Tobold's Blog
Friday, January 23, 2009
 
Emotions and entitlement

Corrections to class balance, more commonly called "nerfs", are a deeply emotional thing. There is no such thing as absolute power in a MMORPG, your power is always relative to that of the monster you're fighting or to that of other players. Thus a nerf, defined as a change which leaves your class/build comparatively worse off, is affecting the victims deeply. It doesn't matter whether that nerf is really making your class impossible to play, or whether it just makes your class slightly less likely to be invited into a PuG that doesn't know better. We all invested hundreds if not thousands of hours into our characters, so even a small relative diminishing of our powers feels like a catastrophe.

This has two consequences for this blog: One is that I'm exactly as emotional as the next guy. If the class / build I'm playing gets nerfed, I'm getting exactly as angry as everyone else who gets nerfed. The other consequence is that whenever I discuss the possibility of nerfs to some other class, the commenters on that thread who play that class will react angrily. The most used search term for my blog last month, after "Tobold" was "death knights overpowered". And every single death knight posting on that thread said of course death knights aren't overpowered, while every single other class which in some way is in competition to death knights said of course they are overpowered.

Emotions, whether they are mine or those of other people, make some readers who aren't emotionally involved in that subject feel uncomfortable. That is normal, especially since the demographics of MMORPGs and thus blogs about MMORPGs is centered around young males, and dealing with emotions is a weak point for that audience. So my advice to you is to simply skip those posts. Trying to fight emotions with rational logic is doomed to failure (which is something you might want to keep in mind if you ever get married). Rationally I know quite well that my priest is still perfectly playable, but that doesn't make me any less angry.

But what I'm totally sick and tired of is people with a strong sense of entitlement, which is all too common on the internet. People telling me they have been subscribing to my blog for some time, and think that because of that I owe them something. WHAT? You've been consuming content for free I worked hard to create, and I owe you? Sorry, if anything, you owe me. Thus if I read comments like this one: "Way too many of these posts seem like a description of the bloggers emotional state atm. If you had a bad day at the office and need to vent, can you use your wife/kids/colleagues/shrink instead?" it makes me want to come to Anonymous' house and give him a piece of my mind. This blog is mine, mine, mine. It's my place to vent, it's my shrink. If you don't like it, get the fuck out of here, I'm not going to miss you at all. I'll even refund you all the 0 dollars and 0 cents you paid me for your "subscription". And yes, that is me being emotional again.
Comments:
Go Tobold :D

I don't comment much (maybe once or twice) but I'd just like to say that if somebody posted something foolish like that they deserve everything they get. This is your blog Tobold, that's for sure, and I for one love reading everything you write, be it about politics, economies, holy priest nerfs, or entitled idiots :D Keep on trucking!
 
Looks like even Tobold is not immune to Nerd Rage®.

--Rawr
 
WOW. GZ. :-)
 
This is why I play skill-based MMOs these days (well, EvE considering it's the only one worth a hill of beans) - if something I'm specialized in gets nerfed, I just train something else. Sure it still sucks but I'm not stuck having to deal with it till the Great Dev Gods decide to smile on me again.
 
This post made me smile. Keep the good work, mate.
 
Feel free to shoot from the hip, that's why we come here

Apologies if anything I have said here recently has inflamed things
 
While you are completely right that you CAN vent your emotions here and no one has the right to stop you, it's still not the best move. You worked also a lot to make this blog running. You attracted people here and I'm sure you are happy that huge amount of people are interested in your thoughts. I am, although I have about 1/3 readers as you. While I owe them nothing, I'd prefer not to lose them.

By venting, you nerf your blog, decreasing your "power" to affect other people's ideas.
 
You're right. They're wrong. That's all :)
 
Well said, Tobold, you surely are free to write about whatever is tickling your mind. It IS indeed your blog, and we can read it free of any charge and any spam (!!!).
The reader on the other hand, can pick the content he likes to read about, and just ignore the rest, if he happens not to like it, I read about 99% of your articles and always enjoy them, for their fresh ideas, novel points of views and thought-provoking questions.
This sounds like a perfect deal to me: good articles at no cost...... only an idiot would complain :-)
 
Well written QQ is always a delight to read! Go Tobold! ;)
 
By venting, you nerf your blog, decreasing your "power" to affect other people's ideas.

