Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews - Updated 8.26

General Discussion
Prev 1 5 6 7 11 Next
08/28/2013 07:40 AMPosted by Kaganfindel
He's still missing that what we're killing orcs in Orgrimmar to achieve is significant to us. We're killing orcs in Orgrimmar to achieve Horde unification. That is not what the Alliance wants to achieve. It is not enough to ask why we fight; we must ask what is worth fighting for.

So then what is the Alliance trying to achieve? Many of the complaints I've personally encountered center around the fact that the storyline isn't going to absurd lengths to pander to the Alliance playerbase. Things like "Well, the Horde should be dismantled," or "It's stupid that we give Orgrimmar back after."

I can't really give any credence to these sort of woes, because they go far beyond anything that either faction should realistically expect from an ongoing story with mechanical limitations. If defeating Garrosh isn't enough of a personal motive for this particular arc, then what is the actual goal?
08/28/2013 07:40 AMPosted by Kaganfindel
They don't get it. They don't seem to be able to. Kosak keeps confirming that he doesn't get it, in interviews, in tweets, and in the content. In the end, it doesn't matter what you say to the man; his response will be, "but you killed the bad guy! You won! Look at all the orcs you beat up!" He's still laboring under the delusion that we want the Horde to be told that we beat them.


When Blizz says stuff that indicates that they have no clue about the Alliance response, we have to wonder if they are indeed totally clueless, or if they're well... lying. Just pretending to be totally clueless. If its the former, then there's the hope that they'll someday get clued in and then be able to write in a way that's more satisfying for the Alliance. If its the latter, then no amount of explaining things to them is going to change things.

And IMO, its the latter. Its just pretense. Here's why I think that...

1) They're ridiculously biased in their writing. They write first for the Horde, then copy/paste for the alliance. They develop Horde content first, then run out of time for Alliance content. They write large sections of the lore/story focused entirely around Horde characters (Thrall, Garrosh). It's not possible to be this extremely biased without being well aware of it.
2) They've been called point blank on their bias at past Blizzcons. The CEO even had to write an explicit apology/disclaimer due to the reaction to the video at the last Blizzcon. They've admitted publicly that they have an easier time writing for the Horde.
3.1) They (obviously) have access to the forums where the Alliance reaction has been prolonged and largely consistent. (Enough so that Horde posters QQ endlessly about Alliance QQing.) Its not credible that CDevs don't check the forums at all. (Though its somewhat credible that they avoid alliance posts since they already know alliance are outraged.)
3.2) Suggestions by Blizz that the CDevs don't have time to read the forums at all are nonsense. A writer who doesn't want to see how readers perceive his work? Very rare. Definitely not credible for a collection of writers working on an extremely commercially focused work. (I'm not saying that they would have time to respond at length, or read everything, -- just occasional skimming so that they're aware of what the hot topics and general reaction is.)
4) They seem to avoid discussions with alliance fans whenever they can. Interview with an alliance fan? Didn't happen. The few things that we've seen in interviews seem to have slipped into an otherwise Horde favoring interview. E.g. Cox is a a horde player -- he relayed some questions from Alliance fans, but obviously he had no particular sympathy towards them and did not follow up with tough questions (kudos to him for actually asking some questions though).

TL;DR: Blizz gets it. They know how the Alliance feels about its treatment in lore. But rather than admit that knowledge, they'll continue to give a pretense of believing in a "string of Alliance victories" and "fist pumping moments".
He's still missing that what we're killing orcs in Orgrimmar to achieve is significant to us. We're killing orcs in Orgrimmar to achieve Horde unification. That is not what the Alliance wants to achieve. It is not enough to ask why we fight; we must ask what is worth fighting for.

So then what is the Alliance trying to achieve? Many of the complaints I've personally encountered center around the fact that the storyline isn't going to absurd lengths to pander to the Alliance playerbase. Things like "Well, the Horde should be dismantled," or "It's stupid that we give Orgrimmar back after."

