Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Voices?

In the wake of patch 3.2, I heard a report from a guildmate, Adaret, that Sylvanas' voice was different. Needless to say, I was puzzled so I went to go check it out for myself. Sadly, she wasn't kidding. While not awful, it is definitely different than the voice she had before. This version was a bit higher in timbre and, from what I can hear, a trace of an english accent in it. Rather than dark and growly, like it was previously, she sounds...well...a little more frippy. Not like "AW MAH GAWD! I LOVE THOSE SHOES!" kind of frippy, but definitely a less...menacing sounding Sylvanas--Almost kind of haughty.

Update: Heard it with my own two ears, Alexstrasza has her own voice now (of course Krasus is left out in the cold) and it seems to be by the same voice actress that did Sylvanas' remake. Still don't know why they decided to redo ol' Sylvy's voice (it's not like it was Brann's old voice or something *shudder*), but it's nice that the Queen of the Dragons has her own greetings. Continue reading 'New Voices?'

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's All About Location: Beggar's Haunt

As anyone knows, scenery and location helps make any scene, whether it be in a movie, book, or roleplay event, all the more memorable. It is in this installment of It's All About Location that I will feature an area for both Alliance and Horde that help set the mood and make a profound impact during character interactions. I'll start off with one of my favorites...

Beggar's Haunt: An Overview

Ahhh, one of World of Warcraft's best kept secrets (at least when zones are involved). I've known many a person, some of which have been playing for years, that didn't know Beggar's Haunt existed or just recently stumbled upon it.

Tucked away in the northeastern corners of Duskwood, this charmingly eerie area is better suited for Alliance, but it is so remote and out of the way of any major settlements that Horde players can visit it with relative ease. Why, there's even a Forsaken outpost tower near the border of Deadwind Pass.

How to Get There

As previously mentioned, Beggar's Haunt is in Duskwood, which means that is in Alliance territory. However, the Apothecary Outpost near the road is Horde-alligned and is home to two level 40 PvP-flagged NPCs. So...caution for lower levels is advised around the tower.

For Allies: You can either enter from the west, from Westfall, and make your way to the east towards Darkshire via the main road. Or you can go east through Elwynn to Redridge Mountains and head south from the Three Corners into Duskwood. Or if you are feeling daring, you can brave taking a more...rustic shortcut through the woods (I'd advise against this if you're low level. The local worgen will find you to be very tasty).

Once in Darkshire, you head east towards Deadwind Pass and hang a left in a secluded pathway with a forgotten stone arch nestled into the hills. You just follow this winding dirt path up closer to the mountains and you're there.

For Horde: There is a little more footwork involved for Horde players since there are no major cities for this faction in the southern parts of the Eastern Kingdoms. The best way to get there is to take a zeppelin, either from Undercity or Orgrimmar, to Grom'gol Base Camp in Stranglethorn Vale. From there, you follow the dirt, torch-lined, path to the east until you hit the main road. From there, you head north and take a right at the fork (going left will take you to the Alliance camp, and that will be painful to stumble into) and head over the bridge into southern Duskwood.

From here, you would want to follow the path to the main road and take a right. Be mindful of the Human outpost on the right corner. Human watchers patrol the roads as well, so be mindful of your surroundings. If you are on a PvP/RP-PvP server, and you are of a decent level, I'd recommend cutting through the woods to remain out of sight. Head east towards Deadwind Pass and stop when you get to the borders of Darkshire. Skirt around the town by going right, hugging the hills, until you end up back on paved road east of it.

From that point, the point of entry into the secluded area of Beggar's Haunt is the same as it is for Alliance. If you pass the Forsaken Outpost, you've gone too far.

Addendum: The closest flightpoint, aside from Grom'gol, is in Stonard in the Swamp of Sorrows. To get there, follow the road into Deadwind Pass (And for the love of pete, don't go south. Thar be hungry vultures.) and go east into the Swamp. Keep on the road until you reach the orc encampment.

WARNING: To those who would come, both Alliance and Horde, via the main road from Westfall or from Stranglethorn Vale would find it wise to keep their eyes open for Stitches. This hulking mass of meat and entrails is a very fast, angry, and vicious elite for any lower level character that gets in his way. Generally you will hear the Darkshire town crier shout out if he is approaching. So if you see that red text in your chat window, be careful.

