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When Nerd Rage Is Illogical

May 8, 2010

Well, I suppose one can argue that “nerd rage”, or the emotional, indignant and often incoherent objections brought on by video game-induced frustration, will always be illogical simply by definition alone. Still, every now and then I’ll come across a grievance on a message board or some other public forum and find myself sympathizing with its author, even if I haven’t personally experienced his or her predicament. Some complaints, however, I will never truly understand. For example, I admit it does baffle me a little whenever I see a long angry diatribe railing against how some trivial combat mechanic or another isn’t matching up with what’s established in an existing IP.

Emphasis on angry.

I do want to say that I’m pretty deep into several IP-based games at the moment, and I respect lore and canon as much as the next gamer. I’m a lore-geek at heart, and I’d be pretty pissed too if a game I’m playing suddenly starts taking flippant liberties with a beloved franchise. But there are differences between sweeping changes versus the small ones that don’t really matter in the greater scheme of things. For instance, I think saying something like, “Star Trek Online is too combat-heavy for the IP and should be balanced with a better variety of diplomatic missions” is a much more legitimate demand than, say, “What the hell, Cryptic, why aren’t my insides immediately melted away by alien cells when I fight the Undine? Bad, dev, bad!” Seriously, even if they could feasibly work it in, why would you want that? I saw what happened to Harry Kim, and it was not pretty!

Likewise, I get that the lightsaber can cut through most substances and that arms and hands have the tendency to go popping off left and right in the Star Wars movies (pun totally intended), but I just don’t understand the fixation some people seem to have with dismemberment! I for one would be pretty upset if my limbs were to go flying off each time I duel a Jedi in Star Wars: The Old Republic, not to mention something like that would probably warrant a Mature-rating. And I could care less how many arms a mature Gundark should really have, just let me kill it.

Ahh, best not to sweat the tiny things, and just enjoy the fact our favorite movie/book/tv show etc. even has a game based on it. Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Hello Kitty or whatever, I think most do a pretty good job! Hey, if it’s part of an expanded universe, chances are that whatever’s chafing you will eventually be ret-conned out and explained somehow anyway. “Cacophinzer rounds“, anyone? Hee hee.

8 comments

  1. Anyone who even lightly dips into SW lore will know that there are plenty of anti-jedi techniques out there. cortosis weaves for instance.

    Only dorks don’t know that.


    • Well, I wouldn’t say everybody knows. People who havent’ played KOTOR might not know about the cortosis weave fitted vibroblades, for instance. But regardless, I don’t think it would be very fun anyway, if you could just slice through everyone else. I don’t want my bounty hunter to end up like Jango :P


      • lol well yeah, was being sarcastic about the dorks. but yeah you’re absolutely right. Lore is great but sticking to it so closely you can’t tell a good story is pointless.


  2. LOL I think only dorks do know that. ;p Of course there anti-Jedi techniques. After all, General Grievous (sp?) has killed quite a few Jedi, and then the clones were able to eradicate many Jedi under Order 66. Jedi are not immortal, nor infallible.

    And on the STO front, similar nerds cry about things that would not be possible to implement. Not the least of which is that fact in the IP, people die forever when their ships blow up. Might make it hard to get to level 55 then, wouldn’t it? More diplomatic missions would be nice, but I seem to recall that every series had a whole lot of running firefights and enemies that could only be dealt with from behind the barrel of a phaser.


    • I would love more diplomatic missions, just because I would love any new content, period. The next generation onwards tends to have a lot more diplomacy, but most MMOs are about combat. I can’t see STO selling too well if it was just based on diplomacy. The fact that we’re on the brink of war is a good reason for so much fighting.


  3. Your statement is so true that if STO was just based on diplomacy mostly it just wouldn’t sell well and in the long term wouldn’t be all that fun, it would get boring eventually of all the diplomacy. But there should be some degree of it all the same.

    Some things don’t always translate well going from a IP to a game environment. As well some things that people may want don’t really overall add that much to a game and some of it can be a bit of a waste of a developers time to focus on when there are clearly more important things to focus on and do.

    As you also said, more valuable and adds much more to the game bang for the buck for a dev team to spend their time to introduce a good version of diplomacy for instance as something that adds value to the game overall that for them to focus on some person nerd rage outburst that his insides don’t quite look right when he gets hit by a Undine or even a phaser.

    Nerds can literally rage about anything! The picture is classic as well. I love that scene of Kirk getting Spoc to rage.


  4. [...] MMOGamerChick informs us when nerd rage is highly illogical. [...]


  5. I had one of my fleet members complain the other day that he got yelled at in-game because his ship name was out of canon (it was Feisty Onion). The other person continued to badger him through PMs until my Fleetmate decided to log off.
    So, there is nerd rage, and there is being ridiculous. After all, it is a game, and while that particular fleet member does not pay much attention to canon there is no reason for him to be pestered and reprimanded by a complete stranger. Some people really just need to get a grip.



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