiggles...

    That I will never admit to.

  13. #13
    Rift Master Sinistrad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritwolf View Post
    You carebear!

    PvP moar!

    Anyways, I will secretly harbor a bard class just for shiggles...

    That I will never admit to.
    You did just now! :P

    I think people just need to let others have fun in their own way. As long as one person does not impinge on another's fun, what's the problem?

    "That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die."
    --H.P. Lovecraft

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    Prophet of Telara moirae's Avatar
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    Quite honestly, the only time I ever have seen that behavior was when I played WoW and I've been playing online games since 1998. WoW has the worst community I've ever seen. Although any f2p game comes real close. LOTRO community has gotten infinitely worse ever since f2p was released. In fact, its gotten so bad that I have all the channels turned off except for npc's, official game announcements, guild, and group.

    I think we should just take the warning labels off of everything and let evolution do it's work. Weed out the stupid people.

  15. #15
    Ascendant Elux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritwolf View Post
    You carebear!

    PvP moar!

    Anyways, I will secretly harbor a bard class just for shiggles...

    That I will never admit to.
    I PvP once I'm in top end raid gear, to pretty much burn through PvP gear and noobs.

    Guild Leader of Reborn.
    Steampike-EU.
    -Disbanded-

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