BlizzCon 2018 Spoilers/Discussion Thread

Wyrmrest Accord
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11/09/2018 12:17 PMPosted by Opherial
There's an interview out now with Alex Afrasiabi that says Sylvanas ordered the Wrathgate event.

"I've heard these discussions on the internet about 'she's going off the rails', but is she? I've been writing Sylvanas personally since 2006, and this is pretty much - the Wrathgate and the Blight and the Forsaken - in character. Those were all under Sylvanas' orders. What we're seeing now is an escalation of the plans Sylvanas has, clearly, and we're in the middle of that."

This is the same company that makes Overwatch, a product with a story shallower than a puddle yet still can't go without retcons and inconsistencies.

Either the "lore team" they supposedly have is on strike, or all the head developers just sort of don't care about making things consistent.

11/09/2018 12:17 PMPosted by Opherial
Then he goes on about how much of a joy she's been to write for the last 12 years. So I guess we won't be rid of zombie waifu anytime soon.

They have to sell body pillows and figurines to teenage boys somehow.
I vaguely remember that the Wrathgate was basically Sylvanas's plan all along, but Varimithras and Putress basically shang-hai'd it before she was ready to try and cripple the Alliance and Horde (and the Scourge) for long enough for the Legion cultists to open enough portals to turn the Undercity into a bastion from which the Legion could then pour out and begin to cause chaos across the Eastern Kingdoms.

Makes you wonder what and/or who the Blight was actually supposed to be used on, doesn't it? Was it actually the Lich King and maybe some 'collateral' damage, or was she flat-out planning to wipe the floor with the rest of Azeroth's sentient races and then destroy herself and the other Forsaken once Arthas was dead and all other foes/races/individuals who had 'earned' her ire were dealt with?

But yeah, anyone who has been dreaming that Sylvanas wasn't our Starscream Expie since ... Wrath has got to be kicking themselves right now. Hell, I have a lot of tolerance for WoW's story-telling since I can kinda see what they're trying to do, and having to work !@#-backwards with the devs giving the story team at-times pants-on-head-tier scenarios to weave a coherent story from. That said, and apologies to Metzen for this, but if B4A really was the last expansion he and the 'old guard' worked on before Golden got pulled in to try and turn this horse back to it's water, then this will hopefully be the last expansion where the oft-infuriating style of story-telling Blizz has become infamous for be so heavily shoved onto our plates.

Also, where is Calia, dammit? I called the return of the Menethil bloodline to the throne of the Forsaken, and I wanna see how this plays out and I wanna be there when Sylvanas loses her banshee backside over hearing that Arthas's sister is not only still around despite everything she's done to the poor woman, but now a superior form of Undead and has every reason to be gunning directly for Sylvanas.

Also where the zogg is Katherine Rogers? Did she get slapped into prison after her outright disobedience on the Broken Shore that caused the destruction of the Skyfire and massive amounts of casualties for pursuing a personal vendetta alongside Genn? I mean, I can understand Genn not getting slapped down too hard, but Rogers is Anduin's subordinate and this is a fantasy monarchy. That's ... gotta be a bad situation to be in.

Still wishing they'd just say that the Vindicaar is 'on a mission' and it's really just hovering in high orbit waiting for the chance to perform an orbital strike on the Horde, letting them think the vessel is long gone and thus a target the Horde will overlook when planning their next strategy.

"Oh, you have Val'kyr and two-person zepplins? We have orbital lasers and a fleet of Warframes and you forgot both of those things existed."

Also given that the Skyfire, the Alliance's pride and joy, got demolished by mere bat-riders with Blight grenades probably has the Alliance military terrified that if the Vindicaar stays on the radar too long that the Horde, courtesy of it's new allies from Suramar, might very well find a way to teleport bombs onboard and just immediately remove the Alliance's last big gun from their roster.
The Vindicaar isn't even a plot device so much as a gameplay device. It survived the Legion with all its ships and fel magic because... it was a quest hub. It's been shuffled away likely to keep the power-focus on the major lore characters, not a spaceship. When it does it get dragged out it will feel hollow, especially if it hits one major target and then explodes because some Nightborne ported a bunch of Hozen into its engines.

edit: also, do the Illidari still have their ship, with its "jump drive"??

About criticism: it really depends on the situation. If you're a writer working with an editor or CD or a designer with an AD/CD then sure, there could be expectation of suggestions because it's a collaborative relationship.

