'Warcraft Tales' Story & Immersion Addon

General Discussion
I learned of this addon from the other thread the other day, however, the OP lacked any real information and only bothered to link to the youtube video, resulting in discussion being almost entirely negative. Figured I'd try to flesh out a proper post for those who actually care about discussing the addon, and to inform those who may be interested.

Okay so what is it?
  • Standard addon, no messing with game files
  • Releasing in 1-zone "episodes" approx. once a month
  • Worked on by team of 4 devs + 12 actors, with room to expand
  • Proper voice acting for all quests and other interactions
  • Rewritten quest text to fit the context of spoken lines
  • Additional voice acting and NPC interactions upon varying triggers (not just on quest pickup and turn in!)
  • Updated UI, matching more closely to how Legion does dialogue
  • Slightly More Detail:
    To be clear, it is not -only- adding voice acting to existing quests. It's rewriting them to better fit with the voice acting, it's adding additional triggers for dialogue mid-quest, it's tying plotlines together better than is done in the base game (such as tying the 'Collector' character from Elwynn Forest into the quests regarding the Kobold-infested mines.)

    It's an addon set aimed at those who enjoy the story and want to be more immersed in it. The overall story is not changing, they're not turning Elwynn Forest into something else entirely, they're simply making it more "alive" and fleshing some things out a bit more.

    Screenshots:
    I took a few screencaps from the announcement video to share with you guys, but it's important to keep in mind that a large amount of this addon's content is audio and we won't be able to hear that until the 6th.

    An example of how quest text and rewards appear:
    http://imgur.com/a/8Qjhq

    A Blackrock Orc reacting to our presence in Milly's field:
    http://imgur.com/a/5mvIq

    An example of a minor edit to how story is delivered to keep us interested en-route to our destination (this takes the form of us reading a (voiced) letter):
    http://imgur.com/a/ZACnW

    An example of the integration of 'The Collector' into the Jangolode Mine quests. This is an overheard conversation as we arrive. The labels are bugged, but have been fixed since:
    http://imgur.com/a/PCrvp

    When does each "episode" release?
    The first episode is planned to release on April 6th, starting with Elwynn Forest.

    Future episodes are estimated to take 4-6 weeks each and will be following the human zone flow first.

    Common Debate Topics:
  • This breaks the ToS by altering game files

  • It does not alter game files. It uses similar ideas as those done by the 'Storyline' addon for quest text, as well as simply disabling standard Blizzard graphics as nearly every UI addon does. Of course sounds are also being added in the form of voice acting, but adding sounds is nothing new to the addon world. See: GTFO, DBM, Bigwigs, and so many more.

  • This breaks the ToS by taking donations

  • While this one may have more merit to it than the first (I'm no ToS expert, and I know there are separate guidelines for addon developers), it's still a pretty big non-issue. IIRC, there's a rule about not directly asking for donations within the addon. This means external sources like Patreon, Paypal, or whatever else are perfectly fine as long as it's not being linked to from the addon itself in-game. Maybe I'm misremembering, and IF that is the case, it's STILL a rather large non-issue. This kind of rule breakage (if it really is rulebreaking) would not result in users of the addon being banned, as it does nothing to the game itself. Worst case scenario, the addon is removed from Curse.com for not following Blizzard's guidelines, in which case, we would still be able to find it on places like WoWinterface.com.

  • This breaks copyright by profiting [via donations] from Blizzard's IP

  • I'm not learned enough to dispute this one too much, but I CAN say that the money donated for this project is intended to pay team members so that they can continue to work on the project full time and get episodes released in a timely manner. They're aiming for Blizz-like quality, and reaching that with the hours of a part time side hobby would mean episodes being 6 months apart. I think anyone legitimately interested in the addon would much appreciate the faster release schedule. Additionally, it has been said that Blizzard knows about and approves of the addon, and while I don't have an interview link for that (it was likely an interaction between Bellular and some Blizzard rep?), It would definitely lend credibility to the legality of the project if true.

