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Old 04-15-2014, 10:49 AM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Default Story Analysis: Mists of Pandaria


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Another poster on the forums, elsewhere, got me thinking, and I'd love to hear more on this topic.

In Mists of Pandaria, the story is one of mystery, the presumption that there is no enemy, that the land itself is not set against the arriving hero. It's a rather interesting point, one that I had not considered. I might have missed the trees for the forest, thus this thread.

Is there a solid story basis in terms of putting things together as they were in Mists? I thought that the story appeared to me to be contrite, forced, and somewhat panned to the player, pointing out things that should have been obvious. I am more than willing to be wrong, especially if others found the story, engaging, meaningful and wondrous in that the elements of the story were well placed, in an order and featured a gradual progression of how things were going from one end of the expansion to the other.

The story to me for Mists appeared to be too mysterious at first, then, gradually filled in over the course of how things played out for the Alliance side. I guess my point is this: why does the story feel like it was not well done, when it appears a great deal of effort was in fact put into the expansion? Am I missing the trees for the forest, proverbially?


So what do y'all think?
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2014, 11:05 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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I hated Jade Forest because the hozen felt like idiots and nothing really came from them after the battle, no one grew or learned and the poop jokes were too much, I mean for side-quests with no real lore significance they're fine but for the Hozen chief? Really?
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:12 AM
Anne_Neritas Anne_Neritas is offline

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The issue of MoP was the same as every single expansion in WoW:

They started to many things and then never finished them.

Jinyu/Hozen in their respective faction
Turtle Pandaren
Night Elven and Tauren expeditions into Pandaria
Garrosh in general
Blowback against horde from 5.1
Zandalari in general
Vol'Jin

There's a bit more. There was just so much in MoP that needed more screentime. Instead we're left with even more loose ends that'll never be addressed and ends up leaving the players confused and angry at the lack of anything happening. I mean hell, at least Cata gave us an ending. MoP gives us the big bad guy being free, which was in and of itself COMPLETLY uncessecary: why couldn't Zaela hook up with the dragon and go back in time, for instance?

Don't get me wrong, I loved MoP. But there are so many loose ends that its infuriating. It's disgusting that Yaungol and Mantid have more lore and interesting tidbits than the Turtle Pandaren. It's messed up that you never see the Night Elves doing anything against Garrosh despite them making a vow to protect the vale. We got a beginning and an end with Vol'Jin, but no midsection. Major threats were left to fight again in every raid tier, which just made everything you're doing seem hallow.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:16 AM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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I think part of it is mixed messages. Pandaria is a jewel to be protected...and also a stagnant land shrouded and hampered by its own pride. The war is petty - except we just came off an expansion that justified the war on both sides. Our presence caused the Sha to erupt all over the land, but then we end up purging the Sha from Pandaria for good.

Some of the isolated story arcs were good as Blizzard goes. I liked Jade Forest - I liked that you were building towards a conflict and that conflict had a severe reprecussion with no easy solution. The statue wasn't immediately repaired, the land is still scarred. I liked the Isle of Thunder, I liked the Shieldwall / Dominance quests. As individual stories they stirred up some intrigue and they held together on their own. But when you put them in context with one another, they don't hold up. At the end of the Isle of Thunder, Lor'themar and Jaina come to some sort of cease fire, and there's an indication that while they are united in their goals, they can share a certain amount of civility. Cut to the Seige, and they're both sniping at each other as soon as they see each other. Not to mention that neither one of them brings the toys they found to the Seige, nor are they mentioned. Taran Zhu becomes a victim to the Sha because of his arrogance and then swallows his pride, working with the PC to hunt down the Sha. His character grows in 5.0, he learns that not all outsiders are bad...and then immediately reverts to form in 5.2 and again in 5.4 when something goes wrong and again "all outsiders are bad".

I liked Mists in general, and I appreciate Blizzard's ambition to greater storytelling in the confines of an MMO like WoW. But the whiplash in thematics and character from patch to patch, and sometimes even within patches. was a little jarring.
This guy wins the thread.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:18 AM
Insipid_Lobster Insipid_Lobster is offline

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Originally Posted by Anne_Neritas View Post
The issue of MoP was the same as every single expansion in WoW:

They started to many things and then never finished them.

Jinyu/Hozen in their respective faction
Turtle Pandaren
Night Elven and Tauren expeditions into Pandaria
Garrosh in general
Blowback against horde from 5.1
Zandalari in general
Vol'Jin

There's a bit more. There was just so much in MoP that needed more screentime. Instead we're left with even more loose ends that'll never be addressed and ends up leaving the players confused and angry at the lack of anything happening. I mean hell, at least Cata gave us an ending. MoP gives us the big bad guy being free, which was in and of itself COMPLETLY uncessecary: why couldn't Zaela hook up with the dragon and go back in time, for instance?

