November 4, 2013 by Tim

Oh Valve fans. You aren’t a dull bunch, that’s for sure.

For those that don’t play DOTA2, last year Valve started a halloween event (pretty normal for a lot of persistent online games these days) called Diretide. Apparently it looked like it would be a yearly thing, but this halloween has come and gone with no sign of the event. The game’s fans were… disappointed.

Now, right up until this point, I’ll happily side with the fanbase on this. If you play a game and you’re expecting a holiday event, naturally you’ll be a little bummed when it doesn’t show up with no explanation. Disappointed enough to make a big deal about it on the game’s forums, even. Perfectly understandable.

It’s the further reaction that makes the lot of them look like petulant brats.

If you talk to one of these DOTA2 fans, they’ll likely tell you “It’s not just about Diretide, Valve hasn’t been communicating with the community about anything for the past few months!” Again, I think that’s a fair complaint. With a living, constantly evolving game like an MMO or a MOBA, we’ve come to expect some level of communication from our game developers. We certainly aren’t owed it, but it’s something we ask for.

However the measures that DOTA2 fans have taken to make their disappointment heard have now switched the roles in my opinion. Childishly spamming DOTA2’s metacritic score with zeroes (and we can talk about the overall worthlessness of metacritic another time), spamming car manufacturer Volvo’s various social media outlets about the issue (I will admit to being amused by their good-natured response to it), spamming President Obama’s Facebook page demanding Diretide, and even releasing community contributor CyborgMatt’s phone number so they could harass him about Diretide. They may have started with a valid argument regarding developer/community interaction in which Valve was in the wrong, but DOTA2 fans have made themselves the villains here.

The immature tantrum has now drowned out their legitimate original complaint to the point where it is impossible to take them seriously. And it paints the whole community in a poor light. Whether it’s complaining about this, or digital hats, these things really need to be put into perspective and the reactions need to be tempered accordingly. Maybe that isn’t possible with the mob mentality that takes place here, and things spiral out of control, but they do have roots somewhere.

You can present a calm, detailed argument, or you can troll for fun. But the two don’t go hand in hand, in my opinion.

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