If you're sharing work with peers or stakeholders, then no, suggestions aren't needed for it to be constructive and they also might not be welcome. If someone wants a suggestion they'll ask. Otherwise you're messing with their process and inserting yourself into it.
11/09/2018 12:10 PMPosted by Ursuola

I feel like this only works if you agree with the idea but disagree on the execution. What if I dislike something's fundamental premise? Does that mean "I hate this, and you can fix it by never doing something like it again" constructive criticism?


Imma use teldrassil as an example

I hated it when it first released, but the collectors edition novellas made it an easier pill to swallow, sorta.
Like, i still wish it had gone up by accident (from stored azerite) but its late for that.
We can critique what blizz puts out, and with tiny adjustments it can be halfway decent, but i think its unfair to demand a whole rewrite of the story
A criticism does not need to be nice to be constructive, nor does it need a suggestion to be constructive.

Pointing out that the story is nonsensical tripe that treads the same boring, unfulfilling, forced plot line as Garrosh is just as valid and just as constructive.

I have no desire to coddle a company that unironically thinks the statement that their devs spend more time on Mobile games than PC games is anything but worrying.
11/09/2018 01:08 PMPosted by Lamunadra
I hated it when it first released, but the collectors edition novellas made it an easier pill to swallow, sorta.

why can't they tell the story/motivation/background stuff in-game rather than in bonus material
11/09/2018 01:36 PMPosted by Liotuse
11/09/2018 01:08 PMPosted by Lamunadra
I hated it when it first released, but the collectors edition novellas made it an easier pill to swallow, sorta.

why can't they tell the story/motivation/background stuff in-game rather than in bonus material


The only answer I keep coming back to (at least with the War of Thorns) is pure unfiltered laziness.
11/09/2018 10:59 AMPosted by Banrok
Give us a reason, say it's the only thing guarding Azuremyst, the one last major foothold the alliance has in kalimdor from the Horde fleet and that they're unwilling to risk moving it away.


That is literally all that needs to be said about the Vindicaar. The Lightforged are ready to fight, but Velen refuses to release the ship for combat operations because he will not see the Horde raze his people's new homeland to the ground.

Hell, make it part of the Darkshore Warfront. The Vindicaar is in the eastern channel, ensuring no Horde ship can reinforce by sea so the Horde has to bring everything over land.

Anywho, how about some more Vanndrel's "Constructive Criticism" aka AU BfA story?

- The Battle for Lordaeron -

In the aftermath of Teldrassil, Sylvanas and her forces help rescue what few survivors they can. Saurfang is distraught over what has happened, but Sylvanas seems distant and cold. Malfurion arrives from the Moonglade to confront the Horde about the burning of the tree, with Saurfang all but begging the Arch Druid for forgiveness. This is too much for Sylvanas who silences the High Overlord. Sylvanas rips into Malfurion, accusing his people of being the instigators of this conflict. She says plainly that she was prepared to die this day to see the Horde survive, that any calamity that has befallen the Kaldorei is, as always, of their own making.

Malfurion questions Sylvanas if she's prepared to die now, rather than see this conflict escalate. Sylvanas laughs in his face, as if she'd be held responsible for actions ultimately begun with his wife. Sylvanas and Saurfang quit the field with their forces, and Malfurion makes a move to order them stopped but Sylvanas points out that in the time they've been talking, Malfurion's made no move to cease the blaze. "What is it you most cherish, Shan'do?" she asks sardonically. "There are many eyes upon you this day. Your choice now will be recorded."

Malfurion turns his attentions to his people and the Horde are allowed to leave. Sylvanas leaves Kalimdor all together, leaving Ogrimmar in Saurfang's hands, noting that the Alliance will seek a reckoning, and the Horde of Kalimdor is in no condition to face the Alliance in lieu of recent events. She retires to the Undercity to prepare her defenses and people against the coming Alliance story.

Saurfang, guilt ridden over what he perceives as a honorless attack upon civilians (Both Teldrassil and their butchery through Ashenvale and Darkshore), leaves Ogrimmar in Rokan's hands and journeys to the Undercity. During the conflict, Sylvanas notes Saurfang is sulking about, but he's made no move to report into her.

The Battle plays out generally as it did in the game already, except there is no fight against Saurfang. Once again, Sylvanas is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for her people, and buys time for evacuations with her little confrontation with the Alliance in the old throne room of Lordaeron. Notably absent in this version, however, is Genn.

Meanwhile, Nathanos Blightcaller intercepts Saurfang in the Blight stockpiles deep within the Undercity. When questioned, Saurfang states his intention was to ensure Sylvanas did not blight the city as an act of defilement. Nathanos scoffs at the notion, saying that while Sylvanas is ruthless, Lordaeron is he and countless other Forsaken's HOME, and such a course of action would never be condoned.

