This is a post from a long time ago that I feel is still relevent today. I wrote this when playing Asheron’s Call 2 and it applies to World of Warcraft, too.
Hate is the new cool and it’s got all new packaging so it’s flying off the shelves! Some people with a vision create a product and no matter how much better it is than what has come before, it’s nothing but crap. Or, at least that’s how vocal fans paint it.
I’m sure that when someone decides to create a PC game, they imagine that having some forums would allow them to open lines of communication with their consumer base and/or fans. The thought of hundreds of people logging into your official forums to voice praise, point out flaws, and read your own views on their topics is a welcome idea. It would almost be foolish to NOT create an official forum that is centered on your new venture. But if you actually think any of that, you’re still living in a fairy land and wearing gumdrop hats while you dance with pixies and leperchauns.
The reality of the PC gaming community is that no matter how much work you put into your product, or how `good’ it is, people are going to line up to punch you in the stomach for ruining their lives. That’s right, I said `RUINING THEIR LIVES’. Little do you know that by fabricating a new game with the intent of providing enjoyment for many people like you (and make some money to feed and house yourself), you’re actually forcing people to purchase, play, and experience every single flaw with your game. A rational person might argue that a few problems or bugs can’t possibly ruin someone’s life, but these consumers are nowhere near rational. Every single flaw in the product causes them physical pain not unlike having their nuts in a workbench vise while being hit in the chest with a sledge hammer. Not owning and playing the game would mean certain death. Stopping AFTER you start to play would be even worse (however that’s possible). How does anyone know this is the case? Simply read the official forums of a PC game, such as Asheron’s Call 2. It will become obvious that even when you set out to create a fun, exciting, evolutionary game, what you are in fact doing is forcing people to buy it, then ENDURE the pain of playing your game. The developers few bumps in the road to the ideal game are life-shattering, nerve-wracking, moments of pure torment that will never end for the forum posting game player. Nevermind that your new game might offer tons of features that make it more exciting and enjoyable than any other game like it. Put aside the thoughts that all your patches and fixes to the game have been based on forum posts and customer feedback. You’ll never be good enough and nothing you do or say will change that you are the worst person to ever have lived. Even the smallest word from you or anyone involved in making the game will be turned into bona fide evidence of your conspiracy to spit on people’s hard work and to make their lives meaningless. Don’t even bother trying to argue against the vocal minority of the forums. Your pathetic attempts to appease anyone will be swept assunder in the waves of constant bitching, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
But won’t these people just quit? Oh no! Even if, by some miracle, they decide to actually stop playing your game, there’s no reason for them to not keep posting to the forums. They must make sure that no one else is ever lulled into enjoying the game or purchasing another copy. These valiant souls will throw their every waking hour into keeping others from ever possibly having to experience the game that ruins people’s lives. And probably to also make sure you never forget how bad the game was for them to play. That’s some real dedication.