Bravo, Tobold

| Monday, February 7, 2011
"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.


Anonymous said...

Tobold is wrong when he says there aren't morons, there very much are in this game (try telling someone if they change their rotation up a bit they will get a lot more dps, you get one of two response "stfu up newb" or "thanks" in about 50/50 split). However the people complaining about luck of the draw for heroics ARE morons themselves. I don't care that full pugs get to do heroics easier, heck i am happy when i go with my tank and healer we get a 10% buff to run the place faster.

Anyone who wants the 4 hour heroics that were the first 2 days of cata for the entire cata expansion has entirely too much time on their hands or needs to find more to do in game.

I don't know anyone in a higher end guild that is anything BUT happy about this for when they run outside guild groups. Nerf heroics as much as they want and give raid content 2-3 months before they start nerfing it and i am happy.

Nils said...

In my opinion, the only reason to complain about the Luck of the Draw is that it doesn't make any sense. For people who consider WoW a series of minigames and like it this way, this isn't much of a problem. You start minigame, minigame fun. mission accomplished.

However, for people who would like to play in a virtual world this is (another) game-breaking problem. Needless to say that I belong to last group. My latest WoW break began a week ago.

Anonymous said...

The nerf is ONLY about purple (or blue) pixels. It's a way for everyone to get the same rewards regardless of what you do. The "morons" in this case is people that are disgruntled because they cannot get the shiniest shinies regardless of what they do.
My 9-year son is like that, when he enters cheatcodes in games to be able to get rewards without playing the game.

There is already a variable difficulty -
Normal and Heroic. Heroics are supposed to be harder.

This kind of nerf destroys heroics for people who want to have the intended challenge but need to do it in a pug.

Korhaug said...

If wotlk has proven one thing, it's that people will only play as well as they have to. Even players who were capable of CC and focus DPS lolnuked their way through instances, because they could.

Difficult content is the only thing that causes players to improve. Blizzard have consciously given up on pressuring players to get better, and are instead nerfing content to the point where it can be lolnuked again. While the manner in which they're doing it is well thought it, the bottom line is the same.

And you know what? Raids -are- next. Most trade channel pugs fail to kill a single boss in BWD/BoT even on normal. The only logical conclusion is that the next raid tier will either be much easier (TOC) or self-nerfing (ICC).

Klepsacovic said...

@Anonymous: I edited my post near the end to add a bit about the limits of measuring people based on a game. There's also an earlier one about the limitations of text and how easily it is misinterpreted, that may explain some of the apparent stupidity or stubborness. On top of that, people in general are not eager for unsolicited advice from strangers, which is what we all are these days.

@Nils: What is breaking the world with this?

@Anonymous: For most games the reward is the play itself. I applaud your son for finding a way to enjoy the game. Maybe in time he will find the fun of challenge, or maybe not, no problem either way.

The problem with the heroic-normal split is that heroics and hardmodes are not merely harder, but just plain more interesting. I learned this when I started in ICC hardmodes and found that they added depth to the fights, seemingly making them more complete.

@Korhaug: Raids have been getting their periodic nerfs since BC.

When pushed, some players will get better. Others will quit, not because they are lazy or stupid, but because that isn't what they're looking for in a game. WoW can be many thing to many people, but not all things to all people, so someone will always be left out. For years it was less determined players players. Lately it's a different group.

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