Star-Fired Beef

Well Blizz, I guess we part ways here


So the last straw has been laid, and I think it has broken the back of my time with WoW. We had the Ji Firepaw incident in MoP beta, and it got fixed quickly. There was hope that Blizzard had learned. Then the Warlords announcement happened, with the “boy’s trip”. Then the Draenei April Fool’s “joke” this year. And now we have confirmation that Blizzard are consciously not interested in being socially progressive, are happy to continue to alienate women and minorities with their writing and creative design choices, and don’t want to change. So, like Cynwise, Akabeko, and no doubt many others, I am no longer interested in supporting them with my money. I’ll continue to play Hearthstone and Diablo III, since they already have my money for those, but WoW is not for me.

I’ve not really been happy with WoW as a game over the last couple of years since my guild disbanded, it has been a struggle to remain enthusiastic about it. Really, it was only the chance to play with friends that kept me subscribed, and even then I kind of dipped in and out. I’ve had much more fun in the settings and stories and mechanics of The Secret World, GW2 and even LotRO. Plus, now, to play with Navi and the Frostwolves I’d need to go through the tedious gear grind which sickens me; to play with Matty, Tome and the OLRG I need to be playing at ridiculous times (9am on a SUNDAY?! Who does that? ;)) AND go through the tedious level grind on Alliance which I have come to really loathe as a faction. Spending valuable money on a sub in order to disregard my principles is not something I’m willing to do at this time. Perhaps when my disconnection from friends grows too great, it will overcome my objections and I will resubscribe for a while. But I’d much rather tempt those friends to come and settle in a new MMO home with me. ArcheAge looks like the most likely contender for me at this stage, though I wouldn’t mind settling in to some LotRO in the meantime.

It’s a sad feeling, to realise that the line has been crossed, that things aren’t actually going to get better. I really hope that they can change things around for their next big IP.


14 thoughts on “Well Blizz, I guess we part ways here

  1. I think a lot of people are finding themselves asking similar questions about the game and if they should stay subscribed. I know I certainly am. My sub’s up in July so I’ve got a month to figure out what I want to do, and frankly even without this latest offense it’s not like there’s any real reason to stay subbed until Warlords hits, anyway. So, hm.

    • Akabeko and I have spoken about it and we still want to pick up our joint fiction project even though we won’t be in game, but now it means that we either will end the story when Garrosh is taken down, or we will branch off on our own stories and ignore the whole Warlords storyline.

      I imagine you have the same dilemma of perhaps wanting that connection with the world for your comic…would it affect your desire to continue with it?

  2. 9:00am! Who feels like killing bad guys at 9:00am! Every company is ultimately about making money so I can’t figure this out. Why would you not make an attempt at making at least 40% of your paying customers happy?

    Oddly, by the time I researched this whole thing I was pissed off in a totally other direction but since I’m in a unique position of being a “middle-aged” or older player probably few saw the rampant ageism in the responses.

    I am so tired of being told by twenty-somethings how I think. I’m afraid of diversity I accept things I grew up with. I guess that means I’m fine with segregation, against gay marriage and vote republican. LOLOLOLOL!

    • OLRG runs mean a 9am start on Sunday for me!

      I’m confused about where you got the ageism from – was it from Pardo or from the article writer or commenters? The only age-related things that I got from the whole kerfuffle were that Blizz management were stuck in the “we wanna keep being kids” frame of mind.

      I too laughed at the thought of you voting republican, heehee. ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. As so often happens when a controversy is brewing, I find myself sitting on the fence. I think it’s fine if Blizzard isn’t interested in writing heavy storylines that obviously allude to real-world events and issues — I always enjoyed Star Trek (in any of its incarnations) better when it was being a light-hearted adventure than when it was making obvious commentary on real-world events and issues. I am, however, also disappointed that they don’t seem interested in doing the myriad little things that could go a long way toward giving greater respect and value to the women in their fanbase.

    Maybe this is more of a topic for another post than something that can fit in a reply comment — I’m curious why you say that you’ve “come to really loathe the Alliance as a faction.” I’ve read folks before who really loathed the Horde, and I even agreed with some of their reasons, but eventually I stopped reading them because I couldn’t stand their continual negativity about the Horde any longer. I feel like it’s much less common to find people who really loathe the Alliance.
    My own experience with the Alliance is much more limited and vastly incomplete compared to my experience with the Horde — but I do know that I’ve gotten really tired of the Horde always having to be worse bad guys than the Alliance are. Even when the Horde sees the Alliance doing bad things (that Alliance players don’t see), the Alliance sees the Horde doing worse things (that Horde players don’t see). The intro to the Jade Forest is a perfect example.

    • Kam makes an excellent point. The dual faction storylines in Southern Barrens were SO well done, presenting the same story but in very different perspectives (and justifications) on both sides. And then you go to Jade Forest and Horde players bumble around with funny monkeys, while to Alliance players, the Horde is busy DEMONICALLY ENSLAVING CHILDREN. I was so disgusted with the heavy-handed storytelling when I learned of this.

