It’s been a while, but there are good reasons. In the process of addressing mental health issues, my subs to Warcraft were finally stopped at the weekend. It’s not much per month, of course, but if I’m not playing then that cash is better off used for things that matter more. I’ve tried unsuccessfully in the last couple of months to sum up why it’s now time to walk away, only to end up failing miserably.
They key, of course, is not to blame anybody except yourself.
The whole ‘gambling’ thing will run and run, of course: is it a loot box, opening card packs, exchanging vendor currency for a RNG item… and the list goes on. That has been a constant in Azeroth since I needed to rack up Dragon Kill Points to fail to even win bidding for the T2 Trousers from Ragnaros. If it matters enough, effort is irrelevant. That’s my part of this equation: do I keep grinding to remain in the game, and by definition, powerful?
Ask my mate Stone about what constitutes relevance, and his answer will undoubtedly be different. He’s the one encouraging people to do 1-120 wearing white items, not fighting mobs (just picking herbs or mining) and attempting various other challenges a world away from Mythic + and World First raiding. This is the side of the game that most people would consider niche, but they’d be wrong. This approach is just as relevant as the bleeding edge, possibly more so.
The problem is it won’t make Activision Blizzard any money.
Here’s where you lost me, Warcraft. This is the reason, finally, that you weren’t worth supporting any more. Some have suggested it is years of broken promises, the lack of empathy in design decisions that is overwhelmingly obvious in other IP’s. Yesterday, whilst talking about something entirely separate, my brain reminded me of a frame from an ActiBlizz financial statement a while back. If there were better filing here, I could pull it out…
Retention is the key for this company, and that’s been the case since they launched Hearthstone. If you’re not playing Warcraft, play that or Overwatch or summat else in the Launcher. Plan your holidays in November, buy our merchandise, keep spending to keep our esports ventures alive. We don’t care how you do it, just keep giving us cash, we’re just like Disney only we don’t have theme parks yet, but hey it won’t be long now, have a virtual one while you wait.
Someone chastised me on Twitter for blaming Devs over my unhappiness, and he was absolutely right. I don’t have any ill feelings towards anyone making any of these games, being paid by this company, happily living their personal dreams. My problem is 100% solely with consumerism, increasing need to make everything about parting me from my cash. When gaming stops being fun because of decisions made solely to retain my sub, or keep me online playing, it is time to stop.
Just like the gambling adverts say I should.
Watching the number of people around me who now make money (or try to) on the back of this behemoth, there’s another reason why this took three months to write. Being part of the juggernaut matters, it’s a badge of honour or an important status symbol. You don’t squish other people’s hopes and dreams just because you’re broke. That’s not how any of this works. So, you say your piece, then let everyone else continue to enjoy their lives.
Therefore, those of you who make a living from professional complaint, please remember the following:
- Criticism is objective, dispassionate discourse. It is NOT a two hour YouTube rant about all the times you got dicked on in loot rolls, or how your class as sucked since the last content patch. LEARN TO BE CONSTRUCTIVE.
- The occasional ‘fuck this sucks’ Tweet is perfectly acceptable. 24/7, wall-to-wall ‘I hate you Blizzard and all you stand for’ has already got you blocked. No, you don’t get to be forgiven, because you didn’t consider yourself part of the problem in the first place.
- If you leave, cancel your sub and stop playing, do everybody a favour and don’t become the Reformed Warcraft is Everything That’s Wrong About Gaming Evangelist. It isn’t. They make more money than anybody, and that’s why it doesn’t matter what they promise. If we all keep coming back, nothing really changes. Evolution begins with the self.
In conclusion: I ruined my own experiences, and I no longer desire to throw money at a company whose game has not been played consistently since 8.1 launched. Nobody else to blame here but myself.
As a result of this revelation, there might be some more posting here going forward.
We will see.