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Friday, February 17, 2006

Aggro Arcade

You've probably already seen the EQII bashing comic and "review" on Penny Arcade.

I started a
thread earlier today on the forums here asking whether it was worthy of a response. I got a lot of intelligent comments and the general feeling was that the mature and thoughtful thing to do would be to just ignore it.

But hey, no one ever accused me of being mature and thoughtful. So let the rebuttal begin.

Let's start off with my biggest problem, the obvious bias.

If you look at their
PA Presents page, you see they are hawking the WoW Strategy Guide, to which they have apparently contributed some comics.

What's more, on the front page of Blizzard's World of Warcraft
main site, you get the following "news" story:

Featured Penny Arcade Comic! - Nebu on 2/15/06

Check out our latest featured
Penny Arcade comic from the Official Strategy Guide!

Now, note that when you click on the Penny Arcade comic link it takes you to the EQII "review" and not the comic. How convenient. But, hey that's Blizzard's issue, not Penny Arcade's.

What is their issue is doing work for Blizzard on the Official Strategy Guide. They also promote WoW heavily and even had a booth at Blizzcon. That's a problem when you're attempting to review games made by their direct competitor. You could at least say, "Hey, we do work for the Official WoW Strategy Guide, so take this commentary with a grain of salt."

If Moorgard or Brenlo posted a scathing review of WoW on their blogs, I would find it in bad taste. Now they have the right to do so. And it would probably be much better written and thought-out than Penny Arcade's. But I would still have an issue with it for obvious reasons.

From the Wikipedia entry on Ethics in Journalism:

"Reporter must avoid conflicts of interest — incentives to report a story with a given slant. This includes not taking bribes and not reporting on stories which affect the reporter's personal, economic, or political interests."

Now, Gabe and Tycho are not journalists, any more than I am. But maybe we should start acting like journalists, at least a little. Like it or not, PA's opinion has great sway over the gaming masses. And with great power...well, you know the rest.

If you want to say I have a slant, sure, go ahead. I at least acknowledge that I do, to some degree. But remember I
called WoW a "great game." Not to mention that I rip SOE all the time, and believe me some of my posts have definitely annoyed them.

You just can't be in business with one company, like Penny Arcade is, and then bash their competitor and expect people to take it seriously. The ironic thing is that they've even
railed against paid shills in the past.

Okay, enough with the bias, on to the substantive issue.

I have a deal with my friends and anyone whom I date. It goes like this: "If what I said makes you laugh, you can't get mad it." That can be a dangerous game, but that's a story for another day. If Penny Arcade's comic had even made me chuckle or gave me a slight grin, I give you my honest word that I would not be writing this post right now. Remember, I make jokes at SOE's expense constantly. But at least some of them are funny.

I don't get the comic. If you want to say I don't have a sense of humor, fine. But who is the EQII person they are portraying supposed to be? At least a good Smed caricature would have made me laugh. For years, the joke about SOE is that all they care about is your money. So now I'm supposed to laugh at a joke that says they don't want your money?

SOE is not giving away the game for free. It costs $6.95 to subscribe for one month to FilePlanet. They give you a break and charge $3.33 a month if you subscribe for one year (that's $39.95). Now that's no joke. And even forgetting that, you still have to pay the hefty EQII subscription fees to play the game beyond the 30 day time limit.

Listen, if you buy KoS at retail you get EQII for free anyway. So it's not like this is some major change in marketing strategy. It's really not. Prior to the newbie revamp, SOE had the Trial of the Isle going for as long as I can remember. And I asked them at the Community Summit why they didn't have a demo program that gave a more adequate feel for the game then one that restricted you to the Isle. The answer was that they would absolutely love to but the download time involved would scare people off. (That's not a verbatim answer just what I recall - I could be totally wrong).

So now, through FilePlanet, they have a means to offer a better demo program. And they're going for it. What's more, SOE already had a program where they handed out cards at the Community Summit with codes on them that allowed a friend to try EQII free for 30 days and subscribe without actually purchasing the game. They were handing them out freely. So this is something they have always wanted to do.

It is certainly not because the game is failing or losing it's population. Scott stated in public on the forums:

"Taken as a whole, when you sum up all worlds, EQ2 is growing and has been for quite some time. Where "growth" for any MMO is defined as: (the number of people who sign up) - (the number of people who leave). "

I honestly doubt Scott Hartsman would flat out lie in a public venue. I have to take his word on this.

So, the concept of the "joke" in the comic that EQII is so horrible and under populated that SOE has to give it away is just totally inaccurate. In fact, I've seen more pro-EQII hype on various gaming forums recently than I have ever seen before. The "joke" just doesn't make sense.

The FilePlanet thing is a marketing concept and a great one at that. SOE stands to make more money from subscriber fees then from EQII retail boxes. Which, if you remember, you get free anyway with KoS. And we all know most game stores don't even carry copies of the original EQII box. So what does SOE have to lose with this tactic? Nothing. A good marketing idea is not a sign of weakness or failure.

Let's take on the sorry commentary now. Tycho makes some glib, uninformed remarks that I will ignore. Then Gabe gives his take on the game.

Gabe's only comments are on the visual look of the game. He makes no effort to talk about the gameplay, combat, depth, well anything except the visuals. If he had just said, "I hate the visuals. The game may be okay for all I know, but I don't know because I couldn't get past the visuals," I would be totally okay with it. But he never gives that disclaimer about the rest of the game.

He apparently only looked at the very early level stuff. I guarantee no one would look at DoF or KoS and say the graphics are sterile. But okay, he found a bland early level screen shot and he hates the character models. That hardly constitutes a "take" on the entire game. MMORPG's are deep and complex games. I made sure to state in my WoW review that, "It's impossible to review an MMO fairly without really putting extensive time into it so I'm not trying to do that." And though I didn't like the cartoony style I still managed to give impressions on other aspects of the game.

But what really bothers me is the totally unnecessary potshots he takes at the EQII artists. Check it:

"It is completely without life. There is no love or care given to any piece of it. The entire thing was made by robots in a vacuum.

I know there must be artists working at SOE. The only thing I can think of is that they are simply cogs in some corporate machine. They must be given no freedom at all. In fact after looking at the game I wouldn’t be surprised if they are beaten daily. Their spirits have been broken. The troll models specifically may even be some kind of internal attempt to destroy the game and strike a blow against their corporate masters."

