Saturday, November 30, 2013

Half Life

Life Mantras #196

Oh, how I needed that lie in this morning \o/

I'll warn you now, don't expect anything big or clever today. This is not a Saturday for searing social comment like last week, or for embroiling myself in big, involved arguments wrapped around entitlement. Frankly, this is an entire two days for the largest cups of tea and bacon sandwiches I can source from the new kitchen, and it's time to FARM. I know it's the weekend and these are traditionally rubbish days for killing anything, but this is now the only time I possess for several weeks to get down to the business of making huge piles of stuff for use later on, so I'm bloody well going to make the most of them.

This means, in no particular order, I will be destroying the following:

  • Mining nodes
  • Mogu (all varieties)
  • Farming resources (everyone with a farm is going to plant something)
  • LFR's between all this for Valor

I have a Sky Golem with my name on it to produce and that will only happen with actual thought and genuine application. I'm gonna go for farming Skyshards too, just because of the utterly appalling drop rate, and I'm all about ridiculous RNG challenges, hence why I'll be coupling it with Archaeology digging 'on the side.' If you're going to do one frankly soul-destroying task, then why not double those up and try them all. The great thing with the Skyshards, of course, is that I can farm them on anyone as they're BoA, so that's where the secondary farmer comes in. She still gets double rep for the Golden Lotus JUST FOR KILLING GUYS.

Let's see how long that grind takes to Exalted, shall we?

For now, we have a sandwich and a massive cuppa. LET US BEGIN THE DAY CORRECTLY.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Alternative Chat :: Episode 8

I'm sorry this one took a while, but it all gets explained in the details. Just take a look at how shiny this whole thing is and that it's not simply cobweb-free, but you could EAT YOUR DINNER OFF IT. Without further ado, wipe down the surfaces and get episode 8 of Alternative Chat in here STAT!

This week, I will be mostly chatting about:
  • Domestic upheaval.
  • How some things are not other people's fault.
  • What I'd like from Greatfather Winter for Winter Vale.
  • The lack of Faffing in my life.
  • Almost getting to 200 Mounts.

Any thoughts or comments, or ideas for which cheesy 1980's synth pop standard Mr Alt can destroy for a future Podcast please poke:

alternativegodmother (all one word) AT gmail DOT com



Apologies for anyone expecting a new Mr Alt Custom introduction this week, he too's been bogged down with a great big bag of Real Life Pants, plus is recording a special Christmas Project I cannot speak of here. Hopefully, I'll have him on board next week :D


Hopefully, no 2 week break this time, and we'll be back as per 'normal' next Friday! Cross Everything!

Shiny Happy People

So what for the peoples who spent a fortune on gems an jewel crafting just to have a useless pro now.

Despite this being a bit beyond the scope of this discussion, we can say that we don’t want to keep a flawed gear design just to ensure revenue for Jewelcrafters. We are, however, considering additional types of things that they could make to offset the need for so many gems

It may be an afterthought in the discussion concerning new stats on gear, but this little nugget does at least give hope to professions lovers that the changes incoming won't be overlooked in the things we make. How that actually manifests itself... well, let's spend a bit of time speculating on what we might see in the next couple of months. The fact the devs are at least acknowledging this now, that there will be a drop of income because of the changes being implemented, shows an obvious grasp of the consequences of changing armour in the long term.

I reckon this might be the moment when this profession actually comes into its own, because if there has to be such a massive change because of the reduction and use of gems, Blizzard may well go to town on a revamp. After all, I don't know about you, but I feel Jewelcrafting has become far less about the beauties of creation, and far more about the concepts of determination and repetition.

Jake's brain was full of the moneymaking possibilities...

