on Nov 24, 2013
Paul Spooner and some other folks were musing about what posts on this site have generated the most discussion. Reader Alan was nice enough to put together a MySQL query so that we could find out. The top 20 results, starting with the largest:
- Autoblography Part 11: Roller Rinks and Jesus (1034 comments)
The one time I allowed religion. Not surprising to see this at the top of the list.
- Mass Effect 3 Ending Deconstruction (816 comments)
Really? This is the #2 most talked about post on my site? The ending of Mass Effect 3? I mean, I understand it was a Big Topic when Mass Effect 3 came out, but in the eight years I’ve been running this blog, THAT controversy rates at the top? What about all the rants I wrote about Activision and EA? What about the endless screeds against DRM?
- The final strip of DM of the Rings (724 comments)
Not surprising to see this here. It used to be that I’d regularly get comments on old DM of the Rings posts, but it’s been a few months since the last one. I think the series is finally at rest and everyone that might want to read it has now done so.
- Autoblography Part 40: A Word On Education (631 comments)
The finale to my Autoblography series. Makes sense to have this in the list.
- Series that Went on Too Long (562 comments)
This was a sort of open-ended question to readers, so I can see how it generated a lot of discussion.
- Experienced Points: DLC for Dummies (538 comments)
- WordPress Plugin: Wavatars (519 comments)
This one doesn’t REALLY deserve to be on the list. Sure, it has over 500 comments, but most of those are people posting one-word test messages just to see what their avatar looks like. See, years ago I made the plugin to create procedurally-generated little faces you see in the comments. Since then, the feature has been folded into WordPress itself. (Actually, it’s part of Gravatars now.)
- Mass Effect 3 Part 1: We Fight or We Doy (517 comments)
Ah. Another Mass Effect riot. I am starting to suspect that Mass Effect 3 is the Phantom Menace of videogames.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta Impressions (439 comments)
Oh come on. BioWare again?
- Stolen Pixels #257: The Electronic Artists (430 comments)
This is the only one of my Stolen Pixels to make the list. I don’t remember this one at all. Something about Electronic Arts, I guess?
Sigh. Nope. It’s about Mass Effect again.
- Science Fiction… in SPACE! (426 comments)
Hm. Some musings on writing sci-fi.
- The Old Republic NDA (424 comments)
- Spoiler Warning Season 4 Finale:
Don’t Fear the Reaper (419 comments)
The final episode of Spoiler Warning: Mass Effect 2. I never would have guessed that we spent this much time talking about Mass Effect / BioWare.
- Would you have survived in the middle ages? (417 comments)
A fun little thought experiment.
- Skyrim Thieves Guild Part 1 (401 comments)
See? THIS is the kind of stuff I expected to see in the list. My overlong, super-detailed deconstructions of things. Where is my bit on Fable, or Fable 2? Indigo Prophecy? Those were big projects, thousands of words in length.
- The Virus (400 comments)
Huh. I got a virus a couple of years ago. Forgot about that. For the record, I’m still not running any anti-virus and I’ve been clean since then.
- All Word Processors Suck (400 comments)
That one time I went on a rant because I lost a ton of work in Open Office.
- Protect IP / SOPA Act (394 comments)
Pretty controversial subject. Makes sense to see it here.
- Femshep (390 comments)
And BioWare makes the list for the sixth time, meaning 30% of my top posts are about BioWare. That’s kind of sad.
- Diablo III (388 comments)
A rant about the always-online un-feature of Diablo 3. This was written long before we ever knew what “Error 37” was. Also, this was before we knew about the shift in tone that killed the game for some.
So that’s what we’ve been talking about. I guess BioWare made the list so often since they underwent a very obvious public transformation from a risky business venture by people who loved characters and lore to a massive enterprise that looks and sounds like most other glossy big-budget development studios. It was a painful change for existing fans.
Still, I kinda wish people had cared about the DRM more. Long-term, I think it’s a more troubling problem with AAA games. Losing BioWare’s talky, thinky, lore-heavy adventure stories is sad. That basically kills off most of a genre for us. But DRM impacts ALL genres of gaming, and the threat lingers. I’m very curious if the coming (and well-deserved) death of Games for Windows LIVE will lead to the deaths of any of the games attached to it.
For me, the worst outcome wouldn’t be that all GFWL titles are patched to work without the service and so people go on acting like activation-based DRM is “no big deal”. The worst thing wouldn’t be if some games died and there was a public outcry. No, the WORST thing would be if some games vanished and barely anyone cared. “Bah. That game is almost five years old! Nobody was playing it anyway. You’re just looking for something to complain about.”
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.