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  1. #1

    WoW - not for PvE RPers?

    Has anyone else gotten the impression over the last three expansions that Blizzard is going to great lengths to make us want to punch the faction leaders in the face, not to mention discourage RPing in general?

    I don't know if anyone else agrees, but one of the biggest problems I have had with WoW since WotLK has been is how unlikeable all the characters are. And it’s not just that everyone’s a dick — it just seems that there’s no rhyme or reason or any depth to the actions of the Alliance and Horde, beyond “just following orders”. Something about Warcraft's lore has always rubbed me the wrong way… I recognize many of Blizzard's storywriters as clever and I do like the jokes they often play on the players, but for the most part the game comes off as very cold to me.

    For instance, while I agree with a lot of peoples' criticisms of Tyrande in the Patience scenario, I don’t think it’s necessarily so wrong that they want to change her character, we’ve had several years of her acting a certain way so it’s natural they’d get bored/want to progress her… but, and this goes with my criticism of 90% of the NPCs in the game in general, the problem is that the character just becomes cold. It’s one thing to be unlikeable but to be completely disconnected from anything relateable to the audience probably isn’t a good idea, and definitely isn’t a good “progression” for the character. Same thing with the Darkspear Rebellion on the Alliance side.

    It’s usually a good idea to keep your protagonists likeable. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I feel that every character in WoW should be as saintly and Mary-Sue-ish as a Light Side Jedi Consular from SWTOR, and there’s something to be said about the benefit of having a token evil race/class available, but in the case of a game like this, it helps if you’re on your character's side as they struggle against the many eldritch abominations of their world.

    Maybe it is just me...maybe I do have a tendency to look far too closely at in-game storylines. Maybe I am too sympathetic to my characters, maybe I do take the lore a bit too seriously for something that's just a game. But I have played quite a few other MMOs in my time and in my experience the odds that a given lore will prevent me from enjoying content have been far higher in WoW than in any other MMO I have played, which has only served to further reinforce my opinions.

    If Blizzard truly is making a U-turn with 6.0 once Garrosh is out of the picture, there is a chance that all of this might change. Will they do it? I wish they would, but I can't say I'm hopeful.
    Last edited by JFrombaugh; 2013-07-03 at 11:18 AM.

  2. #2
    I'm not entirely sure whether this should be here. For the most part, critiques of the game's overall story are posted in the General thread, not in the RP forum. There's a little bit in there but you may want to cut those bits out of it and post it in general, as you'll get more replies.

    For the most part, I agree with you. It would be an understatement to call most of the characters in the game's characterization "inconsistent".
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

  3. #3
    If people want to post something RP related in the RP forums I'm not going to stop them. Story is an inherent part of roleplaying and thus belongs here too. If JF wants it moved to General Discussion, I'll do that, though this thread's bound to have more level-headed replies here.

    I wouldn't say that characters are unlikeable... I really like how they did Chen Stormstout and Li Li, as well as Lorewalker Cho. There's some good characters in the latest version of the game.

    Nor would I agree with the statement that a character who is a dick is unlikeable. Taran Zhu is a bit of an ass when we first meet the guy but I liked him from the start; he seemed like a proud sort of pandaren, one who would do anything to safeguard his people and his land.

    Jaina is more dickish now, certainly, and the only parts I don't like about her are when she's a little inconsistent, as my friend Nonfiction pointed out once... overall I am a little saddened that she is now more on the warpath but I still like the character. She hasn't done a complete 180, as a lot of people feared she would, but her progression to that point was well done. I could go on, to be honest.

    Ultimately I find it somewhat ironic that you dislike these changes, which apparently a majority of the players requested. They wanted "more 'War' in Warcraft" and the best way to do that? Make people meaner.

    And last but not least, the only thing restricting RP is the roleplaying community itself.
    Last edited by The Madgod; 2013-07-03 at 01:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    I wouldn't say that characters are unlikeable... I really like how they did Chen Stormstout and Li Li, as well as Lorewalker Cho. There's some good characters in the latest version of the game.

    Nor would I agree with the statement that a character who is a dick is unlikeable. Taran Zhu is a bit of an ass when we first meet the guy but I liked him from the start; he seemed like a proud sort of pandaren, one who would do anything to safeguard his people and his land.
    Yeah, I do actually agree that I find most of the Pandaren characters to be very likeable. I was referring mostly to the Alliance and Horde. Even Taran Zhu, ironically, I didn't mind nearly as much because I felt he had good reason to be distrustful of the Alliance and Horde, and I completely agreed with him having witnessed them firsthand throughout the past 85 levels.

