Blizzard and their Story

90 Night Elf Warrior
6655

I think Kosak and Metzen believe that they can't make any mistakes.


Maybe you guys don't have a creative bone in your body, thus you mistakenly seem to feel creating things is based on some procedure. They write about what they are passionate about and what inspires them. Maybe if you don't know what it's like to be inspired and driven to make something just because the theme or the scenario consumes your imagination in a pervading manner, you would think something like that should be subjected to testing, but as far as peer review goes, Blizzard has story jam sessions, it's not a dictatorship 24/7. Creative sits around in a large group and essentially has a story jam where they throw out ideas and explore them.

This forum community is getting worse and worse, the negativity used to be stifling, now it's just nauseating with how intrinsic most of you regard your interpretations of events. Not to mention people who based their enjoyment of a story on if their favorite character is winning,.....

But yet I keep coming back.
Edited by Elrith on 3/27/2013 5:19 PM PDT
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90 Dwarf Warrior
16335
This forum community is getting worse and worse, the negativity used to be stifling, now it's just nauseating with how intrinsic most of you regard your interpretations of events. Not to mention people who based their enjoyment of a story on if their favorite character is winning,.....

But yet I keep coming back.
Right there with you, man. I've definitely noticed that I'm posting less and less these days, and there's a pretty obvious reason why...
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03/27/2013 05:18 PMPosted by Elrith
Maybe you guys don't have a creative bone in your body, thus you mistakenly seem to feel creating things is based on some procedure.


Easy, now.

03/27/2013 05:18 PMPosted by Elrith
Blizzard has story jam sessions, it's not a dictatorship 24/7. Creative sits around in a large group and essentially has a story jam where they throw out ideas and explore them.


How does stuff like High King get created, then?

How does Tyrande being made a dumb barnacle be created, then?

How does any number of dumbass things that have happened to the Alliance happen, then?

Have Kosak and Metzen truly infected everyone around them to that point?

Not to mention people who based their enjoyment of a story on if their favorite character is winning,.....


I understand that expecting and sort of quality is terrible burden to place on somebody, but I almost believe the story team can pull it off.
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41 Gnome Priest
310
Metzen writes it the night before it is due and no one proof reads it.
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10 Night Elf Hunter
60
As a matter of thought, why doesn't Blizzard have some sort of test group for their story? They do so with their raids, and quests, and so forth, so bugs, mistakes and other sundry errors that impede enjoyment are squashed.

Why not with their story?
Because it's a "Horde" with a warchief dictator (Metzen) who has the final call on everything, and a lieutenant (Kosak) whom backs everything the dictator says. As such he's completely out of tune (and doesn't care) with those whom merely live under his rule and don't support everything he does (Alliance fans), he has a ravenous group of fanatics that worship him (Horde fans).

But really, I've said it before. Metzen himself says he has trouble writing Alliance lore because it doesn't speak to him (somehow). That means hes not passionate about it. If he's not passionate about it, he needs to let someone whom is take reins, at least to the stuff he says he can't write well.
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90 Tauren Priest
2215
03/27/2013 07:15 PMPosted by Suraia
Blizzard has story jam sessions, it's not a dictatorship 24/7. Creative sits around in a large group and essentially has a story jam where they throw out ideas and explore them.
Ya just like Iran has a representative body and a president. But if the Ayatollah says "No" all that stuff in the system prior doesn't mean crap. Metzen has said "No" so many times with respect to meaningful Alliance lore than can leave Alliance players feeling proud of their faction and favoured race, as Horde has. That's why Horde fans are diehard, Alliance fans are like "meh, let's see the other side of the story"



Metzen has said "No" so many times with respect to meaningful Alliance lore-

Got any sources on this other than your usual unfathomable angst?
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90 Night Elf Rogue
8210
Maybe you guys don't have a creative bone in your body


Well, creative accountants are generally frowned upon, so much so that creative accounting actually isn't legal! Just ask those folks at Enron (I know, I know... Godwin's financial corollary...).

In all seriousness though, do you know why your favorite companies pay millions of dollars in audit fees each year? It's because the government, the bank, the shareholders, the labor union, or whoever else is reading the financial statements all understand that reviewing your own work causes you to glaze over biases, or even willingly let them slide... to say nothing of outright lies or inaccuracies. The basic point: companies are audited so that stakeholders don't get screwed over.

Novel concept, I know, but I really agree with this second pair of eyes idea.
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90 Worgen Druid
13060
Story is very low in priority to the majority of Blizzard. Kosak and Metzen can have the greatest idea in the world but if it doesn't translate to gameplay that Stockton and GC like then it will never make it in game (GC for example is the one that cut the Warlock questline). It sucks but it's the reality of Blizzards internal structure and I doubt it's going to change any time soon.
Edited by Lupirin on 3/30/2013 12:34 PM PDT
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90 Worgen Death Knight
14505
(GC for example is the one that cut the Warlock questline)
Where is this stated?
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
15425
As a matter of thought, why doesn't Blizzard have some sort of test group for their story? They do so with their raids, and quests, and so forth, so bugs, mistakes and other sundry errors that impede enjoyment are squashed.

Why not with their story?


Because the story that would come back to them from people on these forums would be appalling.
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Because if we peer reviewed the story/lore, than blizzard would be forced to actually write and advance the Alliance without leaning on the Horde, and since we all know Blizz has a major love interes with their precious horde, they would never allow it
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Right there with you, man. I've definitely noticed that I'm posting less and less these days, and there's a pretty obvious reason why...


