When a game fails with an active anti-fanbase, something extraordinary occurs.
From the corpse of a game, the resulting shambles gives birth to someone who honestly thinks that they know how to run video games. It is one thing to have an armchair game designer, but I think it is another when you have an armchair game designer with a dead game under his belt.
Today, I think I spent too much time on the forums, talking at people who played RTW APB like I did with especially big chips on their shoulders. Of course, I played open beta as well and I had certain expectations, but I eventually grew up and realized that APB, for all its hype, was not going to be as realistic as I dreamed it would be. Now, it has aged into a interesting mix between low-mechanical shooter with movable walls. I see the merits in this weird mixture of low barriers to entry with a non-competitive, yet surprisingly unique and fun, hybrid shooter. Of course, when you say anything nice about APB:R, it becomes the civil duty of others to make sure you don’t spread false doctrine.
APB makes people angry. Furious. It was a game that embodied the possibility of a dynamic multiplayer GTA that ultimately game to grips with why game development is hard. I’ve seen a lot of bitching in my time, given that I frequented the official Starcraft II forums with regularity, but the vehemence infused in APB is legendary. You cannot give a sliver of input without having people jump on you like crazy. That and, well, it is a beta and it appears that the developers are listening. The mixture of a bad legacy with a good developer team has created a cesspool of non-stop emotions, clamoring to be noticed, recognized and hailed as the one-true-savior of APB.
I just had an argument today about how APB is an open-world, and as a result, is not a game that can be truly balanced. The other person found it absolutely necessary to clarify that APB is a glorified lobby and not an open world. I disagree on that notion because it is an open-world map where other players can directly and indirectly change the outcome of your missions, whereas a closed-world would be a Bad Company 2 map. My criteria is simple, but different from the apparent norm. The number of usable cars nearby, their position and their health does tangibly affect whether or not you will win a mission, and it is those variables to give credence to the idea that APB is open in comparison to other shooters.
Now, that’s really a matter of opinion and contexts, but at the end of everything, I was being called daft for being “over-analytic.” Granted, I understand that many people can’t analyze without siphoning gallons of tears and that insults are the last refuge of a dead argument, but this particular response is definitely the hallmark of APB’s current beta-talk state. Perhaps in being critical, I have discovered that this unreasonable behavior is carried over from the sense of participating in the death of a game. I’m convinced that APB:R’s open beta stage has awakened a spark in the lives of many angry nerds, whose calling is to hunt down and kill all optimism pertaining to the game that stole their innocence. Charming.
Personally, I wish game companies would post a really fat sticky on each forum, detailing how and where you can submit your opinion about the game without subjecting it to peer review. Not because peer review is bad, but generally because casual forum peer review is frustrating for peers with a differing viewpoint. I’ve found that the best way to dissuade yourself from a game is to read its official forums. Many testers and active players find it necessary to act as beligerent as possible. This would be fine if their arguments were reasonable, but once you get the fire started, the logic unravels.
Basically, I’m sick of other people. Today was a day ruined by a breed of people who are emboldened by the death of a title to be as asinine as possible.