Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Nobody forces you to read this blog!

I'm getting sick and tired of people telling me what I am not allowed to write about on my blog! There was that wave of people telling me that I couldn't interview the gold seller because that would be advertisement. And there are some people (or one anonymous guy posting several comments, who knows?) telling me that I should stop asking questions about my warrior. Newsflash: You don't get to tell me what I can write about! If you don't like a particular post subject, don't read it. It is not as if the content of a post with the title "interview with a gold seller" could come as a surprise to anyone. Of course the gold seller is pro-RMT and would like to advertise his business. And the same is true about the "WoW warrior question" thread, you could see the subject from the title and if you don't want to read about that, just stop reading!

For all I care, if you think that my opinion on a subject, or me asking questions sometimes instead of preaching invalidates my whole blog, feel free to not read anything here. If all you do is complaining, you are not a valued customer of this blog. I'm not making a lousy cent of any of my readers. I am writing my blog for those readers who value my opinion, and especially for those readers who are willing to engage in intelligent discussion about various subjects, mostly centered around MMORPGs. Posting about controversial subjects and asking questions is very much part of trying to engage my readers in that intelligent discussion, and not an invitation to trolls to tell me that I'm not allowed to post that stuff.

My opinion on RMT has remained broadly neutral and unchanged over the now nearly 5 years of existence of this blog: I would like RMT to disappear by better game design. If grinding an exchangeable currency wasn't part of MMORPGs, RMT wouldn't exist. Having that sort of gameplay element and then trying to forbid RMT is hypocritical and doesn't work, because game companies basically try to regulate something that happens outside of their sphere of influence. If I send you 1000 gold because you are my mate, it is perfectly legit. If you in return and outside of the game give me $50, both of our accounts theoretically should be banned. But first of all the game company has no right whatsoever to meddle in the real world relationship between you and me, and second they have no way to control whether you gave me $50 or not. As it is, game companies make millions of dollars from gold farmers replacing banned accounts, and nothing ever changes. If Blizzard or any other game company really wanted to stop RMT, they could easily do it. Hey, my warrior got 3 epic flying mounts, one for gold and two for reputation. If mounts never had cost gold in the first place, and you would have to grind only non-tradeable reputation to get one, instead of tradeable gold, the RMT companies would have lost millions of dollars of business. So I do think that the responsability for RMT is a shared one between the game designers, the gold selling companies, and the gold buyers. Making that a taboo subject on which there either is no talk at all allowed or only rants against gold sellers is counterproductive. After all the RMT debate touches on the much deeper subjects of virtual property rights, and the influence of game design on player behavior. This will come up again and again on this blog, so if you don't like it, feel free to either ignore those posts or leave. But if you are willing to argue your point about the evils of RMT in an intelligent and polite manner, you are more than welcome to do so.

On the subject about me asking questions, about my WoW warrior or other things, I actually think that the threads evolving from those posts are among the better ones of this blog. I certainly don't want a blog about me preaching ex cathedra and declaring my limited knowledge and opinions to be absolute truths, with my readers all posting "I agree" comments. Even after spending thousands of hours playing a wide range of MMORPGs, there are still a lot of games I haven't played; and even in WoW there are a lot of classes I only played through to level 30ish, so I can't possibly know about lets say paladin raid healing. And I'm only human: I do arrive at situations in game where I don't know what to do, feel a bit lost, or could use some help. Admitting that one doesn't know and asking for help actually takes more balls than keeping up an illusion of being all-knowing (which is actually a typical immature teenage behavior). And I am quite proud about the high quality of the responses I got to my questions, revealing that my readers are no less knowledgeable than me. It also revealed how easily some people are willing to accept simple messages as gospel, like "you need 490 defense", and are also willing to spread these simple messages as absolute truths. Only a few people did dig deeper and came up with a more nuanced message of how you could replace one point of defense by two points of resilience and still remain uncritable. Both the subject of resilience (why is this considered to be a PvP-only stat?) and me asking questions will come up again in the future. If you think that me asking questions is so lame that you don't want to read my blog any more, bye bye, and don't let the door hit you on your way out. If you just aren't interested by detailed theorycrafting, just skip those posts. And if you have detailed knowledge and are willing to share it, it is that what makes you a MVR, a most valued reader. :)
look, when you post stuff in public you have to realize ppl will respond either positively or negatively. you cannot expect everyone to agree to what you say or why you write.

why you write to public if you dont want negative response. if you dont want negative stuff then post a disclaimer that you are deleting any rude/bad comment or any comment that you dont like. and also remember to put notice 'only post stuff that i agree with and plz dont attack me' on your comment site.

i find it strange ppl who live in US/EUR democratic countries also the same ppl who tried to suppress opinion thats different.

so mr 'i-dont-need-to-work-hard-because-im-phd' dont blog if you dont want bad stuff incoming.