Genn Greymane then makes his appearance, attacking both Blightcaller and Saurfang with a strike force of Worgen and Night Elf Wardens. Their objective was to secure the Blight as well to ensure Sylvanas wouldn't use it against the Alliance. It is ironic, in that sense, that due to the fighting between the two sides the Blight is released and both sides make a mad scramble to evacuate as the deadly poison seeps into the very ground.

Greymane makes it clear to Anduin that this was Sylvanas' ploy all along, to sacrifice herself but to take the entire cadre of Alliance leadership with her.

Sylvanas, Blightcaller, and Saurfang all stand on the deck of a retreating Zeppelin, flanked by the surviving Val'kyr, looking at the decaying morass that was once the crown jewel of civilization in the Eastern Kingdoms. Nathanos is furious, Saurfang reserved. Sylvanas, for her part, orders the Zeppelin to sail to Quel'thalas. When Saurfang asks what she hopes to find there, Sylvanas replies "There has been much darkness surrounding this conflict, High Overlord. It is high time some thing be brought to the Light."

She sets her red eyes to the horizon. "I must speak with A'dal."
Like, how should I as the player have known that:

"I hate this, and you can fix it by never doing something like it again"

Was something I needed to express to Blizzard about the MoP faction/civil war story arc after it was over?

Constructive criticism:

Please don't replay things you did in the past that were horribly received?

Try to learn from your mistakes?

Making one factions civil the main focus of the narrative might work for a novel but you aren't writing a novel so choose something that actually works for the medium you're writing for?
11/09/2018 11:53 AMPosted by Lamunadra

What makes a criticism constructive is a suggestion on how to make it better

'Sylvanas motivations make no sense' isnt constructive by itself, but if you were to add, 'they should expand on them in game through quests or a cutscene or something'


That's incorrect.

This only works if everyone has an agreement on where the story should go. In a faction war story, that's especially untenable.

Saying "this doesn't work" is exactly as constructive as "this is what I want to see." Heck, it's even more constructive, because it demonstrates which avenue doesn't work and helps guide the storyteller toward an avenue that does.
11/09/2018 01:39 PMPosted by Taalva
<span class="truncated">...</span>
why can't they tell the story/motivation/background stuff in-game rather than in bonus material


The only answer I keep coming back to (at least with the War of Thorns) is pure unfiltered laziness.


I hope in 8.1 with saurfangs release, sylvanas talks about how his refusal to kill the enemy affects her decisions.
Not killing malf led to burning the tree
Not killing anduin in the bfa cinematic led to alliance pushing the advantage and the subsequent blighting

This only works if everyone has an agreement on where the story should go. In a faction war story, that's especially untenable

I disagree, if everyone voiced their opinion about how the story should go then blizz can pick out elements from all of it to find a happy medium
Victory for anyone BUT Sylvanas

EDIT: Damnit...
What this expac needs is an evil overlord who, when faced with an army fielding Steam Tanks, goes into a blistering, raving rant about metal boxes and cowards.
11/09/2018 01:08 PMPosted by Lamunadra

Imma use teldrassil as an example

I hated it when it first released, but the collectors edition novellas made it an easier pill to swallow, sorta.

Like, i still wish it had gone up by accident (from stored azerite) but its late for that.
We can critique what blizz puts out, and with tiny adjustments it can be halfway decent, but i think its unfair to demand a whole rewrite of the story


This is the example you want to go with?

The War of Thorns was written with utter laziness and accompanied by the developers outright lying to players' faces, but a select few novellas that took place out of game and you don't get to experience immersively made it better?

"Wait and see" is what you're advocating for: sitting silently and hoping it's good, then hoping they release a novella to make it better, then lamenting that it wasn't very good.

At the end, you're still left with a bad game, so why keep that to yourself instead of criticizing? Especially when you know criticism is the only thing that works?
there's smut with better writing than WoW
11/09/2018 03:47 PMPosted by Ariiah
What this expac needs is an evil overlord who, when faced with an army fielding Steam Tanks, goes into a blistering, raving rant about metal boxes and cowards.


METALL BAWKSES

https://i.imgur.com/f9tESw7.jpg
The silver lining in this thread is that, as obnoxious as you people can be at times, none of you hold a candle to the raw toxicity being regurgitated in the Classic WoW sub-forum.
I got curious and looked.

Ahahahaha, they're seriously going to Shard WoW Classic? Way to miss the [expletive] point, Blizzard.
The sharding is just to get through the first leveling push and then it will be turned off.

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