The Spin Machine

We’ve all seen the statistics on WHA, and whether they’re a biased sample or not, it’s still a concern. Other than scenarios, I can’t remember a single battle in RvR where the forces of Order were not outnumbered by the forces of Destruction. I’ll grant you that my experience has been limited to two different servers and only two weeks, but I’m a blogger and I’m allowed to make gross claims based on unfounded fears. I mean, that’s my job, right? (ZING! Take that, blogosphere.)

The reason as to why this is the case is a job for magic guesswork, because who can really know? Some have suggested that Mythic’s earlier marketing tactic of showing Destruction (the invaders in this story) to be an unstoppable, super juggernaut . Remember that first video where everybody Order got their asses kicked by Destruction? How about interviews with Paul Barnett where he’s talked down on Order (i.e. almost every interview with Paul Barnett). They probably didn’t mean to, but I can see how this could have impacted the general perspective on Order. Not everybody wants to play the underdog; many of us feel that we play that in day-to-day life anyway.

There is also that weird trend for people to shun nampy-pampy good guys in favor of the awesome and intriguing bad guys. And you know what? It *is* weird. Let’s face it. No, no, don’t look all offended or posh. It is the case that getting into a bad guy is weird. If you had the power of your character, would you *really* use it to torture somebody? To kill innocent people? To fight purely for the sake of fighting? If you are nodding emphatically with a smirk on your face, then one of two things is true:

1. You are not a nice person.

2. You aren’t taking my experiment srsly.

Please, take my experiment srsly for a moment. I know this is a game, and just because you play a bad guy that doesn’t *really* mean you are a bad guy IRL (I hope), but WTF is up with bad guys > good guys? If you had to choose between saving people and hurting people, which would you do? I hope, for the sake of you and yours, that you would opt to be a hero over a villain. I don’t care how awesome any bad guy is; he will never be as awesome as Peter Parker. Remember Magneto? He was awesome because he wasn’t always a bad guy. He had stints as a good guy. He was also motivated to do things that were “bad”. Motivated as a conflicted (and angry) freedom fighter.

In WAR, Destruction is not fighting for freedom. They are fighting for conquest. I tried a few characters – one from each Destro faction – to see what the general feel of the quests were like. Here are my one-sentence impressions:

Dark Elves- We are the evilly evil evil-ones who revel and even bathe in evil, sweat evil, eat and drink evil, and at the end of the day we really enjoy resting our evil feet atop slaves as we watch evil television.

Chaos – We are the evilly evil evil-ones who totally get down with evil beer and evil shenanigans; we are also huge and crazy, and we hate all things that live.

Greenskins – Actually, you know what? I dig these guys. These guys have motivation, in that they are walking intelligent fungus that wants to pound on things that walk, including themselves. They have a fine bad guy story that I couldn’t get into because I tried a squig herder and at very early levels it reminded me too much of a WoW hunter for me to get into it. I’m sure it’s really awesome, and I apologize for failing as a beta tester in this regard.

And now, let me do the same thing for Order, taking into light all of the points I have made thus far:

Empire – We’re screwed, but we have hammers and fire; Sigmar protects, bitches. Did I mention that we have hammers? We are fighting for freedom.

High Elves – We are likely screwed, but even in the face of utter annihilation we at worst will atone for our mistakes, and at best evolve and overcome; we are the very definition of grace and power, and unlike our evil cousins we don’t waste our time with television. We are fighting for freedom.

Dwarves – We’re gonnah kick the ever-livin crap out of every last one of ye little slobbering, dredge-slurpin, cattle-brained snotbahgs if its the last thing we do; because when it comes down to kickin the ever-livin crap out of anything, nobody does it better than we do. Just ask our sissy elf “allies”. We are fightin fer freedom!

See how easy it is to put a spin on things? Mythic seems to be doing the same thing, recently. They’ve got two new videos, one we’ve all seen (the really cool new trailer) and one that I just saw this morning (regarding the Forces of Order). In this videos, Order is still getting beat, but they no longer look helpless: they look awesome. In fact, the Shadow Warrior and Engineer look super bad-ass. You might be wondering what my point is for today’s post. Well, here it is: if you are in love with the idea of a Destruction toon, then hey – rock out, man. Far be it from me to deny you whatever fun you might get out of that. But if you are deciding, or if your decision rides on friends, than it’s time for you to take a stand for Order. Why? Because Order is awesome. And if you don’t, we’ll just be more outnumbered and then nobody will have fun. (If you constantly steamroll Order’s forces, Order players will either quit or convert, and how fun will the game be if there’s nobody to fight against anymore?) And also, the underdogs are freakin great. Because steamrolling when you outnumber somebody 3:1 is cool, but taking down a horde when you are outnumbered 1:3 is the kind of thing you find yourself telling co-workers and friends about the next day. Even ones that don’t play.

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~ by thade on August 25, 2008.

10 Responses to “The Spin Machine”

  1. I agree. I was originally going to roll destruction, but after doing the quests in the preview weekend, I really couldn’t get into it because I would probably be a badass engineer if it were real =D. That new video for order is awsome, but I think it would have been even better if Patrick Stewart was the guy talking lol.

  2. Nice post!

  3. @ Raf: That is a fact. Patrick Stewart makes everything more epic and awesome.

    @ Arby: Thank you very much =)

  4. I only have one thing to say. Get out of my head, please! :)

  5. @Cedia: NEVAR! Srly, I have a new couch being delivered to your face today. Please don’t hold your mouth closed again, that was really annoying last time when those guys were trying to move my wardrobe in.

  6. […] as Archmagery pointed out earlier today, a lot of Destruction’s popularity can be laid at the feet of Mythic themselves. Like the […]

  7. If there were a guild named either “Sigmar protects, bitches.” or “we have hammers and fire” I’d join immediately.

  8. On Topic…. Quality post my friend. Unfortunately we will have to wait and see how things pan out in the game. Hopefully everything starts leveling out in the Open Beta, but honestly I have my doubts. In any case, I’ll still be standing between you and the hordes of chaos, axe in hand, wild hair flying.

    Off Topic…. no matter how much you practice Mario Kart I will still own you in that game. except when the computer decides to continually blue shell me at the finish line at the last second. :)

  9. Uhhh… Bad guys rarely > Good guys, mostly because people have trouble breaking out of the “I MUST BE A GOOD GUY” mindset or because good guys are prettier… Honestly, you seem to be occupying that camp yourself. There are whole host of reasons to go bad instead of good.

    1) Roleplay
    2) CHALLENGING roleplay. Creating a very human, well-rounded character who just happens to be mindnumbingly evil is not an easy thing to do.
    3) Aesthetics
    4) Apathy. Some people don’t care that much about the story and just pick the side that suits them.

    Hoenstly, I find it very hard to believe that you truly and genuinely cannot understand why people would prefer to play the baddies in this particular scenario. You’re also kind of crossing an In Game/Out of Game with your reasoning, and have neglected to factor in the fact that many WoW players are coming over to WAR looking for a change of pace, and many of those players are Alliance who would like to take a crack at NOT being the good guys.

  10. @ghost. All valid points. Perhaps you missed the entire point of my article, in which I was in fact trying to *be* a “spin machine”.

    <3

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