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  #176  
Old 11-12-2019, 11:13 PM
TerrorhoofMayo TerrorhoofMayo is offline

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I don't like how they made the kodo rider bigger, which essentially reduces kodos to their WoW size.
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  #177  
Old 11-27-2019, 09:08 AM
Kiraser Kiraser is offline

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Okay, I finally tweaked parts of my article about the campaign getting cut in order to post them as a forum thread in English:

https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/wa...e-flawed/10901
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  #178  
Old 11-27-2019, 11:20 AM
ARM3481 ARM3481 is offline

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It is kind of silly. The WC3 "purists" haven't nearly the leg to stand on that WoW Classic/Vanilla purists did, because WC3 still exists and can be played in its original, unaltered form on Battle.net whenever they want.
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  #179  
Old 11-28-2019, 06:23 AM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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It is kind of silly. The WC3 "purists" haven't nearly the leg to stand on that WoW Classic/Vanilla purists did, because WC3 still exists and can be played in its original, unaltered form on Battle.net whenever they want.
Weird that you as a lore fan would say this. The potential damage is greatest for us. Sure a guy who just wants old school WC3 can just play. But you and I know that they will alter the lore somewhat, quite possibly for idiotic reasons and then this will be the new canon.
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  #180  
Old 11-28-2019, 08:09 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
Weird that you as a lore fan would say this. The potential damage is greatest for us. Sure a guy who just wants old school WC3 can just play. But you and I know that they will alter the lore somewhat, quite possibly for idiotic reasons and then this will be the new canon.
Anybody still who cares about integrity with regard to Blizzard is delusional. The canon is a dumpster fire and has always suffered from pointless retcons. Anyone who cares about integrity should switch to Marthen’s reboot or to Warhammer.
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  #181  
Old 11-28-2019, 10:38 AM
Triceron Triceron is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
Weird that you as a lore fan would say this. The potential damage is greatest for us. Sure a guy who just wants old school WC3 can just play. But you and I know that they will alter the lore somewhat, quite possibly for idiotic reasons and then this will be the new canon.
Even without plot changes, Reforged already does this simply through updated graphics.

Any and every design that uses WoW elements instead of sticking close to WC3 already shows this.

- Malfurion and Tyrande hair is green now instead of blue
- Malfurion has wings like in WoW
- Grom doesn't have full black jaw tattooes, only 3 stripes on his lip ala WoD
- Gyrocopter pilot more resembles a gnome than a Dwarf
- Dreadlords don't have tails
- Trolls all missing their hind toe
- Hippogriffs no longer are Raven/Stag hybrids, more like Parrots
- Lady Vashj's hair is actual snakes

Plenty of deviation, plenty of changes, plenty of perceived retcon going around. All without touching the story.
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  #182  
Old 11-29-2019, 07:47 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Even without plot changes, Reforged already does this simply through updated graphics.

Any and every design that uses WoW elements instead of sticking close to WC3 already shows this.

- Malfurion and Tyrande hair is green now instead of blue
- Malfurion has wings like in WoW
- Grom doesn't have full black jaw tattooes, only 3 stripes on his lip ala WoD
- Gyrocopter pilot more resembles a gnome than a Dwarf
- Dreadlords don't have tails
- Trolls all missing their hind toe
- Hippogriffs no longer are Raven/Stag hybrids, more like Parrots
- Lady Vashj's hair is actual snakes

Plenty of deviation, plenty of changes, plenty of perceived retcon going around. All without touching the story.
Is the story really as good as we remember it being?

