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Where no Stubborn has Gone Before

November 3, 2012

Dear Reader,

First, I want to draw attention to Navi’s Anti-Asshat Week.  I fully support this initiative!  She decided to invoke this week of social justice because of a horrible event that happened to her friend Genowen.  The community has been consistently reduced to trolls and jerks because of the silence of the rest of us.  Is it more trouble to stand up for what’s right?  Sure is.  Is it more emotionally draining than just shutting down and ignoring it?  I have no doubt.  Is it still the right thing to do?  You bet your ass it is!  So this week, if you see someone behaving badly, politely point it out.  If it stops, great!  If it escalates, don the fiery armor of righteous indignation and shut the asshats down by any means  necessary.  Our very digital culture has been threatened by those who would verbally abuse others.  Evil thrives where good people fail to act.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled post.

I had a beautiful moment the other day in Kun Lai.  I was running around on my shaman with my wife, leveling, doing quests, meeting the Grummle, finding Anduin, etcetera.  I’ve really been enjoying sticking my nose in little nooks, looking for the scrolls that are hidden around the land.  I’ve liked that Blizzard did something to encourage some type of exploration.  Of course, the response I’ve seen in guild is people getting achievement after achievement, clearly following some guide and just scooping them all up, but hey, to each their own.

I was climbing a mountain to find some dude when I noticed a small, unmarked trail that seemed to keep leading up to the summit.  Sure enough, as I followed it, I found myself at the top with a shrine to some Brew Fellow.  It was a nice moment, an exploration success.  Then, as I turned to go back down, I misstepped and fell.  I didn’t die immediately, but it soon became apparent that the mountainside was littered with mobs and I, in my weakened state, didn’t have many options.  I went on a course of healing, running, fighting, dropping, and so forth again until finally it was too much and I died.

I couldn’t get back to my body.  I attempted to go all the way around and back up the mountain, but I simply couldn’t figure out the course I took to get back to my grave.  I couldn’t climb directly to it, as it was behind the Dooker Dome, and I couldn’t figure out how to go all the way around and drop to it without missing it.  I couldn’t rez.

To avoid this in Wrath, when you died in areas with a lot of elevation differentials, you got a spirit griffon to get to your body.  It was an inelegant solution to a problem, but at least there was a solution.  I don’t know why there wasn’t a similar mechanic in play here.

It’s a minor thing, I know, to take rez sickness, but it really, really irritated me.  Here’s Blizz offering up a new course of adventuring, a chance to explore, and my reward for DARING to do it before I could fly was 10 minutes of uselessness.  i’ve never understood the limitations of rez sickness; if you want to penalize my xp through a direct reduction or a slowing of xp gain, fine.  If you want to break all my gear, fine.  But to reduce my stats and damage by 75% is ludicrous.  Maybe that was a “penalty” at 60, but it’s essentially a 10 minute time-out at 89.

If I’d just waited a level, of course, I could just fly around.  But that’s not REALLY exploring, is it?  The point of that little trail was to encourage people on ground mounts to go see what’s up there.  One misstep, though, and you get to spend 20 minutes trying to get to your body only to then get to spend 10 minutes doing nothing.  I lost a half hour of play – and my wife did, too, since she was waiting on me – because I wanted to see what was at the top of a mountain and I made a tiny movement in the wrong direction.  That’s not an incentive to explore; that’s an incentive to go level in dungeons.

So it was a minor thing, and I got over it pretty quickly, but it left a slightly sour after taste in my mouth towards this two-faced gesture of exploration that Blizz put forth.  Sure, go explore, but prepare to get screwed if you make a tiny mistake.

Or course, you can just wait until you can fly and then go look up guides to grind through it as fast as possible.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and wishing he had slow fall)

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2012 9:49 am

    An Aside on Asshattery:

    Does WoW have a “block by account” option? If not, that seems like a good way to reduce the amount of ignores and overall harassment that could take place. I read that the asshats were rolling new characters simply to continue the harassment. I don’t think that coding the ignore function to work by overall account versus character name would be that difficult.

    *shrug* Yet another reason I don’t do a whole lot of online gaming. Ignorance may be bliss, but it annoys the piss out of me. And, like you, I don’t remain quiet and meek about it. To my chagrin. And overall amusement.

