Episode #24 – “A Very Justice Points Winter’s Veil”

Episode #24 – “A Very Justice Points Winter’s Veil”

Dec 24

Our twenty-fourth episode features Tzufit and Apple Cider  talking to Sassycat of Avenger of Hyjal about Beyonce as well as the best and worst of the World of Warcraft this year.

Have really awesome and happy holidays!

Clip is courtesy of Beyonce’s “Flawless” from her album, Beyoncé, and is an excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDxEuston talk, “We Should All Be Feminists.

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Below the cut is a full transcript of Episode 24, “A Very Justice Points Winter’s Veil.”

Apple Cider Mage: Welcome back to Justice Points and we are so excited, as we are every week, because that seems to be my thing. So excited. It is the Justice Points Very Winter’s Veil, Very Christmas, Very Holiday episode. We have such a great show for you guys this week. We’re recording live. So for all of our viewers in the chatroom on Twitch, for all the people that are going to be listening to the podcast, such great holidays for you guys. This week, for our holiday episode, we have brought a guest on to our show. She is known as the eighth wonder of the world. Our number 1 fan listener. A guildmate, a confidant, one of my best friends. Do you want to introduce yourself?

Bee: Sorry, I was too busy blushing. My name is Bee, but you can call me Sassycat. My twitter account is @sassycat_aoh because my blog is AvengerofHyjal.com. I don’t know. I’m here to talk about stuff and Beyoncé. Not really Beyoncé. I wish.

Apple Cider Mage: We’re going to be starting a podcast called Justice Beyoncé very soon, so everybody should look out for that, actually.

Tzufit: I think it’s pretty much just going to be us listening to Beyoncé.

Apple Cider Mage: As everybody should, really, at this point because if you don’t listen to Beyoncé, I think you should. I think it would be invaluable for everybody to do so.

Tzufit: So Bee, a couple questions for you. I know you are relatively new to the WoW blogging thing. So what made you want to start writing about WoW?

Bee: I have a big mouth. I’ve just always had a lot of WoW opinions but I never got around to having a blog because I was like – I wouldn’t have enough to say consistently. But I realize that’s actually the opposite because I will yell about anything.

Tzufit: So I know so far you’ve written a post about being a feminist and playing WoW. You’ve done a guide about mount farming in Cataclysm. Any general ideas for what kind of content we’ll probably see from you in the future?

Bee: Definitely a lot of more fan fiction stuff, which sounds kind of really nerdy. But that’s kind of where my heart is – sort of like linking stuff that I know of real life history to stuff in WoW. Right now I’m working on a piece about – you know on the goblin zeppelins that there’s a female goblin who’s like powering it and she’s on a bike?

Tzufit: Yes.

Bee: Ok. So I’m writing a story basically conflating that with a real squadron of all-female pilots in Russia called the Night Witches.

Apple Cider Mage: Yes! The Night Witches. So amazing.

Tzufit: Oh wow.

Bee: Yeah. So basically it’s going to be like all of the zeppelin operators are women. It’s an entire squadron and just everything they have to deal with because it’s going to take place in early Cataclysm, when they took over Twilight Highlands. At that point you already know Garrosh is not that great of a guy. Everybody’s just kind of giving him side eye and saying, “Ok. If you say so, Warchief.” So it’s just going to be at that point where they’re sort of navigating things where people aren’t outwardly criticizing him yet.

Tzufit: Yeah. And it sounds like, just from some of the things that I’ve seen you say on Twitter, that – we talked about our head canon a couple of shows ago – it sounds like you have a lot of head canon when it comes to goblins and especially lady goblins.

Bee: Yeah. One thing that kind of really bothered me was that the starting story – I mean I play on an RP server, so obviously I think about this stuff. The starting zone for goblins really sort of pigeonholed you into who your character is, where they come from, and there’s no room to experiment, no room to say “What really are your motivations?” Can you really play a truly mercenary character? I can’t.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Bee: I’m one of those people, when I play RPGs I try really hard to be evil but I can’t.

Apple Cider Mage: It’s hard. Because they seem to swing the morals between like – for a pretty ambiguous game when it comes to the factions in general, Blizzard likes to swing the player characters between saving babies and ripping out people’s hearts basically.

Tzufit: Right. Yeah, there’s not a lot of moral grey area.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. We definitely notice that because – for any of our listeners who pay attention to our Twitter – we have been playing goblins a little bit as well and noticed basically the same thing about the goblin starting zone in general with regard to morals and determining the player character’s story in a way that they really haven’t done in the game.

Tzufit: No, and in a way that seems kind of silly because the trouble with WoW is everybody has exactly the same starting experience, as long as you’re playing the same race. It’s really silly to have hundreds of thousands of player character goblins who apparently were all the right-hand of the Trade Prince before he blackmailed them. It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.

Bee: I mean that’s also kind of my problem with Cataclysm in general. A lot of stuff doesn’t make sense. I’m also kind of working on this idea. I just quested through Silverpine and there’s so much stuff in it that just doesn’t make any sense. Why does Sylvanas summon Garrosh to tell him that she’s raising dead bodies? Why does she do that? I’m pretty sure she’s smart enough to have the foresight to know that that’s not going to go well.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Tzufit: Yeah, and it doesn’t seem like – because the only other way I can really interpret it is Sylvanas very much being in Garrosh’s face and kind of a power play of saying, “Look. This is what I have on my side right now.” But that’s not really a typical Sylvanas move.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. She’s a lot more underhanded and likes to put on a front that she doesn’t know what’s going on and then kind of keeps her cards very close to her chest, as it were.

