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Old 02-27-2017, 10:02 AM
Almed Almed is offline

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Default Would the Lore be better off if we stuck with Vanilla's style?

Characterwise.

Looking back at Vanilla, the game did a better job of coming off as being about the world itself instead of spinning around the actions of what looks like a gang of dysfunctional superheroes. A key point being that faction leaders stayed in their capitals much more strongly.

Blizzard has long been skilled at crafting worlds for their games to happen in. But their atrempts at character driven drama have been hit and miss at best.

Last edited by Almed; 02-27-2017 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:13 AM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Old 02-27-2017, 10:34 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Characterwise.

Looking back at Vanilla, the game did a better job of coming off as being about the world itself instead of spinning around the actions of what looks like a gang of dysfunctional superheroes. A key point being that faction leaders stayed in their capitals much more strongly.
You mean they didn't do shit
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:57 AM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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I think there's something to be said for classic WoW's more laidback/exploratory tone. And I think they've somewhat over commited to making sure every new expansion is THE BIGGEST, GREAT THREAT YOU'VE EVER SEEN. And that was one of the things that messed up Warlords of Draenor big time.

But I really didn't like that the established characters never did ANYTHING.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:00 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Vanilla is the opposite extreme of what we have now, it's not inherently better, a middleground would be ideal.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:16 AM
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:22 AM
GenyaArikado GenyaArikado is offline

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Old 02-27-2017, 11:22 AM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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I've always felt fairly indifferent to the major WoW characters, so I wouldn't have minded them doing more to maintain Vanilla's focus on the world.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:47 AM
Aneurysm Aneurysm is offline

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In Vanilla the big selling-point of the game was the world itself. It was the levelling process, the exploration, the sometimes infernally lengthy and intricate instance dungeons. The quests in Vanilla, and their respective entwining plotlines, were designed to introduce the world of Azeroth, its monsters, its factions, as well as its already rich history and lore, so that even a player unfamiliar to the franchise could easily immerse themselves.

End-game content, while still existent and important to the game's success, wasn't as big a part of the experience as a whole. There wasn't any straight up big baddy of the week to taunt us along the way to the end-game, that we got to kill at Vanilla's conclusion. The threats we were presented with were plenty and widely spread out across the map. It made the world and the game feel somewhat more vibrant in a way, and more realistic and relatable, than future expansions. The closest they've gotten to capturing that feeling for me was with Mists of Pandaria, that had some great fucking world-building going on.

EDIT: Oh, characterwise? No. I think the presentation and quality of lore concerning characters (assuming it's NPCs) is way better than it used to be. The characters are actually characters now, and not mannequins. I mean shit, one of the only things close to interesting about the faction leaders was Varian being locked up by the naga and the questline learning of his fate.

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Old 02-27-2017, 11:56 AM
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They got some major characters somewhat right; Varian was a mess until the last few expansions, Genn finally got off his furry ass, but most have been beaten black and blue by the narrative hammer. Garrosh went from bad to worse, Maiev went from crazy to "maybe,"Tyrande is still a mess, Malfurion is embarrassing, Kael'thas drank the Legion's kool-aid, Sylvanas is Lich Queen with diplomatic immunity, Vol'jin died as he lived: irrelevant, Thrall was overexposed, and what dwarves?

Gelbin is a weird case where he has tried to do something and is awesome whenever he does appear, but he's accomplished nothing. Gallywix is token evil teammate done right, since he's an ass, but he fights to save the world so it can keep adding to the pile of gold that is his throne, but he's barely there. The new model might change that though.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:01 PM
DerpiusMaximus DerpiusMaximus is offline

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Honestly, I think you need a mix.

You need some Vanilla-like zones where it's just you jumping from place to place, there's no overall arc except helping out, looking around, doing shit. One off quests, small quest chains, but no super big story that has to culminate and lead into a dungeon or some Epic Main Story NPC and Big Bad NPC giving speeches and doing bullshit.

But I think Suramar-style zones are good too where there is a big narrative focus and a main quest chain that cuts through the whole zone that you're put on. But you can also stumble upon moments and NPCs that lead you along long story-based quest chain too. Suramar may have railroaded me along on the story, but I still felt like I was learning and seeing this place, even if the exploration wasn't totally of my own free will.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DerpiusMaximus View Post
Honestly, I think you need a mix.

You need some Vanilla-like zones where it's just you jumping from place to place, there's no overall arc except helping out, looking around, doing shit. One off quests, small quest chains, but no super big story that has to culminate and lead into a dungeon or some Epic Main Story NPC and Big Bad NPC giving speeches and doing bullshit.