But that depends whether affecting other people's ideas is the main "utility" I achieve by writing. What if writing things off my mind is more valuable to me than affecting other people's ideas? Yeah, Blizzard changed the location where you tailor Ebonweave cloth, but does anyone believe that was only because I wrote about it? Self-expression can be valued more than success, just look at all the people creating art or theatre in circumstances where they very well know they'll never make much money from it.
 
Blogging is about opinions. We do not necessarily have to agree with each other but we must ensure we respect each others opinion, posting frequency, posting style and whatever else. I am personally knew to bloggin and I find it immensely interesting to `discuss' game aspects in this way. But in no way do I feel anyone owes me something, just because I hang around his blog. I do not expect favours from him either. Nor anyone has to care on what I post on my blog. Or all welcomed but I can right whatever I feel like (within reasonable boundaries), possibly hoping someone will find it interesting. I (or anyone) write to please my need for communication, not necessarily please anyone.

Everyone is entitled to convey emotion about anything. However, that goes for your readers so be prepared to accept their emotional rages as well. In any case offensive attitudes do not have a place anyway from any of the participants.

This is in any case a very interesting blog because its not pretentious. And THAT is important to read even of you disagree.
 
Tobold, your blog is a good read, especially at the bargain price. Keep it up, please.
William
 
I guess its the price you pay for being popular mate. Thicken that skin even more and ignore them - it's your blog, you can say what you want (so long as it is in good taste of course!).
 
I've frequently disagreed with your opinions but they were always well stated and insightful. Emotion is fine if it doesn't dispose of reason.
Your recent posts have not been the balanced and rational observations people have come to expect. Whilst I agree you can blog what you like and don't demand anything, posts that would feel right at home amongst the one-eyed players on the official wow forums are not the reason I subscribed.
 
please wire my $0 and 0 cents to my account immediately...do you mind paying that in £ Pound sterling though please :)
 
Tobold dropping the F-Bomb! Just when you think you got him figured out, he pimpslaps you with the badhand to set you straight (biatch!).

<3 ;)
 
What makes you believe I'm totally sick and tired of is people with a strong sense of entitlement?

Can you elaborate on that?

Tell me more about your mother.

;)
 
Deeply Emotional? Catastrophe? It's a video game. They could unplug it at any time and it would be gone. I guess I can't understand getting emotionally invested in game mechanics. The friends you make online is something totally different and understandable. Does that make me a "young male who can't deal with emotions?"

I would never tell you not to write about them though.
 
It's always funny when readers are trying to tell a blogger what to write and what not to write LOL. Maybe they are too dumb to create their own blog? :O
Sorry couldn't resist. :P
 
reminds me of the people complaining about when you were talking of the american election

i may not agree that coh nerf has killed holy priests, they still seem to be doing fine in our raids, but its your opinion
 
Newsflash: Tobold is a human being, I know it, it's true he even admitted it once.
 
You don't need our (commenters') validation, that was the point of your post, but I'll hand it to you anyway: fantastic post, thank you for being yourself.
 
I read this blog as I am interested in other people opinions, I will not be swayed by anything posted on this blog. I enjoy reading your style Tobold, and if I disagree, I disagree but then thats my opinion.

Keep up the blog and sod anyone else :)

Chris
 
Don't let the anonymous trolls get you down, Tobold. There's a reason why your blog is so popular.
 
Tobold,

I'm glad you have a place to vent and discuss. I enjoy reading whatever you've got. You think out your posts and have good justifications for what you say, I personally enjoy reading that type of literature. What is it that Reagan's notepad said? Don't let the turkey's get you down.

Thanks
Ben
 
Well put Tobold.

-wolfgangdoom
 
Deeply Emotional? Catastrophe? It's a video game. They could unplug it at any time and it would be gone. I guess I can't understand getting emotionally invested in game mechanics. The friends you make online is something totally different...

Tobold is on the slippery slope of "validation in the virtual world" methinks. The "self entitlement" Tobold describes exists for every single user on the world wide web the moment they turn on their computers and connect. It's not self entitlement, it's a RIGHT. It's the right to have the same access to the same information as everyone else, regardless of the source or whether you pay for access to it, or it's free. I'm not connected via an umbilical cord to the internet, and I dont require spoon fed or bottle fed doses of it to maintain my existance or my perceived importance within it.

