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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenebra the War Criminal View Post
    All of those examples weren't exactly a case of "subverted expectations". That's just a case of the story being underwhelming due to the limitations of the game engine, and this has always been the case with WoW. In Legion it was mentioned how entire kingdoms would burn when in the end that wasn't shown in the game. In Cataclysm Deathwing didn't seem like a world-ending threat in the game, and even his pre-patch event was underwhelming. Same thing here. N'Zoth, the naval conflict, etc., it's not that Blizzard wanted to subvert expectations, they were just underwhelming because that's simply how this game is. You can't have a big naval battle unless it's in a raid (which is the only way you can truly capture the size of a battle), and we already had the Battle of Dazar'alor as the climax of the naval conflict. You can't have N'Zoth covering the whole world in darkness because that's too much work for Blizzard art team, so I'm afraid the Visions of Stormwind and Orgrimmar will have to do. Subverting expectations is something else, watch 8x03 and 8x04 of Game of Thrones if you want to learn more about that topic.

    Also, and this is to address your final point, how was the focus on Anduin when he barely appeared in BfA? After the Battle of Lordaeron (which was in the pre-patch), Anduin appeared only sporadically to do mundane things like interacting with a girl or planning with his allies. It was only in 8.2.5 that he was once again brought on the spotlight, where he supported Saurfang's rebellion as a bid to end the war as swiftly as possible, and pointed out how the Alliance is also haunted by its ghosts (though his examples were ridiculous, so he should read some history books).
    There is however a level of depth we should be expecting.

    Expecting dynamic naval battles with deaths galore and intuitive mechanics is a stretch, but what we could have gotten is taking the large sea map used once in the War campaign, stuffed it full of various Alliance and Horde ships then have the players go from one to the next, occasionally using a contextual cannon fire button to give the illusion of a dynamic war.

    Expecting deep moral ambiguity and loads of talking about politics and philosophy is obviously not going to happen, but what we could have gotten is less showing of Alliance being moral paragons, and more Horde wrestling with their problems instead of pinning it on Sylvanas and declaring their work done when she left.

    It would also be silly to expect epic journeys full of twists and turns, but noone should be faulted for expecting the story they started to end properly.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Sondrelk View Post
    There is however a level of depth we should be expecting.

    Expecting dynamic naval battles with deaths galore and intuitive mechanics is a stretch, but what we could have gotten is taking the large sea map used once in the War campaign, stuffed it full of various Alliance and Horde ships then have the players go from one to the next, occasionally using a contextual cannon fire button to give the illusion of a dynamic war.

    Expecting deep moral ambiguity and loads of talking about politics and philosophy is obviously not going to happen, but what we could have gotten is less showing of Alliance being moral paragons, and more Horde wrestling with their problems instead of pinning it on Sylvanas and declaring their work done when she left.

    It would also be silly to expect epic journeys full of twists and turns, but noone should be faulted for expecting the story they started to end properly.
    How is that an issue related to BfA though? I am just going to take Legion as an example because it is the most recent one, I could make many others too.

    Was Legion not advertised as the expansion where "Kingdoms will burn", and was it not hyped as the "Greatest Legion invasion in history"? Yes and Yes. But tell me, did it feel like that?
    How could I ever have loved someone so weak? Let us hope Arator did not inherit your cowardice.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Schattenlied View Post
    Maybe people will learn to stop taking prophecies from entities who's entire shtick is deceiving people as anything other than the deception it is.
    N'zoth's plan was to make us prepare for doom while he was too weak to care about him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sithalos View Post
    I actually agree with all of this.

    The fact that they wasted N'Zoth on this trash fire of an expansion is criminal.
    Why is free old god as weak as imprisoned one? I expected tentacles breaking walls and ruining cities but apparently N'zoth is weaker than his pet lizard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schattenlied View Post
    Maybe people will learn to stop taking prophecies from entities who's entire shtick is deceiving people as anything other than the deception it is.
    Blizzard teaches us that we can only trust NPCs that say thing that they cannot know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggroll View Post
    Yeah, all of it. And btw:

    Nelves still thirst for vengeance. And a new capital.
    Forsaken too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenebra the War Criminal View Post
    How is that an issue related to BfA though? I am just going to take Legion as an example because it is the most recent one, I could make many others too.