How rude of people to tell, not even ask mind what you should write about.
While alot of the WoW Warrior stuff is of no interest to me since I am playing LOTRO at the moment, I do no feel the tone of the blog has ever really changed. Even with your on off relation ship with WoW (more on then off at the moment). You write about what you want and long may that continue.
look, when you post stuff in public you have to realize ppl will respond either positively or negatively. you cannot expect everyone to agree to what you say or why you write.

I have no problem at all with people reacting negatively to a subject. I don't mind people disagreeing with me on RMT, or telling me how much my warrior sucks. I do mind if people tell me that I'm not allowed to write about these subjects, which is a big difference.
so mr 'i-dont-need-to-work-hard-because-im-phd' dont blog if you dont want bad stuff incoming.

It's called "manners" and "being polite".

You can disagree all you want but you are in someone else's online home. If you don't like what they're saying to the effect that you have be impolite, you are in the wrong.

To date: I wasn't at all fazed by the Goldseller interview and I hardly read any of the Warrior posts but I was interested in Tobold's opinion of Spore.
tobold you are contradicting yourself. no one cared on what you wrote. its just you need to get off your high seat and look around. posting about presidential election back then is a stupid move imho. you get the right to post it off course.. and everyone else get to comment how stupid are you. dont like it ? dont post stupid stuff then , simple eh mr PhD ?
crucifier, this is internet, not someone else's home. this is public blog, not private place. want no rude/negative stuff coming your way ? dont create public blog. its that simple.

as for mr tobold here he seem to forget that when you put some trash in public he will get trash back in his page.

i suggest mr phd here setup a private (invitation only) page where only tobold fan are allowed to enter..
It is a private home. Tobold set it up himself, he invested time into setting up the layout and backend, and invested TONS AND TONS of time into the content. Don't bring up his PhD, it just makes you look envious and bitter. Once "the public" pays the site _and_ a reasonable salary for Tobold's work, it might be called public. As it is, he's very free to do exactly whatever he likes, and you just come along as a very arrogant and self-righteous person that doesn't have much of a clue about pretty much anything if you think otherwise.

Oh, and you're contradicting yourself here:

"no one cared on what you wrote. its just you need to get off your high seat and look around. posting about presidential election back then is a stupid move imho."

Uhm, no one cares what he wrote, except that you care enough to think it was stupid. Well, newsflash - if you don't care, you don't care if it was stupid. If you think it was stupid, you do care. Maybe you should get a dictionary or something, to look up words as complicated as "care" and "do". Oh, and a book "basics of the internet" or something would be nice too; the internet consists of hundreds of thousands of private homes. That's what makes it work in the first place.

@Tobold, I love your blog, and I found the gold seller interview interesting, although I don't agree a bit with their position. Even non-spamming gold sellers go with the flow, they profit from other gold sellers that do spam - if those spamming ones wouldn't do the advertisement work for them, they'd have no clients to speak of as well.
Mr Troll, please watch

a bunch of tobold ass kisser come out and vying for most favored poster lol

you are fake and hypocrite tobold. you are now exposed as just another stupid european who cannot stand differing opinion..

you are sickening
Cool, you choose to ignore arguments, we choose to ignore you :)
I agree ;-)

Seriously, if people come up with questions that interest you, it is your prerogative to select those ones which you like. If people only comment on "don't wanna read this, don't wanna read that" it is your prerogative to kindly inform that they have the right to choose (not to read your blog).

Keep on blogging in the same quality. I would like to read something apart from WOW for the moment, as I am in a Non-WOW phase since a couple of weeks but we all go through this kind of ups and downs.

What would interest me - How do you keep track of upcoming games?
You shouldn't have posted this message :).
This comment has been removed by the author.
a bunch of tobold ass kisser come out and vying for most favored poster lol you are fake and hypocrite tobold. you are now exposed as just another stupid european who cannot stand differing opinion.. you are sickening
# posted by Anonymous

If that troll wasn't such a good example for the kind of comments I don't want to see here, and thus relevant to the topic, I would have deleted such comments.

I am also wondering whether I should look for a way to disable anonymous commenting, as 99% of badly spelled insulting troll comments are anonymous.

