I Like Pancakes

Apr 14

tigercranestyle:

i-like-pancakes:

valkyrierisen:

(snipped)

On the contrary. It may not change Warcraft or Blizzard (and I agree, one voice probably won’t). But neither will continuing to play the game and complaining about its sexism.
What it will change, and no one can deny that it will, is that I will no longer have to put up with a game or a company that treats women like shit and encourages players who have sexist attitudes to play their games and bring those attitudes toward the community. I no longer have to put up with that.
I don’t play games for the purpose of changing the practices of billion dollar gaming companies. I play games to have fun. If playing Warcraft is fun for you despite Blizzard’s sexism, good for you, but it makes your complaints about that sexism pretty damned hollow.

If it makes you feel better to leave WoW, then do so. That’s a decision that only you can make. Everyone has their limits about what they can tolerate.
But dont sit here and tell the rest of us that are fighting and HAVE GOTTEN CHANGE TO HAPPEN that we’re Doing It Wrong because we make the choice to stay and fight. Because leaving WoW for me would be more than just disconnecting myself from Blizz’s shitty writing practices. I still enjoy raiding and the gameplay content they create. I still love playing my monk. I have years of memories and accomplishments and dozens of friends that I love and value that I met through this game. And leaving would very much assure that I would lose contact with them. 
So leaving isnt as simple as you’re making it out to be. Dont sit there and tell me or anyone else that we’re hypocrites because we didnt take the same path as you.

I never called you a hypocrite. That word was never in my post. I said your protests were hollow, in that words are less meaningful unless they are followed with corresponding actions
Pat yourself on the back for Ji Firepaw all you want, but from where I am sitting Warlords of Draenor contains more sexism, overt and suggested, than any game Blizzard has ever created. I am struggling to think of a game that I have played that was more sexist in nature. We may have won a battle, but we are most definitely losing the war.
I never said quitting was simple. Figuring out who to give out my Skype and e-mail address to is not an easy choice, although really anyone reading this blog has my e-mail address. Don’t pretend that I don’t haven’t enjoyed the same damn things you do. I understand that you don’t want to give those things up. I don’t want to give those things up either. But I will, because I believe Warcraft in Warlords of Draenor and beyond will not be fun because of the sorts of people Blizzard encourages to play its game and because of the story Blizzard has created.
By all means, keep complaining. I just hope that as you complain you also ask yourself “Is the game fun for me anymore?” There is an incredible amount of inertia from your prior time invested in the game to keep playing and keep hoping that it will be fun again. You admitted it yourself in your post. Many people continue to play Warcraft well past the time it stops being fun for them.
When I see people write about this topic, I see a lot of people who seem to be so annoyed with the game that I can’t imagine it’s fun for them. I think they are sticking with the game out of inertia. I think they would be better off confronting their feelings and stop investing their time and effort into something that isn’t fun for them.
There are other games out there. They can be a lot of fun too.

tigercranestyle:

i-like-pancakes:

valkyrierisen:

(snipped)

On the contrary. It may not change Warcraft or Blizzard (and I agree, one voice probably won’t). But neither will continuing to play the game and complaining about its sexism.

What it will change, and no one can deny that it will, is that I will no longer have to put up with a game or a company that treats women like shit and encourages players who have sexist attitudes to play their games and bring those attitudes toward the community. I no longer have to put up with that.

I don’t play games for the purpose of changing the practices of billion dollar gaming companies. I play games to have fun. If playing Warcraft is fun for you despite Blizzard’s sexism, good for you, but it makes your complaints about that sexism pretty damned hollow.

If it makes you feel better to leave WoW, then do so. That’s a decision that only you can make. Everyone has their limits about what they can tolerate.

But dont sit here and tell the rest of us that are fighting and HAVE GOTTEN CHANGE TO HAPPEN that we’re Doing It Wrong because we make the choice to stay and fight. Because leaving WoW for me would be more than just disconnecting myself from Blizz’s shitty writing practices. I still enjoy raiding and the gameplay content they create. I still love playing my monk. I have years of memories and accomplishments and dozens of friends that I love and value that I met through this game. And leaving would very much assure that I would lose contact with them. 

So leaving isnt as simple as you’re making it out to be. Dont sit there and tell me or anyone else that we’re hypocrites because we didnt take the same path as you.

I never called you a hypocrite. That word was never in my post. I said your protests were hollow, in that words are less meaningful unless they are followed with corresponding actions

Pat yourself on the back for Ji Firepaw all you want, but from where I am sitting Warlords of Draenor contains more sexism, overt and suggested, than any game Blizzard has ever created. I am struggling to think of a game that I have played that was more sexist in nature. We may have won a battle, but we are most definitely losing the war.

I never said quitting was simple. Figuring out who to give out my Skype and e-mail address to is not an easy choice, although really anyone reading this blog has my e-mail address. Don’t pretend that I don’t haven’t enjoyed the same damn things you do. I understand that you don’t want to give those things up. I don’t want to give those things up either. But I will, because I believe Warcraft in Warlords of Draenor and beyond will not be fun because of the sorts of people Blizzard encourages to play its game and because of the story Blizzard has created.

By all means, keep complaining. I just hope that as you complain you also ask yourself “Is the game fun for me anymore?” There is an incredible amount of inertia from your prior time invested in the game to keep playing and keep hoping that it will be fun again. You admitted it yourself in your post. Many people continue to play Warcraft well past the time it stops being fun for them.

