Written by | Posted November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm A Girl and her Dog

The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger took the long way around Old Town, south through Tanner Circle and down Bulwarks, across […]

filed under General
Brutal Honesty
comment 25 Written by on July 9, 2010 – 9:51 am

(Please read the Edit at the bottom :) )

I don’t know any other way to write this, so bear with me guys. I imagine it won’t be any easier to read than it is to write.

I canceled my account last night.

It will expire on August 13, unless I re-up. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that’s the day before I head out of town, so at least I’ll be distracted for a bit.

The more I hear about RealID, Facebook, Activision, the “new social gaming experience” and Activizzard’s willingness to let go of their community, their players here in the US, and the people who have in some cases played this game for 5 years, the less I like it, and the angrier I get. Go ahead and read Dechion’s post on the subject. I’m pretty sure he’s got the right of things, which makes me even angrier, because it’s not just about smoke-blowing, it’s flat out lying. And then couching it in sunshiny, meaningless, corporate bullshit terms like “positive and constructive new direction” that people only use when they know they’re saying something that’s going to upset someone else.

I don’t have any problem choosing not to pay money to a company whose practices I dislike and do not trust. They’re a business, and their job is to make money. They think this is the best way to make lots more money, and so that’s been their decision. It’s my decision whether to like it or not like it, and to choose what to do from there. And so I chose to write a letter and then do the only other thing I could that might actually mean something. Walk away.

Anyway.

That wasn’t the hard part.

The hard part was turning around and saying “well, now what?”

What do I do with the blog?

What do I do with the stories?

What happens to Aely? To Arrens? Their wedding isn’t supposed to be until after Cataclysm. Can I leave that story unfinished? What about the Aftermath story, which was supposed to start publishing here this week?

What happens to Annie Mae and Duugvilder? Do they make it through Operation Gnomeregan together?

Will I really have to decide what to do with the last month in game, and where my characters will log out, and what they’ll be wearing?

What happens to the friendships? I know some will continue. The relationship I have with people like Bricu, Yva, Arrens, and Linedan have gone well beyond a video game – we talk about other things, and hang out online outside of game and do non-game things. But I’m not naive enough to think that the other friendships I’ve made will continue, or to think that none will lose a level of closeness without a commonality to keep the conversation going when it stalls.

Sadly, the answer to every one of those questions is quite simply “I have no idea.” I don’t know yet. I don’t know what the end result will be. I don’t know where the blog is going, or even (at this point) if it’s going anywhere at all. None of those questions is easy to answer.

Nothing is set in stone right now, and we’re all kind of waiting in the infinite feedback loop, trying to figure out what Activizzard will do in response to people’s leaving the game. (My guess is nothing, but I could be wrong. I kinda hope I’m wrong.) If things change, I might re-up my account. I don’t know on that front either.

This is not a goodbye post. (Trust me, a goodbye post would be a lot longer, and I’d be crying.) But I didn’t feel that it was worth leaving you all out of this completely. I like you guys. A lot. I could probably quote Bilbo Baggins here, but part of the original would be untrue – I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, but I think most of you deserve the affection and goodwill I have towards you.

So here’s to figuring out what’s going on.

Sadly, I’m afraid it doesn’t look so good.

annas

EDIT: Blizzard has, in fact, and to everyone’s great surprise, actually backed down off this one.

I’m not sure what it means for my account in the long term (I still don’t want Facebook in my WoW, and I still abjectly dislike the direction that Activision is taking their games, especially with regards to DiabloIII), but for now, I think we’ll call this a successful bit of communication on a mass scale.  Thank you to everyone who went at this with a clear head and logical discussion.

…Can I say they backed down ’cause I told them I was quitting?  /impish grin

/flex

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25 Responses to “Brutal Honesty”

  1. It still feels a lot like saying goodbye. I can’t believe that Blizzard would let Activision do this to their community.

  2. Depending on how this goes I am planning an exit strategy myself. Sadly I pay for my guild’s vent, I am sure they will not be happy about losing it. However I have very strict rules from my professional, (and the degree cost about $100,000), they actually regulate who I can friend on Facebook. (No individuals and no judges, for advertising and undue influence respectively, even though they know that isn’t really how it works and admit it.) In my profession perception is reality. I deal in words. I have nothing else to trade on.