Because you have nothing left to offer the story forums?

All in all Arkturas, they just can't change their stories mid patch because of time contraints. They can however remove things.

We'll just have to wait and see how SoO pans out. As it is, it appears that it is time to drop all the discussions involving 5.3 until some new information comes in, because now there seems to be 10 threads out there that are just spinning circularly out of control.
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90 Troll Rogue
9870
This forum community is getting worse and worse, the negativity used to be stifling, now it's just nauseating with how intrinsic most of you regard your interpretations of events. Not to mention people who based their enjoyment of a story on if their favorite character is winning,.....


So true.
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90 Undead Mage
0
Hire a panel of authors to review the material? Ask a group of random players? Have members of the Blizzard staff review the story (actually this one probably happens)?

Why not a mix of the three?

Getting opinions from the Warcraft authors, fellow devs, and actual WoW players and comparing those sounds like a good way to get feedback.
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Community Manager


I think Kosak and Metzen believe that they can't make any mistakes.


You would be wrong in this. I know that when you don't get to interact with them like I get to, you don't get to how deeply passionate and caring these two are, not to mention their teams. They don't work in a bubble. They pass around ideas, talk with each other and work out just how the story is going to evolve. It's a group effort and not just the work of one or two people.

The thing is, story isn't something that can simply be changed at the drop of a hat. While changes can be made to the smaller elements, it's not as easy to say "Ok, this whole story arc here? Scrap it." I'm not saying it can't happen at all, just that the very prospect has a rather significant impact on more than just story.

Think of it this way, major game mechanics can be tweaked slightly, but larger changes need more work and an opportune time to implement them. The same can be said for story arcs. There has to be a larger arc to work with and everything else gets built as framework to uphold it. Each of these smaller arcs can get minor changes here and there, but in the end, they're a part of the framework that's holding up that larger arc. Once you start shifting things around too much, you run into additional design issues that affect more than just the story. It takes extra time and resources to change. It's like moving support beams in a house.

An example of when we've made changes based on feedback and play testing would be Jade Forest. When we started the beta for Mists of Pandaria, the zone was quite different than it is now. So, to address some quest flow changes, we ended up making the zone inaccessible within the beta for a time to make changes to it to make the story and questing elements flow together better.

Add to that the fact that development is occurring well in advance of you ever getting to try it on the PTR and you can see that making changes isn't a quick and easy thing to do.

That said though, we are always always looking at constructive feedback. It's important. One well-structured post or idea (no matter where it's found) could be the impetus to changing the flow of the story in some small way or enhance it in another. That said though, we also do our best to preserve what we believe to be the core elements to the story. We have to stay true to it as well as we can and still push forward gameplay. We want story to enhance gameplay where it can and as much as we would love everyone to be enmeshed in the stories we're telling, we know not everyone is because it's not the thing they are looking for most. It's a balancing act and not a particularly easy one. Story is incredibly subjective and what may tug at one person's heartstrings or inspire them, will mean very little to someone else.

So, the best thing you can do is what you're doing here in this forum. Discussing what you like about the story, interesting new directions you think it will go or would like it to go, and you can also provide feedback from your experience on the PTR.

Story is very low in priority to the majority of Blizzard. Kosak and Metzen can have the greatest idea in the world but if it doesn't translate to gameplay that Stockton and GC like (both of which do not care about the lore the least bit) then it will never make it in game (GC for example is the one that cut the Warlock questline). It sucks but it's the reality of Blizzards internal structure and I doubt it's going to change any time soon.
It's worth noting that this too is largely untrue (minus the translating to gameplay portion). As I mention, gameplay is a major factor, but the story goes along with it and sometimes things get cut because they just aren't working well enough or aren't as cool as they could ultimately be. It's unfortunate, but that's what we work with on a daily basis. I've had many projects or items get scrapped because of other contributing factors. That's just the reality of things. We don't just do things because someone says it needs doing. We do things because they are (hopefully) the right things to do.
Edited by Nethaera on 3/28/2013 9:28 AM PDT
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90 Dwarf Warrior
16335
03/28/2013 08:51 AMPosted by Cártian
Hire a panel of authors to review the material? Ask a group of random players? Have members of the Blizzard staff review the story (actually this one probably happens)?

Why not a mix of the three?

Getting opinions from the Warcraft authors, fellow devs, and actual WoW players and comparing those sounds like a good way to get feedback.
Sounds like a good way to get too many cooks in the kitchen, to me. I think the biggest point, though, is that due to the length of development cycles, soliciting feedback from players would have to be done so far in advance as to constitute fairly major spoilers.
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
11925
I have this strange feeling that Blizzard is listening to our story feedback. I don't know how to feel.
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90 Undead Mage
0
03/28/2013 09:21 AMPosted by Vegdrasil

Why not a mix of the three?

Getting opinions from the Warcraft authors, fellow devs, and actual WoW players and comparing those sounds like a good way to get feedback.
Sounds like a good way to get too many cooks in the kitchen, to me. I think the biggest point, though, is that due to the length of development cycles, soliciting feedback from players would have to be done so far in advance as to constitute fairly major spoilers.

It doesn't have to be a massive group. For the player portion, I'd say 2-3 maximum as, say, a pro-Alliance player, a pro-Horde player, neither of which are anywheres near as extreme as several members of this forum, and possibly a neutral player.

And have them sign NDAs for it.
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