Once Upon a Time, I got very angry about a lot of things. These days, there is far less salt and considerably more chill when it comes to how this game gets made. There’s a quote I used for the Motivation today that sums it up pretty well: If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. There’s nothing to be done over what I perceive as bad choices or mistaken decisions, it’s just not my job. I’m not qualified or in any real position to tell people how to make video games.
I can, however, let people know when they let me down, and in 8.1.5 is something that should absolutely, positively NOT be in the game, because it should have been left in game at the end of Legion. The fact people are now getting excited that they’ll be getting it back is the most depressing thing of all, at least for me. It is the very essence of why design decisions in this game come up for such harsh and consistent criticism, which in this particular (very personal) case feels reasonably warranted.
The decision to return Hati as a skin (and presumably some kind of ‘fun’ Hunter side questline) to 8.1.5 is, at least in my mind, pretty much demeaning everything that Beast Mastery Hunters did in Legion. It makes a total mockery of all those Class Fantasy mechanics in passing… all except the one belonging to Shadow Priests, whose delusions of World Domination appear to be quite significant going forward. The surprise at the depth of feeling concerning the removal of Hati pre-BfA, when the reality of retiring Artifact Weapons finally hit home, was no surprise to me at all.
If you go look in this Blog and my Social media at the time BfA was announced, you will find the places where I got very upset at the same thing long before it was cool to be indignant, deciding I’d have to change mains as a result. As it transpires, the hugely heavy-handed dismissal of individual class fantasy, plus retaining the only mechanic in Legion that stank to high heaven but kept people playing were pretty much the main reasons it became increasingly easy to ignore dailies and everything else when something more interesting came along in September.
Yet here we are, at levels of old content recycling that are, it must be said, unprecedented. Winterspring’s back, old BG’s are getting makeovers, everybody gets to be MechoGnomes soon. Give it six months and there’ll be so much content that’s current that all of you will happier than you’ve ever been. It’s almost as if, after all this time, the designers finally grasped that anything that’s wasn’t current wasn’t necessarily a failure and should be ignored, unless people protested enough. Once upon a time I’d have had an interest in details, but honestly now I don’t care.
I’m here to be casual and wonder why people get so upset about stuff they can do nothing about, and then I remember the Hunter pet in the room. Someone designed a feature with no real idea about the people who’d use it, and how emotionally attached they’d become to some pixels. Then when they took it away, in a completely logical and reasonable about face of a whole load of character abilities, they failed to grasp why so many people got upset it was being taken away.
Now YAY the designers have been kind and will give you an epic quest-line to get him back, and you’ll forget all the mean things you said when you got upset because it’s just a game. Except, it’s not the same. It’s a sham, and a poor one at that, and people allow this to happen because they’re prepared to forgive the company pretty much anything. After all, it is just pixels, right, and once you have back what they took away it won’t matter and we can still be friends.
It’s just like Classic will give you all the great bits about old Warcraft and none of the bad things. If you want to believe this is the case, who am I to stop you? The truth is it isn’t the same, it is a concession. All of this stuff is being presented to keep you paying for the game, keeping you invested. Hati should never have been taken away, and giving him back now is a marketing ploy. You can choose to disagree with this, that’s totally fine, but for me, it’s one more reason to lose interest in what now counts as current content.
You don’t get to gift me the same thing twice and try to pretend they’re different.