Making money from Jewelcrafting has long been the preserve of those prepared to undercut and relist with an enthusiasm that needs to remain undiminished regardless of your market conditions. It also underpins a key number of concepts to use other raw materials to make money (ore shuffling, jewellery creating for disenchanting) and so any major change is likely to impact on a large number of markets. I'd have to defer to the serious gold makers as to the market for the Panthers, but building mounts has never struck me as a consistent form of income. Far more significant is the market in armour and trinkets, and I'd hope that any change to the profession provides items with use not simply at max level, but all the way from rolling fresh. In fact, could this be the moment where trinkets stop being simply Soulbound, and Jewelcrafters get a chance to make them to sell as Engineers can? I could see these being created with a random tertiary stat on them, for instance, for a variety of go-to uses (Leech for healers, Sturdiness for tanks) and if you made PvP versions of the same with PvP Power, you'd probably guarantee a decent income right there. Trinkets are, after all, by far the hardest items to obtain outside dungeons and instances.

Could this also be the moment to add more of weaponry to the Jewelcrafter's skillset? They can already produce a range of fist weapons, after all: might this be the moment that list is extended to possibly include an offhand or two? What I sense is far more likely to happen, especially with the changes to bagspace and storage we can expect in Warlords, is a significant increase to the number of 'fun' vanity items that are available for a Jewelcrafter to produce, especially in relation to mogging items. In fact, there's probably a goldmine of potential opportunity right there. You just have to look at items like the Rhinestone Sunglasses to understand that Goblin consumerism's had it all sussed out for quite some time.


Perilously little has actually been mentioned about the concepts of Transmog in Warlords, save the probably vital acknowledgement that if it were like D3's proposed system (discover an item, you know how to mog it) no-one would ever need spare bag space again (sorry Tailors :P) However, what it would open the gates for would be creating items for crafters that would have a shelf life as long as new players entered the game, and a means to extend the Mogging 'Portfolio' for those people who insist on all of the colours in all of the sizes. If that means glasses with four different shades of lenses, there's going to be people who do them all, because I'd count myself in that number.

I wonder if anyone's giving this amount of thought to Professions this 'early' in the day, normally we're the 11th Hour addons to the final picture. I'd love to think that finally it is being given the attention I'd hope it deserves, and then I remember I'm only one person and the whole of Asia just wants to raid before anything else and I get my sense of perspective back in pretty short order. The fact remains, there WILL have to be change, because of the utterly basic nature of the crafting model. Anything with stats on it has to be altered, which includes every item of armour anyone ever makes that fits into that category. Let's hope Jewelcrafting becomes just one place where everything gets looked at and dealt with in a sympathetic matter.

We can but dream, after all.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fever To The Form

I know that face ^^

From time to time, I watch people react in indignation to this game's myriad varieties of drama.

The interactive experience is capable of producing a huge range of emotional responses, often to things that seem on the surface to be fairly... well, tame. It also highlights the fact that how people immerse themselves in the experience has as much to do with the people around them as it does to their own personal viewpoint. Guild drama especially is wrapped around the notion of group dynamics as well as knowing what pushes an individual's buttons. Needless to say, it's a fairly safe bet to assume that if someone in a Guild will get upset about something, that's likely to be a trigger for others. This can be especially useful if in LFR you encounter a large group of Guildies, or indeed on Twitter or Facebook where like-minded sensibilities can mean responses are less of a surprise when grasped in a wider context.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Context is a killer.

It also throws into relief the notion that Community matters to people: yes, we all want a place where we can feel happy and we can relate to each other, but if people's reaction when an individual responds in a method that makes them uncomfortable or forces them to consider their position is to simply attack or to turn around and ignore that, that's just wrong. That's not going to help those new to the experience feel included, or encourage people to want to be better behaved. It will simply reinforce the notion of cliques, and sub-groups, and that behaving badly is acceptable because, in essence, that's what these other people are doing, even if their justifications may appear to them to be perfectly reasonable. Learning to let stuff go, as we discussed at the weekend, is a tough ask for many.