Can't you just say, "I really hate the art in EQII. I know that's a subjective thing but I don't like it." Do you have to bash the actual artists? I've complained about the armor graphics and character models plenty of times without attacking the artists on a personal level.

I have met some of the artists who work on EQII and let me tell you they are not robots. Far from it. They pour as much blood, sweat and love into their work as anyone I have met. Their eyes light up when you talk about a zone they designed. They are passionate about what they do.

So even if you don't like the final product, I see no need for that form of comment.

Penny Arcade is the real cog in the corporate machine, not the EQII artists. They are the ones simply serving as Blizzard attack dogs.

If you can't even discuss the most elementary parts of a game, then don't discuss it all.

So, guess what. I'm going to review them with the same level of civility and thought that they used to review EQII:

Take a good look at Tycho's avatar on
their comments page. Take a good look at Gabe's avatar. Ah, they are the guys from the comic! They must look like that in real life. Um, no.
















That's what Gabe and Tycho look like in real life. Don't believe me? Do a google search. Now I can't get past those visuals. Why don't they draw their comics as accurate representations of themselves, as they imply? I can't get past that. Penny Arcade sucks.

An unfair take? Absolutely. But so was their take on EQII. Did I sink to their level? Absolutely. But the tagline of this blog is "overnuking" not "cupcake making" or "playing nice."

It was a worthless hatchet job from a pair with a proven bias and it annoyed me. I also find it childish that Blizzard provides a direct link on their main page to what they had to know was a smear job without any real merit. Very unprofessional on their part.

On the plus side, they did help spread the word about the trial so who knows? Maybe people will try it out and come to their own opinion. I hope the whole thing backfires on them.

In other EQII review news, Abalieno from
Cesspit appears to like the game or at least parts of it. While he finds plenty of negatives he also finds some big positives. Only Abalieno could call EQII a "parasite" and "shaping up to be a really nice and fun game" in the same paragraph. Of course, I'm taking that out of context - you have to read the whole bit to understand where he is coming from. I enjoyed his take, though I don't agree with all of it.

Long post today so I'll probably take Monday off. Have a great weekend.

109 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said and well deserved.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Dom said...

Nicely done.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Xalmat said...

I'd love to see Gabe's take on that!

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know, i hate immature people bashing at other morons... unless its deserved...

so mmm NICE JOB!

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Raijinn Thunderguard said...

Aggro..I read your blog daily and I felt compelled to comment on this one specifically because it really hit home with me. The fact of the matter is the pointed comments which were made by PA came back around, call it karma, call it payback, call it whatever you like just don't call me baby (had to throw in a joke there).

I first visted a while ago when PA as a general comic site, or a general site for that matter. They gained in size and popularity and thus they could influence views by what they said and how they said it. When you have a great deal of viewers that visit your page are you going to simply post propaganda or a review? Obviously there is an answer there somewhere.

In the PA case I used to enjoy their comics but I don't know if I can look at them in the same light. I was disappointed, I was even more so seeing the link on the WoW home page.

I help run the community a certain way and appreciate the passion they show for it, makes me feel a bit tingly inside.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

/agree. Usually I quote like Penny Arcade, even when I disagree, but I felt this whole thing was a lowbrow crapout on their part.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous RadarX said...

I can't imagine a better way of putting it Aggro. I am so unbelieveably disappointed in the lack of intergrity these two chuckleheads have shown. After an entire year, of article after article after article about journalistic intergrity. I'm wondering if they read that much industry news.
Most of Gabe's comments were irresponsible and ridiculously unfounded. Thanks for a well thought out reponse to it.

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Tamat said...

Thank you Aggro. That needed to be said. You the man!

- Tamat Damat

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Gunblade said...

Wow I read penny arcade today and asked myself "What the hell?"

and came here to read all about it. Nice post. But Penny Arcade is a good comic...they don't suck all the time or like other comics hit a peak then never write a good comic piece again.

Penny Arcade does it get stupid though, but them hatin'on EQII doesn't really bother me..what does however is what they said about EQII. Damn they can be a lot dumber than I thought.

They are generally good guys though. I mean childs play and PAX is awsome.

1:30 AM  
Blogger cyan said...

Kick Ass.

1:36 AM  
Blogger cyan said...

It is really funny, I have played both WoW (not for long mind you) and EQ2, and I honestly can say I don't find either of the games graphics in anyway sterile. Wow has very styalized graphics that I just don't personally like, where as EQ2 looks much more realistic. But the comic (and aggro's post) really makes me think, is this some kind of shot from WoW? Are they losing player base becuase their graphics are starting to age? When EQ2 came out I really thought it was a mistake to make the requirements for graphics so rigorous, but as the game ages (over 1 year now) and the hardware is getting better AND CHEAPER! to run it smoothly on a good machine, I really think strategically they made the best decision with going with such advanced graphics. Every time I upgrade my computer I see something new in EQ2 and it gets me excited to play the game more. In hindsight I think it was a great move by SOE. It makes one wonder if Blizzard is getting worried, and using some of it's "resources" to take pot shots.

Here is a neat article our news crawler came over last week and I think it relates pretty well:

http://www.conquestgames.net/2006/02/10/game-design-the-uncanny-valley/

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Aera said...

Thank you for exsiting, Aggro.

I've sent E-mails to both Gabe and Tycho. I've lost a lot of respect for both of them as game critics from this article.

The "comic" didn't even make me smile. I didn't get it.

2:06 AM  
Anonymous zero said...

Very apt and very well put.

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Duister said...

Aggro, I read your blog on a daily basis and just wanted to say that I agree totally with your remarks. I would not have been able to apply so much constraint in my reaction to "that comic" as you have been showing. Keep up the good work.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

owned

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work Aggro! Well said and written. These two guys are clowns. They have given into what they have opposed and have sold out! Bravo to callin them out!/salute

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, EQ2 sucks. SWG sucks. Sony's last few games have blown and all you fanbois will follow them no matter what.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job Aggro.
Well said!!

Fame hits and you sell out.
Sorry PA, you aren0t worth it anymore.

/em go checking thenoob website to see if something new is on...

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Krom said...

Having read both PA and your site for a long time, I kinda find this personal attack unjustified. I will not get into the issue of "you doing wrong so you can prove they did wrong" which is childish and uncalled for.

