How WoW Classic became a ‘hellscape of instrumental practices’

This is shameful even by your standards.

Are other people jerks when they decry your poor World of Warcraft performance, or is it your fault? That’s the general topic being taken on in a recent video essay from Dan Olson’s YouTube channel Folding Ideas, which readers might recall was the creator of a documentary about NFTs. This time, his newest video addresses the way number crunching in WoW – specifically WoW Classic – has steered the game away from fun, or as a quote from the video’s opening notes, how the community took “a virtual world and turned it back into a database.”

The video takes some deep dives into theoretical territory as it references Iser’s theory of instrumental play, considers the impact of threat meters and other add-ons, and described how certain guilds propagate the demand for number crunching and optimized performance.

The bigger piece is the chapter about WoW Classic and how it became “a hellscape of instrumental practices,” with references to the hardcore purist mindset and the idea that raid completion should be an achievement earned by the very best of the best, as the Classic playerbase forces everyone else to adopt the “right” practices and clear content “perfectly.”

The video runs about an hour and a half, but it’s an interesting dissemination of the game, the players, and the behaviors around it, even if some of the arguments might cause some rankling discussion.

source: Folding Ideas YouTube, thanks to Bruno for the tip!
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