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  #7126  
Old 10-20-2018, 06:29 PM
Lord Grimtale Lord Grimtale is offline

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I don't mind moral greyness when it makes sense, but yeah even I'll admit it doesn't make sense here even if I'm indifferent about it. If Blizzard adds any pragmatism behind any of this then that'll be more palpable, but all I see from this is just a throwaway world quest with no thought put into designing it.

Personally, the Alliance has so much cool potential for greyness and they have races that fit that scheme but Blizzard doesn't seem to be aware of that and are just doing whatever they do. Worgen, Void Elves, Night Elves, and Dark Irons should be being used way more for stuff like this, committing acts of terror against Horde and their allies, being less merciful to their enemies, being seen as a necessary evil by their own allies. If there's going to be a justice vs. vengeance theme going on, then I want to see more vigilantism and actually acts of vengeance being perpetrated against the deserving enemies.
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  #7127  
Old 10-20-2018, 09:16 PM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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It's one of the big drawbacks of the medium. You can't simply tell a story, because you have to strike a balance between telling the story you want to tell and not displeasing playable race XYZ's fanbase too much. You want all of your players to have a fun experience and to feel like a hero (since that is what our characters are advertised as), which is why mind controlling undead humans in Tirisfal was such a big no-no. Not that Blizzard's solution was much better, if you care about the game's story at all.
I mean this is more a drawback of how Blizzard's set everything up, though. I felt like people mostly understood and got what was going on with Sylvanas in Silverpine Forest + Hillsbrad.

And I understood it was diabolical and cruel. But I still enjoyed playing it. I was able to separate myself from my character and the faction enough to understand Blizzard wasn't endorsing war crimes, germ warfare or genocide and to enjoy it for what it was. In fact the Gilnean-Silverpine stuff is probably my favourite thing they've done in WoW ever.

Same with Battle for Lordaeron and War of Thorns. Sylvanas isn't doing anything righteous or good, and outside of maybe some people on the story forums I don't think anyone thinks what Sylvanas is doing is good, righteous or constructive.

My issue is, there's automatically this assumption (particularly among the Horde fanbase) that she'll immediately be deposed and put down. And I HOPE that's wrong. I know there'd be some backlash, particularly from Horde players but I really wanna just see them maintain this.

Back in the day there was nothing heroic or ambiguous about Kerrigan, the Overmind, Arthas, Ner'zhul, Kel'thuzad. They weren't flat characters, but there was nothing righteous about them. And YET I'd argue Kerrigan was largely the protagonist of StarCraft on the whole. Arthas was certainly the protagonist for MOST of WarCraft 3 no matter how evil he got.

I just do not understand this need to be heroic at all. It's so, so boring.
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  #7128  
Old 10-20-2018, 09:52 PM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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And I HOPE that's wrong. I know there'd be some backlash, particularly from Horde players but I really wanna just see them maintain this.
Yes

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I just do not understand this need to be heroic at all. It's so, so boring.
YES
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  #7129  
Old 10-21-2018, 12:52 AM
Fenixhart Fenixhart is offline

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We Deposed Garrosh for less.

If we don't depose Sylvanas at this point then they'll just be even worse off.

If this is something we "maintain" then I'll probably depart from the game.

I just want them to have some grasp of cause and effect. But even this basic principle seems to elude them save for breif moments of clarity where "hey, maybe there should be a reaction to this..."

But for the most part, it will just be displacement. It'll be Rexxar yelling to "take back our lands!" on land that isn't his, it'll be Sylvanas telling Anduin that he only offers peace when it suits him, it'll be Alliance Curbstomping Random Neutrals with tangential Ties to the Horde instead of crushing the Horde in retaliation for all the umpteenth atrocities they commit. Nah, they'll just Purge The Hereti-Vulpera for being rescued by the Horde.

