World of Warcraft has been going through some rough times, mostly due to the controversies surrounding its creators (though not only them), which affect the game itself: in July it lost references to some - let's call it - troublesome employees. Of a slightly different nature was the change noticed by Wowhead. Here's the thing: the currently tested patch 9.1.5 changed two paintings in Azeroth, which appeared in the game world in the basic version of WoW.
The first painting (hanging in Ravenholdt) was restored, in a way, but the woman depicted was also slightly censored by adding less revealing clothing. The second painting with a posing model (previously present in Stormwind) was replaced by a still life picture.
It's hard not to associate these changes with the turmoil surrounding Blizzard, which in recent months has been facing more lawsuits and criticism. However, it begs the question about the meaning of this essentially minor and insignificant case of "censorship". After all, we're talking about literally two low-quality images in a game full of less-than-covered female player characters. It could even have been a single employee's initiative, rather than part of a larger plan by Blizzard.
Of course, the netizens wouldn't be themselves if they didn't comment on this with typical online cynicism. Just take a look at the high rating of the Reddit thread with the otherwise apt title "Blizzard want to respect women so they turned them into fruit" and a short animation prepared by YouTube user Woo Ping Weapon Master (available below).
Patch 9.1.5 isn't just about the oh-so-important censorship. The patch, available on the Public Test Server, also includes changes to covenants and area attacks, new customization options, and game balance adjustments. We don't know yet when the update will hit the full version of WoW.
- World of Wacraft - official website
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