Just sayin'.
 
Disable anon posting? It's not like your hurting for discussion under your posts.
 
heh tob

i think you took the commentary section too personally. geez tob these ppl just offering their opinion on your opinion. now it happenned that their comment is not in agrement with you and they offer their own opinion which is criticizing you. i think we all want to hear good opinion on ourself but it take a good heart to take in bad opinion / criticism from other people. this is your blog and you off course can blog all your heart content, but if you open the commentary section then be prepared for influx of differing opinion, be it bad or good.

let us comment and dont take it personally ok

ps: in case you dont remember me, its me hornblower who 'criticize' your xfire-on-warhammer post.

yours truly

hornblower
 
MMOGs have passionate audiences, and the people that write and read about them tend towards extremes of passion. Consequently the ability to write consistently rationally about the subject tends to separate the popular authors from everyone else.

There is a scaling point at which you cease to be you, and become a commoditised version of you. It's roughly the same scaling point at which you become "press", "media", "famous", and so on. At this point "you" become a product. A product which probably only roughly approximates to who you actually are.

When you go off-message - start writing content which does not characterise the established style of product-Tobold - your customers become confused. And, I suspect, because of the method of distribution, this product is considered a kind of public good, one that readers feel ownership over.

Does that help explain what's going on?
 
Write less valuable content ... no one wants to be entitled to a piece of crap. I would know, I have been churning out terrible blog posts for a year now and I've never gotten anyone telling me they feel entitled to telling me what to do hehe
 
A couple comments on some things Tobold said…

“One is that I'm exactly as emotional as the next guy”

Actually usually I’d say this is wrong. And it’s why people come to read your stuff. It’s usually measured and ,ore intellectually honest.

“This blog is mine, mine, mine. It's my place to vent, it's my shrink. If you don't like it, get the fuck out of here, I'm not going to miss you at all. I'll even refund you all the 0 dollars and 0 cents you paid me for your "subscription". And yes, that is me being emotional again.”

And if you don’t like the reactions to your crybaby rants, get the fuck out of here and don’t read the replies.

Truth is you do in fact owe us something because your ego needs feeding and that means readers. As your irrational flips outs increase, you’ll lose that attention that you desperately need.

~Jason, DPS Liberation Front
 
Thank you for the reminder that you are providing a service. I hope everyone will take the time to thank those bloggers that they regularly read. And, Tobold, thank you for posting, even when you're emotional, it's informative and entertaining!
 
" If the class / build I'm playing gets nerfed, I'm getting exactly as angry as everyone else who gets nerfed." I dont get angry at all when that happens. Maybe thats just you and all the pre-teen boys, Tobold. I recognise a change is for the good of the game, so I'm usually pretty happy when my class changes. Buffed or nefed it all the same to me. So please dont lump me in as having the same fragile emotional life.

Maybe its time you grew up emtionally. And if you dont like the comments you get, maybe you should stop posting. Your content is just a distraction for most of us, we dont take it seriously because you're not any kind of professional. The only reason you do it is because its fun, and it feeds your ego. That much is clear because your content is so partial to you, and you alone, although you pretend to generalize it. Having your ego fed is far more valuble to you than cash, I suspect. So, you offend me by what you write many times, because your views are often emotional rants, disguised as rational thought. If you do that, I will tell you you just did that. Sorry if that offends you. Your argument works the other way. If you dont like it stop blogging. But then what would your ego do??? Or, if you dont like your comments, please dont read them. Then again, how would your ego deal with that? I dont expect anything in return for my comments. I just put them there because thats my response to what you write. You dont have to read them.

Also, dont act like a tough badass and threaten to go round and to Anon's house, after just having admitted you're an emotional wimp.

You cant lash out at all of us on the internet and expect to win the argument. You do yourself a disservice by acting that way, and I suspect people will respect you less.
 
if you don't want anyone to reply or respond to what you write buy a fucking journal.
 
I like your blog. I think your taking things a little too serious. Don't be so dramatic. Nerfs are part of the game. Play a class long enough and YOU WILL GET NERFED.
 
Tobold I think we might have become best friends if you didn't live an ocean away! Thanks for venting on the idiots where I can read it and get a good laugh! Keep plugging away!
 
