Wednesday, October 22, 2014

That Chest and Batgirl

Babs Tarr's new Batgirl costume design includes this key note
Earlier on, while I was going through the new character changes in game, I got stuck considering changes to Merinna's character model that I just hadn't expected. Particularly, the size and shape of her bust.

I went to some of the forums, both the WoW forums and places like WoW Insider and found a few others struggling to put into words, politely, what they felt about what they saw and whether it was something to like, or not.

Finally, I went back in game and using the magical "use new models" switch, I took pictures of the old model and new model Merinna so this can be described better.

Merinna's breasts are flat-out bigger than they were before-- and draenei never lacked for size there in the first place.  They have a big more of a sag and are slightly allowed to splay. I think it is arguable that they are more "natural seeming" like this but I stand by an earlier statement I made on a forum somewhere. It looks like somebody's taken her bra away.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Live Blog: Patch Day 6.0.2

Merinna 6.0
I've never done this before, but here's the blow-by-blow account of my first time seeing all these changes hitting at once. I've been in beta the past several expansions and always had these things sort of filter through more slowly. Today, it's just an onrush of impressions. I will add to this as time goes on.

  • We start the day off with Merinna. Mer is my main. She'll always be my main. She gets first attention no matter what. 
  • Great God! It looks like she has a huge overbite now. Her hair looks a bit like she was standing out in the rain.
  • Log out and update some add ons. Very few have updates ready to go. Very unschway. 
  • And back. Poking around the UI. Not having bags open in Bagnon (no update there) is tough. It's taken me a while to find the glorified new Toy Box, but yup. There it is. And it's recorded all the archaeology toys I had built and thrown away because there was no room in my inventory. That is very nice. When I heard about Toy Box, I thought it was at least an expansion too late (and it may still be) because I'd had to purge my bank to make room for... anything.  Several of my key binds have been lost, but Bartender is functioning and keeping track as I reset some of those. Guppet, the add on I use to get something to ride on is hopelessly messed up.
  • Well, the overbite thing looks much less so out in the light. That's a relief. I'm spending a lot of time thinking about this new character model. But truth is, I expect to turn it off before I do anything for real. It seems highly unlikely that my 8 year old iMac is going to be able to handle all these additional polygons. That said, it's doing alright so far. And this is with new patch lagginess and insanity happening everywhere. We shall see.
  • Swooped in and killed a rarespawn in the Vale of the Eternal Blossoms. I still got it, but man is it the crap that I'm no longer allowed to cast lightning while on the move. I hate hate hate that change and knew it was going to hurt. 
  • Just realized my weapon imbues are gone. I think that's something they just baked into the specc build now. Elemental shamans were always supposed to use flame imbue and now that damage is just in the build. 
  • Aaaaand, there's the first DC.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Warcraft and Racism

Is this a problem?
Long-time readers of Be Healed! would rightly guess that I am an Alliance patriot. I mean that in the best sense of the word "patriot." I make no bones about it: the Horde is the instigators of most horrors brought on Azeroth. Yah yah, the ultimate evil of the Burning Legion played a hand in that, but the orcs made their own choices and need to reap their own consequences. And anybody who wants to stand next to them can get what's coming too. The basic orc point of view-- that they should be able to take whatever they need to survive because they have the strength to do so-- is no different from how a bully justifies his actions. And I won't stand for it.

Anyway, That's not really what I wanted to talk about today.

What I really want to talk about is, "Am I being racist when I slam on the orcs or Blood Elves?" I am always struck by a lot of people using a morally flexible point of view to justify actions or plot twists in Warcraft: WoW presents a "morally complex" story with many shades of grey and no absolute rights or wrongs. Or is it really a lot simpler than that?

And, yes, Warcraft is a game and that's a good thing. But playing games gives us chances to make bad choices and to explore morally gray areas in a context where the consequences aren't as dire as they are in real life. In order to get this benefit, though, we do have to examine the quandry.

Battlepet Blitz!

...and what's with the all-mechanical line-up here, anyway?
I think the bandicoon has got this one.

It's about two years since Pet Battles came along. How are they doing on the eve of Warlords of Draenor?

I'm pretty sure if you go back into my archives at this site, you'd find that I was a skeptic of this pet battles. Pokewow, I'm sure I called it, and didn't see a lot of value in co-opting a Nintendo game into WoW in the first place. 

Well, I stand corrected on that. It was good, mostly-mindless fun for those long waits between raids or whatever other downtime you're experiencing. I think I've enjoyed pet collecting more than pet battling, per se, but the whole thing was more entertaining than I ever expected. God help you if you're OCD though.

The Warlords of Draenor battle pets model has no significant changes to the system. There's a bevy of new pets, some things to do in your garrison and the new black market auction house will have rare pets that you might not have found in Pandaria. But the basic model of getting your pets to level 25 and then going out to beat up some trainers continues with no respite. Right now, there's no sign of a new Celestial Tournament, but you've got to believe that it will be a feature of patch 6.X announced at some point in the future.

As far as I'm concerned, this is just fine. I do wish they'd consider some refinements however: