Love And Hate In Guild Wars 2

Jumping Puzzles? AAARGH! Dynamic Events with world consequences? Woohoo!

Yes, in the same day as Blizzard’s latest content meets what can only be described as “a sound kicking”, Guild Wars 2 continues to provoke debates, love, rage, and much more:

  • Aly, the Mistress of Illusions, has some strong words for players who have nothing better to do than insult other GW2 players for no reason“The other day in map chat, a player who silently went about their business was ridiculed for sporting a commander title that other players said their mother just bought for them so they could feel important. The truth was they were a leader in a WvW guild, and the guild as a whole purchased the title.”
  • Stubborn praises GW2 as the ultimate game to play in micro-sessions“Since anywhere you’ve been is only seconds from wherever you are and since you don’t have to run around picking up quests to get things done, I feel comfortable hopping into GW2 for 15 minutes and running to the nearest heart to start and finish it. “
  • MMO Juggler just about breaks their keyboard telling the tale of GW2’s unskippable jumping puzzles“This is just stupid in every possible way to evaluate providing challenging content.”
  • Slurms is amazed by the potential demonstrated by some of GW2’s dynamic events“It just amazed me that ArenaNet came up with a landscape altering event that chained off of a failure. It made me want more”
  • And Occho asks why on earth Guild Wars 2 even bothers to have levels“With the majority of zones and dungeons just down-leveling you, and levels coming at such a fast and furious pace that most people don’t even notice them, the fact that the game puts a number to your development seems counter-productive.”

Love it or hate it, you really can’t ignore the ways in which GW2’s trying new things.

Is there something in GW2 that you’re loving or hating right now?

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Four Bloggers Discuss The Endless Fight Against Griefing

How do you handle griefers and other undesirables in an MMORPG?

It’s an eternal discussion, and one that is once again in the minds of the blogosphere. Particularly given that many MMORPG companies are more concerned to limit our abilities to kick and otherwise use reputation as a tool in our online lives, just what can we do?

  • Stubborn of Sheep The Diamond found himself in a particularly difficult group recently, and since has been experimenting with ways to work against griefers even given his “Vote Kick” function is effectively disabled“Almost every time, the other players will vote to kick him, proving that the otherwise silent majority do find the bad behavior irritating, but not enough to do anything until directly prompted to do so. Only once did that tactic fail, in an Azjol-Nerub run. It failed because everyone’s vote to kick was on a 4 hour cooldown.”
  • Milady at Hypercriticism responds to Stubborn’s writing with a stirring call to arms to defend the civility of our online worlds“I prefer tools that encourage us players to deal with the trolls with some effectiveness, such as LoL’s tribunal. But since we do not have such tools available to us in our MMOs, we will have to make do with what we have been given: reports, tickets, and being loud about respect and rights. “
  • Azuriel at In An Age, by contrast, takes a more cynical view, arguing that the only real solutions to unpleasant community members come from the game developers“And, let us be serious here, social ostracization only works anyway when both A) the entire community acts as one unit, and B) the target even cares. Your “xxIllidanxx is a ninja” spam might have inconvenienced xxIllidanxx for the 30 minutes you posted in Trade Chat², but what about the rest of the time? Chances are that he still got a group eventually, either because someone was really that desperate or they simply did not know. “
  • And meanwhile, Klepsacovic tells a slightly shameful story of a tank who was an ass, and the ensuing “yup, he’s DC, honest” votekick…“I panicked. I lied. I acted. I ain’t sayin I was the good guy or even a good guy. Not then. No one was then.”

Do you think we can or should stand up to uncivil behaviour? Or are the developers the only ones who can effect real change?

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The Social Niceties Of MMOs

MMOs are a lot of things – but notably, they’re a unique social space. Nothing quite like a WoW guild has ever existed before, and we’re still figuring out the social mores and niceties of this new world.

Today, three bloggers have been debating various aspects of the social side of MMOs – from the difficulty of sitting on the bench in a raid group to the tricky question of whether it’s beneficial for developers to offer incentives for good behaviour…

  • Minstrel at Holy Word Delicious has been pondering why she rarely joins a group for more than one dungeon, and realises it’s because of the surprising social pressure“The longer the time spent with a group of people I don’t know, where at any moment I may be called upon to interact, the more the toll. … When you add in the knowledge that anyone in the party could be a griefer or that the first adversity (or any random event, really, from your point of view) could turn one or more people into raging jerks, that adds to the cost.”
  • Pugnacious Priest ponders the tricky question of how to persuade people to volunteer as benchwarmers for a raid team“Bench warming is also where good guild leadership comes in. You also need to keep your bench warmers warm. Keep them interested. Keep them committed, to the point that there are no bench warmers per se. “
  • And Stubborn is considering psychology and sociology to answer the surprisingly tricky question of whether game dev incentives for good behaviour are a good idea“If you get a reward for helping a newbie every time you help a newbie, it’s entirely possible that as soon as you “cap” whatever the reward is, whether it be having enough money, a high enough social score, or some social currency, then the behavior will vanish.”

All interesting stuff, and I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say!

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Mob Justice or a Jury of your Peers?

League of Legends, the free (ish) to play tactical online game, has long had problems with griefers, cheaters, haters, and general Bad Sorts ruining the environment of the game. So many of them, in fact, that the developers couldn’t possibly keep up with the complaints reports.

So they’ve done something really interesting – introduced Jury Service for players, of sorts, in the form of a player moderation system for complaints.

The Pugnacious Priest has a piece up today on the LoL system, and what its implications would be if it were to be introduced into MMOs like WoW

“I’m not sure I like the idea of being rewarded for administrating justice ( but what else would be incentive enough) , or punished for not agreeing with the majority. I can’t imagine that everyone would be paying spectacular attention to all the issues ( even with a compulsory page view time before you can give a verdict) and make snap decisions as they churn their way through case after case. They have the wrong incentive to do that, a reward. Justice is supposed to be blind, and impartial. When you add the reward for majority decision Your first purpose – to clean up the community can be forgotten.

We have been taught to grind by the nature of the games we play. We grind Rep, gear, quests, badges. It would be very easy for any of us to slip into a Justice administration grind when there is reward to be had.”

This is an interesting topic, and an interesting piece, covering both the problems with WoW’s justice system (such as it is) at the moment, and some of the likely consequences of adding player-mandated justice to the system.

I’ve been known to strongly advocate for a reputation system in WoW, particularly for the LF tools – but it’s interesting to see that there are other solutions we could be trying too! And, honestly, a jury of our peers works pretty well IRL. On the other hand, of course, there are well-known problems with jury systems forcing a tyrrany of the majority, and with a significantly simpler system than the real-world justice system, it’d be easy for anyone who doesn’t fall within the “norms” of WoW society – like, say, gay players – to be badly mistreated by player-led mob justice.

Do you think a player-arbitrated justice system would work in WoW?

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