Understanding that your own sensibilities aren't everyone else's can also be difficult for many to grasp. This is something I can acutely relate to, and I suppose that's what's prompted this post this morning. On the back of yesterday's events I've come to the conclusion that absolutely the worst thing you can ever do is assume that you know what anyone else is thinking, that the only way to find out is to ask, and if you aren't prepared to stop and think about the consequences of your actions, nothing ever changes. It's simply easier and far more sensible to walk away, to withdraw and concentrate on yourself, but if that action alienates or marginalises people when you do so, then everyone loses. What makes perfect sense to you may be impossible for someone else to understand, and if that is the case then you shouldn't simply assume the other person's wrong, you should be looking to yourself for the possibility you're also at fault.

Ring ring, ring ring, RINGS AROUND THE WOOOOOOORLD...

Making Community work is everyone's job, and to keep it working well is a full-time responsibility. It also means, from time to time, giving bits of yourself away, and by that I mean having to compromise on what you feel matters to allow the greater good a chance to grow. Yup, that means realising that occasionally people make genuine mistakes and it's not a malicious act out to ruin people or destroy your notion of peace and harmony. It's grasping that not agreeing with your opinion doesn't make an individual bad or wrong, it simply makes them different too. Tolerance is really hard when every third word you see in an LFR may be abusive, or when certain words appear in conversation that make you prickle or withdraw. It is far harder to stop and take the time to explain to someone WHY these things are bad, far easier to report and walk away. However, only one has a chance of changing a person's outlook.

In fact, the people who really make the difference, the ones people inevitably aspire to and want to be like, aren't often the great people many would believe they are. What makes them brilliant, more often than not, is the fact they DON'T walk away from anything, that they deal with both the good and the bad head on. After all, the only way not to get hurt is to never to take part, and your life's gonna be pretty damn boring if that's the outlook you take. So then you have the job of balancing everything, all at once, and yeah that's hard work too... but the rewards... oh the rewards are fabulous. All that just for putting your heart on the line, every day. It's utterly worth it, because when you get it right, the results are absolutely spectacular, and you can change people's lives for the better. So, next time you find yourself involved in drama, don't simply default to your normal state. Take a chance. Try something different, and if you get hurt, pick yourself up and carry on, and learn from what's happened. In the end, the best lesson you will ever learn is that you're never as good as you can be. There's always room for improvement. Every Day is a School day.

Feel free to insert your own inspirational phrase here, and then take a moment to understand that sometimes being cynical isn't the answer.

Mad About the Boy

Everyone and their moose will be doing a post on that news in the next few days. You know the thing, with that guy? Yeah, him. I'm not going to join them. I'm not qualified to pass judgement, for starters, and it wouldn't be right because I don't know him, and I think posts of that type belong to those people who can call someone a real-world friend.

What I will say is this.

Social media's wrapped pretty tightly around the future of gaming, in one form or another. The people who control that have the world in their pocket, like it or not. That means those who will go far understand when to pick their moments, and won't allow the opportunists 'out there' to derail them. In fact, a smart player would probably know full well the consequences of posting something in the public domain, because that's what it is: public. 'Friends' is a relative term on social media sites after all. You can be indignant and upset, and be justified, but the bottom line remains: that too is a game, and if you play it well, you are unstoppable.

That man owned his Public Persona, utterly and totally. He knew exactly what he was doing, and he made Twitter his tool for progress, and I doubt Blizzard will ever find anyone as competent as him at doing just that. For that fact alone, he will be missed by the company because controlling your market is as much about handling the flow of information as it it will ever be about your end product.

In fact, many people would do well to learn that lesson. You take the power in your hands, and you wield it as you see fit. This makes you potentially a force for change, and a significant player not simply in design, but implementation.

A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.

In all of his time at Blizzard, he was far wiser than anyone who tried to destroy his enthusiasm. Leaving now, I suspect, was all part of the plan.

May his next customer base be a far easier ride than the last one ever was.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

TWIWBM :: Inbetween Days


Oh look, it's Wednesday again :P

I think we have the Valor thing sorted, so now I believe we require a longer term plan. I think it might be time to wheel the Achievements in here.

Let us begin with something horribly involved.