When I see people write about this topic, I see a lot of people who seem to be so annoyed with the game that I can’t imagine it’s fun for them. I think they are sticking with the game out of inertia. I think they would be better off confronting their feelings and stop investing their time and effort into something that isn’t fun for them.

There are other games out there. They can be a lot of fun too.

(Source: soetzufit)

valkyrierisen:

tigercranestyle:

i-like-pancakes:

tigercranestyle:

(snipped)

This can be taken in two ways.
First, that you are agreeing with me and that nothing will change until people start quitting over crap like this. If that is what you mean, well, I agree. I’m not sure that will change anything but it seems to be about as a good a way as any.
If, however, you meant the opposite, that quitting won’t change anything, and that the only way to change the game is to keep playing it and work within the system, I disagree. I think if a high profile blogger like Rades or Applecidermage or Cynwise or any of the folks at WoWInsider put their foot down and said “Hey, this is it. I’m quitting the game and this is why,” well, that would serve to call far more attention to the issue than an endless series of “Please Blizzard don’t be sexist.” And for anyone who is complaining about the issue, “I don’t like this but the game is still fun for me so I will continue to play” makes the “I don’t like this” part seem very weak and inconsequential. As long as you continue to pay for a subscription why should Blizzard care if you don’t like their storytelling or their marketing?
But for me that’s beside the point. I have a completely minimal interest in changing sexist practices of some billion dollar gaming company. I just want to play a fun game. Shit like this ruins the game for me. I’m not quitting out of protest. I’m quitting because the game is no longer fun, and I play games for fun.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work within the system to change it if the game is still fun for you and that’s what you want to do. What I am saying is there are a lot of games out there that are not as overtly sexist as World of Warcraft, and those might be more worthy of your dollars.

There’s only one way to take that, honestly. 
When you quit, when you leave the table, you lose your place at it. When you have no place at the table, nobody’s gonna listen to you when you try to change things. The ‘quitting wow’ protest is old, trite, and its certainly self-delusional. 
Cause Blizzard wont care if Rades or Applecidermage quit. They have seven million players and two leaving them over their sexist bullshit wont even register with them. Blizz doesnt care if two people who don’t even play their game have something to say about it. But when their paying playerbase lashes at them for their bullshit en masse? They pay attention. 
So no, leaving WoW wont change anything and just take away another voice trying to change things for the better.

Leaving wow won’t change anything.

On the contrary. It may not change Warcraft or Blizzard (and I agree, one voice probably won’t). But neither will continuing to play the game and complaining about its sexism.
What it will change, and no one can deny that it will, is that I will no longer have to put up with a game or a company that treats women like shit and encourages players who have sexist attitudes to play their games and bring those attitudes toward the community. I no longer have to put up with that.
I don’t play games for the purpose of changing the practices of billion dollar gaming companies. I play games to have fun. If playing Warcraft is fun for you despite Blizzard’s sexism, good for you, but it makes your complaints about that sexism pretty damned hollow.

valkyrierisen:

tigercranestyle:

i-like-pancakes:

tigercranestyle:

(snipped)

This can be taken in two ways.

First, that you are agreeing with me and that nothing will change until people start quitting over crap like this. If that is what you mean, well, I agree. I’m not sure that will change anything but it seems to be about as a good a way as any.

If, however, you meant the opposite, that quitting won’t change anything, and that the only way to change the game is to keep playing it and work within the system, I disagree. I think if a high profile blogger like Rades or Applecidermage or Cynwise or any of the folks at WoWInsider put their foot down and said “Hey, this is it. I’m quitting the game and this is why,” well, that would serve to call far more attention to the issue than an endless series of “Please Blizzard don’t be sexist.” And for anyone who is complaining about the issue, “I don’t like this but the game is still fun for me so I will continue to play” makes the “I don’t like this” part seem very weak and inconsequential. As long as you continue to pay for a subscription why should Blizzard care if you don’t like their storytelling or their marketing?

But for me that’s beside the point. I have a completely minimal interest in changing sexist practices of some billion dollar gaming company. I just want to play a fun game. Shit like this ruins the game for me. I’m not quitting out of protest. I’m quitting because the game is no longer fun, and I play games for fun.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work within the system to change it if the game is still fun for you and that’s what you want to do. What I am saying is there are a lot of games out there that are not as overtly sexist as World of Warcraft, and those might be more worthy of your dollars.

There’s only one way to take that, honestly. 

When you quit, when you leave the table, you lose your place at it. When you have no place at the table, nobody’s gonna listen to you when you try to change things. The ‘quitting wow’ protest is old, trite, and its certainly self-delusional. 

Cause Blizzard wont care if Rades or Applecidermage quit. They have seven million players and two leaving them over their sexist bullshit wont even register with them. Blizz doesnt care if two people who don’t even play their game have something to say about it. But when their paying playerbase lashes at them for their bullshit en masse? They pay attention. 

So no, leaving WoW wont change anything and just take away another voice trying to change things for the better.

Leaving wow won’t change anything.

On the contrary. It may not change Warcraft or Blizzard (and I agree, one voice probably won’t). But neither will continuing to play the game and complaining about its sexism.

What it will change, and no one can deny that it will, is that I will no longer have to put up with a game or a company that treats women like shit and encourages players who have sexist attitudes to play their games and bring those attitudes toward the community. I no longer have to put up with that.

