Why the Garrosh story never actually worked.

90 Human Monk
2460
And that is, Illusion of Choice.

You see, the funny thing about all this is from Chris Metzen's perspective, he thought of the Horde's change from WoTLK to now as a kind of social experiment. He admittedly delights in the fact that many people complained about Garrosh in WoTLK, and as soon as we heard he was the end boss of the expansion many people didn't want to see him go.

Aside from the obvious that Chris is making the obvious mistake that fans often make and assuming we are all the same person and that none of us have apparently stuck to our opinion throughout, he is ignoring one important fact about the entire story line:

Horde players never had a choice.

This is a world. All Horde players were made to serve Garrosh as soon as they landed in Borean Tundra. Though as players they could just go off, they were never given a choice whether or not to follow his orders.

Which is believable, from a military stand point. Not so believable when we get out of Northrend and find ourselves in various situations where we also had no choice.

In Stonetalon, Krom'gar did some pretty nasty stuff before we confronted him. We never had a choice. Maybe you wanted to blow up that Druid school. Not likely, but you could have been given a decent reason in the story to if the choice was there. And in Garrosh's eyes, we were the bad guys there because we got "Swept up" in Krom'gar's vision of the "New Horde". Uh...? We were following orders.

This happens also in Ashenvale, where quests force us to use Fel energy to aid in the Siege at Splintertree. Garrosh didn't like us there, either....why didn't we have a choice?

This could go on for awhile. Especially when it comes to the stupid stuff Garrosh has done since then that has involved us. He doesn't give us a choice.

That means these characters we make are essentially not our characters. As Horde players, you supported Garrosh even in times you didn't want to. Know what that makes you?

A slave. A tool.

But you will never consciously want to admit to that. So what does that do? It takes you out of the story. Suddenly, it's more like you're reading a book than playing a video game. Only it's a book with the most boring and inconsistent character ever as the lead. Yes, I'm talking about you--Captain Silent Protagonist. You can't actually develop your character as a character because no matter what traits you "assign" yourself, you will ultimately behave differently in the story because you have no control over your own actions.

All roads lead to the Siege of Orgrimmar.

And here's the funny thing: It wouldn't have been harmful if the quests did give us choices to abstain from Garrosh. I mean hell, as a Warchief he was never consistent himself. He hates us by default, but likes us whenever we raise our weapon for him and survive.

Even if your character chose to support the guy--even after Vol'jin's stab in the neck--the story could have worked around it to make you want to fight Garrosh anyways.

The writers could have, for example, introduced a character important to you, and worked the story around so no matter what you do Garrosh decides to hold them hostage. It certainly wouldn't be out of character for him.

But not giving us these choices has ultimately damaged the story. It alienates the player. The Illusion of choice is vital to a player in any story-driven game.

Otherwise, why do you think a game like The Walking Dead got so many game of the year awards, despite having such terrible gameplay?

Or why games like Mass Effect became such a big deal?

The list goes on. These days, I'm not sure there are any RPGs out there that don't offer some kind of rudimentary choice-making system to alter the flow of quest paths. And when there are games like that, like Final Fantasy 13 or Star Ocean 4, they are looked down upon by players and critics.
Edited by Draile on 5/10/2013 9:07 AM PDT
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90 Human Monk
2460
And yes, this goes for Alliance, too.

In fact, I would say this is the source of the majority of Alliance frustration. Not whether or not they "won in X zone" or whatever. But because there was nothing they could do about it.

For example, head into the Western Plaguelands as an Alliance character. Start doing the quests. You will be treated as a soldier for the entire zone, whether you are or not. And you will ultimately lose, no matter what you do. And there are certainly opportunities in the story where you should have been able to influence the out come--such as maybe doing something to convince the farmers not to idiotically run off and die on their own(thus providing corpses for Sylvanas).

Even if Andorhal left with a Forsaken victory no matter what, even the illusion that we made a difference by saving those Farmer's lives would have been a victory on it's own.

It is very frustrating, from an Alliance perspective, to be consistently made a victim by the Horde's wachief and not even have the illusion that we can do things differently. When the only option is to keep losing until Varian steps in a save the day, we are not heroes--we are undignified commoners.

We are the Squire who fetches the food and water for the High King, and hope he saves us...not worthy enough to stand on our own.

That is completely psychologically against what we're supposed to feel like as players in ANY MMORPG setting.
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
0
Blizzard doesn't follow any particular mold, trope, or stereotype. It's brought many great and horrible things to this game and story.

It's even more frustrating that I agree with you, but kosak won't devote the time to making even alternate dialogue let alone quests based on your choices.
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55 Draenei Death Knight
470
Having an wc rts where garrosh campaigns through the frozen throne and cataclysm might have made me care more.
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90 Human Monk
2460
Having an wc rts where garrosh campaigns through the frozen throne and cataclysm might have made me care more.


Perhaps, but only because at that point Garrosh is the main character and your character isn't even in the picture.

