Saturday, October 16, 2010

The way it was

… “Suddenly, I looked up and this beautiful dancer is leaning down over the stage, and looking right into my eyes. And she said: 'Whatever it is, it can't be that bad.' And then she kissed me [points at forhead] - right here.

Mr. Garibaldi. Whatever it is, it can't be that bad!

-- Ambassador Londo Mollari,

Babylon 5,

“A Voice in the Wilderness”

Ennui has debuffed most of the blogosphere. It goes from petty grumbling to bitter recriminations, questioning the ability of the Blizzard programming team to do even a calculator program in Visual Basic.

The blogosphere, of course, is populated by drama queens. It lives on drama. Drama is the only nourishment that the blogosphere really has to offer, at times. You have to work very, very hard to get something as useful and worthwhile as a class guide to get the same kind of legs that a petty, whiny rant will get. A petty, whiney rant will get you page views a-plenty, the sycophants (if you have them) will come by to fluff your buff, and two or three will go on to produce similar but totally unique takes on the same subject.

Woe betide you if you call them on it. They will attack your class, your spec, your character, your choice in gear, gems, enchants - anything but defend their words, because they know, as you do, that they are indefensible.

This happens every single time that Blizz makes rule changes. All of the elements are there, same as the last two times. (Three if you count Vanilla’s debut.)

  • The tears of << insert class here >> who think they were unjustly nerfed.
  • The angry recriminations against Blizzard’s inability to program their way out of a wet paper bag. (Obviously)
  • The indignation at Blizzard’s obvious personal agenda against you, your class, your guild, your server, your preferred play style (pvp vs pve, for example)
  • The threats to, or outright, /ragequits
  • Personal attacks on one or more forum moderators for no good reason. (I kid not)

… and so forth. I’d go on, but garbage makes me woozy. It’s the smell.

At any rate, this happens as inevitably now as it did then. We will even get it in three doses, this time. 4.0.1 is the first pass. We will get more on 4.0.3. And I guarantee you we will see more QQ yet again when Cata rolls out.

You can’t help it. You can’t stop it. You can’t be the voice of reason, because they aren’t interested in reason.

All you can do is focus on what makes the game fun for you. Let these people have their fun, and mark them for what they are. Note who focuses on weathering the storm, posts on subjects that aid in that effort, and mark them, too. They are the future (or present) superstars that will be worth more than a casual read as the game continues.

It’s a cataclysm out there, folks. Things are supposed to be turned upside down. Your challenge is to re-engage your toons, your class, the game itself – and explore the possibilities. They’re taking us out of our comfort zone. We can do more than survive it. We can flourish.

But only if we stop bawling long enough to catch our breaths, and let a little oxygen hit the brainpan.

Now, I go to spread happiness to the rest of the station. It's a terrible responsibility, but I have learned to live with it.

-- Londo Mollari