MUD Designer Unhappy About WoW Torture Quest

Illustration for article titled MUD Designer Unhappy About WoW Torture Quest

Richard Bartle - co-author of the original MMO game MUD, but you knew that already, right? - has been playing Wrath of the Lich King and does not like what he has found. Specifically, he is less than impressed with "The Art of Persuasion" a quest that requires you to use a Neural Needler to extract information from an imprisoned sorcerer. Torture, in other words. "I'm not at all happy with this," Bartle wrote on his blog, "I was expecting for there to be some way to tell the guy who gave you the quest that no, actually I don't want to torture a prisoner, but there didn't seem to be any way to do that." "Unless there's some kind of awful consequence further down the line, it would seem that Blizzard's designers are OK with breaking the Geneva convention." Torture [YouHaventLived]


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*Minor spoilers for the Death Knight starting quests*

How about looking at it in the context of the setting? That quest is part of the Death Knight starting quests, during which you are in the service of the undeniably evil Lich King.

Every player-controlled Death Knight is a former servant of Arthas who redeems himself/herself and chooses to fight against Arthas later down the line.

The torture quest is part of that starting questline designed to show how evil Arthas is, and explain why you're going to be fighting him later on. It is not a glorification by any stretch of the imagination, and if he just played for another hour or two, he'd see that all of the Death Knights most certainly do give their leader a collective "Fuck you".