Night Elves have some new competition!

It took a lot of hard work, but it’s finally paying off.

It’s been years in the making. Personally, I thought it could never, EVER possibly happen.

But it did.

There’s a new skank in town… and they call her a female Worgen.

I think it’s a little sad, but it doesn’t affect my play intentions in any way. I guess I shouldn’t feel sad, because I have no idea how women who play the game view the new female Worgen dance except for what Larísa had to say.

I hadn’t intended to play a female Worgen, I’m going to change my Druid race to male Worgen when they open it up.

As far as the dances go, I feel that most of the female dances in WoW are… charming. The female Night Elf ‘pole dance’ grind is an exception, of course, but I’ve always thought of that as an aberration. A relic of the old days, when everybody bought into the ‘cave dwelling socially inept internet porn gamer geek’ cliche stereotype.

You know, before everybody with a clue accepted that there are millions of living, breathing, intelligent, talented women who are also gamers.

And the female Night Elf dance does go hand in hand with the, err, umm, ‘suggestiveness’ of the male Gnome.

Ah, the male Gnome dance. The great equalizer.

I’m sure there are some folks who are going to be amused by the Lady GaGa dance moves of the Worgen, but when I watched the video, my reaction wasn’t amusement. Not even a ‘watching Punk’d or Jackass’ type of amusement.

No, my reaction was more along the lines of; “Really? I mean, really? This is what you came up with. Really?”

But hey, I wasn’t gonna play one anyway. No skin off my snout, right?

What makes me sad is thinking of all those millions of intelligent, fun loving talented female geeks out there that love to play the game, and who (in my imagination) were looking forward to a new character race, and will now be mildly annoyed to have that as the dance move for when they’re chillin’ with their guildies.

I might be totally off base, but whereas fun loving, flirtatious, free wheeling and adventurous dances are all great, there’s a fine line between flirtatious and skanky.

This? This hops right over that line wearing a bunnytail leotard. Do the skanky hop. Hop hop hop!

I really did think that, after the first iteration of WoW design, we’d moved past that kind of team programming decision, but hey. I AM a real old bear. I probably just don’t get it.

Now, I’m assuming a lot here. I’m assuming you’ve seen the video, because it was on MMO Champion. Just in case, I’ll post it here. The dance is from Lady GaGa’s video ‘Poker Face’.

Now, it’s all really pretty silly. It’s not a big deal. It’s just a dance, after all.

How much is each races’ personality flavored by their associated dances? You’ll see them all the time, in the events you take part in, the machinima you watch, the mailboxes you use, all over the place. Going forward, your mental image of the female Worgen will inevitably include that dance as part of their… flavor.

What flavor? Why, tart of course. 🙂

What I think is the MOST amusing part of this entire situation is how this is just one more example that Blizzard needs to sit all their folks i one room and figure out where they want to go with the game. What is appropriate and funny and cool, and what ain’t?

It’s a big company, but you should expect a certain amount of consistency in the stuff they include as in-jokes or fun, and what gets excluded as inappropriate. 

The female Worgen dance didn’t get done by some lone guy in a garage working on a Mac saying “hur hur hur”, it came out of a team meeting where options were discussed, debated, and decided on. It represents a decision made internally by a team. As such, it shows what that team considered appropriate for the game in terms of source material used, target audience, and entertainment value. And, as it’s the brand new race for the brand new revitalizing expansion, it’s presumably going to have a big presence in the game for, oh, the next three years or more.

Programming that dance, with all of it’s choreographed moves, was not a simple task. It took quite a lot of time to complete. Time spent coding equals money equals resources. That dance cost Blizzard quite a bit in terms of those resources that they can’t afford to spend on individual class quests.

Ooops, sorry. Slipped on a snark.

Okay, so, no big deal. I personally think it’s kinda lame, using the dance from a Lady GaGa video.

I’ll be honest, I really like her as a performer, and I’ve purchased several of her songs (sue me, I like dance music, and I really like Bad Romance). But I have no illusions concerning her relevance or potential longevity. Lady GaGa is the poster child for “Live fast, get some singles, love the fame, then vanish into VH1 history”. She’s an internet fad driven by controversial behavior and media saturation as much as anything else. She’s good, but she’s not exactly Britney Spears or Madonna in terms of recognition or staying power on the pop charts.

The most awesome part of all of this is the part where you just have to step back and ask yourself, “Do they even talk to each other over at Blizzard HQ?” See, this got revealed within days of something else that, to me, portrayed a completely different attitude.

I know it’s unfair of me to quote people’s actual words in context, but hey… if you don’t MEAN it, or you don’t know exactly what you’re talking about, DON’T SAY IT.

Saying “I don’t know”, when true, is a perfectly acceptable answer to me. Saying “I don’t want to tell you why we make our decisions because you’re all just going to whine about it later on the internet” is ALSO a perfectly valid answer to me. I can respect honesty.

I’m talking about the Blizzard response to why they changed the name of the Feral Druid Talent “Nom Nom Nom” to “Blood in the Water” in 4.0.1 for Cataclysm.

The reason why they made this change, and I quote from the BlizzCon 2010 Class Q & A panel, is;

It’s an internet meme that will be less funny in a year, and will embarrass us in 3 years.