I know I'm not the only person working on History of the Mantid and The Seat of Knowledge and as far as soul-sapping, game-love-destroying Achievements go, these are probably pretty high up the list. This also gives me the very slim chance that the RNG might take pity on me and use my Tol'vir fragments for the Qiraji Mount (I know there should be an apostrophe in there somewhere.) After all, if you're not collecting them, you can't spawn it. In good news for me, I am one short on the Mantid list, and five short on the Pandaren/Mogu list, so that's not a huge ask. What I want to do is try and maximise my time whilst I'm doing this, which means picking my spots to farm other bits, possibly picking up *GASP* some Dailies to do in the same places for a bit of extra glods. After all, just because they're not relevant doesn't mean they're not actually useful, and some are indeed linked to other Achievements... so maybe it's time to go back to doing things really Old Skool.

If all else fails, it'll give me something to write about.


Then I really ought to sort Nat out, once and for all, as I've been promising to do that for months, especially as I'd like him in the Garrison when it launches (like he's going to spend the rest of his days in Pandaria ^^) That will mean I've done all the Fishing Achievements on P, and if there's nothing I like more in game it is the feeling of having achieved an entire section of stuff. After all, as it is never likely to happen with raiding, I can at least become Mistress of My Own Destiny with the ones that are within my grasp, and despite what I might like to kid myself with at a distance, this stuff does matter. Getting stuff done + achievement = satisfaction. After those two, we'll see where we are, because if I can log everyone in for Transmutes this week and collect enough raw materials, the Sky Golem's on the cards soon, but as my mount totals now vary across game webpage, achievement pane AND mount tab where I am at this point is anyone's guess, frankly, so I'll just keep working at gathering Mounts until the counter starts moving again. I mean, how hard can it be?

This means, this week, we will only look at alts as Transmute mules. If we can get some progress on achievings done, then next week might be the opportunity to get someone to 90 again. Just don't bet on it :D

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Same Old Song

We talked a fair bit before Blizzcon on how playing your character's become a fairly complex affair: some people equate the task for their class currently to something as complicated as learning to fly. There was then speculation that this might well lead to a simplification of the core abilities we all use of a daily basis, or indeed that certain classes might be getting a revamp.

I'd not get too excited about that possibility for the Expansion, at least not at release.

We do feel that, at least for some classes, there are a few too many buttons to keep on your action bars. It's an issue we'd ultimately like to solve, but something we have to be very, very careful with.

It's easy to look at your bar, go "LOOKIT ALL DEM BUTTONS", and decide that some of them need to go. In fact, we agree. It's much more difficult -- even dangerous -- to decide exactly which abilities to get rid of. Generally speaking, if you have an ability keybound, it's probably at least fairly important to your class. Getting rid of abilities you don't have bound doesn't really fix anything, so that means that, in most cases, we're talking about cutting the important ones.

That's not to say it can't (or won't) be done, but it does mean it's a fairly large task. Depending on the ability, there could be a lot of rebalancing or restructuring needed to make sure the class is still functional and fun to play. Again, it's something we'd like to do, it's just a very involved process.

I dunno about you, but this statement sounds a lot like Blizzard taking a step back from us losing any abilities at all, at least in the short term. There'd been a LOT of discussion, especially in the Hunter camp, that the class as a whole needed a re-do. The moment I mention this, of course, representatives of many other groups will appear (as if by magic) and declare that their particular cause has the greater need for change... but as we have established, Blizzard are on a timer, and if we weren't aware of the precious nature of time already, I suspect we will be soon. If we needed reminding, there's a schedule here. Removing abilities would ultimately be time consuming, would requite a massive amount of balancing, and would lead to time 'wasted' that could be spent on making the new stuff. That third paragraph especially reminds me of my research into Garrisons: years (and years) of Blizzard not discounting a concept completely (unless they're Tom Chiltern) but keeping the door open just in case. Using words like ultimately, and phrases like something we'd like to do, set the alarm bells ringing.

However, this does raise the question of why Blizzard would choose to leave everything as it is, at least for a while, and I suspect the 1-100 grind might have something to do with it, especially the bit that starts at 90. This could also be the Devs admitting, finally, that mucking around almost constantly with the issue of class balance is detrimental, eats into good content development time and generates more 'Eggsock' Twitter Accounts per hour than even Ghostcrawler is capable of answering in a timely fashion.

