(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.
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.
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
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