Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Like A Bad Head In The Morning

"And I might as well just grin and bear it
'Cause it's not worth the trouble of an argument"

I don't often rant but sometimes you just have to, don't you? I'll try and keep it short. After all, no-one reading this is likely to be part of the problem and there's nothing anyone here can do about it but a trouble shared is a trouble two people have to deal with instead of just the one. That is how the saying goes, isn't it? I thought it was pithier, somehow.

Also, complaining about people complaining (which is what I'm doing, although I realize I haven't actually said so yet) is such a bad look. I mean, who wants to be that guy? Or girl. (Why is it that "guys" plural can be gender neutral but "guy" singular is always male? Not that I'm complaining. Just observing. Or maybe I am complaining. Sometimes it's hard to tell.)

Bad look or not, I am going to be that guy. As I commented on this thread, which is what got me wound up in the first place, some people will complain about anything. This post proves it.

You can work out what my posting name is on the EQII forums from that link, by the way. Unless someone else said it as well. I mean, it's hardly an original aperçu, is it, "Some people will complain about anything"? It's not like I'm claiming copyright on it.

Not that the name I post under is a secret or should be, although if I wanted to be sneaky I do have several accounts, so I could post as different people. I could go on the forums and have a huge argument with myself, maybe even try to get one of me banned. That would be meta. Or postmodern. Or ironic. Or childish. And probably against the EULA.

Hauling the point back in on a very long rope, the substantive issue that some EverQuest II players are ready to quit over is this: instead of patching every week the game will now patch every other week.

I know, right? It's armageddon! Or at least one of the harbingers. I think it's in Revelations, somewhere. God forbid the developers should take more time to get things right or give the excellent, dedicated and tireless testing community longer to do their selfless, unpaid QA shuffle.

Clearly a move like this is a slap in the face, the last straw, incontrovertible evidence that the game is on fast track to maintenance mode. What are we paying them for, eh? EH??

EverQuest and EQII players both have what seems to me to be lower than average anger thresholds, although I strongly suspect there are other MMORPGs could give them a run if there was an award for "Most Easily Outraged". Just not any that I play. Thankfully.

The other hot button issue right now (or at least the latest - there's a line of them stretching right around the walls of Freeport and back over the hills half way to Qeynos) is the removal of descriptive text from crafting mats. It used to say what level items the material was used to make. Now it doesn't.

I admit it's an odd change although the ostensible reason is entirely valid in my opinion. Changes to the crafting system over time mean that what used to be a straightforward, vertical progression is now far more horizontal. In consequence those tool tips, once helpful, are now potentially confusing, especially to newer players.

That makes a lot of sense to me. I stopped looking at that text years ago for exactly that reason. If I want to know what mats to use nowadays I open the Recipe, where it always tells you, or if I have a material I'm unsure of I go to the invaluable EQ2 Traders and look it up there. 

It seems that I'm crazy. No-one should have to do anything as outrageous as looking stuff up. It should all be there, in front of you, on the object, all the time. And if it's not you should down tools and walk away.

The hills some people choose to die on! Unplayable lag, gamebreaking bugs that stop you logging in at all, PvE events that end in a FFA PVP brawl... (oh, wait, wrong game and working as intended...). Those I could see as legitimate reasons for remonstration. The removal of a few words of guidance text? Yeah... no.

The thing that annoys me most isn't people complaining per se. Everyone complains. I complain. I'm doing it now. It's human nature. What annoys me is people complaining on my behalf without asking me or even knowing me.

"Everyone hates...". "No-one wants...". "We all wish...". No we frickin' don't! Or maybe, yes, we do, but how do you know? And who elected you spokesbeing anyway?

Generalizations are fine. Necessary, even, to put a point over. But qualify them, ffs! "It seems to me like everyone hates...", "No-one I've ever heard about wants...", "Everyone I've spoken to wishes...". Is that so hard? You may still come over as insular and ignorant but at least you're not claiming to be omniscient.

It's particularly galling when, as so often seems to be the case, I'm having a great time and someone's telling me I'm not. Blood of Luclin is my favorite expansion for years, I've played more of it than I have most others in the Daybreak Era, the progression mechanics work better for me, I'm making more money, getting better gear and having more fun. I even like the changes to how crafting works, the ones that apparently mean crafters are "shafted" and crafting is ruined forever for everyone.

