A confession: I was the letter-writer in the New York Times article “She Wanted to Do Her Research. He Wanted to Talk Feelings”

female students stem subjects

A recent article in the New York Times has come to the attention of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) world, a world which I am plugged into as a student in STEM. This article She Wanted to Do Her Research. He Wanted to Talk Feelings by Hope Jahren talked about the omnipresence of sexual harassment for females studying STEM.

In particular, the piece quoted a love letter that made a student feel uncomfortable:

Last year, after one of my most talented students left to start her next adventure, she would text me now and then: “This is such a great place,” “I am learning so much here” and “I know this is where I am supposed to be.”

Then, a month ago, she wrote and asked me what to do. She forwarded an email she had received from a senior colleague that opened, “Can I share something deeply personal with you?” Within the email, he detonates what he described as a “truth bomb”: “All I know is that from the first day I talked to you, there hadn’t been a single day or hour when you weren’t on my mind.” He tells her she is “incredibly attractive” and “adorably dorky.” He reminds her, in detail, of how he has helped her professionally: “I couldn’t believe the things I was compelled to do for you.” He describes being near her as “exhilarating and frustrating at the same time” and himself as “utterly unable to get a grip” as a result. He closes by assuring her, “That’s just the way things are and you’re gonna have to deal with me until one of us leaves.

So much for the contents of the first email; now let’s picture its recipient. She’s shocked: Is this for real? She’s confused: Did she do something to make him think she wanted this?”

With International Women’s Day having only recently passed by, I feel compelled to blog about this article

Because you see, I wrote that letter to a female colleague of mine.

And I have to speak out and defend myself. Because I was misrepresented in that article as a senior university staff member preying on young and vulnerable women. It was not like that. We were students of the same seniority, in the same program and doing the same courses. From repeated contact, I developed a crush on her. And there’s nothing wrong with having a crush as a student on a fellow student. Many of you reading this today probably found your significant other in a similar way. There will always be love between high school sweethearts, college students, roommates and workmates, until the dying of the light.

That is why I feel I need to publish the letter I sent in full, so the world can see that I had only innocent intentions. Because what can I say? I’m just a hopeless romantic. This then is the letter in full. This is my confession. So let me be judged.

Subject: can I share something deeply personal with you?

Ever since I first met you in our student hall, I knew you were something special. You are vibrant, kind, charming, magnetic. The more I’ve seen you around campus and the more I’ve got to know you, the more I’ve come to admire you. You’ve shown grit and determination, smarts and drive. You are courageous and adventurous beyond all measure. I would even say that my admiration has deepened into affection and love.

I know how you might not be able to see how amazing you are and why someone might fall head over heels for you, but it’s the truth. And I’m here to give you the truth bomb: I love you.

I love you because you challenge me and are my intellectual equal. I love you for your physical form. I love you for all your strengths, incredibly attractive as they are, and all your adorably dorky quirks. It has come to the point where you intoxicate me. Just being near you exhilarates and frustrates me at the same time, and as a result I’m unable to get a grip. You wouldn’t believe the things I felt compelled to do for you, to secretly win your favor. To be a manly man to measure up to your girly girl, even though with my ungainly body, nature would say that I can never be a superhero. You’ve made me change my habits and my lifestyle to be a better man for you.

All I know is that from the first day I talked to you, there hasn’t been a single day or hour when you weren’t on my mind

I know that the conventional wisdom is that roommate romances are to be avoided. That you shouldn’t shit where you eat, and that it always leads to awkwardness. But I’ve been the stereotypically shy, socially inept maths nerd all my life, and for once I’m going to embrace that awkwardness rather than feel crippled by it. Because I’d rather be awkward than let the potential love of my life slip by me.

In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. If you will have me, have me. If not, there is no shame. The only shame would have been not telling you. University studies only occupy us for a few years, and most of us then go on our separate paths. But how can I move on, knowing that I never tried with you? How can I believe in a future, when I could have happily spent my entire life with you?

