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Mini-Rant: Why are you here? April 3, 2012

Posted by Ben in General Whinging, Moar Ranting.

I was playing around in the Jade Forest today (screenshots, reflections to come later) and found myself reading General chat.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “That’s your first mistake! You know that General Chat is always filled with mouth breathers!” And yes, yes it is. But in trying to be a part of the Beta experience, I wanted to have potential feedback of other players about what was going on, and be able to provide assistance to other players as well.

Side-rant: I understand that I consume a large amount of WoW-related news around the internet, and as you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming you do as well. But I am flummoxed by the number of people IN THE BETA who are completely unaware of some of the changes that Blizzard announced at Blizz-Con. These aren’t little things like changes to abilities or if you can fly in Pandaria right away (you can’t), but things like HUNTERS NO LONGER EQUIP MELEE WEAPONS! How did you even know the beta had started? (Side-rant over)


  1. I was in General Chat.
  2. People were bitching. Like they do.
  3. And an argument broke out. Like it does.

The argument was about which expansion was the “peak” of WoW. This is a pretty standard conversation I think. Everyone has their favorite stories, raids, etc. If you’re a hardcore raider or like to think of yourself as a special snowflake then you probably preferred Vanilla/BC when there were attunements for raids. And if you are a more casual raider or one of those “bads”, you preferred after patch 3.3 when it became easier to keep up with the current raid content.

But one person took the position that Vanilla was the best and that “the entire game has just kept getting worse.”

In fact, his argument seemed to be that everything since then has been crap.

And I wondered (quietly to myself, because I’m trying these days not to feed the trolls) why he was in the Beta.

Not specifically why his account had been selected and my two bestest WoW friends have not been chosen allowing us to  frolic merrily in Panda Land, but why he was in the game at that moment.

He seemingly did not enjoy anything about the game for the past 5 years. So why was he still paying $12-15 a month? Why did he sign up for an Annual Pass that allowed him enter the beta of the next expansion of a game that he doesn’t like?

In the past few weeks, I’ve realized that I’m watching a fair number of shows that I once liked, even though there is very little that I like about them now. Some were guilty pleasures that I watched for the eye candy, or because of a particular storyline. Some were once interesting shows that have sense left the writing to the same group of monkeys that will one day accomplish the complete works of the Bard. Some had gone from plots that were only possible in fantasy TV land, to plots that required me to just accept wholly implausible scenarios.

And yet I was still watching them. Week after week. And I realize why.

These shows that I once liked, just might, one day, return to their former glory. And I don’t want to miss out on it.

There’s really no basis for this hope. How many shows have ever gotten bad and managed to redeem themselves?

Okay, I can think of a few:

  • Star Trek: Enterprise – The final season was, by far, the best of the series.
  • The West Wing – The beginning of Season 5 when the writing staff completely changed was rough, but by mid-season all was as it should be.
  • Glee (bear with me) – The first half of season one was terrific, the second half was all tribute/theme episodes. The second season was full of plot holes you could drive the Death Star through. But the first few episodes of season three were amazing. And then the school musical story arc ended and once again they couldn’t find coherent writing with two hands, a flashlight and a neon sign.

So I think this guy is hoping that maybe this expansion will be the one that fixes all his problems. I’m pretty sure he’s wrong, and I’m pretty sure of this because of something called nostalgia. The farther away from things in the past we get, the more idealized they become. This guy (just like I am with the shows that I used to enjoy watching) might have built up Vanilla to be better in his head than it actually was. And nothing will probably ever reach that level for him.

I’ve decided that at the conclusion of this season, I’m cutting loose all the shows that I no longer enjoy. I can find better uses of my time (like maybe more time in WoW), than sitting on the sofa and surfing the web on my iPad, sort of paying attention to the show, and wondering what I have to snack on in the pantry.

I think this guy (and anyone else who thinks like he does) should follow suit.

*I had intended this to be a mini-rant. I clearly failed at the ‘mini’ part.



1. Suzanne - April 3, 2012

>Some were guilty pleasures that I watched for the eye candy, or because of a particular storyline.

I know exactly what you’re talking about, and I am mock offended that you would belittle some of *the* best-written shows on TV.

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