Patch 5.2 Official Trailer: The Thunder King

90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
I don't think people dislike the fact that he's a big deal. The trailer's theme is obviously building him up to the fact that he's a big deal.

He just doesn't seem to have a lot of personality beyond your usual would-be conqueror of Azeroth. His goals are a bit vague and his alliances are a little wonky.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
I find him interesting in that he appears to be the only lore figure who has ever successfully managed to gain complete control over Titan technology, through whatever went on between him and Ra-Den which turned him into a living conductor in the first place.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
True.

A point I'll give to Blizzard on this is the decision to hold off on explaining a lot of things about Lei Shen. I think it really increases the aura of dread surrounding him to have certain things (his encounter with Ra-Den, the circumstances of his death) unexplained.

And true, as the paragon of all Mogu, a lot of what we're wondering about him is reflected in the Mogu themselves. We can assume he's brutish, domineering and aggressive. But that's not all that interesting in Azeroth these days, for obvious reasons.

This is what frustrates me about this story (and I think this is a general theme for most of MoP): the story itself is strong, has a lot of neat information, but there are just a few gaping plot holes and flaws that keep it from being truly excellent.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13205
Well...apparently, in good or bad news, the attention is shifting away from Pandaria in 5.3 and focusing in on the Alliance/Horde conflict. We'll see the Forsaken in action, more High King Wolfy McChin action, maaaaybe something Draenish, and the start of the rebellion.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
02/28/2013 02:20 AMPosted by Raynell
Well...apparently, in good or bad news, the attention is shifting away from Pandaria in 5.3 and focusing in on the Alliance/Horde conflict. We'll see the Forsaken in action, more High King Wolfy McChin action, maaaaybe something Draenish, and the start of the rebellion.


The language I heard suggested the Forsaken were likely not going to show up.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
It looks like the pattern is Pandaria conflicts in even patches, and Alliance/Horde conflicts in odd patches. I like the balance between the two.

Still on the topic of Lei Shen, the other thing I found interesting about him is that most of the mogu are idiots. When you face them, they're brutish warriors whose only real strength is physical, when they can't simply win through sheer force, they have no hope as they have no real chance of outsmarting anything.

Lei Shen however was a mogu prodigy. He was a genius who built a powerful empire, and ruled it with an iron fist. Once he died, there were other emperors who did their best to hold the empire together, but its crumble was inevitable especially with the rise of the Pandaren monks.

What I really want to know is if the Zandalari were always capable of raising Lei Shen, why didn't they do it before? Did they believe that he was no longer needed, and the alliance had no more value to them, resulting in a pragmatic refusal to resurrect? Or was it a matter of conscience, the Zandalari we have seen and quested for beginning to show through and not wanting to bring back such a tyrant?

I find it interesting that they left him dead until the Cataclysm destroyed their home and they needed the most powerful ally they could get, and they brought back the Thunder King.

I HAVE MORE WORDS TO SAY THAN I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS PURP DISPENSER
Edited by Aganaer on 2/28/2013 2:32 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
On the topic of Sylvanas and the Forsaken, from this interview: http://wow.joystiq.com/2013/02/27/patch-5-2-and-beyond-with-dave-kosak/#continued

Sylvanas is always cooking something up! She's not really in the spotlight this expansion. One thing that we struggle with from a story perspective is that there's all these interesting characters, all these things going on. But we can't really have story in the game without gameplay. It's really about creating cool gameplay. So if we don't have the space to create really cool gameplay around what Sylvanas is up to, it's kind of hard to tell her story. I don't think that we really wanted to spend time on just a whole bunch of events that you watch and then don't participate in. That's not very interesting.

So Sylvanas -- she's running a city that has Kor'kron as all her guards, and she probably doesn't like that at all, and she's probably eager for an opportunity to take her city back. And we are hopefully going to have some time to explore that with gameplay, but I can't guarantee. I mean we might see it from a different perspective -- we might say, focus on the Gilneans resistance and then you could sort of glean a little bit about what's going on with Sylvanas from that. But we'll see. That's something we want to explore, but we also want to be conscious that we're putting content in the game that's good gameplay, as opposed to just stories we need to tell. Sometimes we can't create every story that we need to tell or want to tell.


Ideally, this would be the best situation. The Gilneans are already lacking in lore and their story has been unfinished while the Forsaken got an overabundance of spotlight in Cataclysm.

A petty part of me hopes that it's just for Alliance, to better match the fact that the Alliance got robbed of half of the Worgen story. But I'd settle for just seeing how it all turned out.