I don’t play games for the purpose of changing the practices of billion dollar gaming companies. I play games to have fun. If playing Warcraft is fun for you despite Blizzard’s sexism, good for you, but it makes your complaints about that sexism pretty damned hollow.

(Source: soetzufit)

tigercranestyle:

i-like-pancakes:

blamerades:

tigercranestyle:

(snipped)

So let’s see, where’s the checklist, that’s Aggra, Yrel, and now Draka being targeted for sexist behavior and attitudes. Can’t wait to see what they do with Liadrin. Except by “can’t wait” I mean “I really don’t want to know at this point.”

I hate to keep harping on this, but the only way to make Blizzard listen is to stop playing their games. I’m a pretty low profile blogger so no one will notice me leaving. It would be nice if someone picked this ball up and actually ran with it.
And no, this isn’t a protest. Crap like this ruins the fun of the game for me.

Good way to be sure nothing changes, too.

This can be taken in two ways.
First, that you are agreeing with me and that nothing will change until people start quitting over crap like this. If that is what you mean, well, I agree. I’m not sure that will change anything but it seems to be about as a good a way as any.
If, however, you meant the opposite, that quitting won’t change anything, and that the only way to change the game is to keep playing it and work within the system, I disagree. I think if a high profile blogger like Rades or Applecidermage or Cynwise or any of the folks at WoWInsider put their foot down and said “Hey, this is it. I’m quitting the game and this is why,” well, that would serve to call far more attention to the issue than an endless series of “Please Blizzard don’t be sexist.” And for anyone who is complaining about the issue, “I don’t like this but the game is still fun for me so I will continue to play” makes the “I don’t like this” part seem very weak and inconsequential. As long as you continue to pay for a subscription why should Blizzard care if you don’t like their storytelling or their marketing?
But for me that’s beside the point. I have a completely minimal interest in changing sexist practices of some billion dollar gaming company. I just want to play a fun game. Shit like this ruins the game for me. I’m not quitting out of protest. I’m quitting because the game is no longer fun, and I play games for fun.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work within the system to change it if the game is still fun for you and that’s what you want to do. What I am saying is there are a lot of games out there that are not as overtly sexist as World of Warcraft, and those might be more worthy of your dollars.

tigercranestyle:

i-like-pancakes:

blamerades:

tigercranestyle:

(snipped)

So let’s see, where’s the checklist, that’s Aggra, Yrel, and now Draka being targeted for sexist behavior and attitudes. Can’t wait to see what they do with Liadrin. Except by “can’t wait” I mean “I really don’t want to know at this point.”

I hate to keep harping on this, but the only way to make Blizzard listen is to stop playing their games. I’m a pretty low profile blogger so no one will notice me leaving. It would be nice if someone picked this ball up and actually ran with it.

And no, this isn’t a protest. Crap like this ruins the fun of the game for me.

Good way to be sure nothing changes, too.

This can be taken in two ways.

First, that you are agreeing with me and that nothing will change until people start quitting over crap like this. If that is what you mean, well, I agree. I’m not sure that will change anything but it seems to be about as a good a way as any.

If, however, you meant the opposite, that quitting won’t change anything, and that the only way to change the game is to keep playing it and work within the system, I disagree. I think if a high profile blogger like Rades or Applecidermage or Cynwise or any of the folks at WoWInsider put their foot down and said “Hey, this is it. I’m quitting the game and this is why,” well, that would serve to call far more attention to the issue than an endless series of “Please Blizzard don’t be sexist.” And for anyone who is complaining about the issue, “I don’t like this but the game is still fun for me so I will continue to play” makes the “I don’t like this” part seem very weak and inconsequential. As long as you continue to pay for a subscription why should Blizzard care if you don’t like their storytelling or their marketing?

But for me that’s beside the point. I have a completely minimal interest in changing sexist practices of some billion dollar gaming company. I just want to play a fun game. Shit like this ruins the game for me. I’m not quitting out of protest. I’m quitting because the game is no longer fun, and I play games for fun.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work within the system to change it if the game is still fun for you and that’s what you want to do. What I am saying is there are a lot of games out there that are not as overtly sexist as World of Warcraft, and those might be more worthy of your dollars.

(Source: soetzufit)

Apr 13

blamerades:

tigercranestyle:

inkytomes:

tigercranestyle:

So Blizz has learned nothing, zip, zilch, diddly squat from the Ji/Aysa deal during Mists beta. 
A character, a female character we were told that would make up for the lack of Aggra on Horde side not only have approximately ZERO LINES in all the scenes we’ve seen thus far, she gets fucking sexually harassed. 
I was told to shut up about Aggra because Draka would be there to kick ass and take names. She would be better than Aggra. She would be Blizz’s nod to their female fanbase. Yrel has to wrangle with Maraad’s raegoholism and rape bombs dropped everywhere, now Draka has to deal with sexism from a society that has no gender roles and considers men and women equal. 
Lesson learned, never ever shut up about this shit, ever. 

For crying out loud he’s a villain you’re supposed to hate him he’s a bad guy.

