Is Mike Mearls Happy Hour still a thing?

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epithet

Explorer
Consequences for ones actions is not being picked on.
It appears to me that more than a few people were arguing that Mearls should face consequences for someone else's actions. It seems that people looking for something about which to be outraged have found Zak, who provides plenty of transgression to fuel that fire. The problem is that Zak is the sort of person you can't really bully, because he doesn't seem to care about anyone else's opinion of him and he will gleefully and aggressively go after people who speak out against him. That leaves Mike, a genuinely decent and pleasant guy who can be (and, I'm sure, has been) hurt by the vitriol hurled at him recently, and WotC which is a company that seems to prioritise the expression of trendy and modern social values.

One of the reasons 5e is such a runaway success is that WotC took the time to reach out to the OSR crowd and find out what made OSR products popular. After all, the objective of 5e was to give the D&D market what we wanted to buy. At the time, the reasonable (in my opinion) belief was that if the D&D brand was to be revived, the focus needed to be on the quality of the product as a game system, and not on trying to only work with people who check all the right boxes for social values and enlightened behavior. I've never played a game using one of Zak's products, but the one thing I know about them is they were popular and well received. He can be a scumbag and still make a good product.

In the end, Hasbro almost certainly is delighted with the end result of consulting with the OSR game designers, including Zak. The resulting product has outperformed their most ambitious hopes, and they're very happy indeed with the performance of the entire team, including Mike. They are also a soulless corporation that is entirely willing to throw a valuable employee--one who has made them truckloads of money--under the bus to help the marketing department recruit and appease the "influencers" that seem to drive sales these days. That's why I worry about Mike--I know he's a good guy and a valuable cornerstone of the D&D team, and I know that the folks that sign the checks all know that. I also have no confidence that they would hesitate to offer him up on the altar of social media as a conspicuous display of en vogue social values.
 

Hussar

Legend
It appears to me that more than a few people were arguing that Mearls should face consequences for someone else's actions. It seems that people looking for something about which to be outraged have found Zak, who provides plenty of transgression to fuel that fire. The problem is that Zak is the sort of person you can't really bully, because he doesn't seem to care about anyone else's opinion of him and he will gleefully and aggressively go after people who speak out against him. That leaves Mike, a genuinely decent and pleasant guy who can be (and, I'm sure, has been) hurt by the vitriol hurled at him recently, and WotC which is a company that seems to prioritise the expression of trendy and modern social values.

One of the reasons 5e is such a runaway success is that WotC took the time to reach out to the OSR crowd and find out what made OSR products popular. After all, the objective of 5e was to give the D&D market what we wanted to buy. At the time, the reasonable (in my opinion) belief was that if the D&D brand was to be revived, the focus needed to be on the quality of the product as a game system, and not on trying to only work with people who check all the right boxes for social values and enlightened behavior. I've never played a game using one of Zak's products, but the one thing I know about them is they were popular and well received. He can be a scumbag and still make a good product.

In the end, Hasbro almost certainly is delighted with the end result of consulting with the OSR game designers, including Zak. The resulting product has outperformed their most ambitious hopes, and they're very happy indeed with the performance of the entire team, including Mike. They are also a soulless corporation that is entirely willing to throw a valuable employee--one who has made them truckloads of money--under the bus to help the marketing department recruit and appease the "influencers" that seem to drive sales these days. That's why I worry about Mike--I know he's a good guy and a valuable cornerstone of the D&D team, and I know that the folks that sign the checks all know that. I also have no confidence that they would hesitate to offer him up on the altar of social media as a conspicuous display of en vogue social values.
Careful. Your bias is showing just a teeny bit there. I'd argue that removing Zak S's name from a book and refusing to have anything to do with him after it's definitively shown that he is a scumbag, is hardly throwing "a valuable employee... under the bus" to "appease the influencers".

Funny how refusing to work with abusers and whatnot is "en vogue social values". :erm:
 

Giltonio_Santos

Adventurer
That leaves Mike, a genuinely decent and pleasant guy who can be (and, I'm sure, has been) hurt by the vitriol hurled at him recently (...) That's why I worry about Mike--I know he's a good guy and a valuable cornerstone of the D&D team, and I know that the folks that sign the checks all know that. I also have no confidence that they would hesitate to offer him up on the altar of social media as a conspicuous display of en vogue social values.
That describes my feelings toward this situation pretty well. We can still discuss D&D and share insights from the other members of the team, surely, but this Mike Mearls quarantine just makes the discussion much poorer than it could be. I don't know who's gaining anything from this whole situation, but I have a hard time believing that "the D&D community" could be seen as a reasonable answer.
 

UngeheuerLich

Adventurer
Lets wait a week. The silence probably coincides with the preparaition of the next big event. IIRC the happy hour was to go on hiatus anyway. Mearls was at Gary Con so that just leaves twitter. And twitter is a very dangerous form of communication.
 

