Discussion: What Makes a Compelling Character

90 Human Mage
18015
Usually I find character stories are spread too thin in WoW. By that I mean, a major storyline comes in, and there's a character in it filling some role being badass or whatever, and that's it. We don't see them again, next patch comes along, next story. Of course there are a few exceptions, notable faction leaders and such, but even then we don't really see anything deeper beyond the storyline. It's impossible to connect to a character if you never get to know them, and at the moment all we see is their actions in the big storylines, it's like watching a bunch of news stories when what we want is a documentary.
An obvious example is Jaina, she's obviously in a lot of stories and for good reason, she's always been a fan favourite. But what do we know about her other than the big stuff that's necessary to further the story? Anybody here know Jaina's favourite colour? At least in WC3 we knew all she ever wanted to do was study!

That's obviously a tough problem to fix, there are a lot of characters in WoW and very limited limited opportunities to fit in story.

In terms of introducing new characters, one thing I find works really well for WoW is when some small background character grows in prominence. So when you see them in the story you might go "oh yeah, that's that guy who sent me on a big quest back in wherever" or similar. There seems to be very little re-using of characters in WoW.
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100 Troll Shaman
9710
I think WoW does ok ( but tons of room for improvement ) with female characters compared to other games I play but here is my opinion -

A strong female character is a character that isn't made solely to act as a foil for another character. She can be in the Warcraft universe kicking !@# and taking names without us ever knowing who she's slept with. Also on that note, her life doesn't have to revolve around a significant other.

She also doesn't have to rescued all the time by males or others but if she screws up, yes some help might be needed. Nor have to be beautiful or have things that clearly identify her as "sexy" ( like the zerg lady in Starcraft, shes basically naked but still has to put on a pair of heels ).

The characters I 've enjoyed and want to know more about are Sylvanas, Lorna Crowley, Moira and Aggra ( who I guess is just relegated to lady who gave birth to Thrall's kid now). And Shademaster Kiryn but I might just really like her voiceactor.

That's all I can think of right now haha.
Edited by Zylla on 3/29/2013 1:00 PM PDT
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100 Pandaren Monk
19680
I think a good character is a character that is beliavable.

Example of a bad character: Garrosh

- he started as a nobody, all sissy about the corruption of his father, then you teach him that his father (grom) was actually quite awesome and saved the horde from the corruption in the end.

- then he gets to a point where he's trying to prove his valor: Wotlk.
Which is indeed nice. He may be hot headed, but in a way he's trying to prove that he's worth. It's nice to see old Saurfang trying to put some sense on his head and serving as advisor.

- Then he actually gets his chance to shine. Again, he might be hot headed and not make the best choices, but there are several quest lines in cataclysm old-world revamp that show him as a guy trying to make it right. He question sylvannas about her valkyries thing .. he punished his captain that nuked stonetalon mountain that simply "bombing and killing inocents was not the way of the horde"

Until that point, imo he was a good character.

- Then on mop he turns berserk out of nowhere. I didn't see a single reason to make him go all berserk "screw innocent lives, kill everyone who opposes us" .. He just decides to go rampage. Almost as if .. "hey guys, you know what, we need to replace the warchief, lets make something random happen so you hate him". I really seem intentional that he's supposed to be a villain but he just doesn't deliver. He's not smart enough to be a villain. It makes sense to portrait him as a bruttish in methods but trying to do the right thing for his people. As a villain he's just and enraged dumb.

Example of a good villain: Arthas

- First you see his descent into evil in a desperate moment.
- then he really gets brutal .. he doesn't show pitty or remorse. . he turns into a killing machine
- Even his end, I thought it was one of the best. There's a hint that he might be saved, but he dismiss that and make it very clear that he's beyond redemption. Another detail is that he's not a stupid boss who just waits alone until the good guys come to kill him. He invites them to because he's well aware of his power.