I can't really give any credence to these sort of woes, because they go far beyond anything that either faction should realistically expect from an ongoing story with mechanical limitations. If defeating Garrosh isn't enough of a personal motive for this particular arc, then what is the actual goal?


That's the thing: the Alliance cannot achieve anything in this patch. They didn't give us a story; they shoehorned us into yours, and then tried to sell it to us as some kind of glorious victory.

This whole story arc was a nonstarter, Yaegar. If the devs were intent on telling this story, it should never have been told using all of the story and content resources of the last two patches. They squeezed the Alliance side of the story into a few one-shot quests and two scenarios. Compare that to the staggering amount of development time that was spent on an entirely Horde story.

SoO should never have been a raid zone. This isn't a two patch story. It sure as Hell isn't a two faction story. They knew it didn't involve the Alliance at all, but they went ahead with it anyway. Now they can't cram us into it in a way that makes any kind of sense or offers any satisfaction to half of the players who are expected to play through it. Who is surprised by this?
I must be the only one that thought that storytelling this expac was the best yet.

People are acting as if blizz is trying to flip the alliance off here and i just do not see it.

the fans don't get to dictate the story. too many alliance ragers want to completely throw out the concept of dynamic equilibrium to slake their bloodthirst or settle these petty grudges.

Nothing wrong with voicing displeasure over it, but please don't say that you represent everyone in doing so.

You don't speak for me or how I am supposed to interpret or enjoy the content delivered
08/28/2013 12:38 PMPosted by Kaganfindel
SoO should never have been a raid zone.

So the issue is that Alliance didn't get enough content in terms of quests or scenarios, regarding the Siege of Orgrimmar plot? I suppose I can understand that, though I would argue that the Theramore plotline was intended to be the major storyline for the Alliance's involvement.

It should be noted that the Horde-side of the Theramore arc is very limited, beyond the destruction of Theramore itself (Which seems to mirror the Alliance invasion of Orgrimmar). With this said, I'm still having difficulty identifying exactly what you're personally looking for in the story.
SoO should never have been a raid zone.

So the issue is that Alliance didn't get enough content in terms of quests or scenarios, regarding the Siege of Orgrimmar plot? I suppose I can understand that, though I would argue that the Theramore plotline was intended to be the major storyline for the Alliance's involvement.

It should be noted that the Horde-side of the Theramore arc is very limited, beyond the destruction of Theramore itself (Which seems to mirror the Alliance invasion of Orgrimmar). With this said, I'm still having difficulty identifying exactly what you're personally looking for in the story.


I'm not looking for anything exactly. I'm looking for game content that's about the Alliance that I can play with my Alliance characters. Letting us do the Horde content, complete with cameo appearances from our faction leaders, isn't scratching that itch, because it's very obvious that the story is a Horde story that they made Alliance compatible so we'd have something to play through. It's only one very short step up from having Lorewalker Cho send us on the raid in Horde disguises.
Just so people don't forget. They are making an Alliance themed MOVIE remember.

Just thought id point that out.

Thank you.
08/28/2013 12:17 PMPosted by Wreave
They know how the Alliance feels about its treatment in lore.

When providing feedback, it's far more constructive to speak as an individual player, rather than a perceived collective. Everyone has their own tastes, desires, and opinions. To state that the entirety of the Alliance playerbase is dissatisfied with their narrative is a bit absurd. The proclamation that there is a consistent reason for the complaints which do exist is even worse.

I also find that there's a vocal minority of players who take an extremist stance in their complaints, and tend to shut themselves out of constructive discussion far moreso than Blizzard ever would. I mean, how can the developers possibly acknowledge you constructively, when you're accusing them of dishonestly?
08/28/2013 12:54 PMPosted by Kaganfindel
Letting us do the Horde content, complete with cameo appearances from our faction leaders, isn't scratching that itch, because it's very obvious that the story is a Horde story that they made Alliance compatible so we'd have something to play through.

