Making Peace with a Game

I can’t play a massively multiplayer online game without reading someone’s tirade about how broken the game is. That alone is not a big deal, and such rants are pretty common for every type of game people play. I certainly have spelled out my issues with games I have played in the past. What really confuses me is that someone can write a five paragraph essay about how some development group doesn’t “get it” or has caused them undue suffering yet this person will continue to play the game. Very rarely do I see a laundry list of complaints that ends with the phrase, “And that’s why I cancelled my account and will not play this game any more.” It seems evident to me that the game is worth playing, but the resulting complaining is not unlike a sixteen year old’s view of a pimple on their chin. These issues are not the entire game, but that’s the focus of forum posts, blog entries, and online news articles.

Massively multiplayer online games have some very predictable issues that are inherent in their design. Things that you use and experience in the game are going to change. Other people are going to find ways to profit or advance faster than you. Some of these problems are just perception based, and others are simply part of playing an masively multiplayer online game. My advice is to make peace with the genre or stop playing. Complaining about how one group of players is moving up some ladder faster than you, or getting more resources than you, is a fact of life. No matter how level the playing field, someone is out there getting more of something faster than you can. And when you break down and try to join that group, doing whatever they are doing, you should expect the game to change so that there is no more advantage there. All these behaviours are not conducive to actually playing the game. When a change in the game can cause you to stop having fun, you are left two options. You can quit the game, or you can develop an attitude that allows the game to change while you continue to enjoy it. And if you can’t do either of those, I’m sure you can get a job making the next great MMORPG. Just remember that what goes around, comes around.

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