“For crying out loud he’s a villain you’re supposed to hate him he’s a bad guy.”
Please go tell that to the Loki fandom, I dare you. They’re surely getting it wrong. Nobody’s ever written sympathetic villains ever.
And its not like orcs have been explicitly stated as being an egalitarian society with no gender roles in official works, thus making the sudden and open sexism really fucking jarring and out of character for an orc that lives on Draenor. 
And its not like Blizz doesnt have a long fucking history of sexism and really horrible writing and presentation of their female characters, which the fandom has called them out for repeatedly over and over and over again and yet they still, stubbornly, refuse to learn their lesson and even laugh in the faces of fans who bring these concerns to them.
Not like we were shushed when the issue about Aggra came up with “Hey Draka will be there and she’s a kickass warrior!!!!!!!!” like we’re only allowed one token female character per expansion. Oh, and not only does Draka stand around and do nothing, she becomes the target for some shitscrotum npc to be a sexist dick at. Yeah we’re so happy we traded Aggra for that. 
And to top it all off, its the laziest fucking writing in the universe to just slap a token Bad Trait on an npc to make them a villain and give 0 fucking repercussion or consideration as to what that bad trait actually means in context. Its zero-effort writing that Blizz absolutely deserves to be taken to task for.
AND FINALLY I’m fucking sick of having shit that happens to me and other women every fucking day of my life get happily dumped all over a story for casual shock value. 

So let’s see, where’s the checklist, that’s Aggra, Yrel, and now Draka being targeted for sexist behavior and attitudes. Can’t wait to see what they do with Liadrin. Except by “can’t wait” I mean “I really don’t want to know at this point.”

I hate to keep harping on this, but the only way to make Blizzard listen is to stop playing their games. I’m a pretty low profile blogger so no one will notice me leaving. It would be nice if someone picked this ball up and actually ran with it.
And no, this isn’t a protest. Crap like this ruins the fun of the game for me.

blamerades:

tigercranestyle:

inkytomes:

tigercranestyle:

So Blizz has learned nothing, zip, zilch, diddly squat from the Ji/Aysa deal during Mists beta. 

A character, a female character we were told that would make up for the lack of Aggra on Horde side not only have approximately ZERO LINES in all the scenes we’ve seen thus far, she gets fucking sexually harassed. 

I was told to shut up about Aggra because Draka would be there to kick ass and take names. She would be better than Aggra. She would be Blizz’s nod to their female fanbase. Yrel has to wrangle with Maraad’s raegoholism and rape bombs dropped everywhere, now Draka has to deal with sexism from a society that has no gender roles and considers men and women equal

Lesson learned, never ever shut up about this shit, ever. 

For crying out loud he’s a villain you’re supposed to hate him he’s a bad guy.

“For crying out loud he’s a villain you’re supposed to hate him he’s a bad guy.”

Please go tell that to the Loki fandom, I dare you. They’re surely getting it wrong. Nobody’s ever written sympathetic villains ever.

And its not like orcs have been explicitly stated as being an egalitarian society with no gender roles in official works, thus making the sudden and open sexism really fucking jarring and out of character for an orc that lives on Draenor. 

And its not like Blizz doesnt have a long fucking history of sexism and really horrible writing and presentation of their female characters, which the fandom has called them out for repeatedly over and over and over again and yet they still, stubbornly, refuse to learn their lesson and even laugh in the faces of fans who bring these concerns to them.

Not like we were shushed when the issue about Aggra came up with “Hey Draka will be there and she’s a kickass warrior!!!!!!!!” like we’re only allowed one token female character per expansion. Oh, and not only does Draka stand around and do nothing, she becomes the target for some shitscrotum npc to be a sexist dick at. Yeah we’re so happy we traded Aggra for that. 

And to top it all off, its the laziest fucking writing in the universe to just slap a token Bad Trait on an npc to make them a villain and give 0 fucking repercussion or consideration as to what that bad trait actually means in context. Its zero-effort writing that Blizz absolutely deserves to be taken to task for.

AND FINALLY I’m fucking sick of having shit that happens to me and other women every fucking day of my life get happily dumped all over a story for casual shock value. 

So let’s see, where’s the checklist, that’s Aggra, Yrel, and now Draka being targeted for sexist behavior and attitudes. Can’t wait to see what they do with Liadrin. Except by “can’t wait” I mean “I really don’t want to know at this point.”

I hate to keep harping on this, but the only way to make Blizzard listen is to stop playing their games. I’m a pretty low profile blogger so no one will notice me leaving. It would be nice if someone picked this ball up and actually ran with it.

And no, this isn’t a protest. Crap like this ruins the fun of the game for me.

(Source: soetzufit)

Apr 10

Goodbye Warcraft

This post has been coming for a while now. When the Warlords of Draenor expansion was offered for pre-order, something about it hit me the wrong way. I thought to myself that I wasn’t sure about the expansion, and I wasn’t sure about playing the game anymore. For the first time in the history of the game I felt ambivalent about a new expansion. I decided that not only should I hold off from ordering the thing, but also that I should cancel my subscription so that I would need a reason to continue to play rather than purchase the expansion out of inertia (and that I would otherwise be paying for time). I had just paid for six months of game time so I figured I would have a long time to make the decision. I’ve now made my decision. I’m not going to continue to play.

There are many reasons behind this decision. No one reason is paramount, but together they all add up to me saying goodbye to a game I’ve played for seven years and blogged about for over four years now. It’s fair to say I’ve devoted quite a bit of life to this game. Why am I leaving now?

Some of those reasons are personal, in the sense that Blizzard could not really fix them without drastically changing the nature of the game, if even that. Many of those reasons do have to do with the game itself, though, so I thought I’d mention those. I’ll talk about each in turn.

