In a moment of weakness, I almost signed up for World of Warcraft. At least three good friends of mine were playing in a regular group. Groups of semi-social gamers are the most likely settings to tempt me into online gaming again. I’m not talking some massive, uber guild with leet raids, just the small but reliable online analogies of the old tabletop groups. After a trial arrived in my inbox courtesy of Speaks, I began the massive download process. With each step I felt dirtier and dirtier…
Proprietary downloader; admittedly the World of Warcraft trial is a huge download, something in the neighborhood of 2gb (that’s gigs not megs) so I can understand why some proprietary downloader might be used to optimize the download. This aside, I hate invasive and proprietary stuff, so I had a twitch of annoyance at opening this or that port and allowing this or that permission for it to run.
As the download and install ground away, I had Speaks on on instant messenger and talked about the various classes. I settled on something that would be a group asset, combine well with the existing members and still have some solo options because my gaming schedule is rather modest and challenging to accomodate some times. The basic good gamer manners.
Once the install was complete I had to register my trial account. I was put off again when it asked me for my credit card information?!?! For a trial. First Microsoft wants folks to pay to beta, now some weasel in Irvine wants my credit card number for a free trial? What is the world coming too. And all the while it kept assuring me that I would not be billed during or after the trial period. Nonetheless they also required that I choose a billing plan (monthly, quarterly, annually). Ok, now this is really annoying me. Because I want some guys who can’t keep their own servers secure, having my credit card information just to TRY their product. It’s like being shaken down for your social security number by the cheese sample lady in Kroger.
The final straw came while the installation started setting off various spyware warnings on my desktop. World of Warcraft was installing spyware on my machine? Possibly a false positive, those aren’t too unusual in the industry after all. Hmn, a quick Google suggests that Blizzard / World of Warcraft does install spyware on their users’ machines. Well, isn’t that thoughtful of them.
Ok, enough is enough. Off to the recycle bin, windows uninstall (because Blizzard doesn’t provide their own, not that I would trust them at this point) and a thorough cyber-scrubbing of the machine for any lingering gifts from the asshats at Blizzard.
So much for my MMO moment of weakness, but thank you Blizzard for reinvigorating my dislike of the “hobby”. I think I’ll go read a book or interact with the real world now, best of luck killing pixels and collecting digits elven princess.