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A Plague of Hate


Empiredivider's Avatar


Empiredivider
01.11.2013 , 04:19 AM | #1
( I wrote this as a blog post for our guilds podcast and website Ootinicast.com, I thought I would also share it with you here. It was mainly an exercise in releasing some tension after falling victim to reading harsh comments on a blog. )

It started a long time ago in a galaxy far, far... actually it was around February of 2012, two or three months after the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). Iím referring to the unbridled hate for the once falling star that is SWTOR. It began with ingame chat, murmurs about game mechanics and quality of life aspects versus previously-played Massively Multiuser Online Games (MMOs); but now itís escalated into outright hate and vitriol over the game and its existence. SWTOR has been attempting to stem and repair its dwindling subscription base by fixing and addressing all these complaints about how it does not match up to other MMOs; particularly the ďelephant in the roomĒ, World of Warcraft (WoW). While I am not going to argue about subjective opinions, I am going to argue against the passionate hate that seems to plague this game.

A few days ago I saw a story on GameSpy.com covering the future of SWTOR as it expands to face one of the biggest complaints against it back in February: ďNot enough end game material.Ē This was one of the problems that started to lead to early subscription cancellations.

Reader comments from GameSpy.com


For the hardworking folks at BioWare and EA, adding higher end content is a step in the right direction. This can only be a positive change and may even bring some of the early deserters back into the fold. This is only the most recent dramatic change to SWTOR from its initial release. The demand for the game, that was only one year old in December of 2012, to be better than or on par with WoW, the then eight year old game, is so mind boggling that it leaves one gobsmacked. Should the game ever be exactly like WoW it would also see vitriol including ďit is just a clone of WoWĒ opinions. It seems whatever route the BioWare and EA team try to take they are attacked with hatred.




The state of the game now is one of recovery from its early and large loss of players that are needed to keep games like SWTOR and WoW alive and entertaining. I played WoW before they even had their first expansion, and before that I played the first Star Wars-themed MMO, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (SWG). I experienced both a dying MMO (SWG) and an expanding MMO (WoW) simultaneously. SWG was losing badly to the then new WoW; the game started to become a wasteland devoid of players. This was a double whammy for SWG and all MMOs: less paying subscribers meant no income to maintain the game, and fewer players online meant no enjoyment for the remaining players, thus causing the problem to escalate. For SWTOR to keep the game competitive and enjoyable they had to make changes, and they have, mainly the right ones.The vast majority of players whoíve stuck with it have seen and appreciate the changes. The recent rapid influx of new and old players is testament to my case that Bioware and EA are going down the right path. It is a loud minority, who for some reason are aggressively hateful, and consider any change to be suspect or malevolent.




Why am I writing this? It is very simple: I love to play SWTOR, I look forward to the changes in the game that will both improve my enjoyment and the enjoyment of others who I want to play with. I know there are problems with the game, because I play it. I will use the resources given to me to help inform developers to make the changes I want; my faith in their ability to do this is why I give my hard-earned income to support the company. It is my subjective opinion that SWTOR is the best MMO and will only get better with my help and those of players like me. There is no true objective answer to ďWhat is the best MMO?Ē That is why I can not argue about it being the best for you. I stopped playing WoW shortly after the Cataclysm expansion and I have never logged back in, gone back to the forums, or glanced at a story on the internet about the future of the game. I have never posted a negative comment on any site that is promoting or informing its subscribers. This does not mean you donít have a right to influence change if you donít pay or play. I am sure Bioware and EA would love to know what it would take to get you to try the game, or bring you back. I would consider suggestions of improvement as constructive criticism. Itís the non-constructive comments that irk me.






The game does not deserve to be hounded by people who want nothing more than to outdo each other in tearing down a game they want nothing to do with. The internet calls it trolling and cyber bullying, but itís really sad and pathetic. What drives people to spend energy attacking something they donít care about? Whatever their drive, it isnít healthy. This is why SWTOR does not deserve the hate. If you donít like the game, move on! Let others who may still enjoy it, enjoy it. A comment on a blog has never changed someoneís opinion, so save your energy for something youíre passionate about, and donít be passionate about your hate.