I do want to touch on one thing because I think it has been misunderstood. Blizzard has created many marketing materials for World of Warcraft, many of which I’ve complained about. My issue with these things is not that they are offensive (though in some cases they are), but rather they encourage a certain type of player who makes the game not fun to play. Blizzard has to set a tone for what is acceptable behavior within Warcraft and the things it encourages creates an environment that is not fun for me. More on that later.

Now for the personal circumstances.

I’ve had the pleasure of being part of two great raid teams. The first was with Storm, primarily on the Medivh server. That raid team saw us to 11/12H on ICC 10. That raid team got me Shadowmourne while it was still active content. We had a really good, close knit ten man group, with nine other people I really enjoyed playing with. It was certainly a cut above every other raiding experience I had to that date and I doubt I would have gotten nearly as far with other groups.

Later on, after my transfer to Moon Guard, I had the good fortune of joining a guild named Dedicated. It consisted of nine other people who at the bare minimum were fun to play with, and several of whom were far more competent at the game than I. We were also a close knit group and we managed to down heroic Deathwing, and in Mists of Pandaria we cleared Siege of Orgrimmar and were making good progress on heroic modes before the group broke up.

In January, one of our tanks decided that she would let her subscription lapse as of the next month. The raid lead decided (wisely, likely given the pulse of where things were in the group) to not try to find a replacement. This effectively ended progressive raiding for the group. We raided a few more times to attempt to clear achievements for a mount, but we didn’t complete that. Since that time practically everyone in the group has cut down his or her playtime significantly; there is only one person in the guild I see on regularly anymore.

The upshot is that I think it would be highly unlikely that most of the raid team would come back for Warlords of Draenor. I could place my trust in the raid lead to organize a similar team, but I think that’s unlikely and I’m not at all sure the raid lead is going to be back anyway.

So, even if Warlords of Draenor looked fantastic to me, I would be facing significant social problems. I would have to try to find a new raid team, and I don’t want to do that. I have no confidence that I could luck out and find one nearly as good as the ones I’ve had with Dedicated and Storm. Having seen good raiding (primarily the social aspect, but progression is also nice), I am loathe to accept a poor raid group. I doubt I would enjoy it.

I also face the prospect that, like other expansions, if I want to get into a good raid group I would have to devote significant time at the start of the expansion grinding new content. Getting to level 100 quickly. Doing tons of dailies and heroics to get the gear to raid. Running LFRs. I’ve decided I don’t enjoy these things because I don’t do them now (certainly I could work on gearing other characters for other raids if I thought it was fun). That experience fills me with dread. I am also busier now than I was then, and I don’t think I have that sort of time anymore.

There’s nothing Blizzard really can do about that. It’s the function of the game itself, and the situation I’ve put myself in. Would it be enough to cancel my subscription, just because I cringe at the process of frenzied ten hour days leveling and gearing quickly enough to get into early raids? Probably.

The content of Warlords of Draenor made it an easy choice for me, though. I don’t think I would like the game itself. There are two parts to this: the technical aspects of the game itself, and the community Blizzard seems to want to create. I’ll write about those in turn.

I’ve written about the story of the game before. I enjoy immersing myself in the game, getting into character and roleplaying whichever character I happen to be on at the time. This requires a setting around the character that makes sense.

I don’t think the setup for Warlords of Draenor makes sense. When you need to have flow charts representing realities and timelines, it’s a hint that the setup for the game is too convoluted to serve as an immersive backdrop. Consider a book publisher that has no experience with Warcraft or any of its characters. How long would you have to make the pitch letter for it to even be understandable? What is the likelihood that said pitch wouldn’t get five minutes of a sub-editor’s time and then tossed in the waste bin like every other pitch that can’t be rendered sensible in the span of a paragraph? This may not be important to many people, but it’s very important to me.

Player housing is something I’ve clamored for, so Garrisons are one of the two things I had actually been looking forward to. But even here there is a sense of dread with how they are shaping up. Rather than a simple place to call home, they seem to be a new daily quest hub, somewhere that people will devote significant time. That time is time spent alone, without real possibility for social interaction. It worries me that Garrisons will push people further apart.

The updated models were also something I was looking forward to. The ones that I have seen look good, but in the process they reminded me of some of Blizzard’s shortcomings in this area. Jana is taller and heavier than the typical human female, but there’s no way for such a thing to be represented in the game. She will still look like a sister to every other human female out there, even though she will be better looking. Also, the sexual dimorphism of the characters will remain. Despite their statistical equality, male Draenei will be twice as wide and hundreds of pounds heavier than their female counterparts. This carries true for most of the races I play, and it does bug me. Blizzard made a conscious decision to make women look weaker, shorter, and less capable than men. This is a recurring problem.

For many, the look of the character and the uniqueness of a character model may not be important. But having seen the richness of ESO’s character design, the limited choices in Warcraft seem very stark. I don’t feel like I can make Jana mine. In WoD she might have a prettier avatar, but that wouldn’t be Jana. People would still call her short, still walk up to her and compliment her slenderness, still insist that even as my character has outright admitted that she’s fat and okay with it that she is not fat. This is far more of an annoyance than most people would recognize.

And then there’s the big issue, the one I’ve talked a lot about yet I still don’t think people understand why I talk about it. It’s the issue of the community Blizzard caters to. It’s the issue of the community people want and the actions Blizzard, by its creation and marketing, suggests are acceptable.

