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  #51  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:25 AM
Rexxar Rexxar is offline

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That's interesting, I guess they had a hard time thinking of Undead/Worgen allied races, or maybe the updated customization options rendered the need for additional allied races mute from their perspective.
That one 4can leak said it's gonna be lightforged undead for alliance, and feral quilboars for horde (using the worgen skeleton), but they might've scrapped those yea
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  #52  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:30 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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I've always been under the impression that what made Arthas a threat was Frostmourne. With it gone, the figure of the Lich King doesn't look nearly as strong.

Bolvar was never portrayed as a powerful Lich King. Not to mention that Sylvanas now is so strong (because of her borrowed powers) that she was melee'ing goddamn Saurfang with daggers.

On the other hand, I really like that we have a shadowy figure as a big villain. I think this is a first for World of Warcraft while at the same time being a staple for RPG fantasy.

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They literally could have just had us team up with the Lich King because he feels like the warden of death or something. If they really wanted to reintroduce them.
That's what's going to happen in the AR DK starting zone/scenario and they said Bolvar is going to be a prominent character throughout the expansion.

I honestly don't mind the helm and frostmourne being forged in the Forge of Domination. That all just makes Torghast even more interesting.
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  #53  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:59 AM
ARM3481 ARM3481 is offline

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It feels increasingly like the only way they know to introduce new villains and make them threatening is to retcon their precursors into rank amateurs and nuisances who turn out to have barely understood the powers they were using.

So the Burning Legion spent their ultimate expansion taunted and made fools of for being sloppy and inept despite spending countless millennia (if not outright eons, given how time works in the Nether) honing their fel magic, followed by this "oh no, actually someone else made the Lich King's armor." And now the Lich Kings themselves are being retroactively painted as little more than ignorant usurpers who were playing with forces they hardly even comprehended the whole time.

Forces which Sylvanas managed to become an invincible master of off-screen in the span of a couple of expansions. Which was handled sloppily from the start, with nobody making note in-universe of her displaying new abilities, then having Anduin, Saurfang and Thrall all suddenly acting like she's this unstoppable force, talking matter-of-factly about how she's growing more powerful with ever passing day before anyone even knew she had these superpowers.

They did the same sort of thing with N'zoth and Azshara too. An awful lot of questgivers during Nazjatar started bandying about his name well before they had any business knowing about his involvement in Azshara's schemes. It was just suddenly "oh yeah, N'zoth's really behind it all and everyone already knows, so let's get on with it." As if the in-universe characters had been privy to all the theorizing and predictions being made on the forums or something, or had gotten to watch Azshara's Warbringers video like the rest of us.

It's like they're in such a hurry to get this new stuff established and in our faces that they skip the process of having everyone actually learn about it during the story in a believable way. So as interesting as things like Visions of N'zoth and the Shadowlands could be in and of themselves, the premises leading into them have tainted their presentation by feeling rushed and contrived.

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  #54  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:32 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Something I forgot to mention, I really like how one of the mysteries we didn't know for over a decade has been answered.

The Undead units in WC3 build their structures by summoning them. We never knew where they summoned those structures from.

Now with Maldraxxus being revealed as the origin of Icecrown Citadel's architecture, and these magic circles that resemble summoning fields in this Maldraxxus screenshot, apparently the Undead from WC3 summoned their structures from that realm.



I really like this.

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Forces which Sylvanas managed to become an invincible master of off-screen in the span of a couple of expansions. Which was handled sloppily from the start, with nobody making note in-universe of her displaying new abilities, then having Anduin, Saurfang and Thrall all suddenly acting like she's this unstoppable force, talking matter-of-factly about how she's growing more powerful with ever passing day before anyone even knew she had these superpowers.
Lor'themar, Jaina and Thalyssra discuss in-game how they have never seen Sylvanas' kind of magic before.

