Bearwall alert and grumpy bear soapbox from hell

I knew it was bound to happen someday, and now it finally has.

Besides this being a Bearwall, that is.

I feel disconnected from what everyone else is talking about when it comes to WoW.

I read blog posts, WoW forum comments and blue responses, and I swear I don’t know what game some of these folks are talking about. What happened? Where the hell did I go, and what did I miss?

When I read blogs and forum comments, the narrative these days seems to be, “People in randoms suck and that makes them unplayable and it’s Blizzards fault, we beat LFR and thus the game, now there is nothing to do and it’s Blizzards fault, I got the best gear I can from LFR and valor so there is no point to playing anymore and it’s Blizzards fault, the game is boring to level an alt through again for the thirtieth time and it’s Blizzards fault, everyone hates pandas and thinks the lore of Pandaren is stupid so the next expansion is worthless crap and the death of WoW, Blizzard jumped the shark, game over man, game over.”

Apparently I missed the memo, spilled my cup of kool-aid, or don’t follow media reports closely enough to have been brainwashed into buying the narrative.

Silly me, I’ve been logging in and playing every night, and I have been SO busy with SO many things to do I am literally unable to do everything I’d like. There is just no time. I have to prioritize my fun to aim at the things I really want to do that I think will be MOST fun, and walk away from the game each night knowing I left some fun back there on the table. “If I’d just stayed up later, if maybe I only really needed 4 hours of sleep, maybe I could have taken home more of the fun last night.”

Why is it that so much of the discussion out there is about how dead the game is? I don’t even PvP, I haven’t done anything in the new Darkmoon Faire, and still there is just too much.

If a few people feel the game is dead, hey, I am truly sorry your game experience sucks. Paying money on a monthly basis to stare at the walls of Orgrimmar really would suck.  

But that’s not what I’m reading out there. I’m not reading a few individual people saying, “I feel like things are boring and dead”, I’m reading people making sweeping blanket statements like, “Everyone feels the game is dead, there is nothing to do, Blizzard you should…”

Here’s my take on the narrative. And when I say this, I am speaking MY opinion, and ONLY mine. YOUR EXPERIENCE MAY VARY, AND I DO NOT PRESUME TO SPEAK FOR YOU.

First, the “Pandas are Jumping the Shark” thing.

Pandas are WoW jumping the shark? Mists of Pandaria is fail, stupid, whatever?

Two words; Space Goats.

If you can really tell me with a straight face that disco-dancing space goats fleeing a demon horde across the endless dark, then crashing their spaceship city into a world was all fine and dandy, and a world breaking apart from the power of demonic forces but still retaining atmosphere and maintaining a self-sustaining ecosystem is spiffy, but martial arts pandas bringing balance to the force make you choke on your lore, I’ve got a face in a palm I’d like to show you.

What I’m saying is, that shark was jumped a long time ago. The Fonz jumped the shark while being pulled on his skies by a flying gnome-engineered helicopter.

What you have to do is get over it, and roll with it. If you didn’t quit then, why the hell would you quit now? The game is awesome anyway. Many whelps. Left Side. Handle it.

Second, the “WoW is boring, there is nothing to do” thing.

We’ve been over this ground before. Every period between content releases, we have this same discussion. And why?

Because there IS a period between content releases.

Until that far off distant day when new content is created as fast as or faster than it can be played through, there will always be times when new content was added, we played what parts of it we were interested in, and then wondered what to do until more new content.

Me, I suggest trying some other fine multiplayer game, such as Alpha Hex, when you are bored with the game you’re in.  

Would the lack of fresh monthly content even be an issue if folks didn’t pay a monthly fee, and thus felt entitled to a full months worth of fresh content every time their bank got tapped? I dunno, I don’t play any free-to-play games to have a perspective. Personally, I look at the game as being a real world that exists, floating in an alternate dimension, and I pay a monthly fee to visit, much like having to keep my passport up to date, but without the intrusive anal probes at customs.

My point is not to say that we should not get new content, or even to say that we are or are not getting new content at a satisfactory rate.

My point is that everybody is going to experience that content at a different rate based on their own available time to play the game, what parts of the game they are interested in, and how many friends they have to play with to serve as a force multiplier. it’s kinda hard to judge just how often is “often enough”.