So, it's the raid venue and appearance of Horde faction leaders which frustrate you?
It should be noted that the Horde-side of the Theramore arc is very limited, beyond the destruction of Theramore itself (Which seems to mirror the Alliance invasion of Orgrimmar). With this said, I'm still having difficulty identifying exactly what you're personally looking for in the story.


In a two faction story against a common enemy, both factions should have tangible contributions and involvement to the story. When you remove the Alliance from this story, nothing changes. When you remove the Horde from this story, the entire story ceases to exist. As it stands now, the Alliance has plenty of reason to want to overthrow and decimate Garrosh's Horde, but they have been woefully absent in the execution of that goal.

Walking around the Barrens as a robo-kitty and listening to Vol'Jin tell me to whiz off don't exactly stir me into action for his cause. Maybe if our spying was more thorough and disruptive, it would have been more satisfying. Maybe if Vol'Jin was grateful and accepting of my aid, I would have wanted to deliver Kor'kon supplies to him. As the story was implemented, I couldn't care less if Vol'jin's rebels are completely crushed or victorious.

Furthermore, from a strategic point of view, doing nothing but observing is in the Alliance's best interest. No matter which Horde wins, that entity will be in a weakened state and the Alliance will have no better time to move on the Horde than right after the civil war ends.
Letting us do the Horde content, complete with cameo appearances from our faction leaders, isn't scratching that itch, because it's very obvious that the story is a Horde story that they made Alliance compatible so we'd have something to play through.

So, it's the raid venue and appearance of Horde faction leaders which frustrate you?


No, it's the fact that this is a Horde story, a major Horde lore event that they tried to sell to us as a big Alliance victory that frustrates me. It's the fact that you could pull the Alliance out of the story completely and it'd make more sense that frustrates me. We complained that the Alliance got cheated out of content in the last expansion, and their response was to make the last half of this expansion entirely about the Horde and then scribble us in around the margins.
08/28/2013 01:16 PMPosted by Marzo
Furthermore, from a strategic point of view, doing nothing but observing is in the Alliance's best interest. No matter which Horde wins, that entity will be in a weakened state and the Alliance will have no better time to move on the Horde than right after the civil war ends.

This feels rather self-contradictory. You're upset that the Alliance doesn't have a significant role in the arc of Garrosh's fall, but subsequently claim that a better plot-line would have the Alliance be completely absent from the conflict? To what end, exactly? Obviously the Horde would defeat Garrosh, as it's a mechanical necessity of the game. Following this, what do you expect would happen?
Would be nice if transcripts of these interviews could be provided in the future. Not everyone has time to sit through 30 minute videos when it would only take 5 minutes to read the transcript.
08/28/2013 01:18 PMPosted by Kaganfindel
No, it's the fact that this is a Horde story, a major Horde lore event that they tried to sell to us as a big Alliance victory that frustrates me.

Okay, so we go back to the earlier question: You take umbrage with the apparent lack of quests or scenarios, regarding the siege arc? Would it have been preferable if they moved development time spent on the Theramore arc, to the Alliance's place in the fall of Garrosh storyline, then?
Furthermore, from a strategic point of view, doing nothing but observing is in the Alliance's best interest. No matter which Horde wins, that entity will be in a weakened state and the Alliance will have no better time to move on the Horde than right after the civil war ends.

This feels rather self-contradictory. You're upset that the Alliance doesn't have a significant role in the arc of Garrosh's fall, but subsequently claim that a better plot-line would have the Alliance be completely absent from the conflict? To what end, exactly? Obviously the Horde would defeat Garrosh, as it's a mechanical necessity of the game. Following this, what do you expect would happen?


