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  #51  
Old 02-15-2018, 09:39 AM
Rhllor Rhllor is offline
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Originally Posted by Kyalin V. Raintree View Post
@Wreave

And I have replied! Looking forward to a good conversation down there!

@Rhilor

I didn't want to make this its own post but...



I hope with this comment that you understand my own frustration. Lon-ami's answer gets at a possible solution to seeing a faction utterly decimated, but your reaction also shows that when a writer proposes something like that, they are asking for a lot of trust.

That works if you have built that trust up! I have seen little but optimism from Forsaken fans that they're going to be shown as strong and powerful. They have backing to be able to say that. Night Elves, meanwhile, do not.
the problem with the night elves is that they are part of an alliance whose majority population does not give a shit what happens in kalimdor. most of the players in the alliance want to win in lordaeron and do not mind losing in kalimdor, so blizz gives the alliance what it wants and allows the horde to hit the night elves.
if the alliance players were not so obsessed with the blood elf model the nightborne would be a race allied of the night elves and would have sumar! but they want the blood elf model so they give the horde a race that clearly should have been for the night elves.

What do I expect? that the alliance wins in Kalimdor that the night elves manage to recover their home, that the horde wins in lordaeron and the forsaken return to their land.

which is what we have so far with respect to this that the horde fight against the alliance in arathi and the alliance fights against the horde in barrens
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  #52  
Old 02-15-2018, 10:17 AM
Rexxar Rexxar is offline

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Have to agree with Wreave, the problem at this point is not that NEs are neglected OR the destruction of Teldrassil per se (which, I think, was as needed as UC's from a mechanical standpoint) but that we're unsure if there will be proper follow-through in the story, unlike with Lordaeron, which we know will get it

Until we see payoff, which are the vengeful and wild NEs born from the incident, who were mentioned some posts before, and an impactful storyline written for them, we can only assume that one of the best WC3 races got obliterated for the sake of faction symmetry. This pessimistic jump to conclusions is what OP and many others do.

Unfortunately I do not think there is room for much of their development in BfA. What I am hoping for is that they get seeded, like how Legion was seeded starting back in MoP, so that we can see a Suramar-sized reclamation campaign two expansions down the line for Kalimdor NEs. We're still early in the expansion's lore and honestly have zero idea whats planned for NEs.

What I'm saying is, even if there is a NE reclamation, or resistance force, or something along these lines NE players can identify with as suggested by OP, these kind of narratives drag for several years in WoW, because theres no more room for them. I like how vocal the community is about the night elven issue, and agree with OPs points, I just think we should be a tad bit more patient with Blizz, cuz theyre SLOW and we know it and cannot really do anything about it.

On a different note:
I also really like the idea of the Horde's defeat as a catalisator for the Alliance's dissolution. If Warcraft would ever move forward from the two-faction system, this sounds like the way to go. (Saying this as a Horde player.)
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  #53  
Old 02-15-2018, 10:50 AM
ARM3481 ARM3481 is offline

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In a way night elves have one of the same story problems as orcs. The lore and content surrounding both are disproportionately weighted toward obsessing over how impressive they used to be before WoW, while in the night elves' case clearly delineating that it's no longer the case and that they don't share the narrative's fixation on that past.

We saw tons of orcs stuff in WoD, and it unerringly hearkened back to the old Horde instead of actually doing anything interesting with the new one. We experienced tons of night elf stuff in the Broken Isles, and the bulk of it was a bunch of callbacks to the time before they became the night elves we know now (followed by "hey, and the parts we put the most effort into all belong to the Horde now, so suck it. Here's a few elf haircuts and draenei beards for your trouble.)

Neither gives anything to really grow or develop the orcs and night elves of today. The orcs just keep not addressing any of their own past beyond continuing to idolize psychopathic killers as nostalgic reminders of the first games, and the night elves just keep getting kicked around as the lion's share of their new lore serves just to remind us of how they used to be cool and impressive badasses who didn't get kicked around.

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  #54  
Old 02-15-2018, 07:57 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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Originally Posted by Rexxar View Post
Unfortunately I do not think there is room for much of their development in BfA. What I am hoping for is that they get seeded, like how Legion was seeded starting back in MoP, so that we can see a Suramar-sized reclamation campaign two expansions down the line for Kalimdor NEs. We're still early in the expansion's lore and honestly have zero idea whats planned for NEs.