Which is likely why we cared so much about Arthas in WCIII. He WAS our character. And by design, he made choices that were very human to us--right up until he lost his humanity, and the thing keeping us attached to him was seeing just how far he could go.

Which also wouldn't work so well in WoW because when faction leaders go bad they tend to drag their people down with them. We didn't care so much with Arthas because the units he commanded were just that--generic units. We could always make more.
Edited by Draile on 5/10/2013 10:15 AM PDT
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Having an wc rts where garrosh campaigns through the frozen throne and cataclysm might have made me care more.

More proof that this war plot line should have waited for a new RTS instead of the MMO. :P
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90 Human Monk
2460
05/10/2013 10:15 AMPosted by Cártian
Having an wc rts where garrosh campaigns through the frozen throne and cataclysm might have made me care more.

More proof that this war plot line should have waited for a new RTS instead of the MMO. :P


Honestly I think the whole reason Blizzard even wanted to do Garrosh's story was to expose Grom's story to a newer, larger audience.
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05/10/2013 10:18 AMPosted by Draile

More proof that this war plot line should have waited for a new RTS instead of the MMO. :P


Honestly I think the whole reason Blizzard even wanted to do Garrosh's story was to expose Grom's story to a newer, larger audience.

I'm perfectly fine with that part. Just making him a derpy-!@# warchief leading a genocidal war during the apocalypse with motivations being poorly shown and the impossibility of a real, true winner is a problem.
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55 Draenei Death Knight
470
05/10/2013 10:15 AMPosted by Cártian
Having an wc rts where garrosh campaigns through the frozen throne and cataclysm might have made me care more.

More proof that this war plot line should have waited for a new RTS instead of the MMO. :P


They should have done it at cataclysm and then do the time skip we saw incata.

Remember in WC3 when we change the very landscape and we go in wow and see where we fought our battle? That was neat and it tied me deeper to the game. Having a war and maybe having Alliance and Horde teaming up to put down deathwing and the old gods might have been better.

How neat would it have been if you actually in an rts as Alliance launched the barrens attack then go in game and see the bases you set up there?

Or as Horde when you controlling sylvanas smash through Alliance defense and raze hillsbrad and south shore to the ground?

We needed a huge lore dump and to play as our new leader to even make us give a personal real !@#$. Well I needed it anyway.
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How neat would it have been if you actually in an rts as Alliance launched the barrens attack then go in game and see the bases you set up there?

Or as Horde when you controlling sylvanas smash through Alliance defense and raze hillsbrad and south shore to the ground?

We needed a huge lore dump and to play as our new leader to even make us give a personal real !@#$. Well I needed it anyway.

Exactly. From a story standpoint, doing the war in an RTS is simply undeniably better to begin with. You can become far more engaged with it, and they can acutally explain motivations and portray the victories of both factions.
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90 Orc Warrior
15050
Funny thing is, the only two things Garrosh has done to make me hate him are:

1. Turn Kor'kron into Sha.

2. Defile the Barrens with elemental growing and oilfields (see 5.3)

But two is enough.
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90 Undead Rogue
5065
But OP, Mass Effect series is the epitome of illusion of choice! Regardless of your choices, it will all end in one, albeit varied, ending.

Regarding us players in the WoW universe, I think it's interesting how we as adventurers have no control over the political aspect of the world, let alone the orders that are imposed upon us. It's like in the real world. We as citizens can choose which house or car to drive, but we can't choose to have our streets paved whenever we want. That's the state's job.

Anyways that's besides the point. Regarding the comparison between RTS and WoW, I think it's interesting when you juxtapose the two. In an RTS, we see the story play it in a macro level. The days goes on within minutes, and hours within seconds. Here in WoW, everything is micro. The days goes on in real time and it make sense for the story to unfold at this pace. Where as the Third War in WC3 only happen within a few hours of campaign, it takes years for WoW to develop at this point. For all we know, in this stage of the story, we are currently experiencing the Horde campaign!

edit: actually, we've been in Horde campaign for some time now lol
Edited by Laeys on 5/10/2013 11:25 AM PDT
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90 Human Monk
2460
But OP, Mass Effect series is the epitome of illusion of choice! Regardless of your choices, it will all end in one, albeit varied, ending.


Yes, and the choices along the way still engaged us(though please don't spoil anything for me from ME2 or 3!).



Regarding us players in the WoW universe, I think it's interesting how we as adventurers have no control over the political aspect of the world, let alone the orders that are imposed upon us. It's like in the real world. We as citizens can choose which house or car to drive, but we can't choose to have our streets paved whenever we want. That's the state's job.


Or as a more on-the-ball example, we can join the army but we can't choose our orders.

We could, however, NOT join the army and explore a whole world of possibilities.

We don't get that option in WoW. If you stop doing war-related quests, the war will still go on. And you will HAVE to participate at some point simply to get the rep/gear needed to progress in the gameplay.



