So as you are undoubtedly aware, Blizzard announced a “pre-order” for Warlords of Draenor today. In exchange for plunking down $50 less a penny, plus tax, you will receive in about nine months time the right to have your characters participate in a time paradox too convoluted for even DC or Marvel to print. You also get to “boost” a character to level 90 to join all the other level 90 characters you have. If you toss down an additional Jackson you get what looks to me to be a mount, a non-combat pet, and some things for games I don’t play.
Call me a pessimist or a grouch. It’s not something I’m going to jump into right away.
I don’t think I’ve hidden my scorn for the actual storyline of Worlds of Draenor. I think the whole setup is a sham, intended for people who want to write about manly orcs doing manly things. I complained about the promotional material being sexist, but I think that’s because the entire setup, the entire story, and the concept is sexist. (Not to mention racist, too, but I think if one were to touch that subject nine-tenths of fantasy would come crashing down.)
I’m holding myself open to being convinced that it will all work out, and it will all be compelling. With each day that passes, though, and as each new nugget of information comes out, I become more and more skeptical. Also today my attention was drawn to the Amazon listing for “War Crimes”, which is apparently how Blizzard will deliver the lore concerning Garrosh’s trial in Pandaria. Here’s what I consider to be the (counterfeit) money quote:
The list of the heinous crimes alone was powerful enough to make Jaina tense. She glanced over at where Vol’jin and the other Horde leaders sat. She had heard of the treatment of trolls under Garrosh—and what the orc had tried to do to Vol’jin himself. “Enslavement. The abduction of children. Torture. The killing of prisoners. Forced pregnancy.”
I will let other pens dwell on the vulgarity of the phrase “forced pregnancy”. Mine will dwell on how lost the author seems to be with the plot. Here we have such a grandiose event that it’s the grandiosity, not the characters and certainly not the story-telling that will carry the day. Perhaps the rest of the book is better, but I’m of the view that most publishing companies like to use the best bits rather than the worst. If the best the company can do is a section which indicates Garrosh tried to forcibly impregnate Vol’jin, I’m not looking forward to the worst.
Even so, my view of the game itself is not going to be determined by the ridiculousness of the plot, but how that plot is presented and how the role of the adventurer is developed within the story. My sense, from what I’ve seen from Blizzard, is that this is going to get the short shrift: we are supposed to be so in awe of these powerful lore characters that we just get swept along into the fight. I’m not. I just don’t give a shit about orcs.
I also really don’t care about the carrots they’re using for me to plunk down my credit card nine months before I need to. Another level 90? Well, that sounds swell, except… I have a level 81 monk, a level 80 priest, a level 70 paladin, another level 65 mage, among others, who petered out during the adventuring process and who, if I really wanted to take them to 90, I would do it the old fashioned way. I have four level 90s and three of them I don’t play to any significant degree. Am I really going to jump into end game content I’m already tired of with a different character? The level 90 boost seems a waste for me.
The mount and pet would be +1s to a set of things I don’t really care about. And I don’t play Starcraft or Diablo so neither of those goodies appeal to me either. I don’t think they’re worth plunking down the extra $20 in any case.
In short, I have no desire to spend the $50 to $70 to commit myself to a game nine months from now I may not be interested in playing. Your mileage may vary, of course, and of course you have your own blog for that.
I suppose I might have a rosier view of the whole thing if World of Warcraft right now were compelling at all. It isn’t. I haven’t run any progression content in a couple months (since our raid team’s tank decided to cancel her subscription). It doesn’t feel like I’ve run any content at all in a month, save for a few attempts at the Proving Grounds.
RP is RP, but I’ll have another post about that soon.
I’ve never been less certain that I’ll be playing Warcraft in the next few months. It may be time for me to move on.