What I'm saying is, even if there is a NE reclamation, or resistance force, or something along these lines NE players can identify with as suggested by OP, these kind of narratives drag for several years in WoW, because theres no more room for them. I like how vocal the community is about the night elven issue, and agree with OPs points, I just think we should be a tad bit more patient with Blizz, cuz theyre SLOW and we know it and cannot really do anything about it.
I'm just going to comment on this point.... and I'm going to apologize for sounding as antagonistic as I do - it's nothing against you because you're probably right. They probably will make us wait without an answer, if they ever intend to make these developments mean anything.

So, in regards to patience. I've been waiting for about seven years for good Night Elf content that I can feel proud of. During six of those years, I subsidized content that I didn't want to play, or content that was designed, in the ways I have demonstrated, to make me feel miserable for some other player's benefit. So when I'm asked to be patient, I have to ask: how much more is enough? One year? Two years? Six?

Or, maybe I ought to put it in other terms, because time IS money (friend). How much content that I don't enjoy do I have to subsidize for other players? I'm being asked, depending on when expansions release, to pay an amount equal to what I would get for three to four sixty dollar releases made by developers that actually care about delivering an experience that I will enjoy, to pay for a franchise that doesn't want me in it ... on the wisp of a hope - a hope unsupported by data - that one day maybe they'll throw me a bone?

That doesn't sound entirely reasonable to me.

(Now, if your answer is "Then just stop playing". I agree. Night Elf fans should stop paying this company until their behavior changes. In the meantime, the people who are benefitting from these changes should pay for them without our help.)
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  #55  
Old 02-17-2018, 04:02 AM
Rexxar Rexxar is offline

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Nae generally I feel with you, NEs were my absolute fave in W3, and was pretty bummed when I had to delete my 110 night elf hunter because nothing felt like them about her. Not even ONE good night elf set, like a heritage armor typea deal. Even that would be a huge step forward, as WoW (for me) was always more about the aesthetic themes than the themes' indepth lore (see void elves >_<)
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  #56  
Old 02-17-2018, 10:45 AM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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What you propose is our defeat and destruction, no one in the horde would accept that. as no one in the alliance would accept that the horde annihilated the alliance!
I'm proposing that for both factions. The Horde needs to go first, because there's no way they can split without their highly number of warmongers being culled or isolated first.

The Alliance have always been the good guys, because they're civilized enough to live outside the constant cycle of war. The Horde is incapable of that, and that incapability has only gotten worse since Thrall left.

If the Horde won and the Alliance was destroyed, Alliance races would probably get enslaved or exterminated, and the Horde would eventually explode from infighting once they have no enemies left.

The Horde has no future through victory.

Orcs are savage fucks that don't belong in cities, and should go back to the clan system. Most forsaken are a menace to life itself, and should be put to rest. There's no good ending awaiting them, no matter the path.

How I would do it:

Once the Horde is defeated, tauren and night elves form a new druid-focused faction for themselves, with some other minor races, and take control of northern and western Kalimdor. They then live in balance with nature, clashing against centaurs, silithids, and orcs now and then.

Jungle trolls join the Zandalari, rebuild their empire without the orcish baggage, and live in good terms with the humans, recruiting goblins into their fold. Forest and ice trolls are left aside in their small corners of the world, or leave their homelands to join the new southern empire. Zul'Aman won't stand around long, since they're alone, surrounded, and way too warlike, much like orcs. The new jungle troll empire could try to negotiate between high elves, humans, and forest trolls, but it doesn't look easy.

Blood elves are another menace, but most can be turned back into high elves. The few that escape the fall of Silvermoon can hide in Kalimdor, and then rebuild Theramore for themselves after the Horde's defeat, becoming a sort of rogue magical kingdom, where some forsaken could retreat as well.

Most forsaken would be killed, and those who aren't would rejoin the new kingdom of Lordaeron, who would embrace undeath as part of its culture, turning their fallen warriors into undead if they're worthy, so they can keep serving the nation. The plaguelands would be cleansed, and the Scourge presence removed completely from the Eastern Kingdoms.

