So, today’s Warcrack outage….

Reposting here something I slapped up onto the forum, but given that that had reached ~900 pages last time I looked I suspect it’ll be read by about three people.

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So what’s likely to be happening behind the scenes.

At the coal face: Techies cursing, trying to find out who changed what, how they changed it, why and understand why the hell such a simple change caused such a major impact.  If they have good line managers (LM) they’ll be shielded from the upper layers allowing them to firefight this.  I would suspect that any engineers with specific experience with the type of problem will have been phoned up and pulled in from days off by now as well.

Next level up: The LM for the techies will be politely telling the management to f__k off and not to contact the techs directly, pointy haired bosses poking their noses in never helps.  They’ll be collecting information from everyone they can and probably having the joy which is hourly (at least) reports up the chain to the next level.

Next level: Sitting around in a conf call demanding timescales and answers and demanding that everyone is pulled in but not actually promising to pay overtime or TOIL for broken holiday.

Top level: Cursing everyone below them and making threats.

Web / forum engineers: Cursing the customers for trying to perform a denial of service by whining and posting ASCII art to the forum.

Customers: Getting that glint in their eyes seeing “compensation” and “sue Blizz” in their future dreaming of a month of free game time, gold and server transfers.  None of which will happen.

Back to the poor sods at the first two levels, seriously.  They and the other side (Telia I suspect) will be sat on a joint conf call trying to debug what has happened how to first mitigate the issue and then return normal service.  Shift changes will be happening, some people will be working near non-stop for 24h (and no.. that’s not their job no one really gets paid to work 24h without a break)

I have faith in the techies working it, I have little faith in Blizzard’s customer service to calm the fires partly because they can’t and partly because their history on handling such things is not brilliant.

Do I think someone f__ked up, hell yes, will demanding stupid things resolve anything.  No.

Have I been there.  Yes, you think this is horrible, trust me, it isn’t.
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Penny Arcade, fail and Dickwolves

Now, I’m coming to this late.  Somehow I completely missed this, though I have to admit to not being a close follower of PA.  Their fault for not having an RSS feed the last time I checked their site (though I see it’s been added since).  Anyway I’m rambling.

Firstly let’s have a bundle of links and then I’ll waffle a bit before wandering off to do something productive.

http://fucknopennyarcade.tumblr.com/
http://webcomicoverlook.com/2010/08/17/penny-arcade-and-jokes-about-rape/
http://debacle.tumblr.com/post/3041940865/the-pratfall-of-penny-arcade-a-timeline
http://jimhines.livejournal.com/556143.html

In short what we have is a comic regarding the way MMO quests work, and the mismatch between how quests work and how the real world works.  Very simply we “go do $something for X number of $mob having $problem”, at the point we reach “x” we no longer care about the souls being killed / mugged / locked up for experimentation etc etc and wander back to collect our gold.

PA dealt with this using rape as a vehicle (dickwolves), probably because they think it makes them “edgy” etc etc, which to my mind is a cop-out for “Let’s see what happens here”.  Dark Legacy dealt with the same issue (DLC 275), but without the need for the rape reference.

To be frank I think the DLC one is funnier, the PA comic lands squarely in the “oh yes, being edgy, that’s so impressive, now can we have a decent comic please”.  There were complaints, and PA apologised, well assuming you can agree that this is an apology.  Personally I count it as an apology in the same way politicians make them “I am sorry for any offence this might have caused”, which is really weaselling and not an apology.  It’s really a way of saying “yes you didn’t like this but I’m not really sorry I said/did it”.

From there we escalate, the PA guys have dug themselves into a hole where they have to defend being offensive and just keep digging determined to prove how they’re not being censored and their rights are being held to and so on.

Then we get the fanbois who see this and push the limits even further.

The underlying problem with this is within the gamer community, where there is a feeling that calling something ‘rape’ isn’t that bad, it’s not really a problem.  “We raped the horde”, “We got raped by that boss”, “Let’s go rape… ” and so on.  It seriously is a problem and it’s one the community has to deal with, by slapping down the morons and by those who are seen as leading the gamer culture (sorry guys, you’re no longer a sub-culture, it’s mainstream these days) such as PA giving a lead and an example rather than being, not to put too fine a point on it, brainless morons.

In summary, a comic which was at best “Meh”, followed up by a stupid passive-aggressive apology and then not realising just what they were starting.

My message, grow up and admit that your handling of the whole situation would shame a telephone salesman and move on.