They do not claim to have the high moral ground for impartial game reviews everywhere, and their opinions are their alone and they are entitled to them. They have long ago chosen sides in the WoW vs. EQII "war" and it's no mystery to anyone they liked WoW better. For what reason ever, it is their given right and they can bash away at it.

Disclaimer: the reminder of the post is my opinion regarding EQII. It might be outdated and unjustified, but it is my right to have one.

The comic was a joke at the marketing ploys used to promote and sell more copies of EQII, and as someone who has bought 1 collector edition and 2 full priced start copies of EQII just to be badly disappointed by the game (ugly boring piece of crap it was back then - Nov '04. And this is coming from a long time EQ player and fan) I can tell you I can fully relate to the situation. Would I have waited 3 months they would have given me the game for a copper, nowadays I obviously could buy a fileplanet subscription and get a gift of that game, what the heck?

So yes, I thought that comic was funny.

Other than that, the EQ2 art direction is and was abysmal. It is my opinion and I'll state it as often as you want to hear it. Motion captured useless polygon strutting sterile playdoh models, plastic landscapes, jerky animations, unbearable performance. Investing that many resources in unbearable hairstyles and eyebrow sliders with squiting eyes vs. investing them in a coherent and fluid motion display system is something that I will long remember.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous KindredHeart said...

First I'd like to say that the very first time I'd ever visited Penny Arcade's site was today while reading your blog - so I'm not a Penny Arcade fan here to defend them...

I didn't see anywhere that the Penny Arcade folks referred to their article as a "review". To me it came across no differently than some of the opinion-based comments I see on Aggro Me.

As for the comic strip...well I think it was more of a commentary on how giants like SoE are bringing us into a new price point dynamic for online games. And what gamer can't relate to the annoyance of paying between $50 and $80 (in the case of the collector's baby dragon version) for EQ2 at launch, and now see it completely given away for free. I understand the frustration as a regularly paying subscriber. Why should I, SoE's loyal cash cow be continually charged enormous fees while SoE is so willing to give the game away to someone coming to the game over a year late who won't even be around a few months from now? The whole thing is absurd, and laughable...gee good topic for a comic I'd say. ;)

I understand getting defensive when something you love gets attacked. Those of us who adore EQ2 in all it's splender and all it's nasty changes just don't like it when some calls our baby ugly and not worth playing. I get that because I have the same gut reaction, I immediately turn into a SoE salesman and start spouting off all the wonderful features of EQ2. But in the end, I still think people are entitled to their opinions. I see the article being presented more as a blog than as a journalistic review. Perhaps I'm missing something about Penny Arcade in general, but my impression of them is not that they were claiming to be an online industry news mag or anything. If they were then your points about journalistic integrity would be valid, but like I said I'm just not seeing where they are making those claims.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a comic... and you felt the need to write a whole paper to comment on their "biased" views? Sheesh. It's a bloody game, so play it. Talk about fanboism.

As was said from the people above me, the comic was made as a joke. I believe you've taken this concept way too seriously.

9:20 AM  
Blogger cyan said...

Those guys really do some good stuff with Child's Play and I do enjoy the comic, I will be the first to admit though the postings (pic and site post ). I am calling it a post, because it was really an informal opinion about EQ2's graphics, I don't know if I would call it a game review. But with all the wow connections and the pretty degrading review of the graphics for what looks like they played for all of a day, it is hard for me to admit that they don't look a little transparent.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Rotacidare said...

Nice Post Aggro

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:20,

Every product has its fanboys. I considered myself a PA fanboy; I considered myself a Blizzard fanboy. I never considered myself an EQ fanboy.

And yet I have to agree with most of the people here. The comic itself was mildly funny, and in all fairness, Tycho's words were not all that incendiary, but Gabe's were just obnoxious. He seriously came off as being paid to say it (ironically enough, considering PA's recent focus on guerilla marketting).

I've played wayyyy more WoW than EQ2 (and I adore both games), but don't fool yourself: WoW fanboys are far more rabidly and blindly devoted than EQ2 fanboys.

PA's entitled to their opinions -- no big deal. But after many years of trusting them to be prudent and reasonable, this has left a major bad taste in my mouth. The fact that Blizzard linked to the article just discredits PA even more. Not to mention the underhanded corporate bullying it shows -- everyone know WoW gets way more business than EQ2, there's no need to indoctrinate your player base with angry propaganda and baseless rhetoric just to screw your competitors a little bit more.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kindredheart: the thing about PA is that it has a huuuuuge following. Make no mistake, Penny Arcade has more daily hits than the EQ2 website, no question.

Tycho has always been this well-reasoned, if grumpy, archon of online gaming journalism. Over many years, thousands (perhaps even tens of thousands) of people have come to trust his editorials. Gabe, on the other hand, has always been amusingly hot-headed and reactionary. I've been reading them from the very start and it was always clear that Tycho was moderating Gabe.

There is ZERO doubt in my mind that the reason Gabe is being "unleashed" here is because PA is pretty solidly in the pocket of Blizzard. If they have a corporate sponser, an employer, it's Blizzard.

This is just a shift in focus that visitors to PA will have to learn to adjust to. The point is, up till now we could rely on a certain "integrity" -- that is, that they were presenting measured opinions based on good sense and experience. The relationship between PA and Blizzard, at this point, however, casts doubt over everything they write about the genre, the company, and its competitors.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Advice via Joel Spolsky via Dave Barry:

When you want to be funny, one of the easiest ways to do it is to be absurdly specific. I forget the game but I remember the phrase: "it gleamed my cube, even those areas which had heretofore resisted all but the most fervent gleaming." Crazily and unnecessarily specific.

Gabe was so overwrought that I find it hard to believe you actually took his words at face value. He's expressed disappointment with the EQ2 art style before - I seem to remember him posting a picture of some gargoyle thing from the first adventure pack, juxtaposing it with a scribbled drawing on looseleaf. This was just "Gabe Dislikes Plastic People, Round 2".

--GF

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Yeah, uh...chill out, man.

I enjoy your commentary, but it wasn't a review. They offered their opinions on the game, same as you do here.

The fact that they do freelance work for Blizzard doesn't make them 'cogs in the machine'. By your logic, you're just as much a cog for SOE because of your stated preference for Everquest II.

