Different Play Styles for Different Players #EQ #Rift #MMORPG

With both Rift head start ongoing, and the EQ progression server there is one line of thought that I hear more often then not. These are direct quotes taken from each game.

  • “Those MORONS who rush to end game”
  • “Then there’s those retarded people who just rush through the levels, and yes, I do mean retarded”

What I don’t understand is why we’re all so quick to judge someone else’ play style. We expect other people to understand our own perspective, whether we enjoy soloing our way through the game or we would rather group up – and yet when it comes do casual vs. hardcore we’re all too quick to put our finger on the trigger and start name calling based on someone else’ enjoyment. Some players ENJOY being first. They enjoy the competition, they enjoy the thrill. They don’t care about the pretty walk on the way to the top they see only one goal. You may not agree or even understand this frame of mind but that doesn’t give you the right to look down on someone because of it. Even if they’re of the mind that rushing to the top is the end all be all of a game only to bitch about lack of content when they get there. It’s still a valid play style, and if you expect anyone to respect the way you choose to enjoy the game, you should at least have the common courtesy to do the same for others.

After all, we’re all paying the same monthly fee to enjoy the game. How you choose to spend your time logged in (or not logged in) is completely up to you. What other people choose to do with their subscription is also really none of your concern. Whether or not someone rushes to end game isn’t going to change or affect how YOU play your game. It’s just one more thing to complain about in a long list of MMO gamer grievances.

The point? Next time you want to call someone a name because of some game-related incident take a second look at yourself. You may not like or understand why a player is gaming a particular way but does it really matter? Let them enjoy the ride their way, and you enjoy it yours.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

16 Responses to Different Play Styles for Different Players #EQ #Rift #MMORPG

  1. Bhagpuss says:

    Two things are getting conflated here, namely manners and judgment. In a shared space, the actions of others have relevance to all. It is not inapropriate to take a position on how others behave, nor to express that opinion. How it’s expressed, however, is another matter.

    Part of the problem is that manners aren’t universal. Rather, they’re markers of belonging to certain groups or sets. In “real life”, people tend to stay within those sets and therefore to conform to the expected modes therein. When someone enters the set, if they wish to be accepted they usually need to conform to the norms of that set. Not doing so marks them as an outsider and results in rejection or exclusion.

    MMOs don’t really work that way. They throw a whole lot of different sets together, give them all loud-hailers to express themselves as often and as loudly as they like and impose almost no sanctions on them for failing to conform. Only if they break the externally applied rules for manners, breaching terms laid down in the EULA, do sanctions occur, which is like calling the police when someone belches at the dinner table. The big advantage is that, unlike real life, you can just switch off those that you don’t want to hear, collectively by switching off the channel or selectively with the ignore function.

    As for racing to max level, I do think it has the potential to damage the games for those who don’t wish to follow suit, for reasons well discussed above. It’s permitted, though, and while that’s so the rest of us just have to put up with it.

  2. Shar says:

    Great post Star. Its the game mentality these days unfortunately. I started in EQ 11-12 years ago, played for 5 years. Took an mmo break. Moved to EQ2 for 4. And now Rift. Gotta say that Rift is my first real exposure to the “WoW mentality” and its something else. Its obviously just not WoW but the way many games are these days – and WoW being the biggest, takes the most responsibility for it. People just don’t stop to understand why people ask a question, why people may do things one way that works for them, why people want to run quests/instances instead of grinding or vice versa, why people yadda yadda yadda.

    I started playing with someone in Rift beta who came from WoW. This person ridicules the other ex-WoW players…harps about ks’ing/nodestealing, harps about others not healing him when low on health, harps about this and that. All the while I’m noticing the exact same behavior in him when we come across “strangers”. If we’re working on a quest, and another player is in the same area doing what appears to be looking for the same objective, my beta friend will try to beat that person to every mob or gathering twinkle or whatever. I, on the other hand, am standing in place trying to type a message to the other person asking if they want to join us if they are looking for soandso also. Then it becomes a big thing and nobody leaves happy. The next time this type of situation arises (and it will), the players in question will all run to the target and ask questions later. Eventually, the whole server will have experienced this behavior and by then, everyone has stopped talking to “strangers”,will just run with their own circle and always bitch/moan/complain about those others who exhibit the exact same behavior as themselves.

    If/when I leave our duo to join a public rift event in the zone we’re in, my beta buddy takes offense that I would leave him to play with others. Huh, why??? When I had once said my playstyle is to quest and take in the content that the devs give us, he agreed and said he didn’t understand why someone would want to be 50 in a few days. Well, guess what. We did play together the first couple days of pre-launch but now he’s out there 2-3 zones past where I am in Stonefield rushing to that sweet sweet endgame and every so often asking if I want to be out there too taking in the higher level exp. I’m still having a blast, especially doing all the “story” type quests as I think those are the most entertaining of all the game offers. Rifts and the dungeons are fun too but I prefer taking it all in instead of one solitary playstyle and then being burned out when finished.