That was their reason, in their words, for why they changed the name of a Talent that, as far as I know, was met with universal enjoyment when first rumored to exist, let alone the joy when it was really found to be in the game. A Kitty Talent called Nom Nom Nom? Are you freaking serious? Awesome! Bravo, Blizzard.

And then of course they changed their minds. They changed it before it went live, first to Feast of Flesh, and then to Blood in the Water.

You know, I’m not a shark, I don’t have a shark form, it looks more like a manatee to me. I’m from South Florida, so maybe that’s just me, but I think of it as my “hippo of the sea” form. And even if it was a shark, I don’t fight in that form. Blood in the Water? As a replacement for Nom Nom Nom? Just, no.

Now, maybe the truth is somebody somewhere copyrighted the phrase Nom Nom Nom, so legally they can’t use it. I can see that. I’ve seen weirder, that’s for sure.

But they didn’t SAY that when asked in a Class Q & A panel. And you’d hope they tried to give the person a good answer, right? Not just throwing out some bullshit, or mocking the person for being stupid, or blowing them off. They gave a serious answer because they respect that somebody waited in line to get a response for their question. Someone who presumably spent a great deal of money just for the priviledge of attending a celebration of Blizzard’s games, is a paying customer of Blizzard, and who cared enough to wait in line in the hopes of getting their question answered for themselves and their community.

The serious response to his question was, It’s an internet meme that will be less funny in a year, and will embarrass us in 3 years.

And then we get the female Worgen dance? Oh yes, that is just the FUNNIEST dance, not just now, but three years from now. Oh yes, the relevance and flavor of that dance will certainly live long and prosper. 

I’m not upset, or ranting, or irritated, or anything except IMMENSELY amused.

It’s like, “Left hand, this is right hand. Umm, dude. I’d like to have a meeting with you, maybe over some bubble tea? ‘Cause I’m hearing things about what you’ve been up to over there, I’m not naming any names, but I just don’t know what in the HECK you do over there anymore. I think we need to touch base and get this stuff nailed down. I’m getting some word that you guys are doing some funky shit, and maybe didn’t get the memo that, we’re Blizzard, We’ve got 12 million subscribers over here. This is serious business.”

I was a little disappointed in Blizzard when they dropped the awesomeness of Nom Nom Nom. Honestly, when I first heard that was the name of a new Feral Druid Talent, my first thought was, “Wow, I really didn’t think Blizzard’s devs were that cool and ballsy to go for that. I’m impressed with them. Rock on!”

I’m INCREDIBLY surprised at the Lady GaGa female Worgen dance. That just makes no sense to me, stylistically, thematically OR in keeping with consistency.

But what the hey, none of it matters, but damn is it funny in comparison.

53 thoughts on “Night Elves have some new competition!

  1. If I danced like that, I’d be saying “ow” a lot 😛

    I’m planning on rolling a Worgen, but it will probably be a male … the female just doesn’t look right to me for some reason.


  2. Blizzard did do a “Left paw” not knowing what the “Right paw” was doing thing with Nom Nom Nom and the Dance. The problem goes deeper though.

    Nom Nom Nom has been around far longer than, or even Warcraft. It was invented by Cookie Monster. It started as the sound he made when he ate cookies. So, I honestly feel that Blizzard made a big mistake when they made that reason why they decided to name that talent “Blood in the water”, which is so stupid.

    The dance they chose for both Worgen is not even identifiable by fans of Timberlake or GaGa.
    I think Blizzard failed hard, but it won’t stop be from rolling a Worgen Female. I have a lot more gripes about her than just a dance. (Her face…) My character is an extension of myself, so I always roll female characters. 😉



  3. Just looks goofy to me; I’m not offended or amused. Perhaps a little confused. I have heard the song and seen the dance when actual people do it. But this seems not so much slutty as it does stupid. But whatever, I’m playing Worgen male. Lol!


  4. I was honestly looking for the part where you were going to say you were being sarcastic about the dance being overly sexualized. I’m kind of a prude myself, and I didn’t see the dance as being any more sexualized than orc/troll/draenei/night elf female dances, or the human/night elf/gnome male dances, for that matter. While its much less threatening when you understand the context of where it comes from, the dance animation for Moonkin/Ogres is about as raunchy as any in the game, in my opinion. A woman momentarily touching her own mammaries doesn’t really scream “SEKZ NAO PLOX!!” to me, at least no more than exaggerated pelvic thrusting/rump shaking. Your mileage may vary, of course.

    Do I like the dance? No, I don’t, but not because I feel scandalized. Having never heard Lady Gaga’s music, or seen her dance, I chalk that up at least partially to me being so out of touch with trends of the sort, so I don’t “get” the reference. Not that I really have a better suggestion for a dance, mind you. Some of the dances in game are what I’d consider iconic culture references, but I’m sure its a safe bet that there are plenty of WoW players who don’t get the reference on most of them. After all, who really dances the Macarena anymore? How many Indian musicals has the average WoW player seen? How many WoW players under the age of 20 know/remember who Chris Farley was, much less remember his infamous “Chippendale’s tryout dance”?

