Controversy Monday – SWTOR free time, Ji Firepaw, and (much) more

Wow – and of course WoW – it’s been a busy weekend in the MMOsphere. Last week saw a cornucopia of new discussions and fast-moving news in the blogosphere, and over the weekend, nearly all of those topics have developed further.

So, if you want to know more about SWTOR’s “time for 50s” debacle, Big Bear Butt’s explicit denunciation of a griefer, the Ji Firepaw dialogue outcry, or more, read on!

Bioware and the “free time for level 50s” debacle

So, Bioware had a neat idea – given that their endgame has been roundly criticised so far, they decided to give month of free play time to players with endgame characters in SWTOR. And only those players.

That didn’t go so well.

Subsequently, they’ve rapidly reacted to the situation and extended the offer of free play time to sufficiently dedicated players without level 50s too.

  • Psynister, who was highly critical of the original decision, was overjoyed by Bioware’s changes“No longer are they rewarding players for things that are very open to interpretation and nearly immeasurable. Now they’re giving this reward to people who have achieved a specific thing within the game and taken into account the altoholic play style. “
  • And In An Age, noticing Bioware are looking for a marketing person, decided to offer some suggestions for avoiding repeat problems“Unfortunately, it also matters how you say things. And in this case, the implication is that even if a sub-50 player is included in the most valued category, you nevertheless are not “appreciating” their support and loyalty in the same way. “

Ji Firepaw

Over the last week, a character with some extremely sexist dialogue in the Mists of Pandaria beta, Ji Firepaw, aroused uproar and an almost immediate fix from Blizzard. Said fix, in fact, came so fast that we didn’t have time to report on the controversy before it was outdated.

However, over the weekend, discussions started from the initial Ji Firepaw situation have spawned a number of interesting or amusing follow-up posts:

  • Caer Morrighan writes an impassioned, well-argued piece about why she considered the Ji Firepaw issue significant and important“WoW is not real life. I could never ‘deal with’ Ji Firepaw. A sexist NPC is always a sexist NPC. I can’t do the in game equivalent of chasing him off. I am forced to be a passive recipient of his sexism if I want to play the game.”
  • Aldous the Boozekin feels that Blizzard betrayed the Pandaren free love ideals by not going the whole hog with their dialogue“Everybody loves to sleep with everybody! Men will compliment other men on their prowess because there is no jealousy! That is exactly how things would work in their society. I love the raw honesty Blizzard, it’s wonderful. But here’s what’s really bothering me. It just doesn’t seem… equal. “
  • And The Renassiance Man analyses the storytelling in Ji Firepaw’s character to explain just why Ji’s dialogue grated so badly“Some writers, either thinking they’re being slick and people won’t notice it, or amatuerish writers who are grasping at some flaw to add to a character, might tack on misogyny to a character who’s otherwise lacking a flaw.”

Griefing and name-and-shame

Big Bear Butt wrote a stormer of a post last week describing his encounter with an intentional griefer, which has attracted several follow-up posts:

  • BBB explains why, despite contact from the griefer’s former guild, he won’t be removing the name of that guild from his post, and asks for opinions on the topic – “I have always acted based on my own expectations. I expect that a guild leader should be held accountable for the behavior of their members, regardless of how long they were a member of the guild.”
  • Nashamere at Grin And Bear Tank It writes in support of BBB’s stance in an usual way – telling the story of when he himself griefed a raid“By the very definition, if someone that doesn’t hold the same standards of behavior or bear the same interest in the pursuits of his guild, the point of the guild is missed.”

What do you think? Was Ji Firepaw just bad writing? Did Bioware finally get it right? And should bloggers be free to name and shame guilds of griefers?