Remember, this is the period of Blizzard history where they solidified their standard plot outline of the races teaming up to fight a loony big bad regardless of their personal moralities.
  1. The seed of it started in SC1 when Metzen tacked on that pointless alliance between Tassadar and Raynor (which honestly makes no sense for Raynor's arc, except to justify his continued presence in this poorly plotted story, but that's neither here nor there), and introduced the dark templar cerebrate killer plot device to force the khalai and nerazim to make peace without actually resolving their differences.
  2. It got worse in BW when Raynor and Zeratul decided to fight the UED rather than open diplomatic dialogue when they knew nothing about the UED's culture or motives besides them fighting the Dominion and Zerg who were Raynor and Zeratul's enemies at that point. Then Kerry became the evil queen driven only by some deranged notion of vengeance against the universe or something; this is a infinitely huge downgrade from the Overmind, who was driven by rational self-interest and devoid of such moronic desires. Even when Aldaris does rebel against the Nerazim, it feels pointlessly contrived due to the bad writing of BW.
  3. It reached it's apotheosis in WC3 when the Legion was added as a generic villain driven by their leader's literal insanity who the orcs, humans, and night elves had to band against to defeat.

I don't know if anyone else has ever done a detailed analysis of WC3's plot and I'm not about to start. However, I will say note a few of what I perceive as flaws in the storytelling.

Firstly, the Alliance campaign basically ends with the Scourge conquering Lordaeron. This victory doesn't feel earned at all since we never receive any explanation of the logistics behind how the Scourge achieved this feat. To be fair, we didn't receive much explanation of the logistics in WC1 and WC2, but I would think the bigger budget of WC3 would have allowed for more explanation of that sort of things.

The Alliance campaign, rather than being about Lordaeron, is actually about Arthas. The plot is that the Lich King gaslights him in order to... I'm not actually sure why, but it seems to be part of a plan to conquer Lordaeron somehow. I don't see how Arthas becoming a death knight helps the Scourge conquer Lordaeron, since they were easily conquering even when he was their enemy and he doesn't offer anything to them since the Scourge has zero interest in the political situation of the continent that Arthas would actually be useful for. It just seems like Great Man history, which is discredited.

Secondly, The Scourge campaign is fairly boring compared to the sheer pathos of the Alliance campaign. The conflicts are much shallower and there isn't payoff for the setup at the end of the campaign. Arthas conquers Lordaeron, devastates Quel'Thalas, resurrects Kel'thuzad, and summons Archimonde. That's it. While he's technically plotting to betray the Legion, that never pays off until the last campaign and even then it's questionable whether the Scourge contributed anything. Destroying the skull of gul'dan and killing Tichondrius doesn't sound like it contributes much to the war effort, especially not when Archimonde is defeated by a deus ex machina.

I'm not claiming the storytelling is worse than any prior game. Blizzard games in general have weak stories and that's pretty normal for video games in general. However, I do think fans irrationally place certain stories on a pedestal compared to others.

A recurring problem with Blizzard's standard plot outline is that its implications on world building are ignored. After defeating the legion, the alliance and horde go right back to fighting. This defeats the point of even adding the legion in the first place, since the legion was only added to force the alliance and horde to both become unambiguous good guys rather than continue fighting for morally ambiguous reasons.

For example, while WC1 and WC2 era lore presented the orcs as seemingly evil compared to humans, if you look past the surface than the limited lore we have hints at a complex culture with its own moral norms. (And looking at human history in reality, it's hard to argue humans aren't as bad as or worse than orcs in every way.) Then WC3 throws that away and says "nope, the orcs were totally noble savage stereotypes before those nasty demons corrupted them." Then WoW throws that away again and says "nope, orcs are totally evil all along."

You can chalk this up to a divide between the developers. Some of them wanted to continue the possibly morally ambiguous fighting between the alliance and the horde, whereas others wanted a team up with a happy disney ending. When you're writing a franchise that you intend to milk indefinitely, which option makes more sense?

All of the times that the races team up come across as nonsensical, especially when the outside enemies are utterly lackluster and often get retconned as good guys years later. When the races fight each other, it also comes across as nonsensical because of the other retcons that turn them all into nice funny looking humans.