    I am disappointed in this, but I don’t think it is over yet. Not after Zarhym’s post yesterday. Sure the ink is on the contract, but there are nuances that have yet to be explored. I mean what good does it do Blizz to get 20 million subs, if they don’t stay longer than a month or two, especially if the long time subs leave. WoW is not farmville, it will not, can not, and does not appeal to the exact same demographic, nor should it.

    if that is the case it is a fundamental change, and a detrimental one.

  3. It feels like server-transfering goodbye. You’re still technically “there,” but we won’t be able to talk to you as easily as before. (Unless the blog stays.) Makes me sad enough. =(

  4. For what it’s worth, I’m not going to delete the blog. It might go quiet for awhile while I figure out what it is, but it’s not set up to be one class, or one game, or even one subject specific. I don’t intend to stop being Anna :) I just… don’t know what anything will turn out to be right now.

  5. If the RealID thing is actually such a big deal (and I can understand that from an RP perspective, if not anyone else’s), why not simply disable RealID with parental controls?

  6. @Beej – I’ve already done so. I’m choosing to leave because I disagree with the reason behind RealID on the forums, I disagree with the way Activision wants to take Blizzard. I’ve disagreed with a lot of community decisions that have been made in the past, but I shut up because they didn’t affect me in a way that changed my desire to play the game.

    I don’t want to play a game that thinks that /IT/ should decide when and to whom I give my personal information. Sure, posting in the forums is “optional”. But RealID won’t be optional for StarcraftII. It won’t be optional for DiabloIII. It will be integrated with facebook, and both Kotick and Zuckerberg have said they think people should be freer online and not take on fantasy personas.

    Which is /exactly why I RP in MMO’s/. I WANT to take on a Fantasy persona. And so, since I abjectly oppose the belief that started this whole process, and feel that my money is being used in a way that I absolutely dislike… I will stop paying my money for that service.

    As an aside – disabling RealID with parental controls is only available because it’s illegal not to do so. It also, even though I’m in the Cataclysm Beta, makes it so that I can’t post on the Cataclysm Beta forums – CURRENTLY, not just when RealID goes live. Turning on Parental Controls has flagged my accounts as “belonging to a minor”, and you “must be a legal adult in your country of residence” to take part in a Beta – both the actual PTR and the forums.

  7. *sigh* I’m aiming this way myself – I’m the head of IT for a HIPAA facility serving over 3,000 at-risk elderly folks. I’ve already shut down Facebook due to hacking via WoW (yup, even we professionals aren’t immune!) – can I really afford to be professionally compromised by a game?

    I think not.

    And Beej – look at it this way: why should I have to, and what guarantee do I have that it will work in the long term?

    By Kharasa on Jul 9, 2010 | Reply
  8. This is the biggest issue for me. I am one of those “ambivalent to not a great idea” peoples myself, partly because I am not in a profession where I need to worry about things I post online leading back to me, partly because I never use the forums, and partly because I am a guy and thus worry less about stalkers and other undesirables less than your average female, possibly less than I should. However I understand that to many people, many of whom I consider friends are extremely upset about this, and for very good reasons. I have been playing WoW since 4 days after launch and have become friends with numerous people a large number of whom are leaving over this issue. I am playing, have been playing and will continue playing WoW because of the people I know, Anna, Tarq, Bricu, Yva, and so many others who should not feel slighted by my failure to mention their names here. They are what brought me back to WoW the one other time I left, and without them WoW is very blasé, and ultimately no more engaging than any home console game I don’t have to pay $15 a month for. In the end Blizzards decision to move forward with this will lead me to cancel my account as well, not because Realid bothers me too much, but because Realid drove away all the people who I do care about on this game. I hope that I will remain in contact with these people and others but unless we find another game, or social area to go to, I doubt that I will remain more than a, hopefully happy, memory.

    By Melryn on Jul 9, 2010 | Reply
  9. Woo AND hoo!

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?sid=1&topicId=25968987278

  10. Looking on the bright side (much easier now that it’s over), some good really did come of this. The community…felt like a community again.

    We all banded together in favor of INTERNET DRAGONS.

    And came out with the best WoW meme ever.

    By Shad on Jul 9, 2010 | Reply
  11. And for more commentary on recent developments:

    http://www.wow.com/2010/07/09/mike-morhaime-real-names-will-not-be-required-on-official-forum/#continued

    By Kharasa on Jul 9, 2010 | Reply
  12. Well, we done girded our loins and drove the barbarians and they’s Banner Of Amazingly Stupid Idea back from the gates. WoW Bloggers, forum participants, wow.com, account cancelers, and parental controllers all played a part in drumming the words “bad idea!” into the glunkerdubbers’ heads. What comes next? Have ta wait and see, and remains vigilant. But tonight, I’s un-girding me loins and whooping it.

