Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rob Pardo: More of a Sexist Asshole than I Thought.

The more I think about Rob Pardo's words the angrier I am. I tried to wait a week before I posted my thoughts to see if I cooled down, but I've actually only gotten more angry.

I really can not emphasize how FURIOUSLY ANGRY I am about Rob Pardo's attitude on workplace hiring: Yet in discussing this workplace gender imbalance, he notes "It's not because we don't want more women developers, it's just what the industry is," but then follows this up by arguing that when it comes to hiring women game designers, "I just don't get the applications."

I want to give a big FUCK YOU to Rob Pardo. As a woman who has been in software development for 11 years, this attitude almost seems designed to enrage me. Yes, there are fewer women than men in game development. There are fewer women in general in software development, and where the fuck does he thing they are going to come from if he spouts of sexist shit like that?!?

I am so amazingly angry I am almost in tears. There are very few things that make me angrier than someone telling me I DON'T EXIST. I'm not in the gaming industry, but I still write code for a goddamn living. I look at the Blizzard software job descriptions and there are a bunch in SF that I could qualify for. I wouldn't apply because it's absolutely clear to me that they have a toxic work environment if their Chief Creatice Officer is such a sexist asshole.

"However... today's gaming industry is not very diverse. I see hope with all the students in game programs" -- @Rob_Pardo

Fuck you asshole. How about you try to recognize the existing talent and make some effort to attract them? You know, instead of making the vast majority of women (and men who enjoy diversity) not want to touch your company with a ten ft pole.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Rob Pardo is a sexist asshole

It's not a secret that I'm more than a little burned out on WoW. I haven't really raided since mid-March. Being a woman, I'm only vaguely looking forward to the boy's trip (look at Fan #16) of the next expansion.

However there is a big disturbance going on in the internet. Rob Pardo made a presentation at MIT Media Lab. In this talk, Pardo noted that Blizzard games aren't a place for "real world issues", and because they are all boys who grew up reading comic books their representations of women are "offensive to, I think, some women".

He thinks it is offensive for some women!

Just think of Noblegarden and it's terrible Shake Your Bunny-Maker achievement. Think of all the armor that is actual armor on males and bra and panty sets on females. Think of how even though Tyrande is allegedly the leader of the Night Elves Malfurion seems to entirely sideline and ignore her whenever he is present. Think of the quest in Valley of Four Winds where a Pandaren woman is forced to dance for the virmen ogler. I could go on and on and on.

A number of people have pointed out how Pardo's words are sexist and homophobic. Kurn is displeased. Cynwise is quitting. Rades is unhappy. Matthew Rossi at joystiq has an extremely eloquent write up that points out that including diversity doesn't mean you have to make it a focus and doesn't mean you can't keep the story fun. His point that including more people in a MULTIPLAYER game just increases the fun for everyone really resonated with me.

I would like to make the point that Pardo's insistence that "We're not trying to bring in serious stuff, or socially relevant stuff, or actively trying to preach for diversity or do things like that" is perhaps something that Blizzard needs to reconsider.

Something they need to strongly reconsider.

More than a week ago Friday some asshole, who hadn't gotten laid, murdered a bunch of people in Southern California. He played WoW. The juxtaposition of Pardo's remarks about Blizzard's disregard for women and lack of care for "real world" issues with this shooting looks really bad for Blizzard. The shooter this Friday was a racist and sexist and homophobic asshole. However, I have to wonder: if his primary leisure activity (marathon sessions playing....World of Warcraft, "The only thing I have left to live for") hadn't been as sexist in it's representation of women, would he have been quite so likely to go on a murderous rampage?

And this isn't the only mass-murderer to be called out for playing WoW. The Newtown school shooter played WoW. And Anders Breivik, the racist who went on a murderous rampage in Norway, played a lot of WoW as well. I don't think that WoW turned these men into murderers, but I do think it could have helped them not be murderers.

