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

Apr 3rd 2012 5:13PM First off I haven't read all the comments here so if this has been said my apologies.

Now in my many years of being male I've noted that ever trying to defend any sort of perceived sexism is not going to win me any friends, but despite that, I'll attempt a bit of devils advocate.

For one, the greeting the male pandaren makes to the female could be looked at as sexism in the exact opposite way that this article is pointing out. In nearly all major fantasy structures the 'warrior' archetype for males almost always includes some form of hyper virility, which in turn makes them say really dumb things that are somehow equated to humor and character. How many horrible one liners do we see in all forms of media that the objectified female character rolls her eyes at initially but somehow ends up falling for the 'hunk' later for his prowess, or hidden devotion to ideals or whatever catchy idealism he later provides? Is it sexist to tell a woman she's beautiful, or gorgeous or anything other that focuses purely on the physical? That's up to each person to decide on their own, context is everything there in my own opinion.

That all said, I don't expect game developers to introduce sweeping change to the centuries old debate on how exactly a man should speak to a woman, and what role each is supposed to fill. To me those are always going to be individual responses, what one woman or man may find offensive another will find hilarious and endearing. Is it right for a Pandaren to objectify another for her looks, probably not, but what else do we know of this character? Are there other Panderan females that balance this out?

As to the point of female characters in other aspects, I mainly play female toons despite being male. Simple for me, I don't like the male character models for most the races I play. I could count on one hand the amount of strange conversations I've had over that choice. It just doesn't happen to me, maybe it's the people I hang out with I don't know, but I have very limited experience in dealing with sexism in game due to the gender of my avatar. On the flip side I have unfortunately been in many vent conversations when others are doing all they can to get the 'closet' female to speak. I've known all sorts of female gamers, amazing to terrible, flirtatious to shy, dramatic to serious. I don't judge them by any other measurement then I do any other player I come across. If they can do their jobs well I'm happy to have them in my group, male or female.

My wife and I raid together, she's one of the best rogues I know and I have had to silence people a couple of times when they go a bit overboard, but it happens very very rarely. I bring that up because she also plays female toons, and the reality is, when transmogrification came out, my toon is fully clothed in what I find kick ass armor, where as she went the much more revealing route on some toons. So for me at least, I find it interesting that there's complaints over the chainmail bra's and bikinis. I know some guys will get all hot and bothered over it, but women can find that just as alluring as well. Come to think of it MOST of the female gamers I know their toons are very, shall we say strategically armored. I have no way of knowing the percentages but I'd wager that per capita (female players and male players) there's probably a pretty even number of scantily clad vs 'oh neat armor' when it comes to what people want their toons to look like.

So I guess what I'm getting at is a simple point. You can't please everyone, especially in such a hugely diverse game as this. If you were to remove all the skimpy armor models you'd annoy a large group, if you made them look that way on male avatars as well, you'd upset another group (and probably make some happy too). The reality is, nearly all fantasy includes some level of sexiness for strong female characters. I don't think of it as gender bias, I think of it as another weapon women have. I know that sounds crass, but it's true. How many movies and books have we seen or read where the heroine, outnumbered and seemingly defeated has come back through some sly use of her physical charm? Is it a bad thing? If the male archetype is being super huge, strong, and breaking down doors with little thought, is it gender bias as well? I mean, I don't like the idea of all men being viewed as brainless hulks, but I don't get upset when I see it depicted that way. For my viewpoint, that's the same as women being depicted as super attractive and sly, maybe dressing in a provocative fashion as a means of distraction from their ultimate goals, and hey, if anything it projects this image of a woman being more intelligent then her male counterparts.

-end wall of text-

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New icons make questing a breeze {WoW}

Mar 31st 2012 8:01PM Constantly see people complain about the lack of story, or missing lore in WoW (going way back into vanilla here and having many arguments with people over it). Granted it always came down to the simple fact people didn't read quest text, they just got annoyed that they had to look for something, or travel, or well do anything other then aoe slaughter 50 mobs within 10' of each other. This isn't everyone, but in my admittedly anecdotal experience most of the players I've come across with the most complaints of boredom, or who hate leveling etc etc, never read anything. The same crowd in vanilla that all installed quest helper, or various other addons to basically do all the thinking for them.

I don't know if I just read incredibly fast or simply want to know why my character is doing what it is doing, but a couple seconds to read quest text is not too much to ask in my opinion. Not to mention, all those quests were written by an actual person, and all that work they put into trying to piece out a compelling story getting simply 'accept' - 'reward' would be well, insulting. As for the people playing, don't you have any interest in knowing what's going on around you? Has the game devolved into nothing more then item levels and standing around a major town?

