I don’t really expect anyone to read this all the way but maybe it does something for somebody if they do.
This is not a post about the quality of hats or legitimacy of them. This is also entirely speculation. It dawned on me today with some of the hero models, for the first time, that SEMC has been planning the development and release of hats for probably way longer than they’ve been out for. The point being that this has probably been a nice little idea they’ve been thinking about doing for a while and working on for a lot longer than anyone outside the needs to know knew. Obviously there are a lot of business reasons that things like these unfold the way they do, but I am particularly saddened for anyone who thought this could be a cute fun way to engage players like pings and and custom recalls and still make money, and worked on developing it. I can only imagine all the work that could go into something so small and probably legitimately meant to be a nice surprise.
I mean it doesn’t help in any particular way but I do feel it deserves to be acknowledged that there is probably so much more empty labor in gaming, that is, labor that can sustain living comfortably, than most gamers realize. From another angle, it’s also painful to think of the general company itself potentially being squeezed by investors, bosses potentially having to squeeze employees more than they want to, even the investors, not getting the grand return they expected, as if they didn’t care about this game in the least bit besides profit, a game that wasn’t the equivalent of force fed stale, processed food that we ate because we didn’t have any other options to enjoy what we know are good games deep down, like most games are, they wouldn’t have invested in this particular game. In general this is a broad view of things that I don’t look to the average person to take, here or anywhere, even if they knew enough to do so, but it just made me take a pause and realize how these are people’s lives, dreams, aspirations, that could be focused on gaming, or being good businessmen, or socially responsible investors to a cause they believe in, or maybe they want to do something else entirely after they just finish a job, and it’s just risky, empty investment. I think businesses and consumers both have a responsibility to remember the positives of the human element, as well as to be able to keep it’s negatives at a distance, with as much cohesion as possible. This speaks to the idea of offering free opportunities that are largely unimpactful to the bottom line (or grant exponential rewards in returns on player retention and satisfaction) as much as milking the life out of a well made product if people are willing to pay more for it, and just in general remembering we’re all just trying to coexist in this world, without being foolish and forgetting that ultimately someone has to be giving/getting taken from and someone has to be doing the getting/taking for things to actually move in any direction at any given time.
I didn’t mean to go on this long but there is a simple fact, that needs to be addressed in all this, because as much as all that has been said, and I preface this by saying this post doesn’t take any sides, but what seems to be the reality; the customizable options were out of touch with the gamer base, as much as I value the effort put into them. The hats we started with should have been much better designed, even slightly so (again, there could be many legitimately thought out reasons for this but the fact remains that if you offer a product, you deliver what people expect at the least, and if you’re offering better, you have to deliver better). They could have been more relevant to the game’s lore and heroes even on some level (again, the interconnected-ness of these things and the importance of that to a cohesive final product should not be underestimated), the custom recalls, while a bit more stylishly designed, could also somehow be more fitting to the game’s universe as well as creative, the custom pings, again a bit more stylishly and inter-connectedly integrated into the game, also smack of a bit of a fall off in stylish design, at least for the kraken and minion packs, though they’re pings, so at least that’s some of what the average gamer could expect, I guess in comparison to say, the summer pack which had a bit more stylish pop, and in general the pings I find more acceptable as something that definitely doesn’t have to be strictly game world because it is a part of the subconscious game experience, like ‘breaking the fourth wall’ where we’re not experiencing it emotionally IN the game like watching a hero walk around with a party hat while we fight our epic fights, but rather as a social aspect aside from the game that it is potentially more acceptable to not have complete immersion in when experiencing.
There’s a lot more that could be said, but I largely leave it at this: Yes, someome dropped the ball when they didn’t release Krul’s buccaneer hat or something like big minion bobble heads as a hat, at the mimimum (which I feel is more the failure than the idea of hats itself; the lack of any tie in or relevance on an obviously jarring and unstylistic art piece in an otherwise somewhat immersive experience with a particular style) . In fact more customized taunts or better customized recalls, like supporting a faction color or something at the least, might have been a better idea than ‘stupid hats’, and even the stupid hats would probably have been better if they were comically relevant to all the things people like about the game. The key point is relevancy and ‘staying in touch’ with how people really broadly feel (which, in part, is relevant to staying in touch with yourself) And just trying to stay as honest as possible in a world where rushing and deceit can get you somewhere quick but leave a lasting negative mark if not corrected. On the flip side, while we have expectations as a consumer offered something for our money, we also should stay in touch with the fact that these are people making this game, and while we can feel like something is a terrible idea, we don’t need vitriol and outright rudeness to make a point if we take a moment and use reason to get to the best solution faster, and I’m saying that as someone who definitely uses vitriolic language and rudeness when I notice reason isn’t on the table for both me and who I’m talking to.
Was gonna do a tl:dr but screw that. Hey, just throwing stuff into the air anyway. All that really matters is what you do that works & what you do that doesn’t, but we’re all still working together in some form and it benefits us to remember that regardless of who you are in this world and what you need to do to get where you need to be.