To put this in a different perspective, I know a few folks that are upset at the quantity of new content we just got. It’s too much. They feel guilt at not doing everything that got released, but they don’t have the time. No, I’m not talking about me. 🙂

They feel like they SHOULD be doing all this new stuff like Darkmoon Faire and the LFR that came out, but they just don’t have time. This makes them feel bad, that they are being left behind, and I’ve heard it said they wish the content had been spread out over a few months instead of dumped all at once. 

And then there is the other side of the coin.

Just this last week someone in my guild logged in (cough, Dipro, cough) and complained about how bored they were and how there was nothing to do, and how Blizzard needs to release new raids right now, the game is boring and the new raids are boring and suck ass. 

Someone else replied that the Dragon Soul raid was almost brand new, and Dipro responded by saying “You run DS every week on LFR with four characters and tell me how fun that shit is. Blizzard needs to release a new raid.”

Really? Yes, really.

I try and give people the benefit of the doubt, but if someone runs a full 8 boss raid clear not once a week, not twice, but FOUR TIMES, and not just some weeks but every single week, then whose fault is it again if they burn out?

Blizzards, apparently, for not preventing him from being able to play too much, too fast.

Congratulations, we now have a classic example of where ideas like gating raids through quest chains and reputation grinds come from. Why? Because people either won’t or can’t take personal responsibility for living online, playing 24/7, and burning through the content in two weeks. If you want to do it, then fine by me, but where do you get off blaming Blizzard for it?

And as long as we’re talking about personal responsibility….

Finally, the biggest issue. Asshats in raids ruin the game.

I’m going to say it. This isn’t a “there are asshats in the game, Blizzard should get rid of them” issue.

This may surprise you, but the reason there are asshats in the game is that in the real world, there are a lot of people who are asshats. That is who they really are. They are asshats. They wear a hat on their ass, I can’t put it any plainer than that.

Or, as I used to say, “there are a lot of people who are alive in this world for no other reason than that it’s illegal to kill them.”

What many people don’t seem to grasp is how many asshats there are out there in the real world.

Most of the time, in the real world the asshats act like everyone else. Thank god they DO seem to be in the minority, so they hide who they really are by default in public. They do so because they get benefits out of being thought to be nice, or honest, or trustworthy, or mature, or dependable.

It all comes down to what is considered acceptable. If asshat behavior is acceptable, then asshats come out publicly. If it isn’t acceptable, then they hide, and feel other people out carefully to try and find other asshats in hiding that they can form a clique with.

In most modern companies, asshat behavior is written into employee manuals as unacceptable. Enough big companies have been sued successfully for toxic work envinronments that they have learned there is a monetary cost to allowing asshat behavior to run unchecked. If you act like an asshat you get written up, reprimanded, denied pay raises for not being a team player, lose out on promotion prospects, or get fired. Or sued for harassment or discrimination. Or get promoted to branch manager, if the culture approves of asshats and hasn’t been sued yet.

Why are there laws allowing for the sueing of a company based on a toxic work environment or for other issues dealing with respect and fair treatment? I feel, again, it’s because the asshats are in the minority. This is my own opinion, after all, you’re more than welcome to disagree. 

In most social groups, if you act like an asshat, people won’t hang out with you, you won’t get dates, at least until you find enough other asshats to form your own social group. And thus, the fraternity was born.  

Asshats tend to pretend to be what they are not, because as I said before, I truly believe most people are not asshats, and so the asshat minority hides what they really are so they can be accepted into the larger group and get what they want from others. If there is nothing they want from the other people around them, and there is no chance in their opinion that word of their behavior will get back to whoever they DO want things from, then they just act like an asshat, and say things like “I do what I want and to hell with what other people think”.

It really is all about what is acceptable. You want your guild to grow asshats like mushrooms after the rain? Asshats always make little ‘off-color’ remarks, are looking for other asshats to bond with, and so they feel other people out looking for other asshats in disguise. If they make overtures of asshattery in the guild chat channel that are received with approval instead of disgust, it gets a little bit more accepted in your guild. Other asshats in disguise may see that guy get away with it or be joked with, and feel it’s okay for them to come out a little as well. It spreads, it grows, it becomes accepted as part of the culture.

If that is who the majority of the guild people are, well, shit happens. But if not, then those who hate asshattery better be prepared to shut down that kind of behavior before it grows. I know I don’t want to play where asshat behavior is an accepted part of the team dynamic.

