Beckett Massive Online Gamer doesn’t want my money

So Angela and I have a subscription to Beckett Massive Online Gamer. Now before I don my Cape of Self-Righteous Ranting +2, I have to be totally upfront. We mostly subscribe because Stargrace writes for them, and secondarily for the free item codes they publish for various games (though rarely do we ever remember to actually use any of these codes).

The magazine definitely has problems. Timeliness being one of them (the May-June 2009 issue had a preview article of an upcoming game called Free Realms), typos being another, and the writing is pretty uneven. But y’know, I let that all pass and subscribed in spite of these issues because it felt like a real ‘fan’ kind of magazine. It felt like it was a magazine for people like me and my friends.

I was apparently wrong. Today, in the same May-June 2009 issue, I read this: “if you want to play solo, there are a lot of console games out there” in an article by Rebecca Bundy.

I do want to play solo, Ms. Bundy, so I guess I’ll go play a console game and stop subscribing to Beckett MOG, since clearly the editors are not interested in people like me reading their magazine. Just to be totally clear, I’m pointing my finger at the editors, not Ms. Bundy, who is entitled to her ignorant and bigoted opinion that everyone who plays MMOs should play them the same way she does [Update: I clarified this in the comments but will do so again. I’m not calling Ms. Bundy ignorant and bigoted in a general sense, but am saying within the microcosm of MMOs, her opinion that people who solo should go play something else IS ignorant and bigoted.]. But since the editor let that snarky remark stand, they must believe the same thing.

I’m so god-damned tired of being sniped at because I don’t feel the need to chain myself to 5 strangers when playing these games. Since when did being independent become a character flaw? It’s bad enough hearing it from bloggers; I don’t need to pay to read the same BS.

11 thoughts on “Beckett Massive Online Gamer doesn’t want my money

  1. Re: Timelines – because our articles are written 2 months in advance, there’s not a heck of a lot we can do about that. Gaming companies are reluctant to give us information (solid) that far away from their release especially since everything changes, constantly. I realize the time line can be frustrating, but believe me it is 100x more frustrating for the writers. I can’t predict the future, and it’s really hard.

    Re: Uneven writing – since there are multiple authors, not really a lot that can be done about that either. I actually enjoy that aspect, since every story is unique, but I can certainly understand why it may not be the best magazine plan.

    Re: The Ms. Bundy incident. I am *very* sorry that you ever had to read something like that, especially when there are so many play styles out there that should be looked at. I hope you keep in mind that of course the opinion of one person who writes for the magazine is NOT the opinion of everyone who writes, and if you ever have issues with something that I’ve written please don’t hesitate to let me know, so that I can better future articles! The last thing I would want to do is alienate readers.

    Sorry for the rant from myself here, I get defensive of course simply because it’s my work, and I love it. *hugs to you and Angela*

  2. So you subscribe to a Multiplayer game to play by yourself? j/k! πŸ™‚

    I sometimes forget the purpose of blogs and wonder why people get so bent out of shape about some obscure article or opinion piece. Then I remember, a lot of bloggers use their blogs to vent.

    Personally, I enjoy the group game. I don’t feel chained to five other people, but I do admit I’m reluctant to simple LFG because of the baggage it can bring. More often than not, I don’t really get any issues in groups.

    But hey, if the game is designed to support solo play, go for it.

    I think the main irritation of groupers (no the fish) is that a lot of solo players become vocal and suggest changes to a game that wasn’t designed to be solo. Of course, that’s resentment speaking – the likely cause is what ever developer or big wig sees the numbers WoW pulls in and wants that too so they make the decision to add more solo content/focus. It’s kind of tough to find a (new) good group oriented MMO at the moment.

    MMORPG -> MMOG -> MOG πŸ™‚

  3. @Stargrace — One good rant deserves another. And anyway, your rants are always so nice they don’t really read like rants anyway. πŸ™‚

    @Smak — In my dubious defense, I do at least add the ‘rants’ tag to posts that are pure venting pieces (which this absolutely was).

    Generally people get bent out of shape because some obscure article or opinion piece digs up some kind of long-running issue (I think). This group vs solo thing has been kicked around the blogosphere a lot in fairly recent times.

    I just resent the suggestion, coming from fellow customers, that we (solo players) should get the F out because of our play style. If solo players were constantly blogging that people who group suck and that they should go play Team Fortress, it might eventually wear on you too. Well, probably not in your specific case probably not since not much seems to get to you. But it might wear on a lot of group-oriented players.

