Friday, November 15, 2013

Women of Draenor??

With the announcement of the new Warlords of Draenor Expansion there is a lot of excitement and also a fair amount of shrieking. I'm hearing shrieks of joy about character models and garrisons and the change to toys and heirlooms. But right now the shrieks seem to be about gender equality and they are not joyful in the least.

If you follow the Warlords of Draenor link, you'll come to a lovely informative page. It's got a trailer and news and maps and art. The expansion looks like it'll be awesome.

Looking at that page you see it is full of Orcs. This makes sense. Garrosh has gone back in time and stopped the Orcs from drinking Manoroth's blood, and given them a tech boost. So the Orcs have formed the Iron Horde and are now rampaging across Draenor with the the intent of bursting into Azeroth and rampaging there too. So we get Iron Horde orcs as baddies.

However, that page is very male dominated. All the orcs on that page and all the humans are male. There are a few shots of a female draenei. But no orc women or human women or any other women. And a large number of people are full of unhappy shrieking about this.

Now as Big Bear Butt points out, this is Blizz's story. They can write it however they want to. And they do! That's fine. We the players are only entitled to enjoy the story as it is.


Blizz doesn't always get their own story right, as the existence of the Wildhammer Fact Checker proves. They sometimes need some help to be reminded about all the info that their giant universe has. And I think they need to be reminded that Orc society is matriarchal. As any Horde player saw in Nagrand, Greatmother Geyah was the one in charge at Garadar. Yes there are warchiefs, but the actual town and village is controlled by the women. The warchief is just there to be in control the wars. (Unless you get craziness like Garrosh...)

So where is Geyah? Or Draka for that matter? If Durotan is around then Draka should be too. And as Anne Stickney puts it so much more eloquently than I can Where is Aggra?

I hope that all of the female orcs (and some non-orcs too!) show up sooner rather than later, but the fact that they aren't on the main Warlords of Draenor page doesn't give me a lot of hope as to the magnitude of their role in the story.

Yes, it's Blizz's story and they can tell it however they want. But it'll be a better and more interesting story if it isn't merely a boys clubhouse.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Warlords of Draenor

Blizzcon has come and gone with a whole lot of new things announced. I'm actually pretty excited about the next WoW Expansion. There are a lot of things to look forward to.

I have to admit that the thing I'm most looking forward to is the updated character models. The Vanilla and BC races are currently looking a bit tired. It wasn't so bad before, but when comparing an orc or troll to the pandaren is it painfully obvious that there needs to be more polygons for the original races.

The next most exciting thing I saw announced is the changes to raiding. Blizzard has finally entirely caved in and the flex model is going to be here to stay. Current flex will become the new normal. Current normal will become the new heroic, and current heroic will go up to a fixed size of 20 people and be called Mythic. I am overjoyed at both the extension of flex to two gradations of raiding and at the fact that the single raid size Blizz settled on is 20 people. I think that fits perfectly with the 10-25 flexible sizes of the other raids. It basically means that if you're going after Mythic raiding you'll take your entire roster into the flexible Normal level raids.

Something that entirely surprised me about the new WoW announcements was the Garrison. I think the comment I saw that best describes it is that Blizzard decided that Player Housing was boring, so instead they went with a Player TOWN. A full on walled town that you build and populate. This has some seriously awesome potential, especially since you can actually invite your friends to visit. The party or raid leader can allow a full 40 man raid into their Garrison. If I were into RP I'd be dancing for joy about that. I am looking forward to gathering followers and sending them on missions.

The one thing I'm a bit dubious about is the storyline itself. Yes, yes, Garrosh escapes before his trial, and travels into the past to stop his Daddy from drinking Mannoroth's blood. He also gives the orcs a big technology boost, and thus the Iron Horde is formed. I just am dubious about why we try to fight the Iron Horde after Garrosh has mucked about with the past. My rampant speculation is that this is the expansion that we see Nozdormu turn into Murozond.

See, if Nozdormu were still fully and truly on our side he'd help by sending a strike team back in time before Garrosh corrupted the timeline. Maybe he can't stop Garrosh from breaking free, but an assassin team waiting for him to appear in Draenor past would put a stop to his machinations.

We know that in the future Nozdormu turns into Murozond. And we know that Murozond still has the ability to control time. (See events in the End Time dungeon.) So clearly either Noz is holding out on us currently, or he's about to go bat-shit crazy and try to disrupt the time stream in some twisted effort to get his time controlling powers back. Either way I suspect that we'll see an end boss of some raid that is Nozdormu/Murozond.