Jul 22nd 2010 10:05AM That AD&D alignment system was the mother of all kludges. It was idiotic when it was new, it's idiotic now. PLEASE let it die. I'm begging. If ever there was anything more damaging to role-playing, I've never seen it.
Jul 22nd 2010 9:56AM @Artificial
"Cthulhu was most definitely a Great Old One. Perhaps you're confusing the Great Old Ones (which he was one of) with the Outer Gods (which he was not one of)?"
It's worth noting, if we go down this road, that Lovecraft was inconsistent and actually wrote little about what became the Cthulhu mythos. He does say Cthulhu was not an Old One, but cousin to them. (I think; been awhile.) The mythos was created by related writers. Belknap Long, Howard, Derleth. Most importantly Derleth. Without him none of us would know Lovecraft had ever existed.
In any case, it's the mythos WoW's drawing from, not Lovecraft, and in-game it's fully Blizzard's. They can and do have their way with it. Much as I love the image of Ghostcrawler rocking back in his deck shoes, stroking his carapace, and saying "but what would Long do?" it seems unlikely.
Jun 27th 2010 3:59PM It's possible to create story reasons for Draenei being scarce in Northrend but probably it's more Blizzard backing off the experimental BC (and player backlash that happened as a result) than anything else. That'd also explain why the Ethereum barely appear.
By any logic, those opportunists should be all over the place. While they've got their own interdimensional fish to fry, they are fundamentally profiteers and there's mad profit to be made in the biggest local conflict going. We know they have access to Azeroth because of the Dragonblight quests. Particularly given there's no evidence they can be plagued by the Lich King or the Forsaken they should be setting up shop with both factions and in Dal. Maybe trying to cut deals with the Lich King himself, as they're trying to do with Malygos.
If someone wanted to RP explain the obviously not-story lack of Ethereum, I suppose a limited access, sent one trade envoy through who backed the wrong horse (an insane dragon horse) is the way to do it. For spacegoat RP hatred, erm, "they aren't helping us kill Arthas, screw 'em" in some form is all I can suggest. It begs the RP question of WHY they aren't (see above for real reason) but I'm sure it can be pretzeled into making sense.
One thing I'd suggest for RP--good RP--is to remember that it's about playing an individual. Not a faction, not a race, not a class, not a collection of three pathological ticks, but inhabiting a person(age). RPing a spacegoat suffering from racism is great stuff, as long as the others involved stay in their characters and it's not some dumb "spacegoats bad, not allowed".
Jun 27th 2010 8:43AM Well said Lanaius. Going forward, I'm claiming I wrote that! :)
Jun 25th 2010 10:31AM @NighttimeApparition
Sorry, didn't mean to yell at you, even if it was a silly analogy. Bit worked up about this issue.
Blizzard dropped this ball a year or two ago and they're still kicking it back at users instead of picking it up. If a user gets hacked, user's fault. If the game client is broken, Blizzard's fault.
Jun 25th 2010 8:34AM @Nighttimeapparition
"Having your computer run on Ultra settings is like driving your car at top speeds at all times. [...]Not only would it not be optimal for reducing overall problems, it would engender more damage to the computer, reducing it's lifespan."
Sorry, but that's a ridiculous analogy. Many of us are using computers capable of running multiple WoW clients on ultra settings without hitting full load on drives, GPU, CPU, or RAM. Running a five year old game with its max settings is not redlining the system and thus shortening its life. Nor is running any game at any setting; it's only overheating or running at max envelope heat for the parts that would shorten the life of the electronics. If within middle of operating temps you're cruising at highway speed. Using the computer as intended.
"I do think it is a terrible answer to tell you that you must 'go back to a 'worse' setting' but this is an emotional attachment you have to the situation that causes you to see it as bad."
It's not a 'worse' setting, it is a worse setting. Expecting to run an old game at its own max settings is not an "emotional attachment", it's expecting the damn thing to work properly.
"They probably see it as a work-around, being they are coming from the programming side of it, and feel this is only temporary."
I understand how difficult programming and support are. I founded and ran a support company. I've slapped down people in the forums here who were "WoW makes a billion dollars, they are too greedy to do X I want", people who have absolutely no idea what kind of expenses are involved with development, support (hint folks: WoW wants you to use authenticators not because they make money selling them but because you dumbasses can't secure your systems and it costs Blizzard a fortune fixing user error), and backend. However, this is not a new problem, it is not user error, and making the game uglier to DELAY the crash is no solution. This is a situation where the company should have been diverting some of those funds/hours to fixing it starting, oh, two years ago.
Jun 25th 2010 7:52AM @Drakkenfyre
"The age of the game doesn't mean anything."
It indirectly does because it's old enough there's no 64-bit client.
