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World of Warcraft Column: Insert Hyperbole = Receive Attention

By Joseph Sanicky on August 29, 2011

  • “Cata ruined WoW.”
  • “Wrath ruined WoW.”
  • “Welfare epics ruined WoW.”
  • “LFD ruined the community in WoW.”
  • “The new PvP maps ruined WoW.”
  • “Blizzard ruined WoW.”
  • “Trolls ruined WoW.”
  • “Recycled content ruined WoW.”
  • “Nostalgia ruined WoW.”
  • “The balance team ruined WoW.”
  • “The general population playing WoW ruined WoW.”
  • “Other games copying WoW ruined Wow.”
  • “Generic hyperbolic comment X ruined WoW.”
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Have you ever heard a comment such as the ones above uttered on a gaming forum before?  No doubt you have, and it is hardly surprising!  World of Warcraft is a part of our society’s cultural identity concerning nerds, gamers, and MMOs alike, so it stands to reason that any archetypal trope or meme associated with typical internet interactions would be present three fold regarding Blizzard’s pinnacle of success, eh?  After all the idea that it is cool to bash World of Warcraft seems just as prevalent within gaming culture as said mannerisms and sentiments are. So go ahead and check out some World of Warcraft forums for yourself and see!  I’ll be right back while I go read some forums.

How incredibly, incredulously, impossibly… improbable!  I thought for sure I’d find copious amounts of fraudulent claims, exaggerated laments, diabolical trolls, and poorly executed examples of the English language in my quest for the expected. Instead I seem to have found not just a single instance of apparent genuine human communication and discussion about the game, but the official forums are absolutely flooded with cohesively written posts exclaiming discontent over a certain problem or merely whipping up some healthy discussion within the community!  Almost every thread I look at I see capitalization, punctuation, and whole thoughts expressed in constructive, civil tones!  Not only the original posters but those who reply more often than not seem to actually have read the original post and furiously add to the discussion! What of this perceived collective attitude the whole of the internet is supposed to have towards World of Warcraft? Where is the rage?  Where is the lack of grammar and spelling?  Where is the utterly disingenuous and stereotypical ranting of the vocal minority against the ever powerful happiness destroying machine that is World of Warcraft?

At this point in time I’d like to ask all the readers to be vigilant and do their absolute best to find the very examples I could not find.  Please, prove me wrong!

Beyond that I have only the evidence I saw on the forums and in the game as I play it.  There exists the occasional problem creature, be it on a discussion board or in a dungeon group (or that guy who runs up to extract an herb you were about to pick as you battled the wolf guarding it) however World of Warcraft seems no more susceptible to such actions than any other game that has both multiplayer elements and the opportunity for players to grief one another.  Sure there are over ten million players and the chances for such occurrences to take place are exponentially larger than a game with, say, one-hundred thousand players, but that does not mean the game itself manifests these qualities in players or that people who play the game in question are more likely to contain these characteristics over that smaller player group, right?

Perhaps one of the commenters on an earlier WoW Factor had the right of it when he (or she) said (and I paraphrase) “Of course, bashing WoW is always cool.”  Hating on World of Warcraft always garners attention and fosters acclaim of some sort for the one yelling the loudest.  That only speaks for us, the community, and not the game though, so perhaps of those quotes above the one is accurate, that “the general population playing WoW ruined WoW.” However I’d make one small change to that by adding the word “not” in front of the word “playing.”  Furthermore do these examples sound more accurate now?

“Not having any real-life friends playing with me ruined WoW.”

“Not having a solid guild to play with ruined WoW.”

“Becoming bored of WoW but not leaving the game ruined WoW.”

“Any reason above and beyond ruined WoW for me.”

That is the heart of the matter is it not readers?  Almost any time we see an egregiously exaggerated opinion posted as unapproachable fact it must certainly stem from that person’s own experiences with the game!  All of these instances of vitriol and vehemence towards an obviously successful product and enterprise aren’t necessarily the fault of the game itself but the players being unhappy with the game and being either unwilling or unable to express their disdain in more civilized and productive terms!  Alas reader this most surely is the answer to this WoW-old question!  I have solved the mystery, even if no-one wanted it solved!

Ah, now I can relax and play some World of Warcraft with my friend! Off we go to the Scarlet Monastery to do some gear runs for him!  Wait… whoa his gear looks cool!  Cooler than my gear from the Burning Crusade… what the?


Look at this screenshot and tell me who is the level 25 character please. Exactly!

In an enraged voice: “WOW BLIZZARD, GREAT ART TEAM YOU HAVE WORKING FOR YOU!  I’M SO GLAD MY HIGHER LEVEL GEAR DISTINGUISHES ITSELF FROM SOME RANDOM LEVEL TWENTY GEAR!” Fine, whatever, at least I get the satisfaction of destroying all these goons who gave me so much trouble when I was here last.


I just walked by the sword racks....so why am I in the sword racks!?

More Rage: “BLIZZARD!  WHY IS MY FRIEND DANCING AND LAUGHING AT MY POOR HELPLESS MAGE? BECAUSE YOU CAN’T CODE WORTH A ROTTEN APPLE CORE AND I GOT SUCKED INTO THE WALL!  STOP LAUGHING AT ME MAN!  BLIZZARD WHEN I COMMIT ASSAULT ON MY FRIEND BECAUSE OF THIS YOU BETTER WATCH YOU’RE REARS BECAUSE I’M COMING WITH A LEGAL TEAM!” 

Oh I can blink out of walls, jolly good!  I’m glad I’m an OP mage and can teleport out of your shoddy coding skills Blizzard!  Ha!  We’re at the boss now, at least this run can be over finally…


This was an awesome sight the first time. Note the word "first."

That was actually pretty cool, I liked how all the failed soldiers (or whatever they were) committed collective genocide against themselves by running at me after I took down their hulking, obviously more adept leader!  I mean how stupid can you… what did you say?  The helmet dropped again?  That is the fourth time in a row!  I’m not running you through this to get you ten gold buddy!  No I’m not running you through this again; I’m bored of it already darn it!  Go quest, I have a forum post to go write about how Blizzard not only can’t make new content, but I can’t even make the old content fun by myself!  This is an outrage! Why can’t they inject more variety into their ten year old dungeons, new players deserve attention too!  I swear when I unsubscribe because of this they’ll be sorry!

And... scene.

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