I told myself I was going to stay out of it

I told myself I was just going to stay out of it.  Just let everyone shout and yell at the top of their voices and just get it out of their system.  But It has reached a point where I feel like I need to say something in an adult voice.

First.  I would like to formally appologise to any designer, artist, developer, that works at Blizzard for any comments I may have made over the years about design, art work, armor models etc.  It is not my place to criticize the work you put in to making a product.  I can either like it, or not.  That is my choice.  I play your game for many reasons.  Reasons I am sure that many others do not share, or even can comprehend.  I come from a different time than a great deal of people playing.  So if I have ever said anything that has come off as hurtful or condescending to anyone there, I am sorry.

For all of the players.  You should all just stop.  Stop with the threats, stop with the demands, just stop.  Let me try to make this as simple as possible.

This is a ball.

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You can play catch with it, you can play kick ball with it, soccer, dodge ball, any number of different things can be done with it.  It is a ball.  Yelling at it does not make it a Baseball, or a Football, or a Rugby ball.  It is simply a round ball.  And that is what WoW is.  WoW is a game.  It is our choice to do with it what we enjoy doing.  If it has a hole in it, we can say “Hey, I found a hole”, and they will patch it.  So if we find a broken quest, an item that is not working correctly, something that is broken, we bring it to their attention, they check it out, and fix it.  Yelling at them “I don’t like this ball!!!!”  Why?  Because it isn’t the ball I played with yesterday, I wanted a blue one, I need one to play Baseball, it does not matter.  This is the ball they are giving us to play with.  Period.  End of debate.

We have pushed them so far into a corner, they have, at least to my eyes, reached a point where they have had enough.  However, they are partially to blame by encouraging us over the years to comment about likes and dislikes to a point where we feel if we all say it loud enough they will change it.  And I think we have reached a final line in the sand where they have said, enough.

Blizzard makes a wonderful game, one that 10’s of millions of people have played over the years.  It is successful for some magical reason.  I just wish we all, as players, would stop flinging our poop at it in the hopes that they will change things to suit the way we want to play.  We can analyze and theorize how we interpret what we are supposed to do.  It is a process of learning and thinking.  When we do not grasp the concept or refuse to do it the way they want us to, it is partially some fault on their part by not outlining exactly what they have envisioned, but mostly it is on us for not thinking differently.  We look to web sites to tell us how to play, what gear to choose to do the best, what stats have priorities, so that we can play to the absolute best.  But that is just us looking for someone to tell us what to do.  And the answer is just the interpretation of a few people looking at numbers.

There is a feeling in playing you get.  A method of playing that feels right to you.  Is it going to be the optimal?  Probably not.  I think a lot of the feeling has left the game on both sides, everyone is so focused on the minuet details that they are all missing the grand picture.  We have become obsessed with getting that last 0.01% that we are forgetting to have fun.  And we lash out at the most trivial of things.

I think it would do everyone a world of good to just stop for today.  Seek out a favorite Blizzard employee(s) and just say, I am sorry, and thank you for all you do.

For any folks at Blizzard that may read this.

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9 thoughts on “I told myself I was going to stay out of it

  1. There is bashing and then there is critique. Players have the right to critique game design and believe their voices should be heard – this is a service they are paying for monthly in the case of WoW. The sub model has to have a certain level of trust because you are asking customers to pay up front and keep paying – the way they dodged around the flight question, the length for patches, the very minor patch that was 6.1, the 14 month draught before Draenor, the backpedaling on features that were supposed to be in Draenor, and the poorly thought out implementation of features like Garrisons have hurt this trust. A lot.

    That is a ball – a plain red ball. They advertised it as a ball with swords and shields on it. They took the swords and shields off it before it was time to be shipped. The ball once said to be big enough for kickball is only good for bouncing off the wall because that’s what they want you to do with it instead of playing it any other way. When there’s a hole that needs patching, they say they’ll get to it and just leave you to play with the deflated ball until they remembered that you need that hole patched. When you turn on the TV, you see a commercial about using the ball as a kick ball despite it being impossible. How can you trust any future products?

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    1. And then they told us we could throw the ball as well as kicking it. And we loved it. We kicked it and we threw it. Then they told us we could no longer throw it, only kick it, because it was more immersive.

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  2. Sometimes, an analogy can simplify its intended comparison too far. So far, in fact, that the intended point isn’t really applicable. I think this is the case here.

