Waiting For Draenor – (will have spoilers)

Waiting 1

The title pretty much says it all. I am mired in the end of expansion blahs at the moment. There haven’t been any posts here for a while because I haven’t been playing WoW much except for raid nights.

Hopefully more news about WoD will trickle out soon.  I am moving house next week so of course instead of packing, I’m going to take a moment to point out the bits of news we have had so far that have me excited for this expansion.

There will be some spoilers mentioned, so skip this page if you are trying to avoid them!

Waiting 2

The new Draenei models make me happy! I love how her face is smoother and less pixelated. Her tentacles and tail look better too. Her hands are amazing! Overall every new model has been wonderful. I am really looking forward to seeing them in game.

(I am not going to address the April Fool’s joke here. Enough has been said elsewhere. Suffice to say that I did not find it funny for multiple reasons.)

Courtesy: MonoriRogue. Click for the Deviant Art Page

Courtesy: MonoriRogue@DeviantArt.com. Click for the Deviant Art Page

I’m still excited about Yrel. I am not upset that she is Maraad’s love interest. I think that gives them an interesting chance to tell a story because obviously she didn’t make it out in our time line. I like Maraad and I’m curious to see what he was like on Draenor. I bet the Maraad that Yrel meets coming through the portal is different than the Maraad she knew (who presumably died on Draenor.)

If you haven’t read it, I suggest reading the latest story featuring Maraad, The Untamed Valley. I really enjoyed it both for the Pandaren and for the way it tied up Pandaria a bit. It is a great story especially if you play Alliance and made friends with all the Tillers because then you know the characters and the place.

 

Courtesy: MMO Champion

Courtesy: MMO Champion

Then there is Prophet Velen. I like his new model. He looks more like a regular male Draenei now.  I always wondered why he looked so different before. Also epic beard!

I don’t like what I have heard happens to him, but I do think it will make for a good story. I am extremely interested in seeing how this plays out. I’m not going to post all the rumors here. You can search for them if you are really curious.

I strongly suspect he will be awesome in Warlords no matter what his fate. I am looking forward to seeing him do something rather than just hanging out in the Exodar.

 

Courtesy: MMO Champion

Courtesy: MMO Champion

 

I sort of want to facepalm at new Thrall.

He looks like he is having a midlife crisis and trying desperately to look young and cool. If we see him running around on a bright red mechanohog instead of a wolf that will seal the deal. Does Aggra know he left the house looking like that?!

The only way I will stop making fun of his sleeveless trenchcoat look is if that becomes a “cape” style that player characters can also wear.

Then I will probably be hunting one down for transmog.

Waiting 3

More Draenei because there can never be enough Draenei.

The garrisons seem like they are going to be more and more important. I think I will enjoy them because I love that sort of mini game.

It seems like professions are being pushed into the garrisons so I can see having everything in one place. I will miss having my super strong JC gems. Not having raid bonuses from professions will be a weird change. I think it will be nice to have the professions that are most convenient to your most played characters instead of the most beneficial though.

I am very much looking forward to more bag space. I want the toy box and the heirloom page. I want Diablo III style transmog. I want quest items to not fill my bags and for ore and herbs to stack to 100. These will all be wonderful quality of life changes.

Mostly, I want new stories to learn and a new world to explore. As much as I love Pandaria, I am ready to see Draenor. Hopefully the beta will start soon.

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Will Warlords of Draenor Tone Down ‘The Boy’s Club’ Vibe?

warlords header

I expect that title says it all.

So I mentioned there were a lot of things I liked about the Warlords of Draenor announcement. But there was one big thing that I didn’t.

Yes, I am about to jump on the “Where the hell is Aggra?” train. An offhand comment about, “…the Honeymoon is over. This is more a boy’s trip” did not set well with me or many other women.

aggra and thrall

Aggra is a powerful shaman in her own right. She taught Thrall.

This isn’t because I particularly love Aggra as a character. While she managed to be interesting in books, her ingame portrayal was never handled as well. I can see why people who don’t read the books dislike her.

What annoyed me was the casual dismissal of Aggra as a relevant person. It really made it seem like her sole purpose in WoW was to bear Thrall’s child and now that she has done that…well she is done. Her story has ended. She was a strong independent woman who had her own life before she met Thrall, but all that was just tossed out as unimportant after she did her duty and had a kid. And that is really crappy!

If you aren’t a woman, you might not realize that this sort of ‘women just aren’t as important as men’ attitude is one we have to fight against every day. Some of Y’all might be lucky enough to have more enlightened working conditions. I deal with “The Old Boy’s Club” on a daily basis and it isn’t fun. I frequently have my ideas and thoughts looked down on because a male point of view is always more important to these people.

I don’t want that in my games!

I know there is a group of male gamers who look down on women. I don’t expect that to be magically fixed by Blizzard or any other game company. I do expect them to not actively enforce this attitude though.

That said, I don’t think this was a deliberate slap against female players. I think it was a thoughtless remark that unintentionally set things off.  I do think it shows that the main story writers aren’t always writing with all of their audience in mind though. Gamers stopped being ninety-nine percent white teenage males a long time ago, Y’all.

aggra preggers

Little did she know this cinematic was the kiss of…”And now your story ends.”

