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  1. #41
    I like the content and designs
    The systems are hot garbage

  2. #42
    Titan Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    Southern California
    • + Gorgeous environment art, especially in the Mists of Pandaria areas and after.
    • + Simple, immediately recognizable, armor design artstyle that can be identified from a long distance. You don't have to inspect a character or zoom in for a closeup to appreciate their appearance.
    • + Each race/gender has a very distinctive silhouette and animation cycles.
    • + Flexible raid sizes
    • + Boss tutorialization through trash packs. Starting in the MoP raids, you will run into a trash pack that does boss mechanic A, a second trash pack that does boss mechanic B, and a third that does C, and then you reach the boss and it does A, B, and C.

    • + Visually distinct magic. The schools of magic in Warcraft are visually iconic, and many of the schools have become standard aesthetics in the gaming industry.
    • Pink/white for arcane
    • Soft yellow/gold for Light
    • Raspy purple/Black for Void
    • Smoky and lava green/black for Fel
    • Soft green for Druidic magic
    • Gooey red/black for blood magic
    • raspy light blue and black for death magic
    • stringy, smokey white and black for Sha magic
    • Spinning white glass for Broker magic
    • etc

    • + Normally, in the game, Argent Dawn NPCs are friendly to you, and Scarlet Crusade mobs are hostile to you. It was ingrained to you across hundreds of hours of play and Warcraft lore that the Argent Dawn were heroes and the Scarlet Crusade were bad guys. However, you could equip a weapon called the Corrupted Ashbringer, obtained from the endgame, which would make you hostile to Argent Dawn NPCs and friendly to Scarlet Crusade NPCs, meaning you could walk into Scarlet Crusade bases and talk to people, and get their perspective, humaninzing the Crusade. It was a very cool perspective flip.
    • + Blackrock Depths and Blackrock Spire were AWESOME. They remain as two of the most memorable dungeons I've ever played through, feeling like actual PLACES to explore and filled with PEOPLE. They weren't a linear path with blocked off doors like a typical video game level; they were cities with bedrooms, storage rooms, kitchens, breweries, armories, prisons, colosseums, you name it. Populated by NPCs you talked to and remembered, rather than simply killed and forgot about. You returned there several times over the course of twenty levels, rather than just being a hallway you ran down AoEing mobs down and getting loot at the end and then never see again after you outlevel it. You spent time in those two dungeons and thus came to view it as another part of the world, rather than a video game level you only see in LFD.
    • + Ulduar and Mogu'Shan Vaults could've felt like generic video game dungeons with maybe a weak attempt to justify its place in the world with some throwaway lore in some side quest somewhere, but you go explore these dungeons with NPCs (Bran for the first part of Ulduar, the Keepers for the rest, Chen all the way through Mogu'Shan), who are in awe about what they are discovering, and/or talking about the story taking place there. They ground the dungeons not as video game levels, but places where the story is taking place. You find out about all of these old Mogu Emperor's and a little bit about what they did, and it goes a long, long way to fleshing out Pandaria's history.
    • + To add on to this, the most memorable raids are the ones that tell a story throughout, like Ulduar, ICC, Dragon Soul, Siege of Orgrimmar, and Antorus. Raids where you just walk in and kill random bosses like Highmaul or Uldir aren't memorable.

    Many WoW boss fights are incredibly memorable.

