|On Fan Entitlement
||[Mar. 20th, 2012|04:39 am]
These days, I keep finding accusations of "fan entitlement" amusing whenever I consider the source.
Here are a few reasons why: When pandaren were announced, people asked—politely, mind you—for the female model to be pudgy. Cries of "fan entitlement" went up...from the same players who were demanding fuzzy orcs (if not fuzzy blood elves) on the grounds that "no one" would play them. (Apparently, the people with every intention to don't count.)
Now that we've seen her, a few people have suggested—politely, mind you—minor adjustments. Cries of "fan entitlement" have gone up...often enough, from the same people who liked the female worgen change and hated the early model.
At the same time, we found out we were getting an eleventh character slot on every server...and I'm sure everyone would have been happy with that if there hadn't been talk of removing the server cap altogether. People said "okay, that's a nice baby step, but what happened to that other idea?"
And...guess what? Cries of "fan entitlement" went up...apparently on the grounds that the accusers just don't want to hear it. (Apparently, seeing as reading any given thread is entirely elective, someone twisted their arms and made them.)
All-in-all, the loudest accusations of "fan entitlement" so often seem to come from individuals who exemplify it. Because if thinking that you deserve to be exclusively catered to—or deserve never to read a suggestion or complaint that's not relevant to your concerns—isn't fan entitlement...then what the hell is it?
(Keep in mind that I'm referring less to the exact phrase here than to any accusation that implies as much.)
A big to-do about "fan entitlement" is going on over with BioWare in regards to the ending for Mass Effect 3. Defenders of the current ending use it as a condemnation of those who are critical. The dynamic is pretty similar to what you've described in this post. The idea that the audience might be dissatisfied is seen as an example of entitlement, rather than people simply wanting a thematically appropriate ending.
I'll admit that I haven't looked at the pandaren too closely, but I like the idea of a pudgier model for characters of either sex. That's how pandas look, after all (I'll also concede that I'm really stoked that Garrosh is shaping up to be the final raid boss for MoP—I greatly dislike him).
As for Mass Effect 3, the ending really is quite terrible. Fortunately, BioWare is listening to fan outcry and is taking steps to "clarify" the ending. Exactly what this means is still unclear, but at least someone is paying attention.
So long as the critics of the ending don't continually shoot themselves in the foot (as they recently did with the Child's Play debacle), I'll be cautiously optimistic.
Yeah, I've heard a lot about the ME3 thing (although I haven't actually played it). From what I've heard of it, it sounds like a bit of WTF (and I'll leave it at that).
Female pandaren are basically okay; they exceeded my expectations, at any rate. Most of the critique on the model seems to be about her head (muzzle a touch too narrow to look like a bear's), neck (a bit disproportionately slender), and customization options (which are apparently still a work in progress).
As I'm (eventually) guaranteed a beta key, I'll be keeping an eye out for any changes...not that my main point of interest isn't monk, or anything...
Hecksqueak as the final raid boss...hmm. Much as I dislike the bastard, I'm a bit ambivalent on it. It's almost a bit too predictable.
Edited at 2012-03-23 09:09 am (UTC)
I actually thought they'd keep Garrosh to maintain the Horde-Alliance conflict, so him being made a raid boss caught me by surprise. From a storytelling perspective though, I suppose that he is a very predictable choice.
There's also the question of who should replace him. As much as I like Thrall, I think it's best for him to go elsewhere; he made too many critical errors during his tenure as warchief, and I think a lot of people are kind of sick of him after Cataclysm.
I can't even guess, at this point, what Blizzard is doing in regards to the faction conflict. They keep deliberately spurring it, while simultaneously hammering in the fact that it's canonically weakening both sides in the face of much greater threats. (Not to say that such a thing can't be done well, but something about their approach seems a bit...well, I suppose the best word would be "erratic.")
And as for Thrall, what I want to see him do next is retire to Nagrand and slip into obscurity.
There are times that it really feels like there are multiple teams of writers, all working at cross-purposes. Hopefully the storyline in MoP will be more consistent.