"There are no morons in WoW. There are only jerks who think that because they spent too much time with the game and now wear purple pixels and get high numbers on gearscore and damage meters, they now have the right to call other players morons. For Blizzard it is infinitely wiser and more profitable to kick out the jerks than to kick out the players with lower gearscore and damage meter position."
Comment by Tobold, seemingly in response to a torrent of elitists and jackasses.
Even before seeing this I wanted to write a response to the topic. Earlier comments gave insight, even if they were not insightful. This one struck me as particularly informative of what is going on.
"I think a lot of players are angry because this is just another in a long list of things Blizzard has done which show open contempt for people who are good at the game."
Contempt? Blizzard spends countless hours fine-tuning content and classes to retain challenge. Arenas are one big nod to skilled players, a place where they are able to rise to a place where they can compete with other skilled players, free from bad players, and are rewarded for it. Class balance is most important for the skilled and hardcore (I am not linking them, just saying that they have a common interest here), since they are the ones who are most able to see the effects of imbalance and are therefore most harmed by it. Bad players are largely irrelevant to balance and the reverse, even if bad players often complain about balance, even when they are correct, the complaints are not due to balance, but due to being bad.
Is WoW changing to better suite bad players? Yes. Absolutely. Games in general are. That isn't contempt for good players.
But complaining that a game is playable by bad players, seemingly suggesting that they shouldn't be able to play, well that just might be contempt for bad players.
But it's okay right? I mean, why not mock and degrade bad players? After all, they are bad players. Well first off, while there are certainly areas of overlap in real life and virtual world skills, WoW, and games in general, are still games. This isn't to say they are irrelevant or a waste of time, but merely that it is ridiculous to attempt any sort of large-scale social ordering based on gaming ability. But second, don't be a dick.
Also, John, this was stupid: "Much like how socialism damages society immensely."
Tell me how much better society is when you don't have the socialist police protecting you, the socialist firemen keeping fires from spreading, and the socialist military keeping out the Chinese army. Or is that the type of socialism you like? Weird.
There was one particular comment that I found to be accurate and worth thinking about:
"Variable difficulties makes sense ONLY if you can variable goals or methods in the game. Since Wow only has one goal -- item level -- variable difficulties for getting the same reward can never be construed as "fair"."
This certainly seems true now. But what about in the long term? In time gear could be entirely decoupled from skill and experience. This sounds strange in the current paradigm, but I think that once we found ourselves immersed in it, we'd think it just as absurd that gear would ever be an absolute measure of status.
One last bit, I finally found this old post of mine about attempting to measure any real life value by in-game performance. Well it was mostly about other stuff, but read it anyway.