    Was Legion not advertised as the expansion where "Kingdoms will burn", and was it not hyped as the "Greatest Legion invasion in history"? Yes and Yes. But tell me, did it feel like that?
    That's why I believe in Warfronts. They have potential to show us burning kingdoms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut View Post
    You only have to look at the BFA cinematic to see that it promised the exact opposite of what the expansion delivered:

    You had Sylvanas and the Horde on the defensive, protecting Undercity from an aggressive Alliance led by a reluctant Anduin goaded by Genn Greymane. Sylvanas jumps down on the front line, putting her life at risk to rally the Horde - Saurfang is the first to be emboldened by her cries. Anduin learns what it's like to shed blood on the battlefield, and also finds the inner strength to rally his people like a true king, not a whimpering child. Instead, Sylvanas is evil and self-serving and totally had that attack coming for murdering innocents, Saurfang abandons her literally the next moment, Anduin only ever wanted peace and Genn never had any influence on him at all.
    I didn't see that before. This is pretty interesting.
    Back in the Legion, there were hints that both Sylvanas and Anduin would have had to prove themselves as leaders of their factions. Anduin was a young and inexperienced man, traumatized by the death of his father and surrounded by much more experienced advisors, some of them potentially dangerous (Moira and the Dark Iron, Alleria if she ever lost control, Genn if he was trying to push for a war), all of them with their own interests. Sylvanas was an undead monstrosity with a shady past; most of the Horde and all of the Alliance wouldn't have trusted her and would have tried to undermine her even if her intentions were ultimately good (for the Horde at least). It would have been interesting to see these two characters overcome these challenges to become better leaders, but no, everyone but Tyrande respected Anduin's authority, and Tyrande's defiance had no consequences, and on the Horde side everyone supported Sylvanas throughout the entire war, up until the end when retroactively almost nobody did.
    And there was Jaina teased to be N'zoth's puppet.
    I wonder if we actually got the story they started out telling or if they changed it along the way, and if so how many times...
    My bet is that their original plan was to make N'zoth/Azshara expansion with South Seas as main continent. Then, someone said that N'zoth is a master manipulator and he wouldn't do something as simple as invasion so they started to weave faction conflict into this. For the start they wanted Jaina as the spark but they changed it so they would set up Sylvanas for main villain in next expansion, as they run out of well-established characters to kill. Jaina was then saved by Christie Golden as she wasn't needed anymore.
    https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads...lopment-thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post
    If you are suggesting to take my Night Elfs Shadowmeld away, then please find some pike to run yourself through, tyvm.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanoro View Post
    Why, he didn't apologize for "Merely a setback", "There must always be a Lich King... who is Arthas... wait no he's not... oh, he is... scratch that, he's not...", Deathwing becoming a brainless brute, and so on.
    Kael'thas, Arthas and Deathwing all got complete story arcs. BfA abandoned the war story arc halfway into the expansion and then gave us the finale of the N'Zoth story arc without ever showing the beginning or the middle part. It's like they took two expansions and jammed them together and cut out the middle parts of both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sondrelk View Post
    It would also be silly to expect epic journeys full of twists and turns, but noone should be faulted for expecting the story they started to end properly.
    A story doesn't need twists to be good. It's a modern fad used to excuse bad writing: "I guess you didn't see that coming, huh!?!?!?" What we want is a consistent story that doesn't feel rushed. Both the war and N'Zoth arcs in BfA were terribly rushed. In my opinion, 8.2 should've been a "The Horde Strikes Back" story with a naval focus and 8.3 should have been the climax of the war with a Horde incursion into the Kingdom of Stormwind. The Black Empire should've been its own expansion. But Blizzard's writing team took both stories and rushed them so hard that they got completely butchered.
    Last edited by Wilfire; 2019-12-17 at 09:45 PM.

