The sign of any good company is that they continue to move forward, develop, learn and get better. Every company, even good ones, will occasionally make mistakes and take one step back however. This is the situation I see blizzard in right now. A successful company that seems to have forgotten their past. What is that saying? Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
Doomed might not be the correct word for the quote or for what blizzard is doing with the brawlers guild because it is not something that could have been unseen. It is an active desire to repeat the past on blizzards part and I am just left to wonder why.
Does anyone remember the bad old days when you needed to queue to play the game because your server was so packed you could not get on. Sometimes it would just be a few minutes but sometimes it would be hours, if the horror stories I heard were indeed correct. Luckily I have never had pleasure of experiencing that but thanks to blizzard I can experience it, in part anyway, if I wish to play a part of the game known as the brawlers guild.
Not content with the long lines on every server waiting to get in and fight blizzard in their infinite knowledge decided to make it a cross realm zone. Lets forget for a moment that cross realm zones are probably the worst addition to the game ever from a PvE standpoint, it also means that an already long wait becomes even longer now. Blizzard said, why have someone wait 30 minutes to do one fight when we can make them wait 3 hours.
Someone must have been reading the forums a little too much over at the blizzard office but not actually reading the posts. They saw many people yearning for the days of vanilla and looking back with their rose tinted glasses about how great things were. The problem is, they did not read what people said they liked about that time and said to themselves, self, they loved those long waits to play, lets give it back to them.
So not only do they add something to the game that requires a wait to play aspect but they cross realm it to make that wait 10 times longer. Not exactly a step forward I would say. If you ask a million people that remember those times what they thought about queue time to play I am willing to be all one million of them would say they hate it. So why bring something back to the game that is basically making you wait to play in game instead of waiting to play to get into the game. Sure, at least people can use chat now while they are waiting, so perhaps it is better than waiting on the outside looking in but just marginally better at best.
One of my guild mates spent 6 hours there over the last 2 days, waiting, and has fought only two fights. Last night he gave up after standing there waiting for three hours to get in and do one fight. Three hours standing there to do nothing, is this what they call good game design now?
I am not being my normal grumpy self here, I am not being a naysayer here, I am asking a serious question I would love to see answered with something other than the standard "it is not required you do it" bull shit response.
Who at blizzard thought this was a good idea and why?
I would really love to hear that answered. Did they really think it would play out any differently then people are seeing and did see and complain about on the PTR. Did they really think that once it hit live everything would be fine. Like the problems on the PTR were not really problems. Just like all the people that reported crashes and other problems with the CRZ and instead of fixing them they just released it as if don't worry, when it hits the masses it will fix itself. Why even test things if you are not going to listen to the testers?
Why did they take the worst part of vanilla, waiting to play, and bring it back to the game. The thing is, and I am sure no one could have thought it possible, but they made it worse. Instead of waiting to play on the outside, you now need to wait to play on the inside. This means you wait at the ring listening to all these people and most of them from different realms at that.
People have a hard enough time being decent to people they see on their own server there is no way in hell they will be decent to people on other servers. Seeing people on other servers makes them hostile the second they see them. I saw at least 100 get off my server comments last night, of course they were in a bit more colorful language than that. I wish blizzard would notice that people do not like this CRZ stuff and remove it or at the very least remove it from this because in this it is bad for the community, very bad.
A few hours there, for no reason because I did not fight, last night showed me that this addition was the last thing this deteriorating community needed. Grouping people up that have even less connection to each other and allowing them to insult and abuse other players without any possible repercussions on their community reputation was a stroke of stupidity that I would have not even thought possible if you had let a dust mite design this game.
Lets look at the design here. Make people wait, meaning they will get frustrated and bored from waiting. Add to that the continued down turn in the community and how people act to each other. Then let those people get all packed together with other communities removing even the small boundary that might have had a chance of keeping things civil out of fear of community retaliation because now they can take their frustrations out on someone elses community and guess what you have? The worst idea blizzard has ever come up with.
Someone said in a response the other day that I can not blame blizzard for the community being the way it is. I say to them, yes I can.
Blizzard created this situation, they threw random people together and gave them a reason to be angry and upset and then gave them something where they can take it out on each other by adding a competitive aspect to it where people can insult each other without any fear of ban or repercussions. Yes, I can blame blizzard for the down turn in the community and yes, I am completely right to blame them. They made this on purpose, they knew what would happen, they did not care, some people like to watch the world burn.