He generally approaches through the woods from northeastern Raven Hill and then follows the road to Darkshire. If you are not a high level and he aggros on you, you will probably not survive.

Basic Description

Upon your arrival, you should see a secluded pond and waterfall. If you look to your left, following the water, you will see a fallen tree lying over another waterfall that empties out into the main river separating Duskwood from Elwynn Forest and Redridge. If you look to your right, you will see a much more ominous site--An unmarked grave surrounded by benches, trellises, and two very tall statues with glowing eyes.

Why Is It Here?

No one really knows... There is no mention in the lore about the grave area of Beggar's Haunt, but whoever it was...they were certainly important enough to warrant those giant glowing-eyed statues. More than likely it was an area that did not get fleshed out, but many speculate that it was based off of Knight's Hollow.

How Safe Is It?

There are no mobs, hostile or otherwise, in that area whatsoever. So you will be safe from random beasties aggroing onto you during roleplay. In terms of PvP, it is far out of the way and it is not frequented by people very often unless they are going for the exploration achievement. Possibilities of gankage is low.

Moonbiter's Closing Words

Beggar's Haunt has been a favorite location of mine for years. It is a great place for shady dealings between rogues, cutthroats, and mercenaries. Or a place to engage in quiet meditation as you try to unlock the mystery behind the unmarked grave. For Horde, I know of a Forsaken couple that was married there. The possibilities are endless!

Location Overall Grades

Accessability (Alliance): 9 out of 10. Easy travel due to Ally friendly zones, roads, and flight points. Though it is still a haul if you are going on foot.
Accessability (Horde): 5 out of 10. Lots of travel time. No real convenient flight points.
On-Site Safety (PvE - Alliance): 9 out of 10. There are no mobs in Beggar's Haunt, but don't go introducing yourself to the Apothecaries over at the outpost...
On-Site Safety (PvP - Alliance): 10 out of 10. Ultra safe... Most Horde gankers go to Raven Hill or Darkshire, bypassing the Haunt without much thought.
On-Site Safety (PvE - Horde): 10 out of 10. No mobs with a Horde friendly outpost nearby.
On-Site Safety (PvP - Horde): 9 out of 10. Lower than the Ally's grade for the sole fact of being in an Alliance-favored territory. However, the remoteness of the location and no quest objectives in the area doesn't attract much attention from Allies.
Continue reading 'It's All About Location: Beggar's Haunt'

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cross Playing Revisited: A Public Questionaire

Ever since I posted one of my more recent articles on playing a character of the opposite gender, I got to thinking about how most people feel about it currently. I've had little issue with people giving me guff about playing a male character as of late, all that namely came from Latu's server, and I've really only had curious questions from other girl gamers as to why I rolled a male avatar.

It is in this that I wanted to do a general consensus as to what people think about others playing characters not only of an opposite sex, but of a sexual orientation that is different than their own.

Here are the places I have questioned:

Blog Azeroth, the Thorium Brotherhood Downtime Forums, World of Warcraft @ LJ, and WoW_Ladies @ LJ.

(Feel free to peruse each of the links above for all the wonderful comments that were offered to me in light of this follow-up post. Thanks again, everyone!)

I stayed away from the official forums because I'm...certain you all could guess how well that would have went. However, after a day passed, I received many comments on this subject and all of them gave me great insight into what a handful of the WoW population feels about this matter. Granted this is a small polling in the grand scheme of things and not very anonymous, but thankfully most readers who answered appeared to be quite genuine on the matter.

Here are the results...

- - - - - - -

Generally, most people responded that they do not care what gender a person plays as long as:

a) That their characters do not embrace and portray negative stereotypes (or stereotypes in general, really).
b) That their characters are not created for the sole purpose of cyber sex.
c) That the person behind the characters does not claim that they are actually a guy/girl in real life when they are not.

Here are some quotes on the matter:

"i think it's a liberating experience. you can choose not to tell the other party your real gender and that gives the RPer in question a sense of peace. men who play female characters are as welcome to me as women who play men. i, myself, like to RP men; it gives me a chance to peek into the male brain and lifestyle. it might be the same for men." - From WoW_Ladies @ LJ

"There should at all times exist a firm divide between OOC and IC. To that end, your character's gender and orientation ICly (if you RP) are only relevant as they relate to canon - and Blizz has remained fairly mum on the subject of orientation in canon. I've got a visual hang-up on the male characters, so I don't enjoy playing them, but as an RPer, I think I should be allowed to play whatever I damn well please (as long as it remains plausible within the setting)." - From Worldofwarcraft @ LJ

However, there were a few people that did mention that they were bothered by the thought of some types of gender swapping.

