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I’ve not played enough of 7.1.5 to make any kind of worthwhile judgement just yet, so until I do? I’d like to take a moment to talk about your Warcraft goals. This has nothing to do with mine, by the way, because what Alt wants in this game is a long way from most of the rest of you good people playing. I’m not being influenced by a major Raid instance opening next week, for starters, although knowing that’s how I’ll update my old, sad Legendary items via LFR’s training wheels setting is a useful piece of bonus information.

Of course, it helps if your goals include a lovely healthy dose of competition, because let’s face facts, that’s what this game is all about. As an example I’d like to present Exhibit F from 7.1.5: the undocumented Hunter Pet inclusion.

Forget for a moment that my stable is full, remains rammed and that I still don’t have any more space, so will have to remove one of the skins I like to take this Fox… this is a tame in wild and unpredictable CRZ territory. If you’re not prepared to be fiercely competitive, you can forget it in the first couple of months. Who am I kidding, you can forget this period, until the next pet’s released and everybody forgets about the thing for an hour except the one guy who knew people would get bored eventually and has been here for six months. That’s the problem with a hugely popular MMO. There’s too many people. All the stuff you want most is what everybody else needs too, and the competition culture just makes it worse. That’s why I’ve stopped caring about these things because if I didn’t, I’d implode from the rage. I detest the push to be First, to be the best, to beat others and to show off everything and anything rare or special at the first available opportunity.

I’m happy now being different and not caring.

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Once upon a time when I complained about this I got burned so badly I can recall the exact post it came from, in my early days of trying to extend this blog’s media reach. The intimation that people should stop showing off their shit because it was vulgar, that somehow this made them better than everybody else got me utterly destroyed by a queue of people that seemed never-ending. It is not unlike what happened on Twitter when I suggested people who believe owning a particular CCG mount is some kind of prestige purchase. Everybody has their own peculiar notion of what is considered successful in this game, and woe betide anybody stupid enough to suggest otherwise. Of course if the competition culture wasn’t such a big deal to begin with, then none of this thrashing about would be necessary or even relevant. However, you and I both know the bigger truth here, that every Activision Blizzard game’s got competition at its heart for a very good reason. Teaching people to win matters more now than it ever has at any point in the game’s lifespan.

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The future is NBA franchises and European Football Clubs bankrolling eSports teams, playing Blizzard games like Overwatch, HoTS and Hearthstone. However, I am fairly confident that if the company can find a way to make Raiding and PvP Arenas ‘profitable’ and guarantee a continued stream of willing participants, this too will be shoved onto the bandwagon with all speed. As a result, everything needs to remain not only a race, but a bitter and hard fought slog. It’s not lost on me that PvP is now seamlessly integrated into World Quests on PvE realms. If there’s even the slightest chance of selling this MMO with an eSports chaser, you can absolutely bet that the Company will be all over it like Silly Putty. That means for those of us becoming increasingly tired of everything as a contest the opportunities to quietly rebel are vanishing with sometimes alarming speed.

It just makes me more determined to hold onto my independence as long as possible.

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