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Posts with tag moral

The Azeroth Ethicist: Is it cheating to trick the LFR loot system?

The Azeroth Ethicist Is gaming the LFR loot system cheating
Before I write anything else here, the issue to be discussed in this article will no longer exist in patch 5.3 if the changes announced in the PTR patch notes from May 22 survive. For the record, I think this is one of the best changes to come along in a while, as it should reduce queue times for the Raid Finder significantly, while also being a great quality-of-life bonus for anyone trying to gear an offspec. However, it's still a problem at the moment.

After reaching level 90, I ran heroic after heroic obsessively in order to scrape the ilevel needed to enter the Raid Finder. After a few drops and the generosity of a guild leatherworker, I cheerfully queued as a tank for Vaults, and then went off to do dailies, figuring that the wait might be a little longer than normal given the popularity of new raid content, but it probably wouldn't be too bad.

30 minutes later, I shrugged and thought to myself, "Well, everybody's running LFR now."

52 minutes later, it occurred to me while yanking pink turnips out of the ground that I had been a little overoptimistic about wait times. Oh well. The farm wasn't going to tend itself.

An hour and 20 minutes later, I tabbed out of the game to check the forums, wondering if others were complaining about queue times, or if I'd just had a stroke of really bad luck.

Nope. Wait times for tanks through LFR, as a legion of enraged forum posters screamed, were through the roof at the beginning of the expansion. Right now, it seems like DPS players are getting the lion's share of agony. Rather than wait it out, many -- perhaps most -- tank players chose to exploit a loophole that allowed them to get a raid more quickly on a less easily-filled role.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Most evil quest in the game

Here's an interesting question: what's the most morally evil quest in the game? There was a quick discussion about the Stanley the Dog quest in Hillsbrad (where you poison and then kill a neutral dog), and it got me thinking: are there any quests in game where you really had a problem with what your character was doing? What's the most evil thing your character has done?

Of course, the definition of evil in this case isn't quite written in stone -- what your character thinks is OK to do may not be what you think is OK to do. My undead Rogue took a lot of pleasure in killing Stanley, even if I would be horrified to hear about someone doing the same thing in real life. But in the same vein, while I was fully convinced in character that setting off that Mana Bomb in Outland was the right thing for my character to do, personally, I thought the kill count was a little shocking. At what point does my hero become a mass murderer?

A few other WoW Insider writers mentioned the Cenarius' Legacy and the other Undead Plague quests to be a little too evil for their tastes. Are there any other quests in the game where your character is asked to do something morally questionable?

Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Quests

Hiding from justice

Mesta on Eldre'thelas has an interesting tale of woe over on the forums: he had someone within his guild ninja a few items from the guild bank, and then they discovered the next day that the guy had "disappeared" completely-- he not only didn't appear on their server, but he didn't show up in the Armory, either. Metsa thinks name change, and that appears to be the likeliest scenario-- not a lot of reason to ninja valuable items if you're just quitting the game with them. So it looks like yes, name changes will simply let ninjas run free.

Blizzard's official response in the thread is pretty apathetic-- Bornakk basically says that you've got to be careful about who you let into the guild bank ("l2bank," essentially). Over on Massively, we recently posted about something called "MMOrality"-- the idea that players uphold a social code in game. But that's all based on each player having their own identity, and the premise that if someone does something wrong, you can hold them responsible for it. But these paid name changes, it seems, takes away that little bit of justice-- if we can't hold players responsible for their actions at all, we can't enforce MMOrality in any way.

Blizzard still can-- obviously, they know who's who even if names get changed. But just the same, I'm not sure if players should necessarily have access to name changes-- the majority of people who change their names have legitimate reasons for doing so, I'd guess, and it's a shame to let the few ninjas ruin everything. Is there a way we can allow players to pay to change their identity while still making sure those who break the "MMOral" laws are held responsible for what they do?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Mass Murder 101: How to be a hero

It's a fact that the majority of what we do in World of Warcraft is kill things. Nearly all the supplementary activities we engage in, from shopping to crafting, are all basically to help us improve the effectiveness of our violent capabilities. Many players have noted that if WoW were at all real, then nearly every one of our characters would be considered a genocidal maniac for all the people and creatures we have killed, and yet we view ourselves as heroes.

The idea is, of course, that most of the lives we take are really evil anyway, so we're actually doing the real good guys a favor. We kill tons of demons, ghosts, zombies, dragonkin, giants, and rabid beasts -- even most of the humanoids we kill are bandits or wicked cultists of one sort or another. This way we do lots of killing, but still feel as though we are heroes.

There are some situations in the game, however, that turn things around for us, in which our character is not the hero. While there are some higher-level instances such as the Black Morass, or the new Caverns of Time: Stratholme, in which one could argue either way whether what we're doing is good or evil, most of situations in which you are clearly the bad guy, as far as I am aware, have to do with the undead, and to a lesser extent the blood elves as well. Of course, you can argue that in general, undead are just misunderstood, and the blood elves are just tragically misled, but as in the case of quests in Hillsbrad that ask you to go slaughter human farmers, or help develop a new plague, there's really no denying that your character is doing something "morally wrong."

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Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, RP

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