It was really awesome to see that Arthas could have wiped the raid at any moment, and he was just having fun. He's a consistent character because from the moment he turns into a ruthless killing machine, he doesn't walk back .. he doesn't spare other heroes (sylvannas), he doesn't show weaknesses even against Jaina. It's not a character that goes back and forth without reason .. he simply digs down and down and down. Even on his death it's not like "oh i'm sorry guys, it wasn't me .. sorry that I killed millions" He stays true to himself till the end.

Another example of good character: Anduin.

I really liked how he was made more like Alfred (the england king) and not a "fighter king" .. It wouldn't make sense to have him rocking the frontlines as a warrior. But seem him strategizing, working to make terms with the horde, seeking peace, and being an inteligent king is really awesome. He's well aware that he's not a fighter.
Edited by Leeflow on 3/29/2013 1:07 PM PDT
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100 Human Paladin
12290
Things that make a compelling character in general, regardless of gender?

In my opinion, first of all the character needs to be relatable, they need to have motives I can identify and empathize with. If they're doing good things, I can admire and aspire to their motives, they're doing it for their loved ones, their country, their faith, for a belief in a better tomorrow, for some tangible, explainable reason that they believe their actions are for the good of the world, not just out of abstract, Jesus-like perfection that goes in a logic circle of "I'm doing what's right because it's right", because this level of extreme goodness is at best so rare in real life it's hard to identify with because most of us could never get there ourselves, and at worst often turns out to mask fanaticism and stubbornness when it DOES appear. I'm not saying don't EVER have a character think that way, but WOW is overloaded on them.

Similarly, if a character is going to be a villain, they should be doing bad things for understandable reasons, even if those reasons are purely selfish, greed and self interest are things everybody can relate to because we all struggle with them in real life. What's NOT relatable is when they're evil because they got zapped with the "insane beam", they were a decent person just doing their thing one day when they got hit with demonic corruption, or heard old god whispers, or picked up the artifact of doom, and instantly changed into a black hearted baddie. This is not a real motive, it comes off as an excuse for a LACK of a motive. And while once again, it's okay to do this sometimes in a fantasy story, it's way oversaturated in WOW.

And what REALLY needs to do go is characters who function on the logic of "I lost a loved one, now I'll DESTROY THE ENTIRE WORLD", I understand depression and grief, but why does it lead to the idea of destroying everything that exists? Wouldn't simply revenge against the people who actually hurt you be more believable? And if a character is so desperate to escape their pain, why don't they ever just kill THEMSELVES? Why do they need to take absolutely everybody else with them?

Similarly, nobody is right or wrong ALL the time, nobody, at least no mortal, should ever be depicted as wise to the point of infallibility, and even the biggest strawman sometimes has a point. There is no one solution to all problems, even the most devoted pacifist must realize that some enemies cannot be reasoned with, or suffer the consequences of their naivete, and even the most honorable and principled person should be made to see that there is no one simple set of codes and rules that can be applies to every situation. Sometimes the angry character, the agitator, should be shown to be right, and the peaceful conciliator's false hopes are proven just that...without that causing the peaceful conciliator to jump off the slippery slope and become evil out of anguish. And sometimes, two opposing viewpoints should be presented, and the reader allowed to make up their own mind, without the story forcing (or heavily suggesting) one or the other on us as correct.

A compelling character's viewpoints should always be based either on logic that the viewer can easily understand, that makes sense, and continues to make sense if you really think about it, not hollow taglines and catchphrases that sound like the words of Confucius at first, but if analyzed at any depth start to have glaring holes, or a believable, human emotion that the reader can empathize with and understand why it would cloud this person's logic.

Similarly, it should never seem like characters have reached their conclusions by sneaking a look at the game's script. They should not spout the views of the developers contrary to their own interests, Malfurion's argument against night elf immortality is a prime example of this sort of thing.

And finally, avoid depicting badasses with thousands of years of experience as emo teenagers constantly angsting about their relationships, a lost loved one, or some perceived past failure, not everyone should be a giant ball of insecurities, this is often used to give characters who otherwise seem perfect a "flaw" to avoid being mary sues, but when the flaw is actually a virtue like humility, and even if taken to an extreme never impedes them in any way, it kinda falls flat, especially when every character seems to have the SAME flaws.

