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Starym

The Chinese Version of Maldraxxus Is a Little Weird

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DUe1tsi-1.png
 

As you probably already know, the Chinese version of WoW is a little different, with skulls and bones (as well as gore) being censored/changed in the game due to cultural reasons. Seeing as Maldraxxus is all skull and bones, how exactly would that work in the Chinese version? As it turns out: weird.

Yuvalal in the Wowpedia discord went on a little trip and changed their local WoW to the Chinese version and took screenshots of a lot of the changes, starting with everyone's favorite, Chordy, who got quite the downgrade (but also a cool hat, so it clearly evens out):

95tobxho31361.png   Capture.PNG
Original, minus the crown (source), vs. Chinese version.

The standard Maldraxxus bony guys got quite the treatment, as they're now just really skinny regular folk:

Capture.PNG   Capture.PNG

The slime-folk got a milder treatment, as they just got things removed rather than added, including Margrave Stradama: 

Margrave-Stradama.jpg   Capture.PNG

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Speaking of removing things, I'd say they went a LITTLE too far with the liches:

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The above seems to be a bug instead of an actual conversion, as he's pretty bony even with the ribcage removed.

And some of the contestants in the Theater of Pain look a lot more lively too:

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But it's not just the residents of Maldraxxus that got the de-bonification treatment, as Sindragosa put on some weight too:

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The Loa couldn't escape the process either:

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And then there's the just plain weird ones, with not much effort being put in at all:

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And finally, there's the old-school poster boy of Chinese changes, Mr. Bonestorm himself, who looked really weird back in WotLK, but has gotten better over the years:

7m9mZmpj8ebMhWnOMrpEu60bNC7Bn1KuR3ZtYKGF   unknown.png


Big thanks to Yuvalal from the Wowpedia discord for getting all of these and to Grayvves for catching it on reddit as well!

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2 minutes ago, FireLordJohn said:

I can't be the only one who is curious why the Chinese client has to minimize bones and such.

Added a small explanation in the intro, it's a cultural thing for the Chinese.

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26 minutes ago, FireLordJohn said:

I can't be the only one who is curious why the Chinese client has to minimize bones and such.

To be more precise, it's something about "disrespecting the dead". Also, afaik Taiwanese client doesn't have any censorship.

Some of these models look like Forsaken are cosplaying as Necrolords. First one is an odd choice, since the original isn't a skeleton but a rather fleshy construct. Not sure how it makes a difference since ghoul arguably has more visible bony bits sticking out.

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17 minutes ago, zigrifid said:

This is taboo but eating bats dogs and cats isnt? 😄

Just as weird as eating cows, pigs, and chickens.

(in case you don't get it: Cultures are different. What you're used to will always seem "normal" and "natural" and what you're not used to seems "funny"  and "weird". No, I'm not getting into a discussion on what's more or less moral or gross or whatever, tyvm).

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6 hours ago, FireLordJohn said:

I can't be the only one who is curious why the Chinese client has to minimize bones and such.

From what I hear they don't.

I get the impression there's a vague idea you shouldn't have images of bones floating around, which is understandable enough. Akin to white wedding dresses as a random example.

But apparently the law is vague enough (and, it being China, I'd guess the government potentially unpredictable and far-reaching enough) that game companies tend to remove the bones preemptively lest it delay the certification. 

I know nothing about China, though, so I'm just repeating what I've heard. 🙂

6 hours ago, Starym said:

Speaking of removing things, I'd say they went a LITTLE too far with the liches [...]

The above seems to be a bug instead of an actual conversion, as he's pretty bony even with the ribcage removed.

Bearing in mind the above, it may not be. Although weird, it could be that somebody looked at that and decided the censors would have no trouble with the lich minus ribcage. The head is clearly fantastical. The hands are wacko. The skirt isn't made out of real bones. The only things which are relatable to real bones at all are the arms.

