Thursday, May 19, 2022

It's About Time

You'd think that the sky was falling given the wailing and gnashing of teeth in some parts of the WoW-verse.

But no, it's the upcoming implementation of a Social Contract into Retail WoW with the upcoming 9.2.5 patch.

In case you're wondering, the Social Contract boils down to Wheaton's Law: Don't Be a Dick.

Or maybe the Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

Now, we're not talking about anything resembling a "no ganking" rule; after all, that's pretty much part and parcel with a PvP server's activities. We're talking about answering questions in chat rather than saying "Go to WoWHead noob lol", or if someone asks for help and you're available, go help out. Or if you're in an instance with people, play as a team rather than being an ass and doing things like Mage pulling. Things that are pretty basic as part of an unspoken social contract in our real lives. 


But for pete's sake, you'd think that Blizzard was asking people to be placed in shackles and shipped out to Siberia. 

For example, I can sling curses with the best of them, having learned how to cuss from my grandfather the WW2 vet.* But that doesn't mean that I should just let f-bombs fly whenever I feel like it online, because I'm in a public space and that behavior isn't always acceptable there. I'm not perfect, and I do let them fly from time to time --even when I'm around my mother, who most definitely does not approve-- but I do try to accommodate people.

It's not that hard.

But apparently the right to be an asshole is what most people are concerned about, as if that was the sole reason why a certain part of the player base plays MMOs. 


The real question that everyone likely has, what sort of enforcement this Social Contract will receive, is the one that nobody except Blizzard knows. Even Blizz probably doesn't know how that will shake out either, like whether it means Blizz will go harder against offensive player names or will more frequently intervene in Trade/LFG Chat, but one could hope that some of the more egregious crap out there would be thrown the ban hammer.  

But for every person loudly stating that they were now leaving the game because of this (relatively minor) attempt at enforcing some basic standards of decency, I have two words: good riddance. If abusing people got you off, then WoW doesn't need you. To be honest, society doesn't really need you, either. Go hang out in League or something, where people get away with that behavior without consequence.

*I also learned a lot of racist language from him too, which still saddens me to this day. My grandfather was a complex man, but he was also a huge racist. My parents tried their best to raise me without racism, but I recognize that I can always do better. Therefore, with the mini-Reds I made the decision to make sure they were better than me at being anti-racist (and other biases). I explained this to each of them as they reached adulthood, and I told them that I knew I wasn't as good as I should be, but I wanted to make sure the next generation was better still.


  1. Given the mainstream blogging content out there, it's hard to imagine that anybody has a worse reputation than WoW for toxicity. But I guess LoL gets the No-Prize.

    Ya know, I don't really care of people are nice and helpful and all, I would be just fine if they kept their mouths shut and moved on instead of going out of their way to be jerks.

    1. It's the "going out of their way" part that really sticks in my craw. If they just ignored people, I'd not be surprised but at least it would be better than being actually toxic.

  2. Wow, I knew I was out of the Blizzard loop but I am WAY farther than I thought. Yeah, I'm fine with being totally ignored but purposefully obnoxious? Who raised these people, jeez. Well I hope it does something, however small.

  3. Things really are worse than I thought if clicking "OK" on a prompt that basically asks you to "be nice" causes outrage among players nowadays. "Right to be an asshole" indeed.

    1. I think it's the "outrage brigade" that generates that sort of reaction. It's totally an "all or nothing" approach, with absolutely no understanding of how shades of gray work. It's like talking to a toddler, only toddlers tend to have better arguments than this crowd does.

      All I can think of is that I certainly feel bad for people who happen to be married to members of this crowd. Can you imagine having any sort of discussion with them about a family matter? "My way or the highway" gets old real fast.