Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I will not argue on the Internet...

Recently I've wasted too much time on the BioWare Social Network, typically getting drawn into discussions that initially appear interesting but quickly devolve into... well, something that isn't. However, I don't get out early enough and on several occasions have fallen prey to the madness that is arguing on the Internet.

I could highlight some of the less sensible posts I encountered, but I'd rather not spark an argument here. I'm interested in discussing game design, but unfortunately many threads tend to quickly turn to mudslinging matches with terms like "console kiddie", "PC elitist", "dumbing down", "selling out" and other terms that equally add nothing meaningful to debates.  That's not to say that the debates are entirely like this, and there are some really good points (including ones that I disagree with) raised by some people. Unfortunately, they tend to get lost amongst the noise.

As such, I'm going to try to avoid getting sucked into these debates. However, I love seeing, reading and getting comments from the developers, so it's a tough thing to do. For now, it's back to level editing and waiting for lightmaps to render...


  1. I too vowed to stop reading such threads. I lost that battle...

  2. That is why for most of the threads, I just read the developer comments and move on since most of them quote the comment they are responding to too.
    Of course, there are some arguments that you get drawn into because you think you have the perfect argument for a comment and then, it just goes downhill from there :)

    I just look at those attempts as an indirect way to market my mod, hoping that some of the readers will at least want to click on the link in the signature and learn more about it ;)

  3. Doesn't social.bioware have a "Blue Posters" function? I suppose you'd still be tempted to read the user posts for context :)

    I don't read anything outside the Toolset forums myself, much like I don't read the official forums for WoW. I end up discussing Dragon Age at, Elitist Jerks...and here, I guess. Timelord's point makes me wonder if that is short-changing myself on the marketing front.

    @AmstradHero - you should definitely do a post on publicising modules. I think we have an enormous challenge finding an audience because the "discoverability" of mods is terrible. My second mod has never attracted anything like the attention of the first, because Fragments has been a Featured Mod on social.bioware for the better part of a year, and was on Dragon Age Nexus very early in the piece. Classic Week has its own accesibility problems that might make it naturally less populer (despite the overall higher quality), but I think the main problem is that players don't know it exists.

    This is nested within a larger problem of a general lack of awareness that the Dragon Age story-module scene exists itself! I try to raise awareness by linking to things like Alley of Murders, Ser Gilmore etc as well as my own mods when the subject comes up on forums I frequent, but that's a drop in the bucket.


  4. I agree that publicity for story based modules is a huge issue, and unfortunately BioWare hasn't really helped modders out too much in that regard. My "Support Your Local Modder" post lamented the issue, but I'm leery of posting on the BSN forums themselves for fear of being accused of self promotion.

    That said, people aren't that attentive. In one post in which I had made a number of posts, another forumite said that I was responsible for Alley of Murders. More than one person responded indicating that they didn't realise that was me, and hadn't paid any attention to my signature despite that I include an image and link advertising it. I try to promote story based modules where I can, but I agree that it really is fighting an uphill battle at the current point in time. I'd love for BioWare to real stand up and start helping promote the story modules that have been released (or are in development), but unfortunately that's not happening at the moment for some reason.