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Weekly World of Warcraft #17 - South Park, Expansion Plans, and Updates

By: Nick Arvites

Weekly World of Warcraft #23 - Goodbye to the Old Stomping Grounds
Will the new lands signal the end of the old?

Weekly World of Warcraft #22 - Burning Crusade First Impressions
Positive first impressions from our resident warlock.

Weekly World of Warcraft #21 - Thoughts from a Disgruntled Wyvern Windrider
Won't anyone think of the Windriders?

Weekly World of Warcraft #20 - New Year's Resolutions
Nick lays out some WoW-related goals for 2007.

Weekly World of Warcraft #19 - Calm Before the Storm
A look at the most-recent patch and Blizzard's next game.

Weekly World of Warcraft #18 - Casual Raiding Vol. 2
Another look at casual raiding from our brand new writer!

Weekly World of Warcraft #17 - South Park, Expansion Plans, and Updates
A look at the infamous South Park episode, and talk of the future.

Weekly World of Warcraft #16 - All Quiet on the Kalimdor Front
The calm before the Burning Crusade storm.

Weekly World of Warcraft #15 - How to Make a Crusade Burn
Burning Crusade will have a negative impact on raiding, but it should bring some good PvP changes.

Weekly World of Warcraft #14 - Should I Stay or Should I Go?
It's time to renew!

Weekly World of Warcraft - Raiding for the Rest of Us
Our first guest discusses how a casual player can raid successfully.

Weekly World of Warcraft #13 - I Still Hate the Baron: Clarifications & Responses
Clarification of last week's points after receiving a deluge of responses.

Weekly World of Warcraft #12 - Dungeon 2 Armor Complaints
I hate the Baron, and other .5 tier complaints.

Weekly World of Warcraft #11 - Undead Events
A deeper look at Patch 1.11 and the Scourge Invasion.

Weekly World of Warcraft #10 - Busiest Week Ever
You want more of this?! Patch 1.11, Diablo/Starcraft MMORPGs, and more!

Weekly World of Warcraft #9 - Mailbag Edition
9 out of 10 naked dancing dwarves agree: mailbags are good!

Weekly World of Warcraft #8 - Guild Woes
Guild improvements and raid interface changes discussed this week.

Weekly World of Warcraft #7 - PvBroken
What's wrong with PvP in today's World of Warcraft.

Weekly World of Warcraft #6 - Post E3 2006 Thoughts
We look at the addition of the Draenei, and various problems with Burning Crusade.

Weekly World of Warcraft #5 - Expansion Outlook: Pre-E3 Edition
Looking forward to next week's E3, and what the future holds for WoW.

Weekly World of Warcraft #4 - Class Warfare
Nick's perspective on playing the nerfed Rogue class.

Weekly World of Warcraft #3 - Over-Raided
The third in our series focuses on the lack of content for smaller groups.

Weekly World of Warcraft #2
The second in our series of weekly World of Warcraft rants focuses on crafting.

Weekly World of Warcraft #1
The first in our series of weekly World of Warcraft rants by our resident level 60 Rogue.

The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of VGGEN.com as a whole or any of its affiliates. This is simply one writer's opinion, and should be accepted as such.

You know something’s hit it big when South Park targets it. Last week, the premiere episode of South Park’s tenth season took aim at World of Warcraft. Interesting enough, Blizzard actually assisted in creating this episode in the form of in-game footage, and they were plugging the episode to players the week before the debut of the new season. My first reaction after watching the episode was pretty mixed. To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed in the least. It wasn’t that I didn’t get the jokes (I’ve been a regular South Park viewer since day one); I just really didn’t find the episode that funny. It speaks wonders to the last few seasons of South Park—which really haven’t had any bad episodes—to say this is perhaps the worst episode I’ve seen in at least two, if not three or four seasons.

The basic overview of the plot is that the South Park kids are playing World of Warcraft and some high level character (in the same faction) keeps killing everyone and never signs off. They decide to get even by power-leveling their characters and in the process turn into mini-Hutts who sit at the computer all day.

Part of me has to ask if Blizzard had any idea of how badly they’d get lampooned. I’ll admit that my initial reaction to the episode viewed it as a barely disguised advertisement for World of Warcraft because half of the show was done with in-game footage. Then I watched the episode again and realized the episode was anything but an advertisement. If anything, a non-MMORPG player would never want to even consider World of Warcraft after watching South Park.

The unflattering depiction of MMORPGs and their players speaks wonders as to how the population is perceived outside of the closed community. I’m not even going to deny that there is a segment of World of Warcraft players that essentially have no lives. Just on the server I frequent, there are several people that play (or someone plays the account) for 15+ hours a day. These are the same group of people that led to the creation of the slang “bottle-pisser,” and the same type of players that have kept people out of MMORPGs for years. The thing is, World of Warcraft actually changed the aspect of MMORPGs to the point where more casual players are entering the game.