Waiting 3 hours to log on to play was not acceptable back in the day. Waiting 3 hours to get in a fight that only lasts a minute at best is not acceptable now. Waiting 3 hours with those drooling half wits insulting each other in chat for no good reason other than they are bored and frustrated is not acceptable either.
People play to play, they do not pay to wait, and they sure as hell to not pay to be verbally abused in game.
When I first thought about this and complained about this I was hoping it would not be as bad as I was making it out to be and it turned out worse because blizzard made it cross realm. WTF were they thinking? Make the waits longer and let people stand around and insult others from different realms for even more time?
I swear the amount of stupid connected to this addition is incomprehensible. I understand that to move forward we sometimes need to take a step back but this is not a step back at all, it is a step forward in the wrong direction, a huge step forward in the wrong direction.
The waiting factor was a step back but gathering massive amounts of people and giving them a venue to spew all their hatred at other people is... unspeakable. I can not even use the words I want to use about that.
I need to step away from the ring because the more I think about the things I heard people saying to the fighters and each other the more it makes me wish I were a GM because there would be a hell of a lot of banned people. The things I want to say about that would be better saved for things that come out of my mouth while watching a football game with my buddies and not used here. See, there is a time and a place for acting like a neanderthal and in a game is not the time or place but watching football with buddies seems more appropriate.
Lets move to the beginning and where you get your invitation. The black market auction house, or in other words, the addition that proves blizzard actively supports gold buying.
They added the blood soaked invitations as a way to keep things from getting too crowded and then made it cross realm zone to fill it up.
Did I skip that day at logic school where you do not want things crowed but you make efforts to make it crowded because you don't want it crowded?
Blizzard has been at the front of MMORPG game designing for a long time, they add so many things so often that show everyone else how things should be done, but don't fool yourself, one of the thing other games look at is what fails for blizzard so they can try not to repeat the mistake made by them and this will be hotly discussed at designer tables for a while. Perhaps on how not to design things or perhaps on how to make it better.
The brawlers club is a great idea and could have a great addition to the game but blizzard dropped the ball, not once (in making people wait to play), not twice (by putting people in an abusive environment), not three times (by supporting gold buying if people want to get into it and can't afford it) but four times (by making it cross realm zone).
Will it get better? Yes. As time passes and the novelty wears off to people that just wanted to test it out and others get as far as they want to go in it. Like myself, once I get all the achievements I will never return. It will get better, with time. But the community watching and insulting people win or lose will always make it a horrible environment to be in, that will not get better.
Could it have been made better? Absolutely. They could have added a long quest line with challenges appropriate to the types of challenges you would get in the ring instead of charging for entry on the auction market and enticing people to buy gold. If they wanted to charge a vendor that sells tickets at a set number would have been more appropriate. They could have added a public or private option to fight so you could just fight all the fights alone if you want to practice or just get the achievements as fast as possible or fight with everyone to see for a chance at extra prizes or something. They could have added more to do there while waiting and watching. They could have added more achievements for watching if they wanted people to hang out more instead of creating a long line that people needed to wait in. There is a lot they could have done to make it better.
In my opinion, when it comes to design, the brawlers guild is one huge step backwards.
I thought those nightmare stories of waiting hours to play even solo content were over, but blizzard bought it back big time. They added solo play that you have to wait hours to do.
So much for a company that has been worried about getting people out in the world for years. They made something that not only keeps you from getting out in the world, but keeps you from going out in the world for many hours instead of the few minutes it should.
Many will just write it off as saying if you don't like it don't do it, it is optional content, and they are right. But if you want to do it you will see it for what it really is, horrible design and a huge step backwards. Optional content or not, bad design is bad design and the brawlers club is bad design.
If you are after the achievements I have a suggestion for you. Wait.
If you wait you will have shorter lines, even with cross realm. Fewer people watching which means less bile filled comments being thrown around as there are fewer people and that means fewer comments and fewer reasons for them to act like jerks because there is not a large captive audience they feel they need to impress with with witty ability to make asses of themselves.
Just hang back and wait if you want achievements. That is how this new addition to the game should be play, by waiting. Wait 3 hours or wait 3 months.
The brawlers guild has changed the world of warcraft into the world of waitcraft.