|May. 1st, 2006 08:40 am Stolen from a friend and meant as a warning! :)|
-- I've never played WoW personnally, but would have gotten sucked in if it did not have continental seperated game zones. so I guess I escaped it. But I got addicted to EQ badly a long moment at least a year in my life, and currently have gotten into GW. hopefully this post will help me not to fall into the gaming trap again to the extent I was.--3 comments - Leave a comment
Blizzard doesn't care about gamers.
Blizzard does not care about gamers.
When I say that, I almost feel like the Kanye West of gamers, standing on tv with some drooling white moron pointedly telling people the truth.
I hope no one out there is under any illusions.
I'm not much of a gamer, to be honest my favorite type of games are still space invaders type things. Yes, give me a ship and tell me to shoot things - that would keep me entertained for hours. Pong did too.
I had all but stopped gaming a few years back, but I made an exception for Diablo 2 and it's expansion. I wish I hadn't. When I discovered online diablo gaming, I got sucked in, big time. For some reason those games are addictive, I know the mechanics behind it, I just don't understand why it works, why it's so easy to train your brain into giving you a chemical reward for accomplishing things in a virtual environment. Is real life lacking so much?
I lost nearly a year of my life to Diablo 2.
Yes, I may have done a lot in that year, but it was done to a background of playing a shoddy, repetative game.
Yes, I would still go to gigs and get drunk, but it was done to a background of playing the digital version of crack.
Before I go on to explain why Blizzard does not care about gamers, why it is a great evil that must be stomped by the jackboot of sanity. I will just outline something that irks me.
I don't like MMORPGS.
If I ruled the world, I would outlaw them and make people who objected work the fields.
They are insidious contraptions of filth designed to suck people in, to grind away for hours - first gaining levels and then gaining items - the storys, are poorly written, hollow, bastardised from the wider world of fantasy fiction to just a point where they can't get sued. As a writer, if I ever happened across the people who for instance, wrote World of Warcraft, I'd be hard pushed not to wrench their kidneys out their asshole. Which is pretty much how I feel about Cory Doctorow. But that asides, we all know how addictive they are, Everquest and other mmorpgs were and are a rising percentage on the list of reasons given for marriage break-ups.
So they're addictive.
What really pisses me off about them is the fact that the masses addicted to them view it as some sort of medal of honor.
Sitting around on forums, in game, in real life, patting themselves on the back about it.
You don't see heroin addicts meeting each other and grinning and cheerfully saying "Yeah hehe I've been addicted to heroin for five years, isn't the third year really great."
"Well I liked my tenth best actually."
You goddamn soulless morons.
I swear, such denial and idiocy, when the revolution comes, you won't be the first against the wall because you won't make it to the wall, those like me will have killed you with giddy excitement on the walk to your holding pens.
It's a simple concept.
It's an addiction and it's unhealthy.
Back to Blizzard.
Blizzard incase you don't know has strode the game world for the last few worlds like a collossus made of paper mache assholes.
It's latest netherspawn is World of Warcraft and yes, I'm addicted to the game and yes this is all the intricate process of beating the addiction.
I swore, I swore up and down I would never play another mmorpg after Diablo, I swore till I was blue in the face, I lambasted others for getting sucked into them, I shook my fist and took the oath of Thor that goddamnit my bones would be dust before I happened to play another mmorpg.
Of course - then I was going through a hard time and desperate to get my hands on Call of Cthulu for the Xbox - a friend had come over with it, I have a love for Lovecraft bordering on the homoerotic, so I figured, going through a hardtime, nothing sucks you away from reality like a good game.
Trust me on this.
Nothing works like a good game.
I've tried all the drugs.
I've drank my share, your share, your friends share and I'm still drinking that hobo's share.
Don't worry, he won't miss it.
I killed him.
The only problem was, nowhere sold the game, well nowhere in my immediate vicinity. The game shop I ended up in sold only playstation and pc games, desperate for something, anything, I could not leave without a game, I bought world of warcraft.
I had sworn I wouldn't.
I had stuck it out for a year and not bought the infernal thing.
I wish I hadn't.