Granted, it is South Park, and I didn’t go into the episode expecting an accurate depiction of MMORPGs. I expected this type of depiction, and I thought the last half of the episode was pretty funny. I still think the first half of it is unnecessarily slow and takes too long to set up, but it gets better as the joke continues to devolve into the standard South Park style of madness. Hearing someone say “Pwn’d” on TV made me laugh, having the developers say they don’t play the game made anyone who didn’t like the class review process smile, and Cartman’s illustration of the term “bottle-pisser” (the term doesn’t even do it justice) makes me feel some sort of pity for the kids on my server that do play far too much.

Getting reactions to the episode was interesting. People that I’ve talked to that have never played World of Warcraft—or any MMORPG—seemed to have liked it. Granted, the ones who know I play World of Warcraft were confused as to why I wasn’t a Hutt who doesn’t leave his room. That’s the real danger with the episode. I think it unfairly classifies the entire MMORPG community as a herd of Hutts that cannot and will not socially interact. In my experiences, I’ve played with at least twenty normal people for every one MMORPG slug I’ve encountered.

Lurking on various forums and reading reports on others sites brings in an interesting viewpoint. Players seem to be split: some hate it and others love it. Here’s my thing: if you don’t like it because you noticed a massive amount of errors with the game itself, that the horde wasn’t in it, that it isn’t possible for someone to kill his own faction, or any other liberty taken with World of Warcraft, I think you missed the point and you really need to let go. I think it’s a valid complaint to say that you didn’t like the way MMORPGers were depicted, but to whine about details is just proving the point that you need to get out more.

My personal view is that I think it’s ironic that gamers outside of the MMORPG world are pointing and laughing at this and saying this is what all MMORPG gamers are. I have serious doubts they’d be saying the same thing if there was an episode that made the entire population of Madden gamers look like total lard-tubs who can’t even throw a football, or if an episode made every Grand Theft Auto player into a sadistic criminal.

Yeah, I realize I’m taking it a bit too seriously. My opinion of the episode may have been skewed because I watched the rerun of The Return of Chef they aired before the premiere. Thing is, I’m not really sure it’s a smart move by Blizzard to get involved in, and promote an episode that openly mocks their players and product. The few people I knew who were on the fence about trying World of Warcraft are now vehemently against playing any MMORPGs now. Petty? Probably, but it’s a natural reaction after seeing that episode.

Lead-up to the Expansion

One of the biggest questions players have is what to do while waiting for the release of The Burning Crusade. I’ve decided on doing a few different things. I’m currently taking my main through ZG and AQ20 about once a week (depending on my schedule). While doing that, I’m also trying to raise enough gold for my main character to finally get his epic mount. I’m also attempting to raise reputation levels before the expansion hits. I have been half-attempting to get one of my alts closer to 60, but part of me wants to wait until the expansion so I can play a Draenei Shaman.

The one benefit I can see to leveling up my alts is that it makes it easier for me to earn gold. The alt I would level up (Priest) is a gatherer, so I’d pretty much just use him to earn money in the Auction House. The problem I’m getting is I just really don’t have the motivation to grind through another series of levels. My playing time has been pretty limited lately, so I’ve been playing exclusively as my main and just running instances.

I’ve essentially given up on PvP since patch 1.12. I like the cross-realm battlegrounds, but I simply cannot compete in the ranking system due to the lack of time I have to play. I plan to PvP in some form or another when the expansion hits, but my primary focus will be to get my rogue to level 70 as quickly as possible.

So What’s with the Updates?

Maybe the better question is “What’s with the lack of updates?” Well, due to real life events—mainly law school—I simply haven’t had the time to play regularly, let alone write a regular column. I’ve also had problems coming up with something to write about since I haven’t been playing as much. I’ve been facing several choices: scale back the series, find a replacement writer, or end the series. I don’t want to end this series in any sense. People enjoy reading it (at least from the email I’ve gotten), or at least enjoy reading it to say that I’m a “n00b idot [sic] who dont know crap.”

My decision is this: we’re going to shift Weekly World of Warcraft to a series that gets two definite publications from me a month that go onto the site on the weekends. If we ever receive any more guest editorials (because we haven’t received ANY submissions since the first one), we’ll run those during the gap weeks, and if anything major happens or I just have the time to write an extra article, we’ll run more a month. As far as finding a replacement writer or an assisting writer, I’m the only World of Warcraft player active on the staff. If you think you can contribute, send us a submission on our Now Hiring page for a PC writer position.

I’d like to take this time to thank all of the regular readers, the various World of Warcraft sites who link to or feature this column on their sites (and sometimes get flamed for doing so), the guilds that link to us on their pages, and for everyone that took the time to write in and tell me that they enjoyed the column (or even to tell me that I don’t know anything). Without you, the readers, this column is pointless. This feature is by no means dead, so check back with us for future installments.


As usual, if you have any comments, complaints, concerns, or fan mail, send them to weeklywow@vggen.com. I’ll try to answer all E-mails personally, and you may wind up in a future mailbag column.

Posted: 10/14/2006