In this article and this thread, Lum opened a discussion on PvP in Shadowbane. Upon reading the thread, I was pleasantly surprised to see a reasoned debate taking place. In fact, many of Shadowbane\’e2\’80\’99s defenders posted logical and sometimes eloquent arguments for their future game of choice. Some of the arguments were so persuasive, I found myself referencing the official site, reading the comments from the devs and all the material about the game I could find.

Dare I say it; I was becoming very interested in this project.

I am a player who enjoys the challenge of PvP combat and strategy. I have only ever played Felucca in Ultima Online and Darktide in Asheron\’e2\’80\’99s Call. When we had an N64 in the dorm at my university, Goldeneye was the game my friends and I spent hours playing. There is a certain satisfaction in defeating another human opponent that no monster AI can give. So, it stands to reason that Shadowbane would be the type of game that would interest me.

Then the Fan Boy incident occurred.

I suppose it\’e2\’80\’99s human nature for people to be territorial. Many players, myself included, will defend a game they love to the death. However, this hard-edged stance and almost fanatical support can very easily turn other people off to the game you love, which is contrary to what you would like to see happen.

That is what I found happening. When the rabid ones appeared yesterday, I found myself forgetting about the game and concentrating on the types of people I would actually be playing with. Name-calling, insults, colorful vocabulary, dim-witted remarks, and childish behavior managed to erase the last hour I spent reading the official site for the game. In essence, my interest in the game was almost entirely wiped out by these people.

Fans like J. and Half-Robo from the thread do the game a service. They are articulated and reasoned debaters who put forward their arguments intelligently. When I read posts made by them, my interest in the game increases, and I find myself more willing and open to seeing what the game is all about, to give it more serious consideration.

When the rabid fan boys come out in force, I find myself turned off to the game. Any enthusiasm I had immediately vanishes. The thought that Shadowbane will be nothing more than a dewd fest starts entering my mind. The rabid, insulting fans are doing the game they claim to love a great disservice. If they love the game so much, they would be more like J. and Half-Robo, and less like, well, less like what they have been. Their behavior in defense of the game affects the way other people may perceive it.

Not believing that Shadowbane is the Holy Grail of online gaming does not make a person a heretic. There are those that love the game, even though it hasn\’e2\’80\’99t even come out yet, and there are those who hate the game, even though it hasn\’e2\’80\’99t come out yet. However, I like to think potential players are in a bell curve. The fanatical lovers and haters are at the fringes, while there is a large portion of people somewhere in the middle. That middle area of people are the ones that will make or break the success of the game. Their decision on whether or not to play the game is what will decide the financial future of it.

By turning off the middle through fanatical and insulting rhetoric does Shadowbane no good. Furthermore, it is highly disrespectful of the developers who are pouring so much blood, sweat, and tears into their project. The behavior of the more zealous fans is belittling and taking away from the large amount of work the devs have put into the game.

I\’e2\’80\’99d like to try Shadowbane. Personally, I hope it succeeds. I hope I can keep in mind the merits of the game and not let the slithering hoards of larvae that are the fan boys ruin my enthusiasm for it. It would be unfortunate if I and others don\’e2\’80\’99t buy the game because of their behavior and the impressions it leaves some of us with.