A Salute To MMRPG Writers and WoW Cataclysm Hotfixes

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                                                        World of Warcraft art.

All right, I’m going to make a confession. I’m intrigued by mmrpg (massive multi-player role playing games) such as World of Warcraft, EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot.

I mean, seriously, you have to love this stuff and the efforts they put into these games as evidenced by the Cataclysm trailer.

I wish I had more time to play, but they still amuse me.
I love the worlds these developers create. I love the art and the writing. Some of them have intricate, spell-binding stories. I adore learning about the rich lore and history of these worlds. I particularly enjoy exploring these worlds with fellow role players. It’s like living an epic fantasy novel.
In WoW, for instance, two of the players I run with are gnomes. One is a tough little pink-haired female warrior gnome. She always acts so sweet and innocent. The other is a little guy my guild got stuck with so we could rehabilitate him. He’s always getting in trouble and trying to convince Bebus is really evil and she’s threatening to hurt his kitty Lionheart. No one believes, him, of course. Bebus is just too sweet. Oddly enough, she does brandish a sword called Lionheart Slayer or something like that at him. Not sure what’s up with that. Could it be Bebus really is kind of evil? NO!
When we’re fighting creatures and something dies, Twobits invariably says, “I think it was the pink that killed it.”
Then there is Mikafar. She’s my character’s self-appointed chastity cat. Yeah, it’s a long story. Suffice to say, my character has never had a boyfriend.
Anyway, creative people like this just absolutely prime my pump for writing.
So, World of Warcraft just brought out a new expansion, Cataclysm. Every time an expansion launches there are myriad problems and the developers have to do fixes to the game to correct them. There are also things changing that characters raise Cain about so they have to explain what’s going on in “hotfix notes.”
You wouldn’t think notes from tech support about what’s happening in a game would be entertaining. Fortunately, most of these games have writers with great senses of humor.
For instance:
Corla will now always drop an item and the Red Winter Hat does not replace her regular loot drop. It’s because she cares.
Liam has been given lessons in anger management and team work. He will now properly stay with his soldiers during “The Battle for Gilneas City” event. (Apparently this game character was leaving his soldiers in the heat of battle when he wasn’t supposed to.)
Both the Rope Ladder and Last Chance Yacht Boarding Mortar objects will now sparkle while on the quest “Life Savings”. Now with more sparkles!
Players in a party on the quest “Black Heart of Flame” are all now able to loot the Black Heart of Thol’embaar after killing Thol’embaar, because it’s only fair.
Players no longer get attacked by guards when landing in Nordrassil with a hostile player targeted. It was a rather rude introduction to Mount Hyjal really.
Bloodsnarl Scavengers killed by players with the aid of Salhet’s Lions during the quest “Salhet the Tactician” will not provide experience. If you want something done, sometimes you just have to do it yourself.
Players will now be in the correct phase with Wavespeaker Valoren after completing the quest “Communing with the Ancient”. Seeing ghost question marks on the mini-map is no fun for anyone.
Smuggler’s Scar now has two guard posts, up from one, and Deepmist Grotto has one guard post, up from none. In addition, Cavern Crawlers are now immune to crowd control effects. Even ganking should have its limits.
Players are no longer able to retain the 450% swim speed increase from the Abyssal Seahorse through devious, devious means. (Oops. It’s amazing how quickly players figure out ways to “use” the system.)
Players of the opposite faction can no longer kill the lures for the Seahorses. It’s just mean and wrong. And mean.
The Corroded Key that is obtained during the quest “Kliklak’s Craw” is now a multi-drop item and can be looted my multiple members of a party. And there was much rejoicing.
 It is no longer possible for an ill-mannered person of the opposing faction to one-shot a flight trainer in Stormwind or Orgrimmar, which in turn made the 500 players standing on top of the flight trainer with their mammoths really sad.
There is no longer a School of Fish in Elwynn Forest that like to think of themselves as in “testing,” nor do they yield Peacebloom when fished. This School of Fish is no longer a part of the counterculture and will no longer give you flowers when fished.
Players can no longer skin Crushcog Sentry-Bots or Crushcog Battle Suits in Dun Morogh… because they don’t have skin.
Crafty players again found a way to catch Cataclysm fish. Crafty designers have made this impossible without a Cataclysm key attached to a player’s account.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Tara Parker

    LOL! We’ve been out of WoW for about a year now, but we’ve been talking about getting back in with Cataclysm. Maybe.

  2. Julie Weathers

    My highest level character is level 73 and I’ve played for six years off and on. Yeah, scarey mad leveling skills there.

    The bad part is, this is such a good expansion you could really get sucked into a major time sink. I’ve just been screwing around a few hours at night when my brain is fried.

    Will said the new zones and story lines are awesome.

  3. Catherine

    I am a Warcrack widow. The only “emergency” we have in the house is when the cable goes out during a raid. I’m sorry, but it is funny to see a grown man get so worked up over a game.

    My husband has 20-25 toons. Just like characters in a book, I think he needs a spreadsheet to keep track of them.

    The graphics are gorgeous. I love all the pretty lights. I like video games but can’t really get into WOW.

  4. Julie Weathers

    Yeah, cable going out during a raid is a disaster.

    Oh, having that many characters would drive me insane. Of course, all but one of mine are low level characters I just goof around and role play with.

    WoW isn’t nearly as pretty as some of the games. I really don’t like the cartoony characters, but I’m on a good rp server so we have a lot of fun with that.

  5. Beth

    Back in the day, when role-playing was a matter of having pencil, paper, imagination, and a formidable stack of rule books, my husband and I used to dream of the day we could play something like that on the computer. Back then, it was just a crazy fantasy. If it had truly been available, we’d have been instant addicts.

    Now that it IS available on computer, all I can say is that it sounds like a hoot, but it also sounds wildly complicated and a real time-eater. I think if I were to get involved in it now–and to get anything out of it, you have to get really, really involved–I wouldn’t have any mental energy left to write. I have to husband my resources. [g]

  6. Julie Weathers

    Beth, yes, games came be a real time sink. OTOH, I have ulterior motives. I think gamers are a built in market for epic fantasy. If an ef writer hits the gaming conventions, it’s good to be able to at least discuss a few of the games.

    Plus, the games really do prime my pump to write. I can be bogged down in writing and play for a little while and the mind opens up. I think it’s something about escaping into a fantasy world.

    The trick is not to get like some people who just stay on the game for ten hours a day. Limit your game time just like you would any other kind of entertainment.

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