I hope this post didn't offend anyone. I just thought some people might be interested in the marketing tactics that make games a success.
No offense to you, but it's starting to get pretty offensive seeing a doom and gloom thread from you that subtly condemns everyone who likes the game as being manupulated, covered in a wall of text. You sound like you potentially like the game but are feeling incredibly insecure about it, and thus have the need to put yourself down massively to justify things. Please save the doomsaying for a month or so AFTER the game is released, hmmm?
Why, check my history. i doomsayed at the start of 1.0, got the exact same responses as here, and was mostly correct about all the problems I said would be problems :p
I'm watching people get hyped up just like at 1.0 and I know exactly what will happen 3 months from now.
I think you the problem is that you are either misremembering history or have a very skewed view of what people are saying now.
I too played 1.0 beta, and I too was very critical. And I do remember getting rated down and called a troll, etc.
Here's the problem with the comparison:
1.0 was genuinely a crap game. There were many obvious flaws with it. People who defended it or felt hyped about it generally fell into two categories: Those who hadn't played it at all and those who had played it and were expecting a miracle patch to fix the flaws they saw while playing.
2.0 Is not crappy. The people who like it most are the people who have actually played it. No one is waiting for a patch to "fix" anything, because there's nothing inherently broken. Some one doesn't have to use their imagination to think of how the game might be fun to play, because it's already fun to play.
Also, the psychological principles you're talking about tend to be very weak, and they depend on having to commit up front. You tend to like the car you bought possibly as a coping mechanism for the fact that you paid a lot for it and can't easily recoup your investment. A car isn't very fungible so even if you bought a bad one, you might tend to over estimate how good it is. Similar for a spouse or a child. People tend to think more highly of family in part because they're basically stuck with them for life.
Pre ordering or playing a few beta weekends isn't nearly the same level of commitment. You can generally get back your small pre order deposit, if you even had to pay one, and most of the effort in beta testing is irrelevant, since servers were wiped prior to last weekend.
Experienced MMO players understand that the substantial commitment comes after launch. Hundreds or thousands of hours invested in a character, hundreds or thousands of dollars invested in subscriptions, etc. A 5 dollar deposit and a few weekends of play are a tiny portion of the total cost, and are very unlikely to influence some one's thinking about an MMO if they have some concept of how little an investment that really is.
I can't speak for every one else, but I beta tested Warhammer Online and pre ordered. Didn't buy it. Pre ordered and beta tested Age of Conan, didn't buy it. Pre ordered and beta tested FF14 v1.0, didn't buy it (wouldn't have played it if you paid me too, based on my experience in beta). I pre ordered and beta tested Guild Wars 2, and bought it. Same for RIFT. Why? Because those games were polished and fun in beta, and the others weren't.
The ideas you're talking about, they're relevant to human thinking in general, but not especially relevant to this game, and as such, that knowledge probably doesn't justify telling people that their preferences in this regard are merely an illusion.