My Mana Tap Brings All The Boys To The Yard
By creating the beautiful Blood Elves, Blizzard taps into the market of Barrens chatters who want to play Horde and look pretty at the same time. If you're lucky enough to never have encountered the Barrens phenomenon, imagine a text-based Lord Of The Flies. While questing, Horde lowbies use the chat channel and the spelling is terrifying, the questions idiotic and the answers almost always obscene.
With the arrival of Burning Crusade, the folks asking for hints and walkthoughs, and the folks answering "UR MOM!" now look like glowing, fair-skinned, delicate elves.
While I was waiting for the expansion, I was excited about the new Alliance race, the Draenai, and the new profession, Jewelcrafting, but mostly I couldn't wait to play a Blood Elf. I was enamored with their pretty hair and high magic homeland. The Blood Elves' racial abilities are a mana tap, a stackable power which sucks opponents mana and gives it to your avatar, and area-of-effect spell silencing. These are especially impressive when compared with the dwarven ability to spot treasure and the human ability to spot certain hidden characters.
And they're pretty. Did I mention how pretty? Blood Elves are the first and only attractive race for the Horde side, which previously had only Trolls, Orcs, Tauran and Undead. Before the expansion, players who wants to join the Horde could only play characters with horns, facial piercings or rotting flesh. My highly reliable and technical research (typing "Who's a real girl?" on the chat channel) led me to believe that while there are a fair number of XX chromosomes, the majority of players are actually teen boys enjoying the dance emotes and sexy new clothes. If you look closely at the WoW orgy picture, you might notice that one of the characters is named FuuckMe... which means Fuck Me was already taken.
Game developers are always trying to find ways to attract women to their game. "Women" is too huge of a category... by trying to attract Tetris players on the telephone, Sim-playing girls, and Quake chicks, developers often come up with something that pleases no one. When I refer to a rhinestone-covered pink Nintendo DS, designed by Paris Hilton, please believe it's an actual product and not a clever use of literary hyperbole. Blood Elves seem brilliant because they are aiming not for a mythical Female Market Sector, but for goth teen players and for typical Horde players beginning to outgrow Barrens chat.
The Blood Elves' emotes and hair are a little over the top, which means that other WarCrafters can enjoy the campy fun. The female Blood Elf flirts by saying "My mana tap brings all the boys to the yard," while the male asks "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?" My personal favorite is still the male dwarf's flirt "You look pretty. I like your hair. Here's a drink. Are you ready now?" I heard that one a lot, probably because I'm one of the few lady dwarves in Azeroth. If you're playing WoW and see a female dwarf, stop and say hi, it's probably me.
Then again... I haven't made a Draenai yet...
Meg will make a Draenai soon...very soon...
I've always been interested in playing WoW, but now it seems like it's way to complex to even get into.
Posted by: Uberchief | January 30, 2007 8:55 AM
I haven't played wow, but I do play Lineage2. I know people complain that it takes forever to level, but the characters and the world are so pretty : ) It is one of the most breathtaking games out there. I still go into new parts of the world and am taken aback by the graphics.
Posted by: Brianna | January 30, 2007 9:13 AM
I played WoW for about 6 months or so, but pretty much every MMO has spoiled for me: I call it the invisible treadmill.
You see, in MMOs, nothing ever changes. You'll walk up to a farmer and he'll say "help me! my garden is overrun with pests!" so you kill the pests and then the farmer says "thank you! I can feed my family again!". But then the farmer just stands there, waiting for the next person to come by so he can complain about the garden he never tends to.
It looks like you're running around a vast world, but you're really jogging on a treadmill, developing killer leg muscles that no one will ever see.
I may have shared more than I meant to.
Posted by: Ian | January 30, 2007 10:19 AM
Just thinking of Barrens chat makes me shudder. Chuck Norris was never funny damnit.
Posted by: Scott | January 30, 2007 11:40 AM
Chuck Norris is a pussy compared to Genghis Khan.
"Wherever Genghis Khan passes through a village, nine months later the population triples."
Posted by: Ian | January 30, 2007 12:05 PM
I can't take the chat no matter what area I'm in. I turn off almost all of it immediately. So I experienced very little of Barrens Chat, thank jebus.
How many times can a person see "Learn2play" or "pallys suk!" before they go insane?
My favorite /silly is "Sigh. I hate Thunder Bluff. There's no place to get a good burger."
Posted by: Keith | January 30, 2007 1:27 PM
I saw mana tap and thought this article was about Magic.
Posted by: Tim | January 30, 2007 6:09 PM