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Why is Blizzard still OK with gender inequality in World of Warcraft? {WoW}

Apr 4th 2012 12:23PM @clundgren - "To your first point: easy enough. The current tier set for paladins is a full chest plate for male toons and a bikini on females. That "current advancement" enough for ya?"

Uh, what? I think we have significantly different concepts of what a "bikini" is. If you want to complain about midriff-showing armor (which is the predominant way in which female gear differs from male now when it differs at all), fine. Personally, I love it, and want them to keep having at least some sets that contain it (female player here, just to mention), but I do understand not everyone wants that. But breaking out the "zomg she's in underwear" argument is frankly ridiculous for the example you're giving. And lest we go into the "but that's all female characters get" argument, that's the only tier set for Paladins this expansion with a showing midriff.

Looking through all of the tier sets this expansions on female characters, the midriff-showing ones are way outnumbered by the fully-covering ones, with most classes not even having any. The absolute closest you come to "not having a choice" about midriff-showing sets is with Druids, who have 2/3 tier sets like that, but even there they're little strips along the side rather than an actual showing midriff that is easily made unnoticeable by a shirt underneath.

WoW certainly hasn't had anywhere near a perfect track record for female armor, and I agree that it's still not perfect (I'm all for a "revealing mode" toggle for both genders), but they have made significant progress in that regard over the past two expansions. Between the ability to transmog towards really any kind of look you want, and the ability to just put on a shirt to cover what little skin is actually showing on that set (which everyone seems to forget is an option while making these arguments, instead skipping to "I'm forced to wear a tabard"), the offense isn't nearly as great as you're making it out to be.

There are issues with sexism in the game. I've witnessed them first hand. I won't even make the claim that the game itself isn't to some degree complicit to that problem (although I wouldn't put the majority of the blame on Blizzard). But this kind of knee-jerk hyperbole hurts the cause to address said sexism more than it helps, because people get tired of hearing that the sky is falling, and wind up shrugging the whole thing off as an overreaction.

Why is Blizzard still OK with gender inequality in World of Warcraft? {WoW}

Apr 3rd 2012 8:29PM There's really nothing I can add to this, you made all the points I wanted to and then some, far better than I ever could have. Bravo!

Know Your Lore: The curious dissonance of Alliance leveling {WoW}

Apr 2nd 2012 8:20AM I would have been fine with "ew, werewolves" as the reason why the Worgen weren't really around in the EK at all (there's little if any evidence towards this being the case, though), as long as there was actual story to go with it, which there wasn't.

There's a tiny handful of Worgen/Gilnean characters that are actually allowed to be distinctive outside of their starting area. Beyond that, they were basically interchangable with Night Elves.

I get that they have druids, and that's cool, and the ones that are druids can be really gung-ho about it, especially after taking on the curse. But they should have been so much more than just a race of druids (which we already had one of anyways).

Know Your Lore: The curious dissonance of Alliance leveling {WoW}

Apr 1st 2012 7:54PM I have to disagree with the idea that the Alliance's version of Battle for the Undercity was the better one.

The Horde goes in with an entire army, and you feel like you're part of something really big. The fights were pretty enjoyable, and Varimathras is a very satisfying end villain to take down. And, in the end, there's a feeling of accomplishment among the loss, the Horde has taken back one of their capital cities, and you've undone years of work by an agent of the Burning Legion.

On the Alliance's side... it's just you, Varian, and Jaina. You'd think this would result in the whole thing feeling more epic and personal, but the way it plays out, it's more like you're just tagging along and watching them fight through everything rather than feeling like you're taking part in something huge. It doesn't help that one of the "bosses" you run into is designed to keep you out of the fight for large portions of it. On top of that, Putress is a little underwhelming as a villain, and the fight against him felt like it was on a much lower scale than the Varimathras fight. On top of everything, there's no real feeling of accomplishment at the end of it all. Yes, you stormed the Undercity, and killed the man who led the attack on the Wrathgate, but Lordaeron goes right back into Forsaken control (not that I'm arguing it could or should have gone any other way), and if it wasn't obvious at the time that Putress' death didn't mean the end of anything going on in the Undercity, it's painfully obvious by the time that Cata rolled around that the Alliance accomplished nothing in that attack.

To be totally fair, I played the Horde's version first, and didn't get to the Alliance's until much later. It's possible that the Alliance's version played better with more people running it at a time, but even then, there's still a point there that the Horde's version didn't decay in the slightest running it solo. I did the Horde's version far more often because of how much fun it was, I actually wound up skipping the Alliance's after doing it a few times on later alts.

Know Your Lore: The hour of the king {WoW}

Mar 28th 2012 5:38PM @Transit - "But werewolves are A-OK!

Undead bad! Werewolves good! Mummys.... Well it will depends on what faction they join."

