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United Mining Exploration Commission: A group of friends playing JumpGate-- "a MMORPG that launched smoothly, breaks from fantasy character setting, emphasizes PvP, and is the first persistent world space simulator that nobody talks about." ~Scorch
 
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JumpGate's main failing (aside from f5:help)

 
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 10:31 am    Post subject: JumpGate's main failing (aside from f5:help) Reply with quote

erm, i suppose i should warn of infrequent use of 'colourful idioms'


INTRODUCTION
*willing suspension of disbelief*

Okay, remember when you were a n00b nosing around the sectors and looking out for those pink things? Remember when the most important thing on your mind really wasn't the 'sectors' nor the 'conflux' nor the 'official storyline' (ie. nothing about the game's engine at all) but "That foreign pilot, when does that 'ally' tag at the end of their name switch to "neutral/war"?", and more importantly and central is the burning question, "The squad wars, who is fighting what and blockading/pirating where this week?"
    and even deeper, combining the two earlier questions: "Is there 'Real Dynamic Content'?" (ie. Does that political atmosphere actually move? Are the squad wars part of our history, or is it hit and miss and more like a soap opera)
DEFINING ISSUES
Sadly, the political slider never moves and the EP2 promised 'Squad Wars' has been quietly dropped in favor of some sort of pirate faction (bells and whistles merely)...plus, the soap opera of squad wars makes a joke of "who's who" because it really is merely random and ephemeral.

Oh, there's the exceptions that prove the rule, and the spindoctors will tell you the exceptions ARE what makes a mmog. (lies, damned lies and statistics)
    the problem lies in the fact the developers (and TG/MG) have assumed the "willing" part of the suspension of disbelief as a given when someone logs onto JumpGate
*shrug* Of course, "hard science" i'm not interested in at all; i'm interested in science fiction...of the idea i was paying to work in outerspace with the risks of dealing with squad politics that would influence official storylines. Unfortunately, all that ended up happening is fuck all - the ONLY way you get a feel for the game is if you make your own story happen.

I'm a realist. when i am forced to go out of my way to make my own storyline, that just. begs. the. question. (ie. why the hell am i even rationalizing that issue? hell, wasn't that supposed to be the hot selling point of jumpgate? just look at the subtitle of the game)
    The point i'm trying to make is that the lack of tools that bridge the gap between officials and community wasn't the reason i assumed they used that cool, "JumpGate: welcome to your next life...there's nothing you can't do"
I always thought the Devs and GMs just needed to play the game a bit to experience what it's like to be a struggling n00b in this game and the priorities when it came to improving the game engine...unfortunately, they understand "it" too well. ("it" as in a very narrow elitist viewpoint that's evident by seeing what's patched regularly and what is marginalized)
  • NEW CONTENT != GAMEPLAY
  • PATCH != STORYLINE
  • f5:help != CHAT
  • LACK OF N00B FEEDBACK != LOW PRIORITY FOR N00B CONCERNS
  • n00b CONCERNS != GAME ENGINE > DISBELIEF

    you begin to see my utter frustration at the myopic circular logic used by elitists when they don't realize how condescending they appear to the ordinary RL citizen playing this game for the first time, especially since the latter are polite enough not to point out how fucking rude most of the "helpful and approachable" fucktards-who-think-they're-Ubermentors in f5:help are.
CREATING SOLUTIONS
It is, of course, the patches that the developers (and GMs, including MG) focus on over the months that allow one to come to appropriate conclusion about what these officials prioritize...and what they don't...but, what's most unsettling is the vice-grip the PvP elites seem to have on the game engine - more unsettling than that is the dev team's personality attracts the former by coding the latter.

The sad thing is neither understand why, and defining such issues becomes impossible for people like me when even the mention of "why" gets flamed to hell and back. (even the rational ones find ways to spindoctor the exceptions to be the rule of how the game's okay)
    the solution would be for the players we trust (baad, hitek, xyleth, xindaan, slopey, etc etc) to gather together independent of officialdom and work out a priority list to RETAIN N00BS

