Monday, 4 August 2014

The Needle And The Damage Done

Imagine that you and a friend have tickets for a music festival which you have been paying for every month for nearly 10 years, and as you are walking towards the entrance gates a total stranger stops you in your tracks. He offers your friend an upgrade to her ticket, VIP entry, a chance to sit and chat and drink cocktails with Mick Jagger (substitute musical legend) for no extra cost. He then turns to you and says that you can have an upgrade to meet Justin Bieber but it will cost you a "hefty sum of money".

How do you feel?
  1. Happy for your friend.
  2. Decidedly miffed that for no reason your friend gets a free upgrade, but you get the chance to pay for something that you don't want.
  3. Extremely annoyed at the injustice of it all and pissed off with your friend who is drinking cocktails with the Rolling Stones, flicking the Bird at you and laughing at your anger.
  4. Want to punch the lights out of the man that offered you a chance to meet Justin Bieber.
The Horde have been handed a nice little present. They have done nothing to deserve this, except for be on the right side of nothing more than a survey. Everybody knew that that Blizzard was going to make both Choppers, but it was unclear how they would be distributed. Azeroth Choppers always seemed like an exercise in smoke and mirrors in an attempt to deflect attention from the slow progress coming from the direction of the Alpha/Beta. Nobody knew at the time how divisive it was going to be.

For the sake of clarity I would to clear up a few points:
  • I am not in favour of "Gifts for All" in game. The result is that nobody uses them because they are not unique, and they are not earned.
  • I am not in favour of buying Mounts and Pets for real money. I want to pay a subscription so that I don't need to deal with micro-transactions, I suffer from buyer remorse especially when it is non tangible, pixel reward.
  • I am not in favour of rewards for being male/female, Horde/Alliance, based on the type of Armour I wear and definitely not based on a toss of coin/roll of a die.
I freely admit that the Horde chopper was a better design than the Alliance insect machine, but judging by the artwork, the in game bike is better than the real thing.

Can you imagine how angry the players would be if all Canadian's got a free Mount and embody in the USA needed to buy their version? and the Canadians kept coming onto the forums to troll the angry Americans. The following is a sample of the comments from WoW Insider. Please excuse the language.
  • This still won't be enough to satisfy crybaby alliance players. "It should be free!" "It's ugly!!" "Oh why do we never win at pvp?!?!" :D
  • So much drama over all this crap, if they had just made it 2 bikes designs instead of this horde vs ally bs. 
  • Why would anyone want it?
    It's ugly and its bland. This is not something Blizzard should have done.
  •  It could be a turd with toothpicks and green olives attached with a Horde logo, and that would win vs. the Alliance's Giant Douchemobile. You know Blizzard, and you know the rabid fanbois of the Horde.
  • Alliance bias!!! I'm Horde and I want to spend unreal amounts of gold to purchase my mount. Damn you Blizzard for giving it to us for free!!!
  • And again the trust fund "alliance" babies whine because they didn't get their way..... Heck they even whined to get that butt ugly thing in the game and have to whine that even though even they voted for the horde one that they have to pay for it, be happy its not $25 and stfu..... After the horde have been on the back burner for years, its nice to see at least one thing go our way...y'all can suck it up over one free mount.... Whiny little princes need their pretty faces rearranged.... FTH
  • I can already here the cries from afar.. "WWAAHHH, METZEN PURPOSELY MESSED UP OUR BIKE SO HORDE COULD WIN, WAAAAAAH!!" no wonder nobody takes you children seriously. 
  • Honestly I'd rather them just admit the contest was horribly implemented and just give it to us, instead of continuing this charade that it was anything other than a cheap excuse to give the Horde something nice at the cost of the Alliance.
  • I would normally agree but this was a silly thing to do. there wasn't a 'loser' at all. There wasn't a 'winner' at all. We both have access to the bikes. That's not a contest. They presented this as 'Faction Pride' and voting to see who gets the winning prize. They should have just said vote to see who gets their faction's bike for free and who will have to drops some coins for it. Then, this all would make sense. This wasn't really presented in an honest way. I am happy for a free mount either way but they let the forums and community explode over this when the results came out. One side thought they won and get a prize and the other side thinking they lost and get nothing. This was one of the most poorly handled things they have ever done
  • You lost alliance, now pay up
  • I'm amused -- and disappointed -- at people complaining about the price. 
    It's like some people expected to lose the contest, and still get first prize. Not even LFR apologists act that entitled o.O
  • Here, I'll clarify it for you, because you seem to be missing the point: the contest was dumb. It was predictable that people would be disappointed and unhappy. If you can't grasp that, I invite you to read "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Golman. It might help you learn human empathy.
  • You have no idea how that contest was run -- all you have is Blizzard's word that the Horde won. You don't believe that because -- surprise, surprise -- you have crazy conspiracy theories about Blizzard, but that's not my problem. The contest was fine -- they didn't promise both bikes then retract the statement. From Day 1, it was presented as a contest. If you can't understand the implications of that, well, I won't be surprised, but I would recommend educating yourself. 
What is very odd is not the trolling, the Alliance baiting, but it is the fact that the Horde will get a Chopper that they don't use, because it is free and all the Horde players have one, and the Alliance will get a Chopper that is much sort after because of it's Hefty Price Tag making it a Rare Mount.

The ugly Alliance Chopper will become the status symbol not the Horde winning Chopper. This is a mixed up crazy world in which we live in.


  1. I will note that for the first 6 years of Wow, the Alliance had an Ally-only mount that the Horde had no access to (the Winterspring Frostsaber) with no Horde equivalent at all. (The Horde equivalent questline and mount, the Venomhide Ravasaur, was only added in Cata.) While I agree that Blizz should have treated both factions equally in this case, the Frostsabers do make the "Blizz Hates Alliance" conspiracy theory rather problematic. Though to be honest, I don't think it's really something anyone over the age of 12 should get that worked up about in any case.

    1. think you are somewhat missing the point. I gave up worrying about Pets and Mounts when Blizzard started selling them in Micro-Transactions. These are item that I will never own or particularly care about. The Choppers themselves I could take or leave. What I object to is the manipulation, pseudo competition and Faction cheering that Blizzard have engineered.

      I am not 12 years old and prone to hissy fits, but I am paying customer and would like to be treated fairly. Morhaime in his recent open letter stated, "we take the topic of inclusiveness seriously" and then proceeds to alienate 52% of the player base. (I know this is over-simplication because many people have both Horde and Alliance characters.

      The Winterspring Frostsaber is hardly the shining beacon of Blizzard loves Alliance, by having the worst reputation grind in the game attached to it. How many people do you think had that mount prior to the Venomhide Ravasaur, turn up and get a mount quest, which lead to the change in the Winterspring Frostsaber reputation change?

      I don't mind losing, I just want a fair fight and equal treatment, and that cuts both ways.