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Hi there! The name's Nenicirene, and I'm a fictional character in the World of Warcraft on the Argent Dawn server. I talk a lot, and since, like most warlocks, I'm an egomaniac, I operate under the delusion that the public at large is interested in my mad babbling. To that extent, I have collected it here in the form of several essays-by-accretion. Enjoy!

New entries are listed below by date, while the complete contents are organized by topic to the left.

I am become the Nemesis!

Nenicirene's picture
Posted in

The next waypoint in my Ascension has been reached. I have slain an army of dragons and laid low a god, and become the opposition of all things. The Lord of Blackrock Spire's head is now just a desiccated bauble decorating my warstaff, and his minions so much smoking carnage. I have learned the ways of deceit, and hide my true power, so my foes will turn their backs on me and let me work my nether weavings. With foes such as these lying wasted behind me, it will not be long before a mere Lich-King falls. I will learn of the plague he has unleashed and make it my own, then use it to defeat him. The path before me is clear.

On Trust and Compassion

Nenicirene's picture
Posted in

The Alliance and Horde Warlocks aren't all really evil, they are just realists. Things break, and people die... You may as well use those natrual processes to fit your own goals. Really, how is it any less gruesome for a Warrior to chop someone to bloody shreads first hand than for a Warlock to summon something to do it for them? Not to say you should unconditionally trust us, as we will be more than happy to take advantage of any open opportunity to get ahead... But its not like we're really going to burn down Orgrimmar or send Infernals marching through Ironforge.

Exactly. I am a pragmatist. If anything, I am one of the most trustworthy individuals around, in that if I do not have a reason to betray you, I won't. If there is good reason to, then I will. So long as you do not cross me and so long as sacrificing you upon the altar of the common good would achieve no long-term benefit, you have nothing to fear from me save the chance of my making a mistake.

And those who say that there is no good or evil... That is exactly how evil thinks. An evil being views himself as being above "petty" restrictions of morality, kinda like a serial killer or sociopath.

It is not that there is neither good nor evil, and it is not that I am beyond moral restrictions. It is merely that I am free from the constraint of never doing evil. If great good can be achieved by doing small evil, I am willing to take that step, whereas most others value their conscience too highly. Being a sociopath does not make me evil, it simply frees me from the chains of compassion that constrain others from acting in ways that are expedient and necessary. These are dark times, and I am willing to become the darkness to defeat it. I am, in truth, quite selfless, as I accept damnation as the price of security for my people, though I don't like to belabor the point, since no one likes a self-proclaimed martyr.

Further dialogue on the nature of evil

Nenicirene's picture
Posted in

Does the ends justify the means?

Some ends justify more means than others.

As a lowbie quest you're sent to poison a Stormwind noble for nothing more than snooping around.

That doesn't scream evil to you?

It's only evil to kill people who don't deserve it.

Fitting for the real world, but not for a fantasy world. In fantasy Good and Evil aren't just terms used to describe relativistic shades of morality. They are very real concepts that define the universe itself.

In your example above, the actions of the people in the village would be considered evil. However, if the law of their society was to mutilate the child and toss the baby to the elements, then they would be following the laws of their people, which would make them lawful. Lawful Evil, but still Evil.

You are confusing the nonsensical morality system of Dungeons and Dragons with the entire fantasy genre.

I see why we have differing views.. You have added players to the equation.. Look at the class before the randomness of people are thrown in. You are correct that they "can" be "played" good or evil,, any class can. But it doesnt take away the taint of their history or skills that define the class.

My argument is the base class could be considered evil, like the base Pally class could be considered good.. Remove the people,, examine the class.. The question was warlocks=evil? not how warlocks are played=evil?

The warlock point of view is that a class cannot be evil outside of its specific actions. Warlocks are not inherently evil. We are inherently pragmatic. We realize that all things have a price, and are willing to weigh our options and pay prices that others shirk at.

Are warlocks evil?

Nenicirene's picture
Posted in

Good and Evil is a distinction that a real warlock wouldn't bother with. We are beyond good and evil.

