Breaking Up the Boys Club

During a recent MIT Media Lab Q&A session, Blizzard’s Chief Creative Officer, Rob Pardo, made a few comments about social commentary, diversity, and Blizzard’s treatment of women in games, leading to a backlash on social media. Other places have covered his comments and the backlash more extensively than I will here, but for a deeper dive into specifics, check out Blizzlist’s Storify of the goings-on.

Regardless of how one feels about Pardo’s statements, I haven’t seen anyone, including Pardo himself, disagree with this point: Blizzard struggles with the portrayal of women and other minorities in its games. What is unfortunate to me is how the rest of his comments about that point read – that they try, but they’re subject to forces out of their control. Between the hiring pool and the background of their current workforce, all they can do is “actively catch [themselves].” This throwing up of the hands doesn’t cut it. Blizzard is a company who has the project management skills to put out some of the richest gaming experiences ever produced. They are able to meet the organizational demands of hosting a wildly successful convention on a regular basis. If they put their collective minds to it, they have the organizational fortitude to make whatever they feel needs to happen happen. It’s their job – what they do best. The intent of this post is to posit some ideas about what they could do to make it less of a struggle to portray women and minorities appropriately – if they put the effort in.

Two caveats before I get started – First, I’ve never worked at Blizzard. Some of these suggestions may already be underway/in place, and some may be infeasible for reasons I’m unaware of. I hope that doesn’t distract from the primary point: Blizzard could do more. Second, none of these suggestions concern the subject matter itself. For a great article on what Blizzard could do in that vein, read Matthew Rossi’s excellent WoW Insider post on this topic.

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Blows Struck and Blood Drawn: Melee Reviews

“The man who is in the melee knows what blows are being struck and what blood is being drawn.” – Woodrow Wilson

Going into Mists, the officers of Apotheosis met on Mumble to talk about what we felt we could improve on. One of the areas we agreed to focus on was providing feedback to all of our raiders more consistently, positive or negative. We wanted to let them know whether they were meeting expectations as well as highlight areas they could work on.

Since I am the melee lead for Apotheosis, I’m responsible for writing reviews for all of our melee DPS. At the beginning of the expansion, I communicated to each of the melee the criteria they would be reviewed on.

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Tikari’s Take: A Rogue’s Guide to 5.2

With 5.2 rolling out tomorrow, we rogues need to make sure we’re ready for all of the changes coming our way. Most won’t affect the way we play, but there are a few substantial ones we need to account for. In this post, I’m going to review the most recent patch notes and provide my take on the changes.

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Karazhan Chess Event: A Soloing Guide

Many thanks to Jasyla for helping me test the strategy below.

Recently, with the introduction of changes from Blizzard that have made older raids more friendly to solo adventurers, as well as the addition of pet drops from twelve of the bosses in those raids, a number of hardy souls are venturing into old content. The dungeons folks are heading into aren’t limited to just those that drop pets, however. I’ve seen a number of tweets mentioning attempts to solo Karazhan over the past few weeks. One of the common themes in those tweets is that the chess event is still difficult to solo, even if the rest of the instance is a cakewalk. A few people have noted they stop there, not continuing on to Prince Malchezaar. Since I’ve had some success soloing the event, I decided to put this guide together to help out.

Before I go on, I’ll mention that this event has a healthy dose of RNG. You can execute the strategy I’ll lay out flawlessly, and still run into issues. However, I’ve found that when I use this strategy, I win more often than I lose. And when you lose, you’re just kicked out of the piece you’re in and the pieces respawn a few seconds later, so there’s no corpse run involved. Also, as you’re learning to execute the strategy I’ll put out there, you may not be going as quickly as you can, so you may fail more often. Don’t give up! It’s actually pretty simple, and you’ll be able to reliably solo it in no time.

With that in mind, let’s review the basics of the encounter.

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An Assassin’s Guide to 5.0.4

On August 28th, Blizzard will release the pre-Mists of Pandaria content patch, 5.0.4. The changes rolled into this patch set the stage for Mists, including a revamp of talents and glyphs. If you’re raiding that week, things get could a bit bumpy as everyone adapts to those changes. While rogues are not the most affected class by any means, my goal with this post is to help other stabby types prepare for the changes coming and be ready to roll next Tuesday.

This guide will be focused on Assassination rogues for the most part. For the Combat perspective, check out Sinnaabun of Accession Guild’s guide.

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