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You know, I was talking in a thread about the whole "antisocial atmosphere" in today's MMOs in The Pub the other day, and it got me to thinking...when did this whole antisocial atmosphere come about?
I have to think it started with us in Pre-CU. Because when I think back to Pre-CU (or am reminded of it via "dreams" and "flashbacks"), all I can think about was how AFK we all were towards the end.
Blame it on the Hologrind or blame it on the lack of content or so on, but it seems to me that we never really had much use for interdependence, roleplay, and making the game work for everyone. Instead, we ran to bots and alts so that we wouldn't have to bother with strangers.
I mean, how else can we explain why buffbots like Brhia had crowds around her at all hours, her owner netting millions...even "most helpful player" awards, when the actual entertainers who were live had hardly anyone around them? If that isn't an indictment of us, I don't know what is.
How else can we explain the medbay rollers, the AFK lootbots, the doc buff bots, the sampler bots and so on unless we really kind of resented having to "play"...let alone "play with others"? If those aren't an indictment of us, I don't know what is.
It would be something else entirely if botting was seen as something shameful...something unacceptable that we had to do out of sight, behind closed doors and out of public discussion...but we didn't do that. Instead, we flaunted bots, saw nothing wrong with bots and defended botting far more readily than we would defend...say...the entertainers.
The most telling thing, to me, is how we all made excuses for ourselves about how botting was--at the least--a necessary evil and--at worst--better than live players. Guilds, for example, felt nothing wrong with parking a buffbot in the cantina, while at the same time having their entertainer and doctor members play live in the cantina. The need for buffs on demand trumped all.
Frankly, I would hope we who really believed in the game's vision would do the necessary things on our parts to encourage play. But I guess this game showed me, more than anything, that our typical pre-CU player would rather throw the spirit of the game under the bus if it meant achieving some goal or gaining some mechanical advantage. So much for sociability...so much for the great player interdependence of games like these.
Did pre-CU really have a "player economy"? Or did it have an economy that rested on a foundation of bots and alts? We may think the former, but the truth was the latter. You'd think that after pre-CU, we would have learned our lesson and avoid bots and botting. But if my dreams are any indication, we didn't avoid bots...we double downed on them.
Now that the live run is over, I think it's high time we have an honest talk about botting. Do you regret doing it? Do you regret using them? Perhaps we might even say to ourselves that we really...deep down...have no use for the kind of complex contingencies that relying on live players produces...that's fair.
But one thing is for certain...this game was infamous for eliminating entire professions out of existence long before the NGE. Only the ones doing the eliminating weren't the devs...they were ourselves.
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.
"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE