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  1. #1
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    Why I believe "raiders" are important to this game

    Before I start, this is purely my opinion, based on my experience in the game.

    I've noticed several threads about different player groups, who brings Turbine the money, whether a raid is coming with Helps Deep, Kickstarter projects to raise money, etc.

    Based on my experience in the game, I believe that "raiders" as a group tend to have more effect on the community, and making the game an MMO instead of just a solo game than other many groups. In my experience, it was people who raided that were usually the leaders and officers of the main kins on the server. Even in lots of the smaller ones it was the same. It was these people who would get groups together for smaller instances. It was these people who would give advice in the global channels. In PvMP, these people would lead the groups on both freep and creep side. A lot of the items on the AH that involved lots of farming (items or crafting materials) would be sold by these people. These people had generally been playing for a long time. Overall on my server, it was "raiders" who formed the backbone of the community.

    The length of time these people had been playing for is one of the reasons I think that Turbine doesn’t see raids as cost effective any more. A lot of these people are lifetimers, a large amount of the rest are VIP. I believe that this is not Turbine’s main profit stream. Since free to play, a lot more people have started playing the game. Due to the free nature of the game, a lot of these people don’t play very often, or for short periods of time. Lots of them are also more inclined to buy short term boosts from the store, and other store content. These people are Turbine’s main source of income. They want content that they can complete on their own, and in the short periods of time they can play for. They are also willing to pay to make their time easier.

    So in conclusion, while "raiders" may not provide Turbine with the most money, they do play an important role in what makes the game an MMO rather than just a single player game.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amphoras View Post
    So in conclusion, while "raiders" may not provide Turbine with the most money, they do play an important role in what makes the game an MMO rather than just a single player game.
    From what I've read, it seems to me that pretty much every agrees that raiders do play an important role.

    I think a lot of the issue is the extremist raiders and solo'ers going at each other's throats here in the forums.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Amphoras View Post
    Since free to play, a lot more people have started playing the game. Due to the free nature of the game, a lot of these people don’t play very often, or for short periods of time. Lots of them are also more inclined to buy short term boosts from the store, and other store content. These people are Turbine’s main source of income. They want content that they can complete on their own, and in the short periods of time they can play for. They are also willing to pay to make their time easier.
    Ok, let's assume this is a true statement.

    If this truly is Turbine's primary profit stream, as a business, why shouldn't this segment of the game be their development focus?

    Take it a step further: say every raider quit the game tomorrow. While we may undoubtedly find the game a poorer place for it, if the primary profit stream keeps producing, why should Turbine care?
    The forums are not an accurate representation of the thoughts and feelings of the whole player base. Those who like a particular feature are in the game enjoying that feature. Those who don't like it log out to mention it on the forums. It is a relevant but biased source of feedback, and any claims of community desire should take this fact into account.

  4. #4
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    What Nymphonic said.

    And really, deciding which group is important in what way for the game and the gaming community is putting the cart before the horse--it depends first and foremost who WB-Turbine is targeting as their audience. This is what WB-Turbine decides, ultimately.

    Given the type of content extant in the game, I'd say all players from soloer to raider. As to what extent, that is another matter and, as I'd argue, the real crux of the more extremist antagonism on the forums, as Nymphonic points out.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailedra View Post
    Take it a step further: say every raider quit the game tomorrow. While we may undoubtedly find the game a poorer place for it, if the primary profit stream keeps producing, why should Turbine care?
    You answered your own question. If the place is poorer due an absence of raiders and a raiding agenda then its a place that people are less inclined to want to be in. Turbine should recognize that creating a richer place is desirable as a means of delivering a better product and experience EVEN IF profit cannot be tied directly to the players who are contributing to the richness of their product. This is where the shortsightedness of Turbines strategy becomes apparent and I can assure you it hurts non-raider and raiders alike.....because it hurts the GAME.

  6. #6
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    While I am not a "raider" I believe they are very (very) important to the game.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Vehdren View Post
    You answered your own question. If the place is poorer due an absence of raiders and a raiding agenda then its a place that people are less inclined to want to be in. Turbine should recognize that creating a richer place is desirable as a means of delivering a better product and experience EVEN IF profit cannot be tied directly to the players who are contributing to the richness of their product. This is where the shortsightedness of Turbines strategy becomes apparent and I can assure you it hurts non-raider and raiders alike.....because it hurts the GAME.
    So, it's your belief that a company should provide a better product (this is assuming that all customers could agree what a "better" product is....I'm here to tell you, there's no way any consumer community, much less a gaming community, could ever reach that consensus), rather than a more profitable product?

    Everybody's very quick to cite a business ethic of "make a higher quality product"....but many people forget that the reason that's a business ethic to begin with is that it leads to higher profits in a competetive market. There's a break-point where quality becomes unprofitable...too much money being spent to chase too discerning a consumer....and the company (if it's smart) re-defines "quality" as "good enough to keep the doors open and stay ahead of the competition".

    As an example: no car manufacturer is going to invest the money to produce a car that lasts an average person's lifetime. That'd undoubtedly be a superior-quality product to any other car on the market, but the cost required to achieve that quality doesn't justify the profits that would be realized. As a result, we all buy new cars every so often.

    Look, I'm really not trying to argue for argument's sake. I understand and agree with the benefits to myself (and you, and the OP) of having raiders around. But since the dawn of time, people (and groups of people) go into a business because it's profitable. Many of them enjoy what they do, yes. Many of them take pride in the products they produce, and derive satisfaction from giving their customers what they want. That's all well and good. But when doing so isn't profitable any longer, they become poor businesspeople (or go out of business altogether) if they continue providing a less-profitable product.

    It's entirely possible that this game, (and the MMO business genre at large) might have evolved past the raiding scene as a focus. I may not like it, you may not like it, but if it's truly the case....if that's simply not where the long-term money is....well, we have a word for companies that don't flexibly adjust to a changing market: "failures".
    Last edited by Ailedra; May 02 2013 at 11:46 PM.
    The forums are not an accurate representation of the thoughts and feelings of the whole player base. Those who like a particular feature are in the game enjoying that feature. Those who don't like it log out to mention it on the forums. It is a relevant but biased source of feedback, and any claims of community desire should take this fact into account.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    From what I've read, it seems to me that pretty much every agrees that raiders do play an important role.

    I think a lot of the issue is the extremist raiders and solo'ers going at each other's throats here in the forums.
    Just to second this. I used to think we were an outstanding community, but the constant hate and bickering between these two groups is rather disheartening.
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  9. #9
    We'll find out soon enough how important they are to the community. I know many that have had enough. Retirements pending.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailedra View Post
    So, it's your belief that a company should provide a better product (this is assuming that all customers could agree what a "better" product is....I'm here to tell you, there's no way any consumer community, much less a gaming community, could ever reach that consensus), rather than a more profitable product?

    Everybody's very quick to cite a business ethic of "make a higher quality product"....but many people forget that the reason that's a business ethic to begin with is that it leads to higher profits.

    Look, I'm really not trying to argue for argument's sake. I understand and agree with the benefits to myself (and you, and the OP) of having raiders around. But since the dawn of time, people (and groups of people) go into a business because it's profitable. Many of them enjoy what they do, yes. Many of them take pride in the products they produce, and derive satisfaction from giving their customers what they want. That's all well and good. But when doing so isn't profitable any longer, they become poor businesspeople (or go out of business altogether) if they continue providing a less-profitable product.

    It's entirely possible that this game, (and the MMO business genre at large) might have evolved past the raiding scene as a focus. I may not like it, you may not like it, but if it's truly the case....if that's simply not where the long-term money is....well, we have a word for companies that don't flexibly adjust to a changing market: "failures".
    I think his argument lies more in the idea that tossing raiders a bone every now and then (that means on expansion launch too) will indirectly lead to profit. Its not a profit seen by looking at short term graphs, rather a profit seen through long term analysis. If you keep the raiders happy, they provide a backbone for server communities and the economy. This leads to the casual player staying entertained and happy, which leads to profit. So while raiders don't generate as much direct profit (according to Sapience) for this game, the indirect profit they generate may very well be substantial.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheNightAngel View Post
    I think his argument lies more in the idea that tossing raiders a bone every now and then (that means on expansion launch too) will indirectly lead to profit. Its not a profit seen by looking at short term graphs, rather a profit seen through long term analysis. If you keep the raiders happy, they provide a backbone for server communities and the economy. This leads to the casual player staying entertained and happy, which leads to profit. So while raiders don't generate as much direct profit (according to Sapience) for this game, the indirect profit they generate may very well be substantial.
    I get that, and I don't disagree conceptually that it's possible.

    What we don't know is how rich is the non-raiding revenue stream? How much indirect profit does the raiding community generate? How much does it cost to give throw the raiders a large-enough, quality-enough bone to realize that benefit? Is that ratio favorable or worth pursuing?

    If a couple of forum posters can think to ask these questions, I'm willing to bet that a company as large and resource-heavy as WB has people who've already thought the same things, done the research, and made their decision.

    Is it possible they're wrong? Of course....sooner or later, we'll figure out who's right, and who's out of business.
    The forums are not an accurate representation of the thoughts and feelings of the whole player base. Those who like a particular feature are in the game enjoying that feature. Those who don't like it log out to mention it on the forums. It is a relevant but biased source of feedback, and any claims of community desire should take this fact into account.

  12. #12
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    Well I really can't agree with the OP here one bit. I have been here 1.5 years and have many alts and play in 8 world and to date I never done a raid. I have spent well over 500$ on the game in my time here.

    No I don't think the Raiders are more or less important then anyone one else. It seems every group want to take credit for doing more for the game. Really I think it the whole community of players that makes or break this game.

    The real player is the LOTRO designers that have the most influence on this game and whether the community as a whole is happy and spending there money and so far there not doing there job or you would not see posts like this one.

    Right now this game needs more of everyone that plays and spends money or not, it don't matter it just needs more players as a whole and all types.

    right now the lack of a player base in all types of players is down and worlds are getting empty everywhere. I think u can find unhappy players in every play style.

    Much of what LOTRO has been doing over the last year is tearing the game apart. That is way everyone is throwing blame around or boosting that they think there play style is most needed for the game.

    Truth the only Play style that is really need is New folks that sign up and stay playing and Older players to stop leaving in droves. Free to play, VIP and Premium Players that come here and stay to fill out every Play style.

    SO I don't think it anyone style needed but the one LOTRO plays and they need to do something to boost the moral of the whole game community.

    All I see now days here in the forum is one unhappy player after another mad about one thing are another. I have to include myself here as I just spent 2 days here in the forum blowing up about stuff in the game that made me leave for 3 months too.

    But when I got my post done I stated looking thru the forum here and seen one post after another the sounded like doom and gloom or just being mad about something.

    That is the problem.

    Every one needs to starting to happy with the game again and the only plays that can make that happen is LOTRO. Not the raiders the alt-aholics or the VIPs or the Free to plays
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailedra View Post
    I get that, and I don't disagree conceptually that it's possible.What we don't know is how rich is the non-raiding revenue stream? How much indirect profit does the raiding community generate? How much does it cost to give throw the raiders a large-enough, quality-enough bone to realize that benefit? Is that ratio favorable or worth pursuing?If a couple of forum posters can think to ask these questions, I'm willing to bet that a company as large and resource-heavy as WB has people who've already thought the same things, done the research, and made their decision.Is it possible they're wrong? Of course....sooner or later, we'll figure out who's right, and who's out of business.
    I don't have the answer to these questions, nor do I pretend to. I don't have the experience or knowledge to even begin to try to answer them =P

    All I can hope for is that the profit margins one day show that raiders are worth supporting and we get quality raids again. Something unique and challenging like OD would be wonderful right about now...
    Last edited by TheNightAngel; May 03 2013 at 08:53 AM.
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    ---
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by TheNightAngel View Post
    I don't have the answer to these questions, nor do I pretend to.
    Oh, I don't either...that's kind of my point....none of us do.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNightAngel View Post
    All I can hope for is that the profit margins one day show that raiders are worth supporting and we get quality raids again. Something unique and challenging like OD would be wonderful right about now...
    This, I can totally dig.
    The forums are not an accurate representation of the thoughts and feelings of the whole player base. Those who like a particular feature are in the game enjoying that feature. Those who don't like it log out to mention it on the forums. It is a relevant but biased source of feedback, and any claims of community desire should take this fact into account.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailedra View Post
    Oh, I don't either...that's kind of my point....none of us do..
    Ya and the one that should know is a sleep at the wheel, after all most of us just want to play the game not give advice on how to fix it.
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  16. #16
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    Absolutely raiders are an important segment of the LotRO community. As are roleplayers, solo players, small fellowship players and PvMP players. As others have pointed out, the question is not if they are important to the health of the game, but to what extent, and is content being provided commensurate with their contributions?

