MMO communities are fickle things that have evolved and become a beast of an entirely different nature from their early days. When the industry was younger ─ with games like Asheron’s Call, Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot and a handful of others ─ it was a generation of new players trying out an unheard of genre, the MMORPG. The idea intrigued those of us who had been single-player gamers for years. An opportunity for interaction in a game with avatars that could walk around, the opportunity to chat real time with players from all over the world, a visual experience of grouping and questing. The chance to be gamers with those who were like minded. It was a new experience, exciting, an entire world open before your eyes to explore. While the mechanics of the game were familiar the interaction and visual aspect was not. Sure we had our MUD’s or D&D weekly sessions but this was gaming on a new level.
Jeff Hollis of IncGamers, on including non-human races in your MMO:
The developers behind both Fury and Tabula Rasa openly indicated they didn't want to spend the additional cash on this, but instead wanted to invest that money elsewhere. In both cases, the developers defended this decision in a quite genuine manner. They seemed to have thought about this, and felt they were doing the right thing.
That decision, as it turned out, was unwise.
the most dominant MMO in the history of the genre offers a nice, wide variety of race and class combination. In fact, WoW keeps including more races with each expansion. Maybe, just maybe, they know what they're doing.
Vaulting cleanly over any appeal to logic, Jeff reaches his conclusion: 'Human only' MMOs are doomed to fail.
Perhaps the MMOs that have to sacrifice 'cool stuff' such as multiple races to meet a bare-minimum budget are likely to struggle to produce something on a par with their established competitors - regardless of racial diversity. Every one of his 'human only' failure examples had been plagued by a list of typical MMO issues.
Does it really make a difference if I'm playing a human, a humanoid with green skin, a humanoid with pointy ears, or a humanoid that's 4 feet tall? Certainly not if the game blows anyway.
Tune in for next week's column: 'Why you can't make an MMO without red health bars and blue mana bars''.
This is not how you do it:
Allow me to disabuse you of an erroneous assumption: My statements do not in any way pertain to the totality of our research, nor do they relate to a sole or singular approach being taken in investigating hacking/theft incidents. We are most definitely not looking solely for a commonality of attack. We are not looking exclusively for a single person or entity involved with account thefts, although we know nearly all are being carried out by a specific group in a certain location. Some players have publicly stated an assumption about NCMA security and its purported "connection" to account thefts. With support from the Community Team and the developers, I have informed people that such an assumption is wrong, as above.
Please do not take my comments out of context, nor perceive in them a singularity of view on our part, for that would most definitely not be factual. Do not assume that your comments -- tantamount to "Because you are looking behind the door, you are not seeing the burglar in the closet" -- represent the truth of the situation, for they do not. Research covers a wide variety of points of evidence that merely includes the NCMA, but does not focus upon it with any single-faceted vision whatsoever.
As far as your concerns about the NCMA and processes connected with it, I believe that all those observations are known to the NCsoft team. However, I will review the thread in question and will be sure to send a single message with all valid concerns to the team, for their focus and action, as possible. Thank you for encapsulating several valid comments in a single thread.
PR 101: Managing the expectations of your customers. In the case of video games, this usually refers to the temptation to describe key game features which are not yet set in stone or even close to being implemented.
To the surprise of many, NCSoft has brazenly ignored this cornerstone of public relations with the release of their "Visions" trailer: A true antithesis to the conventional wisdom of "don't talk about it until it's finished, tested, and going in the next patch". However, they have done it on such a grandiose scale, and impressed so many, that they might just get away with it.
The vision trailer is not a specific patch/expansion - it's a vision of what we're hoping to get out there in the future.
- Sebastian "Ayase" Streiffert, Aion Community Manager [source]