Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rebellion (Lies)

When your frame of reference is small...

Writing about something that doesn't exist is sometimes a fairly soul-destroying task.

When you don't know that your World is round because no-one's proved it, life is a considerably simpler concept. It's the basic conceit in 'The Truman Show': the primary protagonist has no idea he's in a TV show until he discovers he can't leave the 'world' he's trapped in, when his view of existence is challenged by a desire he cannot reconcile. It is often the same when you write about something you don't have, but know MIGHT exist: I'm well aware that parts of Warcraft that I've come to love and enjoy are about to change forever, but I have no idea what that actually means. All I have to work from currently are scraps of information from a client that doesn't function for me because I'm not in a position to make that work. I rely on other people for everything, most of whom aren't even aware that I'm here doing just that. That has, in recent weeks, been something of a frustration, and that boiled over last night when I 'listened' to the man who's altering my gaming experience pronounce a key part of the process they'd promised has been scrapped because it didn't fit the current plan.

The problem is, I still have absolutely no idea what that current plan actually is.

In charge.

Someone was kind enough yesterday to compliment me on what I'm doing, to tell me that I'd fired their enthusiasm for a feature which I've been clinging onto like a life-raft since it was announced in November. I found myself thinking why that was last night, and the answer was easy to supply: this is what I've wanted from this game since the word go. Having six professions on a Main would have been absolutely fantastic at Launch, and I don't just mean because of the bonuses that would have given me. The process of having a character who doesn't just beat bad guys and save the planet, that has depth and can allow me to do many things and not simply exist at max level has long been something I've really wanted. I'm aware that my ideas and views won't mesh anywhere near as closely as the people making the game, but I've accepted that, and I suppose I've even used this Blog as a way of wish-fulfilling my way along with changes that will never happen, but I could imagine would be possible as a result.

The problem then comes with my expectations versus the truth, and the longer I have to go on without actually understanding what that is, the more frustrating it will become.

I'm well aware 'what I'd like' is of little significance in the Great Big Map of Azeroth. I'm not a PvP Person or an End-Game Raider after all. I don't command a five figure Twitter following and can motivate thousands to push for a particular cause. This is a very small niche I inhabit, and I could probably name everyone else who exists in it with me, and to them I owe a debt of thanks I will never be able to repay for support in the last few months. Without your site visits and encouragement on social media I suspect I would have withered up and died by now, because the hard fact remains that my interest in the World of Warcraft isn't going to make anyone a fortune via clickthroughs or be enough to radically change the way the End Game is played. These are not the interests that earn thousands of dollars on Twitch or motivate 'Faction Pride.' I am very much minority and although on most days that's something I'm proud of, there are other days where it makes me want to cry, because it always seems that those interests are the last thing that ever get addressed.

It's a Pile of Balls.

I'm also acutely aware that whenever I start a post like this someone will read it and immediately pronounce it as a 'angsty teenage rant' and at least in part be right. Yes, this is entitlement rearing its ugly head again, even if it is a very small, non-consequential part of a very large whole. If I wanted to be 'popular' I could sell myself in very short order to do just that, but I don't. I want to be happy doing these things I love, and I want things like Professions and Questing to be what EVERYONE wants to do, not just me, because I think it should be possible if it is designed well. What I forget, and I did it again yesterday, is that not everyone sees the World the way I do, and that's the bigger issue, it has NOTHING to do with the game or indeed anything else. This isn't about Blizzard's delaying tactics or other people's disinterest. This is about how I see it all. I'm frustrated I'm living on crumbs and that all the sensible people stopped caring and went to do something else.

Blizzard will tell me what I need to know when they're ready. If that upsets me, that's nobody's fault but mine.


Kamalia said...

Is that "key part of the process" that's been scrapped that bit about Garrisons no longer being "choose your zone" due to the degree of integration in the quest flow? I'd think the Garrison would still have to be relocatable to whatever zone one was currently doing main storyline questing in -- if the Garrison really is going to be that "heavily integrated into the levelling flow", I can't see them making us keep coming back to our respective faction starting zones all the time. I am a bit disappointed, though, to hear that I won't be able to freely relocate my Garrison to whatever zone I want.

Alternative Chat said...

Yes Kam, it is :(

Liore said...

I certainly will not accuse you of an "angsty teen rant" or being entitled, because I do not believe either of those things. But I do find myself.. cringing a bit in empathy when I read posts like this and some of your Twitter stuff lately.

Perhaps it is just your evocative writing, but you seem to be in genuine emotional distress over this stuff and it's just not a healthy place to be in my experience.

There is nothing wrong with loving the hell out of WoW and writing about it and playing it every day, but when the design decisions for a video game make you upset enough to make you cry and doubt the way you look at the world.. I think there is some value in putting a little mental "insulation" between oneself and one's hobbies.

As someone who wrote similar things about different features like 5 years ago, I guess what I'm saying is.. I have learned that if a game, any game, is making you feel truly low about life then it possibly has too much power over yours.

Alternative Chat said...

@ Lio: Thank you for the understanding. Needless to say, the last couple of days have seen some fairly difficult RL issues to deal with, and inevitably it ends up spilling into my writing. The only thing making me low about life right now is me.

Needless to say, we'll work through it. Thank you. *hugs*