Don't get me wrong, I loved MoP. But there are so many loose ends that its infuriating. It's disgusting that Yaungol and Mantid have more lore and interesting tidbits than the Turtle Pandaren. It's messed up that you never see the Night Elves doing anything against Garrosh despite them making a vow to protect the vale. We got a beginning and an end with Vol'Jin, but no midsection. Major threats were left to fight again in every raid tier, which just made everything you're doing seem hallow.
Yeah, I think this plays into it. They tend to seed a lot of ideas and races/factions which can become really neat only for them to fizzle out. I think it's a mixture of Blizzard's "ambitious" story telling being beaten down by the MMO format. They wont be touched again, either. I dunno, i'm just of the mindset that if you're not going to do something with a race you add to a game after their brief time to shine on stage then there's no point in really adding them.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:37 AM
Kiraser Kiraser is offline

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I also had a feeling, that the whole story of the expansion was like a filler in a TV show or anime series. It's probably because of the loose ends in MoP storyline. Still, it's not the only issue. The devs introduced rather interesting concepts in MoP, which could be used in other stories, but were exclusive to the expansion. The Waters of the Vale are dried, all what is left of them resides rest within a weird non-sentient elemental. Yet the Waters would be an interesting addition to many storylines: from the night elven pursuit for the immortality to the healing of the plagued zones of Azeroh. The Sha are utterly destroyed, so there's no reason to follow the lessons of Pandaria. Look at Maraad, he didn't learn a single thing there.
In the end, Pandaria now has little to no impact to the whole storyline and the world of Azeroth. We've met the pandaren, and only few of them decided to leave the Wandering Isle or Pandaria. We've learned the lessons of Pandaria, which were just obvious and unnecessarily things, that will be ignored by most of the characters.
It's like, the story didn't move on for the last two years. Tons of Cataclysm's loose ends remain unsolved even now. And I have a strange feeling that WoD will be another "filler".
I've enjoyed the MoP storyline (at least in 5.0 and 5.2) and I'll probably enjoy the questing in WoD too, but I don't want anymore "fillers". One can make an expansion without creating an AU or introducing a continent full of the pandaren.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:54 AM
Anne_Neritas Anne_Neritas is offline

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Originally Posted by Kiraser View Post
I also had a feeling, that the whole story of the expansion was like a filler in a TV show or anime series. It's probably because of the loose ends in MoP storyline. Still, it's not the only issue. The devs introduced rather interesting concepts in MoP, which could be used in other stories, but were exclusive to the expansion. The Waters of the Vale are dried, all what is left of them resides rest within a weird non-sentient elemental. Yet the Waters would be an interesting addition to many storylines: from the night elven pursuit for the immortality to the healing of the plagued zones of Azeroh. The Sha are utterly destroyed, so there's no reason to follow the lessons of Pandaria. Look at Maraad, he didn't learn a single thing there.
In the end, Pandaria now has little to no impact to the whole storyline and the world of Azeroth. We've met the pandaren, and only few of them decided to leave the Wandering Isle or Pandaria. We've learned the lessons of Pandaria, which were just obvious and unnecessarily things, that will be ignored by most of the characters.
It's like, the story didn't move on for the last two years. Tons of Cataclysm's loose ends remain unsolved even now. And I have a strange feeling that WoD will be another "filler".
I've enjoyed the MoP storyline (at least in 5.0 and 5.2) and I'll probably enjoy the questing in WoD too, but I don't want anymore "fillers". One can make an expansion without creating an AU or introducing a continent full of the pandaren.

Don't forget Prince Anduin who runs around like a naive little twat the entire expansion, lets the horde into the vale, is nearly killed, disobeys everyone at every turn, and never learns a DAMN THING.

Pandaria starts as a big deal for Anduin, but when it all comes together, he is the exact same Anduin as he was at the start. If anything, he's more a prick, which runs counter to what Pandaria -should- have taught him.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:35 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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Also every single orc barring three characters being portrayed as totally evil or against the player.

And the utter idiocy of getting rid of Garrosh, but keeping Gallywix.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:47 PM
Anne_Neritas Anne_Neritas is offline

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Also every single orc barring three characters being portrayed as totally evil or against the player.

