Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Misunderstandings and a warning

Advance warning: I'm going to get extremely impolite in this post and use swear words.

I made a mistake with my last Aion post. I wasn't allowed in the beta, so my only source of information is what other sources write about the game. One of those sources wrote something wrong, and I quoted that source. I appreciate the input of those who pointed out the mistake. I fixed the mistake. End of story.

But this is just a blog. It's free for you to read, and I don't even make money with advertising. Getting all sanctimoneous about my standards of journalistic integrity is just plain silly. I'm writing a bunch of assorted opinions about games here, not the Washington Post.

But comments have been getting worse recently, mostly from people who either irrationally hate or love a particular game. One idiot posted three comments in a row full of insults, calling my writing bullshit, for the simple reason that I said I liked WoW's version of keep battles. One guy falsely accused me of being on an anti-Aion crusade, quoting my post about uninspired WoW clones as evidence. Only that post didn't even mention Aion, and was in fact about a completely different game.

All this is the equivalent of me coming to your house and starting to tell you what a loser you are, criticizing your decor, and pissing in the corner of your living room. Which would probably make you very angry. So you'll understand that right now I'm very angry, and I'm telling those whose comments contain personal attacks on me and my blog:

Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on!

If I came to your house to insult you, you'd probably chuck me out. And I'd like to remind you of my Terms of Service where it clearly states that this is exactly what I'm going to do. I'll run an extremely tight ship in the coming weeks, deleting every post with personal insults. Feel free to disagree with my opinions, and point out my mistakes, but don't call my blog bullshit, or you will be banned. This blog is dedicated to the polite and intelligent discussion of games, and if you can't live up to those minimum standards, you're invited to leave.
Jackasses. Tobold, don't listen to idiots like that; unfortunately, because you have a popular blog, even the 1% of idiot readers will be a large enough population to make jackasses of themselves and ruin it for everybody.

Ban 'em all and the comments will be the better for it. Keep on writing your great blog! Don't forget that there are lots of (mostly) silent readers like myself who enjoy it immensely.
Tobold, let me direct you to a good essay about what is bothering you:

Also, you are something of a journalist at this point. Publishers contact you and ask you to look at their games. Your site gets traffic. It might be a good idea to check a second source before you criticize a game you haven't played.
Personally, I disagree with you, Mark. Tobold shouldn't have to check a second source; he doesn't get paid to do this or anything. He openly states that everything is his opinion, he's been known to be wrong, and so on and so forth.

Publishing a retraction is more than good enough for me.
Tobold, let me direct you to a good essay about what is bothering you

That is an extremely long text which can be summarized far shorter: "Your freedom ends where the freedom of the next guy begins". There is no such thing as absolute freedom when more than one person is involved. Your freedom to insult me is incompatible with my freedom of not being insulted. At some point somebody has to establish a rule, which I did, and this post is to remind people of this rule. This being "my house", I get to set the house rules. They limit your freedom of expression, in as far as your expression is impolite and insulting to me.

I do not limit your freedom to express your sense of entitlement, but I insist on my freedom to make fun of it. Sense of entitlement is a defining feature of the generation. Unfortunately most of that generation will find out sooner or later that a sense of entitlement doesn't in fact entitle you to anything. If you are a beggar taking free handouts at a soup kitchen, you don't get to criticize the chef. Criticizing a free blog for not double-checking every piece of news is at best wildly naive, and at worst makes you look like a spoiled brat. In life you get exactly what you pay for, and if you get something for free, you shouldn't be ungrateful.
Come on guys... please leave the horse out of this :)
This is why I'm still holding off from starting a blog of my own. I was going to get it off the ground this week, but a blog that doesn't allow comments seems a bit pointless, whereas one that does just opens the blogger up to having his or her mood manipulated at the whim of any number of unknown individuals.

For what it's worth, I can't see how anyone who publishes in any public media can avoid receiving feedback they'd prefer not to have had, but there's clearly no obligation for them to publish it.
Hi Tobold,

Long time reader of your blog and one of the reasons I got into MMO's in the first place back in 2004. FFXI was my first & was perfect, as all who's first probably is. I digress...

