Tag Archives: warcraft

intensely fascinating article in ny times magazine about chinese gold farmers in world of warcraft.

Interesting tidbits:

Nick Yee, an M.M.O. scholar based at Stanford, has noted the unsettling parallels (the recurrence of words like “vermin,” “rats” and “extermination”) between contemporary anti-gold-farmer rhetoric and 19th-century U.S. literature on immigrant Chinese laundry workers.

Min’s English is not good enough to grasp in all its richness the hatred aimed his way. But he gets the idea. He feels a little embarrassed around regular players and sometimes says he thinks about how he might explain himself to those who believe he has no place among them, if only he could speak their language. “I have this idea in mind that regular players should understand that people do different things in the game,” he said. “They are playing. And we are making a living.”

I spoke to someone in Chinese once, over a year ago, in Winterspring. He lived in China and had been “playing” for a year. I assume he was a gold farmer, but he didn’t say so explicitly. He did say that he was 22 and was trying to get money because he’d just spent a year in jail.

And last week I killed an orc fury warrior who I’m sure was a bot 10 or more times. It was farming motes of water. It finally hearthed.

Blizzard cracked down on goldfarmers, banning 50,000 accounts belonging to farmers, bringing “the exchange rate rocketing from a low of 6 cents per gold coin last spring to a high of 35 cents in January.” On banning farmers’ accounts rather than the buyers’ accounts:

As Mark Jacobs, vice president at Electronic Arts and creator of the classic M.M.O. Dark Age of Camelot, put it: “Are you going to get more sympathy from busting 50,000 Chinese farmers or from busting 10,000 Americans that are buying? It’s not a racial thing at all. If you bust the buyers, you’re busting the guys who are paying to play your game, who you want to keep as customers and who will then go on the forums and say really nasty things about your company and your game.”

So what do you do, as a player? Mock people who buy gold? Refuse to associate with them? Someone once told me, “All the guild hunters have bought gold at some point.” Sigh.

And the most fascinating part of the article: on page 6, where a farming company trained 40 employees to go through raid dungeons. The business model was to bring paying players on their runs, and sell the loot for real money. It failed due to lack of customers. Reasons for this would be obvious: the raiding elite is just that… elite. Everyone knows each other, knows the guilds that are making endgame progression, knows where everyone stands. If you weren’t in a raiding guild and had a chromatically tempered blade, everyone would know you’d bought it from the chinese farmer raid guild, and everyone would mock you. And there’s no point for raid epics if you’re not skilled or dedicated enough for a raiding guild… you get better gear from raids for the sole purpose of being able to do harder raids. Hahahaha. You do raids for the sole purpose of fun: it’s fun to hang out with these people you’ve befriended over the internet, it’s fun to learn the boss fights, it’s fun to take part in something that was a group effort and achievement.

What a bizarre “play meets work” dynamic. Everybody already says things like “WoW is like a job that you don’t get paid for,” and there are legendary raid leaders from other servers that are cruel, cruel taskmasters. Imagine having a raid leader like that, except he’s also your boss and giving you a wage. How bizarre.

insurmountable distances. never know what to say. it’s so sunny and so cold.

npr does gold farmers, sensationally (murder!)

i hear “like pixellated scraps of chex mix in your head …lights,” sorta, but that can’t be right. jazz max? chess ticks? fujiya and miyagi. spraypainted red. it’s spray pain ted red.

thou shalt not.

watched annie for the first time in 15 years last night. i used to watch that movie every day, and listened to a soundtrack on a cassette tape in the car. i used to wonder what “smackers” were and why the movie theater was empty (because back then i didn’t understand what “buy out the 8:00 show!” meant, i guess, though i can clearly remember the chaos and the flying airplanes). gasps in songs were sudden second nature to me, buried somewhere deep in my psyche, though trying to sing them now i realized how hard they were. as a child, i never processed the extremely bizarre hairflipping that marked the transition of grace from tightly wrapped secretary to flouncy whore. and in the beginning of the movie i actually said out loud “wow an asian” at the driver, only to find that he was called The Asp, and did kung fu to beat up that dude with a bomb, and more bouncy happy kung fu (with the flexed foot and everything) in the “we got annie” dance sequence. “look, they’re all doing their happy dances!” was exclaimed at Punjab, winding about with his finger pointed. all in all an eye-opening experience. i didn’t notice there was an asian at all as a child, but i did of course remember Pumjab, and i also remember asking my mother why that girl kept fainting every time she looked at him. o innocence of childhood, we will never recapture you.