Tzufit: Right.

Apple Cider Mage: I mean if you want to be completely cynical, you could say that they just telescoped it in just so they could have Garrosh call her a [edited]. But that’s extremely cynical and depressing.

Tzufit: Ok. So one of the things we’re going to do today, since it is our holiday wrap up show, is we’re going to talk about some of our favorite and least favorite moments from WoW this year. So Bee, since you’re our guest, we’re going to let you go first and we’ll start with the positives. So Bee, what are some of your favorite things that happened in WoW this year, whether that’s stuff that personally happened or things that changed in the game, announcements you heard, any of that?

Bee: Oh my gosh. This is actually really difficult because I’m super grouchy.

Apple Cider Mage: Do you want to start with the negatives first and then work to positives?

Bee: Ok. Well the best thing that definitely happened to me – wow this is terrible – besides, you know, friendship stuff was finishing Relic Hunter. I really thought that was, for me, the best part of Mists was just finding stuff in rivers. I love free stuff so it felt like Costco samples, like going to Costco and just getting a lot of salsa samples and then eating instead of actually buying lunch.

Apple Cider Mage: Except it was BoA stuff for all of your alts.

Bee: Yeah, but then I felt bad because after a point I got so compulsive about collecting everything that even things I didn’t need after I had the title, because you don’t have to loot all of the stuff to get it. But I ended up finding everything anyways just so I could know that I did it.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Bee: So there’s several poor souls out there who were still trying to work on Relic Hunter and they’ll never get it because of me.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah Bee. I don’t know anybody like that at all whatsoever.

Tzufit: Alright, so I’m totally not an achievement person. Maybe there are some other people out there like that to. Relic Hunter – that’s the one where you sort of find random items that sometimes are just like leaning up against a wall in Pandaria. Is that right?

Bee: Yeah. It’s like weapons or I think there’s recipes. There’s the one that turns you into a hozen.

Tzufit: Oh, Ok.

Apple Cider Mage: They put a lot of stuff into the game into Pandaria for you to find. There’s 2 separate ones. There’s Riches of Pandaria, which are like all of the grey items that give you money and those are always there, but only 1 per character, whereas the [Relic Hunter] are rare spawned items. So if somebody gets it – basically like Bee said – if somebody gets there before you did, you’ve got to wait on a timer. So it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll get it, which is why Relic Hunter is so hard.

Tzufit: Ok. Well Apple Cider, how about you? What are some of your favorite moments from this year in WoW?

Apple Cider Mage: That’s such a hard decision because there were so many things that were good and bad about WoW this year. Flex raiding. I actually really enjoyed just even the concept of it because I think one of the negative things about this year that kind of feed into a positive is that I think I’m done for the most part doing hardcore progression raiding forever. I’ve finally gotten to the point in my WoW career where progression raiding is a goal and flex raiding is really fun and really easy for me to be able to just do it and have fun with my pals. I think that’s overall a trend that I actually have really enjoyed and really am happy to see going forward into Warlords of Draenor is that they really want you to just play with your friends. They really want you to be able to do everything with your friends. As somebody who’s in a guild that is comprised entirely of friends in that we really just want to do things as pals and just pal around and do fun stuff and get cool transmog and all that, I am completely down for anything that they want to do that’s flexible and cross realm because I have a lot of friends in a lot of places. That was a positive for me this year. Tzufit?

Tzufit: Flex is definitely a big one for me too, both because it means I can raid with my friends and because it means that my guild was able to start really opening up to doing large 25 Flexes again with everybody who wanted to participate and that we could do that because we really can’t field a group of 25 people who quite have the skill level to pull off normals. But we can do flex. So that’s cool that more people got to participate in raiding again this year. My raid team had a good year – my normal 10m team had a really good year in raiding. I was happy with our progression. I guess the other big one for me, which is a more recent one, is having cross realm heirlooms is definitely cool.

Apple Cider Mage: Oh yeah.

Tzufit: Yeah. Being able to kind of go where I want and have alts on servers where friends are is definitely a big thing. The cynical side of me says, well they really had to do that at this point if they want us to have anything to do between now and when Warlords comes out. But it definitely is a positive change and a change that took way too long to implement.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Tzufit: But I’m certainly glad it’s there. So those were probably the big ones for me.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. From a story aspect, I’d also want to say Isle of Thunder. I know a lot of people really didn’t like Isle of Thunder, but I really liked how they have been rolling out story patches and content patches really fast. The story of Isle of Thunder wasn’t that spectacular, but the fact that we actually got to see Jaina in a combat role when we really do not see women in combat roles – Jaina and Vereesa. We do not see that at all. That is not a thing that has really occurred in World of Warcraft. So Jaina leading a front, a military action herself is so off the charts amazing. That’s another positive from last year.

Tzufit: I would definitely add Taoshi to that list too, since she was really instrumental in Isle of Thunder. Again, just 3 really amazing women characters in Isle of Thunder. That was-

Apple Cider Mage: Let’s not forget Yalia as well.

