I’ve been pretty quiet here on my blog recently, and for pretty good reason. I’m angry. Well, actually, that’s an understatement. I’m down right pissed off. And up until now I’ve figured it was better to just stay quiet so I don’t upset anyone or ruffle any feathers, because I don’t like arguments or being yelled at. But you know what? Fuck that.
The WoW community can be absolutely amazing at times, especially when it comes to fundraising (like the Gnome Run, or the pets in the Blizzard store that give to charity) or helping group people together, like for the moose mount. One of my favourite times has been on twitter with us all watching the Legion trailer at Blizzcon, and watching everyone lose their shit when the transmog announcements were made. It was amazing and so much fun. But it was short lived, and it seemed people fell back in to a toxic cycle of negativity that just gets worse and worse.
The mob mentality I’m seeing at the moment is awful. People are so quick to jump on the bandwagon of negativity. One of the recent “issues” was about the max draw distance changing in WoW. All it took was for a handful of people to (incorrectly) talk about this and everyone and their dog lost their shit, saying that it was crap and that they wouldn’t be able to play anymore. My voice was tiny in this mob of angry villagers and would not be heard, and I felt awful. I felt small and awful and eventually silenced. (For what it’s worth – the max draw distance was changed so that a console command couldn’t be used to zoom out by huge amounts. This was used by a very small number of people in the game (myself included). What they did do was actually increase the max draw distance available in the UI itself, which is what the very vast majority of people use. Which means if you didn’t use the console command, your zoom out has actually been increased.) This is just one small example.
This used to be funny to me. I used to be amazed at how quick people were to get angry about changes in a computer game. I used to laugh it off. But now… well now I’m just exhausted from trying to keep being positive. Now I feel like my voice doesn’t even matter (it probably never really has, but I liked to hope that I helped even just 1 or 2 people get excited about things in the game).
I’m tired of it. I am tired of constantly getting super excited about something in World of Warcraft, only to be surrounded by a sea of negativity, saying that it’s crap, that Blizzard are useless and don’t listen, that their lives are over and it’s all Blizzards fault. Really? I’m tired of this behaviour being labelled as “passionate” instead of what it really is – a rude, whingy, entitled & moronic behaviour.
And I am really fed up with being made to feel like I’m an idiot because I’m a fan of the game and don’t get up on my fucking high horse and preach hatred every time something changes. You know why I don’t do that? Because there’s no reason to! If Blizzard want to change something in the game, or bring in something new or remove something that doesn’t work, they can do that because it’s their product. I will continue to buy their product because I continue to enjoy it. If there comes a day where the changes don’t suit what I like and I’m no longer having fun, then I will stop buying it. It’s as simple as that. I shouldn’t be made to feel like I’m less of a person because I get excited about the game, and because I acknowledge this is a commercial product.
Do you know how lucky we are? We are so fortunate to play a game where the developers actually get us, the players, involved in the development of new expansions. How many other companies do that? How often are we given the opportunity to make a contribution like that, where our contributions can actually shape what happens in the game? And yet people sit here thinking that it’s the “least they could do”. Excuse me? Just because you purchased a product does not give you the right to dictate how future products are developed. When was the last time you got to have a say in how the bread you buy from your supermarket was baked? Or how your car was built? You are not entitled to anything more than what Blizzard choose to give you as part of their product. It’s how commerce works. To actually get a chance to contribute to WoW is a fucking privilege, and a lot of people would do well to remember that.
And I will continue to preach this until I am blue in the face:
World of Warcraft is supposed to be entertainment. This is supposed to be an escape. You are supposed to enjoy this, because it is a game and games are supposed to be fun. If you are not having fun stop playing the game. No-one is making you play it, and no-one is forcing you to stick around if you don’t want to. But if you are going to play the game, don’t ruin it for everyone else with your shitty attitude.
It’s all well and good to say “just ignore it – you keep being you”, but there’s only so many times you can be punched in the face before you start losing the ability to smile. And baby, my smile is wavering.
I’m tired of the default response being “if you don’t want to see it, then block them/don’t go on the internet/stay away”. NO. No, no, no. If people like me – people who want to see the best in this game and who want as many people to enjoy it as possible and want to talk about it positively – if we leave because of the shitty attitude of others, who will be left? What will be left? The attitude should not be “this is just how it is”. The attitude should be “this kind of behaviour is not ok – we need to do better.”
And why should I have to remove myself and change things about myself to allow others who are making a negative impact on the community have a louder voice? Why should I miss out on watching interviews with the game developers I have a great deal of respect for because of the awful comments section? Why should I have to turn off chat channels in game because of trash in these channels, potentially missing out on being able to actually help someone? Why should I have to change my behaviour?
The only behaviour I’m changing is keeping quiet, because I am so done. There are so many actual problems in the world that people are (very rightly!) upset about. Changes to a computer game are not the end of the world. They just aren’t. And I just can’t sit here and be quiet while so many people insist on bringing down everyone around them with their constant negativity and bullying attitudes. So I’m not going to. I’m going to be loud about my love for the game. I’m going to be loud about the things that make me happy. And maybe other voices will join mine and we can be loud together and just have fun.