I’ll give one example.

There is this guy named Sergee, named in a tumblr I follow and almost famous around Moon Guard for his character and his previous trial account character, Decembro. Literally all the time he is on the game he is either harassing or stalking female avatars. He has a seemingly limitless supply of smoke flares that he throws at women (characters) who are RPing. He will walk up to a character who is sitting and place his avatar’s crotch in his mouth. If a character is lying down he will stand on the avatar’s head and sit and stand repeatedly as though he were tea-bagging the character. He has been reported hundreds of times without seemingly any consequence.

I’d like you to imagine this guy in real life. He plays the game for hours and hours and the thing that makes him happy is to harass RPers and position his avatar in a manner that suggests he is having sex with another female avatar. I find it difficult to even imagine how demented such a person must be to get off on that sort of thing.

Yet he is not alone. In my less successful raid groups I’ve seen people do similar things, standing on a dead avatar and sitting and standing repeatedly. Battleground chat is full of people who use the word “rape” as if someone were paying them each time they said it. I’ve had the good fortune of having good raid groups, but occasionally I hear the sort of abuse female players get for daring to use a microphone. I know many people who don’t speak on vent for that very reason.

That these people exist and play Warcraft is not controversial. It’s a matter of the public record. What is controversial, and what I think is self evident, is that Blizzard encourages these people to play Warcraft. This is the community it wants.

What sort of player is Blizzard encouraging when at Blizzcon, it plays a taped video in which Corpsegrinder says, among other things, “Go fucking cry a river and tell me how you’re gonna slit your wrists you night elf faggot.”? (Thanks to Piercing Shots.) This was not a spontaneous ad-lib by a foul-mouthed celebrity (which would be bad enough). Blizzard knew what this guy said in advance and played it anyway. It was a conscious decision.

What sort of player is Blizzard encouraging by having an all-but-required quest line for Golden Lotus rep involve your character being raped?

What sort of player is Blizzard encouraging by its frequent creation of godmodding items that are used almost solely for harassment?

What sort of player is Blizzard encouraging when its promotional page for Warlords of Draenor contains ten men for every woman?

What sort of player is Blizzard encouraging when its lead designer, in response to whether Aggra will return to Draenor, says “it’s more of a boys trip”? Or, for that matter, what sort of player is Blizzard encouraging by not having Aggra return to Draenor at all?

What sort of player is Blizzard encouraging when, for an April Fool’s day joke, it releases a fake image of a new Draenei model that makes fun of fat women?

I am not saying these things because I am offended by them (some I am, but not all). I am not saying these things because I want Blizzard to cater to my desires. I am saying these things because Blizzard’s actions shape the community of World of Warcraft, and without that community I would have likely quit long ago. I foresee a community where griefing will get worse, sexist behavior will get worse, boorish behavior will get worse, all because Blizzard encourages it through its actions.

That’s not a community I find to be fun.

World of Warcraft is a game. It is not a place where I want to practice social activism. It’s not a place where I want my voice to be counted, or somewhere I want to protest. I don’t do these things in real life and I certainly don’t want to do it when I am playing. I think everyone who is complaining about anything that I’ve mention should think about those things and ask himself or herself: “is the game still fun?” By the strength of many people’s complaints, I would imagine it isn’t. If it’s not fun, why do it? As Leafie would say, chase something that is fun.

I reserve the right to change my mind if something drastic happens and the game suddenly seems fun again. Right now, though, I can’t imagine such a circumstance happening.

So that’s it for me. All of these things balanced against the one reason I’ve stayed with Warcraft for so long: the community. I’ve met all sorts of wonderful people in this game, many of whom I would like to stay in touch with and many of whom have given me a lot of happy memories. At this point, though, that’s all there is, and many of my friends have taken the same step of finding a new place to spend their time. To those I leave behind, and you know who you are, know that I will miss you. To those whose lives have touched mine, thank you. World of Warcraft has been fun for me for seven years, but it’s time to move on.

Good luck to all of you, and here’s hoping for many stacks of delicious pancakes wherever you roam.

Apr 06

“CDev Response: We cannot speak for every night elf on this topic, but it is safe to assume that the night elves abhor the death knights. Their very existence is unnatural, which goes against everything kaldorei culture stands for. As for the Highborne, these elves now must reap the consequences of their actions. Their crimes—during the War of the Ancients and their subsequent refusal to cease using arcane magic—cannot be atoned for overnight. Despite the fact that official talks to accept them back into the fold are under way, the co-leaders of the kaldorei expect many years to pass before the Highborne are truly assimilated into society.” —

CDev Response to Mels @PurpleArrows: “Can I ask what the general opinion of DKs and Highborne are in night elf society? Is xenophobia still part of their culture?” Ask Creative Development—Round IV Answers - Forums - World of Warcraft (via valkyrierisen)

This response illustrates one of the weakest points of the gameplay of World of Warcraft. The person involved is supposedly reflecting the view of the creative development staff at Blizzard. I have no doubt that this is really how they _think_ Kaldorei in general feel about the Highborne and Death Knights.

The problem is, at least as far as I can tell, none of it is actually reflected in the game. Death Knights wander through Darnassus like any other class. Mages are happily given the same starter quests as everyone in Teldrassil. Unless I missed something, no one in Darnassus treats you any differently if you are a Death Knight or a mage.

