Sorry for the lack of posts around here of late; a bad blogging combo of work being very busy and nothing really jumping out at me in terms of topics. Hopefully both situations resolve themselves soon.
One side-bonus to a less active blog is a better view of the ‘general’ traffic that comes in; in other words the stuff people look at beyond the newest posts. In my case here, currently that is heavily dominated by people searching for DarkFall reviews, no doubt in part due to the EG ‘scandal’, and also because DarkFall is a newish MMO that is still generating new-user interest.
Sadly the damage done by top-notch journalist Ed Zitron and the geniuses who backed him is still being felt. Up until very recently, MetaCritic still featured the original 2/10 review for DarkFall, and even today GameRankings has it. Neither site uses the more updated review. In this regard, Tasos and Aventurine were right in demanding EG take down the original mistake, as even today we can see its false message is still being spread while the more accurate review is currently being ignored.
This issue is even more pertinent to DarkFall due to the games more unique rules and setup. A poor review of a WoW-clone is easier to explain, as almost all MMO fans know what to expect from a quest-hub, level grind, item collection MMO, and general reviews usually don’t dive too deep into the finer details that separate one clone from another. If you want a PvE-focused WoW-clone, LotRO should work for you. If you want some casual PvP in your WoW-clone, WAR fits the bill. Both games have finer details that might make or break the game for you in the long run, but from a general overview it’s easy to direct players towards what they might be looking for.
With DarkFall, even something basic like the combat system is difficult for people to full understand without having actually played it, let alone when trying to explain why that combat system fits into the PvP ruleset so well. Add to this that the vast majority of current MMO players have never played with full looting, open PvP, or a zone-less world, and it’s easy to see why so many people would have some rather basic questions about DarkFall that they might not have with more standard MMOs. Combine all that with the simple fact that DarkFall WON’T appeal to a large chunk of even the MMO fanbase due to its design, and again further importance is placed on at least reporting accurate details. DarkFall has enough intended design decisions to dissuade 90% of MMO gamers, it does not need Ed Zitron spreading lies to further drive people away.
And before people jump to the conclusion that “Those who like hardcore PvP know about DarkFall, everyone else does not care”, I’m the perfect example of why this might not always apply. All throughout DarkFall’s storied development I never gave the game much of a shot, having already gone through the launch of ShadowBane and all the wonders that sb.exe brought. Small dev + PvP MMO generally = failure. It was only until I read from a reliable source (The dearly departed Tobold in this case) that the beta client was technically solid that I became interested enough to purchase the game. Had Tobold pulled a Zitron and just copy/pasted ForumFall into his review, I most likely would have never picked up the game, and certainly not at release. When a developer already knows they are aiming for a small niche, they can’t afford losing potential customers because some hack has an ax to grind and picks your game to further whatever troubles him. WoW can brush off a false review and not give it a second though, but that’s not a luxury a developer like Aventurine can afford, and so it only makes sense they would do everything they could to correct the mistakes made.