  5. #25
    Sadly it seems like in retrospect BfA had little purpose storywise apart from to set up Shadowlands. Anduin and Sylvanas never went through any development as leaders of their factions because that was never the point- the whole plot was simply there to physically move a pre-made villain Sylvanas over to where she needed to be for Shadowlands to start.

    Personally I think the most criminal aspect of the Shadowlands story was the use of out-of-game hype rather than actual plot twists to give the illusion of an unpredictable story.
    No one seriously thought Sylvanas seriously cared about the Horde as a whole before BfA but then Blizzard launched a marketing campaign deliberatly depicting her doing so and even released a book with inner monologues in which she is planning for the Horde's future. Then at the end of the expac they declare "Haha see she never really cared at all, what a twist!". They don't seem to realise that a character remaining the same but being given a nice spin by the PR team does not constitute a form of plot/character development.

  6. #26
    You summed it up well OP.

    While I enjoy it when stories manage subverting my expectations well, the new direction needs to - at a minimum - live up to the potential of the previous. BfA promised big things and instead delivered awkward jumps forward without much driving force so the narrative is extremely unnatural and you can feel the writers all throughout.

    As far as BfA's story having a beginning, a middle bit and a climax, I believe they're referring to The Battle of Lordaeron / War of Thorns as the beginning, Saurfang's journey as the middle, then the confrontation in front of Orgrimmar as the climax. They just didn't string those events together well.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfire View Post
    Kael'thas, Arthas and Deathwing all got complete story arcs. BfA abandoned the war story arc halfway into the expansion and then gave us the finale of the N'Zoth story arc without ever showing the beginning or the middle part. It's like they took two expansions and jammed them together and cut out the middle parts of both.
    Oh those stories did complete, no argument that BfA is a complete clusterfuck of half-baked, unresolved threads, but my point was pretending all was well under Metzen is wishful thinking. He oversaw plenty of pure crap stories, and personally approved the lorelol Draenei and BElves with spaceships.

  8. #28
    Titan Zulkhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut View Post
    You only have to look at the BFA cinematic to see that it promised the exact opposite of what the expansion delivered:

    You had Sylvanas and the Horde on the defensive, protecting Undercity from an aggressive Alliance led by a reluctant Anduin goaded by Genn Greymane. Sylvanas jumps down on the front line, putting her life at risk to rally the Horde - Saurfang is the first to be emboldened by her cries. Anduin learns what it's like to shed blood on the battlefield, and also finds the inner strength to rally his people like a true king, not a whimpering child. Instead, Sylvanas is evil and self-serving and totally had that attack coming for murdering innocents, Saurfang abandons her literally the next moment, Anduin only ever wanted peace and Genn never had any influence on him at all.

    Back in the Legion, there were hints that both Sylvanas and Anduin would have had to prove themselves as leaders of their factions. Anduin was a young and inexperienced man, traumatized by the death of his father and surrounded by much more experienced advisors, some of them potentially dangerous (Moira and the Dark Iron, Alleria if she ever lost control, Genn if he was trying to push for a war), all of them with their own interests. Sylvanas was an undead monstrosity with a shady past; most of the Horde and all of the Alliance wouldn't have trusted her and would have tried to undermine her even if her intentions were ultimately good (for the Horde at least). It would have been interesting to see these two characters overcome these challenges to become better leaders, but no, everyone but Tyrande respected Anduin's authority, and Tyrande's defiance had no consequences, and on the Horde side everyone supported Sylvanas throughout the entire war, up until the end when retroactively almost nobody did.

    I wonder if we actually got the story they started out telling or if they changed it along the way, and if so how many times...
    Pretty much. Hell, just look at Sylvanas' ascension and Vol'jin's involvement in that, look how the cinematic played, the music in the background, Sylvanas' genuinely astonished reaction, Vol'jin's words of faith regarding his decision. But hell, what do you know, now Sylvanas is some epic mAsTeRmInD who planned it all and Vol'jin is some guy who got tricked by evil and didn't know better.