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They did the same sort of thing with N'zoth and Azshara too. An awful lot of questgivers during Nazjatar started bandying about his name well before they had any business knowing about his involvement in Azshara's schemes. It was just suddenly "oh yeah, N'zoth's really behind it all and everyone already knows, so let's get on with it." As if the in-universe characters had been privy to all the theorizing and predictions being made on the forums or something, or had gotten to watch Azshara's Warbringers video like the rest of us.
The faction leaders didn't become aware of N'zoth at Nazjatar. It was after the events of the Crucible of the Storms and Xal'atath's questline that the leaders all knew about N'zoth.

When the Alliance fleet followed Nathanos into the open sea, N'zoth was a common known threat to the leader figures.
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  #55  
Old 11-03-2019, 06:04 AM
ARM3481 ARM3481 is offline

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Lor'themar, Jaina and Thalyssra discuss in-game how they have never seen Sylvanas' kind of magic before.



The faction leaders didn't become aware of N'zoth at Nazjatar. It was after the events of the Crucible of the Storms and Xal'atath's questline that the leaders all knew about N'zoth.

When the Alliance fleet followed Nathanos into the open sea, N'zoth was a common known threat to the leader figures.
Yes, after she killed Saurfang.

However during the quests leading up to the duel, and when Thrall hands Saurfang his axe, the characters were already describing her as if they knew she had this incredible power. They keep talking about how she's becoming more and more powerful. How? Is she cloning soldiers or something? She had the same Horde she had before, minus Saurfang's rebels and those who'd been dying in the war, so the only way she could be growing more powerful is if she, herself, were personally accruing power into herself. Power they supposedly shouldn't have known about yet.

"You can't win this." Thrall said. Why? Sylvanas was always strong, but so was Saurfang. Expressing such a sentiment indicates that somehow Thrall is already aware she has this immense magical power that will allow her to overwhelm Saurfang in their duel, making his challenge a doomed one.

Except then apparently the NPC protagonists didn't know, because in spite of them acting like they did shortly and them immediately before the mok'gora,they suddenly switched to being completely surprised about it right afterward.

So which was it? Did they know something was making Sylvanas so unnaturally powerful that she'd mop the floor with Saurfang, or did they not know and find it completely shocking when she had a bunch of unexpected power?

And yes, they knew N'zoth was an active threat. They didn't have grounds to know Azshara doing something was synonymous with it being about N'zoth. They just spontaneously somehow knew that part as soon as the Nazjatar quest hub was established.

The whole of Nazjatar's story was just a jumbled mess. How did Ashvane get there? What was even the point of breaking her out of prison? What was the plan if the player got killed during the fleets' destruction and couldn't bring the Heart of Azeroth to Azshara? Why does Nazjatar look like nobody's lived there for thousands of years when the naga have supposedly been there the whole time? Why are the naga encountered there living in roughshod camps like a bunch of newcomers who just showed up? Why did the expansion need the lazy crutch of the villains behaving according to idiotically specific prophecy and impossible foresight so they can get away with said villains having completely garbage plans that are ridiculously reliant on random happenstance?

Sylvanas, Azshara, N'zoth; none of these are compelling villains. They're boring, uninteresting villains who only succeed when they do based on the script needing them to succeed whether it makes sense or not, rather than any actual evidence of legitimate competence and intelligence.

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  #56  
Old 11-03-2019, 06:09 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Since they went out and said that Sylvanas has just been pretending to be a good girl, I wonder whether mind-control is on the table again.

Though even if it isn't, her minions being grateful to her for having been taken out of Hell (The Maw) also works, to some extent. If they didn't go to heaven, it is at least somewhat understandable that they would be grateful for being that turned them into undead and "saved" them from that torment, even if the person who did so is the same person responsible for their death.
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  #57  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:15 AM
Ujimasa Hojo Ujimasa Hojo is offline

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Since they went out and said that Sylvanas has just been pretending to be a good girl, I wonder whether mind-control is on the table again.

Though even if it isn't, her minions being grateful to her for having been taken out of Hell (The Maw) also works, to some extent. If they didn't go to heaven, it is at least somewhat understandable that they would be grateful for being that turned them into undead and "saved" them from that torment, even if the person who did so is the same person responsible for their death.
Depends on how long the Jailer has been siphoning souls towards itself.

