Hey guys. I don't normally make posts like this, but the topic has been bothering me so here's my take on it.
First of all; chill out. It doesn't matter what anyone on Reddit or Twitter or any other public internet platform says. SC2 isn't going anywhere any time soon. There's lots of reasons why, but they've nearly all been said already and if you haven't believed any of them yet, hearing them from me won't change your mind. In the end you'll just have to trust me and wait for time to prove it.
Obviously all this drama is born from passion for our game, which is great! I'm happy to see so many people being vocal about the issue. There are a few things that worry me though that I hope people consider.
One of the biggest dangers in all of this is that we poison our ability to like Heart of the Swarm no matter how it's released. From the look of Reddit and TL, etc lately it gives me the impression that some people aren't even ready to give the game a chance at this point. If that's true, that's sad.
A lot of pros are very vocal about their dislike of HotS and that's fine. Blizzard should listen to their concerns. The problem is the way that it's being approached. You can be critical without proclaiming the end-times. The majority of the criticism I see right now is "If you don't do X then the game is screwed" instead of "If you do X, it will improve the game by Y". The first method scares away people and makes the community look immature. Everyone learns fairly early on in school as a child that positive criticism is nearly always better than negative criticism. That philosophy only becomes more important in the real world. Blizzard has opened itself up to more community influence than nearly any other developer has before and if you really want to participate in a meaningful way in this relationship you should try to be professional about it and at the very least mature. Doom and gloom on Reddit and Twitter hashtag barrages really don't have any positive effect. In fact they have exactly the opposite. We want to appear concerned and informed, not whiny and entitled.
But Doa, aren't those people making good points and saying things that Blizzard needs to hear?
Of course they are, but it's not about the content of the post or Tweet. It's about how it's presented. Let's take a second and read one of the oldest examples of why this is the case. From "The Fables of Æsop"
(link to where I blatantly ripped this off from: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0298.html )
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said, "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin."
So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair.
Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.
Obviously this is one of the most overused fables ever, but the point remains relevant. Basically if you want to influence someone then [i[usually[/i] most effective way to do it is with kindness. In the case of SC2 Blizzard already knows the risks they face in their game succeeding or failing. We don't need to convince them to want their own game to succeed. So instead of focusing on worst-case scenarios, why not take time to make detailed, logical, and calm posts about the game. There are definitely some good examples of this out there, but not nearly enough and not as many as there are overly-negative posts. Let's change that.
In the end if we want new people to come into this game as fans then we can't afford to have all this negativity about our scene displayed so prominently on our biggest media outlets. To a certain extent we're our own PR department and it's vitally important that we don't scare away that one fan that might bring in his friends, who bring in their friends, etc or that one fan that ends up being a wealthy individual who decides that they want to invest in esports. Equally important is that one fan who randomly comes to TL or Reddit and simply decides that they like watching Starcraft.
So please, by all means, keep talking about HotS! Keep telling Blizzard what we want, but let's do it in the most effective way and make sure we're not accidentally hurting ourselves more than we're helping.
Yes, if we just maintain a positive attitude, we can forget that viewership for SC2 is down 50-60%. We can forget that games that we'd never even heard of before are now 10x larger than what we all thought was the "flagship e-sports" game. If we stop being so darned negative on online forums and just use the channels of communication Blizzard already has open, we can forget that for 3 years we've been without name changes, LAN, or a decent custom game interface.
These are all valid concerns as I did allude to in my blog. Nobody is telling you to forget any problems the game has. I didn't.
Also it's not reasonable that we should expect any single game to be dominant forever. Just because it has the capacity to or has been previously doesn't mean it will continue to be dominant or even deserves to be. Brood War was as popular as it was for so long because it was a great game and nobody could topple it. Not many games or companies really tried as esports wasn't as important to developers back then. Starcraft 2 is my favorite game by far and has obviously succeeded over the last two years in being the "flagship game" that's lead us into a new age of esports. That's great! It's not logical though to think that Starcraft 2 is entitled in any way to keep this title. That's going to be mostly on Blizzard. We can only influence it so much ourselves. If prominent community members and progamers only talk about how bad everything is then it certainly won't be dominant again. That's a sure thing.
Don't worry, bros, our passion will carry all of us into success! In 2 years when Tasteless is casting LoL fulltime, the MLG finals are getting 15k viewers and the foreign scene is dominating the Korean scene because every Korean has switched to LoL, we'll all know that our game is the bestest and we're all positive rainbows unicorns yeah!
Again you use sarcasm to try to prove a point through appealing to raw emotion instead of logic. Humor is another method you like to use. It's entertaining, but also distracting in a serious conversation. You make fun of the passion of the community (or maybe my passion. not sure), but an appeal to pure emotion and passion is more or less what the rhetoric (i.e. the part of what you say that tries to influence someone's opinion) of your posting usually consists of. This last paragraph is a great example of that in fact. You try to scare fans with the supposed loss of Tasteless to LoL. You don't know him personally and don't know what his plans are so why make those predictions other than to stir people up and simply get them to blindly agree with you? Any real esports commentator is going to do multiple games anyway. Sometimes even at the same time, believe it or not. You include yet another "doomsday" scenario at the end as well. This type of thing doesn't help anyone. As passionate or emotional as we might feel about Starcraft 2, this is a time for calm, rational discussion because that's what will work the best. Being negative causes stress, which in turn can impede rational thought. I can't speak for you, but that's not a condition I want to be in when I'm trying to help the game I like. It's counterproductive and that's really the main point of a lot of this blog: helping Starcraft in the most effective way possible while not undermining your own love for the game.
I'll say this again because I feel it's important. I think you make a lot of great points about the game, but the way you make them isn't productive and frankly it's harmful at times. It's your style to be edgy and sarcastic, but you've actually got a lot of influence and you should be careful about how you use it if you really do want the game to do well.