Monday, March 30, 2009

Word to the Wise

"Better" as in "wow is better because it has more subs", or "Darkfall is better because it has more freedom and better impact pvp" is a relative term. So are "good", "best", "worst","stupid", and so on. In a world alone, none of these terms have any meaning. And even in our world where we have so much to compare things to, we often misuse them. To say WoW sells more copies because it is a "better game" could be true and not true at the same time, depending on what the "better" things is that you are talking about. Wow does arguable have many fun and "better" attributes. It is also a dinosaur compared to other games in other areas. So does darkfall. It looks like its keep captures and freedom are top of the charts right now. It's pve though sounds like its lacking in intelligence, though, granted almost all games are lacking in intelligent mobs.

I often term Artifical Intelligence as being relativistic and I often state that its real name should be Artificial Stupidity (another relative term) because the AI programmed into games compared to the AI professors and their graduate students have cooked up is woefully inept. When this progress will ever leave academia though is anyone's guess. Usually things dont get trasnalted over unless some company buys the finished product or steals some of the graduate students.

Tangent aside. Please be more careful about using "great" and "best" and so on fellow bloggers. Be more specific. Say instead "great pvp" or "best pwnage" or whatever but don't just say "wow does better because it is better" Perhaps WoW only does better because the layman likes its art and ease of use, who knows? Its really hard to say off the bat or even with detailed research. even Blizzard themselves claim they don't know what makes its secret sauce. the stupidest argument though is "11 million people can't be wrong" Marketers like to use this one to get people to gang bang. But yes, they can be wrong and they often are. Numbers do not make people right, no matter how high they climb.

P.s. I'm not a relativist, but I know lots of them. ;)


Pete said...

I was with you to the very end. 11 million people can't be altogether wrong when you're selling a service.

Clearly if you can get 11 million people to pay for $15, you are doing something "right" assuming that in this case, "right" equates to moving your company forward, and the purpose of WoW is to make money for Blizzard.

I got your back on the rest of the post, though!!

Anton said...

Calvin and Hobbes is the "best" comic in the world!

...dang, did I forget to read the rest of the post?

Well, since I play WoW regularly, I suppose I should try to figure out why I like it, and why other MMO's haven't been able to attract me the same way. I think I like the people I play with, the character I've developed, and the whimsy of the world in general. It has pretty colors, too, maybe it just comes down to that. It has a huge variety of playable races, creatures, and environments, which cover a wide range of shapes and colors, which other MMO's I've played I haven't seen matched yet.

Granted, I haven't spent a fraction of the time in other MMO's that I've spent in WoW, and it may be as simple as that...I love it, because it's comforting to be in a place I know well.

Thallian said...

Yeah Pete, you're right in fact, I am not saying that Blizzard is "wrong". They do have lots of paying customers and they are doing lots of things right. I am just saying that using the number of subscribers doesn't prove a point BY ITSELF.

That's the key to my point here. 11 million smokers can't be wrong is another good example of this statement. You are correct in saying they can't be wrong about something. One should examine the merits of what the herd is doing on one's own, without considering the herd size, however. That's all my point was. Sorry if I was a little confusing.

In this case that something is that smoking is addictive and they are absolutely right about that. Or that smoking is soothing once you get past the gag reflex part. However the scientific consensus (and mine) is that smoking = bad for people and society so 11 million smokers ARE wrong even though they are right about something. WoW is in a very similar vein. The 11 million WoW addicts are right that its fun for them and therefore addicting.

Now that I think about it you are saying that WoW is "right" for Blizzard and I couldn't agree more with that. Whether it is a "right" decision to play WoW or play something else though for the players is entirely subjective and relative.

Ty for getting my back on the rest btw.

I think there's a lot of truth to that too Anton, If a game can get people to stay in it awhile they start to not only gain character investment but they get past a certain threshold of "familiarity" that lends itself to desire to return.