Tobold's Blog
Monday, March 09, 2015
I laughed in World of Warcraft

Normally I am not a big fan of the humor of World of Warcraft. I really dislike the stupid jokes that the peons and lumberjacks for medium and large timber make every time you call them. And I'm not a big fan of "Justin Timberlord" and other real world references either. But it just so happened that I was watching CSI Miami on Netflix before my "veteran edition" human hunter entered Westfall and met "Lieutenant Horatio Laine" investigating a murder all over the zone. And that parody was just so well done, including the sunglasses and mannerisms, that I just had to laugh.

But that pretty much shows the problem of this sort of humor based on real world references. If you haven't watched CSI Miami, Horatio Laine is just weird. A real world reference like the S.E.L.F.I.E. camera works better, because it doesn't depend on you having seen a particular TV show or movie, or having read a particular book. But in either case the supposed humor is from things in a fantasy world not corresponding to our expectations about that world, but instead relating to something from the real world. Not good for immersion.

Then of course there is the issue of how often you see that joke. You meet Horatio Laine several times while questing in Westfall, and then the joke has run its course, and you move on to the next zone. Justin Timberlord is in your garrison every day. And if you are on a timber run you'll hear the jokes of the lumberjacks over and over. Why couldn't they just have stuck to the sound bits from Warcraft 3 that they used for the small timber lumberjacks? No joke survives endless repetition.

I think overall I would be happier without those attempts at humor in World of Warcraft. Even if I liked the parody on David Caruso.

I like them, even if I think I miss quite a bit of references, since I'm not really up-to-date on TV series. BTW for me the funniest quest remains "Welcome to the Machine", even if it's completely self-referential....

Yeah, I don't care for the really obvious ones. Justin Timberlord and Haris Pilton are just unfunny for me. Left and Right in the Tavern at the veiled stair are much better. Still a reference but from other fiction, not real persons.

CSI Westfall was actually fun to play.

All in all I think they over did the real life references. I'd like them fewer and more obscure.
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It's funny you mention that because the whole CSI parody in Westfall was when I decided Cataclysm was really WoW's "jump the shark moment" and I quit not long after....I just couldn't take it anymore.

Ironically I actually found Pandaria mildly more enjoyable because if there were references like that I wasn't getting them, so was able to suffer through a bit more easily. Then WoD ruined it all again.
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