To give a couple examples of my points:

Eddard Stark from Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones.

Lord Eddard was very much presented in a similar vein to wise, noble leader characters like Varian, Malfurion, and Thrall, he had a "love of doing what's right" to the exclusion of his own best interests, he always did the right thing because it was right, acted with honor, and refused to ever get his hands dirty no matter what. And he ended up getting his head chopped off in front of a cheering crowd. I'm not saying that should happen to Varian, Malfurion, or Thrall, just that their inability to meet a world that doesn't always live up to their high moral standards halfway should have some consequences for them, and they take lessons from this and become better rounded people.

Raylan Givens from Justified

Marshal Givens, as infuriating as he can sometimes be, is an anti-hero done right. He's a good marshal, he keeps Harlan County safe, he enforces the law and brings down the bad guys like a proper white hat cowboy....but he also abuses suspects whenever it's convenient, dispenses vigilante justice if he feels like it, and is borderline corrupt. And the show makes no effort to judge him for it. It just presents his actions and leaves the viewer decide if, as the question posed by the very title of the show suggests, Raylan is justified. He's never depicted as having "arcs" where first he's good, then he starts doing bad stuff, then he's redeemed and he's good again, he's just a flawed but heroic human being the whole time.

All of the above can apply to any character, male or female, and I think most of the best advice I can give about writing compelling FEMALE characters specifically is to just do the above, don't try to write a compelling FEMALE character, try to write a compelling character, the fact that they're female being incidental to that because it shouldn't change what's needed to make them interesting. But I can definitely think of some pitfalls to avoid.

WOW isn't a romance novel. As has been brought up ad nauseum, it's fine for characters to have relationships, but just because you're a woman doesn't make you a 15 year old schoolgirl, teen drama angst about boys has no place in a war story about ancient dragons and elves fighting Cthulhu and Satan, it's not believable, people have better things to worry about in this setting. You'd think in a world this harsh people would be happy to take what comfort they can in another person's love and not spend so much time questioning it and obsessing about it.

Fanservice is fine, but it shouldn't break character. Jaina really getting around is a running joke because she seems to have sexual tension with everything that moves and wears a bare-midriff robe with a waistline that looks like a down arrow and a metal bustier, even while traversing a glacier...and yet blizzard insists that, at least as far as we know, she's only ever, EVER been with Arthas intimately even though she's in her 30s now. This is hard to believe, a woman...nay, a PERSON who dresses the way she dresses does so because they WANT attention, because they're aware of their sexuality and flaunt their figure on purpose, not "incidentally" despite actually being very reserved in that regard. If you're going to attire a woman in that way, for the sake of fanservice or any other reason, then follow through with it in how they're characterized and make it believable that they're someone who'd WANT to be looked at that way for whatever reason.

Being female is not a superpower. "Women's intuition" is neither a polygraph nor a Detect Evil spell. Hypnotic Breasts are not a CC ability. Women should not be depicted, as a broad category, as emo and hysterical, but neither should they be shown as wiser and more compassionate than men. Making a woman strong should not require her to be a mary sue, compelling female characters need flaws same as anybody else.

In the latter regard, I have an example of what NOT to do.

Olivia Pope, from Scandal.

Ms. Pope is the best fixer ever to fix, she can take care of any problem anyone ever had in record time. Shot your wife's lover? She won't just keep you out of jail, she'll get you a surge in opinion polling for doing it. Kidnapped relative? They'll be home for dinner. Her area of expertise seems to be EVERYTHING, every elected official in the last 20 years owes her favors, and she can send the director of the CIA and his retinue of armed guards running from her apartment with their tails between their legs. And her gut is never, EVER, EVER wrong. When she says she could make a political unknown the first gay president in ten years, you believe her, despite the obvious political impossibility, because the laws of reality themselves seem to bend for her. Oh, and she's having an affair with the president, THE PRESIDENT, who can't seem to form a single thought that doesn't revolve around her, when she's not cheating on him with the senate majority leader, who wants to marry her after a relationship of like...a month. And not only does every sympathetic character on the show condone and approve of this, they also condone, approve of, and will risk jail to cover up, the fact that she RIGGED THE ELECTION to put this guy in office in the first place. Mind you, she's sometimes wracked with guilt about both of the above, but only in the most adorably vulnerable ways, and she can always snap back to world saving awesomeness in five seconds flat.

