Tobold's Blog
Friday, June 22, 2007
Blogging my life

I'm still angry and a bit scared, and put off from gaming since Sunday. I haven't played anything all week, watching The West Wing on DVD instead every night. As the regular readers among you know I really stopped playing World of Warcraft actively two months ago. Last weekend I read a badly formulated guild MOTD which annoyed me a bit (even if I'm sure that in reality the situation in my guild isn't that bad), and which reminded me that I was still paying for a game I wasn't playing any more, and that the next 3-month billing cycle would start soon. So I cancelled my WoW account. That was supposed to be a mere footnote. I only blogged about it because I don't think you can write a MMORPG blog without saying for which games you are paying a subscription. But that evolved into a nightmare, with over 50 mostly negative comments, and that is after deleting the worst of them. Plus a lot more even worse comments on the sites that linked to it. My remarks were ripped out of context, misrepresented, suspected of all sorts of ulterior motives, and a rabid horde of obsessed WoW fanbois generally totally overreacted to what I said. Not fun!

Some remarks especially annoyed me. On WoWInsider several people accused me of being an attention whore. Doh! It wasn't me who linked that blog post on WoWInsider, and I certainly wish they wouldn't have linked to me. I wouldn't have posted an "I quit" post on the WoW message boards, because I'm aware of the kind of reaction that evokes. I just don't see how I'm not allowed to say what games I stop playing on my own blog.

The other annoying sort of remarks were the snotty "more pewpew, less QQ" ones. I really would have expected something better from otherwise intelligent bloggers like Kinless. Instead he tries to put me down with unimaginative leetspeak nonsense. And the worst is that I'm absolutely sure that in the next two years he and many other bloggers will stop playing World of Warcraft. And I don't see how they will avoid posting about quitting and their reasons for it on their blogs. You just can't have a WoW blog and not mention when you stop playing.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for proving that intelligent discussion is still possible here on yesterday's essay on difficulty.
Congratulations. You are free. Don't go back.
It's really sad that so many people just don't seem to think before commenting. Especially when being just a guest on someone else's blog.

Don't know if you happen to read Terra Nova, but I liked their recent post about a comment policy and thought about your blog when I read it.

Greetings, Jens
The downside of popularity?

However, with thousands of readers, 50+ comments seem to stay within statistical expactations. ;)
They're envious that you made made a decision (to cancel) that they simply don't have the willpower to do, themselves.
Tobold: I love the *way* you write things - it brings the content more to life, so frankly, whether its about WoW or LoTR or Shot:Online, I'm always coming back for more :)

Regarding negative comments, don't let it get you down. Keep posting - as they say on the official forum boards, for every visible whiner, there are hundreds of happy, contented members of the audience!
Definitely, keep on trucking. In fact I prefer the descriptions of the weird and wacky games you play... besides, any game's time is limited no matter how unassailable their current market position looks. WoW will need to do some major work over the next while to keep people interested.
I agree with others here, don't worry about the Wowbois.

Incidentally any link to crossbreeding in LOTR Online ? I'm a grand master farmer (easy to do since patch) but I've never dabbled with weeds, and now there are new varieties, so I wonder if more crossbreeding is possible.

It always upsets me that sometimes I can get wound up by something that happens on the intertubes written by someone I don't know, who doesn't know me and who hides behind the anonymity of the internet to hurl abuse at others. I hope you manage to quell the anger and get gaming again. On the other hand, West Wing is also good.
Keep it up Tobold,

those "namecallers" are usually just plain dumb.
Recently I had a minor incident of being personally criticised on the net for something that I did in good faith and that I was proud of. Even though the criticism was unfounded I was amazed at how much it hurt and in some small way I can understand your pain.

Why do the rules of normal human behaviour go out the window when it comes to the internet? Why can people who disagree with you not put their viewpoint in a polite but affirmative way?

Tobold please take pride from the fact that your blog is one of the most important in MMORPG blogspace and that is why so many people care enough about your decision to actually write about it.

@Lunedust I don't know much about Pipeweed but if you have a Dwarf daddy and Hobbit mammy I guess you can make a Dwobbit :D
I wouldn't call it the price of stardom, but it's the price of being in a public forum where anonymity and free speech combine.

That being said, you still write some of the most insightful stuff on the world of MMOs, and even if I don't always understand what you're talking about (I can't afford to try new games), I'm a proponent of well-written and well-thought out writings and will continue to support you in your endeavors.

It's cognitive dissonance in action, Tobold - the compulsion to defend a choice you deep down suspect could be wrong by attacking the decisions of someone who contravenes yours.