That's the funny thing, recently raised Forsaken kinda owe it to Sylvanas not being trapped in the Maw.
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  #58  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:44 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Another thing I noticed while discussing with neoshadow on the SoL Discord, it's as if this time around Sylvanas had the power of Frostmourne with her.

The other times they faced each other, she had to run away because he had the power of hundreds, thousands, millions of souls with him. But this time she was empowered by loads of souls and the Lich King wasn't, as if she had the Frostmourne and was the Lich Queen.

Her campaign of power isn't very much different than the one Arthas had.
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  #59  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:45 AM
Ujimasa Hojo Ujimasa Hojo is offline

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Holy crap. Are they gonna go as far as retcon Arthas into knowing about the Jailer and that his idea of raising everyone into Undeath was a way to deny the Maw of souls?
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  #60  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:51 AM
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Arthas was a good boy.
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  #61  
Old 11-03-2019, 09:50 AM
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BfA had one of the worst narrative structures I had ever seen.

Despite its flaws, Legion at least had a full story. It began with the Legion and ended with it. We saw Khadgar, then Velen and finally Illidan gather and remain "the heroes" until the conclusion. Many of the hooks in the beginning were resolved in the end. Even if the story had its failings, plot holes and illogical moments, the structure itself was fairly good. The weakest parts of Legion are exactly where narrative structure was broken: for instance, how Odyn and the Valarjar simply faded into the background in the middle then disappeared before the end.

Now, BfA? That's a completely broken narrative.

Aside from self-contained 8.0 stories, which were quite good, everything was transitory and meaningless. Most plot threads were left hanging. Your champions in the first act of the War Campaign mostly disappeared. The main villain, hailed as one of the "Warbringers", just exited the narrative with barely a scratch. The Zandalari and Talanji were forgotten as soon as the mid act began. The main threat was replaced by something only tangential to the main plot. The main catalyst, Azeroth dying, was just background noise. The big hero of the third act is someone absent from everything that preceded it.

BfA broke my faith in Blizzard completely. For a time, I was expecting a pay-off for the big events of the prelude and first act. There was no pay-off at all. Fighting N'Zoth is not satisfying, he feels tackled on. Sylvanas could have been an awesome villain, but she ended up just annoying and Mary Sueish.

And there were no "oh yeah" moments for anyone. The Horde played the villain and idiot balls. The Alliance was victimized and then gimped whenever it seemed to gain the upper hand, only to end as the Rebellion's sidekick. It was a very frustrating experience all around.

And, as a personal thought, the two new "races" I criticized all expansion, lightforged and void elves, ended up as meaningless and directionless as I feared in the beginning.

And all that, for me, taints Shadowlands from the get-go. I just have no emotional investment in the plot, nor confidence that Blizzard can deliver a satisfying story. Why should I care for the next two years of story if the last two proved to be a waste of time and money?
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  #62  
Old 11-03-2019, 10:12 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Blizzard should start doing narrative storytelling like Final Fantasy XIV does.

By the end of Shadowbringers' launch patch you embark into an extremely epic dungeon that bridges the finale of one of the expansion's most important stories and take down a very prominent figure.

There are other important stories to be told, yes, in the expansion's patches, but it starts off with a bang.

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And, as a personal thought, the two new "races" I criticized all expansion, lightforged and void elves, ended up as meaningless and directionless as I feared in the beginning.

And all that, for me, taints Shadowlands from the get-go. I just have no emotional investment in the plot, nor confidence that Blizzard can deliver a satisfying story. Why should I care for the next two years of story if the last two proved to be a waste of time and money?
If you feel like you're wasting your time and money, move to another story that makes you feel happy.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:27 AM
Deicide Deicide is offline

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Blizzard should start doing narrative storytelling like Final Fantasy XIV does.

By the end of Shadowbringers' launch patch you embark into an extremely epic dungeon that bridges the finale of one of the expansion's most important stories and take down a very prominent figure.

There are other important stories to be told, yes, in the expansion's patches, but it starts off with a bang.
I can imagine so many epic ways to end BfA. I can't conceive the "story" they done.

