...actually, I am the OP of this thread. What ya gonna do now? [hr] [align=center]An Open Appeal to the NOTD Community[/align] [hr] For one year now, I have watched the community, largely in silence. Over time, I've come to watch the growing dissatisfaction towards game progression, and the animosity that has grown out of it. I have observed members come and go as shadows at sunset and the rise and fall of many hallowed names. I've seen changes in both gameplay and community from the smallest of additions to revolutionary. Few are the constants and myriad are the variables in every aspect of NOTD. However, one blight that has always writhed beneath the skin of NOTD is division, a parasite lodged deep in our gullet that robs us of the value of this game's potential. It ails us at every moment, and unless we seek to bridge the divide and cleanse the community of this worm then we are dooming ourselves and the game. Many times are we divided and in such a way as to form layers as in Hell. The topmost level of division is Elitism. By this, I mean far greater than simply players who feel they are better. *I* am better than most players and there are many here who are superior to me. Elitism in this case refers to the ever shrinking pool of players whose requests for invitations to a private game are heeded. Few and far in between are the players willing to take the time to educate a new generation and far fewer are the players from this new generation who are capable of becoming "elite" on their own. Unless we (and yes I include myself) get off our pedestal of unearned glory and make the effort to begin a new era of NOTD, then the game will continue to stagnate until all that's left is an ever dwindling circle of malcontent Elitists. Woe will befall us all should that day ever come. The second level of division is Prejudice. I believe this is an apt word to describe the collective divisions that arise from a single, misguided source. It is easy to make assumptions and stigma from the simplest and most mundane of factors. I will start by addressing the division among regions. In the words of Zerthimon, from the Planescape campaign setting in D&D, "there cannot be two skies". This statement is relevant here as there is only one sky for our people to share, just as there is only one NOTD. Long have I seen SEA and NA (others as well, just not as often) lash at each other regarding superiority at NOTD. The utter nonsense that your country of origin (not counting South Korea, of course) has any bearing on how well you play is utter wash and those who believe their region is superior are clearly lacking any form of cognitive faculty. Beyond regional prejudice is a curse whose hand is held by Elitists. Far too many will judge a player after only a handful of games together. How often have you been in a game with someone, watched them facetank Tartarus to their death, and then form an opinion of how they lack any skill? I've done it. I have also been the one to facetank Tartarus because I was drinking coffee. The community has become unforgiving to a dangerous degree, and unless mercy and forgiveness is restored, then we shall doom ourselves to the same death elitism threatens. The final level of division is Desire. This is a broad-spectrum layer from where the bulk of our animosity and anger are spawned. Every one of us has a desire we wish NOTD to fulfill. All of us want to see NOTD flourish, but many of us have ideas and opinions of how to make that happen that more than likely will never be used. This chafes away at those who regularly see their ideas mocked or ridiculed by Elitists or Prejudiced. With the entropic and atrophic nature of animosity and anger, bred from the ridicule of players by those divided, we corrode the community and the game until it reaches a point where it is so caustic that no one will be able to enjoy it. That point is fast approaching and unless we undo the damage caused by our division, we risk destroying the thing we've all toiled so hard to build. Heed my words NOTD, a house divided cannot stand on even the strongest of foundations, and with SC2 being as stagnant as it already is, we *cannot* afford to be divided. Stand together, brothers and sisters, players and developers, and build a NOTD worthy of the name and worthy of playing. Or... remain divided and fall.