First, go read "lolPUP and Beyond", as Dantpup basically saw my blog, saw the flamage, and was motivated into writing a fairly decent discussion of his side of the issue...
He takes it as a question and answer form, going into what blogging is all about and the like...
Blogging is a form of expression, yes. And I express myself in a very vitriolic and very angry way at the people I disagree with. I can say that I am probably banned from more Internet sites, ISP's, campuses, sporting stadiums, and other places of business than most of my readers put together -- and that's the way it pretty much has to be. If you don't want to deal with me, then ban me and be done with it.
The way I express myself is actually held back a bit. I've said, frankly, that if people ever found out all the stuff I've been accused of, they'd never let me in another anime convention, as I'd be a threat to everyone there. There was actually one anime convention in the Bay Area (two years ago in San Jose) that I was so angry by the last day that I would have made the evening news if I had gotten my hands on the good ol' Saturday Night Special by Monday morning.
Why? I'm not safe around other people -- especially people I can't stand. I am probably not welcome in any of my previous hometowns, with the possible exception of where I took graduate school (and that's iffy).
So I'm here, at least one place where I know I can't ban myself. That means, if I get some idiots who decide they are more important than the game we play (and there are tons and tons of them in FFXI), I will express myself, and if they want me to STFU, then they're going to have to SMTFU in real life. That's the way I go.
I'm passionate about that which I care about -- otherwise there's no point in wasting time.
But the crux of what I want to get to is the statement Dantpup makes about how I do things and how it makes us look bad as a community.
Here's a news flash: I want the general public to view the FFXI fan community in an extremely negative light.
Understand what has happened in the last three weeks... Chances are, if you're an elite FFXI player (or regarded as such), you've basically been exposed as a cheater, whether you were involved in this kind of an action or not. As I said when I started the Flamage series, the odds of any 75 being legit in getting there are slim. I'd like to think I am, but I know someone is going to eventually have me examined against the Terms of Service.
Bring it on.
But the fact is that I have seen the level of play and the attitude of "I don't give a damn about anyone but myself, so screw you, your progress, and everything else -- I'm the center of Vana'diel."
I see it in Besieged. I see it in Campaign. I see it with the claim-botters. I see it with just about everything in Vana'diel.
You've got a core of players who don't give two whits about anything but their own selves, gear, and all that other garbage. They're junk, as far as I am concerned, and they've destroyed the Vana'dielian experience so badly that I believe that to be the main reason that Square-Enix has basically gone and finally stated that they really only care about FFXI anymore to get to Rapture.
They've officially declared FFXI to be expendable, and that Rapture will replace it. That is why I said the game is officially dead, and I stand behind that statement.
I find the core of FFXI players to be people and characters I want no part of. They've severely compromised the game experience on every conceivable level, and, facts being facts, the only reason I haven't deleted my Content ID's is that I don't want them to be the only ones left with Vana'diel. I want to spite their asses and spit in their virtual faces.
One thing I do not want is a positive view of a community which I already told Aneiro is not unified (you've got so many damn cliques in this game - read some of the comments about not even being in a position to talk unless you are "leet" like "us"...). I believe we have gotten to the point where the game appears to require cheating to succeed (be it Windower, be it duping, be it RMT, be it claim-botting, use of game mechanics illegally, what have you...).
But if Dantpup wants to criticize me for putting the community into a negative light, then, frankly, he needs to understand something... That's my intent. We've got a bunch of punk kids who think they're the shit. That's it. And they've overrun Vana'diel to the point that Square-Enix cannot grow FFXI anymore, and, hence, the game has no long-term future.
The problem is that it's hard to feel positive about FFXI if:
1) Cheating has basically become so accepted that the game is no longer legitimate.
2) The game experience has severely degraded (both P<->P and P->E, and the hardware too) over the last 18 months.
3) Square-Enix has officially declared the game to be expendable, and I believe that to be the result of the player base.
If we had a player base who gave a damn, played with honor, and played by the rules, I don't think the game would've stagnated by now to the point that Square-Enix would say that the time has come to declare that, some point in the foreseeable future, Rapture replaces FFXI.
Hence, I do want the player community to be seen in a negative light. If you hate me for that, so be it.
I do want to clarify one thing: I don't feed BluGartr -- they don't feed me. I do what I do for my reasons alone.
I don't want to be part of your "community". I don't trust the player base, like the player base, nor respect the player base. Individual players might get different consideration. But it's been harder to log on to the game knowing that no one who tries to play by the rules will be treated with anything but disrespect, at the end of the day.