"The most common reason I hear for guys playing the other sex is "if I'm going to stare at an ass for hours on end I want it to be an ass I enjoy looking at." They subsequently make their characters as hot as they possibly can and frequently dress them up in scanty outfits whenever possible. This leads me to the conclusion that, at some point, there is a faint possibility that they have fapped while looking at their character. THESE ARE THINGS I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW. I understand that, statistically speaking, one of my characters has been in the vicinity of another character who was being controlled by a player that was only playing with one hand but I do whatever I can to keep myself in the 'fap free bubble'." - From Worldofwarcraft @ LJ

"I don't like it. A) Because I still find it creepy (had some bad experience as a kid with a guy pretending to be a girl in a chat) and B) Because I have yet to seen it done well. Seriously, normally you can tell after a minute of RP what gender is behind the screen and often the character is so full of stereotypes that it squashes any attempt at real roleplay. If someone does it for a laugh, that is a different matter, but I find that often the novelty value runs out really fast and you're left with a character you can't roleplay seriously with. I should also point out that I don't mind it at all, if it is a transsexual who is playing whatever gender her would like to become physically." - From WoW_Ladies @ LJ

Out of the given responses, very few people voiced their distaste for the idea of gender swapping unless they had a bad personal experience regarding it. Which is, of course, not surprising... I myself have dealt with a person who had everyone believe he was a girl for about a year (staying off of Ventrilo and everything) until finally admitting he was not. It wasn't very fun to deal with, let me tell you...

When the subject of playing characters of a sexual orientation that is different than your own was mentioned, the general consensus of most of the commentators was much of the criteria listed a few paragraphs above this one.

"Whatever floats your boat. I'm bi IRL myself, and my RP characters run the gamut from absolutely completely straight (Rayen, Amria), absolutely lesbian (Mirembe), to Everything That Moves And Isn't Dead (Meadhbh), and everything in between. What I do have a problem with is a man pretending to be a lesbian woman just for the singular purpose of getting lesbian cybersex and don't plan to actually roleplay with them or do anything other than...well...use them as masturbatory objects. But then, I have a problem with anyone who thinks cybersex is the sole element of good RP and don't try to develop their characters otherwise." - From TBDF

"I've met plenty of men who can roleplay women very well - and they are invariably roleplaying a person who is also female. Not someone who is a freakish and strange alien who they could never hope to understand. I've met plenty of men who roleplay women shockingly badly because they absolutely must signify femaleness with stereotypes at every opportunity (giggling, pretending incompetence and so forth). When the latter intersects with someone trying to get sexual thrills ('Yes, I'm a lesbian, and oh no, my halter top broke and I'm NAKED who wants to lick off the icecream?') it's not even weird to me any more. I just roll my eyes and understand they've never had a date.

Same is vice versa, for women roleplaying men. I feel similarly about straight people roleplaying queer folk, and vice versa. None of it hits my 'you are disturbed/stupid/annoying' button until I run across some gigantic stereotype ten feet tall. No one wants their whole life to be reduced to a stereotype that often demeans them." - From WoW_Ladies @ LJ

- - - - - - -

Overall, at least in forums and blogs that are not swimming with trolls (IE: the WoW Official Forums), people seem to be more than accepting for anyone's choice of character provided it is played in a believable manner.

Also, on a sidenote, there is an interesting link (Thanks for the site reminder, Illynilly) for further reading: The Daedalus Project. While it is a little old, it still has many articles relevant to this topic, complete with charts and graphs.

