Massive Offensive Rant: The Story Belongs to Blizzard

I’m seeing a lot of bitching, pissing and moaning among the community of active players about the story and characters revealed at BlizzCon.

I could probably have truncated that to “I’ve seen a lot of bitching, pissing and moaning.” I don’t have to specify it’s players; it has ever been thus.

“Oh no, I don’t see any strong female leads to base my existence off of and to inspire my daughter to be a whole person!”

“Oh my, all the characters in the story are male, it’s a big boys club, I feel so excluded!”

“Oh, there’s a token female Draenei they mentioned, but she’s described as being like Joan of Arc, and nobody knows what that really means so I’ll make tons of assumptions about Blizzard, the other players, the story, the characters who will be in it and everything ever based on my worldview and prejudices.”

“And then I’ll go rant about it and tell Blizzard how they’re doing it wrong, and need to change things to be more like what I want.”


First and only lesson that everyone who is an actual writer knows, male or female, is that the story does not belong to the reader, nor is the reader entitled to make demands upon the writer.

The story belongs to the writer or writers. They are the ones who are creating it, it comes from their imaginations, they are the ones with the voice.

If you don’t like the story that they are presenting, if you don’t like the characters they are inspired by and who drive their story, you are free to go make your OWN story, with your OWN characters, and build it into something so popular it’s inspiring millions of people around the world.

Nobody, and I do mean NOBODY has the right to tell ANY author or creator what they should do to change their own creative efforts because clearly you know better.

I know people feel entitled to getting their own way these days, but shit, are you people serious?

Do you really think you have the right to demand anyone change their creative works to meet what you think you want to read?

Sadly, the answer seems to be a resounding YES.

If you are reading or watching or listening to a story, and if you don’t like it, you don’t like the characters or something about what the writers have done pisses you off, the appropriate response is to STOP READING IT.

Only in a nightmare world do you think you can call up the writer and tell them to scrap what they were writing and change it all because you don’t like what you’ve heard on the teaser about it, and oh yeah they need to add some new main characters and give supporting characters you like more of a role because you wish you knew more about what Sylvanus was doing while the Horde was rolling through the Vale or something.


If you want an example of a strong character, male or female, how about you log into YOUR character that YOU created, and YOU roleplay it how you think it should be done! Your own part of the story done your way. That is how much freedom you have, to create your own story within the world that has been created by other talented writers and artists.

It’s sickening to me. It really is.

And it’s not feminism, don’t even dare to make that mistake.

Everyone wants someone in a story to identify with. Everyone wants a main protagonist that makes a difference and captures our imagination. Male or female, makes no difference.

We want people who capture our imagination. People we get to know, who we come to care about, and who we are proud to play alongside of in the story that unfolds.

I watched all the panels at BlizzCon.

You know what I got out of it?

I heard that the main villains are going to be the original male Orc warlords of old Draenor.

We’re going to go back in time and kill the evil male Orcs that laid waste to everything good in their own world, nearly destroyed our own world, and succeeded in OBLITERATING THEIR OWN PLANET.

We’re going to step back in time and take down the clans that perpetrated the worst evil, the most insane genocidal act imaginable.

They killed an entire planet.

Oh sure, they didn’t mean to, but that was a direct result of their choices. THEIR CHOICES.

And we’re going back to take them down. Orcs that may not have drunk the demon blood, but who have weapons of mass destruction dumped into their hands and told to unleash that upon their world… and ours.

No women among the evil bastards we’re setting out to destroy?

Well… not at first, but you know, there’s going to be an entire series of content patches throughout the course of the expansion, as EVENTS CHANGE THROUGH OUR ACTIONS, it’s possible that maybe SHIT WILL CHANGE from what happened originally, right?

We’re going to be going back to a key point in the story that is already familiar to us and was written… BUT IT’S GOING TO CHANGE AFTER THAT WHEN WE GET ROLLING.

The other thing I heard was that right from the beginning, the single most important NPC character we are going to meet and work alongside of is a female Draenei of blazing spirit that will be as inspirational and important, will have as much impact on our part of the story as a Joan of Arc.

So the enemy are all evil male frat boys and the only NPC worth a damn so far is a female Draenei. Sounds pretty cool to me.

I heard that Garrosh was only the catalyst that sets things in motion, but it’s not going to be a Garrosh story, he’s cast aside early as things move out of control. Good, we’re all sick of Garrosh, it’s good to know that he’s just the fuel that lights the fire.

And finally, I heard that what they were teasing us with in the story was just the tip of the iceberg, the most bare bones hint of what was to come in a story they had been planning and working towards for years.

A story their creative team has mapped out, played with, finding out where they want to go, what inspires them to do next, what arcs they want to tell for years to come.

I heard them say that they have so much of this story they want to tell, so much they want to reveal that they have expansions lined up for the foreseeable future, that there is no end in sight.

And yet!

And yet.