Don't do that. Seriously, just don't. That's not a strong woman, that's not empowered, that's a mary sue. Her femininity gives her superhuman mind reading abilities, her sex appeal crushes the leadership of both major political parties under heel, her love life literally determines the FATE OF THE WORLD. Don't do the same things we scream about with male characters under the guise of feminism.
Edited by Dierle on 3/29/2013 1:13 PM PDT
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90 Undead Priest
21455
What makes a good character? Someone written by an author who has spent a sufficient amount of time reading tvtropes.org.

In seriousness though, relatability is the crucial factor. I think almost everything else just goes to that. Relatability is different from idolization or awe, and often these WoW characters are geared towards that. Too much, "This guy could take on an army" might make people debate who's the strongest and pick "favorite characters" for whose powers they'd want, but it makes the world less interesting.

I would like to see more signs of the challenges the leaders face that are hot along the lines of "how much HP does this giant monster or group of opposing troops have?" Some of this stuff exists in the minds of the Blizzard writers but is almost totally absent from the game.

For instance, there are a number of places you can read that the orcs of Orgrimmar have been living in destitution, almost starving and looking across to the fertile alliance lands (especially with the Night Elves having a giant forest right there) in anger. But you get almost none of that in game. The fact that Garrosh has struggled with that for his people and sees that as the impetus for much of what he does would make him more interesting to many, but I'd bet most of the playerbase has forgotten or missed those little kernels of the story.
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100 Undead Warlock
14860
I think an interesting character is a character with an interesting purpose...

for instance, aggra's not interesting because she exists to evolve thrall... she isn't much more than a tool for story advancement...

meanwhile, thrall was a very interesting character in cata, because his purpose was to evolve, discover himself, deal with his flaws, become something greater and save the world...

see what I'm talking about? it's not scale, but intensity... thrall's character is much more intense than aggra... as such, aggra's character is bland...
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99 Troll Hunter
13620
03/29/2013 01:19 PMPosted by Torvald
Someone written by an author who has spent a sufficient amount of time reading tvtropes.org.

This guy has the idea.

But really, in regards to Warcraft in particular, characters need to be consistent, and believable within the context. And the characters have honestly never been the whole problem, it's the context as well.

For example. Thrall coming from WC3 to WoW was not consistent. He turned a blind eye to Ashenvale for the sake of the plot, and whenever you need to say things like "for the sake of the plot," or, "for the sake of PvP," you have a problem.

Thrall has only been compelling when the story allowed him to be. And that's ruined him for a lot of people. And it's not the character's fault they've been written into a corner.

Don't get me wrong, I love Blizzard's writing, and it shows especially with Mists of Pandaria. Lei Shen is my favorite villain in WoW lore because of, well, what he did and how he was. He was powerful, he had dreams and goals, and he achieved them. He dealt with problems people don't think of (Like the thing about standardizing weights and measures, and making sure the Pandaren don't have their own language or art style), and in an MMO setting, never could really be done.

For example, the Alliance can never truly defeat the Horde, and vice versa. Garrosh can't pull a Lei Shen and subjugate the Alliance, destroy their language and their culture, and eventually die. That just can't happen because we have Alliance players. And likewise, the Alliance can't defeat, occupy, and oppress the Horde.

The story needs to be written in a way that the game mechanics allow. WC3 may have allowed kingdoms to rise and fall, but that can't happen in WoW. Sure, you can change lesser towns and cities and parts of the environment that don't warrant attention, but I guarantee you that, next patch, I will be hostile to the Kor'kron outside of Orgrimmar, and friendly to the Grunts just inside.

I have faith that Blizzard can get us out of this story arc safely and cleanly, but please, don't do it again.
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90 Troll Mage
12905
...what doesn't make a compelling character:

-Making a character a function to the setting, rather than a real person. This is Blizzard's big problem.
03/29/2013 11:38 AMPosted by Tyrathius
You need to write your story to fit your characters instead of your characters to fit your story.
I think these two sentences are the most important concept in my mind.

