Novellas aren't how to tell in-game story

Story Forum
The title's pretty self-explanatory.

World of Warcraft is the definitive vehicle for the Warcraft Universe since it was released.

I understand that there are folks out there who want more and what to see different themes and stories fleshed out, but I'd argue that for the overwhelming majority of players, the story is just a backdrop for the game. It's both welcome and necessary to maintain a sense of immersion, but it's certainly not worth the subscription price on its own.

I worry now, however, that Blizzard is sacrificing elements of the in-game storytelling and offering it instead in the form of books and novellas etc. This, of course, is another revenue stream for an industry where micro-transactions are becoming more and more important, but as we've seen with the BFA pre-release, it can backfire.

The novellas give the reader some perspective on Sylvanas' motivations for attacking Teldrassil, and after seeing that I'm much more comfortable with Sylvanas and what's going on. I still don't think it's great writing but at least it's not completely moronic now.

That being said, that brief exchange between Saurfang and Sylvanas should have been in the game. I bought the collector's edition but have zero interest in reading the novellas (I have way better things to read), and the only reason I know about it is because I check the forums when I get bored at work.

This isn't how you tell a story in-game. You can't leave giant holes and expect them to be filled by the minority of folks who care enough to read the expanded lore etc. The books have to be ancillary to the story. They can't be the primary driving force.
Gotta spend money on micro-transactions to get the full story, and in a few years they will retcon the poorly written book/comic/etc that you payed money for.
Considering these will go online (for free, is my understanding) I think it is more likely that they possibly did it due to time constraints. I mean, we even saw Sylvanas flip flop on her reasons given on the PTR.
She was all over the place in game too. It felt like they had some guy edit the text in her dialogue options / quest text the night before to make it seem consistent.
Especially after the fact, when everyone has already experienced a different version of it personally in game.
it's sad because we know that they could do a better job ingame.

you know, where the actual story takes place?

at least put a surprise face in saurfang face,or "what the hell are u doing" or something in the sylvanas video

nah, ingame they just walk away like bros."yeah whatever"
Destiny is influencing Blizzard way too much
Whether or not we're going to get the novellas online for free doesn't really matter. Most of us aren't going to read them either way.

Don't push out a half-baked story in-game and expect to be able to patch it up with novels/novellas that folks would rather not have to read. I don't mean to offend anyone or insult anyone's novels, but I doubt that WoW novels or novellas are any better than the cheesy Star Wars EU or D&D trash I used to read as a kid.
08/02/2018 10:50 AMPosted by Imerus
Considering these will go online (for free, is my understanding) I think it is more likely that they possibly did it due to time constraints. I mean, we even saw Sylvanas flip flop on her reasons given on the PTR.


The main reason why I don't give them an out on that is that it wouldn't have been hard to provide her motivations, which boiled down is just "I don't foresee peace lasting more than a few years at most. We will make sure the Alliance is never in a position to threaten us." could have just been gossip text.

This pre-event was incredibly bare bones, at any point in it, Saurfang's issues could have come to light. Malfurion's confrontation with Lorash could have been a quest. Hell Saurfang and Nathanos' wacky adventures into Felwood could have been a quest, all with places to add this plot that they needed to put into short stories.

Instead, we got a few very short quests, that turn into World Quests. And not an eff was given by Blizzard that day.

I mean, even Warlords of Draenor had a decently sized quest chain that properly explained the situation. Dark Portal turned red. Brown orcs are running out. They sacked two bases. Go push them back.
08/02/2018 11:04 AMPosted by Amoc
D&D trash

Hey now, some of those novels were really good. I loved Dragonlance's romantic setting. It was one of my first introductions to a deconstruction of the "love conquers all" trope where the villain in the story was driven by the very real possibility of bringing his dead love back to life. Where love is usually a driver for heroes not villains.
WoW doesn't hold a candle to most pulp fantasy novels.
08/02/2018 11:16 AMPosted by Daiza
08/02/2018 10:50 AMPosted by Imerus
Considering these will go online (for free, is my understanding) I think it is more likely that they possibly did it due to time constraints. I mean, we even saw Sylvanas flip flop on her reasons given on the PTR.