Though, really, this language here suggests to me that the Forsaken probably won't be big in the spotlight. Certainly not in 5.3.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
Something I've been really liking about Mists of Pandaria is the addition of minipatches in between raids that add more story to the game. It's a huge improvement on storytelling over having everything happen in novels.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905

Lei Shen however was a mogu prodigy. He was a genius who built a powerful empire, and ruled it with an iron fist. Once he died, there were other emperors who did their best to hold the empire together, but its crumble was inevitable especially with the rise of the Pandaren monks.


We apparently got very different impressions. Lei Shen seemed like a very typical Mogu to me, save that he was so powerful that he could solve all his problems through brute force. I definitely don't see him as a genius.

What I really want to know is if the Zandalari were always capable of raising Lei Shen, why didn't they do it before? Did they believe that he was no longer needed, and the alliance had no more value to them, resulting in a pragmatic refusal to resurrect? Or was it a matter of conscience, the Zandalari we have seen and quested for beginning to show through and not wanting to bring back such a tyrant?


Speculation would suggest that they'd be reluctant to raise him, owing to him being a tyrant, but they did so because they had no more home to go back to and couldn't fight the Pandaren alone.

You wouldn't get that from playing the game, though, since that's not well-documented.

Instead, the impression is that it happened because of prophecy for...reasons, I guess.

I find it interesting that they left him dead until the Cataclysm destroyed their home and they needed the most powerful ally they could get, and they brought back the Thunder King.

I HAVE MORE WORDS TO SAY THAN I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS PURP DISPENSER


Mm. I don't know. To me, it seems like a very shallow reason to bring the Zandalari in when they don't really need to be here.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
To start with, he defeated a Titan watcher. He couldn't have done this through sheer brute force, because this was before he became a conduit of all things crackly, so he had to use some form of guile or cunning I suspect.

Secondly, he managed to work Titan technology. This was obviously partially due to the aforementioned defeat of Ra-Den, but even with that you would have to be pretty damn smart to figure out how to work something like the Engine of Nalak-Sha.

Finally, there is the fact that he constructed and maintained a powerful empire. Pure brute force would help you in fights, but it wouldn't help you control a massive continent like Pandaria.

However, this is mostly speculation from the impression I've got. I could of course be completely wrong. It's kind of difficult to say either way, as we have no experience with the guy, just the aftermaths of his rule.
Edited by Aganaer on 2/28/2013 2:41 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
02/28/2013 02:41 AMPosted by Aganaer
To start with, he defeated a Titan watcher. He couldn't have done this through sheer brute force, because this was before he became a conduit of all things crackly, so he had to use some form of guile or cunning I suspect.


Could also have been dumb luck. The Titans made the Mogu, after all. Ra-Den might not have known the Mogu were afflicted.

Secondly, he managed to work Titan technology. This was obviously partially due to the aforementioned defeat of Ra-Den, but even with that you would have to be pretty damn smart to figure out how to work something like the Engine of Nalak-Sha.


Or it's inherent owing to Mogu originally being Titan constructs.

Finally, there is the fact that he constructed and maintained a powerful empire. Pure brute force would help you in fights, but it wouldn't help you control a massive continent like Pandaria.


Yes, it would. He ruled through fear.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
Pure dumb luck would have solved a difference in power, but not one as considerable as between a simple construct-turned-flesh and a Watcher. These guys are raid bosses. As well as that, being originally a titan construct does not mean you have automatic knowledge of how to work Titan technology. If it were, then humans, gnomes and dwarves would all have automatic knowledge of how to use it. And some indeed have some knowledge in that area, but only those who have studied it a lot, and are particularly smart.

The Dungeon Journal mentions that Titan technology was salvaged and repurposed to create Elegon. That takes a considerable knowledge of how to use the stuff.

As for ruling through fear, that was a significant part of it, but Wowpedia mentions how he went about creating an empire.

"Emperor Lei Shen unified the language, established a single currency and standardized weight and measures. He also created the first code of laws, written in the unified language. The first rule was that sedition, insurrection and rebellion be punished by public evisceration.The Thunder King saw great potential in the pandaren, and for this reason he did not trust them. After he conquered the land, the pandaren were forbidden to learn to read or write. Their leaders and philosophers were executed and all pandaren art and literature was burned."

It cites some of the lore scrolls you find lying around and some of the archaeology artifacts. Looking further into it, these are from lore scrolls you find in 5.2, so it looks like I was just right on an unfounded hunch.
Edited by Aganaer on 2/28/2013 2:51 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
Dwarves and Gnomes have tremendous technical aptitude. They've been far removed from Titan technology, though (recall that Brann Bronzebeard can work Titan technology pretty easily). Humans are much further mutated Vrykul, further removed from Titan technology, so it would make sense that they wouldn't know how to use it.

