Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews - Updated 8.26

100 Night Elf Warrior
8490


Who are you exactly that you can tell people how much they should care about something just because you don't? Stop trying to stir up good posters on this thread.


Not for anything, but... who are you to question me? See how that works?

I can care less how people feel about anything really... but once entitled players start to demand for things in a game filled with just about as many opinions of how something should be as there are people who play the game, I figure i'm just as entitled as they are to share my opinion. Sabe?


Well when your opinion is as condescending as "find a new hobby you care too much" or "stop whining alliance" it starts seeming much more like a you problem. If you're such a casual player, why does it matter to you what they ask for? (I guess you'd call it demand)
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90 Tauren Druid
13335
I am definitely curious how you can have all these forms of feedback but still miss the basics of the Alliance complaints. It seems that even with all these forms of feedback there must still be a huge communication gap between developers and their playerbase. I wonder if it is because they are using you guys to deliver the message which in turn makes this a game of telephone where the message isn't the same at the end. I wonder this because as a person who only has this forum and the game itself as a resource (much less than you guys have), I am able to understand the issues with the Alliance story so it worries me that the developers aren't.
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90 Undead Warlock
12670
I am able to understand the issues with the Alliance story so it worries me that the developers aren't.


They don't.

It's taking a huge outcry (just like anything else) for the developers to hear the community.

Honestly, it's extremely stressing that you need to spam the same thing over and over and over and over again so developers can finally understand what's going on.

Many things in this game are unbalanced, many things are favored for Horde side.

Playing Alliance sucks, both because of lore and in-game (like Orgrimmar better infraestructure than Stormwind) reasons.
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Community Manager

The debate over faction story development continues internally here at Blizzard, as it does on the forums and elsewhere.


Any chance we can get more updates on that debate? We get constant updates on gameplay mechanics from Ghostcrawler and other CMs about their thoughts and feelings, but we only rarely hear things from Kosak and friends.

It'd be very helpful if they started talking to us and telling us what they're hearing, because right now it seems like there's a really big communication gap.

It's something we're working on. I'd love to set up more story-centric interviews and conversations with the community. But, while Dave and Greg are both design leads, it's very difficult to compare their tasks, workloads, and roles within the community.

Systems design is extremely complicated, but it revolves primarily around math. It's easier to have a conversation over class balance concerns and walk away with some objective, actionable feedback. We also try not to change classes too dramatically from patch to patch -- we don't want people logging in and suddenly not knowing how to play their class every time they download a new patch. Greg can talk about general changes early on in a patch's development cycle, and then he can take feedback and look at an array of statistical data we collect in order to finetune numbers closer to the patch's release.

Story development works very differently. Concerns are much more subjective. This isn't to say they're inherently less valuable, as we're always taking careful note of what the popular opinion is on a given topic. But, there's often a degree of complexity to story development concerns that certainly can't be addressed by changing a couple values somewhere in the game code. And the story we want to tell, combined with the gameplay we want to introduce, is determined much earlier on in development than what class balance will look like in patch X.

For example, there are several people in this thread asserting that the entire concept of the Siege of Orgrimmar is flawed from a story perspective, particularly for the Alliance. Well, we knew Siege of Orgrimmar would be the final raid of Mists of Pandaria before the expansion was revealed at BlizzCon 2011, and the story framework for how we'd get there was already more or less in place. So, even when we do react directly to feedback about story concerns, we're looking much more at the big picture here, and what stories we want to tell and how they should unfold over the course of several patches (or even expansions).

We can make some tweaks and refine some story arcs along the way, but regardless of the discussions taking place right now, the 5.4 story is set. It has been for quite some time. That's in big contrast to the aspects of systems design that draw the most discussion (i.e. mainly class balance).

So, tying this back to the varying capacities in which Dave and Greg engage the community, I couldn't be very liberal with Dave's time when it came to booking interviews. I found about an hour of his time (hour and a half if you count that I stole part of his lunch break) and sat him down for back-to-back interviews -- in, out, and done in one swoop. The reason being that his role in the development of a patch happens at a very different stage of the cycle. At this point he's not actively reading PTR feedback and tweaking how the Horde and Alliance are responding to the threat of Garrosh, or deciding to rework the conclusion of the siege. It's way too late for that, and he's already very busy working on the stories yet to unfold in World of Warcraft. And, yes, in that space he takes popular feedback to heart.

Dave Kosak... I just don't know anyone more passionate about this game's narrative, or more burdened with the responsibility of making sure that the story is fun to play through regardless of the faction, race, or class a player chooses. He cares deeply about you feeling personally invested in what you're doing, and whether you're red or blue certainly doesn't change that.

All this being stated, I want to add more words to this post. :p

Part of my role on the WoW Community Team is fansite/influencer relations, which includes booking developer interviews. I've been on the team for six years, but I took on the role of fansite relations shortly before Mists of Pandaria was released. Not counting things like PAX or other press events, I've been responsible for booking developer interviews for five press rounds (5.0-5.4). Each time I experiment with the formula by trying to cover different formats, give different sites or people a chance to talk to the devs, etc.

Looking back on the last five rounds to determine how we can improve the process and results going forward, I'll tell you right now that I'm most interested in bringing story discussion more to the forefront of interviews -- including WoW devs like Dave Kosak, as well as folks from Creative Dev like Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson -- and getting our artists involved more regularly, 'cause you don't hear from them enough. And finally, while I understand the importance of having a mix of text, audio, and video formats, I want the developers on camera more. I believe strongly that the more you get to see and hear the individual behind the name, the better!
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100 Tauren Druid
12225

Dave Kosak... I just don't know anyone more passionate about this game's narrative, or more burdened with the responsibility of making sure that the story is fun to play through regardless of the faction, race, or class a player chooses. He cares deeply about you feeling personally invested in what you're doing


My friends and I have a running joke. If you're a Monk leveling through Pandaria (or a Pandaren for that matter) it's a bizarre experience, because no one recognizes you. They treat you like as much as a freak as everyone else. Now, obviously its unreasonable to ask to have different quests. But it's the bare-bones minimum to ask to see different text when chatting with NPCs.

Anyway, the joke: "We don't see many of your kind around here, Monk," says the Pandaren surrounded by Monks. We use it as slang for when something small catapults you out of immersion in a game.

So, I have read and understand your words. No one's perfect and WoW is huge, given. But in my experience, the details of a story are the fun part. Easy and satisfying. If you can't even get those right, what is even happening? I dunno. Maybe more interviews will help me with that.
Edited by Varrah on 8/28/2013 7:00 PM PDT
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Community Manager

Dave Kosak... I just don't know anyone more passionate about this game's narrative, or more burdened with the responsibility of making sure that the story is fun to play through regardless of the faction, race, or class a player chooses. He cares deeply about you feeling personally invested in what you're doing


My friends and I have a running joke. If you're a Monk leveling through Pandaria (or a Pandaren for that matter) it's a bizarre experience, because no one recognizes you. They treat you like as much as a freak as everyone else. Now, obviously its unreasonable to ask to have different quests. But it's the bare-bones minimum to ask to see different text when chatting with NPCs.

Anyway, the joke: "We don't see many of your kind around here, Monk," says the Pandaren surrounded by Monks. We use it as slang for when something small catapults you out of immersion in a game.

So, I have read and understand your words, but...eh. No one's perfect and WoW is huge, but c'mon.

Hah! I know what you mean. And I bet if you sat down with Dave to talk about that over a spot of tea, you'd find that those types of things bother him as well.

In all, Mists of Pandaria has a plethora of good examples where we implemented content in new ways to avoid immersion-breaking moments like that. But we're definitely not perfect, and we have to weigh the time/resources it takes to address an issue like the one you recounted, versus working on other things. I know some people hate seeing such an excuse, but the truth is it's a very real challenge we face everyday. Game development on World of Warcraft virtually never stops. In general, every task has to be looked at from all angles so an accurate estimate of time and resources can be made, before the task is green-lit and prioritized among all others.

Using the issue you noted as an example, we have to ask ourselves questions like, "Do we want to make sure Pandaren questing in Pandaria have a lot of unique VO and quest text, or do we want to design a rich gameplay experience on the Isle of Thunder in patch 5.2?" That's not literally what it came down to, but sometimes the choices are that stark.
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90 Human Warrior
13865
Has blizzard considered inviting random player base to be part of think tanks for future story development?