Orcs go back to clans, and spread around Kalimdor, mostly around the Barrens and Durotar. Some of the more peaceful clans could be allowed to go further than that, and settle on other locations that aren't occupied by any other faction. They would all be far enough from each other, as to not form another Horde ever again. Tauren keep their distance from them, understanding this is the best outcome for them. The tides turn, and orcs become the nomad tribes, while tauren settle down and build their own nation.

As for the Alliance, humans split in kingdoms once again. Gilneas embraces the worgen curse as part of their culture, much like Lordaeron embraced undeath. Dalaran is restored, and takes over Alterac and Hillsbrad, becoming a magical superpower and the capital of the civilized world, hosting the "United Nations" of Azeroth, and welcoming other races. Stromgarde is restored and takes over eastern Lordaeron. Kul Tiras and Stormwind are still around.

The kingdom of Silvermoon is restored, but the high elves shun arcane magic, returning to nature and the light instead, leaving the humans as the only ones with a strong magical culture. The dwarves split in three once again, Blackrock Mountain and Grim Batol being properly retaken and rebuilt. Gnomes see no changes. Stormwind and the draenei keep a healthy relationship through the light, and join in as a single nation, leaving the isles of Kalimdor, which would be occupied by night elves. Stormwind becomes a religious superpower through the light.

Pandaren reunite under a single banner once again, and become wary of foreigners and the wars they could bring to their lands. The Scourge disappears, and the nerubians slowly rebuild their empire, embracing undeath as part of their culture as well.

Draenor and Outland collapse or get destroyed, their races receiving refuge in Azeroth. The ogres are given shelter by the trolls, and the arakkoa find a home in Kalimdor under the night elves.

Four major factions dominate the future of Azeroth:
  • Pact of Kalimdor: Lead by the night elves, includes the tauren, the arakkoa, and minor native races from Kalimdor. Big emphasis on druidism and shamanism. They control most of Kalimdor. They are lead by Tyrande Whisperwind, who is back to his old W3 self now that Malfurion is out of scene (sleeping, dead, or whatever). They have the best quality of life, but they are ruled with an iron fist, giving tradition and authority a lot of importance.
  • Zandabashi Empire: The reborn troll empire, including Zandalari, jungle, and sand trolls, together with goblins and ogres. They control the South Seas. They are lead by a council, representing each group inside the faction, which names a leader every few years. Life is hard, but good. They represent the traders and the free world the best.
  • Alliance of Lordaeron: A coalition of independent human, dwarf, elf, and gnome kingdoms, working together through a parliament of democratically elected representatives in Dalaran, instead of an individual leader. They control most of the Eastern Kingdoms, and have constant political disputes between each other, but they never get too bad. Most of the power still lies in each king's hands. Bureaucracy can get really bad at times, and the system forces "rebel" kingdoms to fall in line too often, the will of the majority preventing change and progress.
  • Free Nations: An excuse of a faction, founded by the blood elves who escaped the fall of Silvermoon. Mostly a huge criminal cartel, with their capital city at Dustwallow Marsh, over the ruins of Theramore. Survives by working for the other factions against each other. Regularly employs orcish mercenaries, breaking all treaties, and "fights for the rights" of minor groups who feel menaced by the major factions. Some of their members have good intentions, fighting for a better world, but their nation is too rotten at the core and they never make any progress. Many dissidents flee to them from the other factions. There's a lot of freedom, but slavery is widespread as well. There are no rules, for the best and for the worst, and you're on your own.

That's my ideal future for Azeroth.
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  #57  
Old 02-20-2018, 08:10 AM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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How I would do it:
Thank god you are not in charge then, because this is a complete incoherent, backwards mess of just your own personal wish fulfillment that would also require a metric shit tonne of retcons.
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  #58  
Old 02-21-2018, 09:23 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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Thank god you are not in charge then, because this is a complete incoherent, backwards mess of just your own personal wish fulfillment that would also require a metric shit tonne of retcons.
Not to be a pain in the neck about this, and I'm not saying this in support or condemnation of the ideas proposed, but how does that differ from the usual fare of Blizzard's writing team? (i.e. The people who are in charge)

To those responding: please give me something a bit meatier than something tantamount to "it just does".
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  #59  
Old 02-22-2018, 10:19 PM
Wreave Wreave is offline

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Lag posting... And posting here to avoid posting in two threads.

