Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why Eye for an Eye?

I put a little thought into naming this blog when I started it. I didn't want it to have just a random name that was appropriate but forgettable. Why is this blog named "Eye for an Eye" then, instead of something like "RetPallyLOL" or "Crusader Strike?"

Well, the obvious reason for choosing "Eye for an Eye," and one that factored in to the decision, was the Eye for an Eye talent in the WoW paladin retribution tree. I wanted the blog title to directly relate to retribution paladins in the World of Warcraft, as that is my blog focus, and short of naming (and subsequently stealing the name from Firelight) "Retribution," the best way to tie the blog to retribution paladins was to name it for something recognizable about Warcraft paladins. Each tree has talents that really scream "holy" or "protection" or "retribution," even if they are not the defining talent of the tree. The following are all my opinion of course, but for holy, it's Divine Favor, while for protection it's Ardent Defender and Avenger's Shield. For retribution, it's Vengeance and Eye for an Eye.

Next, Eye for an Eye is a phrase that is steeped in tradition and history, and is known as the phrase that embodies "retributive justice." For a blog about retribution spec for paladins, I'd say that's pretty appropriate. From Wikipedia (source):

The phrase "an eye for an eye", (Hebrew: עין תחת עין‎) is a quotation from Exodus 21:23–27 in which a person who has taken the eye of another in a fight is instructed to give his own eye in compensation. At the root of the non-Biblical form of this principle is the belief that one of the purposes of the law is to provide equitable retaliation for an offended party. It defined and restricted the extent of retaliation. This early belief is reflected in the Code of Hammurabi and in the laws of the Hebrew Bible
The Wikipedia page goes on to describe the tit-for-tat nature of retributive justice. This definitely fits with the knightly paladin theme, as paladins are known as defenders of the realm. A protector would not exact pain or suffering on another unless it was warranted, as in, the offender did something to deserve it. In that case, a paladin would use as much force as necessary to uphold justice and, in true Hammurabic fashion, right the wrong. Despite the offensive nature of retribution specialization for paladins, the mindset of many paladins is still that of the protector - one who acts in defense of himself and others, spurred to act by advances of others against him and his. Either that, or the mindset of the avenger - one who seeks vengeance on behalf of another. In both cases, any offensive actions taken by the paladin are based in a reactive response, which is in line with the Eye for an Eye code.

Lastly, it sounds cool and abbreviates well. Can't argue with that!

The blog, when I first started posting, was named "RetLOL." I was definitely not happy with that, but I was so eager to get my thoughts to virtual paper that I needed a name to post under. The first thing that came to mind was the history of in-game prejudice toward retribution paladins in both PvE and PvP, and the penchant for players to emote /lol at them or respond in kind when were considering a paladin for a group who revealed that he was retribution specced. "lolret" or "ret, lol" were commonplace things to hear on the matter. Hence, RetLOL. But, I much prefer Eye for an Eye, and now you know why I chose it.


Pike said...

Nice post, I enjoy seeing where the names of blogs come from.

One of my very good friends plays a ret paladin. I used to sort of playfully rib him with "LOLRet" but then he linked me to his Armory and a bunch of screenshots of him tearing up battlegrounds, and it was all really impressive, so now I can't rib him anymore ;)

Josh said...

Thanks Pike!

Battlegrounds are a Ret Paladin's playground. Lots of people running around with low resilience, and many people ignoring you since you're a "lolretnub" so you can do whatever you want and not get focused. I frequently finish top 3 in damage in BG's when I play them, and close to the top in killing blows. But, I also have excellent gear, so it's sorta expected from my perspective.

There's a lot of initial "lolret" reactions. My old server is particularly hostile to them, only a handful of guilds embrace ret pallys. Thankfully, my current server sees almost all of the t5 and t6 guilds boasting a ret paladin in their ranks. Still sucks to PUG a 5 man though.