For example, there are several people in this thread asserting that the entire concept of the Siege of Orgrimmar is flawed from a story perspective, particularly for the Alliance. Well, we knew Siege of Orgrimmar would be the final raid of Mists of Pandaria before the expansion was revealed at BlizzCon 2011, and the story framework for how we'd get there was already more or less in place


It would seem that a great way to alleviate the stress for pleasing the player base is to take a random selection of both factions to help share the burden & shape the game the way the paying customer would like it to head from a Lore persepctive?

Just a thought.
Edited by Alphaomegaa on 8/28/2013 7:32 PM PDT
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5 Orc Hunter
0
To be honest. Until the last blizzcon back in 2011 and the events that unfolded with cannibal corpse and others etc. I don't think kosak or metzen even knew how the alliance players felt cause there out of touch with them . And there still out of touch otherwise they would understand why the siege doesn;t seem like some big deal for the alliance . It's not the fist pumping moment. Some examples of a fists pumping moment could be.

--Alliance taking back undercity as an alliance capital.
--Getting back all the lands lost during cata to the forsaken and horde
--Gilneas becoming an actual city instead of having to be shipped over to darn to finish the
leveling.
--Alliance hero's actually doing something to stop horde advancement instead of just
standing around or having to be written in a book in order to get face time.

Or how about having metzen and kosak actually play threw some alliance characters to get a better prospective of whats not going on for the alliance. As of right now they have lost touch with the alliance community. But doubt they care. They got there money.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
5525
For someone who came back to WOW after a long abstinence its interesting to see that the Alliance now feels that the Devs don't like them. A few years back it was kind of an "established fact" that Blizzard favours the Alliance... . But I agree that the 5.4 storyline is awkward, it would have been better if the Horde cleaned up the mess internally while Alliance has another storyline for them (in my view at least).

That said, since I levelled a character again - the whole lore and immersion improved immensely over time. No comparison now to when WOW started.

Still there are things of course that members of your race call you something by your race, which is strange while on the other hand a random goblin you help form drowning knows your name. But all in all its well done.

The only thing which I felt was better at the start is that the different race felt more unique because of class restrictions (I understand the rational behind that change though, giving more choices, faction balance, pvp etc.). For example, now that the BE's have a light powered Sunwell, and the NE use arcane magic again, it just makes them feel both less unique.
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90 Draenei Warrior
14145
Has blizzard considered inviting random player base to be part of think tanks for future story development?

For example, there are several people in this thread asserting that the entire concept of the Siege of Orgrimmar is flawed from a story perspective, particularly for the Alliance. Well, we knew Siege of Orgrimmar would be the final raid of Mists of Pandaria before the expansion was revealed at BlizzCon 2011, and the story framework for how we'd get there was already more or less in place


It would seem that a great way to alleviate the stress for pleasing the player base is to take a random selection of both factions to help share the burden & shape the game the way the paying customer would like it to head from a Lore persepctive?

Just a thought.


Indeed. It's always a great idea to have a second opinion from someone outside the box because you never know what may have been missed that could end up biting you all in the behind down the road... like this brouhaha (There it is again, that word. So fun to use.) here.

And Zarhym, while myself and others here are happy that you post and let us know some of the things that are currently going on... we really want the man himself, Dave Kosak, or someone high up in the Dev team for the narrative of WoW, to come on down here, not to Facebook, Twitter, or something else. Right here, to talk to us, to figure all this out and make sure that crap like this doesn't happen again. Otherwise, to a lot of people, myself included, your words just ring empty while the actions that have been taken by the Dev team speak loud and speak true.

I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer. I simply speak what I see, regardless if it is good or bad, because simply pretending that everything is a-ok when there's a REALLY BIG PROBLEM on everyone's hands is NOT going to get said problem under control and eventually eliminated. Rather, it'll just keep growing until any and all measures that COULD have been taken to get it under control will be useless, and then we'll have a real WoW Killer on our hands in the form of WoW itself.