Key area marked in red. YES,THAT BIT.

If you weren't paying attention at Blizzcon, there was no spoon Class Changes Panel. When they stick 'don't expect' in the Presentation, that's your indicator you're not getting the full treatment. Blizzard are still giving us new things to play with however, by augmenting the existing system with updated spells. This will be where the 'balance' work will happen, this is the area with which there will be faffing, and you will not want to be taking stuff away until you know everything is awesome to begin with. If you look at those four points that's going to be a lot of work for balancing everyone quite apart from tearing your class into itty bitty pieces and reconstructing it from the ground upwards... so you've been warned. I doubt this will staunch the flow of complaint (even when this game's been dead for a decade people will still do that) but it does at least cement that it was pointed out, well in advance.

Of everything that's coming in Warlords, I already anticipate this will be the thing that upsets the most people in the most vocal fashion. If there are no changes, after all, something must be terribly, awfully wrong...


The biggest single problem in a game this size is there is no actual precedent for just about everything. No-one's been balancing class on this scale for close to a decade anywhere, and it's not as if Blizzard can use another MMO as a benchmark: that's what everyone else does with Warcraft. What has become increasingly clear, at least in the last year or so, is that reacting to issues has become far less about massive upheaval and far more about small and sensible approaches to change. As a result most people are aware that the biggest single stumbling block to being 'better' isn't simply picking the class that does the most damage or mitigates the most damage or that throws the biggest heal. Better involves good gear, an understanding of your potential and the actual ability to play it well, and if you can combine all three of those successfully you can go and pick a number of classes and get a lot out of the experience. In that regard at least balance, despite what the naysayers might tell you, actually looks pretty decent.

Blizzard make mistakes, but their ability to react to those and compensate is now really fairly solid. All in all, I'm thinking a decision to not muck about hugely with class design is less to do with appeasing the vocal minority and more to do with the fact that, if you look at it overall, it's one of the few things in game that really doesn't need that much poking to begin with. Yes, as a Hunter I just typed that. I know about you Warriors, and Rogues, but the fact remains that if I was going to have to throw something by the wayside to get this game out before the end of Q2 next year, major revamps of these systems would probably be pretty far down the list, along with redoing Archaeology and giving us all a Moose. They're far better off ensuring the the item level thing works with the existing abilities and the 90-100 progression, THEN start hassling on details, possibly in a Patch. They say good things come to those who wait, after all.

Just be patient for a little bit longer.

Monday, November 25, 2013

To Build a Home :: Neighbourhood

Three Weeks after Blizzcon. NEEDS A BETA SOON.

Last week, we set the precedent. We established that Blizzard feel that the game is 'ready' for player housing. We know the basic setup of the Garrison. NOW COMES THE SPECULATION PART.

Except, there are some elements that we reckon really shouldn't be a possibility, they should come as standard.

Who lives in a House like this?

One of the biggest single criticisms I heard after the Garrisons reveal was 'I hope we don't have to live in a Human/Alliance environment' and I'll echo this sentiment. Having race-specific architecture's not a huge ask, but that's going to depend on how important the designers have decided this new feature has the potential to be. This does also mean that the amount of artwork resources required to design for the feature would effectively skyrocket, but even if we don't get Alliance race-specific buildings, there really HAS to be a Horde-designed basic equivalent. Even I don't think Blizzard would be THAT cruel. I'd also like to think that your 'background' will change depending on which particular zone you decide to make your Garrison within, so indigenous flora and fauna will mirror your choice of base location.