I see people, people I normally respect and admire talking as though what was shown at BlizzCon was the ENTIRE EXPANSION STORY, that there is nothing but what was said or shown to be seen, and they are apparently building entire ivory towers of supposition and assumption around what they imagine.

Most of what I get from that is, these people are prejudiced against Blizzard. Their default state is to feel Blizzard can’t be trusted. Tough.

And they’re ranting and raving about it in public.

You don’t like what you hear, that’s your prerogative.

Blizzard is made up of enthusiastic geeks and creative geniuses. Dave Kosak? Brilliant creator, driving force behind so much of the game… and a horrible public speaker.

I loved listening to everything he said though. He was so damn enthusiastic!

Did he gush too much, did the message he shared sound disjointed, like Old Draenor was going to be this frat pack rat pack party gone amok? Sure.

But am I the only one that got that he was energetic, enthused, and nervous speaking in front of a horde of rabid fans? That he was excited abuot what was to come but was trying to restrain himself to talking about the bits he COULD without spoiling it?

He was sharing his geekspasm with us.

God bless him for it.

I’m sure the politically correct micro-managing backseat drivers would love to spin webs a mile wide from every word he said, but he’s not a political pundit in front of a teleprompter with a carefully rehearsed and sanitized speech that a team of 15 went over to ensure it was as inoffensive as possible.

He was speaking off the cuff. People need to get a grip.

Have all of you forgotten the massive story arc changes that the Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria took us through?

You were shown a video of us arriving on the shores of Pandaria. Were you really able to infer from all of that the raid on Orgrimmar and a new warchief?


You don’t know shit about what’s going to come.

I just… I can’t imagine this shit happening anywhere else, and then I can.

Is it that we have characters in the game world, characters that we love? Is that what leads some of us to think we’re entitled to a say in the way the story will be written?

Do people think that we’re all working together to build the most epic story ever told? A story written by committee?

I can only imagine Robert Jordan getting mail from fans, “I love the People of the Leaf so much, you don’t write about them enough, please write more about them in the next book.”

Or to Tolkein, “I thought your books were good, but you barely mentioned Tom Bombadil in passing and never returned to that character again. Please bring Tom back and show us more of their family life.”

Or to Heinlein, “Your Expanded Universe is a great concept, and I love what you did with the World as Fiction idea, but you didn’t take it far enough. You only used the classics like Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz and others in the cross-overs. Why not do a book where they meet characters from a more modern setting like Star Wars? Chewbacca is my favorite, could you have him where he has to save Friday?”

Just… NO.

/makes swishing motion with rolled up newspaper. NO! Bad fans!

You want more awesome stories with these characters? You think there is a way it SHOULD have been written, characters that SHOULD have been created?


Fanfic goes anywhere and everywhere. Post links to it on all those social media sites you’ve used to rant about how much Blizzard sucks, okay?

Please do, I’d love to see it and tell YOU what YOU need to change to satisfy MY prejudices.

Moar bears, mostly.

Biggest problem I had with the Disney film “Brave” was, not enough bears innit.

I make light, but really. I’m so sick and tired of this elitist entitlement ignorant shit, so disgusted that I want to drop the keyboard, flush the blog and walk away from the entire community.

46 thoughts on “Massive Offensive Rant: The Story Belongs to Blizzard

  1. Hi

    Can I just say as a female who plays I would love to see more females in the story.

    But I agree with you…It is not my story!

    Plus I am the lead female in this story!


  2. Loved the article. This is actually a pretty big problem these days, & the more popular the IP is the more likely people seem to want to “offer their view on how it should be”

    Poor George Lucas said in an interview that the reason he sold the franchise was that he was tired of all the harassment from the so called “fans”.


  3. I guess I don’t understand the disappointed comments. Was the title “Massive Offensive Rant” not enough of a spoiler?

    Please keep writing BBB – I like your style!


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  5. I agree with Big Bear Butt. Why people care about main characters gender? “Ten males, no females”, and so what? What’s the difference? It’s fantasy game with fictional races, not with humans from real world. Blizzard created male-dominated culture for orcs, and it is their right. If all races have their culter created according to modern tolerant standarts they will be the same.
    P.S.: Quota for women supports inequality.


  6. This is complete and utter garbage. I’m very disappointed in what I read here and cannot help but also laugh at just how hypocritical it also is.

    Creating a game is just as creative an endeavour as writing a novel, where gameplay replaces words. Gameplay replaces brush strikes when compared to art… replaces steps when compared to dancing. I could go on, but the point has been made, and I doubt I have to convince anyone here that games are art.

    The hypocracy rears its ugly head when we look back at any complaints or even suggestions YOU have made regarding class balance, abilities, spells, nerfs, buffs, you name it. It’s the SAME damn thing. YOU criticized someone else’s creative endeavour.

    Congrats on being an elitist douche who believes that he can criticize certain creative endeavours while insisting people NOT be able to do the same for those which he holds on a higher pedestal.

