RealID is fai–Nevermind.

RealID on the Forums

I have nothing interesting to add to the “discussion” (I don’t think a rioting, frothing mob screaming at a stonewalling corporation qualifies as a discussion, but it will have to do if only for lack of a better term). So I’m linking those voices who do have something interesting to say on the topic.

Shades of Grey
Kurn’s Corner
Life in Group 5
Mental Shaman
Preposterous Pretentious Prattle
Binds to Account
World of Matticus
Lazy Sniper
Team Liquid (StarCraft equivalent of Elitist Jerks)
Zeroday (a very interesting perspective from a Harvard Law professor)

What has shocked me is the number of people cancelling their subscriptions even though they still want to play. People cancel subscriptions due to Blizzard’s actions all the time, but most of those people were looking for excuses to leave. They were on the cusp of leaving, Blizzard just gave them a little push (perceived or real). The RealID debacle, though, has pushed people who want to continue playing over the edge. That shows how vehemently we’re opposed to this change, how incredibly myopic and ill-conceived this change is. We WoW players are, for the most part, a pragmatic, optimistic, patient lot. We suffer nerfs because we know the game as a whole will be improved if we’re all equal. We slog through the same dungeons because we know we’re just gearing up for the next dungeon, which will be better (or so we believe). This is the first change that we can’t find a use for, we can’t envision a better tomorrow with, we can’t suffer. That’s why people are leaving.

(For the record: I’m not leaving until they make RealID mandatory in game. When they do, I’m gone. And that’s “when”, not “if”. They will impose RealID on us in game. They will make it mandatory. And on that day, my subscription will be cancelled.)

Also, someone mentioned this on twitter (Matticus? Can’t remember): Don’t be a flaming douchebag. What happened to Bashiok was not unexpected, but also completely fucking assholic. Seriously, we’re not helping our cause by being real life trolls.

Post cockblocked! (in a good way)

Three days, hundreds of thousands of forum posts, thousands of blog posts and comments, millions of angry words…We made our voices heard and Blizzard listened. Kalgan, Ghostcrawler, and Co.  still care about the community, still are gamers, still fight for us against the evil suits.

Ha! No.

As much as I’d like to say the oppressed won the day, we didn’t. A trillion angry words mean less to business men than one lost account; your two cents’ worth isn’t worth anything at all. Blizzard only listened because we brought money to the discussion. More to the point, we started taking money away from them. Shareholders took notice. Once the Moneyed got wind of this disaster, they put pressure on Kotick and Co. to rethink their strategy. I’m guessing Blizzard’s lawyers took a second look at this and said, “Whoa. We’re enabling stalkers and real life harrassment? Why did we sign off on this in the first place? This is a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen!”

Don’t delude yourselves. Those of us who continued to play did nothing to convince Blizzard to reconsider. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. Our friends and fellow players who cancelled their subscriptions are the ones who convinced Blizzard to rethink this debacle. To y’all, thank you.

(For the record: This isn’t the last we’ll hear of RealID. This will blow over, but it will return in some way, shape, or form.)

Talent Tree Changes

Win. Pure win.

First, this eliminates diving down trees, which has been a pet peeve of mine for years. I play SV, but I have to take multiple talents in other trees. In BC, 20 points of my 61 went into MM; in Wrath, 15 of my 71 go into MM, and I could put 3 more in if I dropped Hunting Party. These aren’t optional or even utility talents. They are mandatory talents that would drop my dps significantly if I didn’t take them. I can’t take all the talents in SV that I want to take because I need to put points into MM. However, MM has a surplus of talents. Not exactly fair. By condensing the trees and eliminating straight damage-boosting talents, we can focus on the tree of our choice. We may take talents in other specs, but I’m guessing we will only put a couple points into other trees, not a third of our talent points.

Second, this eliminates leveling specs; or, in other words, this eliminates end game-only specs. Hunters have had this problem for years. BM is the best leveling spec in the game. Period. End of discussion. Leveling MM is okay. Leveling SV, compared to leveling as BM or MM, is fail. MM and SV are broken without Chimera and Explosive Shots, respectively. By moving Chimera and Explosive to the top of the MM and SV trees, respectively, both become legitimate leveling specs. BM won’t be the only leveling spec, and thus, it won’t feel like an “only n00bs play BM at end game!” spec. We lose the biases against the other trees. We can play what we want at level 10 through 80, not just at level 80.

Even if Chimera and Explosive remain at the bottom of the tree, both MM and SV will benefit from the removal of pure +dmg talents. Cut the fat, get to the good stuff, win.

