There was a time, not long ago now, when whenever a new MMOG came out fans of the genre would rally around each other and praise whatever said new game was simply because a new player in the field was to be welcomed and not shunned. There was no real division or segregation between fans of individual games, because the audience was smaller and we all had to stick together.
Now though... things are different.
In the fall of 2004 two games launched in the MMOG arena that deeply divided fans and critics alike: Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. All the way up until the launch of both, I was torn between which to purchase. Ultimately I chose to go with WoW, as has been well catalogued here, but I've often dabbled in Everquest 2. I think it's clear to most that at launch WoW was the far more developed game but over time Everquest 2 has grown to a point where it easily rivals the depth and longevity of WoW.
But this is neither here nor there. What I'm getting at is that we're seeing the same treatment of two games this year as both Age of Conan and Warhammer Online are set to launch in 2008. Already, and for months into the past, these games' potential audiences have been rife with hatred towards each other.
Age of Conan will have better graphics. WAR will have better art style. Conan will have better combat. WAR will have better PvP. Conan will have a bigger penis. WAR will have a hit song. The list goes on and on, my friends.
I ask you... why can't fans of these games get along? I work for a site specifically catering to Age of Conan, and yet that doesn't stop me from being stoked about WAR's eventual release this fall. Even if the game ends up being very similar to what's on the market already, I'm excited to try out Mythic's take on the GW universe. I'm excited to partake in RvR, just as much as I'm excited to partake in Siege Warfare in Age of Conan.
Why, in all things (not just gaming) must people "pick a side" and go at the other with pointless and fruitless fury? Call me a pacifist, but I just don't see the point in drudging up hatred and vitriol over something so insignificant.
Anyway, that's my rant for the day.