I enjoy your opinions, and I hope you continue to blog about EQII, but it's never a good idea to post angry.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Fraxas said...

posting angry is unwise.

Why do Gabe and Tycho's opinions on EQ2 matter to you?

12:07 PM  
Blogger OnyxRaven said...

When I read the post the first time I thought it was a bit silly, I was about to write 'Don't get your pants in a wad over something Penny Arcade says'...

But then I read it again. You've got some subtleties in there that I didn't get the first time, mainly that you sort of turned around their tactic on them. Pretty good.

PA has never liked EQII so I never really took any of their disparaging comments too seriously. They've got a clear, stated opinion, and thats cool, its just too bad that the fanboi community for specific games is so rabid and will take anything against their rival game to heart.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one. I myself, enjoy opinionated writing whether its from EQ2 Fanbois or WoW Fanbois....I would rather read PA and hear a real opinion rather than regurgitated bland review. Is there a bias? probably, is some of Gabe's review unsubstantiated? yes....but nothing to get worked up about. Regardless, Kudos to aggro on speaking his mind.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

I see a big difference between preference and financial renumeration.

If I was writing strategy guides for Blizzard at the time I wrote some of my anti-SOE rants, wouldn't you want to know? And wouldn't you look at those posts differently? I know I would.

I think pointing out that relationship is valid.

I also think pointing out the inaccuracy in the theme of the comic was valid. (the population of EQII is actually growing)

I also think the comments about the artists were unnecessarily personal and I pointed that out.

As for why...well, why not? I cover EQII news and this is a big story since a lot of people read Penny Arcade. The fact that there's almost 30 comments already shows that it is an issue people care about.

There's nothing wrong with responding to an opinion piece with your own opinion. If the writing style is over the top, well, that's the way I write.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous t0enukles said...

/agree i played wow till lvl 35 and quit cause i missed my eq2. that was just an immature stab at a competitor and im glad someone (you) took up for eq2.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Poofe said...

Re: people being upset that eq2 is now cheaper to play

Look at that HOT pc gear you're using to play these MMO's or any electronics products. If you're among the first to purchase the item (marketers call you first movers), you'll pay a premium.

To get mad at SOE for lowering their price is akin to you getting angry that Nvidia's graphics cards go down in price (damn them for charging MORE than they needed initially!!!).

Thanks for the chuckle.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't think PA is funny every time and that was one of the times when I did a 'huh?'

But I find it impossible to see your post as anything but pure childish WoW-envy driven crap. It's a comic. Read that again and ponder the absurdity of getting upset because they don't like your current game. As a 'reviewer' Gabe's never pretended to be impartial, and of course he's going to get stuck on the visuals, he's an artist.

And a personal attack for this? Seriously, if you don't regret this post after you've taken a week to cool down then you have a very special kind of inferiority complex. Grow the f up.

You should thank PA for running that review. Assuming it actually did have an effect on people's decisions, you don't appreciate the value of a smaller community until you really face the unwashed masses.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Chris Holmes said...

Nice post Aggro. I think people tend to miss the "overnuking" part of your blog when they respond here. You're staying true to yourself and your blog when you blast like this. Way to go.

As for PA - hey, it's their opinion, fine, but I totally disagree. I love EQII's artwork. It's the best I've seen in any MMOG. Maybe the boys at PA need to upgrade their 486...

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Mystique said...

It's obvious that the PA story wasn't a review, and I don't even pay any attetion to their site (untill its linked to me such as in this instance). Their tone did seem harsh and knee jerky, but of course they're entitled to their opinion as much as the next person enamoured with the interweb. I just hope no intelligent gamer will read the article and make up their mind about EQ2, if they happened to be undecided about the game, based solely on the opinionated and biased contents within.

The problem here, to me, boils down to responsibility in journalism, which aggro me touched on also. Like it or not, when you report on something, and your reports are read by a large audience, you are responsible for the information in your reports. You are responsible for the validity of the facts you present, and the impression that your subjectivity leaves on the reader. PA acted irresponsibly in this article, and they presented a fractured and incendiary view of EQ2. I don't think it changes anyone's opinion of EQ2 that already had one to begin with, but it does change how many of us feel about PA I think.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous The Black Cursor said...

This is not the first time those two have come off looking like asses. Witness the incident with notable SF author, Harlan Ellison,

http://www.penny-arcade.com/news.php?date=2005-09-26

Feh!

Be seeing you...

---> TBC (Truth By Comics? not today)

5:00 PM  
Anonymous The Black Cursor said...

Link wrappage rather than link droppage ftw,

http://www.penny-arcade.com/news.php
?date=2005-09-26

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lawl l2p

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just skimmed through this and have a few disconnected thoughts to put down.

Can you really take Gabe & Tycho's opinion of the game as an actual review? I'm glad you like EQ2, they didn't.

Have you ever worked with an artist for an extended period of time before? They like to work with others that inspire them, that they consider "good." They like to surround themselves with work that inspires them. To me it seems obvious that this is why they have the relationship they do with Blizzard. I am sure they will be the first to bash them on a game from Blizzard if they don't like it.

These guys like their knee jerk reactions let them have it.

The graphics of EQ2 do seem very static, I have come across few that disagree. I really wanted to like them myself.

Nice shot of Mike and Jerry. I don't believe they have ever hid their looks from public. they even make fun of their looks.

Nah, I'm sure there are real artists at SOE... but their developement method is obviously targeted at creating content that will not offend anyone.

More to say, but have to meet the GF. Already late.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Derek Yu said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Derek Yu said...

I don't think I agree with the sentiments in this article, and it has nothing to do with Everquest II or WoW, because I play neither.

It just seems apparent to me that Tycho and Gabe are entitled to their opinions that the graphics in Everquest II suck ass. I mean, I think that's part of their appeal - that they can say what they want and when they want. You say that Gabe could have phrased things differently to mollify what he said, but honestly, why should he? Throwing a bunch of footnotes into his rant would have just watered down how he really felt.

"I hated the graphics (BUT maybe the gameplay's good)."

"I thought this game sucked (BUT I'm sure the developers worked hard, so I'll give them some credit)."

I mean, really... what's the point? They aren't a review site and they have no responsibility to be objective about the games that they play. If Gabe doesn't want to give EQ II a chance, then that shouldn't be sweat off anyone's balls.