What would interest me - How do you keep track of upcoming games?

Reading other blogs, reading other game sites or their newsletters (Gamespy for example), subscribing to a print magazine on PC games. I'm certainly missing a lot of upcoming games, especially from the huge free-to-play MMO crowd and games that aren't on the PC. But the volume of games published per year is now so big that it is hard to know them all.
Ah, it's not surprising to see that Mr. anonymous is the one posting the most critizising comments.

Like it or not Tobold does indeed have the right to post such things. I might not agree with it (and I really don't regarding pro-RMT) but I certainly acknowledge his right to post about it, and his opinions about it.

I deleted my post above to clarify something that was unclear in the post.
I'm not sure this post will get you any more friends Tobold, but I think you're intelligent enough to know that already.

For what it's worth, I 100% agree with you, reading this, or any blog is optional, and when I see a post I'm not interested in, I simply dont read it (like the Spore review for example)

As for writing a lot about your WoW warrior at the moment, if thats what's on your mind, go ahead and write about it, one commenter said you were being lazy for asking questions about this rather than looking on the many guides available....I say thats rubbish, what you get by asking here is answers and opinion from regular commenters who you will "know" and "repsect" because of their contributions to other threads, rather than a random guy on wowhead etc

As for the RMT interview, I am dead against RMT myself, but I still found it interesting to hear an opinion from the other side....

I've said this before and I'll say it again, so long as you keep backing up your opinions with sensible arguments, I will continue to respect you, even if I dont always agree with those opinions
I was about to joke on the subject of "are you sure you're allowed to post this kind of stuff on your own blog" but unfortunately the cowardly anonymous (and obviously racist) trolls have taken any humour out of it.

To your question:
the subject of resilience (why is this considered to be a PvP-only stat?)

Short answer: resilience is focusing on crit prevention and mitigation only, which is a big part of PvP. In PvE, the percentage of chance to get critted by a mob is normally lower than in PvP, so stacking Defense rating instead of Resilience will give you a lot more bang for your buck, as Defense also adds to your chance to be missed, dodge, parry and block.

Long answer: you will probably want to read up on the Attack Table. Shameless plug: I have posted a series on defense theory here: on my blog
so mr 'i-dont-need-to-work-hard-because-im-phd' dont blog if you dont want bad stuff incoming.

Tobold, I really enjoy reading your blog as it's one of the few placing where WoW or MMORPGs in general are discussed in an intelligent manner.

The interview with the gold seller was a good idea, I think, and in the discussion after your second article a lot of good points were raised. It was quite a long discussion with a lot of back-and-forth argumentation, so some sort of summary would have been nice. But that's a minor point.

That being said, I did think the article about the defense rating of your warrior was a bit of a waste of time. Basically, you were asking questions that you could've answered yourself using a short internet search. That should've gotten you to Ciderhelm's Fortifications and the Elitist Jerk forums, both of which were mentioned in the comments.

Since this is your blog and you are free to post what you will, I did not make any comments to your warrior post. I also don't agree with how some anonymous commenters reacted to your post. However, I can see where their annoyance came from.

For the same reason, I don't agree with your statement that the comments on the warrior article "are among the better ones of this blog." On the contrary, although some commenters were being very informative, most of it was just reinventing the wheel.

Don't get me wrong: questions about WoW can be interesting, especially since you usually do not have the min-maxing perspective that's easily found elsewhere. I especially remember a question about what to do with enchanting on your blood elf mage. So I'm hoping the next question will be a little less 'standard' again.
Right on, Tobold! Your blog, your rules. I for one really enjoy reading the vast majority of what you write, and what I don't care for, I skim or ignore.

The people telling you to suck it up and accept the negative remarks are rather missing the point you tried to make; that's their problem, not yours.

Above all, please don't stop blogging, as I always enjoy seeing what you have to say.
Write what you want, delete the spam comments when you can, move on...

Posting videos of my online gaming sessions to youtube has taught me that several times over.

Yes, comments sections are there for free opinion and discussion which I dont mind. Questioning things and discussion is the backbone of intelligent conversation.

However thinly veined attempts to get a rise from the author such as repeated "Mr. PHD" references are the tools of the uneducated idiot.

You can post constructive criticism in a polite intelligent manner without resorting to being an ass in comments sections. Seriously, if you feel strongly enough to start with the minor insults or whatever, just click a new link and move on.