You could, of course take this one step further, and allow players complete free reign on what building style are usable, allowing you to build Dwarf with a touch of Night Elf, or perhaps Goblin with a smidgeon of Orc. Again, this one's going to come down to timing and the look the designers are going for, and this might be something which we could see in a later version of the mini-game's 'life'. I'd certainly expect a range of building resources to appear throughout the Expansion: unlike the farm, once you've maxxed out everything I doubt that will be the end of the story. The potential to customise these buildings as well should be a distinct possibility, even if that is simply cosmetic on the exterior. Then I'm thinking of the possibility of particular buildings being given a range of looks on a 'basic' template. The possibilities are endless, but I think most people would hope we'll have at least something that connects our Garrisons to our race for starters.

All my NPC's should look like this. REALLY.

Then, I ought have a workforce, quite apart from my specialist Minions, because someone's gonna have to guard all this shizzle whilst I'm offline, right? That means a set of Dwarven women and men who can be deployed for such duties. After all, AS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES EMPLOYER, I'd like to offer either sex the chance to come and throw axes at any potential intruder in exchange for a place to sleep and a mug of ale. Being able to specify a uniform would, of course, be an added bonus. Again, this boils down to resources and time available, but COME ON ALL THESE THINGS ALREADY EXIST IN GAME. *cough* If you're going to be able to offer me a Giant Globe Statue in the middle of my Garrison for exploring the world, you can offer me a choice of outfits to match my colour scheme. HOW HARD CAN IT BE?

And finally, as a given, should be the ability to individually rename every building, character and the Garrison itself, because I AM going to want to christen everyone and everything after characters and places from Bond movies just like I do in Sim City (why are you walking away?) After all, this is the PERFECT opportunity to really learn about the people you play with based on the names they choose for their 'home.' Yes, you'll have the people who insist on Authentic Night Elf names for everyone and everything, and then there'll be those naming after their favourite Children's TV Characters. In fact, there may be people even now considering what nomenclature to utilise as they're going to be documenting all their Garrison activity for posterity via Guides.

On that front the Bond Theme actually feels like a great idea. I'm so naming my Fishing Shack the Disco Volante. Go look it up :p

Can we expect this level of detail? I THINK SO.

The key to all of this is whether 'resources' (which in this case refer to every item Blizzard have designed to decorate the world) can simply be picked up and thrown at this idea, or whether things will need to be specially designed to fit into the concept. I'd have to hope we're dealing with the former, because if you look at the potential catalogue of items that gives, then that's nearly ten years of furniture options just for starters. Just think of the possibilities. In fact, go get a pencil and paper and start picking out your favourite accessories from the game and keep your fingers crossed that some of them might already be considered for inclusion in this project...

Can I get that in green?

[EDIT: Pointed at this: it appears you'll only get faction based art to start with. PRAY THEY UPGRADE IT IN A PATCH :D

We can still dream, though :D]

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weather to Fly


It seems I'm not quite done with the 'Flying' argument.

There appears to be a persistent idea that telling people they have to put up with something they don't like is, for some, unacceptable. For these individuals the notion of feedback means that there has to be at least the chance that a position can be reversed, that nothing is ever intractable, and maybe if you're lucky...

Mel: You mean to tell me that you argued your way from a C+ to an A-?
Cher: Totally based on my powers of persuasion, you proud?
Mel: Honey, I couldn't be happier than if they were based on real grades.

See, there's nothing wrong to expect to be able to influence your environment. You can't tell your kids that they shouldn't fight for things that matter to them, because you'll shatter their confidence. Taking this situation as 'good enough' should never be a default state. In fact, a lot of this contention boils down to something rather more basic and simple. When those who want to argue a point to win run out of ideas that make sense in an logical framework and are forced to resort to the emotional and personal, to push you into a corner where you're forced to argue the very basic issue of existence over what boils down to a bunch of pixels, is there any point in continuing the debate?

Is it not then the moment to walk away? Quite possibly, unless you realise that this is part of a larger issue.

Is this a literary conceit, OR IS THIS A CHALLENGE? ^^

It's a really good question. Why should I bother, if (by my own argument yesterday) Blizzard have no need to listen to me, because it's their party an they decide who gets the biggest bits of cake. Why exactly am I here again?

Well, I have a two part answer for that: firstly, I do it because I can.