My main reason to comment was to simply show some appricieation for your postings. Your a blogger, someone who by definition writes their views and opinions and who are we to judge. I have held similar views, one of the reasons I visit so regularily (forums get so tedious and full of crap).

So you were misinformed, who gives a monkeys (really want to swear but holding back). I think what you should take away from this is that alot of people put trust in your blog, something very few bloggers probably manage to do.

Keep at it T!
This post is epic, Tobold. Way to defend your right to say whatever you want on your blog.
Said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: Aion might be good, it might be bad, but chances are, I'll never know because the community is so incredibly toxic that I doubt I'll ever go near it.
Tobold, I guess it's me you're mentioning in your post.
The first time I read something written by you about Aion was a dismissive comment about the game being "just another korean grindfest to be played in cybercafes" in this post:

Then you wrote this other post where you basically said you dont' want to play Aion because "it looks too similar to WoW":

Then there is your embarrassing "OMG no AH in Aion" of yesterday.

Now, you can act like a drama queen and throw tantrums and swear all you want, it doesn't change the fact that you're making a fool of yourself by publishing repeatedly misinformed and prejudiced posts about a game you never played.

I repeat what I already said in all my comments on your blog: please play the game first, then write about it.

That is if you want to be taken seriously. Which of course you do, just like any other blogger worth his salt.
I know it's hard Tobold, but don't let the algae in the gene pool get to you. The more popular you become, the more of these types are going to orbit your blog.
Hehe, add Aion to one of the *games that must not be named*, at least until the hype blows over and people move on to the next big thing to hype up.

I don't see what the problem is since you corrected your statement. It's not like you publish this blog in a paying medium, where I would expect facts to be correct.

I would say don't get upset by the trolls, but retaliation posts always make my day to read ;)
So asking a game blogger to play the damn games before writing about them is "trolling" for some of you? Interesting.
At the risk of starting another flame war, people are mistaking blog posts with a published game review.

If a blogger can't play a game, he shouldn't write about it? Or he shouldn't write negatively about it? How boring would that be?

Rather just read every blog with a pinch of salt and realize that the person behind it brings their own opinions and biases to what they write.

It's not like Aion is going to *fail* just because Tobold's been writing negatively about it. If it's really good, it'll rise above this.

"it doesn't change the fact that you're making a fool of yourself by publishing repeatedly misinformed and prejudiced posts about a game you never played."

Tobold has clearly stated that he hasn't played the game, so you know that these are opinions based on second-hand information. That's fine - you can draw conclusions about how much weight to give his opinions based on that information.
I repeat what I already said in all my comments on your blog: please play the game first, then write about it. That is if you want to be taken seriously. Which of course you do, just like any other blogger worth his salt.

As I said before, I'll play Aion as soon as they send me the beta key I applied for. I'm not going to play the Chinese version with an illegal language mod which might not even be representative of the European / Western version.

Until I play Aion, I am exactly where everybody else is in the decision process: I have to make up my mind how much that game interests me before I get a chance to play it. So all I have is secondary sources like YouTube videos and reviews from people who played it. Some of that secondary information contains mistakes. So what?

I'm not saying that I had vision from god enabling me exactly to foresee how good or bad Aion is going to be, or how many subscribers it is going to have. I'm just saying that from what I see, there is nothing that makes me pre-order the game. That is a totally subjective opinion on Aion, and maybe I'll become more excited once I played it. But you can't tell me that I can't have an opinion about the game!

Now you write a post calling me "idiot" for three comments in a row full of insults. What insults? Calling a single post out of thousands "BS" is such a grave and serious insult? The comments are there, anyone is free to judge.

Not quite, because the first and most insulting comment from you has been deleted. Which was why you then felt it necessary to make three more comments calling my post bullshit, without even saying what exactly you disagreed with.