Don't get me wrong, WoW is beautiful game, truly, beautiful. Designed visually with a lot of love.
The story however reminds me of drinking warm dog vomit. Although worse, more insipid. I'm telling you, a room full of monkies could have written something better.
The quests are only interesting during the very early stages before they fade off into the boring and repetative.
But, it sucks you in, like some sort of parasitic infection it writhes its way into your nervous system, fleshy tendrils fastooning themselves around your spine as it sinks its feeding tube into your cortex.
There are glitches in the game and the gamers have offered until they're blue in the face to help Blizzard fix them. No Joy.
The policies are quite laughable.
I'm sure you're all aware of the hype about their blatant homophobia with toward guilds.
But that's not all.
I had my first run in with Blizzard quite quickly.
I had the word Wookie - which is not Wookiee (ala Star Wars). There seemed to be no problem with this on the realm I played on (a roleplay realm in Europe) until a busybody decided to message me and berate me for several hours to report myself for my name?
For well over two hours, they tried every bullying and harassment tactic in the book about my name. I refused to ticket myself and I didn't want to ticket them.
I logged on the next to find a window about changing my name, I changed the wookie to Wukie (I have never had a problem about this oddly enough). Upon finding this little busybody bully had actually got their way, I made a ticket in game (a ticket being like a report to the in-game help) regarding the harassment and bullying I had suffered at this person's hands.
The response I got?
When I finally got a response, I was lamely patted on the head and told to get over it and told that Blizzard would look into the matter - nothing more.
Oh yes, I was told that I could report names if I wanted.
Hm, so it's fine for people to go around with names robbed blatantly from every modern source, but I have Wookie (not Wookiee) in my name and they reward someone for telling and harassing me by forcing me to change my name?
That's just great that is, Blizzard supports people bullying other people and ratting other people out, Big Blizzard, the national socialist gaming company for you.
Now before I go on, I should explain that a large part of this game and most games like it, is the finding of rare items.
Some of these items have a .0001% chance in dropping in like 10,000 kills of said monster.
Now that, is rare.
To highlight Blizzard's general ineptitude and lack of any giving a single damn about gamers, I shall highlight two issues here.
Firstly, they, it seems, cannot even be bothered to be like other mmorpg game companies and keep in game logs of events. These logs are essential, if something goes wrong, the company is supposed to be able to review them and rectify a mistake, like say give you an item that you lost through a game glitch.
An item dropped for me during a ten player run on a certain area of the game, the item has an extremely low percentage of dropping. I had disconnected and reconnect mid-fight. It was found, when the monster was dead, that they couldn't give me the item. So three people, including myself, made complaint tickets to blizzard. After several hours, they finally contacted me.
First off, they did not treat me with any care - that possibly I was a customer and upset something had gone wrong, no they treated me like I was already guilty of lying to them to somehow con them out of an item, that I need to be investigated to prove I am innocent.
It takes them a while, three days or so to finally reach their conclusion.
The conclusion being, no, I'm not getting the item, thank you.
A nice little feature blizzard have set into the game is one where you seem to be unable to save the in-game emails blizzard help staff send you. I haven't figured out why they would do this, but it does certainly seem odd.
I decide that this isn't good enough and pursue Blizzard only to be told first, there is no record of the item dropping, after their support person apologises for not having enough training to deal with the matter, I finally find out, that Blizzard has not only no record of the drop, but no record of the kill. Which can only be because Blizzard does not keep logs and if they do, its a spotty half assed operation they could give two damns about.
They could have told me this from the beginning, I could have tried to get the ten people there to ticket them. But no.
I asked if I provided a screen shot of the item drop, no that doesn't work either
That's it then, nowt, I have scant chance of seeing the item again unless I waste my timing running the same monster maybe 30-40 times?
And I pay these people?
To be guilty until proven innocent?
To be treated with a pat on the head?
To be sidelined against obviously harassing bullies with too much time on their hands?
To be apologised to because their staff aren't trained well enough?
To be told only half the truth half of the time until I drag the rest out with a pliers?
I get mad...
