Thursday, March 30, 2017

Arrogance Will Be Your Undoing

You may not be able to avoid failure forever, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't avoid all that you can. The idea that you're so above it all that you can't possibly screw it up is hubris, and the most common form of hubris is arrogance. Avoid this flaw for it will destroy you if left unchecked.

Yesterday I did a bit of ranting on one of the errors the development team for World of Warcraft made when launching the new patch, v7.2, which was to further their scheme of content scaling. Beyond scaling all outdoor content for your character's level, it now scales according to your character's equipment (measured by Item Level). At launch, this scaling for gear buffed the Hit Points and Damage of all outdoor NPCs in all of the Legion zones; as of this post, the HP scaling is reduced and the damage element is eliminated, but that the scaling exists at all--and that the devs are doubling-down on it--demonstrates that their years-long arrogance remains the reason for many of their own failures.

Arrogance is blinding; you stop thinking reasonably, stop being open to data that contradicts your positions, and assume without proof or even preponderance of evidence that you know more than others in a manner akin to Lucifer gainsaying God before the former's Fall. You refuse to comprehend that what you think is so about the thing isn't true, and you refuse to listen to those who actually use the thing. Wisdom, reason, evidence- all dismissed because you're deluded. Accordingly, you refuse to take precautions that could--and often would--prevent a failure from occurring at all. When called on it, the ego kicks in and--like a SocJus Death Cultist--you're going to lie, double-down, and project instead of fixing the error. Why? To preserve your ego-born heresy of superiority.

This is not the first time the dev team's arrogance created a preventable problem; last expansion their arrogance lead to the entire debacle involving player-control flight and the half-assed concession that was the Draenor Pathfinder achievement. (Which they doubled-down upon for Legion by breaking it into two parts.) Now they're refusing to do the smart thing and just kill the scaling mechanic entirely in favor of a half-assed compromise that will just be the camel's nose in the tent yet again to further stupidity.

Other arrogance-born stupidity includes: messing up the gearing system entirely(When a lower-level piece of loot is better for your character because it has ideal stats and the higher-level one does not, you goofed so hard Jar-Jar thinks you're stupid.); RNG-based procs for looted/awarded gear that can push its level to the cap, making loot a crap shoot (undermining endgame progression entirely); gear power progression NOT making endgame content significantly easier (e.g. gear dropping in the Nighthold not making it easier to DO the Nighthold) which ALSO undermines the endgame entirely; and tying power progression to a consumable item used to power up your weapons (Artifact Power, used to power up Artifact weapons; everything drops it, and more AP is more power, so farming it to stay competitive is required).

These examples of self-inflicted errors show how arrogance can significantly harm your own efforts, errors that never had to happen had the devs just listened to the feedback that players testing the systems provided well before they went live- and had they never even bothered pushing things that were neither clamored for (as the gear scaling thing was NOT) nor mission-critical to fix (this is the flight error; nothing wrong here, other than some bruised dev egos being petty) then World of Warcraft would be in a far superior position today than it is now.

And, for all that they've improved since the disaster (pun intended) of Cataclysm, their institutional arrogance continues to hamper their business and give their competitors (Few and weak as they are; Final Fantasy XIV is the only real option now.) room to maneuver that they otherwise would not have. Since they don't listen to their users, then it becomes necessary for users to find the voices that they will heed and get them to intercede for them- or watch their arrogance consume them utterly, taking the game (and maybe the company) with it.

Again, observe and learn from others' experiences. What is the lesson here? Stay humble!

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