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General: Us vs. Them

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com's Jon Wood explores the "us vs. them" attitudes that seem to have arisen between developers and players.

You simply can’t deny the fact that there’s an “us vs. them” attitude happening between game developers and game players, and that it’s hurting the industry as a whole.

I mean, let’s face it, all you have to do is take a quick look at almost any game’s forum and you won’t have to look hard to find posts tearing down developers, whether it’s calling them lazy, untalented, greedy, or any number of other names, it’s going to be there.

On the other side of the coin, you have developers making comments either privately or worse yet, publicly, that players don’t know what they want. I’ve spoken to a number of developers over the years who have told me that they’ve stopped reading forums and comments all together, citing the abuse taken at the hands of players. The most public of these incidents came in an official explanation from then Mythic head Marc Jacobs on his decision not to host official forums for Warhammer Online where he cited not wanting to subject his developers to the kind of abuse that forums can provide.

Read Us vs. Them.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member

    Oh, the poor devs. They are just fine with going to conventions and trade shows and being treated like rock stars, though.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • zeowyrmzeowyrm Bangor, MEPosts: 746Member

    Originally posted by MMO_Doubter

    Oh, the poor devs. They are just fine with going to conventions and trade shows and being treated like rock stars, though.

    I dunno, I prefer the rock star wannabe devs to the angry, insult the playerbase devs.

  • NytakitoNytakito Westminster, COPosts: 381Member

    Developers don't go to trade shows, Managers and Directors and people in Marketting go to those events.. Occasionally the Lead Dev or Architect will be there.  The developers who are actually responsibly for over 99% of the code that will be released are generally busy coding away during these events...

    Guess you just proved the article's author correct on every point though MMO_Doubter, hats off to ya.

    "If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse." - Henry Ford

  • OtakunOtakun New Providence, PAPosts: 864Member

    A huge difference is devs get paid to make games while A player has to pay to play the game. So, they can complain all they want for all I care since they are going to have to deal with it since it costs money to play their possibly crappy game.

  • docminusdocminus J.Posts: 717Member

    players do know what they want, the problem is, that there are as many opionions as there are people.... and you can never make it right for all.

     

    imageimage

  • MMO.MaverickMMO.Maverick WonderlandPosts: 7,619Member

    Originally posted by MMO_Doubter

    Oh, the poor devs. They are just fine with going to conventions and trade shows and being treated like rock stars, though.

     

    Oh, the poor players. Those evil devs just won't understand them and give them what they really want. => insert QQing here <==

     

    Besides a few wellknown names of game directors and lead devs, most devs and designers are just normal people trying to earn their money  like any poor sod. I wonder how you'd like it, if you have to face heavy scorn upon what you're doing day in day out, sometimes even the most insane critiques. Oh, wait...

    The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

    The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
    Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,276Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by docminus

    players do know what they want, the problem is, that there are as many opionions as there are people.... and you can never make it right for all.

     

    QFT  

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


    image

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,987Member Uncommon

    While its not always the developer's fault when a game turns out badly, its someone's fault within the firm (suits, architects, leads etc) that the software is shoved out the door in an incomplete, broken state. (which is how most MMO's seem to release, regardless how big the Development house is)

    You can't really blame the players who tend to call a spade a spade, and while their opinions are frequently malformed because they don't know the 'real story' behind the scenes, whose fault is that they don't know?

    Companies don't really share why features get dropped, they usually start shoveling BS such as the famous WAR incident when they claimed that the game was always designed around RVR, when in fact, they were relying on scenario combat to carrry the day (a la WOW and only starteded scrambling on the RVR after early Beta testers cruicified them)

    So yes, users are harsh, and frequently with very good reason.  Look at the follies of recent titles like STO, MO, Alganon and some others.  These developers deserve what they get.

    Now on the flip side, users get a bit crazy, as evidenced at some of the vitrol thrown at Bioware over the SWTOR title, for no particular reason other than they don't agree with the design direction the game is taking.  Some folks are actually upset at reports that the game might cost up to 150M to make and slam it, when you'd think they'd be happy that someone thought spending that much cash might produce an exception game. (true, it might not, but lets wait and see)

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • SnarlingWolfSnarlingWolf Thereiam, ARPosts: 2,697Member

    First off to the first reply in this thread, I've never once seen a developer treated as a rockstar. Perhaps that's because I'm not crazy and realize that devs are just working people like everyone else, but I can't possibly believe they have groupies anything like actual rock stars do.

     

    I will get yelled at by saying I think most of the issues we have now came from the players.