Tzufit: Oh yeah, absolutely. Really, as we’ve discussed before, that’s the cool thing about when you get the Shado-Pan involved in the mix, that there’s a lot of really interesting, really powerful women who are a part of the Shado-Pan. Any stories that factor them in heavily are going to have a higher chance that we’re going to get some good stories about women characters. So that was definitely cool with Isle of Thunder. I think, of the story patches that were introduced, that was probably my favorite, the most interesting. What I was going to say before too is that of the raids, Siege of Orgrimmar is a really, really fun raid. It’s, I think, one of my favorite raids in a long time. I definitely liked it best in terms of the mechanics of all of the Pandaria raids. So that was a nice kind of Christmas present, I guess, from Blizzard was getting to do Siege of Orgrimmar with my guild because I really enjoyed pretty much all the fights.

Apple Cider Mage: Bee, do you have other positive moments from this year?

Bee: Oh yeah, definitely. I like Siege of Orgrimmar a lot. I can’t remember the last time I was so happy to do a fight. I really like Spoils of Pandaria and Garrosh is actually really fun too. I’ve been so grouchy about raid mechanics that to finally get one where I actually really liked it made me feel like I was an excited teenager again almost.

Tzufit: Yeah, Spoils is a really fun fight. It’s very unique, very different.

Apple Cider Mage: It felt like a return to the raiding where your class utility mattered to some degree, and those are always my favorite fights because – like I was a mage tank in BC. I mage tanked Gruul’s Lair stuff. So the idea of being a mage and running around and spellstealing, interrupting, and blinking around and doing fun stuff like that, that is way more fun than kicking turtles.

Tzufit: Yeah, and Spoils was also nice – and this was true with a couple of fights in Siege – where you really can do the fights several different ways depending on what you need to do for your group to make it feasible. That’s why Spoils is really cool because if you can open 5-6 boxes at once and your team can handle that, then go for it. And if you can’t then you can open a little bit slower as long as you don’t run into the enrage timer. It’s a good balance.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Tzufit: Do we have any other positives, either from chat or from anybody else before we hop into our negatives? We’ll give it a few seconds to see if chat has any responses.

Apple Cider Mage: I don’t know. I know that we’re going to talk about a lot of stuff that are negatives, but overall – I know it’s not necessarily just the last year – but Mists of Pandaria, I felt, was a really good expansion. I was really happy with Mists of Pandaria as an expansion. We got transmog. We got pet battles. We got a really amazing continent. We got really cool characters. We got – I felt like Mists of Pandaria was an immersive world. I’m a person that generally liked Burning Crusade as well for that reason. But Mists of Pandaria just brought a lot of life changes. It brought a lot of cool characters. It brought a lot of really cool environmental surroundings and art assets that are really off the wall. I think, honestly, that’s the biggest positive is just the expansion in general being so thoughtful and well put together in a lot of ways, I think.

Tzufit: Yeah. I mean Pandaria is beautiful. There’s no way around it. It’s just an absolutely beautiful environment and that alone was a pretty – it was nice to spend time there every day.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Bee: I think also the parts that I didn’t like, a lot of it was like growing pain stuff. It was experimental. I like that they’re willing to do that and if they see something isn’t good, they’ll change it.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. I feel like Blizzard has gotten a lot better about handling feedback for some things – for some things.

Bee: Yeah, but also for me it’s like too many dailies and now it’s like no dailies at all. Then I’m confused because I don’t know what to do with my time now.

Apple Cider Mage: From a Blizzard standpoint too, I honestly feel like they stepped their game up in terms of community outreach as well. I feel like we can actually talk to Blizzard on a regular basis now, and I think a lot of that did have to do with Ghostcrawler as well as the kind of like regime change with some of their community team as well.

Tzufit: Yeah. This definitely was a year for interaction with the developers, especially via social media. For someone like me, I really appreciate that because in the past a lot of the interaction that you could have with the Blizzard team was primarily only through the official forums. And I really don’t do the official forums if I can help it.

Apple Cider Mage: Nope.

Tzufit: You know, because it’s just – it’s a different kind of environment. It’s one I’m not really comfortable in. I really appreciate that they’re willing to branch out to a media that they have less control over at the end of the day, like Twitter, where some people – like me and like you – who don’t really spend a lot of time on the official forums can have that interaction with Blizzard’s teams.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. Point of reference, Bashiok came to my Twitch channel the other night while I was streaming and made fun of me. So that’s really all I can hope for. I think they also really did a really, really amazing job – and I’m very biased in this regard – they did an amazing job opening up to fan sites. In the past, you did not get an interview unless you were WoWhead, WoW Insider, MMO Champion – not really. But you really just didn’t get interviews at all. The fact that podcasts, You Tube, streamers, bloggers get to have interviews and kind of get kept a little bit more in the loop now. That’s really a big deal as well because I think it fosters a much better sense of community and that you’re on the inner loop, as it were.

Tzufit: Yeah. We did get a couple responses here in chat from things that people were happy about: pet battles – Liopleurodon says that, unsurprisingly. Juvemillano says that they really liked looking at the graphic upgrades. That’s a really good point. I still am amazed by new water, when I look at water. I’m still amazed at Pandaria’s weather when I look at that and the clouds. I was on one of my serpent dragon mounts the other day and I was just sitting there watching the smoke come out of his nostrils like, “This is amazing.”

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. I feel bad for people that have slightly older computers. It’s going to start to get a lot harder to maintain that, as it were. But Warlords is going to look unbelievable for that reason.

Bee: Yeah. I can’t think about it too much because I’ll get overexcited.

Apple Cider Mage: What? You excited? I’m so surprised.