Apparently the SC2 devs want to do a SC3. Blizzard writing is like clockwork now, so it's either go to have a contrived war between the three races or they're going to team up again against a big bad evil guy who comes out of the woodwork. They might resurrect the Overmind for all we know, since Stetman's logs outright state its DNA is present in every larva but somehow nobody tried to clone it yet. (For those who don't know, the lore introduces tons of trivia that should redefine the setting but keep getting forgotten.)

Caring about a few retcons here and there in Blizzard lore is about as sensible as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic while it is sinking. Blizzard doesn't care one iota about the quality of their own writing.

I think it would be better for all of us if we stop caring about Blizzard's decision and start making our own. Don't like the canon? Write fanfiction. Want other people to care about your fanfiction? Write an original universe.
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  #183  
Old 11-29-2019, 01:46 PM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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Is the story really as good as we remember it being?
Yes. And it remains my favorite game of all time due to its excellent story.
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  #184  
Old 11-29-2019, 02:47 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
I don't know if anyone else has ever done a detailed analysis of WC3's plot and I'm not about to start. However, I will say note a few of what I perceive as flaws in the storytelling.
Do Let's Plays count? Here's one covering WC3:

https://forums.spacebattles.com/thre...ft-iii.252728/
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  #185  
Old 11-29-2019, 03:17 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Yes. And it remains my favorite game of all time due to its excellent story.
How many stories have you read that you can really make that estimation? There are a lot of stories in the world, not just video games.

But if we’re limiting ourselves to video game stories, WC3 is hardly the best of the bunch. Try Planescape: Torment, Vampire: Bloodlines, The Cat Lady, or The Song of Saya for comparison.

WC3 is definitely not the sort of story you want to use to prove video game stories can be just as respectable as traditional literature.
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  #186  
Old 11-29-2019, 03:41 PM
Triceron Triceron is offline

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Is the story really as good as we remember it being?
---

Caring about a few retcons here and there in Blizzard lore is about as sensible as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic while it is sinking. Blizzard doesn't care one iota about the quality of their own writing.
I read the entire post. You make very strong arguments, and I understand what you are trying to say.

Here are my thoughts regarding your first question

The story was good in terms of being the first linear tale we had for Warcraft. The RTS prior to this had little to motivate your gameplay outside of mission briefings. Even then, WC2 holds a special place in my heart for having the Lothar ambush moment utterly redefine what my expectations were for campaigns in games. It was dark, knowing that a character I read about in the manual could get such a meaningless end. No triumphant victory, no going out with a bang. It just happens, and you couldn't do anything about it.

Warcraft 3 builds upon this by giving us an actual narrative behind that kind of dark story. Was it perfect? Hardly. It was full of inconsistencies and it retconned a lot of what WC1&2 already established. You had Illidan in prison holding his weapons, he referred to Arthas as 'human' even though he wouldn't have known what a human was in his 10,000 yrs of imprisonment. There were tons of flaws like that all around and it was inconsistent. Yet what it did well was tell a story, and for that a lot of those issues were acceptable. WC3's story worked because it was unapologetic about what it told the viewer, and it focused on telling a story rather than be caught up in the minutia of having everything explained or stay consistent to established norms.

And when it comes to the core part of telling the story of WC3, there are very clear elements that should be kept in and details that can be glossed over, definitely.

I think it's important to point out what's changed for what reason, because some of these changes have canonical implications.

- Grom missing his full-black jaw.

A detail like this is important because a big part of Garrosh's identity is tied to homaging his father. If Reforged sets a new abridged canon, then it should keep that detail in because of its lore significance. In Reforged, Grom would live and die with the same 3-stripe jaw tattoo as in his design from WoD; an alternate timeline. And this is an oversight, because it seems whoever decided to do this was not knowledgable in the lore significance of this particular design, and they just told whoever made the models to use this latest Grom design from WoW and adapt it for Reforged. As an artist, I totally get that process, as I've worked on plenty of projects based on established canon that I had no interest in. Sometimes the art director may only be concerned about the art style and quality staying consistent between different artists. They wouldn't have had some lore buff like us vet them on what should and shouldn't change; that's ultimately a creative decision.