1. http://twittervision.com/ in the last minute, someone in budapest is getting ready to go to the cinema in an hour and someone in kansas is wondering what her mother is making for breakfast

2a. muppets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSjcjHsSCmM
2b. tauren http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEWgs6YQR9A

3. hdm teaser footage, complete with green screens and wires: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58X4o_41Frc can’t remember if i posted this already. if i did, it wasn’t a youtube video but a download link. BEARS!!!!!

1. ms paint: http://youtube.com/watch?v=uk2sPl_Z7ZU

2. you will like this if you like street fighter, salsa dancing, or both: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ4E2RQijh0
it is amazing.

3. hey music people, what is this originally?
http://shadeofaranchant.ytmnd.com/
it’s so good. and it just keeps getting better and better and better, every iteration.
for non-WoWers, here’s http://www.wowwiki.com/Shade_of_Aran

ell oh ell

do you know any asian-american comic writers? if you like comics, join the facebook group too. even if you’re not asian-american.

i might skip guster again for imogen heap. hey, kid beyond’s opening for her all through her us tour. that’s pretty cool. and the warfield i can bart to. poor guster.

who wants to drive me to davis on nov 13?

i went to the ucce halloween show yesterday. the 5pm one.

decorating walls

http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/ is pretty neat and easy to use, though a rather prodigal use of trees and ink. be that as it may, i would love to cover an entire wall with something. the pope that started it all is pretty awesome. maybe a studio ghibli image, or the warcraft iii night elf, or a warm sunny beach, or a waterfall, or an image of lorien1 from the lotr movies, a montage of all my friends, or muse. all of you know that this list is merely posturing and that really it’ll be muse or the night elf. or one of each. if i can get my computer to talk to my printer again.

1i read the hobbit in ninth grade. i have owned lotr since last year or so (unfortunately the box set i got used in pristine condition and really cheaply at shakespeare and co has images from the movie on its covers, but not on the outside of the box; i was tricked! it makes me feel lame to have images from the movie upon the book–or do i really feel lame? no, i actually don’t; i only worry that i ought to feel more lame than i do) and hadn’t read past tom bombadil until now. i just finished the two towers. lorien is my favorite place; edoras is a close second. as expected. i’m sure they’re everyone’s favorites. eowyn’s my favorite, for she is fair and cold. i overuse semicolons and dashes–perhaps i even misuse them.

master makes villians in his book and calls them squint-eyed, yes. orcses and nasty things. you know they are nasty because they are squint-eyed. bad men have dark skin and braided black hair, they do. good men and elves are fairer and fairer. we loves master, we likes his work, yes we do, but we also loves our black hair and brownish skin and our precious squinty eyes. is it really master’s fault? embedded in the language it is; even the word fair means two things, we musn’t forget. no, it is just his environment perhaps. or is it? loathsome tricksy masterses. we hates him. we puts elements of yoda into our bad imitation of gollum-speaks. poor precious! poor squinty precious! Judy hugged herself and rocked back and forth. Sam looked at the creature with disgust. “Oh, come off it,” he said. “My old Gaffer would have a piece to say about you, he would!”

elrond has black hair eh?