    I get your point. They make a product with its strengths and weaknesses. Accept the product or don’t.

    What this approach fails to take into consideration is the consciously constructed paradigm behind the game design. Blizzard publicly and repeatedly requests feedback. It is an “iterative process” that they continually and actively solicit opinion and impression from the game’s player base.

    Yes. There are people reacting emotionally, even so far as to potentially call it criminal (threats). That portion of the population’s inability to maturely discourse on the matter does not invalidate the other proffered opinions and commentary on the matter. Their existence doesn’t affect the original request for feedback and the provision of mature responsibly given feedback.

    Requests to “just stop” and “move on” from people who are weary of the discourse should unplug from the debate. People could have been away on holiday weekend and just learned the news, and they have a right to respond and provide said requested feedback. The size and volume of the response illustrates how this design decision effects so many people on such a fundamental level, that even 5 days later, there is still a large volume of people feeling the need to voice their opinion. I don’t think calls for silence and “get over it” serve the community, even if you are personally tired of the debate. Let the forces involved work themselves out, like any storm system, it just takes as much time as it does for the energy involved to dissipate.

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    1. I agree. It should be discussed in a rational well thought out manner. Some of the comments on that mega thread on the forums do just that. They explain the why, this change impacts them as a player.

      The just stop was a bit to broad a statement. More to the point would be stop berating then for a decision, stop with the I’m going to quit over this. Step back. Take a moment to articulate what it is about what ever subject you disagree with. Be it class design, quest/reputation grinds, level of difficulty, or even flying.

      I was trying to find a simple analogy to use. Perhaps I should have been more specific. The game is an ever evolving ever changing entity. It needs to change or people will eventually leave because it is stagnant. I agree we should express our opinions. It is just the manner many are doing it that is a problem.

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      1. Completely understand the sense of exasperation. Just imagine how the community managers feel after any week of work where class balance and numbers are tweaked.

        Generally, I find your observations worthwhile and constructive, which is why I return regularly to read your commentary. I just thought it would be prudent to caution you and those whom might read and agree with the desire to move on or get over it, that there is a real need for this to be hashed out in detail. Vociferous venting of emotion is a natural consequence when debating matters that have a lot of inherent meaning to people. As we ask others to find their most constructive voices, I think we ought to be asking ourselves to find our most patient ears, as well.

        For the record, I think leveling ground bound and max level flying (even gated behind a significant questline or achievement 1-2 patches into an expansion) is a health compromise between both camps. It gives blizzard its design space and longevity of that design space to maximize the return on their development investment, and gives the flight preferred players access to explore the world as they prefer, once the current content is trivialized/old. Best of both worlds, and while not everyone can be made happy. There are positions that could prove a greater satisfaction to the larger population.

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  3. I agree. And a few much more eloquent people have commented to the effect that having flying actually makes the world feel larger, because you want to go see what is over there. I do see there are some areas that they may want to keep us from just flying into, but that can be solved with barriers to flight. I enjoy having flying, I find myself exploring and doing more with it, than without, but for me to describe the pros and cons to it, I find myself at a loss for a detailed coherent posting.

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  4. Excellent posts sir, myself I have not muttered a word. I have my own feelings about The game, but what good is screaming and yelling at Tue people that put there blood sweat and tears into it. I guess it’s like if I buy a phone and dislike it I will not buy that model again I will go with something different.

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  5. A ball gets discarded when you no longer want to play it. The ball costs 1 or 2 dollars. So, there is little vested in the ball. It is simply a ball.

    A subscription based video game that you have paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for is not simple a BALL. Your analogy is very flawed. That is REAL money just for the game it’s self.

    If you started playing in November 2004 (with no lapses), and bought all the expansions when they were released at $40 a piece and $50 for WoD. That $2,170 just for the game itself. Then add taxes and what ever else. More likely to be $2250 with taxes and fees.

    Then add in Battle Pets, Mounts, etc in the mix and we are closing on $2500.

    DEFINITELY NOT A BALL and definitely NOT a NORMAL video game that you pay $50 once to play.

    World of Warcraft had grossed OVER 10 Billion (Billion With a B).
    Find me a ball that has grossed that much.

    We pay $15 a month. We should have some say in the game. If it was a once and done, then no, but if Blizzard wants us to continue give our money to them then they will have to listen to us.

    Have a Nice Day,

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