I agree with your sentiment, Tobold, but I might not have said as much. It's not a matter of having a thick skin, just a measure of whether to lash out. Of course, you don't have paying customers to worry about alienating, so you have quite a bit more leeway.

But, hell, it's your blog. I'll keep reading it.
 
Tobold is human?
 
Wow, in the 3 years I've been following your blog, I don't think I've ever seen you swear. More fucking power to you Tobold!
 
You owe me a good blogpost once a week ;)).
 
[i]That is normal, especially since the demographics of MMORPGs and thus blogs about MMORPGs is centered around young males, and dealing with emotions is a weak point for that audience.[/i]

You do yourself a disservice when you paint your readership with such broad strokes.
 
Way to go Tobold defending what you believe in and dropping the f-bomb. We knew you were an "angry nerd" just like the rest of us!

Seriously though, you're right about what your blog is for - that is, whatever you want. I'd highly recommend continuing to ignore the asinine and ignorant comments though.
 
I think we all get upset when our classes get nerfed. So allowing yourself the odd emotional outburst is a way of connecting with your readers, not turning them away! We might not all agree but I'd think we all know how it feels. If these games weren't so enthralling we wouldn't be so emotionally involved.
 
If you weren't writing for us, you would be writing a diary. As much as you would like to think that you can do whatever you want, your views are only as valuable as your readership, and I highly doubt that you don't care about how your views are being cast (or again, you'd be writing a diary instead of a blog).

Understandably, you can certainly vent all you want. It's your blog, you can write whatever views you want. But for the love of god, do so rationally. Take a breather. Your last few posts have shown very little in the way of forethought and/or rationality.
 
I stick with what I said yesterday, the recent blog posts are quite out of character (in a bad way), and don't really make sense based on the past history of how World of Warcraft has gone.

Some of the complaint comes from arguing with the ideas in your posts, which many of us think are way, way wrong. It is your blog, and technically you can do whatever you want with it, it does seem you like to foster discussions, and attract a certain crowd of people, and this crowd of people is one that tends to disagree strongly with the ideas written in many of this week's blog posts.

While some blog posts may seem to be of the "you owe us ..." variety, keep in mind that the blog has, in a way, created a small community/group of people. Certainly, with groups of family members, friends, work partners, etc., if one of them is doing something out of character, being annoying, etc., I'd respond to that, wonder what's happen, try to help the person out or tell them they're doing something wrong, etc. Although some of the comments may have been pretty rude, this is what a lot of them seemed to be doing.
 
You are grouping together things that don't belong together. From a rational, objective point of view, me saying that my holy spec priest is ruined was certainly wrong, although me saying that it is much weaker now, and that already unpopular classes shouldn't be nerfed, is not wrong at all, although certainly opinions can differ.

But the post that got most hostile responses was just the opposite: I'm making the same point that I've been making for 5 years on this blog, that hybrids shouldn't be as strong as classes that specialize (you can search my blog for "hybrid" and find the same point made repeatedly), and it was the readers (aka angry druids) who were emotional and way wrong. If I had talked about Star Trek Online having 4 character classes, captain, helmsman, doctor, and vulcan, with captain, helmsman, and doctor having well defined different functions, but the vulcan being so intelligent that he can do all three funtions as good as those classes, most people would have agreed with me that this is bad game design. But as I took a WoW example, the players of that class reacted exactly as I reacted to me being nerfed, with emotion, anger, and wrong arguments.

And I don't mind people being angry, argueing loudly, telling me that I'm wrong, disagreeing. But the moment my readers try to control me, try to tell me what I can write or not write, I have to show who is boss here. Restricting my free speech is the one thing I absolutely cannot stand. And the comments showed that some readers still think they are entitled to something, to me sticking to certain subjects, or writing styles, or even just me providing content on a regular basis. When I opened the blog I didn't have readers, and didn't count on ever getting any. Now I have more than enough, and it is starting to get more of a hassle than a joy. I really wouldn't mind if the least well behaved commenters just left. That is why I now turned off anonymous commenting, knowing quite well that this is likely to reduce readership and more importantly feedback. But not all feedback is always welcome.
 