Forever in love with you,

[Redacted]

stem_love

Why would you deny true love?

Disclaimer/edit: never mind, this is a hoax. I made up this love letter as an epic troll. I just didn’t think the NYT article was true, because my university seems nice, I treat all people with respect in STEM (apart from my friends who, thick as thieves as we are, I prank) and the letter excerpts didn’t sound bad (I’ve been trying to get the NYT author, Hope Jahren, to release the full letter, which would undoubtedly cast things in a harsher light). So of course I had to rush out to defend my field from all those shrill SJWs you keep hearing about. And well they do say the best way to grow a blog is to poke a lot of more famous bloggers and create controversy. But after talking to some girls in my lab, it seems that sexual harassment happens a lot (e.g. this girl I know said she’s already been sent creepy love letters by “two useless guys in the office.” Oh yeah, and I sent her this letter, but then I realized the joke was getting a bit out of control so I apologized). So er, think of this blog post as an Onion spoof article and mad respect to Hope Jahren for bringing a problem to light … 

No, I won’t absolve you yet Hope Jahren. You’re probably still a victim culture promoting, closed minded, man hating publicity hound, in the vein of Anita Sarkeesian, that has hijacked the good name of feminism when it was about actual discrimination and is only in it for the money (dem book sales, huh?), attention and fame. Why do I say this? Because you still have not given me any reason to believe you, in spite of very polite e-mails asking for further information (which like all opinions counter to your own, you ignore and pretend don’t exist), that the love letter was not just a very shy computer nerd trying to express his innermost feelings.

People of the internet, rise up! There is a secret globe-spanning war going on, between us gamers on the one side and social justice warriors, feminazis, and censorship, self-hate and slavery masquerading as political correctness on the other side. We gamers are the underdogs in this fight. They, those who preach liberty while manacling us, have the establishment and all the sinister machinery of the state behind them. But we will fight and we will win: because we have on our side our God (right) and guns (for the weapons that will win this war, the internet and information, we know like the back of our hands), and we cling to them with all our might.

For the sake of the free world Trump must win, and Merkel and Hillary must lose. They called Franklin Delano Roosevelt a dictator once, while appeasing the real fascists. Now once again an authoritarian, Frau Merkel, reigns over Europe with an iron fist while her cohorts of feminazis spread fear, terror and slavery. Once again, the whole world looks to America for their last and only hope, and, from that bountiful land of patriots from whence George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and FDR sprang, comes Trump.  Trump will win and must win! And 50 years on, when historians come to write of this war they will call gamers the greatest generation. For this is our World War II and the stakes have never been higher: the soul of the world is at stake.

Why I hate the hijab

angry-hijab

So this just happened. I was with one of my Latino friends (female) at university today. We were sitting in a common area, chatting, when a Malaysian Muslim student in her hijab came up to us and said, “aren’t you afraid of going to hell?”

Now, we have a significant Muslim foreign student population at our university, and my Latino friend often gets confused for being one because of her exotic looks (no I don’t live in the USA, rather in the Antipodes, and Mexicans [well she’s actually Chilean] are rare over here). So she frequently gets mistaken for being a Middle Easterner, and is regularly approached by “concerned” Muslims as to why she is breaking “her” Islamic faith when she drinks alcohol or goes dancing. As such, she has developed a thick skin and usually replies flippantly to such admonishments. Today she rolled her eyes at me and said  to the nosy, intruding, self-righteous hijab wearer, “no, or are you going to send me to hell then?

Today, though, the way this Muslim in her hijab responded to that chilled me to the bone. She replied, “yes,” with the full exchange thus being:

Hijabi: “Aren’t you afraid of going to hell [for not wearing the hijab]?”

Girl: “No, or are you going to send me to hell then?”