First, from reading through the sister post thread on WoW forums, there are indeed a decent number of NE fans from the old days who would like to see those NE's come back. Even where the posters there are critical of your OP, they do want to see the old badass NEs. So, I do see this as something that ideally Blizz would fix.

We still disagree about the value of current NE content. And given your devotion to NEs (and contrary to my earlier post), I would suggest that you do play through the NE zones dungeons and raids in Legion (including Azsuna, Suramar, etc.). To avoid rewarding Blizz with too much money, you could wait until they roll Legion into standard, at which point you can just sub for a month for to experience the content.

As for what will happen with NEs in BfA: Most of the info we have so far is on new leveling zones - so seemingly w/o faction conflict. Presumably there will be a lot of faction conflict story beyond that, and we can hope that there will be a chunk of NE story. But even if it does show up, it seems we're going to have to wait for it. Assuming it shows up.

I'm tempted to suggest that a NE allied race (e.g. Badass NEs) might help fix the problem, but there are several game play negatives to that (we already received two new elf races, a third would seem unbalanced). And the more important thing is to fix the character of all NEs, not just a subset/new allied race.
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  #60  
Old 02-23-2018, 12:43 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wreave View Post
Lag posting... And posting here to avoid posting in two threads.

First, from reading through the sister post thread on WoW forums, there are indeed a decent number of NE fans from the old days who would like to see those NE's come back. Even where the posters there are critical of your OP, they do want to see the old badass NEs. So, I do see this as something that ideally Blizz would fix.

We still disagree about the value of current NE content. And given your devotion to NEs (and contrary to my earlier post), I would suggest that you do play through the NE zones dungeons and raids in Legion (including Azsuna, Suramar, etc.). To avoid rewarding Blizz with too much money, you could wait until they roll Legion into standard, at which point you can just sub for a month for to experience the content.

As for what will happen with NEs in BfA: Most of the info we have so far is on new leveling zones - so seemingly w/o faction conflict. Presumably there will be a lot of faction conflict story beyond that, and we can hope that there will be a chunk of NE story. But even if it does show up, it seems we're going to have to wait for it. Assuming it shows up.

I'm tempted to suggest that a NE allied race (e.g. Badass NEs) might help fix the problem, but there are several game play negatives to that (we already received two new elf races, a third would seem unbalanced). And the more important thing is to fix the character of all NEs, not just a subset/new allied race.
I'll go paragraph by paragraph on this one.

Regarding #1, we are in agreement, though I would note that the most notable of my detractors demonstrated that they didn't understand what my citations actually related to.

Regarding #2, I have two issues, one that I will bring up later. As for the one here, you still need to demonstrate exactly how the ludonarrative presents information that I missed through my review. It is not enough to say that I didn't play the game if you can't explain to me how the mechanics inform and enrich the content, and specifically how, in doing so, they change the meaning of the narrative.

Regarding #3, telling me that I should be patient is tin-eared given that I've been waiting for seven to eight years. Blizzard appears to have once again delivered an experience completely contrary to the underlying psychology of why people play video games at all. For them to convince Night Elf fans that two years worth of subscription fees and the expansion cost ($420 in total) is worth it, after eight years of abuse, it is in no way sufficient for them to say "Wait and see". There is no reason right now for a typical Night Elf fan to expect to see a return on that investment (at least from the story), or to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt. Given the years'-long deterioration in trust, if Blizzard expects to fix this, they need to demonstrate that they have something meaningful in mind now.

On to #4, it is important that they fix the Night Elves, as well as other playable races whose experience violates core elements of Rigby's framework. Whether they will do remains to be seen, but at present, I regard their decisions as bad not simply because I personally disagree with them, but because, again, telling a defined subset of players that their experience will be defined by suffering, a lack of sympathy, and incompetence flies in the face of why people play video games according the psychological research that I cited in the original post.
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  #61  
Old 02-23-2018, 11:21 AM
Wreave Wreave is offline

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Re #2: I've given a couple examples previously (e.g. the experience of the escort walk with Farondis). But the examples don't really matter. It's obviously true that being immersed in something is different from viewing it at a distance. I think we've all had experiences where we were told about something and thought it would be bad, only to try it and find it good (or vice versa). And given that the incremental cost to have that experience will only be $15 once the expansion gets rolled into standard, the cost for that experience will be low.