And to be frank, the graphics in EQ II really do look like they were coughed up in Poser. :)

7:49 PM  
Blogger RisingPhoenix said...

Gabe and Tycho really deserve to be smacked for this. Was it up to a decent standard of reviewing? No. Was that acceptable? Yeah, it was - if they had no financial interest.

If you have a financial interest in a competitor, your review better be the best thing you ever wrote if you want me to read it as anything other then a money-sponsored attack. Theirs was, well, pathetic. For Pete's sake, if you're going to base an entire review on shallow graphical disagreements, at least say from the outset "This is a review of the visuals, not the gameplay."

Their potshots were childish and uncalled for.

As for the Harlan thing, they were spoiling for that fight. Their 'poor offended innocent act' wasn't even convincing when they described it. They were on the stage with a person reknown as one of the most touchy people ever to write SF, and they... goaded him. And then lied about it.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never liked penny arcade. This just adds to it. Maybe that's unfair. Oh well. ( I came here from squidi.net )

Very nice article/entry/whatever you call it.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps instead of focusing on Penny Arcade acting stupid, we should be annoyed with Blizzard. Why? Well, because the main World of Warcraft site simultaneously linked to the Penny Arcade ripping of EQII on the same day.

Not the strategic un-web-like links. The first link ("Penny Arcade comic") went directly to the bad commentary. The second link ("Official Strategy Guide") went to the WoW comic. In standard web practices, you would never link "Penny Arcade comic" to the PA website when the entire news post is about the comic they're talking about.

Coincidence? I'm going with negative here, but I could be a conspiracy theorist.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Squidi.net had a good write-up on the conspiracy theory I mentioned above.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Teh Chunt said...

Wow, so many commments. Aggro, seems you touched a live wire. Can't say I disagree, though. The PA article just seemed like a cheap shot and juvenile more then anything else. PA is a website that gets seen by a huge amount of people. Taking a cheap shot at a game that's the direct competitor of the game you've written a strategy guide for is pretty lame. Of course, maybe their intention was to raise the ire of people, in turn increasing the traffic to their site. If so, they did a great job.

Yeah, everyone has their own opinion. But the tone of the article, the insults toewards the designers, that was a bit much. Espically for those of us who play EQ2, who see how the devs actually seem to pay attention to their customers,and genuinely want to make the game better. For all it's many faults, I can't think of one MMO company that has anywhere near the same level of interaction with their players as SOE has. And what other game has improved as much over it's original version as EQ2 has?

As I said in the forum thread earlier, I'm just getting sick of EQ2 getting nothing but bad press, or no press at all. People have to stand up for the game, otherwise all peeps will know about EQ2 is what they hear from people who don't even play it. SOE is losing the PR war badly, thanks to stuff like this. If every WoW player played EQ2 today, I bet at least a third of them would find it as fun as we do. But we can't get them to try it when all people want to talk about is WoW.

Way to go Aggro, thanks for sticking up for EQ2. Maybe you should start your own comic site... And as for the haters, espically the anonymous haters...
1) Posting angry is great. Nothing more honest then an angry post
2) If PA can put out a cheap attack article abut EQ2, I don't see why Aggro can't respond
3) What did you really expect from an Aggro Me post? Piss the man off, he'll nuke you. If you really wanna take him on, join the PvP server starting up and bring it...

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some comments on here that sticky up for PA, which is cool but really there is a conflict of interest which is never mentioned by PA.

Infact PA never mentions anything about doing work for the direct competition of EQII. Now there in lies an ethics debate all it's own.

Blizzard and more specifially those in charge of World of Warcraft decided to link inappropriately to the PA article. I'm sure someone there knew, after all you do check the links to make sure they work right?

PA also decided to take another couple pot shots at EQ2 when they got a letter from John Smedly the president of SOE, however to save face they throw up a few kinder reviews of some other games.

It's shady and it's pretty close to slander. The malice behind PA's statements are protected by their first amendment rights which ensure freedom of speech. There just has to be a point where being paid by a competitor and making such comments should be subject to some sort of reprecussions.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't sure on this whole issue and I thought aggro was way overboard till I went to see PA and saw their response to the JS email. It has this statement:

"I had a bit about SOE and Child’s Play here and if you saw it that’s fine. I thought about it some more and I decided to take it out. I’ve always said we need to keep CP separate from PA and I should listen to my own advice. "

That's a cut a paste. I don't know what they had in there originaly. And I think there charity is great really. I thought abut contriubting to it.

But the fact that they used it in an argument aganst SOE shows them for what they really are.

Okay, yeah they removed it but that doesn't change the fact that it was out their. So now I'm here saying good job aggro.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer GU but Penny Arcade is funny plenty of times. I think you were both a bit wrong on this one.

3:30 AM  
Blogger G. T. Karber said...

The Child's Play thing wasn't really being used as leverage, in an independent conversation, their employee in charge of setting up the Child's Play Auction sent a request to SoE for them to donate a lifetime subscription, like Blizzard and someone else had, to their online game.

The guy, whose name was Chris, replied back with a cut and paste of Gabe's earlier critique. To which the PA employee replied back with something like (paraphrased), "Let me get this straight, Chris. You're refusing to help sick kids because of a negative review of your art book?"

4:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree.

I agree that the article is totally bias and the claims made don't relate to anything, at least not anything that matters.

Graphics are not what defines a game. What defines a game is the gameplay, which the article totally overlooked.

However, I do agree with PennyArcade about the graphics.. I think EQ2 looks great, it really does. But I do feel there is no creativity in it. It does look very sterile and uninspiried.


Penny Arcade though.. Who the hell are they? Two kids with a website and comic strips that make no sense? I didn't get it either... SOE is greedy, greedy as hell. Greedy and evil. SOE is your typical money-hungry corporation that only cares about profit. Not creativity or customer satisfaction, just profit. So the comic made no sense whatsoever.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break, Penny Arcade didn't get paid b Blizzard. Here's the original post on penny arcade about the strategy guide.

"The Brady Games WOW strategy guide is set to ship on Nov. 16 and in it you’ll find about thirteen original comics by Tycho and I. Brady came to us and asked us to help them illustrate some of the concepts and rules that players who are new to an MMO might not know about. "

When did Bradygames merge with Blizzard? Sure Blizzard endorsed that particular guide as the official guide, and they no doubt appreciate the positive comments on penny arcade about their game, but it was never implied anywhere that they've ever received any compensation from Blizzard. That's like saying that someone who build a dinosaur model in 'Jurassic Park' was paid directly by the author, Micheal Crichton to do so.

