Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fact Checking Mission

Ok, I'll bite. Channel Massive doesn't like me. They've said as much in their recent Blog-O-Steria portion of their 53rd podcast (1:18 approximately). Normally, I would just laugh the trolling attempt off, but this one is so full of misinformation and lies that I can't sit idly by. It's time for some fact checking.

I would like to start out by thanking them for crowning me Warhammer Online's #1 fanboy. It is an honor. However, I would like to point out that I do not in fact watch the Internet like a hawk and jump in to comment first on any WAR related story. Fact is, I have been a member of Virgin Worlds since Brent launched the site, so it only makes sense that I may be the first commenter on their blog posts from time to time.

Next on the ticket is the idea that Mythic has over-hyped WAR. Yes, Paul Barnett is a well spoken gent. Yes, Mythic has employed a plethora of common Internet tools to market WAR. Yes, I have been using the same Internet as everyone else. However, I've paid attention to WAR for more than just the two years it has been in the limelight. I understand how those that have followed WAR for only a couple years may have missed the grass roots origins of Mythic's marketing success.

I am also accused of blaming everything on WoW. I find it fairly ignorant that anyone would dismiss the effect that WoW has had on the MMO market and genre. Would WAR be hyped as much as it is if there wasn't a significantly increased market due to WoW's success? Even Age of Conan benefited from WoW and enjoyed moderate success because it was "different than WoW". No, WoW can't be blamed for everything, but it can't be thrown away as though it has done nothing.

The next argument is the big one: the idea that Mythic promised six cities and twenty-four classes for WAR's launch. I challenge anyone to find a Mythic representative promising anything. No one will, but there will be plenty of "this is what we have planned" and "if it isn't working, it will be chucked" comments. This, of course, is the same sort of language that Blizzard used originally when they defrayed criticism after announcing that hero classes would not be in at WoW's launch.

According to Channel Massive, I just pulled the whole "Hero classes at WoW's launch" out of my ass. Channel Massive went as far as self-editing what I assume to be a fun-filled comment, that "WoW's hero classes were just a...". Let me fill it in for them: "a planned feature for launch."
We stated that we planned to have Hero Classes in at launch during earlier beta. Plans change. There was never a "promise". Around launch, we stated that we planned to release Hero Classes as soon as we could. Plans change.

There was never a "promise".

Hero Classes are not planned for the expansion, to my knowledge.

They are actively in development.

We plan to add them into the game when they're done.

That's not a promise.

Plans change. We give you future information when we can, but we do not "promise" these things -- the fact that such plans become "promises" in the eyes of many is the reason we don't give you a great deal of future plans. I've stated our current plan. Take it for what it is. :) - Caydiem
Facts are such a bitch.

This brings me back to my main argument about WARs announced changes. The industry has been here before and the player base has erupted over planned features being cut from a AAA title during beta. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one that remembered; the only one level-headed enough to use WoW's hero classes as a historical sample of how to treat the WAR situation. The reaction for both situations was the same. The general community was outraged, because they falsely held planned features as promises. I understand it is tough to be fair and balanced in a genre that is built on passion. Unfortunately for Channel Massive, the Internet never forgets.

Look, I'm not angry. I could have easily left this at "eat shit and die", leaving the Channel Massive folks to their ignorance. However, all I've asked from the beginning of this mess was for bloggers, podcasters, and commenters to use facts, not misinformation, to form an opinion. It is alright to have an opinion that Mythic is delivering less than anticipated with WAR, but don't for a second disgrace those of us that have taken the time and energy to get the facts before opening our mouths.

I'm glad that Channel Massive did get something right at the end of the show. There is no way in hell they could possibly be right.


  1. I actually skipped the first whatever many minutes of the podcast because they actually talk about Age of Conan, which was enough to almost make me shut it off.

  2. Anonymous3:51 PM

    hmm, never heard of channel massive

  3. Anonymous3:53 PM

    I think this is definitely a good way for them to get press... I'd never even heard of the guys before.

    Now I'm intrigued enough to actually download the show.

    Nicely done, H.

  4. I wouldn't even given them the satisfaction. It's the classic flame publicity ploy.

    The fact you've never made any bones about your fanaticism for WAR makes their little vendetta silly.

    Can't wait for next month!

  5. Anonymous4:08 PM

    channel massive = blah blah blah
    i took them off my google reader a while back just b/c of that...they say nothing worth paying attention to and honestly i wasted my time listening to them just now.

  6. Anonymous4:40 PM

    If you're unhappy with the Episode 53 podcast then I suggest you check out Episodes 51, 52 and the forthcoming Episode 54. You've achieved something really special as for as Blog-O-Steria goes. Congratulations!

  7. Mark, you really need to switch to another form of irony/sarcasm. Recurring to the same technique twice in two posts so close in time (the one here, and the second on channelmassive) could show your lack of creativity and argumenting skills.
    Oh, and it gets old very quickly.

    p.s. Try not to congratulate me on whatever. Thank you.

  8. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Congratulations on the use of the word "argumenting."

  9. It's actually 2 different posters both happen to be named Mark.


    Anyways, nothing to see here, move along.

  10. Anonymous7:39 AM

    Hey know what they say...there's no such thing as good publicity or bad publicity there's only publicity. Now I would hardly characterize this sort of publicity as the "sort you can't even buy" but even if one is a fan girl or fan boy whats wrong with a little "fan-ism". I feel a podcast entry of my own coming on...

    Julie Whitefeather


    (thats the ruler slap heard round the world)

  11. Anonymous10:27 AM

    I find this strangely relevant:

  12. I want to give Channel Massive press. I want people to go and listen. Then they can make up their mind and hopefully avoid any rhetoric from Channel Massive in the future.