Re Patience: Don't be. Walk away (other than my advice above). As with all client/provider relationships, if the client is unable to get what they want, even after complaints and negotiations, then the client should write it off and walk away.

Edit: fixed a typo.

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  #62  
Old 06-11-2018, 12:33 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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The following is an excerpt from a discord conversation. I cut out unrelated conversations and my requests for when the thought was complete. I understand this is a strange reply to a discord thread, but I think there are a lot of feathers to catch and I want to ensure that the points are properly addressed.

Krainz: race-specific fanbases aren't the targeted public of any of blizzard's actions

Grimtale: Which is something I've come a long way to learning and accepting as well.

Me: Not in isolation, but in a game that asks you to select roles that contour to different characteristics through the operation of the mimesis effect, I don't see how you gain people by explicitly going after certain subsets. I think you just end up lopping off parts of your fanbase doing that.

Krainz: wrong.
they can't invest in all possible subdivisions of their fanbase
blizzard is clearly investing in the ones that give more return: the most invested players

Grimtale: Granted, they tried to tell a story about all the classes in Legion, though I'd consider that mixed success

Krainz: players who play more than one race, who play end-game content, who actively play throughout an expansion
those players add value to the game and bring more players

Grimtale: I'm an example of that kind of player tbh
That's the kind of player I'm going to be in BfA

Krainz: so kyalin, more often than not, players within the race-specific fanbase fraction of the playerbase don't engage in most of the end-game content and aren't likely to keep an active subscription throughout the expansion cycle
they often play for a week or two when content patches come out and then retire

Me: I'd like to know where your basis in that statement comes from. That said, is that the end of your thought so that I may reply to it?

Krainz: yes
you're free to ask any person within race-specific fanbases (I believe you're more in touch with them than me) to check if what I said was correct
but I say that based on what I see in their characters' bnet profiles when they discuss racial content in the forums

Grimtale: I think being biased to one race makes you more bitter and inclined to quit if the story doesn't cater to the race you're interested in

Krainz: diehard endgame players are even willing to pay for race changes to min-max their guild performance

Grimtale: I think at most, Blizzard should cater more to factions as a whole than to singular races. For example, more guilds preferring to play Horde and Horde having a much stronger raiding community is something that I think the devs should actually do something about, and step in to help make Alliance a good choice for raiding as well.

Krainz: yes
which is what they seem to be starting to do in bfa

Grimtale: People switching for races is fine, but switching to whole factions is something I can see as a problem if you feel like you're playing one that you don't really gel with

Me: I have disagreements, mostly in how you think I define subsets of the playerbase with respect to people who play multiple races and switch races for various things. (Spoiler alert: it has to do with the Mimesis effect and cross-appeal), but the ability to organize thoughts on a platform like this I don't see as working out.

Krainz:
because you believe that less-invested players contribute as much to the brand as the more invested ones
while you believe that, it's no use having that discussion

--------------

To summarize:

- Claim 1: You can't invest in every fanbase.
- Claim 1a: You should invest in what gives you the greatest return.
- Claim 1b: Therefore, you should invest in the parts of the fanbase that will result in the greatest return.

- Claim 2: Race-specific fanbases aren't the targeted public.
- Claim 2a: Players who play more than one race add value to the game and bring more players.
- Claim 2b: Players who play end-game content add value to the game and bring more players.
- Claim 2c: Players who actively play throughout an expansion add value to the game and bring more players.
- Claim 2d: Players within the race-specific fanbase fraction of the playerbase often don't engage in most of the end-game content and aren't likely to keep an active subscription throughout the expansion cycle.


Claims 1 and 2 overall I partially disagree with. Claims 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, and 2c I agree with.

