Blizzcon 2013: Intermission

Hey, if you’re reading this because you got linked here by the very generous Nethaera about Warlords of Draenor, welcome! I am very sorry that this is not actually a post about my discussion with Helen Cheng (quest designer from Blizzard) but rather a sincere apology that I literally haven’t had the resources to post anything up yet.

The reason for this is because I’ve not been on consistent Internet outside of my smartphone and it’s very hard to compose blog posts there. Once I get a couple hours on steady internet with my laptop or Thursday when I finally get back home, I promise I will brain dump over the next couple of days about my more critical experiences at Blizzcon.

Things you can expect:

  • Discussion about the women of Warlords of Draenor, including my  notes from speaking to Dave Kosak (briefly) as well as Helen Cheng.
  • Meeting Craig Amai, head of quest development about Ji Firepaw as well as his thoughts on Warlords and representation.
  • Presentation of Warlords in broad strokes of masculinity and “boys trip” from Metzen.
  • Summary of all the people I met.
  • Aggra and the #RiseofAggra hashtag.
  • The use of “savage” and other racial tropes via the orcs.
  • Assorted notes from the panels I attended.

Lots of things to look forward to, and I say hello to all my potential new readers. I was up to a lot this last week. If you’re interested in hearing Helen Cheng talk about quest design from Mists of Pandaria, feel free to listen to the interview we did with her over at Justice Points.

6 Responses

  1. Madfrustrated, I am quite sure that you a troll descended from the forums. But I shall bite, if only for anyone else’s benefit who comes here from the forums.

    ‘White’ – this has nothing to do with anything. I’m fairly certain people of many nationalities and ethnicities play the game and are passionate about it.

    ‘1st world privileged’ – touché. We live in the first world. We have privileges other people do not. I fail to see how, by trying to spread equality where we can, we are expressing our privilege in a negative way.

    ‘Women’ – I was born as and identify as a man. I am fairly certain that it is not just cis women who took part in the #RiseofAggra tag. Shockingly, you can be both a feminist and a man, because feminism’s end goal is not female supremacy, but equality. Revolutionary, I know.

    ‘Orc tribal chieftains are all male’ – that’s quite the trope, yes, and here is where I go into detail. Pre-Bloodlust Orcish leadership was concentrated in two roles – the chieftain, who was the most powerful member of a clan, and the shaman, who was the wisest. While these roles probably are male-dominated, there is no reason that they cannot be held by a woman. Orc women are usually very strong in their own right.

    Consider Geyah and Aggra. Geyah has led the mag’har on her own for years following Garad’s death, and neither she nor Aggra are exactly doormats. They are examples of how Blizzard can and does introduce very well-written female characters. Which is why members of the WoW community are concerned by the apparent lack of female characters in prominent roles in WoD. There is no reason for there not to be.

    If you need more convincing, Rades found an excellent quote from Lord of the Clans: http://blamerades.tumblr.com/post/66609205494/wods-boys-club-aggra-not-going-back-to-draenor

    Draka punches Durotan in the face. Because she does not take orders, but also because she does not let her husband go on his own. She is there for herself as much as she is there for him.

    Consider Zaela as well. She possesses undying loyalty to both Garrosh and his vision of the Horde, but she’s not just a crazed fanatic or someone who is lovestruck. She can take proto-dragons, she is a skilled tactical mind, she engineered a coup d’état against her own chieftain.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that Blizzard should solely have hyper-masculine female orcs who obey only their own orders. I am saying that the characters they have given us so far show potential for a wide range of personalities and characterisation. The problem is that Blizzard are not introducing these characters when there is no impediment in terms of either Blizzard’s storytelling or established canon – just the ‘boys’ club’.

    I don’t think it’s an overreaction to want to see the characters Blizzard could come up with.

  2. Dang, actually managed to get word from Metzen? Now this, I’m looking forward to.

    Really, really cool that you’re getting shout-outs from the Blues themselves. :)

  3. (Also, guess the downside is that the peanut gallery shows up, thanks to the link on the Blizzard forums. Oh well. They have literally nothing to contribute.)

  4. I think just the fact that Metzen felt comfortable throwing out a line like “nope, this is a boys’ trip” — and that anyone was startled when it generated a negative response — is plenty of evidence that sexism in WoW development is not an imaginary problem.

  5. I really feel like Blizzard, with regards to character writing, is like this really awesome dog, that does all theses tricks, works well with kids, is very accommodating to new people. But every so often, it just shits in your bed. Not even maliciously. It just takes a really smelly dump in your bed. It’s never in a spot you can’t clean up, it never gets on you or your comforter, but you gotta change the sheets and sometimes you can still smell it there. You don’t know WHY this happens. You’ve tried to make it stop, and sometimes it even seems like it’s not doing that and it’s learned to take proper care of it’s poops, but then you wake up on hell theres green poo on the bed again and when you call doggie Blizzard, they just come in the room with their head down.

    Other than that, BEST GOOD DOG, BEST FRIEND!

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