Hello, I’m Apple Cider. You might know me from such great Internet Blog Posts as Ji Firepaw: Creepy Dude and Ji Firepaw: Cardboard Gentleman. I’m here to talk to you today about a serious matter.
Joking aside, I’ve been away from my blog for a bit, after dousing the Internet in man-hating gasoline and setting it on fire according to certain inflammatory MMO-Champion trolls.
However, sharp-eyed blog reader Failadin caught this bit of dialogue in the beta:
I cannot tell you how much this tickles me. Not only did Ji change his dialogue in the first place, but he has enough self-awareness to realize that dropping a compliment on Aysa apropos of nothing might be a little off. Blizzard’s sense of humor about this whole thing is really amazing, and it makes me feel a lot better having raised the point originally. Not only do we get a “reckless” character that may learn a touch of reflection from another, but it shows a real tongue-in-cheek jibe at themselves as writers. I love it. I love when flawed characters grow and learn and possess the ability to learn. I hope Ji and Aysa, despite their personality differences, bring eachother much needed balance to their personalities, as well as the Horde/Alliance in general.
See that people? Ji Firepaw is now more self-conscious than your average Reddit poster. Zing!
What do you feel about this change?
I will have screenshots up when beta servers are not dying due to turtles blasting them off their racks, but apparently Ji Firepaw’s dialogue got changed. He now refers to women Pandaren by how poised and ready they are, making his character arc a little more subtle. As Llandrywyn on the MMOC forums espoused:
Where I find myself agreeing with the people who find it inappropriate came about by considering a simple question; “If Ji Firepaw is a flirtatious, bordering on sexist, lecherous old panda, what benefit does it have to his story?” Honestly, I can’t find any real benefit; without this line of dialogue he’s still define as being somewhat flirtatious, impulsive and reckless. His character is still developed in the same way and my overall impression of the character remains unchanged, except I find him somewhat more endearing in that he retains a little more dignity. I freely admit my personal feeling shouldn’t be a factor in the decision making of a creative enterprise, but the question I pose to this thread is this:
“If a character can be conveyed in the same terms, for the same overall feeling and with the same overall character traits, is it not just good and respectful practice for the designers to minimise content that might offend?”
I’m so fucking overjoyed with emotion right now that Blizzard changed this. There’s some speculation that this was part of a larger sweep of changes. Maybe we didn’t cause them to change it directly, maybe we did. I’m counting it as a victory anyways. I’m so proud and emotional about this – Blizzard, you did good this time. You nipped something lazy and uncreative in the bud and worked towards making an NPC that I don’t feel slimy talking to. I’m really happy with myself and everyone who took the time to talk about this issue. We really did something today.
Screenshot from courtesy of Xelestri: