Exploding on the forums today: In preperation for flying the top-tier Arena teams to California for an e-sports frenzy, Blizzard apparently disqualified many of them for account sharing.
A writer from one of those teams had this to say:
Preparing to book travel for the qualified teams, Blizzard checked their real names against the names and addresses listed on their account info, disqualifying players whose information did not match up regardless of the reason. About a week ago, teams were contacted if they had information that did not correspond. Shortly after that, an eSports admin contacted teams saying there may be some hope, but two days ago it was confirmed: the disqualified players would stay that way. Of the top eight teams, a whopping twelve players were removed on a total of five different squads.
And why were those accounts shared? Levelling is hard, y0.
Right now, practicing is a daunting proposition for any team. It’s a huge time investment to prepare a character for arena play, so if a player wants to switch classes, try something new, or practice different set-ups, it’s impossible without sharing characters.
“The account thing is such a huge barrier to people even getting into WoW as an eSport. In order to practice, you have to put in such a huge amount of time commitment before you can even begin,” says Pandemic’s Quinn, “and when people kinda take a short cut to get to that point (buy/borrow an account) they can’t even participate in one of the bigger tournaments.”
Snarkiness aside, here is the disconnect made manifest: PvPers dislike levelling. I know, it’s a crazy concept, but work with me here.
As a game designer: If you design a game around character development, and then offer a sub-game/side-game/elder game around PvP, don’t be surprised when people try to race straight to what they consider the fun stuff. Instead, make channels for them to get there quickly; if possible, leverage their desire to get to the cheese somehow, possibly through rapid alternate advancement within the game world competitively (PvP ladders or the like).
As a “eSport competitor”: dude. You just collectively announced you were unable to level a character in World of Warcraft. I mean, come on. It’s freaking World of Warcraft. The easiest game to level in, ever, and you are collectively whining that you, the best of the best, the hard-edged core, training on the ragged edge of PvP mastery… yeah, following a powerlevelling guide is too hard. Pardon while everyone else snickers. It’ll be a while before they stop.