-Thank you

Ravnik's Avatar


Ravnik
01.11.2013 , 04:31 AM | #2
Nice post. I think the forums need something like this to counter the wall of crap that other people tend to give the game. Whine, whine, moan. I fell into the trap months ago of reading the hate posts and then giving up on the game. Now im back and enjoying the game more than ever, simply because i dont take any notice of the haters doom and gloom any more. Im also looking forward to the future of the game, and new features / expansions etc that will eventually come.

I fully expect the trolls and haters to start posting in this thread to, because there are obviously no other games out there good enough for them.
The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly..........

TheNahash's Avatar


TheNahash
01.11.2013 , 04:37 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Empiredivider View Post
The internet calls it trolling and cyber bullying, but itís really sad and pathetic. What drives people to spend energy attacking something they donít care about? Whatever their drive, it isnít healthy. This is why SWTOR does not deserve the hate. If you donít like the game, move on! Let others who may still enjoy it, enjoy it. A comment on a blog has never changed someoneís opinion, so save your energy for something youíre passionate about, and donít be passionate about your hate.
Good God, sir. Are you trying to break the internet?
On a more serious note, unfortunately that's how it works. People who have nothing better to do with their lives are sad and pathetic and strongly support the argument that misery loves company. So they belittle whatever they do not deem worthy of their precious time and pride themselves on their master troll abilities. The saddest part about the whole thing is that most likely their life will amount to nothing more than endless evenings home alone, in front of a computer, trying to bring down things and people's lives just so they can feel a bit better about their own.
But, once again, that's the state of the internet. Posts like these would've been much less back when the internet wasn't so obsessed with how 'cool' trolling is.

I personally do not care about other people's opinions for the things that I enjoy. When they are making sense and not just endlessly hating and repeating memes to prove a non-existent point, I take them into consideration and I judge for myself whether those arguments are things that annoy me too or if I just don't give a damn about it.

You shouldn't either.
SWTOR doesn't deserve so much hate, that's true, but people are like that. Yesterday it was WoW, today is Swtor and tomorrow will be GW2 or ESO. It's funny if you think about it. All these people in their infinite wisdom, not being able to comprehend that some people genuinely enjoy some of the things they don't. Laugh at their ignorance and sad lives and move on

Empiredivider's Avatar


Empiredivider
01.11.2013 , 04:54 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by TheNahash View Post
Good God, sir. Are you trying to break the internet?
On a more serious note, unfortunately that's how it works. People who have nothing better to do with their lives are sad and pathetic and strongly support the argument that misery loves company. So they belittle whatever they do not deem worthy of their precious time and pride themselves on their master troll abilities. The saddest part about the whole thing is that most likely their life will amount to nothing more than endless evenings home alone, in front of a computer, trying to bring down things and people's lives just so they can feel a bit better about their own.
But, once again, that's the state of the internet. Posts like these would've been much less back when the internet wasn't so obsessed with how 'cool' trolling is.

I personally do not care about other people's opinions for the things that I enjoy. When they are making sense and not just endlessly hating and repeating memes to prove a non-existent point, I take them into consideration and I judge for myself whether those arguments are things that annoy me too or if I just don't give a damn about it.

You shouldn't either.
SWTOR doesn't deserve so much hate, that's true, but people are like that. Yesterday it was WoW, today is Swtor and tomorrow will be GW2 or ESO. It's funny if you think about it. All these people in their infinite wisdom, not being able to comprehend that some people genuinely enjoy some of the things they don't. Laugh at their ignorance and sad lives and move on
I have a realistic understanding of the internet and its state of endless trolling. I also didn't feel like actually addressing the trolls on their playground. I wrote this more for myself then for them. Once I realized how long it would be I thought I would share it.

BobaTed's Avatar


BobaTed
01.11.2013 , 07:43 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by TheNahash View Post
People who have nothing better to do with their lives are sad and pathetic and strongly support the argument that misery loves company. So they belittle whatever they do not deem worthy of their precious time and pride themselves on their master troll abilities. The saddest part about the whole thing is that most likely their life will amount to nothing more than endless evenings home alone, in front of a computer, trying to bring down things and people's lives just so they can feel a bit better about their own.
Not sure why, but this struck me as very ironic. It's one thing to bemoan the flood of haters, and it's one thing to say SWTOR deserves better - but it's another thing altogether to paint all "haters" with a broad, dismissive, and deliberately insulting brush. In doing so, you're basically engaging in exactly what you criticize.