Once again, to all the awesome people that helped contribute to this, I thank you!
Continue reading 'Cross Playing Revisited: A Public Questionaire'

The Cardinal Sins of Roleplaying: Erotic Roleplay

Ah... the topic every roleplay blogger dreads to discuss (myself included). This has been sitting on the virtual backburner for me for about a year now... Erotic Roleplay, or ERP, is generally very commonplace within the roleplaying scene, however it is quite often ridiculed by other RPers or many try to pretend that it doesn't happen. Because of this three-letter acronym, roleplayers have been given an extremely bad reputation in the the World of Warcraft (and beyond) because the non-RPers tends to paint us all as a bunch of horny, mouth-breathing, cheetoh powder-encrusted lowlifes. This is, of course, vastly untrue (though there are always the extreme exceptions) and it is over-hyped thanks to incidents like Abhorrent Taboo and the Deeprun Tram (The latter was proven to be staged, but it didn't really matter much since the impression was made. The picture to the right is from the aforementioned tram "encounter", by the way).

Though I do understand why ERP happens. Just like in any story, whether it be in a novel, video game, movie, and what not... Love scenes happen. Plus, sex is a part of the natural way of things in real life, so we naturally do what we know in stories of various kinds. I am far from telling people to never engage in ERP if that is their wish... However, I WILL say this:

Have respect for your fellow WoW players and keep it private.

• THOU SHALT NOT publicly emote your sex-capades in /say or /emote. No one wants to be forced to see your kink. Ever. And you will likely be griefed and ridiculed by others around you. You can also be reported for abusing the channels.
• THOU SHALT keep any sensual interludes within private channels, whispers, party chat, or even raid chat. This also includes foreplay and other actions beyond a PG-13 setting.
• THOU SHALT NOT get it on in the middle of the AH/Bank/Main Square or any other obviously public area while buck naked.
• THOU SHALT try to maintain the integrity of the roleplay server and its inhabitants.

And here's two rather big ones from a IC-standpoint.

• THOU SHALT keep in-character feelings separate from out-of-character ones. Just because someone else's character loves yours does not mean that their player loves you.
• THOU SHALT NOT let ERP be the constant focal point of any character interaction with another.

There is no faster way to make an amazing story of love against all odds go sour than the two "commandments" above... Doubly so for the last one. Just think about it from the perspective of reading a brand-new novel, fresh from the bookstore...

Your two characters go on amazing adventures together. There is action, drama, humor, occasional awkward moments of budding romance, and so much more. This book is great! Then it comes to the moment of when your characters' relationship goes past the point of no return... Eyes lock, trembling lips meet, and the two consummate their love oh-so-passionately.

Then, out of the blue, this amazing novel you were reading moments ago, becomes some stale and emotionless porn fest that would even make the most poorly-written Harlequin romance novel weep tears of blood. That will be what will happen to your characters and their story if you do not put a leash on their libido.

If your characters must get it on like rabbits, fade to black or space those times out. Keep things interesting and do something else, ya know? Having your characters' only interactions be sexually based will get absolutely boring and it will most likely ruin all the character plot you have worked for. There is more to relationships, fictitious or not, than sex.
Continue reading 'The Cardinal Sins of Roleplaying: Erotic Roleplay'

Cross Playing: The Tribulations of RPing the Opposite Gender

Hello. My name is Moonbiter and I am a girl gamer. Ever since I was a wee lil' Moonnibbler and I was introduced to the Nintendo Entertainment System, I've been hooked on gaming. World of Warcraft is my first MMORPG and while I still consider myself to be very much a console gamer, I have been playing WoW since January 2005. My very first foray into WoW RP was somewhere back in Summer of 2006 when I rolled a character on Argent Dawn. The rest is history...

I am also the player of not only one, but five, male WoW characters. This might seem odd to some readers because why oh why would a girl ever want to ever play as a guy? Well... why not?

Being I like to roleplay (or at the very least I create backstories for my characters), the story I come up with dictates what race, gender, and class I feel suits the character. Take my death knight, and current main, Kiryl, for example... He is kind of an "old country" guy at heart, despite his current role as a Forsaken interrogator, and I honestly have a hard time ever picturing him as a female. Kiryl is, no matter what, a male character. My muse has spoken and she isn't all that keen on changing her mind.

A Space Goat Was Born

My first seriously played male toon was Latu, a Draenei shaman that was created the moment I installed the Burning Crusade. First of all, when TBC was nearing its release date, everyone I knew was going to make a female Draenei. In a combination of daring to be different and my love for the male Draenei model (I love their /dance and /silly), I vowed to make my shaman a guy. Secondly, I never really had a main character that was a guy. Sure I had a level 20-something Forsaken rogue and a level 30 Troll shaman that were men... But I never stuck with them. Latu, on the other hand, I leveled to up to cap--twice.