But the continuing sense that everything is written or directed by post-it-notes persists and it's just...getting harder to smile and nod.
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  #7130  
Old 10-21-2018, 02:13 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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My issue is, there's automatically this assumption (particularly among the Horde fanbase) that she'll immediately be deposed and put down. And I HOPE that's wrong. I know there'd be some backlash, particularly from Horde players but I really wanna just see them maintain this.
Leaving aside how the players feel about Sylvanas, I just don't see how keeping her around as Warcheif could work. If she had the full backing of her faction? Perhaps, but in a Horde that includes (Bwonsamdi worshipping) trolls, tauren and some reasonable orcs, I don't think that she'll have many supporters in the long run. Especially now that we know that she had some mysterious entity we know nothing about backing her.
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  #7131  
Old 10-21-2018, 03:48 AM
Fenixhart Fenixhart is offline

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Leaving aside how the players feel about Sylvanas, I just don't see how keeping her around as Warcheif could work. If she had the full backing of her faction? Perhaps, but in a Horde that includes (Bwonsamdi worshipping) trolls, tauren and some reasonable orcs, I don't think that she'll have many supporters in the long run. Especially now that we know that she had some mysterious entity we know nothing about backing her.
That and despite Blizzard's urgings the story is playing out nearly beat for beat as Mists of Pandaria.
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  #7132  
Old 10-21-2018, 06:47 AM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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We Deposed Garrosh for less.
But that's my point. Should there be this all-powerful "we" who arbiters over all morality and only does the right thing?

I don't think so. People respect results and that's mostly what Sylvanas has gotten, burning Darnassus was horrific and cruel but it had a purpose. Corrupting the vale was... random. Garrosh specifically alienated his allies in a targeted, visceral way that Sylvanas hasn't. Sylvanas has mostly played nice. Other than this new Saurfang stuff, which I think is so, so goofy. And yeah -- pretty much beat for beat the Vol'jin plotline from Mists of Pandaria.

But also I just think Sylvanas is more popular and more empathetic for the player base than Garrosh was. So I don't know if they'll take that story in the exact same direction.

At this point they're pretty much out of Azeroth to make new expansions of... so I think the next one will have to have a wildly different scope or territory.
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  #7133  
Old 10-21-2018, 06:59 AM
Reinhardt Reinhardt is offline

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I just do not understand this need to be heroic at all. It's so, so boring.
The issue is that the horde is heterogeneous but the story is the same for all races.
Some chooses the horde for because they did not want to play generic good guys.
Some picked it because they wanted to be Noble Savage.
But after the first 20 levels, the forsaken and the tauren play the same missions.
Blizzard did not give the player to go one way or the other, to refuse a mission or to fudge it.

This creates a dissonance when your mission is to do horrible things while you see your character as a good guy.
Some people just try to rationalize things by deciding that what their character do is morally ok and the other guys do worse.
And blizzard, not wanting to address the underlying issue, uses the morally grey line whenever people complains.
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  #7134  
Old 10-21-2018, 07:06 AM
Deicide Deicide is offline

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But that's my point. Should there be this all-powerful "we" who arbiters over all morality and only does the right thing?

I don't think so. People respect results and that's mostly what Sylvanas has gotten, burning Darnassus was horrific and cruel but it had a purpose. Corrupting the vale was... random. Garrosh specifically alienated his allies in a targeted, visceral way that Sylvanas hasn't. Sylvanas has mostly played nice. Other than this new Saurfang stuff, which I think is so, so goofy. And yeah -- pretty much beat for beat the Vol'jin plotline from Mists of Pandaria.

But also I just think Sylvanas is more popular and more empathetic for the player base than Garrosh was. So I don't know if they'll take that story in the exact same direction.

At this point they're pretty much out of Azeroth to make new expansions of... so I think the next one will have to have a wildly different scope or territory.
These are points I've been making for a long time. Garrosh fell not because he was doing evil stuff, but because he alienated his own faction, so it turned against him.

Sylvanas can do any evil stuff she likes, because the Horde will always fear the Alliance more than her. Even if the Horde ends up hating Sylvanas, dealing with her will always be postponed for after they win the war.

The only part of the story so far that is too much alike MoP for my taste is Saurfang's rebellion. I was expecting something different from that plot.