I wouldn't even give the bad comments a second thought, although as a decent human being they no doubt weigh on you.
good karma for Tobold :-)

Just to show you, that not every comment needs to be insulting...

I think the majority of the readers are, well, just READING. Don't overreact on a very small percentage of your readers who voice their anger because you have said something that they do not like.
Keep it up, we love you !

(hey, only positive comments so far... will you enter into a gaming frenzy ?)
Keep on posting mate, ignore the idiots that feel they have to mock anyone that expresses an opinion that differs from their own.

You know, I think this blog has been as much an adventure for you as any mmog you've ever played ;)
Your blog rocks mate, and as others have said, since you have thousands of visitors to your site, 50 negative ones only goes to show they are the minority, not the majority.

Take heart from the silent majority and keep sharing your thoughts and opinions with us - the rest of us may not always agree, but we will always respect you for the fantastic job you do here, writing clearly and in-depth on a hobby we all love.

Cheers and /hug :)
This blog is great and I base a lot of my decisions on what to play on it.

Keep it up great work!
Keep at it! It's *your* blog, and about your gaming experiences and thoughts. Just because those happen to travel the same road as WoW for a time, doesn't make you a 'WoW Blog'

I recently hung up EVE Online for a bit, and probably won't be posting much about that for a while, despite my stats showing those as my most read posts. What can I do? If I'm not playing it, it would be a lie to keep on writing about it.

Just ignore the rabid tribalism, and keep on letting us know what *you* think, about whatever you're playing.
Here's my support too. I've been a lurking reader of your blog for a while and I love reading it.

I think many WOW bloggers put so much time into playing that it becomes a major part of their identity. Since playing it partly defines who they are, they see negative comment on WOW as personal criticism. They are not to be taken seriously.
It's your life; what games you choose to play is up to you.
What's to say... other than your blog is one of most welcome 'breaths of fresh air' when it comes down to being informed regarding MMO's. I wish I found your site earlier... instead I had to waste much of my time discussing issues with the many idiots that lurk the official forums.

I understand it can be tough when subjected to the attention you are getting.

But as these comments testify... you have a big following that actually crave your daily thoughts and come back to participate in the discussions you start. Take heart in that.

Your thoughts and resulting reader comments do us all a service... We are consumers as well as players. Consumers spend money... to discuss issues in an open format like this is a way to champion the consumer and raise issues they have.

Good on you! You personally have my thanks for doing such an awsome and entertaining job of the blog!

Keep it up good Sir and keep stirring the pot!
Keep on posting, Tobold!

I still enjoy reading your blog.

I cancelled my WoW subscription a few weeks ago. And I am happy about it.
It's disappointing to see such an immature reaction to your quitting WoW. If you're not enjoying the game, why should you keep playing it? Some people need to get some perspective. This isn't a job, or a sport.

Anyway, I think you should stop posting about WoW and focus on LOTRO more. I still play WoW, but I am interested in hearing about other MMO's coming out these days.

I would assume that the people sending nasty messages / comments are not your regular readers. They already knew you didnt play a lot of Wow anymore.

Please dont let this keep you from playing games or blogging. This blog is very nice to read ;).
It's an interesting learning process to learn to completely filter all the garbage that pervades forum and blog space. Lots of people are actually not interested or capable of intelligent discussion.

The good part is that some do. So if you manage to keep it up and interact with those that warrant interacting with, it's all good.

Just keep those garbage filter sun-glasses on. And yes the reactions on the WoWInsider comment section were particularly vitriolic. Just ignore and chuck it up to generic nastiness of some people.

Lots of people who comment here don't have this need to judge and shout down or denegrade others, so there shouldn't be anything to worry about! :D
Love the blog, most insightful and superbly written no matter what the subject. Don't give in to the hate.
People are never going to be happy and no matter what you do, you're always going to make somebody mad.

I don't see why you have to "explain" your actions. These people commenting are not your parents and you're not 2. You are providing a "free" source of entertainment and if they don't like what they're seeing, they should just change the channel.

People who flame others with Anonymous "QQ" and other rude comments are the type of ignorant, arrogant people who waste a great and much needed resource, air.

Pay these people no mind, they're called "Trolls" for a reason :)

Keep up the good work Tobold!
Most people on the internet are fucking scum and would never say all the crap that they spew in person, they're cowards and you shouldn't even give them a second thought.