We don't want to see this game go down, and we're not complaining because we hate the game or we hate you guys; we want to see this game succeed and we want to give you our $15 a month and say, "I'm glad I did that." But unless something is done, like the Devs working WITH US to solve this problem instead of hiding in their bunkers and sending you guys to do all the talking? It's only going to get worse.
Edited by Yinian on 8/28/2013 7:52 PM PDT
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Not for anything, but... who are you to question me? See how that works?

I can care less how people feel about anything really... but once entitled players start to demand for things in a game filled with just about as many opinions of how something should be as there are people who play the game, I figure i'm just as entitled as they are to share my opinion. Sabe?


Well when your opinion is as condescending as "find a new hobby you care too much" or "stop whining alliance" it starts seeming much more like a you problem. If you're such a casual player, why does it matter to you what they ask for? (I guess you'd call it demand)


You, and others of your ilk, read what you want to read. Condescending? Nope. Chagrined that there are still people who think paying for something gives them the right to dictate direction.

You know what your monthly fees and expansion purchases pay for? The game the developers present, not the game you want. You want to control direction? Get off your hiney and create something yourself and you'll see quickly how others will want to change what you create to fit within their understanding of what "the right way to do something" is and how you're ruining it for them.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
5525
Has blizzard considered inviting random player base to be part of think tanks for future story development?

For example, there are several people in this thread asserting that the entire concept of the Siege of Orgrimmar is flawed from a story perspective, particularly for the Alliance. Well, we knew Siege of Orgrimmar would be the final raid of Mists of Pandaria before the expansion was revealed at BlizzCon 2011, and the story framework for how we'd get there was already more or less in place


It would seem that a great way to alleviate the stress for pleasing the player base is to take a random selection of both factions to help share the burden & shape the game the way the paying customer would like it to head from a Lore persepctive?

Just a thought.


I really doubt it would be that easy. Firstly who should be the representative? What qualification? And usually players are even more biased.

I'm a huge BE fan since WC3 for example. So if they'd picked a guy like me -- of course I want BE focused content. Not only that, I care of certain aspects of the BE most (arcane magic addiction, blood mages etc.), while I do not care much about say the blood knights or the Farstriders. So even other BE fans might not like the content I'd prefer.

Of course you could get a broad range of people and try to find a balanced view through that, but then there is no big difference to the way the get input now.
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90 Human Rogue
12005


My friends and I have a running joke. If you're a Monk leveling through Pandaria (or a Pandaren for that matter) it's a bizarre experience, because no one recognizes you. They treat you like as much as a freak as everyone else. Now, obviously its unreasonable to ask to have different quests. But it's the bare-bones minimum to ask to see different text when chatting with NPCs.

Anyway, the joke: "We don't see many of your kind around here, Monk," says the Pandaren surrounded by Monks. We use it as slang for when something small catapults you out of immersion in a game.

So, I have read and understand your words, but...eh. No one's perfect and WoW is huge, but c'mon.

Hah! I know what you mean. And I bet if you sat down with Dave to talk about that over a spot of tea, you'd find that those types of things bother him as well.

In all, Mists of Pandaria has a plethora of good examples where we implemented content in new ways to avoid immersion-breaking moments like that. But we're definitely not perfect, and we have to weigh the time/resources it takes to address an issue like the one you recounted, versus working on other things. I know some people hate seeing such an excuse, but the truth is it's a very real challenge we face everyday. Game development on World of Warcraft virtually never stops. In general, every task has to be looked at from all angles so an accurate estimate of time and resources can be made, before the task is green-lit and prioritized among all others.

Using the issue you noted as an example, we have to ask ourselves questions like, "Do we want to make sure Pandaren questing in Pandaria have a lot of unique VO and quest text, or do we want to design a rich gameplay experience on the Isle of Thunder in patch 5.2?" That's not literally what it came down to, but sometimes the choices are that stark.


"Do you really want that piece of candy or do you want to eat today?"
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62 Night Elf Priest
1070
Thank you for the responses, as always..

Next expansion is coming. I guess that will be the whole sink or swim moment, ehh?
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90 Draenei Monk
17205
How far away is "some point?" It seems Blizzard has been saying draenei will get new lore at "some point" for the last 3 expansions now.