8.1 story in general has been weaker than 8.0. I like the concepts behind the night elf story, but the execution so far has been very lacking.
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  #7135  
Old 10-21-2018, 11:01 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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it'll be Sylvanas telling Anduin that he only offers peace when it suits him
I see you did not read Before the Storm
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  #7136  
Old 10-21-2018, 01:02 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Players are fine with playing the villain when they know that's what they're playing. Blizzard has spent all of Warcraft 3, Vanilla WoW through Wrath, telling Horde players they are heroes. Even Sylvanas had some sympathetic qualities, and Forsaken fans feeling like they're lashing out against hateful humans. Cata was a huge shift in tone for the Horde. MoP was another shift back to Warcraft 3. Now the fan base is dealing with another shift, this time with a flanderized concept of honor from Saurfang.

We have players across the internet and game defending Sylvanas. Either because they believe the Night Elves deserve it, or they're desperate to not have a repeat of MoP.
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  #7137  
Old 10-21-2018, 04:11 PM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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I think the Forsaken are absolutely intended to be monsters. Vicious, evil monsters. Perhaps rightly so (lashing out at a world that hates them) but the blight, the necromancy, you're certainly not supposed to think you're heroic.

And really there is a way for the Horde to retain it's honor and still keep Sylvanas. It's ultimately down to, is Blizzard willing to tell the playerbase "you're powerless to do anything against her". Because there's really no one outside of Saurfang who's around who can stop her at this point without putting their faction at risk.

I think I've said this before but the only other Horde leader who's even going to willingly turn on her is maybe Baine. And he seems far too docile for that. Lor'themor only cares about his own people, the Orcs don't even really have a leader. I guess maybe Thrall could come back, but I doubt they're going to do that.
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  #7138  
Old 10-21-2018, 04:19 PM
Lord Grimtale Lord Grimtale is offline

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It honestly feels like BfA is just one big theater play with Forsaken taking the leading protagonist role and every other race is supporting cast at best.

If Sylvanas makes it out of this expansion that will pretty much cement that the Alliance has been used as a stepping stone to move her story forward.
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  #7139  
Old 10-21-2018, 05:22 PM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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The Alliance is being used as stepping stone to move Saurfang's story forward.
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  #7140  
Old 10-22-2018, 03:42 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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If Blizzard wishes to preserve the identity of Thrall's Horde, then Sylvanas has to go. And given that I do not believe that Blizzard is ready to commit to the Horde being seen as the villain faction, they probably have realised this too. The player characters are already conspiring against her. The dice are cast.

Saurfang, Baine and probably the trolls, now that they know Vol'jin was duped, will lead a rebellion, the other leaders will join at the last moment and Sylvanas will be deposed. Maybe you'll get to kill a few goblin mercenaries. Perhaps even Gallywix.

The question, imo, is not will she be deposed, but when and how satisfactory and well written will the end be? So far everything points to this simply being a rehash of Mist of Pandaria's ending, but considering Blizzard's vehement denial, they may yet surprise us.

Either way, BFA is just the Forsaken's last big haha before the curtain closes. I think their fans will cry bitter tears once this expansion is over and another Horde race is left leaderless.
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  #7141  
Old 10-22-2018, 05:51 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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It is rather interesting reading that the Horde players were told their faction is heroic during Classic, yet then you read John Staats and his diary on the development of World of Warcraft explaining how most of the Classic team considered the Horde "the evil faction", and how the undead were considered "the most evil of them all", or you open the old promotional materials, manual, introductory scenes and read about the Undercity as "a sprawling bastion of evil", the Forsaken as "disciples of doom", the Alliance armies fighting the "merciless Horde" in faraway lands, and so on.

It is almost as if this dualism between "noble savage" and "merciless evil" has been present in the Horde since the very conception of World of Warcraft, and people just use the "good old days" fallacy to feel more justified in their toxic behavior towards the modern development team.
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  #7142  
Old 10-22-2018, 06:19 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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And the WC3 manual called Tyrande a night elven princess... The thing is, manuals and promotional materials... they're very unreliable lore sources.

And while I'm sure John Staats is knows what he's talking about, the fact that they considered the Horde the evil faction simply did not carry over to the game. The only Horde faction I would agree with you were shown to be evil since their introduction to the faction were the Forsaken and some of the blood elves. The former never stopped being evil, the latter were redeemed in the same expansion that introduced them to the faction.

