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Blizzard threatens players who plan "Gnome March" for Warriors

I always thought Blizzard was pretty easygoing about ingame player-driven events. I've myself participated in quite a few naked races around Azeroth, players continually line up and run raids on the major cities, and Blizzard even sorta condones twinking in the lower level BGs. That's why I was so surprised to see their attitude on this one.

Myxilydian on Burning Blade-H is a Warrior who, like many, is concerned about changes to his class in the Burning Crusade. So, in a more creative form of whining about nerfs, he's posted in the Forums organizing a "Gnome March"-- he's asking Warriors unhappy with their class changes to create a level 1 Gnome warrior on Thunderlord, and at 4pm tomorrow (12/6), march from Ironforge to the gates of Stormwind in solidarity (he's inviting Shammies, too-- he says they should make a Dwarf Paladin for the march). I think it's a great idea, and a funny, creative way to voice his concerns.

Blizzard disagrees, however. Drokthul has closed the thread and posted that "anyone caught participating in this event or any event with the sole purpose of disrupting the game play for others will be punished." Wow. If you ask me, that's extremely harsh for a group of players planning to create 1st level Gnomes and run around together for a while. Guilds do that all the time-- is Blue planning on banning all of them too? Already, Myx (I believe it's Myx-- might be another Warrior supporting the cause) has been banned from the forums.

Now, comments in the Forum thread indicate that Myx may have posted this a few (100?) times before, and maybe in the wrong forums. I'm not going to defend that kind of behavior-- the Forums are crazy enough without spamming, even of stuff like this. But I don't think a level 1 Gnome ingame raid is the kind of play that "disrupts" anything-- it's a creative form of expression within the community (especially when the stated goal is not play disruption). And Blizzard is way wrong, in my (usually) humble opinion, to squelch it so draconically. As I said, usually they've landed on the side of player-driven events. Why they've changed their tune on this one, I'm not sure, but it's definitely not a change I agree with.

Update: A commenter rightfully points out that I jumped the gun on saying "ban"-- Blue says "punish" not ban, and there are other punishments besides banning. Still, I think it's wrong to "punish" your community for doing creative things with your virtual world.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

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