So I was selected to fill out a survey after the little ‘problem’ yesterday. The problem that lead to my cancellation of my World of Warcraft subscription. It’s going to be boring around the house for awhile, but I’ll be damned if I’m giving any more money to a company that has so little regard for it’s player base.
The Customer Service representative that gave me the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org so that I could protest the temporary ban; I give him high marks. He did exactly what he should have done. The moderators that banned me, and the drones that attacked, though? They represent exactly what is wrong with the World of Warcraft community, and that community is doomed to cannibalistic failure unless it changes.
There are serious issues in the current version of the game. Effort/reward is far skewed towards the wasted effort side of the scale. Endgame play is confined and cramped, in a way that has never been present before in the game. Months of endless grinding is required to get the 5 faction reputations necessary to get a set of epic gear, unless you happen to be a member of a large guild. There is no acknowledgment of the casual player in the game. Casual play is a virtual impossibility once you hit endgame. I could go on, but I’m sure the average player knows what I’m talking about, and if you don’t play you aren’t going to care.
There are serious issues in the community as well. The high-handed nature of the actions of the moderators in my case is a prime example of the basic problems in the community. In fact, there really isn’t a community, in the natural sense of people working in concert for a goal. There are just guards and inmates. The guards look for examples to make to keep the other inmates in line. The inmates conspire to get away with behaviors that are officially banned; by going outside the game to communicate, to exchange gold, etc.
I was limited to 1024 characters for my response in the Customer survey. This is what I wrote;
Your prison guards (forum moderators) decided I didn’t need to be playing Blizzard games anymore by permanently banning me from the forums. None of my posts warranted censure for 72 hours, much less permanent banning. Because they are prison guards, and I questioned their authority, they exercised it. But there are other games out there. I will be playing them instead.
I offered sincere suggestions for improving gameplay on the forum, and I was routinely attacked by drones in the forums for daring to be unhappy with their game. But I’m not the only one, and I don’t participate in activities that don’t bring me joy. If Blizzard will not change Cataclysm, if they are not interested in player feedback (and on the forums, they are not. If they were, I would still be there) then I have to go elsewhere to find entertainment, because I’m not going to just endure the monotony.
Then I realized I would run out of space. So here I am. I have agitated in the forums, repeatedly, for real community policing tools. The ability for players in the game to isolate the bad players from the good ones, to allow natural behavior patterns to reinforce good behavior and punish bad. To get rid of the guards, in essence.
But it goes beyond that, and I think I’m beginning to understand why I’m dissatisfied in World of Warcraft these days. I shouldn’t have to go where they tell me to go, and do what the developers want. They, like their moderator stooges, have acted in a high-handed fashion, artificially limiting endgame play, and manipulating access to areas of the game that they don’t want us to spend time in. When players balked at going into Cataclysm dungeons, they took away Dungeon Finder access to content that wasn’t part of Cataclysm. Was that in the patch notes? No, it wasn’t. But they did it. When players suggest, over and over, that they want easier access to older parts of the game…
They end up banned, like me.
Well, they can erase me from their forums, but I know the truth; and lucky for me, I never trust moderators. Most of my arguments were written here before being copied to their forums. So if you’ll allow a moments crudity, let me just say; DELETE THIS, MOTHERFUCKERS!
Also, I pulled this image from the Google cache. Like most images, it’s worth a thousand words.
…if I’m still playing.