Today, Blizzard released two trailers for our enjoyment. The first, for WoW Patch 5.2.
I wanna make one observation. The voice of the narrator is the same horrid, insulting mock-Chinese that we’ve heard elsewhere.
Yeah, that’s them.
So George Lucas gets all sorts of hate and grief for using these stupid racial stereotypes, but Blizzard gets s free pass? Guys?
Can we move on from this crap?
Maybe this guy can report it for you when it happens.
The other trailer is for Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
So, can someone tell me why Sarah Kerrigan still wears high heels into battle? Can somebody explain to me why her mutated Zerg form also has high heels? Can somebody explain to me why all the guys are wearing tank-grade armor while she’s in form-fitting catsuit armor?
Pontificator In Chief what’s no longer doing MMO blogging Tobold went back to the well to pontificate, yet again, how DPS R Bad Peepuls, yawl1.
If by the tone of my opening paragraph you conclude that I stand in direct opposition to his conclusion, one would be right in supporting your impression, for I certainly do.
In Tobold’s world, everything lives in a theoretical vacuum, a world in which the likes of Gevlon can be as correct as he, for neither of them really engage in what I would consider practical theory crafting. Gevlon’s world is one in which everyone is a total rat bastard on toast, out to get you and deflower your mum. Tobold’s word differs slightly in that everyone involved is somehow a robot following preprogrammed pathways that have no dependence on those around them.
When isolated in such a way from reality, conclusions such as "healers and tanks are the only responsible gamers" can be fully formed and realized without spending any amount of time reflecting on the premise that the problem is not the group dynamic, but, in reality, the LACK of group dynamic.
First of all, I wish to lay out some bona fides here. I prefer the DPS life because I like making things go boom, whether it’s a gun or a fireball. I have, however, also ran a toon through an entire expansion as a healer, two-healing my way through all the Wrath raids (which kinda explains the eventual burnout, but hey – BONA FIDES!). So I am INTIMATELY familiar with two of the three roles in this game. I’m not so certain about mister Tobold.
What I DO know is that Tobold’s over-simplistic view of the DPS role is as shallow as a Las Vegas lounge lizard, and only half as agreeable. His view is that the typical DPS player is the kind of person that sits around the periphery space-bar-jumping over and over and pausing occasionally to go "hurr de hurr durr" in between the occasional frostbolt and side trip to the nearest burning patch of fire on the floor.
What he described was the average BAD DPSer.
If you’ve spent any time being any good as a DPSer over the past three expansions, you’ll have noticed something. You’ve got a LOT of responsibility going on. Soaking crystals. Pulling down drakes. Banging gongs. AoEing parasites. Run into the portal. DPS the brain, but not too much. Burn down the Sons. Hell, I don’t think many of the bosses in this last expansion ever allowed a DPSer to sit around and pew pew pew, though Ultraxion comes close. But you have to DIG to find something from Kara on forward that didn’t offer new challenges to the DPS team. Challenges that the healers were usually excused from.
So, you want to talk responsibility, Mister Tobold Sir, you go right ahead. All it’s really doing is making it look like you never set foot in Firelands, for starters.
There is a group dynamic in raiding and instancing that changes depending on the people you are with. LFD and LFR represent the worst-case scenario. You get the utter dregs from there. You can’t really judge the game in its intended form by those examples.
But if you take a group of repeat raiders and repeat dungeoneers, you get a different reality. In that reality, bad DPSers don’t come back if they don’t improve. In that reality, people talk about the instances and communicate who’s job is what. In that reality – the one in which people are people rather than asshatty robots – responsibility for failure is shared by the whole team, DPS, healer, and tank. It is, in reality, a team, and functions in a team dynamic.
Tolbold, apparently, has not instanced with anyone but total strangers, been required to carry the entire instance on his frail shoulders, and has never once been able to get DPSers to do anything but stand around and scratch their belfy butts. I’d be bitter in that scenario, as well. But I’d reach a far different conclusion, because I read more than my own blog and those like it. Every day I read about yet another group of my friends getting through another tough fight, in which everyone worked to get the job done and nobody was getting off on blaming one or the other particular role in the group.
The choice is yours, of course, but if you’re inclined to listen to this guy, I gotta tell you he’s about as wrong as a whistling fish. You can do better than he as a source of information when it comes to MMOs. Especially since, yaknow, he doesn’t blog about MMOs now.
Update: First post of this had two pictures not show, and that’s probably what made it into the feed, so if you normally read via a feed reader, you missed a couple of pics. I had to manually edit a few things. /le sigh
Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couln’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
Challenge six new bloggers.
Link to them.
As many bloggers thus tagged have found out, the originator of this meme was unually well-organized, and the whole sub-folder thing often falls apart. Or maybe s/he had a Mac. Who knows? the upshot is, we often have to interpret a bit, and I’m no different.
For example, I keep my WoW screenshots folder fairly clean, rarely accumulating more than 20 or so screenshots that don’t get dealt with. Right now, the sixth image is this.
When I went to the End Time, I just had to get a screenie of Deathwing’s smoking corpse. Possibly one of the most iconic images of the whole expansion.