     

    I played MMOs starting with The Realm and moved on to new ones as they came, like UO, EQ, AC, DAoC, AO, WoW etc etc. I also never visited official forums (or even non official forums) about MMOs until a couple years ago. The reason being I had no interest in it, I was in the games playing and having fun. And when I wasn't having fun anymore I'd try a different game.

     

    Mostly out of boredom one day I started to check out the forums at some of my more favorite games, and to be honest I was shocked. The amount of bile and filth that pours out of the rabid gamers is insane, and to see it for the first time was eye opening. I've personally never been one to put up with much crap from people, especially ones I don't know, and I was amazed that this amount of name calling and hatred was allowed to just sit there. It is just as easy to express your concerns or complaints with proper etiquette and start an active positive discussion. Why players feel the need to come up with as many version of "You Suck" or "I hope you die" is baffling.

     

    I truly think that is the root of all of the issues now. Why would you want to read that crap as a developer? You don't nearly as much positive feedback because those who enjoy the game are playing it and have no need to go to a forum. So all you would get to read all day is hatred posts that are made to be as angry and evil as they can, since in their warped mines that is how you get a point across. But the opposite is true, you post like that and your point is lost forever. No one will waste time reading it and responding since you didn't take any time to post properly.

     

    The die hard fans of MMOs need to relax a bit and remember to tell themselves it's just a game. Seriously it is just a game. There is never a need to nerd rage out and make 10 posts in a world with as many expletives as you can conjure up. Simple post "I am not happy with change to X, why was it made and can we get it changed back.", then maybe a discussion can be started where a dev will explain why the change had to be made. You never know, that positive discussion might lead to the dev realizing it should be changed back too, or to you realizing it did need to be changed and it makes sense.

     

    So yes, it is an unpopular position on a gaming forum full of players. But I truly believe the hardcore fanatic gamers are the cause of all the communication issues and hatred flowing around. If they learn to relax and post like an adult then I'm sure more communication will result.

  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

    Originally posted by MMO_Doubter



    Oh, the poor devs. They are just fine with going to conventions and trade shows and being treated like rock stars, though.


     

    Just to set the record straight, I can't remember the last time I saw any developer treated like a rock start at a convention or trade show. Having been to my fair share of thes events, they're not as glamorous as you seem to think they are. They're actually a lot fo hard work.

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Denton, TXPosts: 3,138Member

    Well, when you have shows like E3 basically tell the players to GTFO this is only for insiders and developers how can you not expect a level of trust to evaporate. When you have developers of the so-called AAA variety try one after another to repeat WoW success and fail, despite the loud screams from consumers to try something different (and don't dare ask me to explain what something different is because such posts fill up sites like these; go read them), how can you not expect a dip in the level of "buddy" feelings.

     

    I think what is happening is that more and more players (read: consumers) are realizing that they are just that, "potential customers" and not "friends or buddies" of developers. Sure, it used to be different, but things changed. Developers started listening more and more to CEOs and share holders than the players. Monetary bottom lines became the focus, not player desires.

     

    I mean, take a look at the PAX east panel video: Future of the MMO Scene. Listen to Craig Alexander from Turbine. I swear the guy says the word "monetize" 30+ times. That's the focus that is driving game design. Not a bunch of gamers sitting around thinking "Wouldn't it be cool if...". No, it now guys who get their true kicks from playing the "how can I get more money from customers when spending the least amount in resources (money, people-power, etc.)" game. Like you said, it may be "good business", but the side effects include the growing rift between players and devs.

     

    With respect to community, I'd say that the perceived downturn in it, especially with player/dev relations, is a by-product of games not giving cause for communities to really incorporate everyone on the server. Games are way more soloable now. As a result there is less relationship building amongst players (you don't need anyone). Such player interactions, where you spent lots of time talking to others, agreeing and disagreeing but all the while building your communicational skills, are all but nil these days. Those skills have been replaced by a few quick expletives and biting remarks and then off to solo. You don't have to work things out with other players anymore. You don't have to "share" anything as you get your own little instance to play in.

     

    Well, that boils over into interactions with developers too. Players don't like something they respond in the way that they do in game: Screw you, you're stupid. They then get banned and honestly wonder what they said wrong. That's where your "community" is now.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • HyanmenHyanmen KolkkalaPosts: 5,354Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by docminus

    players do know what they want, the problem is, that there are as many opionions as there are people.... and you can never make it right for all.

    They don't... They only think they do.

    "Housing is standard in most mmo's."
    - yolteotl79

  • ArlettaArletta ChesterfieldPosts: 63Member
    More communication on both sides and perhaps better forum moderation.

