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Labjax.2465's Achievements

  1. What I'm seeing in some of it is a mixture of reactions to a possible GW3 combined with already existing feelings of dissatisfaction with the game's current direction. There's doomsaying and then there's being reasonably concerned that resources diverted to a whole other game could correlate to perceived drop in quality. There's doomsaying and there's feeling like it's not worth sinking months or years into long-term rewards if those rewards might not actually be all that useful in the long-term; something people already can contend with in MMOs, no matter whether an MMO's future is bright or not because even if it is sustainable, that doesn't mean you'll maintain interest. But with your own interest, that's something you have some amount of control over. You don't have control over whether the company keeps putting resources into it. I would say it's pretty normal and well-adjusted for people to have concerns about these things. If we were having this conversation in a reality where the 2019 layoffs had never happened, maybe this would be a different story, but even then, I'd still say it's reasonable for people to be concerned. They'd just maybe have less to point at of signs to be worried. MMOs are kinda weird. There's more than one I've put enormous amount of time in, only to quit abruptly and wonder after what the point was of chasing rewards I could enjoy years into the future, when I didn't end up sticking around long enough to actually enjoy them years into the future. But like I say, that's on the player end. I have some measure of control over that. It's a different kind of vulnerability when you aren't feeling confident about the other end of the deal. Either way though, it's an emotional component of engaging with MMOs that I think is easy to pass over while you're wrapped up in goal chasing and while you're confident in the product's future. But when it hits you, it can feel a bit disorienting to think about how you're spending your time. Some people are into fleeting thrill experiences, but others? Gosh darnit, these little virtual places can be like homes for people - a lot more permanent of a feel. It can be a lot more precious, cherished, and fragile in the feels department than the "next" nature of live service suggests. So, what you call "stopping caring", is most likely people who care a lot. Otherwise they would not be moved by such information.
  2. Anything fatigue can be a real thing. But it doesn't just happen randomly for no reason. There can be reasons relating to the thing itself or beyond it or both. I think if I reflect on my life, there are a few key elements that contribute to how long I stick with something, game or otherwise, such as: how much it intersects with what I enjoy doing or believe in doing; how welcoming/friendly it is; how consistent/stable it feels (prob a couple more I'm forgetting) That said, I suspect where a lot of friction with MMOs enters in is that people get used to viewing an MMO as a sort of "second home." And then you have these studios that, in my experience, like a timer ticking down, inevitably make small or drastic changes that destabilize that feeling. The person logs in one day and the living room has been redecorated and they're like, "Uh, what gives, can you change it back?" And then, unless there's major shared and persistent backlash, the studio is usually like, "Sorry, no, this is our house." And then the person is like, "Oh, right." sound of brain recontextualizing their understanding of the game and how they relate to it "This was just your place that I was hanging out in. That's not cozy to me, that feels weird. I guess I'll hang around a bit longer, maybe, but I don't know if I can do this anymore." (This being the more mild reaction - some are a lot more visceral, of course.) I think especially with how popular live service is now beyond purely MMOs, it's imperative that more understand this. That, like, it's not just about some people disliking change or what they're used to. It's also about the way people emotionally contextualize these things in their minds. For a lot of people, it's never only a product because we just aren't wired to be that shallow in how we relate to spaces and people we spend a lot of time around. I think consciously, most people get it's "just a product" and would almost prefer they felt that way for their own safety sake of not getting burned. But we aren't robots who can flip our emotions on and off at will. And companies are often more than happy to profit from the attachments and praise the effusive praise, but rarely have any sympathy or understanding for when those attachments mean that changes pushed on the customer can impact a customer's day, week, month, year, depending on how deep the attachment was. It would be easier to say "that's on the customer" if the companies were presenting things as "don't get too attached", but they are usually more than happy to nurture attachment and reap the benefits and then want nothing to do with the other side of the relationship, the multi-dimensional personhood of it that is not always happy all the time and whose feelings are usually more complex than "in love" or "burned out".
  3. Not really. If I reflect on it, from what I can recall, the only ones who give my posts much attention are the ones who are routinely defending Anet throughout this, regardless of who complains, what their complaint is, or whether they are an away player, a casually invested player, a long time veteran, or anywhere between. Which shows me I'm doing more or less what I intend to be doing. Those who want better/different and are willing to vocalize it, even if it means spending some lengthy time criticizing the game they love, generally don't seem to have a problem with me or ignore me. So I'm on the side I want to be on. I made an honest try to take it further than that and reach a hand across the table to the people who are routinely defending, and I'm not sure if it did anything. It is what it is. But one thing is clear, is that whatever way I were to describe myself as a player: not playing, playing a lot, played for one year, played for twenty years... some people would find a way to turn it against me, regardless. Not because it's me, but because some people do that with anyone who gets critical in ways they don't like. I had hoped to make some headway on what's going on there, but again, dunno if the intention got through at all. That's life.