At any rate, as a WoW player, I would not have seen nor cared that SoE was giving away free trials on EQII without all the negative publicity. I'm giving it a try. So suck it up.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've no idea who Penny Arcade are, nor do I care. They are however entitled to their opinion.

For what it's worth I didnt like the cartoony style of WoW, simply not for me.

I enjoy the more realistic 3D approach to EQ2, but PA made valid point into between their snips at EQ2. Though it's doesnt make much sense to base your approach of a few hrs of gameplay. How many zones didnt he see?

Saying that, the point over EQ2 graphics are valid. Check out the EQ2 Art forum and see the streams of moaning about the lack of creativity.

Is it any surprise that one of the new features of the expansion are more class based looks. Sounds like EQ2 are trying to do something about it.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

Good post .
imho you are right to answer to that . I appreciate WoW . I appreciate EQ2 . But it is so clear the PA texts and comics are biased it is a real shame . If you are paid by a company in one form or another you shouldn't be heard and read as "unbiased" .
To me the PA site lost all form of credibility . Yes because of one article .
Sometimes you have to chose your way . They chosed it and they are affiliate to blizzard . Which is good for them I guess .

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

S*** happens is what I think. People make mistakes all the time, unfortunately making a mistake while you're in the spotlight just sucks for you. Still doesn't make PA a bad site or Gabe a bad person.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe you people call someone biased because they have an opinion on a game. They think EQ2 is crap, and WoW is gold. They're entitled to that. Doesn't make them biased.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: Why do we nevver see you bash EQ2, and always leap to it's defense - no matter how small the slight?

EQ2 graphics are technically proficient, and artistically have a void where a soul should be. That is the opinion of quite a lot of people. I'd imagine that some of those people have worked for Blizzard/Vivendi (or other MMOG developers) at some point - be it freelancing or whatever. Does that mean that they're now allowed to speak ill of SOE even after their ties to Blizzard are severed?

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My god, people read Aggro's site a little before you make ridiculous comments...

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Knox said...

Chill the fuck out.

Penny Arcade is about entertainment, not in depth/fair game reviews. I've played EQ2 since beta and love the game, but I can laugh at it's downfalls and not take shit like this seriously. If Gabe doesn't like the art then who gives a crap, let him make all the jokes he wants, it's his job.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may just dislike penny arcade thanks to the squidi net thing
http://www.squidi.net/blog/2004/blog04.06.php#06.23
but i do wonder they do seem to like wow a bit to much.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear what you're saying about conflict of interest, and personally I don't really care. But, you should also consider that because of their posts who knows how many people are trying EQ2 right now who would have otherwise never thought about it? I'm trying it, and if it weren't for there posts about it being free there's no way I would've heard about it. Conflict or not, I don't think they're hurting EQ at all.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Arbitrary said...

I think the point the author is trying to make is that his problem isn't JUST PA making a nasty review of EQII or Blizzard linking to the review in short order, but the combination of the two. Blizzard was treating it as if it were a real review. Those unaware of PA and their biases might actually mistake the opinions of the writers as an actual review of the game.

Now, I haven't played either EQII or WoW (not into MMORPGs), but I do know of PA through Squidi.net. PA was probably the largest force in removing the comics from Squidi.net. Their [PA's] fan base was largely to blame, in my opinion. Anyway...

Tycho and Gabe might not have said they wrote an actual review, but Blizzard didn't seem to care. It bashed their competitors, and they saw opportunity.

As for the review... Don't knock it 'til you try it, meaning the game might actually be good. "Good" and "bad" are opinions from person to person. I would take just about any review with a grain of salt.

1:09 AM  
Blogger BigJake said...

Seriously,

I have been reading PA for as long as they have been around, they shoot at everyone out there. They always talk about what they like and what they dont like. If you read them every once and a while, you would know they all pay to play WoW, as do there wives and friends. Blizzard does not pay them to play. They even do comics that zing Blizzard when the big B does stupid stuff.

Penny Arcade is drawn by an artist...as such he is qualified to comment about artistry. He does not like the look of EQ2. I agree with him, read about uncanny valley and look at the character faces...they are really creepy. This does not imply that the polygons are not impressive and beautifully bump mapped, they are, it is just they lack a certain soul or warmth. WoW has fairly mundane polygon counts (imo) and a very blocky look indicative of previous generation 3d games. But what they do have in boatloads is style. WoW feels and looks lush. EQ2 feels and looks souless. That is what I believe Gabe was trying to say.

Different people have different opinions about art and style, I saw several posts that praised EQ2's look. Just realize not everyone else agree's with that assessment.

As for Blizzard linking to Penny Arcade, if any of you have looked closely, Blizzard linked to the Penny-Arcade front page, which is always the latest news. I went back through archived Blizzard news, every week or two, Blizzard shows a comic from the guide, and links to Penny-Arcade. Conspircy theorists can argue about whether Blizzard intentionally rushed that in to coincide with the comic, or if it was posted unaware of the comic. Blizzard doesnt time stamp there posts, so I couldnt determine when that 2/15/06 link was posted. I choose to believe there is no vast WoW/PA conspiracy, and it was just posted as per usual.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, the guys at Penny Arcade have made more than a few hostile remarks about WoW in the past. Any business arrangements they have with Blizzard have not prevented them from trashing WoW when they felt justified in doing so. The fact that Gabe attacked EQ2 at the same time that Blizzard linked the PA website does not indicate that there is a secret conspiracy between them. Correlation does not imply causation.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Heartless_ said...

Wow... have you played EQ2? PA hit it on the head. The graphics do look like something manufactured out of a robot factory.

Talking about journalism... blah. PA has never claimed to be "journalists" and frankly thats why people give a damn about what they say. Any game reviewer from any site can say "OMFG the graphics are beautiful". It takes some sort of balls to take a stance against what is arguably the worst aspect of EQ2.

Even I agree at times the game looks stunning and beautiful (albeit after upgrading my PC), but does that replace the plastic and manufactured look of most of the world? Hell no.