If asshattery become an accepted part of the guild culture, then when a non-asshat enters the environment, boom. Welcome to a toxic environment to be in, and you’ll lose the nice people fast. 

Am I talking about the real world, or the game world? Both. This all happens in the real world as well as WoW. Every day. And every different situation and environment you enter has the same underlying social dynamics going on. It’s just more obvious in WoW, where there are more opportunities to act without repercussions or long term consequences. Get too much of a reputation, get too many people friending you to track your name changes, and you can just make a new character or server transfer. In the real world, when people burn too many bridges they pick up stakes and move to a new town or state, job hop, switch regular bars or hangout places, whatever it takes to leave the consequences of their behavior behind.

For the purpose of this discussion, I’m lumping racists, sexists, jackasses, homophobes and all the other crap into one term; asshat.

When you come into World of Warcraft, all those same asshats are in the game. The game did not create them, it did not train them, they were not nice people until the game turned them into asshats. Asshat is their true inner person, their default state of being. They are only pretending to be nice to get what they want.

If they can get what they want AND act like an asshat, it is utopia. I have no idea what a guild formed solely of asshats would be like, but then again, I’ve never been in a fraternity, either. But hey, they don’t need a guild… they have LFD and LFR!

All those asshats, hiding behind their masks in front of their guilds… you get them on a cross server random BG or raid, surrounded by strangers, and let them loose. What happens?

You get people say all sorts of trash talking, people rolling Need on everything they can. Intentionally kill the Corruption tentacles to wipe Spine of Deathwing, again and again. Intentionally start encounters before they can be kicked, or before a full group can form. Pull oozes while people are still zoning in. Go afk in the middle of a fight, so if the group wins they got carried, roll need and leave with a sneer. Run addons that spam meters and spell activations until you can’t see actual text buried in the scroll going by.

LFD and LFR do not create asshats. Blizzard does not create asshats. They were there before, and the sudden lack of peer pressure and accountability encourages them to be themselves. The anonymity of LFD and now LFR did not create asshats, it just provided an opportunity.

I applaud every effort Blizzard makes to try and isolate asshats from affecting other players. The problem is, the convenience of LFR and LFD is just too damn sweet. For all our bitching about how LFR and LFD kill off server based communities, the fact is we all love the convenience of forming groups that don’t take all night sitting in one sitting spamming trade chat. We all hate the asshats and the lack of a reputation-based community policing itself and stifling the unchecked asshat behavior in our groups, but we also want fast groups.

This is all my opinion, based on what I’ve observed in my life and what I really think about asshats in the real world and in WoW. I don’t honestly know how Blizzard can be held responsible for blocking the ability of asshats from being in the game, without accepting that part of the responsibility has to be ours to shut down asshat behavior in our own day to day lives, and make it clear that asshat behavior is never acceptable.

No matter what, though, ignore works, and the majority of people I meet in game are not asshats. With the anonymity the game provides, the very fact that the majority of players I meet are NOT asshats fills me with hope, and a good bit of joy as well.

I joke about being a grumpy old bear sitting on my lawn yelling at the kids running by, but damn, talk about living the dream.

36 thoughts on “Bearwall alert and grumpy bear soapbox from hell

  1. I love this post BBB. Had to link it so I don’t forget it. That bit about “I’m bored” is just classic Gen Y to me. I don’t have enough time to do all the things I’d like to be doing in WoW. And yes, people would find them boring but someone has to fish for raids, I need to mine for more red gems, I have all my rares that I would like to be out taking pictures of to finish off my collection. And I never have time to do all my stuff for Darkmoon for the week. And well.. asshats will be asshats. You find them in game, at the supermarket, on the bus/train, at work… I wish they would all go away, but then maybe I’ll find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.