And the utter idiocy of getting rid of Garrosh, but keeping Gallywix.
Gallywix, since the start of Cata, has actually been portrayed as a good leader by Horde standards.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:06 PM
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Garrosh and the "True Horde" lacked credibility as final antagonists.

I mean, we leapt into the expansion straight off of Deathwing's back. I don't know what it was like in past expansions, but I didn't think there was anything on the continent that we hadn't seen before and couldn't handle.

Of course, Lei Shen came off as being rather special. That guy's backstory, to me, made him sound like the first raider. He just so happens to fall into a dungeon, beats the boss, and steals all his power (loots). He's almost like an ancient version of ourselves and what we can aspire to.

Garrosh just doesn't hold a candle to that guy. Garrosh had his armies running around stealing things and digging them up. And while he secured the heart of a dead Old God...it was dead. We'd beaten Old God's before when they were alive!

Lei Shen beat a Keeper of Ulduar with his bare hands! He gained first hand knowledge and understanding of the Titans works and created enormous complexes (the Thunder Isle we see is just the tip of the iceberg, the rest buried beneath the ocean and rock as a result of the Shattering).

Garrosh, I think while he isn't stupid, he's not an engineer or a magician. He does have "vision" and a lot of ambition, but for better or worse, most players think he's stupid and weak. It's very sad that no matter what Blizzard did with the guy, players just didn't think he was worthy in any respect.

Anyway, in terms of lore investment, the final raid tier and story-line were awful. Garrosh isn't much of a threat. They really push the line of credibility that he represents one. Pretty much the only people that think Garrosh is the least bit dangerous are people that insist that the Alliance couldn't solo Orgrimmar, which is ironic since those same people were probably the ones that didn't think he could beat Thrall in a stand-up fight or would have lost to Cairne if not for the poison. Basically the people that thought that Garrosh was unworthy and lacked any merit whatsoever whether in smarts or brawn suddenly think he's bad news for the entire planet and only through the combined effort of the whole world can he be brought down!
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:20 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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Originally Posted by Anne_Neritas View Post
Gallywix, since the start of Cata, has actually been portrayed as a good leader by Horde standards.
No, he has not been a good leader.

Gallywix isn't just a caricature, even by goblin standards, but he's also an incompetent idiot who made an enemy of positively everyone, caused countless deaths and losses to the Bilgewater cartel, and was bested by the player and their allies at every turn, relying solely on his victims showing mercy to survive.

Gallywix only got in power because Thrall was wearing his dunce cap, otherwise he would've been stone dead.

While ruthlessness, greed, and self-serving are good traits for a goblin to have, Gallywix takes them too far to the point of stupidity. Gallywix made an enemy of everyone, the only people willing to stay loyal to him were Hobgoblins too stupid to know they were being taken advantage of.

As Gazlowe, Sassy, and the Entire Steamwheedle Cartel show, it can be smart to make allies and treat your direct employees well, a happy employee is far less likely to betray you, and can inform their boss about plots against them.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Anne_Neritas View Post
Gallywix, since the start of Cata, has actually been portrayed as a good leader by Horde standards.
The Scroll story backtracked on him, and other than that he hasn't done anything than jump ship to Vol'jin.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:29 PM
Liuv Liuv is offline

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No, he has not been a good leader.

Gallywix isn't just a caricature, even by goblin standards, but he's also an incompetent idiot who made an enemy of positively everyone, caused countless deaths and losses to the Bilgewater cartel, and was bested by the player and their allies at every turn, relying solely on his victims showing mercy to survive.

Gallywix only got in power because Thrall was wearing his dunce cap, otherwise he would've been stone dead.

While ruthlessness, greed, and self-serving are good traits for a goblin to have, Gallywix takes them too far to the point of stupidity. Gallywix made an enemy of everyone, the only people willing to stay loyal to him were Hobgoblins too stupid to know they were being taken advantage of.

As Gazlowe, Sassy, and the Entire Steamwheedle Cartel show, it can be smart to make allies and treat your direct employees well, a happy employee is far less likely to betray you, and can inform their boss about plots against them.
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"What did you expect, Sergeant?" he said.

"I expected you to use it!" Ziya growled. "It's what you do. You use things. You're a monster!"

To her surprise, Gallywix nodded.

"Yeah, I am," he said. "But not that kind."

"You're exactly that kind!"

"No," Gallywix said. "We ain't ever met face to face, Sergeant, so let me explain. I don't mind selling you if you get careless. I'll send you to die if it'll help the cartel's bottom line. But I won't get you killed by stupidity or a big dumb weapon for nothing. That ain't me."