      • I did really like the Southern Barrens, actually I have only done it on Alliance but I’ve read outlines of the Horde story. But even there, I have an example – two, actually. First is when the Human commander is ambushed and killed. There is a huuuuuge outcry over how evil the Horde are for daring to attack their commander. Totally ignored is the fact that WE’RE AT WAR HERE, and taking out opposing commanders is good strategy! Second is the dwarven commander whose son is killed when their fortress is blown up. There is this whole “right, now it’s personal, you bastards are gonna pay” speech by the father – it’s so obviously ripped from bad action movies in order to make you identify with the Alliance and think of the Horde as Evil…again, it’s WAR, people!

        In the Jade Forest, I had to research what the starting experience for the Alliance was like for Hadakha’s landing in our fanfic. I was horrified by what the Horde leader was doing (which I hope was conveyed in the story) but I was equally sickened by the indiscriminate slaughter of Horde troops trying to surrender. Especially if I’m right, and that slaughter was carried out before the Alliance even discovered the whole demonic enslavement of children thing. I could be wrong about it, but I don’t remember any mention of children in the Admiral’s speech before they attacked the Horde outpost.

        In the Horde storyline through Cata you have that tension of “are we going too far here?”, especially in Stonetalon and Silverpine/Hillsbrad. I haven’t had that sense at all in any of the Alliance stories I’ve played through, they are always, ALWAYS in the right and/or justified in doing the horrible things they do, and there is no recognition of the parallels between what they do and what the Horde has done.

        I could rant a lot more but that is the gist of it.

        • The slaughter of orc troops swimming to shore occurs before you go to Paw’don Glade.
          I finally got over my disgust at the Horde having to be more evil than the Alliance in the Alliance making indentured servants out of the Pandaren to build their airbase vs the Horde taking child hostages thing enough to push through and finish the Alliance side of Jade Forest, up to the point where you get sent on to Dawn’s Blossom. There are some parts of the Alliance experience that I found rather charming — choosing the correct weapon for a young Jinyu, then bringing them out to fight with you and seeing them ding every few kills (why can’t I level that fast?), the encounter with Lorewalker Cho at the Dreamer’s Pavilion — but I was also glad, in a twisted sort of way, to see that the Horde slaughter of Pearlfin Village by a female sniper was mirrored by an Alliance slaughter of Grookin Hill by a female sniper. Of course, both of those things are atrocities, and it would be better if neither side committed them, but I would have been disgusted all over again if only the Horde were shown as capable of such a thing. It still astounds me, though, that the Hozen are willing to befriend the Horde after the Horde kills so many of them in that quest with the helicopter and the poisoned shuriken….

          • For the hozen, I saw it as different tribes, so the Grookin Hill hozen were glad to be rid of their rivals – much like the Ogres in Feralas are happy for you to go slaughter other tribes in the nelf ruins across the road or in Dire Maul.

            You allowed me to put my finger on why the Alliance disgusts me so much. I would be fine if they actually had the Alliance incapable of committing those atrocities. But the fact that they DO commit them, and STILL claim moral superiority over the Horde, THAT is what shits me to tears. That hypocrisy.

            Also, the Alliance quests tend to the saccharin-sweet feel-good type of stories, which irks me when it is as overdone as I feel it is. I spent half my time in Ashenvale “desperately” trying to find a cure for some deathly ill nelf, and that included a subplot of redeeming a satyr through martyrdom…it was like a trashy feel-good movie. Ew. I just hate feeling like my emotions are being manipulated like that.

    • Yeah it isn’t so much the continual blunders, though they are reaching breaking point for a lot of people I think, it was the outright confirmation that they don’t care and they aren’t interested in changing at all. The weak excuses as to why they can’t change are infuriating in that they are trying to shift the blame for their lack of developer diversity back onto the women they don’t hire! As Redbeard found over in his blog post on this topic, the problem isn’t at the bottom – there is plenty of cool stuff being done at the mundane quest-giver level in terms of diversity – but at the top, in the broader plotlines and major characters and story arcs.

      As to why I loathe the Alliance, well the short answer is that they embody the self-righteous arrogance of the US in terms of international relations. Every attack or aggressive action of the Horde is an outrage, but the Alliance doing the same thing is “necessary” to protect the world – much like the Bush War on Terror. It’s self-delusional hypocrisy, and it drives me nuts. I like the draenei, they seem to be less hyperbolic and self-delusional in that respect, but they have very little presence in Azeroth as NPCs. I haven’t hit Outland so I can’t speak to that experience, but even then they can be excused for being paranoid.

      It’s not any one thing, really, but the overall feeling I get from the faction. More examples in my answer to Rades below.

  4. When I first read this post I didn’t know what I wanted to say. I know why you are leaving and I understand it. I’m an abyssmal quester so I am a bit embarrassed to say that I don’t really know the alliance storylines well enough to comment.

    Lucky this blog isn’t just about WoW or I might be left with nothing to read.

    • I still hold out a tiny spark of hope that you’ll eventually find your way to another MMO so we can play together again, Navi. Until then, I’ll continue to mourn leaving you behind…thank you for your understanding.

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