  2. I agree with pretty much every word except that for other than the weekly guild LFR, I don’t really use the “random” grouping tools for the “Let me introduce myself, I Asshat!” reasons stated.
    I learned one rule a long time ago while playing Everquest. If you want to continue enjoying the game, don’t spend a lot of time on the forums. They can be hotbeds of negativity.
    For those people that are sitting in the middle of the city and posting that they are BORED in trade chat, seriously, not to be rude, but go do something else fro a while. I am just thinking why do you pay for something that you don’t enjoy and sitting there doing nothing but complaining about how bored you are. But whatever, its your money. I tend to be one of those “the journey” guys myself though so maybe thats the difference.
    As for the Pandarens, I am kind of looking forward to it. When the Worgens and Goblins were being introduced and I knew I would be horde side, so my first thought was, “Really? who wants to play a goblin? Thats kind of lame.” After actually starting a goblin, it was one of the more fun racial starting areas I have experienced and its really nice to have a shorty race which is great when camera angles are trying to work in confined spaces.
    Blizzard seems to do a decent job building fun into all of their games so I think people can trust that.


  3. Probably my favourite Bearwall to date 🙂

    My response to the people you describe is generally along the lines of ‘if it’s so bad and boring isn’t it time you logged off?’

    Amazing how many don’t want to leading me to wonder how bad it really isn’t.

    Cassaberee your comment of ‘Guilds disband and you go and join the lvl 25 one to get things you want and leave them when you get those things and no longer need them.’ really made me think. How flimsy are our connections be they ingame or, as BBB points out, in rl?

    SirFWALGMan 🙂 frost mages are so much fun 🙂 I choose to ignore those who would banish mine to the inn.


  4. I run LFG and LFR exclusively as I do not really have time to commit to a raid group.

    I have only ever had two problems with LFG.

    One time some guild group was running with an undergeared tank and a 4k dps and I could not heal them through Echo of Tyrande. It was not a big deal. We tried a few times then they decided to leave and while a little frustrating everyone was cordial and it all worked out alright in the end.

    The time that really bothered me though is when a tank and his buddies that obviously over-geared the heroic 5-mans, to the point where the tank did 40k dps, and I was there with my Frost mage because yeah I like frost, and Arcane sucks to me. The priest spends the ENTIRE run berating my 17K dps with my mage who dinged like one day ago. “Oh my god how can you run a heroic as a frost mage blah blah blah”. Over and over and over. I laughed my ass off however when the priest failed to be able to keep the 40k dps Paladin alive on a pull. I mean how is it even possible for a Paladin tank to die?

    I actually felt like I needed to report the priest for the constant belligerent attitude and shouting at me through the whole run. It totally ruined the experience for me.


  5. I agree 100% with every single thing you mention in this post. Most especially about the amount of stuff that I wind up leaving on the table each evening when I log off for the night. I get to play for a couple hours a day at most and I never get to finish everything I set out to do. I’m completely convinced that I will never, and I really mean never, experience every single thing this game has to offer in a way that leaves me with “nothing to do,” and for that I am grateful.


  6. Dude rememeber in the Marines there will and always will be the 10% of shitbirds that wreck if for everybody else. No matter what rank or how long they have been in they will always be a shirtbird. We had a Staff Sgt that got promoted to Gunny that didn’t know how to work a comm diagram nor did he know how to use the radios or pluggers (crypto GPS). The LT would kick him out of meetings and had the Sgt’s be in charge.


  7. This is why I’m glad I’m in a guild. I have friends and we have vent and even if no one is playing we still have 2-3 on vent every night just to chat. Group quests? Just ask the guild for help. Need something crafted for less than the cost of an arm/leg/paw? Ask someone in guild.

    The problem with LFR is that people are taking it as license to do whatever they want. The assumption seems to be that if they’re bad/rude/annoying/new/too slow/too fast/a ninja, they’ll get votekicked (and often are). LFD isn’t really comparable because you can run randoms all night if you want and hope the instance you want comes up again. With the current tier of 5-mans only containing three dungeons, it’s not too bad – and if you lose a roll or your item doesn’t drop, you can just run it again or queue specifically for that dungeon once a day.

    Within LFR, however, I’ve seen a LOT of animosity toward people with low dps/hps, especially if they win a loot roll. It’s already a crap-shoot because of all the layers of RNG you have to fight to get anything. I’ve zoned into LFR on my feral kitty only to see 14 other people on my token. 60% of the raid on a 40% drop rate token is frustrating enough before you have to worry about things like people who win two of the same token and don’t share (I see that less and less these days as more and more people realize that sharing is in vogue again) or the guy who afks for trash and does sub-tank dps taking “your” token. I’ll be honest, it frustrates me to no end to lose a roll. I lost the agility axe on the Madness fight (on my enhancement shaman) to an elemental shaman with no off-spec. I raged and fumed for the rest of the night and part of the next day and then let it go. I’ll keep running the three toons I have geared for it through LFR every week but I don’t do it all on one night and I change up which days I run in hopes of finding groups with a better class makeup than everyone on my token. This too shall pass. 🙂