  4. I don't think I need to draw up any hypotheticals to get the point across. This thread itself has examples of posters downplaying people's own cited personal experience issues. You yourself in this thread say "nobody was screwed over by the change" when there is somebody 2 posts above you who just described a way in which they were. There is a difference between arguing over a larger narrative about the game's direction and telling someone their complaint about the game is invalid or being dismissive of it, and some people can go so hard into the 2nd one, there's a reason I posed a question like, "I would truly like to know what you think is the worst that happens if you were to agree with me that the situation is abnormally bad." Not as some gotcha, but because I genuinely don't understand what some people think is going to happen that will be so bad if they aren't pushing back so hard against negative feedback. I have seen in the past with open world legendary armor where in spite of some people being viciously against those who asked for it, it got implemented. So I don't really understand what people think they are accomplishing when they try to undermine, or be dismissive toward, someone who is trying to communicate their desires about the game and their state of mind about it. I want people to think about what they are doing and for what purpose, and that's what that question was about. In my experience (and this applies to fandoms generally, far too often) it is almost never the case that someone who adores a product gets flak for doing so, but if someone has problems with it, even if they are a current and long-time fan who is actively using the product and enjoying it, then: if their feedback is emotional, they will be told to calm down or to leave; if it's detached, they will be accused of being someone who is only pretending to care and is trying to instigate; if it's personal, they will be told their experience doesn't matter much or is inconsequential; if they try to make it empirical, they will be told their facts are incorrect or are unimportant. How this is supposed to benefit players, I'm not sure. We are far more on the same side even at our most annoyed with each other than we will ever be on the same side with the company whose products we buy. Their agenda and goals are not ours and satisfaction occurs when our goals intersect with theirs in ways that result in mutual benefit, not because of any point where our goals are identical with theirs. I cannot emphasize this enough. This is really really really important for people to understand because if you think you are on the same side as the company, you will get burned in the moments when it becomes impossible to ignore that their agenda and goals are fundamentally different from your own. And it's not supposed to be a reason to be randomly mean or hostile toward a given company (I actually go out of my way to humanize the employees themselves when I talk about these things), this aspect of it is just about understanding power and agendas. Please, I am begging people to reflect on this. If you want to ignore everything else that I say or want to dismiss every single thing I've ever said about this particular game, ok, drop in the bucket, doesn't matter, but please listen and reflect on this one point, not for my sake or your sake, but for our sake.
  5. Maybe we have a different understanding of the phrase. I can tell you that in my head, "abnormally bad" does not mean "the heat death of the universe is fast approaching." However, it may depending on the circumstances, mean, "The studio should probably be taking it seriously. And forum posters trying to dismiss it out of hand repeatedly isn't going to improve the situation; in fact, it may make it worse by causing people who already feel put off with the game to feel unwelcome in the community and feel reframed as disloyal enemies and instigators, as well as pressure them into doubling down on why they have a problem, which could make it all the harder for them to ever see a way back to their previous enjoyment of the game."
  6. It's moving the goalposts in the sense that no matter what I cite as a reason for concern, you effectively say "no, not that, it must be more meaningful than that." Then it reached the point of going right past the particulars and saying the problem is me. I would truly like to know what you think is the worst that happens if you were to agree with me that the situation is abnormally bad.
  7. It's interesting how the goalposts move as the discussion goes on. First, I mentioned issues with Soto and you focused on bugs and said every patch has bugs. Then I clarified I was thinking more of negative reviews of the content and cited a thread from a long time veteran who was losing hope in the game - and you claimed they were wrong about a bunch of things and were just burned out, as well as saying that negative feedback has always been a thing. Then I mention my observations about the tone of complaints. Now you turn your focus on criticizing me as a person and what I'm doing with my time, while saying some people are having fun with the game still, as if that negates the negative reviews I've been talking about. I wonder why you are going to this much effort to deny any problems out of the ordinary. What is the worst that happens if we were to agree the situation is abnormally bad? That Anet listens somewhat harder for a time, but didn't need to? Versus, if the situation is abnormally bad, but they don't listen, the worst case scenario being the loss of the game you seem to love.
  8. If only it worked like that. There's more than one way that kind of thing goes. There's "it's not a complete dumpster fire" because it isn't that big of a deal. Then there's "it's not a complete dumpster fire because people can't be bothered to care one way or another and/or too many of them are just not present to say anything anymore." Quantity alone doesn't mean much. You have to look at the ratio and the tone of the complaints. The class balance fiasco in recent years was "hot", as far as I could tell. People were willing and ready to fight for better. The Soto situation? Seems much more "cold" to me. People are bringing out the politely worded complaint letter energy, the "I guess I'll give it a try to see if better can be had." Or to use that one person's wording, "the passion is gone." Of course that doesn't describe everybody or the game would be shutting down. But I'm trying to convey what I'm seeing and I don't see any dismissing it as average complaining. When people care, they fight. When people give up, they leave. When people leave, they often don't come back. You and I can ignore that if we want and go back and forth until we run out of energy and pass out from exhaustion. Anet ignores it and loses money.
