So I'm in The Communal Shower the other day, desperately hoping a group of nazi's (neo or otherwise) don't come in to teach me a valuable lesson about maintaining loyalty to my 'own kind' (ala American History X), and I start thinking about communities and how we interact together in various communal areas. I'll skip the real-life philisophical rant (especially the naked parts) and get straight to the subject of games.
Online games, as we know, have a community all to their own both in-game, and in their associated forums and blogs. You can get a definite 'feel' for the in-game community by watching the chat-channels and reading the forums. You could argue that those posting in fourms and general chat channels do not represent the community as a whole, but they are definitely a part of it- an often very vocal part. I tend to make up my mind fairly quickly about the general community by the interactions I have both in play, and in chat. As I have previously posted, I generally hate people and the fact I play online games is itself a bit of an ironic twist. Maybe I'm dead and this is the 'ironic punishment division' of hell- who knows (back to the brain in the vat theory)?
One of the things I really liked about Warhammer from the start was the feel of the community. After having played Guild Wars PVP I have to say I was expecting something a bit different. I love Guild Wars and have had some great fun but there definitely was a section of the PVP population who were, generally, jerks. Random Arena's was particularly bad for name-calling- from your own teammates- and there was a lot of elitism in Team Arena's and that other team-based pvp-thingy I never got to do because I didn't have the proper title or what-have-you. My hopes weren't high, therefore, for the general attitude of the players in an all-pvp game.
The first time in Warhammer that I saw someone call another player a Noob in chat the response came back quick and sure:
> Don't be calling people noobs. This isn't WoW.
Nice! My only experience with WoW has been the free trial where, 10 minutes into the game and after turning down 4 dueling challenges, I was surrounded, actually surrounded, by other players chanting "Noob, noob, noob". Bloody hell. Took me back to grade-school bullies who used to pull my pigtails and twist my bra-strap...wait, no......that was something else entirely..........I'll move on.
Fast-forward to RIFT which, although it has a firm grasp on my purse-strings (there we go again with the feminization of self....hmmm.....topic for therapy?) is struggling to grab hold of my (gaming) heart. About an hour in I saw a question, and after no one responded I thought I'd try to help based on my limited knowledge. The coversation (and I forgot to screen shot it so you'll have to take my word for it, suckers, er, I mean readers).
<Unknown> Does anyone know when we get our PVP soul?
<Gankalicious> I'm not sure that we do get a special PVP soul as we can go to Warfronts at rank 10.
<Randomjerk> Of course we get a PVP soul, Noob.
<Gankalicious> lol...of course I'm a noob. This is beta, and its my first time playing.
My point? I'm not sure I have one though I have formed a definite picture of the average player inhabiting the virtual world of RIFT, and its not a good one. The coversation above does not encomapss the total experiences which help me to form this opinion but it is fairly representative. I know that there are general jerks lurking, and trolling, the chat channels of all games, but I really don't notice it as much in Warhammer. Perhaps it's because I've played WAR for so long that I don't come across as a noob, or maybe I'm more confident with the community and tend to ignore childish chat and obvious trolling. Or maybe those of us who are left are a better class of player?
That said I have had my own versions of raging in chat but I tend to lean toward the sarcastic vs. noob-calling. In most of those instances it is merely general frustration as a whole that get's me wound up and not specifically the performance of an individual player.....although.......now that I have your attention....could we please, please, please by Tier 3 at the very least, learn to fight on the flag in Nordenwatch? Your attention in this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.