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If you feel like you're wasting your time and money, move to another story that makes you feel happy.
Yes, I need to do that, but it's hard to abandon something you cared for so long. I'm an old school player, who got in love with the setting way back in 1996 with Warcraft 2. Even when I had no money to play WoW, I followed the story and developments any way I could. You kind of hope that things will get better, and they did in Legion.

I still have quite a lot of game time already bought, so it's useless to decide now if I'll abandon it. I'll wait for my game time to be near its end, and decide based on whatever news we get between now and then.
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  #64  
Old 11-03-2019, 11:27 AM
TaylorSapien TaylorSapien is offline

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I'm under the impression that the reason BFA's storyline is so jumbled is because they tried to merge two expansion concepts (4th war and Azshara/N'Zoth) into one. I think Argus was originally meant to be an expansion on its own, but they decided to take whatever they had finished and make it the conclusion of Legion because they feared players would complain about "demon fatigue."

The whole subplot of Aszhara and the tidestone in Nazjatar sounds to me like it could have been the plotline for the scrapped Thal'Dranath zone in Legion. Imagine if at the end of Eye of Azshara instead of us recovering the tidestone, her forces are able to escape with it and then use it to raise a landmass from the depths. I think the reason Nazjatar feels so hollow and unlived in despite it being the Naga capital for 10,000 years is because what we see now in-game as Nazjatar was originally meant to be Thal'Dranath and they just recycled the zone instead of trying to create something new.
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  #65  
Old 11-03-2019, 11:35 AM
Deicide Deicide is offline

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I'm under the impression that the reason BFA's storyline is so jumbled is because they tried to merge two expansion concepts (4th war and Azshara/N'Zoth) into one. I think Argus was originally meant to be an expansion on its own, but they decided to take whatever they had finished and make it the conclusion of Legion because they feared players would complain about "demon fatigue."

The whole subplot of Aszhara and the tidestone in Nazjatar sounds to me like it could have been the plotline for the scrapped Thal'Dranath zone in Legion. Imagine if at the end of Eye of Azshara instead of us recovering the tidestone, her forces are able to escape with it and then use it to raise a landmass from the depths. I think the reason Nazjatar feels so hollow and unlived in despite it being the Naga capital for 10,000 years is because what we see now in-game as Nazjatar was originally meant to be Thal'Dranath and they just recycled the zone instead of trying to create something new.
They could have done a proper Faction War + N'Zoth story if they wanted, or they could have done a faction war expansion that leads up to a N'Zoth expansion.

In the first option, 8.3 should have been something like "The War between Death and Shadow" I was hoping for, with both Sylvanas and N'Zoth fighting for the same objective and us trying to defeat both of them.

In the second option, N'Zoth expansion could have Dragon Isles, Nazjatar and finally Ny'alotha and it would be cool, while the war expansion (which could be either the prequel or the sequel) would focus entirely on the battles and frontlines and twists and so on.

Blizzard did the worst possible option, in which the war is tossed aside, N'Zoth becomes a replacement villain and nothing feels satisfying.
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  #66  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:04 PM
Royalpimp Royalpimp is offline

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Could the enemy Kael is pursuing be Garithos? They'd probably both be in the same, Transylvania-like area.
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  #67  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:37 PM
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This is the first expansion where i dont feel any kind of hype, or even the benefit of doubt for the next content. It really looks like a huge red flag when the feature people are talking the most about is more customization options, with the announcement this fresh from Blizzcon.
From the (very unsatisfying) way Sylvanas defeats Bolvar, chains him to his knees, and proceed to destroy the Helm of Patriarch-I mean the Helm of Domination, the heavy focus on customization features (that most people will enjoy prepatch, and forget by the time the expansion is actually live), to the way Covenants are presented as these game changers but at first look appear lackluster...

