Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pleasant Surprises

This is the first in what will (hopefully) be a series of positive posts. While it's understandable all things considered, I don't think I've ever seen the WoW community so negative. About a bunch of different stuff. Anyway, I think a few posts with a positive vibe are in order.

Today I'm writing about a few parts of the game that have become pleasant surprises for me. Things I like, or do, more than I thought I would.

Beast Mastery: For a guy who has "survival" in his blog's title, I play a shit ton of beast mastery these days. I like the pets (finally tamed Gara this week) and the play style. I used to dismiss BM as just a spec with one overpowered dot. The current iteration of BM is incredibly fun for me. It is an excellent balance of easy and skill. As long as I manage my pet appropriately, my dps will be ok. But BM adds just enough RNG and buff stacking to be really interesting. I love how Focus Fire works these days so much that I'm glad they adjusted the set bonus so it won't just always be up. Way more fun in it's current version. I'm so all in on BM that I recently changed all my enchants to mastery. My pet does a lot of damage. And Beast Cleave on Kromog? Super fun.

Pet Battles: When pet battles were announced I said, "Neat. I'll never do that. Ever." Then I did a few just to get some easy achievement points. Then I did a PvP battle to see what that was like. Then I wanted a rematch. Then I was close to some more achievements. Now I'm installing add-ons just to manage pet breeds. So yeah. I love pet battles. PvP pet battles are ridiculously fun. I don't care so much about collecting a million pets, but I really enjoy putting some oddball teams together and seeing how they do in PvP. I do have a few gripes about pet battles, but this is a positive post. The point is, no one is more surprised than I am about  how often I pet battle.

Fishing: Fishing in Warlords is pretty fun. More fun, and useful, than it's ever been before. Not a lot else to say about it, I mean, it's fishing guys.

I never thought I would enjoy any of these things. Just goes to show you shouldn't prejudge stuff!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Public Relations 101

Ask any politician or public relations professional, and they will tell you damage control is done on Fridays. If circumstances are forcing you to drop bad or embarrassing news on your audience, you do it on a Friday. Always on a Friday. The Friday of a holiday weekend is even more preferable. See, people don't usually watch the news on Fridays, or the weekends for that matter, so the hope is that by the time people come back from their weekends things will have moved on. Maybe other news will eclipse the bad news, or people will be more interested in talking about the new movie they saw, etc.

Blizzard announced the death of flying on, wait for it, a Friday. A Friday that began a holiday weekend in the US. Personally, I'm not that upset about the flying decision. I feel like it is a decision that has been settled at Blizz HQ for a while, and they have been putting off making the announcement because they feared the blowback. The way they used common damage control tactics such as the timing reinforces this point.

I don't bring this up to criticize Blizzard in any way. They pay PR people to do exactly this kind of thing, and there is nothing wrong with it. I bring it up to show that Blizzard knew a long time ago how this decision would be received by their customers. They knew that when they eventually had to tell us that flying was gone, it would be a shit show. Because, contrary to what you have read over the weekend, they do in fact listen to us. The merits of flying or no flying aside, I keep reading that Blizzard is out of touch, doesn't listen to the players, and has no idea how to make a good game anymore. They do listen. They knew how much Twitter rage, I quit manifestos, and personal attacks they were about to endure by announcing the removal of flying because they are aware of the WoW player base. Just because they didn't do what you asked does not mean they didn't listen to you. They listened to you enough to know to announce bad news on a Friday like the pros that they are.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Burnout Is Like Aggro

If you get it, it's your fault. Not your raid leader's fault. Not your garrison's fault. And it's not Blizzard's fault either. Take some responsibility for your actions. If you are burnt and not enjoying the game then it's time to change your behavior instead of bitch about game design or content release cycles.

Ok, this is the post I'm sure every Community Manager at Blizzard has written at least once and then deleted so they could keep their job. But I don't work at Blizzard so can write it for them.

Stop it. Stop. Now. Whatever part of WoW you're still doing even though you don't enjoy it anymore-stop. It's really that simple. I was burning out on raiding during MoP. So I took a very long break from it. Now I'm having more fun raiding (with a much smaller time commitment) than I ever have before.

You should know better. If you're old enough to read you should already realize that doing the same thing over and over again (with a few exceptions) GETS BORING! I am so fucking sick of seeing on Twitter, blogs, and in chat some version of "OMG I just got my 9th lvl 3 garrison and can't take it. Garrisons are broken. They are a prison!" Garrisons aren't broken. You are. What the hell did you think was going to happen? Are you really, truly, surprised that doing 9 sets of missions and work orders and daily quests is kind of repetitive and boring? If you honestly didn't see that coming you're a moron. Sorry, but sometimes the truth hurts. And the whole "prison" metaphor has to be really insulting to the millions of nonviolent Americans currently in real prisons. There's no fucking Pepe in prisons, kids.

Same with the legendary quest. While there are some very legitimate complaints about the quest itself, if you're on your second, third, or fourth character doing it, you have no right to complain and I don't want to hear you do so. You knew exactly what you were getting yourself into. My alts will never have the legendary. It would be nice, but I know I would detest doing it. So guess what? I'm not doing it. And when I log into my alts I enjoy doing so. I got bored with playing the auction house, so I scaled back my auctions considerably. Now, when I do auctions on the weekends I have fun. Notice a pattern here?

Many players, including myself, have spent a lot of energy criticizing this expansion. And we have had some very good reasons. But burnout isn't one of them. And it isn't new or tied to garrisons (remember daily quests in MoP or reputations in Classic?) If you are burned out it's your fault. The good news it it is also easy to fix. Think about what parts of the game you still actually enjoy. Keep doing them. Stop with all the other stuff at least for a while. Harness some personal responsibility for your actions. At the very least if you can't show some restraint at an all-you-can-eat fish fry, don't blame someone else for your stomach ache.