Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Breaking News; Trolls No Longer Content With Bridges And Caves.

Passion, it has always been both powerful in it's motivation as it is terrifying in how it affects some of us. For example, with the valiant efforts being attempted towards #dndnext, it has also brought with it something terrible. Trolls. And unlike the creatures of folklore these seem less than content to remain under their bridges or caves. Granted, this is all to be expected, and if such individuals were to remain under their respective locales and only confront those miss-fortunate passerby's it could be written off as understandable. But instead, what we find is a collective of agitated trolls who have left their haunts to stalk about and stir up any form of confrontation possible.

Common sense might demand a simple placement of an adage much like one at any zoo or wildlife park; 'Don't feed the trolls.' With such advice we could just smile, nod, and go on our merry way. The problem with this is that the professed cause isn't the cause. Supposedly, most of these trolls are citing issues with the playtest material, claiming various design elements flawed or ill-suited to them. To be fair, this is a playtest and Wizards did ask for our feedback to help ensure the best possible game they could deliver. However, like agitated piranha these folks aren't simply content to provide legitimate feedback - not even fair criticism. Instead they seem driven to feverishly shred every possibly positive notion they come across.

I've been excitedly following the topic of #dndnext since the open playtest was released in hopes of seeing other people's thoughts and reactions. I've even tried to refrain as often as I could from being dragged into heated debates over the issue. But unfortunately, like a well known bridge I have found myself often facing a troll as I strive to move on to greener meadows. Even negative feedback can be helpful, I can appreciate that from a design standpoint. But actively going out of your way to attack and provoke aggressive verbal exchanges over a subject does little more than to poison the overall topic. Weather this is a goal for some or not I can't say. What I can say is that with each passing day the more floods of negative commentary that continues to tear down any attempt at working towards an improved version of the game only drives me to believe that some people can never be happy. And as such make me question weather or not any open discussion is even possible.

Even if you strive not to engage these trolls, or feed them as it were, you can't ignore them without fearing for the future of the game. Because these voices, these loud negative voices are speaking about a topic that is being shaped by everyone who chooses to talk about it. And no matter how one sided or flawed their arguments might be they are being heard as we all have a right to be. If you like what your seeing you have a right to say so, just as much as if you don't. But with that that said you must also remember you don't have the right to relentlessly assault every opinion anyone else has. Say your piece in the playtest feedback if you want to shape the game's future. But, please, don't discount the process and tear it down without taking part.

It's one thing to enter into a discussion with someone on a topic, to listen to their views and then politely explain your own. Quite another to discount everything others say and claim to be victimized/ignored. Nonstop negative barking isn't helping your case, even though I know it will continue to go on; if for no other reason than that it disrupts things and feeds some peoples need for any form of attention. The playtest is what it is, a playtest to test out how the early parts of the game are when played. To expect more than that or to assume anything beyond what is presented is ludicrous and pointless. If you'd like to approach the issue with respect and an open mind I'd be glad to hear what you have to say. But please, don't presume to expect me to set here any further and allow tolls to run a muck like a mob while they demand my attention.

You want respect? You want attention or to be taken seriously? Then please, try to approach the issue with at least some degree of maturity or decency. And if you cannot, if all you can do is spout forth an endless streaming rant of negativity then return beneath your bridge now and kindly await some other ears. Cause mine will be otherwise engaged.