    Lastly, while I’ve never enjoyed the success of any of the writers you quoted above, I have ALWAYS loved getting feedback on my work, and guess what, it HAS impacted on some choices. Having a young girl tell you that she loves a certain character and would love to see more of her is a priceless accomplishment, and one which I savour… as it means I have created something which touched someone. My words.

    It doesn’t matter if the response is positive or constructive criticism. Only a complete and utter, self-righteous douchebag wouldn’t listen to their fans. THEY support us as writers, in the same way we support Blizzard as game developers.


  7. I feel that, even though I am a female gamer, that this topic has been a huge defensive reaction. And the reason why I feel that way, and maybe why BBB feels that way, is because this is a huge reaction to a tiny bit of information revealed. We don’t know the whole story. Blizzard’s intro is drawing from its past, and all the promo figures are known important people in the lore of that past. The new draenei Yrel wasn’t shown because we don’t know her. Draka wasn’t shown because she is not a warlord. I think the issue is important, but this reaction to the little we have been given is spiraling out of control. We have been told Garona, Zaela, and others will be there, and we should be introduced to more as the story unfolds.
    The Mists promo did not reveal anything about the women we encountered during the expansion, and look at the new characters and the continuing stories we got in Mists. Aysa, Jaina’s transformation, Taoshi, Kiryn, Amber, the list goes on. Let more information come to light, let the beta come out, before we attack Blizzard about low female representation.


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    • It has nothing to do with wanting to “control the story.” The story arc they want would not suffer AT ALL for having more women involved. It wouldn’t even have to change!

      It also has nothing to do with needing role models. I, and probably most other women who’ve been talking about this, have marvelous friends, relatives, and other amazing ladies to look up to and learn from in real life.

      I has everything to do with inclusion. That’s all. We want to see awesome women doing awesome things because that’s what WE are. Men see people like them in games and media. Why is it entitlement for women to want the same? Why is it entitlement for me to want a variety of female characters to play and to root for, to want to see someone like me driving the story for once instead of being reduced to sidekick or love interest – fir wanting something better for my daughter than the “Boys must always lead the way” message she’s going to be bombarded with every day as she grows up?

      The only entitlement I see is from people like you, who are so determined to defend your male-dominated status quo that anyone who asks for change, no matter how reasonably, is dismissed instantly as “bitching, pissing and moaning.”


  9. Pretty much that, BBB. People just love to get bent way the hell out of shape before there’s any real reason to.

    People act like Blizzard hasn’t been delivering compelling and industry-changing content (in this game alone!) for almost a decade now that keeps them coming back for more. Every expansion is like this. The expansion is announced, people throw shit fits and want to get their 15 minutes, and then the expansion comes out and everyone acts like they never said a bad word about it while they steamroll through the new content like their ass was on fire.

    If Blizzard was really as terrible as a lot of people would have you believe, they wouldn’t have the number of long-term subscribers (like myself–haven’t missed a day since Classic) that they do, and they wouldn’t still be seen as the industry juggernaut that they are.

    If you genuinely don’t like the game and where it’s headed, the solution is simple: don’t fucking play it anymore. Quietly fuck off and leave the rest of us to remain excited about it, rather than shit in our cheerios just because you feel like an entitled brat that didn’t get their pony.

    And all of this “how dare you disagree with me! I no longer respect your opinion!” BS is precisely that: BS. Get over yourselves already.


  10. Oh Big Bear Butt, I am so disappoint!

    I normally engage happily with your rants, but you have quite passed my line with this one. I would never begin to tell you what you should or shouldn’t write but I believe you ought to know how very much I personally disliked and disagreed with what you wrote here. Others have pointed out the specifics, so I won’t do that, but just so you know – I am very disappoint.

    I had thought much more highly of you than this piece of writing would demonstrate.


  11. Really BBB? Really?

    Writing doesn’t magically mean that everyone has to tip toe around you and never say anything bad about your work. And if your writing a serial (and that’s exactly what wow writers are doing), that doesn’t mean that no one is ever allowed to give you feedback on the direction you’re taking things. Unless your a sociopathic shut in, readers, fans, players, are indeed a part of the story– you lose exclusive moral ownership the moment you publish a word. We read it and each take meaning differently, feel slightly (or greatly) different things, come to identify with characters or story arcs, and in so doing, become emotionally involved with where it goes. That identity means that when those characters and/or story arcs are written out of the story, we see ourselves written out too. So of course people are upset at being erased are are hoping against hope that maybe, if they raise their voices those with the power to do something about it will find a spot for them. Why does this upset you so?

    As an aside, the irony of people in this thread complaining about entitlement is thick. I swear, they don’t know what the word means… or truly they never look in the mirror. =/


    • I would just add:

      Yes, the over the top forum outrage of every little thing Blizzard does is wearing and silly. That said, it happens over EVERY LITTLE THING. And it’s been that way for years and years and years. Why is it only when it’s about women’s involvement in the story that you have to stop and rant? I guess because when it’s about an author it hits home, but when it’s about a game model or game balance somehow that’s not personal enough? The story is just another game asset you know.


