I’ve not been able to post partly because the response to the monster post has been somewhat overwhelming. I’ve learned quite a lot, I’ve been told things I already knew a lot, as if I should be surprised that the ‘world is dominated by men and therefore they are going to market to men because that is what sells.’*
Also the idea that I go around looking for things to be offended by is kinda old. I don’t do that. I spend most of my time playing and ignoring the nekkid elf on the mail box. However I’m also observant and if I notice something and want to talk about it, I will.
Pewter in Beta
I was going to do videos! And fabulous screenshot posts! And analysis of how well Unleashed Weapon functions! And then the Sexism post kind of got a lot of attention and I started playing Beta to have fun. So far I have arsed around in the Goblin and Worgen starter areas, and levelled my main to 81 in Vashj’ir. I am not good with flying sims in general, and swimming in Azeroth has always been a headache, but I think Blizzard have done a fabulous job with Vashj’ir. The underwater mount doesn’t feel awkward, and the depths and heights don’t feel too bewildering. The initial starting sub-zone has some really fun quests, although I can see some gamers who have better reflexes than me being bored to tears IF they aren’t engaged by the storyline or entranced by the underwater fantasy land that Blizz have created.
So far I am not enjoying the Lava Surge mechanic. It comes into it’s own on mobs that live longer, but spending all my time watching for that proc and trying to keep track of Flame Shock and Unleash Elements with the base UI is kind of not that fun while questing. I find myself wasting those procs, and the timing of Unleash Elements I shall have to reserve judgement on until I actually get into a dungeon. I also wonder whether my gear is really….correct because even with totems my spells feel underpowered. I’ve deliberated started replacing some of my gear with greens in order to get some Mastery Rating, but I might just switch back to my purples.
Temporary Short Cuts
I did make the mistake of going to Vashj’ir and then hearthing out. If you have a 310% mount you can fly back to the zone from the mainland, but as an Alliance character I can’t find any easy teleports (that work, and continue to work after you’ve been to the zone for the first time) and the flightpath that connects the zone to Ironforge seems to be only one way. I’ve now moved on the Mount Hyjal, although I’m facing the same issue. I guess I might actually have to take a portal from Darnassus and travel there in a more traditional way! It’s funny, with the changes to levelling and LFD I’ve gotten so used to instant travel that the idea of getting to a zone the old fashioned way because I left to train seems strange and alien. My Vanilla self is probably cackling loudly somewhere.
Creepy Clones vs Irreverent Nasty
I started the Worgen and Goblin starter areas. Of the two, the Goblins were light hearted and silly but I don’t really care about them at all. They’re nasty and ruthless, and literally everything is a bad pun or a joke, so they are nasty, ruthless and trivial and I just don’t care about them enough to want to know what happens. Of course, my Goblin is only level 5 at the moment, but I just didn’t find myself sucked into the story in the same way that Vashj’ir sucks me in. This is not to say that the Goblin zone and story isn’t appealling, it just doesn’t appeal to me personally in the same way that the Worgen zone des.
The Worgen starting area is beautiful. I love the atmosphere, and I can’t wait to see the polished, live version. As a zone it feels much more linear so far – the Goblin starter zone definitely has a dynamic feeling to it, while the Worgen Zone is much more like a graphic novel or a movie. I like the British accents, except for the female voice actor who sounds very Dick Van Dyke – the mockney accent is very grating and I ended up paying attention to her voice instead of what she was saying. It sounded wrong. Currently you can’t change the look of your worgen, so every player character is a bald male with a beard, and once they start congregating it definitely starts to look like Attack of the Creepy Clones.
I think both starting zones are a lot of fun, and they definitely put the old world zones to shame. This worries me, because I know a few people who trial the game via Vanilla. My experiences in the Dwarven starting zone were very lacklustre (although better than the ‘live’ version) and it’s these original races that new players will initially start with, rather than Draenei, Blood Elves, Goblins or Worgen. I think if Blizzard wants to retain more players from the trial, they need to put much more work into making these original race zones compelling (please note that I haven’t played with the other revised starting zones yet.)
So why no beta videos Pewter?
Uh. I kind got distracted.
What. I HAD to make a gif out of it. It’s from the Worgen starting zone. I was innocently questing, trying to find a child and tell her to run to her mother, and I turned around and there was a giant pot of worms that twitched in fascinating ways.
* And as if it should come as a surprise to me that the Worgen female jokes are funny because they are puns on being a dog! If you can’t see that part of the humour in them is misogynist I don’t really know what else I can say about that (and no this is not the right post to tell me I’m wrong.)