Well, for one, Werewolves aren't undead, so that actually doesn't contradict Matheus' statement in the slightest.

For another, I'm getting awfully tired of the whole "Alliance doesn't like zombies but werewolves are okay zomg hypocrites" argument, as it's unbelievably shallow and ignores all the details of the story except for the fact that two of the races in the game can be compared to movie monsters.

The only real similarity between the two is that both are former humans suffering under curses, but the actions and circumstances surrounding both races in relation to the Alliance are totally different (for one, Gilneas actually appealed to the Alliance as a whole to join, which the Forsaken never did, and Sylvanas certainly had no intent to ever do at any point).

"I have to wonder now if the Alliance will do anything about the Dark Iron Dwarves. They are part of the Dwarf empire now and they torture, kidnap, enslave, etc. as well. Should be interesting."

I actually went into Cata hoping that the Dark Iron angle would give the Alliance their own morally-unsound group to be uncomfortable with, but unfortunately next to nothing came of that story development. If Moira is to be believed and actually has as much control over the Dark Irons as she claims she does (of which both points can be debated, but we've yet to see anything develop), the portion of the Dark Iron clan that she rules over that has joined with Ironforge is completely separate from the Dark Irons that are still tied to the Twilight's Hammer cult, who she considers traitors. We haven't actually seen the Moira-Dark Irons do much of anything yet to judge them one way or another (unless, as mentioned, she's lying or clueless) aside from being a massive political problem for Ironforge, but even that angle hasn't gotten much play. The Alliance has barely been given any reason to care about them, and I doubt the Horde is even aware that anything is different, given how little impact that development had outside of dwarven lands.

I actually hope that isn't the case, as it's far too hand-wavy of a turn for what could be a very interesting faction within the Dwarven community, not to mention the Alliance as a whole. But as things stand there's not a whole lot of reason for the Dark Irons to be anything close to comparable to the Forsaken, as they've yet to do much of anything since joining the Alliance.

Breakfast Topic: Has your opinion about the pandaren changed? {WoW}

Mar 26th 2012 8:11PM @Wilkrian - "Bear" is sometimes used as slang to refer to gay men that are heavily built and hairy.

Know Your Lore: The haunting legacy of Grom Hellscream {WoW}

Mar 25th 2012 10:02PM @paul - I think Throm was saying Garrosh would be failing his motto by being spared, not that Varian would.

For someone who so strongly advocates the motto of "victory or death", to be denied both would probably be the greatest defeat Garrosh could suffer.

Know Your Lore: The haunting legacy of Grom Hellscream {WoW}

Mar 25th 2012 8:01PM Keep in mind that the majority of the Horde's citizens didn't actually go to Northrend, though, and even amongst those that did, Saurfang's leadership was considerably more understated (by his own wishes), and most of the Horde, the orcs especially, saw Garrosh as the real leader there.

Yes, we as players saw what really went on, but by and large, we're the exception, not the rule. Even on that end, we weren't with Garrosh 24/7 in Wrath, and so we can't speak to everything he did do while we were out and about in Northrend. For all we know, he could have been doing some very effective commanding and strategizing while we weren't there to see it. Everything in the books and the game itself seems to portray Garrosh's leadership in Northrend as a mixed bag of very good management of a war machine combined with blunders as a result of poor judgement, which seems very much in character for Garrosh. He doesn't deserve all of the credit for the Horde's successes in Northrend, but saying he didn't do anything there isn't fair either.

At least as of the beginning of Cataclysm, story-wise, Garrosh is extremely popular amongst at least a sizable portion of the orcs. The rest of the Horde is another story, but unless I'm mistaken (which is totally possible, so feel free to correct me on this point) lore-wise the orcs are the most plentiful race in the Horde and have the most influence within it by far.

Obviously something is going to happen during MoP to change how the orcs view him, but Garrosh as a leader has had a pretty big following, at least initially, by the orcs as a race. He wouldn't have accomplished nearly as much as he did in Kalimdor if the entirety of the Horde thought his leadership was a mistake and half-heartedly followed along with his rule.

The Queue: Beta questions make good Queue questions {WoW}

Mar 24th 2012 12:38PM I already was kind of liking the female Pandaren model, but seeing her in a dynamic pose in that screenshot really sells it for me. She seriously looks great.

Mists of Pandaria: Achievements preview {WoW}

Mar 19th 2012 7:00PM Kael wasn't classified as undead in MgT. I always thought the point was more that he was supposed to be deteriorating into a Wretched at that point, not that he was undead. The overall look was leaning in that direction, and the whole "shoving crystals of power into yourself to feed your addiction" was very much along the lines of the Wretched storylines in the Belf starter area, and his fall fits the themes of the expansion far better as a Wretched than as an Undead.

Not that it's terribly important, I guess, and there's nothing really saying for certain, but just wanted to mention it.