Traditionally I do this Friday thing where I talk about one of the many “MMOs Worth Playing” but honestly…. today I am just not feeling it. I am feeling more annoyed and frustrated about MMOs than I am feeling the love right now, and in this current mindset it is probably best that I simply don’t talk about a game. The purpose of the column is to highlight a game and talk about the things I love about it, in the hopes that it might nudge people into giving it a try. In order to really do that I have to be feeling happy and enjoying the world around me… and right now I am kinda grumpy. Granted I am grumpy over a stupid reason. Right now I feel like I am one of a handful of people who didn’t get into the Overwatch beta weekend. I am largely annoyed by this, because I am in fact one of the people who went ahead and pre-ordered the game knowing eventually that I would want to play it. You would think… that if you have a bit single weekend only stress test that you might want to include the people who are already signed up to spend money on your game.
Maybe that is screwed up in my logic, but it seems to me that they should have pulled from the pool of sign ups first for this one in particular. I am not saying that about the normal always on Beta process… that one is completely luck of the draw. This one however… when you are testing a game for a short period of time… it might be cool to thank the folks who have already pressed that button and said “Yes, I want your game”. Frustrations aside, I am hoping all of my friends who are going to be playing it this weekend will enjoy themselves and have lots of things to talk about. Honestly this test will give me a better feeling of how I am going to like the game, since a lot of the AggroChat folks seemed to have gotten in. This is the hardest part about Betas is standing on the outside watching your friends have fun… and then trying really damned hard to be happy for them… and not sad that you got left out.
People Behind The Thing
It's okay to be sad/frustrated/upset with a thing, but never okay to attack the human being who's job is to represent that thing
So even though I am frustrated, I am directing my frustrations at an entity… the game Overwatch and or the company Blizzard behind it. I realize that that company is made up of people, and it has to be super tiring to hear people raging at them constantly. I realize over the years I have said some pretty caustic and even pyroclastic things about video games and or the companies behind them. At no point however did I aim that criticism at the people themselves. I never joined the chorus of “I Hate Ghostcrawler” nor will I join any other personally targeted witch hunt in the future. I can dislike a thing… but still have the utmost respect for the people for whom it is their job. Much of this week has felt like I have been attempting to give lessons in how to treat people with simple human dignity… and yesterday continued that trend. These companies have people working there, that go to work every single day hoping to do something cool… and often times get met with this constant wall of negativity. It is no wonder when someone reads one too many “fuck you” posts targeted at them that occasionally community staff snaps. Ultimately how good of a job, and how much satisfaction in it… would you have if someone stood over your desk heckling you the entire day?
Now you can take the path of “they willfully accepted the job”, but that too is utter bullshit. They probably took the job for the same reason that any one of us who are gaming addicts would jump at the chance to do the same thing. The folks that work at games companies do so because they love games with every fiber of their being, so much so that they are willing to sacrifice basic things like stability, and normal working hours… for the chance of being part of something they at least once felt was awesome. So if this week I happen to be complaining about Overwatch… I know that behind the scenes there is a crew of people who are working insane hours right now, and trying their damnedest to please as many people as they can… while at the same time desperately fighting to roll out the best possible product that they can make. I’ve been lucky to know enough people that work at enough companies to know that all of these fine people are grinding themselves into the ground all in the hopes of making each of us happy. So the next time you level an attack at a thing… please make sure it is targeted at the thing… and not the voice of the person hanging out in front of it for whom it is their job to represent said thing. I most definitely don’t believe that games should be above criticism… but I do believe that we shouldn’t be targeting our bile at a human being.
Hoping For a Great Friday
My hope is that I can go into this Friday and not see anything else that makes me sad about humanity. For those of you in the Overwatch beta weekend… have a blast, take lots of screenshots, record lots of video… because I expect some really amazing content as a result. For those of us watching from the sidelines… there are dozens of other things we should be doing. I personally am now 55 hours into Fallout 4… and have yet to make it to Diamond City. I’m also in a strange place when it comes to Final Fantasy XIV where I am logging in each day to do Beast Tribe dailies, but not finding much drive to do anything else. I am in that strange place where I took a long enough break from the game to where I am completely out of touch with what I was doing before I left, but have not been away long enough to make me super nostalgic enough to dive back in with vigor. I am also still fighting the urge to play World of Warcraft, and I am scared that sooner or later I will be giving into it… if for no reason other than to get it out of my system again. I am in a place where I want into the Legion beta more than any other beta in a long while, mostly because I hope beyond hope that Deathknights are fun again. The fact that I had to switch back to my warrior during Warlords honestly was a bit of bummer, and I would love to be a Worgen DK once more. Anyways… that was a long “outro” but hopefully you have a great weekend, and stay safe and happy and warm.