    Want to get pissed at the devs for not putting in enough group content? You’ll have my full support. But don’t give me attitude because I’m paying for, and playing, the game the devs built.

  4. You are again getting worked up so much about her opinion and the old solo vs group issue. What is a bit surprising is that you want the editors to do filter out such articles.

    Are you sure you are not going to far if you call Rebecca Bundy bigot and ignorant if you suggest something like that?? Really.

  5. Well I don’t mean she is ignorant in general, or a bigot in terms beyond the solo vs grouper issue. But I do believe within the microcosm of MMO players, she is ignorant of the face that various play styles are supported (and also ignorant of the fact that many console games are team/group focused and online), and bigoted in her non-acceptance of other peoples’ life/play-style choices.

    The job of an editor is to edit. I never suggested the editor should spike the entire story, but off-hand comments that alienate your readership should be edited out, yes. Unless, of course, you’re talking about an opinion piece, in which case the writer’s opinion should be left completely intact.

  6. Ah sorry, maybe I have taken your rant too serious. Almost sounded like “flog Rebecca” to me. πŸ™‚
    Forced grouping always sounded so helpless to me, as if people would have to be forced to group with others, as if it would be something bad. The hate for the soloplayer is usually connected with the notion that gameplay becomes group unfriendly, e.g. grouping in WoW outside of instances is really punished IMO, less xp, less drops, no benefits.

    Muckbeast has a nice write-up on this solo vs group stuff:
    http://www.frogdice.com/muckbeast/game_design/playing-alone-together.html

    I think Aion does it right – you want 1-2 partners after the intro areas, but you can also make do without them.

  7. I just do not understand in this day and age how a print mag about MMO’s even manages to get by. Especially when that very topic of solo vs grouping has been done to the point of stomach nausea on every blog out there.

    This goes for most print magazines now, my XBOX one being the only one I keep mainly for the perks of demo’s and such. Even that will probably go away soon. Console mags have more reviews as well but I honestly skim over those now and usually hit IGN.com

  8. @Longasc — I’m glad you brought it up, because if you read it the way you did, others will too, and I’d hate for the post to read like I was wanting to “flog Rebecca” beyond that one statement/attitude. I updated the main post to specifically state what I meant.

    @Hudson — I agree with you. Like I said, we get it (and despite my rant, will probably continue getting it) because of Stargrace’s articles, because we like her and like to read everything she writes. And because of the codes, which are like the MMO equivalent of the old “Demo Cover CDs” that print gaming mags used to include. Back before you could easily d/l any demo you were interested in.

    Idle thought: If everyone who ever solos suddenly canceled their MMO subscriptions and went off to play console games, what impact would that have on the industry?

    @Longasc — The hate you mention should be directed at the developer. Their challenge is to make a game that both encourages grouping and allows soloing as well. I’m not saying that would be easy, but I think that’s the challenge before them.

  9. I admit it, I only buy Becketts for the codes, when there is a code that appeals or occasionally I’ll buy it for one of Stargrace’s articles. The writing is in my opinion horribly uneven, and there have been quite a few articles of late that left me with the ‘have you played the game or just read about it’ reaction, plus a few ostensibly scholarly ones that got their facts wrong. Meh. Still, I’ve had that reaction to PCGamer too, sooo….

  10. I agree with Hudson on the fact that it boggles my mind when I see print mags for MMOs just because of the time required to print a mag as opposed to the short time it takes an MMO to evolve.

    I see articles written all the time by TTH and I just think to myself “Really? That’s like … months old and you’re reporting on it?” Maybe they aim their articles at casual gamers or something, I dunno πŸ˜›

    Anywho … If the article is labeled as an Opinion piece I generally don’t get worked up over what’s in there because it’s just that: an opinion. But if you’re doing a game review and the game happens to have aspects that appeal to the solo gamer and you flame that portion of it, that’s not cool at all. Review the game as objectively as you can and IF you feel you must make statements that regard your opinion on a matter, make sure to state it’s your opinion and that’s that.

  11. I buy Beckett’s for the codes too, not a subscriber. I didn’t see that specific article you mentioned by Ms. Bundy, but geez! She’s writing for an MMO – which stand for multi player not must group or else game!

    I prefer to do alot of soloing, group when needed for quests/dungeons and obviously guild stuff.

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