There is only strong and weak. And we don't want to be weak.

Precisely. Evil is a mirage. Only the most depraved individual claims to be evil. There are those who steal from those who need what is taken, kill without reason, and derive glee from the suffering of others. Such people are evil, but they are also stupid. Such evil is easy to find and to burn out, because it does not conceal itself.

I call upon magic from the twisting nether. Does this make me evil? No, it is merely a tool, lacking in intent. Even the actions that I take with it are devoid of morality. It is only the context in which they are taken that can define if they are good or evil. What matters is not what I do, but why I do it.

I enslave demons to do my will. Is this evil? No, it is merely the golden rule. They would do the same to us if they could, but we won the war. If I could not bind them to make them harmless, I would have to kill them. Which is worse?

I kill those who would harm me, my friends, and my people. Is that evil? No, for they are trying to do evil first. I act only in self-defense.

Am I evil? No. I simply am. If you try to harm me or mine, I will do my best to kill you.

What he said.

Nenicirene's picture

Originally posted by Irie, a troll mage on Dragonblight, to the General Forum:

You are right, I don't get it.

I don't get why any emotionally stable individual would give a crap about someone coming over from a different type of server.

I don't get how PvP server people think they are somehow "hardcore" and better than people that play on a PvE server.

Wow! You leveled to 60 while putting up with sociopathic losers whose only enjoyment of the game is derrived from harrassing other players. Woop de doo.

In my book that doesn't make you better or cooler. It makes you retarded for putting up with something that you didn't have to.

Rest assured, I won't be trying to transfer my PvE character to your big, bad PvP server. However, if I was Blizzard and someone was silly enough to want to pay me money to move a character from one type of server to another, I sure as heck would let them.

You missed the point.

People on PvP servers know what its like to be killed with no option to fight back.

People on PvE servers just wait till their PvP flag drops.

If you level on a PvE server, then transfer to a PvP server, you are in a position to kill people that have 0 chance against you. You also managed to game the system to avoid this weakness.

Personaly, the "fair" solution is to allow PvE -> PvP servers only on servers where the player allready has a 55+ level toon.

Realisticaly, it was done because PvE servers allow you to have both horde and alliance on one account. Transfering from PvE to PvP server adds "rules". Tranfering from PvP to PvE removes rules.

It would be extra work on blizzards part to try and make sure no one messes up the PvP server "rule" of not having both fractions on one account.

Personaly, I dont really care. But you have to admit that being able to greif with out ever being greifed isnt cool.

Nenicirene's picture

Actually, I think you missed our point. People on PvP servers seem to have this notion that everyone on a PvE server wants nothing more than to get on a PvP server and grief others. There's a lot of us, however, who merely think that you're a bunch of sociopathic idiots who voluntarily chose to subject yourselves to suffering when there was a much better choice freely available. Being able to grief, period, isn't cool.

Oh, and there's no technical problems involved in PvE to PvP transfers. You can already have characters of different factions on different PvP servers, and you can transfer from PvP to PvP, yet you can't transfer cross-faction characters onto a server where you already have characters.

First of, I like your site :D

"You can already have characters of different factions on different PvP servers"

I get an error message when I try and create a horde toon on my PvP server. It says something basicaly along the lines of you cant have a horde toon because I allready have an alliance toon.

I just checked, I still cant create a horde toon on my alliance server. On my PvE server, I can, its easy. :D

Wait, are you saying I can transfer a Horde PvP charater on server X to my server B with alliance?

Thats messed up in my opinion. Theres a very good reason to make it hard to have both horde and alliance characters on the same PvP server. If they do allow this I am disappointed in Blizzard. :D

Also, I like PvP servers because it makes the open world "Warcraft" because theres allways the chance a memeber of the other side could come along. Its frustrating to *me* to not be able to fight the horde whos stealing my mobs. :D The world is a much more "war like" on PvP servers. Just my choice, not for everyone.

Nenicirene's picture

Right, you can't create a character of the other faction once you have a character on a PvP server, but you can still do so on other PvP servers. So, you can have an orc on Warsong, then go make a human on Stormscale. If you also have a troll on Blackrock, you could transfer that troll to Warsong, but not to Stormscale.