It amazes me that it needs stating but if you feel that reading something is a waste of your time because you dont agree, its EVEN MORE of a waste of your time to type out some crap comment and argue back and forth over the point.
Lol, it's pretty silly that people are harassing you like this. Better to just ignore them and keep writing like you have been doing.

There are times when you'll blog about something that I don't care about, so I'll just ignore that day. Don't let the trolls get you down!
I am also wondering whether I should look for a way to disable anonymous commenting, as 99% of badly spelled insulting troll comments are anonymous.

Tobold, it's pretty easy to disable anon posters in blogger ... let me know if you don't find it if you decide to do it.

While I don't always agree with you, and I haven't played WOW for a long time so many of those posts are over my head, I really enjoy reading your posts and your opinions.

Keep posting! And try to ignore the trolls who might try to stop you.
Here comes the Waambulance.

Joking as usual. Anytime something gets as big as this blog, it will attract a few bad apples. Your comments are like the WoW community, overall huge and great, but with enough bad apples to make it seem far worse than it is.
Tobold, it's pretty easy to disable anon posters in blogger ... let me know if you don't find it if you decide to do it.

I know the existing options:
Anyone - includes Anonymous Users
Registered Users - includes OpenID
Users with Google Accounts
Only members of this blog

My blog is currently set to "Anyone including Anonymous". But what I want is "Anyone as long as he leaves a name", and not the "Registered Users only" option that Blogger offers. Alternatively I could use a simple intelligence check, like "how much is 2 + 2?", on which the troll in this thread would already fail. :)
Oh for crying out loud. When reading a newspaper (or some magazine) do you then read every single article? I certainly don't hope so. I stopped playing Warcraft some time ago, and slowly the list of interesting blogs have shrunk. But still there are a few of these left in my reader, because from time to time, they happen to post interesting articles, that I, regardless of me not playing any MMO, take great delights in reading. Should I, on the other hand, complain every time I've wasted some time reading stuff that obviously doesn't interested me, I would only help to make the time wasted even longer.
Resilience is considered a PvP stat 'cause it only protects against crits, which is hugely importants in PvPing where crit chances be hugified. Fer tanking, once yer uncrittable, more resilience does nothing, but more defense provides additionals avoidance and mitigationizing. So, I'd classify it as a mainly PvP stat, but it can be useful to a degree in PvE.
as a long time reader and lurker of your posts... I just want to say keep up the good work.
an opinion is an opinion, there is no 'right' or 'wrong'.
The naysayers are probably just very insecure people :)
Well said, Tobold. I enjoy your blog and hope you don't let the barstuds get you down.
I'm joining the ranks of positive responders in the interest of letting Tobold know his blog is appreciated. I consider it entertainment. I generally read all the posts, but am well aware that I can skip ones I don't care to read. I never consider telling Tobold what he can or cannot write. I control my exposure to his ideas.

If Tobold wants to share his opinions on my government's election process, fine. If he wants to ask our collective advice on his warrior, cool. Interview a gold seller? Interesting.

If I want a more academic discussion, particularly on the RMT issue, I visit Terranova.

I do see these kind of rants on your part, Tobold, as unnecessary. Your appreciative and perceptive audience can see through the troll BS. You can delete the comments you don't like. All the same, I'm not going to tell you to stop! I'll just move on. Which I didn't this time, since I wanted to give some feedback.

Keep it up, I like your blog.
Still reading ya blog!

Stick to ya guns oh Bald one ;)
Lol, I know I've disagreed with you plenty of times, but it's your blog and you can say whatever the heck you like. I don't understand people feeling the need to tell you what to write, except that I suspect it's a symptom of fandom. You apparently have a fan base that likes to read certain articles and they get their panties in a bind (no, i'm not implying they're women) when you don't post what they want to read. Sheesh.
Well, except for mr.-anonymous-I-wish-I-could-spell who is clearly just a trollish thug.
Tolbold - yes you can write about anything you want.

Critics - yes they can write about anything they want.

I suggest either removing the flame posts or ignoring the flamers.

Personally I don't care for your whining posts like this one. What is the point?

You will not change the minds of any flamers - in fact it is a subject guaranteed to attact flamers - the subject itself is FLAMEBAIT.

Then you act all apalled that people are flaming. Perhaps you want all the pats on the back such topics also generate? OK, mission accomplished!

On the other hand, maybe you are just angry and posting about what makes you angry.

Although I personally do not like your whiny posts - you can certainly keep posting them it's your blog.

It might be a useful exercise to ask yourself why you you make posts like this and what you hope to accomplish with them?

