Why we do want to read your MMO stories

| Friday, September 6, 2013
I stand by my previous post: I don't care what you're doing in your MMO.

The key is in the word your. The stories in the game, we have those covered. Those aren't your stories; they are the game's. Listing them as what you will do or just did doesn't make them your story, unless you're using the old "put the entire chapter in quotations and pretend I wrote the paper" trick from high school. Note that I never did that because I never learned to type and therefore, given my laziness, was unwilling to copy someone's book chapter.

Let's stick with the word your and get rid of your guild's stories too. We're not in your guild, applying for your guild, or friends with anyone in your guild besides you (we like you, though).

But your stories? Those are, for lack of a better word, good. Your stories work. Properly written, of course. The story that you create and experience matters. It is everything.

That story is feedback for the developers. It says that you hate something, even if you feel stuck running it every day (that's why you quit the next month). It says that you love something, even if you don't get to run it as often as you'd like (but it's worth the entire sub by itself). It says something that the player statistics cannot: it says intention, motivation, and feeling.

That story is a review for other players. It tells them what other players have experienced. They can learn from it, knowing what to expect. Guides sterilize the experience. Posts can bring it to life. That life may be good or bad and to write about either is to help players know what is coming. It helps players pursue that which they enjoy and avoid that which they do not. If I say that World vs. World reminds me of old Alterac Valley, despite being void of facts or analysis, that will clearly tell some people to rush toward it, and others to avoid it at all costs.

The feelings that come with a relaying of an experience can help other players with their perspective. It's easy to fall into one's own perspective and fail to see any other. It's not a lack of empathy, but of imagination. A post can nudge us out, show us a different way to see it. Dull may be relaxing; frantic, exciting; rushed, efficient. Maybe we'll see both at once. For example, during a round of champion farming I found myself feeling two feelings. I was in awe of the efficiency of it all as the zerg went from spot to spot, with pinatas popping with showers of whatever that yellowish shade is that is better than green. I was also annoyed at the pace of it, as a bit of loading lag meant a missed kill. What an awfully stupid place! Yet, how wonderful to see players working together for mutual benefit, calling out where to go if someone was lost or new (I was both). Worst case scenario I skipped ahead to the next spot and waited a few minutes.

Sadly, that last bit was not from a post that someone wrote. Rather, I thought of it myself but couldn't post it. How could I? I'd said that no one cares about those stupid sorts of posts. Thankfully, my terrible writing left me a wonderful loophole, or perhaps merely refinement of meaning, to explain that we play more than what is scripted, and that's the whole fun of it all.


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