  12. I have to agree with you BBB, it is rather annoying to me that since the day after Blizzcon it seems I’ve read more posts about this topic than on the changes to raiding, items, models, ect…

    They chose to go with Orc Warlords for their expansion, not my first choice but its their story, so we get the old warlords who all happen to male, and they happen to be the focus of the press materials that are out there now. To complain that there isn’t equal representation in these materials for both the sexes is a bit out of left field.

    For an expansion with no release date and only an outline of the story, I’m not sure that it really calls for burning Blizzard at the stake right now, the amount of umbrage being taken here already is a bit silly.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion though, and this is mine.

    However, I’ve just chosen to stop reading the rants on the topic, because just like a book or a movie doing something I don’t agree with or can’t relate to, I can chose stop reading.


  13. BBB dont crash the keyboard. Your thoughts are amazingly insightful and needed in the blogosphere. Ignore the Elitist Entitlement Hacks for the Asshats they are. I am sure I am not alone in saying your writing is enjoyed and necessary.


  14. Is this supposed to be satire?

    You’re actually disgusted by people offering feedback on a work-in-progress video game?

    I’ve read a fair few blog posts on this topic over the last few days, and I haven’t seen anyone “demand” anything. Though, it’s entirely possible I haven’t read what you have. (You certainly *seem* to be referring to some specific incidents and, if so, I understand your decision to not pick a direct fight.)

    We don’t know the entire story yet? Obviously. We offer feedback on what we do know because feedback offered sooner has a greater chance of being useful.

    Blizzard owns their own story? Again, obviously. That means they get to decide if they (a) care about some particular feedback and if they (b) agree with it.
    I’m told they value feedback and, I’d imagine, they don’t want anyone shouting it down.

    Actually, in retrospect, I apologize for questioning your sincerity and belittling your opinion at the start of my reply. After all, telling other people how to feel or what opinions they can express disgusts *me*.

    I commend you for taking a stand on something you are passionate about. I sincerely disagree.


  15. I responded to this issue in more detail on another blog (Lissanna’s) and I won’t rehash it in full here but I want to respond specifically to your response to the furor and to those taking some offense.

    Those who are annoyed/upset have every right to be, they’re entitled to their reactions and those with blogs are kind of obligated to expand on it there, just as you’re entitled to be publicly annoyed about it while being self-aware enough to realize it had the potential to be offensive. It’s possible that Blizzard isn’t aware that their messaging is turning off a portion (not half, despite what some say, not every female will have a similar reaction even if they do account for 50% of the playerbase, just like not every male is going to go all ranty in objecting to the feminist viewpoint) of the playerbase so detailed explanations on why they feel that way are perfectly reasonable and probably generally welcome.

    On the other hand, I simply don’t understand why any woman would take any of this as a personal affront, as many of the posts that I’ve read (blogs and comments) have… they may very well feel that way but I just don’t get it. We’re going back to a place(/time?) that was pretty much exclusively male-dominated so yeah, when we get there, we’re going to be dealing with menfolk. That isn’t a slight (especially!) on the women who play the game, or even females IN the game, it’s a recognition that that was the state of the game, lore-wise, at that time. Nothing more, nothing less. You can be disappointed about their choice to go back to that plotline but you can’t possibly expect them to somehow inject a significant female presence into it. For whatever reason, possibly including latent sexism by the original lore creators back in the day 20 years ago, that’s just how it is. Now Blizzard has the opportunity to start changing that if that’s the direction they choose to go and personally I hope they do, I’ve always enjoyed running into notable female characters in-game and I don’t even have some sort of personal agenda specifically looking for them. I just play the game as it comes. I’d suggest for optimal enjoyment y’all try doing that for a change and not stress so much over the details, it’s a story being told, it’s not meant to be any sort of reflection on current mores or societal norms (or worse, ideals). It’s just a story being told by a bunch of people interested in telling the most interesting story they can. You can argue that they aren’t (once you’ve actually seen the whole story) but you should try not to spend too much effort objecting to what you haven’t even experienced yet.

    Want something to actually get annoyed about? How about all of the bloggers who are in a tizzy about the frozen McRib pic who have apparently never taken frozen meat out of their own freezers at home. That’s something worth a good ol’ rile-up. Frozen meat looks different than cooked meat – story at 11.

    Sample content:
    (it’s the story itself that has me questioning everything in life, not the photo… thanks HP)
    (apparently they believe people eat it frozen?)


  16. BBB,
    I think there’s an issue here of separating tone and content.

    I have no problem at all with the content of the criticisms against Blizz, as many of them are spot-on accurate. However, the tone is sometimes off. I haven’t seen much about it except for Anne Stickney’s post this morning, which I thought was well-written and fair, so I can’t comment on the other posts Bear might have read, but I do know some people prefer a more excited tone to a conversational one that encourages discussion.

