Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:
"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius.’’
I respectfully disagree, Mr. Emerson. "To believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men" is pure hubris.
Some people are really not going to like this. In fact, I may even lose followers over it. But mine is the opinion that matters here, where I have the final say. Go post your own opinion on your own blog.
I have not been terribly consistent in my efforts to be evenhanded on this blog. I've tried to dedicate it to shiny happy feelings about the games I am playing. I try to give honest assessments of games I've played. If I don't like a game, I don't bag on it or the people who developed it. I just move on and play games that I like to play.
I see people in blogs, comments, and Twitter denigrate others for choosing to play this game or that, insulting their intelligence. "How could you possibly like that piece-of-garbage game." and "I think I just threw up a little in my mouth." Then they can't fathom why others aren't playing their own favorite game.
To those rage about this game or that on the various forums and Twitter as if they've been personally slighted, I will say this pointedly: SFTU & GTFO. This is not your private universe. Other people people live here, too.
I want to reiterate, I am not talking about the people who have constructive suggestions and opinions about a particular game or the MMORPG genre as a whole. I am talking about the snooty people who think and say that others are inferior for liking certain games, and the nerdragers who think the game company somehow owes them something besides what they have already provided.
I see a whole lot of people declaring that this or that design decision is bad, and that a game or genre will ultimately fail as a result. These are the Malthusians declaring that the market only has so many potential customers, leading to every new game competing with and poaching players from other games. Meanwhile games like WoW in 2004 blew previous assumptions about the size of the market out of the water. And the market is bigger today than ever before. If you can design a better game, get out there and design it. More power to you. I sincerely wish you the best; don't be surprised if you don't attract the playerbase you think your game deserves.
It's OK to say you did or did not like a game and give a reason. It's another thing entirely to say the game is stupid because it lacks a feature you think should be there or it is not implemented the way you think it should be, and that those who do like the game are clearly ignorant, stupid or both for liking it. It's like saying Basketball is stupid because it isn't played on ice, or that Hockey is stupid because there are no wickets.
Constructive criticism and suggestions are welcome at BioWare, Blizzard, and other game development companies, I am sure. However, they owe you nothing but doing their best to make and maintain the best game they can from their perspective. Some mistakes will be made, but not every design decision you disagree with is a mistake. You are neither an employee nor a shareholder. You are a customer, free to take it or leave it. Rather than waste your time and effort on raging, just go do something else.
Vote with your pocketbook. Thousands of others do exactly that in every market. If you don't like a game, stop playing, stop giving them money. If you do like a game, play it. Raging on the forums does no good to anyone, and in fact harms you and the forum community more than you realize.
Now there will be some who claim they are entitled to their opinion and should be free to express it. I don't have the right to tell them to shut up. I guess what I am really saying by that is that I don't have to listen or value your opinion. You are not contributing to the discussion when you rage against design decisions, especially when you say, "same old tired game design" without offering any solution. Especially when you try to establish your gamer cred by declaring that you gamed when gaming wasn't cool.
If you want a sandbox game, there are plenty out there, like Wurm, EVE, and Minecraft. If there is not enough PvP in a game, find one that does have enough. If raiding is your thing, go find a game with a lot of hardcore raids. A given game does not have to be all things to all gamers. Try to please everyone and you end up pleasing no one.