Daily Archives: June 16, 2007

Tanha, MMO Style

Tanha means thirst, desire, craving, wanting more, longing, or yearning. Tanha leads to unsatisfactoriness which arises when we did not get what we want. This lead to jealousy. Jealousy lead to hatred. Hatred lead to dispute. Inflicting suffering on fellow human being is the out come of tanha.

The Free Buddhist Encyclopedia Project

There seems to be a good deal of angst going around about fairness and accessibility to content.  Or to be more accurate, the rewards yielded by some content.  You know the drill, raiders vs. non-raiders.  Darren, Kendricke, Bildo, and Cameron have all been stirring the pot on this of late.  Of course, not wanting to be left out, I’ll put in my idea on the subject.

My outlook is rather simple.

If you are enjoying the game, why do you care what other people are doing?

Seriously.  Just enjoy the game.  Be happy.  Nobody “wins” these games.  There is no “zero sum” at play here, where somebody doing “better” than you detracts from you in any way. (Forget about PvP for the moment, PvP vs. Carebears is another subject.)

And if you are not enjoying the game, what makes you think a few pieces of gear will change that in any way? 

I can be the biggest goof when it comes to games.  I have been known to absolutely enrage fellow guild members by going off and doing things that are fun rather than concentrating on things that will improve my character.  I just want to enjoy myself.

Darren is certainly correct that everybody pays the same $15 a month for access to these games.  But that $15 is not the only cost of these games.  That is just the ante to get into the game.  The other cost, the major cost, is time.  Time has value, at least my time does.  Time is a scarce commodity.  The value of the time I spend playing MMOs dwarfs the $15 a month fee in my opinion.

Anybody can be a raider and see all the content and get all the goodies, they just have to want to invest the time.  For most of us, that is too expensive.  We make that choice conciously.  I would have to change jobs (and probably wives) in order to invest the kind of time which raiding requires.  I could do that, but I won’t.  That would be too much additional cost for me.

That being said, there are things that I see that aggravate the raider/non-raider rift. 

Blizzard spending two and a half years delivering content for raiders before an expansion came out for non-raiders certainly sticks in the craw.  WoW’s solo and small group paths are smooth and fun, but they are a bit thin compared to other games like EverQuest II.  Very early on the race you choose ends up merging paths with the rest of your Horde/Alliance compatriots.  And not too far after that, everybody ends up on the same ladder to level cap.  Interesting once, fun twice, but some zones do not really warrant that third visit in my opinion.  That got viewed as catering to a smaller, if more dedicated, group of players.

On the flip side, of course, I heard a lot of moaning about Echoes of Faydwer not having enough high end content.  SOE was taken to task by some raiders for wasting time adding new low and mid level content.  A similar set of complaints were made about the EverQuest expansion The Serpent’s Spine.  Why add more lower level content when the current zones in that range are practically empty already?

And so it goes.

No external solution will ever solve everybody’s objections.  No change to the game will satisfy everyone.  It is almost like real life.

So just enjoy the game.  And if you cannot enjoy the game as it is, then perhaps you should take it as a sign that you should find something else.  Why waste your valuable time with something that is not fun?