    I do get upset when I see anyone using a condescending or dismissive tone to present what’s otherwise a fair argument. I don’t think those people realize how much it hurts their platform. When I see unwarranted attacks on organizations that I like or vitriolic rants about topics I agree with, I inwardly (and occasionally outwardly) groan with dismay.

    That said, I’d like to suggest The Art of Immersion by Frank Rose as a book for you to read, BBB. It discusses the effects of the Internet on a variety of areas. Relevant to this is the discussion of control of story in today’s modern immersive environment. It’s not as straightforward as you’d think. I think the book does an excellent job being fair both to your side and the side of people who want to provide feedback and be heard, and it might lead to an interesting discussion on where control lies with public fiction. I used to teach it as part of my “challenging the way we think” introduction to writing class. If you do want to pursue it, I can let you know privately what chapters are particularly relevant to the discussion.

    So while I don’t entirely agree with most of this content, I do see your points, but I think that your tone, too, is off. I think you knew it was, though, as per your title, and perhaps that was part of your point.



  17. So I’ve killed old gods, dragon aspects and more old gods… now I get to go back in time and feel threatened by level 10 warlords? That’s the spirit of the expac right? Wee!

    How come no one is harping on that aspect of fucking over the lore? Probably because they didn’t play the original RTSs and don’t understand just how weak in comparison to fully MOP geared characters, the so called Warlords were. The Ogre empire might be in decline, but an individual ogre was a scary proposition to take on. But we did it, sacrificing units to take one down. My priest is 1000x stronger than any WC unit and could solo all of Draenor at that time. So what, now all that time playing the game is meaningless?

    They call this ‘power creep’ in conventional Pen & Paper games… no one goes back in time for this exact reason: it completely destroys, without any means of repair – verisimilitude. That’s obviously not important to a lot of people, but it’s damn important to me. The premise of this whole thing doesn’t make a whit of sense. I claimed it earlier and I’ll stand by it. Blizzard jumped the freakin’ shark.


    • You realize, of course, that there are generic guards in MoP that could probably solo basically anything in Outland all by themselves? That Yan-Zhu the Uncasked, an alemental, has health on the same order of magnitude as Kil’jaeden does? That there are *virmen* in the Valley of the Four Winds that could probably take on a Fel Reaver and win?

      Your sense of verisimilitude is oddly selective.


      • Did you miss the point about power creep? Each of the points you make are anachronisms – when Kil’jaeden was current content, MOP didn’t exist. Now that MOP exists, Kil’jaeden is irrelevant and in the past. If we were assaulting his palace again, I’d be upset about that too – because he is a moment in time – in the past, when things were weaker.

        Which is exactly my point about old draenor.

        See, it’s something like this. If the Warlords of Draenor are powerful enough to wipe out level 100 raiders – then they’d have absolutely no problem dealing with level 70 Burning Crusade demons and would have laughed at the BCs attempt to corrupt them.

        It bends credulity to the breaking point. There’s a reason that taking characters ‘out of time’ – running BC,WotLK, Cata and soon MoP raids – are so easy to the point of solo-ability. But thats ok – they aren’t current content. But current content placed in a time when they’re not just more powerful than the old gods at the time, but the titans and BC combined… it doesn’t work.

        If there’s a metagame reason for the item squish that becomes in-game Lore and odd things happen that makes it all make sense – sure, Blizzard can pull a Hail Mary and I’ll be on board. But as it’s been described… nope – it breaks everything I love about this game.


      • I think that’s a bit of an odd way to look at it to be honest. It’s not intentional from a lore point of view that you are able to solo Illidan or Nefarian or any of the other bosses from previous expansions, it’s just a side effect of the need for Blizzard to reset content every expansion and put everyone on an equal playing field.

        In lore Illidan and the Lich King duked it out and fought to an impasse. In game, the Lich King would trounce Illidan no contest because he is a whole expansion ahead of him.

        Lore wise, Nefarian, Illidan, the Lich King, Garrosh and the warlords of Draenor and 1/10 or 1/25 of a player character are all on a level playing field despite what the distortions of expansion power allow you to solo.

        You need to separate out lore from game mechanics. Saying, ‘If the Warlords of Draenor are powerful enough to wipe out level 100 raiders – then they’d have absolutely no problem dealing with level 70 Burning Crusade demons and would have laughed at the BCs attempt to corrupt them.’ is absolutely meaningless from a lore point of view.


  18. I think that your criticism is valid, but a bit off the mark.

    I think its perfectly fair to give feedback to writers. I think it would be perfectly acceptable for someone to ask Peter Jackson to include more of Tom Bombadil, or for a fan to ask Robert Jordan for more focus on their favorite characters. Many artists are responsive to the desires of their fans.

    The problem is with the attitude. There’s a difference between giving feedback and making demands. There is a difference between expressing your thoughts in the hopes they will be considered vs making unfounded claims and pointless shouting to make sure that you are heard.

    Is it fair to request that some of the main characters be female? Sure. That’s a calm, rational bit of information that the developers might take into account. Or they might not. But at least they know.