    As for “Nom nom nom”, I’d classify talent naming conventions in a different category than selecting racial dance animations. While its a funny premise for a talent name, I agree with Blizzard that “Nom nom nom” would only be funny for a little while. I don’t know that it’d ever quite be “embarassing”, but it doesn’t follow the theme of the tree. While “Blood in the Water” is a little bit off, I get the point that its following a theme that Feral Druids are natural predators, or at least behave that way. Its attempting to follow the theme of the talent tree, so it is a (slightly) better fit. Once again, I’m not in love with the name, but I can’t think of anything better off hand, either.


  5. Imo the current female worgen dance isn’t that bad. However, and maybe it’s just me, but whenever I think of female worgen and dance this one comes to mind

    Also, one thing to keep in mind though, and someone already mentioned it somewhere earlier in the replies, at some point there’s supposed to be a Dance Studio implemented which will allow you to change the dance of your character to your own likings. If the dance is the only thing that puts you off, you might want to consider this, or race changing later when the feature will be implemented.


    • I imagine this is aimed more at others who are put off of the race now.

      For myself, I was never intending to make a female Worgen anyway, so no worries for me.


      • I would love to see more dances for each race, giving us a choice, but when that comment about the Dance Studio was made, I really didn’t read it as a promise of any kind… it sounded to me more like a response of “Well, we’re still thinking of doing that someday…” and folks read a whole lot into it.

        Personally, I figure it’s like player housing… in the end, they’ll figure it’s not worth, to them, the investment of resources to implement.

        Here’s hoping I’m just cynical and utterly, totally wrong.


  6. In light of this new dance I say:

    As for nom nom nom…. Wait… the nomnom internet meme gets old fast, but people can still get the really annoying and useless Jenkins title? Which is based on… Oh let’s not go there.

    I take the nom over the Jenkins any day.


  7. First of all, worgen shoulda been Horde! Just had to get that off my chest.

    Secondly, Poker Face?? Really?

    How about Polka Face? A really good Weird Al tune always works.


    • Hmm… Worgen as Horde. But, if that were the case, then Golbins woulda been gone.

      Now, if they woulda put Worgen as Horde, and made Pandaren as the new Alliance race…

      Well, I for one would have considered that good value for my expansion dollar.


      • Well, that’s true. But the Alliance needs somebody on the Horde side to punt, and Blood Elves, while light enough thanks to their lack of sammich eating, have absolutely NO sense of humor when it comes to fashion or sammiches. I shudder to think of the drama if we started Belf Punting.


  8. I just don’t think that the dance is that big a deal.

    Is it sexual? Sure, but not overtly so. I had no qualms letting my 13 year old daughter look over my shoulder while I watched the video. The pelvic thrusts of the male night elf dance are more overtly sexual than the female worgen dance.

    Is Lady Gaga too fleeting, without enough staying power? I don’t agree with that. WoW has a shelf life measured in years, not decades. We’re still going to know Lady Gaga when WoW fades away.

    Do new players today know where the male Draenei dance comes from? That internet meme was a flash in the pan. Does everyone recognize the Britney Spears dance that the female blood elves do?

    Blizzard always includes pop culture references into their games. Some are so iconic (e.g. Michael Jackson) that we all recognize them. Others are Easter eggs that sometimes miss their target. Does it matter if everyone gets, for example, the Orly and Yrly references hidden in the game? As long as it makes a few people chuckle, I say mission accomplished.

    You can question whether Lady Gaga is worth incorporating into the game, but that’s a matter of personal taste rather than bad judgment on Blizzard’s part.


    • Again, like I said earlier, all of that is skirting around my point, which wasn’t any of what you reference, but is instead the humor value in one group canceling one thing due to it’s transient internet fad nature, but putting something else into the game apparently BECAUSE of it’s internet fad/celebrity nature.

      I don’t care either way, but if you’re going to take the time to give something as a reason for your decision making, then when we can clearly see you don’t actually use that in other cases, we’re gonna point it out. And we’ll ask that, instead of bullshitting us, you just tell us you didn’t wanna. Or you couldn’t get the copyright. Or the boss didn’t like that meme. Or you’re going through a bad divorce and have lost your sense of humor. Or because you got ganked in battlegrounds by a druid so bad it made you cry, so you’re gonna get revenge.

      I don’t really care, I just ask that if you’re asked a legitimate question by a customer that had to go through a certain amount of time, effort and money to pose the question, that you respect that effort enough to give a straight answer. And if you can’t do that, I WILL mock you. You, of course, not being Dinaer. 🙂 You meaning those Blizz meanies.

      I mean, heck, I COULD be having fun with the fact that Blizz has no time to fix all these major bugs, but they DID have time to code and install the Wildhammer Fact Checker Red Shirt Guy in the brief amount of time since Blizzcon. I mean, we could seriously have a fun debate over exactly WHAT is the best use of time here, and where their priorities are at… but frankly, I don’t care that much. Things are fixed enough now I can play, so I’m cool.


      • I do see the point about Nom Nom Nom, and the larger point about lack of consistency in their answers.

        But you did devote a lot more space in the post writing about the dance, so you’ve got to expect people to reply on that point. 🙂

        When I reflect on it, my first instinct is to say that Nom Nom Nom is a silly name for a talent and agree with its removal. They I ask myself why I think that.
        (1) Dances are inherently frivolous, and have no impact on gameplay, and are just added as a frill, so there is no reason to keep them serious at all.
        (2) Talents are a major gameplay feature, and so should be less frivolous. No one should take points in Nom Nom Nom just for the awesome name.
        (3) However, to counter my own point in #2, I couldn’t give you the name off the top of my head of half the talents I put points in, so how much does it really matter?