Without the ribcage he's on the level of the new Marrowgar, the shoulder pads of the fleshified skeletons, or the bony bits stuck in the ghoul which Arcling pointed out. 

Heroes is an interesting comparison which might start explaining why those examples are acceptable. Stitches has a unique skin in China. But Leroic and Kel'thuzad don't. I have a vivid recollection of a reddit AMA where one of the art team said Kel'thuzad didn't need to be edited because his bones were extremely stylised. His ribcage, blocky. His hands, wacko. Now I can't find it and may just be making it up. Go away, brain. But that might explain why Marrowgar is okay with new heads.

Also, the removed ribcage of your lich above is extremely eye-catching and somewhat disturbing to look at. If you stop looking for bones and you start looking for disturbing dead bits, all of these changes are far more consistent.

Disturbing? Fine.

Dead? Fine.

Disturbingly dead? Not fine.

Human bones are disturbing. Long fingers are disturbing. In combination... maybe it's still disturbing, yes, but perhaps not that specific breed of disturbing which makes Chinese censors wiggle their eyebrows. 

They all remain, however, extremely funny.

edited for clarity

Edited by Halock
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1 hour ago, Sibylle said:

Just as weird as eating cows, pigs, and chickens.

(in case you don't get it: Cultures are different. What you're used to will always seem "normal" and "natural" and what you're not used to seems "funny"  and "weird". No, I'm not getting into a discussion on what's more or less moral or gross or whatever, tyvm).

Slapping down an explanation about cultural sensitivity and then declining a discussion on morality is kinda "funny" and "weird" in my culture. 

But being kinda funny and weird myself, I think you can expand this. 

We don't always laugh just because something is unknown to us, although that's a perfectly healthy reason to. Sometimes we laugh because the behaviour contains something incongruous with things common to all people.

I don't find the Chinese funny for eating dogs because I'm not familiar with eating dogs. I can perfectly imagine eating a dog. I have met some dogs I would have liked to roast on a spit very much. No, I find it funny because I know (whether my Chinese fellow does or doesn't) that dogs are intelligent and clever to the point it's easy to forget they're not human. They are probably the most companionable beasts on earth. They are, indeed, probably man's best friend. And then the Chinese man takes man's beast friend and eats him

That's not just funny because it's unusual to us. It's funny because mistaking man's best friend for a bag of crisps is a genuine blind spot. It breaks logic in that way which produces humour. And not just our logic. And I'm sure the Chinese would laugh if you explained it to them. 

And yeah, I, we, have our own blind spots. I work with cows every day yet fail to understand why you would pick a cow, of all things, to be sacred. I'd be glad to be informed. Possibly I would even get the joke. 

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6 hours ago, Sibylle said:

Just as weird as eating cows, pigs, and chickens.

(in case you don't get it: Cultures are different. What you're used to will always seem "normal" and "natural" and what you're not used to seems "funny"  and "weird". No, I'm not getting into a discussion on what's more or less moral or gross or whatever, tyvm).

Know a lot of people with pet cows do you? 

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4 hours ago, Halock said:

From what I hear they don't.

But apparently the law is vague enough (and, it being China, I'd guess the government potentially unpredictable and far-reaching enough) that game companies tend to remove the bones preemptively lest it delay the certification. 

This is correct, if your game has material that could be considered religious or occult it has to go before a panel of judges who have to decide whether your game is promoting some sort of ideology or if its just a game thing.  Developers are scared they get rejected so they just self censor pre-emptively to avoid it entirely.

edit: I'll add that this mostly applies to foreign products, there's plenty of bones and weird stuff in chinese products but they're much harder on foreigners

Edited by Yojiro
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11 hours ago, Sibylle said:

Just as weird as eating cows, pigs, and chickens.

(in case you don't get it: Cultures are different. What you're used to will always seem "normal" and "natural" and what you're not used to seems "funny"  and "weird". No, I'm not getting into a discussion on what's more or less moral or gross or whatever, tyvm).