If you don't like me calling you "idiot", which personally I find a lot less insulting than "bullshit", I'll gladly edit that and call you a "bullshit commenter".

Sorry, but "your post is bullshit" is NOT an argument. If you had made a coherrent argument of what you disliked about my post, I could have explained to you that I wasn't trying to defend Blizzard at all. And that I'm saying that we won't get battles of thousands against thousands of players in MMOs. I don't care the tiniest little bit whether lag in WAR starts with 100 more people on the screen than WoW (and I don't even know if that is true), all I said is that we won't get any battles like the Battle of Agincourt in our games anytime soon. Which you might have understood if you rabid WoW-hate didn't prevent you from reading straight.
There's an awesome quick run through of Aion at Ixobelle's blog, which makes me very interested in this game:

And apologies for the word "trolls" Paola, it wasn't directed at you personally. Sorry you took it that way.
Hehe, you risk Paolo being more insulted by you calling him Paola, which is the female form of his name.

For the record, here is the exact comment I made about Aion, the one where Paolo complains that I called Aion a "korean grindfest": Question: Isn't there a new MMO called Aion? Answer: Well, technically not new, just a US release of an existing Korean MMO. Korean MMOs are generally designed to be played in a cybercafé (PC bang), having only one eye on the game, one hand on the keyboard, and being busy smoking, drinking, and talking live with friends sitting next to you. They usually don't translate well to the expectations of a western audience. Maybe that isn't true about Aion in particular, but I wouldn't put too much hope into it.

As you can see, I was talking about Korean games in general, explicitely stated that this might not be true about Aion, and never even used the word "grindfest".

It is hard enough to be criticized for the things I say. Don't criticize me for the things I never said. I fully stand to that comment, that Aion *maybe* will be a good game, but I don't have much hope.
You guys remember the Darkfall 2 out of 10 review by Eurogamer? There was a huge uproar everywhere because the reviewer played DF just for a couple of hours.
It's the same thing: it doesn't matter how many readers Tobold's blog or any other game site have, it's about credibility.

Until Tobold will finally play Aion at least in beta form he's just jumping to conclusions, contributing to misinformation (see the AH episode), or just venting his own misconceptions about the game (which is FAR from a grindfest and quite different from WoW mostly because of Abyss PvP).

Maybe Tobold is just miffed because he couldn't play the beta, I don't know or care. But if he keeps on writing about a game without even trying it he should expect more comments like mine, at least unless he starts to AoE ban people from his site or just close comments to his posts.

And for someone who repeatedly stated he's not terribly interested in Aion for a variety of (contradicting) reasons Tobold sure writes about this game an awful lot.

Choice is yours, T: a) play the damn game (I mentioned more than once here that you still CAN try it for free on some chinese servers with a minimum of hassle and a translation patch, or wait for the US/EU OB coming this summer); b) shut the hell up about it until western release in September; c) go on explaining why you're not interested in it.

If you ill-advisedly choose the latter, please at least try to get your facts straight before typing away.
Hey Tobold.

I read your blog almost every day, and while I'm doing my best to stop playing WoW, reading your blogs makes it easier to see alternatives.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop a line to say that I like your work, and that I wish you well.

I'd like to continue a non-personal blog of my own, but the truth is, I'm not the type of person who stands up to criticism and personal insults well.

Anyway, here's a big hug from me to you. *hug*

I read your blog for the decent writing and thoughtfulness of your comments and those of your readers. I guess years of being on the Internet have allowed me to filter out the trolls and flames. The Internet is full of idiots and their slander and profanity discredit them at source.

So let's hope that every compliment you receive can outweigh ten trash-talk posts!

I say onward! Keep up the good work and to hell with the nay-sayers! :)
Not to add fuel to the fire, but don't you make one of these posts every two months or so? People get mad (randomly or otherwise), it happens.

That aside, I agree with Wyrm that your WG post was very apologetic towards Blizzard. They tried and failed to add world PvP with WG, which was the goal of that highly touted feature in a $40 expansion, and yet you somehow view this is a success. They tried, they failed, and they gave a sad excuse that is untrue as to why, which you further tried to support with the math in your post.

