I've recently written how the wow community has been on a steady flow downward and that is in part to the recent release of the looking for raid which gives the asshats a captive audience of 24 other players to annoy, grief or just flat out harass.
The game was a much better place, from a community standpoint, before the looking for dungeon. The looking for dungeon seemed to hurt the community some and it was noticeable but the looking for raid took it to a whole new level.
I always blame the community for this type of action, people do not need to act that way, they choose to. By making the choice to, it is their very own fault.
The internet is not a new thing, anyone that has ever been a part of any community online knows exactly how things go. There will always be trouble makers, there will always be drama starters, there will always be the wanna be internet superstar, there will always be people who get their kicks out of insulting others. People under the cover of anonymity, when left to their own devices, are horrible.
This is nothing new, this has been going on since the very first internet community.
I still blame the people, the people have control over their own actions. In my opinion, anyone that acts like an asshat says something about them as a real person in real life. They would say, but I only act like that on the internet and I would reply, just because you are anonymous doesn't change the fact you are still an asshat. Have some self respect.
If anything, I personally believe that anyone that acts like that under the cover of anonymity is worse than someone that would do so in open public with every one knowing them. The reason is, someone willing to act like that in public is willing to take responsibility for their actions making them a million times better as a human being then someone that tries to hide under the cover of the internet.
As someone that has been part of many communities, and has even been a GM of two over the course of the years, I can tell you that warcraft has not yet hit rock bottom, there is still a long way to go before they get there. I can also tell you that warcraft does not need to be as bad as it is. It can still be fixed.
At the moment the inmates are running the asylum and that needs to be stopped.
The difference in all those communities, the good ones and the bad ones, were the moderators. Those communities with active moderators that took no crap are the communities that were good. The ones with little or no moderation were the ones that were bad.
The difference between the two was active moderation. Blizzard does not use active moderation and it is why things have gotten as bad as they have. Blizzard waits for people to report and then they have to look at things, from the past, possibly out of context and try to make a decision on it and whenever they do make a decision they seem to be fearful of taking any forceful action because it might effect their subscriptions.
They let the inmates run the asylum.
What blizzard needs to do is adopt active moderation and actually have the balls to back it up. They need to have people watching trade chat and banning people, not waiting for reports. They need to randomly pop into instances to check on things and ban people when it is needed. They need to be active about it and not wait for reports as their only form of moderation. They need to do something and I do not even mean anything really harsh, but something that shows people will be held responsible for their actions.
People posting [anal] in trade, three day ban from posting in trade. Someone asking what the best raid spec for a hunter is at the moment and having people answer arcane because they think it is funny to troll them, three day ban from posting in trade. People going on rants with insults all over the place in a random, three day ban from using the random system. Someone rolling on something just to trade it later that speaks up in raid and says that is their intention, three week ban from the looking for raid.
If the community they let get out of control starts getting in trouble for their actions, if the anonymity does not protect them from getting punished, in time people will start to behave better because they never know when someone is watching.
That is the benefit for active moderation. If you leave it up to the people to moderate themselves they won't. Just like when you left it up to the people to do the right thing in looking for raid and only roll on things they actually needed they didn't.
The loot system for the looking for raid was perfect as it was. The problem were the people. Blizzard let the people have the power and they need to take it away from the people by using active moderation with actual penalties.
When the bad parts of the community start getting hit with penalties for their actions they will start to wise up and stop being so bad.
Blizzard created a great system with the randoms but they let the inmates run it and it turned into a cesspool, and calling it that is being nice. They should back up their great system with some active moderation. It will fix the problem that they have let get out of control.
The fix will not happen over night, just like the community slowly turned to the crap it is now it will take time to right itself. As anyone that has ever been part of any online community will tell you, the inmates can not fix the problem themselves, they need the some leadership and active moderation is the only way to do it.
I want to see this change before pet battles, I want to see this change before T14, I want to see this change before mists even. Heck, I am even willing to pay an extra 5 bucks each month to see them institute active moderation.
Everyone complains about things being broken in the game but nothing in the game is as broken as the community and it needs to be fixed before anything else because in the end, the best thing warcraft has to offer new players is a good community and right now, it doesn't have one.
One look at trade chat can scare any new player away... unless they are the type that is just like the people that are posting there. Do we really want to scare away everyone except the people that are going to continue to make our community worse?
Stop letting the inmates run the asylum blizzard, institute active moderation now.