Ciao for now,
Tobold, I love your blog. No, people shouldn't tell you what to write, but you just need a thicker skin. Flamers are all over the internet. It is actually some of the fun of reading blogs. I love it when a flame war erupts. It's like bad reality television.

If you are going to put your life/opinions out in public, you are going to be criticized for them.

But, I completely understand how it can get to you. I am amazed you don't blow up on your blog more often.

This post is probably just strengthening your "flamers." After all, this is the reaction they want.

I am a tobold fan. Keep up the great work.
I greatly enjoyed the gold seller interview, it was nice to see something from "the other side", so to speak.

I rarely comment (I think this is my second), but I had to come out and say this: Write about what you want, Tobold. If somebody tells you not to post interviews, delete their email and move on. Your blog has one of the highest priorities in my RSS feed and I greatly enjoy it, as do countless other people, and that's because you're extremely reasonable. Few others would actually post an interview with a gold seller, but I'm glad you did.

Keep it up! Don't let the haters get you down because they're too fragile for an interview.
I think the absolute vicious ignorance of the official WoW forums has a tendency to bleed over into tangential arenas, like this one. The official WoW forums are by and large not a place where one can find helpful information or well-reasoned opionions.

They are a place for trolls, for incivility, and for screaming as loud and obnoxiously as possible. I think they are a great disservice to the game and to the internet at large. I read them--rarely--looking for class tips or macro suggestions and always come away feeling sad for the state of things.

I wonder if the kids who play WoW are being trained to be savage idiots by the forums. We learn from modeled behavior, after all.

In any case, I enjoy your blog, Tobold. I don't always agree with you and I don't always find it interesting. But as a whole I enjoy the breadth of posts you make here.

Thanks for that.
"If I send you 1000 gold because you are my mate, it is perfectly legit. If you in return and outside of the game give me $50, both of our accounts theoretically should be banned. But first of all the game company has no right whatsoever to meddle in the real world relationship between you and me, and second they have no way to control whether you gave me $50 or not."

Ergo, you are pro RMT.
A bit more concerning Resilience, in addition to what Gwaendar pointed out (which was on the money), Resilience covers both spell crits and physical crits, which is superfluous as a tank. The game is programmed to not have mob spells crit, which means all you need to defend against is physical crits, which Defense Rating is made for.
Forums are like Democracy. Blogs are like Dictatorship. Perhaps you try too hard to run your blog like a Forum. Keep up the great work.
I thought the RMT interview was reckless, especially since you named the company, but I've come to accept the fact that you are pro RMT, whether you admit it or not.

In regards to this site, it's one of the most insightful and mature mmorpg blogs that I've found, so I don't plan on leaving anytime soon, especially with WAR and AoC just around the corner.
I generally enjoy your blog, whether I agree or disagree with a particular post. But honestly, anyone trying to tell you what to blog about is such an asshat I don't see much reason to engage them. Though by suggesting that this blog post may not have been necessary I place myself firmly in the category of asshat...doh!

In any case, I enjoyed the summary of your position on RMT. A thought provocing analogy.
It boils down to a simple thing. People on the internet think if they "Scream and yell" loud enough they'll get heard.

Those poor souls never learned communication 101. They don't understand you can argue with someone without belittling them. And when they dont' like what they hear the first defense is to tell them to go away.

Poor sad people. Don't get upset tobold. Just ignore them.

In the end they have made the choice to never really be heard. Bitching about them is a kind of reward that just feeds it.
@Sam: You're exactly right. As one ages, it's easy to tell those people who took time to learn good debate skills, and those who watched COPS to learn said skills.

But like these folks have all said, Mr. T... you're bound to get the negative attention with the good.

Hell, I'm a smaller-time blogger than you are, and even I get hate posts from time to time... today as an example.

To me, they're often fun. I get to go on the rebuttle when they pop up!
I guess everyone needs a "Heads up!" from time to time - so here it is: Heads Up, Tobold! You're doing great.

On the other hand i think, that you wouldn't have written this post on a 'better day'.

I like this blog. It doesn't matter to me, if Tobold is "Pro"-RMT or against them. What matters are the questions that arise when i read an article of this blog.


I'm American and proud of it. I can't believe someone called you a "stupid European". As embarrassing as it is to admit, I can only imagine it was an American.
Commenting just to show my support to you, Tobold.

People in the internet tend to act as if they are entitled to get whatever they want from everyone else. They don't.

Write about whatever you want! It's your blog, and I enjoy it.
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