This morning DDO’s Producer Glin (@producerglin) shared a very interesting article from Polygon.com on twitter entitled “Plague of game dev harassment erodes industry, spurs support groups“.
Last week I posted about how I was not overly excited about Update 19 due to several problems in my opinion, and yesterday, I posted about how I was “not happy” with the whole here is a +20 LR heart of Wood so that you can fix your character broken by the new enhancement system, specifically characters that were now getting free class feats, that could only be selected if you Lesser Reincarnated.
While reading the article Glin shared, I couldn’t help but take its message to heart and turn a critical eye to what I said over the last week and how I said it. First off, I definitely did not make any kind of death threats to either Producer Glin, his family or any of the Turbine Development team. I’m at least sane and rationale enough to know that 1) this is just a game, if I don’t like what they are working to provide me for entertainment, I’m free to leave, no skin of their back. 2) they are people and more importantly gamers who are trying to make a game that they can be proud of and want people to play. Second, yes I was critical and said some things in haste that could be taken the wrong way and in such a way that someone might think it was directed directly at them. While it was my intention to be critical, I did not necessarily mean to direct it at any one person in particular. I had taken to twitter to vent some frustration and bug report some things before going back to official bug report some things to see if others had some of the same issues. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I probably should not have directed the tweets at anyone.
So that being said, I want to publicly say, in no uncertain terms, “Thank you Turbine and the DDO Team for making a fun game! Your hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.” If I (I cannot begin to speak for anyone else within the player’s community) ever seem upset (or maybe even angry), annoyed, or otherwise displeased, it’s because I care. It’s because I like your game. It’s because I have met many of the DDO Team, and I like them. But mostly, it’s because while I like your game, I also have my own set of personal expectations or standards that I hold you all to in my mind. I want your game and hard work to be a success, because I think it is fun and I want others to have fun playing the game just like I do. (note: everyone has fun in different ways, but the important thing is we all have fun playing the game). I’ve said in the past, and perhaps it may have been a bit too harsh, that sometimes it seems like the DDO Team doesn’t think of the long term or otherwise bigger consequences of the decisions that they make (or have made) in terms of the base coding of this otherwise awesome game. Nothing disappoints me more than hearing from a developer than “I agree, but that can’t be done/changed/fixed, because it is hard coded that way in the game engine, or the database is not set up that way.” Basically, hearing anything that suggests had a little more forethought been put into it, it would be a really easy simple fix, but since we didn’t it cannot be changed (meaning it would be cost prohibitive to change/fix).
I guess, while I realize that any game is at some level a business, the business aspect shouldn’t always dictate or otherwise get in the way of the game being fun part of being a game.
Anyway, I’m not sure how I strayed onto that tangent…..
The article is dead on though. Gamers are Gamers’ worst nightmare incarnate. Nothing will kill the fun in a game faster than a disgruntled gamer. Maybe that is why I’ve stopped trying to keep up with the live forums as much as I would otherwise like to. Why do gamers feel the need to make such extreme and violent statements when expressing their frustration with the developers? Is it an aspect of the violent games we play? Is it just because of the anonymity that the internet and online gaming inherently provide (at least when you factor out the NSA). Is there something wrong with me as a gamer , if I’ve never even felt the inkling of the urge to wish horrible things onto my “favorite” game developer(s) and their families? Or does that just mean I’m a better person than any troll on the internet? Of course I get frustrated with things that my favorite game developer(s) do and have done (Monday and Tuesday of this week are clear examples of that). I just hope that they don’t take my comments to heart in a negative way, but take them for how I meant them, which is to encourage them to do better and bigger things. To be bold, and think outside of the box, and try to see the forest, despite the trees. An open, honest and most importantly, respectful, dialog is the best way. And a little foresight goes a long way.
So in closing we as gamers and consumers should be critical. We also need to be sure to stop and review what we are saying and how it may come across to our audience. When in doubt, we should draft it and walk away form it for a while, before coming back to it later and seeing if we still feel the same way we did when we drafted it. This week I may have critically failed my saving throw. And for that I’m proud to say I’m ashamed of myself.