05 December 2010

World of Warcraft has a Potty Mouth

Cataclysm is coming, so a lot of folks I know and work with are going back to World of Warcraft to see what's new and different. The pre-expansion quests are slick in a lot of cases. I've only tried out one of the revamped starter areas so far (the Undead one; it's been a while since I've played anything Horde-flavored), but I plan to try the rest. Call it market research if you want to.

One thing I've noticed as I've brought my Undead priest from 1st to 16th level is that the amount of potty humor in WoW has increased. I mean, sure... we had a good number of what I like to call "poop quests" in the old WoW (specifically in Burning Crusade, though there was some poop happening in Lich King as well), where the player has to (usually) sift through poop to complete the quest.

Though I haven't seen any poop quests yet (I'm sure I will), I've noticed that the language in these newer quests is a bit courser than I'm used to with WoW. In one instance, an Orc calls Silvanas Windrunner a bitch; in another case, an orc (who you've awakened from a drunken stupor) comments that he may or may not have pissed himself. In a third example, an undead apothecary explains to you that he's placed a stick of laced dynamite up a chicken's butt.

Those are just a few examples, but WoW always seemed to aim for a more accessible, family-friendly tone. Profanity was the exception to the rule. Heck, they rarely even mentioned the word "poop" in relation to the aforementioned poop quests. That's not to say that I'm offended by profanity, far from it. I curse like a sailor on a near-daily basis, and I work with people who could make George Carlin blush (okay, maybe not).

I guess my point is that this new-found vulgarity seems outright juvenile to me now. WoW was never very serious (or, at least, I could never take it seriously), but it rarely stooped to the level of juvenile, scatological humor. Just going from 1 to 16 on my priest has revealed a number of instances where this kind of content is pretty much front and center now. I can hardly wait to read what the quest text says next.

Incidentally, the Undead starter area isn't much more impressive than it used to be. The storyline has moved along a little bit, and they do try to get you into the role of your race a bit more, but overall... it's just lipstick on a hellboar. I have yet to try the gnome and troll areas out, and I hear that these are where the lion's share of big changes and innovation can be seen. Time will tell.