My “Blog headers” directory is full of the images that you see appear at the top of this blog. They are an accumulation of screenies and art that I have come across over the years. The sixth image from that directory is this.
This is Jasra, with our guildies, preparing to attack Ignis in Ulduar. I will not deny, she’s voguing for the camera in this shot. If I remember, we took him down on this attempt.
But I do have a folder where all the blogging stuff goes, and it has many subfolders, so let’s have a gander.
Ah, yes, Fanny Thundermar. This folder is where I collect “incidentals”, images that I use to illustrate whatever point it is I’m illustrating. It’s a real swamp in there, so I’m glad it was something as good as this fiery young lady, slayer of ogres using nothing but an iron skillet (hey, it worked for Sam!), and originator of the phrase, “arse like an anvil”.
And finally, for giggles, here is the image for the “My Pictures” directory.
Obviously from a Dwarf Humor website.
Oh, so now I have to challenge and link some new ones. Here are my choices.
As you may or may not have seen in amidst all the excitement from Blizzcon, there was a decidedly sour note hit at the end of the convention. As fanboy favorite L90ETC hit the stage, they gave a big ol shout-out to the author of this lovely diatribe.
(Despite what you may have heard, this was not bleeped in any way at the con.)
Now, this was presented in typical fratboy "lol-wuz-dat-funny-Billy-Bob-yeah-dat-was-Cleetus-hurr-hurr" kind of way. But, as has been noticed by a few sharp citizens, Blizzard themselves didn’t really seem to mind that our nasty little friend1 was a homophobic bozo. And in fact they didn’t even make a statement about it until people made a fuss on the forums, at which point Bashiok, CM to the Gods2, laid this out there.
If it offended you I genuinely apologize.
"IF it offended you, I apolgize" Weaksauce. There is no apology here. Blizzard isn’t owning this. They’re saying YOU’RE the problem. If YOU are offended, they’re sorry. If you’re not, have a beer, you’re fucking awesome.
It was there because we thought it was funny – it was for fun. We didn’t take it seriously,
"WE think it’s funny. We don’t take things like ‘feelings’ seriously."
it just happened to be a relevant intro for Corpsegrinder as he came out to sing(?) with the ‘horde’ themed LVL80ETC.
"Listen, we needed a relevant video that showed his finer points. I’m sure you’ll agree, we captured that pretty well."
I actually don’t think we’ve ever seen an uncensored version.
"Our PR department was too drunk to float us an uncensored copy or raise any red flags, and in ALL OUR YEARS OF ADMIRING THIS GUY, we never noticed that his jib was cut that way."
I don’t want to continue belaboring the point, but in the video Corpsegrinder (after his remarks) laughs and says "It’s just a game." He’s joking. Granted the joke uses profanity, but there’s no intent behind it.
"Listen, I’m tired of trying to appease you whiners. I’m sorry you don’t like profanity, but he’s not smart enough to find a substitute word for ‘fag’."
Well golly. I guess we should take our little sensitive selves and go play with our dolls. Weaksauce!
The blogging community has been far less apathetic.
I stand with them, and with every one among us that has suffered at the hands of the fratboys and their sycophants. Anyone that has felt they had to hide their religion, gender identity, political party, geek clan affiliation5. Anyone that has had to endure a the hands of bullies because of race, gender, or other deviation from what a bunch of Biffs and Buffys have determined to be "normal."
I don’t care if you were born that way, made a choice, or ended up there after a series of amazing coincidences. It doesn’t matter to me how it happened6. All that matters to me is who you are and how you feel around all this hostility towards yourself.
I remember the feelings. 98 pounds, five-foot-four, surrounded by jocks and rednecks. Getting my ass rolled year after year on the way to and from school. It was hell being a nearsighted underweight geek as a kid, and there are moments of shame I will never live down.
That’s nothing compared to what a gay man or trans woman might experience day in and day out. I was able to leave my childhood behind7, but someone of non-white ethnicity, non-traditional religion, or LGBT – that’s for life, every day, and it has to be pretty damned scary to have to know that there is no end in sight, and even if you have the temerity to speak up in your own defense, you’re told it’s all just a joke and you should just get over yourself.
In the name of a joke, a bunch of inconsiderate louts made the environment around Blizzard HQ – and all it stands for – hostile to people that don’t fit a narrowly defined template of ‘normal’. The message is clear: "be like us, or wipe your faggoty eyes and go kill yourself like like a good <insert thing here>."
No. Not only NO, but HELLS TO THE NO.
Right now we’re playing a little game. How much bullshit are we willing to take from Blizzard before we kick them to the curb? Why is it so hard for them to act like, yanno, people?
But it’s coming to a tipping point. Eventually I’ll be looking at my email, get a reminder that my time card is about to expire, see something like this, and think "Not another dollar, assholes. Not until you own your shit and make things right."
For a company that has its hand out to us in the hope that we’ll plunk down over a C-note for a years’ subscription, they’re sure sending an odd message. One might think they’d be more eager to at least pander to what appears to be a large segment of their customers, instead of making fun of them and going "Ha ha, j/k!" when called on it.