"This sounds like a limit of RAM being reached on a 32-bit program. Being 32-bit, it can only access 2GB of RAM at once. This sounds like an optimization error. This would be faulty or incorrect optimization. This could happen to a new game, a 5 year old game, or a 10 year old game"
It's definitely the 2GB wall that's the problem *and* them not patching the 32-bit client to stop gobbling RAM it can't digest. It's been happening for a long time. I can force a crash by flying over three zones then crossing into WG. Blam, game down. Not played since the patch (stupid RSI wrist problem) but if they somehow made that worse I'm probably done playing WoW.
If I thought the suggested fixes (gimp an already iffy looking game in two ways, which will only delay but not stop the crash) were short term, I'd reluctantly give Blizzard a pass. But they offered the same "fixes"...two years ago. Along with don't use any mods, that 60 megs of RAM will crash you. Really? So I dump my UI and still crash but ten minutes later? Fantastic.
I fully expected the big Cata announcement to be a 64-bit client. Bugger.
Parts of the game's rendering are definitely poor coding. They've bumped the shadows from beyond awful to embarassingly sluggish. When I can run any new game, far, far more demanding games, all settings maxed at extremely high resolution and get lower frames in WoW of all things by maxing shadows, something's wrong.
Jun 24th 2010 3:31AM Not a big fan of the CoT mechanic (dragging time travel into a fantasy world is almost automatically shark jumping) but totally in for that one. Going gronn on some black flight would be dead cool.
Jun 24th 2010 3:23AM Vanilla WoW grabbed a lot of stuff from the 1977 D&D Monster Manual. The material there was close to random, a few folk tossing in whatever seemed fun at the moment with no regard to story or logic. Not promising source material but WoW's done a surprisingly good job later integrating them into something that sorta kinda hangs together. That's where the ogre, two-headed ogre magi come from as well as the all the floating eyeball bosses and many others.
BC is my preferred expansion because Blizzard both started integrating some of that random junk into their gameworld and also finally created some new stuff of their own. Etherium mostly, but also spacegoats and the re-imagined birdmen modeled visually straight from but conceptually very different than those in The Dark Crystal. The only other thing I can think of without a clear antecedent at least thirty years old is the Nerubians--if there is one please correct me. (Not getting a full Nerubian city or at least zone in Wrath bummed me out.)
As for female gronn/ogres, who knows. May not have seen them. May be hermaphroditic. May be female and parthenogenic (though there's much talk of sons, so probably not). May have an extreme sexual dimorphism. Females may be locked away somewhere. WoW's played gender differences extremely conservatively in playable races, only real visual spread in the spacegoats. Understandably so, but does disappoint me. WoW is an anodyne fantasy world. That they squeeze so much good story from such copy-of-copy-of-xcopy (D&D aside from random goofing creations was already second or third generation back then) material is, again, impressive.
People got cranky about BC being too Sci-Fi (it is no more so than vanilla or wrath) so if they really pulled out the stops and made new stuff there'd be a massive player revolt. QQ to end all QQ.
Jun 20th 2010 10:28PM @Zanathos
"That's a problem with every time travel story. If you visited 100 years in the past, you'd probably barely be able to be understood by other english speakers, and the situation wouldn't improve the further back you went"
With English, a hundred years would be fully intelligible, accents aside, though idiomatically very slippery. A lot of our common words would either not exist or have different meanings. Four hundred years, not going to work. Shakespeare wrote in what's called Modern English. Try having that conversation in a bar. Middle English you need a degree to read or at least a second column breaking it down line by line. Old English, you'd be better off knowing German than English and even that wouldn't help much.
It's an old problem; SF writers have been chewing on it for...a hundred years. Wow, just hit me we're pushing a hundred since Gernsback coined scientifiction for the then new genre. The easiest option is to Deus Ex Machina it and move on with the story. The more clever version of same is to tweak the mutual understanding with some vocabularly clashes. The further options are a lot sneakier and scarce; takes real skill. I'm assured by those who can read it in the original that the Asterix comics have always been full of linguistic games and gags (Gaul, Latin, modern French) but those fall apart translated to English. I'll have to trust them on that one.
Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun plays with the same issues. The far future but fantasy *feeling* (decoding that it is the future is the easiest of the many retroactive whoa! moments) text seems to be full of made up words, but they're very old ones sometimes repurposed (a thoroughly modern word). Was at a panel of genre copyeditors once; two of the four had worked on his books. One mentioned him, the other groaned. "So hard. I thought I was going to die. Every time I thought he'd made a mistake four hours of research later I figured out he was right. Sentence by sentence." Was long time ago; not an exact quote but close.
In the codicil Book of the New Urth--which does have time travel elements--he has an alien (maybe) whose English makes sense but parses oddly. Takes several readings of the conversation to realize the character is speaking in the verse structure Shakespeare used. The best evocation of the alien using English I've yet read. So simple, so diabolical.
Wolfe is a tricky bastard but he always plays fair. Everything needed is in his texts, and if you miss 'em the stories still work but tell different stories. Hint: The narrator Severain claims to have perfect recall: that doesn't mean he can't lie.
Sorry, wandered off the plantation. Needed to think about some great writing after reading those WoW comic chat bubbles. I love these lore summaries; means I can skip the comics and novels. Keep at it!