Let's also not forget that whether you are playing Alliance, Horde or even a Forsaken, your primary goal is to protect the world your character lives in from evil. How could you not feel like a hero?
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  #7143  
Old 10-22-2018, 06:40 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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And the WC3 manual called Tyrande a night elven princess... The thing is, manuals and promotional materials... they're very unreliable lore sources.
They absolutely are reliable for the game they are written for. Warcraft III mentioned another elven princess, Aszuna, in-game, so they were simply a thing. Just that Tyrande had her backstory rewritten in the Knaak trilogy is not an argument, that is a post Warcraft III material, not a Warcraft III material.

Furthemore, I also specifically mentioned the introductory scenes because they are directly part of the game.

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And while I'm sure John Staats is knows what he's talking about, the fact that they considered the Horde the evil faction simply did not carry over to the game.
It did not carry over into the game because up until Wrath of the Lich King, the game had very limited storytelling tools. Staats even revealed that they did not intend for the game to have that many quests, and most of them were added in hurry. The manual and the intros were to be the main source of lore.

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Let's also not forget that whether you are playing Alliance, Horde or even a Forsaken, your primary goal is to protect the world your character lives in from evil. How could you not feel like a hero?
There's a reason why terms like "anti-hero", "anti-villain", etc exist. That is that being a protagonist (or a hero) or an antagonist (or a villain) does not imply not confirm your moral compass, behavior, philosophical grounds.
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  #7144  
Old 10-22-2018, 07:05 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Let's leave aside the manuals since I don't have any at hand, but I am fairly sure they contain quite a few inconsistencies even when limited to the game they were written for.

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It did not carry over into the game because up until Wrath of the Lich King, the game had very limited storytelling tools. Staats even revealed that they did not intend for the game to have that many quests, and most of them were added in hurry. The manual and the intros were to be the main source of lore.
We can only judge the game on what was delivered, not what they intended to deliver. John Staats journal is an interesting source of information on the game's development, but it is not necessarily relevant to the story. Regardless of how many quests they may initially have wanted to limited themselves to, the quests were added. Their storylines are what shapes WOW'S history, not discarded plans.


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There's a reason why terms like "anti-hero", "anti-villain", etc exist. That is that being a protagonist (or a hero) or an antagonist (or a villain) does not imply not confirm your moral compass, behaviour, philosophical grounds.
Those terms exist. But I am just not seeing how they apply to say tauren or trolls. Perhaps to orcs, but I'd say that even that would be stretching things.

I can't think of anything in Vanilla and the earlier expansions that would have me believe that orcs are any worse, overall, than most other races in WOW.
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  #7145  
Old 10-22-2018, 07:08 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Let's also not forget that whether you are playing Alliance, Horde or even a Forsaken, your primary goal is to protect the world your character lives in from evil.
Is it?
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  #7146  
Old 10-22-2018, 07:55 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Let's leave aside the manuals since I don't have any at hand, but I am fairly sure they contain quite a few inconsistencies even when limited to the game they were written for.
A few minor inconsistencies does not make huge thematic changes, and even so, the only inconsistencies I remember can be essentially summed up as "the manual maps are 100% consistent with the in-game maps".

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We can only judge the game on what was delivered, not what they intended to deliver. John Staats journal is an interesting source of information on the game's development, but it is not necessarily relevant to the story. Regardless of how many quests they may initially have wanted to limited themselves to, the quests were added. Their storylines are what shapes WOW'S history, not discarded plans.
That has absolutely nothing to do with my point. The manual was part of the game. The introductory quests and scenes were part of the game. The point is that you can't simply look only at the in-game world and take it at face value, because that world was made while scrapping the barrel and it were the other things I mentioned (from the intros and early quests to the manual) that made it complete. Blizzard did not have proper tools to tell stories solely with the game alone (because, which is why I mentioned the Staats thing, not because of some discarded plans, they did not plan to do so until very late in development), so they had to rely on other tools.

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Those terms exist. But I am just not seeing how they apply to say tauren or trolls. Perhaps to orcs, but I'd say that even that would be stretching things.

I can't think of anything in Vanilla and the earlier expansions that would have me believe that orcs are any worse, overall, than most other races in WOW.
How does it not apply for say an orc warlock, a troll shadow priest, a troll assassination rogue?