I want to believe that the reason for all this is because the game is changing so much they cant afford to do much else and still promise the usual features like new class or race, and the expansion is still in the very early stages to be presentable and playable beyond a couple quests and zones... but even at this point, the one starting zone for everyone and throw chromie whenever needed to meet the deadline, feels like either the technical challenges theyre facing are HUGE with the level squish, or they are trying to coverup what it looks like they moved devs from WoW to push Diablo 4 as much as possible.

I know this is supposed to be the "good expansion", but everything so far looks worrisome and incomplete. I tried to talk about it in facebook wow groups, but i got banned from groups for that helm of patriarchy joke, and calling my opinion "negative"

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Old 11-03-2019, 08:39 PM
Melorandor Melorandor is offline

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To be fair, I have a feeling we are going to help Bolvar repair the Helm of Patriar-- I mean Domination during the course of the expansion.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:32 PM
Menel'dirion Menel'dirion is offline

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Could the enemy Kael is pursuing be Garithos? They'd probably both be in the same, Transylvania-like area.
I was thinking the same thing. The only other enemy who comes to mind is Arthas, and he’s already in a much worse place than Kael. Some Kael vs Garithos action would be quite perfect.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:10 PM
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Sylvanas, Azshara, N'zoth; none of these are compelling villains. They're boring, uninteresting villains who only succeed when they do based on the script needing them to succeed whether it makes sense or not, rather than any actual evidence of legitimate competence and intelligence.
I think that's a bit harsh on Sylvanas, considering she's been a major character for almost all of WoW's lifespan (and a major antagonist in a sense for about half of it). Certainly she was effective in Catalysm through her multiple appearances.

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They did the same sort of thing with N'zoth and Azshara too. An awful lot of questgivers during Nazjatar started bandying about his name well before they had any business knowing about his involvement in Azshara's schemes. It was just suddenly "oh yeah, N'zoth's really behind it all and everyone already knows, so let's get on with it." As if the in-universe characters had been privy to all the theorizing and predictions being made on the forums or something, or had gotten to watch Azshara's Warbringers video like the rest of us.
This has literally ALWAYS been a problem in WoW too. I always got the feeling that the NPCs were reading the bits of WC3 manual that were scattered around the world.

It makes the world feel small, and it's really bad.

I don't think expansions NEED a core story necessarily. Classic WoW didn't have one, Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria didn't necessarily have one either. The Old God stuff is also set up PRETTY early in BfA.

But I think ARM brings up the best point in that the transition TO Azshara is just garbage. Nothing is explained. Everything happens so fast. And again, this has been a recurring problem in WoW. If you don't ackowledge or explain things and take plot development for granted, you can VERY EASILY lose your audience.

And in general BfA is just so rushed. I think MAINLY they didn't wanna have the natural conclusion of the expansion be Sylvanas as a raid boss, but there were lots of other options than that.
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  #71  
Old 11-04-2019, 02:56 AM
ARM3481 ARM3481 is offline

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I think that's a bit harsh on Sylvanas, considering she's been a major character for almost all of WoW's lifespan (and a major antagonist in a sense for about half of it). Certainly she was effective in Catalysm through her multiple appearances.
I'm referring to her as an outright villain, mainly for the duration of BfA. And especially now, as a villain finally recognized and acknowledged as such by the rest of world.

She was an interesting character right up until they decided to make her an out-and-out Big Bad because they decided the only way to make such a thing work was to turn her into an unstoppable wrecking ball that nobody can match. We charge headlong into the maws of demons lords and titan keepers and Old Gods, but oh no, the entire world was shivering in its boots at the very thought of facing Sylvanas before the characters even found out she has these crazy new abilities.

And it's all so juvenile. It just reeks of showing off as she flashes an obnoxious smirk before she effortlessly mops the floor with anything in her way as she unveils some idiotic new superpower. Sashaying around like some one-dimensional cartoon baddy who's somehow found out the writers won't let her fail. Every line she belts out is cliched and pointlessly edgy even by WoW standards, with every single thing Sylvanas says portrayed as some epic mic-drop, and it makes her a shallow parody of the character she'd been for the prior fifteen years.

