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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Froggy Flambe

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The minute I read Moorgard's post on the official forums stating that Frogloks would be unlocked as part of a live event in May (through solo quests for each individual player or server-wide through a larger scale quest) I reached for my flame-retardant hazard suit. Because I knew what was coming...flamewar.

And lo, there were extremes from "SOE is so evil they went back in time and murdered my grandparents when they were children thus causing me to cease to exist!" to "SOE is a shining light of truth and justice unto the world!" Okay, I'm exaggerating but I'm not far off. Now people who read this blog will know that I'm not afraid to either stick up for SOE or to bash them, so I'll try to find some middle ground and look at the facts.

First off, Frogloks are not some uber-jedi class but just another one of 16 classes. They don't hold the answer to life, the universe and everything (which is 42 by the way).

Now, I can definitely understand why people who spent hours and hours trying different ways to unlock the Frogloks might be steamed (notice I did not say "hopping mad" - I'm behaving). Check out
this post I did for some insight into the search for the Frogloks (and a frog joke). I mean there's a whole forum dedicated to the search.

Did SOE mislead the public? There's enough overanalyzing of language in the official thread that I'm not going to go crazy with it here. But here is an
example. In that thread Faarwolf states "When the quest is finished depends on the people on the server." A lie? No, it will still depend on the people on the server. It's just that the majority of people thought that race to the froggie finish was on already.

So, to me it's more of a Public Relations blunder than a betrayal of trust. Let's go back in time a little to the end of beta. Okay, so beta's over but you want to work on the Froglok race a bit more to sharpen it up. I have absolutely no problem with that. Here are two better ways to handle it from a PR stance:

A. State "There are only 15 playable races." Deal with it. If people aren't going to buy your game because they can't play as an anthropomorphic frog that's life. Then, when you finish Frogloks it will be a positive surprise to the player base.

B. State "There are only 15 playable races but Frogloks will be introduced at a later date. We will let you know when you can begin working on unlocking them." This is closer to what they did but just a little clearer. People will know they can not attempt to unlock Frogloks until they see it in the patch notes.

What SOE did, perhaps accidentally, was give the impression that Frogloks were available and it was up to the player-base to unlock them. When they read about all the efforts of people attempting to figure out which quests and so on to do to unlock the Frogloks they could have done some damage control and said, "We want to correct any false impressions you may have. Frogloks will be unlockable by the player base but not yet."

I will edit this post to reflect a dev response to the mayhem which I am betting is in the works.

Edit: As I predicted, the devs did respond. Moorgard apologizes in this thread, stating, "let me say that I wish this had been handled better and I'm sorry for any hurt feelings that have arisen."

On the positive side, most people I play with just think it's cool that Frogloks are coming, and soon. Hopefully they will be nice character models that people will enjoy playing with.

Sigh, perhaps we can move on with our lives now.

To make up for the lack of humor in this post here is another frog joke:

A frog was bored and decided to stop by a fortune teller. He was a male frog and had one thing on his mind.

"Tell me," the frog croaked, "are there any females in my future?"

"Why yes," said the fortune-teller, staring into her crystal ball. "I see a very beautiful young lady in your future."

"Woot!" said the frog. "You have to tell me - where am I going to meet her? A party? Perhaps even online playing Everquest?"

"No," said the fortune-teller. "Next week in her Biology class."

Thank you and good night ladies and gentlemen...I'll be here all week!


Blogger Aggro Me said...

Hmmm...the example thread I linked to in paragrapah 5 with Faarwolf's comment has apparently been deleted. Rereading this post I was perhaps a little too easy on SOE - what do you all think?

9:17 PM  

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