He glanced at the ring hanging around her neck. Her hands closed protectively around it. An unreadable expression crossed his face.

"For what it's worth," he said, "I'm sorry about what happened to your husband in Hyjal. But I ain't sorry about anything I've done. So, yeah, I'm a monster. But I watch out for what's mine. When I can.

"And right now, that means hiding this big gun before anyone finds out about it."
Like most characters he's smarter when not being written to give us quests.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:30 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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Like most characters he's smarter when not being written to give us quests.
Half assed attempt to make players like him.

Gallywix certainly didn't care about his cartel in Kezan, or the lost isles. I'm not going to buy that crap.

"I watch out for whats mine, except when I got my men killed on Lost Isles for kicks, and had the Cartel's enemies to kill my employees."
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:30 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Like most characters he's smarter when not being written to give us quests.
Rewriting him after Kezan and Lost Isles to try and justify keeping him is stupid and transparent.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:37 PM
Liuv Liuv is offline

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Originally Posted by JorgeAxe View Post
Half assed attempt to make players like him.
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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
Rewriting him after Kezan and Lost Isles to try and justify keeping him is stupid and transparent.
And...?

Hate to break it to you guys but characters being re-written after the fact is pretty par for the course. I mean, I guess you could sit there and be bitter about it if thats what you want. Personally I'll enjoy the new take because it makes a better character can could actually be used later on. As opposed to yet another leader the Horde would need to kill off in a few years.

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Old 04-15-2014, 01:42 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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Gazlowe should be leader, he has all the credentials:

* Loyal to Thrall.
* Helped Build Orgrimmar.
* Treats his employees.
* Willing to get into dirty business without betraying his allies.
* Ratchet joining the Horde would help even out Dalaran becoming Alliance. Or Gazlowe could lose control of it, and join Orgrimmar.

He even says in Heroes of the Storm that ruling Ratchet is boring.

Gallywix needs to slip on his pool, hit his head, and die.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JorgeAxe View Post
Gazlowe should be leader, he has all the credentials:

* Loyal to Thrall.
* Helped Build Orgrimmar.
* Treats his employees.
* Willing to get into dirty business without betraying his allies.
* Ratchet joining the Horde would help even out Dalaran becoming Alliance. Or Gazlowe could lose control of it, and join Orgrimmar.

He even says in Heroes of the Storm that ruling Ratchet is boring.

Gallywix needs to slip on his pool, hit his head, and die.
I suppose if he could buyout the Bilgewater that could work.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:47 PM
Anne_Neritas Anne_Neritas is offline

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As I said, after the Isles questing he's been written as a competent leader. Ignore it if you want, treat it like he's done nothing since lost isle. But he has, and you gotta deal with it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:49 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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As I said, after the Isles questing he's been written as a competent leader. Ignore it if you want, treat it like he's done nothing since lost isle. But he has, and you gotta deal with it.
Not really, they're just saying he's a competent leader, while half assedly glossing over the Lost Isles.

Stuff like this didn't work for Garrosh, what makes you think it'll work for Gallywix?
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:59 PM
Gortrash Gortrash is offline

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This guy wins the thread.
Except that poster is wrong about Taran Zhu and his "all outsiders are bad" attitude. It's right there in the 5.4 trailer, he literally spells it out for us in his exchange with Garrosh. "I have fought beside the tauren, trolls and others. They're NOTHING LIKE YOU!" So... yeah.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:01 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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Except that poster is wrong about Taran Zhu and his "all outsiders are bad" attitude. It's right there in the 5.4 trailer, he literally spells it out for us in his exchange with Garrosh. "I have fought beside the tauren, trolls and others. They're NOTHING LIKE YOU!" So... yeah.
No orcs in there....MOP can do die in a fire.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:04 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Except that poster is wrong about Taran Zhu and his "all outsiders are bad" attitude. It's right there in the 5.4 trailer, he literally spells it out for us in his exchange with Garrosh. "I have fought beside the tauren, trolls and others. They're NOTHING LIKE YOU!" So... yeah.
And then in the first wing of SoO, he complains about the outsiders.
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  #24  
Old 04-15-2014, 02:04 PM
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The story should probably have pitied the Horde player against Garrosh from the start instead of having the Horde player suddenly turn against Garrosh and the Horde for reasons all of a sudden in a patch.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:06 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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The story should probably have pitied the Horde player against Garrosh from the start instead of having the Horde player suddenly turn against Garrosh and the Horde for reasons all of a sudden in a patch.
Or not made Garrosh totally evil, or if they did, have him take Gallywix with him rather then the entire orcish race.
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