        I guess that Blizzard tends to corral their frivolity in the non-gameplay portions of the game. The red-shirt guy is a non-interacting NPC made from modifying an existing model. The dances are completely optional. I think I went about a year without ever using /dance. As a rogue, I think I’d be a little put off if one of my attacks were called Stabbity-Stab. Gameplay is srs bzns.

        Toward your larger point, I’d be amazed if their answers were internally consistent. The only way to verify that is if they had one person vet every single public statement made by the Customer Service guys. For that to happen, the interaction between the players and the Blizz reps would be severely curtailed, and the Q&A panels at Blizzcon could not exist at all. I personally love the freedom that the Blizzard staff has to talk in the forums. You take the good with the bad.


      • True, it’s nice that they have the freedom to answer questions. And I’m in the camp of your #3 pretty strongly. The effects of the talents are important, but what they’re called, unless it’s the name of a spell the talent gives you once taken, really doesn’t matter a hill of beans.

        I, personally, would take Stabbity-Stab, so long as my Warrior could have Tankity-Tank. 🙂

        I just keep going back on my pre-conceived positions on communication, I guess. If you’re just BSing and wondering and stuff, sure, speculate, crack wise, whatever. But if you’re the official spokesperson in a venue as public and righteous as Blizzcon during a Q&A panel, I mean geez… that’s what it’s supposed to be about, right? Asking a question of the people who know?

        For me, it brings up questions of sincerity and integrity. If you don’t know the answer, put your ego on check, and admit it. It’s okay for normal people to admit, ‘I don’t have the answer for that one, we’ll get a blue post out on the forums laters once we’ve had a chance to check the facts.”

        I suppose it could simply be that the people in one development team DO try and be serious and worry about their dignity when designing content, while the other development team doing dances are more flaky and go with whatever looked cool on Youtube the night before. This is all speculation anyway, and they do have a proven track record of doing goofy dances, so, eh. Maybe it’s just a case of following an already established tradition.


  9. I actually thought it was the Macarena when it started, but then, I’m not familiar with the “Pokerface” video. The macarena is of course pretty dated now, too, but there you go – it’s revival won’t be far behind.

    Maybe I’m just getting old, though. I don’t think it’s that big a deal, though, and certainly not a reason to avoid rolling a female worgen. For me, that decision would boil down to the overall aesthetics of the character I’m going to be looking at the back of for hours, combined with how pleasant the facial art is. The latter, in particular, is what has kept me from rolling an orc or troll and sticking with them for these many years.

    There’s also the fact that EVERYONE will be rolling a worgen at the beginning of the next expansion, because “worgen are teh kewlest!!!” Thank goodness they can’t be paladins. The textbook rebel in me will be dodging the trend.

    (I’m thinking though that goblins won’t be quite as popular, for reasons similar to the general lack of popularity of gnomes. I, for one, have been anticipating a tiny race for the Horde for years.)

    I am sad that “Nom Nom Nom,” which perfectly described what the talent was about, theoretically, has been taken off the table, but I guess I can kind of understand there point. I guess we’ll just have to remember it fondly as a part of kitteh lore. NEVER FORGET.


    • Apparently, I fail at writing, because most people seem to be focusing on my comments on the dance, or on Nom Nom Nom, or on something else, but I wrote everything in the post towards one point; that it’s faintly ridiculous of Blizzard to say that Nom Nom Nom was unacceptable due to being a transient internet fad with no longevity on the one hadn, but put in this dance and others, a far more visible aspect of the game, on the other.

      Or, to put it in even simpler terms… “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just isn’t the same.”

      I know what you mean about the likelihood of many folks rolling Worgen, but isn’t that to be expected? There will be two new races with two new starting zones, meaning new content. Don’t we all love doing something new?

      The big thing will be to see how many last deeper into the games upper levels.

      I’m still planning on making a Goblin, but not a Worgen. My druid will be race changed to a Worgen when they let us (apparently some time after the first ones level up to 85 on the realms… knowing some players, like 13 hours after Cata is released).


      • I understand your point. You could cut it a lot of different ways, though: the dance is a frill while the talent is a core mechanic (as another person mentioned); the dance isn’t so different in nature from other dances for similar reasons (sexualized a la the female nelf dance, a dated cultural reference like the male belf dance); etc. Bottom line for me: I don’t really care about the dances, and I love all cat memes. 😀

        As for Cataclysm: while the worgen and goblin starting zones will be epic, all the non-BC race zones have been overhauled! I reckon I’ll end up playing all of them from 1 to 6, and then one of orc/troll and gnome/dwarf through Durotar and Dun Morogh, which leaves… 8 new toons at 12 or 13?! From there, I’ll have to whittle it down to maybe 4 – one for each continent and faction. I think the real test will be seeing who can get their new toons through the tedium of “old” BC and Northrend questing to get back to new stuff. “Fortunately,” perhaps, there’s the Dungeon Finder for that.

