So – I have a blog. Actually, I used to have another one that got abandoned – not least because I decided that discussing my personal life out on the wilds of the Internet just didn’t feel right. I’m a very English, rather private person and I’m keenly aware just how many strange and wonderful people are out there. This time, I’ll stick to being Tremayne and talk about my hobbies instead of the ’real’ me with a family and a job.
Why call it Tremayne’s Law? Well, it comes down to a discussion of the Lord of the Rings Online’s upcoming change to allow free-to-play alongside subscriptions, which got the usual calm and sober analysis over at Scott Jennings’ always entertaining blog Broken Toys . Once someone compared it the Star Wars Galaxies NGE, I realised a simple truth: whatever the change to an MMOG, someone will always compare it to the dreaded NGE. It’s the Godwin’s Law of MMO discussions. Anyone people disagree with on the Internet will be compared to Hitler. Any change to an MMOG that people disagree with will be likened to the NGE.
And someone always disagrees with any change to an MMOG. Whatever you do, it’s not to someone’s liking. Either what you changed shouldn’t have been changed, or it should have been changed in a different way, or you should have been concentrating on raids/PvP/starter zones/housing (delete as applicable) which everybody is interested in, instead of housing/raids/starter zones/PvP (delete as applicable), which nobody is interested in. Give every single one of your players a pony, and it’s a slap in the face for those who already have ponies or just like walking because the other kids got candy and they didn’t. well they did, but they don’t happen to value this particular candy.
There is, of course, an exception to the above rule. it’s the game that hasn’t been released yet. At the moment, that mean Star Wars: The Old Republic. Plenty of people out there talking about how much better it is than all of the games on the market, and as soon as it launches the others will wither and die on the vine as every player migrates to the One True Game. Feh. I remember when they said that about Shadowbane.
So, to summarise all of the above and feed my ego, I present Tremayne’s Three Laws of MMOG Forum Discussion:
One: In any discussion of changes to an MMOG, somebody will always liken the change to the Star Wars Galaxies NGE. That person instantly forfeits all credibility unless they actually played SWG both before and after the NGE, and can show how the changes under discussion are of the same magnitude and level of ass-hattery as the NGE changes.
Two: Every change is a nerf. Even if it’s a positive change, because it will be more positive to some than to others.
Three: Any game that hasn’t been released yet is perfect. Every game that has been released is utter shite. Given the use of even closed beta tests as marketing exercises these days, and the leakiness of NDAs, for released read “got beyond friends and family beta”.
So there you have it. Tremayne’s Law, with a couple of siblings for good measure. I’ll try to be a bit less bitter next time, promise