Hijabi: “Yes”

It was not just what she said it, but the way she said it: with an almighty scowl affixed to her face, so no-one could doubt her seriousness. And  those eyes. I will never forget those eyes: that intense look of hatred, as if (had it not been for the many other people walking by, and we had been by ourselves in an alley way instead) she would have been ready to kill us right there and then and send us to her hell. I have never witnessed a burning hatred more intense than this in my life.  And she stared silently at us with those eyes, that bunched-up face, those clenched fists and her body straining like a spring for a full 30 seconds before walking away and dismissing us.

How can the world resist such belief? Should me and my friend convert to Islam? Will my friend go to hell if she does not adopt the Muslim faith and start behaving modestly by wearing the hijab? It seems with Islam being the fastest-growing religion that now even outnumbers Catholicism in believers, its armies on the rise (look at the territory Islamic State has carved out for itself) and leaders like Obama doing nothing to stop it and even encouraging and lying for Islam, the tables are going to be turned one day. Then there will be no non-Muslim bystanders to protect me and my friend, no campus security to call when this hijab-wearing Muslim do-gooder comes to send us to hell. To spare me and my friend this fate of being beheaded and worse, should we not submit to the inevitable? Western civilization is lost; Islam has won. Just look at Syria – we are told Islamic State is the greatest evil in the world by the media, but there is nothing we can do about it. The army turns away volunteers looking to fight Islamic State, the UN charities and Red Cross only accept monetary donations (which they then use to feather the salaries of their office workers) and not manpower, and the globe’s governments only want to import Islamic State converts as refugees to spread their seed to all the women of the world.

Is not Islam submission? I take my lead from the world then, where it seems I must submit to Islam. For has not the whole world already submitted to Islam, and what can I do when the whole world is against me? I am only one man. Obama, why don’t you let us fight radical Islam? What does it take for a religion to no longer be considered a religion, but a medieval death cult as even David Cameron admits, to which freedom of religion does not apply? Why in this day and age cannot evil be recognized as evil, so that you can allow good men to do something about it?

burqa-party

Why can’t we just fight Putin already?

So with the news media covering the World War I Nov. 11 armistice anniversary recently, it got me thinking: when can the youth of today have their own Great War to fight in?

It’s really not fair. Until ours and our father’s time, every generation had an epoch-defining armed conflict they could get involved in, where they could change the world and feel important. WWII, WWI, the American Civil War, the Napoleonic Wars. Real wars. For their efforts, the participants were remembered as heroes and their stories the stuff of legend. So that even today, 100 years after WWI, the war and the soldiers that fought in it are feted and celebrated each Nov. 11. Plus of course, the soldiers received a pension for life and discounts on services like healthcare.

It’s not fair! I want to have a real war to fight in, so that 50 years from now I can tell my grandchildren of how I saved humanity’s freedom and each year I can march down main street in a parade, be given a kiss by a fair maiden despite being a wrinkly old man at that point, and free beers. But what do I have to look forward to? A boring career, boring consumerism, fake wars in the World of Warcraft and Far Cry 4. The youth of today are willing, straining at the leash to fight. Just look at Muslim youth who have rallied to the cause of the Arab Spring, this shows the old spirit of our forefathers lives in us. But unlike ISIS, our politicians do not oblige. Where is our real war? Where is our chance to prove ourselves to the world and make it better through war?

Now of course, some people might say that I can fight now. I can join the Marines and get sent to Afghanistan, to fight some goatherd with an ak. But that’s not a real war! Afghanistan and the wars we are fighting now, those are colonial wars. We’re fighting savages, armed with sticks (comparatively to our technological might). The outcome of battles are never in doubt, we’re guaranteed to win. Just like Vietnam, the soldiers that fight in those wars aren’t remembered. They just did their jobs, and kept people like Karzai in power, eating steaks at Bagram airbase until their two years were up. They weren’t heroes that stood up to Nazism or slavery. They weren’t fighting battles against a foe with equal training and equipment, battles that they could actually lose.

