Converting The MassesAugust 10, 2008
Hey, I’m back! [pause] Again! Sorry for all the trips and whatnot, but I’m sure you whittled your time away by actually playing Warhammer Online instead of reading about it — is there anyone here who’s NOT in a beta of some sort? I didn’t think so.
So I spent the last few days in 100+ degree Texas, enjoying the company of Japanese people who could not speak a lick of English but felt quite free in wearing it in t-shirt form. Good times. I also had an encounter with an old college friend (another one) named Russ, who is married with four kids and also is a die-hard WoW player. And as I found out about five minutes into a mutual discussion of Azeroth, a very hardcore, elite player.
Now as much as I do love talking video games with other people, there’s a certain barrier where, when crossed, I start to edge out of the conversation. This usually comes when said other person starts displaying behavior that I find annoying in game, which includes — but is not limited to — the following:
- Being overly passionate about gear, to the point where it’s like they’re linking to the item, verbally, expecting you to swoon over purple colors.
- Start debating the nuances of min/maxing stats and gear and builds.
- Talking about nothing less than how awesome their guild is in demolishing tier 485 raid content that I missed out on while I was grinding for my latest non-combat pet, and
- Putting down other players and classes and builds as “below them” somehow.
Me? I’m the guy who likes to leap off cliffs and see if guildmates follow, or get into one-hour marathon pun contests, or to see what’s the most ridiculous hat I can find in the game and wear it proudly. You should know this about me already. I am not the guy you want to come to if you arduously study spell rotations to find maximum dps and live or die based on damage/healing meters. I am the guy you come to if you want to strip naked and run through a crowded quest hub screaming about how an NPC is trying to molest me. It’s just how it is.
Anyway, I let him go on and on about how uber his hunter was, and really, if he was having fun and playing the game with his wife, more power to him. Takes all kinds. But then I told him I had quit WoW after four years and was gearing up for WAR next month. He gave me a look that I’m starting to associate with diehard WoW players when this is mentioned to them: a kind of annoyed pity, as if there’s just no room within human imagination for anyone to leave Warcraft for any other pastures. Was I like this to others, back when I played? I dunno. For all of his babbling about WoW, it was obvious he couldn’t care less about my newfound WAR passion, as I tried to sell the idea to him. He just wasn’t going to be converted, and I was a bit of a betrayer, and that was that.
It’s not like it’s my job to go around and try to win people over to WAR. I don’t mind talking about it, or telling people about this blog, and I’m gratified that my brother in law will be making the switch from MMO decaf to WAR’s espresso, but if they don’t give it a try I’m not going to spend restless nights in bed sweating over it. I think WAR will have a solid, strong launch, I think a lot of people will force themselves to ignore it in favor of Lich King in a couple months, and I really think that WAR will see a second major boost in early 2009 as Lich King grows stale and WAR picks up more and more word of mouth.
I’m not here to convert, but just to talk. It’s a good thing, but you can’t change someone’s mind unless they’re ready to listen, eh?