    Lastly, about boredom. I’ve been playing since Vanilla. I hit 53 or so around the 1.10 patch with the original Naxx invasion. I’m finding myself playing less now than at other times but, honestly, it’s because my guild is playing less. We aren’t raiding as much and folks are playing TOR on the side. I’m playing both Minecraft and Dungeon Defenders on the side but I’m still on vent. I’m hearing about folks adventures on other servers (most of us have full rosters on our home server so some folks rolled on Moonguard just to see if it lives up to its reputation). If you put all your eggs into one basket (raiding? especially only one one toon?), of course you’re bored.


  8. Epic post. Nice job.
    Regarding the Asshats. Wow should have a “rating” system like Ebay. Not sure exactly how it could work but maybe blizz could keep track internally? Have a thumbs up/down for each toon?


  9. You i too “got bored” with the game earlier this year and took about 6 months off. But what i realize what i really “got bored” with was the lack of friendfish that developed before LFD/LFR. Before you had huge friends lists from your realm of people you felt were good, or fun to group with. Then the random factor came about and add to the the penny arcade effect and now you end up doing most things alone. Guilds disband and you go and join the lvl 25 one to get things you want and leave them when you get those things and no longer need them.

    I came back cause a friend i talk to everyday came back and i had the 7-day free pass. Then the pot was sweetened with free D3, a pony and guarenteed beta spot. I no longer have the time to dedicate to a raid team, so i am struggling a little to either lvl toons and work on achieves or try to gear my toons as able. I am leaning towards working on new toons, exploring new zones/quests and not fretting over having some uber gearscore.

    But mostly i am having fun doing my thing and cutting up in dungeons with my buddy when we can. For me the game is a nice release after a long day at work and grad school. 🙂


  10. On the Pandaren debate; I have a friend who loves the game but has never levelled past 50 before, and while boosting in BRD just a few days ago we were jovially whining about the similarities of Blizz’s new addition and a certain recent movie franchise.

    For some reason this morning a thought suddenly popped into my head: “I still love this game, I will most likely never leave, and srsly wtf is with all the whining when TBC slapped us with the space goats?!”


  11. The real issue is that the Asshats don’t think they are the problem… they think WE are the asshats and that it’s their job to deride and belittle us to point of telling us to delete our accounts and not play any more.

    I too still love playing the game and can find plenty to do. And, if I do get bored, I hop off and do something else for an hour or so – I don’t stay logged on to rant in Trade Chat or to rail against Blizz for not providing enough End Game content for me to complete. Those people only have themselves to blame (and I guess Server First Achievements) for burning through content without stopping to admire the scenary along the way – their loss.

    As for MoP… I have to admit that it doesn’t fill me with me rabid anticipation BUT I will wait until it’s actually live and I’ve given it a good going over before I pass judgement.

    And in closing, love your work BBB – been a reader for a long time – /salute from me as well 🙂


  12. Just wanted to say – I completely understand your dilemma BBB – my problem is trying to work out what to do with my (limited) time that I do play! I’m still loving the game and just wish I had more time to do stuff because there is so much for me to do. Do I play one of my max level characters… do I level my rogue through PvP… do I spend some time trying to get mounts on my collector… Maybe it comes down to having a wide variety of interests or maybe as a casual… I’m just being catered too 🙂


  13. I’m so sick of people trying to use that argument. “Space goats” are fine, kung-fu pandas are stupid.

    The major difference is “space goats” aren’t actually goats, they just have horns and cloven hooves. They aren’t CALLED Goataren or some other rubbish. They aren’t from Goataria. They’re a play on the traditional image of the devils and demons and satyrs. They’re “monstrous” appearance is purposfully at odds with their noble natures, they’re a racial retelling of Beauty and the Beast more than anything. Moreover their society isn’t ripped from any real culture, the closest they come is kryptonians with their crystal technology and “fleeing a destroyed planet” thing. They use the trope of being a small minority of truly good members of an evil race, really it’s more like blizz blended Drizzt Do’Uurden with Superman and turned it into an entire race. Their leader is a bit too stereotypically selfless and altruistic as is the race in general, but they work. And did I mention they aren’t actually called Goataren? space goats is a joke made by the players, and they aren’t a paper thin facsimile of something goat-based.