Take Tyrande for example, a lot of people complain about how she was used in A Little Patience. I agree but I wonder if it wasn't something like:

Well we need a foil for Varian, someone who is wise because we want them to be tempted to do something foolish and then see Varian make the right choice, that way we can show that Varian is wiser today than he was before.

So far so good.

Tyrande's wise, let's pick her.

At this point alarms should go off and someone should point out this would not make sense. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt - perhaps someone did raise objections. Maybe the alternative solutions were unappealing and writers found themselves stuck and decided that between introducing a new character, trying to grow a minor character enough to make that point and using Tyrande the best choice was to use Tyrande.

It's understandable that you want to find ways to use beloved characters, but it's problematic because if they're placed in these situations just to get exposure they're suffering for it and so is the story.

The problem is that because the character is going so against previous characterization the story fails to get the point across (Varian is so wise now) elegantly and you've now damaged a character AND not solved the problem of how to tell the story abuot what a wise commander Varian is now.

As for male/female characters: the basic tenet of don't write male or female characters, just write characters is very important to follow. I do realize it's easier said than done for so many people in our society, including great writers, but on a large team you should have someone nitpicking these things and being the critic to help defeat the bad habits that creep in.
Edited by Arantes on 3/29/2013 1:54 PM PDT
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90 Undead Priest
16145
I've found over the years of playing Warcraft that it's the characters that always typically have the more in depth feelings and a properly displayed/long story. A prime example of this is Arthas. From WCIII to Wotlk we saw him evolve into a force everyone really wanted to take down, because he was such a badass. The fact that he popped up in wrath questing a lot helped as well.

An example that doesn't follow this too well is Deathwing. Yes, he caused the cataclysm and changed the environment, but the extent of us seeing Deathwing out in the world was him wiping out random zones every few days or so. I only remember one specific questline that had him in it during cataclysm which was in Twilight Highlands when he fought Alexstrasa (which was awesome btw). Sure he was mentioned in quests everywhere, but he wasn't SEEN that often, which makes a big difference. His back story wasn't too compelling either. A story that pretty much boils down to the voices in his head from the old gods telling him to wreck the planet is too simple in my opinion.

Also, when in comes to characters in Pandaria, by far my favorite one is Lorewalker Cho. I want him in every single future expansion. Even if it's just him playing the role of Morgan Freeman and narrating the world around him, it would be awesome.
Edited by Harßinger on 3/29/2013 1:43 PM PDT
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90 Troll Shaman
7495
I can connect with a character better if I feel that they could exist. Even in a fantasy world, the characters need to be believable. If I could look at a character and their interactions with the world and other characters and think 'that could be a real person' then it's a good character.

Of course, I don't like every real person in the world, so I don't like every character, even if they are real (Hi there, Garrosh and Gallywix!) There's also the fact that if a 'real' personality gets repeated often enough, I get bored of it.

A good example of a character that I feel you failed on is Jaina; she had a complete 180 in her personality after Theramore was bombed. While I suppose that's possible, very rarely does one single event define someone's life so much, even one as traumatic as that.
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90 Human Paladin
9455
I'm going to echo the previous sentiments and say that a compelling character is a realistic character. Characters should have normal strengths and weaknesses, and their actions shouldn't simply be "right" or "wrong." Varian's anger problems made him very believable, at least until they were explained away as, basically, "A draconic wizard did it." Cop-outs like that have no place in good storytelling.
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100 Draenei Shaman
17475
A few things, but specifically humanity and the ability to relate, and it's generally a good idea to have some measure of mystery, something to be discovered - about past and future, not just future. I find this last part is typically very lacking in nearly all Blizzard characters, though the first two are often present. Though I doubt many will have read this, the character Amok in The Illearth War is a great example. You never learn a great deal about him at all other than that he is a riddle, but he plays an incredibly important role.