Third, no more random talents. This is less important to hunters since all trees are damage specs, but my pally and my little horde warrior are excited. Seals of the Pure = a damage talent in the healing tree? Deflection = a parry talent in the damage tree (for two different classes)? Genesis = healing and damage in the damage tree? Shoehorning talents into the wrong trees solely to make people take talents in those non-spec trees is silly and annoying.

This is awesome news for me personally because this fits my dream of 0/0/X. Nothing against the other specs, but I want to be Survival. Pure Survival. Not “almost wholly SV with a dash of MM”. And by excising the boring talents, Blizzard opens us up to more utility talents. Yay! Heck, our game play might be quite different from one spec to another. Exciting!

Ruby Sanctum

We gave RS some good pulls on 10-man heroic this week even though four of us (!!) had never seen the place. Tough but doable; I give it 3 weeks max before we take Halion heroic down. Normal mode was complete, total faceroll. I’ll write up a how-to in a bit.

TIP! You can Disengage through the cutters. I don’t recommend it—works about half the time—but tis better than taking them in the face.

Niagara Falls

If you’re American or Canadian, make a trip to the falls at least once in your life. Tis an amazing, awe-inspiring sight. If natural wonder isn’t your bag, the area is a mini Las Vegas, with casinos, bars, restaurants, stuff for the kiddies. Well worth the trip.

If you’re a WoW player with close friends, make a trip to meet your friends at least once before you cancel your subscription. Awesome friends in game become uber-awesome friends in real life.

About Lyraat

Lyraat, former SV hunter of [Better Part of Valor] on Elune, current dad and gamer.

Posted on July 9, 2010, in Self, The World, WoW. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Is it so hard to think that Blizzard was once people, instead of a bunch of faceless body snatchers who are in control of more than one body?

    It’d probably be better to say “Blizzard is people” like it’s Soylent Green. But I’d screw it up…

    The new talent trees should be released soon. Should be interesting.

    • Blizzard is a company. We think of them as people because they interact with us personally via their community managers, Ghostcrawler, and other public figures. But Blizzard the company is not any single person. It is composed of people, but it is an organization: more than the sum of its parts and less than the sum of its parts. “What is an organization?” is a question that’s beyond the scope of this little WoW blog.

      The body snatchers aspect comes from Blizzard the company acting like Blizzard the company. We interact with Blizzard employees. At various times, the employees must ascribe to the company line lest they become former employees. This was one of those times. I think people were shocked to see CM’s, with whom they joke and tease daily, turn into drones. People couldn’t understand the CM’s behavior: we as people hate the RealID change, CM’s are people, we’ve heard rumors that people inside Blizzard are furious with this change, CM’s are people inside Blizzard, yet the CM’s persist in strictly adhering to the corporate policy. We stopped thinking of Blizzard as a company, but rather a group of people who happen to make WoW. When Blizzard turns corporate on us, our perceptions are shattered. Angry and now confused, we rebelled.

  2. So blizz has apparently let us win on the forum-real id thing. I would like to post something here that I’ve posted elsewhere. I don’t want people to forget about the REAL ID – IN GAME issue, as it is still much bigger even than the forum issue was!!!

    It seems to me that – now that blizzard has rescinded, and ‘let us win’ the FORUM-real id fight…

    It was nothing but a smokescreen. They knew there would be outcry about real ID IN GAME… so knowing media tactics, they distracted us with the announcement that they would have it in the forums… and then let us rage over that; but threw us a bone, and let us think we won.

    Please, don’t give up and forget. People are so easily manipulated by the media these days, so wanting to just ‘go back in the game’ into blissful oblivion that they are likely to also let this real ID crap in game, slide.

    People need to start REMEMBERIng and stop forgetting so easily, being so ADHD about issues… and stop being so gullible. This not only has ruined games for us consumers, it’s fattened the pockets of the greedy, and allowed them to attack our privacy, freedoms, and REAL LIFE rights more and more.

    • Agreed. I mentioned in the cockblocked portion of the post that I would cancel my subscription when Blizzard forces RealID on us. It will happen, only a matter of time.

      I don’t think this has ruined games for us consumers. That’s hyperbole. I think the RealID situation has opened our collective eyes, reminded us that Blizzard is a company. Making money is a company’s reason for being. We tend to forget that Ghostcrawler, Kalgan, the community managers, everyone we interact with at Blizzard is an employee. Ultimately, their jobs are to make money for the company. Making money is not inherently evil, which is what you’re implying. How someone makes money might be evil. Video game development is not evil. Making connections to other companies to promote synergy between products is not evil. The RealID system is not evil, just poorly designed. Had the RealID system used a user-created handle, we players would be shouting its glories from up high. It’s a bad product made worse by the fact that it reminds us Blizzard isn’t here for us. They don’t have our best interests in mind when they make products, they have their coffers in mind. Nothing inherently wrong with that.

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