        I’m just looking forward to questing. Aside from leading my little raid, I think I’ve always enjoyed exploring and questing best.


  10. Other than the dance being just dumb, who the hell cares?

    The night elves have a super slutty dance and the gnomes thrust at each other and are made to spank females gnomes. Suggestive dances are not exactly new, and in case you hadn’t noticed, for a lot of people that’s the POINT of dancing IRL–to find someone to boogie with.

    You’re making a big deal over nothing. Yes, the dance looks just flat out dumb. The female goblin dance is super slutty too, but nobody complains–because it’s a silly goblin and you laugh, because it’s funny. Both male and female worgen dances just look dumb, and I hope they’ll get something that is actually cool and interesting instead of Lady Gaga. But I am 100% honest with myself that my objection to these dances is a dislike of Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake (and other lame popstars) and not because its SO OFFENSIVE OMG

    –Female player who likes to dirty-gnome-dance with her boyfriend


  11. I can’t say I like either of the worgen dances. Gaga might or might not have some staying power, but the dance is not recognizable as poker face, even if she does. Same with the worgen male. It looks much more like a tap dance than Justin Timberlake, but the armglide thing even ruins that. The whole thing is a mess. Goblins got a lot more love on the dance front. Both of their dances stand on their own, outside of the pop context that they came from.


  12. Oh, I’ll still roll the female worgen druid I was intending to… she’ll just never dance. Or will dance in bear / cat form.

    Curious about the original “Poker face” I went and looked it up. The dance moves being copied are on screen for only a few seconds, and go faster than the female worgen dance. I totally agree with Celwinde’s comment about the female worgen groping herself much much more than Lady GaGa.


  13. Favorite quote of the day: “The character gropes herself way too much, even when compared to Lady GaGa.”

    Well done, Celwinde!


  14. I would’ve liked to have seen the Worgen females get Bad Romance or one of Madonna’s dances. “Poker Face” was a disappointment to me, and Blizzard didn’t even do that good of a job copying it. The character gropes herself way too much, even when compared to Lady GaGa.


  15. Way to go Blizzard! You just proved again that you are a bunch of undersexed basement geeks that didn’t get laid until you were twenty-five and had enough income to buy it on the street! Your exploytation of women is extremely distasteful and should have stopped a long time ago! When the question was asked, “Why do all the women in wow look like victroia secrets cataloge models?” Your answer was ,”What catalogue would you like use to use?” Come on Really? Do you really want to slap all of woman gamers in the face with this dance? Do you really think it is okay to have a toon fondling her crotch and breasts? Get real! I’m not a prude by anymeans but this is outrageious! Feel free to hire some women to cunsult you on what the hell is appropreate.


  16. Well, sadly, the female worgen dance has iced any intention I had on rolling worgen. I have no problem with the dance in a Lady Gaga video – but it’s so completely out of place in WOW on a race whose backstory is pretty much Victorian England. They wear long gowns, the men wear top hats, then they start dancing and grabbing at tatas and coochie? Hunh? Hello, my toon is a druid, not a stripper.

    I also have to agree with Checkmate’s comment on these being very flash-in-the-pan choices as well that I don’t think will age well with the game either.


  17. I think that Nom Nom Nom will be around and understood a lot longer than Blizzard gives it credit for.

    It’s a lot easier for a bit of language to become embedded in our culture than it is for a dance to get to the same level of recognition. There are very few dances that are really recognizable to people who don’t spend tons of time watching music videos. Everyone knows Thriller. In five years, a lot of people won’t know Poker Face.

    I also think that the dance is a bit dumb. And it won’t take long before people won’t know that their female worgen is doing Lady Gaga – they’ll just think “this dance is stupid.”

    I also think Nom Nom Nom has more staying power than Double Rainbow, which gets referenced in a new achievement.


  18. The wife was up early today and was watching some of the dances on YouTube. The new Goblin dance being something like Soulja Boy. The new Worgen dance being Justin Timberlake, but she didn’t see that in the dance at all. And, of course, the female Worgen’s Lady Gaga dance. She thought the Soulja Boy tune was catchy, but that’s about it. Why is it Blizzard is taking flash-in-the-pan fads and then committing to them for several years. And why the heck can’t men and women dance together?? Was there something bad about that? Are the execs at Blizzard such prudes that men and women can’t be seen together, so no need to have complimentary dance moves? I know they adjust the game for China. Are they adjusting for the Middle East as well? (I do note the Burka on the Worgen female in the video. Already it starts.) My favorite dances, and they appear to be timeless are the Draenei males (though that’s Indian pop I guess), and the Troll and Undead females. Everyone else is just too … funny for the moment, not for six years and going. But, as the snarky developers at BlizzCon would tell us, “This isn’t World of Dancecraft.” (Which, as you say, means they’re committing resources to something they don’t really care about.)


  19. I hate the dance. I sort of like Lady Gaga’s singing (Search for “Vintage Lady Gaga Live at NYU – Captivated & Electric Kiss ” on Youtube… that was before she was LG. The girl can sing) even though it’s not the kind of music I really like… but the big problem with the dance is that the music is part of it. By itself, without the music that goes with it, it looks stupid. It’s not the kind of dance you’d see someone doing on a dance floor, it’s the equivalent of a Paris fashion show. You’ll never see those outside their specific context. A Janet Jackson dance would have the same problem.