controversy over buffing up blood elven males. comments to posts like these are always fun to wade through because there’s so much insulting that goes on. “get over it loser, sexism is everywhere and you won’t get anything by whining about it” “if you want to play video games, learn to get along with boys or don’t play” hahahahahahaha. i’m among the legions of girls sad about this, but obviously what we’re getting all riled up about is the idea, the attitude rather than the actual model change (it’s not thaaaat bad. i prefer the old more, far more, but the new is no human male /rolleyes). they ditzed up night elven females (in war iii they were more serious and statuesque, solemn warriors stalking through the shadows; in wow they gave them that cheerleader dance and silly voice emotes, which i think is okay because it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, parodical) and that’s socially acceptable (though i’m annoyed that it’s what people think night elves are really like now). but they ditz up males and apparently instantly regret it; there’s talk of changing the be male emotes (rumors say they’ve already removed “i need a scrunchie”)

i have a constant very slow drip from my nose. i am not sure which is better: feeling like shit because your nose is dry and irritated and cracking from tissue, or feeling like shit because you got the special kind of tissue with lotion in it so as to prevent your skin from getting irritated thusly causing your entire face and hands and everything you touch to be covered in a pervasive film of oil. even after you wash your hands.

i am not in a good place. wow.

i may die laughing

http://community.livejournal.com/worldofwarcraft/3913370.html has a (very incomplete) list of warcraft personality myspaces.

No, seriously. I may die laughing. I like Jin’do’s the best. Actually the Nef one is really well done, too. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=59473647

Ragnaros says: Everytime I try to read a book it catches on fire 🙁

I bought curtains from Ikea and a tension-rod from Target (I’d acquired the rod a month and a half ago). The curtains are red in my mind, but in reality they are pink. I see them as red because they were displayed with yellow and blue ones of the same style, and red goes with yellow and blue, not pink. At any rate, there are whitish bits in the weave. It was when I felt a strong pull toward the red (pink) that I realized that I just really like weave that is mostly red with a bit of white. No, not striped like a Dr. Seuss scarf, but white interspersed sparsly among the red. I feel like “interspersed sparsly” feels funny because they are both words that come from some kind of root-word “sparse” or something so it feels redundant. Anyway, there is a red and white sweater-jacket I bought from Wet Seal when I went with Shirley when I was a freshman that I absolutely adored but everybody told me it was ugly so I stopped wearing it. And my teddy bear Pinky wears a red and white sweater-vest that nai nai (paternal grandmother) knitted becuase she had some yarn left over after knitting identical sweater-vests for me and my brother. My brother and me. They had pockets that my hands fit in, just so. [Edit: after looking them up on Ikea, I found that their official color is Light Red. So I am not crazy)

Anyway the tension rod (whether dashed or not, I don’t know) is too weak to hold up my curtains, which are actually pretty heavy, becuase what’s the point of getting a bunch of cloth to hide your ugly closet-mess if it doesn’t actually hide your closet-mess? But now I wish I’d gotten the $15 wilma. Or wtf? I should have got blenda. I hate Ikea. I love Ikea.

