Don't Hate the Makers, Hate the Game

Burning Regions: the expansionSince Burning Crusade launced in January, I’ve read a lot about World of Warcraft despite not actually playing it anymore. One of the most apparent things I’ve seen is that there are even more complaints about class balance now then there were before the expansion released. It seems like Blizzard is really toying with spells, abilities, and talents as they seek that ever-elusive level of everyone complaining equally. Very surprising to me is that it has gotten to the point of players organizing in game riots and protests! Then I read over at AFKGamer a frack-ton of complaints about how Blizzard has messed up the game and Blizzard has neglected classes and is ruining any semblance of balance that there might have been.

This is a new world of videogaming, with MMO’s having frequent expansions, a slew of forums (even run by the companies) for players to ‘provide feedback’, and a crazy-ass fast paced world of technology where you can die just trying to keep up. This world is what leads to be people complaining again and again about Blizzard nerfing items, classes, and the game in general. It is not Blizzard that you should be complaining about, it is the game. If priests are too weak it is part of the game, if an item that used to be awesome is now crap it is inside the game, if your spell used to take 3 seconds to cast and do 500 damage and now it takes 10 seconds and does 30 damage, IT’S THE GAME. The entire problem with the player-base of World of Warcraft is that everyone complains to and about Blizzard and not enough people are complaining about the game. My response to all of these people is to stop playing!

If they are still playing, they will not take it seriously, they will even get angry and aggressive about it! If you even remotely hint that they should stop playing they will retort that something must have been wrong with your play experience. “Sounds like someone solo’d their way to 60.” “You didn’t play enough of the game.” NO. I simply got tired of all of the problems with the game, and especially all of the people complaining about those problems. Actually, I got more tired of the incessant complaints about things that aren’t really problems at all! Players will more readily accept that there is an issue with a class then that they simply do not now how to play it, and this leads to a lot of clutter about things that don’t really need fixing.

What needs to happen is a general re-alignment of people’s perceptions about MMORPG’s and the companies that create them. Do not complain about anything the company does, it’s their game and their decision, if you don’t like it – stop playing their game. They’ll get the idea. World of Warcraft is definitely a terrific game, one of the best, and it entertained me and my friends for hours, days, months, and years on end. The art, design, writing, originality, creativity, and allusions to all sorts of nerd-culture are fantastic; I really love the game to death. I just don’t play it anymore, and from the sounds of it most you shouldn’t either.

Comments

  1. What? Don’t blame me :(

  2. Glorious. Everything old really is new again.

  3. I don’t quite understand what you mean, Cake?

  4. If the makers screw up the game what’s wrong with hating them AND the game?

  5. But these people aren’t hating the game, they’re placing all of their disgruntlement on Blizzard rather then on WoW, that was my point.

  6. I think there is a middle-point of compalints that are irritating, and hurt the enjoyment of the game, but aren’t so serious as to quit. Complaining/petitions probably are suitable responses to this.

    Plus WOW is a nerd past time; and we all know that nerds are expert complainers. We all complain about the things we supposedly “love.” Television, books, comics, games… all we do is bitch!

  7. The biggest problem with all this, and my main complaint with MMO’s, is that unlike RTS’ and FPS’, you’re so invested in your characters that you are essentially locked in to the changes that the developer’s implement. If a patch gimps a certain weapon in an FPS or a faction in an RTS, you simply don’t play the gimped part of the game. In an MMO, you can’t switch from a DPS to a healer class just because all the healers quit, you have to freaking start over from level one.

    The one thing that keeps me coming back to WoW is the way it provides for informal cooperative gameplay experiences, which I’ve never been able to manage in an FPS. Surely there must be something I’ve missed all these years. Are there any games out there that allow you to partake in cooperative play, without requiring such an asinine grind just to be useful?

    (come on UT, get here quick)

  8. Mainly the second paragraph. I’m just awestruck you used the words “brave new world” in relation to shit as old as time. Or at least as old as EQ or UO. Seriously this is so been there done that it’s frightening.

  9. Ah I see, EQ came out in 1999 and UO came out in 1997, so that’s 8-10 years that this has been going on, which makes me view it as even more of a problem. People are continuing to play games that they view as being bad for years after they’ve gone bad, that’s tons of wasted time that they could be playing newer, better games. WoW was one of those better games when it came out, but not anymore.

    I’m going to assume you don’t -just- have a case of the “I’m cool cause I was there when…”s and ask: Does it not still apply today? I may have called it a “new world”, but relatively speaking it’s a recent occurence: with WoW breaking records and still growing strong, stuff like this may have been happening 8 years ago when EQ and UO were big, but not nearly to the scale that they’re happening now. Every video-game company is bussling to produce an MMO, taking a bigger and bigger chunk of the market away from offline games. I don’t see it as old as shit at all, but I may be viewing time in a slightly different frame then you.

  10. I’m not cool because I was there. I’m pretty sure that makes me a huge dork. I’m just saying this is all old hat. I don’t even see the point in publicizing it any more. Unless something hilarious happens that is. Like when SWG had that huge protest and they started blasting people into space or whatever. Or Abashi’s nonsense was kind of funny in a “this is so sad” kind of way.

    In short people will find something to be unhappy about and bitch about it in pretty much any situation. It’s not really worth the effort to complain about complaining, unless you have something constructive to say which in fact you didn’t. Moving the blame from the studio to the game itself is arbitrary, pointless and really does nothing to solve any problems. Really your entire article could be reduced to “If you don’t like it unsubscribe. Quit’cher’bitchin’.” There was no need to pretend that where you lay the blame did anything.

  11. Just as an addendum: I wholly endorse quitting when it isn’t fun. It’s just that giving it as advice couched in some lesson on how to ascertain which entity is in fact the one you should be blaming is pointless. Say your bit and get out. Then again I’m a pragmatist.

  12. Thank you for the more detailed explination, and I’m actually sorry that I didn’t get what you were trying to say entirely the first time. I also very much appreciate the constructive criticism, I tend to have the problem that I’ll write things on the fly and they come off as confusing and lacking in a good point at the end. I’ll look out for these things in the future, and if it can be summed up as “unsubsrcibe and quit’cher’bitchin” then I’ll do that.

    Pragmatists can have the best advice sometimes, especially when it comes to cutting out the fluff.

  13. I disagree. If you are playing an online game and enjoying it, then the programmers change something so as to make it less enjoyable… who is at fault?

    The game didn’t change itself, the programmers did it. If you liked playing one particular class and suddenly that class is next to worthless, wouldn’t you complain?

Trackbacks

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  2. […] of class-balance, I don’t agree it was as severe as many people have stated (especially not to the point of in-game petitioning). I was very irritated when I leveled my druid to 60 to find out they were a completely terrible […]