    Without the music, the dance looks stupid because it’s reacting to a beat that isn’t there. The nelf dance looks like you should be shoving paper goldpieces into her bikini, but the dance works on its own. The male belf dance is apparently from a movie. I haven’t seen it, but while it looks kind of dumb, it’s not so bad that I hate to see it done… the female belf one has the same problem as the female worgen. On my female belf character, I never dance just because it’s embarassing. The female forsaken is…odd. Just waving hands around the face. Not exactly a dance.. if I’d seen it out of context I’d probably have thought someone was trying to hypnotize me.

    Basically, they picked ‘high fashion’ dances instead of ones that normal people would actually do. Things you’ll only see on a stage with a load of backup dancers, rather than something someone might do out on a date.


  20. @Tesh

    I’m sorry if it felt like I was condescending during my post. That wasn’t my intention, and I don’t really want that to be what the posts are about.

    But it is my opinion that people should try to understand the developers’ choices before criticizing them, because otherwise they’d be making the wrong arguments and the wrong complaints. Like if your complaint about class quests was “If you’re so worried about class homogenization, why are you removing class quests?” then you’ve likely asked the wrong question, because the two are probably not one and the same in their minds and the complaint would probably be dismissed as it would seem that all you’re doing is trying to play a game of “gotcha!” to get your agenda accomplished. If your complaint was “I think class quests should stay because they give a unique and interesting feel to each class during leveling,” then that’s a complaint with an actual argument behind it that is worth some consideration.

    On cookie cutter specs: they do (try) to offer a choice between equally interesting talents, just that the choices can’t influence your role’s effectiveness. If you’re a DPS with a choice between a situational survivability talent and a situational DPS talent, you’re pretty much always going to take the DPS talent. So the choice they want to give you is outside of the cookie cutter part of the spec that they expect you to have, just like they expect you to have certain Prime Glyphs or enchants. Now, it’s possible they could just bake the cookie cutter part into the stuff you get at level 10 for selecting a spec and leave just the choices in the talent tree, but that would mean you’d get a talent point every five or ten levels or so and it would totally bork up leveling balance (which, I hear, has already taken a severe blow with 4.0.1).

    I wasn’t really talking specifically about dancing when I was talking about pop culture references. Rather it’s the inclusion of things like Flintlocke or Plants vs. Zombies or Harrison Jones that makes me prefer WoW’s fantasy world to, say, LotR’s, because it makes me feel like I can goof off and have fun in the world because the developers too are having fun.


  21. The funny thing about it is the male dance… from what I’ve seen they didnt really put much effort into it, I mean… tap dancing? and theres no consistency cause the male worgen goes tap dancing and the female goes uber skank? there’s really not much consistency there.

    But truth be told, dancing isnt something thats going to make or break a race….. it sure adds some flavor to it, but it doesnt make me rethink my idea of rolling a worgen.


  22. Thats the thing for me, too, Tsudrats.

    I personally don’t mind the sexual aspects of the dance, any more than I mind the Night Elf one. Heck, I created Sidhe Devils Gone Wild as a concept to have fun with the idea and play along, since those darn night elves are just screaming “70s porn star in training”. 🙂

    It’s the overall dance for me. It doesn’t seem to fit, and in ways that are annoying.

    Okay, look at the race. The Worgen as a concept is pretty cool. A race that is half civilised, and half primal. You can really work with that theme in many ways for a culture or race, not just with a dance. But dance is a means of personal expression that is incredibly powerful. It combines the passion of the soul, the movement of the body and the direction of the mind in ways which can say a lot. Wow, understatement of the century.

    Anyway, a dance move for a race in the game is a perfect opportunity to say how you want the heart of the race to be seen by others.

    I really like the male Blood Elf dance… because it says “thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips, super agile and coordinated and imaginative, but totally oblivious to the fact that no matter how good he dances… it still comes across that he’s a geek” (sorry Jong).

    For a female Worgen, with a mind at war with her heart, filled with unbridled passion barely kept in check by a strong mind and relentless control… the dance falls far short of the mark.

    The dance COULD have been awesome. It’s the right general idea, a blend of passion and precision. When you watch it, it’s a combination of flowing arm and body movements and precise geometrical tracing. But the precise moves, the face framing and stuff, the flowing gestures, instead of feeling like a combination of control and passion mixing on screen, just feels rigid, wooden, and overly rehearsed, much like the difference between an orchestra playing a flowing melody, and a school band rigidly practising a song note by note, with the inifinitesimal pauses as each student practiser tries to land their notes right on the next beat exactly.

    A female Worgen is meant to be a primal race. A combination of the human civilised and the animal wild. Precise control at war with unrestrained power.

    I would have really liked to have seen a dance that in some way actually fit that kind of race. A dance that combined smooth, clearly controlled movement directed by a thoughtful mind with incredible energy and barely restrained passion, bubbling and bursting to break free into wildness. A fiery heart of passion directed by a strong, controlled mind.

    When I think of where examples of those kinds of dances could come from, I immediately think of the traditional gypsy and arabian styles of dance, infusing incredibly complicated rhythyms and complex movements with a passionate, exuberant energy. Latin influenced dance would also be a great source for inspiration.

