I have been witness, first hand, to many MMO communities falling apart. DAoC after the release of Trials of Atlantis. WAR after its initial release, ditto for Age of Conan. I have also heard of them falling apart second hand. Star Wars Galaxies after the release of the New Game Experience and Ultima Online after Trammel.
MMO communities falling on each other and consuming themselves and the game is nothing new. It has been happening for years and will continue to happen. What is new is the speed in which it happened to Allods Online. DAoC took a few months after Trials of Atlantis. It built slowly and got worse and worse. WAR also took a couple of months before the reality of the situation revealed itself.
Allods has taken three days. Three. From Friday of last week until today the forums have been a cess-pool of whines, gripes, indignation and accusation. Now most of the indignation is completely warranted. Witness what the players and community has went through over the last three days:
- The reveal of the Cash Shop, which was horribly overpriced for everything except keys to locked chests.
- The news of the newest Russian patch, which made that cash shop nearly mandatory for the enjoyment of the game. Lengthened Fear of Death effects, a mount that is slow unless you buy something from the Cash Shop and the nerfing of all speed enhancing class effects so that you will need to purchase a mount.
- Finally, the revelation that the current team working on the game may not even be the same team that built the game we are now enjoying and may have no idea what they are doing.
All of these hit us at once, in the space of three days. The current state of the forums is a witness to that. A community that was once fairly civil, even in disagreement, is now consuming itself, the game, the GMs and the unpaid forum Mods.
Let me reiterate that I am all for demonstrating to gPotato and Astrum Nival that we are NOT happy with the news over the last three days. If the Cash Shop continues at these prices and the patch from Russia makes it to North America, I will not be playing. I will not support a company or a product that does that to its community. I have gone out of my way to show my disdain to Cryptic and their price gouging with Champions and Star Trek and all of that disdain will transfer in whole to gPotato and Astrum Nival if this continues.
That being said, it is time to dial it back a notch on the Allods Onine forums. It has become counter-productive. There is no need for 15 threads to be created for the exact same topic. There is no need for the name calling, the cursing and immaturity that has been displayed over there.
Ashkiir, an Astral Scholar and unpaid, volunteer mod, has been subjected to ridicule, disdain and threats for his attempted moderation of the forums. Miss_Sadie, a paid GM, has also been the brunt of attacks by the community. This is not needed and, indeed, those who have done so should be ashamed of themselves.
We need to show gPotato and Astrum Nival that we are not happy with the current state of affairs and we will not put up with it. But, we need to show them in a civil and mature manner.
Hopefully, the game and the community can come through this and be stronger for it. If not, I will probably be in the market for another MMO.