But again, that's beside the point, as nobody is arguing that all the races of the Horde are inherently evil, the argument simply is that there has always been noble savage and merciless evil dualism within the Horde in World of Warcraft, it is nothing that magically appeared with Cataclysm and newer expansions out of nowhere.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:56 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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How does it not apply for say an orc warlock, a troll shadow priest, a troll assassination rogue?
I thought we were talking about the races and factions and their thematics, not the fantasy of whichever race-class combo a player chooses to play. A fantasy that the individual player is largely responsible for himself. Yes, this is beside the point.

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But again, that's beside the point, as nobody is arguing that all the races of the Horde are inherently evil, the argument simply is that there has always been noble savage and merciless evil dualism within the Horde in World of Warcraft, it is nothing that magically appeared with Cataclysm and newer expansions out of nowhere.
I never denied that there has always been noble savage and merciless evil dualism within the Horde in World of Warcraft. I disagreed with the Horde being portrayed as the evil faction.

Acting as if the Forsaken intro paint an accurate picture of the entire Horde ignores that the Forsaken are a minority and were always seen as outsiders within the Horde. It ignores that the rest of the Horde distrusted the Forsaken and only allowed them to be a part of the Horde due to misplaced pity. That the rest of the Horde were actively seeking to better themselves (or were already there in the case of the tauren) absolve themselves from the sins of their past.

The Horde were the faction that contained more evil, but they were not the evil faction. There's absolutely no reason why a tauren player, for example, should just suck it up and accept that he signed up to follow Garrosh and Sylvanas into hell when he chose his race during vanilla.

I am as disgusted as you are by the toxic behaviour of some players and the vitriol thrown at the developers, but people have valid reasons for disagreeing with the direction the Horde often takes since Cataclysm. That the devs were unable to properly get across that the Horde was meant to be evil in vanilla is a failure on their part (regardless of how valid the reasons may be), not of the players. Say, for instance, that John Staats had kept mum about everything. What would you base your argument on then? Probably on the result, not on the intent. This is precisely why we have to take the world at face value.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:57 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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I thought we were talking about the races and factions and their thematics, not the fantasy of whichever race-class combo a player chooses to play. A fantasy that the individual player is largely responsible for himself. Yes, this is beside the point.
This line of argument was in response to your claim about "feeling like a hero" while speaking about "your character". If you had been talking about races as a whole, the whole argument makes even less of sense, nations and species are not uniform unless they are hiveminds, and therefore, unless speaking of very simplistic black and white worlds, any attempt to make them as such will fall extremely short, just like was happening with the Alliance for the most of the past fifteen years.

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I never denied that there has always been noble savage and merciless evil dualism within the Horde in World of Warcraft. I disagreed with the Horde being portrayed as the evil faction.

Acting as if the Forsaken intro paint an accurate picture of the entire Horde ignores that the Forsaken are a minority and were always seen as outsiders within the Horde. It ignores that the rest of the Horde distrusted the Forsaken and only allowed them to be a part of the Horde due to misplaced pity. That the rest of the Horde were actively seeking to better themselves (or were already there in the case of the tauren) absolve themselves from the sins of their past.

The Horde were the faction that contained more evil, but they were not the evil faction. There's absolutely no reason why a tauren player, for example, should just suck it up and accept that he signed up to follow Garrosh and Sylvanas into hell when he chose his race during vanilla.
In that case, you are arguing against something that has never been claimed, at least when it comes to this argument. The entire point behind bringing up Staats and how most of the team saw them as "the evil faction" was to demonstrate that the dissonance between evil and noble within the World of Warcraft team is by far not a modern phenomenon, not even a Cataclysm phenomenon, it traces back to Classic, not that it was actually the evil faction. Ever.

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Say, for instance, that John Staats had kept mum about everything. What would you base your argument on then? Probably on the result, not on the intent. This is precisely why we have to take the world at face value.
The manual, the introductory cutscenes, the site, the early quests, just like I have been doing for years. These were the primary sources of lore in the old days. Even Warcraft III, which was a huge leap forward in storytelling tools relied on these greatly, and like I explained, World of Warcraft lacked these for a long time simply because it was not formerly designed to be a storytelling game.