I'm sure that people will jump up to say that there are 7 million people currently playing WoW, so of course there are some people who go on to do bad things among them. To that I'd like to point out that A) there used to be 12 million people playing WoW and B) a lot of the quests that included and empowered women were removed with the revamp of the world during Cata and replaced with ones that didn't include women. Coincidentally Cata was the expansion where Blizzard's subscriber numbers really started to trend downwards.

So perhaps Pardo and the other sexist leadership at Blizzard could get their heads out of their asses and treat women and other minorities like people.

I am seriously considering canceling my own WoW subscription. I engage in a story when I can identify or at least like the characters in it. I'm no longer confident that that characters and story of Warcraft is something that I want to interact with.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Battle Pet Obsession

I really don't think I'd have done nearly as many pet battles if I didn't have the addon PetBattle Teams. Being able to make teams for every occasion is super handy. I currently have 50 teams. I've got carry teams set up for every Pandaria tamer. I've got teams to quickly kill the various Beasts of Fable. I have teams for each of the battles in the Celestial Tournament. I usually have six or seven PvP teams set up, but those evolve over time. I have a bunch of leveling teams set up as well, both for carrying a pet in Pandaria, and for lowbie leveling in cities and the rest of the world. In short I have far too many teams set up, but I do use all of them pretty regularly.

However, the most important teams are the Pandaria Master Tamers. Each of the teams for the Pandaria tamers and Spirit tamers consists of two level 25s and an empty slot for a lowbie that is getting XP. I'll use a Lesser Pet Treat and then follow a route from the Pandaren Earth Spirit west to Courageous Yon, then South through Townlong and Dread Wastes. The East and North through Krasarang and Jade Forest before heading West again to go to Grand Master Aki and then South to finish up at Farmer Nishi. From there I'll also do a quick blast through Beasts of Fable 2: Lucky Yi, Greyhoof, and Skitter Xi. That route will get the equivalent XP of 2 pets from 1 to 25. And doing Beasts of Fable 2 will get a Lesser Pet Treat to use for the next day.

I'm not actually sure how many unique pets I own at the moment. I think I've got 537, but Hyjal armory has been messed up since the server merge. Last I was able to upload to WarcraftPets I also only had 30 pets left that weren't blue. All of the non-blue pets are also only available through pet battles. So I'm trying to speed up my pet blue-ing by doing a bit of wild capturing as well. Of course the non-blue pets I have left are the ones that are only available in one zone, and often in one sub-area of that zone.

My goal is to have all my pets blue and level 25 by the time that Warlords of Draenor comes out. I've heard that the pet max level will still be 25 in the new expansion. I'm not sure if I trust that, but I'll be ready either way. I'm hoping that they don't bump the max pet level. I'd really like to be able to have all my pets leveled up and only need to level up new pets that I get or capture in Draenor. I'd also like to buildup a stockpile of flawless battle stones, so that I have extras when I capture new pets or when I get a pet that isn't from battles that only starts out as green rarity.

Once I have all my pets to 25 and blue, I might go even more obsessive. I'm currently trying very hard not to obsess on the "best" breed for each pet. Mostly because with 18 different moths with the same set of abilities I don't need them all to be the 'best' breed, if I have one of each breed and can choose the breed for the occasion. I do admit that when I started getting extra dragonkin battlestones I couldn't resist and went to get myself a destruction emerald protodrake whelp.

Even if I manage to restrain myself from going full on OCD with pet breeds I'm not going to try to stop myself from trying to acquire all the different pets. I've been working steadily on the various pets that I'm missing. In fact most of my gold this expansion has gone straight into buying pets that I don't have. Sadly I'm still missing a lot of pets, but most of them are from the later parts of this expansion. I'm missing most of the pets that drop from Throne of Thunder and Siege of Orgrimmar. I am also missing several pets from Timeless Isle. There are also various pets that I need from archaeology, and a few older scattered achieves here and there.