CDevs may have opinions on lore, but unless they are actually reflected in the game the opinion is worthless.

(via valkyrierisen)

Apr 02

Har har.

If you missed it, yesterday Blizzard released a bunch of April Fools’ jokes. I’m not sure any joke would be well received given how long the shadow of Siege of Orgrimmar is looking already, but that’s neither here nor there. Included in those jokes was one about the new female draenei model, joking that the new one would be fat and ugly.

For a lot of my twitter friends, that joke hit a decidedly ugly chord. If you really want a rundown as to why (not that intelligent readers of my blog need it, but one never knows when someone new will drop by), ALT:ernative Chat is a good a link as any. I don’t feel like explaining why.

What I do feel like explaining is this:

There might be an apology for this soon. It follows the pattern. It does something offensive, there’s a backlash, they apologize and everyone forgets it. Over all this, though, one thing has become clear to me.

This was a deliberate attempt to appeal to the hard core gamer.

Blizzard understands, you see. The joke is, in fact, hilarious to the hard core gamer who doesn’t believe women should play their game. Time and time again Blizzard has shown that appealing to the misogynist gamer base, the kind who thinks women are a liability to a raid group, the kind who believes that very few women play the game, the kind who keep women from speaking in vent, that these are the people Blizzard courts. These are the people Blizzard wants to play their games more than any other.

The only reason I log in to Warcraft any more is for the people who play the game despite these sorts of jokes. More and more, these people, my friends, are finding better things to do. I think about the sort of people Warcraft and its marketing materials appeal to and I don’t want any of that. It’s not a fun community, one that makes fat jokes or thinks women shouldn’t play or uses the word “rape” to describe something enthusiastically or whatnot. That’s a part of Warcraft I’m happy to leave behind. Yes, I’ll find it elsewhere, but that’s not the sort of thing that needs encouragement.

Thanks for making my decision easier, Blizzard.

Mar 31

Delightful Absurdity

I have a new blog/tumblr: Delightful Absurdity.

I wanted I Like Pancakes to remain focused on World of Warcraft, but as I move away from the game I thought it would be useful to have a more general purpose blog. So there it is.

I hope you like it.

Mar 18

A Steamy Romance Novel: War Crimes

(Parody of the War Crimes Novel Sneak Peek)

"Are you horny?"

"What?" The water splashed. Anne’s thighs suddenly ached.

"Are you horny?" Marcus repeated. The question was casually posed, in a rich baritone as if the paladin were simply making conversation. Anne Dwynne knew it for a verbal grenade. To either answer truthfully or to lie would lead her to the salacious words of romance Anne dared not rekindle.

"There’s no reason to be," Anne said with a flutter of her eyelashes. "You are restrained by chains and enchanted leather. You’re quite unable to lay a hand upon me."

"The hand of a handsome man laying upon your body is only one reason to be lustful. There are others, Anne." Marcus licked is lips as he eyed the kaldorei’s lithe body. "I ask again. Are you horny?"

"Look," said Anne, deliberately placing a length of adamantium chain on the table. "I came here because you asked me to. Because Baine said that I was the only person you could think about, well, whatever it is you were thinking about."

"Maybe I want to talk to you about your lust," Marcus said with an impish grin.

"If that’s so, then we are both wasting our time." Anne stood and twirled to the door, her long hair trailing behind her in a swirl. She walked to the door with the practiced sway every kaldorei woman had learned at age one hundred and fifty.

"Stop," commanded Marcus, his voice dropping to a low bass.

Anne paused, her back to Marcus. She was angry with herself. Her palms were damp with sweat and it took every effort she could summon to refrain from tearing off her leather bodice. She would not let Marcus see lust in her.

"Why should I?" Anne asked, ever the vixen.

 ”Because… you are the only person who shares my lust.”

The kaldorei closed her eyes. She could leave, right this minute. Marcus was almost certainly going to play games with her. Perhaps trick her into doing something she shouldn’t. But what, possibly, could that be? What position hadn’t she and Marcus already tried? Anne realized that lustful on some level though she might be, she didn’t really want to go. Not yet.

She took a deep breath, turned around, and snapped the chain into her gloved hand. “Then start talking.”

Marcus pointed to the chair. Anne sashayed her way over to the chair and took the seat with what looked to be casual movements, but Marcus surely knew them as deliberate. She lifted her eyebrows, making it obvious to Marcus that she was waiting.

"You said you believed I could change," Marcus said. "What in this world or any other could make you think that, after what we have done?" Marcus’s voice was surprisingly deadpan for a man wrapped in enough chains to rebuild the Thandol Span.

Anne started to answer, but hesitated. What would Tyrande… no, Tyrande was no longer the sort of lover she wanted to emulate. She felt a flicker of amusement when she realized for all her threats of destroying the living, Sylvanas had now become more of a role model for Anne than Tyrande. The realization was sad, for she loved Tyrande, and sweet, for she secretly lusted after Sylvanas just like all the other alliance soldiers.

"Tell you what," Anne said. "We’ll take turns." She snapped the chain against her palm again.

An odd smile curved Marcus’s mouth. “We have a bargain. You’re a better negotiator than I expected.”

Anne let out a short laugh. “Thanks, I think.”

The paladin’s smile widened. “You go first.”

The first point goes to Marcus, Anne mused.

