A few days back the ultimate mistress of evil, the Boomerang Blogger herself (Saresa for those of you that hadn’t picked t yet) forced me to think about what I would be doing in my life after WoW.
What would a washed up Gnome Mage do after years to plucking Moonkin, burning Trees to the ground, roasting Trolls, dismembering Forsaken, BBQ’ing Tauren and drooling over Blood Elves?
I thought I’d turn away from Fire, from destruction, from turning things into carbon to growing things, lovingly, patiently.
I never thought there could be anything more beautiful than the glare of the Fireball roaring across the horizon to king hit the healer at the back of the pack, but I was prepared to try.
So, starting with a few seeds, a can of water and some appropriately fertile soil, I began my new adventures in gardening.
I can’t go wrong can I?
I’m a Gnome, and there are all the legends of Garden Gnome.
I have green hair… which isn’t quite a green thumb, but being a Mage, it makes sense that the green taint would move from my thumb to my ultimate source of power, my mind (Yes I looked elsewhere, but I’m afraid you girls might be disappointed.. although for the bachelor Gnome, a lack of fertility in other digits may be a Darwinian advantage).
So everything in place, I waited… and waited… and you know how people carry on about watching grass grow… yeah, well, waiting for seeds to germinate is bad for a Gnome with Battleground PTSD. As soon as I saw something out of the corner of my eye FIREBLAST! Oh damn…
After a good 15 minutes, I got bored of waiting for the seeds to sprout and realized that I’m not much of a traditional gardener, I’m a Mage, therefore I should be exploring the groundbreaking new field of Magically Engineered plant crops.
It meant I had to dip into my non-specialty Trees (Ohh how Ironic that they call them Trees), into Arcane and Frost.. not so much for the Frost mind you, more for the water behind it. Very soon I had my pot full of flowers, but something was not quite right.
They were all kind of… lacking in life.
Determined I tried again and again, each time with the same level of success.
That was when the feeling of horror descended upon my spiky, but balding pate. I tried to dispose of my abhorrent creations in the only way I know how… Fire, BURN THEM TO THE GROUND! I said.
But, the fire wasn’t there… so where could I possibly be getting this power from?
I may be a Mage in game, but I’m an Affliction Warlock in real life.
Every living thing I touch dies. Not in a bit fiery flash, but in a slow draining of life… a DOT… DOT… DEAD fashion.
This cannot be true, yet the results speak for themselves.
I have put gardening and flower arranging behind me. I’m back in game doing what I do best, blasting noobs with my Pyroblasts and letting my “little boys” dance all over their faces.
Of Bolting Horses and Open Gates
Not unlike many, I have been enjoying what felt like a hollow victory.
I know there are many that felt this was never an issue.
I know that many feel that others, myself included I am sure, are being ungracious in our dancing in the streets and conditional praise of Blizzard and Mike the Man.
I know I am still unsettled, but after a weekend of calm quiet reflection (that’s Arenas folks), the pieces came together for me.
Conspiracy theories etc aside… well I guess not aside, we are all pretty certain that the partnership with Facebook was not just for fun, that the change in the ToS from we will protect your personal data, to we will share your personal data, that the careful business wording of Mike’s “GOOD NEWS EVERYONE” announcement does nothing to dispel our fears, but rather leaves all the doors open (Like any good Business statement should of course).
Anyway, all that aside, we already have Facebook for WoW, or WoWbook, or FaceWow or whatever it is.
We have RealID, we have a non-server, non-faction based friends list which allows us to see and request friend status, not just with our immediate “I already know your deep dark personal secrets” friends, but their friends as well – all using our Real (your privacy was once protected) Name.
We may have stopped them introducing this to the forums, but we have allowed them to share our personal names already, a base on which many other things will come.
The best we may see of this is that they do allow use to display an alias instead, but that is the best that I can see happening.
It’s all OK if you just treat yourself like a kid!
Of course you could, as many have already done, go down the route of limiting your social interaction (The Social being the important part of this right?) with the world by imposing Parental Controls on yourself.
Parental Controls ARE NOT privacy settings, they are setting designed to reduce the access the player has to aspects of the game, which as a by product, reduce your visibility.
I’m not a kid, I don’t want to be treated like a kid, I don’t want to treat myself like a kid. I just want control over my personal information and who I share it with.
It’s a crying shame really
Over the last week, I have realized that I would like to add a bunch of you to my friends list. I know it would end up being insane, there would be no downtime. Once you stick a pile of bloggers and blog readers in one chat channel, Trade chat seems relatively sedate.
Still, I would love to know what you are doing, I’d love to know how Horde side Aman’Thul are hurting during WG, I’d love to share how I am hurting during WSG, but…
I’m not ready to extend our relationship to the next level. I’m more than happy for you to refer to me as Snowy, or Gnomer or Nutsack, whatever Alias would be available, but if my friends of 20 years don’t get my real name without need, neither do you.
Us & Them
I realise now why some people don’t mind.
I realise now why Blizzard thought there would be no issues with the Forums.
It’s because there are a lot of people for whom sharing this personal information is 2nd nature, they do it and have been doing it for a while.
I’m cool with that, with them happy to share, but I’m don’t want to join that group.
I want to be able to control how much of me you get to see… Hell, even Facebook lets to select privacy settings for different parts of your Facebook world.
It’s not the Next Change you need to fear.
Many of us are suspicious waiting for the next Blizzard announcement, wondering how they will slip RealID into it, gank us like that mongrel of a Rogue in Arenas last night, Dot us up like those stinking Warlocks, so by the time we realise we are in trouble, we are so cursed we can’t take any action anyway.
But the reality is we don’t need to fear the next change, so much as the previous one.
RealID is here.
We didn’t see the full picture then and while many of us had misgivings, it wasn’t easy to articulate them. The Forums gave us a tangible target and we have stopped that, but the question is whether they will roll privacy controls and aliases into all things RealID, or just the forums.
The game is not just changing, it has changed.
The forums was a no-brainer for Blizzard, the infrastructure is already present, we are already friending our best buddies and it wont be long before we are friending our best buddies buddies.
I’m no longer angry, I’m just resigned.
I’m still a key press away from returning to flower arranging, but I just need to weigh up the pros and cons…
- Mage in a privacy free WoW, or
- Warlock IRL
Which of course reminds me of TBC, when Mages were fodder and Warlocks were kings (or queens). A time when Mages across the world were asking whether Blizzard rolled Warlocks and deleted Mages.
The answer now is clear, Blizzard didn’t just roll Warlocks…
THEY ARE A WARLOCK! a Stinking Affliction Warlock… DOT… DOT…
Gnomer and Out!
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