    I have to admit to being shocked at some game's forums. Complete rudeness and disrespect. I wouldn't want to read it if I was making it.

    Yes, you're a paying customer, but you don't get to go into a store and demand that a sandwich you buy is made in this exact way, and if it isn't you're not going to pay plus you're going to throw it at the person who made it.

    It's a game and the ppl you're insulting are but human, capable of mistakes, emotions and all the other things that come with being human.

    We all need to give each other a break.
  • Lizard_SFLizard_SF New Albany, INPosts: 348Member

    Originally posted by MMO_Doubter



    Oh, the poor devs. They are just fine with going to conventions and trade shows and being treated like rock stars, though.


     

    Thus nicely proving the basic malicious ignorance of the playerbase. Good job, there.

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Denton, TXPosts: 3,138Member

    Originally posted by Hyanmen

    Originally posted by docminus

    players do know what they want, the problem is, that there are as many opionions as there are people.... and you can never make it right for all.

    They don't... They only think they do.

    Nah, it's just you. image

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member

    Originally posted by Stradden

    Just to set the record straight, I can't remember the last time I saw any developer treated like a rock start at a convention or trade show. Having been to my fair share of thes events, they're not as glamorous as you seem to think they are. They're actually a lot fo hard work.

    Okay, if it takes links - then links you shall have:

    Big stage, big audience, huge response from their proclaimations.

    "Free Bird!"

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member

    Originally posted by Arletta

    More communication on both sides and perhaps better forum moderation. I have to admit to being shocked at some game's forums. Complete rudeness and disrespect. I wouldn't want to read it if I was making it. Yes, you're a paying customer, but you don't get to go into a store and demand that a sandwich you buy is made in this exact way, and if it isn't you're not going to pay plus you're going to throw it at the person who made it. It's a game and the ppl you're insulting are but human, capable of mistakes, emotions and all the other things that come with being human. We all need to give each other a break.

    We can give each other hugs, too, but that doesn't change the fact that some devs will lie straight to your face in order to get your money.

    As for the sandwich - you send it back if it's not made right and they fix it. GL with that WRT MMOs.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • RimerdalRimerdal Winter Park, FLPosts: 3Member

    Honestly its like any career though, people want to make a living, and they don't want to have to deal with undo amounts of crap. If you are a waitress and have to go into work and get yelled at or groped by some men almost every day you probably are going to start avoid those people or get really angry, and you can apply a similiar situation to any career really.

     

    The same thing applies to game developers. they are not paid to take verbal abuse from players, they are paid to make the game. No matter how much self entitlement a player feels on his opinion its almost always the suits who have the final say about something and telling the developers they are terrible people only means legitamate requests get overlooked and then they have even less material by which to tell the suits they are wrong and this is a terrible decision.

     

    A lot of developers are gamers, they don't want to make shitty games, but money is what makes games, and the people who control it directly control the final product.

  • YunbeiYunbei HamburgPosts: 898Member

    I don't know whats so special about this? Isn't this the same with every salesmen VS customer situation? I mean, it's they who want our money, it's they who are in control what the game is like and we, having to pay, saying our wishes? Or being disgruntled or happy, as the case may be. What's so surprising in this?

    image

  • YilelienYilelien Vacaville, CAPosts: 322Member

    I see the biggest problem as. The Devs are doing there job for a pay check. Im sure that some of them like or even love what they do but for most of them it is a pay check.

     

     The fans on the other side are fans of what ever that IP is. They are willing to give their hard earned cash to the devs and company to play there beloved game.

     

     The devs lay out a plan for the game. The fans look at it and go crazy. The game is developed and some of what was laid out is no longer in the game. The fans get mad and the slinging then starts.

     

    SO who is right or wrong here? I feel that the fan has a right to be upset if/when there game is delivered with less that what was promised. But at the same time the Devs have dead lines to meet and backers who are wanting there money as well. I dont feel that gives the fans the right to go crazy on the boards as alot of them tend to do now days. But then again, as a fan of games myself it does seem to fall of deaf ear alot of the time as well.

     

     IMO its not really US Vs Them becuase there is a 3rd party here. Its the people who are holding the purse strings. I really think most of the devs do want to deliver what they promised up front, they want there games to be the best that they can and we as the player  want that as well.