Tzufit: I mean there was a lot of snow in that trailer that they showed at Blizzcon, and I really can’t wait to see snow on Draenor.

Apple Cider Mage: Oh my god, yes. Draenei in snow and beautifulness and – I’m getting verklempt.

Bee: Don’t cry! Don’t cry!

Apple Cider Mage: It’s so beautiful I can’t help it.

Tzufit: We can talk about some of our favorite moments from Blizzcon as well.

Apple Cider Mage: Ah yes. Yes. We should probably do that because that is also included in the year that was World of Warcraft as well. I’m going to let you guys go first because I have a buttload of stuff that I want to talk about. So you guys go ahead.

Tzufit: Alright, Bee. You go ahead first.

Bee: I know there was a woman who came up during the panel and was like, “When are you going to expand your friend slots on Battle.net?” And they were like, “You have over 100 friends?” She was like, “Yes, I do. I do PUG raids,” whatever. Somebody in the background was cheering and then I was watching it with guildmates and I was like, “That’s Apple Cider Mage.! I bet it is.” It totally was.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah, it was.

Tzufit: Of course it was. I think one of my favorite moments from Blizzcon was seeing the reveal of the new character models – the ones we got to see there. I’m so excited for all of those. I’m really pretty happy with everything we’ve seen so far. So I can’t wait.

Apple Cider Mage: I am so mad that I missed that panel because of how many tweets I got about the gnome models. My phone was blowing up as I’m at lunch and I’m trying to ignore it because I’m out with my friends and we’re trying to have a conversation. My phone’s just like going “bing bing bing bing.” It was an amazing convention. I am really glad that I got to go this year by basically the skin of my teeth. It was a pretty heavy financial imposition, but I got to go on a really amazing trip. I got to hang out with WoW Insider people that I don’t get to see or haven’t met in real life before. I got to meet Craig Amai, who was the Ji Firepaw guy. That’s still mind-blowing to me that he was like, “Oh. I’m the Ji Firepaw guy,” and I’m like, “Oh. I’m the lady that criticized it on the forums.” He’s like, “Yeah. You know, that’s so crazy and that’s so great though because it made me think so differently about the character.” I’m like, “Aaah!” Just freaking out.

Tzufit: Which actually is another – my favorite story part of the year is seeing the reconciliation between Aysa and Ji in Siege of Orgrimmar.

Bee: Oh god.

Tzufit: I’m sorry, Bee. I hesitated to even bring it up because your feelings are just like-

Bee: I’m already on edge. You just can’t bring up the turtle.

Apple Cider Mage: It’s so beautiful.

Tzufit: Ji and Aysa on the turtle forever.

Apple Cider Mage: Aw! I made sure to tell him that – that that would be – I told him and Dave Kosak that that should be a thing. So I made sure that the right people knew how the community feels about that. I’m pretty stoked. Also, meeting Helen Cheng also a big deal because she’s an amazing, phenomenal woman. We had her on the podcast and I thought she was already like amazing. Then meeting her in person where you could just see her energy and her wit. She’s a very [edited] hilarious woman. She’s great and I love her and I think she is far and away a huge asset to Blizzard. Blizzard has an amazing woman working for them. By the way, also Nethera – also a really amazing person working at Blizzard as well. Getting to meet her – though I met her before. I met her at Blizzcon 2011, but getting to meet her again and getting to really get to talk to her and have her know who I was and vice versa and things like that was a really big deal. Just getting to hang out with people was a highlight of my year because I think as much as sometimes I feel like it’s a negative, getting so see all my friends that I met through WoW is such a big deal because that’s one of the reasons why I like blogging and why I like doing podcasting is getting to see all these cool people that I get to interact with and that talk to me and getting to talk stuff. Eventually I’ll get to meet Tzufit in real life. Eventually that’ll happen and then the universe will implode and all that.

Bee: Yeah, I’m super excited because we’re moving out to southern California in a couple of months. So that means I can invite everybody to my house and we can all just cry together. It’s a lot of crying.

Apple Cider Mage: We’ll all still fly out to southern California for Blizzcon, except we’ll all just sit in Bee’s house and watch it on TV.

Tzufit: There you go.

Bee: And just hold hands and sob.

Apple Cider Mage: It’ll be so glorious. Can we do a pajama party? We have to do a pajama party.

Bee: Yeah. I can buy some old Caboodles off e-Bay and then we can get like a Girl Talk board game.

Tzufit: This sounds like a Blizzcon I could be a part of.

Apple Cider Mage: Absolutely. I am so there. I am so ready for this.

Bee: And we can crimp each other’s hair. Sorry, I’m getting-

[laughter]

Tzufit: Ok. So speaking of tears, now we have to move into some of our least favorite things that happened in WoW this year. Bee, I’ll throw that to you again.

Bee: Ok. I did not like the way the legendary questline worked out. I got my rogue daggers in Cataclysm and that was like a really magical experience for me. This idea that all of my friends were working with me to help me get this and then also doing the scenarios, which really boosted my confidence as a player. I don’t know if it’s now because I’m playing a death knight that everything’s easier, but the challenges midway through the quest didn’t seem that hard to me. For me it felt more like an obligation. I had to class change at the beginning of the expansion just for raid mechanic stuff and it was – it just really felt more of a drain. I had to do LFR because I was behind, so I wasn’t getting everything through the normals that we were doing and I just didn’t – it felt like it took the magic out of it.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Tzufit: Yeah. I know this is kind of a perilous topic because people have very strong feelings on either side of the legendary thing. Bee, my feelings are pretty identical to yours. I think that regardless of where you fall on the legendary thing, I think most of us can agree that having to run the same thing repeatedly to get a bunch of whatever the item is that needs to drop for that stage of the quest, it gets pretty boring. I understand why there needs to be a time sink element to it because they don’t want it to be something you can just kind of brute force. But there really – I wish they could find another way to do it, because it really is not interesting the way that it’s been working out.