I start growling about this in game and begin to hear a sluice of horror stories, people losing items rarer than mine, some with .001% of dropping, getting a neat little email back spouting some tired nonsense about oh well if we gave you the item we'd have countless others coming for even rarer items with the icing of the cake - a html embedded advertisement for their new expansion...
Not one to lie down.
Not one to take shit, ever, from anyone.
I phone Blizzard about a refund, I send in a written complaint...
I get the same shit, because we cannot verify this, because we don't have logs, because we didn't care enough to fucking insure we kept logs, no, you don't get it.
You don't get it.
One day, just one day, whoever you are, you piss the wrong person off. It's not much, sometimes you just get a punch in the mouth, many times it comes back to you in numerous ways - perhaps the person ruins your reputation in a social circle, perhaps something worse. Whatever happens, its like a karmic viral cancer that echoes back and forth.
Granted, I don't have the same sort of access people like Cory Doctorow have to grandstand their problems.
I can't post on my journal like Neil Gaiman and get several hundred responses.
What I do have is the ability to hold and burn a grudge for an unholy amount of time.
What I am doing is changing people one person at a time.
So far there is a good ten people who will never play your game.
That's what I intend to do, stand on the street corner and shout,maybe not all will hear me, but some will, the disaffected, the wounded, the jaded addicts, whatever whoever.
All that matters is that the message gets through.
Blizzard does not care about gamers.
Don't give Blizzard your money, don't waste your cash on digitally signing a docuement with unrealistic stipulations - Blizzard demands much of the gamer - you can't buy gold, you can't sell your account, you must play the game by what Blizzard decides is fair.
No, no, hold up there - if Blizzard doesn't play fair - why should you?
Sell accounts, buy accounts.
Fix the player versus player battlegrounds.
Cheat, lie and steal.
Do it because Blizzard has already decided that's what you do.
Do it because Blizzard will do the same back to you.
Do it because their terms of playing are due to be trashed in a courtroom very soon.
Do it because they are lying to you.
There is nothing more I hate than organisations standing up to lie bold faced to the masses about the morals they stand for - while they fleece your pockets to make a quick buck.
Blizzard does not care about gamers.
Know that, the money you pay monthly does not afford you anything, no services bar the updates (which happened with Diablo for free, regardless - so we know they have it in them).
Know that, once you reach a certain level, there are no safety catches in place to prevent the game from glitching on you and ruining the several hours you have spent accomplishing something.
You might as well construct a small altar of Diablo, Diablo 2 and Warcraft boxes and burn money in front of it.
That is the equivilant of what you are doing by giving these scumbags money.
You would not gamble in a casino where if the dealer dealt you an ace, he was able to take it back from your hand and say "Whoops I fumbled the deal - sorry, I have to take that back"
Why do the same with these people?
Are your lives so damn empty?
Are that many of you actually hiding away from a problem, from actually living, that you will honestly pay people for nothing?
If that is the case...
If you are that weak...
Blizzard does not care about you, it does not care about gamers, what you think is a sham, all they want is your money, if they could get away with it, they'd sell you empty boxes and feed you shit on your own tab.
If you're not weak...
If you see and are disgusted by it - then fucking do something, you don't have to do anything major, work it down to one person at a time - these games aren't healthy, they suck people in just as bad as any drug, they wreck lives under the illusion of some sort of underground gamer kudos.
One person at a time.
Stop everyone you know.
The words alone, are the least you would do for a friend slipping into alcoholism or heroin addiction, they should be the least you would do for someone hobbling along on a crutch that isn't even tangible, that they have let train their brain into giving them chemical rewards for things that do not exist.
Two hundred years ago, we'd have locked these people away.
Now we provide them with space to pat each other on the back at how addicted they are.
This must stop.
If it does not stop - we will end up in a situation similar to the 'Better Than Life' game in the Red Dwarf books.
They don't care about you.
They will pass off a shoddy half finished product, a shiny can of coke that has a beautiful tin yet no liquid, they will patch together any old garbage aslong as you are willing to smile and nod at them like a happy lonely puppy and keep shelling out money.
It needs to end.