Paying for Peace of Mind – A Case for Limited-Access Servers

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Sadly, the gaming community at large sucks. Not the community that attends Penny Arcade Expo or DragonCon. They’re amazing. Of course there’s plenty of overlap there. It’s when the illusion of anonymity sets in that everything degrades. The adverse impact of the Internet is that many people act as if there are no repercussions to the vitriol that they spout. I’d like to think that most of them do it as a form of fantasy. That is they troll not to express opinions, desires and state of mind that they suppress from everyday life but for kicks, putting people on the tilt or shock value.

The immature behavior isn’t limited to run of the mill players, drunk gamers or, as many will joke, teenagers. I’ve seen my friends do it and hollered at them for adding to the toxic environment. I’ve witnessed drunk gamers be incredibly supportive of lacking teammates instead of flexing virtual beer muscles. And the bans against various pro gamers in League of Legends have been well documented.

Heroes of Newerth’s MilkFat knows what I am talking about, labeling these players as “dicks” in a recent interview.

This vitriol has ruined more than one game for myself and many others. These days I limit my Xbox Live play to a Facebook group that a friend started to avoid trolls. I partly left League of Legends for SMITE due to the player atmosphere. I rarely touch online shooters unless I find a server cluster with a community culture I click with. The fact of the matter is that I value my time and experience more than I did previously. When I game I game to relax, to get away from the day and decompress. Listening to put downs, racist comments and the like is not what I call fun.

You know what else I value more than before, money. Something I have a lot more of than ever before but with far more responsibilities attached. I value my own piece of mind and experience more than a few dollars a month. That’s why I’m looking forward to a competitive F2P game offering a highly-policed server option for their game. In addition to spending gobs of money on Big Data and retooling ELO, seasons and general moderating, let’s see this experiment.

I’m talking about a server that’s a totalitarian dictatorship. Zero tolerance for the typical vitriol and feeders. Heavy penalties for routine disconnects or rage quitting. Infractions that don’t result in perma-bans come with heavy temporary blocks. Normally, with F2P games the affected user would simply create a new account and continue on. This will be a dictatorship you opt into and pay to be a part of, reducing the act of repeat offenders through twinking.

What would you pay for this experiment? I’d easily toss in $5/m. Perhaps even $10, considering how much I enjoy MOBAs these days.


  1. I’d toss in $5/m but this is a risky business move. If a company was able to draw a delicate line and walk it, there’s a great market opportunity.

  2. Good post, I agree completely. It’s no accident that the #1 reason people don’t like mmo’s is other people. I recall in my abortive attempt to play EVE Online, I was in what I thought was a noob chat channel, and yet every time I tried to ask a question I got trolled. And in Secret World, someone talked me into trying the Polaris dungeon before I was ready, and it was the most miserable social experience I’ve ever had in an mmo. It had me so distraught that I was ready to give up mmo’s completely. And concerning general chat in mmo’s, I’ve definitely learned that you post a comment in them at your peril. Anyways, yes, I would pay extra for a ‘totalitarian’ server.

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