    But Lady GaGa? I’m sorry, it just falls short of the mark for me.


  23. I probably wouldn’t mind the dance even though I am a female gamer if it looked a little more like the Worgen lass actually had some sense of rhythm and style. Rather she just looks like she’s flapping through a set of moves hoping desperately that if she gets it right that everyone in Azeroth wll think she’s cool … a bit like all of us who learnt the macarena, nut bush and all those other set ‘dances’ but never felt like we were getting it right.


  24. About the dancing, personally I think its an ugly and stupid looking dance, regardless of where it comes from, and even though a lot of the dances are silly, this one just makes me not wanna roll one because I love /dance grooving :P.


  25. Have to agree on Tesh about class quests. A lot of players do spend majority of their play-time at level cap, eventually. But I also know a lot, and I am one of, not so fast levelers who don’t mind enjoying all the content that’s been put into the game over the years. Instead of just taking few days off and power-leveling till ya thumbs (or whatever) comes sore. Also, most of us spent decent amount of time leveling alts. Class quests definitely did a great job at etching out your character and class, giving it a unique flavor and familiarizing players with the lore of their class. Many of them also happened to be some of the most epic, fun and challenging quests in the game. Druid class quests were great in my humble opinion and I really hate to see them gone. I think Blizz is going wrong here.

    Female Worgen dance just honestly looks silly to me…maybe silly as in all the other dances too, huh? 🙂 But it’s among the worse ones though I think. And perhaps we live in a world oversaturated by sexuality but I -really- didn’t see anything offensive about that. It just looks stupid.

    And thank the Light they changed Nom Nom Nom. I like to have fun in the game. I also like it not to spread bad (or good) pop humour too generously. Few references in the right places are hilarious and as such I don’t mind them….when I’m out there prowling I want to shred my foes to pieces, not “Nom Nom Nom” them.


  26. Ming, thanks for assuming I’m an idiot, but my concern isn’t rooted in not understanding the devs, it’s in disagreeing with their choices and noting that they aren’t hewing closely to stated goals.

    On talents, they are taking the easy way out and designing thirty subclasses rather than making equally interesting (if situational) choices and letting players find their own playstyle. You’re right, they are making cookie cutter specs and giving them to us; that’s exactly my point. They didn’t get rid of cookie cutter specs, they just institutionalized them.

    On class differentiation, the focus on the endgame is shortsighted, especially when the impending expansion is arguably more for leveling characters than endgame characters. Class quests not only have great flavor, but they also allow players to learn their class outside of sink or swim raiding. Considering the fuss over noob raiders and the shift in gameplay at the endgame, it seems to me that teaching during the leveling game would be a good idea.

    As for the dancing, a welcoming Dwarf dancing would function just fine with a nonpop dance. You don’t need pop gibberish to be silly, but if you want something a bit more moderate and you’re stuck with silly, well, that’s unfortunate. Beyond that, player-inspired silliness is wholly different from dev-defined silliness. As Larisa rightly notes, the nonsense invoked by the noted dance isn’t how she wishes to express herself. The stronger the reference, the greater possibility of alienation. Sure, someone will always be offended, and you can’t please everyone, but why do something stupid that is obviously polarizing?

    As with the RealID flap, it’s like Blizzard isn’t really thinking through how their players might react, and if the Blizzcon Q&A is any indication, they aren’t particularly sensitive when someone calls them on it. That’s not a healthy habit.


  27. @Tesh

    It’s complaints like that which bother me, because really, understanding why the developers might make those apparent contradictions isn’t difficult if you thought about it a little.

    Yes, they don’t want cookie cutter specs, but they can’t make a talent tree with talents that are all equally useful and they don’t want to make a talent tree with talents that are all equally useless. As soon as you accept that there’s a gradation in the usefulness of talents, you’ll end up getting cookie cutter specs no matter what. So what Blizzard is doing is making a cookie cutter spec for you to take, and then, periodically throughout the tree, you’ll have no choice but to make a choice that does not improve your DPS or healing or tanking, a so-called “PVP talent.” That’s where the choice is. [It is admittedly still a work in progress, so for your particular class and spec it might be significantly more or less constrained at this point.]

    Generally when they say they don’t want the classes to feel the same, they primarily mean gameplay-wise; they don’t want you to reroll say a bear Druid and get to the level cap and find out it plays exactly the same as your prot Warrior. In fact, this is why they’re worried about homogenization; they’re worried that they might be going too far in the name of balance. Class quests aren’t really what they’re talking about, as you typically only do them once and you’ll spend significantly more time at the level cap, where the way your class plays matters a lot more than quests. To be frank, I find most of the class quests are pretty terrible and primarily worth doing only because you can only do them on one character. Imagine if you could do the Paladin Charger questline on every character, for example.

    Lady Gaga as a soon-to-be-outdated pop culture reference is fine in context. After all, they’ve never bothered ensuring that the dances would always be relevant and recognizable, for example the previously mentioned Napoleon Dynamite for Blood Elf men or Soulja Boy for male Goblins or whatever the Gnomes are doing. Conversely, the names for our talents and our abilities are generally played very straight. They’re not typically jokes or a reference, compared to say the names of Achievements or quests. If we had abilities or talents named like “Nerfbat” or “Punch in the Freakin’ Face” or “KHAAAAN!” then “Nom Nom Nom” might have worked, but we don’t and so it doesn’t. If they had left it in, it would continue to stick out like a sore thumb and the developers, as they said, would have come back to it in like three years and be like “why did we think this was a good idea?”

