Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Last week I was chatting in Officer about raid difficulties and how the End Game has changed forever with LFR, and the two of us involved got into a discussion concerning how the Hardcore would approach this change to the system. We both decided that LFR would be a great way to 'train' a Guild to know an encounter well before encountering it in 10/25 man, and that for those who consider Hard Modes as the benchmark, last week would have been when they got their house in order. This week they'd cancel their lives and just Raid, and nothing else, so they could be there with the World Firsts.
I have absolutely no idea how it works, of course. I assume that, if I were raiding in a Hardcore Guild, I'd say goodbye to friends and family this week and I'd be tied to a PC/Mac until the job was done. No social life, no 'breaks', just the game. I'd also be in the position where Blizzard would be watching me: again, I surmise this is also the case, that the 'big names' have GM's checking their logs on a regular basis, to see how the encounters are being played, how gear was accrued. I'd want to be on my best behaviour as a result. I'd certainly not want to do anything stupid.
Especially not something like this.
I am staggered. There's no other word for it, frankly. When I heard there'd been manipulation of the Master Loot System to reward players with additional gear, I thought it would be the odd person here and there. I'd not grasped just how widespread it was, and who it was who were doing it. Wowhead considers this a 'loophole' to the system, but come on. It's cheating. If you get spectacularly lucky (and I know of at least one Guildie who did last week) you might end up with two bits of tier from an LFR. Maybe, just MAYBE if you get REALLY lucky you might end up with three. Anything else, we would say in Guild, is just greedy.
I am sure there will be those who say 'it's Blizzard's fault, they should have known this would happen and made the system watertight' and yes, there is a measure of agreement with that statement, but then I find myself thinking that frankly you shouldn't need to. If these people really play the game because they love and enjoy it, I think they should know this was wrong and the coding is irrelevant. If someone gives you a Martin Thunder, would you use it? If you find a 'loophole' are you the one to walk away or do you just keep farming? Clearly in this case, the need to Be First overrode a great many people's common sense. The bans these Guilds have now been given means a whole new slew of people can forget their lives for the next week and just play until they get those titles... but hang on. Is this REALLY what this game has become for people? Is all that really matters that you've done it before anyone else?
Yes, it is for some, and that's really rather sad, especially as we can see the lengths those people were prepared to go to make that happen.
Last week I got excited about us being in the top 30 of progression on my server. I know I'll never be first for anything, and if I'm honest I'd not ever want to try and be either. There are more important things, at least there are when your in your 40's with kids and a mortgage. I know that's not true for many people my age, that this race to First Place is still very significant, but in the bigger scheme of things it's pretty much an irrelevance. However, if it matters so much in your General Scheme why, when you are racing for your spot, you do something monumentally selfish like this?. Reading the apology from Paragon is frankly rather depressing: 'The fact that others were using it as well is no justification for doing it ourselves.' But it was: you felt you were going to be left behind. Instead of taking the moral high ground, instead of stopping and thinking you simply followed suit. Had you done nothing, you'd be there, ready to potentially win. Now you won't.
I have no idea what it's like to be in a Hardcore Guild, and I never will, and frankly today I'm rather glad of that fact. I've seen what this game does to selfish people, and I've seen how it can drag people into an experience that's nothing to do with enjoyment or satisfaction and everything to do with need and want. I sincerely hope those Guilds who have been gifted the opportunity to step up and claim the World Firsts do so and learn from this experience. It's not just the title that matters, it's how you play the game as you get there.
Don't make this just about being First, make it about learning how to be better than those whose places you take.