Stack up compared to what, you may ask. Stack up compared to Age of Conan, which I have decided to play for a month to give it a fair shot. And because I am desperate. Mr T stacks up pretty bloody badly, if you want to know. Mr T is the subject of a new 5 year anniversary Blizzard commercial, which has resulted in the Mr T mohawk hand grenade. You throw the grenade at a bunch of players and they all get a Mr T mohawk haircut. And night elf ears, but hey, it can’t be perfect, right? I mean, night elf ears on a Tauran are a small price to pay for this awesomeness, am i right am i right? Where do you get these Mr T grenades? Oh, just outside each factions starting zone.
So lets think about this for a second; you’re a brand new player to WoW, like I am to Age of Conan, you roll an orc warlock, because that’s what you want, something evil and bad and mean and fantasy for fucks sake, and you walk outside the orc starting zone and you bump into a Mr T night elf selling Mr T mohawk grenades …
It’s pretty ridiculous.
This is what it has come to. It began with the gnome flying mount helicopter, people got their knickers in a knot over that one. Then there was the chopper motor bike mount. We’ve got the murlock space marine pet, kung fu panda bears, and now this, freaking Mr T in game. There is an art to treading the line between fantasy and popular culture and I think that Blizzard has tripped over that line, rolled down a steep embankment and dropped over a cliff. And we’re the ones screaming all the way to the bottom.
And it has taken Age of Conan to bring this home for me. For all its faults, and there are lots, at the end of the day you’re not going to bump into a murlock toting a ray gun in this game. It is high fantasy as it was meant to be, gritty, dirty, grim seriousness and with lots of boobs. And that’s what fantasy fiction and role playing games have always been about and if you don’t belive me look at a Frank Frazetta art piece and tell me that I’m wrong. Don’t believe me?
I can post more of them if you want.
And this is the big thing that Age of Conan has going for it. It’s like a MMO that has been transcribed from a Frazetta art collection. It feels like fantasy. Is it for everyone? No, I’m sure that it’s not, in so much of the fact that original fantasy RPG’s, novels and art were not for the general population either. But that is what WoW is trying to do, fantasy role-playing for the general population, and to keep the general population interested you need to come out with things like ray guns and Mr T mohawks.
Not my game.