I'm older than you...most likely. I'm not a teenager, and I'm definately not a tweeny. I am a depressing tv show about late 1980 yuppies. 10 points if you can name the show, 25 if you can name the year it premiered. Anyway, aside from all divergences, I wanted to relate a story of 1998. Be patient, read the whole article, and you'll get another 50 points to Griffen....Er, anyway.
Steroids in Baseball
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but for two men it was the greatest of times. For the nation that stood in rapture, it was the pinnacle excitement and entertainment. Four years had passed since Major League Baseball players union had gone on strike, cancelling the World Series (of Baseball, not poker) for the first time in history due to a labor strike. Fans deserted the game, attendence was down at the ballparks, television ratings were also lower. Even Al Gore's invention of the internet didn't do anything to lift the popularity of Baseball back to its former glory of America's Pastime. Sure, Cal Ripken was playing every day, but Baseball in America needed a hero.
Enter stage left - steroids.
Deep withing the muscle fibres of Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa wove the elegant coursings of steriods. Making these men stronger, quicker, and dramatically improving their physical recovery rate, these men proceeded to put on a show for the American public such as never been seen before or since. You see, for all you younglings or non-sports fans, Baseball is obsessed with statistics. OBSESSED!!!! The record for home runs in a single season was 61, set by Roger Maris, who beat the previous record set by the infamous Babe Ruth, who hit 60 while playing for the Yankees in the early 20th century.
McGuire and Sosa were hitting home runs at a record pace, and it was believed that not one but two had the chance to break the home run record of 61, the only question was who would get there first? In the end it was McGuire, who not only hit his 62nd home run, but went on to hit 71 home runs, absolutely and forever destroying the record. Sosa ended up with 65 that year, still nothing to sneeze at.
For a long time the public idolized these figures...until there began rumors of a nasty little helper called steroids. The media went crazy, talking about nothing but steriods for years. There were even congressional hearings on the steriod policies of America's major sporting leagues, at which hearings various baseball players denied the use of steroids only to be proven liars and cheats months or years later.
But make no mistake, during a brief time in the mid to late 1990's, steriods made Baseball more popular. Owners and league officials alike were aware of rumors of steriods, but did nothing to curtail their use. Why? Because the game was making money again, it was popular again to take your family to a game, and they were not going to do anything to stop the boulder from rolling down that hill. Later, especially when congress threatened to take away their anti-trust exemption, did baseball leadership become self-righteous hypocrites.
Steroids in WoW
So if you've stuck with me this long, I congratulate you, I told you I would tie this into WoW. I think that there are steroids in WoW. Not "actual" steroids, like real drugs sold by devs to unsuspecting teenagers, that would be illegal. I'm talking about things that boost the popularity of the game quickly and massively. All expansion packs are steriods all by themselves, but looking forward to the upcoming Cataclysm xpac, there are a few steroids to watch out for. Remember, overdosing of any steroid can lead to an enlarged skull, weak joints, acne, aggression, and of course "shrinkage".
Steroid #1: Worgen: I realize that many of you, myself included, really want to experience the awesomeness that will be playing a Worgen Anything. For the really deranged, who have set aside an entire realm for Worgen only alts, we can only hope that they all end up playing with each other and spare us the random dungeon comments of "Look at me, look at me, I so awesome with dis fur and big teeth and claws and, mommy look at me, look at me." For anyone planning to make 1 of everything Worgen, you need to be on the lookout for larger hats and more supportive pillows, perhaps a memory foam pillow will be able to support that huge noggin of yours.
But a Worgen, administered properly and in the right doses, will be the huge spark that sparks the bonfire of the Alliance. As they finally get a bestial race, and an awesomeness one at that, there will be some long-time Horde enthusiasts tempted to swing the other way just for the chance to rip and claw without having to roll a Druid. Worgen are a terriffic addition to the playable races, and will serve as a steriod for a long time in the new xpac.
Steroid #2: Goblin: The Goblins have a much greater chance of developing more of the side effects that come from heavy steroid usage, shrinkage being more of a racial than a side effect. For all the fun and games that come with the new Goblin class, I foresee aggression being a common side effect. Gnomes are small, so small we can step on them if we're not careful. But they don't fight back too often. Even if they do, their voices are so squeeky and silly that nobody can ever take a gnome seriously. Goblins, however, are known for less-savory behavior, and for all the bad behavior that we currently see in the game, we need to be careful to not embody too much of a Goblin's true character into our own.
I know I'll play some sort of Goblin, and mostly I'll do it for the mount. I'm not a money-making Goblin for sure, but we can all see the potential for abusing the Goblin persona to make really, really bad jokes. If you roll a Goblin, please stay out of all chat channels. If you want to make money, do it with a Blood Elf or Dwarf. If you don't you may just find yourslef getting carried away into a deeper and darker fantasy. Some of you may like that, and it's your choice. But just like any other steroid user, don't say you haven't been warned of the potential side-effects.
More Steroids: Flying mounts in Azeroth, Gnome Priests, public bathing pools, leopard-skin sheets, sharks with frickin' lazer beams, remake/reshaping of the Old World, improved soloability with improved quests and quest rewards, Gnome Priests with frickin' lazer beams on their heads, and more.
Like I said before, an expansion is one giant steroid all by itself, everything in it are the various ingredients to the steroid mix. I didn't include any of the talent changes because none of that is finished, so it wouldn't be right to label it as either a steroid or a depressant...yet. So go home and tell your friends, family, whomever that steroids are good for you. They will make WoW the place to be, the show to watch, the game to play. Just remember, measured doses will do you right, overdosing will just make you grumpy and "small".