How to take criticism (from a pro)

I saw problems that deserved to be addressed. And I was deliberately vicious in the words I chose when describing those problems. I knew, when I wrote the piece, that it was going to upset both players and developers.

Yep, we’re back to that PC Gamer article, from the June 2008 issue. Tim Edwards has made a post about the article and the follow-up discussions with Mythic as well as how the review was received in the community. Obviously, he notes from the off that he knew the review was a little inflammatory – all good publicity for the magazine, and honestly.. for the game too.

What’s interesting to me is that I don’t tend to think too much about the individuals behind the reviews too much. I tend to take games reviews as something interesting, but not make or break. When you get to be a reviewer for a title such as PC Gamer, your views have more influence, both on the developers and on the community.

Tim mentions again that he met with Paul Barnett to discuss his negative comments, and how Mythic had taken them on board and were working hard to fix them. Whether they succeed, we will (hopefully) soon be able to judge for ourselves. But, there’s nothing here I haven’t mentioned before… except when Tim goes on to discuss how the Warhammer Online community received his review.

The amazing thing, though, is just how smart gamers are. It’s easy, in these communities, to reject dissent. Warhammer’s players didn’t seem to. They read the preview, talked it over, and took it all on board. There is vitriol, yes. There always is. This is the internet. But it gives me hope, and makes me happy, that so many of Warhammer’s community didn’t try and kill me.

Let’s hope that going forward, we can remember these words and take them as an indication of how criticism should be given and received. When we criticise, we have the ability to feed back useful insights and information and to give some views on how things could change to improve the game/community/realm/review/whatever. And always read through the material for yourself before coming to a conclusion.

Baltimore Games Day snippets

[These are taken from WHA forums and Only-WAR forums]

Review by Beowulfhntr, including some video

  • banner scraps can be turned in
  • 10 char slots per server all the same faction
  • squigs and white lions cant be named yet but they want them to be
  • top renown guild gets a statue in the city
  • dyes available through renown, as well as other – basic – means
  • certain classes revisited, such as Iron Breaker and Engineer
  • High Elves playable
  • more PvP scenarios available
  • closed BETA keys given out, along with codes for exclusive in-game bonus item the Skaven Skin Cloak (they better have these at Games Day UK!)

And now for some quotations:

My question was, “I was wondering how you guys were planning on balancing out loot distribution between dps,healers,tanks for the RvR, PQ’s, and renown situations.” I’m not really sure they understood my question right off the bat but after the Q&A session Josh was standing off to one side and i was able to get my answer. They are making the loot distrubution ‘hate’ or ‘aggro’ based so that everyone has incentive to do their supposive ‘job’ during the PQ/RvR/Renown situation in order to get rewarded.

Accord to the Q&A at Gamesday, the servers will not only have a cap for the total number of players on a server but a cap on the number of people per realm. So for example it that cap is say 3000 for both Order and Destruction, once 3000 Destruction players have made characters on that server then the server will be locked from other Destruction players. And only Order players will be able to make characters on that server. Another topic that was covered was that they will have measures in effect for RvR, that if one side is always getting owned then that side will receive ” help ” was the word that was used.

Garthlik at Warhammer Alliance has put up a post that links to all the reviews there, so it’s worth following that for fuller reviews than we’ll probably put here. We’re saving some of our Games Day energy for our own trip to the UK one in September.

A full video of the Baltimore Q&A can be found on WarhammerOnline.tv.

Also, head over Waaagh, for a list of 50 tidbits from Games Day Baltimore. It’s a much more comprehensive listing than I’ve managed here.