(Note: When I say Paragon in this post, I mean anyone who exploited the LFR loot bug. I am simply condensing this group into a single entity for simplicity.)
There has been a great deal of kerfuffle this week over some bugs and glitches that slipped through the cracks when 4.3 went live. Everyone's been all up in arms over these topics - on the forums, on Twitter, on blogs - and we're all weighing in with our various opinions.
The first is the Looking for Raid exploitation, through which players who had already gotten their weekly chance at LFR loot from Dragon Soul bosses could bypass this limitation and receive more loot. The big news, of course, is that top-end progression guilds such as Paragon took advantage of this exploit.
Blizzard laid down the law, handing out temporary suspensions that will put these guilds behind in progression, as well as removing the ill-gotten gains. Players have been pleased and satisfied with these actions. It seems that most of us feel that these players definitely should be punished (since this exploit is basically cheating) and that the punishment is appropriate, and deserved.
I agree completely. I think the punishment fit the crime, and that they should be disciplined. I'd have slapped their wrists harder, personally, but whatever. Moving on.
The second incident is the fact that heirloom items have been keeping their transmogrified appearances when mailed to other characters, despite the very well-known fact that this should not be happening. (One of the earliest transmogrification rules was that mailing an item would strip it of any transmogs.) Many players have been overjoyed by this surprise, and have gleefully transmogrified their heirlooms to make their alts or bank toons look all fancy and snazzy, or really, just different than the same old boring heirlooms they've been staring at for a few years now.
However, this bug was recently hotfixed out (all items now properly lose their transmogrified appearances when mailed), leaving many players quite upset and disappointed that Blizzard would ruin this fun, harmless bug.
To be honest, I don't really see what the fuss is about.
Lack of appreciation for what we DO haveFrom the outrage and bitterness I've seen on Twitter and on the forums, you would think Blizzard just took away our favorite puppy or something. The vitriol and accusations have been flying hard and heavy - this just proves that they don't want WoW to be fun; oh look, Blizzard has "nerfed fun"; transmogrified heirlooms were too fun, so nope let's remove it, but we'll still leave in boring grinding.
It's apparently the end of the world. Blizzard is ANTI-FUN.
Really, people? This is what we're complaining about? This is worth getting stressed out over?
Have we all forgotten that a week ago we didn't even HAVE transmogrification yet?
It reminds me of the Worgen mount controversy, where players complained and begged Blizzard (deservedly) to please, please give the Worgen some racial mounts. Some people just wanted them, some wanted them for achievements, but regardless, they had good reason to ask.
And so Blizzard did! They announced, tada! You'll be getting horses! And then the players began to rejoice and celebrate, appreciative that their pleas and requests had been answered! Oh wait, that's actually not what happened at all. No, instead of being happy about the announcement, all we heard for a week were complaints about how boring horses are, how drab the appearances were, how X or Y would have been better, how LAZY Blizzard was for using an already-existing model...the list went on and on.
And now, with 4.3, we've finally received what we've been asking Blizzard for, for YEARS. The ability to use old, favorite gear in a cosmetic sense. It took them SO LONG, but transmogrification is finally here!
But oh, we can't use them on heirlooms, so clearly Blizzard are a bunch of jerks and meanies and they hate us and they just don't want us to have any fun.
Guys...this is why we can't have nice things.
Yes, it would be nice to be able to transmog heirlooms. I hate looking at that stupid Warlock robe/shoulders/staff just as much as everyone else! I'm not saying it's not disappointing - it is, especially if you spent a lot of gold transmogging those pieces.
But this much outrage and bitterness? All because Blizzard corrected a "feature" that was never supposed to even exist? I've seen countless people cursing Blizzard out, demanding explanations and justifications from Blizz blues, and even seen a few who have said that this is basically the last straw and that they're ready to walk away from the game in disgust.
Um, here's an idea.
How about just...being happy with what we DO have?
I simply do not understand why so many players are so eager to immediately hoist the Blizzard effigy, torches angrily raised, instead of simply moving on and enjoying the cool new things that were just introduced. Write a forum post, tell Blizzard how you feel, definitely! Let them know how cool it would be to have transmogged heirlooms, by all means. Maybe they'll listen. Maybe they'll implement it - properly and intentionally - in the future.
But why obsess over it? Why let this - let's be honest - incredibly minor incident turn into a big sour spot that is going to ruin your enjoyment of the game?
It would be one thing if they had removed something we've always had and loved. Like if they removed vanity pets? Hell yes, break out the pitchforks, let's riot! Or achievements. They haven't been around that long, but they're an integral part of the game now. Or something that is a crucial part of your character's flavor and history, such as changing the names of a Warlock's demons.
If Blizzard were to remove those, then yes, people would be upset, and their anger would be very justified.
But this? They didn't take anything away from us. At all.
If you only have snarky, cynical things to say about the game, and if you truly do feel Blizzard is such a pit of fiends, why are you even here? It's certainly not enjoyable to listen to. Nobody really enjoys the rantings of a person who is constantly complaining that Blizzard hates them.
I don't know. This drama all just seems so unimportant, when we should be excited about the fact that we even have transmog. Such an explosive response for the removal of something minor that we never had, and were never intended to have, in the first place.
If ever there was an appropriate time for the Twitter hashtag #firstworldwowproblems...
But WHY?After all, it's harmless, so why did they fix it? Why can't they just let us have our fun?
The answer is simple and we already know why - because it wasn't supposed to work like that.