    There is a post right now on the Rift forums where a player made a comment about why Trion didn’t properly announce there would be a 4 hour downtime today for retail launch. Honest question, no ill intended and he went so far as to say he wasn’t trying to flame Trion as he otherwise loves everything about the game. The post is now 75 responses deep and its probably 4-1 people “lolz”ing and “umad”ing at him saying it was posted on Facebook. The guy and some of the minority who agree with him try to explain that Facebook is not appropriate for this news. The thread is going nowhere for no valid reason at all.

    Anyway, sorry for the longish comment here. But your post hit home with me, especially with what I’ve been noticing more and more thru all the Rift betas and now the live game.

  3. Wiqd says:

    If people rush to max level and then complain about lack of content, I do think they’re morons. If they rush to max level and are content with their accomplishment and don’t bug people, I don’t care. It’s when people knowingly do something that they know the end result of, then act surprised when the end result is as they expected that I have a problem. Not THAT big of a problem, mind you. I usually just point and laugh, but unfortunately gaming companies DO have a history of listening to people who cause a raucous, even Trion.

  4. pkudude99 says:

    Rift simply has fast leveling. Had I focused on a single character I’m sure I’d be in my mid-30’s by now, quite frankly, and I don’t think I played all that much. Certainly more than my “normal” playtime due to the shiny newness of it all, but it’s not like I was pulling all-nighters or anything.

    As it is, my main is level 19 and has completed the T1/T2 zones’s quests. I’ve got a rogue to 14 with all 8 souls quested out now, and I’ve got 2 others at level 11 so they can wear their full T1 crafted kit. All 4 toons have their crafting to where they could (if they had the materials) craft T3 items, but since I don’t have any toons at level 23 yet where they could actually equip them I’ve not bothered yet.

    I do plan on being “slower” in order to be able to gather my own materials and such, which will more or less necessitate leveling at least 2 up pretty much simultaneously, but Rift doesn’t have a whole lot of “lateral” content as of yet, so there’s not a whole lot to do besides level up as of yet. I’m sure that will come with time, but for now. . well… level up.. it’s all you’ve got.

  5. stargrace says:

    @Niall – I understand that, never said anything against it. However what right does that give to people to call anyone names over it, or to judge them and think poorly? I highly doubt the majority in any one game is rushing right to end (except maybe WoW, where the game begins at the end and Blizzard has made no attempt to think other wise) and just because one or two people do doesn’t make them BAD people. They haven’t done anything except play a video game their way.

    Until they have posted and bitched about lack of content, all they’ve done is made it to the end. Everyone assumes OH they MUST be complaining about lack of content, because they are 50! When in actuality, perhaps they’re content to be there and are not even looking for anything more. Unless you PERSONALLY have interacted with the person who made it there, and have proof that they are just going to bitch and moan and whine, WHY are we judging them as a whole. The generalization is what bugs me.

    Take EQ classic for example. There are a LOT of level 50’s right now. None of them are complaining about being end game, or lack of end game content. Yet people are still calling them morons and idiots for being level 50. That just doesn’t sit right with me. They haven’t DONE anything, except play the game their way.

  6. Niall says:

    Stargrace, your comment is well-taken. However, playstyle of the majority tends to shape the nature and the content of the game.

    Those that rush to the end game quickly find themselves out of things to do. This forces designers to find something for them to do in order to keep their subscriptions active.

    In addition, this type of player tends to become bored more quickly, and so they need to be ‘fed’ new content more often. This can have huge ramifications on the frequency and nature of expansions and updates, usually at the expense of those that are going slower. Less quests, less challenging quests, less low level content, weapons, spells, abilities and armor becoming trivialized, etc.

  7. stargrace says:

    @Blue – but you don’t *know* that, you just assume it. Why not give them the benefit of the doubt instead of judging them based on what everyone else has done / does.

  8. Blue Kae says:

    I was playing Rift last night when a server message was broadcast for the first person hitting level 50. I’m generally a “you do your thing and I’ll do mine” player but in this instance I was a bit irritated since I’m sure that player will be on the forums soon complaining how there’s nothing to do.

  9. Petter says:

    @scopicue – I know why Blizz did it, that wasn’t my point. People complain all the time, be they at level cap or even level 1. There’s always stuff to complain about, often of our own making. Hey, people that complain about grinding might turn to gold buying instead of asking themselves why they are even playing MMOs in the first place, etc. Remember though that people who “rush” to the end often gets put into the same category as “min-maxers”, who people who scoff at the rushers also tend to dislike.