"Very well," Anne said. "I believe you can change because nothing ever stays the same. You were left by your previous lovers because they changed from finding you irresistible to being bored by your ham-fisted antics, to finally rejecting you completely. You’ve changed from Lothario to my prisoner. You can change again."

Marcus laughed again. “From aroused to drained, you mean.”

"That’s one way of doing it. But it’s not the only one. You can look at what you’ve done. Watch and listen and really try to understand the emotions you’ve aroused, and decide that you can’t maintain that sort of lifestyle without a little help."

Marcus stiffened. “I cannot deny my urges,” he growled.

"No one expects or wants that," Anne answered. "But men can change. You better than anyone should know that."

Marcus was silent. He looked away for a moment, pensive. Anne resisted the impulse to open her robe and thrust out her chest in lust. Instead, she did her best to seem relaxed. She waited for Marcus to respond.

At that very moment, a bright-eyed, coarse furred gerbil poked its head from underneath Marcus’s — no, surely Anne was just seeing things.

"Do you believe in destiny, Anne Dwynne?"

For the second time Anne was blindfolded. What was going on inside Marcus’s pants?

"I’m not sure," she stammered, her carefully maintained image of coolness dissolving immediately. "I mean—I know there are horoscopes. But I think we all have choices too."

"Did you choose to be so alluring? Or did beauty choose you?"

"I—I don’t know." Anne realized that she had never asked herself that question. She recalled the first time she had looked herself in a mirror, and had felt a tug at her soul. She craved the attention beauty offered, but she didn’t know if it had called her, or if she had set out in pursuit of it.

"Could you choose to be ugly?"

"Why would I want to do that?"

"Any number of reasons. There was another white-haired beloved elf once. She was a huntress, and yet she turned her back on beauty."

Outrage and offense chased away Anne’s discomfort. Blood suffused her range and she snapped. “I am not Sylvanas!”

Marcus smiled oddly. “No, you are not,” he agreed. “But maybe … I am.”

Anne snapped her chain into her hand so hard it hurt. “You know just what to say to a woman, don’t you?”

With that, Anne leapt onto Marcus’s lap and…

(ink stains render the next three chapters illegible)

Mar 12

Why I Canceled My Subscription

I canceled my subscription to World of Warcraft yesterday. In order to do that, Blizzard forces you to answer three questions as to why you’re doing it. I don’t remember what my answers were but I didn’t really feel like they captured my thinking. In the spirit of “This is my blog, these are my thoughts” here are my reasons for doing so.

Short answer:

My subscription runs through August. Since I’m not sure I will like the expansion, and I’m not really liking the game now, I don’t want the default answer to whether I will continue to play to be “yes”. If the game becomes fun again and the information from the Warlords of Draenor beta makes it seem like fun, I will have every opportunity to renew my subscription before then. If it doesn’t, I’ll let my subscription expire and get on with my life.

Long answer:

Right now, the game isn’t fun. I find that when I log into the game it’s out of habit rather than any desire to do anything. Maybe I’ll find a friend to do some RP with. Maybe I’ll find someone new who will be fun to RP with. But I’m not running any dungeons, scenarios or raids. I don’t do battlegrounds or arenas. I don’t do pet battles. I have no desire to level another character, or complete quests I haven’t done.

In short, when I log in, I feel like I am wasting time. I can and should find something better to do.

I’ve written about Warlords of Draenor quite a bit. I think one of the implied but unstated things that seriously affects the way I think about the game is that I like to immerse myself in the game, to play as Jana or Saxsy or Traxy or whoever else I might be controlling at the time. I like to think about how they would approach the situation given to them, how they would feel and how they would respond. Are they angry? Determined? Frustrated? Bored? And so on.

I realize that this is not true for everyone, or even most people. But this is my blog and this is how I feel.

Warlords of Draenor, to me, destroys that immersion. I simply cannot accept the plot as suggested as actually being serious. It seems wholly driven by an urge on behalf of Blizzard’s writers to force those past heroes—about whom I care nothing and know very little—for the purposes of satisfying feelings of nostalgia or the like. There is nothing in the game that suggests Garrosh could think of this plan (or he would have done so already), nor is there anything in the game that suggests anyone has the power to do such a thing. It is, in my view, ridiculous, and it yanks me out of immersion as surely as someone breaking the fourth wall in a film would.

I’ve been thinking for a while about Jana. I’ve been thinking of what Jana would think upon hearing that Garrosh has hatched his master plan to unite the orc tribes and launch an attack on Azeroth from an alternate past of Draenor/Outland. What would she do?

Here’s the thing about Jana: she’s old. She’s been through almost the entire history of World of Warcraft, starting at about the time of the opening of the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj, through the Burning Crusade, the attack on the Icecrown Citadel, stopping Deathwing, and now stopping Garrosh in the Siege of Orgrimmar. She’s had a lot of mileage put on her, and she’s tired.

My sense is that upon hearing the ridiculousness of the plot and upon hearing of the incompetence of Garrosh’s jailers, Jana would simply throw up her hands and say “You deal with it.” She would then retire to Winterspring to live out her lonely life in peace with her collection of Steamy Romance novels.

Because I like to immerse myself in my characters, for me to continue to play World of Warcraft, Jana’s going to have to think something else. Right now, I’m not sure that will happen.

Perhaps it will, and at that point I’ll resubscribe. Right now, though? Someone else can deal with that mess.