"And that I'm saying that we won't get battles of thousands against thousands of players in MMOs."

Not only has this already happened (EVE), but 1000v1000 and capping out at 200 and instancing are two VERY different things. It's not because Blizzard CAN'T make WG work that they are turning it into a battleground, it's that they don't WANT to make it work. They are saving a few bucks at the expense of delivering what they said they would provide if you handed them $40. And to keep it in context, this is not a small dev we are talking about, one that has to pick and choose it's battles because they simply don't have the funding to address everything. This is Blizzard, who could EASILY make WG work if they (or rather their fan base really) cared enough.

If WAR had 1m subs right now, and people were cheering left and right about RvR, do you think Bliz would somehow be able to make WG work, or would it still be technically impossible?

That WoW fans continue to cheer when Bliz tosses them a table scrap (or in this case takes it back after being paid for it) is what's sad for the genre, and why we will continue to see rehashed WoW-clones rather than games actually trying to make improvements (unless you believe Aion is going to catapult the genre forward) Cheering them on, or making excuses for them, is the reason some people might question a post you make. That they use the word 'bullshit' seems to really strike a nerve for some reason, even if after the word 'bullshit' they bring up a valid argument.
Ok let me try that again, I despise my Blackberry:

I disagree with you a lot I know. However you cannot start deleting comments unless they are on such a personal level that they are offensive. I understand that. I also see why people were mad. You like to claim innocence about being paid and what not but we all know you relish the limelight and people read what you write.

You have been blogging since "easy" mmo's were available (before that) but I know you have more gaming experience than that. At least I hope so. I know it is hard to write off WoW Clones and I got caught up in defending the garbage that Warhammer turned out to be (oops there I go again). I won't do that anymore. Now I post about what I play and if people don't want to read it fine.

So you have to realize that these things will stir up a hornets nest when posted especially in this day in age when you must play ONE MMO OR DIE@!!11. It is a rare thing to see you slip up but I do give you credit for not deleting the AH thread about Aion. However I cannot but think that you posted it hastily and did not research because you have an underlying hate for anything that is not World of Warcraft. Some of us actually like the look and the combat and the feel of Aion. So to dismiss us is a huge misunderstanding of what makes other gamers tick.

But I do commend you for your continual rips on the garbage that is Darkfall. Kudos!
Haha best post EVAR from Tobold. Kick Ass man!
You go, man.

I get that on my (relatively insignificant) blog too. I even had one guy make multiple insulting quotes under different names (same IP though, effing Einsteins, these.)

It's your yard, clean the dog shit out.
Adding my voice to the many: I completely agree with you, and get angry myself when you post about this. It's free. You enjoy talking about what you think about games and the industry. End of story. Say what you want, and then ban the tools who don't have the decency to just look away if they don't like it.
That they use the word 'bullshit' seems to really strike a nerve for some reason

I consider "bullshit" to be very strong language, but that might just be mentioning of all sorts of faeces being considered the ultimate form of swearing in several European languages, e.g. "Scheisse" in German, or "Merde" in French.

I don't know how strong you consider "bullshit" to be as insult, but to come to the next subject of this comment, if I had said "Aion is bullshit", I would have more than one lonely Aion fan pestering me.

Choice is yours, T: a) play the damn game (I mentioned more than once here that you still CAN try it for free on some chinese servers with a minimum of hassle and a translation patch, or wait for the US/EU OB coming this summer); b) shut the hell up about it until western release in September; c) go on explaining why you're not interested in it.

I reject those choices. Imagine I did this for Aion, then of course I would have to treat Champions Online, SWTOR, Star Trek Online, Jumpgate Evolution, etc., etc., the same way. Where would the MMO blogosphere be if we can't discuss upcoming games without having played them?

So choice is yours, Paolo: a) switch to a different blog; b) shut the hell up about it; c) go on explaining why I'm not allowed to have opinions.