    Kung-fu pandas from pandaland are exactly that. They’re humanoid pandas. And they’re called…pandas. And they’re from…panda land. And what is the THEME of pandaland? surprise surprise, it’s china. And what do they practice there in china? they brew alcohol and practice martial arts. The whole race was literally a joke, an easter egg in warcraft 3. There are no humanoid pandas in ancient mythology to play on (unless you count that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure ancient mythology). They aren’t even an amalgam of differant themes and cultures like the Tauren. Tauren are just bullmen (even i nname), but that plays on the whole minotaur creature form ancient mythology. Blizz took the minotaur thing and made them a native american culture, not greek. Nor do they come from Tuaria or bullville. Blizz at least tried to make up a fantasy name for their homeland. Pandaren/Pandaria just feels like a giant, lazy joke.

    Burning Crusade also didn’t base itself completely around the space goats, the expansion certainly wasn’t named for them. They were just one of the new features. Mostly it was about going to another world completely alien (literally) to anything we had seen on Azeroth before. It wasn’t themed around any earth culture, it was completely new and different and strange, and the space goats were were just another part of that. Mists of Pandaria is and entire expansion were you LITERALLY visit pandaland and look at pseudo-chinese architecture. Wrath of the lich king had Vikings plucked straight out of the old sagas, but they weren’t really even a major theme in the expansion. If you look at all the previews of Mists you see that blizzard didn’t even dress it up any, in fact they go out of their way to point out that this expansion is all about pandas called pandas from pandaland that looks like china and they know kung fu and have shaolin monks. Freaking silly.

    Even if blizzard works their magic and makes it a fantastically fun new game (which I’m sure they will), it looks so silly that i can’t suspend disbelief like I can with (most of) the other stuff in wow.


    • That’s fair enough, since as I tried to make clear, I am sick of people hating on stuff that I am not hating on at all but looking forward to. I’m amused as heck to notice you didn’t really address the stuff about Outlands floating along that I mentioned, either. I got the feeling space goats are okay with you because you like them so you’ve done some heavy rationalizations, but pandas, not so much.

      That’s fine with me too. it’s just too bad that your way of dealing with your unhappiness is to hate on what I and others are looking forward to. Because you did not really invalidate my point at all. You may like the backstory used to shoehorn them in, and you may have built one impressive rationale for why they are wonderful and have a deep philosophical meaning to their place in the universe, but they’re still space goats that disco dance. I’m not trying to piss you off, I’m just saying, I’m not the one bringing the hate on what other people are looking forward to here. I’m trying to show that from one point of view, they are all equally invalid, OR equally valid. You don’t get to be the final arbiter of taste and of what fits and what doesn’t. You just don’t, any more than I do.


      • While we’re on the subject, I never could understand why moonkin were acceptable but pandas suddenly are too silly/ “childish” (direct quote from some complaints) for people.

        FAT, gigantic-butted owl. That does an extremely ridiculous dance. I think it’s way sillier than a panda, and if a moonkin is okay in WoW…


        Also, pandas aren’t called pandas in WoW. They’re “pandaren”. 🙂


      • In Mandarin, the main dialect of Chinese, “ren” is “people”. So Pandaren is “panda people” if we accept the literally-Chinese theme.


    • >Wrath of the lich king had Vikings plucked straight out of the old sagas, but they weren’t really even a major theme in the expansion.

      I think about 90% of the WotLK was Viking themed. My goodness, ever wondered where names like Loken came from? If you’ve ever read more than 1 book on Viking history and Norse mythology (or Northern mythology) you can quickly say as well that WotLK was a MAJOR ripoff from that perspective. And come on, Howling Fjord, Storm Peaks and Icecrown were full of Vikings and Norse (or comparable) gods, names and villages.

      And what about Teldrassil? Ever heard of Yggdrasil, the World Tree? Never complained about that influence eh?
      Check this post

      Both TBC and WotLK were fine, right? So what’s the big deal with an expansion based on China in stead of Norway/Scandinavia?
      I don’t get it. I’m looking forward to it, Have a bamboo.