When they added sparklies to those really difficult to see herbs I was pleased, if not a bit annoyed since it would have saved me a lot of time way back when. The super simplified map to quest stuff, I don't mind that much, but it's mainly great for leveling an alt. The alt side of it is why I like the idea of these smoother, simpler advancements. That said, I'd almost rather they didn't show up until you've completed the same quests on another character. Give your first go through some mystery and time to read, the rest not as big of a deal. My view of playing is just that, mine, and I don't want to force it on anyone else, but I would suggest people at least give some thought into reading what the NPC's have to say. Otherwise, we're just going to eventually end up with NPC's that have an exclamation mark, and quest text that reads 'Kill boar 10 times kthx.....loktar ogar' cause really, why should they bother with more then that if people are just annoyed at having to read anything.

Potions, Portals, and Scrolls of Recall: How to get around Azeroth as quickly as possible {WoW}

Feb 9th 2012 11:25AM There's those early wrath quests that teleport you to Dalaran from Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra. I'm sorry I don't recall the quest names, but if you never turn them in they are quite handy for a quick teleport to Dalaran.

Also for my horde buddies (sure this works in alliance too), but doing the valentines dailies I kept seeing people asking in trade for portals, but a quick little search of the area and I found a much more efficient method. Start in Org, zep to UC, orb to Silvermoon, then for the TB token, visit the darkmoon faire barker and boom done. Thunderbluff is always the odd city out for this stuff, so that darkmoon faire barker really sped everything up.

As a side note the dimensional rippers do occasionally try to kill you, or turn you into something hideous and unworldly, like a gnome. Goblin Engineering is simply the most fun profession in WoW!

4 steps for dealing with Raid Finder harassment {WoW}

Jan 30th 2012 9:49PM Quick clarification on what I mean by stay quiet and focus. I don't mean never say anything, but only speak if it's relevant. If you've got a question before a boss pull, or need to call out incoming forces in a BG that's important, do that. By stay quiet I'm primarily suggesting that if it's not important to the success of your encounter, or you just want to make jokes, save it for your guild or friends. If you find you can't go that long without making comments in a raid full of strangers, at least have the common sense to save it for non essential moments, as in when waiting for a raid to fill.

4 steps for dealing with Raid Finder harassment {WoW}

Jan 30th 2012 9:38PM One other type that really irks me in LFR, and BG's is the quitter. Yeah I know the article is about bullies, but I find this personality type to be even worse.

That one guy in every BG, or every LFR that within seconds of joining just has to go into a diatribe about how they always lose, or how the groups are always fail. Of course it's never them, it's everyone else that's terrible in their minds. I just don't understand it, why oh why must you vocalize this extremely demoralizing attitude when you really have no clue who you are grouped with or their ability?

"Hey lets go kill some dragons!"
"...why bother we're just going to fail anyway"

I don't know why, but I just seethe with disdain at these people. Giving up before you even try, gah! These people in my experience are the same ones that insist on ignoring mechanics with the excuse of 'it's just LFR it doesn't matter'. Sure you can get hit by hour of twilight and survive, that doesn't mean you should. They're also the same ones in BG's screaming at people to stop fighting on roads, while they're fighting on a road.

Basically, in my what, 7 years of wow, I've learned a simple fact. The person who is the most vocal in raid chat or bg chat, is usually the raids weakest link. LFR, BG's, pug raids what have you, stay quiet and focus on your role, is that really too much to ask?

I am a killer of guilds {WoW}

Jan 30th 2012 8:50PM I think you're very much right with the concept of it being somewhat based on business. Not so much in any sort of intelligent way, but more so the personality types. We all have our flaws and sometimes it takes being put in a role we've not experienced to understand what we're really terrible at. I've known for years that I'm terrible at leading anything unless it's purely by example. I can't delegate, if I see something needs to be done I do it myself, which doesn't work in a team. I can get moody, a flaw I'm well aware of, but as a guild officer or god forbid a GM, you really have to keep a consistent presence, and people don't take it well if you're having a bad night and don't want to talk to anyone. And the stress! I seriously feel empathy for large guild officers and GM's. So many people play this game from so many different backgrounds, and for so many different reasons, it's nearly impossible to keep that many people content. Never mind playing the game for...fun?!

I do think the hardest part for guild leading is the same thing I struggled most with in the business world. Firing people. You have someone that is disruptive, can't or won't fulfill their role and is generally a downer, you really have to get rid of them. It sucks to fire people in real life, it also sucks in a game. They may mean well, they may be friends with people in your guild, and you may catch a ton of flak for letting them go, but if you don't hand out pink slips when necessary you end up with more problems down the road. Granted, it's a fine line and you almost have to have some sort of secret 3 strikes rule or something. If you just boot people regularly others will leave and think you're being some autocratic dictator. You can't really openly tell everyone why you are firing people either as it's counter productive to your guild, as well as being overly cruel to the person you booted.

Well, I could go on and on, but will just end it in thanks for reminding me why I want nothing to do with guild control in any way shape or form, I was recently considering an officer role and this got me thinking on why I would regret it.