I am really wondering how the pet stable in the garrison will work. I think the current plan is that you're able to breed two pets of the same family to be able to pick the breed and get a chance at an epic pet. Who knows if that will be the plan by the time the expansion is released. However, given that is a possibility I am sticking with my plan to make sure I've got all my pets blue and leveled up.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Transmog

As much as I adore the Valorous Scourgeborne look, with all it's black spikes and red accents, it was time for a new transmog for Morn. However I was unpleased with all my options. A lot of the DK sets are far too monochromatic: all blue or rusty red or horrible poisonous green. I was considering the heroic set from Dragon Soul, but I am missing the matching boots, and don't have a pair that wouldn't clash horribly. I was sad and resigned myself to keeping my Valorous Scourgeborne, which wasn't really such a bad thought.

Fortunately I was running DraNgNon's not-so-little-anymore boomkin through the ICC 5mans and I picked up the Pauldrons of the Souleater from the last boss in Forge of Souls. They are pretty striking shoulders. The understated spikes and fiery runes look pretty awesome. So I took a look through Wowhead and the looked at the loot drops from the various ICC 5man bosses, and eventually figured out that the set I now wanted was the Scourgelords's Frigid Battleplate recolor. I went with the Sollerets of Suffering rather than the boots suggested on that page and I think it looks pretty spiffy:



For a weapon I went with the Pit Lord's Destroyer, from the final pair of bosses in the Well of Eternity.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rascal-Bot

I was chatting with a few people in guild the other day and one of them was asking for suggestions of things to do. Honestly I don't know how anyone gets bored in WoW, there are so many different things to do. So I suggested a few options, but mostly I suggested he try out pet battles!

He was dubious at first, about the fun value in pet battles, and worried that he didn't have enough pets to battle with. I gave a few basic tips and suggestions, and then he was worried that he'd get too addicted to pet battles. So score one for pet battles!

Anyway after he logged off for the evening I sent him a present. I had a couple extra Sunfur and Snowy Pandas so I sent him one of each. I also shipped over a Pandaren Water Spirit. I get so many of the Panda and Pandaren Spirit pets from my daily rounds of the Pandaria Master Tamers, it can be hard to sell them all.

Imagine my surprise when I logged in the next day and had a mail in return from him! A mail containing a Rascal Bot!


After leveling him I took a closer look at the little guy and his abilities. And then immediately renamed him Bad Robot.





All these abilities are awesome references to JJ Abrahams works. Having just recently rewatched Star Trek Into Darkness, I'm most amused by Phaser, Lens Flare and Reboot.

Friday, February 28, 2014

I was doing a bit of WoW Insider reading this morning while I ate breakfast and I happened to see this article about probable changes to Warlords of Draenor racial abilities. Mixed in with all the news about nerfs and buffs was a tidbit about what is happening for Night Elves racials:

Night elves see a bonus to Quickness that adds a 2% passive buff to movement speed and a completely new racial, Touch of Elune, which adds 1% haste at night and 1% crit during the day. Shadowmeld is unchanged.

I was trying to come up with something pithy about a buff that changes based on time of day and how that would be a pain to try to get haste breakpoints correct, but the first comment I read said it so very concisely:

I think raid leaders should be able to make whoever came up with Touch of Elune take a drink whenever someone asks them if they can move the raid forward or backward an hour to get the better buff. Let the true min/maxing begin!

Let me just take a moment and be thankful that I am part of the Horde, and all raids I lead are Horde raids.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Love is in the Air

Love is in the air and I want to barf. I have said it before, but I really hate the Fistful of Love achieve and this WoW Holiday in general.

I logged in this evening and before the world had fully rendered around Mornara she had rose petals falling on her. It wasn't even five seconds before Morn was coated in rose petals. Rose petals! Argh!

What if I don't want to avoid cities for the next two weeks? And even if I try to avoid cities I can't avoid my raid; members of whom were already snickering at me for being covered in pink petals...