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  #276  
Old 10-24-2019, 03:47 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Originally Posted by Kyalin V. Raintree View Post
I have recently encountered an argument that holds the following:

Not a single person wanted Teldrassil. It is therefore ridiculous to claim that even a subset of Horde players for wanted, received, or basked in the War of the Thorns.
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  #277  
Old 10-24-2019, 08:01 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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I didn't include you on the list, Krainz, because from the very beginning you've struck me as someone who has wanted to see more destructive conflict in general, as opposed to simply advocating that one side should curbstomp the other.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:06 PM
Insane Guy of Doom Insane Guy of Doom is offline

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Some night elf stuff brought up throughout Blizzcon:

-All the night elves who died at Teldrassil were sent to the Maw, the Warcraft equivalent of the deepest layer of hell, to be tortured for eternity. This was Sylvanas' plan all along as every soul sent to the Maw makes her more powerful (they gave this plus the additional deaths caused by the ensuing fourth war as the explanation for why she could defeat Bolvar so easily). The death toll for Teldrassil + the Fourth War was in the "millions" (though it may have included Legion, its not really clear). For comparison, the death toll from Wrath of the Lich King was given as being in the tens of thousands, maybe 100,000 at the most. They just can't catch a break.

-In better news, the Alliance canonically won the Darkshore warfront. This won't be reflected in-game however, as they would have to remove the Warfront content to do so.

-Tyrande is a main character in Shadowlands: “We’re gonna learn more about Tyrande’s story. Obviously, she is still very upset about what happened to her people. That’s going to lead her to Ardenweald. She’s gonna get some answers to some questions, and there’s gonna be some stuff coming with her that’s too spoiler-y to talk about but there’s more Tyrande…. All I can say is she has a pretty big story moment in Ardenweald. Very big role also.”

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  #279  
Old 11-04-2019, 07:09 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insane Guy of Doom View Post
Some night elf stuff brought up throughout Blizzcon:

-All the night elves who died at Teldrassil were sent to the Maw, the Warcraft equivalent of the deepest layer of hell, to be tortured for eternity. This was Sylvanas' plan all along as every soul sent to the Maw makes her more powerful (they gave this plus the additional deaths caused by the ensuing fourth war as the explanation for why she could defeat Bolvar so easily). The death toll for Teldrassil + the Fourth War was in the "millions" (though it may have included Legion, its not really clear). For comparison, the death toll from Wrath of the Lich King was given as being in the tens of thousands, maybe 100,000 at the most. They just can't catch a break.

-In better news, the Alliance canonically won the Darkshore warfront. This won't be reflected in-game however, as they would have to remove the Warfront content to do so.

-Tyrande is a main character in Shadowlands: “We’re gonna learn more about Tyrande’s story. Obviously, she is still very upset about what happened to her people. That’s going to lead her to Ardenweald. She’s gonna get some answers to some questions, and there’s gonna be some stuff coming with her that’s too spoiler-y to talk about but there’s more Tyrande…. All I can say is she has a pretty big story moment in Ardenweald. Very big role also.”
Well, I guess it's time for the hot take.

Thank you for mentioning that, and I'd like to thank Krainz as well for mentioning some of the recent developments over Discord. I'd been sort of following Blizzcon, and I've been having to go back and forth over some of the developments mentioned above. I don't think I'm quite done arguing with myself about them, but here's where I am at the moment.

----------------

"It Matters"

This is one of the few things that Blizzard got right when they were marketing Battle for Azeroth. The Horde and the Alliance matter, competitive rivalries matter. Anyone with even a passing interest in any activity that involves two groups of people gathering under different identities knows this - and Blizzard knew this. I was never on board with the people who just thought the faction war was bad as a concept. I would have loved the chance to participate in one - but I like a race that the devs don't, so my option for participation is to lose horrifically and not have anything I can do about it, never be respected as a threat on the basis of the race I want to play, and know that nothing I would want to work for will amount to anything because while Blizzard does have the resources for a full court press designed to showcase the depths and tragedy of the Night Elves' failure to defend Teldrassil, those resources don't exist to rehabilitate the player race to the point where they deserve to be regarded as a serious option anymore - and they never will.

