Bill is a nice man!
I want to unpack my objections to the official line/emerging consensus a little. And then, probably, Bill and I would each like to continue exploring alternatives to the official line, since we each run games in which there may be civilians in danger.
Thing One: I really am bothered by reducing (fictional) people to reflections of my (fictional hero's) mood. This is related to some stuff I wrote last year
about what I think "conflict resolution" is and isn't good for. (Bonus Cortex Plus content you can use!)
Thing Two: In a superhero game with a different mechanic for civilian endangerment, my hero choosing to save civilians represents - heroism! Altruism. Responsibility. In a superhero game with the official-line mechanic for civilian endangerment, my hero choosing to save civilians is just another form of self-defense. I lost the hero part.
Thing Three: From the Watcher side, if it's just another attack by the villain, I've lost a tactical option I'd like to have: extra things the heroes have to worry about besides
the villain's turn. That is, if I'm a Watcher, one thing I want from civilian endangerment is to keep the heroes from ganging up on the Big Bad quite yet