    Ah Blizzard, the supreme overlords of consistency. What the art of storytelling would have been today without their invaluable contribution to mankind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keyblader View Post
    It's a general rule though that if you play horde you are a bad person irl. It's just a scientific fact.
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    The game didn't give me any good reason to hate the horde. Forums did that.

  9. #29
    Agreed fully on N'zoth and Ny'alotha. They Argus'ed and Nazjatar'ed the shit out of it. Argus, Nazjatar, and Ny'alotha were arguably three of the most exciting, unexplored locations prior to their implementation, and all three grossly under-delivered with boring patch sized content when they should have been THE zones. Instead we get Broken Isles, Kul'tiras and Zandalar? What the fuck? All the work went into those three and Ny'alotha, Argus and Nazjatar end up becoming underwhelming AF.

  10. #30
    I think there is a twist with N'Zoth. I mean, at one point a real twist must be made, right?? There is a mythic only phase in the N'Zoth encounter. The in game guide tells us that using the origination thingy might not work like we suspect for the mythic only phase description.

    We have the Shadowlands cinematic. There isn't much there that tells us what happened in the world after N'Zoth. Sylvanas talks about setting us free. Free from? She seems to have connection to N'Zoth, and the Jailor. To both? Or was it just the Jailor?

    And last, we have Ion's smug phase when talking about datamining and stuff at blizzcon. I am just going for a spin here, but N'Zoth might be as clever as the prophecies have said. 8.3 is called Visions of N'Zoth. What if the actual Vision is the raid, we killing N'Zoth, and the Visions in Stormwind and Orgrimmar is what's really happening?

    I would give it a low chance for 8.3 having a real twist. But it's interesting. The possibility is there.
    Horde bad, smash monkey. Who is a good monkey? You are!

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  11. #31
    I don’t think that subverting expectations was actually their goal at any point. I think it’s just a byproduct of the story developers disconnect with their own medium and how players experience the story in-game.

    I think when they story board all these ideas like the Burning of Teldrassil, Nazjatar, and Ny’alotha it all probably sounds very exciting on paper but in presentation it comes out like a jumbled mess. I think they need to take a step back and try writing a more contained story. Something that focuses on a smaller array of themes and characters but sees them go through actual, meaningful progression. That seems to be what people liked so much about MoP and to a lesser extent WotLK.
    Last edited by Khaza-R; 2019-12-18 at 05:11 AM.

  12. #32
    I mean...even WoD let us have pretend sea battles with a damn garrison "sea" table. They didn't even throw that nod toward sea battles.

    This expansion feels like a bachelor party that ended three hours too soon.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Sithalos View Post
    I actually agree with all of this.

    The fact that they wasted N'Zoth on this trash fire of an expansion is criminal.
    It's insulting and disrespectful to not only the long time fans who's been waiting patiently 10+ years ago when they first introduced N'zoth in Cataclysm, but it's also insulting and disrespectful to the past writers.

    What an embarrassment. I'd call it a joke but it's not even funny. These numales they keep hiring at Blizz can't write worth shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doffen View Post
    I think there is a twist with N'Zoth. I mean, at one point a real twist must be made, right?? There is a mythic only phase in the N'Zoth encounter. The in game guide tells us that using the origination thingy might not work like we suspect for the mythic only phase description.

    We have the Shadowlands cinematic. There isn't much there that tells us what happened in the world after N'Zoth. Sylvanas talks about setting us free. Free from? She seems to have connection to N'Zoth, and the Jailor. To both? Or was it just the Jailor?

    And last, we have Ion's smug phase when talking about datamining and stuff at blizzcon. I am just going for a spin here, but N'Zoth might be as clever as the prophecies have said. 8.3 is called Visions of N'Zoth. What if the actual Vision is the raid, we killing N'Zoth, and the Visions in Stormwind and Orgrimmar is what's really happening?