Bee: Yeah. I was in LFR last night on an alt and somebody was talking about how they’re working on their fifth cape. I was like oh my god.

Apple Cider Mage: What?

Tzufit: Oh my god.

Apple Cider Mage: What?

Bee: And then all these other people were like, “Oh yeah, I’m on my fourth,” and my head exploded.

Tzufit: Yeah, bless their hearts.

Apple Cider Mage: Oh my god. No way.

Bee: The other big heartbreak for me was Ghostcrawler. I didn’t know that I was so attached to him, but apparently I was.

Tzufit: Yeah.

Bee: I feel like my parents got divorced.

Apple Cider Mage: Seriously. So a little bit of background is that sometimes in Northrend Commonwealth, which is my guild, we like to joke about how some of the Blizzard employees are like family members. Ion H—- is kind of like an uncle. To some degree he’s very patient. He seems very kind and he’ll tell you kind of weird stories. But Ghostcrawler definitely felt like a dad in a lot of ways as well. So yeah, I’m really sad he’s gone and Blizzard has lost a very awesome guy in the process.

Tzufit: Bee, do you have any other least favorites you want to talk about?

Bee: [sigh] Ok. I like the women of the Shado-Pan a lot. I really identified with doing the quests in Isle of Thunder where basically you’re helping her and she’s impatient with Taran Zhu. I’ve always had a bee in my bonnet from the second we stepped on to the continent because you’re doing all these quests to fix Pandaria’s problems basically, and some of them aren’t really Sha-related, but things are kind of pretty messed up anyway from my point of view. But then Taran Zhu is still like fussing at you, telling you it’s all your fault. But there’s things like – there’s women that aren’t allowed to fight for whatever reason. I guess sexism. Then you have to help this couple so they can – their parents will allow them to get married when she’s a grown ass woman. She can marry who she wants. All of the problems here are just our fault. But I felt also that – I felt pretty vindicated when the Sha of pride was revealed.

Tzufit: Alright, Apple. How about you?

Apple Cider Mage: Short list – #1, “boys’ trip.”

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider Mage: #2, all the shit that happened at Blizzcon, which is under the heading of boys’ trip. #3, the [edited] Klaxxi. I started out this expansion loving the Klaxxi and the more that I thought about and the more that I thought about it, the Empress completely got [edited] over. She got [edited] over hardcore and it makes me really angry. #4 – Golden Lotus. [Edited] the Golden Lotus.

Bee: Oh god. We don’t even think about the Golden Lotus anymore.

Apple Cider Mage: No. We don’t talk about it because you started out the expansion with so much vigor and energy and momentum. The fact that every 90 had to just do all this incredible rep grinding daily nonsense, it made me so angry even as somebody who has “the Insane” title. I am not somebody who shies away from rep grinds, and all of the rep grinds that were tied to dailies, because I hate dailies a lot. The fact that we did it basically meant that I didn’t want to touch any of my 90s once they got to the end, even with the easing up on it. I don’t like doing stuff on my 90s anymore.

Tzufit: I actually felt similarly when it came to crafting because there’s just a lot of – obviously with the Spirits of Harmony and just how – like right now I’m so frustrated because my main has stacks and stacks of them and it’s not so much that I can’t go to my farm on my alts and get what I need. It’s the frustration of having these stacks of them on my main and having nothing that I can do with them. I can trade them in for other crafting items, but I can’t actually use the Spirits of Harmony themselves for the recipes that my alts need. That’s been pretty frustrating for me too.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. They haven’t done a lot of late expansion easing up stuff that they did in Wrath, in Cata, in Burning Crusade.

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider Mage: I remember in Burning Crusade the moment that they said that you didn’t have to run crafters through dungeons to get the primal anymore, everybody was like, “Thank god.”

Tzufit: Yeah. So I’m going to read a couple of the responses we got from chat before I go into my least favorites. From Juvemillano we have “At the start of Mists, the whole pandas were copying Kung Fu Panda thing,” which was pretty obnoxious for a while there. They also agreed that the legendary questline was kind of closer to the questline for the Quel’delar weapon in Wrath. Boddi says The Throne of Thunder and Mogushan Vaults were 2 of his least favorite. Then Rho says the least favorite part for him this year was 5.3. He felt “the story was at its most flat at that point than any other during Mists.” I tend to agree. 5.3 was the Battlefield: Barrens stuff, which was just kind of boring in every possible way.

Apple Cider Mage: It’s supposed to be a lead up to the big conflict that Chris Metzen talked about at Blizzcon 2011. The big fight – we take it to Orgrimmar, right to the doorstep. And Battlefield: Barrens is the big like ramp up to that when you’ve had things like the Wrath pre-expansion ramp up? How does that even compare? It’s not even a thing.

