[MUD-Dev] Lum the Mad is closing

Valerio Santinelli tanis at mediacom.it
Sat Sep 29 12:19:33 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


I know that lots of people on this list usually surf to Lum the
Mad's site to have a look at what's going on in the MMOG community.

Well, Edin posted an article saying that Lum the Mad is closing this
weekend.

Here's the summary of the article:

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Lumthemad.net is leaving us this weekend. With a sigh, instead of a
shout, the site will slink off into the annals of MMOG history, a
footnote and a memory in the minds and hearts of players
everywhere. Whether you played UO or WWIIOL, this site has always
been there with commentary from a player's perspective. We are
players, make no mistake. We are not beholden to any game or company
on the market. We play games and yearn for the best possible
experience we feel online gaming can offer us.

We yearn for the golden years of Neverwinter Nights, or Meridian 59,
or the Legends of Kesmai. Those were the Golden Years of graphical
online gaming, the time when we were all newbs to the genre, and
every peek around the corner was a practice in awe and wonderment.

Now, as we grow older, we grow jaded. Graphical MMOGs titillated the
senses and offended the better portions of our minds. How can games
which look so good be so bad? How could eye candy so displace
intellectual pursuits in the games of today? How could so much
thought lead to so little thinking? The levelling treadmills, the
days of the same old uber loot, the best templates.

How could so much innovation lead to so little excitement?

When UO teased us with trade skills mixed with combat, a world for
pacifists and warriors alike, we despaired when balance went the way
of factions; great in concept, poor in implementation. When EQ
offered us a 3-D environment, we marveled at the eye candy, but
despaired when the game offered us little in innovation. Here was a
non-graphical MUD put into graphic form. When Asheron's Call
promised us a world like no other, we gasped at the width and scope
of the world, but became crestfallen when we realized there was
little substance behind the basic templates and absence of trade
skills in Dereth.

Then came the second generation MMOGs, the ones we were betting the
bank on.  AO turned out to be a visually stunning world with
auditory pleasures to match. Too bad there was little in the way of
a game to back it up. WWIIOL promised us strategy in the time of
patches, crashes, and systems utterly unaccustomed to handling
Cornered Rat's type of "challenge."

Now we wait on Shadowbane, the hype of years destined to climax in
an anti-climax of epic proportions, or DaoC, the promised land of
current MMOGs, promising us a stable world without European friends
or balanced character classes.

Am I alone in being unaffected by the offerings of these MMOG
worlds?

When will the companies stop making excuses? When will they stop
telling us decisions were made according to marketing budgets? When
will we see a complete game upon release? When will we stop
lambasting companies for releasing games six months too early?

Make no mistake, we are the reason the MMOG industry is backlogged
with the kind of shit it is. We have told MMOG companies that we
will buy their half-complete products, and we will financially
support the idea of a game, not the actual game.

Do not be mistaken about the origins of the current industry. We buy
half-assed products. We buy based on idea rather than reality. We
pay $12 for an idea rather than an actual complete, stable game.

When devs offer their excuses for their half-assed methods, we eat
them up.  We say to ourselves "Well, they couldn't help it. It was
those evil marketers. The marketers are to blame for all." Even if,
in the back of our minds, we know any gaming CEO who had a solid set
of testicles would tell the marketers where to stick it.

I don't want DaoC this week. I don't want it next week. I don't even
want it in the month of October. I want it when it is done. We will
not receive a complete game. We will receive a stable game, but an
unbalanced one. We will receive what the devs could throw at us on
the marketing schedule.

Just once, ONCE, in the MMOG industry, I want the CEO of a gaming
company to tell the marketing department where to stick it. I want
the CEO to say "Look, this game is not done, and we will not release
it until it is 100%, without a doubt, ready to ship."

We will not get a complete DAoC game. We will get a game released on
a marketing schedule with the appropriate red names telling us they
did the best they could given the marketing schedule.

And you know what? Tens of thousands of you will buy this game based
on the "idea"" rather than the actual game play. You will buy this
game. You will love it. It could be a total piece of shit (and,
let's face it, that's a 50/50 chance), and half of you will defend
it mercilessly.

Marc Jacobs will show up in our forums telling us all the little
reasons for releasing a game that is not 100% complete. And most of
you will buy into it. You'll excuse him. You'll defend his game,
even though there should be no excuse for releasing an incomplete
game.

I like Marc Jacobs, personally. From other sources, and what people
tell me, I really like this guy. When I read what he says, I almost
bend to it, excuse it, back him up on his words.

However, just this once, just this one time in MMOG history, I want
Marc Jacobs to tell his marketers where to stick it. I want him to
say "This is MY game, and I will not be ruled by your god damned
schedule. I will make this game to be my vision, and I will not
release it to be anything less than a 100% complete game with
balance, content, and eye candy. Until then, your marketers can blow
me."

Will that happen? Of course not. But, I can dream, can't I?

Hey, this is the new LtM.net. After this weekend, we'll be
slownewsday.net.  We'll have no credibility. We won't know what the
hell we're talking about.  We'll be riding on a popularity that
isn't ours. After all, the site has gone downhill after Lum
left. Hell, we have sucked ever since Myschyf left.

But, you know what? We're players here. We know what we want. We
know what we deserve. And we will not rest until an MMOG company
gives us that.

Until then, you're stuck with me and everyone else. You'll just have
to deal. If you can deal with the crap the MMOG serve up, you can
deal what we have to say in tow.

Happy final Lum The Mad September weekend to you.

Eldin
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I hope not to have been off-topic with this post.

c'ya!

Valerio Santinelli
http://www.hateseed.com/
tanis at mediacom.it

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