I remember the day when I handed in my notice to the website where, for two years, I wrote a weekly Warcraft column. My boss asked me if everything was okay (presumably because you don’t normally leave a job you’re good at) and I told him that if there was any chance of going it alone as a writer, I’d have to leave a part of Azeroth behind for good. This weekend reminded me of how, when you leave anywhere, it is a good idea not to destroy the joint on your way out. Yeah, it’ll make you feel great and generate top publicity, but people have long memories.
It’s amazing what people remember about you after you’re gone.
It still happens, and I’ve watched this play out from the most unexpected of sources, that Warcraft players blame the company for letting Ghostcrawler go all those years ago, that some players seem to maintain that nobody since Greg Street has had any idea of how the game really works. With the muttering about Personal Loot front and centre post-Q&A, watching players looking to see where they can apportion blame for any decision is often embarrassing and uncomfortable. The reality, of course, is that it is us with the perception issues and not the Devs. They’ve been making money for thirteen plus years now.
For ActiBlizz, that’s the final measure of how successful you really are.
I didn’t play at all this weekend because reality right now is both inescapable and rather important. When I get back to it, there’ll be money spent on establishing a new presence on a neutral server, moving everybody there so I can finally start fresh. Someone asked me why, when there are still people I like on my old server, I seem so determined to leave, even if it costs me cash to do so. The answer is because of the person in that first tweet, the people who don’t play this game simply as a game but have attached their own particular significance to the way things should be done. Those who really care will understand my motives and accept them because they’re not obsessed.
They’ll know you don’t destroy what matters just to make a point.
I hope to get back to playing again this week, once the bulk of my Novel work is done. I am genuinely looking forward to returning to Azeroth, too…