Darkshore was a victory? That's nice but it didn't feel that way at the time. Ashenvale is still a giant question mark (one that's already been used to claim that the Horde kept the territory), and I still never saw that victory make it onscreen. Even the cinematic that I had other, more optimistic Night Elf fans trying to point me to in order to resolve that we 'won' was cut. So, we're still left with a nice pile of ashes, really, one that Blizzcon attendees can cheer about for eight uninterrupted seconds in celebration of the Horde's total defeat and humiliation of the Night Elves as I stand in the corner and whimper: "b-but, Danuser said we won in this one place, guys... s-see? Here's the timestamp".

As I said to Krainz last night, Blizzard doesn't get to just declare the faction war over and move on. They've rendered a lot of damage to peoples' ability to feel good about playing what they want to play. It's not limited to me, it's not limited to Night Elves, and it's not all about humiliation - but it's there and it needs to be fixed. For Night Elf fans, it's not acceptable to once again deny catharsis over the big hit we were forced to endure because Blizzard wants to shift the focus again.

"Oh, but they said that Tyrande is getting a big story in Shadowlands!"

I'll believe that this is going to exist and that it's going to be satisfying when I see it. When Cataclysm dropped, I was 20. I'll be turning 30 next year and I still haven't seen any sort of redemption for that - but I did see a lot of hopeful speculation, promises, and hints that always turned out to be either nothing, or something that made the situation worse. I don't feel like waiting until I'm collecting Social Security benefits to expect some level of redress, and the time I have spent waiting have certainly soured me on any excitement I'd otherwise get in hearing Blizzard's statements.

I probably will not be following Shadowlands to the extent that I followed BfA. The moment has passed, there will be no remediation for this, it appears. I expect that these posts will get less frequent, and I will draw back my participation in any WoW related discord channels over time. I take a certain enjoyment from the research and argumentation that I put into things like this, but the source material isn't worth my time.
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  #280  
Old 11-04-2019, 08:52 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Wow, well, you know, the Night Elves have taken some shots on the chin, for sure. In the Battle for Azeroth and Tyrande is one of the most beloved characters and in all of Warcraft canon, and, you know, I don't want to speak to datamined broadcasts and things like that, but we will see Tyrande have some conversations with some of our other characters as we kind of wrap up the Battle for Azeroth. And you know it's that's a storyline that we definitely want to pay off and we have some interesting things in the coming expansion that I don't want to spoil but I hope that Night Elf players get to see a new side of her and their culture in a way.
Source: https://pastebin.com/78TfsqHd
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  #281  
Old 11-04-2019, 10:18 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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@Krainz

As noted above:

Quote:
I'll believe that this is going to exist and that it's going to be satisfying when I see it.
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  #282  
Old 11-04-2019, 10:48 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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I wasn't really sure whether compressing the Night Elves all under Tyrande's portrayal was a good thing or not for their fans.
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  #283  
Old 11-04-2019, 01:39 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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I wasn't really sure whether compressing the Night Elves all under Tyrande's portrayal was a good thing or not for their fans.
I don't think it was, but that's not the argument I'm trying to convey. My point here is that I will believe in something that Blizzard said onstage when I see evidence that it will be in the game.
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  #284  
Old 11-07-2019, 07:20 PM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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https://www.wowhead.com/news=296142/...ancial-results
  • World of Warcraft Classic drove the biggest quarterly increase to subscription plans in franchise history, in both the West and East.
  • Reach in October remained well above pre-Classic levels, with deep engagement across Classic and Modern World of Warcraft.
  • Lower Y/Y against a comparable that included BFA

Apparently BFA's launch was indeed huge.
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  #285  
Old 11-11-2019, 08:49 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Whenever they talk about 'a new side to their culture' I wince.

