10 May 2017

trysdyn: (Default)
This is more a rant than anything. I started to spew it on Twitter but when I realized it'd span a ton of tweets, well...

In recent years I've begrudgingly accepted the online-only nature of Blizzard titles but something I'll never get past is their social network. For those who haven't touched a Blizzard title since about 2008: being logged into any Blizzard title they don't call a "Classic" involves being logged into the battle.net social network. You appear online to your friends, you can be messaged or invited to parties. That's pretty cool. What's not cool is your status options: you can be available, or flagged busy. There is no offline, there is no invisible. For varying definitions depending on the title, if you're in a game, you're visible to your friends list. Period.

Some days I just want to sink into a game for an hour or two and keep my social stuff off in another window. That's how I enjoy gaming, and I'm by far not an unusual case. So it's frustrating to be forced to announce to my friends list that I'm playing a specific game. More often that not that is immediately followed by someone else (or many someones) logging in and sending party requests. Requests I feel obligated to accept or I'll be forced into a long awkward conversation instead of gaming anyway. Sometimes the people asking to join don't want to do what I want to do; more awkward conversations.

So solutions? Don't add anyone to my friends list? No can do, or I can't party with them when I DO want to. You have to add before you can send invites. Set myself busy? That just moves the long awkward conversation to another medium like Discord or IM. Tell every person sending me an invite I'm not interested? Why should I have to do that? Tell people that busy = don't contact me? Why should I place the burden of remembering that, or playing guessing games about my status, on them when this could be fixed with a simple toggle?

I know the answer to why this is: Blizzard wants to use the friend list system as advertisement. "Oh four of my friends are playing WoW, maybe I should dust off my sub"... They lose some of that if people can go invisible. Still, on the other side of the sword, I've literally wanted to play a game and held off because I didn't have the spoons to deal with the social aspects that would be forced on me by the lack of invis option. It's frustrating.

I guess all in all it feels like my comfort in using their products doesn't matter. I know it doesn't but usually companies don't go out of their way to make me FEEL that way, you know?