  14. Long time lurker de-lurking briefly.

    BBB you’re the reason I still have a feedreader full of WoW blogs when it’s been a month since I logged into the game even to say hello, let alone actually play. I love your enthusiasm for the game. Nope that’s a lie, I outright envy it, because it’s what I miss about the game, that joy at logging on and just having fun. I read your recent posts about levelling enchanting, you even managed to find fun in that. You’re a star, and I especially love the way you’ve managed to include Alex in your play.

    I don’t play any more (as I said) but my kids still do, and I supervise them, to varying degrees (mine are 14, 10, 7 and 5.) My eldest has one character, a mage she’s been levelling for 5 years now and has reached the dizzying heights of level 72. She plays her very occasionally when she can bear to be parted from Facebook on her Android.

    The Boy, he’s 10 and he has a paladin at level 83, he had one that would’ve been higher if not for an unfortunate incident with a Moshi Monsters account, his father’s Paypal account and USD$50 that we don’t talk about any more.

    Onto daughter #2, she plays WoW a little, mostly hunters but she loves her little feral druid too, this is what prompted me to post actually. She likes being a kitty and jumping out of stealth and just button-mashing things, kind of reminded me of her when you described how Alex plays. She also has a level 58 DK that runs around Stormwind and then logs off again.

    And then there’s the evil genius… She’s level 5 in the real world, has a level 22 hunter, and all she does is herb and mine and do the daily SW cooking quest. She prefers to herb in Elwynn because things don’t kill her like they do in Redridge. Yesterday she sold a stack of 20 Peacebloom for 351g and a stack of 8 for 140g. I fear for the rest of us.

    Anyway, I digressed a little. I mainly wanted to salute you for being such a positive voice in the community for so long.



  15. > The anonymity of LFD and now LFR did not create asshats, it just provided an opportunity.

    that, the removal of the server wide /lfg channel and the removal of group quests.

    The problem IMHO is not only that it provides an opportunity. It provides an environment where asshats flourish. Where they not only get a chance to fulfill their elitism, but also can live their dreams about hurting other people. It takes only one asshat to ruin the mood for 24 others.

    The removal of /lfg prevents me from hearing the ones asking for help or even have the chance to get a nice group together. With far fewer group quests there is also no need to team up anymore, and experience the value of true team-play.

    Take these items together and you have a recipe for antisocial behavior. So while I mostly agree with you that AH are there all the time – for me the blame is at least 50% on Blizz’s side for “helping” them.

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT


  16. A rating system is about the only way I could imagine marginalizing the asshats while retaining anonymity. It would have to be a very nuanced system, which is either extremely fast and easy to use, or rewards players for using it.


  17. Reading this was wonderful. I’ve grown tired of people complaining about a game that gives so much freedom and has such a large amount of content. I don’t play much more than a few hours a week now but I’m still having a wonderful time! I raid 10s as the main activity with online friends and haven’t had time to really explore LFR, Darkmoon or even my next tier of gear, ha ha.

    Spot on with the asshat theory. I only wish more people would stop the “I need to be awarded daily for paying for this game” nonsense. Great article 🙂


  18. I don’t know what it is, either, but I’m noticing this, too – and I don’t understand it either!
    There must be a psychology AND a philosophy thesis in here somewhere. Sure, the lack of consequences in-game brings out the as-shattery faster than in real life. I’d like to know where this entire attitude of entitlement comes from.

    “I raided FL hard-mode forever to get an ilvl of X, you now get freebies that you don’t deserve”. “I had to walk uphill, in the snow, both ways, why do you get a snowmobile?” “Look at me and my purpz/mountz/meters, clearly I deserve….” Deserve what? Deserve why? You already got the rewards way sooner than most, you’ve seen the content way before me, stop spitting in my soup! And if you’re really *that* good, you have your appropriate listing on guild-ox and what-not. Some people need to flex their e-peen and ridicule others, bully them, etc. Others start helping people out, help the community, do outstanding things, and get an item named after them in-game 😉

    I don’t know. I’d like to know how non-US realms fare on the pessimists. I’d also know if it’s age related. I wish I could read more than 2 languages 😉


    • From Penny Arcade, the GIFT.

      Audience plus Anonymity minus consequences = Asshat. People being asshats to people on their servers gets them shunned, thrown out of guilds, no one will play with them.

