Life’s little surprises

I’ve been reading some of the recent indignant forum outcries over Legion changes and Blizz legal actions, and though I should no longer be surprised at anything I see on the internet, in fact I am.

Side note: I have decided to no longer capitalize “internet”, a practice I always considered strange anyway. But hey, if the Associated Press can announce they will no longer capitalize it, who am I to buck the trend? Now of course I have to convince my spell checker to stop auto-correcting it.

Item: Blizz finally decided to take action against Nostalrius, a rogue Vanilla WoW server operating in France, that claimed it operated in a non-profit mode for the benefit of players unable to accept the game in any form but the one they discovered years ago and cannot bear to move past.

The indignant howls from this perfectly legal action were many and anguished.

Why was I surprised? Well, I guess it is because I usually (wrongly) assume that most adults or near-adults actually understand that there are frequently consequences to their actions, and that they accept such consequences when they engage in risky behavior. That supposedly responsible adults are outraged over actions they should have anticipated from the beginning — and, frankly, were inevitable — is both puzzling and depressing.

I have no dog in this fight. If people want to get together and stick it to the establishment, go for it, power to the people and all that. But the thing is, one of the attributes of “the establishment” is that it has tremendous resources, including not only whole battalions of lawyers but also the legal backing of constituted governments in the form of contract law, intellectual property rights, and the like. If you fight them, you will almost certainly lose. No shame in fighting, no shame in losing, it is just a fact of the way the world works. And who knows, maybe if there are enough of these fights, the establishment — in this case Blizzard — might see an opportunity for profit and decide to sanction (for a fee) some of these small boutique throwback WoW servers. But no one should count on it.

So, for all those who sympathize with the Nostalrius troglodytes, you go! But for crying out loud, quit howling like 4-year-olds about “No FAIRRRRRRRR!” Grow up, accept this tactical defeat, realize you are in it for the long haul, plan your next actions, and move on.

Yeah, I am surprised that people were outraged over this.

Item: Someone recently posted a video showing *gasp* a mission table in a class hall in Legion alpha. The forum denizens went berserk over this, expressing pain and outrage that Blizz would dare to insult them by retaining this apparently highly offensive symbol of the hated WoD garrisons, and by the way, who knew there would be garrison-type missions in Legion??

I was surprised over the outpouring of ire over this, because Blizz has never made any secret of the fact that they intend to carry forward into Legion many of the aspects of WoD garrisons — as a quest hub, as a place to send followers on missions, as a home base, etc. Yes, there will be changes from garrisons, and now they will be termed “class halls” filled with all the people you usually like to avoid in the game, but still they will retain many of the same features as garrisons.

We have known this since the first Legion announcements months and months ago. People may agree or disagree with the design decision to use this vehicle, but no one should be surprised about it. And certainly it is dumbfounding that the thing that caused such a tantrum is a small piece of art left over from WoD. I could understand electronic rage over the whole idea of class halls as new and improved garrisons, over the idea that missions may be more mandatory than voluntary, over any number of class hall features, but a table?? That’s what’s unacceptable?

Yeah, I am surprised that so many people have been oblivious to the worst changes in Legion, but a video of a table makes them suddenly be “… shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” (In the famous words of Captain Renault in Casa Blanca.)

Item: Blizz just announced that Challenge dungeons in Legion will morph into several levels of Mythic, with ever-more-quirky boss quirks the higher you go. If you are interested, here is a summary of the change. I am not interested, I never did challenge mode in WoD, have zero intention of doing the new version in Legion. I get far too many timed challenges in real life in the form of impossible deadlines, thank you very much, to consider a timed dungeon run “fun”. Even though I have no interest in challenge mode, I was surprised to read about what seems to be a huge change to the WoD activity in Legion.

Why was I surprised? Well, because I did not think there was a significant demand to make this activity harder, even more unattainable by casual (that is to say “the majority of”) players.

Of course, if I think about it for even a few seconds, I realize that it was inevitable. What better vehicle for one-on-one esport competitions? With mythic raids becoming  more and more difficult for even professional guilds to field teams for, a series of mythic instances is a great gap-filler. Not to mention a mythic raid can take hours even if it is on farm, but each mythic instance is about 45 minutes in length, the perfect time frame for an hour of viewing, once commercials and celebrity interviews are thrown in.

Yeah, I was surprised — though I should not have been — that Blizz continues to develop this game for the elite pros, not for the masses of its casual players. (And before I get deluged with hate mail, if you are someone who loves challenge mode dungeons and can’t wait to try the new multi-level mythics, good on ya, you go. But know that you are definitely in the top 5% or even less of players, you are most definitely not part of the majority.) I was also surprised — again, I should not have been — that Blizz would feel the need to “improve” something that I thought was working very well as it was. But of course, that is standard procedure for them, take something that is finally working smoothly and “fix” it so that  it once again works badly if at all. (Thinking class reworks here.)

But while I was being surprised over this development, I did have a chance to look at the “affixes” Blizz has come up with so far. “Affix” is the term they use for “progressively annoying and ridiculous boss quirks” in these new challenge dungeons. You can read what they are in the link I gave above, but I think it would be fun to come up with some of our own. Here are my ideas so far:

Proposed additional affixes for the new Mythic mode dungeons in Legion:

Teenage — The boss suddenly disappears into his room and refuses to come out unless you promise to pay for a Spring Break trip. And not make fun of the gigantic zit on his forehead.

Political — The boss refuses to shut up, nattering on incessantly about how he will “Make WoW great again”, promising to build a wall to keep casuals out of the instance, whining about how the system is stacked against him, and announcing the size of his various “appendages”. (Hint: they are all “YUGE”.)

Robo-call — The boss repeatedly breaks in on your team’s voice chat app, each time starting off with the phrase “Hello, Seniors! If your medical costs are too high, you need to know about …..” The team lead can cut off the message before it finishes, but it will always break in again, at ever-increasing fast intervals.

Infomercial — Before you can begin combat, you must listen to the boss extolling the virtues of This Miraculous New Mop, the ShamWoW! (Lots of cheap jokes there, but I won’t go there, you can fill them in yourselves.) Once you start combat, you get approximately 3 1/2 minutes before you have to listen to the infomercial again, but hey if you order now we will double your order, just pay separate shipping and handling!

Annoying Neighbor — Just when you are settling in to a nice organized fight, everything going smoothly, the boss decides to do maintenance on his Harley, subjecting you to a high-decibel, continuous roar drowning out not only your ability to coordinate your team but also any semblance of sanity you had left.

Yes, life is full of surprises, not the least of which are surprises about being surprised.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

One Response to Life’s little surprises

  1. Were they right to shut it down? Yes, but on the other hand there is clearly a demand for that type of server. It’s a bit disingenuous to say “no one would play them” and not provide it, then go after people who run one. I’d absolutely play on a Vanilla server if it was provided by Blizzard and included in the regular sub fee. Heck, I’d re-sub for it, at least for a while. It also burns goodwill, which is something they’re a bit thin on right now.

    Mythic dungeons hold zero interest for me at all. I hate Diablo, and this is apparently the system they use there. Running the same dungeon hundreds of times sounds awful, especially given the quality (or lack of) in dungeons since Wrath.

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