Claim 2d I dismiss entirely, partially because of my partial disagreement on 2 (more in a moment), and partially because no strong evidence was presented to demonstrate this. At best we can only say that we don't know in regards to the actual numbers, and I'm not going to say or accept anything more definitive than that in absence of more concrete information.


Now, responding to this point requires a bit of a tour into my mind, which is why I was reluctant to try and sneak this in over discord while multiple conversations were going on and multiple participants were trying to contribute. The log above was moving rather quickly and I wasn't about to fight that.

One of the first terms you'll learn in microeconomics is the concept of Ceteris Paribus, or "with all else being equal". This, contrary to knee-jerk criticism, is not a statement that only one thing changes at once, but rather a tool to isolate the effect of one thing changing. An example might be that if all else was held equal, a regulation would impair the supply of a given service, and from that we can derive that the regulation has an effect that would drive prices up. If demand simultaneously collapses, thus driving the price down as well, that's a fine thing to observe, but the effect of the regulation is still buried in the overall price change. Again, we use Ceteris Paribus simply to isolate said effect.

I bolded that piece because I see shades of that criticism in the discussion that I pasted above. There's an idea that when I discuss issues presented earlier in this thread that they are relevant only to players who exclusively play one race or are as invested in that race as say I would be - and I disagree with that notion entirely. It's one of the reasons I bring up the Mimesis effect - to denote that ceteris paribus, the presentation does result in a decline in quality. How much of a decline in quality that actually is will depend on the player, but, leaving aside players whose interests are explicitly averse to Night Elves, I am confident in calling that impact negative based on the applications of the framework earlier presented.

Next we get into marginal effects. A truism in microeconomics is that the profit maximizing level of output is the moment when the marginal cost of producing a unit is equal to the marginal revenue received from that unit. Because marginal costs increase after that point in a relationship that looks like the graph below, this is the point where you should not produce additional units.



Economics of course is the science of the allocation of scarce resources, some of those resources being time, mental energy, effort, and of course currency - and the expense of those resources being reflected in the marginal cost. In the case of WoW, the marginal revenue is expressed in enjoyment of the game - an enjoyment that as I just explained is partially impaired by role presentation in a role playing game that plays adversely to the framework I discussed earlier.

So when do we reach a tipping point? When does the marginal revenue derived from a month's subscription as well as the time, effort, and energy slip below marginal cost? That's different for everyone, but the result of a feature that impairs the enjoyment of the game is going to result in a number of people leaving. Obviously that impact is going to be greater for some people. To rank order several possibilities:

Greatest Impact
1. The person who only cares about one race
2. The person who only cares about two races
3. The person who only cares about three races
4. The person who likes all of the races
5. The raider who literally does not care about the races
Least Impact

This is why I partially disagree with claim 2. Of course Blizzard is not targeting people who only belong to group 1, but groups 1 through 4 at least are impacted in at least some way, and an amount of people greater than zero from each of those groups will leave over that marginal diminishment in quality.


Claim 1 is a much easier thing to tackle, for two reasons. First - especially in the specific case I'm bringing up, the problem is not that Blizzard isn't investing enough - it's that they're investing a ton and that investment is designed to make the experience of taking on the role of the playable race worse. Second, the investment doesn't have to be massive to give the impression that a given playable race is effective and competent - I've in fact gone out of my way for that reason to usually outline how small changes and even cutting content would result in something better.


The question I haven't answered though, and this is implied, has to do with cannibalizing from one facet of content (in this case, a race) to improve other facets of content (other races, or the overall story), and whether the negative effects are balanced out or overcome by the positive effects. If you tell Night Elf players to pound sand and leave the franchise, but this nets you twice as many Orc players, then you've made the right decision. But has that been the result?

Looking at Blizzard's decisions since Cataclysm, they seem to have taken this idea in multiple directions. Night Elves have been abused, yes, but the philosophy has often extended to gameplay (PVP and PVE, anyone?), other races, and depending on who you ask, entire factions. There has been a consistent trend, not shared by earlier installments, to make these sorts of sacrificial decisions - neglecting or dissuading minority parts of the playerbase.