But I think Suramar-style zones are good too where there is a big narrative focus and a main quest chain that cuts through the whole zone that you're put on. But you can also stumble upon moments and NPCs that lead you along long story-based quest chain too. Suramar may have railroaded me along on the story, but I still felt like I was learning and seeing this place, even if the exploration wasn't totally of my own free will.
Agreed.
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:28 PM
Ol'Yoggy Ol'Yoggy is offline

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Originally Posted by DerpiusMaximus View Post
Honestly, I think you need a mix.

You need some Vanilla-like zones where it's just you jumping from place to place, there's no overall arc except helping out, looking around, doing shit. One off quests, small quest chains, but no super big story that has to culminate and lead into a dungeon or some Epic Main Story NPC and Big Bad NPC giving speeches and doing bullshit.

But I think Suramar-style zones are good too where there is a big narrative focus and a main quest chain that cuts through the whole zone that you're put on. But you can also stumble upon moments and NPCs that lead you along long story-based quest chain too. Suramar may have railroaded me along on the story, but I still felt like I was learning and seeing this place, even if the exploration wasn't totally of my own free will.
Not a lot happened. In Wrath and Cata on you at least felt like you were building up to something; you knew WHY you were there. In Vanilla it felt like a series of aimless adventures. You had a reason to face all these lore bad guys now
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:37 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Not a lot happened. In Wrath and Cata on you at least felt like you were building up to something; you knew WHY you were there. In Vanilla it felt like a series of aimless adventures. You had a reason to face all these lore bad guys now
See, I liked the aimlessness. Being able to go around, making up your story as you went.

Everything's more epic now. But even though I'm center stage, I feel like I'm a prop in someone else's story.
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:07 PM
GenyaArikado GenyaArikado is offline

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Old 02-27-2017, 07:23 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Because you are and you should have never been anything else.
Ah, but my way was so much more fun!
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:38 PM
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If there was a greater sense of the player-character as a actual character instead of just being your avatar in the game world, I think that having less focus on NPCs would make more sense. Old Republic did this by having the class narratives as part of the game from the very start, but given that Old Republic is KOTOR with an MMO pinned to the underside, this isn't particularly surprising.

Because WoW has settled into the notion that the player-character IS just an avatar, though, then I think there's essentially a requirement that they tell a story about the NPCs that the PC is an accessory to, and that's where we've been at in MoP, WoD, and Legion. It's as close as they can get to WC3's storytelling, which was centered around your hero units, without actually taking away the player avatar that all the players are attached to.

Not gonna lie, SC2 carried forth the best parts of WC3's storytelling style (without commenting at all on the story's quality, the STYLE of the delivery was well-done) in a manner that really highlights how WoW can't do the same thing. Consequently, I think that means that what we've seen post-Cata for storytelling in WoW is probably going to be the norm, like it or not.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:28 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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I've never felt they did a good job at improving the narrative focus.

Goblin and worgen starting zones feel awful because you're not the only one running for trade prince, you're not the only buddy of the royal family, etc...

Specifics like that kill the game for me in an MMO.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:30 PM
Ol'Yoggy Ol'Yoggy is offline

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Originally Posted by MisterCrow View Post
If there was a greater sense of the player-character as a actual character instead of just being your avatar in the game world, I think that having less focus on NPCs would make more sense. Old Republic did this by having the class narratives as part of the game from the very start, but given that Old Republic is KOTOR with an MMO pinned to the underside, this isn't particularly surprising.

Because WoW has settled into the notion that the player-character IS just an avatar, though, then I think there's essentially a requirement that they tell a story about the NPCs that the PC is an accessory to, and that's where we've been at in MoP, WoD, and Legion. It's as close as they can get to WC3's storytelling, which was centered around your hero units, without actually taking away the player avatar that all the players are attached to.

Not gonna lie, SC2 carried forth the best parts of WC3's storytelling style (without commenting at all on the story's quality, the STYLE of the delivery was well-done) in a manner that really highlights how WoW can't do the same thing. Consequently, I think that means that what we've seen post-Cata for storytelling in WoW is probably going to be the norm, like it or not.
I rather like Starcraft 2. It's a flawed gem.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:40 AM
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Not gonna lie, SC2 carried forth the best parts of WC3's storytelling style (without commenting at all on the story's quality, the STYLE of the delivery was well-done) in a manner that really highlights how WoW can't do the same thing. Consequently, I think that means that what we've seen post-Cata for storytelling in WoW is probably going to be the norm, like it or not.
The worldbuilding in SC2 was shit though. They didn't go beyond the three main races at all. At the end of the day, nothing has really changed.