If you ill-advisedly choose the latter, please at least try to admit that I never claim these to be anything but subjective opinions without having played the game.
Not sure if Wyrm is from the US or not, but 'bullshit' is not that grave an insult here, and it's a somewhat commonly used word/phrase. Saying "I call bullshit" is often said in jest between friends.

Being called a liar for instance would be worse than being called a bullshitter.
i dont get it , this should be normal for people disagreeing with each other over differing opinions.. and you already turned off anonymous commenting so there is no more trolls..

dont be to quick to judge every different opinion as insults or trolls..

and dont let internet angers you , i remember ixobelle got mad because someone criticized his personal gaming habits.

so what ? everyone can comment on everyone's blog.. you cant expect nice warm comment everyday..

just dont take it personally sir
if im allowed to analyze a bit, i think your anger is an over-reaction because you made a mistake and someone blow it out of proportion.

everybody make mistakes, admitting a mistake takes maturity.

my advice is stop your anger / rudeness to people who criticize you. that will make things worse..
As sad as people might think, the opinion from the "other side - i.e. the "bullshit" side", should be a valuable asset to your blog.

Sure it's your blog Tobold, but without the reader you're just space in a web of information. These conflicting ideas give your predisposed written arguments ground to stand on, and although the name calling is a pain in the ass if one can look past that it allows the possibility for good and much needed debates for the MMO community.

And please understand currently I do not pledge myself to one MMO, only because each one I have a hand in has it's own very unique list of things I like about it. But even I know that every MMO will and SHOULD NOT be another WoW. It's like my picking up any random game and expecting before I get the shrink wrap off to be like all of my favorite games. WoW is WoW, LoTRO will be LoTRO, etc..

The "bullshitter's - fanbois", whatever we want to call them give their responses on your blog because if you are to post your opinion for the reader to read, expect for them to reply in force when said opinion differs from their ideas. This should be healthy, but instead we get our feelings hurt and post things like "Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on!"

Saying that, I have read your blog for what feels like ages, and yesterday was my first ever response on one your posts. I was taken aback by your declaration without even knowing the facts (Aion AH debacle), and even more amazed when it was brought to your attention how you minimaly took responsibility and placed the blame on Spinks (of whose blog I also read daily). I also read back to see where this aggravation started and other than the deleted comment, the other party was trying to have a good debate with you.

All in all, I want you to have your opinions, but undestand that the reader will have them too, and oddly, sometimes whare them with you.

A Blog is just a new form to talk your ideas and opinions, nothing more. It's not a statement of the truth or a professional view of a game for a magazine.

It seems that just because you put something online you can't make a mistake. C'mon get real. We all do mistakes and talk about things we are not sure enough. Don't tell me that you really believe everything the newspaper or TV says.

It's just a simple blog written by a person just like most of us.

Don't do on the net things you're not going to do on real life. Don't hide behind letters on the cyberspace.

I can disagree with a lot of things at my work, but i'm not going to say that a opinion of someone is *#$%@^&* just because I disagree. It's nonsense and not polite. If you have this kind of behavior on the real life, you're probably unemployed.

Tobold, I read you Blog now and then and keep up the good work.
You guys fail to understand one simple point: this is not your blog, it's Tobold's. He gets to make the rules, you either abide by them or you can leave and visit one of the million other blogs on the web.
Are these people serious? IT'S TOBOLDS FUCKING OPINION! He can write "Aion is the biggest pile shit shit" if he wanted to. IT's HIS blog, HIS writing, HIS opinion.

A Blogger /=/ Journalist, period. A Blogger is a person who puts their opinions, experiences, stories in a format that everyone can see. And Tobold in no way ever claims to be the end and be all on MMO's, or anything for that matter.

He can write whatever the hell he wants, if you get all butthurt because he says something bad about a game you play then simply stop reading his blog.