     But are the devs/purse holders making un realistice time lines when they are starting there adventure into making the games? It seems that most games have trouble making there time lines as far as release dates are concerened and i feel that while most of us really really want to play said game. We would rather "wait" until it is done right to play instead of a 1/2 finished really bad game. But it seems that money most of the time is the final factor

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Kyleran

    While its not always the developer's fault when a game turns out badly, its someone's fault within the firm (suits, architects, leads etc) that the software is shoved out the door in an incomplete, broken state. (which is how most MMO's seem to release, regardless how big the Development house is)

    You can't really blame the players who tend to call a spade a spade, and while their opinions are frequently malformed because they don't know the 'real story' behind the scenes, whose fault is that they don't know?

    Companies don't really share why features get dropped, they usually start shoveling BS such as the famous WAR incident when they claimed that the game was always designed around RVR, when in fact, they were relying on scenario combat to carrry the day (a la WOW and only starteded scrambling on the RVR after early Beta testers cruicified them)

    So yes, users are harsh, and frequently with very good reason.  Look at the follies of recent titles like STO, MO, Alganon and some others.  These developers deserve what they get.

    Now on the flip side, users get a bit crazy, as evidenced at some of the vitrol thrown at Bioware over the SWTOR title, for no particular reason other than they don't agree with the design direction the game is taking.  Some folks are actually upset at reports that the game might cost up to 150M to make and slam it, when you'd think they'd be happy that someone thought spending that much cash might produce an exception game. (true, it might not, but lets wait and see)

    I completely agree.

    I think this goes to the crux of the matter.

    And it really is a double edge sword. Players (some players) have an air of entitlement in many cases but when a developer turns 360 on a project or releases a buggy mess AND wants players to play, why shouldn't players express a bit of outrage.

    Players need to realize that games are also products. If the product isn't good then just don't support it with your wallet. I wonder how many game players are writing angry letters to movie companies because movies that are released are released somewhat lackluster (I'm looking at you tim burton) or that the washing machine that was just released isn't really much of an upgrade?

    Developers and those who invest in games need to realize that if they are going to advertise their product it must be feature complete on release and it must be relatively bug free.

    Gamers must realize that not every game is going to be designed as their holy grail of gaming and that there are gong to be games that cater to different crowds. If you don't like the game don't cry about it, just move on. Plenty of other fish in the sea.

    Dev's need to realize that being opaque about features and how things are going to play out and then hoping that players will just buy their product based solely on subject matter only to then realize the game is NOT what they ever would have plaed is not acceptable.

    If your game is going to rely heavily on instances then be up front about it (STO!) if your game is going to have a heavy dose of pvp then be up front about it (Aion) and don't cloud your words so that players are left having to wonder if the game they are going to buy is really going to be the type of thing they would buy in the first place.

  • ShojuShoju Hicksville, NYPosts: 771Member Uncommon

    Part of the problem involves the misguided belief that a lot of players have where they believe that because they are paying a subscription fee, it entitles them to be a part of the the the development process and they will scream like a two year old chucking a tantrum if they feel their demands are being recognised.

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member

    Originally posted by Shoju

    Part of the problem involves the misguided belief that a lot of players have where they believe that because they are paying a subscription fee, it entitles them to be a part of the the the development process

    In a small way, it does.

     

    Feel free to pay strangers for shoddy work, and say nothing about it, if you prefer.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • DracondisDracondis Reston, VAPosts: 176Member

    The culture of entitlement breeds this attitude into its members.  We're indoctrinated from a young age into a mode of thinking that we're the only ones who know what we want, and therefore the only ones who can get us where we want to be.  Anyone we meet on the way is to be viewed as an inconvenience at best and an adversary at worst.  Either way, they're keeping us from getting what we want.

    Flash forward to today, where we have a record number of game players.  They all want tohave fun, on their terms, doing it their way.  The developers aren't letting them, so the developers are in the way of their fun.  They aren't making the game they want to play because they want to play a game where everyone falls before them.

    But everyone wants that, so the natural consequence is that no one can have it.  If the developers make the game tip too far in someone's favor, they get accused of creating a FotM class/race/whatever.  When the balance the classes out as best they can, the game is easy for everyone and they are catering to the casuals.  For Developers, it's a no-win situation.  The players are contradictory and all of them are vocal minorities.

    When viewed in this light, it starts to make a case for the Developers to stop listening to the players about suggestions for the game and the directon it and its mechanics should take.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,051Member Uncommon

    You know what?

    Most of people have nothing against developers. They have everything against corporations.

    EA, Atari, NC, Activision ... you name it.

    Just a bunch of greedy managers ruining the game industry. Not only producing horrible games. But also making working as game developer nightmare of a job.

    And that is a fact none can deny.

    image

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