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 make 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 un-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.