…. and this trend happens to coincide with a prolonged trend of falling subscriptions. Most currently, we had a quarterly report where the Blizzard segment was reporting net revenues realized from deferred income in the same quarter that they had just launched a highly publicized and much hyped pre-order. (Pre-orders should have caused the deferred revenue account to increase, but it didn't, meaning that they only mitigated a larger decrease) So, would I say the tactic has been working? The current trends don't suggest it.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:40 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Originally Posted by Kyalin V. Raintree View Post
The question I haven't answered though, and this is implied, has to do with cannibalizing from one facet of content (in this case, a race) to improve other facets of content (other races, or the overall story), and whether the negative effects are balanced out or overcome by the positive effects. If you tell Night Elf players to pound sand and leave the franchise, but this nets you twice as many Orc players, then you've made the right decision. But has that been the result?
My hypothesis is that they don't do it to attract more invested players with high investment activities, but rather to keep the ones they currently have.

You'd be surprised by the standards of high-end endgame players.

Thanks for the insights on economics though. I'll have to reread those later. Any idea of, say, Youtube videos/TED talks that explain your approach?
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:15 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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My hypothesis is that they don't do it to attract more invested players with high investment activities, but rather to keep the ones they currently have.

You'd be surprised by the standards of high-end endgame players.

Thanks for the insights on economics though. I'll have to reread those later. Any idea of, say, Youtube videos/TED talks that explain your approach?
I'm not sure how their recent activities are really doing that. I harp on Night Elves of course, but they are in no way the only set of characters right now who are having issues with elements of Rigby's framework. One big example is the Horde, who are going through substantial relatedness issues, and large swaths of their playerbase have made their opinions known about a story that appears to cast them as straight-up evil. Some people might like that, but a good number of people very clearly don't, and this is far from BfA's only controversy - which is also before I even touch on the question of whether people actually trust Blizzard in general.

As for insights on my approach as they relate to economics. Both of the concepts I mentioned are pretty foundational.

This description of ceteris paribus is serviceable:

This discussion of marginal thinking is also workable:

I have not so much gone into the direct application of the law of diminishing marginal returns (although you should think about that before discussing the idea of investing purely into one group of people, rather than keeping a diversified playerbase), but rather, have focused on the incremental effects of moving the point of equilibrium.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:54 AM
Hades Hades is offline

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The foundation of all this problematic is the same it was at vanilla launch. Night Elves should have never joined the alliance, and they should have probably lead their own faction.
Their inclusion was an error that was going to damage the franchise, and it has been damaging it for fifteen years and more to come.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:07 AM
Lord Grimtale Lord Grimtale is offline

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The foundation of all this problematic is the same it was at vanilla launch. Night Elves should have never joined the alliance, and they should have probably lead their own faction.
Their inclusion was an error that was going to damage the franchise, and it has been damaging it for fifteen years and more to come.
The whole problem that people have with Night Elves not being independent didn't start in vanilla launch, it started as far back as WC3 when the entire point of their campaign was to weaken them into a state where they could not be independent in a world that has changed around them.

If the issue is with the High King as being why they shouldn't be Alliance, then you might as well apply that to Dwarves, Gnomes, and Draenei... but that would be ludicrous since those are very core and iconic Alliance races. (Night Elves are that as well, but I understand that's just my opinion in contrast to the Night Elf fanbase that wants the race to be shuttled away from the Alliance.)

I'm sorry, but Night Elves will always be an elf race that sees younger races as equals and not look down on them or think of themselves as superior, much less not think so highly of themselves that they would not seek help or assistance from other races. If you want that type of elf fantasy, you might as well go play some other game like Elder Scrolls Online that feature actual playable elves that think their shit never stinks.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:21 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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Quote:
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The foundation of all this problematic is the same it was at vanilla launch. Night Elves should have never joined the alliance, and they should have probably lead their own faction.
Their inclusion was an error that was going to damage the franchise, and it has been damaging it for fifteen years and more to come.
I'm sympathetic to this claim, but I think this is too easy on the writers. It treats it almost as an inevitability that this treatment would result when in reality the writers could have pursued all kinds of options regardless of what faction they joined, or if they joined a faction at all.