    MvP confirmation of several claims:
    https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20753795483?page=2#post-40

    Regardless, these are issues for the developers of the addon to worry about and do not affect us directly. Personally, I can't wait for the 6th to see exactly how this is going to turn out.

    Disclaimer: This addon [after the first 3 episodes] will be funded via Patreon. I am not linking to it, and I edited it out of all of my screenshots. If you would like the link, simply google the addon name. Similarly, I will not link to the announcement video, but if you search for BellularGaming on YouTube, it will be the most recent video.
    I saw this on YouTube last week and think it sounds awesome as well however I am reserving judgement until the first episode is released before I hope on any kind of hype train
    03/27/2017 02:10 PMPosted by Razilax
    I saw this on YouTube last week and think it sounds awesome as well however I am reserving judgement until the first episode is released before I hope on any kind of hype train

    The biggest dealbreaker will be the quality of the voice acting, but I have high hopes! It sounds like they went through auditions to find quality actors and will continue to do so going forward.

    Given how poor certain Blizzard VA turns out [looking at you, Jale in Highmountain], I'm sure they can at least reach the lower end of what Blizzard considers acceptable to put in the game.

    But hopefully they do better than Jale.
    The idea is pretty interesting. I can't wait to see how Darkshore will turn out. Well, if the project becomes successful enough to reach that point, of course.
    I'm worried about the legal issues. Can Blizz shut this down? Will they? Sounds great though.
    03/27/2017 02:13 PMPosted by Kynaria
    The idea is pretty interesting. I can't wait to see how Darkshore will turn out. Well, if the project becomes successful enough to reach that point, of course.

    Yeah, I'm sure some people will be bummed that they're going through with Humans first, but I suppose it makes sense given how many people play humans.

    03/27/2017 02:15 PMPosted by Brogas
    I'm worried about the legal issues. Can Blizz shut this down? Will they? Sounds great though.

    Its been said that Blizzard approves of the project, but I doubt we'll ever see an official comment on it. They aren't the only ones to pay their addon devs, though, so I think it'll be fine.
    My dubiousness comes mostly from someone working on a multi-year creative project with little benefit other than personal satisfaction

    This is a massive undertaking. Interesting, but massive.

    ALSO

    I hope they have more than one female voice actor because *gestures at WotLK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jInIBx65tfU*
    03/27/2017 02:12 PMPosted by Itharrimar
    03/27/2017 02:10 PMPosted by Razilax
    I saw this on YouTube last week and think it sounds awesome as well however I am reserving judgement until the first episode is released before I hope on any kind of hype train

    The biggest dealbreaker will be the quality of the voice acting, but I have high hopes! It sounds like they went through auditions to find quality actors and will continue to do so going forward.

    Yeah it could end up turning elwynn forest into a tommy wiseau movie
    We have no idea yet
    03/27/2017 02:23 PMPosted by Razilax
    03/27/2017 02:12 PMPosted by Itharrimar
    ...
    The biggest dealbreaker will be the quality of the voice acting, but I have high hopes! It sounds like they went through auditions to find quality actors and will continue to do so going forward.

    Yeah it could end up turning elwynn forest into a tommy wiseau movie
    We have no idea yet

    Okay but if its that bad it'll be entertaining still, just for entirely different reasons :P
    Ooo, I don't really do endgame anymore. I want. Leveling needs a facelift, I don't care too much if its from a third party or Blizzard.
    03/27/2017 02:25 PMPosted by Itharrimar
    03/27/2017 02:23 PMPosted by Razilax
    ...
    Yeah it could end up turning elwynn forest into a tommy wiseau movie
    We have no idea yet

    Okay but if its that bad it'll be entertaining still, just for entirely different reasons :P
    You are tearing me apart Hogger!
    03/27/2017 02:40 PMPosted by Razilax
    03/27/2017 02:25 PMPosted by Itharrimar
    ...
    Okay but if its that bad it'll be entertaining still, just for entirely different reasons :P
    You are tearing me apart Hogger!