    Is it reasonable to call Blizzard misogynistic based on what little we know? No. That’s an overreaction, using harsh buzzwords to try and generate an emotional response.


  19. Sorry but what you just said makes no sense. First off, you are too trusting of blizzard.

    I noticed that you said the solution is to log in to your own character and make your own story. So for some reason giving money to blizzard is a given. No. You should unsubscribe to the game if you are unhappy with it. Don’t give them money. What you’re proposing is even if one hates the game, they should pay blizzard anyways. That’s just a stupid idea for them.

    Second, what you are proposing is that we should always agree with them on their story. That is stupid. We can disagree but they don’t have to change it. Trying to silence any opposition is exactly what causes discriminatory practices.

    Third, Metzen comment of a “boy’s only” expansion shows their focus on men anyways so anyone who wants good female characters have good reason to be concerned.

    You seem to be of the mind that if a game is flawed, we should fix it ourselves in noncanon forms. Not only is this not our jobs, but we paid for a product and we expect something that we like. If you don’t like it, don’t pay for it. The solution is not to pay for it and then make up your own story. That’s just stupid.


  20. I have to disagree with you here Bear. Blizz revealed the early outlines of the story they planned to tell and a big part of their audience is unhappy that they don’t see their gender as being well represented. That’s a pretty valid criticism to level. Given that we’re probably 8 months to a year out from launch that’s a lot of time for Blizz to respond to their customers concerns and provide a more inclusive setting, or reveal that they are providing a more inclusive setting. I think it’s a cop out to suggest that creators should be free from criticism about the story that they decide to create. I look at people expressing their displeasure with Blizzard over things like this as a way of saying “Hey, I’m not going to stop subscribing to your game today… but here are some things you’re doing/not doing that are making me consider it.” If I were involved in charting the course of the next expansion that is the sort of feedback that would be helpful for me as I look for more ways to improve the quality of the product that I’m bringing to market.

    And in response to some of the comments above suggesting that it amount to adding “token” women… that’s a lazy fucking response. No one is saying we need to add “token” women, they’re saying that it wouldn’t kill them to have some of the featured characters of the next expansion be women. I don’t understand how this can be a controversial argument? The best numbers that I could find (which aren’t all that reliable) suggest that 30-40% of WoW players are women, why wouldn’t they want to see more women featured in the game’s core story?


  21. ““Oh no, I don’t see any strong female leads to base my existence off of and to inspire my daughter to be a whole person!”

    “Oh my, all the characters in the story are male, it’s a big boys club, I feel so excluded!””

    I don’t even know what to say. This is so incredibly insulting and diminishing.

    This isn’t bitching and whining about something trivial, it’s not a bunch of people scraping for something petty to cry about. This is something that has been brought up over and over, never changes, and now we’re facing another expansion that seems to be pretty much the same deal. I think it’s entirely reasonable for people to express disappointment that things still don’t seem to be any different this time around, and that it seems like we’re just being thrown a token female – regardless of how kickass and inspiring that one token female may be. Having one heroic woman leading the charge against a bunch of evil men doesn’t make things better, either. The “you should be you GLAD we’re killing men and not women” thing has been done to death.

    You’re right, maybe things will magically change in 6.1… but let’s face it, this isn’t exactly a new issue, and historically nothing has changed, so a) none of us are holding our breath, and b) I don’t think it’s a big leap to extrapolate from what we’ve been told and know that it won’t suddenly be an expansion full of women who kick ass and take names. If that’s wrong – if it IS going to be an expansion full of amazing women characters – Blizzard would have done well to announce that – even if the ideas weren’t fleshed out – even without spoilers – because it’s something that is important to a pretty sizeable chunk of their customer pool, and there would have been a lot of excitement about it. They didn’t, though, so do you really think 6.1 will suddenly give us a bunch of badass female heroes and villains that they aren’t telling us about? Everyone just has to keep the faith… we don’t know where the story is going, there could very well be a bunch of awesome women right around the corner? Maybe not 6.1, but 6.2? No later than 7.0 though. Maybe?

    Female gamers deserve to be able to play the game without feeling diminished or triggered, at the very least. That should be able to be taken for granted (but it still isn’t). Every time I feel like the writers have turned a corner, that they understand that women are people and that they play this game too, in pretty much equal numbers to the male players….. there’s something that shows that they still don’t get it – like WTF sexist or upsetting NPC banter. If they can’t even grasp that their NPC scripts are blatantly degrading and/or triggering to women, then I can’t say that I’m terribly confident that WoD will turn things on its head and have a bunch of amazing female characters as a priority.

    Do you really feel that it is unreasonable that in a game where men and women play as heroes, that we would ask for some powerful female heroes to aspire to? Or badass female bosses to struggle to take down because they are so powerful? Yep – we can go RP it up and make our own female heroes – but it’s hardly the same as seeing them written into the storyline, ruling entire continents with an iron fist. Where are female players supposed to feel that they “fit in”, in Azeroth, if the only female characters they ever see are a smattering of token women, often just someone’s wife or mother, or a forgettable peripheral character?