I want a real war! But the politicians won’t oblige.

So we see people, white people in the UK, in Australia, slinking off to fight for ISIS. Because we want to fight for a cause. And our politicians lambast us for trying to claim what we deserve, the change to fight for a cause! The chance to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers, who fought in WWI and WWII, before age and decrepitude means we have lost that opportunity forever. All because our politicians won’t oblige and give us a real war to fight in.

But there is a foe that we can fight. A real war for us to be remembered as heroes in!

Russia. Russia right now is a mad dog, bullying its neighbouring countries and depriving them of freedom ; annexing entire regions ; shooting down airliners and killing innocent civilians and journalists ; keeping its own populace oppressed and deprived of real information with all media controlled by the state. As an internet user, nothing angers me more than censorship! Russia must burn for that. Russians are worse than Nazis, and they need to be disarmed right now before they can hurt anyone else.

The whole world agrees on this. At G20, all the heads of state gathered to agree that Russia needs to be stopped. Already, Russia has been blockaded with sanctions so they cannot get any new weapons. But why stop at that? Why can’t we fight Russia right now and give the people what they want?

Why can’t we just fight Russia already?

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I would like to answer this question. As I learned from movies, when coming to a decision, one should write down the pros and cons. Then, based on how each side is weighted, the choice should be made.

The pros of fighting a war against Russia:

  1. We will win.
  2. We will win, because it will be Russia vs the whole world. As we saw at G20, every nation that matters is steadfastly opposed to Russia and will fight against her if there is a war. And noone can defeat the whole world!
  3. We will win, because the local populace will support us. A people so oppressed, as they are in Russia, cannot possibly remain supportive of their regime once the blinkers of state propaganda and internet censorship are removed. Once war starts, the Russian people will turn on their slavemasters and support our effort to free them.
  4. As a result the war will be short and easy, and we will return home as heroes that brought freedom and security to Eastern Europe.
  5. General Winter is no longer on Russia’s side. Because of technology, winter does not have the effect that it used to and these days a little winter won’t stop our planes, satellites, tanks or troops.
  6. There will be no nuclear war. Putin knows that he cannot use nukes. If he loses in a conventional war, the worst that will happen to him is that he loses power but Russia will be mostly intact. If he dares to use nukes, he knows that our response will be to ensure that every Russian man, woman and children will die in the fires of a nuclear holocaust and that Russia will be annihilated from the face of the Earth. So nukes will remain as they are: weapons that are so powerful they can never be used.

Cons:

  1. Some of us might die. But that’s a risk you have to take!

So there you have it! Based on a scientific pro and con analysis, there is only one conclusion: we must fight Putin. We must fight Russia! So that 100 years from now, on November 16, our progeny will line up and cheer us as the defenders of freedom.

The youth of today deserve our World War III!

It is time to stop playing WoW

After a MMO’s honeymoon phase is over and the grind sets in, a major reason we keep playing is our belief in that MMO being a persistent world. Grind is work. Grinding instances for gear, grinding reputations for mounts, grinding professions for gold, grinding achievements for titles is only worth it if we believe there will be new content for us to use our gear, run around in our mounts and spend that gold, and other people playing to admire our achievements. Continuing to play is pointless if you believe that the MMO is no longer persistent, that it is dying, on the wane, losing popularity and population, and funding for updates. What was the point of all that grinding if the servers could be shut down any day? If your friends are deserting the game or openly thinking of other MMOs?

When we lose hope in the future of a MMO, we can no longer think of playing it.