I decided some time ago that SWTOR just isn't my game (though I pop my head in from time to time when I want to play with neon glowsticks). I've ragged on the game more than once, here and elsewhere. Is it "pathetic" to do so? Eh, maybe - but it stems from 1) disappointment in the game's design and direction, and 2) the realization that, at this point, it's just not gonna change.

Believe me, I'd love to tell you why I "hate" SWTOR, but for some reason I don't think it'll be well received...

TheNahash's Avatar


TheNahash
01.11.2013 , 11:37 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by BobaTed View Post
I've ragged on the game more than once, here and elsewhere. Is it "pathetic" to do so? Eh, maybe - but it stems from 1) disappointment in the game's design and direction, and 2) the realization that, at this point, it's just not gonna change.
and when is 3) not playing the game you don't enjoy and investing your time into something you actually find entertaining going to come?

I don't know why it struck you as ironic. I don't see the irony. I do not consider them pathetic and sad because they don't like/play/say good things about the game. I do so because there is no point in what they're doing other than to piss people off and because they think that everything in life is their way or the highway.

I'm not saying people shouldn't criticize the game. Of course they should, it's a product and like any other product criticism is supposed to help it get better.

However, I fail to see how the comments in the photos posted above provide any kind of constructive criticism that stems from a genuine interest in the game's improvement. Can you explain to me where you see that above?

My point is very simple: (just so I'm clear 'you' = anyone; this is not personal)
This is a game. A game is supposed to entertain you - that's all it can do. If it fails at that, there is no point in either staying in the game hoping it will do a 180į and go the way you want it or trying to make people who enjoy it, enjoy it less. I can understand the frustration of having your expectations crushed but there is only so much time you can be justified for being mad at it; it's not a job, it's not RL, it's a collection of pixels that you can leave at any time without your life being affected at all. There are, thankfully, hundreds of other games to choose from and one of them will be closer to the expectations you had from SWTOR.

Now, you can consider my attitude pathetic and sad, and it's your right to do so, but I stand by what I said - I think that people who spend their days commenting on things they don't enjoy, trying to spoil other people's fun without so much as giving a reason as to why they are beating 'a dead horse', are pathetic and sad.

Shwarzchild's Avatar


Shwarzchild
01.11.2013 , 11:42 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by BobaTed View Post
Not sure why, but this struck me as very ironic. It's one thing to bemoan the flood of haters, and it's one thing to say SWTOR deserves better - but it's another thing altogether to paint all "haters" with a broad, dismissive, and deliberately insulting brush. In doing so, you're basically engaging in exactly what you criticize.

I decided some time ago that SWTOR just isn't my game (though I pop my head in from time to time when I want to play with neon glowsticks). I've ragged on the game more than once, here and elsewhere. Is it "pathetic" to do so? Eh, maybe - but it stems from 1) disappointment in the game's design and direction, and 2) the realization that, at this point, it's just not gonna change.

Believe me, I'd love to tell you why I "hate" SWTOR, but for some reason I don't think it'll be well received...
I agree with your first paragraph. A lot actually. I'm also glad to see that you understand that some games just aren't for some people. It happens. I just don't believe that the posts people create, both pro swtor and against, should be doing so. I remember there was a Star Ocean game on Xbox 360 I bought, and I absolutely hated it. I hated everything about it. I didn't run to the forums to bash it, or yell at people who did like it. And I didn't need anyone to tell me why they liked it. I was sure that it was for an audience that I wasn't included in. So, even though I had originally liked the idea behind the game and wanted to play as many games in the RPG category as I could, I knew it just wasn't my cup of tea and moved on to another game that I did end up liking....liking all too much in Mass Effect.

I'll never understand why people feel the need to hate a game when it's optional to play. I can understand hating a job, since really you have to keep that job until you find something else which is a task in itself. For optional things, it just doesn't make sense to me for people to stick around when it's not something they enjoy. So I don't think it's pathetic, or whatever. I simply think it's a waste of time, and possibly a little stupid.