Keep up the great work, Tobold, I love reading your blog.
I was/am really sorry to see how nasty so many of the comments on your recent post were. I read the WoWInsider comments and had the same reaction. While the percentage of people who comment on official game forums has to be much smaller than the actual number of players, I think it's interesting that the same nasty, snotty tone that characterizes the WoW official forums appears in so many other blogs/forums besides that. I think that it characterizes the community, actually. (Disclaimer: I've met very many pleasant and kind people in the game too) That was a major factor, actually, in my decision to cancel my subscription. Sure, you'll get a certain amount of that in any game/internet forum where anonymity combines with practically unrestricted freedom of speech, but still I think there's something there.

A good rl friend of mine agrees with me about this, and had an interesting comment. He teaches high school. He knows lots of students who play WoW, and who seem in general unhappy with their lives. They often use WoW as a major outlet and source of validation. Now with 9 million players, of course the player population is far more diverse than just adolescents. But the nature and tone of the forums and responses to your criticisms make me wonder how much their attitude characterizes the whole...

Anyway, your blog is fantastic. Very intelligently written and thought-provoking. Thanks!
Boy, do I know where you're coming from...
Tobold. It was trite of me, and I apologize. You're right, and right.
Tobold, I am one of the many people that have been reading your blog for a while now and never posted a comment (maybe this comment will open the floodgates, who knows)

Even though I dont always agree with your opinions, you always back them up with reasons WHY they are your opinions - and so long as you keep doing that, I will continue to repsect you (and a lot of the regular commenters too)

As long as I continue to repsect you, I will continue to read your blog whatever you're writing about(despite the fact that I am still a wow player and didnt like lotro much at all when I tried it)

Keep up the good work, and dont let the %$&)%$£ grind you down !
Tobold, in an online cesspit of badly written gaming blogs, your posts shine like fresh and newly-fallen snow.

Keep writing whatever your gut tells you to, and you will continue to be on my daily must-read links!
Hang in there!

I've not blogged, but I've participated in forums of various types for over a decade.

One thing I learned pretty quickly is that people will post things that they would never dare to say in person.

And that the written word, without facial expressions and body language, can come across far more harshly than intended.

As I posted elsewhere...
WoW is like a marriage.
It can be a real high when all is well.
Leaving is like a divorce.
And divorce stirs deep emotions on both sides, and can get ugly...
Dearest Tobold,

A fraction of the population will spend their lives complaining about how they can't get a girlfriend, unless they adopt necrophilia, because they are pathologically antisocial, usually borderline sociopathic. Many of these people are attracted to online games because they can socialize and express their pathology without consequences.

This is why the Wow forums are as spite-ridden and cruel as they are.

Welcome to the true nature of humanity, where a few bad seeds, highly vocal and not fearing consequences, set the tone for the whole place.

This is why most social clubs practice exclusivity - to keep out the riff-raff.
Combine the whole my-game-is-part-of-my-vacuous-life thing with the anonymity of the Internet and you can get some pretty bad behavior out of some people.

Anyway, keep your head up, T.
I just wrote a few days ago in our WoW guild forums, "I keep reading Tobold because he really writes good and thoughtful". Whether it'll be about WoW or any other game, your points usually have merit (remember, the only time I disagreed with you so far was about the TCG).

Keep your head up, and don't mind the trolls and fanboys. They'll stroll back under their bridges soon.
Thanks for all the kind words. And special thanks to Kinless, you don't get to see many apologies on the internet.

Regarding the disagreeing that haslo mentioned, I actually like it when I can get a discussion going with people having different points of view. It's just the hate and name-calling I can't stand. As long as they have an argument beyond "you're an idiot", everybody is welcome here to discuss their opinion, whether they agree with me or not.
Been reading your blog for a few months now. I'm not sure why i liked reading your blog, maybe it informed me, maybe it was awareness, often it was thought provoking. However i enjoy the mind bending thoughts.

Hang in there hang Tough and keep on keeping on.
I don't post often, mostly just a reader. Don't let teh vocal minority get you down. There are those of us who enjoy your blog for more than your posts about WoW.

Now that I am married your blog is about the most mmorpg exposure I get all day! Keep it up!
Wow has such a horrible community-- I am not surprised you received so many negative comments. Of course there are some nice intelligent players, but not nearly as many as the other. (Especially give to mind to WowInsider, articles are interesting sometimes, but the commenters are kinda...yeh.)

Keep blogging! :)

It's frustrating when people come and behave like spoiled 2-year-olds and I can understand some hurt from it. However, it's the vocal minority and you're writing public pieces.

