So the topic of discussion around here has obviously been Keelhaul‘s comments regarding Mog Madness. In case you missed it, the remarks came during a recent version of WoW Factor (thanks to Toki for bringing it to our attention as well). The episode can be found here and the specific discussion runs from 1:23:05 to 1:25:45, just over a two and a half minute segment.
My initial reaction was a bit defensive. Namely I took issue with Keelhaul laughing and saying “it’s fine for people who want to sit around and do that.” I found the co-host of a lengthy in-game transmog competition (and a recurring one at that) to be a bit hypocritical with that remark.
Once I got past that, though, I thought Ironyca did a reasonable job of pointing out what Mog Madness was about, but I don’t agree that contestants here built outfits without realizing how difficult they would be to actually make. They realized exactly how difficult they were, which is why some tried as best they could in a six day span to actually make said outfit and then turned to other means to showcase the full outfit if they came up a piece or two short. Some also made it clear they now plan to make said outfits as well, and know how long it will take.
I won’t dispute that several contestants used addons or out of game viewers throughout the contest and I really am happy to have encouraged them to do so. As competitor comments here will tell you, this contest would have failed or been completely different if people had to build the outfit. I would like to see the results of an event like WoW Factor where contestants are told to make an outfit and have less than a week to do it. It becomes limited to those who have a bank of gear selection, gold, time, and RNG luck. The end result would still have some incredible outfits, but the overall quality wouldn’t be nearly the same because of the previously mentioned mitigating factors. I admit it also wouldn’t be worth trying and why at the end of the day WoW Factor and Mog Madness are two completely different events/contests. The segment in their show even ends loosely on that conclusion.
So after those thoughts and topics settled and I had plenty of time to reflect on the whole situation, where did that leave me?
Seriously, I’m honestly baffled and if you go back and listen to the comments you will be too. There’s a build up of how Mog Madness is going to get slam dunked, and that he’s going to do the complete opposite of showing support for it…but to me it falls flat of doing any of that. Keelhaul says it’s just not the same using MogIt versus seeing the outfit in the natural environment of the game. Keelhaul clearly has a level of artistic appreciation and he’s also entirely right in this case. But why not have just said something to the effect of “that’s why I prefer how we hold the contest in-game rather than in a manner such as Mog Madness” instead? In fact, I was waiting for an elaboration on why he feels so strongly…not in favour of the in-game, but against our contest. It never came. All I got was “it just bugs me.”
“I’ve gone over and taken a look at some of the looks and it’s all being generated…” Now I’ve already touched on some folks outright using the programs at my behest, but I need to pause for a second to point something out. The first round was over 70% in-game shots. So I’m going to presume the comment was made based on the rounds where contestants were required to have a specific item in their outfit and thus it was harder for people to have everything they wanted/needed.
I’m not going to defend our guidelines any further, they are what they are and other people seem to understand how completely different the mechanics to our contest were in comparison to something such as WoW Factor. I’m genuinely surprised that Keelhaul didn’t acknowledge the reasons they would be the way they are. The part where I’m really confused is less than two minutes later he comes right out and says he really hasn’t “spent enough time checking it out.” Let’s just pause to see where we’re at:
- Keelhaul prefers judging based on in-game (which I agree looks better)
- It just bugs him that we allow the use of MogIt and ModelViewers
- We don’t know why.
- He didn’t really look at the contest too much.
So, the segment opens with someone basically rolling up their sleeves to get something off their chest, we get a brief grumble, and then a logical counter-argument that leads to a seemingly understood idea behind Mog Madness. And that’s it.
Then the question I have to ask out loud is what was the point to the segment then? It’s not like I’m aware of any previous remarks against us that this was a veiled apology for. So, I’ve taken the time to process the entire quote and have come to my own possible conclusions on that one. They all tie in to the remark suggesting there was a great deal of prattle on Twitter regarding our contest.
I have a media and promotions background. It’s important that I share that so you understand where I’m coming from in my first thought on the matter. While Keelhaul suggested we were getting a free plug from this, a person in promotions would’ve used this scenario for the opposite effect: to bring more attention to them. Think about it for a second. There’s been hardly a remark made (that I’m aware) about Mog Madness otherwise. But, people are going to check out what he said about us. It’s bringing WoW Factor more attention. One could also argue that’s why it was said on the show rather than simply in a blog post or even said here for that matter.
Was he perhaps trying to knock our contest (or its Tweeters) down a peg or two? It certainly comes across that way at first, and based on the artistic appreciation I mentioned before. He suggests seeing the gear in the realm, its natural environment, you appreciate it so much more. Almost like WoW Factor is superior to Mog Madness for doing that.
Either of those could be true. Heck, both could be. But the one I’ve thought out the most is the one I believe to be the most likely scenario. Using myself as an example, I’ve organized and ran many different things from charity events, to D&D campaigns, to a HeroClix Tournament (Google it). As someone who is very passionate and a bit OCD when it comes to running something, I tend to do it just the way I think it should be. If someone else takes that idea and removes the aspects I think are the heart and soul of it, it bothers me.
I think Keelhaul’s passionate about Transmogrification as much as anyone, and to think otherwise is truly absurd. There’s no doubt a pride in what they do in WoW Factor and I get that he doesn’t feel MogIt or what have you is a proper way to do it. So, there was probably a “hrmph, that’s not how I’d do it” thought to it. Then comes the Twitter comments. I have no idea what was said or how much because I’m not on Twitter and don’t follow it at all. But the comment Keelhaul makes leads me to think there was a fair bit at some point.
Have you ever woken to the sound of a bird singing? It’s a nice sound. Ever heard about fifty or more outside your window? You want to kill them all. I’m thinking there might have been too much chatter about us on Twitter in some form and in a number of ways may have irked him (just the constant talk of it, people comparing the two contests, shameless plugging, I honestly don’t know). Combined with the thoughts on their process versus ours, you hear the end result in the episode.
At no point does it feel malicious, or even trolling. As I say, only the part where he laughs at the people who took part was I even remotely offended. In fact, I was tempted to just let the whole thing pass by. However, as it became the topic of discussion and did directly involve me I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to address it and in doing so I still don’t have a clear picture of why it bothered him to the point of over two minutes of discussion (and for those who don’t think that’s much time, time the next radio newscast you hear and realize how much is normally talked about in two minutes).
I’m hoping that through pingback, and no doubt word of mouth, Keelhaul will pop by these parts just to discuss the matter further. I’ve appreciated his efforts in the Transmogrification community since day one, including his brilliant usage of the auction house and the demand people had for gear. There was a science to that idea that was well thought out and executed. I’ve never said a bad word about him and still have no reason to. At no point should anyone view what I have said as slander or with any type of spite.
Let’s face it, the end result is a community of people passionate about the same thing. I see no reason why there should be any frustration or issue with how anything builds on that passion in a positive way. I’ve said my peace, and speculated on the whole scenario as well. With any luck, no offense was taken by any of it and Keelhaul will respond in kind should he see fit.