    • November 3, 2012 10:26 am

      You’d think it would, but Blizz really goes out of their way to protect trolls and scumbags. The penalty “volcano” has been discussed here before, which has incremental steps of wrist-slapping that only a true moron would be able to scale without first learning their lesson. Numerically, I believe, people get seven “no’s” before their banned. Seven. Ridiculous.

      Additionally, from Gen’s story, it seems it took her two hours on the phone before this player was stopped, and we don’t know – because Blizz has a cloak of secrecy around it – whether there was an actual punishment or just some sort of verbal warning that stuck. Good people have to spend 2 hours on a phone to get Blizz to do something about a jerk who’s been spreading bile for a week. Insanity!

      You still playing MtGO? I’ve felt bored recently when I’m on my own (I don’t play WoW alone right now) and was thinking of dusting that monster off.

  2. November 3, 2012 10:18 am

    Hi there, Stubborn!

    It’s been a while since I last commented, but rest assured that I have been following closely.

    Thanks for bringing to my attention Navi’s initiative and her (his? Navi was certainly a female fairy, so…) blog. These past few weeks, I finally got around to levelling my prot warrior with the disc priest of my bf. Through LFD. After every dungeon, I would be fuming through my nostrils like a treasure-ridden dragon. It always starts with the discomforting absence of an initial greeting, despite me and my boyfriend’s polite welcome. It bespeaks of a consideration of your fellow players as bots. I, being a skinner, usually take a few seconds to loot my leather if we have killed any beasts. I can guarantee that there will be one person pulling ahead. I don’t go to their rescue, entreat them to wait upon me. Sometimes it is not repeated, but most of the time it ends up in someone dying. And not very seldom it ends up in bully-like behaviour. Oh, Hell hath no fury like a tank scorned.

    But, funny enough, I get some weird kick out of righteously stomping around. I guess that I would have made a great paladin if Warcraft was the real world.

    On the subject of exploration: Oh, Pandaria is lush and full of little gems indeed. I love stumbling across lootable objects that yield expensive grey vendor items. It feels like being a D&D adventurer who finds a bag full of “useless” jewelry in a lich’s dungeon. Don’t give it the exploration up just yet because of your incident. Roam around the questless villages and inns and savour the folklore of Pandaria. Much better if there are no pandas around – silly joke-race from a bonus mission in Warcraft III.

    See you around this boisterous internet ;)

    • November 3, 2012 10:30 am

      Glad to have you back!
      First of all, “fuming through my nostrils like a treasure-ridden dragon” is fantastic. Just wanted to point that out.

      Yes, one of the reasons I don’t want to tank or heal any more is the increased visibility in an LFD group. Like I said in an earlier post, the “gogogogoers” aren’t talking to me any more, and while it still irritates me, it’s not my problem. I’m tired of carrying jerks around through my tanking or healing (and my wife’s vice versa, as well), and just dpsing means that I’m not. I can just support whoever’s right if things escalate (luckily, they didn’t in the one dungeon I’ve done) without feeling the need to stop pulling (which caused me plenty of grief) or letting someone die from lack of healing.

      Yes, I have no doubt I’d be a pally, too.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. November 3, 2012 6:29 pm

    Omg my name is in this post! Thank you for encouraging people to stand up against asshats!
    Now the unable to get to your body when dying on a cliff irks me to no end. I did it the other day and I had to get guildies to fly out and Rez me. I mean I understand the need for Rez sickness but surely I should be allowed to fly if I’m dead, especially if i have the skill in life? You can make me fly at the same speed as I walk to keep some sort of penalty… but if I had no friends to rez me them it would have been a very frustrating and expensive venture indeed.

    • November 3, 2012 10:27 pm

      Yes, I wasn’t happy about the situation, and doubly so because I sometimes complain about having to wait on my wife run way off and pull several mobs for a single gathering node, and now she was waiting on me a half hour because I took a misstep. I’m a little disappointed in Blizz for this, but only a little, and only in this one way.

      Thanks for stopping in!

  4. RimeCat permalink
    November 3, 2012 7:48 pm

    I’ve managed to find two areas that couldn’t be reached after ‘environmental accidents’. The first was irking, as I managed to not position properly and was punted off a cliff. The other was infuriating as my mount simply vanished while flying. No warning, no button pushing by me, and it wasn’t a dismount zone. That was bugged, of course, but per the excellent Blizzard feedback system I’ve no idea if it was even received.

