First a little housekeeping… I’m still occasionally posting here, but mostly I’m posting at I’m Talkin’ Games. OK, that’s done.. Now to business.
I don’t usually call out other bloggers because usually they have their opinions, which everyone knows is like a part of the body, and they are entitled to that opinion. My standard for reading a blog is that there is a shred of objectivity to the posting there. Sure we all have our favorites and I tend to write mostly about what I am playing at the moment. Right now that is WOW, but it’s been variously EQ2, EVE, AoC, Vanguard, and even TF2. There have been others but you get the point. Other than on the fan site that I started (which was sanctioned by the studio and clearly labeled as such), I’ve never really advocated a game and tried to stick to posting about what I like or dislike about it or my sometimes inexplicable behavior around it.
I’ve noted that a lot of others stick to that same ethos. There is currently one blogger that stands out, and that is Syncaine over at Hardcore Casual. Hardcore Casual has been on my blogroll for a long time. I remember enjoying reading it back in the day, and even looked up to it as a successful blog. Recently though a trend has emerged over there. In short, it appears that Syncaine should change the name of the blog to Hardcore Apologist.
In the post linked above, he sets out to discredit Scott “Lum the Mad” Jennings, who I believe is a respected gaming veteran. He even goes so far as to impune the job that Scott Jennings is currently doing. Now Scott certainly doesn’t need me to defend him and that isn’t what this post is about anyway. The real crux of the issue for me is that the blog has crossed over from being a blog about gaming to being a Darkfall fansite.
Here is my take: First, the blog has an ad at the top that Syncaine states gives him 20% of the client cost for each new Darkfall sold through it. OK, you want to monetize your blog that is your business. I pimp Jinx gear, and I get a few pennies toward a t-shirt if you buy a t-shirt. Full disclosure and all. So far that has amounted to about 3 dollars off for me. That’s about how much it has influenced what I write. Second, the tone of the posts has become defensive and is clearly written from the perspective of someone who is advocating for the game. Third, he has a disclaimer;
(DarkFall-related post disclaimer/reminder. If you click the image link near the top-right of this page and buy a DarkFall account, I get paid 20% of the client cost. If you believe this taints my views and reporting on DarkFall, your opinion is wrong.)
This disclaimer is more of the dismissive tone that more and more is present at the site.
What do I think? I think Syncaine has whored himself to Darkfall both emotionally and monetarily. Yes, I said “whored”. Syncaine, if you are reading this I am here to tell you that you have lost your objectivity and your credibility with me. I’m guessing you can live with that but I’m here to say: “Man, I thought you were better than that.”
Syncaine’s commenters have also taken a similar tone. The comments section there reads more like a PVP game’s forums. All the tiny penis boys are shouting anyone down who disagrees with their Precious. I’m not alone in being critical of these developments. Read the comments on that post and you will find some of the people I respect most in the community also challenging his stances and statements. They are, of course, immediately discredited. I expect I soon will be myself.
I stand by my earlier post saying that PVP is not a viable mainstream MMO mechanism. EVE is about as big as a PVP game can get. While EVE is certainly a success, the road behind it is littered with the corpses of the would-be successors to the throne. And on that Lum and I agree. I DO hope that developers keep trying to make a great PVP MMO. It keeps this element’s eyes on another shiny beside the game I may choose to play. Am I against PVP? Absolutely not. I enjoy it. I just don’t think it works as a stand-alone MMO in the greater sense.
So I’m here to mourn the death of a blog. Long live the fan site!