Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Painting Into Corners


This is an odd post to write because I could come at it from about 3 different angles.

Let's start here:  Once upon a time, I was a WoW player.  There, I said it.  Throw your rotten fruit if you must.  From 2005 through 2012, I traded time between EVE and Orgrimmar.  I co-lead a guild there. I ran a corp and alliance here.  I had great friends in both universes that would roll their eyes when I disappeared for a few months to catch a breather with the "other game."

My heyday in WoW was the Wrath era.  I'd played off and on since vanilla, but Wrath was /my/ expansion. I was at Blizzcon when it was announced; I was hooked instantly.  The grit, the lore, the cold, cold maps of Northrend. The expansion had its warts, but from top to bottom I wouldn't change much.

I dreaded the Cata era that followed, but I muddled through and found a niche I could play in, and spent more time elsewhere.  I liked MoP even less and found myself replaying Wrath content (solo'ing Naxx, yay).  I doubt I'll even buy WoD.

There's a particular post that I wrote on my guild forum that I go and reread from time to time.  The topic was why I disliked MoP.  In it, I said [paraphrasing], "I'm basically in a spot where the only way I'll be satisfied is if Blizzard fails and the game burns down."  

I reread the post because it' bothers me that I even wrote it.  It's too honest, too much of my inner demons there in black and white.  I also reread it because it stirs up all the emotion from the time.  The dumbed-down game design options that set my teeth on edge, the sillyness and watering down of the lore (sentient space goats riding go-karts, I kid you not), and the ever present gear treadmill - these are all things I'd spent hours debating and tearing apart.  If only Blizzard would listen to me, things would be better (hah).

I took a break, a break became a vacation, a vacation became an unsub.  I realized the absurdity of the situation and the negativity that I was oozing.  In order for me to /win/ this absurd argument, to feel satisfied that I was right all along, a game company literally has to fall on their face.

I'd painted myself into a corner.

I've dabbled in EVE for a long, long time.  What made me kick my subscr over for a full year was the EVE: Source book that made me remember the foundation of the game.  The grit, lore, dark, reality that CCP has assembled for us is like no other.  That story/depth has always been there, but we've forgotten it and gotten wrapped up in our own stories and memes.

CCP doesn't always inspire confidence.  From beginning until now, it's clear they're making this up as they go.  I can't control that.  What I can control is my own attitude about the game; keep my expectations reasonable, stay constructive, and latch onto the signs of hope that I see in CSM9.

And try not to paint myself into too many corners.

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