Like someone else said above me, people like you commenters is what drives players away from games like Aion. WoW's community may have a lot of asshats but at least they're not ALL crazy nerd raging asshats.
As sad as people might think, the opinion from the "other side - i.e. the "bullshit" side", should be a valuable asset to your blog.

I very much appreciated, didn't delete, and didn't say anything bad about all the comments on the same post that told me that my analysis appeared to be too defending Blizzard (wasn't meant that way), and pointed out EVE handling larger numbers of players. That in turn lead to other commenters disputing the exact numbers when lag starts in EVE, and discussing why EVE can handle more players than WoW/WAR. Great discussion, that is what this blog is about.

Now compare that to the alternative: Troll writes just one line calling my post bullshit. I reply, calling his comment bullshit. That moves the discussion nowhere, and drags the intellectual level of the argument down to that of an official game forum.

Note that this is independant of how insulting a specific term is in specific cultures. The problem is more with taking a whole long post of mine, and putting one insultingly dismissive label on it, without dealing with the point of my post or my arguments.
"Note that this is independant of how insulting a specific term is in specific cultures. The problem is more with taking a whole long post of mine, and putting one insultingly dismissive label on it, without dealing with the point of my post or my arguments."

Curse you and your speedy typing, Tobold! I was about to post more or less the same thing. Posts aren't being deleted for disagreeing with him, they're being deleted because they contain no semblance of rational argument.
Wyrm is now permanently banned from this blog, and his comments have been deleted, after he sent me an e-mail proving that Goodwin's Law is still valid.
Choice is yours, T: a) play the damn game (I mentioned more than once here that you still CAN try it for free on some chinese servers with a minimum of hassle and a translation patch, or wait for the US/EU OB coming this summer); b) shut the hell up about it until western release in September; c) go on explaining why you're not interested in it.

I reject these choices as well. Coming at this from an American sports fan's point of view: there are at least a half a dozen shows on ESPN every day, not including the "news" show Sportscenter, that are completely devoted to anticipating what will happen in future games, where by definition, no one knows what will happen.

Speculation on stuff that hasn't happened based on all the available information that anyone can gather, and interesting. I am very much looking foward to SWTOR, and I like reading speculation on the games. I don't take it personally if any of the speculation is wrong, just entertainment.
I like the living room analogy. It's Tobold's house, and he sets the rules. How can people not understand that? This is not a public square where anyone gets to air their opinions -- this is Tobold's blog where he gets to air his opinions with complete fiat, and you the commenter are held to rules of intelligent discourse. Don't like those terms? Start your own blog.

Banhammer FTW.
This is your place Tobold, feel free to kick out anyone who doesn't behave.
@Changed: I totally agree... I like this blog (heck, it's one of two blogs I visit all the time), and I respect Toboldf as a writer, even though his opinions do not always jive with mine.

But so be it, I'll happily agree to disagree.

However, starting to insult the writer of the blog in the comments of his own blog? That is just more proof of the 'Internet asshole' phenomenon...
I know people tend to ascribe to bloggers more power and influence than they really have but this is getting out of hand.

I don't tend to talk about games or subjects I don't have current knowledge about on [b]my[/b] blog, but that's my prerogative. Just as it is Tobold's to offer opinions about games he has no knowledge of. His blog. His rules. If you don't understand every blog you read is strictly an opinion piece, then I don't know what else to say.

I completely and wholeheartedly agree with you on this Tobold. This site is yours and contains your opinions. I've never seen you have a problem with people correcting facts or discussing any of your opinions or saying that they have differing opinions. I would never be able to keep a blog going like yours because the asshats would piss me off and I'd stop posting instead of taking the time to ban them.
@ Syncaine

Syn, Blizz didn't fail at adding world PVP to WotLK with WG. It worked. Stunningly. That zone, and the open PVP is so popular that it was attracting many more people than the hardware and technology can handle causing vast amounts of lag.

They removed the daily quests, making them weekly and reduced the amount of honor and shards you get from doing the quests as well hoping that would "de-incentivize" people from participating in WG as often as they were.

