meiran: (stupidity)
[personal profile] meiran
An open letter.

Dear Blizzard,

I think that somewhere along the line you're not understanding two fundamental problems with your holiday achievements system.

#1: Your drop rate was too low or too screwed up on the bags of candy. No amount of time or dedication on the part of the player could have fixed this. I'm sorry, but it's just incorrect to punish players who literally tried for the candy every hour for DAYS (including not sleeping) and were unable to get enough bags to complete the achievement. A large number of the best players in my guild were in the same boat I was: spending the entire weekend trying for that one candy they didn't have. You want to say the holiday achievements are about dedication, but I promise you that these players are all dedicated and they all made commitments and they were NOT rewarded. Meanwhile, one guy in my guild got about ten bags of candy and couldn't get any silver shafted arrows. That's messed up, plain and simple.

#2: You keep saying that you're fine with the Brew of the Month requirement because basically, you don't actually care that Death Knights can't get a proto-drake. You know what? That's not the problem. That's not even remotely the problem. I don't care one bit about that.

The problem, the fundamental WRONGNESS of the situation is that Brewfest happened very near to when all the achievements came out. Nobody knew that the Brew of the Month requirement would be there. Nobody knew that they'd need to get it, nobody knew that this one thing would stand in their way. And it's not like Brewfest is a couple months into the "year" of the holiday achievements. It is the VERY LAST ONE.

I had done Brewfest before. I had my pet, I had my tankard, I had my dress. I was happy with my participation in Brewfest and I'll be honest, I had class. I work 40 hours a week, I take two GRADUATE classes, and one of those was heavy on film production which means a lot of out of class work. I chose, thinking that I had done the holiday before, to concentrate on my real life.

If I had known, if I had been informed at all, that this Brew of the Month thing would be the only problem standing in my way of a proto-drake at the end of a year, I would have done it. I would have happily carved out that little bit of time. But I didn't think it was new content, I didn't think it was something that was necessary. And you claiming that I wasn't "dedicated" to the holiday achievements and don't deserve a drake because of that is...well, it's ridiculous. It's rude. It's bad customer service.

I won't have a problem with Children's Week because I have done it two years before, and have four of the pets already. I would have five of the six if I hadn't been six during the first Children's Week, but that's another story for another time that involves you saying a holiday lasts until a certain date when in fact it ends at 6 a.m. that morning and not at the END of that day. Trust me, I'm still grumpy about that.

Since you started doing Holiday events in the game, that has been my favorite time to log in and play. I have celebrated nearly every holiday with World of Warcraft because it is my favorite part. When I was bogged down in guild drama and level 40 blues, and I nearly quit playing for six months, I still logged in to do holiday events. This is all before their were achievements or real rewards (aside from pets). I did it because I loved it, because I enjoyed it, and because it showed me clearly why WoW was my type of game.

When you put in the achievements system and I saw that I could get fun title rewards just for doing the things I already love to do, the things I would be doing anyway, I was so happy. Here was a set of achievements that seemed tailor made for me, something that was designed for just the type of player that I was. I didn't care about the rewards, I just wanted to get the achievement showing that I, a player who has been insulted for being too casual, who had a guild abandon me because I wasn't hardcore enough for them, I could actually get something impressive.

I didn't even know there was a proto-drake reward until midway through Halloween. I hadn't paid attention. I wanted the titles as a visible sign that I had DONE something. So that I for once would have a few bragging rights, since my work and class schedule keeps me from raiding. It was something I could do even if I wasn't decked out in raid gear.

I got from level 74 to 80 in around a week just to finish Lunar Festival. That was my sole reason, I had no other motivation. I was so horribly undergeared for Heroic Gundrak that I was convinced I'd get booted from any PUG I joined and I begged a guild tank to come with me so that he would be impressive enough to make up for my failings, and I knew he'd be nice enough to me if I made a mistake and help me correct it. For the record, we wiped a lot on the first snake boss, but we killed everything and he told me I did pretty good. Plus, I got two upgraded items. I enjoyed the experience so much I've been doing more Heroic Dungeons and helping out my guildmates a lot more.

These holiday achievements have also helped me bond with my guild. We've been helping each other, and my former misgivings about guilds has been all but wiped out by how this new group of people has treated each other.

But no matter what I do, no matter what I try, no matter how much effort I give, I won't get that title at the end of the year. I'll spend a year absolutely dedicated, doing everything you've asked of me. I'll log in and do my best during every holiday. I'll do all of it.

And at the end, you'll tell me "Sorry." I won't get the one thing I want (the achievement, NOT the drake, the drake is the bonus) because you feel that I'm not a dedicated enough player because I didn't do something I DIDN'T KNOW I SHOULD DO. I didn't know you wanted it of me. I had no idea.

That is insulting, Blizzard. It bothers me. That's like you telling me that even though I bought WoW on the day it came out, even though I've never let my subscription lapse for four years, even though I bought Collector's Editions of both expansions on the day they came out (pre-ordered even), even though I've done all of the holidays at least once before in those four years, that I'm not good enough for you. I'm not special enough. I'm not what you want in a player.

This isn't about a drake for me, Blizzard. This is about the message that you're sending with the requirement, and in your official forum responses when people question those requirements.

I don't care that achievements are voluntary. I don't care that it's not keeping me from some particular piece of content.

I care that it's something I want, something I would do anything you ask to achieve, and you're telling me all I have to do is bend the laws of space-time and do something you never told me I needed to do until it was too late to do it.


Sorry to any non-wow players that had to read that. I'm actually posting this public because I feel strongly enough about it so I don't want to cut it.
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May 2012

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