A follow-up to yesterday’s post

Yesterday’s post got a ton of views and sparked some good conversation both in the comments and on Twitter. It was an unusual amount of activity for this blog. I kept up during the initial flurry of conversation, but eventually I had to leave for work. During that time, I was away from my blog and social media, and when I got home, there were a couple of questions on Twitter that I didn’t feel that I could answer there.

I do enjoy talking with people on Twitter, but sometimes I don’t feel that using it for multi-tweet answers to questions is good for me, format-wise. I like to be able to see what I’m writing in full, and Twitter’s character limit makes that difficult. As such, the rare follow-up post is in order.

The first tweet that I saw – because it was in reverse chronological order, per the browser version of Twitter – was from WoWWiki.com, which posed the following question:

It was nice of them to MT me, but I don’t know if anyone answered the question with thoughts of their own; the tweet itself has no direct responses so it’s hard to say.

To answer WoWWiki’s question:

Personally, I wasn’t writing with the intent to call out Blizzard. I did address Blizzard directly toward the end, but what drove me to write the post as a whole was a desire to try to put into words some logical explanation as to why players’ frustrations are legitimate.

If we look at Mists of Pandaria’s doldrums (thanks, Ambermist!) on a more “big picture” development level, we can see that they are unfolding similarly to those of the last couple of expansions: the cycle is about two years, this is normal, etc. However, the rapid roll-out of successive patches in the first year, followed by Nothing (except another PvP season and a free 90 carrot to attempt to interest players) in the second, has players confused. Is it “faster content” or is it not? And so we wonder aloud, and some of us take our cash elsewhere, to different new content.

I think my post got that across. The section at the end where – I suppose – I “call(ed) Blizz out” was written in order to reinforce the logic behind the thoughts and feelings of players like myself. There was nothing more behind it; to otherwise think that my post would be read by someone at Blizzard would be to delude myself, and I have a very pragmatic sense of where I fall in that order. This was not a “blow off steam at Blizz”-post.

Earlier in the day, before I left for work, I had tweeted the following:

“One thing that’s important to remember is that people like me WANT to spend money for some new content! That’s where my post comes from. :)”

The reason I said that is because the vibe that I was getting from most people was in step with my own feelings: that we do, indeed, want to spend money on new content. We are not simply “whining” to be “whiners.” However, I worried that some would mistake my meaning from the post. The truth is, I love the game, and am looking forward to coming back eventually and checking out all that is new.

Back on Twitter, Alsoria responded to my sentiment:

And my response to that question is this: No. No, I do not want to spend money on content that isn’t up to Blizzard’s usual standard of quality and readiness. I’m well aware of how much it sucks to suffer through bugginess in WoW, and I am not advocating that Blizzard release lesser-quality expansions with higher frequency. Let me pull a quote from yesterday’s post:

“…it is in the company’s best interest to actually put out faster, full-sized expansions.”

“Full-sized expansions” refers to the same breadth and quality of expansion that we are accustomed to: a ready-to-launch Wrath/Cata/MoP/WoD. I think that’s what we all expect. I apologize for not making that clear.

My post was not about more/faster/now, without regard for quality. Yes, we know what Blizzard can do, but they showed us for a year that they were doing it faster and with quality. That’s what players who consumed content as it was current got accustomed to before Blizzard announced Warlords, gave interviews where they re-stated a collective intention to reduce time between expansions, and then effectively told us that “less time between expansions” wasn’t actually going to happen this time.

 * * *

Yesterday’s post seemed to touch a nerve; for the first two hours after I tweeted out the post, my page views were about 20 times the usual rate, and I was privileged to converse with several others on the subject both here and on Twitter. Hopefully, if it did nothing else, it resonated with the feelings of other players.

As I’ve alluded to before, that post serves as criticism, but such criticism does not diminish my respect for WoW’s creators, or my love and desire for the game and its potential. On the contrary, I pine for more good times and great content, as do many of us. Ultimately, we’ll get it when it’s done, and then many of us will reconvene in-game as well as on Twitter, blogs, etc. to share our thoughts and revel in the goodness. I’m looking forward to those days.

* * *

Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!

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3 Comments on “A follow-up to yesterday’s post”

  1. jpec07 says:

    I think part of the reason your views went up is because Matthew Rossi of WoW Insider linked to your article, and you also made some really strong points about expectations and disappointment. So strong, in fact, that you probably gained a few readers (I know I’m one).

