Friday, January 15, 2010

Catering to the douchebags.

Since last I wrote, two of the major changes (among the several) that have been blueposted and implemented by Blizzard, have struck my attention in a negative manner. Both are the result of what is described as "observation of the community", or as you would elsewise call it, complaining on forums and ingame from douchebags.

The way I see it, the term "douchebag" with regard to World of Warcraft applies to two people: The ones who know they are better than everyone else and act accordingly like they own the game (the "Testaburgers"), and the ones who (by whatever mental machination fuelling their ego) THINK they are better than they actually are, and act as though they are as good as they themselves belives (the "Cartmans").

I don't think the Cartmans and Testaburgers are a majority in World of Warcraft, but they are certainly well represented. What puts them above your average Joe, is their ability to make themselves heard, their knowledge of channels to use and how to make sure they are coming across. Which brings us back to my original, Cartman-powered topic: the two recent changes to the game who, in my opinion, is nothing but catering to the douchebags.

- The nerfed heroics.

We've all been there. The tank who refuses to do Eck, or the healer who lies down in the middle of Halls of Stone unless you skip Maiden and Krystallus, anyone sighing at making the extra trip down to fungus corner in Old Kingdom. The people leaving after a wipe, the blamers yelling at you if you ever were to make a mistake in any way. In short: the douchebags who care exclusively about the instance being as fast as humanly possible, preferrably faster, and who WILL tell you off if you're anywhere near making a mistake that could potentially slow a run down for as much as fourteen seconds.

We all saw it coming with Oculus and Ionar, but this week it still materialized: several of the "old" heroics are being nerfed. Boss abilities are being reduced, trash is being repositioned or removed, time-consuming events like Jadoga's ascension and Anomalus' disperse are being all but neutralized. All to speed up heroics, so that they take as little time as possible.

I realize that a large part of the PvE community as this point outgear these instances and only run them out of novelty or the "forced" notion that you absolutely need Frost badges. I also realize that very, very few players ding in purples and that running these in blues are suddenly a valid reason among a rapidly growing number of players to kick players (seeing how their sub-par 1500 DPS will slow down the group). A year ago, we used to do these instances in blues. It was still fast, it was more fun, and it was even for a moment there slightly challenging. We've zerged Loken for a while now, Mage-Lord Urom became largely zergable in the (first) Oculus nerf, and we already zerg the Devourer of Souls since any healer of decent gear and experience outheals it like nothing. How is this even remotely fun?

The next time you complain about a player slowing down your group speed from hyperpower to just decent, average fast, remember that Blizz is listening. Keep it up, in the future we may actually stop even playing the game to recieve badges and rewards. No matter how many times you've ran any heroic in the past is irrelevant. Some people still enjoy them. Being a douchebag about speed isn't helping anyone enjoy anything.

- Prot warrior nerf.

Yep, it happened. The arena-PvP douchebags got their way and got an arena PvP-spec that was too hard to handle unless you were actually skilled nerfed. And not just any build - we're talking WARRIOR TANKS. Specifically, warrior tanks are apparently so ridiculously hard on mages these days, that they even make RMP-compositions somewhat challenging. Poor mages. Couldn't stand being challenged again after all those years of free kills, could you?

I agree that Warbringer breaking roots and snares is a valid, PvP-oriented nerf. It won't affect warrior PvE tanking in any notable manner, and as such, I can agree with it being a solution to the "evil rawrior on the loose"-complaints. The main PvE use of Warbringer is fast and reliable movement, not CC-reduction. I expect similar nerfs to druid forms any day now.

The change to Shield Slam, however, it beyond ridiculous. Let me get this straight - because warriors have too many stuns and interrupts, you're nerfing their already average (at best) damage output. I'll leave the block dimisihing returns changes in peace (as we all know block is terminally ill with Cataclysmitis), but the whole concept of upping the internal threat value to compensate for lowering the damage output is a straight out PvE threat nerf. This is a result of a very small group of PvP douchebags (who are, fact, the absolute worst douchebags) facing a threat that can't be dealt with in any conventional tradition and thus, must be nerfed. While I agree that arena should be balanced (WoW PvP is already a big enough joke as it is), I am nothing but angered and extremely disappointed that Blizzard went ahead and implemented a PvP-based nerf that will affect PvE in a greater way than PvP.

But douchebags will be douchebags. Be aware of their power, your class could be next.

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