The problems I see with Blizzard characters are that the storytelling is very straightforward and done in a way that a young child could understand.... and while that allows everyone to be an audience, I don't find the lack of depth, complexity, and mystery to be very engaging. While I can't speak for the books, this is how it is in the games at any rate.

I get that criticism isn't what you're after, but I felt it necessary to explain my point. So yeah, like anyone I like a well-told story of an unlikely individual (ie. not royalty or leaders) accomplishing great deeds against all odds, and I tend to find it more compelling and heartfelt if they pay the ultimate price ( http://www.wowpedia.org/Iridi ), but most importantly, discovering them and having things to speculate about their past and future is what I like.

But WoW specifically focuses on making everyone into a hero, (which is kind of like saying you're a golden-wooled sheep among 10 million sheep with golden wool, rather than focusing on the teamwork of many unspectacular individuals being greater than the sum of its parts, which makes more sense on a player character level), and the vast majority of notable characters are "leaders." Kind of cheapens everything.
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99 Troll Hunter
13620
But WoW specifically focuses on making everyone into a hero, (which is kind of like saying you're a golden-wooled sheep among 10 million sheep with golden wool, rather than focusing on the teamwork of many unspectacular individuals being greater than the sum of its parts, which makes more sense on a player character level), and the vast majority of notable characters are "leaders." Kind of cheapens everything.

This is actually a very good point.

Blizzard has spent a lot of time replicating Rexxar, but not enough time replicating Rokhan.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
20480
I would consider a compelling female character to be one that isn't defined by her relationship to and interaction with a male character.

example: Aggra: not interesting
Jaina: Used to be less interesting (Thrall and Varian romance hints) now more interesting that she is doing things on her own
Edited by Bubblegum on 3/29/2013 2:07 PM PDT
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Jaina: Used to be less interesting (Thrall and Varian romance hints) now more interesting that she is doing things on her own


Jaina's may simply be more interesting given the fact that she's well, doing anything other than sitting in the tower in Theramore the whole time.
Edited by Letivus on 3/29/2013 2:17 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Priest
11740
03/29/2013 10:59 AMPosted by Nethaera
What is it that makes a strong female character strong, or a male character the right kind of vulnerable?


In all honesty, I think it's a good idea to get away from making a "strong female character" or a "male character the right kind of vulnerable". make the character genderless, have them do the action, and see if it makes sense.

Personally, when I write the stuff I write (which is mostly humor so I don't usually have to develop characters, I can just make slapstick level stupid and it be good so take what I have to say with a grain of salt) unless there is some societal pretext for a gender'd action i wouldnt be concerned with how my characters behave based on gender.
for example, i think it would be nice to delve into how garrosh feels. like golden said, he doesn't have a very strong core, which causes him to flipflop and try to impress people. but where has this been reflected in the story? now, granted, we shouldn't be having garrosh writing "dear diary. cairne called me stupid. he's stupid. i wanna challenge him to a mak gorra. people don't understand me. /emohairflip. also i love mudkipz. cya later, Garrosh Hellscream". in this case, there is a societal pretext that guys don't talk about their feelings, that directly conflicts with garrosh talking about it (esp in the fashion i did it :P). but at the same time, i feel that there should still be some way to get that out there without the author having to make it a side note. maybe with garrosh just wanting to be alone from time to time. Even Chris Metzan said a book on garrosh would just be "kill kill kill" on every page. We've SEEN him be insecure of himself before (ugh him in nagrand). we KNOW that's still in him. the problem is that everyone's too busy writing "kill kill kill" cause he's a "macho" character no one says "let's give him some development".
If you want an example of a great male character with vulnerabilty, sunwalker drezco. Let's face it, if you were either a man or a woman and saw your babies and loved one dying, you would be smothering them with healing spells like he did. THAT'S what I'm talking about. THAT vulnerability, that doesn't matter whether it's a man or a woman. You want to save them so bad they're already dead and you're still trying to heal their corpse.

