Why, yes, I am mad, bro:
Earlier today, I was browsing the official World of Warcraft forums (I know, bad idea — I really gotta find another hobby), and one thread caught my eye. A player was seeking support because, during an interview to join a raiding guild, he was called a “despicable excuse for a human being” because he didn’t want to race change to a Troll for a tiny 1-3% DPS increase.
I’d like to think this sort of thing was uncommon, but it isn’t. The WoW community is, as a whole, atrocious. We all know it. If you’re not X spec, you’re a retard. If you RP, you’re a faggot. If you win a piece of gear that someone else wanted, even if you do so legitimately, you’re a ninja. If you don’t clear normal mode raids without nerfs, you’re subhuman.
Just the other day, I was told to “fuck off” because I said “Hello” at the start of a dungeon PUG. Trolling and random cruelty is the norm of the Warcraft community.
But it’s not that people are jerks that bothers me. Or, at least, that’s not what this rant is about. My problem is Blizzard’s policy on incidents like this, which seems to be: “Eh, whatever.”
I’m about as big a Blizzard fan boy as you can find, and I support most everything they do. I like the Alliance’s plot in Cataclysm. I’m all for pandas. I think Ghostcrawler does a commendable job balancing the game. I love the Dungeon and Raid Finders. But I simply do not agree with their policies when it comes to punishing trolls and griefers.
Let me tell you a story. A few months ago, I joined a PUG Bastion of Twilight run by one of the bigger raiding guilds on my Alliance server. I won’t name names, but those who play on Antonidas will probably know who I mean. They proceeded to bring in two tanks from outside their guild who are, shall we say, less than stellar.
Naturally, Halfus mopped the floor with us. I don’t blame the tanks; they did the best they could, meager though that may be. It was the raid leader’s fault for not doing their research. Naturally, the tanks get kicked, the uber-leet raiders mocking them all the while. One of them even went so far as to shout “I HATE YOU GO DIE” in /say as one was hearthing out.
Now, I’ve run into these tanks enough times to learn something about them. Reading between the lines, I’m sure one is a kid — I’m guessing about twelve, based on the way he talks — and I suspect the other may be, as well.
I was so put off by this blatant case of cyber-bullying that I reported the player who told him to “GO DIE.”
The very next day, that same player was trolling Trade chat. Clearly, no action had been taken against him.
Now, another story. I’m sure we all remember a few months back when several top raiding guilds, included the famous Paragon, were caught exploiting the Raid Finder tool in order to get reams of gear for their players with little effort. Blizzard was quick to take action against these cheaters, and many of those who participated were given 72 hour bans, which was enough to cost them their coveted world first achievements in many cases.
Taken on its own, I commend Blizzard’s actions in that regard. It was a fair and measured penalty that fit the crime.
But now compare it to my first story, and realize what this says about Blizzard’s viewpoint. In Blizzard’s mind, a few already over-geared bleeding edge raiders scamming their way to slightly better gear is a much more severe offense than telling a child to “GO DIE.”
Am I crazy, or do their priorities seem completely back asswards?
Blizzard is set in their ways at this point, and I doubt anything will ever change, but for what it’s worth, I think they should institute a zero tolerance policy for harassment and cyber-bullying. I can think of few things more pathetic than someone who’s so small and petty that they need to ruin someone else’s game time to make themselves feel better.
There needs to be immediate, tangible punishments for any offenders. Fine them gold or take away their highest ilevel piece of gear for each offense. I guarantee that people in this game will become much better behaved the moment that bad behavior risks costing them their shinies.
Oh, and as for the thread that got me started on this rant? I’d link it for you, but — despite it mostly consisting of people comforting the poor fellow who didn’t want to play a Troll, a rare showing of decency from the WoW community — Blizzard opted to delete it. I’d speculate on why, but I seem to have misplaced my tinfoil hat.
By the way:
Weird Worm posted another of my articles: Six Badass Fictional Space Ships. I admit it; I’m scraping the bottom of the topic barrel.