I have come to that point with WoW. What? – you might wonder. How could I think WoW, the most popular sub-based MMO on the market, is dying? Aren’t they releasing a new expansion this year? Yes, and I still think WoW is done for. Yes, WoW is the most popular sub-based MMO out there, but it’s population is steadily declining. Yes, there is an expansion possibly coming out this year, but one that has been heavily delayed, stripped of features and shoddily produced. Meanwhile as this expansion is being developed, WoW’s current players have had to spend the longest period in the entire lifetime of the game without any content updates at all. WoW might not be dead just yet, but it has one foot in the grave and it’s on it’s way out. The population is inexorable decline, the update cycles are getting longer and longer, the expansions getting less ambitious, the funding is drying up and the game is sliding into maintenance mode for the few incorrigible addicts that remain.

The upcoming expansion for WoW, Warlords of Draenor, is what concerns me the most. It doesn’t feel like Blizzard have their heart in it. It doesn’t feel like Blizzard are out there to design an expansion that will put WoW squarely back on top and show to everyone in the world that Blizzard is king. It feels like Blizzard no longer have a vision for WoW anymore and simply want to make money with it for other projects. Blizzard are taking away what makes WoW unique (such as flying) and putting in a mish-mash of new ideas (that probably tested well in focus groups) from recent MMOs, such as action combat with MORE mob telegraphs and simplified combat rotations (stripping away half of many class’s abilities – to be in line with games like TESO or Tera, where you can only use a few abilities, with their combat designed for console controllers), questless and public event focused leveling (a la Guild Wars 2) and housing from Wildstar. Of course all this is done in half-measures or as cheaply as possibly, like garrisons which lack much of the customization of housing in other MMOs. It’s as if Blizzard doesn’t have an idea for what they want for their game. They just want for it to appeal to as many people as possible so they can make as big a cash grab as they can.

It feels like Blizzard are saving their money with this expansion, using it for other projects and coming out with filler content to placate their playerbase. The new content doesn’t feel like it came from the most well-endowed gaming company in the business. Just take for example the new character models Blizzard are gracing players with. Firstly it uses the obsolete setup of allowing us to only choose from a number of preset facial shape options (whereas MMOs these days have been allowing us to freely customize faces with sliders, ever seen 2008’s Age of Conan, and most recently in TESO and Guild Wars 2). Secondly, they’re just not that good. The same ugly faces are reused that look worse than MMOs from 2008.

Compare the new human female face model. They’re monstrous!

2008’s Warhammer Online’s models looked better.
warhammeronline

And are far outclassed by today’s character customization:

Archeage
archeage

The Elder Scrolls Online
teso

Defiance
defiance

In fact the awful gauntness and soullessness of the new human faces remind me of character models from Star Wars Galaxies, a game that came out before WoW.

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I only have to compare Blizzard’s reaction to how Wargaming have steadily updated World of Tanks. Given the challenge of War Thunder Ground Forces’ visual fidelity and general improvements in graphics with the years, Wargaming came out swinging by releasing High-definition tank models surpassing War Thunder Ground Forces, a lighting and sound overhaul, and released a set of visually spectacular maps (Kharkov and Hidden Valley). Meanwhile what does Blizzard do to update their game in 2014? We get character models from 2008 and worse.

If Blizzard expects me to be impressed with Star Wars Galaxies graphics in 2014 they can go shove it where the sun don’t shine.

How to (legally) play The Elder Scrolls Online without paying a sub

Buy a copy of Skyrim. Open up the console and activate noclip mode (tcl – allows you to fly through obstacles), invisibility (tdetect) and disable friendly npc ai (tai in towns). Then load up a save and enter a dungeon you’ve already cleared, so all the chests have already been looted and half the mobs are dead (assuming you sneaked through it the first time).

Having spent today (watching someone else [let’s play things safe with the NDA, after all no-one can deny that people on twitch have been streaming this game like mad NDA be damned]) play the ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) beta, this is an accurate analogy of the gameplay you can expect from this MMO.