I don't expect to be listened to, and I don't believe that, in this particular sphere, Blizzard have any need to. They already have my data feedback: they know how many quests I've done, they know how much money I've paid. What matters to me when I do create issue are the words I use and the arguments I can create in my own mind, the complexities of situations I can conjure and the potential solutions I can suggest. Oftentimes the game takes a back seat to the potential it has helped unlock within myself; it becomes a catalyst for something far more significant: creativity. What matters to me most are the people who I then discuss this with, by whatever medium... but not *actually* the game itself. That remains frustrating and diverting and entertaining but it's not enough to make me blinker myself and allow an obsessive focus on the things I can't change or the things that annoy me within it.

With the exception of the RNG, that's a pretty accurate representation of where I am.

Gaming, at least in my mind, is not nearly as collaborative a process as many people would like to think it is. I'm not even sure it should be, sometimes, but in a game this complex and demanding in so many areas, the feedback people give is pretty vital. The problem comes, at least when we use flying as an example, with feedback not being the issue, because this 'problem' is already known to be one to begin with. Blizzard know they're up a tree without a Goblin Glider on this one, you're not telling them anything new or earth-shattering. Unless you can accurately poll every single player worldwide to know with statistical certainty Blizzard will collapse if flying isn't introduced once people hit 100, it's a leap that the developers take with the understanding they could screw it up in exactly the same way they did with gating rep to Dailies in 5.0. You see, that's how things work when you make entertainment: you take a set of risks for a possible return.

However, if every single person playing the game was screaming at Blizzard right now to reverse the decision, you know I reckon that might do it. However, there are consequences in such actions, which have implications far beyond the auspices of this gaming experience.

Your future. If you don't like it, complaining is now a precedent.

There exists proof in the larger gaming world that if enough people don't like something, they can change it: look at Mass Effect 3's Extended Cut for evidence of how if enough people make a fuss, stuff happens. It has indeed also been the case on many occasions in Warcraft that if enough people combine their noise, stuff alters. I think we can establish a precedent here that complaint has power: my particular high dudgeon and response yesterday's very much to do with those who will not accept the fact that no flying to 6.1 think that complaint is the answer to change this, regardless of the logical reasons why it won't happen. Indeed, how can I tell people to stop complaining when I do just that on my blog, on a regular basis?

The difference here is very simple. My second point is also very simple: I don't EXPECT to be listened to.

I was able to rationalise my satisfaction with flying's removal last night in much the same way as a certain Mr S. Moffat showed that you can re-write a linear timeline that's been set in stone for many years if you're smart enough to admit you're wrong and go back to basic principles. I'm going to assume that the plot in Warlords dictates no flying until 6.1. There you go. You're not able to mess with the storyline, it runs the way it should FOR A REASON... unless of course someone decides to change the plan. Of course, this isn't why Blizzard are doing it, there's some very sensible CM chat on the justification, that I suspect many people have failed to read or indeed accept. However, none of that matters if you're not prepared to accept the position of Blizzard on this to begin with. At what point does feedback become successful, I wonder... when it changes the Devs' mind about their initial decision, perhaps? Do you really spend your entire life complaining in the hope that one day you'll change something, or do you try and reconcile the fact that sometimes it might just be easier to walk away?

You have the power to complain. You have the right to, and the ability if you wish. Doing so does not mean your issue will not be listened to or acted on. However, and this is pretty crucial, the act of complaining does not automatically mean you will be successful. If you do so simply because you expect this to happen, you may be disappointed. If you act because you feel you have a decent reason, then away you go. After all, that's all I ever do here when a bit of game-play frustrates me. The key is when I do that I don't expect there to be a change, because this isn't real life. This remains pixels. I've had a few people tell me they tried to write posts about this subject but gave up because of the minefield it created in terms of choice and issue. I could probably do a week's worth of posts on this if I wanted, but the fact remains I'm done now, and my position remains unchanged. Sometimes, you just have to accept you won't win. If you do, then it's a happy bonus.

Knowing when to walk away from an argument is one of the most important skills you'll ever learn.