And to be quite honest hearing Kosak talk about how awesome it'd be for Dalaran or Sylvanas or Rexxar to show up and then all draenei get is a single sentence that they've been giving us for years is disappointing at best. It seems like they don't care, that writing for draenei is something they're not passionate about and are dreading.

At this point it's immersion breaking to play a draenei. You're so disconnected from everything. Draenei barely feel like an alliance race anymore. Draenei aren't even showing up to the siege.

Why the hell am I out in Pandaria in the first place? Why am I doing SoO? There's just no answers to those questions in the story. Yeah, raids are fun, and loot is nice so I'll be doing it, but from a story perspective there's nothing there. Don't feel like a part of the story.

It's of course made worse by blood elves threatening to kill me when I rescue them, or trolls calling me filth that washed up from Theramore. Where the hell is their animosity toward draenei even coming from? It just makes no sense at all.

You can talk about taking steps to avoid immersion breaking, but for draenei there's not really any immersion to break to begin with. Draenei just feel out of place.

Draenei fans have been begging for more lore and story involvement since they were told to take a hike in Wrath and it just feels like our requests are falling on deaf ears.
Edited by Lena on 8/28/2013 9:05 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Mage
5525
....

It's of course made worse by blood elves threatening to kill me when I rescue them, or trolls calling me filth that washed up from Theramore. Where the hell is their animosity toward draenei even coming from? It just makes no sense at all.

....


Not saying anything against your general point (I have no experience playing a Draenei), but this part has more to do with the way the game works generally: Horde and Alliance are enemies - but have to work together to defeat this or that greater evil or threat to the planet etc.

Originally BE and Draenei were enemies, so a BE threatening to kill you if you free them would make sense (High Elves do the same if you free them as Horde character btw.). But as the Draenei fought with the BE and actually helped them to survive, it would also make sense if the BEs are just thankful (they might have even fought together with Draenei at the island of Quel'Danas to defeat Kael'thas).

But those kind of distinctions are too costly to implement I guess. Just, saying a lot of things don't make any sense for most of the races, like the whole look of Silvermoon now for us.
Edited by Kaeldor on 8/28/2013 9:27 PM PDT
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90 Human Warrior
13865
Of course you could get a broad range of people and try to find a balanced view through that, but then there is no big difference to the way the get input now.


Well, we knew Siege of Orgrimmar would be the final raid of Mists of Pandaria before the expansion was revealed at BlizzCon 2011, and the story framework for how we'd get there was already more or less in place.


Except currently it's feedback on a storyline already set into place 2 xpac's ago. By employing this at the intial stages, you can alleviate the amounts of backlash that are now occurring that wont be resolved.

Its the difference of being proactive rather than being reactive.

I think a random selection of all types & classes of customer would be beneficial & players who wish to be involved can just tick a box in their battlenet account details registering their willingness to be involved.

It's based on the fact that think tanks may not provide the end content, (I would assume Blizz would provide the framework to which it would work around - ie, We're doing the Emerald Dream & this is what we want to do.....) but can certainly provide positive direction in a view of the player wants, rather than the statistical needs....

Once again - just a thought.
Edited by Alphaomegaa on 8/28/2013 9:29 PM PDT
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90 Human Warlock
0


Any chance we can get more updates on that debate? We get constant updates on gameplay mechanics from Ghostcrawler and other CMs about their thoughts and feelings, but we only rarely hear things from Kosak and friends.

It'd be very helpful if they started talking to us and telling us what they're hearing, because right now it seems like there's a really big communication gap.

It's something we're working on. I'd love to set up more story-centric interviews and conversations with the community. But, while Dave and Greg are both design leads, it's very difficult to compare their tasks, workloads, and roles within the community.

...

Hmm... Well thats a long post, that's nice to see. :)

Devs on the Forum: First you discuss why Blizz is more likely to respond to posts regarding class balance than it is to posts regarding the story. I would not agree that story is more complex, however it's certainly more subjective. Story is also inherently more long range, and thus harder to make local changes to. Class design is more complex than story, but it's also more easily and objectively measured. Its more quantifiable -- and once it goes out the door its extremely quantifiable through dps meters, and flat out measurements of which classes are dominating in PvP. In short if you get class design wrong, it becomes very demonstrable very quickly. Vs. reaction to story which is fuzzy, and much less clearly measurable.

