Hope, Hype, and Expectations

It takes me six months to forget exactly how bad hot dogs taste. I occasionally have a good one, but mostly it is a process of thinking, “it cannot be as bad as I remember, even if I said that six months ago.” It is like Hofstadter’s Rule, only for lower quality rather than longer time.

I look forward to games on two-year cycle. Maybe that is how long it takes me get over the last disappointment. When did Warhammer Online come out? How disappointing was that? Hey, the 2011 MMO crop looks promising.

It is easier to meet expectations if you do not set them too high. After everyone tells you to read/play/watch something, it has a lot to live up to, whereas “so bad it’s good” can be enjoyable under that expectation. Perhaps my greatest disappointments have been cases where I thought I had lowered my expectations enough, but people told me that it was okay as long as you went in with low expectations, so I unconsciously raised my expectations about how well it would go. “It’s not as bad as you’ve heard” is dangerous.

Which is to say, look forward to some really bitter posting next year, even though I explicitly know better! My mental hardware is made of meat; I may truly be unable to help myself.

: Zubon

11 thoughts on “Hope, Hype, and Expectations”

  1. You only wrote this so that when Guild Wars 2 comes out, you can link to this post as a hyperlinky way of saying, “See! I said it wouldn’t live up to the hype last year!”

    I know it isn’t going to cure cancer, but I still play and enjoy Guild Wars, whereas you don’t even have an account for the game.

    I primarily blog about law and deal with law bloggers (a far more savage breed than Game bloggers – they use the “F” word more often) on the web, and I’ve learned that if you don’t act like a pundit, you don’t have to backtrack when you’re inevitably proven wrong. Don’t predict the future.

    Keep your expectations low: If it’s only better than Guild Wars, I’ll be pleased as punch.

    1. No, you have completely misread my intent. You’re a regular reader, so perhaps I was unclear.

      The only hype on the game I’m following is Ravious, and I don’t think he has posted about cancer yet.

  2. Speaking of linking back, how do you manage to link back to other posts you have here so often? Do you just remember them, or do they trigger the newer posts when you re-read them? Some tool to help with that?

    As for hype itself, I wonder how many people are permanently scared from WAR? MMOs, hype, and disappointment are as old as the genre itself, but I don’t know if any game has ever failed in such a memorable way like WAR (not because it was so awful, but because it was just bad enough to make you angry while having bits and pieces you wished you could spend more time with)

    1. Also Anarchy Online. More ’nuff said.

      I just remember some older posts. It’s a habit I picked up from Eliezer Yudkowsky; it serves to say, “For more context on what I mean by that, click here.”

  3. Oh, well Ravious probably does think it will cure cancer.

    Hell, I’m drooling over the game but I think he’s in for a disappointment.

    1. For a change of pace, this one’s all about me. GW2 is the particular object, but I might just as well have talked about blind dates or anything else you approach with hope after forgetting how the last time went.

      Conveniently, since I have not been following terribly closely, I at least will have few expectations about the particulars. I don’t have my heart set on anything in their crafting or how mesmers should be.

  4. Hot dogs used to be good tasting. Back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when I was a kid (giving away my age there) they were down right yummy. Over time they took out more and more of the meat (which was ground up leftovers from what was left of the animals they couldn’t use in anything else) and replaced them with more and more chemicals. I won’t even touch a hot dog these days. They are terrible and who knows what kind of damage those chemicals will do to you… probably cause cancer. Thank goodness GW2 will cure that, at least. :)

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