It is the only gripe I have with the game actually (outside of SOE being the producer). The graphics have no vision... they are plastic looking results of a mathmatical equation. And that is a result of SOE's business practices.

SOE pumps out content faster than any company out there. You can't fucking fool me that it is all quality... because it isn't. They have a systematic approach that they push out on a timeline... you can't lie to me and tell me what PA said wasn't DEAD ON.

Honestly I think you just jumped on PA because it was an easy "devils advocate" roll. Shame on you.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Gunthore said...

You mentioned other reveiws being better than normal. If anyone reads Ctrl Alt Dlt here you would know that the author was always a wow fan, he's not playing eq2 and giving it fair reveiws, he hasn't said it's better than wow, but it's more of the type of game he's looking for.
Good job aggro, you said what needed to be said.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

PA is entitled to have their opinons, but so is Aggro Me. I don't see the big problem here, tbh. Personally I don't give a rats arse about PA, so their opinion is nothing to me.

As for those of you saying: "Omg, why does he bother writing about this, it's a comic!" blah blah... Let me ask you something - why do you guys bother to post here then? Looks like someone cares just as much about this crap as the people they accuse of caring too much... ;-)

(Grow the f up yourselves)

Thank you.

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a sad day when I actually find myself defending the PA people, especially Gabe after what an ass he was over the Squidi deal.

First: Learn some ethics people. Every single one of you claiming a conflict of interests is, in a word, clueless. As some others have pointed out, Gabe and Tycho were presenting their opinion, not a review; there has been no compelling argument to support an ethical dilemma over a conflict of interest.

Gabe even admits he gave EQ2, at most, one day. He says he could not get past the visuals. Gee, do you think he never mentioned the gameplay cause he admitted right away that the visuals kept him from doing anything else? Is that not clear enough for you?

PA has been up front about their like of WoW. They disclosed how they became involved with the strat guide.

Seriously, work on the rhetoric, because so far it is just sad. "They have a tenuous connection to Blizzard through Brady Games, they play WoW, and Blizzard links to the main Penny Arcade page everytime they update about the strips in the Brady guide, ooooh ooooh oooh, unethical!"

Has Blizzard paid Penny Arcade for any opinion pieces? Did Penny Arcade actually present those two posts as anything more than their personal opinions?

If the answer to both of those is no then guess what, there is no ethical dilemma using the yardsticks yall are waving around.

Second: Aggro, your ad hominems were pathetic. Gabe's ad hominems, while lacking in subtlety and good taste, at least made critical sense; the same cannot be said about your own.

Gabe said what the art of EQ2 reflected about the artists; EQ2's art is so devoid of life that surely it must have been created by someone with a broken spirit or by a souless machine.

Yours however were simply, "they do not look like the drawings of their avatars, clearly they suck as people and therefore so does their work!"

There is a world of difference in the two approaches.

Gabe looks at the art and asks how anyone with an appreciation for aesthetics could make this, concludes no one with a love of life would create such visuals. It's a rhetorical trick. Unfortunately it is rhetorical trick that clearly eluded you.

Third: Overnuking?! Since when were nukers armed with confetti made from shreaded paper towels?

Overnuking implies some kind of argument that is actually, you know, effective. It does not imply an argument that is newborn kitten weak and filled with its own blind self-righteousness.

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

WoW, you're using heavy ammunition there, Mr. Anon! How about at least adding a nickname next time you feel the urge accuse people of being blind of their own self-righteousness, newborn kitten weak, pathetic and completely unable to understand ethics?

Oh and.... why not look into your own backyard while you're at it? ;-)


- Bob

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a very long, poorly written, whiney self righteous blog. You could say they are biased for presenting anti-EQ stuff for Blizzard or whatever, but its not hard to see what they are talking about. You say the artists put a lot of heart and soul into their art of that game. That does not matter obviously, because they are still not talented or creative! EverQuest 2 really does look painfully, disgustingly stale, but that does not matter to a moral crusader for integrity in gaming journalism such as yourself. Heck even saying a phrase like "gaming journalism" lets ones true, sad pretentious self shine through. This blog would never hurt Penny Arcade in the least, so good for you on spending all that time on it! You poured your heart out, you poor soul...

Oh well thats the internet where everyone is a crusader for their "ideas" even when they are not very well thought out or interesting to read.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Endie said...

Gabe and Tycho said:

"I know there must be artists working at SOE. The only thing I can think of is that they are simply cogs in some corporate machine. They must be given no freedom at all. In fact after looking at the game I wouldn’t be surprised if they are beaten daily. Their spirits have been broken. The troll models specifically may even be some kind of internal attempt to destroy the game and strike a blow against their corporate masters."

Aggro said:

'Can't you just say, "I really hate the art in EQII. I know that's a subjective thing but I don't like it."'

Erm, compare those two, and you'll see why they couldn't just say the second one. It's dull. Dreary. Unprovocative. Boring. Dry. It lacks vigour, vim and vivaciousness. Whereas the first is hilariously overstated and keeps people coming back. It is well written.

And it's hard to argue with this: it's the main reason why their readership is a squillion times yours. So probably best not to try and hand out writing lessons.

Sorry to be so harsh, but you're being kinda priggish... OK, so you like the game. Big deal. If an artist hates the art he should say so. Especially since he is sooo right to do so.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Cowdenicus said...

Well I can honestly say I have been very vocal about some of the things on EQ2. So vocal infact that I had to create my own forums since I was wrongly banned from the EQ2 forums. That all being said do I disagree with SoE? Hells yes. Am I still a customer of theirs? For the time being yes. Was the comic completely inappropriate? Yes. Does it matter since I cant even post on the EQ2 forums? Well SoE dont care about my opinion so I guess not.

P.S. Hey Rajinn feel free to come over to www.friendsoffaydark.com and chat. I promise I wont ban you like you did me. I invite dissent.

6:19 AM  
Blogger ninjaXcore said...

Pwned.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought their comments were just plain assinine. A direct graphical comparison between WoW and EQ2 is nill, as EQ2 actually provides you with graphics controls for just about everything. Including but not limited to: lighting, terrain texture, character texture, model detail, particle effects, fauna, animations, and my personal favorite.. atmospheric bloom.
Now... after reading their comments, and checkin' the picture, I could see why they would deem the visuals sterile.. they were on a performance setting which placed the land firmly in Average quality, Atmospheric Bloom was not on, Fauna/fauna displacement was not on, animations settings would have had to be lowered in order for the models to move robotically, model detail would not have been maxed out... My analysis of their dislike of the visuals? Low-end machine... or ... they didn't realize they had the ability to customize in game... or ... they just didn't want to try.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Agrro Culture 4tw said...

