When my hobby becomes your job

I am sure some may have seen the guild Method is looking to branch out and become more of a professional E-sports team.  If you are unaware of what I am talking about, link to the fundraiser.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/method-a-gaming-team-and-community

Not looking at the lower level funding, selling shirts, coaching sessions, etc, they are trying to raise money to branch out into the more competitive games, such as Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.  I think it is great that they have the skill and desire to compete at the top levels of games.  I do not have an issue with them seeking out corporate sponsors, or even asking folks to donate.  We see Go Fund Me requests all the time, and if we feel it is a worthwhile cause or reason we donate to it.  I wish them the best of luck in making this happen.  They do not play the same game as I do.  They are at a level of playing only a few could even comprehend.

What had me thinking driving to work today was how does my hobby being your job affect me.  I cannot fault them for asking people to pay to watch what they do, people can play football as a hobby, baseball, any numerous hobby’s that have a corresponding professional level counterpart.  People pay for access to NFL Sunday ticket to watch games, and they even compete professionally at video games.  Look at World Series of Poker, people will watch for hours as people gamble.

One thing I have noticed in recent years is that if there is a chance to make money doing something others enjoy as a hobby, people will try to make money at it.  Just focusing on WoW here, lets look at sites like WoWhead, WoWInsider, etc.  They are not asking you to pay a premium to visit their sites, they make money through advertizing on their web sites, it is enough to pay the bills and keep it going, maybe even pay some staff.  We have newcomer AskMrRobot, who offers much for free, if you want additional functionality you can pay a small fee every year for more.  We have class web sites that run on donations and advertisements.

But the one thing that gets me is that while all of these people may have started playing WoW 1 even 10 years or more ago, they did it because they wanted to play a video game.  But now they are looking to find ways to fund, dare I say justify, their playing video games.  There will always be someone out there with a blog, or their own personal web site just talking about what they love, there is a passion finding that person that has found one aspect of the game that they want to focus on and just talk about.  They will listen to ideas, and entertain theories.  They are doing it not for a paycheck or name recognition, just to talk about something they love.

I think that when you no longer look at playing a game and talking about it because you love to talk about it, and instead you start looking at it as a job you have to do, because you get paid, some of the spark dies. When you think that what you offer is so valuable that you think people should pay for it, you have taken a step across a line.  There are many lines, one you cross when you take that step to put yourself out there and talk about what you have a passion for, when you step up to say, hey, I have written a sort of guide based on what I enjoy in the game, to a point where you say, I want to be paid for talking to you about my hobby, and eventually this is my job, my career, I compete at this and want to earn a living doing it.

Is it wrong to want to be able to play games and earn a living doing it?  Absolutely not.  And I am sure people will find value in contributing to you for the entertainment you provide to them.  Just keep in mind, when you lose the passion, we will know, when we see that you are looking at us as a paycheck, we will find someone new that has the passion you once had.  And offers it for free.

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I’m sorry you did not fit in.

It really pains me to have to write this, but I guess it is necessary.  I know you may never read this, or if you do will misinterpret it into something against you.

I’m sorry you did not fit in.  You use to play alliance but when many of the people you played with left the realm and a few faction changed you switched.  You made your own guild, you wanted to PvP on a predominantly PvE server, one of your friends joined our guild and then so did you.  You would spend time on your character in our guild complaining that growing your guild was hard, that because it was not a level 25 no one would join, I tried explaining that you needed to work at it and be there.  You asked for more PvP events, I explained that we did not have many interested, you felt I was bashing PvP, that was not true, we had a few that were interested, but not many, you placed creating something you were interested in doing in my hands to make happen, and I couldn’t.  Telling me to make ranks for PvP and people will do it.  When I explained that we are, and always have been predominately a PvE guild you wanted to hear none of it.  Myself and others tried to help you with gear, reforging advice, gems, enchants, you never used half of what was sent, would complain other classes were OP, and your DPS was bad because of poor design by Blizzard, you would come into the raid channel in vent when not in the raid to complain about some issue bothering you.  Once we had an officers meeting and were in an officer channel you thought we were there ignoring you, despite telling you otherwise.  You would even come into the guild vent when you were on characters in your own guild to talk to people.  Eventually some could not take the constant talk of things being broken, the server sucked, the game sucked, bring back 40 man raids, original WoW was better than this crap, eventually you felt the guild sucked and that people were in cliques and that some officers were rude, and finally left.  You left the server on some characters to start someplace new.  Yet seem to come back looking for reasons to say it is toxic and continually bash those that at one time tried to help you.

I am sorry you did not fit in, you took a step to find some place to start new, please don’t continue to look back on what was to you a bad experience, and try to move forward.

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This is the dawning of the age…

of the pug group.

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This is just a personal observation mind you.  I have only been involved with World of Warcraft for a bit less than 6 years, I am sure many that will be celebrating 10 soon, or even some going back to prior Warcraft days, will say yes or no, or kind of.

It seems to me that either Blizzard knows something about playing styles, or trends, that we are not privy too, or they are steering the game in a direction, but it appears to me that they are heading more towards a solo involvement in a multi player game.  More an more things to do solo, more ways to see content as a solo player.  For Mists we saw things like Oqueue and Open Raid become very popular, now they have added an in game raid group finding feature, we have had LFR of course, and Dungeon finder.  Now we see a way to find groups cross server, the term “Server Community” is becoming more and more diluted, with connected servers, and less personal responsibility on keeping a name for yourself.