And even on a PvP server, you still can't do anything about a member of the same faction that's competing with you for monsters and doesn't want to play nice.

Lead, Follow, or Stand in Back Healing

Nenicirene's picture

There are really only three roles:

1. Kill Things
2. Convince Things to Kill You Instead of your Friends
3. Keep Things from Killing your Friends

We're firmly in camp 1. Camp 2 is actually a synonym for warriors, end of story. Camp 3 is anyone with even the most pathetic tertiary healing ability. Everyone has some slight flavor variations on how they fulfill their role, but they're actually pretty minor. Hate it or love it, it really is that simple.

but im in all 3 roles!!!111!

Dwarves and Gender

Nenicirene's picture
Posted in

People think that female dwarves are a rarity. This is incorrect. All the dwarves you see are, in fact, female. The male of the species is a nonsentient symbiote that you and I would easily mistake for a beard, and which lives on the face of female dwarves. Beardless dwarves are merely unmated females.

The Granularity of Raid Rewards Discourages Casual Behavior

Nenicirene's picture

An actual intelligent post from the General Forum:

Why Casuals Whine: The Paradigm Shift at 60
As for casuals vs. raiding, here's what casuals want.

Log on whenever they feel like it. Might be for 5 hours, but they want to be able to log on when they want, not because someone told them to log on.

Either make some progress solo or get a group together and go do something for the next 3-4 hours that furthers their character.

Expecting this is not unreasonable, considering the entire 1-59 PvE game has trained them to think this is feasible. They don't want to have to deal with scheduling when to play the game when they haven't had to for the last 59 levels...

The paradigms for both raiding and PvP break this expectation.

In Raiding, casuals no longer can log on when they want. Instead they must re-arrange their lives around a game, a concept that many of them find paradoxical. "If I'm playing a game to have fun, why should I rearrange my life around the game?" "Why should I have to turn down a spontaneous invitation to go out with my friends because I have to attend a raid? Why couldn't I just attend that raid the next day? At level 45 I didn't have to go to Uldaman only at set times."

A good solution to this is changing the lockout system drastically, going so far as to eliminate lockout entirely, instead replacing it with a concept I like to call "lootout." If you loot a boss, you can't loot that boss for another (what the current timer is for the raid). If you loot Ragnaros you won't be able to loot Ragnaros for another 7 days, but you'll be able to loot something you need off of Garr in a different raid.

This would be a huge step forward as it would remove the regimented and schedule aspect of raiding that is a big turn off to many casuals. It isn't that they don't have the play time, it's that they oftentimes don't know when that play time will be, because of commitments to work, family and friends. WoW is something they greatly enjoy. They can't rearrange their schedule around WoW, however.

They could play WoW when they wanted to from level 1-59 and don't understand why, for raiding, WoW requires them to play at certain times not of their choosing. Basically WoW's own game mechanics are coming back to haunt it.

A similar problem appears in PvP.

You rank up based on your standing per week, which means if you miss a week entirely due to going on a business trip, you derank, losing all your progress. This idea is abhorrent to the game mechanics that WoW has from levels 1-59. If a casual doesn't log on for a week at level 45, he doesn't LOSE levels. Instead, he gains rested xp so that when he comes back he will be able to more effectively GAIN levels. In PvP, it's backwards from what WoW has taught casuals to expect, and thus they whine. They want to be able to log on whenever they want, play for 1-6 hours, and make progess. Right now if you try PvPing like that, you'll peak out and Rank 6 or so, and not be able to go any further until you devote more and more time to PvP, until Rank 13/14 when you're going to have to be playing 100+ hours to get those top standing spots just to rank up.

Solution: Move to a progression system more like XP, where sum contribution influences rank, not quantum contribution per week.

The current raiding and PvP game is completely different from what WoW has taught players to expect from levels 1-59 and that's why they're complaining.

A tiny side note here: the Tier 0.5 quest mechanics are excellent. Casuals can log on at their choosing and make progress towards compleing their set. This is in tune with the level 1-59 game and is a huge step in the right direction.