I think it's important to still voice and point these out because not everyone is aware that these things already exist in Reforged, and think that it's more of a remaster than it really is.


----

As for your second point about sinking ships - That's subjective isn't it?

If that's how you view and regard WC3 lore, then yeah you could say that. But TBH, WoW lore isn't any better, and retconning isn't adding or fixing any of the problems that are illustrated to exist in WC3. In fact, retconning just makes the waters muddier - and in that case why not just keep it the same if the solution isn't going to 'fix' stuff? I mean even if we use both WoW and Chronicles as examples of how Blizzard has worked to re-establish continuity; both sources have worked to undermine each other's information with each new expansion they release. It's to the point where Chronicles' canon is now being changed to 'this is the story told from the perspective of the Titans, and Shadowlands predates the Titans'. There is no guarantee that a retconned WC3 will be better than the original story.

It's not like adding wings to Malfurion willl make the WC3 campaign better. If anything, it actually changes his look from the ROC cinematic, when he used the horn of Cenarius to call the wisps. If you regard him as a Night Elf with wings in the Reforged campaign and you see a wingless elf in the cinematic using the horn, some people might not immediately recognize that it is supposed to be Malfurion in the cinematic.

Yet we have characters like Arthas who are designed VERY closely to his cinematic look; down to having multiple variation models where he is still a Paladin but wielding Frostmourne and having white hair, to match the following cinematic where he returns to Lordaeron. That kind of change is good since we never got that from original WC3. This example 'fixes' appropriately. Yet other changes like Grom and Malfurion's changes only separate them further from the cinematics.

There are good changes and there are bad changes. I'm not going to write it all off as 'sinking ship' because I still value what was set forth in the original game, and I am passionate about seeing that remade in HD. That is why I think it's important to point out what I think is a good change and what I think is a bad change. And even if Blizzard isn't gonna do anything about it, as a modeller and mapmaker, we can still do it ourselves.

Quote:
I think it would be better for all of us if we stop caring about Blizzard's decision and start making our own. Don't like the canon? Write fanfiction. Want other people to care about your fanfiction? Write an original universe.
We can absolutely do that. But hey, if I'm paying $40 (CAD) for a new official product and I can spread awareness on things that I think should be changed for the better - then why not? It's not like I'm the only one who is concerned that Grom doesn't have his full jaw tattooes or that trolls are missing their hind toes. These are actually things pointed out by other people that I've collected in my own observed notes of changes. I became aware of the inconsistencies through others sharing their opinions on the inconsistencies, and overall I want a solid product from Blizzard. Personally, I don't think blatant ignorance of the lore and defaulting to the satisfaction of 'fanfiction' is the only sensible path to take. I still enjoy the ongoing Warcraft universe even if I don't agree with everything. And it's pretty clear that they are listening; even if they may not act on every suggestion for change.

Last edited by Triceron; 11-29-2019 at 03:55 PM..
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  #187  
Old 11-29-2019, 03:57 PM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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Firstly, the Alliance campaign basically ends with the Scourge conquering Lordaeron. This victory doesn't feel earned at all since we never receive any explanation of the logistics behind how the Scourge achieved this feat. To be fair, we didn't receive much explanation of the logistics in WC1 and WC2, but I would think the bigger budget of WC3 would have allowed for more explanation of that sort of things.

The Alliance campaign, rather than being about Lordaeron, is actually about Arthas. The plot is that the Lich King gaslights him in order to... I'm not actually sure why, but it seems to be part of a plan to conquer Lordaeron somehow. I don't see how Arthas becoming a death knight helps the Scourge conquer Lordaeron, since they were easily conquering even when he was their enemy and he doesn't offer anything to them since the Scourge has zero interest in the political situation of the continent that Arthas would actually be useful for. It just seems like Great Man history, which is discredited.