The guild I was with, at the time, was a rather free-spirited one, so the idea of a girl playing a guy character wasn't a big deal to them at all. However, when they eventually jumped ship and went to WAR during a hiatus of mine, I found myself in need of a new guild... So I transferred Latu over to another realm and joined up with friend's RP guild.

I remember having to explain myself many times to people (namely guild mates who have obviously heard me over Ventrilo) on why Latu is not a female. Even though there is a pretty good amount of females that play WoW around, many of which I have known to have at least ONE male toon in their character list, it is still treated as such an anomaly by most I encounter. The reactions varied from a guildmate joking that I was "denying the world more breasts" by playing a guy to having my sexuality questioned. Why, I even had fellow female guildmates who were boggled by the idea and I got a lot of half-joking flak for playing a guy--And it only increased when my secondary character was a male Human warlock (again, the character concept I had in mind did not seem like it would be suitable to a female).

There also was a time when a guildmate invited me to an instance run and the initial convo went like this (writing styles preserved)...

Warrior: hey guys, this is my guildy, Latu. hes a girl irl. lol
Party Member #2: Cool
Party Member #3: sup
Me: Um... Haha. Hi?

It just sorta boggled my mind that this guy felt the need to instantly announce (I wish I was kidding. It really was the first thing said when I joined group.) the fact that I am indeed a female player. Though I will admit... when certain people did find out that I was indeed a girl in real life, it was pretty funny to see their reactions. Even so, I still find it odd that it's strange to begin with.

Why Is Playing the Opposite Gender Such a Big Deal?

There seems to be a double standard of playing a character that isn't your gender in real life. It's perfectly normal for guys to play as female avatars, but girls playing as male toons generally brings up a lot of confusion. There are many reasons as to why men play as females, the two most popular that I've seen are "I don't want to stare at a dude's ass all the time" and "I like the attention and special treatment I get". Plus, as the popular internet meme goes, "There are no girls on the internet".

The last statement above is, of course, not true at all. However, in the gaming world, it is still traditionally "a man's domain" in the eyes of many. Though with new generations, the girl gamer isn't at all the oddity it used to be when I was back in high school. I've been on various RP realms and the reception of being a female who plays a guy character ranges from it being commonplace to others finding it incredibly strange. I remember one former guildmate used to joke with me by suggesting that I make Latu into a girl shortly after character re-customization was unveiled. I didn't mind it at first...until he started mentioning it nearly every time I saw him in-game. The same person also told me that he couldn't take women who roleplayed male characters seriously... He found it "too weird" and he apparently had difficulty reconciling the fact that "this dude was really a chick".

Virtual Life Lessons

It's not always hard for women roleplaying a man, though... I've had many guys tell me their horror stories of playing a female toon. Sure, they liked being treated a little nicer, given stuff, and what not (That's another post for another day, I'd imagine). Then the stalkers start showing up... Those sorts of people that won't take a hint despite the other saying "Dude, I'm a guy, IRL" and simply found that they were "playing hard to get". Though I heard more of those recounts in the earlier days of WoW, not so much anymore (But on the flipside, I've heard plenty of girls harassing guys to have their RP characters get in each other's pants as of late...). However, I'm rather certain that these sorts of goings-on still take place.

Other girl gamers who played a male toon, namely for a "social experiment", were rather shocked at how differently they were treated. Cussed out for small mistakes, talking to them impersonally, general aloofness, etc... Not all that surprising since most people assume the character played is the person's gender IRL. Though I honestly just assume everyone's a guy until proven otherwise...

In Summation

It's just a game and we are simply players out to have fun... People shouldn't be given grief for their character's gender, no matter if they are man or woman, if that is what they want to roleplay (or not).

Though roleplaying is just that--It's acting out a story. While some people do live vicariously through their characters, most simply want to tell a tale and see what unfolds for them. If a man wants to roleplay a demure and meek woman, then more power to him. If a woman wants to play as some muscular orcish guy? Go right ahead. Roleplay servers are our canvas and other people shouldn't tell you what paint to use.
Continue reading 'Cross Playing: The Tribulations of RPing the Opposite Gender'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Again with the Gobbos and the Wolf-Men...Oy.