Maybe there's coding or technical reasons. They did say that programming/resource limitations were why enchants/gems would be removed from items deposited into Void Storage. Or, maybe they don't like the image of a guy fully decked out in glowing Magma Giant armor stepping into Ragefire Chasm while the rest of his party is equipped with torn farmer pants and old clubs. Or maybe they just wanted to maintain control over their game, and keep transmog working the way they originally intended, and not let player demands dictate their decisions.
Should you ask Blizzard to explain their decision? Absolutely! It was disappointing to see them quickly remedy the heirloom bug, primarily because we don't know why it was corrected. I think upset players should definitely poll Blizzard and ask them why, and ask - not DEMAND, but ask - that this bug be turned into a feature, because it's awesome.
But if you think they removed it because it was too fun...come on. You're just stirring up trouble for the sake of trouble. Take a moment and calm down, and just think. They had a reason. It might not be a reason you like, or a reason you want to hear, but they have a reason. And it's not just to be dicks.
The fine art of hypocrisy
I find it quite ironic that these two incidents took place in such rapid succession, considering they are, at heart, the exact same thing. One minute, people are e-high-fiving about the righteous punishment laid down on those vile scum who would dare exploit a bug, and the next, they're stressed and angry that they can no longer use the heirloom transmog bug.
Now of course, obviously there's some significant differences. Getting extra LFR loot is a competitive advantage with game ramifications, while transmogging heirlooms is purely cosmetic and for fun.
And yet, they're both bugs. They're both unintentional, accidental game elements that Blizzard did not want, for whatever reason.
I've also seen a lot of snide comments directed Paragon's way, that they should have known it was wrong, and that even if they happened to find this glitch, it was their responsibility to report it or ticket it instead of taking advantage of it. After all, they signed the Terms of Service. They're obligated to tell Blizzard about any bugs they find, instead of consciously and willingly keeping quiet to keep the bug's existence a secret.
Well, how many of you reported the heirloom bug?
How many tickets did you open about it?
Now, I'm not judging. While I didn't transmog any heirlooms (I have no interest) or exploit LFR, I've kept quiet about bugs in the past because I enjoy them, just like I'm sure many of us have. For instance, I've written about how to sneak lowbie characters in to kill Coren Direbrew, a scenario akin to exploiting LFR, with actual gain - gear, achievements, etc. - to be had.
I've also written about how you used to be able to keep the Tahret Dynasty Mallet and smash it around outside of Uldum, a purely cosmetic bug similar to transmogging heirlooms. I've written a guide on how to get the cool blue cannister backpack, which I use on ALL of my mains. And while I never blogged about it, back in Wrath I helped my friend tame Garwal, the Worgen in Howling Fjord who (with a little trickery) you could tame in Worgen form.
Why did I keep quiet about these bugs instead of reporting them? The same reason you didn't ticket the transmogged heirlooms, and why Paragon didn't ticket the LFR exploit.
Because we didn't want Blizzard to find out.
And guess what? Blizzard did find out about these bugs that I have mentioned, and have since corrected all of them, except the backpack. I'm disappointed, of course. The Coren fix that came with 4.3 was long overdue, so I can't complain about that. But the mallet was hotfixed the day I wrote the post, ending my fun. And I REALLY wanted that Worgen pet. Cripes, if they ever remove the backpack, I will be crushed, because I love how it looks and always wear it.
But you know what? Oh well. WoW goes on.
Disappointment =/= outrage. I know full well these things are not supposed to work this way, so if they get fixed, so be it. I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep over it, or contemplate quitting the game from this "slap in the face." It wouldn't be surprising, and most importantly, it's just not that big a deal.
Hell, if I suddenly get a 3-day suspension for exploiting Coren back in August or whatever, I can't even really be upset! After all, I knowingly did the same as what Paragon did. The gear I got is meaningless, and it doesn't affect anyone at all, but the fact remains that I broke the rules, knowingly and fully aware that I was doing it.
Which is what any player is doing when they are aware of a bug, and instead of reporting it, keeps quiet and uses it for their own enjoyment or gain.
Am I using extreme examples and comparisons? Obviously. And I'm not saying the LFR and heirloom transmog exploits are really equal, due to the "material" gain of one (and the meta ramifications), compared to the purely-cosmetic element of the other.
But I do think there's quite a few players who might want to hold off on morally crucifying Paragon for not reporting a bug when they didn't report theirs either.
In closing, I understand why so many players are upset about the heirloom bug. So you're sick of the heirloom looks, and can't transmog them into Firelands gear? Shrug. Go get some other gear off the AH and make it look like something else, then? We can STILL TRANSMOG HEIRLOOMS now, something that seems to have been forgotten in this whole fuss. We may not be able to have awesome tier sets while we're mucking about in Wailing Caverns, but that doesn't mean we can't still have some fun with our outfits and never have to look at those ugly heirloom models again!
But most importantly, take a breath, guys. Relax. Especially if your blood pressure is up or you're legitimately angry. This is So. Incredibly. Minor. Petition Blizzard, make your case known, ask nicely, yes! Let them know how much players would love to see this feature, and maybe it'll happen. But if you're experiencing genuine real-life stress over this, maybe you should take a step back and count to ten. It's SO not worth it!
After all, what exactly are you getting so mad about?
The appearance of your video game character's hat.
There are things in WoW worth fighting for, like the Real ID fiasco, or even the Warlock pet accident. But this? Transmogging heirlooms so you can look cool while questing in Redridge? Making your bank alt look like they killed Ragnaros?
This isn't one of them.