Going into Blizzcon this weekend, I was in a slump with World of Warcraft. Raiding, questing, and leveling all seemed mundane and not worthy of what little freetime I had to throw at the game. Then came the convention and as I watched my Blizzcon Virtual Ticket, I saw a force of spirit and community that I honestly wasn’t prepared for. Blizzard did a fantastic job of fostering positive energy and letting the attendees really let loose and have fun with one another, whether or not they were Alliance or Horde. The community was in dire need of rejuvenation after a two year break and coming together in Anaheim was just what the doctor ordered.
But the convention wasn’t a source of joy and excitement for everyone. Away from Anaheim and all the buzz of Warlords of Draenor, were the people already placing Blizzard’s latest creation under the microscope. This group was busy flooding the most popular Blizzard fan news sites with angry and disgruntled forum posts. With these negative viewpoints came the polarization that accompanies most World of Warcraft related issues. Lines in the sand were being drawn as soon as convention news was being fed to the internet and sudden outcries of “if this happens, I will quit” was already commonplace. The inclusion of garrisons and Warcraft’s use of “time travel” were just a couple of topics that sparked these reactions. Players used to battling one another in the game with spells and swords were now fighting each other with words and phrases on a website. Needless to say, there was a lack of camaraderie despite the success of the convention.
I am all for voicing one’s opinion. That is what I am doing right now, but what I do not appreciate is someone stating an opinion as if it is fact. It is perfectly normal not to agree or like everything that Blizzard has to say. There are a few things that I personally didn’t like or wasn’t excited about, but I try to take my attitude and ego out of the equation. I know that people will automatically shut down and not read what I have to say if I am callous and insulting when discussing issues. I am one player among millions as are the rest of you. My opinion is not valued higher or lower than anyone else’s. The only thing my opinion does is bring my unique perspective to the table for discussion. Yet on any of the major forums these days it is hard to have an honest opinion without having heated responses thrown back at you. Because of that, it is tough to feel like your opinion should be voiced at all when in all honesty Blizzard welcome a variety of feedback in order to make the game better.
It all comes down to attitude and how people interact with others on the forums or on a fan website. These locations should be a place of healthy discussion instead of alienation. So the real question is how do we fix this? How do we come together and talk to one another as a community of gamers and peers instead of a swarm of egotistical naysayers? Just because there is “War” in World of Warcraft doesn’t mean that every discussion has to be a battlefield.