    And therein lies the difficulty. Raiders from my observation tend to go through content faster than any other segment of the population. Solo players tend to be comfortable taking their own pace through the game. Roleplayers can spend hours interacting without going through game content at all. Raiders however, are inclined to hurry through landscape and solo quest content so they can get high enough in level to run the end game raids and replay said content in order to gain the items they want. Thus they end up getting bored faster than most of the other players. Which means they want/need additional content before other segments of the population. Which then skews the 'balance' of development time commensurate with their contribution to the game. All this is generalization of course and just based on my own perception, but it seems to me to be at the core of the issue.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailedra View Post
    So, it's your belief that a company should provide a better product (this is assuming that all customers could agree what a "better" product is....I'm here to tell you, there's no way any consumer community, much less a gaming community, could ever reach that consensus), rather than a more profitable product?

    Everybody's very quick to cite a business ethic of "make a higher quality product"....but many people forget that the reason that's a business ethic to begin with is that it leads to higher profits in a competetive market. There's a break-point where quality becomes unprofitable...too much money being spent to chase too discerning a consumer....and the company (if it's smart) re-defines "quality" as "good enough to keep the doors open and stay ahead of the competition".

    As an example: no car manufacturer is going to invest the money to produce a car that lasts an average person's lifetime. That'd undoubtedly be a superior-quality product to any other car on the market, but the cost required to achieve that quality doesn't justify the profits that would be realized. As a result, we all buy new cars every so often.

    Look, I'm really not trying to argue for argument's sake. I understand and agree with the benefits to myself (and you, and the OP) of having raiders around. But since the dawn of time, people (and groups of people) go into a business because it's profitable. Many of them enjoy what they do, yes. Many of them take pride in the products they produce, and derive satisfaction from giving their customers what they want. That's all well and good. But when doing so isn't profitable any longer, they become poor businesspeople (or go out of business altogether) if they continue providing a less-profitable product.

    It's entirely possible that this game, (and the MMO business genre at large) might have evolved past the raiding scene as a focus. I may not like it, you may not like it, but if it's truly the case....if that's simply not where the long-term money is....well, we have a word for companies that don't flexibly adjust to a changing market: "failures".
    It looks to me like might have missed his point, and it was a simple and elegant one (as was Nymphonic's).

    The two of you don't actually seem to disagree. The difference is a gut impression. You seem to be arguing that the loss of all raiding and raiders in the game, while making it a poorer gaming experience, might still be a rational buisiness decision because Turbine would be able to maximize its profits without the presence of any raids (worth their name) or raiders (given their broader role in supporting the mmo aspect of the game in all its aspects).

    Your interlocutor is arguing from the same premis but believes that all of the intangibles provided by the existence of a viable raiding community helps rather than hurts the game's bottom line.

    Of course there is no hard and fast proof for either position.

    But speaking as a non-hard core raider who loves this game and enjoys group content I would hate to see the loss of the raiding community for what it would do to the broader game. Yes, some of them are their own worst enemies (as are some of the more intolerant solo-only types), but as you so wisely stated the game would be a much poorer place without them.
    Last edited by Morat; May 03 2013 at 01:41 AM.
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  18. #18
    These Raiders are the ones that call into question the game development, mechanics, challenge, and landscape difficult.

    With these Raiders slowly trickling out of the game, there is less contention from the player base and less of an acknowledgment of Turbine's game decisions.
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  19. #19
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    Almost every thread I see that discusses combat mechanics and how to optimize DPS/healing/tanking rotations, the primary contributors are raiders. Heck, the person that wrote Combat Analysis is a raider (or was - I don't think he really plays anymore).

    This isn't to say that people who don't raid aren't interested in such things, nor even that they can't make valuable contributions to such threads - I'm just saying that the main contributors that I see are, by and large, raiders.

    If the raiding population does disappear, the community may very well lose many of the best sources of knowledge in the game, and I can see that being one of those intangibles, the loss of which would make the game poorer.

    (PvMPers seem to be a good source of combat knowledge as well, and they're the other group that is feeling neglected and may start to disappear from the game as well.)

    All that said, if raiders do leave the game because they're not getting the content they want, and it leads to (or is caused by) raiding content not being developed at all, the loss of such an intangible may not even be noticed, because for most non-raid content in the game all one really needs to know is how to turn on auto-attack, and perhaps hit a random skill every now and again for fun.

