Away From Reality

December 30, 2011

AFR #163 – The old and the new

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — tabulacandida @ 6:50 AM

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Sometimes, the worst thing about WoW is the other people who play it. From the pug who rolls need on gear he’s already wearing to the guy in trade chat who just didn’t get the memo that the proper time for “anal” jokes is never, our fellow players can sometimes really wear on the nerves. At those times, it’s important to remember that sometimes the best thing about WoW is the other people who play it. As the old year comes to an end and the new year begins, join me in raising your glass in a toast to all the people who make our WoW lives better. Here’s a glass of the best holiday spirits:

To the guy in general chat who makes you laugh,

To the guildie who is always on time for raids,

To the friend who’s always up to go on a random with you,

To the pug tank who doesn’t let an add run free,

To the pug healer who keeps you alive, even when you step in the fire by accident,

To the pug dps who knows how to cc, switch to adds, and stay out of the fire,

To the guy who takes the time to explain the fights ahead of time,

To the person who won the roll for the gear you wanted, then traded it to you and said: “here, you need it more than I do,”

To everyone else in all of Azeroth who makes our time there better, awesomer, and more fun.

And from me, here’s a special toast to all of you who have read Away From Reality, to those of you who have added your comments to the discussion, to all of you who have linked to AFR on your own comics, blogs, and sites.

Happy new year!

December 25, 2011

AFR #162 – Slay bells

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — tabulacandida @ 10:06 AM

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Merry Christmas, happy Haunukah, joyous solstice, happy Kwanzaa– whatever your preferred seasonal salutation may be!

December 16, 2011

AFR #161 – Eggonomics

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — tabulacandida @ 12:04 PM

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Merry Winter’s Veil!   Have fun making cookies and eggnog and/or small-egg profiteering.

December 9, 2011

AFR #160 – Leading by example

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — tabulacandida @ 11:53 AM

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Okay, Blizzard, we need to have a talk.  You make a great game and I love you for it.  I have a laugh at your expense sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like what you do.  I wouldn’t have kept this comic going for years if I didn’t love your game.  Even when I don’t agree with everything you do, I usually understand and respect your choices.  But sometimes you make no sense.

Take this nonsense about not being able to transmogrify with gear that was “originally added to the game as absurdities“.  World of Warcraft is a silly game.  You know it and we know it.  You designed it that way.  You’re the ones who decided to make random NPCs into pop culture references.  You’re the ones who wrote all the /silly emotes.  You’re the ones who brought us drunk ram racing and plopping jack-o’-lanterns over people’s heads and scarfing cupcakes in front of poor orphans for an achievement.  You’re the ones who decided that half of Uldum– that’s 10% of the levelling content in Cataclysm– should be an extended Raiders of the Lost Ark riff.  You’re the ones who are planing on giving us bouncy panda people.  And you know what?  We love it.  We love the spice that the silliness adds to the game.  We keep coming back to dance in the streets, toss paper zeppelins to each other, and click on NPCs until they get snippy and tell us to go play in traffic.  You gave us lots of fun silly stuff to wear and now you’re getting in a snit because we actually want to wear it?  If you really didn’t want us to be running around in Santa hats and invisible vests wielding fish daggers, may I humbly suggest that maybe you shouldn’t have put Santa hats, invisible vests, and fish daggers in the game.  The time to make WoW into a Very Serious Game where nothing silly happens was seven years ago, not in the last patch of your third expansion.

“But we want the hard work done by our artists to be seen!” you say.  Well, sure, what artist doesn’t want their work to be seen?  And your artists deserve it, too; they do some danged good work.  But what about the artists who made the fish daggers and the fire festival regalia and the chef’s hat?  Don’t they deserve to have their work seen?  We can already turn off cloaks and helms, the game mechanics encourage us to wear tabards that cover up our chestpieces, those of us who wear robes never get to see our pants or boots, and most gloves cover up our bracers.  That’s a whole lot of artwork that’s already not being seen.  Before transmogrification came in, all the hard work that went into high-level vanilla, Burning Crusade, and Wrath gear was not being seen at all, so how is this any different?

Is that really what you think of us?  You think that if you give us the chance to wear Santa hats and wield fish daggers we will never use anything else ever again?  Just take a look at what we’re doing with transmogrification in game.  Some people are showing off the awesome old gear they got doing old-school raiding.  Some people are making colorful combinations of assorted pieces.  Some people are dressing up like their favorite in-game or out-of-game characters.  Some people are role-playing the way they see their characters dressing.  There’s a huge amount of creativity out there.  Sure, some people go for the cheap joke, but that’s not what all of us or even most of us want to do with transmogging.  If you really want to make sure that your artists’ work is seen, the solution is really very simple: make sure your artists do awesome work and someone will want to look at it on their character (and they already do, so stop worrying about it).

Why do you even care if we want to go forth and vanquish world-destroying dragons while wearing a little black dress?  How does it hurt anyone?  It doesn’t unbalance the game.  It doesn’t make anyone else’s experience worse.  It doesn’t break our immersion any more than finding ourselves in the same group as someone named Immatbagumofo Jenkins from the guild <HYPERSONIC CHICKEN KABLOWIE> with his pet fire-breathing murloc.  Maybe some people would rather deck themselves out in silly-looking gear than wear the serious gear you’ve made for us, but so what?  Those people will have more fun without taking away anyone else’s.  Let us transmog whatever we want and you will have increased the net happiness of the world.  What’s so wrong with that?

December 2, 2011

AFR #159 – The gear your gear could look like

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — tabulacandida @ 11:02 AM

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I’m loving transmogrification.  My priest gets to wear his halo again.  My rogue got her favorite eyepatch back.  My druid is dressed in furs of the same color as her cat/bear form.  My paladin is resplendent in purple and gold.  Thank you, Blizzard, for finally understanding that as cool as it may be to slay dragons and fight for the fate of the world, for sheer fun value you can’t beat playing dress-up.

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