There are plenty of other games out there to play. Plenty of them don’t make people feel marginalized about who they are. And, no, WoW doesn’t actually do that in-game (unless you run into this guy now), but Blizzcon is very much a part of the WoW experience, and it just got tainted, badly, by a bunch of jerks, their fanboys, and their inability to handle it gracefully.
Ball’s in your court, Blizzard. Grow the hell up.
Two final points.
Firstly, a lot of people have gotten the whole horde-vs-alliance thing mixed up in all this. That’s a red herring. I don’t give a shit, really, if you’re that into being Horde. I might feel sorry for ya, bro, but you go right on ahead and pretend it matters. What this post is about, which you should realize if you’re read this far, is that they’re using speech that is hateful to a large segment of the community in the process of trying to denigrate a game faction. Not cool. If it helps, substitute "Niggers"8 for "Fags" and see how comfortable you feel about it.
Secondly, I opened with "it was sure to flare up again". In a way, this isn’t just about LGBT discrimination. This is about mutual respect of your fellow gamer, of your fellow human beings. If what you do is founded on putting someone down, you will eventually lose your footing. Last time, which I referred to obliquely, was around the topic of feminism and the disrespect of females in-game and out that Blizzard has inadvertantly supported. To that, add gay-bashing.
That this recurs is the problem. Blizzard, again, needs to own its shit and clean up its act. Until that happens, this will happen again.
See you back at this particular soapbox in a few months.
Yes, they admire this guy and his band so much that they put an NPC in-game way back in WOTLK. [↩]
Not really. Turns out, it wasn’t a smoke screen. What seemed too ridiculous to be real, was real.
Okay, I still think Pandaren are a silly, goofy thing. And they come from outer space. On the back of a giant space turtle, apparently. But then I remember the Eredar Draenai were basically space goats that arrived when their spaceship stolen space fortress crash landed dematerialized on the one uninhabited island in the whole ocean, and I guess it’s no worse than what I’ve swallowed before.
Still, I know one blogger already who has decided that they’ve jumped the shark, and I can’t say I blame him. "Past expansions have been sooo dark!" Well, duh. *WAR*craft, yo. It’s what we do.
Having said that, let’s pretend to take it serious for a second and make some observations.
Newbie area is open for playing at Blizzcon. So they’ve been putting in some significant work already, and this probably explains a few things in other areas, such as why they suddenly decided against that undersea raid in 4.2. Bob, you’re needed in Room 12. No, I’ll take care of this, just go!
Looks like the zones and some instances are ready for fly-throughs already. Again, they’ve had people on this for a while. This is where Cata was at twelve months after the reveal. They really are at it, aren’t they?
The upshot of 1 and 2 is that I think the trends in subscriptions really has gotten some attention, and they really have committed to iterate faster and harder to level that out.
To further pander to the "subs are falling" crowd, there’s the fact that they are now offering Diablo III for free with a full year subscription1. If you’re from "that" crowd, then this is proof positive that they’re worried sick over subscriptions. Either way, this truly is an amazingly potent loyalty reward.
There is a crowd that is disparaging this expansion as the marker of when Blizz officially gave up caring about keeping WoW fresh, and focusing on Titan. I’m not so sure. It sounds like some of the new features – such as "challenge dungeons" – aren’t the kind of thing you see in an abandoned property.
What DOES concern me is the movement away from the darker, gothic setting that is the foundation of the franchise. It’s really starting to look like they’re shooting for a less mature demographic. Kung Fu Pandas2 really appeal more to the child inside, and, while I see nothing wrong with that, I didn’t come to Azeroth for that sort of gratification.
There is far more to this expansion than the Pandaren, tough, and there’s a lot to digest. The talent tree is either far more complex than it looks, or has become disappointingly simplified. Battle pets seems like a cross between Pokemon and Rappelz, which may be instant gratification for pet collectors. As long as Flora’s oozling can grow horns or something she’s happy.
Sadly, this may end up being a guild-breaker for some considering the near-violent reactions I’ve seen in some of my guildies. I think a lot of people were looking for an excuse to ditch WoW for SWTOR (or whatever it is) and its Ewoks, and you gotta admit that this is a fairly polarizing choice on Blizzard’s part.
ONE thing for sure – regardless of how many emails you got from Bioware yesterday, you probably weren’t paying a lot of attention to them.
No, I won’t be. I want to get D3 for my kid, but any copy attached to my account will be unplayable when I’m logged in, and, ya know … [↩]
Enjoy the lawsuit, by the way, Blizz. In Disney there be dragons. [↩]
Yes, it’s true. I’m picking up Inscription. Where feasible, I’ve been getting my training mats off of the AH, but when the process leave that blessed realm, I have to go out and get my own. Last night I was flying around Blasted Lands and overflew the somewhat amusing "Murlocs in Bondage" motif when I noticed this little tableau.
Best I can tell, the Naga have sanctioned Murloc Mud Wrestling contests.
We should look into getting one of those in Stormwind.