I do like the fact that you check in from time to time. I can appreciate that. I hope that during one of your pop ins you find something that brings you back in to the fold of playing and enjoying. I love this game, it's exactly what I was hoping for in an MMO. I know I'm probably one of the few that thinks this game hit my expectations. Overall, I just want to play with people who want to play and have fun as well. That's all.

BobaTed's Avatar


BobaTed
01.11.2013 , 12:31 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by TheNahash View Post
and when is 3) not playing the game you don't enjoy and investing your time into something you actually find entertaining going to come?
Who said I didn't find it entertaining? It's a fine little break from other games - I like the graphics and all - but it doesn't take long before I get bored again, or get annoyed by what I feel are unnecessary design choices.

Quote:
I don't know why it struck you as ironic. I don't see the irony. I do not consider them pathetic and sad because they don't like/play/say good things about the game. I do so because there is no point in what they're doing other than to piss people off and because they think that everything in life is their way or the highway.
You didn't stop there, though, did you? You went on to cast aspersions on their out-of-game lives, casting them as cartoonish rejects from mainstream humanity. That's what I find ironic - the baseless characterization of people who, in your view, make baseless characterizations about the game.

TheNahash's Avatar


TheNahash
01.11.2013 , 12:54 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by BobaTed View Post
Who said I didn't find it entertaining? It's a fine little break from other games - I like the graphics and all - but it doesn't take long before I get bored again, or get annoyed by what I feel are unnecessary design choices.
See that's what I don't get: if you are enjoying the game (not saying you have to enjoy it 24/7, all year long), why would you bash it? How does that make sense?
(Notice I didn't say criticize, I'm specifically talking about bashing)

Quote: Originally Posted by BobaTed View Post
You didn't stop there, though, did you? You went on to cast aspersions on their out-of-game lives, casting them as cartoonish rejects from mainstream humanity. That's what I find ironic - the baseless characterization of people who, in your view, make baseless characterizations about the game.
ah, that.
Yes, my baseless and cartoonish characterization of those people remains as stated. And, just to be clear, this goes for ALL those people bashing a person or a thing they don't personally enjoy, without giving any reason why or providing constructive criticism, from the comfort of their own home and security of their anonymity. Whether we're talking about Star Wars or Queen or...Justin Bieber, I just don't see the point in trying to bring down something that you don't enjoy and therefore doesn't concern you.

If someone doesn't enjoy something that is entirely optional and for entertainment purposes, yet he chooses to constantly belittle it and the people that do enjoy it, then that's what I call a pathetic and sad individual.

I like to think of myself as an open-minded person whose opinions are shaped by what he sees, experiences and learns. But unless someone proves to me that there are other reasons why anyone would post childish memes or plain out hate messages to belittle something that doesn't concern him (anymore) - since he doesn't enjoy it and considering it's completely optional, I will continue to find that attitude pathetic and sad.

BobaTed's Avatar


BobaTed
01.11.2013 , 03:31 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by TheNahash View Post
See that's what I don't get: if you are enjoying the game (not saying you have to enjoy it 24/7, all year long), why would you bash it? How does that make sense?
(Notice I didn't say criticize, I'm specifically talking about bashing)
Where do you draw the line, though? For instance, I've warned people off of this game, usually on the basis that if they're looking for an alternative to WoW style gameplay, this ain't it. Is that criticism, or bashing? Sure, the "this game sux" posts are pretty cut and dry, but the general tolerance level IMO isn't very high.

Quote:
Yes, my baseless and cartoonish characterization of those people remains as stated. And, just to be clear, this goes for ALL those people bashing a person or a thing they don't personally enjoy, without giving any reason why or providing constructive criticism, from the comfort of their own home and security of their anonymity.
Does it also go for the, ahem, devotees of the game who think Bioware can do no wrong, and who jump all over anything that in the least way smacks of criticism of the game? I dunno about you, but I find those people rather pathetic and sad - and somewhat blindsighted to the possibilities of this game (and others). However, I'd hesitate to characterize them as "forever aloners" trying desperately to find meaning in their lives through slavish support.