This game is beyond disappointing. It feels like a Chinese copy of The Elder Scrolls games. Just like a Chinese knock-off Ipod, it looks fine from the outside. The graphics are impressive, the user interface has all the trappings of Skyrim down to the compass and lack of minimap, and the voice acting overly ostentatious (oh look gratuitous John Cleese and Jennifer Hale, boy am I sick of her voice. Butch Femshep is so inappropriate for a raggedy prisoner escapee). But spend a minute playing around with it and you’ll release the functionality is an engrish parody of what it’s aping.

First, let’s talk about ESO’s combat. It tries to keep Skyrim’s combat system of attack/power attack/block for what would you call auto attacks or weapon attacks in other MMOs. But it misses an important element of Skyrim’s combat: collision detection. YOU CAN RUN THROUGH MOBS. There’s no sensation that you’re actually fighting a living, breathing monster or engaging in a duel like in Skyrim, because while you’re busy showing off your fancy footwork, parrying attacks and lunging at them, you are constantly overcompensating and ghosting through their bodies. As a result combat feels floaty and lacks feedback.


ESO’s floaty combat – the result of lack of collision detection and the reactions of mobs to hits

ESO’s gorgeous graphics may actually be a disadvantage when it comes to showing up its gameplay flaws. In an uncanny valley-like effect, it makes its MMO systems feel completely out of place and game-y, breaking immersion. Unlike Skyrim where monster will aggro as you would expect in real life, when they can see you (in line of sight), mobs in TESO have very short aggro ranges. So your character happily ambles past fire elementals and skeletons at point blank ranges while they happily ignore you. The effect is jarring and breaks suspension of disbelief, and just makes you want to play a real Elder Scrolls game. Fans of first person shooters and past Elder Scrolls games will be completely put off the game by this. Likewise, whereas when Oblivion came out it was touted for its “Radiant AI” for friendly NPCs, where they would act as if living out virtual lives, in ESO towns are lifeless. Friendly NPCs simply stand around in various poses (e.g. playing a lyre). This is standard in cheap MMOs like Rift (although even WoW tries to give the illusion of vibrant cities with patrolling NPCs), but it’s a step back from what we expect in a game with hyperrealistic Skryim/Call of Duty-like graphics.

Then there’s the whole MMO aspect to it. There are other players all around you in ESO. Except no-one talks and no-one acknowledges your presence. Everyone is just like you, on a mission to complete the quest they have in front of them. And plenty of these missions are, like Skyrim, go into a dank dungeon, full of chests and monsters and reach the end. Except now these other players are running around looting the very same chests (which are NOT shared) and killing the very same monsters that make Skyrim dungeon diving fun. So ESO’s dungeon crawls or quests consist of you sprinting past a bunch of dead bodies and empty chests, making the game more of a running simulator than dungeons and dragons.

So in summary then: ESO clearly cost a lot of money to make, as evidenced by its visual fidelity, but at the same time not a lot of thought went into its design.

Now, long-time readers of my blog may know that I rag on about The Secret World and how bad it is, but I have now found a game that is monumentally worse than The Secret World. That is no small feat. And we know that The Secret World went sub-free, can be bought for a dime, and development support for it has almost ground to a halt. People will buy ESO because it’s shiny. But after that first month, who is going to stay for the gameplay? Who is going to stay around for floaty combat, empty dungeons and an empty world? My recommendation to prospective players: wait half a year, buy it on sale when ESO has gone B2P/F2P. Hey, if you had followed that advice for The Secret World and Defiance (two other recent big budget MMOs), you could have bought them for $15 and $10 respectively, no sub needed, rather than $60 up front.

So the World of Warcraft Iron Skyreaver mount is in the new Transformers film….

At 0:23 of the recent Superbowl ad spot for the Transformers: Age of Extinction live action movie, who should rear its (two heads) but a certain mount that is familiar to many WoW players….

Clearly a meta tie-in by Blizzard to boost sales of this P2W mount.

WoW: Warlords of Draenor, the Triumphant Redemption of Garrosh!