Secondly, The Scourge campaign is fairly boring compared to the sheer pathos of the Alliance campaign. The conflicts are much shallower and there isn't payoff for the setup at the end of the campaign. Arthas conquers Lordaeron, devastates Quel'Thalas, resurrects Kel'thuzad, and summons Archimonde. That's it. While he's technically plotting to betray the Legion, that never pays off until the last campaign and even then it's questionable whether the Scourge contributed anything. Destroying the skull of gul'dan and killing Tichondrius doesn't sound like it contributes much to the war effort, especially not when Archimonde is defeated by a deus ex machina.
Arthas, the crown prince, murders the king which leaves their monarchy with no king and leads to a loss of morale on the part of the soldiers as the Scourge conquer the heart of Lordaeron. They really didn't need to explain it more than that I don't think.

The Scourge campaign is a weak campaign, sure. The only really strong moments are in the first two missions. Everything after that is just like a slog to get through while Arthas horribly murders his beloved father figures one after the other.

I'm not a huge fan of most of Eternity's End either, but I think they're fine stories overall and serve their purpose.

And honestly, WC3 retcons some stuff from WC2, but it gets overblown just how much it retcons. Especially since WC1 and 2 both contradict themselves all the time anyway. (Kul Tiras leaving the Alliance doesn't happen in the Beyond the Dark Portal Alliance campaign) So them making concrete decisions about things and retconning aspects of the story I think is fine.

Retconning WC3, which has a much more concrete presentation as far as it's story and is much more cinematic is strange.

I was sort of looking forward to seeing some new content and hearing the new vocal performances, mostly out of morbid curiosity but I didn't anticipate enjoying them.

I'm down for some of the minor retcons. Like incorporating Anasterian Sunstrider, or changing Quel'thalas and Silvermoon and so forth to look more distinctive. I like all the unique models (for the Dreadlords in particular) that they're adding.

I don't understand giving Furion owl wings or changing Grom's facial tattoos.

But I really wouldn't have been for them majorly changing the story's context, themes or events. That would have been really disappointing.
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  #188  
Old 11-29-2019, 05:30 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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I’m almost certainly speaking out of the bitterness and resentment that has accumulated as I grow older and gain a better appreciation of the craft of writing. I’m so contemptuous of bad writing.

With Blizzard stories in particular there’s the double whammy of 1) the lore is inevitably retconned to heck so you have no idea what is even going on, and 2) the original story wasn’t particularly good or has glaring flaws in execution.

I wish Blizz could just reboot Warcraft (and their other retconned IPs) to tell whatever story they want to tell now. Then I realize they’ll just retcon themselves again. It’s a constant lose/lose scenario.

I find it impossible to care about Warcraft and Starcraft except to mock and pine over what could have been. Not conducive to civil productive discussions I’m afraid.
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  #189  
Old 11-30-2019, 06:27 AM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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With Blizzard stories in particular there’s the double whammy of 1) the lore is inevitably retconned to heck so you have no idea what is even going on, and 2) the original story wasn’t particularly good or has glaring flaws in execution.
They're pulpy, action games. If they have a modicum of coherent character development, the dialogue is funny at times and connect that to what's happening in the gameplay then they've done their jobs. I think the "Scourge of Lordaeron" is effective. I think the Grom arc from the "Invasion of Kalimdor" works really well too.

And even when the story's not working as well as it could be -- I think a lot of the characters and concepts do. Archimonde is an awesome antagonist. He's intelligent, intimidating, effective. Kel'thuzad too, is just a great memorable character to my mind. Sophisticated and sensible, despite being a mad necromancer. (Until WoW ruined him)

When they try to be more sophisticated and try to present more complex storytelling is when they fail hard I think because it messes up the pacing. These games should be entertaining first.