Tzufit: Well even compared to the other stuff in Mists of Pandaria it just fell very flat, to Rho’s point. It had none of the storytelling that the Isle of Thunder had. It didn’t even have any of the storytelling that the Dominance Offensive and I forget what the Alliance – Operation Shieldwall. Even those 2 had much more of a story behind them than Battlefield: Barrens, which just felt like here’s an excuse to send you guys to the barrens to grind [edited] a couple hours a week.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. I did it once to get a couple of things and then I just didn’t do it after that.

Tzufit: It was also pretty brutal on an undergeared alt. Having gone out there a couple times on relatively fresh 90s, it was not something you really wanted – because you could pull larger packs if you had decent gear and it wasn’t the end of the world. But you really couldn’t do that with an undergeared alt and so it ended up taking you forever.

Apple Cider Mage: I feel like Battlefield: Barrens was really improved upon when they brought out Timeless Isle in terms of that whole thing, because you could just send your new characters all this gear, all the epics.

Tzufit: Yeah. Well that brings me to my personal low point, I guess, which is just that I’ve always been a player who really loves alting, especially toward the end of an expansion. And Pandaria really kind of sapped my love of alting, which I think is true for a lot of people. It just was not an alt-friendly expansion even with – Timeless Isle was kind of like too little too late, you know? It’s already been a year since the last time I was really into those characters. So now trying to get back into them, I just don’t have a lot of interest in it even though you’re handing me free 496s.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. All of my characters have all that gear now, but I just have no interest in playing them because what’s really to do at endgame that I can’t just do on my main? I am not into LFR anymore and I should be. But then I’m like, “What’s the point?” I don’t raid on any of these characters. I can do pet battles on my main. I can do literally everything on my main. So I’m going to do that and it sucks because I really do like playing different classes. I like leveling up and then as soon as they get to 90 it’s like I have 6 90s but I do nothing on them other than blow profession cooldowns.

Tzufit: Yeah, and that’s pretty much where I am too because I don’t do LFR. So I can get them up to 496. I can maybe get them a little higher with some of the VP gear that you can get, like the 522s. But at the end of the day, I’m really only raiding on my main character and maybe my second monk occasionally when I need to. There’s a positive that I forgot to mention is the monk class being the most amazing, awesome, perfect class in the whole game. Of course, the other major negative for me, as you already mentioned Apple Cider, is definitely “boys’ club” and kind of all the fallout from that.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Bee: Yeah. Ok. I don’t expect Chris Metzen to say anything different, but I was just really disappointed at people’s reactions to it. That was kind of really upsetting. Women are complaining and then your first reaction is “stop bitching.” Come on.

Apple Cider Mage: I felt like the boys’ trip thing was on the level with “Hush, Tyrande” in that it was so blatant and so out there and so indicative of a particular kind of ignorant world view, that I was like “How can you disagree with that? How is that a thing that is not evident to everybody?” But, you know.

Bee: Yeah. And that’s kind of the thing that bothers me the most. So much off the cuff sexism. There was a lot of really weird stuff in Pandaria also, like when you’re doing the Golden Lotus quest and the guy tells his underlings to have their way with you, the prisoner.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah.

Bee: Just between that and then I don’t remember which panel it was but Dave Kosak was on and it was when he was using “savages” a lot. In the space of like 3 minutes he used all these really euphemistic terms for rape. I was like, “Wow. That’s how that guy speaks casually.” Suddenly a lot of things in Warcraft make sense.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. It’s still kind of dismaying that it feels like there’s a lot of people at the helm that are part of a kind of like – I hate to be kind of euphemistic – but kind of like a bro club, bro culture. That seems to be – that got talked about a lot in particular with the tech world, and it didn’t get touched as much upon in the gaming world, despite the fact that that is gaming 101 is a kind of very gatekept bro culture. The fact that Blizzard is part of that is very dismaying. I mean look at the mogu twins. Look at the mogu in general. Look at boys’ club. Look at savages, which also on the other hand is racist too.

Tzufit: Right. And I have to say that I certainly didn’t really expect it at the time and I really don’t expect it now, but it would have been nice and it would have been helpful to have an apology for the boys’ trip comment, because I think it was warranted to have an apology for that.

Apple Cider Mage: It was off the cuff but that doesn’t mean that it’s Ok to say.

Tzufit: Right.

Bee: Yeah. That’s the thing that frustrates me. If it’s off the cuff it’s supposed to be harmless. But if it’s off the cuff, that seems more harmful.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah, because when people say things that just come straight out of their brain, then that’s them without the filter. That’s them without considering the consequences of what they’re going to say. It seems so bizarre because I think a lot of people that do a lot of feminist stuff, you train yourself after a while to really do be deliberate and consider the things that you say a lot because you know what kind of consequences happen when you say things that are pretty hurtful to people. Over time, even off the cuff stuff tends to be still pretty moderated because you start to just train your brain into considering the world a very different place from the one that you live in and that there are other people that have other experience. I think that a lot of the off the cuff things that a lot of Blizzard employees have said in passing or have done in passing do indicate that they’re still not thinking about the larger audience that plays their video games. And that’s sad because I pay them a lot of money and play their video games and enjoy their video games. But it still feels like the game is not being made in a lot of places with us in mind. That is kind of a sad point.

Bee: Yeah and even when they were talking, I think, about Hearthstone that they don’t think about what games they want to play, they just make what they would want to play, which sort of compounds the problem.

Apple Cider Mage: Oh yeah. The Heroes of the Storm thing, yeah, with Ben Brode. Yeah. That was also like – uuh.

