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  • warriorpanda
  • Member Since Sep 1st, 2009

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What makes a bad word bad? {WoW}

Feb 2nd 2012 10:54AM I have this as a rule of thumb: if the disagreeable word is used in a purely descriptive or exclamatory way, it's fine; if it's used with the intent to demean or insult, then it's not.

(Obviously the realities are more complicated, and depend a great deal upon other sociolinguistic factors, such as the currency of the word, its target, its audience, and the relationship of the speaker to the listener(s). But these are minutiae for guild officers to resolve on a case-by-case basis.)

We can't program computers to recognize such subtleties, so things like word filters are always going to be ham-fisted.

All the World's a Stage: Timeline Q&A {WoW}

Jun 21st 2011 10:35AM I always preferred the explanation that Darnassian is a sort of "King's English" Received Pronunciation equivalent for the kaldorei, so named for its association with the geographic area of the capital.

Since they've only recently forged a properly organized nation-state and previously lived thousands of years of history in remote wilderness areas, we'd expect hundreds of regional kaldorei dialects, some of which would be mutually unintelligible, or nearly so. Communication between outlying regions might have required a standardized logographic script (as with real-world Qin-era Chinese), a commonly known fossilized ancestor language (similar to classical Latin use in medieval Europe), or a translator.

Needing an "official" language for government documentation or formal affairs of state, as well as easy spoken communication in Darnassus, one dialect won out, and was labelled "Darnassian".

But that's just fond, convoluted speculation from the linguist in me.

WoW Moviewatch: Cataclysm Millionaire {WoW}

Jan 20th 2011 2:11PM He punched that dragon in the face!

The Art of War(craft): Eye of the Storm rated battleground strategy {WoW}

Jan 19th 2011 10:55PM The analysis here is solid, but it's all about getting ahead early. I'd really like to see an article that addresses one of the biggest weaknesses in RBG strategies: how to play when you're behind.

I've read and participated in dozens of discussions on the best way to 3-cap AB or 2-cap Gilneas, but there's shockingly little talk on how to recover when the enemy's done that to you. RBG crews—mine and my opponents' alike—often disorganize and struggle when things don't go their way in the first 3-4 minutes. There's an implicit assumption that the game's outcome is decided by the time all nodes are controlled.

Defending a lead is pretty easy. I think the real challenge of RBG's is in how you come back from a losing position.

Sexual dimorphism in Cataclysm {WoW}

Dec 13th 2010 10:50PM @Sleutel:

I've never been terribly fond of that line of logic; it begins to imply that fiction exists or should exist outside of the context of the culture that made it, and highlights a racial or gender or whatever-else distinction rather than the marked/unmarked distinction (which is what is really at play here).

In other words: within the game world, seated as it is amid our expectations of genre and our culture, for the average (majority) consumer, a skinny-white-girl character is neither skinny nor white; she's just unmarked, normal, expected. Her physical attributes are unremarkable and so they are invisible in our mental construction of her. We characterize her by her actions or personality, not by her appearance. Meanwhile, a black character, or a fat character, is marked accordingly. We think of Therazane as "that enormous ugly stone chick who's the queen of Earth". But we think of Jaina as "the peacemongering leader of Theramore".

As a game artist or a storywriter, you can't just ignore how these characters are built up, constructed, in the mind of the target audience. As evidenced by the alpha trolls and tauren, the art team, even if they are all white men (which I doubt), are not quite so one-dimensional; it is the audience that demands an experience that conforms to their expectations.

I don't want to imply that the people at Blizzard are merely poor victims of the tyranny of genre and cultural expectations and entirely helpless against the tide of public opinion, but I do think that commentary on these phenomena ought to focus more on how it all relates to consumers, what they want, what they're willing to accept, and why; because these are the forces that overwhelmingly shape what game designers and artists will put out.

Spiritual Guidance: Priest PvP concerns in Cataclysm {WoW}

Nov 22nd 2010 9:07AM Poor DPS = prolonged fights = more stress on the tank
Poor heals = you die more quickly = more stress on the tank
Poor heals = you die more quickly = more stress on DPS to finish the fight fast

Slackers, whoever they are, make the run more difficult.

Cataclysm beginner tooltips option simplifies abilities for rookies {WoW}

Sep 17th 2010 8:03PM I heartily recommend that all Feral tooltips use bad spelling and worse grammar.

The Ferocious Bite tooltip presents a fantastic opportunity for the return of Nom Nom Nom.

The Daily Blues {WoW}

Sep 7th 2010 8:25PM Postmodern remark concerning previous commentary.

The Queue: I, Mike Sacco, smell terrible {WoW}

Aug 29th 2010 2:13PM It's a whole lot more useful than Gearscore for vetting puggers!

Breakfast Topic: Does gender influence class choice? {WoW}

Aug 27th 2010 12:19PM I've a Druid (Feral/Feral PVP), Paladin (Holy/ Holy PVP), Shaman (Enh/Resto), and Mage (Fire/Arcane) at 80. Which is pretty stereotypically male of me, I guess. I'm not a huge fan of pures because I feel they have too few options. I like to respec and explore different approaches to the game.

For what it's worth, I am male, but I consider myself nonsexual/asexual and think all this talk of orientation is a little silly. Orientation may have some sort of influence on decision-making, values, priorities and all that, but I don't think it's substantially higher than any other facet of a person's life. I imagine we'd see a far greater trend in class/spec choice among, say, combat veterans vis-a-vis the civilian population, or even liberals vs conservatives, than gay vs straight.