Me, pretty much every time I hit ‘Post’ ^^ 

Learning to take criticism is a pretty big deal for any writer.

Most of the time, I’ll be honest, people just don’t bother: they read something, like it, then move on. Normally it’s only when disagreement occurs that you get people appearing with criticism, and that’s rarely over how things are actually written. Mostly that comment takes the form of picking a topic they’re upset about and working your post around it, if truth be told. The best feedback’s when someone picks up your words and says ‘too long, makes no sense, less whittering’ and then you stop and think. Lose the unnecessary pronouns, shift that sentence about a bit, stop worrying about what’s going on and let your characters talk/point shine through. To do that well, these people either a) need to be paying you or b) have a vested interest in your output.

Game criticism, to a greater extent at least in my mind, is absolutely no different.

Keep writing, boys.

Many people get annoyed with me saying how much I love Warcraft and yet still feel the need to be critical of the game’s output. Well, there’s a really good reason for that: nobody’s perfect. Being a ‘fan’ of something, anything, does not come with a rule book which states you are not allowed to get angry when the thing you love annoys you. If this were the case, many relationships would be non-starters before they’d even passed the physical liaison stage. It is perfectly okay to not like what your favourite band recorded, or the way your team’s manager does his/her business off the playing surface. This is your choice and a perfectly acceptable deviation from the norm.

The problem with gaming and criticism comes when you hit the immovable object that is the die hard fan, and I’ve met a few of those in my time. You need only to go back over the comments on the Warcraft Blog to unearth the musings from those who clearly disagreed with my beliefs and decided to make it far more than an impartial discussion on the divergences. I have a block list full of people who, when it comes down to it, will make my Twitter experience an absolute nightmare if I listened to them maligning not simply the game, but many other things besides (including me, in a lot of cases.) It’s not just sock puppet accounts either, I have some pretty high ranking members of the Warcraft Social Media Fan Club silenced for good. Some have pretty spectacular, and in my mind insular reasons for pretending I don’t exist either, which means I think we’re probably both doing the right thing by sticking our fingers in our ears and going ‘lalalalalala can’t hear you.’

Oh get over it already.

But that doesn’t make the game I play more than anything else any better. All that’s achieved is that some of the background noise is removed, but it doesn’t fix the problems I have. That’s where the constructive criticism comes in, and that’s why today I decided to work out in my mind why the Alt Game doesn’t work any more for a portion of the populous I really rather admire. There are those who play in Azeroth who are very much squatting tenants, simply here to moan and complain until there’s the chance of summat for nothing or a chance to make a name for themselves. Then there are the people who simply take whatever’s thrown at them and just play, because… well, I’m not sure I’m qualified to give those kind of reasons as facts. I know what I see: people with years of time invested, who just like to log on and play the game as a series of diversionary asides from the stresses and strains of real life. They don’t raid, and they often won’t be the greatest players. Only other people choose to judge this, I just accept that life, in any reality, is about a lot of different approaches to the same basic issues.

The thing is, these people don’t get heard that often because in the main they don’t need to complain, they’ll normally just play. It doesn’t mean they’re happy, there just isn’t the desire to vocalise the issues like I do, and in a sense being able to give people like that something to help them form an opinion of what’s wrong is actually really rather useful indeed, and should not be condemned. The problem with the loud mouthed wanky-arsed complainers is that they make so much noise that most of the time, nothing else ever gets registered, because when there’s that much shit being slung, most normal people are gonna just shut up and piss off somewhere else. And in essence that’s why learning to deliver constructive criticism is a life skill that will serve a purpose for decades to come.


Some fights, frankly, aren’t worth having. I know what a lot of these are in gaming, and yet some days I’ll still go and kick up dust in places because what matters most is not letting people forget what needs to change. It isn’t like suddenly overnight the game get instantly better, even though some may feel that’s how life works for them. It is a long, hard graft to enlightenment that some people just keep plugging away at every day, without thanks or the need to be thanked. It’s just what has to be done. That’s the way it is with me and Warcraft, and frankly, I’d not have it any other way. I’m coming up for seven years of beating my head against this wall, and I’m finally beginning to wear a nice soft spot in the brickwork.

It would be stupid to stop as a result.


  1. The “silent majority” of players probably play WoW because they think it's an awesome game and they're having fun, no matter what they do. I know people who's still 99 or even less in level, who just do what they like, be it mountaineering (!), fishing or meticuluously completeing every single quest in the game. I know a guildie who logs on about once per month just to do the Darkmoon Faire. I have guildies who log in after a years hiatus and continues where they left off, be it at level 20 or 80 or 90. They don't play to progress, or to challenge themselves. They play because, well:

    They want to.

    They don't destroy the game in any way. Those who think that “casuals” do are stuck in a mindset that is as obsolete as the dinosaurs. I rarely pay them any attention, and while they might think their whining voices are important – they're not. Voices like yours are important (even though you're not “a raider”). I dare say the devs listen more to voices like yours than the generic angry forum poster.


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