Bee: I don’t understand how that came out of his mouth. I expect Chris Metzen to say goofy dumb things. But this was just straight up hostile. There was even a minder in the room.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. There was a PR person. But it’s because I think PR professionals don’t – I think they always kind of – they don’t always know exactly what’s going to come tumbling out, as it were.

Tzufit: Oh yeah. You can only imagine being in that PR person’s shoes.

Apple Cider Mage: Like, what??

Tzufit: That’s like your worst nightmare right there.

Bee: It’s entirely possible that they like threw themselves in front of the mic in slow motion and yelled “No!”.

Tzufit: Yep. Well I mean I don’t know about you 2, but I really haven’t been bothering saving Metzen the reindeer this year.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. I only do it because I really wanted the pet, and as soon as I got the pet I was like “Screw this. No more reindeer saving. You can fend for yourself, Metzen.” I don’t know. The positive and the negative of the really getting into World of Warcraft’s pretty sexist culture as a game, as a company. I think it was a double edged sword. I think it was a positive and a negative because I feel like this year was the year and because of some of the blatant stuff that was going on at Blizzcon, this was the year that a lot of people, I think, started talking about this stuff more than just the handful of people that were talking about it before. I mean, that sounds so arrogant. It became much more of a needed conversation and for that I am grateful because we’re having that conversation now. That is a thing that people are actively talking about now. And when people start to talk about it, that’s when things start to change. So I’m grateful for the fact that – this is a positive – that I have met so many more people and so many more women in the WoW community that I didn’t know before that have an opinion about this stuff and the more of us that get talking about it, the more friends we have, the more relationships we have, the more ideas we can share together. Overall, that’s a pretty good thing to have.

Tzufit: And of course we forgot the most important positive from this year.

Apple Cider Mage: What was that?

Tzufit: Uh, the Justice Points podcast started.

Apple Cider Mage: Oh!

Tzufit: Obviously.

Apple Cider Mage: What do you mean we haven’t been doing this since the dawn of time?

Tzufit: And it is appropriate, since we’re celebrating that, that we have Bee here, who is by far our number 1 fan. Like if we had any merchandise, Bee would have all the merchandise.

Bee: I already had a custom foam finger made and I wave it around when I listen to it at home.

Apple Cider Mage: The highlight of my week every week as a podcaster is getting to watch the couple of people on my Twitter feed that livetweet themselves listening to the episode.

Tzufit: Yes. That is so much fun.

Bee: I also do – I mean maybe I’m being really optimistic. I do think that there is a cultural shift happening. I feel like people talk about sexism and feminist issues in general. To bring it back to Beyoncé-

Apple Cider Mage: Yes. Yes. Bring it back to Beyoncé.

Tzufit: Why wouldn’t you bring it back to Beyoncé? Absolutely. Let’s bring it back to Beyoncé.

Apple Cider Mage: Yes.

Bee: If you’re not aware, in one of the songs she samples the Ted Talk of an academic from Africa who-

Apple Cider Mage: Chimamanda Adichie.

Bee: Yeah. She gives a speech about feminism and she samples it in the middle of a track. It’s very overt. It’s not “I’m not a feminist, but.” It’s very clearly like, “I am a feminist and this is what I believe and this is what I think the world needs.”

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. And to have it come from – let’s be honest. I think a lot of us knew that Beyoncé was a feminist long before this. But the fact that she just really threw it out there and was just like “Yeah. I’m flawless. I’m a feminist. This is what I care about. I’m super cool,” I feel like having somebody like Beyoncé come out and endorse it like that is such a big deal and really important.

Tzufit: Yeah. Well it’s important when there are so many people who are still unwilling to identify with the term feminist because they think it’s problematic based on a pretty misguided understanding of what it is, that when you have someone who is a very public figure who’s willing to fully accept that term and take it upon themselves, that’s a big deal. It’s important.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. And Chimamanda actually mentions this in her Ted Talk. There are a lot of women who do not use the term feminist but that doesn’t mean that they’re not. I think that that is a more important thought is that you don’t necessarily have to call yourself a feminist to be doing feminist work. A lot of people just didn’t know the term or don’t need to identify as such, but they’re still doing feminist work. I think that that is the bigger goal. You don’t necessarily have to call yourself a feminist, although I think that it’s been really positive for me in a lot of ways. Having that work done, having that recognition, especially in a place like World of Warcraft where the community is founded and established upon a video game and not our political or personal goals, identifying as something like that is pretty powerful and puts that stuff out in front of people in a way that they can’t ignore it. In a space that does feel so hostile, like video gaming, like World of Warcraft, being able to find the other people in the community who not only like the game that you also like and play the game that you like, but them saying “I do agree with you. I do see the game the same way that you do,” that’s a big deal to me. That’s a big deal and people even just coming up and being like, “I read your blog. I heard your podcast. I’m starting to think about that stuff. That’s becoming important to me,” or “That’s something that I didn’t know about before and maybe I’m going to consider it now.” It’s why I do all this stuff.

Tzufit: Yeah. So I have a Winter Veil present for the listeners that we’ll get to in just a second, but because I think it’s important with what you’re saying there, Apple Cider, we want to let everybody know that our next episode that we’re going to record next weekend is actually our 25th episode, which is kind of a big deal.

Apple Cider Mage: Woo! Yeah.

