GW2: So This is Why Anet Follows a “Devs Don’t Interact” Policy

In the most cunningly masterful stroke to distract a couple hundred eyes from coming close to revealing Anet’s lack of resources or manpower, while bringing several thousand people together to discuss gender politics instead, an Arenanet employee graciously sacrificed her 4th of July holiday and her personal Twitter to the cause:

The short summary is:

  • Said narrative designer decides to use her personal Twitter to post a long essay about specific game design issues in Guild Wars 2
  • A GW2 celebrity streamer decides to engage by posting some polite disagreement and a possibly ignorant question
  • Instead of ignoring the post or replying with factual disagreement on design limitations as to why the amateur’s idea cannot work, said “professional” construes it as an attack on her gender and lashes back ad hominem
  • Said streamer expresses surprise at her reaction, quickly apologizes and backs out of the conversation as rapidly as he can
  • In the meantime, social media bystanders add on color commentary, a mass Twitter blocking frenzy begins and everybody on the internet suddenly has a lot more fun content to discuss than the latest Living Story 4 Episode 3 and all its bugs, glitches or other lacking qualities

Best deflect ever.

This would probably be a good time to talk about my semi-recent and admittedly short and limited one-sided experience with Deroir, the content creator and streamer in question, who is most notable for creating a set of comprehensive fractal video guides.

While searching around for things to watch on Twitch, I found his channel while he was running a Fractal 100CM – Shattered Observatory training for his viewers.

Since my experience of that fractal totaled an exact 1 time, as carried through it by my more hardcore raid compatriots with specific on-demand mic instructions as to what to do next, I decided to watch to vicariously learn a smidgen more about the instance.

Guy had the patience of a saint.

I know, because I lasted about 45 minutes of his pickup training while his four trainees cycled in and out, making countless mistakes as they slooowly and incrementally learned the encounter a couple animations of the boss more before the next wipe took place.

He kept them alive as best he could using a druid, buffing and healing them to the gills, taking the more challenging mechanic as his responsibility, completely calm and mellow and encouraging small steps of progress and remaining unfazed by failures.

“Man, I want a coach like Deroir to walk me through learning shit” was my main takeaway, before wussing out at further viscerally experiencing more repeated failure through voyeurism.

In other totally unrelated news, the real reason why I use a wolf of indeterminate gender for my online avatar is not because we can discuss ideas intellectually on this longform blog without regard as to the source…

…it’s because I can take a page from my new hero and have a rationale to attack every scummy human (you racist! wolves are people too!) on every part of the gender spectrum including male and female and any point in between (that was sexist speech! See what unspecifieds have to deal with!) who dares to disagree with me.

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8 thoughts on “GW2: So This is Why Anet Follows a “Devs Don’t Interact” Policy

  1. Isey says:

    curious what the possible ignorant question was =P I’ll google it to avoid you having to type it on your site and get your own backlash!

    • Jeromai says:

      What backlash? It was, paraphrasing to summarize, “what if players could meaningfully express their character through branching dialogue options?”

      • Isey says:

        Ah, ok. The way you “didn’t say it” made me think that he did say something offensive that you didn’t want to repeat =)

  2. Moongy says:

    Yeah, that was bad. I’ve re-read his tweets several times and still haven’t found even a faint trace of ‘mansplaining’, he softened his disagreement to maximum and certainly didn’t deserve snarky replies he got. And things got even worse when Jessica started posting about ‘a lot of hurt manfeels today’, that’s just some insane bigotry.

  3. Bhagpuss says:

    Geeeez! I just read through the original twiter exchange and then a good portion of the reddit thread. I am very much not used to these things turning out to be exactly as painted and I always expect there to be some element of unwarranted behavior by the accused even if it’s not as dark as it was painted but…

    Deroir’s reply is polite, measured, respectful and as far as I can see is entirely ungendered. It’s as close to a neutral observation as it could be. What’s more, it’s a direct and relevant response to what would be difficult to read as anything other than a discussion document. If there’s a reason to post that amount of information on twitter other than to promote discussion I’m not sure what it would be. Historical record?

    I had already noticed some very odd replies to threads on the Lore section fo the official forums, which I think, without checking, predate this catastrophic exchange. My feeling there was that the ANet writing team has a surprisingly high opinion of the work they’r eproducing given the reaction it gets, but that isn’t particularly unusual.

    Given past events at ANet I would expect there would be consequences to all this but I would also not expect us to be told what they are. I think Deroir deserves a public apology, though.

    Ironically, the points in the original twitter posts are interesting and well-made and I personally would very much not want to see Deroir’s alternative used. (I’d actually prefer the Silent Protagonist as used in The Secret World, which, I believe, gets around many if not all of the issues involved). The original content of the discussion is hardly the issue any more, though. It’s al about what came after.

  4. Moongy says:

    And out she goes. What’s sad is it seems Peter Fries lost his job too.

    • Jeromai says:

      It’s not pleasant to contemplate anyone losing their job over this, but there are certainly consequences to ill-thought out choices, willfully repeated without contrition and broadcast to all and sundry.

      I suppose this is only the surface of what was visible. Internally, there may have been other incidents or cultural clashes, but this one just grew too big too public too fast.

      In any case, what’s done is done. An object lesson for others to learn from; a pretty good source of hilarious memes for some time to come. Life goes on, burnout sucks, connecting mouth to brain (digital or otherwise) without a filter is ill-advised, moving on.

  5. Chris Smith says:

    Ye gawds! Thanks for this. I had woken to the very one-sided Tweets talking about it but picked up a comment that made me wonder how it actually went down. After reading the links provided here, it’s…just ugly.

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