Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WoW Faction Changes: Blizzard Lied

There are many complex and convoluted means by which one can refute another's position. The simplest refutation, however, is found in what Aristotle called "the firmest principle"; the principle of non-contradiction. Aristotle wrote in Metaphysics 1005b, 20: "Let us next say what this principle is: that it is impossible for the same thing both to belong and not to belong at the same time to the same thing and in the same respect." Aristotle wrote further that "it is impossible for anyone to suppose that the same thing is and is not"; "it is impossible for contradictories to belong at the same time to the same thing". The firmest principle is non-contradiction; the most foundational concept in reasoning is non-contradiction.

So, of course, I thought of Aristotle when I read this on Blizzard's World of Warcraft Forums:

06/29/2009 01:58:43 PM PDT by Nethaera

We wanted to give everyone a very early heads-up that, in response to player requests, we’re developing a new service for World of Warcraft that will allow players to change their faction from Alliance to Horde or Horde to Alliance. There’s still much work to do and many details to iron out, but the basic idea is that players will be able to use the service to transform an existing character into a roughly equivalent character of the opposing faction on the same realm. Players who ended up creating and leveling up characters on the opposite factions from their friends have been asking for this type of functionality for some time, and we’re pleased to be getting closer to being able to deliver it.

Blizzard is poised to add Faction Changes to World of Warcraft. But in the past Blizzard has cast this aside as a future possibility, a "maybe" on the WoW horizon that was unlikely yet not impossible. So I started to wonder about what Blizzard's past positions were on Faction changes. And then the quote miner in me got out his little lantern hat...

06/08/2009 09:26:08 PM PDT by Crygil:
Why no race changes? It seems like a reasonable question. I mean, we allow character re-customization where you can change your sex, right? We sure do, but we have good reasons for not supporting race changes, at this point in time.

Here are just a few of the reasons:

1) Critical Mass: People may decided that any given class/race combo is superior to other combination of that same class. Or people may decide that any given race is no longer worth sticking with due to some change we make to some racial abilities. This naturally leads to flavor of the month races. This is something we want to avoid.

2) Race Restrictions: All races are given a certain set of restrictions for both lore and balance purposes. There would be some serious investment involved in making certain that this system didn't allow any exploitation of that system.

3) Future Content: Things change, some would say the only thing that stays the same is change and that is certainly true for World of Warcraft. If we allowed race changes it could negatively/adversely impact things we haven't even thought of yet.

That said, it's not in the cards right now. Maybe someday we'll reverse our opinion on this, but it's likely to be a while.

21 days ago Crygil posted that race changes were "not in the cards right now" and that it might happen "someday". So, apparently, "someday" at Blizzard means "in 21 days". Still, though, "not in the cards right now" does not mean "never". And this is just race changes. Faction changes are arguably different than race changes. But has a blue post ever directly addressed faction changes?

29/05/2009 10:44:32 PDT by Xemafir:
I'm afraid changing class or faction isn't possible at this time; only cosmetic features which affect a character's visual appearance can be modified

A sensible reply. Changing factions was not possible at that time. No promises were made about the future, no unqualified statements made a claim limiting future action. So, surely, Blizzard, when addressing Faction Changes, always maintained an open-mind and allowed for the possibility that one day it might be possible. Of course no one, ever, made a blue post stating that Faction changes would never happen. That would be lunacy and indicate self-contradiction! Of course this would not happen.

29/04/2008 00:50:35 PDT by Slorkuz:

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Q u o t e:
i like it Now you got Changes names by why not thinking about change factions i have 2 acounts but i pay to much and other stuff and i like alliance before i play alliance i was a horde player i was a lvl 70 undead mage and now i like the alliance but i dont whant to start all over again with a mage i like mage so much but i dont whant to make a new mage why not think about Change Factions you can now change names so Why NoT

Thanks For reading this thanks Titeni
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This is not going to happen.

Sure, it was about a year ago. Sure, Slorkuz made the post. Yes, it was on the European forums. But it was a Blue Post on Blizzard's official forums.

And I fucking know what "NOT GOING TO HAPPEN" means.

I realize that this is quote mining and forum lawyering. I recognize that pedantry is frowned upon and one guy, one time, saying "this is not going to happen" hardly carries any weight at Blizzard.

But I think this indicates the manner by which one needs to understand the relation game developers have to their customers and the degree to which reliable information is freely shared. People change their minds; companies change their minds. And while lines may be drawn in the sand even the lightest breeze will erase them from memory.

So, first of all, never get into a forum argument with a quote miner and a pedant. Second of all, never, in gaming arguments, make appeals to authority by citing a company's previous statements on a particular issue. Because a company's previous statements do not mean a god damned thing if the wind changes, their opinions shift, and the faint smell of cash leads them to run amuck over their own previous statements and any semblance of respect they might have ever held for Aristotle.

6 comments:

_J_ said...

That's right. I spent about 2 hours combing through WoW forums to find solid, objective, verifiable proof that Blizzard Entertainment changes its mind sometimes.

Caleb said...

...but only slighly less-well known is this: Never get into a forum argument with a quote miner and a pedant. HA ha ha-ha-ha-ha ha-ha ha h---.

_J_ said...

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAAHAHAH

kaw

Anonymous said...

I like your idea. I suggest to take out for the general discussion.

Anonymous said...

Good business!

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