    Li Li I found incredibly annoying though.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    Jaina is more dickish now, certainly, and the only parts I don't like about her are when she's a little inconsistent, as my friend Nonfiction pointed out once... overall I am a little saddened that she is now more on the warpath but I still like the character. She hasn't done a complete 180, as a lot of people feared she would, but her progression to that point was well done. I could go on, to be honest.
    The biggest problems I have with Jaina's development are 1) I for one liked her the way she was, and 2) Blizzard had a chance for her to finally shine as a neutral character much like Thrall did in Cataclysm, but instead they basically went and shot themselves in the foot and flat out said, "The world she lives in has a somewhat cyncial take on things, so strict nice-lady-ism doesn't work - either in the eyes of our story devs or in a literal in-universe sense".

    Going back to how this ties in to RPing, my own Priestess character that I have talked about a lot in the various Light vs Shadow threads I've posted used to see Jaina as a really good example and agreed with how she felt during the Northrend expedition. But now, especially after the purge of Dalaran, she no longer trusts Jaina, even hates her for being too weak-willed to stick to her ideals and feels that Jaina has forsaken the Light & failed in her duties as leader of the Kirin Tor.

    But yeah, like I said I'm not against character development in general as long as it makes sense, but it is my opinion that a character like Jaina shouldn't have to become like Garrosh in order to stand against Garrosh.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    Ultimately I find it somewhat ironic that you dislike these changes, which apparently a majority of the players requested. They wanted "more 'War' in Warcraft" and the best way to do that? Make people meaner.
    Yeah I dunno, I guess I just don't agree with "tough love" in general and have always sympathized more with "peacemakers" rather than "warmongers". Pretty much, I agree with the notion that the Pandaren have been trying to teach us to no avail, that fighting for a just cause makes it okay, while fighting because you're an aggressive bastard (like Garrosh, like 90% of the Alliance and Horde) is the worst possible reason to fight.

    My point is, WoW is pretty much the only MMO I have ever played where I have honestly felt really sorry for my characters. Have you played Rift, Madgod? The difference in general mentality is like night and day, I swear.
    Last edited by JFrombaugh; 2013-07-03 at 08:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JFrombaugh View Post
    The biggest problems I have with Jaina's development are 1) I for one liked her the way she was, and 2) Blizzard had a chance for her to finally shine as a neutral character much like Thrall did in Cataclysm, but instead they basically went and shot themselves in the foot and flat out said, "The world she lives in has a somewhat cyncial take on things, so strict nice-lady-ism doesn't work - either in the eyes of our story devs or in a literal in-universe sense".

    Going back to how this ties in to RPing, my own Priestess character that I have talked about a lot in the various Light vs Shadow threads I've posted used to see Jaina as a really good example and agreed with how she felt during the Northrend expedition. But now, especially after the purge of Dalaran, she no longer trusts Jaina, even hates her for being too weak-willed to stick to her ideals and feels that Jaina has forsaken the Light & failed in her duties as leader of the Kirin Tor.

    But yeah, like I said I'm not against character development in general as long as it makes sense, but it is my opinion that a character like Jaina shouldn't have to become like Garrosh in order to stand against Garrosh.
    I mean honestly, I agree. I wasn't happy that they chose Jaina to become more hardened. I liked her how she was but I have to admit that she was basically the perfect candidate to show just how bad this war was. A kind, pure soul, tainted by violence... and I think that needed to be done.

    Yeah I dunno, I guess I just don't agree with "tough love" in general and have always sympathized more with "peacemakers" rather than "warmongers". Pretty much, I agree with the notion that the Pandaren have been trying to teach us to no avail, that fighting for a just cause makes it okay, while fighting because you're an aggressive bastard (like Garrosh, like 90% of the Alliance and Horde) is the worst possible reason to fight.

    My point is, WoW is pretty much the only MMO I have ever played where I have honestly felt really sorry for my characters. Have you played Rift, Madgod? The difference in general mentality is like night and day, I swear.
    I'm pretty much the same. I never really liked the warmongering Horde, as an example. But again like my opinion on Jaina I recognize that there are times when stuff like this does need to happen. A story isn't a very good one if it is constant; politics naturally remaining the same after years of in-story time; people remaining the same despite the environment which surrounds them and the challenges they face.

    It's something that I think is very important for the longevity of this game.

    And no I have not played Rift. I was considering it but other things caught my eye (lol Chivalry)

  6. #6
    My Priest's view on the situation

    Through all her faith and negotiations with people of her caliber from other races (Pandaren Monks, Night Elf Druids, Tauren Sunwalkers, etc.), it seems very clear to Sakura that the various deities have given the Alliance and the Horde the greatest blessing of any people in the history of Azeroth. They didn't deserve it, they didn't earn it, but they happen to be the two most powerful factions today. And she believes that Divine Magic practicioners such as herself give them all of these blessings so that they can be the peacemakers who protect Azeroth from the evils that would corrupt it, and they are not peacemakers. The Pandaren for instance, see the Alliance and Horde as the purveyors of military might, bullies, and braggarts. They see us as completely fascist and borderline psychopathic - we have no compassion. We think that our cause gives us the right to be as brutal as we please. Our lack of compassion and self control is a cancer on our people and the rest of the world, and the Light's teachings dictate that we should be just the opposite.