Anyways that's besides the point. Regarding the comparison between RTS and WoW, I think it's interesting when you juxtapose the two. In an RTS, we see the story play it in a macro level. The days goes on within minutes, and hours within seconds. Here in WoW, everything is micro. The days goes on in real time and it make sense for the story to unfold at this pace. Where as the Third War in WC3 only happen within a few hours of campaign, it takes years for WoW to develop at this point. For all we know, in this stage of the story, we are currently experiencing the Horde campaign!


This is what really pisses me off. It's such a cool concept that we could potentially have a choice system in the game and not see the results of those choices for months.

It would give us, as players, time to really reflect on our decisions. And more than that...it would force us to live with them no matter what.

Where as, say, in a Bioware game, you make your choice on something and know the results within a few seconds or hours. Or at the end of the game.
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For all we know, in this stage of the story, we are currently experiencing the Horde campaign!

That acutally is an interesting way to look at it.

Where as, say, in a Bioware game, you make your choice on something and know the results within a few seconds or hours. Or at the end of the game.

There were some things in Mass Effect that werent touched upon again until Mass Effect 3. Like the Rachni for instance. I know I sat there for a long time concerned I made the wrong choice.
Edited by Cártian on 5/10/2013 11:43 AM PDT
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90 Undead Rogue
5065
Or as a more on-the-ball example, we can join the army but we can't choose our orders.

We could, however, NOT join the army and explore a whole world of possibilities.

We don't get that option in WoW. If you stop doing war-related quests, the war will still go on. And you will HAVE to participate at some point simply to get the rep/gear needed to progress in the gameplay.


But that's what makes experiencing WoW so much more appealing. One can be a professional crafter, one can be a veteran gladiator, one can be an explorer or a historian, even a pokemon master! All of these are provided for you in WoW, and what makes the world of WoW so cool, is that you can be anything you want. Just like how things are happening in the real world, we can do a lot of things but that doesn't stop disasters from happening. If you put it in perspective, we're just a grain in a vast ocean, and we got no control of how strong the current will be or where it will take us.

But I do see where you're going though, the main aspect of the game is to experience the story, and to that you have to go through some grueling "trials" (ie , grinding) to achieve this.

This is what really pisses me off. It's such a cool concept that we could potentially have a choice system in the game and not see the results of those choices for months.

It would give us, as players, time to really reflect on our decisions. And more than that...it would force us to live with them no matter what.

Where as, say, in a Bioware game, you make your choice on something and know the results within a few seconds or hours. Or at the end of the game.


Have you played SWtoR? It has a similar idea of choice, but like every BioWare game, that choice is limited to a few dialogue changes.

However, it would be interesting how the collective choice of the players shape the entire world at large. Similar to how GW2 is handling things! You fight off a group of centaurs invading a village with a bunch of other players, or you don't. Depending on the outcome, ie whether the village survives, the NPC characters provide quests about retaliating against the centaur or rebuild the village. It's an awesome concept! I think that's the type of choice that would benefit WoW a lot more than BioWare-esque choice.
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80 Blood Elf Hunter
230
I like Garrosh. He has made some questionable leadership choices, but what leader does not.

He was the extreme to Thrall, which is what the Horde needed. We never would have survived under Thralls leadership because in the end Garrosh and his ilk are correct - we can not trust the Alliance. They may have a reason to betray us on a semi-regular basis because of their long-standing hatred from the first two wars, but at this point it does not matter, we can not trust them to leave us alone. The situation in Ashenvale is a prime example. The Night Elves, instead of negotiating in good faith, made a rash decision and got pissy, Garrosh TRIED to talk to them but they refused. His main goal is to look out for the Horde, and once again the NE's proved they would hold on to old hatreds and not be reasonable.

Garrosh clearly went to far in carrying us back to our warlike ways but I believe if he were to survive he would be able to balance that against Thralls vision, and it would make him the ideal leader for our Horde.
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90 Dwarf Priest
10685
Does anyone else get really weirded out when people talking on the forums start identifying as if they were their faction OOC?
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90 Human Death Knight
0
05/10/2013 12:51 PMPosted by Lils
Garrosh TRIED to talk to them but they refused. His main goal is to look out for the Horde, and once again the NE's proved they would hold on to old hatreds and not be reasonable.


things-that-never-happened.txt

There was actually a conference where the Alliance and Horde were discussing peace and trade, and Garrosh was on record taking the stance of "Why should we trade when we can take it by force?"
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Does anyone else get really weirded out when people talking on the forums start identifying as if they were their faction OOC?

Some of us have been a part of these factions for years. Its understandable that people feel loyalty and emotional attachment to them. :P
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05/10/2013 01:06 PMPosted by Cártian
Does anyone else get really weirded out when people talking on the forums start identifying as if they were their faction OOC?

Some of us have been a part of these factions for years. Its understandable that people feel loyalty and emotional attachment to them. :P


Is it understandable then, that I feel no loyal or emotional attachment to the alliance?
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