I almost never read the AC message boards.  This is primarily because they’re primarily covering the same questions everyone else is asking, such as the 500th question about "Is healing skill any good?", or "HOW DO U CROP POR", or "I downloaded the game file without being a beta tester, how can I play? – Signed, Dumbass".  The second reason I don’t read the boards is because there is a lot of complaining going on there about various aspects of the game… from people who aren’t testing.  Jesus Christ, you know if a new game hasn’t come out yet but it looks like it’s going to suck, I just won’t get it, and if anyone asks me what I think of it, I say, "not interested".  The damn thing is still in development, yet the hunger for a good MMORPG from the hordes of disgruntled UO/EQ players has led to the idea that a message board is somehow an open call for everyone to tell everyone else why Asheron’s Call should be the game they wished it was.

Here’s some of the top items on the "I don’t play but I know why the game will suck" crowd’s mind these days…


Muling is always a hot topic for those who think UO ruined all online RPG’s. (They’re probably right though.) In AC, the use of mules or secondary characters is pretty limited. You can store stuff on them, you can use them to identify things, and if you really want to you can use them to use the 3 new exciting trade skills which nobody uses yet. If trade skills become important, you will see more mules appear. However, mules are a big point of contention for people who like to "force roleplaying" (see below) and feel that the ability to have more than one character per account is the worst possible thing in the world.

Well, here’s some people’s solution: one character per account. Oh, brilliant. "Thank you for purchasing Asheron’s Call, the open-ended and creative game where you can play an unlimited number of different kinds of adventurers, but thanks to some dicks on a message board you can only play one. Have fun!" What about the guy who has a super fighter guy, monarch of 50 followers, and wants to try out magic for a while? Bye bye king fighter guy! This also hoses people who want to have different family members share an account. So let’s assume one character per account is not only totally retarded, it’s not going to happen (two conditions which are not always mutually exclusive in the MMORPG world).

Some people like the following idea: implement a bank. I think Turbine has already been pretty clear on the no bank thing. No bank is really not a big deal… you just carry trade notes around. It’s really way more realistic too. Think of musket-era Europe when the Fugger Bank controlled a huge economic empire very quietly. People would haul credit letters from town to town and redeem them at a small commission. And a bank way back then was usually not a place for you to store your extra platemail, as it is in UO (and, as I suspect, the bank-advocates want it to be in AC). The bank thing also doesn’t solve any of the problems of the one-account thing, which I think I have to point out since many people push both of these issues simultaneously as sort of a package deal.

So here’s my solutions for all the "mules kill my precious idea of roleplay" people:

  1. ROLEPLAY YOUR MULES. Ogopogo Mu in beta 1 eventually became a mule of sorts, even though he was a 6th level warrior and very effective. He had a whole reason why he retired, his own personality, history, and relationship with the main character. Actually, I did a lot more roleplaying with Ogopogo Mu than I did with Sashi sometimes, which scares me.
  2. DON’T USE THEM. You really don’t have to, especially in AC. But don’t get off telling everyone else not to use them either.


Other than hack-and-slash, what is there? AC has no more "mechanisms" to force Roleplaying than EQ.

Oooh I love this one. Not only should everyone have to be a suckass actor in front of everyone else who plays the game, but you should probably do it according to Joe Roleplayer’s standards or be banned. Thanks to Allen Grey at CoD for finding the thread for me… I was unable to bookmark it during my retching. With consideration to all of the people who would like to enlighten all other RPG players on how to roleplay in a way that suits them, I would like to say, "Fucketh thou."

Here’s some exciting "roleplayed dialogue" I had the other night with someone who I assumed had seen the page, or else was just striking up conversations at random to test everyone’s RPness. Note that the RP dialogue reproduced here is a little better than it actually was.

"Hail Sashi Mu."


"How art thou today?"

Good god, am I back in Britannia? You’re in Shoushi now, son… no fake Elizabethan era speech in the land of sushi.

"Eh not too bad… waiting for some guy who got killed, saved his armor for him."

"Ah I see… what foul creature laid him low?"

"Green wasp… been killin’ a lot of new guys out there."

RP guy emotes seething

"Someday I shall have my revenge upon them."

What the hell is that about? Was he PK’ed by a wasp, or get his house looted by one? Maybe he has a personal thing about wasps, like east coast/west coast rappers. People, for the love of Mike, just talk normally! Spell correctly and use English, and people might actually want to read what you type and respond to it. Here’s the superior version of this conversation:

"Hiya Mu."


"What’s up?"

"Waiting for a dead guy… got his armor for him."

"What got him?"

"Green wasp."

Semi-RP Guy emotes laughter

"I’ll go kick its ass. :)"

Faster, funnier, less calories. Also more believable. Wouldn’t it be nice if AC had an emoticon parser, so that :) translates in "<CR>/me smiles<CR>"? Would save us all a lot of whining from anti-emoticon types.For those of you who think I am somehow anti-roleplaying from this section, I’m not. I’m anti-bad acting. If I wanted bad acting I could be playing Vampire LARP with a bunch of goths, or hanging out at a typical bad local theatre watching them butcher some already-bad musical like "Music Man" for the millionth time. Please go read some of my UO Rants… I’m sure there’s some exciting "typical roleplayers suck" stuff in there for you to *seethe* over. I may retype it here someday, but I’ve already made the argument so many times I’m a little bored of restating it now.


You know, it was the same old shit in EQ… there’s a whole class of people who virulently think it would be great if everyone was PvP+ all the time. These people have an astounding amount of faith in the player base to not just run around and kill people weaker than them for no reason, and to PvP responsibly. Uh, yeah. We can see how well that works in UO. I gotta say I’m really opposed to PvP switches myself, but until the MMORPG player base gets more mature by a gigantic order of magnitude, I like the non-PvP option.