Apparently it hasn't worked out as well on some realms as others and now we're looking at WG become a pseudo-instance in the next patch.

How exactly do you turn those facts into "Blizzard failed" at created world PVP?

Come on man, try to bring a semblance of intellectual honesty to your rants about Blizzard.
Tobold, I like a lot of even minded gaming inclined people love reading your blog even if we might not always post comments.

Best advise is to ignore those f*cktards who post negative and incendiary comments. They are either 12 year old's or have the mindset of 12 year old's.

My only criticism of your blog is that you sometimes take the many comments too personally. Although I can see how such negative comments might destroy a blog.

Just remember, we the majority of your readers might not comment often or at all, but we're here and cheering you on.

... Tobold, the voice of reason and acute analysis in this crazy world we call gaming.
My only criticism of your blog is that you sometimes take the many comments too personally. Although I can see how such negative comments might destroy a blog.

Guilty as charged. While I have no problem with everybody disagreeing with an idea of mine (see the recent unbundling posts), I do take direct attacks on myself or my blog very personally. Which leaves me the choice of either lashing out occassionally, or getting fed up and stopping to blog. I think overall you're better off with me lashing out. :)
Love the blog Tobold. Always have. Everytime you post one of these rants, I always think to myself "Tobold takes these comments way to personally." But this one made me realize, I'm glad you lash out occasionally. It shows you to be human.

Plus, don't apologize for deleting comments. It's your personal blog. I'm grateful you let me read it. You can delete any post regardless of content. If it bothers you, go ahead. While the flame wars that occur in your blog are entertaining, I don't read it for the comments.

It's your blog. Do whatever you want with it.
The question is not about whether Tobold can do what he wants with his blog. We all know he can and there's really no recourse anyone else has.

If Tobold posts opinions that are unfounded, I begin to distrust his opinions. That's not a huge problem, because I can filter out opinions that I think are useless to me or way off and I won't get angry or troll him. Reading through his opinions can be enjoyable as well, even though I may disagree with them, and he occasionally offers some insight into a kind of player that I have little experience with.

The problem arises when Tobold gets facts wrong--facts that he could have researched and gotten right with a little bit of effort. If he gets facts wrong, I rapidly lose my basis for trusting Tobold enough to report even simple facts accurately. If I lose that level of trust, why should I continue to read his blog?

I don't think making a dramatic post telling off some of your readers is an appropriate response, although I understand why you did it.

If you made a post containing a few simple sentences like:

"I didn't do enough research before writing Aion off before it was released. I will do more research in the future if I'm going to post my opinion of a game before I have definitive info or some play time. Sorry for misleading you guys. I have corrected the mistake and it won't happen again in the future."

And then let people blow the remainder of their steam in the comments, we could have moved on with little loss of respect and much less drama.
Every single actual mistake I made on this blog which was pointed out to me was corrected by admitting the mistake and editing the post that contained it. That is the best I can do, unless I'm elected pope, at which point I'll become infallible. :)
Well said Tobold. And really, sometimes even published news broadcasts get things wrong. And many times, they simply apologize, print a retraction, and get on with things.
Get commenter ownership involved - use Disqus. Fully compatible with Blogger. It is a better way to have a conversation anyways in comments as it threads.
"evizaer said..."

I say.. whatever, no one asked you to read his "opinions". If you dont think he's "good enough" for you, go read somewhere else. Problem solved.

A LOT of us rarely comment on Tobold's blogs but we are here. You can be one too if you and people like you shut the hell up and enjoy good and free dailies.
Things happen, we react.

Sometimes people lash out at you because thats the only way to make themselves heard.

Sometimes they lash out to such a degree that they cross your personal boundary line, where ever that line may be.

Sometimes, when you reach that point, you are forced to grab that hammer away from them and show them how to really use it by bashing them into oblivion.