The main reason why I don't give them an out on that is that it wouldn't have been hard to provide her motivations, which boiled down is just "I don't foresee peace lasting more than a few years at most. We will make sure the Alliance is never in a position to threaten us." could have just been gossip text.

This pre-event was incredibly bare bones, at any point in it, Saurfang's issues could have come to light. Malfurion's confrontation with Lorash could have been a quest. Hell Saurfang and Nathanos' wacky adventures into Felwood could have been a quest, all with places to add this plot that they needed to put into short stories.

Instead, we got a few very short quests, that turn into World Quests. And not an eff was given by Blizzard that day.

I mean, even Warlords of Draenor had a decently sized quest chain that properly explained the situation. Dark Portal turned red. Brown orcs are running out. They sacked two bases. Go push them back.
Very fair. To note, I'm not excusing them. Just that I think it is more likely they were screwing up on deadlines because of Activision over trying to grab more cash from CE novellas that'll be free later.
08/02/2018 10:50 AMPosted by Imerus
Considering these will go online (for free, is my understanding) I think it is more likely that they possibly did it due to time constraints. I mean, we even saw Sylvanas flip flop on her reasons given on the PTR.


Yea because having Saurfangs Model say a few words in chat bubbles to hers would just make the game unmakeable! ASKING TOO MUCH! I mean they have a release date! Ten minutes of work would result in a YEAR long delay amirite?
I like that they finally had Sylvanas point to actual examples of why war is probably inevitable.

Other than that... not much has changed. And in any case, anything that isn't in the actual game is a half-measure. And the idea of Saurfang returning to be the one who fixes everything still makes me want to puke.

!@#$ing orcs.
Some things just need to be in the game. I can understand why the conversation between Genn and Anduin would be in a novel. But the conversation where Sylvanas lays out her motivations for going to war with the night elves, and Saurfang's reaction to the burning, should, absolutely, 110% BE IN THE GAME. It's fine if you want to tell stories in between expansions or not related to the expansions directly with novels, or flesh out things here and there, but things that are critical to plots and characters in the game, should be in the game if they conceivably could be. And they could have easily been with these two.
The problem with trying to tell the story only in game is that only being able to tell a story when the player happens to be standing around for it is kind of...stupid, for a world-spanning narrative.
They need to put these on an official site or at least make note of them ASAP to curb the anger a little.

These parts don't necessarily make everything a-okay, but it makes it a little less rage inducing.
08/02/2018 11:40 AMPosted by Vespero
The problem with trying to tell the story only in game is that only being able to tell a story when the player happens to be standing around for it is kind of...stupid, for a world-spanning narrative.


Telling the story in a book that hardly any of us are going to read is more stupid. It's completely moronic. That's the whole point.

Even in the trashy pulp fantasy genre, there are (as another poster stated) better options. For the folks who want to read the novels, by all means give them deeper and more fleshed-out stories. For the majority of us who aren't going to read them, however, Blizz at least needs to include the broad strokes and the important points for us to experience. Part of that, of course, would include quasi-coherent and intelligent motives.
08/02/2018 11:40 AMPosted by Vespero
The problem with trying to tell the story only in game is that only being able to tell a story when the player happens to be standing around for it is kind of...stupid, for a world-spanning narrative.


That's funny. I don't remember my character standing around during Emperor Shao-Hao's quest to put up the mists. And yet, the Burdens of Shao-Hao, while far more detailed than the in-game stuff, told me very little about the events themselves that I didn't already know.
I also didn't go with Little Lu and the SI:7 gang. I was busy elsewhere. And I'm pretty sure Huln Highmountain is long dead, too. But I know how that went down. And the Naga Battlemaiden would've stabbed me through the throat if I'd been there to watch her in person.

Point is, no, the game has plenty of tools to tell stories we weren't personally around for.

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