  9. I wasn't even thinking of bugs. I was thinking more of stuff like this: Nothing quite says "quality is down" like a person playing for almost 20 years across two different iterations of the series losing hope in the game. Not saying it's more than their opinion (something they themself note), but I am saying it's hard to get around the reality of what people are saying about it. We could (probably pointlessly) debate whether Soto is technically down in quality compared to past content with some kind of metrics, but that isn't deciding whether people are enjoying the game and are hopeful about its future. Whether people are enjoying the game and are hopeful about its future is deciding that in its own right. Or to put it another way, you can debate what cake is using higher quality ingredients, but you can't debate what people's taste buds say about it. They either like it or they don't.
  10. To your last two sentences: I don't think it's at all that simple. This thread, for example, is primarily about accuracy of information. The relics situation in general is about many things at once, with not everyone caring about all of it simultaneously: accuracy of information; taking existing content and repackaging it to sell it as something else; loss of quirky rune effects; change in precedent of legendary design; change in cost for the customer (which relates to Soto more generally and the point you're referring to). Then there is the broader Soto situation which contains within it complaints about quality, size of content, change in business model, change in value you're getting for cost, etc. Were it only a smooth shift from freemium to paid, I don't think we'd be having this conversation. There would be complaints of a kind, but this thread would not exist, considering it's not even about that. There'd be people concerned because they can't afford it, but if the relative quality stacked up to the cost, there'd also be plenty of people happy with it, I'm confident of that. What I see repeatedly reflected in feedback about Soto is that it's not up to quality expectations and that makes the slight shift in model a hard pill to swallow, where otherwise people would have been more willing to accept it.
  11. I'd hardly call gambling-addict-bait and compulsive-spender-bait business model anything resembling a "patron saint of customer respecting" but ok. Apparently all you gotta do is be partly freemium some of the time and you get people escalating you to sainthood, and will excuse you giving misleading information and going radio silent about it. Wild. I am actually somewhat at a loss for words here.
  12. This is one of the many reasons I don't like freemium models: it empowers people of a certain mindset to accuse others of acting entitled when they are basically just having expectations of any kind. Let's be clear that none of us decides or decided what payment model Anet uses and it's not a model born out of generosity or charity; the cash shop MTX and lootboxes contained within make that very clear. The Living World model of the past was not generosity or charity either; it was an incentive for existing players to stick around and a cost for not being there on those who weren't. Furthermore, how much or little you pay for something doesn't change basic standards of transactional honesty and expectation of services rendered as described. Even a free sample at a grocery store would be a problem if it gave someone food poisoning. A 25c gumball would be a problem if it was made of cardboard, but described as a real gumball. If you don't have standards, then what are you left with? You are left with the internal moral compass of companies as entities. And often, the profit motives override any internal moral desires from the employees themselves. So you have to be able to push back in such a way that profit motives listen, or else it's often full speed ahead on whatever feeds profits.
  13. I mean, it's not really the right word for it, but the spirit behind it seems similar. The difference is the live service model being what it is now, companies don't want to give up the cash cow if they can keep raking in the money, but they also don't want to put a lot of resources into it if there isn't a promise of major return on investment, so stuff can end up in this sort of limbo place where it's technically still getting updates, but at a drastically reduced level of investment compared to its peaks. The employees themselves could be putting in just as much effort in as at the product's peaks, sometimes more so if consolidation is putting pressure on them to do more than one person's job, but realistically, if (for example) the workforce is 1/5th of what it was in the past, they won't be able to come close to matching the previous energy. Still, I don't think reduced resources is intrinsically what causes some people to give the side-eye. It's more so when a company tries to compensate for reduced resources by overhauling existing systems to try to keep the profits at the same or higher level in spite of investing less into the game (ex: taking a piece from one part of the game, rune bonuses, and putting them into another, relics). It becomes sort of self-defeating at a certain point, as far as I can tell. Maintenance mode is arguably better in some ways than this kind of situation; at least with maintenance mode, the stuff that worked well continues to work well and stay the same.
  14. Your post reads like what someone would say defensively to a person who has been rage-arguing for 10 pages about an issue. Except... Here are some samples of OP's tone: Why are you mad at a person who is politely confused and wants to receive accurate information about a product they pay for?
  15. The problem is and has always been that if you build a reward system around doing boring stuff over and over to get rewards, only the most conscientious and/or afraid of consequences people will do it the intended way; the rest will find ways to game the system, in less obvious (paying for multiple accounts, for example, and milking login rewards) or more obvious ("afk" farming) ways. Attempting to get really involved in punishing people who try to game the system is whack-a-mole and does nothing to address the underlying problem of expecting people be ok with boredom in order to get the carrot on the stick. Or in other words, it's a form of treating the symptoms of a problem that they created and perpetuate with their design choices. I don't have any great insights off-hand for how MMOs can do better on the boredom/carrot problem, but I am fairly confident that expending a lot of energy toward treating the symptoms won't help with player retention. Partly just because attempts to treat the symptoms often have side effects; like inadvertently making the experience worse for the ones who are trying to play "legit."
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