It would seem that a ‘silly’ argument sure provides a lot of discussion, so after half a dozen posts and hundreds of comments, what exactly have we learned from last Fridays Blog War™?
For starters, the very fact that we DID debate which game has more content (DF or WoW), or whether Aventurine has added more content to DarkFall in one year compared to Blizzard in five says a lot. We are talking about a company here whose QA staff is larger than all of Aventurine put together, has far more money, and ITS FIVE FREAKING YEARS! Love it or hate it, if the biggest addition to your semi-annual content patch is a fix to your LFG system, that should raise some concern. So you either believe AV is just that much better at MMO design/implementation, or Blizzard really is that lazy. I’ll take a little of both, thankyouverymuch.
But “my game is better than your game” aside, the other big ‘discovery’ made over the weekend is that MMO fans can’t agree on what content is, or rather, they have different views of what they consider content. If you are an MMO dev, that should interest you. To oversimplify, it seems that some players are happy with a palette swap and a fresh texture over the same gameplay, while others will accept seeing the same art files reused if you just switch up the rules governing them.
And rather than looking for a ‘which is better’ answer, I think the correct one here is it’s a matter of preference. For me personally the rules are far more important then the shiny cover. Balancing PvP combat and creating open-ended virtual worlds is something I’ll take ten times out of ten over upgrading the visuals of an armor set or releasing another tank-n-spank or Simon Says boss encounter.
Playing with my fiancé, I have first hand experience with ‘the other side’, and while it still puzzles me, I at least know it exists. She does not really question the rules of a game too much, unless they are in-your-face broken, but will gladly complete dozens of ‘kill ten rats’ quests so long as they dish out item upgrades and are set in a different environment. When we played WAR, she grew bored towards the end because her character progression slowed, while I at the same time grew bored because T4 RvR is fundamentally broken. She could care less about the frequency of city sieges, while I was never bothered by the slower personal progression or fighting in the same location.