Blizzard looking into weapon enchant display solution {WoW}

Jan 28th 2012 5:14PM Could simply add a box to the transmog window that allows you to place a 'scroll of enchantment' into it that would then give the quality of that enchant to your weapon. Could add a blank enchantment to give it no effect, or something like a 'scroll of deathfrost' to change the current effect. Sure it would take up some more bank space for people to keep scrolls of their favorite enchants around, but since the entire enchant scroll system is already in place this may require the least resources on blizzards part. I suppose they would need 2 boxes for dual wielders, but never the less they could just be smaller boxes underneath the weapon boxes that you just add the scroll of your liking to. Then you maintain the preview function, and it fits in well with the whole theme of transmog.

5 ways to keep your tank happy in 5-man heroics {WoW}

Jan 12th 2012 3:30PM One bit on the assisting section. This is a tricky one at times, depending on your tank.

Druids on medium sized trash packs that live for a while, will tend to try and get mangle up on multiple targets while thrashing/swiping and keeping pulverize/lacerate up as possible. What that means, they may have blown a bunch of threat abilities on target 1, but then swapped to target 2 to prepare other stuff right as the DPS 'assisted' but got the secondary, less threat target.

Same applies with warrior tanks, different abilities, but quite often a heroic throw, charge/pummel a secondary caster, then shield slam the primary target for threat. If someone assists before that shield slam and unloads on the mob that only got hit with heroic throw, threat will be theirs. Good visual aid for a warrior tank, wait till you see them slam their foot down with a thunderclap, at that point you're probably safe to unload.

Paladins, it's not as big an issue, unless you're unloading on a ranged target and the paladin is still waiting on their avenger shield to come up.

Only reason I felt a need to point this out, is I've unfortunately made negative remarks to good DPS that I know in real life for not assisting, only to find out that they did in fact assist, it just happened to be at a time I was cycling targets. (this is much much less an issue after the last threat change, but never the less the same thing can happen now)
So I guess what I'm saying is, use assist sure, but be mindful of your threat from there on out, an initial assist will not necessarily guarantee your safety.

As to knock backs...oi vey, for the love of pete glyph that stuff so it doesn't knock back, or take it off you bar for 5 mans. I've kicked people for using those abilities after 1 fair warning to not do it. I physically tense up and grit my teeth when someone uses that stuff in a 5 man, the only thing that even remotely angers me as much is Army of the dead on caster bosses. Bosses like Benedictus, army of the dead, yay I can't get rage, I can't hold threat and now the boss is standing in void that no one can walk in chain casting because that dk just HAD to pop army at the pull.

5 ways to keep your tank happy in 5-man heroics {WoW}

Jan 12th 2012 2:58PM @Snuzzle

Your example is exactly why I hate when people change marks. I always mark Millhouse skull there as well, why? because I will interrupt/stun the earth shaper myself. Millhouse can aoe fear/stun and it's much more annoying to deal with then an easily interrupted spell from one mob.

I play all three roles as well, and I would never dream of changing marks on a tank. If I see they are struggling and marking odd targets a simple suggestion in party can go a long way. Granted, have to be careful with those suggestions, too often I see some jerk face start telling the party how 'my main is a tank and I'm amazing everyone listen to me now' despite the fact the group is doing fine. All this really only applies to new tanks anyway, and at least in my experience they are quick to let the group know they are new and accept friendly advice.

So, yeah, don't change marks. Ask if you want, but don't change them. :P

The Queue: 64-butt client {WoW}

Jan 11th 2012 1:23PM If they were going to ever do that they have the means in place. Every sub faction of both sides has numerous sub factions between them. For example, want a Tauren Alliance character, easy, Magatha has a whole band of people that aren't welcome in the Horde. Want a Human Horde member, oh hai Stromgarde. Simple examples but I'm relatively positive that there's enough of those that they _could_ give each side variations of each race.

Should they? I don't think so. In my eyes that would be the coffin nail for a lot of players. Granted factions/servers are basically meaningless at this point, there is very little community when anyone can up and transfer servers, or play both sides on the same server. Those are two of my biggest gripes with Blizzard, as I always felt if you wanted to move servers, feel free, go start a new toon. Being able to transfer has caused various issues, and the ability to play both sides is, well, I believe some countries still execute people for treason!

For my money, they won't ever do that. The Pandaren will be an exception, and maybe down the road they may copy it, but as to the main stays of each side that won't change. If I ever see a Gnome in Orgrimmar that isn't dead or dying I'll most likely retire my weapons for good.

As a side note, what's up with all the Undercity hate? I see it all over this site. Sheesh, let the dark lady have some kids. Just because she doesn't do it the same way all the other factions do doesn't mean she doesn't have the right! Seems to me the procreation methods of the undead are far too often called 'insane', you nosy and judgmental types need to keep your bedroom eyes in your own bedrooms! (tongue in cheek, don't flip out)