Eubani

Explorer
It appears to me that more than a few people were arguing that Mearls should face consequences for someone else's actions. It seems that people looking for something about which to be outraged have found Zak, who provides plenty of transgression to fuel that fire. The problem is that Zak is the sort of person you can't really bully, because he doesn't seem to care about anyone else's opinion of him and he will gleefully and aggressively go after people who speak out against him. That leaves Mike, a genuinely decent and pleasant guy who can be (and, I'm sure, has been) hurt by the vitriol hurled at him recently, and WotC which is a company that seems to prioritise the expression of trendy and modern social values.

One of the reasons 5e is such a runaway success is that WotC took the time to reach out to the OSR crowd and find out what made OSR products popular. After all, the objective of 5e was to give the D&D market what we wanted to buy. At the time, the reasonable (in my opinion) belief was that if the D&D brand was to be revived, the focus needed to be on the quality of the product as a game system, and not on trying to only work with people who check all the right boxes for social values and enlightened behavior. I've never played a game using one of Zak's products, but the one thing I know about them is they were popular and well received. He can be a scumbag and still make a good product.

In the end, Hasbro almost certainly is delighted with the end result of consulting with the OSR game designers, including Zak. The resulting product has outperformed their most ambitious hopes, and they're very happy indeed with the performance of the entire team, including Mike. They are also a soulless corporation that is entirely willing to throw a valuable employee--one who has made them truckloads of money--under the bus to help the marketing department recruit and appease the "influencers" that seem to drive sales these days. That's why I worry about Mike--I know he's a good guy and a valuable cornerstone of the D&D team, and I know that the folks that sign the checks all know that. I also have no confidence that they would hesitate to offer him up on the altar of social media as a conspicuous display of en vogue social values.
Mike forwarding the evidence and complaints to Zak S was not someone else's actions, those actions and poor decisions were his own. The resulting anger after the what was considered a poor apology and failing to take ownership were the natural consequences.
 

Rellott

Explorer
Mike forwarding the evidence and complaints to Zak S was not someone else's actions, those actions and poor decisions were his own. The resulting anger after the what was considered a poor apology and failing to take ownership were the natural consequences.
Two caveats before my reply: 1. I have been a casual observer of this incident, starting only after it became a public incident. 2. I don’t condone what Zak did, nor do I have any particular attachment to Mearls.

In the several threads and articles I’ve read about this, I’ve seen people repeatedly accuse Mearls of sharing that info, and I’ve repeatedly seen others calling it hearsay and speculation. I have never seen any proof that Mearls did that. If he did, that’s indeed not a good thing, but hindsight is 20/20 and he may not have realized exactly how bad a thing it would turn out to be.
 

epithet

Explorer
Careful. Your bias is showing just a teeny bit there. I'd argue that removing Zak S's name from a book and refusing to have anything to do with him after it's definitively shown that he is a scumbag, is hardly throwing "a valuable employee... under the bus" to "appease the influencers".

Funny how refusing to work with abusers and whatnot is "en vogue social values". :erm:
The valuable employee is Mike. Whether a consultant or a play tester, Zak doesn’t appear to have ever been an employee, and striking a credit from new editions of the PHB is hardly throwing someone under the bus.

The idea that a company should avoid even an arms-length cooperation with a scumbag is a relatively new one, largely the result of social media.
 

bedir than

Explorer
It's not just the Happy Hour that disappeared, but Unearthed Arcana as well. Supposedly that moved from monthly to just "when needed." But there was word that the next UA would be an expansion on the Artificer, and wellllllll........ it's been 3 months since the latest Artificer
 

Rellott

Explorer
It's not just the Happy Hour that disappeared, but Unearthed Arcana as well. Supposedly that moved from monthly to just "when needed." But there was word that the next UA would be an expansion on the Artificer, and wellllllll........ it's been 3 months since the latest Artificer
I don’t think Mearls being pulled from public eye would affect that. I think that’s just them doing exactly what I predicted would happen when they moved the date to the end of the month: “We’re gonna try to put one out every month, but if we don’t make it, we’ll try again the next month... Oops, we missed this month’s deadline, so we’ll get something out next month... Oops, we missed this month’s deadline, so we’ll get something out next month........”
Taking away the hard deadline makes it easier to skate past all the people that would rage at them whenever they would miss a deadline in the past.
 

epithet

Explorer
Mike forwarding the evidence and complaints to Zak S was not someone else's actions, those actions and poor decisions were his own. The resulting anger after the what was considered a poor apology and failing to take ownership were the natural consequences.
I don't know what, if anything, was actually forwarded to Zak by Mike. Do you? Does anyone who is indulging in this "resulting anger" you're justifying? Let's be clear--at the time, Zak was coming under fire for being a tool to people online. That's it. Mike was asked to look into it, and my guess is that he said to Zak "you've been accused of doing the following things... do you have an excuse or justification?" Maybe it was apparent to Zak who had complained, based on the nature of the accusations, I don't know.

Mike was never, as far as I can tell, in the position of investigating accusations of domestic abuse, which is what Zak is now in trouble for. I find it difficult to imagine that Mike would be asked or would agree to conduct that kind of enquiry.