To me, WoW is the story of Garrosh. Through shared experiences and through multiple years of patches and expansions, we’ve tracked his character development from an unsure youth to an assured warchief. WoW is like one of those olden day epic stories or movies where the old king (Thrall) passes the torch to the young prince (Garrosh), who then outshines the father (like the life of Alexander the Great). As someone who grew up with WoW, Garrosh was my role model and taught me how to transition to adult responsibilities, and I hope to use his example to teach my children about life.

I was very sad then with what Blizzard did to my hero this expansion. Credit where credit’s due to the writers, Garrosh was still the same hero of the Horde. He was doing everything right – winning great military victories against the Alliance, seeking new ways to defeat the Alliance in Pandaria (the Sha, which could have been an “atom bomb” gamechanger like in WWII that made the Alliance surrender for good). What was wrong with the writing was the totally out of character reaction of the Horde. Instead of wanting victories, wanting to not live in shithole deserts, the other Horde leaders were scared of war and the Alliance fighting back. This isn’t why I rolled Horde. I rolled Horde to fight and stand up for all the times the Horde were oppressed, not listen to scaredy-cats like Vol’jin. Somehow the ordinary Horde citizens feel the same way as Vol’jin, and we know the rest of the poorly written story – Garrosh gets deposed, blah blah, a goddamn troll as warchief. I especially did not roll Horde to be ruled by a troll. Horde is Orc, always. The Horde have an identity crisis now. They’re supposed to be the “evil” side but they’re all full of goody two shoes and pussies. This is why I’m now playing Alliance. At least they know what they are (i.e. the good side).

But of course I had faith in Blizzard and now my faith has been rewarded. This isn’t the last we heard of Garrosh. We know Garrosh is going to trigger the events of the next expansion, go into the past and finally confront his father’s mistake. The Prince lets his hubris gets the better of him, gets kicked out, goes into the wilderness and learns about himself, returns as the all conquering hero. WoW is Garrosh’s story after all. So does this mean Garrosh will be returned as Horde Warchief during the events of the expansion? I simply refuse to accept a troll as warchief and I know many of my friends have also downed their tools, switched to Alliance or unsubbed because of this story development. Anecdotally, my server has seen the Horde population bottom out, most of the people still playing Horde are those that are too invested in their characters or don’t care about the story, only about phat lewt and racial bonuses (i.e. Method).

This is how I imagine Warlord of Draenor will start:

Warlords of Draenor opening cinematic:
————————————————————————–
SCENE: the dark hold of a ship. Camera zooms in, as the ship rocks violently to and fro, while from outside can be heard the howling storm that is beating down on the vessel. Out of the gloom looms GARROSH, his arms being suspended in the air by chains. Dimly, in the background can be seen the shadows of Pandaren standing guard with their polearms. GARROSH is in transit to his trial on Pandaria.

Suddenly, the sound of fighting can be heard. The whistle of arrows, the Pandaren can be seen to fall.

GARROSH’s cell door slowly creaks open. Several shadowy figures enter. GARROSH raises his head from out of the gloom into the candlelight:

“Vol’jin” he states.

SCENE: the outside of the ship. VOL’JIN in full battle regalia, flanked by his honor guard, steps out on to the ship’s upper deck, a chained GARROSH in tow.

VOL’JIN shouts imperiously to his minions:
“Prepare to fire the ship, everyone will believe Garrosh drowned trying to escape”

VOL’JIN turns to GARROSH:
“As for you, my warchief (sarcastically), I have been waiting to kill you for a long time”

VOL’JIN unsheathes his weapon and prepares to execute the kneeling chained GARROSH.

A scuffle. GARROSH reverses his position, disarms VOL’JIN, and uses his own weapon to cut off the troll’s arm.

GARROSH crouches over the prostrate, wheezing VOL’JIN, whose arm can be seen to be slowly regenerating. His guards stand still, too shocked to move.