Don't tell me I'm not having fun when I'm having fun!

Anyway, I said I'd keep it short so I will. Feel free to complain I went on too long or missed the point or that I don't know what I'm talking about or I contradicted myself (I do realize that all the things I'm complaining about are remarkably similar to things I've been saying about GW2 for years now...).

That's what comments threads are for, isn't it? Complaining?


  1. Heh, I came back from vacation and saw some rage about the change to the patching schedule on Discord. It has to be a burning issue for me to hear about it.

    On the crafting materials info text though, which I noticed the day it hit because I always look at that text, I am not convinced by the reasoning. If I were to make a list of "potentially confusing" things Darkpaw ought to look into, the level range of crafting mats would not even make the list. That is something that has been in the game forever and has some value even in the horizontal progression mix as it still distinguishes materials from wildly older tiers. Furthermore, when you send your guild gatherers out, they ask you for level ranges which correspond to those levels, so they have pulled the data in one area that is still used in others. Seriously, there are so many crafting mats in the game it seems insane to remove that bit of data. So you can sign me up for the torches and pitchforks brigade on that front.

    But I do object to the "I think I speak for everybody concerned..." crowd as it is usually immediately clear that they do not. (My least favorite being "everybody wants a PvP server" zealots, who are again at it over in the EQ forums.) I make an effort to avoid even seeming to go down that path. I am usually happy enough to complain about the things I don't like.

    1. Yes, the change to the text on materials is odd, as I said in the post. It's not as if they just stopped adding the text to new materials, which could be construed as saving precious dev time now they are not as well-resourced as they were. It's the reverse, in that someone presumably had to sit down and take time to remove it all.

      Why would you bother to do that? No-one was asking for it to happen as far as I know and you could fairly reliably predict it would annoy quite a few players... and to what end? I know there are EQII players who think devs do these things out of spite but I'm confident they're all too busy to indulge such petty whims.

      The "it confuses new players" explanation does seem to assume there are enough new players for that to matter, which is a moot point. I guess Darkpaw know how many people areplaying and how many of them have just started even if we don't but it would be a surprise if there were enough confused newbies to make an impact on customer service, which is the only motivator I could imagine.

      My inner conspiracy theorist does wonder whether the removal of the text presages some more sweeping changes to how crafting works. The work needed to remove them would make sense in context of a much greater revision to the entire process.

  2. Wait, they were patching once a month? Back in my day, we got a live update once a month, whether we wanted one or not.

    1. Once a week was the old schedule. Now it's once every other week. They still have to do a weekly server re-start. My preferred schedule for patches, as opposed to hardware refreshes, would be "when we have something that needs to be patched".

    2. That would be my preferred patching schedule too. When there's nothing (or next to nothing) to actually patch, why do it all the time?

      Marvel Heroes was the worst offender I've encountered. I don't remember exactly how often they patched, but the patches were always huge. At least one gig, often more than two, even when the patch notes had like three lines. For someone with a slow connection the game must've been all but unplayable.

      Regarding your main topic, people indeed complain about the weirdest things. So do I from time to time, I'm afraid. :-)

  3. Well, o/t but that's one of my favourite *ever* songs, and it's good to have it stuck in my head now. :-)

    1. Commenting on music references or links is never off topic here!

  4. To be honest I recently joined EQ2 and the community on the forums and some in game are truthfully one of the most "complain heavy" I have seen in a long time. It's hard to understand why these people are still around when they seem to hate how are things so much. I play on TLE and the delay of a few days of EoF has been like this huge deal that breaks all the balance of the universe. It's not even a week delay. It gets really weird sometimes.

    1. You're new? Well... You come in naturally stalwart -- which ought to be an automatic Achievemnt -- and you are, rightly, articulating the State Of Things squeeky hinge-ly dominated by some certain and particularly noisy junkies who just won't kick. Of course, they have their own perspective.

      As Bhagpuss pointed out, "It's particularly galling when, as so often seems to be the case, I'm having a great time and someone's telling me I'm not."

      Welcome to Norrath. Nevermind the bollocks-y EQ2 bitchy vets (who've been particularly antsy during the ongoing death watch of the franchise saga for, like, uh...several years).

      Have the fun that is yours and yours alone.


      Antonia Bayle since '10

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide