Updated Mon, Feb 14, 2011 by Saia
My first rep grind was Karazhan and I hated both the dungeon and the rep grind with equal measure. We went in night after night after night and the bar would creep up until I eventually hit exalted and got my shiny, uber-powerful ring. Fast forward two expansions and I found myself doing exactly the same thing in ICC. Seriously, WTF? Whoever invented grinding trash for rep should be shot, because it’s the most soul destroying thing next to the act of grinding itself.
Yes I know it’s easier to do rep grind now thanks to tabards but that’s not the point. The point is, folks spend weeks and sometimes months grinding not one faction but FORTY. That’s a heck of a lot so I totally get why folks got so pissed off when Blizzard decided to retcon the achievement, they had every right to. Hell, if I had that many reputations done and dusted and was then told I had to do ten more, I’d be furious too.
But the other problem is, how ever much time we invest in WoW, is that we’re really only renting our toons from Blizzard. They own every scrap of code, every loot item and achievement, and we’re technically just borrowing or leasing them but we are paying for the privilege which does still mean something, even in this day and age.
You see, to the community as a whole, removing achievements and stripping people of titles is something which happens to bad people, players who cheat their way through the game, not honest folk like the majority of the playerbase. So, for Blizzard to come along and unceremoniously change the title for so many people without so much as a by your leave, well it’s just not on.
Blizzard does need to remember that the balance of power goes both ways and devs and players will always have a symbiotic relationship. We pay to play and without the subscription base, there’s no way WoW would be popular. After all, just look at the number of MMOs which have ended in the last couple of years. Not rocking the boat - whether it’s a dev like Bashiok, or just a player with a point to put across - goes both ways. The devs need us and we need them; the forums, the blue posts, the patch notes are a courtesy which allow both sides to communicate and, ultimately, create a better game.
That said, I find it refreshing that people power still works. Whether it’s in Egypt or in Azeroth, the ability of the masses to influence the establishment reminds me that nothing is set in stone and if you feel strongly enough about a matter - and if enough people feel the same way - then you really can change the world. So, the bottom line is:
Blizzard: treat your subscribers better, after all they helped you get the game where it is today. They pay to play and, in this fickle world, trends change faster than the weather and a day may well come when WoW is not top dog anymore. Remember that because the day you forget is the day your game dies.
Players: treat the devs with the dignity and respect they deserve, they made the game you love but are only human, even Ghostcrawler. That said, don’t be afraid to let them know when they really are going in the wrong direction.