  2. jpec07 says:

    It probably upped your viewership because Matthew Rossi of WoW Insider tweeted a link to it. And as with any well-written article with strong, resonating points, it was very worth sharing.

    It also wouldn’t surprise me if I’m not the only follower you gained from the whole experience.

  3. R says:

    I think my main issue, such as it is, with this whole discussion is that there’s no actual disagreement, if anything we’re discussing degrees of annoyance with somewhat obvious and likely universal sentiments:

    * We would like content faster because new content is usually good and is at least different
    * Blizzard would like content faster because happier users means more money and less PR grief

    There’s really no “other” side to that argument that I see… nobody who’s pitching in with an opinion is arguing that the delay is good, or that they need another 6-9 months in SoO for it to feel complete.

    I think that may be more or less where the bulk of your mindset is coming from, too, and I didn’t want my comment to your previous post to seem like I was disagreeing with you… I wasn’t, or at least I don’t think I was.

    What I find really curious is that this is, historically, exactly what always happens, every single time. Most of us have been through this phase at least once or twice before… I’m from BC-era, a baby in the minds of many, yet this marks my 4th late expansion slump… only my 3rd as a semi-active raider but my 4th overall.

    I don’t find myself any more annoyed at Blizzard now than I was in Wrath when they stuck us with ICC for over a year… I find myself more disappointed but that’s my own reaction to a situation, it has little or nothing to do with Blizzard and I’m making an effort not to put it on them.

    Yet, the community seems a lot more vocal in terms of their annoyance this time around than during, say, Wrath. I posted a comment on Grumpy’s site along these lines, his blog seemed like a good basis for a Then vs Now comparison since he more than any other blogger I read posts, regularly, about his thoughts and feelings, not just about actual happenings. I figured if anyone had been outraged at this type of delay back in Wrath-era it’d be him.

    Turned out, nope… he had guild and raid issues like crazy, worse than he’s dealing with now, yet there wasn’t any blame being assessed to the delay or to anything Blizzard-related… his criticisms were, I think fairly, placed on the players who were leaving for invalid reasons. He tells one particularly good/annoying story about the MT in his 25-man raid who everyone had been gearing up (basically passing all possible upgrades to him) to help them improve as a raid and basically as soon as he was fully geared he left the raid because he didn’t want to spend the rest of the expansion “gearing everyone else up.” That, to me, is perfectly justifiable complaining, it’s actually putting the emphasis of why he was annoyed on the CORRECT shoulders.

    This time around, I’m seeing little of that type of intelligent complaining. I’m not saying that what’s being said is dumb or even wrong, I just think it’s in many cases misplaced and knee-jerk. I’m also seeing a lot of “I realize this doesn’t make sense but I blame Blizzard for a lot of what I’m feeling”-type sentiments… people who actually recognize the issue and then, inexplicably, disregard it in the same breath.

    I just don’t know WHY. Is it because people have more expectations in terms of how things *should* be now that we’ve had 4 expansions? If anything, that should lead to nods of understanding, not outrage, this is exactly as it has been. Is it disappointment that Blizzard failed in their effort to release content more quickly? Sure, but if the slow pace wasn’t a significant issue in expansions past (people got bored but there wasn’t much “alright, I’ve had enough of this shit, I’m done” happening that I can recall), why now when there’s more to do in-game than ever before to fill the time? Grumpy leveled alts in late Wrath. I pugged raids and chain-ran 5-mans. None of those options are gone and now we have a ridiculous amount of other things to do… Challenge Modes… Brawler’s Guild… Achievements… Pet Battles… Proving Grounds… probably more but my fingers are getting tired.

    I wish there was an answer that made sense, although I’m not sure having that answer would fundamentally alter anything on my end. I’m disappointed in the slow release but I understand that if it’s happening it’s because it had to happen, not because anyone wanted it to happen. I’m more disappointed in the negative and pessimistic and “sky is falling” reactions from folks who I usually expect more from based on months or years of reading their generally sane content (general sense, not calling out anyone in particular) but I suppose if I’m going to be fair, I have to own my disappointment and not shift it on those with the odd outsized reactions. Should be doable, I’ve had some experience with that very thing lately…


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