    Hopings ya decides ta un-cancel, Way Too Manies. Loves ya, either way.

  13. It was good to see that despite the image of the (US) WoW forums as a pool of muck filled with all kinds of nasties, that same community banded together to fight this insane ID. Only the future can tell if this part will get rehashed someday, but for now I’m willing to take it one step at a time. Then again my account is on a monthly payment schedule, so cancelling is -very- easy.

    As long as they keep the ingame Real ID opt-in (sorta, but let’s give em the chance to plug those holes) AND keep that border between the keyboard’s electronic pulses and my RL fingers, I’m okay with it… I think. A single handle for the forums might not be the greatest solution (especially for RPs), but I don’t see them moving the team of EU CMs to work their magic on the US forums either. WTB EU training for US CMs who are often too soft (or too afraid to hurt “the customer’s” feelings) to really crack that whip at the trolls. ; p

    By Tsani on Jul 9, 2010 | Reply
  14. Yes you can say that.

    Contrary to what many people say, one person can and does make a difference.

    Your one, my one, all the other ones.

    I for one am happy that our stories, the stories in our other names, can continue

  15. I think that the number of people who canceled all contributed to Blizzard & activision realizing the “feature” was going to cost them more money than it was going to make them…

  16. You should follow through and quit. Please.

    See, there is a lot more important in life than wow; right now wildlife is dying en masse in the Gulf, the market is sliding AGAIN and has dropped 15% since it’s peak, the financial reform bill hasn’t passed, healthcare still sucks, and so on.

    Maybe it’s best you put down the game, and go solve a real problem. This is nothing, and the hysterics and effort people have put into ‘solving’ it have been WAY out of proportion to anything in the world we live in.

    So why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and quit. I am sure you can get on with your real life without a virtual world sucking up so much of your time and energy.

    By Ryan on Jul 11, 2010 | Reply
  17. @Ryan – I love your assumptions about what I do with the time I don’t spend in WoW. I also really appreciate the reminder that I can’t do anything about the market changing, and that my local economy is seeing the first tarballs and oil remnants from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Also, as someone who’s been unemployed for going on 10 months, I’m well aware of the overflooded job market and the state of certain sectors, particularly the Aerospace industry, right now.

    Most of us that play WoW are perfectly and 100% aware that there is a real world, and that it sucks. And many, if not most, of us are doing whatever we can to decrease that level of suck. But sometimes – and perhaps this is a foreign concept to you – it’s nice to escape from a world that has big problems that we can’t fix, and be a part of a world where the largest problems are raid bosses and player created stories.

    So please, refrain from telling the WoW community what we do and don’t do with our time outside the game. And, perhaps, use your imagination a bit as to why some of us might just want to escape the reality that a lot of things really do suck sometimes, and how – just maybe – it’s possible to create a community within a virtual environment that we enjoy escaping from reality for a few hours with. A community that we might not all be keen on just abandoning because of privacy and security issues.

  18. Hi, I just wanted to support you in this decision. I haven’t been to your blog before but I came across it just now.
    I’m a female player, played since the beginning, on and off, and just before the patch hit I walked out, quit, deleted all characters in wow.

    I have lost all trust for actiblizzard also. I won’t ever trust them again. The fact is, this is an attack on our privacy, our rights, and our safety. It doesn’t matter if you can ‘disable’ real ID. In fact, there are already ‘security holes’ popping up! Ive seen articles about that and it isn’t even two weeks yet!

    All the red herrings and smokescreens they are putting up is amazing. And to be honest, I think that because they knew there would be an outcry about real ID in game, they chose to DISTRACT us by making us outraged about real ID in the forums — and ingeniously, detracting it, so we’d feel relief and think we’d ‘won’ – and because people forget and accept things so easily these days, they expect us all to just forget about real ID and go back to our addiction, and be used.

    This is all a big game they are playing, and using us, selling us out. This is about more than a game, this is about critical real life things – and not enough people are waking up.

    So, I hope you will stick to your guns, keep fighting it. Maybe for your blog you could switch to a new game and write about it?

    God bless and good luck to you, and ..God help us, we’re gonna need it…

    By anothergirlexplayer on Jul 11, 2010 | Reply
  19. @anothergirl – I don’t think this was a big corporate conspiracy. I really don’t. I think this was a decision that was made because they thought it’d make more money. When it blew up, and they started getting both negative worldwide press AND a bunch of SCII and WoW account cancelations, they stepped back, and changed their minds.

