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Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The effects of Totalbiscuit on the Community
Love him or hate him, Totalbiscuit is a force inside the World of Warcraft community. He is often the loudest and most open about what issues he has with the game. Starting out with a show on WoW Radio, he soon took over the station as owner. After the station folded in early 2010, he has since been running the website Cynical Brit and the related YouTube channel.
Totalbiscuit(TB), or John Bain, has a checkered past. His very public remarks about the low quality of other Warcraft podcasts when he was left out of a random top 10 list on digg. left many angry to the point they never forgave John’s comments then or much later.
The difficulty with WoW Radio and its final closing has no doubt something to do with TB nature being hard to work with. I’m not saying it was all his fault, no doubt there were personality problems, but at least some of it must fall at his feet as the boss.
All that said, John has shown to be a force on YouTube, really starting during the Cataclysm Beta. When MMO Champion started linking TB's video I started taking stock of TB as more than just a blowhard that can’t get along with people but rather someone that has something to add to the Warcraft community such as it is.
Right now, as people are leaving Warcraft, Blizzard is no doubt going to start trying to step up its efforts to hold on to players. People like Totalbiscult are no doubt going to be a force in shaping that direction as much as any single player can.
His constant suggestions that guilds solve everything is a bit redundant and the constant battle against “entitled casuals” (whoever they are) has become a constant cry on the forums.
However, ideas like non-binary hard modes, that daily quests and raids aren’t enough content to keep max level players in the game, are points I agree with and ideas Blizzard should take seriously.
Personally, when taken against the all-consuming fanboyism of the places like the WoW Insider show, and Mat McCurley's squeeeee for every little thing that Blizzard gives him, TotalBiscuit's view, while harsh, is some much needed critical thought in the WoW community. (On here wow show at least). I've talked about how bias give you passion as it clearly does for the WoW Insider crew and other podcasts. But they are often blind or unlikely to criticize all but most blatant mistakes of Blizzard.
Some podcasts will never like TB such as Bind on Equip. They have good reasons, and you will always have people like the Rawrcast crew that worships at his feet. I'm somewhere in the middle. I would rather take a cynical Brit that’s much too hard on the community than fan boys that are much too soft on Blizzard. Not that either is going away, but that is an issue for another time.