GARROSH: “Lok’tar ogar. Know this warchief (dismissively), when you tell my Horde, that a naked and bound orc beat you and your soldiers”

GARROSH stands up and makes to move away, VOL’JIN’s guards nervously back away from him, unsure what to do.

Camera zooms in on GARROSH’s face, but behind him, amazingly, VOL’JIN appears to be rising to his feet as well. Yet something is wrong with the troll, his body seems to be writhing, but we don’t have a clear look.

VOL’JIN (voice warping): “Yes, Garrosh, you were always the better warchief. We (the council) all knew when you went to Pandaria, and found out that you had mastered the Sha. You had conquered your pride, your anger, your fear, your doubt.

But where you were immune to the Sha and thought only to turn them into a tool for the good of the Horde, we found in the Sha a way to destroy you. When Thrall made you warchief above us, he hurt our PRIDE. We were ANGRY that he had chosen you over us, the more wiser. When you declared war on the Alliance and made more gains than any war previously, we were AFRAID that the Alliance would rouse themselves and fight back.

When we arrived in Pandaria, we found in the Sha our naturall ally. We embraced their corruption and the power they have given us. We brought them back to Kalimdor, our bodies as vessels, and spread FEAR, ANGER and DOUBT to raise a rebellion against you.”

A clear picture of Vol’jin’s true form. He is Sha-warped! From his cut off arm, a mess of writhing tentacles.

GARROSH: “NO! You would corrupt the Horde as my father did! No power is worth that price!”

VOL’JIN: “It was worth any price to see you warchief no longer. Now I must repay my debt. The Sha will have a new home in the Horde”

The now empowered Vol’jin attacks Garrosh, wildly mutating (for a cool cinematic fight scene with giant Sha claws sweeping across the ship, etc.). Garrosh cannot fight back, being forced back until he is penned up on the ship’s prow.

Suddenly, another ship appears alongside. Brown-hued orcs unload and force VOL’JIN to back off.

“Come with us to freedom,” one cries.

Garrosh makes his escape. As the other ship disappears into the horizon, the camera zooms into VOL’JIN, who has reformed into his unmutated troll form (disguise). Close-up on Vol’jin grimacing ominously into the camera.

Cut to Garrosh accompanied by a company of his orc liberators, trekking across various locales in Azeroth (e.g. crossing a wintry mountain pass, etc., LOTR montage style).

GARROSH monologue:
“I was free, but all Azeroth was now after me. On my head they pinned the death of the Pandaren, not realizing their very leaders were slaves to evil. It was my father who drank the blood of a demon, and corrupted the Horde the first time. Now the Horde is being corrupted again, and I must redeem my Horde and myself, as warchief. I was freed by pure orcs, the Mag’har, like myself, though they say they are from Draenor not Outland. They say a great warlord ordered them to come for me and that he has amassed a great Iron Horde beyond the Dark Portal. It is with these untainted orcs I must go to where it all began, to Draenor, to remove the corruption from my Horde and right the mistakes of the past and present.”

As these words are intoned, we see Garrosh approaching and stepping through the Dark Portal, which for some reason is glowing red.

Cut to World of Warcraft : Warlords of Draenor logo.

Close cinematic.

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This cinematic will also be recreated ingame as part of the prelaunch event. The player will be sent to escort  Garrosh on the way to his trial on board the boat seen in the cinematic. If Horde, the player will be accompanied by a faction contingent including Aggra, if Alliance, by Admiral Taylor. Vol’jin will attack, and after Garrosh escapes will demand everyone present to forgot what they saw. Aggra/Admiral Taylor will refuse, and Vol’jin will kill them. Vol’jin will leave you alive, because you are a known hero, and the people will trust you if you tell them Garrosh escaped and killed everyone.

The big reveal at the end of the expansion patch cycle (6.4): Garrosh (from the past) was the mysterious warlord who sent the orcs to free Garrosh (from the present). Garrosh defeats Vol’jin in the raid, becomes warchief and unites the Iron and Azerothian Hordes.