I am very excited about the prospect of a new guild alliance. It is called LAG: Loose Alliance of Guilds. This is perfect for a small guild like us who want to form relationships with a larger pool of players and do high end raids with each other without having to disband our guild or merge into some other guild, and without having to resort to pickup raids or begging to be invited along to other guild’s raids. They seem like a competent, fun group of people, or at least the leaders do. Some of the others toss around the words “gay” and “faggot,” which I have ABSOLUTELY NO TOLERANCE FOR. I HATE IT. For example, I tried partying with Roivas yesterday for the first time since the 2nd day of beta and we were level 7, because he saw me in IF and said “you need better gear” so I said “ok, then take me to DM” (where I got tanglemoss leggings and a new neck and the priest book for Allinda; what we were there for, Mindtap Talisman, didn’t drop once. Sad) He brought his dwarven priest friend Molylock. Usually dwarven priests are a cheery, wisecracking breed. One of my favorites was one I grouped with for 5-man scholo, and at one point he sat down in one of those circles of skeletons and said in /say “How’s it hangin guys.” Ok, I guess you had to be there. But to Molylock, everything was gay or a faggot. So I’ve decided to steer clear of him because I just don’t like him. Roivas is loopy (“Astix eats babies. You stab like a girl. WHO IS THE KING OF THE VEGETABLES????) but at least he’s funny and doesn’t use “gay.” I’ve tried asking people who use it on general chat to stop and ended up arguing with them for half an hour. Them: “Why do you not like it?” Me: “Because homophobia is bad.” Them: “Whatever, I know gay people and I’m not homophobic. I say it because it has entered the language of American slang. It doesn’t mean ‘derogatory to homosexuals’ anymore because its usage is so common. Why do you care so much anyway? How does it hurt you? Unless you are gay? My gf says she doesn’t like it cuz she’s afraid it’ll offend her gay friends. Is that what you think? That it’ll offend gay people? Isn’t that a bit homophobic of you, to assume that they’ll be offended by it? How do YOU know what they’re offeded by if YOU’RE not gay?” Me: “No, I’m not telling you to stop because I’m ‘afraid’ that there’s a gay person reading general chat who will be offended. I am telling you to stop because I am offended” and so on and so forth. Also, I argued with someone in Felwood general chat to try to get him to stop talking about bombing China. It started because he kept saying “ni hao Chinese people get the fuck off my server” and people were laughing. It wasn’t me who first engaged him, it was someone else who said “isn’t that a tad bit racist?” So I said “you mean gold farmers in general, not Chinese people.” He said “No, I mean Chinese people. Hahaha” and a bunch of other people laughed. He said “Name one Chinese person who isn’t a gold farmer” and as I said “me,” he said “and not the ones in America, they don’t count. I want to bomb China. Hey, look what they did to Pearl Harbor.” To this I said, “The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.” To this he said, “Oh? Then why did WE drop the bomb on CHINA? huh? HUH? Oh sorry that was last night in my dreams. Hai! I farm gold! Tanks! Bai bai now!” At which point I said “Please never talk about bombing China in general chat again, as it is offensive.” He said, “Oh come on you know we’re just having our fun,” at which point I gave up. Then a few furbolg kills later he said “You know why I can’t respect them? They don’t even have cuss words in their language.” To which I had to say, although I’d given up, “How can you say that? Of course there are swear words in Chinese” as he said “Still you Arala? and bitch doesn’t count” to which I said “Do you even speak Chinese?” to which he answered “I speak enough” at which point I really gave up, becuase OBVIOUSLY he didn’t speak enough (hell I don’t speak enough to know real cuss words but FUCKING MOTHERFUCKER I KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT CHINESE TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE MOTHERFUCKING CUSS WORDS IN THE MOTHERFUCKING LANGUAGE YOU FUCKING ASS DOG), and there was nothing I could do. I reported him to a GM for talking about bombing China. Too bad I don’t remember his name and I didn’t ignore him on the spot and I didn’t write down his name or anything so I know to avoid him in the future. I don’t even remember his guild name. I was going to /w his guild leader and tell him to reprimand him and get him to understand that “chinese = farmer and farmer = chinese and talking about hate crimes vs china as a joke is really funny” IS NOT FUCKING OK, but I didn’t because I gave up. I can’t change the world. I can’t do anything. I am utterly helpless.

I FUCKING HATE PEOPLE.

In beta Amalya’s husband was online once (as a girl character) and someone who didn’t know who he was called him a she in guild chat, to which he replied “She? Are you callin my wife a lezzy?” And I was like, wtf “lezzy”? I’ve never even HEARD that one before. Also (and this is unrelated to hating 12 year old xenophobic homophobes), there are a lot of people in the armed forces or retired from the armed forces who play WoW. They say things like “I’ll give him KD” and we say “KD?” and someone says “LOL I haven’t done that since I was a private” and someone else explains “kitchen duty, it’s a military thing.” Maybe the percentage of people who are in the military is the same in general as it is among people who play WoW but I just never interacted with them before, since in WoW everybody interacts with everybody. MMOs are the great equalizer.

