I shouldn’t read the official forums. I’ve known that for a while. I am rarely ever left happier for having read them. They occasionally increase my knowledge of the game, but it’s a bit like reading tech news all the time – you have to sift through so much drek and crap to stay on top of things, it’s honestly better to just ignore it and give up the idea of “being informed.”
Screw being informed. I’d rather be happy.
And it’s not just that they’re a cesspool of grammar, of bad reasoning, of really bad arguments. Because they can be. (To be fair, they can also be quite civil – time on the New Player forums has helped me see the good side of the forums, and why they are a good thing.)
The bad arguments make my job as a blogger easier, if nothing else. I guess.
It’s not even the overpowering sense of entitlement which comes through every post that starts with “Blizzard has all this money, they should fix my pet peeve.” It’s not that they shouldn’t fix your pet peeve, it’s that it’s the worst possible argument you can make for them to fix it.
Seriously, how does anyone expect that to work? Who tells a company, “you have a lot of money, so you should do X?”
Let me rephrase. Who tells a company that and expects them to actually do it? Jesus christ, do none of you people saying this know how to sell an idea? Hey company, you should do X because:
- It will make you more money!
- It will keep making you money!
- It will be really cool and your competitors will be jealous and copy you!
- And then you can sue them and make money!
- It will save you money!
- It will save you money AND make you money at the same time!
- It will get you laid!
- It will get your users laid!
- It will screw your competitors!
- It will get the auditors off your back!
- It will get the government off your back!
- It’s the right thing to do!
Please note the lack of:
- You have a lot of money! Spend it!
because that doesn’t sell shit. Don’t tell a company how to spend their money. Give them an actual fucking reason to do it.
(n.b. Fertilizer is sold in bags that stress how much better your plants will grow using it, and why you should buy this brand of shit instead of a different brand of shit. Seriously, look at organic fertilizer packaging sometime.)
No, the real reason I shouldn’t read the forums – the PvP forums especially, but pretty much any of the scary forums – is because …
It’s because I find myself starting to agree with them.
I don’t even know what to say when I realized this. I had to step away from the internet for a day or so just to get over how I could actually agree with a lot of the points expressed in such a poor fashion. Not all of them, but there are some points which are really, really valid.
I’ll go ahead and link one of the posts, creatively titled Blizzard’s Total Disregard for PvP, and just say that I disagree with almost the entire tone of the OP’s posts and a third of his arguments – and yet, I agree with the sentiment behind it. Hell, I agree with most of the points!
I wrote three posts in a row on CBM that captured that bitterness I was feeling as a player, of being told “this is important” when the actions didn’t show that it was. I didn’t like that bitterness, not one bit. So I resolved to try to be more positive, not because Blizzard deserved it, but because I did, and you did, and people coming across my blog for the first time did.
But I realized something, something that came out when I ranted a bit about Azuremyst Isle – sometimes it’s okay to say, look, this isn’t very good. It wasn’t done well. It wasn’t handled well. It’s not designed well. I can still like playing this game, but man, this isn’t designed well.
Here’s a forum topic which actually spells out that hey, here’s how this PvP shit is broken, and that when you say that you care about endgame PvP, well, your actions don’t match your words. The post is rude, it’s insulting, it complains too much – but I certainly can’t dispute the points made within it. The points about PvE gear, especially Legendaries, in Rated PvP, are spot on. Why is this shit still happening? This is a solvable problem – if it’s important to solve.
And that depresses me. A lot.
The last few weeks have found me Leaving the Endgame Behind, and you know what? I’m pretty happy with the direction my gaming has taken. Yeah, I’m dinking around on twinks. Yeah, I find level 70 PvP more fun than endgame PvP. I’m wondering if I’ll ever really get another toon up to 85 who isn’t there for professions – and even then, why should I bother with that?
But when I read about the latest on BG balance, or how AV weekend sucks (seriously? It’s like raining free honor all weekend, you get to have me tank Drek for you, how could it suck?), or the latest exploits in the rated BG system – and I’m like, wow, this really doesn’t sound like fun.
Then I get sad again, because I want, so very much, for BGs to be fun for people. And they are, still! But many of the criticisms are valid. (Yes, even about AV, and you know how I feel about AV.) And for a while, I’m reminded of how much I enjoyed many of those things before all the problems piled up and made me go – no more. This isn’t fun anymore. This isn’t how I want to spend my time.
I guess my first reason to avoid the forums was the right one, after all.