  20. #20
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    I like to raid been doing it since lvl 50 one thing is for certain. When you raid with the same folks in kin or anyone you know and you finish something that is difficult for many to achieve there is a certain relief, joy that is PRICELESS. I imagine a lot that raided t2c, Thaurlach lvl 50 and finished it @ level is overcome with joy. I think the first time we finished a difficult raid the vent literally kicked us out for blowing it up. This feeling of real accomplishments is HEALTHY. It strengthen the bonds of players in game to play more, improve more. Camaraderie is something worth more than getting more players to subscribe then have them eventually leave. Also players have some distinct goal, hey i need to improve on this and that, then i'm ready.

    If players don't have a hard goal to achieve why would they bother to take their time to improve. Personally I had seen lvl 85s traiting with lvl 1 virtues and just facerolling raids left and right. THEY don't even update their lvl 75 weapons. Why? There are no more dreads as a penalty for dying. Undoubtedly easy raids. No more difficulties, no more consequences. Just absolute "fun"?

  21. #21
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    I'm a 'raider' and a 'soloer'. I enjoy both activities. I don't let either one paint me into a corner.

    Truth is, the foundations of the community were laid in a subscription-based model. In those days, the designers tried to cater to as many audiences as possible, because that meant maximizing subscriptions. Subs and expansion sales were the only way for them to make money from LotRO, so they cast as many nets as possible. Raiding, pvp, solo friendly gameplay, role-playing, lore immersing, crafting, group instancing, player music, etc, etc, etc.

    Then they switched to a F2P model and it's mighty tempting to cut back on some types of content and focus more on the more lucrative types of content. This will inevitably cause some audiences to feel or become alienated from the game they were initially attracted to. Hard feelings will abound, and have, between different audiences. But the foundations of the community encompass all of the initial audience types, and each type plays an important role in the community, which is the bedrock of the game.

    So yeah, raiders are definitely an important part of the community, as are all the other audiences that have been attracted to the game.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailedra View Post
    So, it's your belief that a company should provide a better product (this is assuming that all customers could agree what a "better" product is....I'm here to tell you, there's no way any consumer community, much less a gaming community, could ever reach that consensus), rather than a more profitable product?
    God help us when everything is blindly reduced to some numbers in the bottomline. This type of shortsightedness is why the game is in the state it is today.

    Ever heard of the Fermi National Laboratory? Particle physics, cost a gazillion to build and then to fund, doesn't provide the country with a single tax dollar, but creates the atmosphere of researching at the frontier of science and inspires new people to reach out to learn. So what's the point?

    In a congressional hearing about the lab's fundings a politician snarkily asked : "but does your particle accelerator contribute to the defense of the country?" To which, Robert Wilson, then the director of the Lab answered with : "No sir, but it makes the country worth defending."

    Having balanced classes doesn't directly make lotro a more profitable product, but it makes lotro worth playing.
    Having a decent housing system doesn't directly make lotro a more profitable product, but it makes lotro worth playing.
    Having festivals doesn't directly make lotro a more profitable product, but it makes lotro worth playing.
    Just like having decent raid contents, a functioning forum, balanced loot tables, easy ways to find groups, neato cosmetics, etc. etc.

    Some people would have us believe that it works the other way around, but the tail does not wag the dog. The question is and should always be : "What has Turbine done lately to keep us staying here?" instead of the opposite.
    The only thing worse than a company making bad decisions, is the apologists who cheer it on.

  23. #23

    Why I believe everyone is important to this game.

    From raider, to soloer, from the role player to strictly crafter, from grinder, to explorer from casual player to the exclusive LOTRO player every single person who brings venue, variety and fun to the game is important to the game's survival. Putting one preference up against another would only bring disputes and disagreements. We, different playstyles, co-exist in this game and co-exist we must because the minute one claims one group is more important to the game than the other, we begin losing our respect for our fellow players and think our demands are more important than the rest.

    Thats why I believe every player is important to this game.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    From what I've read, it seems to me that pretty much every agrees that raiders do play an important role.
    I would agree, the problem comes when raiders demand exclusivity to content and argue they're indispensable to the game and should be treated better than everyone else.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuvela View Post
    From raider, to soloer, from the role player to strictly crafter, from grinder, to explorer from casual player to the exclusive LOTRO player every single person who brings venue, variety and fun to the game is important to the game's survival. Putting one preference up against another would only bring disputes and disagreements. We, different playstyles, co-exist in this game and co-exist we must because the minute one claims one group is more important to the game than the other, we begin losing our respect for our fellow players and think our demands are more important than the rest.

    Thats why I believe every player is important to this game.

    Exactly, succinctly, absolutely this.

    +rep

 

 
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