Tantrum tactics

Over the weekend I debated with myself over whether or not I should post this, and in the end I decided to just put it out there and let the chips fall where they may. The subject, of course, is Ion Hazzikostas’s Dev Interview from Friday, which you can see in text summary and in video here on MMO-C. There were quite a few topics covered in the interview, and honestly most of them were real yawners in my opinion, but judging by the verbiage before, during, and after the interview, there was only one item of any consequence: Warlocks.

I am going to say some uncomplimentary things about the Warlock community, but before I do, and just so those of you who even now are limbering up your fingers to generate the hate mail can have your facts straight, I play a Warlock as one of my primary alts. I have enjoyed playing it ever since Mists, I did the Green Fire quest when it first came out, I did a bit of raiding with her in WoD, and in general I have a soft spot in my heart for my little kick-ass gnome Warlock. I play with some excellent Locks, some of the most skilled players I know. And for the record, I totally agree with the meat of Warlock complaints about the class in Legion — the mechanics are horrible.

But for the last few weeks the Warlock community has been acting like a spoiled child, kicking and screaming and pounding its fists and threatening to hold its breath until it turns blue. Or maybe green, whatever. What is almost certainly a small gang of mouth-breathing bullies has commandeered Warlock forums and has taken every opportunity to run roughshod over the Blizz devs and whoever else they decide to vomit out their hatred upon. They have had massive downvote and flame campaigns in the forums — not just the Warlock forums but also the general Q&A forum. They spammed the Q&A forum with their rage-filled screeds, and they organized a tedious spam of Twitch chat during the live video of the Friday interview, with the obvious goal of shutting down all voices but their toddler-like wailing. Their tactics drew a comment from Hazzikostas — basically a very gentle reminder that such behavior is not optimal for getting Blizz’s attention.

Except that all evidence is that such tactics are exactly what do get Blizz’s attention, not to mention action. Not only did Hazzikostas spend several minutes detailing what the devs think is inadequate about Warlock design in Legion, but he promised some quick fixes immediately and at least consideration of other changes in 7.1. Even more, after the same Warlock thugs loudly expressed their indignation that he would dare to suggest they might be *gasp* slightly rude, he apologized to them in their forum. And this was followed by what appears to be a series of actual blue feedback.

!!!!!!

Now, as I said, I think the asshats doing this are a very tiny minority of the Warlock community. To the extent that I identify myself as part of that community, I have to hold myself partly accountable for their actions, as should all decent players who love playing their Locks. We let these bullies get away with their tactics, we let them mercilessly flame everyone who dared to disagree with them or who even tentatively mentioned that they were giving all of us a black mark, we let them shut down any semblance of civil discourse. We let them speak for us.

We were cowards, there is no other way to put it. Shame on us.

But shame on Blizz, too, and yes, shame on Ion Hazzikostas, for proving that the only way to get any attention from Blizz is to pitch a screaming, raging fit.

Like Warlocks, the Hunter community has had very serious and legitimate concerns about our class design, beginning in the early days of alpha and continuing to today.  Like Warlocks, we have filled our own forums with thousands upon thousands of posts detailing every aspect of those concerns. Like Warlocks, very respected and skilled members of the community have begged Blizz to reconsider, to at least think about restoring some of the essence of the class. Like Warlocks, we feel let down and ignored by Blizz.

But unlike Warlocks, we as a community have not resorted to scorched earth tactics. Yes, there have been a few individual Hunter posts — mostly in forums — that have a rude edge to them, but they are the exception, and we certainly have not organized the kind of mass tantrum that the Warlock knuckle-draggers have. Nor should we. But it is difficult to keep to the high road when you see it’s the low road that gets results.

It will be the bitterest of ironies if Blizz makes substantive changes to improve Warlock play and continues to ignore Hunters.

Blizz, one more time, I implore you to give Hunters — who as a community have played by your rules — at least the same consideration and attention you have chosen to bestow upon the Warlock class in response to their tantrum tactics.

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.

2 Responses to Tantrum tactics

  1. Sure, the squeaky wheel gets the grease but, dang, should it stop the entire parade?

  2. Pingback: Legion Feedback – Coffee Cakes and Crits