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Timewalking is a great idea. I’ve got no issue at all with the feature, in fact, it’s a fantastic way to blow off a couple of hours in pursuit of enjoyment that clearly works. I’d be a foolish person to try and paint the concept any other way than this because its practically perfect in every way. Just look at the piles of people around the Vendor on a TW Weekend to understand it ticks all those essential play time boxes: transmog, rep grinding, mounts and pets plus Toy Box items. It is, in effect, a perfect storm of factors required, pulling people to take part and log in across specific weekends.

Then 7.2.5 announced Black Temple as a Timewalking raid and it’s all gone Pete Tong.

If we hadn’t had Warlords of Draenor, I might be able to stomach this, but there’s a huge lore disparity at play that using Timewalking to fudge over seems wrong, and just jarring. For an Expansion that sells itself so much on narrative sanctity, Legion is almost greedy and moneygrabbing using the TBC ‘Temple’ as a ‘tourist attraction’ because that’s what this is. Go back and see the original timeline without any explanation! Turn up and pick up the toys nobody farms on Normal because it’s too boring and you get lost really easily! Most important, gloss over ALL OF THE LORE that we used back then because that’s not how things work these days, just go get your Warglaives for that DH alt, because that’s what you came for anyway.

The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I become with the tourism.

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I am never going to forgive the diversion of timelines that Warlords created, I realise. I was cross the day those ‘main players’ were announced and not a single one was female. Yet, back in TBC the number of women Broken was basically zero, yet this remains my favourite illusion from any single period of Warcraft history. There is a lot of disparity still in this MMO, much of which remains unchanged. No female Ogres, no indication that women are anything other than simply tools to make a point. In fact, the only saving grace of Warlords of Draenor remains trapped in an expansion that she saved, pretty much single handedly for the Alliance. When I go back to the Temple, I’ll have to negotiate an entire area which is as close to racy as this game ever got back in the day: it’s a brothel, and within it women are (obviously) the predominant sex. You keep telling me you’ve changed and you care, ActiBlizz, but it is still male faces in Dev Interviews. I know why, and yet still there’s no moves made to show that you understand.

Taking me back to the height of in-game sexism won’t do you any favours.

I keep shouting into the void. Many people I know who abhor this outlook are long since gone and yet, about once a year, I make the same plea. People only care about things that upset them, after all, but this issue never goes away, and every time you pull back something new for Timewalking, that wound is reopened, like it or not. I don’t need you to go back and do the easy thing, because that is all that ever happens. I’d love you to do the hard thing, but that’s far more dangerous and potentially affects sub numbers… except, let me make a point on that, on the back that I know the Quarter figures are due and maybe it might be time to actually make an effort to reinvent the wheel.

Legion’s overall performance is SLIGHTLY AHEAD of WoD? Seriously, that’s all you have to say to your shareholders about a game that used to be all anyone in MMO gaming ever used as a benchmark? If I was working on this game I’d be embarrassed and disappointed by that comment, and I’d be looking for ways to try and get more people to stop playing Overwatch and start playing my game. On that point, let me tell you why Overwatch is so popular: DIVERSITY. It has openly gay characters, a strong female to male ratio and doesn’t live in a timeline where you only have one sex of NPC’s who keep coming back and continue to procreate in secret. Yeah, you may have given me Harpies in Legion, but where are their male counterparts? Where’s the obvious chains of command with women mattering apart from the token NPC nods in Class Order Halls? Oh, and where the HELL is the Sylvanas storyline and why aren’t you telling it with as much passion as the ‘father and son’ story on the Alliance side?

This game needs more diversity and has done since Illidan told me I was not prepared the first time. Maybe this might be the moment to start considering how you stop trying to gloss over the past and pretend those things didn’t happen, and maybe go back to change them once and for all.

One thought on “History Repeating :: Look what they’ve done to my Song

  1. It is probably just my male-centric viewpoint exaggerating things, but I seem to be taking a lot of orders from female world quest givers. The number of active female NPCs that actually do stuff feels probably close to parity in this expansion. Unfortunately there is a lot of catch-up still in play from legacy.

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