(That’s a Red Dwarf reference, which I suspect he’d get)
Yesterday, I was faced with a terrible post on Twitter.
Okay, I’ve received his brother’s blessing to share this with Twitter at large. With deepest regrets, I’m sorry to tell you that the inimitable @_Rades passed away suddenly this weekend. To know him was to love him. He was the most creative, hilarious and kind person.
— Stacey (@_vidyala) August 30, 2021
For those that didn’t know him, Rades was a pillar of the online WoW community. His humor, love of lore, and love of the genre itself was legendary. He blogged at Orcish Army Knife for years (and it’s probably supremely ironic that his blog right now is getting more hits than it has in a decade). He invented the neon beer sign causeway in Wildstar. He invented Fabulor, the flaming hawtest Blood Elf evar. He engaged his followers on Twitter as NPCs in his ongoing D&D campaign. He coauthored From Draenor with Love (sadly, hacked) with Vidyala (quoted above). He authored a column on WoW Insider for a while. He created custom Weak Aura macros to play Disco Inferno when Fabulor had Hot Streak active. The list of things he did, really, stretches out as long as WoW has been around. Hell, I even featured him and his guild in a Filk (near the end).
The hole he left in our lives cannot be described with small words. But I’ll try to related something that comes near the point.
Back in the early 80s, just before I left my home on my Great Adventure (I’ll let you know how it ends when I get there), my father passed away from a heart attack. At his burial, I looked up and realized that the line of people waiting to get into the cemetery stretched all the way out to the highway, a good quarter to half mile of road. It was at that point that I finally realized the impact my father had on his community. To me, he was just “dad’. But to our small community, it was Rodney, or “Bogey”, a good friend, steadfast ally, city councilman and church deacon, hard worker for our town’s annual July 4th celebration, tireless campaigner for our democrat politicians, and occasional Santa Clause at our church’s Christmas dinner. He touched so many lives, and people responded with love and sympathy for my family, all in his memory. Hell, a sitting US Senator, who he was a great proponent for, even stopped by to pay respects.
Mike “Rades” Eng has made a similar impact on the WoW community at large. We don’t know it, possibly, until he’s gone, but he did.
Rest in peace, Rades. May your flame burn as flamboyantly in the next world as it did in this one.
(PS: yes, I stole that image right from his website. Steal from the best, friends.)
Two days ago (at time of writing), the State of California filed a suite against Activision Blizzard for several counts of sexual harassment, abuse, and other related crimes. Since then I’ve ben soaking in it, so to speak, too stunned and bummed out to really write about it.
In a way this is surprising, seeing as I have seemingly written about it so many times. This is, by far, not the first time Blizzard has had this sort of scandal. The rot really does seem to reach back to the origins of the company, settled in around the roots. Time and time again they claim they’re turning around. Time and time again I have opined that maybe, just maybe, they’re turning a corner. And time and time again, they disappoint us.
First of all, I want to say, I believe these charges, I believe the women that have spoken up, and I believe the women that have subsequently joined in to confirm.
But I also have to say that simple belief, simple support, is not enough.
These women aren’t the source of the problem. It’s the men they work with. And if you are in the software industry, it’s you, as well. I’m not saying you’re guilty of harassment and assault. I’m saying that you may be letting little things slide that are Not Okay. When you hear someone disrespected, when you hear someone being abused, hell, if you hear someone BRAGGING about it – it’s your job, as an ally, if you are in fact an ally, to push back. To shut then down. To make them see the light.
Because that’s the source. People just “going along”. Refusing to “rock the boat”. Not “wanting to embarrass a friend.” I mean, seriously, what kind of friends you got if they’re rapist-adjacent?
As men it’s time we stood up against this shit whenever we can. I’m not talking full on drama queen here, but just against the little stuff. The stuff you can get away with without getting in trouble (though getting the rep as a troublemaker in this particular case isn’t a bad thing, IMO).
Let’s talk (my) history. (in no way exhaustive – I got too depressed to keep going)
- Blizz invites a known homophobe to sing with L90ETC
- He also has an in game character that they never took out even after “apologizing”
- Gamers are responsible for the behavior of gamers and the culture around the game.
- Gratuitous rape culture
- It’s a boys trip
- Geek is
Here’s the current scandal du jour.
- Blizz charged with allegations of sexual misconduct
- Here’s the actual legal filing
- Here’s their trained flying monkey, Fran Townsend (a known torture apologist for the Bush admin) refuting the original allegations.
- Here’s J Allen Brak being shocked – shocked! – at these allegations and promising to “take it seriously”.
- Also, here’s J. Allen Brak (also named in the allegations) not taking it seriously in 2010.
A lot of people have cancelled their subs. I’m not one of them. Why? Because I haven’t payed for a subscription in years, since the Token came out. I’ve been paying for my game time using auction sales. I am a burden to Blizzard. I will continue to do so until I run out of gold – which is at minimum 2 years from now.
Also, switching to another game is silly. If you think Blizz is alone in all this, you have paid zero attention to the news.
All I’m gonna say is Riot and Ubisoft are big fans of Blizzard right now.
Here we are, in only the first content patch for Shadowlands, and I have flying in Shadowlands. How is this possible?
Turns out all you need to do is to get to Renown of 44 or higher with your covenant, and then finish up the 9.1 quest line through the point of freeing the Primus, about which I will say no more in case we have Spoiler-Sensitivetm people reading.
Besides this, we also get a couple of other boons in 9.1.
- Along the way we get to kill The Eye so it isn’t stalking us in The Maw.
- We also complete a quest that gives us the means to mount up (but not fly) in The Maw.
Not being a raider or PvPer or whatever, I have to say there’s precious little else other than additional padding for my covenant.
A note of caution for the 9.1 quests, especially assaults in The Maw. Be informed. At least two of the quests I needed to do were bugged, and it wasn’t until I researched them via a combination of Reddit and WoWHead that I figured out that (1) for one, I needed to go to Stormwind, go into War Mode, go back to the quest, and then I could complete it. And (2) only Elite mobs were suitable to feed Kevin. Yes, Kevin. No, I won’t tell you who Kevin is. But you need to feed him.
I am somewhat put out that the “optimum” covenant for BM Hunters shifted from Ardenweald to Bastion. I’ve got 45 levels of covenant love here, what am I supposed to do, start over? Eff that.
The whole Sylvanas … thing. I’m just not going there. I’m in the “Fry her, fry her now, and then fry whatever’s left” school. I haven’t forgotten Teldrassil, and neither should you.