That said, story is much simpler than class design. And the less objective nature of it means that responsible designers should be *more* active on the forums, rather than *less*. Yes there's more pet peeves and personal opinions to wade through, but there are also general reactions to grasp and there are talented posters who have a history of doing good analysis.

[But don't let me give the wrong impression. The reaction of the Alliance to the storyline that they've been given should not be a shock. When you hit someone with a baseball bat, its not going to be a surprise that they didn't like it.]

Looking at the Big Picture: I've seen this used recently as the explanation for Garrosh -- i.e. that he was planned all along to be a flawed character that ultimately has to be fought. I find that credible. But the problem is that individual steps of that process must be believable, and fallout from that process has to be credibly handled. But the process had major flaws in crediblity. And the obvious fallout from it -- that the alliance has been attacked *again* by the Horde (not just Garrosh) leads to the most outrageous thing about this expansion -- the Horde getting off scot-free as all of their deeds get scapegoated onto Garrosh.

Too late to change? Problems with that: 1) There was already plenty of anger from the Alliance about various problems with Cata. You had plenty of pre-warning of issues. (And again, baseball bat analogy -- the Alliance reaction to having our leaders repeatedly peace-out on us, mysteriously forget faction war, etc. was not just forseeable, but obvious.) 2) We were told explicitly that the 5.3 and 5.4 quests were added by pulling the teams off the next expansion to work on them -- i.e. well after Alliance complaints with this expansion were thick and heavy. 3) Finally: If the message is that you just didn't know poorly it would be received until it was too late, then you SHOULD BE SAYING THAT! Instead, we get Dave Kosak peddling "string of alliance victories" and "fist shaking moment" in his interview.

[Concrete example: 5.3, which we know you didn't do until fairly late. Instead of it being all about the rebel Horde having a grand old time, make it about the rebel Horde being desperate to keep the Alliance from taking advantage of the split to wipe both sides out. Instead of the Alliance having to go plead with Vol'jin, have Vol'jin, Baine and Lor'themar go to the Alliance leaders to arrange a truce/alliance. If Horde leaders had basically arranged the peace at that point, and agreed to reparations at that point, THEN the joint assault and peace with the rebel Horde in 5.4 would have made sense. You had time to do something like this -- and you didn't. In fact you went pretty much the opposite direction.]

Dave Kosak caring deeply about both blue and red. I would like to believe that. But I don't. The Horde bias of the dev team is not just one or two isolated instances. Its endless and repeated across multiple expansions. Its in the game, its in the cryptic tweats. Its Alliance leaders acting like doormats for the Horde. Its Alliance victories not being shown in game (Ashenvale?) while horde victories are (WPL, Theramore). Its being subjected hand-me-down cut and paste quests. Its unfinished zones. Its being told that they don't have time to phase Alliance wins -- and then being told that we won't even get lore wins because they're not being shown in game! Its being told that Dalaran is a win for the Alliance, but oh hey, that cost you getting the Blood Elves back in the Alliance, and BTW you just got totally outfoxed by Garrosh who planned the whole thing, and "hey we talked about having Dalaran over Ogrimmar, but then... we didn't do it". Its like we literally cannot turn around without getting hit with another example of Horde bias. And you want to tell us that Kosak cares deeply about our experience? Pretty much not seeing that.

Suggestions: If Blizz thinks that there is a real and substantial gap between their idea of Alliance reactions and the actual Alliance reaction, then:
1) Get the lore/story leads on the forums. Engage in dialog, find out what's wrong and what Alliance would like fixed.
2) Reach out to the really good, lore-loving Alliance posters who got so fed up with the lore that they just quit. (Check history of story forum in particular.) Check notable bloggers as well.
3) Somehow give yourself more reaction time. It should not be the case that "Hey we can't fix any of your complaints because we've already written the whole expansion."
4) If you insist on writing one faction side first and then cutting and pasting onto the other faction, then... write the Alliance side first for a change. If your team is unwilling/unable to do that, then thats a red flag that something is wrong with your team and its time to change it up.