You're being way too thin skinned here. To quote the vernacular--"Suck it up, Princess." :)
Everyone's an idiot.
Everyone's playing th wrong game.
Everyone's playing the wrong way.
Everyone's a 23 year old fat man sitting in his mom's basement playing his character wrong.
There are no girls on the interweb.
Tobold is evil for leaving WOW.
WOW is evil for pushing Tobold away.
Why won't WOW talk to Tobold so they can work thier problems out they were such a nice couple always quiet never demanded sugar on a sunday night played music to loud or kicked our dogs, Nice people them 2.
Trollspeak end.

Tobold I read you blog not for the WOW, Yeah it was insightful and made me think time after time. You do good write stuff, with words.

What ever you move onto i will keep reading because you have insights and ask those wierd questions ant the tough ones as well. Most times they would have basis and repercutions through out the MMOG world and beyond into the industry as well. Why else are youy such a Phenom that WOWI likes to snuggle up to your posts often. You are a VOICE. People listen even though they may not get what it is you are typin, they are reading and will continue to do so. Fight the good fight and pew pew all those QQrs that can't seem to grasp that this is yours to do with as you please now and until he FIREDEATH OF THE INTERTUBES!


yeah that would go good on a business card.
Hey Tobold,

Sorry about sending you some of WoW Insider's more...irritating commenters. As always your blog is a great read, and it's sad to see trolls bring that down.
I discovered your blog a few months ago and have not stopped reading it. Even though WoW is my first mmorpg and I haven't tried LoTR, I continue to read it for your unique perspectives about the game that most people don't really think about or ask questions about.

I have only commented maybe 3 times, but just wanted to add to this thread like many other silent majority readers who don't post as much as the whiners. Your blog is great, and anyone who gives you crap is just a moron who can't stand that you did something they themselves cannot do.

No matter what game you go on to and whether or not I play it, I'll keep reading your blog.

Thanks by the way, as this must be somewhat of a job you don't get paid for.
These WoW fanbois are most likely experiencing their first MMO and have no clue there's others out there. Even though they think they're 1337, they're actually just noobs in the MMORPG world.

I stop reading opinions when they result in explicit name calling. I've seen some good debate amongst comments that are ruined because they insert an insult, which is always uncalled for - even if you didn't "start" it.

I've played 20+ MMO's, and I love reading your blog because it addresses different games, and that's how I roll ^^
I think i wouldn't read your Blog as much as i do, when i would only read my own thoughts....
man people get so caught up in a WoW/MMORPG reality that they forget that there's other realities out there that you benefit more from being involved in.

A break from any reality is healthy for the soul.
I enjoy this blog, as Its one of the few video game blogs allowed from my workspace plus its generally high quality readable material. Infact I would rather read this blog for MMO's than most magazine's that relate to MMO's and video games.

As for the trolls...

Dont feed the trolls because they are wicked and cant be taught.

And if they are raging poo-flinging monkeys...

Well dont feed them either.
Keep on writing Tobold. I still play WOW though I'm constantly frustrated by its limitations. It's hard to find good, thoughtful writing on the web, and your blog is definitely more signal than noise.
You have my sympathy Tobold (belated though it may be). WoW seems to breed the strangest rabid devotion in many of its players. Before WoW came out I used to be a frequent reader and poster at With the release of WoW a vocal minority of posters began to essentially harass anyone who didn't think WoW was the greatest thing ever. I was disgusted as a mature and friendly forum turned into flames and intolerance so I left and never returned.

This is your blog, you write what you like. WoW is an ok game, and I still play, but only in order to play with my friends. WoW is stale, and the developers continue to cater to the hardcore minority, leaving huge grinds with minimal rewards for the average player.

WoW deserves to have people quit, but most simply won't until a 'wow-killer' shows up.

Like all the others I follow your BLOG all the time. I even went back to the very beginning to catch the back episodes of the soap opera of your Blog life (That's meant in a good way).

Now I'm hooked on "A Tale in the Desert" which I firmly blame you!

Keep it up and the silent majority far out numbers the l33t dudes.
I see an epic blog entry - I would be not surprised if this thread never dies :)
Already more than 50 replies. Even if I hadn't decided to pull the plug on WoW a week ago (for the second time; first was prior to a stint overseas, and just made logistical sense) I would still have no issue with your apparently inflammatory post.

I don't have a vested interest in the subscribership of World of Warcraft, you didn't break any promises to me; in short, I just don't care. I do care enough about supporting a blogger whose informative and entertaining posts I continue to read even though I haven't played an MMO for more than a month, and so I've added to the list of positive responses in this thread.

Keep up the good work, and don't let the bastards grind you down.
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