Dark like in Vanilla.
I think WoW needs some of all 3 options in the poll. As others here have said variety is important, too much of any one option for too long simply gets dull. The problem with MoP's "cute, soft" themes isn't the theme itself, it's that there is nothing to contrast it to in Pandaria. Both the Sha and the Alliance/Horde war could have been great means of connecting the two but for some reason Blizzard never did it.
As others have said - it is the mix that does it. Every x-pac has a mix...not least to appeal to a broad audience (and because we all, even the ones who want a dark theme, cannot stand to play for 2 years through darkness, frustration and creepy places)
Last edited by det; 2013-09-10 at 10:42 AM.
By "dark" I mean something new, for example, taking whole expansion underground to hell, thus forcing using ground mounts only. Kind of old-school Diablo world.
Last edited by art-75; 2013-09-10 at 11:13 AM.
Ofcourse Vanilla was dark. Nothing still compares to EPL in terms of atmosphere. It's the overall view that makes the game feel dark, mystic and dangerous which Vanilla had it spot on. EPL, Duskwood, Blackrock Mountain, nights were actual nights, elite mobs all over the place, no flying mounts. All of this builds up the dangerous atmosphere, thus making the game appeal dark and gritty.
Give us the War of the Ancient except ... The titans have fallen, the Aspects are all brutal dark and willing to destroy what ever ***** with their new masters ... the old gods .... and guess what, fuck that, we just go a head and fight, we go into the dark forest and fight those mad things that live inside of the Dark forests .... Give us something like that. Have us need to face chaos and insanity and say "This isn't real" and the deeper we go, the more insane we go
I prefer a diverse and rich theme over dwelling too long in one emotional place. Dark forever makes dark boring, soft forever makes soft boring.
If I have to pick, and wow becomes thematically flat, then I guess dark so the game fades away on a bitter note with all the major lore characters crippled and impoverished, Stormwind's orphanage converted into a bath house and the fifth old god as the leader of the horde.
What we need isn't a constant 'dark' or constant 'happy' theme. What we need is a mixture; good stories have highs and lows, the calm before the storm, parts where the characters are kicking back and relaxing and parts where shit is getting real.
It's all important, so a poll like this is ultimately flawed. You don't want only 'soft', or only 'dark' (to use the OP's terminology, which is kind of silly in itself, but I digress), or the story gets boring. That's what happened with Cataclysm: it was just the latest in a long line of 'HOLY SHIT THE WORLD IS ENDING', so ultimately it just felt boring.
MoP has done a fantastic job of refreshing the story of WoW, while still keeping the stakes relatively high. In 5.0, we had the rest. Our characters explored a beautiful new world, learned about the culture of the Pandaren and enjoyed the 'holiday', so to speak. In 5.1, tensions were rising, the war was brought to Pandaria, but ultimately it's just minor skirmishes. 5.2 ramped it up again, with the Thunder King tying up the loose ends of Pandaria so we can focus on the war between Horde and Alliance. 5.3 opened us up to full-scale war, and 5.4 is the epic final confrontation.
It's been brilliant, because of the contrasts. Because we had that 'holiday' at the start of the expansion, it means this final fight is all the more interesting and tense. We know what we're fighting for now. We know what is at stake. We'll do everything we can to protect it from Garrosh.
I'll vote "normal", with that being a mix of dark and light(-hearted) zones and stories.
I've always been a fan of the many obvious and less obvious jokes and references in quests, items and npc's, which seems a bit neglected this expansion (maybe out of fear of not being taken seriously, with the amount of negative reactions to pandaren?).
Dark doesn't have to be underground, nor does it have to be particularly dark coloured, it's more of a sense of imminent danger and a creepy, eerie feel. Forests or any type of enclosed spaces work well for that, not constantly being able to see what lurks around the corner. Following up on a tip from a friend I've once levelled up a character with the camera zoomed right in, so you'll get a 'realistic view' and it really made a huge difference
So save your MoP defending speeches for another thread which is going somewhere along here.
Whoa. Go darkness.
To be honest though, WoW works best when it introduces soft, fuzzy, appealing, happy, bright, shiny things........ and then horribly breaks, corrupts, and mutilates them. This is sort of the Blizzard storytelling "method", anyway. They start off with relatively healthy, happy characters and then progressively cut down and and destroy them.
IMO this is why Pandaria started horribly bland and underwhelming, but is finishing in 5.4 with a very satisfying bang. I mean we went from happy fat pandas arguing about what to have for lunch while fighting giant stupid rabbit-people wielding carrots ........ to civilian prisoners-of-war impaled on posts and shot full of arrows for target practice.
Last edited by Lovestar; 2013-09-10 at 02:47 PM.
Dark and edgy. Because im insecure about myself and i want to feel like i'm an adult by having cheap maturity and needless violence in my media.
There's a reason the Lord of the Rings starts off with a long chapter about hobbit culture.
I only played during beta, and by the end of the initial pandaren offering I felt like there was no need for further resolution. The panderen had lead a peaceful life on their island for years and we screwed it up, the only reasonable action would be to just go home. Where there should have been a hook that made me want to see more, there was rep gated lore that I lost interest in before I gained access to.