As to retcons, the products still exist. WarCraft 3 hasn't ceased to exist because Blizzard chose to retcon aspects of it later. So I think the stories can be judged and read into on their own merits. Even if they're not consistent with one another.

Mists of Pandaria isn't really coherent with WC3, but up until a certain point I really enjoy that storyline.
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  #190  
Old 12-01-2019, 07:16 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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They're pulpy, action games. If they have a modicum of coherent character development, the dialogue is funny at times and connect that to what's happening in the gameplay then they've done their jobs. I think the "Scourge of Lordaeron" is effective. I think the Grom arc from the "Invasion of Kalimdor" works really well too.

And even when the story's not working as well as it could be -- I think a lot of the characters and concepts do. Archimonde is an awesome antagonist. He's intelligent, intimidating, effective. Kel'thuzad too, is just a great memorable character to my mind. Sophisticated and sensible, despite being a mad necromancer. (Until WoW ruined him)

When they try to be more sophisticated and try to present more complex storytelling is when they fail hard I think because it messes up the pacing. These games should be entertaining first.

As to retcons, the products still exist. WarCraft 3 hasn't ceased to exist because Blizzard chose to retcon aspects of it later. So I think the stories can be judged and read into on their own merits. Even if they're not consistent with one another.

Mists of Pandaria isn't really coherent with WC3, but up until a certain point I really enjoy that storyline.
I suppose you are right.

I have more interest in Starcraft myself but I’m constantly frustrated by fanboys who refuse to acknowledge that SC1 isn’t really that good of a story. The psi-emitter is an extremely lazy plot device to let Mengsk win regardless of other factors like logistics (e.g. the zerg magically steamroll all opposition, which opens a plot hole since they waited for over a decade in Koprulu before doing this) or the perspectives of the other factions (e.g. the Confederacy, protoss and zerg are reduced to plot devices to advance Mengsk’s plot). Mengsk didn’t need the psi-emitter to be his I-Win button. He could have taken advantage of existing battles to perform surgical strikes against various government institutions to seize power for the SoK. I don’t find it believable that the SoK would be happy to ignore his rather public betrayal of all their men on Tarsonis. Multiple political factions within the SoK working at cross purposes would be far more believable. Rather than a personal vendetta against Kerry that comes out of nowhere with no justification other than “the story needs a hero and a villain”, it’s one of several carefully calculated ploys to assassinate members of the inconvenient non-fascist factions within SoK. Similar to the real internal conflicts that afflicted revolutions in Earth’s history.

At least in the Warcraft fandom I see more people being open to criticizing every aspect of the story including the WC3 campaigns. After watching let’s plays of Warcraft mods for Crusader Kings II, I developed a much greater appreciation for the world outside of the characters. If a strategy game makes the war feel like a bureaucratic nightmare, then I cannot imagine what it would be like as a general.
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  #191  
Old 12-03-2019, 08:51 PM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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They're adding back in the last three missions of the prologue campaign according to the game's achievements.

Which I think is a huge mistake for the game's pacing, but it'll be nice to play those missions with voice acting.
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  #192  
Old 12-04-2019, 04:15 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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They're adding back in the last three missions of the prologue campaign according to the game's achievements.

Which I think is a huge mistake for the game's pacing, but it'll be nice to play those missions with voice acting.
The missions did have voice acting in the demo. It just wasn’t copied to the final game.
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  #193  
Old 12-04-2019, 09:56 AM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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The missions did have voice acting in the demo. It just wasn’t copied to the final game.
Yeah I just played them in tFT, not in the demo. I wonder if they'll update the Sea Witch to be what she's probably supposed to be (a naga).
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  #194  
Old 12-06-2019, 12:12 PM
Triceron Triceron is offline

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Yeah I just played them in tFT, not in the demo. I wonder if they'll update the Sea Witch to be what she's probably supposed to be (a naga).
I'm still waiting to see if they add a proper Sen'jin model too.
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