    As an aside, while I also don’t care much about pop culture, I rather prefer the pop culture references. It’s like it assures me that the developers, while they can be and generally are serious, are also having fun making the game, and they expect you to be having fun too. It frees me to be silly as well as serious. For a while, back when you are to take a portal to Wintergrasp, when I was on the defending side I would use my Iron Boot Flask to turn into an Iron Dwarf and dance right in front of where people ported in, and you could also tell when somebody noticed the welcome dwarf, because they would stop for a moment before continuing their business. Also see for reference BBB’s post about offering Blood Elves sandwiches.


  28. The female Nelf dance is pretty bad in many ways. The first time I saw it I thought,”Why is she flapping her arms like that.” Compared to the dance its supposed to be based on they missed the mark by a large margin. The female worgen dance is pretty bad but I dislike the TMNT perma-snarl even more.


  29. I registered my disapproval over at Larisa’s place. It’s just… a dumb dance. Really dumb. It’s like the idiot devs that are noted in the “bad Dev, no Twinkie” database who animated a four frame cheerleader animation that was all about bouncing boobs. Yeah, those guys were fired, fast.

    Blizzard really does seem more schizophrenic of late. There’s the whole “we don’t want cookie cutter specs” followed by talent tree locks that all but *guarantee* a stronger cookie cutter effect. There’s the “we want the classes to feel unique” with the “let’s not only refuse to do more class quests, but let’s delete the ones that already exist” oddness. Then this; Lady Gaga is OK, but not Nom Nom Nom. There is little consistency, and the offered explanations just aren’t satisfying. I really think that there are at least two camps within the devs who don’t bother to communicate with each other. There’s almost certainly no unifying vision or set of standards. Oh, to be a fly on the wall.

    Still, it’s not too surprising. I’m allergic to pop culture and the sort of music that the Blizzard crew seems to worship. Everyone has their own taste, and that’s fine… but one of the initial draws to WoW for me was the notion of being in another world, alien and fascinating. The inane “real world” pop tart nonsense in the game is, well… jarring. Not a game killer, but certainly a waste of time and dev money as far as I’m concerned.

    Perhaps the most galling part is that this indeed does usually need to filter through a lot of people. And it got through. Maybe it’s not one nutter on a Mac hur-hurring himself into a stupor, but it shows pretty clearly that the dev team has some tastes that are annoying to me, occasionally repugnant. Is that a big deal? Maybe not, but little things add up.


  30. bigbearbutt, it hadn’t occurred to me until rewatching that video (for the first time in a couple years): the Tree Dance is going away :*(

    That makes me sad…


  31. While the merits of using a Lady Gaga dance can be debated, my issue is that it puts the focus on one of her weaknesses. I think her stuff is catchy but really it was her live performances that turned me around to being a fan.

    However, her weakest part is by far her dancing. Using the Poker Face dance really shows that off and that’s my issue. It’s not that it’s sexualized it’s that it’s just not very good.

    That being said… Eh. I’m okay with it. Being obscure in a few years is par the course for Blizzard. While everyone who’s the right age might recognize the Hammer dance the Nelf dance is super obscure to English speaking audiences, male Belf is hilarious but at least was a popular movie.

    What about the male Draenei dance? Some obscure internet meme? I love it, but come on. You want to talk “flash in the pan” lets talk about that one.


  32. I’m really sorry to hear that, Zy. I write tongue in cheek a lot of the time, you know, the shocked “the horror…. the horror….” in my best Apocalypse now impersonation.

    In this case, i was hoping that the dance didn’t really look as bad to other people as it does to me. Okay, sure in a music video, I don’t really expect too much, but in the game it sure seems like that Worgen grabs herself a bit more than is entirely necessary. And if we’re going to do the whole ‘framing the face’ Vogue thing, I’d rather see a homage to Madonna, the person who really did it with style in her video.

    And agreed Grimmtooth, there was a youtube video I’ve seen that pieced together every existing WoW racial dance with the film clip of who it’s from… they’re all from someone ( and Blizzard did a GREAT job of translating them into the game).

    Wait, let me find that damn video, it was a good one….

    that’s awesome.


  33. If you’re going to rant about this one being inappropriate for lack of longevity, style and theme then you MUST include the male Blood Elf dance. Only a small portion of people really cared about Napoleon Dynamite when it was NEW, much less now. And it CERTAINLY didn’t fit them thematically, yet there it is.

    C’mon, man. It’s just a dance.


  34. The night elf “pole dance” isn’t even that. It’s an exact copy from some French singer’s dance to a song about, of all things, bubble bath. I forget what her name is, but she does her little dance in what has an alarming resemblance to Black Mageweave Tunic + Pants.


  35. Agreed. I think Nom Nom Nom will be around a lot longer than Blizz says but that dance has me asking, “Really? REALLY??”

    Count me as one of the female players that will no longer be rolling a worgen. Is it a huge thing? No, but the devil is in the details.


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