But the post that got most hostile responses was just the opposite: I'm making the same point that I've been making for 5 years on this blog, that hybrids shouldn't be as strong as classes that specialize (you can search my blog for "hybrid" and find the same point made repeatedly), and it was the readers (aka angry druids) who were emotional and way wrong. If I had talked about Star Trek Online having 4 character classes, captain, helmsman, doctor, and vulcan, with captain, helmsman, and doctor having well defined different functions, but the vulcan being so intelligent that he can do all three funtions as good as those classes, most people would have agreed with me that this is bad game design. But as I took a WoW example, the players of that class reacted exactly as I reacted to me being nerfed, with emotion, anger, and wrong arguments.

You can't possibly say that your posting of that was completely rational and unaffected by the priest nerfs. It was just as emotionally charged as the posters replying back. And both sides should be bashed equally as much.

And I don't mind people being angry, argueing loudly, telling me that I'm wrong, disagreeing. But the moment my readers try to control me, try to tell me what I can write or not write, I have to show who is boss here.
And you do that making a pout post? Eh...
 
I really dont get what the fuss is all about. You express very partial views at times that have nothing to do with anything outside your emotion - emotions which may be shared by some other players. You get annoyed that people call you out on it. And then, in response to that, you write a post that frankly makes you sound like a 2 year old... and you even admit that you are doing it - What the hell?! ("this blog is mine mine mine"). Please dont invoke the "Im giving you free content so dont complain, I worked hard to create it" argument either, since I suspect you of dishonesty. The payment you receive is the attention you get, and I think it's worth more to you than money.

I know some really skilled priests who think this is a fantastic change to the game. They are very happy about it. They are also players you would call casual if you see how many hours a week they have. And they are adults. Last night we had 2 parallel groups in 10 mans. One group kept wiping - I heard the priests were blaming the "nerf" for their wipes. The other group (also healed by priests) kept being successful. They didnt say a word about nerfs - they just healed us and did an awesome job. I was in the second group. Those other priests are on my "don't group with them unless we're desparate" list. All the same gear. All the same playtime. All the same raiding experience. The only difference is that attitude of the individual.

So if you feel you are a victim of a "nerf", that is your choice. Dont act as if every priest *must* feel that way just because you do. Thats an example of what people complain about. I cant spell it out any clearer than that.

You tend to ignore all negative feedback you get. "If you dont agree with me, bugger off." I think it's very childish. Its the opposite of your cherished notion of "freedom of speech". I dont see people telling you what to write. They're calling you out for your partiality, and you just dont like it.

That's not to say your blog isnt successful. Just to say it's not very high quality writing.
 
Listen JTD4562, I happen to like Tobold's "emotional" rants or viewpoints he expresses in his blog. I don't expect anything from Tobold, not even good or quality writing. That's why when he delivers intelligent and thoughtful posts, I am extremely happy. This keeps me coming back for more. This isn't about the readers; it's about our voyeur look into his head.
 
>> This isn't about the readers; it's about our voyeur look into his head.

This.
 
Tobold, what I like about your blog is that you're more likely than most people to react rationally to this sort of issue. That's part of what gives me such a high respect for your words. Emotional responses are easy to find - all over the internet. Dispassionate commentary is less common, and therefore more valuable. Not that I say you should write one way, and not another. That's certainly up to you. I just hope you remember which type of writing has made your blog as good as it is.
 
"it makes me want to come to Anonymous' house and give him a piece of my mind"

My money's on anonymous dude. Unless you spend as much time in the gym as you do playing/writing about WoW.
 
Sadly, people don't seem to have figured out the fact that Tobold doesn't owe them anything. If random trolls showed up at your house for dinner, uninvited, and afterwards complained loudly about your selection of a main course, having paid nothing for the meal you prepared, how would you feel? The only one entitled to anything on this blog is Tobold. More power to you, brother. You won't miss all the anonymous cowards, believe me.
 
Ive been reading this blog daily for years now Tobold, and I love every ounce of content you have to offer.

Keep up the good work, you never fail to deliver intelligent, well thought out posts. Since when has *your* blog not been a place for your opinion anyways?
 
Tobold stole my girlfriend, and ran over my 8 week old puppy. The only thing that keeps me from tying him to a chair, dousing him with gasoline, and sacrificing him to my gods are regular blog postings. Do I feel entitled? Not really, I am fine with either option.
 
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