  13. Anonymous11:11 AM

    People listen to Channel Massive?

  14. I wonder why you would be considered the major fanboy with fluff pieces like

    Why AoC is more like WoW than WAR

    or comments like Paul Barnett is a genius

    Sheesh, I think Mythic needs a break from you stalking them all the

    Just kidding with ARE the WAR FAN!

  15. Paul Barnett is smarter than any single mouthpiece, for any MMO developer I have ever dealt with. I will call him for what I view him as. You don't agree, that is acceptable.

    I think I make a fairly good argument that AoC is more like WoW than WAR will be. I believe AoC has more than proven me correct. Never in the entirety of that argument do I disregard the facts to make a point. If I did, feel free to point it out and I'll research and concede any factual mistake made.

  16. Also, I have admitted elsewhere that the AoC vs WoW vs WAR argument was not one of my better arguments. I typed it and I'll let it stand where it is.

  17. I feel the WAR vs AoC argument was lopsided. You simplified AoC's features, while making WAR's the godlike mechanics of MMO's.

    Lets see how you stated it...

    AoC: PvE leveling via solo quests: yep
    WAR: PvE leveling via solo quests: yep, but in the form of public quests which can involve interaction among many solo players.

    Notice how you "simplify" AoC's PvE with a simple yep, but thanks to the "Public Quest" system, WAR is all new and shiny...
    Yet, what do the public quests contain?
    More kill 10x, run here, get this, then end with killing a boss. Sounds like ALL MMO's in, as a matter of fact, this sounds like WoW!

    Now, don't get me wrong..AoC is a horrible mess, but based on this type of lopsided discussion, you can see why people would call you the WAR FAN.

    As to Paul: I already went over his rambling rant on the Beatles vs Monkees comment on my blog...
    Like you, Paul glossed over the fact that the Monkees were a more powerful source in the music industry at the time.
    And the fact remains that the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and the Stones combined..
    Yet, he blew off the Monkees like they were Tabula Rasa, Vanguard or AoC.
    As least this is what he implied.
    Gibberish is what he was saying.

    And don't get me started on the Good idea, Great idea rant or the boob stare.
    He is just some geek who wants to be a rock star...
    Instead he feels more like a Monkey!

    But, this is all "opinion" again. Your opinion is WAR is awesome, others do not feel that way.
    We each have the right to make assumptions based on the data we have.
    But, you always have a counter point to anyone's argument, which makes it seem like you are "WAR's greatest Fan!" is all.

  18. The simplification is part of the point in that post. Take away the graphics and you are hard pressed to tell the difference between AoC and WoW questing (I'll bend a tiny bit because of destiny quests in AoC). WAR has a differing feature, Public Quests, that are quests taken to a more social degree.

    I'm not sure what Paul was getting at with the Beatles thing, but I am fairly sure sales figures was not part of it. My take is the general impact of the Beatles vs the Monkees, as to the idea that the Monkees were a result of the Beatles success. The whole "the Monkees were manufactured" debate. Taken in that context, Paul's comment makes sense, albeit with his general British slant on things.

    Personally, my dad caught me playing his Beatles vinyls one day as a kid and scolded me for it. He didn't care that I had touched the Monkees.

  19. But again...I would argue that the "Public Quests" may be social, but it is nothing "new" per se, as you imply by stating it was different than AoC, thus , AoC was like WoW because AoC did not have Public Quests..

    This made no sense at that time.

    The unique part of "Public quests" is being able to jump in and start at any point and leave at any point.
    But, like you said, the Destiny Quest was glossed over to make your point that AoC was more like WoW. WoW has NO mechanic like Destiny Quests.
    i.e: you are a WAR fan.

    The statement by Paul had no context. You are correct.
    Even though YOU have stated it eloquently, and based on how you worded it, makes some sense.
    Originality was the key.
    But, going back to the "Music" metaphor, I can name tons of original bands that also have no "subscribers" either.
    But, luckily, you "deciphered" his meaning and made it more logical..
    i.e: You are a WAR fan.

    I am not sure I have said this but, do you maybe not like the WAR FAN moniker? It suits you well, and maybe you should embrace it.
    Or are you gearing yourself up so that if WAR is not "All that", then you won't have everyone here going "Told ya so..."

    I for one welcome our new WAR overlords. As it will also settle a huge debate going right now.
    Is PvP the viable sales solution, and is it the reason PvE only games do not do as well (example LOTRO and AoC with it's broken PvP mechanics)...
    Check out my WAR rant

  20. Anonymous11:08 AM

    I just wanted to say that anyone who argues that two games are similar by boiling them down to their foundations isn't making a good argument.

    Cosmetic differences shouldn't be negated just because they are cosmetic. Nor should visual differences. And, that goes the same for similarities. Just because the back-ends of two games are similar, doesn't make them overwhelmingly so. Furthermore, if you wanted to boil it down to that level, than all games of the same genre should be treated as being exactly the same as each other.

    Just something to consider when making the "when you boil them down" argument.

  21. Anonymous6:56 PM

    I would argue that the difference between WAR's cut features and WoW's cut features is that we can reasonably expect to see more cities and/or class replacements sooner than 4 years after WAR's release.


  22. Alex, it isn't a discussion of boiled down mechanics. It is the layer above the core, the feature set, that I was arguing for. Turn off the graphics and AoC and WoW are easily mistaken for the same game. WAR is as well, but has points that bring players out of that comparison a lot sooner than AoC.

    Players grabbed AoC because it was not WoW, just as people buy a Zune because its not an iPod. Most of these people eventually realize the basics are the same and then decide one or the other delivers the entire package better for them. In the WoW vs. AoC case, we have fairly strong evidence that WoW won.


Join the conversation; leave a comment!