Four Intelligent Critiques Of Blizzard

It’s a valuable role for the blogosphere surrounding any subject, from politics to MMOs – to speak truth to power. And today, some of the best-known thinkers in the MMOsphere are giving intelligent, constructive, and accurate critique to Blizzard.

Of course, Blizzard get a lot of things right – as WoW and Diablo 3’s massive popularity show. But that’s not to say there aren’t some things they could be doing better:

  • Anne Stickney at WoW Insider tackles the problem of female characters in WoW, and doesn’t pull her punches as she demonstrates how few independent, interesting characters are currently active in WoW lore“it’s not that women don’t exist in the Warcraft universe — they’re all over the place, honestly. It’s that there is only a handful worth of them that have enough character development and story to warrant dedicating a column to them.”
  • Bravetank didn’t intend her post to be a critique, I think, but her description of the ennui she’s feeling at max level is both interesting and telling“So what should I do then? Just grit my teeth & get on with it? But I can’t!!! (I’m saying this in the whiniest tone imaginable by the way.) Surely gritting my teeth is not what this game is about? Surely that’s not what I pay good money for?”
  • Chris at Game By Night writes in passionate opposition to Blizzard’s (since repealed) 72-hour quarantine for new Diablo players“It is morally dubious for a company to take your money for a full product — as the $60 price point would imply — and then give you something less and limited. “
  • And Kurn writes a really interesting, thoughtful post looking at the ways in which the WoW playerbase is not given access to good information on how to play their game“Our poor mage friend, whose sad, sad armory started this two-thousand word post, might not be such a tragic, ignorant soul, if only Blizzard had bothered to tell him that he doesn’t need spirit. Yet, they don’t tell him that. They don’t even tell him he needs hit rating (although the hit chance/miss chance table is certainly a step in the right direction).”

AS a guide writer, I couldn’t agree more with Kurn. The fact that our guides are so popular is a testament to just how much of WoW’s basic system of mechanics isn’t clearly explained. Indeed, the commentary on our paladin tank caps article alone – where many, many players thank us profusely for explaining how a vital part of the game works – makes me wonder why Blizzard want WoW’s basic mechanics to be so obfuscated.

Do you think these criticisms of Blizzard are fair?