All joking aside, I just think that it's not asking too much for SE to assign a rep to keep us updated on what they have on the horizon and to address the *major* concerns that the players have.
It's not too much asked indeed, but it isn't required either.
It would be appreciated though.
Like I said, I'd like to see more interaction from them, and I will be happy and pleasantly surprised if we get it, but I don't EXPECT it. And I know that going in. I know, when I buy the game and pay my monthly fee for FFXIV, what to expect out of the game. I should expect a company that doesn't really communicate with their player base, despite producing a game I mostly enjoy regardless.
If I have a problem with that, I should buy something else.
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
If you don't think one of WoW's greatest draws is its huge playerbase, you're just wrong. A lot of players does make an MMO a better game, because in an MMO more players means more players to group with, to contribute to the economy, to socialize with, to PvP against, etc etc. It makes it a better game.
I think that's a pretty fair statement, particularly at this stage of the game's lifespan. Love it or hate it, WoW gets credit for taking the MMO genre mainstream. There's really nothing about WoW that warrants its success at the level it has seen aside from being in the right place at the right time with the right concepts.
Most of the time you're right in that a popular isn't "better" just because it is more popular, but MMOs are not like that, MMOs are better when they are more popular. The worst thing that can happen to an MMO is low population.
Aurelius hit the nail on the head. If all MMORPGs turned into single player games with a handfull of NPCs to fill in your party slots for you, WoW would fall significantly. The game itself is not "better" in all aspects for all people; the main draw of it is its popularity. I won't dispute that it's the most popular game on the market, but it's simply the most draw because it managed to be "in the right place at the right time".
And even non WoW players would have to concede the massive popularity the game has gathered, from two limited time Mountain Dew flavors to an episode of South Park (which I picked apart endlessly; boars don't give 2 XP, they give XP based on level and stop giving any when they go grey, etc...) WoW is unquestionably the most popular game but popularity alone is not the sole determining factor of "best".
That's the problem with society and media today... you have **** like American Idol and Big Brother and such which are just giant popularity contests that try to justify themselves as "more votes for X equates to how good X is", or talentless hack singers/"performers" who gyrate their pelvis to pre-recorded music and try to justify themselves as "it's good because people watch it, therefore you should watch it because it's good". Cyclical logic is cyclical.
Even you (Barkingturtle) feel that Vanguard is a better game by your own admission, but you won't play it for no other reason (that you provided) besides "More people play WoW, so I'm going to play a game I admit isn't as good because it's more popular"
So at this point, I have to wonder: how many people ONLY chose WoW -because- of its popularity and have no idea that there are many other MMORPG options out there? For many people, WoW is their first and only MMORPG (and it's painfully obvious when they try a different MMORPG and talk about everything in WoW terminology. So now that you bring up the "I like another game better but I only play what is popular" argument, it makes me wonder how much of WoW's NA players are the same way.
This next statement is untrue about WoW, but if you took an absolutely abysmal game model (Let's say Superman 64 Online) and managed to somehow get 25 million people playing a horrible game, would that make the game "Great" in your eyes because, despite the abysmal gameplay and mechanics, "a lot of people play it, so it must be good"? Like I said before; if you follow that logic, you must really love shopping at Walmart, since it's the best store ever by virtue of the people shopping there.
Second life has like 8-10 million players, doesn't it? So by the logic that "more people = better product", Second life must be the second best MMOG out there behind WoW; why not go play that? How about because despite all the people who play it, it's crap. 8 million people can own a polished ****, but that doesn't make it not still a piece of ****. If I wanted to make all of my decisions based on "Doing what everyone else is doing because everyone doing it makes it better", I'd go back about 8 years to High School. Fortunately, I've since learned something that School DOESN'T teach you: The ability to think for yourself. If you enjoy something, then do whatever that thing is. But nothing is awesometacularsauce for no other reason than "Everyone else is doing it so I'm not cool if I'm not doing it too"
Again, I really liked WoW; I played it for a few years until I got tired of it. It's a pretty solid game overall which manages to draw in a large playerbase. But among the half dozen MMORPGs I've played over the years, it comes in third in terms of my game preferences. I've seen games I liked worse, but I've seen games I've liked better, too.
And as someone pointed out, except in cross-server situations, the overall amount of players is irrelevant. From my time playing on WoW, my player interaction was limited to my server only, until cross-realm LFG was added, at which point it was limited to my battlegroup (I dislike PvP so I never did BGs).
No offense, but unless you were in the Nightfall battlegroup, you might as well not have ever existed as far as my playing experience goes. And if you weren't, then I might as well not have ever existed as far as your playing experience goes. Assuming 20,000 players per server times 20 servers, that's 400,000 total players I would ever have the chance to interact with. I have characters on both factions, but if you don't then you can halve that.
So "15 million subscribers" means little to me when I'll only ever have a chance to meet less than 3% of them. And 8-10 million of them are in Asia-Pacific, and most on different servers anyway. So "A lot of people you will never meet do the same thing you do" doesn't really mean much. The only things I care about are the gameplay mechanics, features, and to a lesser extent the graphics. Things like "How many other people are playing" don't really matter so long as I can get a group. And if I can get a group on my server, why do I care about 500 other servers? They really don't affect me any more than I affect them.
It might matter if the game were like EVE where everyone is on the same server and the amount of people DOES matter (Although the game still felt empty to me most of the time anyway; but that's how space is), but in a game where the population is divided by servers, it doesn't matter if there are 15, 50, or 5000 servers on a basis of personal experience.
Don't let me talk you out of playing WoW if you like it, but don't try to justify its greatness by saying "It's great because so many people play it". Talk about the fact that it has a shallow learning curve, the fact that it's easy to pick up and put down, the fact that quests are easy and that grouping is easy, or whatever it is you enjoy about the game... but the total amount of people playing it (over 90% of which you will never ever meet) is irrelevant.
Any game, whether it has a thousand, a million, or a billion players only needs enough people to pay the bills and such that the players always have someone to party with. Population can be too low if it takes forever to build a party, a problem FFXI had before level sync (and WoW had before cross realm LFG), and THAT can kill a game, but that's about it. If FFXI's 500,000 subscribers jumped to 5,000,000 and they added 200+ more servers, that wouldn't make FFXI better... it would just make it "more popular". That's it.
I'm not advocating a huge, resource-draining, public relations campaign be launched by SE, but what would it hurt to have a community liaison feeding us fluffy teasers and answering conceptual concerns and just sharing bits of information? They don't need to have official forums; they could do it here on Allah's just fine.
For once, I mostly agree with you, at least as stated. It would be nice to have a little PR. It would be nice to have some fluffy teasers and some community reps talking to us. I don't -expect- it, but I agree that it would be nice if we had it.