So as I mentioned, I’m taking advantage of the 2-week freebie period in Age of Conan. I was so lost when I logged back in that I left Global Chat on, something I rarely do.
And for the most part, it was pretty civil. Enough so that I left it on and learned some things. The vets seemed willing to help with the flood of “Hi, I haven’t played in a year, can someone remind me how to…” questions with very little snark. I’d shifted servers to Wicanna in hopes of hooking up with Stargrace or Krys and I was liking the vibe there.
And then, the inevitable happened. Someone mentioned World of Warcraft. And the vitriol started spilling out, the chat pane scrolling like a waterfall. A few brave souls make the foolish choice of admitting that they *gasp* enjoyed WoW, and were verbally crucified for their heretical beliefs.
I should have, normally would have, just turned off Global Chat, chalking it up to the generally abhorrent hive-mind that dwells in every MMO. But I’d been lulled into this sense that the community of Wicanna was somehow different, and the sudden change in tone put me off to the point where I logged out, needing to get away from MMOs for a while.
Now in fairness, it takes a very, very small percentage of a server’s population to turn a chat channel into a cesspool, and once I settle down I’ll realize that these few verbal gankers are insignificant compared to the decent folk who’d been helping out the returnees. I don’t want to take away from the good deeds those individuals had been doing and in general I’m liking the population of Wicanna.
But it did get me to wondering why a significant number of people seem to treat MMOs like a religion. What is it about a person playing both Age of Conan and World of Warcraft (or any other 2 games, though if one of the 2 is WoW it seems to heighten the effect) that upsets a certain segment of the population? This isn’t limited to in-game chat; you see it on forums and blogs (more on forums) too. It’s like we’re all expected to pick ONE MMO to completely devote ourselves too, and enjoying more than one is blasphemous, like trying to be both Catholic and Jewish at the same time.
Why do people *care* what we play, or what we like? I understand wanting people to enjoy the game you love, since you want ‘your’ game to have lots of subscribers and do well. But beyond that, it just baffles me. Tearing into a person because they admit to liking another game as well is just going to drive people away from ‘your’ game, and it taints the entire MMO experience.
Think I’ll go back to my policy of turning off Global/General Chat for a while.