After reading many articles, and responses, on various blogs (Too Many Annas and Lorecrafted, just to name a few), I got to thinking a little more on the political and social ramifications of the theorized Worgen and Goblin races joining the fray.

First up, Goblins. As mentioned time and time again, on Two Wolf Moon and countless other sources debating this topic, Goblins are vastly a neutral race. They are driven by greed, so it's bad business skills to deny potential customers. Thusly, many are quite certain about the Goblins being unable to take sides. I can definitely see why people would think that and, for the most part, I agree with many of their points. However, if a splinter faction of goblins were to officially join the Horde, I'd imagine a similar scenario would take place...

These goblins and their trade prince would probably be quite the black sheep within Goblin society for some form or another. All cultures have their exceptions (The Stormwind Humans have the Defias, the Tauren have the Grimtotem, the Ethereals have the Etherium, and so on...) so I feel that
saying that all Goblins are the exact same would probably be doing them a great injustice. Take a look at the Venture Company--Now there's a goblin organization that is friends with neither Alliance or Horde. If there are untouched lands with promises of natural resources or forgotten treasures, they will be there tearing things up and killing/enslaving all who get in their way. So if the Goblins can have an organization that is the equivalent of Hoggish Greedly, that is hostile to both sides, then I find it possible for the existence of a Horde-friendly Goblin group. Not to mention that the goblins, in general, have been on pretty good terms with them despite their neutrality.

But as I mentioned before in one of my previous ramblings, they'd have to be in some serious hot water first. Whatever the cause may be (Their "base" under siege by Naga, economic desperation, and so on...), these hypothetical Goblin allies would need to be in so much trouble that they would have little option but to crawl up to Thrall's boots and kiss them.

On the other hand, why would Thrall take them in? First up, Thrall is not a stranger to helping,
at the time, would-be allies out of a sticky situation (IE: Tauren and Darkspear Trolls). Even though these new goblins would initially be more trouble than they're worth, having a technologically driven race that would be honor-bound to develop weapons and vehicles only for the Horde and not sell them to outside parties is a pretty tempting deal...

LONG STORY SHORT: Would Goblins make the best probable addition to the Horde? In my opinion, there are better ones, but if this expansion is indeed involving the Maelstrom, then it gives the Horde yet another reason to go out towards the Rift since Kezan would be under attack. Not to mention that whole Darkspear Islands incident a decade or so back... I'm pretty sure the Trolls are mighty keen on exacting revenge on the powers that drove them out of their home.

On a technical note, as previously mentioned, the addition of Goblins to the Horde would give them a shorter, possibly healer-less, race that is technologically driven--Just like the Alliance with the Gnomes. And Blizzard is all about the whole equality schtick.


Now for the Worgen... I will say, off the bat, that this race is a hard one to pin down in comparison to the possible addition of the Goblin race. My previous entries regarding playable Worgen are, of course, purely speculation combined with a generous helping of not-so-silent wishing that this rumor is indeed true. This much I realize, however I still do honestly believe that if the Worgen are indeed slated to join the Alliance, it's not impossible--Just difficult.

First off, if the worgen are to be a playable race in this coming expansion, then I sincerely doubt it'll be the "space wolves from another dimension" variety that was brought to Azeroth via the Scythe of Elune. They are savage beasts who'd much rather kill you than befriend you, so unless something tremendous happens to magically change all this, I don't see them changing their stripes anytime soon.

No, the type of Worgen I'm banking on are the cursed variety... Namely those seen in Pyrewood Village and Grizzly Hills. Though I will say that I see a problem with this theory, right from the get-go. Pyrewood's residents only turn into werewolves at night and the Wolfcult variety appear to have the ability to shift at will. If Gilneas is indeed added in the next installment of WoW, and its citizens turned into wolfish monsters, I would imagine they would have to be fully turned and completely feral. So this is where good ol' Alphus comes in, providing he is indeed a known figure within the game, and helps change that with his Alliance-funded venture to help the Gilnean's regain their sense of self. But even then... Would they join?