    I would give it a low chance for 8.3 having a real twist. But it's interesting. The possibility is there.
    This is blizzard. There is no twist. I get you're trying to keep your hopes up but honestly, we will not see a return of N'zoth. We're fighting his physical body in 8.3. They won't have us do that again.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Stardrift View Post
    It's insulting and disrespectful to not only the long time fans who's been waiting patiently 10+ years ago when they first introduced N'zoth in Cataclysm, but it's also insulting and disrespectful to the past writers.

    What an embarrassment. I'd call it a joke but it's not even funny. These numales they keep hiring at Blizz can't write worth shit.

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    This is blizzard. There is no twist. I get you're trying to keep your hopes up but honestly, we will not see a return of N'zoth. We're fighting his physical body in 8.3. They won't have us do that again.
    Yeah, I can't argue that

    It would be cool, but yeah, the hope is a small glimmer of hope. I do hope the mythic only phase will be interesting at least.
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  15. #35
    Dreadlord Pheraz's Avatar
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    Yeah I somehow agree .
    They try to mix up two many things in the xpac. It's confusing and not executed properly

    World war faction conflict
    South sea expansion with boats, pirates and islands and so on
    Azshara, Naga and high borne
    Nzoth and the freaking black empire

    I think if they would have stick to one theme and execute it properly the game engine is enough
    Imho legion worked out pretty damn good here
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  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Pakheth View Post
    N'Zoth was wasted soooo badly.
    Heck, Y'shaarj had more influence over their expansion than N'Zoth had over BfA.
    Jeez guys, you'd think we'd already played through the content patch and the story was completely over and N'Zoth didn't even get his own Raid, let alone a whole themed content patch, two factions, several new loot and gameplay mechanics dedicated to him, and numerous hours of repeated content.

    Contrast with the other 3 old gods, one of whom was the final boss of a surprise raid that had no forshadowing or associated content prior to the release/gate opening event on your server. After the gate event, it was just a regular old raid with even less loot and quests and goodies than the average raid of its day.

    Yoggie was hinted at before the patch that opened Ulduar, and we got a lot of backup material and narrative to work with, and in a way, you could say the Ulduar raid was all about him, as he's the final boss, and the 'mastermind' behind it all, but he still takes a backseat compared to the Lich King, Yog was basically fucking ITALY if we compare the LK to Germany.

    Y'shaarj was already dead, and admittedly his presence described as much of MoP as N'zoth's has described BfA. Bfa=MoP is a very valid position. Yshaarj didn't get his own fight, or his own content patch, or anything, but his leftovers made up for a cornerstone of an expansion's narrative, and we didn't even know it for most of the xpac, and several of those leftovers and henchies were important bosses in the xpac.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by matrix123mko View Post
    Forsaken too.
    Forsaken destroyed their own capital. They are not worthy.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by PalliesThrowStuff View Post
    Contrast with the other 3 old gods, one of whom was the final boss of a surprise raid that had no forshadowing or associated content prior to the release/gate opening event on your server. After the gate event, it was just a regular old raid with even less loot and quests and goodies than the average raid of its day.
    Sorry, but the Old Gods were in the story in vanilla. You encounter them as ominous legends in Darkshore, encounter the Twilight's Hammer in Blackfathom Deeps, run into cultists and more in relation to Uldaman, just off the top of my head.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Eggroll View Post
    Forsaken destroyed their own capital. They are not worthy.
    Night elves did that too. They are too unworthy.
    https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads...lopment-thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post
    If you are suggesting to take my Night Elfs Shadowmeld away, then please find some pike to run yourself through, tyvm.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Doffen View Post
    Yeah, I can't argue that

    It would be cool, but yeah, the hope is a small glimmer of hope. I do hope the mythic only phase will be interesting at least.
    I really hope so lol. This patch has me all kinds of triggered. Let's hope your wishes are true though.

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