Historically from a human race / scientific perspective what you're saying can be argued.  One of the longest relationships recorded with man, was with dogs in particular.  Going back more than 14,000 years.  They were predominantly used as hunting partners, apart from the other gray wolves and generational dogs who had higher testosterone levels and couldn't be domesticated.  Humans today aren't much different from those 10,000 years ago and had the same capacity for empathy.  Dogs would have been seen as part of the family and not as food themselves.  What you will find is, such as the Yulan dog festival, is that the Chinese are the exception, and not the rule (Amongst very few others).  The Yulan dog meat festival for example is celebrated because of a historical attack on their homeland, where the dogs were slaughtered to silence their barking as to not alarm the enemy.  I would argue as do many others, that comparing dogs to farm animals is not an accurate representation of one of the longest latest relationships to humankind.  Going back further than when we even had agriculture and farming.  So no, whilst they do it for cultural reasons, they for the most part have digressed significantly from what most of the human race has considered "normal" around dogs.  There are much deeper explanations for the other pets / animals, but I will leave it there.

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We're OK with bones, but show a nipple and people freak out. I'm sure a lot of places think the U.S. is weird for having different standards considering the things we're OK with. Like Sibylle said, it's a cultural thing. No need to drag racial stereotypes into it.

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22 hours ago, Halock said:

mistaking man's best friend for a bag of crisps is a genuine blind spot.

I read your entire reply but just quoting so you know I am writing this to you. 

I will try my best to expand:

I had in the past 20 years travelled to three different Chinese cities and lived and worked there for a total of 11 years. Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenyang. Growing up in this European Asian mixed cultural environment one would reasonably expect the topic of eating dogs and other exotic animals frequently coming up. I can say with confidence that for every one Chinese person that supports eating such things, there are hundreds more that are vehemently against it. 

This dog eating thing has been part of their culture for thousands of years, dating back into the BC's but at the same time - so is having them as domestic pets. This is what most people do not get, because in other cultures (except a few) we believe eating dogs and owning them as pets are a binary choice or they are downright black and white moral opposites.

Two things here: One, there are dog breeds that are raised on farms like any other livestock and there are dog breeds that people keep as pets, and I emphatically say: No reasonable, sane person would casually walk between that line. This may sound like an excuse but please read on.

Two, this is a very minor "sub-culture" of a nation of 1.4 billion people and this practice is overall largely frowned upon and in more severe cases discriminated against within China.

You can repeat your view to a Chinese person, believe me, they would laugh, at you, for measuring their 5000 years culture using your own as a frame of reference, especially when you understand, or dare I say, care so little about it. So there is a real debate here as to where that "genuine logical blind spot" really lies.

Reading the original comment that sparked this made me feel unease. But to see irresponsible stereotyping escalate to being factually incorrect and overpowering the original discussion regarding censorship is quite upsetting.

At the end of the day, joking about a collective group of people is totally cool if it's good natured and light hearted and both parties have mutual understanding of the context. We would totally just "har har", walk away and never speak again. But if it's coming from a flawed perspective (could be from either side) it could be considered insensitive and inappropriate.

Anyway back to the original topic, others already pointed out what I otherwise would have said: It's not as bad as one would imagine. This is just companies being extra careful to avoid religious, cultural and of course political issues. We do this kind of stuff to ensure a smooth product launch in China, in reality a lot of this is ok if the context is appropriate. Again who knows, China is still a deeply conservative country where pornography is (mostly) illegal for all and drug trafficking can result in death sentences.

 

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On 1/31/2021 at 9:15 AM, Finkerton285 said:

Yeah, it's called India.

My point was people in China keep dogs and cats as pets, but also eat them. In the West we don't eat our pets, if we kept cows as pets we likely wouldn't eat them. I don't think there's a lot of cow eating going on in India.

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