A few years ago, you needed to be in a guild to see end game content, or needed to have a decent reputation for being a good player in order to possibly get into a raid group.  It feels now that to bolster the raiding aspect of the game they are adding more and more ways for people to be involved, but is that just artificially inflating participation numbers.  If we make it easy to get into they will do it.  I don’t know.  We see Mythic is now set at 20.  In 4 more years will we see it drop lower to 15, cross server groups, eventually to a flex size raid for all levels of difficulty.  They have said WoW will be here for at least 10 more years which means if I keep playing I will have 15 years, some will have 20 years playing.  I would not be surprised if they had a fairly decent idea of where the game is heading in terms of overall design, perhaps someone more knowledgeable in game design trends can see a pattern, I am only guessing at what it feels like to me now.

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Going forward

If you are reading this then you are one of the few people I follow or that follow me. I have not hand picked people that agree with all of my opinions. I am choosing to follow people with various opinions, even ones I may disagree with at times, because you present then in a well thought out respectful manner. You are willing to listen to opposing view points and do not demand people bow to your view.

A very wise person pointed out something to me. Yes there are times we can just shake our head and ignore some blow up topic of the week before we are off to fight a new squirrel. But there are times when we need to put on our big boy/girl clothes, equip our armor, and wade out into the river of muck from the over flowing sewage plant of toxicity that has overflowed the banks. When enough of us do, even just standing there in support of each other, yes the muck will cover us all, yes it is unpleasant, but in the end what we save once the waters have subsided will be fertile ground upon which a better land will spring forth. We won’t be remembered for great deeds or honored with fancy titles, but it should not be about that. It should be standing up for something because it is the right thing to do.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

We should never just allow things to destroy that which gives us enjoyment in life. Never accept that there is nothing we can do. Even if it is to privately message someone that although you may not fully agree that you support that they are trying to be an adult and trying to be reasonable in the manner they are presenting their case.

The comments to the effect that gaming is dead, are half true. It dies with every generation that walks away from it, but is reborn with every new generation that embraces the wonder of trying out new games, expanding their minds to new ideas, new thoughts, new circles of friends. Change is necessary for things to grow and improve, or become stagnant in its inability to grow.

I will continue to voice my thoughts and opinions, will do my best to discuss things with people if I do not fully see their view. I will always try my best to help others. And mostly will do my best to have fun playing games. What is fun for one may differ from others. Accept that not everyone may enjoy things as you do. Do not demean them for doing things differently but encourage them to keep doing so because in the end we are all playing the same games.

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Fin

This is the final entry in this blog.  @Marathal is no more, and won’t be back.  I did not think all that I had said in the previous posting was controversial, but apparently touched a nerve on a lot of people.  I never intended it to create the fight it did between people.  But in the end I saw what some people truly felt once I had deactivated the account.  I still do have a personal Twitter, and I have a few people that I know and respect on there.

FIN_finale_ny

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No, it is not all right

Something happened last night.  Millions of players made a last ditch effort to get the ahead of the curve achievement for killing normal Garrosh and to get the mount.  I am certain many did get it, either they were in a guild group and got it finally after a year, or they had an opportunity to get in with a friend, or they used Open Raid or the in game group finder to find a pick up group, or they paid upwards of 50,000 gold or more to get it.  Many did get it, but many more did not.  And that is not right.  There are people that have been working on Siege for almost a year that have been there every week, slowly downing the bosses first in LFR, then Flex and then Normal.  They are the players worthy of having the title and achievement.  I am not saying that those that got it sooner deserve it less, or that you should get it because you logged in one the 3rd Monday of a certain month.  I am saying that many did put in the work, many did try their best week after week, and in the end they did not get it.  Could they have farmed the AH for months and just paid a group to carry them?  Certainly, but does that make the mount more special to those that have had it for months?  It is a collection of pixels that many wont even use after a time.

I was fortunate, I had a friend invite me to a group several weeks in a row and I got mine a month ago, but I do not feel right wearing the title or using the mount, so later today, to show support of those that worked so hard but did not finally get it, I will be taking off the title, and taking the mount off my action bar, never to be used again.  I do not think it is right or fair to all those that worked so hard.

If you want to keep pushing people to move forward, sometimes you have to give them a reason to want to go back.

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Is the Beta revealing too much.

A comment was made in reference to new players starting to play WoW and that if the information was not easily available in the game it was bad design. Or something to that effect.

And it got me wondering. Are we finding out too much about what is coming from those fortunate enough to get an invite that also produce the guides that we gravitate to for hidden secrets or tips about what we are supposed to do. When I started, about all I knew was how to look up quests from 6 months of doing so for my wife as she leveled her first character. It was all unknown and it took time to figure out.

Now we have a fairly good grasp on not only what changes may come to the way we play our class but we have folks that have plotted out the fastest route to complete all of the quests, people that have done research on rare creatures in the world, and I am sure there are videos spelling out exactly what we need to do in not only the dungeons but also the initial raids.

There is no exploring the unknown any more. By the time the expansion launches anyone with a general idea how to look for the information will know where to go, who has published guides for what features, what locations we need to look for quest items. And it is actually a bit disheartening that so much of the first 6 months we will play is already known. So I am backing away from looking at things and talking about it. I am going in with what little knowledge I got when I spent an hour on the PTR which in hindsight is now kind of a let down because I am just going to breeze through it with thousands of others.

Maybe it is time for a hard look at how the beta is handled.

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