Whatever they have planned is going to be a mess.
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  #286  
Old 11-13-2019, 10:27 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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So, I've looked at the third quarter 10Q. Here are my thoughts:

3Q 10Q: https://www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives...02019x10xq.htm
2Q 10Q: https://www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives...02019x10xq.htm

Note 13 provides us with some of the most useful information for our purposes in the 10-Q. Not only does it break out results by segment, thereby isolating Blizzard, it also shows us what net income looks like before and after changes in deferred revenue. (See my prior conversations on deferred revenue for that.)

What I've done below is compare the third quarter with the second quarter to try and pick out any significant changes. This data consists only of Blizzard-specific data, and doesn't include Activision or King.:

By Distribution Channel by Kyalin Raintree, on Flickr
By Region by Kyalin Raintree, on Flickr
By Platform by Kyalin Raintree, on Flickr

I think the platform data is the most interesting, because whereas there are only very slight changes in most of the data, we see that PC segment net revenues are a little under 10% higher than they were last quarter, while console and mobile (read: Where Overwatch and Hearthstone live) are down. Console net revenues are down pretty heavily in fact (although this is partially cushioned by 'other', which includes distribution and esports). Given all of this, while I hesitate to use platform data as a proxy for whether we're talking about World of Warcraft or not, it's a pretty good indicator here of just what impact Classic is having.

Another notable, but easy-to-miss fluctuation is the positive change in retail channels over the quarter, which means that people are going to the store and picking boxes up from the shelf as opposed to a previously unsubscribed player reupping their subscription so that they can play classic. Warcraft is of course not the only product available for boxed sales, and there still are people who buy game time from physical packs and cards, but on balance, this is probably positive news for WoW.

I wanted to lead with that because I've been focusing a lot on MAUs recently. As a reminder, as of March 31, 2018, Blizzard had 38 million of them (this being within the BfA preorder season). As of June and September 30, 2018, this figure was 37. Then in the fourth quarter, primarily due to WoW, the figure dropped to 35. In the first quarter of 2019, it dipped again to 32 - this time due to Hearthstone and Overwatch, and held steady at 32 in the second quarter.

I want to again remind people that these narrative descriptions are concerned with material movements, and we see an example of what it means when one moves up and the other one moves down. This quarter, MAUs increased to 33 million, as noted in the 10Q on page 43:

"The slight increase in Blizzard’s average MAUs is due to an increase in average MAUs for World of Warcraft, largely offset by lower average MAUs for Hearthstone."

This would seem to support the idea that yes, Classic spurred the largest increase in subscriber counts in franchise history. That being said, I do want to point out to the continued existence of deferred revenue as an item that needs to be subtracted FROM net revenues per GAAP in order to get to segment net revenues. That means that money is still being amortized out of deferred revenues, net, rather than being added to it - which is a bit of a grey lining to this particular white cloud.
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  #287  
Old 12-06-2019, 08:16 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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(This post is also intended to be mirrored - just to give a note on context)

I believe I mentioned some time ago that despite being a huge Judas Priest fan, I've had some difficulty in listing to one of their most recent popular singles, "Never the Heroes". I decided, after months of skipping it over, letting it collect dust in my phone's music library, that I would listen to it again today - and I find myself feeling the way I did the last time I listened to it.

So I've been following this thread:

https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/wo...e-order/365758

Seems simple enough - if you don't like the product, don't buy it - and as a measure of consumer advocacy and just because it's the right thing to do: if you think someone is going to be miserable with the product, tell them that they ought to reconsider. I've done this and I've made no secret of it, but the thread has been choked up with a spate of whataboutism and more recently, apologism. The former I expect. It is in the interest of many Horde fans to stand in the way of any kind of catharsis for Night Elf fans because that catharsis necessarily requires an onscreen loss on their part - and so it makes sense that they would throw up their problems as a shield to fixing the Night Elf ones.