    The more serious subject is, unfortunately, beyond player control. Someone at Blizzard seems to have calculated that the cost in staff and lost subscriptions to enforce decency rules is higher than the occasional lost subscription from the harassed. Yes, the Blues talk it up in the forum that they are on the side of goodness but really: who has ever been banned? The only people I can think of broke the NDA for TBC or Wrath.

    • November 3, 2012 10:28 pm

      Yes, the sad fact is that dollar > decency, and Blizz has made that clear from the ground up. I’ll avoid a long-winded rant (for once), but my stance is well known. The penalty volcano is a joke, and good people having to spend 2 hours of their own time to protect themselves is really unacceptable.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. November 4, 2012 9:50 pm

    Stubborn,

    I’m new here, but I saw what you posted on Genowen’s page and wanted to say hi.

    It’s unfortunate that you fee that you’ve been alone in this crusade. It’s time for us to step up. If nobody says anything then nothing gets done. Let us be the silent majority no more!

    • November 5, 2012 11:51 am

      I agree. It does feel lonely at times because there’s a lot of backlash against standing up to people. Several times people have suggested I should just keep my head down and go along to get along, but I just can’t abide by that any more. It’s bittersweet to know others out there feel the same, bitter because I wouldn’t wish this battle against jerkdom and apathy on anyone, but sweet to know I’m not alone.

      Thanks for coming by!

  6. Cain permalink
    November 5, 2012 3:16 pm

    Unfortunately, the ability to fly doesn’t fix the can’t get your body issue. I was trying to kill a rare that lives on a cliff only to die, and not be able to get back to my body.

    • November 6, 2012 9:23 am

      Yes, I certainly hope this is something Blizzard decides to look into; I don’t remember a time in Stormpeaks where you couldn’t fly, but maybe they plan to address this in a future patch.
      Thanks for the comment!

  7. November 6, 2012 5:31 am

    Thanks for the headsup about the Anti-Asshat Week; reading Navi’s post prompted me to write a post of my own that’s been brewing in my head for a while.

    Ultimately, I’m not sure that much can be done to save the WoW community from toxicity, not when Blizzard is so incredibly apathetic about enforcing even minimum standards of behaviour — and that’s exacerbated by the fact that they’ve now set a precedent of apathy on the issue, so if they *did* want to start taking action, they’d face massive blowback from offenders who were suddenly being hauled up on stuff they’d previously got away with for years. That kind of player reaction can be spun into some pretty bad press, even if the players brought it on themselves.

    I’m heartened, though, that the new/next generation of games seem to have devs who are aware of the importance of protecting their community atmosphere from scratch. Hopefully they’re learning from Blizzard’s mistakes.

    • November 6, 2012 9:33 am

      Connecting other bloggers with one another is something I really like to do. I’m glad you found her post engaging, even if it was on a frustrating level in regards to what happened to her friend.

      I agree, honestly. I’m all for pushing back sometimes, like during an “anti-asshat week,” but I think the reality is that Blizz gave up the keys to the castle a long, long time ago. Now they only deal with the most public infractions, like famous guilds running LFR over and over or harassing a player. It’s a shame, really, because Azeroth is such a nice place to spend time; too bad its citizens can be such dicks.

      I hope you’re right about the next generation; I haven’t seen much in the way of that from TSW or GW2. Perhaps I’m just not seeing it, of course, but there were plenty of jerks there, too, that i saw little happen to.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • November 6, 2012 9:45 am

      After reading your post, I revoke my “haven’t heard much about new games,” statement. Thanks for sharing those!

    • November 6, 2012 9:49 pm

      Glad you enjoyed :) I’m surprised you didn’t hear about all the ArenaNet GW2 bannings (and subsequent Reddit brouhaha), as they made quite a stir when they happened. Unfortunately I’m not sure if they’ve made as much impact on the community as one might have hoped; there are a heck of a lot of jerks in GW2, at least in my experience. Still, at least ArenaNet has made a public and early commitment to doing the right thing, which is an essential step.

    • November 8, 2012 4:48 pm

      I agree tha there’s precious little the designers can really do about the problem, but by making a public statement that they oppose it and do punish it, they empower the players to stand up for what’s right because they know the devs have their back. WoW does the opposite; it makes good players feel like outsiders in their own game, causing far more head-ducking and cowering before jerks.

      Thanks for the comment!

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