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In what I suspect was a surprise to pretty much everybody, Brian Holinka no longer oversees PvP at Blizzard. What’s more interesting is the fact he’s not leaving the company, but simply moving internally. I could write a whole blog post on this revelation but as I covered that possibility brilliantly in a single tweet, what’s the point?

Putting aside a new IP (mobile focussed, I’m not sure anyone really wants another first person shooter) we look now at the reaction to this announcement, which is as much of a road traffic accident as you would expect to be the case, considering this is an individual who’d receive death threats pretty much on a daily basis. I’m not going to quote any of those tweets or comments here. The fact remains: if this guy’s not being sacked, but moved to another project, his employers consider him a valuable and worthwhile part of the company. All the bile and vitriol matters not one jot. You can scream and cry into the void forever, but you guys were wrong. EVERYONE who decided to diss this bloke for the state of PvP didn’t have a single justified argument that would stick, if all they did was attack the man first.

However much you wanted it, the state of PvP in Warcraft was never just one person’s fault.

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However, and this is where I need to be quite careful, that is not the whole story. I have my own issues with how the last couple of years panned out with this guy as ‘spokesman’. I watched exchanges where I think that maybe it wasn’t just one side who was being inappropriate. That however is only my opinion, from a distance. Everybody says and does stuff they regret sometimes, and occasionally some can mock others without fully thinking through the consequences. Needless to say, I’ve seen the man posting since his announcement and I wouldn’t have said what he did in public. That simply comes down to personal preference and believing that sometimes, it’s just better to walk away for good. There are stories too, but after the events of the last 24 hours, I know better than to blindly accept everything I see on Social media as truth.

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The future is a constantly shifting set of possibilities. Whoever is given the task of becoming Warcraft’s PvP spokesperson at least inherits a system that seems more popular than it was, if the number of people I see grinding levels is any indicator. It might seem like a thankless task, but the right person could go a long way to making that interaction considerably less antagonistic. Or, as I suspect might be the case, they’ll simply not give anyone that title any more.

If there’s no-one to point a finger at, then the blame’s far easier to spread and control.

2 thoughts on “Goodbye

  1. I PVP way more than I have ever done (a couple of times a day) as I need to grind out levels to earn pets. As an avid pet collector I feel exploited and cheated in Legion – I am having to level classes I hate playing, and do PVP which I would never do, to feed my pet addiction :(

    And PVP can be an okay way of getting AP with less pressure than M+

    So PVP is more played because there are reasons to play it – but these reasons are not making it popular just compulsory.

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  2. I think, teenagers – or whatever these people younger than me are – respected him, at least those coming over from LoL or CoD. Whatever you think of the tone dominating that space, he met it and he felt sincere in meeting it. That in itself is a difficult task and it’s something important for young people, experiencing adults as receptive to them. His behaviour irritated me, and I prefer to interact with other devs or see their interaction with others, but that’s about all I’m able to say against him.

    I wish that generally this slippery balancing act between showing respect for others in a rough and edgy manner, and touching the mode of insulting them would end or get toned down because we don’t need it going wrong. But then again yes, we do spend an awful lot of time searching for the right words within our society, and awfully little time getting this world to a state of peace, which I think was my generation’s motivation, the 90s’ and earliest 2000s’ motivation that people were the way they were. From what I’ve seen that roughness and edginess comes from people who in reality are rather soft growing up very protected and in a very safe childhood, similar to wealthy children imitating the ragged look of poorer people. Yet that doesn’t mean we can simply get rid of this instance of criticism. And maybe they actually do learn, maybe they already know that what you do for a friend is more important than what you call him or her.

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