    It’s all a big circle of hate. It’s all kind of sad.

  10. pasmith says:

    I just think it’s unhealthy, personally. I comment on people at cap in the same way I comment about people who smoke. Sitting at your computer for 20 hours a day playing a game just isn’t good for you. I’m not calling anyone names, just suggesting that your health is important and doing things in moderation is generally the best course of action.

    I mean, I dunno what the /played is on a level 50 character but to get to 50 by Saturday you *had* to have been doing pretty much nothing but playing and taking a brief nap here and there.

    I guess a binge like this once in a while isn’t going to kill anyone, though.

    I also do agree with Scopique though… I just don’t want to hear these same people bitching about there not being enough end content, now!

  11. Scopique says:

    @Petter – I’d chalk THAT up to a business decision; Blizzard knows which side of the bread their butter is on, and decided that they could afford to alienate a segment IF it meant that people like my wife — who doesn’t play MMOs, but who now has a WoW sub — would come on board.

    Complaining about lack of end-game content mere WEEKS into an MMO (which take YEARS to create, remember) is a problem of one’s own making. MMOs are NOT meant to be consumed on a single-player timeline. Content is ALWAYS introduced over time, but never at a pace that would keep zerg’ers happy.

    I’d prefer NOT to see anyone complain (which we know is asking too much), but I really roll my eyes when blogs start popping up about a lack of end-game content a few weeks after launch. It’s NOT a problem for anyone except those who decided that they needed to blow through it.

  12. Scopique says:

    I agree with you on that point, for certain. If people want to log in an hour a week, great. If people want to play through to get to the end-game, that’s OK.

    When we talk about the WHY people complain…Makes me want to go into psychology so the usual BS I spew might have some actual weight to it XD

    Many, MANY people view these games as competition, but on different levels. Some people need those firsts, some people are just concerned with tagging a mob before anyone else. How many times have we all gotten really pissed off that someone stole our pick-up while we had to beat down the NPC guarding it? They get a free pass; we do the work.

    Name-calling, especially in groups, is a way to bond with like-minded people. When everyone’s agreeing with name-calling, complaining, etc., then there’s a tenuous bond formed. These are “like minded people”, and are potentially allies instead of competitors. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” kind of thing. It doesn’t make it RIGHT, of course. There’s no defense of that.

  13. Petter says:

    @scopique – As Star points out, everybody complains about something. Why did raids in WoW become easier? Because the “casuals” complained. Instead of doing all the content available, they whined about not being able to do a certain part of all the content – which in turn left the more “hardcore” out in the cold, without much challenge left. It’s never a live or let live situation anywhere, it’s all about a certain playstyle being better than another.

    It’s constantly implied, from the harcore to the casual, from the people that prefer to level fast to the people who prefer to level slow – these days, even to business models, where the sub-crowd looks down on the F2P-crowd and vice versa.

  14. stargrace says:

    @Scopique – valid but my main point is why are we calling anyone names over it. I personally think everyone complains about problems of their own creation as you term it. Whether it’s running out of content, complaining about a class they chose to play, complaining about other players they could have avoided, complaining about loot they could have rolled on, etc etc etc etc. Why such hostility towards a play style that’s just as valid as any other out there.

  15. Scopique says:

    Well, generally I’d be with you 100%, but I think you’re omitting the historical perspective here. People who complain about those who rush to the end are also jumping the gun and aren’t filling in those same blanks.

    How long now before people are complaining about a “lack of end game content” after they’ve finished the end game content? It’s like someone who gorges themselves on cake, and then complains that there’s no dessert. They complain about problems of their own creation, and no one likes to hear people complain about those kinds of problems when they totally could have been avoided.

  16. Petter says:

    100% agree. +1. Extra karma. Etc.

    What gets me is the comment “I’m taking my time to enjoy them game.” Newsflash – most people that “rush” to endgame are enjoying the game too. Of course, whining on the forums is always annoying – but a lot of people, from all playstyles, take the time to whine on forums about the most weird things. I personally prefer being level capped, I have a lot of fun min-maxing and at least trying to make my character as good as possible in the role it is supposed to play. Why that would be wrong, or mean I’m not enjoying the game… It gets old.

    BTW, you are not actually having fun in EQ. We all know you’re not. After all, the only reason why you did enjoy it back in the day is because you didn’t have the glorious options you do now. Amirite?!

    (and oh, don’t forget that you are not allowed to have fun in Rift either, especially if you’ve criticized WoW in the past. Very important. Fun is a big no no. Don’t look at me like that, I can see you having fun! You’re not really!)

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