      LFR and LFD mean no consequences. Ninja everything, pull groups and leave, kill things in the wrong order, AFK, whatever, and all it means is at worst you’ll get kicked from the group and might have to wait a few minutes to get into another one. There’s no longer a downside to being a dick. That’s what blizzard should fix, and something like the blackspot Tesh mentioned above would do it. Doesn’t necessarily have to have a real effect in the game… just when someone’s in the group you see “This person has been marked as a dick Xty times in the last week.” Let it be on a rolling week basis, so the older ones drop off after 7 days and people can clean up their acts. Limit it to only people who you are in a 5 or larger group with, and only one per guild in the group. (Add ‘can’t mark for one week after leaving/joining a guild’ to prevent people dropping a guild to multi-mark.)

      I no longer random anything because of the asshats. If I’m tanking there’s always someone who wants to gogogogogogogogogogo and pulls half the dungeon before I’m even in the room and the healer’s out of mana, if I’m healing the tank doesn’t wait for my mana and blames me for him dying three groups on. I can dps with no trouble, and get compliments on being competent at it, but I LIKE tanking…


      • Kemonojin, the biggest problem with a system that publicly marks someone as a dick, is the dicks will be the first people to mark other people, especially anyone that asks them (or tells them) to stop being a dick.


      • Yeah, I know. Any system that depends on people not being asshats is doomed to failure. But if you get in a group with two people, one of which has 40 dings and one who has one, you might be willing to give the one a chance, but be more prepared for 40boy to do something stupid.


      • Oh, I think you’re on the right track, no question about that. What I think would be most valuable in those lines would be an “enter comment with rating” system for players to use. You know, right under “Inspect” you could have “Rate this player”.

        There you could rate on a scale of 1 to 10, and leave an actual comment, a comment that would be shown on a person’s armory as well as be able to call up in-game.

        You’d still trolls leaving comments and ratings, but I definitely think that the trolls and asshats would end up getting more comments on them than otherwise, just like you say.

        Now, if you add a feature to LFD/LFR as a followup, a threshold, “Only form group with players at this rating or higher _______”, well, it might not work, but I’d be willing to give it a shot.


  19. Of course, some of these ppl have their heads buried so far it should be like “AssCollar” or something.

    You can use that, BTW. See if you can incorporate it into everyday conversation.


  20. I think that “asshat” means that they have their head stuck up their bums and therefore have an ass for a hat. But I’m not judging you, man. See it how you see it. . . :^)

    Otherwise, Spot on!


  21. I keep contemplating that there is something that I can’t put my finger on which if added to WoW would slowly put asshats back into their submissive modes like they do in the open public (for the most part). One part of the equation is anonymity. One part of the equation is rewarding elitism instead of cooperation. One part is rewarding kicking new people instead of helping them. I don’t see this changing, but wouldn’t you just love to plant a Scarlet Letter A (for Asshat) right on the douche and see how much of a life on wow they have?

    As for the burn-out… I can see both sides. I kind of liked it when there was content ahead that I wasn’t ready to do and hadn’t seen yet. With LFR, even though I haven’t finished it on normal, I’ve seen the raid and it adds to the “how many times one can stand to see the same raid” quotient. But I still want my 4-piece so I run it until I have that, at least.

    I’d have preferred it if LFR was always current tier minus 1, as a way to catch up or see the older content… until next xpac then open all the tiers. This would give the last tier a little more life as that… last challenge to do yet. Am I bored, nah… am I leaving now… has Blizzard failed,… well, not really but it does need some work. I look forward to their expansion of the system.


  22. Thanks for the plug! I ought to have Zomblobs! whipped into shape pretty soon, too (in paper beta form).

    …and yeah, jerks are everywhere, but thankfully, they aren’t the majority, at least not as far as I can tell. Incidentally, I think that the bad behavior is more prevalent at the level cap. I tend to have a right enjoyable time with very few idiots down here in the leveling content. Maybe there’s something inherent in the burnout-rich stressful environment of raiding that makes things worse?


  23. As you know I haven’t played WOW in quite a while.
    But those people remind me of some of the table top players who equate class/level/magic items to role playing. Example if asked about my character in BBB’s pbem my answer would be something like: she slightly crazy and impersonating her brother so she can reclaim her family’s lands end get revenge on the orcs that took it
    Not she’s a 15th level fighter with a plus 2 sword and combat reflexes.


Comments are closed.