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  #1  
Old 08-25-2019, 11:17 AM
Slowpokeking Slowpokeking is offline

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Default Deathwing and Azshara's character suffered from being the Old Gods' servants

They have the power and characterization to be the independent "big bad". However being some "bigger bad's lieutenants really damaged their characters. As the antagonist, you can suffer defeat, but you can't keep stay as someone else' servant without breaking free.

I think that's one of the reasons ppl like the Lich King, because he had successfully freed himself from the legion by using his scheme.

Blizzard obviously realized it so they made that short story, but it didn't improve the status too much. I bet Azshara will suffer the villain decay after this battle.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:31 AM
Triceron Triceron is offline

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The best villains are those you secretly like.

Storywise, they didn't give us anything to like about Deathwing, and our impressions of his badassery are all atmospheric more than direct. He wasn't a villain as much as he was portrayed as a force of nature, and that's not very interesting.

Azshara should also be likeable but she isn't. She has no stake in the story and she's twirling an invisible mustache for reasons absolutely unknown to us, so it's just a mess.

I don't even care if they have masters or not, they're just not interesting and they lack depth.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:05 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Deathwing's dickery was fine without the "madness" explanation. Him being an opportunist amongst the Dragon Aspects did not require any extra subterfuge as an explanation. He's never really been the same since DotD.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:53 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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The deeper problem is that Blizzard can't do interesting or consistent characters, much less interesting or consistent villains.

MMOs are an awful format for any kind of storytelling. The whole point of an MMO is that you're an adventurer going on adventures with your friends and making your own stories. The story of WoW consists of you passively watching as NPCs solve the plot, while your own contributions are irrelevant. It's not a game, but a theme park ride.

RTS was a better vehicle for that sort of thing. Not that Blizzard wrote their RTS stories any better, but in capable hands the campaign format is better for any kind of character-driven stories.

The problem is that RTS is terrible for high fantasy. The gameplay of RTS consists of managing armies. So it's great if you want to tell military fiction, political thriller, etc. Focusing on epic heroes at the expense of world building the factions, politics, logistics, etc defeats the whole point of using the RTS format in the first place.

If you just want a story of epic heroes fighting epic villains, then write prose, draw a comic, or produce a movie. Maybe an RPG or MOBA is a better fit. Don't ruin the RTS format by ignoring its inherent militaristic atmosphere.

That's why I liked Command & Conquer over the *Craft stories. C&C better acknowledged that what characters it had were part of factions fighting for their causes and relate-able concerns, not solely interpersonal drama by a handful of epic characters that magically overrode the concerns of every other person in the universe. It did the ecological catastrophe subplot far better than WC3 did with the plague.

Simply put, Blizzard can't do military fiction that would be ideal for the RTS format. C&C did it far better, although that's not to say C&C was perfect by any stretch.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:11 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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I maintain the problem is much less on the MMO format end and much more on Blizz not even TRYING to be consistent.
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2020, 05:24 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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It's really both. Inconsistency and shoddy characterization is a separate issue, but their MMO format still dictates and limits where the story will and could go by the endless need for new raids, dungeons, bosses, continents, and so on.

Now, that does not mean these issues are inherent to any MMORPG format, but to the one World of Warcraft and most other mainstream MMORPGs are running on, they are.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:31 PM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marthen View Post
It's really both. Inconsistency and shoddy characterization is a separate issue, but their MMO format still dictates and limits where the story will and could go by the endless need for new raids, dungeons, bosses, continents, and so on.

Now, that does not mean these issues are inherent to any MMORPG format, but to the one World of Warcraft and most other mainstream MMORPGs are running on, they are.
The worst thing, IMHO, is the need to prop up Alliance and Horde specifically as major political factions in every single plot. Them being humongous powerhouses that never run out of resources is very much inconsistent with the world presented in WC1-3, where whole realms could get destroyed, to the point that the capital of Azeroth was referred to as "New Stormwind" after a relatively small period of time in the humans' absence on the continent.
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:07 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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None of WoW's big villains are really good to be honest.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2020, 07:30 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
None of WoW's big villains are really good to be honest.
None of Blizzard's big villains have been good for decades.

The Horde was a good villain back in the WC1/WC2 era, when they were basically European colonizers.

The Overmind was a good villain, because it had motives that were alien yet understandable.

Otherwise, Blizzard has never been able to write good villains. They've always been shallow and uninteresting. (Video games in general have rock bottom standards to begin with.)

It's extremely easy to write interesting villains. A children's show like Netflix's She-Ra writes its villains as more interesting than its heroes by complete accident.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2020, 08:00 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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What about WCIII
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2020, 08:09 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
What about WCIII
WC3 didn't have interesting villains. Pretty much the only interesting arc it had was Arthas' fall to darkness. Although after rewatching the cutscenes on youtube it suddenly looks silly and unbelievable. He goes from an inexperienced prince to a loopy nutjob in under a half-hour of cutscene time.

Blizzard's storytelling is much worse than I remember, and I thought they were bad to begin with.
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:37 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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What about the rest of the Scourge?
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2020, 08:59 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
What about the rest of the Scourge?
They're bland and boring.

To have an interesting villain, that villain needs to have a personality. They don't need to be misunderstood or anything, they just need to be colorful.

Look at the Skeksis from Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. They're immensely popular because of their colorful personalities and wardrobes.

The Scourge has zero personality aside from working for the Legion. Throughout their entire campaign, there is zero sense of any character growth or a real progression of the narrative. Yeah, Lordaeron and Quel'Thalas are devastated, the Legion is summoned to Azeroth... but it all feels hollow and soulless.

Blizzard simply isn't good at storytelling. They never have been.

We only look fondly on SC1 and WC3 because we played it as young children who didn't understand how to appreciate media.