    Now I want like a 5% chance for that line to trigger during the Hogger fight.
    Yeah, this is just an awesome fan project and there have been many of the years. Really hoping this turns out well and does well because I like leveling so eventually down the road we may get this addon fully for Ek and Kalimdor, then BC, and up to the point y'know.

    And then Blizzard updates those zones invalidating most the work they did.

    Nah, but really this is an awesome project.
    might make leveling less painful, i'll give it a shot
    03/27/2017 02:15 PMPosted by Itharrimar
    03/27/2017 02:13 PMPosted by Kynaria
    The idea is pretty interesting. I can't wait to see how Darkshore will turn out. Well, if the project becomes successful enough to reach that point, of course.

    Yeah, I'm sure some people will be bummed that they're going through with Humans first, but I suppose it makes sense given how many people play humans.

    03/27/2017 02:15 PMPosted by Brogas
    I'm worried about the legal issues. Can Blizz shut this down? Will they? Sounds great though.

    Its been said that Blizzard approves of the project, but I doubt we'll ever see an official comment on it. They aren't the only ones to pay their addon devs, though, so I think it'll be fine.


    we where told that blizz was ok with this
    03/27/2017 01:52 PMPosted by Itharrimar
    This means external sources like Patreon, Paypal, or whatever else are perfectly fine as long as it's not being linked to from the addon itself in-game


    Correct.

    https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/1021053914

    11/16/2010 11:44 AMPosted by Nethaera
    4) Add-ons may not include advertisements.
    Add-ons may not be used to advertise any goods or services.

    5) Add-ons may not solicit donations.
    Add-ons may not include requests for donations. We recognize the immense amount of effort and resources that go into developing an add-on; however, such requests should be limited to the add-on website or distribution site and should not appear in the game.
    03/27/2017 01:52 PMPosted by Itharrimar
    Additionally, it has been said that Blizzard knows about and approves of the addon, and while I don't have an interview link for that (it was likely an interaction between Bellular and some Blizzard rep?), It would definitely lend credibility to the legality of the project if true.


    03/27/2017 04:42 PMPosted by Boytoyz
    we where told that blizz was ok with this


    Now that I've found the quote it's more correct to say certain people at Blizzard know of the project and have all liked the project. But technically that isn't a 100% stamp of approval. Just that in the words of Bellular "They have no reason to shut us down"

    https://www.reddit.com/r/wow/comments/61m98t/big_announcement_warcraft_tales_play_wow_revoiced/dfgkujl/

    So I cannot speak for anyone over at Blizzard, but we're good by the addon policy etc, and the people who I've talked to over there have all liked the project. So on paper there is no reason for us to get shut down.
    All Blizzard really cares about is if an addon starts to mess up gameplay or detract from their design - so stuff like that one that got nuked in Wrath during putricide progression (iirc?)


    I'm sorry if I gave anyone the wrong impression :)
    /upvotes

    /says nothing else
    03/27/2017 02:15 PMPosted by Brogas
    I'm worried about the legal issues. Can Blizz shut this down? Will they? Sounds great though.


    IMHO There's too much work that has gone into this project , that is still to be done and continued needing to be done for them to be railroaded because they didn't take the legal issues into account before starting.

    So if they are smart they won't distribute copyrighted material they don't have proper licenses for (eg Blizzard game files, Sounds from other video games) and include licenses for the content they do distribute (original sounds and art submitted by their contributors). They won't solicit donations in game and will do everything by the book.

    Can Blizzard shut them down ? Sure they can. They can Ban any addon they like from even loading without having to push out a patch. They can make it so the code needed for this addon to work can only run by the wow client itself. They can break the code by changing the Lua API.

    Will they ? Who knows. Only time will tell.
    The biggest issue I see is that adding all that voice acting, and such could make an add on that's fairly beefy, but every time I try to ask how large of an add on we're talking about (and remember this is ONLY for EF right now so imagine an add on that's done for every race 1-60/70/80).

    If the add on is massive then it's not going to be feasible to run anyway, but no one is really giving us info on how large it's going to end up being for some reason even though that seems really important for anyone to know.

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