So what we've got is a situation where Zak said some crap to and about some people on the internet. Mike was asked to look at the situation and was mostly dismissive. Years later, Zak is accused of domestic abuse, and now people are screaming that Mike should have taken steps to "deplatform" Zak back then, because apparently Mike should have known that someone who was saying crap on the internet was also abusive in real life. People who don't know Zak, his (ex)girlfriend, any of the people who Zak was talking crap to or about, or Mike, are nevertheless feeling all kinds of entitled to their share of the "resulting anger" without any obligation to know what the hell they're talking about.

To be clear--if Zak harassed you and Mike was dismissive of that harassment, you have every right to be angry. If you have done your homework and become knowledgeable about this issue (with respect to actual facts, not just accusations) then you are absolutely entitled to hold and share a strong opinion. But if you're just mad because you haven't seen Mike apologize enough for something you heard he might have done which may have empowered a scumbag to be a bigger scumbag and that's suddenly relevant because you've heard that scumbag has been accused of some horrible (but unrelated) stuff, then it seems to me that you're just joining an outrage mob for the opportunity to vent your spleen on someone without repercussion.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I don't know what, if anything, was actually forwarded to Zak by Mike. Do you? Does anyone who is indulging in this "resulting anger" you're justifying? Let's be clear--at the time, Zak was coming under fire for being a tool to people online. That's it. Mike was asked to look into it, and my guess is that he said to Zak "you've been accused of doing the following things... do you have an excuse or justification?" Maybe it was apparent to Zak who had complained, based on the nature of the accusations, I don't know.

Mike was never, as far as I can tell, in the position of investigating accusations of domestic abuse, which is what Zak is now in trouble for. I find it difficult to imagine that Mike would be asked or would agree to conduct that kind of enquiry.

So what we've got is a situation where Zak said some crap to and about some people on the internet. Mike was asked to look at the situation and was mostly dismissive. Years later, Zak is accused of domestic abuse, and now people are screaming that Mike should have taken steps to "deplatform" Zak back then, because apparently Mike should have known that someone who was saying crap on the internet was also abusive in real life. People who don't know Zak, his (ex)girlfriend, any of the people who Zak was talking crap to or about, or Mike, are nevertheless feeling all kinds of entitled to their share of the "resulting anger" without any obligation to know what the hell they're talking about.

To be clear--if Zak harassed you and Mike was dismissive of that harassment, you have every right to be angry. If you have done your homework and become knowledgeable about this issue (with respect to actual facts, not just accusations) then you are absolutely entitled to hold and share a strong opinion. But if you're just mad because you haven't seen Mike apologize enough for something you heard he might have done which may have empowered a scumbag to be a bigger scumbag and that's suddenly relevant because you've heard that scumbag has been accused of some horrible (but unrelated) stuff, then it seems to me that you're just joining an outrage mob for the opportunity to vent your spleen on someone without repercussion.
I think you’d be surprised at the sheer number of people with personal stakes in this.

And no, people weren’t asking Mearls to go back in time and not have enabled him. They were asking for a decent apology.

It’s important who the representatives of the flagship game in our hobby choose to associate with, and who they choose not to. It sends a message. And, unfortunately, it’s been the wrong message more than once.
 
Sorry for necroposting but going over this thread makes me depressed.

Mearls was the one designer who looked fun to engage with when it came to tinkering with the rules, engaging with the fan base on underperforming content (as opposed to dismissing them). This is right around the time I was gettign disillusioned with 5e as a whole, and Mike's content (whether I was building a new system or reworking 5e) was incredibly valuable for inspiration and feedback. Most of all he felt so tapped into the more hardcore fanbase, especially players who love mechanics/combat focused games, which gave me the sense of this being a whole lot less corporatized.

I wish I could see him on SM again. Of any kind, really. But by now, I think they've probably brought in a freelancer (and I'm thinking of one in particular) to phase him out.

It's sad, and I can't think of anyone who benefited from the situation besides a few people who enjoyed some high engagement tweets.

Hope those internet points were worth it.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
From what I understand, he's been busy consulting on Baldur's Gate 3. I wouldn't be surprised if he comes back in the future for HFH or other streaming content.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Sorry for necroposting but going over this thread makes me depressed.

Mearls was the one designer who looked fun to engage with when it came to tinkering with the rules, engaging with the fan base on underperforming content (as opposed to dismissing them). This is right around the time I was gettign disillusioned with 5e as a whole, and Mike's content (whether I was building a new system or reworking 5e) was incredibly valuable for inspiration and feedback. Most of all he felt so tapped into the more hardcore fanbase, especially players who love mechanics/combat focused games, which gave me the sense of this being a whole lot less corporatized.

I wish I could see him on SM again. Of any kind, really. But by now, I think they've probably brought in a freelancer (and I'm thinking of one in particular) to phase him out.

It's sad, and I can't think of anyone who benefited from the situation besides a few people who enjoyed some high engagement tweets.

Hope those internet points were worth it.
He's not been pushed out, he was promoted and got off of social media.

He's done quite a few interviews about BG3, and is involved in more behind the scenes high-level franchise development now.
 
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