Theoretically being turned into worgen-like creatures aside, the Alliance and Gilneas hasn't always seen eye to eye on things... Genn Greymane and his people are notoriously stubborn and prideful. Even though their once-powerful nation would be in shambles, would they admit that they were wrong and that they need help? Would King Fighty McChin actually let a bestial race in with the Alliance that has had a rather bad history with them (IE: Essentially Greymane saying "Screw you guys, we don't need no stinkin' Alliance to help make us awesome. We're already there!")?

I think it'd definitely make a very interesting addition, at least story-wise, if that were to happen. Heck, I'd think Varian would find Genn's possible new form to be appropriate to his attitude. Besides, if the Allies didn't pick them up, they'd probably (begrudgingly) join the Horde and add to their numbers. That's a big no-no to them right there...

LONG STORY SHORT: Given the right explaination, I'd think the possibility of Gilnean "worgen" is a strong one. It would give the Alliance a wild card race, much like the Horde's Forsaken, and help stir things up a bit. However, I cannot see much reason for them, at the time, to join the fight aside from just being desperate for help. That is unless there has been reports of the Scythe somehow slipping out of the Wolfcult's grasp (that is where it is presumed to be currently) and ended up somewhere in the Maelstrom. I honestly do not know... Regardless, I'm sure all our theories will be cleared up come Blizzcon.
Continue reading 'Again with the Gobbos and the Wolf-Men...Oy.'

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Smell a Red Herring!

Boubouille at MMO Champion strikes again with his datamining-fu. With today's maintenance, four sets of masks were added to join the Worgen and Goblin ones. Upon hearing this news, I was somewhat despondent that all the theories I, and others of like mind, cooked up might have been dashed...until I took a closer look at the new masks.

Compared to the Worgen and Goblin masks, all the new masks, save the Vrykul, are shoddy coffee break renderings. Just look at the resolution quality and the overall shape of the graphics used in the masks. Sure, the Vrykul at least look respectable being they are a recently added race and one of the "shiniest" looking at the moment... But the color swapped murlocs? The old naga models that have been in file since vanilla WoW?

"But Moonbiter, you said that Blizzard doesn't tend to make in-game items that will never be used!" Yeah... Figures that'd come back to haunt me, however I wouldn't call these newer masks superfluous. I'm not exactly sure on Blizzard's goal regarding the addition of them, but I can say this for certain... The newer masks are fake.

If you compare the newly added masks with the original Worgen and Goblin ones, you'll see there is no comparison. The two original "new masks" are beautifully rendered, there's a female model for a creature race that did not exist up until now, and even the Goblins themselves got quite the graphical overhaul. While the Vrykul masks do look respectable, they don't hold a candle to how detailed the Worgen and Goblin masks appear. Plus the mask edges do not match those of the initially released two, being they are thinner in fold. Also, as mentioned on

"However, astute readers point out that the female ogre is actually a "direct copy-paste of an old drawing from one of the RPG books." Closer inspection of the female ogre mask will reveal some rendering inconsistencies compared to the other skins, which were lifted from in-game models."

But now we are all faced with three possibilities...

1) The newly added masks were a panic-rushed attempt to cover up a possible accident of putting those new Hallow's End masks into the game files.
2) The newly added masks were purposefully put in later to appear as if they were trying to squelch theorycrafting over what will be released in the expansion. However, the new masks were intentionally bad and "half-assed" to silently confirm that the previous Worgen and Goblin masks are the real-deal.
3) That these masks are, what many people have been saying in multiple forum and blog responses, just that... Masks.

While I wouldn't be surprised at #1 being the reason, I'm pretty certain that #2 is their reasoning behind this. Again, Blizzcon is only a month away and they want to have people talking and getting excited over their products. They have been dropping hints about the Greymane Wall, the Scythe of Elune, goings on in the Maelstrom, and more within their forums and various interviews with outside Warcraft-based blogs and news columns. Their treatment of those who tamed a Worgen pet not long ago, in comparison to how rare tames were dealt with before (IE: Spirit wolf and the crocoslime, just to name a few). There's even a logical explanation as to why the cursed Worgen in Silverpine (and presumably Gilneas) could be a player race in a tabletop RPG source book that has been around for years!

While the addition of the new masks have dissuaded many from thinking the originals were the real deal, their shoddy nature should prove otherwise. New masks or no, I still remain resolute in my thinking that the next two player races will be Worgen and Goblin.
Continue reading 'I Smell a Red Herring!'