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.