To them I say this: It is not the case that in order to fix the Night Elf problem that you have to demolish the Horde. You don't have to return to Vanilla's hellish Hordeside questing either - and you know that. Stop throwing up spuriousness in an attempt to stop one of this narrative's many problems from being fixed. Show us sympathy for our issues, and you will see it returned.

That leaves us with the apologists - and I'd like to turn your attention to post 407. I respect Amadis as a poster, and he's constructed a very thorough argument, but, that's what's attracting my attention here, because it's a showcase of a line of thinking that I've been railing about for years. For this, I am going to point back to a few pieces of former work to reduce the workload on my part.

First - please refer to the framework in this thread: I use it as a yardstick to measure satisfaction.[1]

That said, there's an element that I'm missing: and it's that the player has to actually experience things for them to matter. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and writers are asked to show and not tell, it's bonkers to me that we are asked to accept deplorable presentation and framing, engineered to make the Night Elves look like weakened victims most of the time, because we as players can, if we put in substantially more effort than most people are willing to do in order to learn our lore, find mitigating factors in books, or scrape victories out of tweets, snippets of interview lines, mission table descriptions that are frequently doubted to actually be canon, or straight up headcanon. We see a particularly egregious example of this in Amadis's hindsight application of "umbral chains", which is a) speculative, and b) ignorant of the presentation and the impressions that this content was creating at the time, and the first impression that it left. I understand that points like these are traditionally responded to with yet more references to esoteric lore snippets held together with a web of red yarn and push-pins - but when it comes to how the race is ultimately viewed by most people - that doesn't matter. As Lindsay Ellis put it at the end of her examination of a similar incarnation of a conflict between the text of a work and its framing: "Framing and Aesthetics supersede the rest of the text. Always. Always. Always." [2]

Which leads me nicely to this:

"Posting over and over that you don’t believe the Night Elves have never won anything when they have doesn’t actually contribute to anything."

The Cataclysm revamp was reviled by many if not most Night Elf fans because it felt like defeat after defeat. From a canon perspective it was understood to be a win (although popular misconception about that exists to this day - and triumphal Horde fans will never let Night Elf fans forget it), but these felt like losses - and they were locked in forever.

Mount Hyjal and the Molten Front were neutral faction wins, and yes, that matters. Having the good parts of the faction snipped away from the playable faction in a game built around its faction rivalry is a means of losing those things, and we had no better of a metaphorical representation of this as Blizzard's decision to put Malfurion in Darnassus, but to not write in boss raid mechanics when Horde players decided that they wanted to kill his wife. No, it's not canon, but yes, that sort of thing matters - as does the problem of the Night Elves only being shown as being able to succeed against enemies who AREN'T the Horde, but being useful only as that faction's victims when the enemy IS the Horde.

Stoneplow is fine, but minor.

Val'sharah is its own issue, which I have addressed here. [3] I will however stop to put my finger on something more specific: we have a problem with considering situations that consist of "we lost less than we could have" as victories instead of mitigated defeats. I do not share this problem. A mitigated defeat is still a defeat.

… which dovetails us nicely into Darkshore, which had the potential to be the redemptive moment that we needed. It came close - it brought Malfurion back. I'm happy to have "Terror of Darkshore", and I will certainly take the tack on "oh, by the way, you won" clarification from the last Blizzcon. But the scenario remains deeply flawed. No one asked for Dark Wardens. Tyrande's performance against Nathanos was atrocious for the buildup it got, and as more adept commentators than I have pointed out, the quests still make the Night Elves look weak. [4]

In addition to being badly marred by the issues discussed previously, Darkshore and subsequent content is silent on Ashenvale, or other territories that we should see Night Elves fighting for - which smacks of another incidence of the victory being in actuality a mitigated defeat. This could have been countered by the inclusion of something that looks like an unambiguous victory - on the level that the War of the Thorns depicted an unambiguous victory. But, whereas Blizzard can find the resources to show the Horde as powerful and the Night Elves as, to paraphrase the words of Wreave, like the front bumper of the Alliance's car (whose purpose is to take most of the damage so that the rest of it turns out fine), it seems they couldn't find the resources to give the Night Elves a victory of a similar caliber. Certainly as well, while it's just fine to make Night Elf fans suffer, it's inconceivable to have Horde fans go through a similar defeat - even if they don't experience it - even if it's counterbalanced by an equal Reconquista in Lordaeron.

