4.0, while not unexpected or even unanticipated, has dropped like a bull in our proverbial china closet. Some of our china was saved, some was destroyed and replaced with better pieces, and some with inferior. However, it’s interesting to see how people are dealing with the changes that affect how they play.
The world is an ever-evolving organism that must be accepted for what it is.
These players take a look at the changes and politely shrug their shoulders over changes they find distasteful while giving sagacious nods over improvements they see in game. Such players recognize that the game-world is a sandbox maintained by someone other than themselves, and little or no amount of railing, cheering, tears or exaltions will change what is available at this moment in time. While they might join a discussion of changes, it will often be from the position that whatever is currently available is what it is, and will not make conjectures about possible ways to make changes to things they don’t agree with. Instead, they will try to discover how to make the best of what is offered.
I found myself reading about the bugs still in the game and going “meh.” Yes, I recognize that bugs need to be fixed, but honestly, bugs happen and no amount of whining on my part is going to do anything about it. When I run across something fishy, I put in my little report ticket and move on with whatever activity I’m doing.
The world is ending because of the implementation of this change.
While they often don’t believe that the world is actually ending, they are upset enough over a change that they can’t stop shouting their disatisfaction from the mountaintops. The “importance” of the change to the actual functioning of the game is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the change has affected the player’s perception of the game, often resulting in a feeling of alienation. Ranters, whether intended or not, can often create an environment that fosters organized protest. In an on-line forum, this often results in the 500+ thread on official forums or a circle of “believers” who support the ranter in their disagreement over the change. Ranters tend to face the most backlash, since they are so vocal about their dislike, they tend to be targeted by other players as troublemakers or whiners.
I’m currently in the discovery stage, having cut myself off from pretty much all Cata/4.0 news, so I don’t really know if I have anything to rant about yet. I find the paladin “rotation” a little off-kilter for me, but I can see how it makes for better holes for all my little cooldowns. My shaman plays about the same so far. My death knight actually feels improved to me.
Everything is AWESOME. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE EVERYTHING!
These players haven’t met a game change that they haven’t fallen in love with. Change, in all forms, is good and should be embraced whole-heartedly. They praise every part of the process that led to the change, and can give you examples of one hundred ways that the change is better than whatever went before.
As a personal note, whenever I see a gusher I want to find the closest blunt object and chart a trajectory to the gusher’s skull. It’s not a matter of agreement or disagreement over the change, rather, it’s a basic personality conflict.
Everything changed. What do I do now? Where do I find myself?
The flailers don’t care a fig whether the changes are good or bad, because they’re adversely affected by change in any form. Every discovery of another change leads them into another tizzy of ineffectual flailing. Like the philosphers, the flailers won’t try to get into the meat weighing the pros and cons of changes, although for different reasons. They’re more concerned with realigning their personal starts with something that works in order to reach their comfort zone again.
I found myself in this position last night, running in circles in Ironforge as I ran to my trainer, then to the target dummies, then back to my trainer, then to the auction house, then to the training dummies, back to the trainer, and all the while thinking “why’d it all have to change?!”
What’s It Matter
In actuality, many of us likely fit into many of these groups if not all of them. I tend to be philosophical about changes that don’t matter to me emotionally while I will easily rant or gush over changes I find to be gratifying on an emotional level. And I always flail, every single time. The important thing, I think, is to recognize that other players have to deal with change however it seems best to them. I actually find how people deal with the changes fascinating, as it tells me a great deal about what is important to them personally.