The swtich did nothing but made EQ a very boring game. No matter you like or not, PvP is the fundamental part of any online RPG.

Uh no. Here are the things which made EQ not fun for me

  1. Lame ass players (who I did want to go PK on sometimes) camping monsters and loot, stealing kills, and acting like idiots
  2. Lag
  3. The idea that everyone in Norrath should try to go for level 10, at which point he might be able to afford a pair of shoes. This was until a lousy decision on Verant’s part gave a bunch of people thousands of platinum.
  4. Crappy interface
  5. Lame players. Did I mention that?

You know, PvP is an integral part of Ultima Online, and that sucks too.

Well, from my end of beta1 experience turning PvP+ will net you the same thing as it does in UO…too many jerks who just want to ruin the game and attack for no RP reason, actually no reason at all. I went PvP+ to fight Wardiel and within 5 minutes I had already been randomly attack twice by people 5+ levels higher than me. For no reason other than that they could.

I was watching this myself at the end of beta 1. Bunch of those fantastic red roleplayers running into town at lightspeed and targeting all the PvP new guys, most of whom were around 10-20 levels lower than them, for no reason at all. I mean, it’s not like anyone is really that poor in AC after 10 or so levels of adventuring. Why do you want to kill some guy who has worse gear than you and can’t possibly win? It’s because most people are by nature dickheads, and while some people say that PvP is essential to a holistic roleplaying game experience (which it might be, under ideal conditions), the presence of losers makes it into an inferior game of Quake. And I do mean inferior… MMORPG PvP action is amazingly boring at its core.

IMO Turbine should #1 Make every char above level 10 PvP+. This will make pvp at lvl 10 possible due to the fact that if an offensive pk attacks a "low" level fellowship they will all fight back, now if I’m PvP+ at level 10 I’m as good as dead because I’ll have no support whatsoever.

Oh this is just brilliant. I remember seeing a number of genius posts like then when EQ was in beta and just after release. As if people really want their reward for getting a high level to be "now people will try to kill you all the time". Listen up monkey boy: as soon as you go PvP+ in AC, your game as a hunter is over. Ever play a lot of UO and go to a dungeon, paranoid if you ever got below 2/3 health because some guy might come out of nowhere and flamestrike you? That’s what it’s like all the time for a PvP+. Forget dungeon crawling, unless you want to camp other red guys. Some people like playing like this; those are the people that elect to go PvP+. A lot of other people don’t. Those are the people that will not even bother to buy AC if a mandatory PK turnover is required. Then the wonderful world of mandatory PKing will grind to a halt, and all the reds will find some other game to whine about.

If you really really want mandatory PvP all the time, here are some suggestions:

  1. Play a game which is all about PvP, like Quake II or Starcraft, and see if you can cut it without building up an impossible character/equipment advantage first.
  2. Play Ultima Online.
  3. Wait for Shadowbane to go public. Looks interesting, and should be amusing to see all the badass newbie-hunting "PvPers" whine when they run into someone tougher than themselves. Well, that happens in UO too.


Actually, most people love this. Once in a while, a person will be so offended by the idea that a mage can wear armor will spout off on why all RPG’s should conform to the rules of AD&D.

"I’m a little conserned about the open class structure where some could ‘potentially’ be a tank/mage. I know it takes a lot of work to do that, but we know someone will figure it out. I like structured class’s better."

"Whats wrong with the Tank/Mage? See UO, its a problem. Just my opinion."

"I am glad the game works good with your play style, but it needs to cater to other play styles as well."

Well then EQ is available right now! Oh no, someone might figure out how to be a tank mage! Guess what… I already did. And it sucks to high heaven. I’m a little more "conserned" about the fact that you must specialize all of your resources into doing one thing… swinging a sword, firing war magic spells, firing a bow, in order to compete at higher levels with the critters you have to fight. But hey, that’s fine… it’s my choice to lug around chain I can’t carry comfortably and have less mana than the next guy.

As far as "catering to other play styles", what’s the damn problem? You don’t want to wear armor, don’t wear armor! Make your mage intentionally weak so it’s impossible to wear metal, but have kickass mental abilities. There. Easy. And, uh, it really doesn’t "need" to cater to anyone’s play style at all, beyond Turbine’s need to get an audience to buy the thing. If it doesn’t appeal to me, I just won’t play it.

In all fairness, the above comments were from a person who has been playing since Friday, so he knows what he is talking about. Better get to redesigning, Turbine guys!

—–There’s a lot more, of course… these are just the ones I remember reading and puking over recently.

In conclusion, what I hate about message boards is people who think a game developer owes it to them to make huge changes in their game design just to suit them. "Waaah I think AC should be all PvP+!" Well, see if they come up with a PvP+ server, or just play as a red, or go play something else. If you really want to make a statement, nothing says "I hate your game" like not buying it. Money is the only language that ever motivated OSI to do jack shit. The typical knee-jerk reply to people who keep posting dumb crap about why a game will suck and what "needs" to be changed is, "Why don’t you design your own damn game?" I think this is a great idea! The more MMORPG’s out there, the more competition there is, and the more heat the various dev teams will feel to make their games better so they can compete for that piece of the pie. Unfortunately, most people who like to tell other people how they should do their jobs aren’t good at all that much else, which expains the glut of middle management positions in corporate America today.

Of course, I don’t think people should stop posting their retarded and ill-thought out ideas on message boards. It does provide a good yardstick for a developer to see how much of their target audience really really wants a change that will probably suck and will definitely require way too much time to implement. However, just as I expect flames from people for ranting about this stuff, you should also expect people to criticize your boneheaded ideas.

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