    Yeah, it’s Blizzard’s baby and they could write an entire universe where female animals don’t even exist, if they wanted to.. and if we kept coughing up the cash to play, I guess we’d have no business trying to tell them how to run their own establishment? Honestly, with WoW, I think this is just a lazy argument. If female players in this game are supposed to be just as heroic as the male heroes, then that should be stitched into the story. It shouldn’t just be a showcase of all the amazing male characters with a “but girls can totes be heroes too, it’s a RPG – you can make the game whatever you want!” tacked onto it to make it seem like it’s aimed at everyone and not just men.

    I don’t need female hero characters to inspire my kids to be all that they can be. Or me. But if this is supposed to be a game for men AND women to play, then I’d like to know that I’m going to be able to log in and not see my sex constantly playing second fiddle at best, reduced to someone’s bitch or plaything at worst; defined by her relationship to the men around her, or just generally entirely unremarkable and easily forgotten.

    If we’re meant to be heroes, write us in as heroes. If we’re meant to be powerful, show us women with power. If not, stop pretending (barely) to be concerned about how your player base feels about gender balance.

    Everything Dahakha said. It might not be a big deal to you, but it’s a very big deal to a lot of us. Mocking that and making us into a collective caricature is so not cool.


    • You’re perfectly allowed to talk about having better female characters in-game – but isn’t it a wee bit early to go clamoring about it in WoD based on 1 trailer?

      Also, since male evil characters far outnumber female evil characters in WoW, does that mean that this game is created by man-haters?

      The point of having too few female heroes (heroines?) in WoW is valid and I as a dedicated Night Elf druid, I miss Tyrande being more WC3 badass – but in the end, BBB is completely right: It’s Blizzard’s game and just because it’s the world’s largest computer game doesn’t mean that anyone can DEMAND anything from Blizzard – lore- or otherwise.

      You, I and other players can give feedback and suggestions – but that’s it.


  22. Pingback: Lords of Draenor: Where are the girls at? | Restokin

  23. Sorry, I think you’ve proved Bear’s point in the comments. You don’t even know the full representation of women in the story, the story hasn’t been released. I’ve seen some calls for sex changes for some warlords. That sort of retcon would cause a barrage of different comments and complaints. Were you asking for Frodo to become Freida for Lord of the Rings? The way Jackson, in his interpretation, sought to being some female characters into a story where there were precious few was to invent new ones and beef up the roles of some existing ones. He never changed the sex of a character. You see this all the time in comics, verious special interest groups crying out for a character to be changed to represent them, and it has rarely (and in my opinion never) worked. Let Blizzard do the same thing, Jackson did and introduce new female characters into the all male cast of their original story. Honestly, they are one of the better companies at portraying women.

    You do know that changing a male to a token female, or adding token females just to escape criticism is far more sexist, and the tokenisation of women in this fashion should be far more offensive to females. Misogyny is a gunman shooting a female student who extols the virtues of education for girls in her country. It is not telling stories that may not have enough female representation to make some people happy,


  24. Wow, having a tantrum much in this post?

    Yes, of course Blizz have the right to write whatever story they want, just as their audience have a write to comment and critique. However that’s a moot point because it’s pretty clear from your comments that you’re just hating on people expressing a desire for some more female characters.

    People are always having a go at Blizz on the internet, if it’s not story it’s class balance or some other issue, but Blizz let’s them have these discussions all over their forums because people are allowed to express their opinions. You, by contrast, have just ranted in capslock telling people who want female characters that they’re stupid and they should shut up. Ultimately this just a sexist hate rant and not about World of Warcraft at all. Grow up.


  25. You’re right, BBB. That was a pretty offensive rant.

    For starters, it was ALL about feminism. The “bitching, pissing and moaning” was all about the representation of women in the story Blizz is presenting. And it is that reaction that you are trying to silence here. It’s not like Blizz had no idea that half of their playerbase was eagerly awaiting the announcement of some prominent female character storylines, that playerbase had been publicising their desire for it for months leading up to Blizzcon. Hell, many players have been talking about it for years, so even given the lead time of the expansion development, Blizz has had ample opportunity to make an effort to satisfy that desire. The fact that they hyped the “Joan of Arc” draenei character shows they were aware of the situation. The fact that they thought a token gesture would be enough to satisfy their playerbase shows that they don’t really care enough to make a proper effort.

    You are also conflating the desire for more representation with the desire to control the story. Nobody (that I know of) has presumed to dictate anything regarding plot, location, etc. All the “bitching, pissing and moaning” has been about the treatment of women, which 95% of the time means they are ignored. All that is being asked (demanded, if you want to be uncharitable) is that realistic female characters (yes, multiple, not just a token single) are included in the major plotlines. The details of the plots are secondary to that. A good writing team would be able to accommodate that without missing a step.