Tzufit: So we’re very excited about that and for that episode I’m sure we’re probably going to be doing a bit of a review and talking about some of our favorite things that we’ve discussed, our favorite episodes, some of the people that we’ve had on. But also what we’d really like to do for that episode and where all of you listening come into play is we want to do some question and answer stuff. So if you have questions for us, whether that’s about us personally, about the podcast, about WoW, about something you want us to discuss, we really want to get your questions. So send us an email, it’s justicepointspodcast@gmail.com, or send us a tweet @justicepoints, and let us know what your questions are. That’ll probably be a very big part of the episode that we do next week for our 25th show anniversary spectacular.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. It’s a call-in show so we’re going to be doing it on Skype so that people can join the convo – convo? Conversation?

Tzufit: Sure.

Apple Cider Mage: And talk to us and just rap with us and hang out. So definitely looking forward to that. We need you! We need your thoughts, your questions, your opinions. So get in touch.

Tzufit: And we definitely need Bee, because Bee is the number 1 fan.

Apple Cider Mage: I’m very glad that we got to have her on our show. I know that she was very busy this week and is a hard person to schedule. She is much like Beyoncé in that she is very important and-

Tzufit: Very elusive.

Apple Cider Mage: I had to call her agent. I had to – I really had to talk with all of her pets to see if they were Ok with her coming on the show.

Tzufit: We had to make sure that her green room was outfitted appropriately and had the right kind of candy and snacks.

Apple Cider Mage: Yes! Bee had a rider that was like 50 pages long. 50 pages and it was just like “Twin Peaks has to be on like Blu-ray in the room. She needs votive candles and Ke$ha posters.” Like it was very, very specific.

Bee: Yes. I won’t go anywhere without my Ke$ha posters.

Apple Cider Mage: Yeah. Tzufit has brought us a Winter Veil present early.

Tzufit: Only a little early.

Apple Cider Mage: Well only a little early. It’s a good thing to end the show on, and I think you guys will like it as much as I do.

Tzufit: Ok guys. Here we go:

Twas the night before Winter Veil, when all through the home
Not a creature was stirring, not even a gnome.
The epics were hung all polished and bright,
Thanks to our Warforged Seals treating us right.
The hunter pets were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of tasty treats danced in their heads.
Apple in her jammies, and I in my cap,
Had just settled in for a long winter’s nap.
When outside the Shrine there arose such a clatter,
I hopped on my mount to see what was the matter.
Out of the inn I flew like a flash,
(Faster than a feral druid using her Dash).
When, what to my curious eyes should appear,
But some jerk orc and his top bombadier.
He was yelling and boasting about some evil scheme,
I knew in a moment it was Garrosh Hellscream.
More rapid than wyvern, his minions they came,
And he hollered and shouted and called them by name:
“Now Galakras! Now Juggernaut!
Now, Shaman and Nazgrim!
On, Malkorok! On, Paragons!
Stand back, lemme at ‘em!
To the top of the Shrine!
Drop your fire and tar!
Now attack! Victory!
Lok’tar ogar!”
So up to the top of the Shrine they flew,
With an army of orcs, and some goblins too.
I ran back to the inn to wake those still in bunk,
When Garrosh fell down the chimney with a thunk.
He had skulls for shoulders and very pronounced jaw,
And his clothes were all tarnished with corruption from sha.
His dad’s favorite axe he had flung on his back,
It was shiny and giant, the size of a yak.
His eyes–how they glowered! His dimples, how scary!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His smug little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the tusks above his chin were white as snow.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he yelled, like a bowl full of jelly.
He hopped to his feet and startled a night elf,
And I laughed when it happened, in spite of myself.
A grimace at me and a twist of his head
Soon made me see I had something to dread.
He wouldn’t shut up about all his hard work,
And seemed genuinely surprised that we thought him a jerk.
When suddenly from the shadows brave Taoshi rose,
She ran up to his face and punched him square in the nose.
He cried a bit, but then to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he fled from the scene,
“Merry Winter Veil you guys. Stop being so mean!”

Bee: That was beautiful.

Tzufit: Thanks, Bee.

Apple Cider Mage: That was amazing. So amazing. Every time. I can’t think of a better way to end the show than that, really. That’s a moment of excellence right there.

Tzufit: I mean Garrosh celebrates Winter Veil too, you guys.

Apple Cider Mage: You should stop being so mean to Garrosh, obviously.

Tzufit: Exactly.

Bee: Wow. I’m just really stuck imagining him thinking – or telling us – like, “What do you mean you don’t like all this stuff I did for you?”

Tzufit: Alright, Bee. So before we finish off the show, why don’t you remind everybody one more time where they can find you on the internet?

Bee: My blog is avengerofhyjal.com and my twitter account is @sassycat_aoh. Sassycat is my death knight and she’s really cute. So that’s who I write the blog posts as.

Apple Cider Mage: Awesome.

Bee: Yeah, and thank you for letting me hang out with you guys.

Tzufit: Oh, anytime.

Apple Cider Mage: Anytime. You want to come back to the show, just ask. No big deal. Glad to have you.

Bee: Ok.

Tzufit: So we want to take this opportunity to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, however you celebrate. Happy solstice. Have a wonderful, wonderful holiday and we are so happy to have you all as listeners every week.

Apple Cider Mage: Yes, definitely. You guys have made this the best 24 episodes so far, the best year, last 6 months just really amazing. So we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and we will see you next week.

 

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