Why Do You Gotta Make Me Hurt You, Baby?

Remember the offhanded link I posted a while back to the spurned EQ2 ‘fan’ site that quickly turned into a community manager’s worst nightmare? At some point it turned from juicy drah-ma to full-on psychotic dev stalking.

I wonder, if I searched their archives, if there would be complaints from players about how developers clearly never played their own game. Because, for damned sure, after that little display, it’s safe to say that no sane SOE developer will be caught dead in EQ2 for quite some time. Clearly, they have commited the cardinal sin of working on an MMO – in some cases actually playing one, and now they must pay. Oh, they must PAY!

This is a good example of why, as a game developer, you ideally should never let anyone in an MMO know who you are, ever. And you absolutely shouldn’t let people know that you work on the game they play. (And it goes without saying, you shouldn’t then cheat, or send out patch notes a week early on your guild message board, or just simply attract the attention of the appropriate gender in your Ventrilo channel with your el33t access, or anything ethically sleazy like that.)

For most developers this isn’t an issue, because, frankly, after working on an MMO for 5 years or so, the absolute last thing they want to do is look at it in their limited free time. But this is a good object lesson in how what you think may be a harmless confidence can blow up in your face. Because spurned fans have a way of taking those good intentions, blowing them out of an aerosol can, and lighting them on fire.