I hope Blizzard writes a good story for why Aggra is staying at home. She is the lady who went after her man when he was torn apart into self doubts and rage etc. by Fandrel Staghelm. All the Aspects basically said, “Welp…that sucks for Thrall. We can’t help.” Aggra refused to accept that answer. She went after him, put him back together, and saved his ass. I have trouble believing she’d be ok with Thrall traipsing through time without her to guard his back.

Logically, she would be a good person to go to Draenor. Aggra understands how the Orcs who live there think much better than Thrall does. I think she would also want to see her home world unbroken. Draenor is her home!

I want a better story than that she is just taking care of the baby. That smacks too much of, “Get in the kitchen, Woman, and make me a sammich!” Being a mother is important and taking care of children is also very important. But it is normal–at least from the books–for Orc women to take their children on the road and to keep being as active as their men.

I do think it is possible that she has an excellent reason for staying on Azeroth that wasn’t mentioned. I really hope that Blizzard tells a good story for her.

warlords 2

We are all so manly…RAWR!

The second obvious thing was that all the Warlords are dudes. The iconic shot of them is all these manly men with no ladies in sight.

Obviously this is because that is how they were originally created. I don’t have a problem with that, but I would have liked to see more than one reference to an important Draenei lady in the whole presentation. I feel like the game was marketed very strongly to a specific male audience that doesn’t accurately reflect who is actually playing the game.

I don’t think any of this means that Warlords of Draenor will be a bad game. I also think there could be some fabulous women come to the fore in storylines that weren’t shown in the teaser trailer. Maybe Sylvanas will have an awesome plot going while we aren’t there to monitor her. Perhaps Jaina will unleash hell on the Iron Horde. Hell, maybe Tyrande will kick Malfurion to the curb and stop being his arm candy.

It all could happen. I’m not going to say that the good stories I want will not be there. I bet that in the end I really end up liking the game no matter where Aggra ends up.

I felt like I had to say something about my initial reaction though. My feelings as a woman when I heard Aggra get casually dismissed are still relevant. I am not happy to see other women–even if they are fictional characters–get dismissed because they are female and therefore not as important as the men.

That is just icky.

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My Favorite Warlords Of Draenor Announcement

a-Yrel header

This is Yrel. She will be a Joan of Arc type character in Warlords of Draenor.

Since watching Blizzcon, I have been mulling over a post about what I think about Warlords of Draenor.  There is a lot I could comment on, but I’m not sure that my insight is different enough from what others have said to make it super relevant. So for now, I’m going to answer WoW Insider’s latest community blog topic which asks, “What was your favorite Warlords of Draenor announcement?” 

a-road of bones

This road exists in “our” Outland. It is made from the bones of the Draenei.

My favorite announcement was that we are getting more Draenei lore! I’ve mentioned before how much I love the Draenei.

I can’t wait to see how they lived before their society was destroyed. I want to see their cities unbroken. I want to see them with more than crashed ships as a refuge.

My Draenei paladin was the first character I really connected with in WoW. I learned to love her people on Azuremyst Isle.

When I got to Outland, several things shocked and saddened me. Seeing all the Draenei ruins made me imagine what those cities must have once been.

a-nether storm

The road of bones in Hellfire Penninsula made a big impression on me. All the ghosts who didn’t realize they were dead made another. At the same time I was impressed by the Draenei as a people. They had suffered genocide and still had compassion within them.

I am really excited to see Draenor as it was before the demon taint and the destruction. Outland as it is now is a beautiful place. I can’t wait to see it as a living world. I want to see all those broken ruins as living cities.

I am very interested in Yrel and her storyline. That is why she made the header image of this post. I am always glad to see strong women characters in WoW…I just hope she doesn’t get burned at the stake or killed in some other terrible way like Joan of Arc.

Joan of Arc had visions and that makes me wonder if Yrel will too. If she does have visions, will they echo Velen’s or contradict them? Will she be a paladin? Lastly if she is getting visions from some source that is different from whatever mystical thing Velen is plugged into…where are they coming from?

a-auchindoun

Auchindoun seems destined to always house a dungeon. I can’t wait to see it as a magnificent temple instead of a ruin.

I also wonder how the Draenei of this different Draenor will react to us. What will they make of my Draenei characters who are death knights? I don’t see that whole undead but still walking around thing going over well with them. What will they think of all these other Draenei who claim to be from the future? That would have to be a hard story to believe even without adding in all the other Alliance races.

Mostly, I want the Draenei to accept our help and kick the crap out of the Iron Horde and the Legion too if they come creeping around. I want them to win this time! I want their world to remain unbroken.

My bonus close second answer is new character models. They are going to be amazing.

a-awesome gnome

Look at that fabulous Gnome! Holy crap Y’all, she is beautiful. I can’t wait for my Gnomes to look like that. I can’t wait for my Draenei to maybe get Yrel’s hair or horns. All the new character models they previewed were this good.

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Where Have I Been?

Hello!

This is a short update without a pretty picture – doh!  I might add one once I get home from work today.

I have been loving 5.4 to the extent that I have been using a lot of my spare time to actually play WoW, Y’all. I have leveled three more kids to 90 since it dropped. I really love the Timeless Isle.

I have posts for every week of Alt Appreciation I have missed and those will be going up in some sort of order as I finish editing the pictures for them. I’m not sure when this will happen, but I will say soon*.

(* Not Blizzard soon…hopefully!)

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