This isn’t about WoW

So I’m tagging my recent entries, and I realized that all of them are about WoW. Should I be frightened?

I’m singing with Spot the Octopus now. andeja, lemmingsolution, mbarrien, plish, flyingbear and misterroboto (plus livejournalless alan) are a fun bunch. rwclark is with us until he leaves for Iowa. G’s pet has shed a shell. What are those things called again? I forget. It swims upside-down as often as it swims right-side-up (why not down-side-down? or upside-up? and why do I put a dash between down and side but not up and side?) and has many thing leg-like things (just like the Ohms in Nausicaa) and has evil, evil eyes. Its name is Daisycakes.

We sang Squirrel, Money, Sorry, and Breathe today. Lisa stuck by her original chord changes which nobody sang anymore as rehearsal devolved into watching Angela’s light-up fan reflect off of Ryan’s cheek.

POY POY! Somebody make some icons for that. Hey Alan should make a livejournal JUST so he can have Kool as his icon. It has to be animated, too. We went to watch him in an improv show. Now I am imagining Kool doing improv. Someone on the other side of the little theater shouted “Leeroy!” as a name choice… and as their leader guy was trying to begin the scene I said “AND HIS LAST NAME IS JENKINS!!!!” and I think the guy thought I was really weird and annoying so I didn’t shout anything after that. But Leeroy Jenkins ran into the revolving restaraunt with a huge two-handed sword and we were all very delighted. Well I guess I can only speak for myself. I tried explaining it afterward, but you really just have to watch the video yourself (my GOD, I can’t believe that website exists, I googled it just to find the place I viewed the video, which was warcraftmovies.com).

Today we showed Lisa a Mechanical Squirrel, Bokchoy’s horsie, a Lifelike Mechanical Toad, Savory Deviate Delight, and Noggenfogger Elixir. Lisa, you want to know all about pets? Bokchoy can tell you about pets. He is obsessed. If you’re an engineer, you can make and use stuff like Arcanite Mechanical Dragonling and Gnomish Battle Chicken (CHICKEN FURY!!!!!)… other than that there are little dragon pets, bunnies, cockroaches, kittens, parrots (I’ve GOT to get the hyacinth one… I’ve only ever seen one person with it!!!!), prarie dogs, owls, …. oh yeah, also, it’s this game, and you like, do quests and stuff. Yeah…

Ryan is arranging Chocolate by Snow Patrol. I like that song. You know how you can watch videos on the iTunes music store now? I watched a bunch of videos. Chocolate was one that made me like the song less, not more, though I actually don’t really like the song less. I only liked it less while I was watching the video. ? Another song whose video I feel similarly about is Scientist. Now, I love that song. It is so sad. But I didn’t expect the Coldplay guy to look like that. I expected him to A) be not so skinny and slouchy, B) have brown hair. Also I did not like the video. It’s not like I have extensive experience with music videos, either, so maybe I just don’t like the medium. I remember when I first heard about popular music that isn’t played on KOIT, I was at a friend’s house and they were watching CMC, with that fat annoying jockey who I never liked and who slurred all his words. He’s still on, I think. But anyway that always played right after school got out at 3pm, and I was at a friend’s house, and everyone was saying “Oh yeah this music video is sooo cool” and it was a girl group, I can’t remember which (allure?), and the video had people walking around and everyone once in a while everything on the screen would freeze and the singers would walk around among all the frozen stuff. So they had shots of people stepping in puddles and the water froze while splashing up… anyway I liked the visuals. Gimmicky, but I liked them. Ryan is listening to podcasts and I’m very bad at multitasking so it’s hard to type becuase I keep listening to it, I can’t hold a thought to spill out and anything else in my mind at the same time, which is why I’m so verbally (as in, talkingly) inarticulate, I can never get the words out of my mouth before they get garbled by interference from information coming from the outside world. I should close my eyes and ears whenever I try to talk.

This is how my thoughts blend together. Hopefully there’s a new version of semagic out that has tags implemented… aw, there isn’t. Sad