As anyone who’s been reading this blog realizes I’m an avid World of Warcraft player. I enjoy the game and the in-game socialization. It’s a chance to forget my real life and be something so different, so unlike myself that I can get away and just forget everything for a while. That’s the appeal.

However, since the new addition, “Cataclysm”, has come out I’ve notice a problem that irritates me to no end. I was first published when I was 14 years old in a magazine called “Zoot” like many other kids of the time. I have been writing since then and have enjoyed a fun career. I think I know my craft fairly well, not as well as I could which is why I’m back in school, but enough that I can appreciate it more fully. I love good writers and will read them for years to watch their craft develop and grow as they do. I can’t stand bad writers and wonder if book burning’s such a bad idea after all (it is. Please don’t send in a hundred comments about it).

Good writers work hard at their craft and try to maintain a healthy relationship with their publishers and editors. Bad writers are like runaway horses. They’re going to do and go where they want to so it’s just best to let them run themselves out until they get tired. Anne Rice is a great example of that.

However, as I say, I’ve been playing World of Warcraft and I love the game. While I was playing in the addition known as “Burning Crusades” I noticed the quality of writing was just a shade off from what it was in the original. It didn’t bother me much, just enough to notice. It was more apparent in “Lich King” where there was an angsty quality to the work. For example, King Arthas, who later becomes the Lich King, gets made fun of during the dungeon known as “The Purging of Stratholm” (I may have that name wrong, please let me know). In this dungeon the Lich King is still his human self, King Arthas and must face the dire choice of slaughtering some of his people to save them from a rampant plague that is turning them into zombies or undead. The script is supposed to feel dramatic and tense but comes off as laughable and clownish. This great king who later becomes something so completely evil and dark loves his people but faced a terrible choice. The writers mangled this piece so badly that it drones on and on forever (the long version goes for at least 5 to 10 minutes) and leaves the players bored silly. King Arthas sounds like nothing more than a snivelling whiner. Fail.

But that was only one piece and every writer has their bad days. However, where on earth the  editors  or production people were, I don’t have a clue. All I know is that crap got through. Okay. Moving on to Cataclysm.

The scripts in Cataclysm are so monumentally laughable or dull where they aren’t overblown with hormonal angst that it’s impossible to sit through them and not want to stick sharp pencils in your ears repeatedly. I can only imagine some lonely little emo boy and girl, probably around 15 years old, sitting around in a dark basement listening to whatever music they listen to while they dream up these scripts and submit them to Blizzard. There is not an original thought to the entire edition. I have noted rip-offs from “Lord of the Rings”, “Star Wars”, “Indiana Jones” and even one or two references to Mario Brothers among others. There is not an original story line in the entire thing. They steal Egyptian mythology wholesale then mangle it when Blizzard gives Egyptian gods like Osiris new names like “Orsis”. There is one part, that is unbelieveably nauseating. In order to enter the Twilight Highlands, there is a quest line that the player must complete that lasts approximately 15 minutes! This isn’t even a good 15 minutes. The whole thing should be cut to three minutes but Blizzard, for some unknown reason, felt that its players weren’t bored enough and had to sit through this travesty repeatedly (if you have more than one character). I have noted grammatical errors and spelling mistakes throughout the entire Cataclysm realm. It makes me wonder if “Orsis” isn’t just a misspelling of “Osiris”.

If I owned Blizzard and saw this junk I’d be embarrassed. The CEOs should seriously look at handing out some pink slips and bad references with this one. I wouldn’t even want my name associated with this. Seriously. They cannot come up with ONE original story line? They can’t fix their own grammatical and spelling mistakes (by the way, I’m a great lover of the passive voice, which I’m sure a few of you will note)? This looks like a high school project gone horribly, horribly wrong. In one zone, Deepholm, the horde is working for an alliance character who is a dwarf. Then when you get to Twilight Highlands you’re fighting that dwarf’s clan and no reason is given that I can see. Perhaps the orcs of the area don’t like them. I don’t know. I haven’t figured it out and I refuse to sit through that thing one more time.

Blizzard, take some advice, before you put out a single thing more give your writers some tests. Test one; did they have any part in writing anything in Cataclysm? If yes, they’re fired. Test two; do they understand basic spelling and grammar. No? Fired. Test three, do they have an original idea in their head? No? Fired. Last test; if they haven’t finished high school and are angsty little emos, FIRE THEM!!

I love World of Warcraft but the writing in it is just painful.

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