It's like she's trying to be Arthas, but as impossible as it might have once seemed, she's even worse at hamming up the Dark Lord tropes than he was, an effect further worsened by Sylvanas always sounding like she has a bad head cold.

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This has literally ALWAYS been a problem in WoW too. I always got the feeling that the NPCs were reading the bits of WC3 manual that were scattered around the world.

It makes the world feel small, and it's really bad.

I don't think expansions NEED a core story necessarily. Classic WoW didn't have one, Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria didn't necessarily have one either. The Old God stuff is also set up PRETTY early in BfA.

But I think ARM brings up the best point in that the transition TO Azshara is just garbage. Nothing is explained. Everything happens so fast. And again, this has been a recurring problem in WoW. If you don't ackowledge or explain things and take plot development for granted, you can VERY EASILY lose your audience.

And in general BfA is just so rushed. I think MAINLY they didn't wanna have the natural conclusion of the expansion be Sylvanas as a raid boss, but there were lots of other options than that.
The saddest part of this is, the first half of Legion did a fair job of showing characters learning things about the larger world along with the player. We found out about the world-soul IRL from Chronicle, but in-game we learned it from Magni along with Khadgar, and it felt organic and appropriate.

But then the second half's "hurry, hurry, hurry, gotta get to the next part" mentality bled into BfA's meta story, causing the faction war, Nazjatar and now N'zoth to feel like different expansions rammed onto the end of Zanbdalar and Kul Tiras.

I mean, say what we will about WoD, but at least were concluded things on Draenor. It made sense to wrap things up back in Tanaan, even if the story along the way had a multitude of problems.

Legion, BfA, and even MoP all share a problem of abruptly chucking us out of the world we'd been exploring for most of the expansion to go finish things up in some distant place that feels disconnected from everything else. I get that they like this idea of entire new zones full of stuff for an expansion's grand finale, but it's immensely jarring and unsatisfying when the rest of the expansion is so ill-constructed to lead into such a thing that they keep curve-balling us with a sudden journey halfway around the word (or in Legion, across the cosmos) that abandons everything that leading up to that point.

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Incidentally, on an unrelated note I really wish the Devs would stop trying to wrestle metaphysical lore questions during the Q&A. Their response about Chronicle felt like the mishandling of WoD's time travel confusion all over again, with similar overreaction and misrepresentation from the fanbase. Now people all over various lore forums are insisting that Chronicle is a worthlessly discredited portrayal of events from a biased narrator making none of it reliable canon, when that isn't actually what was said.
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  #72  
Old 11-04-2019, 06:30 AM
Ujimasa Hojo Ujimasa Hojo is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menel'dirion View Post
I was thinking the same thing. The only other enemy who comes to mind is Arthas, and he’s already in a much worse place than Kael. Some Kael vs Garithos action would be quite perfect.
A lot of people also has a bone to pick with Arthas. Garithos meanwhile is a more localized villain.
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  #73  
Old 11-04-2019, 06:59 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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So it seems like there won't be new glyphs in SL, based on what was said in some interview.

While I like that they want to restrict additional character customisation to the covenants, I think that it's a shame that they didn't someone include inscription.

Making and learning new glyphs is the main appeal of inscription. The thing that makes the profession fun.
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  #74  
Old 11-04-2019, 07:53 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Quote:
There's a lot of cool stuff that, you know, the team was playing WoW Classic too, just like everybody else, and you know, there's some really cool philosophical things that we can look back on in Classic and say, “Man there's some really cool stuff there.” And so it's more about, like, taking the lessons of Classic and looking how they, you know, some of them might apply to the game but in a way that fits, you know, Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands. So it's been really great for us as a team to see that and see what people react to.
Interesting. (Source)

EDIT: did you guys see this in-game cutscene already? https://streamable.com/yl02o
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  #75  
Old 11-04-2019, 12:59 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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I don't care about Blizzard storytelling except to mock it. That said, I'm curious how Marthen will integrate the Shadowlands materials into his Retrocraft setting. I was always fascinated by how he rewrote the Scourge into a functional nation-state with politics long before the necrolords were a glimmer in Metzen's eye.
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