When Rational People Attack!

January 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Posted in mmorpg | 19 Comments
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Recently on Massively, they posted an Impressions article with various opinions from their writers on the beta of Rift. One writer, Jef Reahard had the misfortune of only playing for about an hour before offering up his own opinion that went a little something like this.

I rolled a Pyromancer in the Defiant beta and spent about an hour running around the initial zone (and fiddling with the UI). That probably doesn’t seem like a lot of time to form an accurate impression, but it was more than enough for me to realize I’ve played this game about a hundred times over the last few years.

That’s not to say Trion doesn’t have a serviceable title on its hands. It’s very pretty and runs well compared to most betas, but I’m already slogging through a couple of on-rails quest grinders and don’t really have the patience for another one. Wake me up when (or actually, if) someone dares to spend this kind of money on a sandbox.

What a jerk. Okay sure he discloses up front that he only played about an hour, and yes, the title of the article has the words Impressions in it, and he only had 2 paragraphs, and okay maybe every other blogger out there is echoing the same thoughts, but obviously he should be fired. I mean come on, he was asked for his opinion in an opinion piece and he gave it! Talk about ego!

The worst part is he disagrees with me!

Okay, I think we can all see my sarcasm by now, but how should sane people react to this? I would hope a rational and thinking person would write something like the following.

I disagree with you.

Okay maybe you’re looking for a more impassioned defense of a game you have greatly come to love and adore.

I disagree with you on several levels. For one, I did not find the first hour of my experience to be at all familiar or boring. The graphics were new, fresh and looked wonderful. The game is polished and bug free. There was very little about the first hour I did not like, but I see that you didn’t play past that first hour. This is where you went wrong, because after the first hour things quickly begin to pick up steam. New systems are introduced like the soul system and Rifts are quite a lot of fun. It doesn’t sound like you experienced either. I suggest you play for a longer period of time. Sincerely, a huge Rift fan.

In my opinion offering a diverging viewpoint from (4) other authors in that post gave me a better understanding of what Rift is like. Some people like it, some people don’t, isn’t that the very nature of life? Subjective experience.

The post was about first impressions, if playing a game for an hour doesn’t give you a first impression, you’re doing it wrong.



  1. No matter what you say and how you say it, there will be people that disagree.

    Reahard was blunt, but he was not ranting at all.

    I would like to sum up my impression of the crowd he enraged: Waaah! Waaah! *cry* Waaah! F*CK! Waaah!

    • he was honest about how he felt about the game and people reacted like it couldn’t possibly be true. of course it’s true. why would he lie?

  2. Yeah, I didn’t buy the “play it for 20 hours before you make a decision” argument when I tried WoW and confessed I didn’t like it, and it’s still a bad argument now.

    Yeah, that’s right, I disliked WoW from minute 1 and I still didn’t like it 20 hours later! Yet I liked Rift! Surely up is down, down is up, cats will lay with dogs, etc.

    • Yeah back when that eurogamer review of darkfall came in, i was pretty angry about it i think. but the more I think about it the more i think that as long as one review or 2 paragraphs aren’t the only opinions i’m going to go by, and i never read only one opinion, i don’t see the problem. as long as people are honest there shouldn’t be a problem.

  3. I’ll tell you a tale of intrigue and wonder:

    I watched the movie Zoolander and hated it. The whole time in the movie theater I wanted to punch the ticket agent for selling me a ticket. Fast forward a year later…

    A couple guys at work were quoting Zoolander and I was laughing, but I knew the movie sucked. Fate would have it, it was on sale at the store for $5. I picked it up and watched it again. I almost pissed myself laughing so hard. What happened in that year?

    My hour and a half first impression changed because I gave it another hour and a half. Sometimes you realize something you missed because you actually open your mind and enjoy yourself. Jef wrote the paragraphs for the attention plain and simple. Who’s post is the most talked about? Jef! Negative wins again

    • come on scary, i think you’re attributing some sinister purpose behind his comments. he was asked for his opinion and he gave it, it was negative and people over reacted, that’s whats getting all the attention. the over reaction.