    People get mad at her for saying it, but my Priestess Sakura is very unhappy with what her people as well as the Horde are doing. She harbors resentment towards Garrosh and many of the other leaders because she sees them as misguiding and mistreating their followers. Every week, hundreds are being slain in war fighting for an overlord who they likely harbor ill will towards. The vast majority of Sakura's friends and enemies alike do not seem to have the qualities of foresight and good judgement to see that the neverending war between both sides is just doing the Legion's job for them. And her job in the Church preaching the Light's virtues has been a big disappointment to her because her allies have by and large rejected them.

    After witnessing one of her role models Jaina go down the warpath and the Sha corruption the factions have brought to Pandaira, Sakura is now on the brink of losing all faith in her people. And if her allies do not get with the program fairly soon, she is going to have to join some other neutral group & sever all ties with Stormwind permenently. Sakura is really tired of what the higher ups are doing to her, to their followers, and to the planet, etc. She believes that people should care more about the feelings of those they interact with and that we don't realize the important spiritual consequences of what we do when we raise a person in a world consumed by hate.
    Last edited by JFrombaugh; 2013-07-04 at 02:11 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    I wouldn't say that characters are unlikeable... I really like how they did Chen Stormstout and Li Li, as well as Lorewalker Cho. There's some good characters in the latest version of the game.
    I, OTOH, had I been given the opportunity, would have executed Chen in a heartbeat. Cho I wasn't fond of either, I pretty much hate every Pandaren NPC, but none made me want to smash them in the face with an axe as fast as Chen did. Well, not until Taran Zhu busted out that goofy ass threat of his at the Shrine.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Stormcall View Post
    I, OTOH, had I been given the opportunity, would have executed Chen in a heartbeat. Cho I wasn't fond of either, I pretty much hate every Pandaren NPC, but none made me want to smash them in the face with an axe as fast as Chen did. Well, not until Taran Zhu busted out that goofy ass threat of his at the Shrine.
    Any particular reason? Apart from 'they're pandas'?

  9. #9
    Regarding the personality shifts of Garrosh, Christie Golden said this in her interview about Tides of War:
    "I think Garrosh has, at his core, a weak personality. He was very hostile about his father and ashamed of his father, and it took Thrall to say, "Hey, look, you know your dad did some pretty amazing things despite everything." He had to get that validation externally. He also had to prove himself in battle externally. And now he is surrounding himself with some very bad and dangerous advisors, externally.

    Because I think that at the core, he doesn't really know. He wants to do well. He wants to preserve the orcs and their pride and their history. But I think he is actually a rather malleable person whose opinions can change. He doesn't have a strong core.

    I think the main difference -- Jaina has a very strong core. And when adversity and disaster and personal torment rip her down to nothing but that core, that core is still intact. It's hurt, but it's intact. And Garrosh doesn't really have a strong core. So what he believes kind of changes depending on what the situation is and who's talking. And I think that does not a good strong leader make."
    The thing is, we've seen the same thing with Garrosh, the same thing with Tyrande, the same thing with Varian Wrynn, the same thing with the Forsaken, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Oftentimes the moral bearing, and in fact personality, of pretty much every WoW character ever, is whatever the current expansion/patch requires.

    Even Jaina, as we've said, has been going through this - I can't help but wonder if Christie was even aware of Blizzard's plans with her in Mists when she wrote the novel/did this interview. I think what irks me more than anything about Theramore's destruction/Jaina's shift in personality is that Blizzard perhaps would've left her alone if so many people hadn't complained about her being too soft-hearted and Thrall hogging the spotlight and acting Mary Sue-ish.

    But I totally agree with Christie. I think Jekyll and Hyde flipflopping is good for TV shows like The Simpsons or Family Guy, not MMORPGs. I think Blizzard needs to understand that sometimes it's OK to stick to the plans they have for character development, even if not everyone in the community agrees. Because to put it bluntly, no matter what they do, there will ALWAYS be some people complaining. It is simply the nature of the vocal part of any MMO community, sad to say. (Of course, given that I'm complaining myself by posting this thread to begin with, I guess I'm kind of poking fun at myself now too)
    Last edited by JFrombaugh; 2013-07-04 at 04:05 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JFrombaugh View Post
    Thrall hogging the spotlight and acting Mary Sue-ish.
    I'm going to stop you right there.

    You're going to want to relearn what Mary Sue means if you truly think Thrall is one.

