Thursday, April 30, 2009

And we all become like smoke

It's happening everywhere. One blog after another is dropping off the face of the planet. In many cases, the people are still in the game, but they've lost interest in blogging about it. In other cases, they're dropping out of the game, and why blog about something that you don't do any more?

I'm starting to feel like I land somewhere in between "done with blogging" and "done with the game".

Looking back, even when our guild was being torn apart by drama and we were failing one attempt after another on Maiden, it was fun and interesting. Now, when similar things happen, I can't even bring myself to blog about it. Our guild did go through another upheaval, and we've been bashing against our first Naxx bosses, and I haven't said word one about it. In fact, we downed our first two Naxx bosses two nights ago, as a guild, and I haven't said squat. Jasra got a belt and everything.

I started to blog about the big bruhaha around Curse and WoWI's blocking of WoWMatrix (and also WUU, by the way). It's still in draft form. I realized that no matter which side you fall on, that's the side you're on and you won't see reason either way. They're either evil or they're justified (I would also add: bad programmers, but that's just how I roll).

I have a mostly complete How to Huntard entry on Pets. It's still in draft form, for at least a month. Even then, though, there was a voice in the back of my head. Why bother? Nobody will care about something that isn't a cookie-cutter recipe they can follow.

So many topics, so many aborted posts.

And then there's Noble Garden.

I started to blog about that, too. About how Blizzard has taken something that was fun, and used it to give satisfaction and justification to people who have an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. (That big purple drake? Meaningless. It's a welfare epic as far as I'm concerned) The other day, I went to one of the lowbie towns just to watch. You should, too. Watch your fellow players. Just watch. I've seen behavior like that before, but it wasn't from a group that would flatter the people that I was watching, I can assure you. Selfish, grabby, rude ... adjectives fail me. Adverbs too. I've rarely been so ashamed to be with a group of people as I was just being logged on in that place at that time.

Within our own guild, I see the same thing. One player the other night refused to come to the instance with the rest of us, but instead insisted that we summon him when we were all there. Wasn't my run, so I didn't kick him, but in retrospect I wish I had walked out of that run right here. I was part of the problem, that night, but I failed to live up to my own standards just to avoid more "drama".

A feeling has been building, permeating my gaming experience since the release of the expansion. Blizzard has gone to what seems to be extraordinary lengths to make the game less interesting and less satisfying to those that like to work for their accomplishments. They have implemented a lot of great stuff, such as phasing, and yet time and time again they have opened the game to griefers and slackers, making any accomplishment you might achieve meaningless, except in how much asshattery you might be willing to tolerate (hello, SoH dailies!).

Finished Naxx? Did that in a PuG. In one night? That too. Ulduar? Give it time. Didn't get the drops you wanted? Go buy them. It's all about the benjamins, baby. People don't matter. Loyalty doesn't matter. Effort is overrated. All you have to do is click faster than the other guy.

Even the armor is homegenized. I can't believe that I actually miss the clown suit days of BC, but I do. There is nothing in the armor I wear that is any different than any number of epic drops from any number of bosses. It all looks alike. How can you be proud of what you've done when there is no visible indication at all of it? Unless they /inspect you they have no idea if what you're wearing is PvP gear, Naxx gear, crafted, quest item, or welfare.

Little by little, the fun is being sucked out of the old game.

It hasn't reached the point where I'm dropping out of blogging or the game just yet. But the day may be closer than ever before. Maybe you feel the same way; know that you are not alone and that it's OK to be pissed off about it. Your perceptions aren't skewed - it really is that bad. Too many people have said as much. Too many people have given up on this game. More people every day are looking at the  login screen and saying "Meh. I think I'll go play Civ 4 today, that sounds like more fun."

There is nothing I can do to stem the tide. Blizzard only understands the bottom line, and me leaving won't be noticed if another million people start playing between now and then. As a group, yes, we could make a dent, but it's obvious to me that most people in the game now are the kind that do not care, as long as they get that title and that drake and whatever else that the game owes them. Chances are, people like us are already leaving and nobody can notice. We are insubstantial to the bottom line viewpoint.

Thus, leaving the game is less a form of protest than it is a funeral service. It has a sense of finality to it. If that analogy holds, then perhaps I'm starting the mourning process. Maybe this is the time between when the corpse is on the slab, and in the grave.

The good news is that there should be a wake between those two points. I hope it's a good one.

On the other hand, once I get this out of my system, perhaps I'll be ready to go on, delusional or not.

WTB fun.

Nota bene: comments are disabled. I'm not looking for sympathy or justification, nor am I interested in a debate.