But the Mogu have been at the seat of Titan technology since they first gained sentience. It makes sense that they would be able to remember how it worked and pass it down. I don't think it was just Lei Shen.

"Emperor Lei Shen unified the language, established a single currency and standardized weight and measures. He also created the first code of laws, written in the unified language. The first rule was that sedition, insurrection and rebellion be punished by public evisceration.The Thunder King saw great potential in the pandaren, and for this reason he did not trust them. After he conquered the land, the pandaren were forbidden to learn to read or write. Their leaders and philosophers were executed and all pandaren art and literature was burned."


I'm not sure what about this suggests "evil genius" to you. These are pretty practical outcomes of having a unified government.
Edited by Enekie on 2/28/2013 2:52 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
The Mogu are kind of brutish idiots in general though. Look at the clan leaders in the Trial of the King fight in Mogu'shan Palace, they would practically rather fight each other than deal with you. And these aren't just any Mogu, these are leaders of some of the great clans. Without the leadership of a prodigy amongst Mogu like Lei Shen, this is what they descend into.

Compared to most Mogu? Creating a unified standardised government is genius. Maybe he isn't a genius by most races' standards, but compared to most Mogu? Definitely.

Also, I'm sorry for constantly editing messages, I know it makes it a bit harder to respond. It's just better than adding new posts every time I have something to add.
Edited by Aganaer on 2/28/2013 2:57 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
I didn't see that as an issue of idiocy. Pride has always driven Mogu to do some really weird things. In general, they're more concerned with outdoing each other than they are with killing adventurers.

And why wouldn't they be? There's a power vacuum and they want to fill it. They're going to prove that by getting rid of their enemies (the other clans) and proving their dominance.

Think about it: if they all teamed up and fought you, they might win, but then where would they be? Back where they began. But if they all fought you one on one, there might be the chance for one of their rivals to be taken out first, shaming that clan and clearing out one more roadblock on their path to power.

Their only real mistake was underestimating us, which every bad guy does.

If you ask me, that's not really stupid, just intellect driven by greed.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
That would have explained why they would have fought you individually at first, but it wouldn't explain that why after having defeated each other they start a massive brawl. How would starting a massive brawl over whose fault it was elevate any of them? There is a point where huge levels of pride and stubbornness become stupidity. If the encounter was fighting all of them individually and then a final burn phase where you face all at once, then I would agree with you. As is, I see your point but I disagree.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
Even then, is that still stupidity or just different priorities? At that point, they're all weakened (not killed) and you're still insignificant. They probably figure they can kill the main rivals and then deal with you later, if at all.

You are, after all, just fleshy small things that have come from nowhere. When you arrive in the hall, Xin just sort of regards you like flies someone let in by leaving the door open. The Mogu know nothing of who you've killed or what you've done. You probably all look the same to them.

True, you eventually kill Xin, but you do so by going through a hidden passage that none of them knew about.

That's not so much stupid as storytelling logic. Same reason Arthas kept letting you live.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
Arthas letting you live was all part of some grand plan though, whether or not it was a good plan. When they got into a big ol' fistfight, there was no plan, it was just a case of all of them saying "Well it was CLEARLY you who let the squishy things in."

Maybe idiot is too strong of a word, but they are brutish, prideful, stubborn, and lacking in vision. Some Mogu step above that, like Xin who was smart enough to be able to band together some of the larger tribes. But before and after Lei Shen, uniting the Mogu was an impossible task which none managed.

As well as that, he had a vision and purpose that none of the other Mogu could muster. Another example from the new lore scrolls, paraphrased by Wowpedia. "But unlinke others of his generation, he spoke of more than conquest. The legends of his forefathers were etched into his heart. Once Lei Shen had come of age and commanded his own legions, he announced his intent to awaken the gods." The mountain where Lei Shen lived was considered a place almost taboo to the Mogu, or at least somewhere where they were too terrified of Ra-Den who they considered to be a god to go.

You can argue my language about whether he's actually a genius or not, or whether the other Mogu are idiots or not, but you can't argue the fact that among Mogu, Lei Shen was special.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
12905
I'd agree to that. I'm just explaining their motives for lacking in vision (IE: they don't think you're much of a threat). I'd say that Lei Shen probably wasn't a genius, but he did have a longer vision. I still think he probably solved 99% of his problems through brute force.

I'm curious as to what happened beneath there. But I kind of hope we never find out.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
I agree that I hope we never find out. The mystery behind however Lei Shen bested Ra-Den is the kind of thing that is far more interesting to wonder about. Whatever they'd come up with would probably end up being a disappointment compared to the mystery. All we -need- to know lore-wise was that Ra-Den resided there, Lei Shen went in, and some time later he came out with the power of storms and an enslaved Watcher.
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