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Old 04-20-2018, 08:26 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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Lumber (War3) Expectations and Evaluation Criteria - Teldrassil

I had intended to make this post yesterday, but it was caught up in posting. As information is already coming in on Teldrassil, I will need to make this brief and amend it somewhat for the information I am already aware of.


My post yesterday was going to include a conversation on what constitutes "constructive death", and I'm happy that it appears as though I no longer have to include it. Based on the information we have so far, the Night Elven civilian population is evacuated to Azuremyst Isle, not to the Eastern Kingdoms. Additionally, substantial portions of the Night Elven army and fleet were away for the Teldrassil scenario.

Based on text from the mission tables, it would appear as though these missions take place before the burning of Teldrassil, meaning that we don't yet know how zones will be distributed, or how the effort will end.

General Expectations - Lordaeron is a Benchmark

I've said that I would be using the battle for Lordaeron as a benchmark for Alliance performance during the Teldrassil events. The forsaken are shown as competent, confident, and in control of the situation to the extent that I would find reasonable given that they still lose the city. The Alliance takes substantial losses and doesn't gain much. (By the way, no, I don't regard the use of blight as "cheating". It's an area denial weapon and it's been very much entrenched in their repertoire.) I fully expect the Night Elves to come up with a similar showing.

I also expect that the Night Elves will lose a major, named character to this in the same way that the Horde loses Saurfang. My prediction is that this will be Malfurion, who will die during the scenario. Saurfang's capture, however, was preceded by scenes that depict him as more than competent. Him being captured takes nothing away from him as a character or the impression that he's extremely dangerous. Again, I expect Malfurion's death to be handled with similar care.

Evaluation Matrix

This was again more robust in the former post. I must apologize for recycling prior rubrics, I do so in the interest of time. Pieces of content will be reviewed with the matrix set down below, and once I feel that all of the content is in and reviewed, I will aggregate the scores into a weighted average.

Objectives: Rigby's Psychological Needs

Quoting from "Night Elves and the Player Experience":

Scott Rigby is a Ph.D. in clinical and social psychology and has summarized three human psychological needs that video games, ideally, address. They are as follows: [1]

- Competence (We control the situation)
- Autonomy (We control our own actions)
- Relatedness (We feel like we matter to others)

This should be obvious to anyone who has ever played a video game. So we’ll start here, noting the through-line of player choice.

Next let’s add the Mimesis effect, or the tendency of a role-playing game player to role-play in a manner consistent with their role, whether that role is chosen or assigned (this effect is stronger if chosen) [2]. In World of Warcraft, roles come from the character selection screen. The Mimesis effect suggests that regardless of the reasons for choosing that role, the player will mold their behavior to it. Linking that concept to Rigby’s framework: this chosen role becomes important to a player’s enjoyment of the game.

Finally, motivations to play an online game are, among other factors, tied to a game’s story [3]. It follows that the story is a core element of game quality. It is not reasonable therefore, to offer as a defense to a poor story, the suggestion to disengage from it and focus on mechanics. The poor story still hurts the quality of the experience. As far as it relates to the story for an individual race: the race in part defines the role. That role therefore will be partially informed by the race’s history and current lore.

We now have a useful set of rules to evaluate effects on the player experience. The player’s needs are filled when they can feel competent, autonomous, and meaningful in the role of their choosing, and that story has a material impact on the fulfillment of those needs.
(I'm aware that the TeachThought link at the time of posting is having issues with its host. If that persists, Rigby didn't have his work in just one place)

Scoring: Legion Review Scoring Framework

Because I evaluate Night Elven content almost in a vacuum, the criteria is obviously going to be put through that lens. This section is quoted from another thread as well.

Irredeemable (0/100 points) – The experience portrays the Night Elves in the worst possible light and appears as though it was driven by malice. (Example: The Night Elves suddenly losing all of their territory in Kalimdor because the writers said so.)

Kosak Level (20/100 points) – The experience is humiliating, often driven by inconsistencies with prior lore, and it presents the Night Elves as being weak, unsympathetic, illogical, annoying, or useless. (Example: Tyrande’s presentation in A Little Patience)

Depressing (40/100 points) – The experience isn’t malicious, but it is depressing, either because something that defined the race or that they were competent with is being arbitrarily destroyed or taken away, or because the plot focuses on the theme of loss. (Example: Night Elf Questing in Cataclysm writ large)

Passable (60/100 points) – The experience treads water. Nothing good nor bad is done with the Night Elves, but they aren’t portrayed in a negative light or shown as being incompetent. Nothing in particular stands out, either, however. (Example: Night Elf Questing, pre-Cataclysm, Krasarang forest)

Redeeming (80/100 points) – The experience is favorable to the Night Elves. The characters are portrayed as reasonably competent. The plot appears to care about portraying them favorably. (Example: Warcraft III)

Exceptional (100/100 points) – The experience is drop dead amazing. It made me feel proud to be a Night Elf fan. (Example: A patch of content where Night Elves have victories against Horde-aligned Orcs, advertised to the general public with a sizzle reel set to the chorus of Judas Priest’s The Sentinel)
Anticipated Weights

I obviously don't know how content will be distributed, so I reserve the right to change these weights.

- Mission Table Content (5-10%)

- In-Game Missions/Quests (15-25%)

- Cinematics/Acted Scenes (15-25%)

- Environments (15-25%)

- Aftermath and Foreshadowing (15-25%)


Yes, I do believe in setting those.

I intend to be stingy with scores of "Extraordinary" and "Irredeemable", but I also think that passable is an average score. Hence, for me to consider this content successful, using Lordaeron as a benchmark, a threshold of 65 will be used to gauge the content's success or failure.

So there you go, let the games begin.

Last edited by Kyalin V. Raintree; 04-20-2018 at 08:59 AM..
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