  • the base assumption being those players get together to honestly look at their questions they had during the first n00b days
  • for me it was the above stated squad dynamics (and past history; where was dangerous, not for squid, but squads - i wasn't interested in learning about griefers, even now, because they weren't important at all)
  • that destroyed an essential part of the "willing suspension of disbelief"
  • i'm all about f5:help, economy, missions, ships and pvp being "fixed", but wtf does this squad dynamics play in those priority fixes? not bloody a thing - and that's the problem
  • We've become so imbedded in JumpGate that we've begun to identify our problems based on the game engine...We've got to think outside the box - that "willing suspension of disbelief" should be the deciding factor when it comes to patch priorities
  • 'Real Dynamic Content' for squad dynamics is my number one priority and i seriously freak out at the waffling ND is making over the promised 'Squad Wars' we read in Game eMagazines over the year wait for EP2
  • 'Real Dynamic Content' is essential for MMOG customers being willing to suspend disbelief, but the latter is what we should focus on, since it's "thinking outside the box"
  • We've got to be able to organize and come to ND with a list of small tweaks that deal with alot of the issues they've failed to prioritize that actually ARE priorities in RETAINING N00BS WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF
  • while at the same time remembering to voice the argument in terms that RECALL the larger picture (ie. "i first asked about this and that, but i realize fixes to Real Dynamic Context like 'squad wars' is very complex, but here's a list of stuff that we expect you CAN work on as a priority")
  • *shrug* otherwise, they'll just mouth the same old excuses i've heard out of their mouths from day one. HECK, they'll probably try that same line no matter what we say
  • what do they say? Well, it's freeeeeeekin easy to spot the spindoctoring - easy because you feel this sort of creepy-about-to-be-bit-by-vampire sorta vibe.
  • Basically, one has to realize that spindoctoring doesn't question base assumptions, it creates new ones -- contrary and misleading ones full of hot air. (ie. bait and switch with the best/worst of illogician tactics)
BraveHeart wrote:
(Looking heavenward.) Yes, Father. (To William and his men.) The Almighty says don't change the subject; just answer the fucking question. ...
  • spindoctoring has the sad side-effect of eliminating one's perspective (ie. you wouldn't know what the word priority really meant if it came up and used you as a fluffer) -- this includes those on the receiving end, but i was focused on describing what happens to people actually spouting this crap...forget the "say one thing do another" cloak and dagger shit. i think ND,TG,MG don't know what the left hand does from the right...they can, i believe they have the potential if they even realized what a n00b is beyond
    moo
  • we've got to focus on the "willing" part of "suspension of disbelief" and remember the devs (and TG/MG) have forgotten n00bs see the plot holes in JumpGate much more clearly
  • we've GOT to somehow organize and come up with a list of priorities that don't sound like a thread full of contracting fanboi/wynars...like we've ALWAYS sounded to them.
  • I just wish we could get a list of priorities together and discussion going towards choices we trust, instead of reasoning ourselves into a freakin corner...and the best way to approach the priority list is think outside the box.
CONCLUSION
Squad Wars is infinitely more complex and demanding on programmer time, something we need to remind ourselves when we become timid about asking for lesser fixes that really will help to make a small difference in improving the willing suspension on disbelief. Unfortunately, ND & co. have a proven track record of "thinking big" and forgetting that the small things in life are the most important. ("oh, it's our game and n00bs don't need to 'will' their suspension of disbelief")

I bloody know that's a cliche, thanks. Forgive me for being sentimental, but isn't anyone out there sick of the "think big, be big" mentality that consumes the hardcore players & officials? (especially the bit where those "big dicks" need really nerfed n00bs to feel good about themselves?)
    you probably now know why i'm not pissed off about the "commissioned pilots" gig being run by TG...
AFTERWORDS
*sigh* I've always offered solutions when defining the issues, so please consider the fact that so many others fall flat on the former when doing the wynar/fanboi mode about the latter.

I would have liked BaadF00d's followup to that MightyGame's post a while back (network code, etc), but i'm afraid i might have ticked him off when debating about the one issue i DO know a little about: mining.
:(

now, if only ND can figure out that needing credit card to TRY the freaking game is moronically stupid. (now, if one could "jump" and do other stuff inside the offline simular - ie. stock missions with 0xp/cr bonus, another station to dock at and c1 dumps in a sector between along the route, a bloody beek that you could FLIP, and a spawning aluminum rare at 10k from the jumpgate in the sector between the two station sectors...one doesn't need artifacts, CR/XP levelling stuff nor anything else that isn't a "how to do it" n00b thing.)
    i know the bloody spindoctored pablum response of, "we/they really can't afford/do" or "we're exploring options" or "soon" or "that's great, but we've got something else in the pipe (along those lines/completely different/new/rebalancing). be patient"...doesn't anyone realize it's just complete bullshit? These fuckers go around breathlessly like they're gonna choke from the OMG WHAT NEXT feeling...they have a really hard time even imagining what it's like thinking about defining the larger picture. JumpGate's vision? I believe they forget it constantly so as to "rediscover" it and learn absolutely nothing from their mistakes of what perspective/context they've MISSED since those helping ND to "rediscover" ND's own vision are those most interested in keeping them in denial about how fucking retarded their elitist prick lack-of-game has always been.
    fanboi/wynar wrote:
    if it ain't broke, don't fix it...but...
JumpGate should headline, "JumpGate: welcome to your next patch...there's nothing you can do, so stfu rtfm n00b"
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edited in references to "willing suspension of disbelief"
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