This never usually fixes the root cause of the conflict but it sure is entertaining for the rest of us. Keep up the great work Tobold.
The problem as I see it is similar to the one that afflicts a lot of "celebrity" types. They desire (or at least, don't mind) the attention they get and the perceived status that comes with it. But only when that attention is positive, they constantly abhor any negative formulation of that limelight. Just think about the "controversy" surrounding people like Tom Cruise or those Jon & Kate Plus Eight People. They don't mind reaping all the financial rewards from their fame, but get upset if there's any negative viewpoints.

While of course you aren't profiting from this blog, you must do it because you enjoy sharing your ideas with others. If you didn't care what other people thought of you this blog would be an offline Word document or in a notebook. So while you certainly can ban whoever you want, you shouldn't be surprised if you raise the ire of other viewers. You're not the only one who is passionate about this genre, and as the most viewed MMO blog you definitely have a role in how people's game opinions form.
'bullshit' is not that grave an insult here

To use the famous quote from the Blues Brothers..

Elwood: What was I gonna do? Take away your only hope? Take away the very thing that kept you going in there? I took the liberty of bullshitting you.

Jake: You lied to me.

Elwood: Wasn't lies, it was just... bullshit.
Hey tobold long time reader here. I believe this is only the second comment I have ever made.

Just wanted to say I appreciate your writings as they are frequently insightful and thought stirring for me.

I feel sorry for the people who irrationally hate or cause trouble poor reasons.
Why is it that people who read personal blogs find they have the right to question the integrity of that blogger?

If you don't like what you read, move on to something you do agree with. Chances are everyone will be much happier in the long run with that decision.

Personally, I find posts and comments quite thought-provoking, and they've lead me onto other blogs where I've read opinions that counter Tobold's posts.
This comment has been removed by the author.
--Previous comment deleted and edited to correct a nasty mispelling.--

In case there is any doubt about Tobold's actions, let me quote a portion of his very own TOS - From item number 4:

I do reserve the right to delete comments that are insulting or full of profanity.

Read it. Understand it. Comply if you wish to be heard. He isnt asking for much in return. Some of us prefer the antiseptic environment that his blog inculcates as a result of his personality and writing style. It's nice to be able to sit in my room with a cup of coffee in hand and trade comments with someone who is able to keep the discussion in perspective.

Regardless of how egregious one might think the use of profanity actually is, the fact is that once you resort to using profanity as a means to bolster or drive home your point of view, you've already lost any credibility you may have had previous. This goes for Tobold also. It upsets me to see him cast the "F" bomb in response to something this trivial, but I'm not about to stop reading his blog on account of it.
LOL Tobold, I love your blog and your interesting topics when people get all mad and crazy. I also like your comebacks and the arguments that ensue. All in all supremely entertaining. Thanks for the great blog, keep up the good work, and write about whatever you want, you spend a lot of time and make a lot of posts, peeps that don't like it can decide to not read em.
"I disagree with you a lot I know. However you cannot start deleting comments unless they are on such a personal level that they are offensive"

You should talk. I feel a Russian Ephitet coming

I still remember that all I said on your blog was "I think you are wrong"...DELETE by the Hudson. know this one...

But, this is exactly why I created my Russian Bloc blog for a period of time last year.
Comments are comments, and really should not be an issue, but most people will take them to heart, as Tobold has.

As well, bloggers will make decisions on products before release (WAR was going to be THE game, etc...) and then will not own up afterwards...sad.

Tobold has been guilty of this many a time. He has formed opinions about products and then started posts with "This is why I don't like it.." without basing it on real usage.

I am guilty of it, when I state Aion still looks like a Korean Grinder.

But, I also will try it, and eat my words if I am wrong..

Tobold, you should do the same.

It was an honest mistake, but one that could have been rectified.
i.e: Do not take one source as the true source of information.

Research pays off...
And then less of these types of posts will not happen.

Also, why form an opinion of something based on words from someone else.

Be patient and figure it out on your own first..

Then rip it a new one!!
I do wish you'd just delete the offending stuff and be done with them, rather than do these posts every couple of months.

I really like the Disclaimer and Comment policy that John Scalzi (a sci-fi author) uses:
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