    Really, to be Blizzard last week would’ve sucked. If they didn’t back down, they were corporate schmucks who didn’t listen. If they did, they were whiny pushovers who let the mob tell them what to do (or worse – in some kind of corporate conspiracy). Do I trust them? No, not really, but I do appreciate and thank them for changing this. While I really don’t like some of the things in the letter (what exactly does “for right now” mean?), I will support them for now, because I want them to see that I appreciate their listening to me (and so many others). So I’ll just remain vigilant (as Linedan says – trackback on this post “YubYub” by Achtung Panzercow), but enjoy the game as well.

  20. Mmm, concern trolls.

    I’m thinking that in the time it took for Ryan to read your post and type up his oh-so-scathing response, he could have written a letter to his congresspersons regarding the issues he’s so very passionate about. But, y’know, berating people on the internet is more important than solving real problems.

  21. Things are not perfect, certainly but never let someone tell you your single voice does not matter. It was because of your post that I sent an e-mail to Blizzard voicing my concerns and feelings…the community reaction was superb.

    By Zhire on Jul 12, 2010 | Reply
  22. Hey Ryan. I reserve this language for the special people – the one’s I would really love to run over with my car repeatedly until you look like the leftovers growing funny stuff in the mystery Tupperware on the fourth shelf of my fridge. You’re a fuckwad. You’re a fuckwad who demonstrates exactly why Bliz WOULD think this was a good idea, because if you pulled that shit on the forums, someone would find your address and your phone number and probably remind you of exactly how low on the evolutionary train you really are. IDENTITY THEFT DOES NOT HAPPEN. Sure it doesn’t. Anna should post your fucking IP.

    Let’s give you some credit though. I’m going to guess you’re probably in the young white male demographic who’d likely not be internet stalked. Maybe your last name is Smith or Jones, so there’s like, forty billion of you who all look and sound the same. You’re probably going to be one of those people who caps out /at best/ in middle management when you’re slightly fat and possibly going bald, and you might think back to your glory days of internet trolling, when you got to do real digital chicks by having them worship your pixelated dong. I’m sure you’re certainly glad you unzipped now! Woo ha! I can tell you I am just creaming myself over the great reveal of your ethical and moral prick waving!

    The trolling technique of wasting your time telling an OP exactly why their fury doesn’t matter, all the while holding REAL ISSUES above their heads makes zero sense. I mean, you took the time to be enraged over her rage. You took long enough to post that piece of shit disguised as motivational commentary. So really you’re as guilty as she is. Shouldn’t you be down in the gulf licking a fucking pelican clean, taking pictures of yourself as you saw at your wrists with a butter knife? Pro tip: Pull the blade vertical, not horizontal. You bleed better.

  23. Anna I would like to just point one more thing out. While unfortunately I don’t have the links, I will tell you something I noticed last year because I was interested in playing LOTRO, but wanted to make sure they weren’t going to introduce free-to-play or microtransactions (which, they did later on).

    I did research on the net, and found an article in which the lotro bigwig said, “We have no plans for introducing at this time, any microtransactions nor do we feel that the microtransaction model suits lotro, the way it does DDO.”

    What I want to point to are three little words: “AT THIS TIME”

    I have seen this lately, time and again, – look, the net is changeable, these aren’t the old days with box games that came complete, you bought the game you owned it. These are the days when people forget, their attention spans are short. Today they appease you, tomorrow they sneak it in. It’s already happened many times – but people just don’t want to see it.

    So while of course you’re free to do whatever you wish, I hope that you and others will remember that reading -carefully- may provide you with more insight. Because the more people that just go along with it so they can keep playing, the more these companies will take and take and take from all of us. It is not just their fault for being greedy, it is OUR faults for enabling them and burying our heads.

    Here is a quote from the announcement that blizz gave about changing their minds about the forum ids:

    “We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums,” Mike Mourhaime, founder and chief executive of Blizzard wrote in an open letter on the company’s forum page.

    “As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be needed for posting on official Blizzard forums.”

    …. “at this time”

    Just remember that. And I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but – as your blog says, I am brutally honest, and I would rather be honest with myself. When someone shows all the signs of going bad, and has been dishonest in the past about other things, it is folly to continue trusting them. Cheers and good luck….

    By anothergirlexplayer on Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

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