Now we are adults who live in the post-Game of Thrones era. The Blizzard games are now much more obviously immature.
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2020, 09:06 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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How would you recommend handling them better while staying as to what they were introduced as as doable?
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:19 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
How would you recommend handling them better while staying as to what they were introduced as as doable?
Marthen mentioned a lot of things from his WC AU. I’m not all that familiar with it.

The basic idea was to give them an actual society with politics, religion, etc.

Pretty much the key reason Blizzard kept failing was because they care more about shallow interpersonal melodrama than building living breathing worlds and societies.

This isn’t rocket science. If you want to know what to do right, then read the bazillion essays and guides on world building and characterization and whatnot.
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  #16  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:49 PM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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I am not really sure my Altcraft would count as "while staying as to what they were introduced ". Towards the end of the development, I had strayed really far from Warcraft III, as my modus operandi changed to recreating the world of Warcraft II that'd only take inspiration and some general idea of major events from later installments.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:46 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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I mean I figure the Scourge is easy enough make more rounded by making them more of a legit Lordaeronian movement. Can't really do that for the Burning Legion.
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:44 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
I mean I figure the Scourge is easy enough make more rounded by making them more of a legit Lordaeronian movement.
I don't think it was ever written down in one place, but IIRC Marthen's treatment made them into a theocratic empire based in Northrend and a couple other nearby lower planes. After escaping Draenor, the Shadowmoon clan traveled the Nether for a while and Ner'zhul developed a god complex. Archimonde and his dread lords decided to take advantage of this and extort Ner'zhul into invading Azeroth for them so they could eat the planet's magic. When the Shadowmoon clan returned to Azeroth, they basically conquered Northrend over a period of years. The Cult of the Damned recruited people and others were subjugated. Ner'zhul betrayed Archimonde after developing a variant of the plague that could infect dread lords and recruit them to his cause. This forced Archimonde to take other plans (as represented in the hypothetical Burning Legion campaign).

Marthen, did you write all this down anywhere?

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Can't really do that for the Burning Legion.
If you drop the titan backstory, then you can turn them into fantasy space pirates. The eredar recklessly used magic, destroyed their home world, and now raid planets for their magic.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:09 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Marthen, did you write all this down anywhere?
I am pretty sure I've explained this somewhere. Not in a coherent form and not in English. I wanted to, tried to, but certain personal issues over the past year and a half have put an end to the effort. Maybe one day, but with the interest in Warcraft killed even for the most hardcore of lore fans, not sure what would be the point.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:22 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
If you drop the titan backstory, then you can turn them into fantasy space pirates. The eredar recklessly used magic, destroyed their home world, and now raid planets for their magic.
And they'd have no connection to the Horde's founding of course.

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I am pretty sure I've explained this somewhere. Not in a coherent form and not in English. I wanted to, tried to, but certain personal issues over the past year and a half have put an end to the effort. Maybe one day, but with the interest in Warcraft killed even for the most hardcore of lore fans, not sure what would be the point.
You can always just dump all you made online so far mother tongue and all to see what happens.

Last edited by Cacofonix; 02-19-2020 at 09:34 AM..
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  #21  
Old 02-19-2020, 10:09 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Marthen View Post
I am pretty sure I've explained this somewhere. Not in a coherent form and not in English. I wanted to, tried to, but certain personal issues over the past year and a half have put an end to the effort.
I hope you get along okay, dude. I don't know exactly how you feel, but I've been through plenty of rough patches.

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Maybe one day, but with the interest in Warcraft killed even for the most hardcore of lore fans, not sure what would be the point.
Maybe one day you could spin it off into an original fantasy setting. Few fantasy authors seem to have studied military history, so having that in your transcript would make a dramatic difference in the verisimilitude of your world building.

The Warcraft setting personally inspired me to invent my own fantasy universe in which the existence of many different planets is a key part of the premise.

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And they'd have no connection to the Horde's founding of course.
I don't think they need to. I thought it made the universe feel really small when all the events of the series happen because Sargeras keeps trying and failing to invade one planet.

I found Marthen's chronology more believable: Archimonde invaded because he learned about Azeroth from the Shadowmoon clan wandering the lower planes and figured that it would be a big break because it has the Tomb of Sargeras and whatnot. Meanwhile, the orcs learned to summon and bind demons of their own accord rather than being tricked.
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  #22  
Old 02-19-2020, 11:18 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
I hope you get along okay, dude. I don't know exactly how you feel, but I've been through plenty of rough patches.
I think the worst part is behind me, but thanks.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Maybe one day you could spin it off into an original fantasy setting. Few fantasy authors seem to have studied military history, so having that in your transcript would make a dramatic difference in the verisimilitude of your world building.
I think I've mentioned it on my discord, and mayhaps on the SoL discord/forums, but I've been developing my own setting for many years, even before I started working on my Altcraft, hence why Altcraft has always been of secondary priority.
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  #23  
Old 03-01-2020, 05:50 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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Just do what suits you.
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  #24  
Old 03-28-2020, 11:03 PM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
None of WoW's big villains are really good to be honest.
My favourite WoW villains are like... Lady Naz'jar, Lord Godfrey and that Frost Troll who tricks you into working for him. All the box cover villains are lame. The Thunder King was all right too. But less for himself, and more because 5.2 was a pretty good MoP patch.

Blizzard used to be pretty good at giving you a chance to steer with the villains for a while. It's hard to develop a bad guy, if all you see them doing is shouting at you about how they're going to kill you. And then since you always beat them, it's hard to make them competent. But because you spend most of Vashj'ir playing catch up and trying to fight your way out of difficult situations, Naz'jar gets to be pretty competent.

But like... I hate Gul'dan. I hate WoW Arthas, I hate WoW Deathwing... they're just kinda lame.
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