I’ve been on both sides of battles just like this, both defending and condemning WoW as it’s weighed against each new kid on the block…but I’ve yet to see something quite so direct as this image or the sentiment that it represents. I mean, I was at PAX East; I saw the “You’re not in Azeroth anymore.” sign and thought to myself, Hey, how about that. This new kid’s trying to stand up to the titan. Good for him. No other game in my memory has done this. If anything, they’ve either flat out ignored the issue (with their public face anyway) or said they’re not looking for a fight. Rift, however, is.
So some new game is throwing it’s weight around. This may play some part in the response, which has a banner (displayed above). Perhaps you’ve seen it. This banner, however, is a bit misleading…and it’s not really the author’s fault. In any internet argument the trolls are always the loudest. It’s really hard to filter them out, and that sadly makes them memorable. On one side we have trolls who are chanting that RIFT is WoW’s undoing; on the other we have trolls rallying to WoW’s bright and tattered flag. Neither of these parties are really people we want to listen to, and neither of them have much of anything to do with this banner.
Reala of Click the Lightwell: I sympathize. I actually sympathize on two fronts. First and foremost, I’ve been on both sides of the coin…playing WoW and watching friends leave it (and me, kind of) for greener pastures, and playing other games and watching them leave them (and me, kind of) to return to WoW. Me, I’m a nerd but I fit into crowds: you wouldn’t know me for a nerd until I talk about “what I’m into”. So it’s not that MMOs are the only place I can form relationships; I have lots of real world friends and acquaintances. The point I’m trying to make is this: I have all of these “real world” connections and I still am in touch with people I know only through World of Warcraft. Sure, when we’re staying up late talking we’re hunched over a keyboard instead of tangled up in a curly phone cord, but the same shit rolls out at 2 AM no matter the medium. You spend time talking to these people, hanging out with them every week – sometimes every night – and you can’t really get out of there without making a few friends. You’re a virtual soccer team. They’re your teammates. You may not always see eye to eye where the game is concerned, and sometimes you have blow outs with one member or another…but there are some members on every team that you bond with, and those bonds stick. Those people are real human beings, just like you and me, and while our shared hard times involve uncommon words like “Molten Core” and “Karazhan” they were still times we shared. Watching Gruul go down was like winning the World Cup for our little circle. You may not get it if you don’t dig soccer, but it’s really, really wrong to not respect it.
If Reala – or any other blogger – wants to support their blog (and themselves and their friends) sticking to a game for the sake of friendship, that’s their business. If you’re into RIFT, power to you. If you still love WoW, power to you. Why can’t we leave it at that? Why can’t we ever leave it at that?
Oh, yea. The second thing I sympathize with is the damned Lightwell. I was a priest up through BC and that spell was embarrassing. It wasn’t embarrassing intrinsically…it’s pretty mana efficient IF. PEOPLE. CLICK. IT. It’s embarrassing because it adds yet another layer of complexity to already complex boss battles and there are at times members of the soccer team who just don’t want to click anymore than they have to. There’s probably some overlap between people who are incapable of clicking Lightwells with people who are incapable of accepting the right of others to have opinions divergent from their own. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they click the damned thing? I mean, it’s pretty and it helps everybody involved. Isn’t that what WoW’s supposed to be about? Pretty and helping everybody?
Well, I always clicked the damn Lightwell.