    I get that you don’t understand just how important this issue of representation is to a lot of female players. I get that unlike them, for you it isn’t A Big Fucking Deal. But blowing up at them and telling them to shut up and get over it, for expressing their disappointment at YET ANOTHER instance of media-wide systemic misogyny, is not cool.


  26. Yes! Pandaren druids where instead of changing forms, tanks just drop to all fours and CHARGE!!! And could they please have weapon wielding animations? They could slap and headbutt mobs, then do aoe spin with staff swacking (I get this image of daffy duck and porky pig doing the robin hood cartoon). Or their bear form could have their panda coloring. . . .

    What if we could ride mounts while shape shifted?

    What if gnomes could be druids? Would they be teddy bears/singing sunflowers/kittens/battle pet sized moonkin?

    Back to the subject–I try not to read opinions about any of the upcoming stuff. They make me feel bogged down and grumpy cat. I’ll read some of the hard data changes later, and ignore lots of stuff until it goes live. If I like it, I’ll play. If I don’t like it, I’ll come by and visit friends but go back to reading lots and lots of books. ^,^


  27. While you were watching all those panels, how many women did you see on them? I’d say that’s a bit of info to think about.

    It is their story, but the story should appeal to as many people as possible if they really want to be able to write the next chapter AND pay the bills. Or maybe they’re happy with another million fewer subscribers and a lighter pocketbook to support the sausagefest.


  28. If someone needs a video game or a movie to inspire one’s daughter to be a whole person, then something ain’t working as planned in regards to parenting. There are real people who’re easily inspiration enough.

    Personally I only really find the Joan of Arc reference by Blizzard a tad bit silly. I know they have to use it, because barely anyone would get a Tomoe Gozen/Nakano Takeko/Mu Guiying reference, even though historically it’s laughable because the little peasant girl in France never actually fought. Apart from not getting references to actual female warriors it would probably make the Pandaria haters whine even more, because, you know, anything Asia equals pandas and pandas have killed WoW. Similar to how belves and draenei have killed WoW, and later Death Knights and then worgen and goblins. You know how the whiners work.

    I’m curious how Blizzard is going to pull this off, though I’m not terribly excited about it, because, let’s face it, my expansion was Mists. That one was specifically made for me.

    Never seen “Brave”. Only one look into the history of, let’s say, samurai women tells of tales that make every Disney movie pale in comparison.

    Also, pandaren Death Knights and druids please. If we go bear we should go full bear. Bears turning into bears. Make it happen Blizzard!


    • Pandaran Druids, seconded. Could love some Japanese culture, too, not just Chinese. Of course, we could also pick up Russian culture and *really* see some fun bear stuff.


  29. If I thought everything Blizzard did was the word of God and that they couldn’t possibly ever screw anything up, I wouldn’t be an MVP, a guide writer, and a blogger. I’d just let Blizzard do everything and never comment on any of it. As players, we write about and discuss everything in the game. My feelings of being discriminated against and excluded in Blizzard’s choices in marketing and story development is important to me, just like my feelings about the druid’s class mechanics are important to me, and Blizzard’s raid development is important to me, and the rest of the content is important to me. I give Blizzard feedback about all aspects of the game – both positive and negative. I think that Blizzard’s class design is wonderful, but I still dislike the level 90 mage talents and have posted about the level 90 mage talents and my dislike of them. It’s part of what theorycrafting is about – and lore, promotional materials, the cinematics team, and the game’s story direction are still open to feedback (both negative and positive). There are just as many posts of people talking about not being able to fly before 6.1. Why not make a post complaining about the people complaining about no flying until 6.1? There are just as many posts from people talking about the raid size changes. Why not make a post that picks on the people complaining about the raid size changes? I’m going to post critical things about things I think Blizzard can address and change. If they have female characters lined up, they can add them into the promotional materials for the expansion so that they can attract more women to the game and have the game feel relevant for people who feel excluded. If we thought the lore and the delivery of it was locked in stone, there would be no point in commenting. However, if Blizzard knows there is a demand to cater to more than just teenage boys in how they advertise their new game, then Blizzard can change how they do marketing.


  30. It is times like this when I wish I still had an active blog.

    I read one of the posts you make mention of and I was just like “seriously people??”

    I’m a female, I get it and frankly I don’t care.

    Would it be cool? Yes! Would I love to see it? Yes! Am I going to bitch and moan about it? No!

    It makes me sad that the level of respect I have for some people gets lowered after reading stuff like that.


  31. Entitlement is a huge social problem, it’s not just MMO gamers.

    Maybe I’m just old and grumpy, but I’ve decided that a close-to-no-tolerance approach is best. As in, slap trolls down *hard*, and don’t read YouTube comments.


    • It’s so true. I’m sure I’m not the one who coined it, but for several years now I have referred to the generation after mine (30’s here) as the entitled generation. I could go on a whole soapbox diatribe about it, but that’s neither here nor there. I have no time or patience for it either and will work very hard to ensure my son never acts that way.


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