As much as I hate Jaina's recet development, I'm not against it for portraying females badly. I think anyone, whether male or female, would do what she did and felt. I AM, however, completely against characters like Aggra saying "im an awesomely powerful independent person who can save the world" and then patting their husbands on the back and saying "you go handle it i will take care of the house and watch soap operas like a good woman". Warcraft isn't the internet, they don't have to make sandwiches :P
For example, role reversal. What if aggra said she had to kill deathwing and told thrall to stay safe. Why is that so completely "wtfnonononononbbqsauceno" while the reverse is "completely acceptable". If they were humans in 1950 america maybe I could see that, but they're not. Why write Aggra off as a 1950's housewife complete with, presently, diaper duty?

tl;dr: if it works for both genders it's fine. the only excuse for a gender decision difference is societal standards, and there don't exist many of those in WoW
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55 Draenei Death Knight
470
Whats a compelling character to me.

By Crappytank.

For me what makes a compelling character is growth but in a completely non cop out way. To have the character overco.e adversity through their own strength and not via a magical bullet.

An example of this is Lord of the ring. The seige of gandor. You feel their struggle their strengthas they try to do eeverything possible to be back the orcs. The rohan came eith the tie turning. Then it fell flat when aragon push the I win button with his ghost army. An army that no mortal blades could hurt.

The wow example of this is Varian was given abilities off screen we did not see hin gain any of his ability and was told he was awesome. Then you guys went and gave him special connection to a wolf god of all things. While it seems you are trying to humble him he just come off as simply being there.

DONE RIGHT

Bolvar from the get go we were told he was a highlord. Then onxyia quest chain happened and you saw the highlord in action. Clearly this man had skill. Then in tbc ending you had another one of his personalities show on how loyal he was by simply stepping asife foe varian return. You then let us form a deep personal connection with him in the dragonblight. He remember what you did for him with onxyia, he tells you as much and you help him defeat a powerful foe. Then...you had us help him at wrath gate and let us watch him fall...

These are character growth that you guys have done successfully. You did the same thibg with arthas, everything he did was under his own strengths nothing was given. He fought and clawed his way to ice crown and malganis. Frost mourne was just another weapon not his I win button.

This is what makes a compelling story in my eyes. Character hardship rewarded. Character lights being felt as it get snuffed out.

This is why people are having a tough time swallowing garrosh. He was shown to be honorable and if it couldn't have been accomplished by his own hands he wanted no part of it. That's why the krom kar scene was so powerful. Even with wolfheart he tames the beast to unleashed on the alliance and was there...he did not toss his people away frivolously. In Mop he lost his depth and is tryin to go for the I win button.

Magics is good and all and a good example of magic done right was the sunwell rebirth or killing mayalgos. The bad way is simply saying its magic and not showing.

But yes character growth for me makes it ccompelling. Characters that come out of the box uber powerful with no development? Not so much.
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90 Undead Priest
21455
03/29/2013 01:58 PMPosted by Pyronaptor
But WoW specifically focuses on making everyone into a hero, (which is kind of like saying you're a golden-wooled sheep among 10 million sheep with golden wool, rather than focusing on the teamwork of many unspectacular individuals being greater than the sum of its parts, which makes more sense on a player character level), and the vast majority of notable characters are "leaders." Kind of cheapens everything.

This is actually a very good point.

Blizzard has spent a lot of time replicating Rexxar, but not enough time replicating Rokhan.


I know this is slightly beside the point, but I have to say.... one thing I liked about Vanilla WoW was a sense that I was a loyal soldier of my race. I think this was most on display with the mount. I loved the days when all the Forsaken had undead horse mounts, and all the tauren had kodos, and the dwarves all had rams and the humans all had horses.

These days, something feels slightly more dead about that context of being a soldier for your side. Like, your character is flying around on X crazy dragon mount it got in X labyrinth of doom for some neutral faction, and the question is why does your character even care to give the time of day to those player faction NPC's?

You know what would be fun to see? Is more characters that, while somewhat minor in terms of importance to the story, follow you from the starting areas of the races throughout the campaigns.

The closest we have to that now, really, is Admiral Taylor and General Nazgrim. Those guys are great. I'd like to see more people like that, introduced in racial starting areas. Characters to kind of ground the player more in where they "came from."
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