Green Armadillo over at Player vs. Developer has a post up that you should read. Short version: Klepsacovic is wrong because he blames cross-server when the real problem is the lack of focus (by the devs and therefore players) on anything beside loot. Certainly a legitimate point.
Cross-server groups are not the cause of forced integration. Nor are they the cause of people wanting to hurry through instances. But they are the cause of other problems: social problems, or more accurately, the loss of social factors which helped to moderate some of the loot-caused problems.
What did same-server groups ever do for us, anyway? Beside aqueducts.
Let's go through a scenario of a really awful, miserable PUG. Zone in and, oh look, that guy has terrible gear. These days that means he's going to slow you down. But what if instead that meant a potential guild recruit? Invite him, throw him some otherwise disenchanted scraps, and maybe you've gained a member. Not guaranteed, but there is that little mitigating factor, so maybe we're just that much less annoyed by his gear.
Someone has screwed up and now you're all dead. Frustrating, isn't it? But look, some people have stayed. Hm. Perhaps the person who doesn't ditch an instance on the first wipe might do the same in a raid. Worth seeing if they need a guild. Again, not a guaranteed gain, but a slight possible benefit from what would currently be a purely bad situation.
Did that other guy just ninja all the loot? What an ass. Thankfully, since he's on our server, we can at least flame him in trade chat. I've seen people get gkicked for that sort of behavior. Of course now there's zero ability to retaliate. That lack of ability to retaliate, that lack of consequences, encourages future bad behavior.
What is going on here? Are players forgetting about loot? No. Never. But what is happening is that there is some degree to which future loot is dependent on behavior now. Reputations can matter when we're not all perpetual strangers.
Social factors are not a cure-all. They will not perfectly fix related problems and will have no benefit at all for unrelated problems. But they can have a positive effect. A limited effect, perhaps, but it would be folly to simply ignore them because they are not the entire problem.
Of course the big problem remains the loot-obsession, but I don't see that getting fixed ever in WoW. It's the foundation of the game at this point. Maybe it's not even a problem except in the eyes of a vocal and whiny minority.
Let's pretend we get to fix one big thing. What are we going to do? Beside loot, there is the problem of what to do to give raiders something to do if they aren't raiding. Apparently not logging in isn't a solution.
But whatever the solution is, I'm going to be looking at the developers to fix it, not the players, since it's easier to target an ultralisk than eleven million zerglings.
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