W3 introduced lot of new races, playable and not, with lot of different storylines. SC2 is the same thing again and again.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:06 AM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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The worldbuilding in SC2 was shit though. They didn't go beyond the three main races at all. At the end of the day, nothing has really changed.

W3 introduced lot of new races, playable and not, with lot of different storylines. SC2 is the same thing again and again.
It attempted to expand the world in other ways (I don't know if there's room for new races in the StarCraft universe, it's a pretty tightly knit locale) but I wasn't a huge fan of the new developments myself -- I prefer WC3 for other reasons. WC3 integrates it's narrative with it's gameplay; there's no real story developments that aren't also part of the game world at large. You feel like you are exploring an area or a region and uncovering new things as you go.

SC2 feels more like arcade-style missions propped up in between story sequence. I find it's a less engrossing feeling personally.

If every quest in WoW Classic had been like the Missing Diplomat, or if at least there had been MORE quests like the Missing Diplomat, I think it would have been a lot stronger.

Certain periods of WoW have been better than others as well. Mists of Pandaria had a really nice balance between laidback world building and intense narrative-driven story development (and it's some of the best story development and narrative work that WoW's ever had). The old world redo in Cataclysm I maintain was overall really good as well.

Honestly I'd prefer more variety.
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:19 PM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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It attempted to expand the world in other ways (I don't know if there's room for new races in the StarCraft universe, it's a pretty tightly knit locale) but I wasn't a huge fan of the new developments myself -- I prefer WC3 for other reasons. WC3 integrates it's narrative with it's gameplay; there's no real story developments that aren't also part of the game world at large. You feel like you are exploring an area or a region and uncovering new things as you go.

SC2 feels more like arcade-style missions propped up in between story sequence. I find it's a less engrossing feeling personally.
When you go for "hybrid of classic races" cliché, it's not a very good sign of health. That entire plot was a huge mess.

Still, even if they didn't want to make new races, they could have made different factions, distinct enough to make them matter. Terran could have multiple different subfactions with unique stuff each. Miners, Military, Bandits, Merchants, whatever. Same for the protoss and the zerg.

New races also mean new savage creatures. If I land my protoss army in a planet, I expect to find new wild creatures to fight against. Not the same stupid critters, or enemies of the same 3 factions again and again. There were some monsters in SC2, but their numbers were ridiculous, specially when compared with those of W3, which are just huge.

The problem too is that the 3 main factions cover way too many things, and eat up space for other potential races.

Just look at Warhammer 40k, and the sheer amount of things it has. Even Star Wars, with all the crappy humanoid variants, has more variety than StarCraft.

I think the franchise is pretty much dead, to be honest. The only thing that made it special was eSports, and those are dead too, so it's not worth keeping it alive in any way. A potential SC3 comeback would need to change the universe so much and so fast it wouldn't make any sense to keep the SC label on it. They would need to address the shitty SC2 plot as well, with the Xel'Naga bullshit that went literally nowhere.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:09 PM
Trickster Trickster is offline

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I liked Classic's way of telling the story more. I dunno, it just felt more adventure-y I suppose. I hate only having big major storylines and not just casual exploration and minor quests. I mean, ideally we'd get a mix of both. Also, too much phasing just kills the whole thing. Makes some parts of the zones empty as the characters follow you.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:59 AM
GenyaArikado GenyaArikado is offline

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The hybrid cliche was there since SC1 tho .-.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:28 AM
Apep Apep is offline

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The hybrid cliche was there since SC1 tho .-.
It was there, but it wasn't overbearing. The whole plot was contained in a handful of bonus missions, not even tied to the main campaign. I think. It's been a while.

They hybrid plot was there, but it wasn't important. The Queen of Blades was what mattered, the U.E.D. was what mattered. These conflicts are relatable, more easily so than the Xel'naga plot of SC2, and they had actual consequences. In Brood War, the U.E.D. tried to screw with the Korprulu sector, and were pretty damn successful since the Protoss were gutted and the Terrans had their teeth kicked in. Their intervention set the stage for Kerrigan's hostile takeover, which was quite epic, even if she was a bitch that killed Fenix for jollies.

The plot had consequences. Kerrigan was in charge, the Dominion was shaky and Mengsk scared shitless, and the Protoss were ground into the dirt. It ended with the Starcraft universe being a very different place from where it began with the Protoss a dominant force, the Zerg an errant infection on the fringes of space, and Terrans mostly going about their business, but still recognizable as Starcraft.

SC2 jumped from story to story, stomped on whatever mysteries there were, and ended exactly as it began. Things changed, but there weren't any real consequences of those changes.
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