WoW has dramatically expanded the size of the MMOG market; most WoW players, I would venture to guess, have never played any other MMOG. That means they don't understand when you say 'oh well it was like this in EQ' and don't understand why it has to be that way. WoW was advertised as casual-friendly, and it is, amazingly so, up to level 60. Then suddenly the game rudely changes its primary game mechanics at level 60, much to the surprise and disappointment of the casual player.

Good points in general. Changing to a more pickup-friendly endgame experience, however, would require a restructuring of the current raid reward mechanics. Most of the goodies you want are single drops off bosses, which must be assigned to a single individual out of a twenty or forty person group. While random assignment is technically fair, it has a huge variance in individual fairness over the short term, so people develop point systems that act as smoothing functions for the loot received.

In order for pickup-style raiding to work, the reward mechanic needs to be smoothed by the game itself, not by player agreement. Moving toward raid rewards based on faction (which everyone gets) and token collection (which breaks up a single item into a bunch of smaller drops, effectively keeping the mean amount of loot you get constant while reducing the variance) are steps in this direction, but to truly make raiding with different groups of people something other than a total crapshoot, basically all the raid rewards need to be moved to this system, with individual uber-drops eliminated. (Alternately, the game could implement some sort of built-in point system, which players can pay each other in order to have the rights to a single good drop—a sort of second currency only useful for BoP items, enforced by game mechanics, though there's potential market abuse issues there unless it's very carefully designed.)

The 3rd Liturgy of the Gibbous Moon

Arochi's picture
Posted in

One of my favorite verses is:

I am the Darkness and the Light,
The Terror and the Hope,
The Nadir and the Zenith.

Love and Fear me,
For I Create and Destroy
With both Grace and Power.

The Eternal and the Ephemeral,
The Spiritual and the Temporal,
Are but Blood and Dust to me.

Flesh and Will,
Worship and War,
By these tokens will you Know me and Forget me.

While best known for its prismatic structure of 2 terms / 3 lines / 4 stanzas, those listeners simultaneously sophisticated but base appreciate the pun in the last line. As fun as "knowing" is, my favorite aspect of the piece is the subtle implication that it's unclear if it is the Goddess speaking through her agent, or her agent speaking directly, but I'm something of an egotist that way.

A Thesis on the Triune Divinity

Arochi's picture
Posted in

In my conversations with priests unfortunate enough to have been born humans or dwarves, it has come to my attention that you appear to only have half a belief system. You talk much of the Holy Light, as if that were the sole source of divinity, yet you are still perfectly willing to skulk about employing the powers of the shadow without openly acknowledging from where you draw such might. Although I do not have much experience with the Forsaken, from a few texts of theirs which I have obtained, they seem to suffer much the same problem, save that they view the shadow as the source of their unlives and uphold it over all else.

The light and the shadow are but two sides of the same coin, flipping over and over through eternity. Elune herself in her monthly cycle shifts her divine nature between light and shadow, reminding us that the two must be kept ever in balance. This balance is provided by the application of sentient will. It is through personal discipline that we can meld the mortal with the divine, proving a third peak of creative impetus to the perfect axis of the heavens.

All philosophies are ultimately based up this key principle. Take the warlock. They view the world in terms of the flame that consumes and the fearful gulf of darkness that surrounds it, and only by the mastery of the will, as evidenced through the binding of demons, can the individual seek to prevail. To the mage, reality lies between the chaotic extreme of primordial fire and the eternal stasis of umarred ice, and only by means of arcane intellect can one walk the narrow path between.

Even the less cerebral of our brethren couch their world view in such terms. Take the simple warrior. Between the unbridled fury of the berserker and the instinct to shield oneself behind thick walls that shut out the world, one must maintain a balance, and they do so through the discipline they develop in the study of various and sundy arms.

No matter the names we assign them, it is clear there is an axis between two extremes, each unfathomable in its celestial perfection and diametrically opposed to the other, and that the way in between is shown to us by rigorous practice and exploration of the self.

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