Everyone Thinks They Are A Developer

Angie's BlogThe title says it all. In every game I have come across, in every community forum for any game on any console, there is a select group of people who happen to think they know everything. Sure, they may know how the game works; they may have completed every single last accomplishment in said game; heck, they may even know everyone on their server/world. But one thing that strikes me as odd is how everyone all of a sudden is a Developer when something happens that they do not agree with.

“I know how long it takes to make a game! I can not believe they can’t incorporate <insert skill/map area/feature here> into the game! That is a load of bull! Developers are so damn lazy!”

This is what people come across time after time there is an update for a game. I guess you can call them the “Negative Nancys” of the gaming world or you could call them the “At-home Developers”; either which way, they are there griefing a company and game because they did not make it their way.

Case in point. I play a game called The Lord of the Rings Online. I have been playing this game since closed beta in 2007. That is a long time in an MMO life. A few weeks ago while playing this game, I happened to be chatting in Ventrilo with a few kin members of mine. We started talking about the latest updates for the Rise of Isengard expansion that is set to release on September 26th. One particular update apparently made someone extremely upset. The update is to the Guardian class. After we all read the update of course we had a discussion about it. What does this mean to end-game raiding, what we all thought the die-hard Guardians would think of it. Then this guy who happened to play a Guardian had to chime in and say something. What happened next was nothing short of an hour rant about how his class never has received any “love” from the Developers, how the Developers were “lazy pieces of shit” and how he could do so much better if Turbine would just give him the chance to make things right.

I was baffled to be quite honest on how brutal this guy was when it came to bashing the Devs, especially since this particular person has not played that class in over a year. I had to back away for a moment and collect myself and think about how I wanted to go about this discussion in an adult way.

Before I go into anymore detail about what I said next, I would like to say a few things. I am currently going to school for IT Development. I have many friends in the gaming development world and know how things can go. I am in no way saying I know everything, however with the background I do have in game development and with the close friends I do have in the industry, I believe I know more about how a game is produced than some.

Back to the story.

As I was thinking about what to say, this person came on and said “Oh God I am going to get banned from the forums! These pricks are going to hear from me!” And I guess that is where I had to step in. I asked him why he left the need to belittle the Developers. To that he simply replied “because they are lazy”. “On the contrary” I said; “Developers are some of the hardest working people in the gaming industry. Have you ever considered how hard it must be to make a kick ass game only to sit there and hear people bitch about the things you have done? Have you ever thought about how long it takes to get something approved just to go into a game? Do you know that some Developers work 80+ hour weeks just to make sure the content that they said would go out gets out on time?” To that reply I got “of course I know”.

I believe that reply bugs me the most when it comes to the player base of any given game. Some gamers believe that because they pay for a service, or even play for free, that they are entitled to something. Some have the mentality that they “pay” for you to do your job so they have to have a say in what is done and God forbid you do not do it to their level of expectations that you just really suck at your job.

The newer generation coming into the gaming world has this entitlement mentality and there may be nothing we can do about it. However, we can take a stand and at least try to help them say what they have to say without having the need to belittle and put down the Developers who make the games we love to play day in an day out. One thing that we all need to realize is that there is a right way and a wrong way to go about getting your point across. It is just like our mothers used to tell us all growing up: “It is not what you say that gets you into trouble; but it is how you say it.” That right there can go a long ways when it comes to giving positive feedback. I believe that once we all learn this, maybe we can all enjoy the games we love just a little bit more.

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