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Blizzard Integrity - An Oxymoron?
Let me give you some rough dates and facts, so you can see where I am coming from with this.
Blizzard released Warcraft 2 Battle Net Edition (War2BNE), in September of 1999. About one month into the first ironman ladder season, players realized that they were getting the same starting spots, on the same maps, each time. It was quickly figured out that any games played as an ironman game, were set to fixed-order as default. About one and a half months into this first season, Myself, along with many others players, emailed support, telling them of this problem. I did not get an email back, so a couple of days later I went into the live Tech Support found online. Here I was told that they were aware of this, and that a patch was already being worked on.
I won Ironman season 1 with every game I played being on fixed order. I didn't play at the start of season 2 hoping that the problem would soon be fixed. I thought to myself that the patch would be coming out pretty quick. There wasn't much code that needed to be changed, and should be as easy as fixing one line of code. By not playing, I was soon passed by other players who remained active under this 'fixed-order' ladder. By the last week of season 2, there was still no patch, and I was again forced to defend my title on a fixed order ladder. Absolutely pathetic.
A ladder season is 3 months in length, which means, War2 BNE's life was now into its 7th month. Again I went to life Tech Support online and was told that patches were being worked on. Around this time, hacking was becoming immensely popular with players, making it difficult to get a pick up game without having at least 1 hacker involved. By this third Ironman season, I was completely fed up and refused to defend my title. More hacks were released, and Battle Net was being reduced to utter garbage, figuratively speaking of course. I let season 3 slide, and lost the ironman title willingly.
During second half of season 4, I went to Tech Support again, and was told that the patch was still being worked on (of course). I took a screenshot and posted this to clan 24-7's page, hoping that there was some form of honesty in what I was told. In 12 days, season 4 is going to end. I have not played a ladder game for 2 seasons, and still refuse to do so. Hacks are worse than ever, and there is still no sign of a patch.
Now this points to some obvious conclusions. First of all, I have been lied to at least twice, and probably many more times
than that. If there was actually a patch that was being worked on the first time I talked to Tech Support, than it would
of been completed long ago. If they hired me in September of 1999, and I had to learn C and C++ from scratch, I
could of wrote a patch by myself by now. Also, I believe that either
a) Blizzard Support Reps do not actually get told all the information they need to know about patches, updates, or even ladder season prizes.
b) They have been told to lie knowingly in order to appeal to the masses.
So what does this do for Blizzard? To me, it seems like they had to make the choice of integrity or innocent lieing to keep the consumer happy. They chose the latter. I can see where they are coming from with such a huge fan-base. If they told us openly that they had no plans for a patch in the near future, we would of been enraged. Enraged players and an online multi-player game don't mix to well, I know that.
But what does this to for Blizzard now? The problem with lieing, is that eventually people will figure it out. We have all been lied to about these patches numerous times, and it makes me question their integrity. This can be very dangerous. We all know that they will never release a new game on the date they say. Because of experience we have had with release dates from Blizzard we know they will always push them back. I can handle this though, they do make some quality games and they are better when they aren't rushed. But lieing to me has done it. I really question what, if any integrity Blizzard Entertainment has. I believe that the people I talked to KNEW that there was no patch, and KNEW that they would have to lie continuously to players.
As of this writing, there is still no sign of any War2BNE patch. I am doubtful that there is being one worked on currently, but I am also always hoping that there is. Lieing has caught up to them, and really makes me question what Blizzard is thinking.
I hope some big, head, executive, top Blizzard Entertainment guy gets down this far to read this paragraph.
Fact: Blizzard will always be making huge online games with HUGE amounts of players. This is where their success has been and this is where it will continue to be. The drawback is when you do make popular games, there will always be diehard players who continue to play it for years to come. Right now they have DIablo 1, Warcraft 2, Starcraft (and expansions), and Diablo 2. This means that they need the staff and resources, to manage all of these games. In the future they will need even more. Warcraft 3 is going to have a bigger following than Diablo 2 had. If they don't increase the number of employees, or get some sort of resource working on the older games, then they will continue to piss off alot of players, and fans.
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