    Mary sues don't change, they lack significant flaws relevant to the plot, they don't make significant mistakes, they immediately make anyone who disagrees with them out to be the enemy, they are bland and simple. They are so powerful they can do miraculous things without external support. Thrall is simply none of those things.

    I can appreciate that people might not like that Thrall has had the spotlight for a while, I can understand that they might not have liked his involvement in the Dragon Soul raid especially, but where I draw the line is people calling a character something that they simply are not.
    Last edited by The Madgod; 2013-07-04 at 05:03 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    I'm going to stop you right there.

    You're going to want to relearn what Mary Sue means if you truly think Thrall is one.

    Mary sues don't change, they lack significant flaws relevant to the plot, they immediately make anyone who disagrees with them out to be the enemy, they are bland and simple. They are so powerful they can do miraculous things without external support. Thrall is simply none of those things.

    I can appreciate that people might not like that Thrall has had the spotlight for a while, I can understand that they might not have liked his involvement in the Dragon Soul raid especially, but where I draw the line is people calling a character something that they simply are not.
    ...He's at least two of those things.
    We also have dozens of threads which spill over into whether Thrall's a mary sue. Should we just get it over with and make an official one so we can dump all of this tangential goop into it and probably halve the number of posts in any given lore thread by half?
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by LilSaihah View Post
    ...He's at least two of those things.
    Not really, no. It might look that way at a cursory glance but if you actually look... no. Nor would one of these things automatically make him a Mary Sue. It would make him one of those things. It's like calling Khadgar a druid because he knows magic referring to plants. Okay, he's got that one trait. Does he have a deep connection with nature itself and the emerald dream? No. Therefore, he's not a druid.

    We also have dozens of threads which spill over into whether Thrall's a mary sue. Should we just get it over with and make an official one so we can dump all of this tangential goop into it and probably halve the number of posts in any given lore thread by half?
    Wouldn't really help. The majority of people tend to stick to their beliefs, no matter how wrong they are. People have made threads specifically about this before. They never end well.

    The reason I bring it up here is because in this forum people tend to be more willing to listen.
    Last edited by The Madgod; 2013-07-04 at 05:01 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    Not really, no. It might look that way at a cursory glance but if you actually look... no. Nor would one of these things automatically make him a Mary Sue. It would make him one of those things. It's like calling Khadgar a druid because he knows magic referring to plants. Okay, he's got that one trait. Does he have a deep connection with nature itself and the emerald dream? No. Therefore, he's not a druid.
    So we're out of the pot of 'mary-sue' and into the larger, more general pot of 'shit writing'. People can perceive bullshit on a subconscious level, though the problem is in the articulation, so people fall back on some solid words to throw out; "Mary Sue" is one of them. To apply this directly, there are three distinct possibilities;

    He's not saying Thrall's a Mary Sue, but that he has Mary Sue-ish tendencies
    He's mistakenly saying that Thrall's a Mary Sue, as his perception of a Mary Sue is distinct from the textbook Mary Sue, but these negative aspects of his writing exist regardless
    He's correct; Thrall is a Mary Sue
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

  14. #14
    I wouldn't even say that.

    There's only one moment of truly bad writing of his character that comes to mind as far as Thrall is concerned. It's as much of an outlier as Garrosh in Stonetalon is (which is to say, it's a notable outlier).

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    I wouldn't even say that.

    There's only one moment of truly bad writing of his character that comes to mind as far as Thrall is concerned. It's as much of an outlier as Garrosh in Stonetalon is (which is to say, it's a notable outlier).
    Which one's that?
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

  16. #16
    Tides of War, where he's holding his own against Jaina. Very overpowered moment. Little to justify it apart from "The elements are as strong as the world"... which is kinda cheesy.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    Tides of War, where he's holding his own against Jaina. Very overpowered moment. Little to justify it apart from "The elements are as strong as the world"... which is kinda cheesy.
    Oh. I was guessing it was this one;

    Fandral: "I have stunned all the dragons and lore NPCs, including the guy I've had a grudge against for at least a few years. Time to perform an overly complicated ritual on a guy I've never met before so the audience can explore his hopes and dreams!"
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

  18. #18
    That's not mary sueish, that's a bad plot device.

    ... And a bad plot in general.

  19. #19
    Mechagnome Kuel's Avatar
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    I love the fact that the faction leaders are giving themselves an in-game personalty

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    That's not mary sueish, that's a bad plot device.

    ... And a bad plot in general.
    As per the TvTropes page;

    Mary Sue as Center of Attention
    Similar to the above, this posits that a Mary Sue is someone who gets too much attention from the other characters, especially if their personality and actions don't seem to fully justify such strong reactions. It's important to note that this isn't confined to positive attention; if every single villain the Sue encounters develops an intense, personal, obsessive hatred of them, that qualifies too.
    I'm assuming it's not unfair to use TVTropes as a reference.
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

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