      • How about he said,
        I didn’t get enough time or really cared to get enough time to preview this game. So I choose not to review it and make an assumption about something I know little about. As a professional, I choose not to state my opinion at this time.” to his boss.

        As a paid blogger, he is held to higher standard and is obligated to try games out. What if Roger Ebert did a review of a movie after walking out after 10 minutes and stated he has see that type of movie before. People would be pissed and discredit him. Remember when he flamed MMOs as not an art from without ever setting foot in them? Same goes for Massively bloggers. Sometime you have to bite your tongue and sit through a chick flick.

        I didn’t read the comment from the blog post, my impression from reading comments on other Massively blog posts say and make the same points as his post. Why should I make the effort to read them when I know they are the same?

        • This is not the same thing as your ebert analogy. it was clearly labeled as an impression article, not a review, and he clearly stated he played for an hour.

          what is an impression if not an early, vague, notion of something?

          Roger Ebert has walked out on movies and reviewed them.

          “Caligula” is sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash. If it is not the worst film I have ever seen, that makes it all the more shameful: People with talent allowed themselves to participate in this travesty. Disgusted and unspeakably depressed, I walked out of the film after two hours of its 170-minute length.”

          • You have bested me Hunter. Didn’t know Ebert did that, but I do think he is a pompous jerk anyways. I’m sure he got backlash for it.

            You win this time! 🙂

            • to be fair i see what you’re getting at, and i doubt ebert has walked out on many movies (and caligula is god awful)

  4. I played Rift for about the same hour Reahard did and formed basically the same opinion.

    I remember first walking into TBC in WoW. I forget the name of the zone now but it’s the starter zone in that expansion, brown desert rock type theme.

    There was suppose to be some huge battle going on, lines had been drawn over a large cut in the earth with castles and war machines all along the battle lines. I didn’t care at the time but I remember thinking, “Man some huge battle, and I don’t feel at all like I’m in some great peril or that anything particularly exciting is going on at all.” No sense of urgency, no real feeling that I was a soldier in a massive conflict.

    When I logged into Rift, looking for an MMO to take me into the “next generation” as all these new MMOs claim I was very excited. I exited the final bastion of civilization in the world, for I needed to go back in time and stop the end of days… for today, was the end of days!

    And what do I find? What is suppose to be a last road, a final line drawn in the sand where in mere hours we will all be wiped out. The greatest living heros in the world fighting in their final hours. What do I feel? Nothing! No realistic sense of foreboding, battle and carnage or any urgency at all. Aside from the dark scenery I might as well of been taking a little walk for all I felt like I was a warrior in some great End of Days war.

    Anyways, I decided the game is WoW generation and if I wanted to play a WoW gen game I could just play WoW. Give me something to come after WoW, something more advanced, that does more, that accomplishes what the current generation of MMOs cannot. That is the game I want to play.

    • Yeah a lot of people are giving the same impression of rift, but jef reahard says something and it’s different because he’s at massively?

      I don’t think i’ll be playing rift, so I’m not even sure why i’m inserting myself in the argument. however, i agree with your reasoning on playing rift. not a lot of people being 100% positive without any caveats or buts before saying things. it just looks like a wow clone but with rifts.

  5. I’m of two minds in this. On the one hand, it’s an editorial piece, so who gives a shit who writes what in those, really?

    However, it still bothers me. I have no problem what so ever with what he wrote, but it’s the way he wrote it that makes me do my own little /facepalm. I get it, it’s an impression piece, so you don’t have to take a game seriously if you don’t want to. But I do expect you to take your job seriously.

    Look, people can say what they want, it’s a free country. But if “I disagree with you” is a professional way to respond (and I agree with you), then perhaps the professional way he should have written it is “I played for an hour and I didn’t see enough of the game to offer comment” or maybe at least tried a bit? Or hell, even “I played for an hour and I prefer sandboxes so this was not for me.” Do we really need the snark?

    His blurb feels right at home in a forum troll post, I think that’s what bothers me. Again, I know it’s an editorial, but I expected more quality from Massively. Or hell, I don’t know, maybe I’m having unrealistic expectations of Massively, which more and more folks are characterizing it as a “blog” site rather than a “journalistic source”?

    • I don’t agree that he said anything so bad that it could be considered trollish. One of the things that confuses me here is that what he said was so mild, and so echoes what other bloggers (like yourself) have said about the game, that i’m surprised anyone took offense.

      He played for an hour, he found it boring, he mildly commented on how boring he found it. Seriously, you can do a lot worse than say you’ve played the game before and to wake him up when another game comes along.

      I think he’s allowed some artistic license with whatever he’s going to write, whether it be a review, news piece, feature, interview or editorial. Serious journalism allows plenty of leeway as long as you do a few simple things. Be honest and factual, try to leave bias at the door, don’t misrepresent anything.

      What he wrote was an opinion, clearly based on a 1 hour experience, it was honest and the only concession i’ll make is that he seems to be somewhat biased against theme parks. In an opinion piece, fair enough.

      As for massively. I don’t take their news, interviews, or much of their content too seriously. Not to knock the place but they live and breathe on the dime of game companies who keep them in the loop. News is regurgitated PR and marketing releases. Interviews are only given on the principle that you won’t get another if this interview turns out negative. Features have to be glowing as if they were advertisements or you won’t get another feature.

      Its surprising to me that in this case, where someone expressed a real opinion, the backlash was not from the corporate side of things, but from the audience, which somehow has become the willing accomplice to game companies.

      • Again, you have to understand I don’t have an issue with the content of his blurb. If he wrote this exact same thing on his personal blog, on a forum, in a comment, etc. I would never have batted an eye. I think forming an opinion after an hour is totally fine — I could play a game like EVE for an hour and realize it’s not for me because I’m familiar enough with my own tastes to know these spreadsheet games make my head explode. But if I was paid to write something, even on an impression piece, I’ll probably write more than five sentences about why. And I definitely wouldn’t make a dig on the genre.

        Seriously, don’t mind me though, I know I’m likely letting my own personal sense of integrity color my views. Well, make that definitely. I’ve tackled every paying job I’ve had with the utmost professionalism, and I know it’s unrealistic to expect that of everyone in the world. And again, maybe I’m giving Massively too much credit, I know they’re very casual over there and I can’t expect everyone of them to write like they’re doing it for the Wall Street Journal (and frankly, I wouldn’t like that). Like I said, I’m sure it’s just a personal thing, it irked me the same way it would irk me if, say, I saw a clerk at a store horsing around behind the counter when they’re supposed to be serving customers.

        • I see what you’re getting at but in the context of that article i thought it was fine, we will have to agree to disagree.

          I will say that perhaps I’m getting used to plenty of snark with my news. the av club hilariously reports entertainment news and the daily show and colbert both deliver plenty of commentary.

          • Yep, I agree to disagree, and I think maybe I need to read snarkier news!

  6. I’m done with waiting for a game to get good, especially when I’m paying for time as in a friggin’ subscription game. If it’s not fun in the first hour, I have no problem walking out.

    I’m not going to be qualified to speak from experience about what happens after that hour, true, but I can speak to what I did experience.

    If RIFT has something new to offer the tired veteran, it should put its best foot forward and make it clear from the very start why anyone should care about it, *especially* the WoW veterans that it’s courting.

    • yeah I don’t think Reahard should make any apology for giving his impression on what he experienced. I think some people have a point that perhaps as a professional he should have dug deeper, but it was an impression piece and he has a right to his opinion.

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