"Gay"be and Tyk"hoe" really are truely the poster child of the geeks I loved to pound on in highschool or public.

Now that I see the real picture of them I really want to break there glasses and pokem in the chest repeating "nerd" to utter insane annoyance levels.

=p If I won the lotto, I promise agro....I would take 2 counts of assault and battery in the name of Aggro Culture...then i can just hire a good team of lawyers from the ACLU and sue them into the dirt for hurting my knuckles and feet on there faces.

Ok this will have a 1% chance of ever happening...but Ill keep playing lotto. =p

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Elquin said...

I don't understand such blashing when WoW at last count had like 138 servers on line with more coming each week. Most if not all of them full to the point where they are no longer allowing new accounts to be created on these servers, unless you had some there to start with.

While on the other hand EQ2 just merged servers, bring the total to what 33? I have no idea how much each EQ2 server can hold, compared to the 138 that WoW has now.

But to a normal person like my self seeing such server numbers would make me think that WoW has more users than EQ2. If that is the case what was the point of PA blashing?
Its not like they Need any more users over at WoW, not with all servers showing HIGH useage.

I started in EQ, for a good many years from 2000 till when beta for EQ2 came out which I was part of. After a few months I went and tried WoW only because my young teenage son got started by a friend and I was not going to let him go play with out some supervison. I found my self having a good time there so stayed for quite a few months and have a lvl 60 huntress to show for it. I returned to EQ2 again afterwards.

Both games have good points to them, both also have the bad points. There are things I really enjoy in each one and things I dislike, but I enjoy playing them both. So Aggro your point was perfect. I just don't understand their reasoning behind such a blashing, it was not warranted.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you people claimin fanboi get your facts straight... PA's comic was attached to an article that was much the same length as this... I completely understand bashing them right back, as they obviously have their own agenda in creating such a trashing piece... I however wont defend eq either, and i refuse to beleive that the game is growing... people that already have accounts may be purchasing more, but more people DEFINATELY leave the game each day than join...
I just wish people would read the whole story instead of one snippet, then think they know whats goin on... go back to counterstrike and stay there.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I always enjoyed PA, but that article was nothing but a cheap shot at a game they have obviously never played. The article wasn't in the least bit thoughtful. Kudos to your article, which was actually well thought out, something the guys at PA apparently struggle with.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not understate that Penny Arcade is a devoted supplicant of Blizzard's awesome power.

PA is responsible for a huge presence on their "unofficial" server, Dark Iron. PA never mentions the rampant, long server queues one must get past to even log in, the horrible server crashes triggered consistantly by the latest content (AQ), or the rampant inflation of raiding in a manner than makes EQ1 look like a cake walk.

Never once do they talk about this, yet somehow, they manage to keep playing? With no complaints?

Then again, it could be that while dozens of other servers go straight to Hell in handbasket, Blizzard ensures that servers with various forms of celebrity on them stay up. Because if said celebrity were to become irritated and outraged like us filthy commoners, then WOW would begin the long process of gradually loosing players until it more closely resembled the top-end EQ1 population than it's current status of approx. 6 million players.

But why are any of us surprised at this? There's no secretive agenda here: PA has never once claimed to be anything other than somewhat biased. The implication they are somehow setting some kind of "standard" is only inferred by the rest of us. They have reapeatedly said that they have peculiar tastes, and that those tastes may run counter to the mainstream gamer.

Do I think the rips on EQ2 are deserved? Not a bit. I think it's moronic of anyone to look at a game's graphics and decide the game sucks, nevermind compelling content and mechanics.

But am I ready to lynch them? Not really. Their bias was well-known to anyone who has been reading their comic more than a month now. They adore WOW with the kind of fervor that approaches blindness, and there's never been any indications to the contrary.

Penny Arcade certainly show favortism, but it's not like some shadowy conspiracy. If a person is honestly led away from EQ2 by a ho-hum comic and personal bias, then I honestly do not want them to play EQ2. Look at some of the mindlessness surrounding WOW these days, and tell me that quantity imparts any quality to a game's playerbase. I dare you.

I play EQ2, and prefer it. I didn't do it out of rebellion against PA, or WOW, or because I loved EQ1 (in fact, I hated EQ1 on sight, just as I loved WOW the first few minutes I played it on a friend's account). I came to EQ2 because I was dissatisfied with WOW on a personal level, and sought alternatives, and found people whose judgement I value who recommended EQ2.

If someone is willing to let appearances deceive them into playing something else, more power to them. I hope they enjoy WOW, and will learn one day to be less superficial.

Until then, EQ2 will probably still be there, quietly doing it's thing.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Formizzo said...

.... Some people amaze me..

Really, there was ALOT of people that asked why Aggro commented/reviewed/whatever PA's Anti-EQII 'comic.

Apparently they didn't read Aggro's post... Because if they did, they wouldn't feckin' ask why he commented!! Lern 2 reid gud~!!1!!@1@!

And, I'm sure Aggro doesn't get paid from SoE as PA get's paid from Blizzard. So, Aggro's 'vendetta' against PA isn't pro-EQII (hell, he's even STATED his opinions on EQII!!!!!!! READ!!!!!), it's anti-PA, in a sense.

Besides, SOMEONE needs to put PA in their spot.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Formizzo said...

...Er, forgot to add, everyone's comments that EQII's visuals are horsecrap is OPINIONS. You know what that means? NOT FACT. While you think EQII's artworks is appalling and WoW's God's gift to geeks, others may think otherwise. So, guess what? Those comments hold NO merrit. So stop saying that sh!t already, for the love of Pete!

Yes, Gabe And Tycho stated their opinions. Whoop-dee-do. We all know this. But yer failing to realize that Gabe and Tycho also have, sadly, alot of hold on alot of people. So saying what they said, how they said it, could very well affect if someone choose to try EQII out.

Don't underestimate the power of EQII, either. Yea yea yea, WoW has about 32345 times more servers/subs than EQII.. that's awesome. That means less asshats playing EQII, ruining my gaming experience.

11:51 AM  
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