I had read some commentary in the BfA thread that this was actually what happened. The Night Elves we're originally envisioned as being a Horde race, but the switch to the Alliance brought with it a softening of their original concept and the general idea of them being in constant, unarrestable decline. That's an awful statement on what it means to be Alliance in general - that only because you are Alliance, it is now your destiny to suffer. But it didn't have to be that way. The "Horde Acts, Alliance reacts" model was in no way the only road they could have taken, it was just the road that they actually did choose.

They deserve no mitigation of criticism for that choice.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:10 AM
Lord Grimtale Lord Grimtale is offline

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The Night Elves of WC3 are a perfect fit for the Alliance when you consider that they're actually very similar to the High Elves in WC2. High Elves in WC2 were pretty much feral wood elves with moon thematics, they still worked fine as part of the Alliance and didn't offend any of the faction themes. I think the issue is this notion that just because the Alliance shares common ground in ideals and principles, that has to mean that races would be better off going Horde or staying neutral if they wants to keep to their themes. I don't think being Alliance is the core issue at play here, and it lies with other factors instead.

I don't know if they'll ever quite be as savage as the Horde's races. Then again, I don't really see them as all that savage in WC3 either, they were just very effective and fearsome. Channeling more of that should be something Blizzard should do with them more in BfA. I think Shandris in the war campaign is a good first step to that, and I'd like to see more characters come into play like Broll or Thisalee (without her voice acting though). Hell, get Maiev to be involved as well, killing some Horde, and I think Blizzard will have already made for a great story to look forward to for the Night Elves in BfA.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:29 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is online now

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The Humans and Orcs suffered easily as much as the Night Elves in WC2 to WC3, if not more. Even if the NEs were weakened during RoC, the Humans ate genocide at the hands of the Scourge and the Orcs were whatever Thrall could fit on some boats. Neither of them should be overpowering the NEs with their allies (also conveniently absent in WoW whenever the Horde is doing its shenanigants).
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:51 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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The Humans and Orcs suffered easily as much as the Night Elves in WC2 to WC3, if not more. Even if the NEs were weakened during RoC, the Humans ate genocide at the hands of the Scourge and the Orcs were whatever Thrall could fit on some boats. Neither of them should be overpowering the NEs with their allies (also conveniently absent in WoW whenever the Horde is doing its shenanigants).
Numbers honestly don't matter, and assertions like this one will never overcome claims of "but they're fighting four races at once!" that intentionally assume unrealistic concentrations, ignore the allies that the Night Elves do have (Draenei and Worgen for example), and ignore factors like terrain and logistics. You could go on discussing them for ages, but you will not overcome that objection, nor would it matter if you could because those considerations have no bearing whatsoever on what Blizzard will do.

This is why I have all but abandoned the idea of trying to demonstrate why it's unreasonable from a lore perspective, and to the extent that I slip into lore-based reasons for calling it unreasonable, I am making a mistake. Lore does not matter, only writer intent matters.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:36 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is online now

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Might as well give up on talking about lore then in that case.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:54 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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Might as well give up on talking about lore then in that case.
Not really. Concentrating on writer intent puts the focus on what the writers wants the audience to feel and what the actual audience does feel rather than a semantic dissection of events. Those dissections frequently ignore the critical contributions as framing and aesthetics, which, to paraphrase Lindsay Ellis, supercede the actual text (defined in this instance to be the strict facts as opposed to their presentation) - always, always, always.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:15 AM
Niars Niars is offline

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I've been away for a while, but this was nice to come back to. Well presented. It has gotten very hard for me to RP as a Night Elf with the way they're constantly written down. The only reason I still play them is an attachment to old characters, nothing more.
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I've always been partial to orcs. Also liked the nelfs when they were fierce.

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Old 08-03-2018, 10:59 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is online now

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I was recently introduced to the YouTube channel "Game Theory" and have been slowly working my way back through their catalogue. It turns out for their one-million subcriber episode they addressed the question of why people play games.

You can probably imagine the stupid grin on my face when I heard Matt say "According to Scott Rigby". I guess I got beat to talking about him by a smug theorist, a Japanophile, and a man who is sadly dead by about four years.

Still, this is a good explanation (at least when they're not busy congratulating themselves), and it goes into detail about the three pillars of why we play games.


"That spells CAR!"
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