World of Warcraft weathers roleplay and silencing controversies
The first is the studio’s decision to create multiple instances of city hubs on roleplay servers, effectively dividing up the community that congregates in those areas for socialization.
“As a player on Wyrmrest Accord, we’ve always appreciated being exempt from major city cross-realm phasing for the sake of roleplaying,” wrote one player. “Today’s patch reverted that exemption and this is hopefully a bug. If it is not, this change will destroy our server’s thriving RP community, and prevent us from finding partners, both new and on our friend’s list, without joining a group.”
The second concerns the new silence penalty that is being handed out for alleged offensive chatter. There have been concerns among the community that despite claims from Blizzard to personally investigate reports before taking action, the system has been automated to automatically silence any player who receives multiple reports. If true, this could lead to abuse by the community looking to grief others.
Two high-profile World of Warcraft players have already suffered silence bans for supposedly innocuous behavior: YouTuber Asmongold (who had fellow players report him for saying “I love WoW!” to test the system) and #FriendshipMoose leader Zelse.
“It proves that the Silence Penalty is not done ‘after investigation’ like Blizzard told us that it would be,” Asmongold wrote. “It also proves that a group of people can apply that penalty to a random player, regardless of what they say.”