When it comes to Wizards of the Coast, their products and the forums, if you’re doing one or more of the following, then you’re doing it wrong:
- Refusing to buy a product that doesn’t even exist yet.
- Refusing to buy a product that exists, sight unseen.
- Actively look for anouncements of new products in order to be one of the first people to respond to the anouncement with something negative, because the sooner you respond, the more likely you are to turn the conversation negative.
- Using every thread as an excuse to repeat the same rant, for anything more than the fifth time, or over a multi-year span.
- Using the forums not to talk about the product, but to complain about the product, every chance you get.
- Confusing your rants and/or your snarky, negative attitude with legitimate opinion sharing.
- Looking forward to sharing something negative, because you know it will upset other people and give you a chance to tell them off after they respond negatively to you.
- Are dogmatic that there is only one right way to design a product and closed-minded to any new design approach on principle.
- You assume that everyone who states an opinion that you don't agree with is inviting you to engage in a drawn out battle of egos with them.
- You assume that anyone writing an opinion critical of WotC, their staff or their products is acting with malicious intent.
- Have an emotional hat in the game. If you find yourself constantly getting emotional and/or prickly with other forum members about a product, then you have a deeper problem. Leave the forums and seek professional help. Seriously.
If you're not one of these people, good for you!
You know the difference between sharing the occasional negative opinion and Trolling.
You know that debating the merits and flaws of a product isn't the same thing as taking every chance you can get to bash the product.
You actually bother to check the facts before proclaiming something “incredibly unbalanced and game breaking.”
You realize that just because you can imagine some way a new rule will go wrong, this doesn't mean your imagination has the power to make the rule go wrong at everyone’s gaming table.
Next blog post: my advice on how to deal with problem posters when you see them on the forums.
EDIT: I wrote that blog post on how to deal with problem posters, but our friends in the Off Topic Forum objected mightily to it and complained to the powers that be who, unfortunately, took it down.
Not their fault, the OTTers.
Too bad though...that was a good post.