Richard Bartle wrote an interesting QBlog post on the art of quest design using WoW's Stranglethorn Vale zone as a model. This elicited a number of responses from various MMO bloggers. Scott Jennings had very few positive things to say about STV, while Tobold mused about STV's relevance in today's MMO landscape given its age and Syp and Raegn pointed out a perceived condescension.
It's always time to grab a hot cup of coffee when someone vocally disagrees with Dr. Bartle because he will always engage in a discussion and defend his views. He took special offense to Syp and Raegn when called out as being condescending in his original article and urged more people to write things about MMOs that make others re-think and take the genre more seriously.
In response to Syp, Bartle wrote: "If you haven't done this kind of analysis, OK, I'm calling you out: write one. Go on, choose any quest from WoW and explain what it's saying. You say you can see behind the curtain: show us. I want the art, not the craft. I don't intend to seem arrogant or mean here, although I'm sure that won't make any difference to how what I just asked is interpreted. I'm pushing because I want to encourage people to think of MMOs as art, not as low culture."
In response to Raegn, Bartle wrote: "I urge you, if you see something you like, that takes MMOs in a new direction, that says something that makes you think (you don't have to agree with it – so long as it makes you think), then please give it publicity. Then, you'll have people who genuinely deserve your praise, not someone who is merely where they are through an accident of history."