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The Burning Crusade, in my opinion, had the best story elements and most potential ingredients to spin a fine yarn. Yet Blizzard (sort of) squandered it.
Have to be honest, I used to have little to no faith about MoP's story cos adding 1 whole new continent and various new species around a once-joke-race doesn't seem to work for me.
Yet, seeing how things have played out in Jade Forest, and patch 5.1---I know Blizzard means serious business this time. They want to tell a story not just about lame pandas, but about all the major races in Azeroth.
MoP is going to be a story well told, with the most unexpected elements.
TBC had the best elements, but it was delivered poorly.
If only we get to go back to Outland, and have all those stories retold in a method as advanced as Mists of Pandaria.
I agree that revisiting Outland would be an excellent idea, and would love to see it not only get an update in terms of graphics and questing dynamics, but in story placement as well.
TBC is one of those instances that I've always given Blizzard a bit of a grace period for. It hardly compares to any other expansion released (WotLK outdid it by a hundredfold), though this is understandable, seeing as it was the first expansion to a game that, at the time when it was still in its initial incarnation, was riding an unprecedented wave of success. TBC was the awkward, adolescent phase for WoW in terms of content, especially so in storytelling, seeing as there were a lot of elements that didn't really come full-circle.
Given that Blizzard now has a significant amount of experience under their belt, though, I think it's only right to revitalize Outland and give it its due.
Hell, tie it into model updates for Blood Elves/Draenei, as well as the speculated Burning Legion expansion, and you've got a perfect vehicle.
Which was an absolutely HORRID decision.
This was the one Blood Elven NPC with any meaningful development behind him, and they throw him away as a stepping stone villain? ...
It was one of a few really glaring problems with TBC's story, and that's not even touching on the Draenei issue. But seriously -
Illidan was very poorly handled.
A noshow villain with little exposure. Sure, when he DID appear outside of the Black Temple it was a true OMG moment, but for anyone who didn't go all the way with the Netherdrakes, well... His presence should have been more evident, as well as his thinking and motivations.
Where and how they used Archimonde was absolutely terrible
This was the single most epic moment in Azeroth's history since the Sundering itself, and they turn it into one of the most tedious and unimpressive raids in all WarCraft? ... And even as a stepping stone raid? Archimonde's big enough to have an entire EXPANSION devoted to him, nevermind the piddly little instance he got.
Karazhan was a triumph of design, but poorly handled lorewise.
I love Karazhan. I really, truly do. Unfortunately a lot of the Lore within it really flies off the rails, or simply isn't there. Netherspite? The Ethereals? ... How did beings from ANOTHER WORLD, who, in the case of Netherspite DIDN'T EVEN EXIST at the time, get into a tower that's been locked up so tight for so long we had to literally travel through space and time to get in? Also, who was the Eredar at the very end, and why does anyone care?
Kil'jaeden was used WAY too soon.
With the Death of Archimonde, this is the single most powerful demon in existence save Sargeras himself. I don't care that we only fought his torso and up, Kil'jaeden should NOT have appeared so soon. This is a character who treats most the greatest threats we've faced like Napoleon treated greater Europe - he should NOT have come out of the bag when he did.
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