Slightly different Call to Action

For a number of reasons – which I will discuss in this post, in a bit – I “twitched” at the current call for action on behalf of Aetherial Circle’s Lamaa. That said, buried within the call is one I’ve made before, which I’ve made directly to them more than once, which would help them, and which I still feel needs made.

Blizzard, please make your Account Administration office available 24/7. Of all the complaints and pleas, those to this department are about the MONEY. Tech support is more or less timely, and tends to be in game. But this is where we go when something is wrong with our WHOLE ABILITY TO PLAY. You serve a global customer base, please SERVE that customer base.

In this, I’m fully supportive of AC, both whole and sum.

So… why didn’t I just offer that support in the previous thread? Outside complications and experiences, of which I’m about to ramble.  Oh – and if you follow all the way, you’ll even see me tie this to WoW again.

I’d like to begin with my personal view of evil. None of this IS evil, but there are tendencies… The root of all evil, contrary to the Bible, is power. And power lies at least tangentially near every evil committed. It may be willful, or unthinking – or even the withholding thereof. But power misused results in evil. Please keep that in mind while I make another apparent digression/non-sequitor. I’ll try to tie it all together, so bear with me.

While I was in the army, I saw an officer rate (evaluate) several officers. And I noticed a disturbing tendency. He tended to rate the ones “like him” the best – regardless of (my opinion of) their performance. As I wasn’t one of the officers being rated, I had a bit of freedom from bias in this case, but it’s still my opinion. Anyway, there was an incident that allows a tale to depend, but details must be vague. Basically, there were two young officers who committed EXACTLY identical offenses – not criminal, but operable. One of these officers received a letter of reprimand which was referenced in the evaluation – yes, it sunk him. The other was given a “go and sin no more” verbal wristslap. I should note that when I say identical, I mean it – they were accomplices.

On the other hand.

The job I used to pay for college was moving furniture – packing, loading, unloading and unpacking. I got that job because my widowed aunt’s husband used to work for the company, and she went to the people in charge and said, basically, “My nephew needs a summer job. Give him one.” (Moving companies like summer workers. Most moves are in the summer, the labor is needed then, but they don’t have to pay wages and benefits over the slack period.) Because of her I got a job for which there were many applicants – and NOBODY knows who was better qualified.

On the other hand…

I have a relative who committed a felony. His father went to the judge and did the secret club handshake, and the relative got off with a stern warning. The judge sent several people to prison for the same (well, similar) offense who did NOT have fathers who knew the secret club handshake. (for the record, the sentence time would have everyone out as of a couple of decades or more ago. And this is hearsay from the relative and the father, not the judge. Still…)

The incident in the army – and others of similar sort – began to shift my views. Before, “it’s family, you always help family – and friends, of course.” There were intervening incidents as well. And then, I went to prison. No, not that way – I went to work in a prison.

Where some of these guys got wildly different sentences for the same crime and similar circumstances, and knew plenty of folk who’d walked. And I discovered, because of this, the reason for this word “equitability”.

On the direct, selfish side, we were required to be EQUITABLE in treatment because the law required it. If we bent a rule for someone, we had to bend the rule for everyone. If we did it and didn’t tell, it could and would be used against us. (The word is blackmail.) Even if it didn’t, it built resentment among those who got the short end of the stick. And in a prison, resentment is bad. It leads to ugliness – increased misbehavior, stabbings, and even rioting. I became almost religious about this principle of equitability.

I’ve been away from that job for almost a decade, and I STILL see the advantage. I lost out on some plum opportunities because I got the short end of the stick. The person in charge of deciding who got some of them was a long-time friend of the person who DID get them. It… stung. A lot.

Am I rigid about it? No, and that may be hypocritical, or it may be human, or maybe a bit of both with other things rolled in as well. I’ll note that I still use a specific test when I do bend a rule. If I had to sit in court or a lawsuit, could I justify this a more than, “I like this person, and I don’t like or know that person?” Specifically, is it a reason I could apply in the future which had a fair chance of being valid for other people yet unknown? If yes, I could bend. If not… no.

One of power’s evil aspects is idle whimsy that puts some above others for no more reason that convenience to the power. Part of the seductive evil of such abuse is the unawareness with which we perform it. Burke missed, slightly. It’s not, “The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.” Instead, it’s that good men to pay no mind – to fail to watch.

I do go overboard on this compared to many. Consider it, if you will, a character flaw.  On the other hand, how many guilds have you seen ruined because loot distribution favored friends – or was, at least, perceived as such?  It’s just another aspect of the same thing.

Thanks for reading.  Now go have some fun.

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~ by Kirk on May 22, 2008.

4 Responses to “Slightly different Call to Action”

  1. Hi,
    I usually just lurk in the shadows when reading WoW related blogs and never comment. This time however, i felt i should post a comment in agreement with your sentiment.
    If i read the sentiment correctly (and correct me if i am mistaken) but the whole “crusade” by the “blogginest” guild in WoW does seem predicated on the absolute and unquestioning faith on the victim.
    I absolutely agree with their demand for Blizzard support to be more responsive. What i do not agree with, however, is the implication, in most of the posts, is the belief that Blizzard is/was more in the wrong than Lamaa.

    I do not know much about Glider, i have not read the TOS in its entirety and i certainly cannot comment on Blizzard’s ability to know for sure if a person “botted” or not. But what i can say is that there certainly was an attempt to download the program. Perhaps (and i plead partial ignorance on this subject)Blizzard doesnt really have a way of knowing whether that bot was used ot not. In that scenario, equality would dictate that all such persons should be banned. Something like if there is suspicion of cheating in an exam and no way of knowing who did and who did not – there is no other equitable way other than cancelling the exam. The blogginest guild in WoW clearly refuses to give Blizzard any benefit of doubt.
    To summarize, i agree with their call for Blizzard to be more responsive. I disagree with the hamhanded way of expressing it.

    Regards,

  2. twentyseventh – one subtle point that you raise and to which I may have contributed.

    Downloading a bot program will not violate ToS. Running it on WoW will violate ToS. Running it on something else simultaneous with running WoW is indistinguishable from running it on WoW from any practical point of view. The difference can be subtle, and is one of those gotchas reality has for us all.

    I strongly suspect that IF Blizzard used credit card numbers from Glider to match against their client credit card numbers, that that alone was not the sole test. I would suspect they used those to concentrate on certain clients for extra evaluation of the warden traces.

    But all that is suspicion, not known fact.

  3. Well, you spoke a lot on my blog today, and now I get to return the favor. :)

    You are one of the smartest people I think I know, and I respect your viewpoints a great deal.

    I think I see what you’re saying, and I think I agree. You can be the judge of my own viewpoint by reading the post I put up on my blog when I finally saw TJ’s post about Lamaa around 3:30 Eastern time.

    I guess I misunderstood TJ’s call to arms. I thought she was asking us as bloggers to be vocal about how we each felt about the Glider ban situation as it applies to the innocent who may be caught in the net.

    that’s what i got from it, and that’s where I was coming from when I wrote my post.

    Like you, I’m not going to automatically assume anyone is innocent just because they say so, and because people who are friends of mine believe they are.

    But I absolutely feel that, if Blizzard is going to take a sweeping action that affects a large part of the user base, that it is incumbent upon them to have a professional, well administered and well advertised method of notifying them if a player feels a mistake has been made, and a process of timely feedback on the status of a problem.

  4. Bear, well phrased response. As I said above, that’s a legit point, it’s just the rest of what TJ said (unfortunately) hit one of my hot spots.

    One side being wrong doesn’t make the other right.

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