Friday, April 25, 2008

AoC and WAR: Can't We All Just Get Along?

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.



Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely. The vitriol that some people spew towards one game or another is just crazy. I always feel like going, "Whoa, dude. Calm down. It's just a darn game!"

brenda said...

It's because people are insecure and want to reassure themselves they made the proper choice.

It's human nature to build yourself up by tearing someone else down.

Bildo said...

Very excellent observation, Tipa.

But the question of the post was really more of a rhetorical one. ;)

I'm all for having "favorites". It's not that which I see a problem with. I see a sever lack of mental fortitude on arguments over which gaming system is better than the other, which sports team "rules harder", and yes even which politician is a better fit for our country (here's a hint, NONE!).

I'm just dumbfounded, perhaps ironically, by the sheer amount of retardation that stems from such a pointless debate.

Bah, I'm just being cranky. Don't mind me.

Anonymous said...

It's not just games. It's the overflow of the sports fan mentality. My team is better than your team. Someone has to win. Nascar has fans based on car manufacturers. Politics has people who root for Republicans or Democrats and pointedly ignore any intelligent discussion about the policies endorsed by either party. I don't know if that's the same in other countries.

The US especially can be so binary about opinions. As much as I dislike that style of discussion, though, I am glad for blogs, where I can usually find some thoughtful opinions and respectful discussion.

My favorite part about the AoC/WAR argument, or any comparison of games not yet launched, is that you haven't played them in their final form. C'mon. Reserve your rants for a week or two after release, would ya?

Bildo said...

Heh... Rick you just reminded me of a very good episode of Family Guy.

Lois is running for Mayor of Quahog against Adam West, and during the debate she gets booed and is losing the audience when she tries to give heartfelt and honest replies to the questions asked.

Meanwhile, Adam West sits on Mort Goldman's lap, tells him that questions are good because then we can get answers, and kisses him on the forehead. The crowd loves it.

So Lois starts responding to questions in this manner.

"What about crime?"
"It's bad."

"What will you use taxes for?"
"To combat terrorism... 9/11!"

And the crowd eats it up.

Not to be too much of a cynic... but as humans can we even call ourselves intelligent mammals? We seem far more like sheep than anything else.

Screw that... if I have to be four-legged, I'll be a goat. Go my own way, and chew some cud thank you very much. Or maybe a wolf? I hear the sheep are easy prey. :)

Stormgaard said...

I don't think this is anything new. The "cutting edge" MMORPG fanbase has always been this way. The only reason it seems like it's coming out of nowhere is that we've been living under a "Pax Warcraftana" for the past 4 years.

Incidentally I'm inclined to believe we'll continue living under it. WoW has pushed the boundries and most of their players don't care and/or might not even be aware of WAR or AoC. WoW attracts too many "Normal People".

Only the hardcore MMORPG geeks really care about WAR and AoC. They're tired of WoW and at this point want WoW to fail and get overthrown whether it deserves to be or not.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I didn't realize you had posted the same damn response four minutes before me :)

Keen said...

If everyone got along and loved everything this would be a very boring world. The wait for the 'next big thing' would be also that much more tedious.


Anonymous said...

It's Warhammer and Age of Conan that people go crazy about, but actually there's a third "big" MMORPG launching this year: Aion. Some people write it off because it's from NCSoft but some of the things Aion will introduce (like air combat - flying characters) sounds innovative and cool. I don't see as much new things in WAR as in AoC or Aion.

Thallian said...

Very good comments all, I'd just like to add that I have no problem with fandom as long as its the promoting kind and not the tearing others down kind. Tearing others down as brenda says is what happens if people allow the path of least resistance to take over. That path is to think that others doing better at something somehow lowers your position. And then seeking to tear them down to raise your position doesn't actually raise your position, just your perception of it. Not good behavior. A better way is to realize that you or your game stands on its own pillar of merits and faults and doesn't have to be the best. To sum it up its far better to cheer than to jeer. But one should always remember to try and inject some reality in one's fandom from time to time :P lol

Larry said...

OK, not to sound like a part of what you are condemning, because I do agree with you, but even YOU are adding fuel to the fire.

Take this comment:
"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."

It's easy to see (for me anyway) how someone who is hardcore for WAR would take offense and then, thanks to the annonimity (sp?) of the web fire back. Like so:

Oh RIIIGGGHHHTTT, cause I'm sure AoC won't have ANYTHING like other MMORPGs. pfffttt

See what I mean.

Larry said...

Somehow it lost my final sentence which was:

It's easy for any of us to allow our own prejudices (for lack of a better word) to inject themselves into our lives to the point that they become the end-all be-all.

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