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  #7149  
Old 10-22-2018, 11:00 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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This line of argument was in response to your claim about "feeling like a hero" while speaking about "your character". If you had been talking about races as a whole, the whole argument makes even less of sense, nations and species are not uniform unless they are hiveminds, and therefore, unless speaking of very simplistic black and white worlds, any attempt to make them as such will fall extremely short, just like was happening with the Alliance for the most of the past fifteen years.
That was referring to things that are largely outside of a player's control. Things like race and class add flavour and can be chosen, but the story is mandated by Blizzard. And this story led players of both factions to feel like heroes, unless they happened to be doing quests for Forsaken characters.

And if I treat races like hiveminds, then that is only a consequence of Blizzard doing so themselves. If you play a character belonging to race XYZ, then the game expects your character to act accordingly, and NPCs who don't fit those patterns can be counted on your fingers.

World of Warcraft is a game that only offers a limited amount of freedom an character's choices. You can of course roleplay that you are playing the most heinous criminal, but canonically your path is determined by the quests Blizzard has you play though. It is no wonder people tailor their view of their chaarcters around those experiences.

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In that case, you are arguing against something that has never been claimed, at least when it comes to this argument. The entire point behind bringing up Staats and how most of the team saw them as "the evil faction" was to demonstrate that the dissonance between evil and noble within the World of Warcraft team is by far not a modern phenomenon, not even a Cataclysm phenomenon, it traces back to Classic, not that it was actually the evil faction. Ever.
When I look at vanilla WOW's Horde quests I am led to believe that the developers went out of their way to implicate the Forsaken in as many plots against the Horde as possible, make all evil orcs, trolls and tauren known, suspected or unknown enemies of the state, and neutered the trolls by depriving them of parts of their culture and religion so as to make them fit Thrall's ideals.

This largely continued until Wrath were we first saw glimpses of a more WC1 - WC2 like Horde. And that in itself was not bad. It added more variety to the faction. More different opinions. But by that time, the characters had already been established as heroes in the minds of their players, and now, they were told to take on the role of a villain. Some, of course, enjoying this change, but many more were disgruntled by this change.

Maybe the devs were finally able to tell the Horde story they had wanted to tell in vanilla. Good for them. But if they received backlash from some players, that is something they ought to have expected at this point. And if they did so again, which they did in BFA (after having changed gears in WoD), even more so.

But we seem to be talking past each other, so let's just agree to disagree on points we're not al, that clear about.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:30 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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[quote=Aldrius;1622224]
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I think the Forsaken are absolutely intended to be monsters. Vicious, evil monsters. Perhaps rightly so (lashing out at a world that hates them) but the blight, the necromancy, you're certainly not supposed to think you're heroic.
They weren't this bad in Vanilla. What you believe also conflicts with several Forsaken fans who believe they're heroes, or to Horde players who support Forsaken actions against the Alliance because "fuck them".

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And really there is a way for the Horde to retain it's honor and still keep Sylvanas. It's ultimately down to, is Blizzard willing to tell the playerbase "you're powerless to do anything against her". Because there's really no one outside of Saurfang who's around who can stop her at this point without putting their faction at risk.

I think I've said this before but the only other Horde leader who's even going to willingly turn on her is maybe Baine. And he seems far too docile for that. Lor'themor only cares about his own people, the Orcs don't even really have a leader. I guess maybe Thrall could come back, but I doubt they're going to do that.
That is terrible for players who enjoyed WC3, Vanilla, and Vol'Jin's short attempt at change. Saurfang is seemingly starting a rebellion, 8.1 has Baine frustrated with Sylvanas, for whatever reason, Lor'themor isn't involved, and then there's Vol'Jin saying he'll make sure Sylvanas is a just ruler. Something to that effect. I don't think Sylvanas will die. She will probably get a redemption somehow, but the Horde is splintering.
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Yeah but where would this forum be if not for people speculating endlessly about things Blizzard doesn't give a shit about
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SoL: 20 something know it alls telling other 20 something know it alls they know everything.
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All this faction bitching and people arguing with each other and it's Fojar of all people that comes in with reasonable positivity.
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