This, again, underlines the fact that this story was a bad one to tell using all of these game resources. It's the stuff of novels or movies, because in those you're not beholden to players who play characters whose factions don't figure into the story to provide content and involvement in the plot. You don't have to contrive some unbelievable nonsense reason to put gnomes on the scene, because it's static content to be consumed in the third person. Making this into game content put the onus on them to do something this story isn't build to support: Alliance participation.
08/28/2013 01:29 PMPosted by Kaganfindel
It's the stuff of novels or movies, because in those you're not beholden to players who play characters whose factions don't figure into the story to provide content and involvement in the plot.

I'm having difficulty understanding your point here. Could you rephrase or elaborate?
Furthermore, from a strategic point of view, doing nothing but observing is in the Alliance's best interest. No matter which Horde wins, that entity will be in a weakened state and the Alliance will have no better time to move on the Horde than right after the civil war ends.

This feels rather self-contradictory. You're upset that the Alliance doesn't have a significant role in the arc of Garrosh's fall, but subsequently claim that a better plot-line would have the Alliance be completely absent from the conflict? To what end, exactly? Obviously the Horde would defeat Garrosh, as it's a mechanical necessity of the game. Following this, what do you expect would happen?


I agree completely on the self-contradictory point. It's why I called the story untenable on the previous page. There are just too many game play reasons why making the faction war was a bad idea. It's also not a point worth mulling over, because the Alliance could never not get involved because of game play reasons.

Though, as I stated earlier in that post you quoted, we should have been more involved and appreciated in the Battlefield: Barrens patch.

08/28/2013 01:31 PMPosted by Yaegar
It's the stuff of novels or movies, because in those you're not beholden to players who play characters whose factions don't figure into the story to provide content and involvement in the plot.

I'm having difficulty understanding your point here. Could you rephrase or elaborate?


Because of game play concerns, Orgimmar can never be destoryed, occupied, or otherwise rendered inoperable. Game play dictates that both factions receive the same raids, the same gear, and the same overall PvE experience. So in a novel, movie, comic, or whatever, the author is free to explore the effects of a prolonged siege of and subsequent destruction of a city. They can fully explore one side's action or inaction. They don't have to provide essentially equal activities and resources for both sides. MMOs demand essentially equal activities and resources for both sides of a conflict, while novels, movies, comics, etc do not.
08/28/2013 01:31 PMPosted by Marzo
Though, as I stated earlier in that post you quoted, we should have been more involved and appreciated in the Battlefield: Barrens patch.

So your issue is largely centered around Vol'jin's regard to the Alliance player? Or that there wasn't enough content in the Battlefield: Barrens patch? Maybe an Alliance-themed Quartermaster would have assisted in this? Perhaps moving the Alliance quests outside of Razor Hill, to a temporary outpost?
08/28/2013 01:31 PMPosted by Yaegar
It's the stuff of novels or movies, because in those you're not beholden to players who play characters whose factions don't figure into the story to provide content and involvement in the plot.

I'm having difficulty understanding your point here. Could you rephrase or elaborate?


Yessir.

The Horde revolution and the Siege of Orgrimmar is a story the Alliance doesn't fit into. There's no compelling reason for them to be on the scene, doing what the raid content needs them to do. This story doesn't involve the Alliance, and shouldn't. That is why it should be in a novel or a movie instead of in the game.

See, in a book or a movie, it's OK for only one faction to be involved in the story. Those media are designed to be consumed passively and in the third person, from the outside, so there's no need to put the consumer's persona into the story. There's no need to have the night elves show up, because you don't read a book as a night elf. You don't watch a movie as a night elf. The consumer doesn't need to be involved in the story at all.

That frees the writer of this story up to tell the story as it was meant to be told - without the Alliance. As soon as it became game content, the burden fell upon the writers to put humans and gnomes and night elves on the scene. The story has no call for that - in fact, the story sort of precludes their involvement, so when they're added it creates a lot of dissonance. It's very apparent to the people whose characters were shoehorned in that they don't really belong in the story, and makes it harder to choke down the rest of the game world's content, wherein our homelands are still in the process of being conquered by the people we just fought alongside in the name of the person we just defeated.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum