Developer Appreciation Week

March 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 5 Comments
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I’ve read blogs about MMOs for years now, lurked, left comments under various aliases, all while mostly playing MMOs that nobody ever blogged about. Guild Wars or a plethora of free to play or supposedly free to play games.

One thing you’ll notice right away is that there is pretty much a constant stream of negativity. It’s easier to write about what bothers you than what pleasures you I suppose.

Last year, ScaryBooster took action against such negativity by instituting something he calls Developer Appreciation Week. It was his opinion that developers tend to take a lot of abuse from bloggers, and perhaps some counter weight could be added to the mix.

In honor of DAW I thought I’d add some praise.

Who'd of thunk it?

First of all I’d like to thank and give kudos to the Guild Wars Live Team. John Stumme and the unsung other developers currently working on the game have lately breathed quite a bit of life into the game. After the Eye Of The North expansion was released, it felt like there was little to look forward to.

That changed with Linsey Murdock pushing forward with things like War in Kryta. Without such new content, there would have been little reason for me to get back into Guild Wars, and connect or reconnect with a lot of Guild Wars friends.

I’ll also give a brief shout out to the team that put together the War In Kryta viral campaign to promote it. It drew me in and I was quite impressed. I’m not sure who at Arenanet can be particularly credited with designing it, my impression was the community team (and if I recall correctly from Regina Buenaobra’s blog, she had a particular fascination with ARG’s) but in any case it was a good job.

Of course, how could I even attempt to appreciate developers on my primarily Guild Wars 2 blog, without addressing Guild Wars 2 developers.

I’m glad Arenanet is trying to be different. Trying new things. Innovating. A lot of the MMO blogosphere (ugh shoot me for using that word) sees something different and just craps all over it. Screw those guys.

I like everything that you’re doing. I like the story, lore, skills, events, weapon systems, traits, activities, skill effects, underwater, dungeons, jumping, armour, crafting, and transmutation stones. I like the emphasis on everything from the art down to needing a mathematical equation to figure out how many different colours I can dye something. I like that they had the balls to say their own game (Guild Wars which has sold something like nearly 7 million copies) just wasn’t good enough.

I like all that stuff and the game isn’t even out yet. So to Mike O’Brien and everyone underneath him, thanks. I appreciate it.

I should probably move on to non-Arenanet developers.

A very unpredictable addition I'm sure

Thank you Bioware for making the best game I played in 2010, Mass Effect 2. I can not believe how much I love and appreciate that game. I literally know next to nothing about Bioware developers by name, but I know one thing. They know how implement, visualize, and write a story. Part of what makes me anticipate Star Wars: The Old Republic so much is Bioware’s other work.

I can leave any misgivings, any hesitation, any thoughts of dread that perhaps SWTOR might not be any good, at the door because Bioware is so reliable. Even if I only end up enjoying the story for a few months, it will be well worth the time and money.

Perhaps this one is slightly surprising

I’d also like to acknowledge Trion. There is plenty to like about Rift and I give full credit to the studio for attempting, and succeeding, at new things. Rifts are a well thought out and completely realized concept. The game as a whole is very well polished, I haven’t encountered a bug of any kind. Indeed, much of the game is beautiful and a pleasure to play. I must say Scott Hartsman’s reputation rose considerably with me.

You know, it is actually quite hard to praise game developers without delivering a few backhanded compliments. I was quite tempted to add an addendum here or there containing phrases like “this is great, except for this!”

Back to crapping on the games I play in the next post.

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5 Comments

  1. […] Hunter’s Insight […]

  2. Very awesome write up. ArenaNet seems like an awesome team of people. I wish I could tour their office and talk to them. I thought what Mythic did with WAR bloggers was awesome and wish more companies would do that for the small guy that truly loves what a dev company does. There is pent up passion with fan bloggers that you can’t get from mainstream sites.

    Also, thank you very much for doing DAW. It’s great to read positive stuff once and awhile.

    • Yeah its surprising that nobody has followed the lead of mythic and what they did with war. there was a huge blog push for the game, although i suppose it was hard to measure.

      I’ll have to agree with you, in fact, when a blog is all negative stuff, I tend to just breeze through it. If its positive i’ll take the time to read it in detail.

  3. LOL believe me, there were those “but” moments for me too. But that’s what DAW is great for (thanks, Scary!), to just say the positive things and be unapologetic about them. We can go back to our addendum-laden posts next week.

    And one of the reasons I thanked teams was that I’m not familiar with many names either. I know the “big” ones that give interviews, show up in articles, etc. but I don’t want to just focus on one when I may forget others, and I think all team members right down to the most junior programmer deserves to be recognized together.

    • I think your approach to thanking teams is probably best. While scott hartsman probably came up with rifts, who came up with artifacts? who came up with all the little details that make the game fun? different kinds of rifts and bosses and whatever. teams make games, not the lead developer.


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