What then, of Shadowlands?

This leaves us with the very last bit of apologism, and it's one that those of us who, like me, have been following the sad state of the Night Elves since before 2010, are familiar with:

"Wait and see" - Or, contemporarily: "Ardenweald will fix it"

I remember being told this about the Cata revamp - when optimism that this newfound phasing technology would show the Night Elves progress in the war. That didn't happen.

I remember being told this before 5.1, when Kosak said there would be "badass Night Elves". The opposite was given to me.

I remember being told this before the Siege of Orgrimmar. We got a robot cat, not an Ashenvale reconquest.

I remember being told this before we knew more about the War of the Thorns. It turned out to be worse than I predicted.

I remember being told this before BfA wound through what it calls a player experience. I think Drahliana and Katiera are the only ones who are satisfied with what happened instead.

Oh, and Horde players were told this too about BfA - ask them how "wait and see" goes with this company. As for me, as I said in a previous post, in 2010 I was 20 years old and in college. Next year I'll be turning 30, and I don't feel like waiting until I can cash social security checks before getting something for the money that Blizzard wants me to spend. Therefore I won't - and this is why I'm here recommending that other Night Elf fans refrain from spending that money as well.

Blizzard is a company that has repeatedly demonstrated that it has no interest in giving Night Elf fans the basic experience that people generally look for in video games - feelings of competence, relatedness, and autonomy. It is perfectly reasonable for Night Elf fans to pick up their ball and go home, and vow not to return to the franchise until Blizzard makes real investments into actually making this game one that we can feel good about. If Blizzard wants to change that, then they're going to have to win us back as customers - as we should expect from any profit-seeking company.

While the same goes for the Horde, I can hear the keyboards clattering at this point. "At least you aren't the villain", they will still say, and while I'd argue that with the state of Tyrande that's not necessarily certain, it's worthwhile to point back to Rigby's framework once again. It's not just the MHP Alliance that wants to be the hero, we all want to be the hero in our own way, and I would hope, as perverse as it may sound, that your experience offers you a base of understanding for how we feel. The hollow pain of the whole thing is actually quite beautifully expressed in the song I mentioned earlier. Because as much as you will say that we were the good guys of this story and we should feel good about that, all I hear is:

"Never the heroes
We were made to fight
Never the heroes
We were just sacrificed"

[1] https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/sho...d.php?t=221401

[2]

[3] Goalposts: https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/sho...5&postcount=47
Review: https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/sho...7&postcount=51 (Due to Tinypic's demise, my analysis went with it. The score ended up being in the low 50s for the expansion overall)

[4] https://warcraft.blizzplanet.com/blo...are-really-bad (I appreciate that there were changes between the posting of this and the live warfront, including the implementation of one of the noted suggestions, but most of the issues remain.)

Edit: Edited to correct several grammatical errors.
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  #288  
Old 12-07-2019, 11:41 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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I see people who identify themselves with the honorable horde side feeling pretty happy and satisfied with BFA.
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  #289  
Old 12-08-2019, 09:13 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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I see people who identify themselves with the honorable horde side feeling pretty happy and satisfied with BFA.
Really? Because I tend to see the opposite ... a lot.
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  #290  
Old 12-08-2019, 07:29 PM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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The forums have been historically known as a place for dissatisfied people.
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  #291  
Old 12-09-2019, 06:07 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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The forums have been historically known as a place for dissatisfied people.
... and you believe it's been materially different elsewhere?
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:08 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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I see people who identify themselves with the honorable horde side feeling pretty happy and satisfied with BFA.
... Where?
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  #293  
Old 12-10-2019, 08:14 PM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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... and you believe it's been materially different elsewhere?
I've been elsewhere where it is materially different.
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