Interviews: I'll suggest a goal: Have the lore/story lead be interviewed by a well known, Alliance fan/site operator. Someone not on Prozac, but who is genuinely happy about the Alliance storyline, races, etc. I'm remembering Jesse Cox (Horde) the pink haired gal (wearing a Horde t-shirt) -- find their equivalent who will gleefully and proudly wear an Alliance t-shirt to the interview. PR interviews are of course not the time for brutal interviews, but thats the point -- the representation of Alliance lore/races in the game should be so satisfying that a well known Alliance fan can conduct an interview with the lore/story lead and be genuinely happy with what's going on.

Again, thanks for the long post.
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98 Worgen Mage
17455
Cox/Kosak interview:

- It's exactly as you said, Zarhym. Dave is literally oozing with passion out of every pore for this game and it really showed in this interview. Jesse is a good guy too, did a fine interview and was able to fit in some small talk to set the mood.

- Love how he tackled that Alliance fist bump question head-on. Honestly I think he didn't think that tweet would become a "thing" but it did. To me that means the SoO raid itself is the fist bump moment. The community has been overthinking it really and blown it out of proportion

- One minor criticism here: I get that interviewers are allowed to ask whatever they want but anyone conducting a story interview needs to remember a simple ground rule: Dave isn't allowed to spoil major future plot points. Going down the list of what's happening with X character was a bit over the top and you could tell Dave was getting uncomfortable trying to think of several unique ways to say "I can't talk about this yet". Sure, it's fun to ask, but don't use up a big chunk of your time doing so. I guess it's particularly tough this late in the expansion, whereas an interview earlier in the expansion would have been able to touch upon the future a bit. If you're doing a late expansion interview you need to be thinking more MoP post-mortem. On Dave's end, he should have a small concise list of what he can spoil if he's asked about it, or is willing to share, but it'd be a very short list. Late expansion though his hands are basically tied. Maybe no interview is complete without looking towards the future, but it did take up a decent chunk of time.

- Got the message across that he cares about Alliance and Horde

- Youtube medium is good for story interviews. Twitch is a better platform for PVP and PVE because both those activities are constantly streamed. The story community is a bit of a different demographic, and Youtube really works for 1 on 1 talks where you don't need to see a face to associate with who's talking.

I also want to give the story team props for leaving a lot of juicy hooks and hints this expansion, such as the Burning Legion's impending arrival thru Wrathion, the Thunder King's revival which let us know a troll raid was coming, the return of Garajal via his foreboding dialogue, and Ra-Den's speech about the yawning chasm beneath (lead in into the Dark Below?). All in all they've done a stand up job crafting the narrative, and it definitely helps that Blizzard's far ahead in content creation so it's easier to lay these hints.
Edited by Digerati on 8/28/2013 11:29 PM PDT
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14 Draenei Paladin
40
How far away is "some point?" It seems Blizzard has been saying draenei will get new lore at "some point" for the last 3 expansions now.

And to be quite honest hearing Kosak talk about how awesome it'd be for Dalaran or Sylvanas or Rexxar to show up and then all draenei get is a single sentence that they've been giving us for years is disappointing at best. It seems like they don't care, that writing for draenei is something they're not passionate about and are dreading.

At this point it's immersion breaking to play a draenei. You're so disconnected from everything. Draenei barely feel like an alliance race anymore. Draenei aren't even showing up to the siege.

Why the hell am I out in Pandaria in the first place? Why am I doing SoO? There's just no answers to those questions in the story. Yeah, raids are fun, and loot is nice so I'll be doing it, but from a story perspective there's nothing there. Don't feel like a part of the story.

It's of course made worse by blood elves threatening to kill me when I rescue them, or trolls calling me filth that washed up from Theramore. Where the hell is their animosity toward draenei even coming from? It just makes no sense at all.

You can talk about taking steps to avoid immersion breaking, but for draenei there's not really any immersion to break to begin with. Draenei just feel out of place.

Draenei fans have been begging for more lore and story involvement since they were told to take a hike in Wrath and it just feels like our requests are falling on deaf ears.


Not to insult you Lena, but perhaps you should speak to Stephanos...or...

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/lore/leader-story/velen/1
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