As is to be expected following a major content patch, the blogosphere is abuzz with all sorts of excited, unhappy or confused discussion. Personally, I didn't get to experience any of the new stuff on Rades yesterday because I was mysteriously unable to login to Drenden. I was able to use all of my Alliance characters on Moonrunner just fine, and through Real ID I could see that my Drenden Horde friends were online...so that was mighty strange. So I contented myself with raking in hundreds of gold from opulent Alliance players stocking up on glyphs.
However, my login woes are NOTHING compared to a situation that has arisen for Warlocks. Cynwise wrote today about an unexpected side effect of the patch - Warlock minions have lost their names and now receive new random ones the first time you summon them in the post-4.0 world. Poneria was just as saddened by this surprise change.
This is awful.
I have a Warlock, he's level 75. However, he's not really a character I have a lot of investment in. For ages he sat idle in the 40's, until I decided that I needed Inscription access, so I powerleveled him to his current state and he's now my herb/glyph machine. I didn't even GET my Succubus or Felhound until I was in Northrend and wanted to do some random instances (I couldn't be bothered to travel to Wetlands. I mean...WETLANDS. UGH.)
However, I still felt a deep sense of alarm and concern when I heard I might lose my trusty Voidwalker companion Jhomgrave. First of all, it's a freaking awesome name. But more importantly, he had been my sole partner for almost all of my leveling life. I didn't do any instances as my Warlock, just quested, picked herbs, and mass slaughtered every being within Corruption distance. I knew that if things turned hairy, Jhomgrave would be there to take one for the team and give me a mini-bubble, or hold the mobs off valiantly while I ran as fast as I could. Hell, I even forced my RL friend who also plays to name HIS NEW CAR Jhomgrave, as it is Voidwalker blue.
Fortunately for me, Jhomgrave somehow retained his name. I believe my Imp did as well, but my Felhound got a new name which is terribly silly sounding, and my Succubus also got a new name, which is actually okay (and I don't remember what her old one was, anyways.) I don't really understand, but regardless - for me, crisis averted.
But the real issue here is all the Warlocks who care about ALL their minions, not just their Voidwalkers. Twitter is abuzz with sad Warlocks mourning their friendly Felhounds, their slinky Succubi, their incorrigible Imps. It's a sad, sad day for them, on what should have been a terrific day of freedom from the horrible old Soul Shard system.
For pet-based classes like Warlocks and Hunters, our pets are an essential part of who we are. Messing around with them is to mess around with us! Taking away a Hunter or Warlock's pet is like taking away half of who they are, as a person. I know If I lost my pets, or if they suddenly had new skins or different names, I would be quite upset and angry. And I have the freedom to go tame new ones, or rename them! Poor Warlocks can do neither of these things.
To those who coldly retort that "it's just a name, get over it"? You don't get it. In a game where every human male in existence has one of 8 faces, names are one of the only ways we can recognize and celebrate individuality. Names have power. They are infused with memories. They represent unique, cherished personalities. After all, what would the game like if we logged in and were confronted with Aggazuz, Warchief? Maybe Wifflesmiz, King of Stormwind? Or how about the fearsome Palammo, the Lich King? Not quite the same, is it?
Also, what about Warlocks on Roleplaying realms? This would go beyond disappointment and inconvenience - it would mean the complete destruction of your character's history, backstory and IDENTITY! Especially when you consider that for years, Blizzard has hammered home the fact that Warlocks do not get to choose their minion's names because they are summoning sentient, already-existing creatures. I imagine RP'ing Warlocks are freaking out right now and just staggering about in a daze, wondering what to do with their foreign assortment of new demons.
So Blizzard, please fix this and make it right. It's not a balance issue. It's not QQ about a class being nerfed or changed. It's simply people who are genuinely upset because they love their Fel friends, and those friends have been abruptly stolen away, leaving imposters in their wake. Lift the renaming restriction temporarily. Let Certificates of Ownership work on minions. Or just dig into your databases and restore the former names. But just do something! Warlocks may be sadistic, fear-nuking agents of dark magic and demonic power, but the loss of their beloved minions is leaving them lonely and Soulshattered right now.
There's a great thread on the forums where Warlocks are posting their disappointment about this issue. Even if you're not affected (afflicted?) by this in any way, check it out - there's no shortage of heartwarming stories about good old Zaptik, about loyal Czaafun, about grumbly Gakbis, etc.