    • + The Mimirion hard mode fight feels quite intense as the room slowly becomes enveloped in fire, and you're desperately rushing to kill him before you burn to death.
    • + The Lich King boss fight has the outer rings of the platform break off one by one. As the fight goes on, the platform shrinks, giving you less room to work with. Valkyr show up to pick up players and drop them off the edge of the platform, so as the platform shrinks you get less and less time to stop them and save your friends. Really amps up the tension as the fight goes on. The end of the fight climaxes with the Lich King killing everyone... only for Tirion to break out of his ice prison and surprise attack Arthas, and for the ghost of Arthas' father, King Terenas Menethil, to show up and to resurrect the whole raid, and you all beat up the Lich King in your victory lap.
    • + The Siegecrafter Blackfuse boss fight requires that a contingent of players break away from the main battle and hop onto a conveyor belt, dodging lasers and trying to destroy machines before they can be used against the rest of the party.
    • + The mythic Sha of Fear fight climaxes with the Sha taking everyone into a nightmare realm, where you're in the middle of the ocean on a foggy day, and a giant monster is lurking somewhere beneath you and pop up at any moment. It feels rather scary.
    • + The Garrosh boss fight feels quite intense. He's calling in waves of Kor'Kron reinforcements, and his engineers are hurling Iron Stars at you throughout the fight. Also, multiple times during the battle, everyone gets sucked into the heart, and you enter a nightmarish vision where you have one minute to race through a prior location where you fought the Sha (Temple of the Jade Serpent, Chi'ji's temple, Terrace of the Endless Spring). On mythic, the fight climaxes with one vision: his conquest over the Alliance, with the fight taking place in a nightmare of a ruined Stormwind with all of Garrosh's enemies impaled on spikes, and Garrosh is raving mad.
    • + The Operator Thogar fight from Blackrock Foundry feels like that train station fight scene from the 2003 Clone Wars cartoon, where you're fighting on railway tracks and dodging all of these trains coming left and right. Feels very intense, like instant death could happen at any moment if you don't have your head on a swivel.
    • + The Blackhand boss fight at the end of Blackrock Foundry is very intense. He calls in reinforcements and tanks and it feels like you're being besieged in the middle of the battlefield. And then as the fight goes on, the floor keeps getting smashed, so you're falling through several floors. By the end of the boss fight, the whole room is on fire and everything is burning and Blackhand is a screaming, berserking lunatic and it's a rush to kill him before he kills you.
    • + Kilrogg sucking me into a vision of my own death with Khadgar (too bad it never came true in Legion).
    • + The Jaina boss fight in Dazar'alor has you (as Horde) hop on your ships and pursue the Alliance fleet to hunt down Jaina. You commit a boarding action and you have other ships firing on the ship you are standing on. And then Jaina freezes the ocean, getting all of the ships stuck, and you're desperately trying to kill her before you all freeze to death in the blizzard.
    • + The N'zoth mythic boss fight has you fly back and forth between N'zoth's boss platform and the heart chamber, and the transistion cutscene makes the fight feel humongous in scope.
    • + The Sylvanas boss fight in 9.1 has you, Jaina, Thrall, and Bolvar fight Sylvanas while chasing her across giant chains, leaping from one giant chain to the next and trying to get killed while crossing the gap.

    • + One thing Cata and MoP did really well was intersecting storylines. Seeing the same conflict but from different perspectives. For example, if you played through the Gilneas starting zone as Alliance, then you got to see the evacuation of Gilneas, with the Forsaken invading at the end. If you play as Horde and do the Silverpine Forest questline, you get to see what was happening on the outskirts of Gilneas at the same time the Worgen story was going, and you get to participate in the invasion of Gilneas that you fought against as a Worgen. It really fleshed out, enlarged the story and added different layers.
    • + Starting with Mists of Pandaria, pretty much every item had flavor text, even the trash items that you vendored.
    • + The Jade Forest made Pandaria feel populated. In most video games (including WoW), it feels like there are only a few dozen people living in the main towns, and maybe there is a tiny village of half a dozen or less people living in four or five buildings out in the wilderness, and that's it. That's the extent of civilization. It strains belief, and what you see (very few people) is at odds with what the story is trying to tell you (you are fighting in a war consisting of hundreds of thousands of soldiers defending cities of millions of people!). Pandaria was vast improvement, as throughout The Jade Forest, there were people and their homes EVERYWHERE! There are over 1,000 (yes, ONE THOUSAND) NPCs located in the Jade Forest. Even if you subtract 200 hostile mobs, that's still over 800 NPCs you're constantly seeing and houses everywhere. There are plenty of settlements in the Jade Forest that don't exist to be quest hubs, or even have quests in them, but simply exist! The hidden village on the cliff, the houses on the hills, and so on. It made Pandaria feel like a real country.
    • + Furthermore, Pandaria is dotted by many Mogu ruins, ancient shrines, and scrolls about Emperor Shaohao, further fleshing out the feeling that Pandaria is a storied place.
    • + The climatic dungeon of Mists of Pandaria doesn't feel like a video game dungeon. Instead, the story climaxes in you storming the capital city of the Horde, Orgrimmar, to liberate it from Garrosh Hellscream. It feels surreal to return to your home to find Theramore captives (including civilians!) and trolls strung up on posts for target practice, trolls jailed in barbed cells, Ji Firepaw and the Tushui being brutally beaten for information they know nothing about, goblins being forced to dance for the amusement of the Kor'Kron, the bodies of dissenters impaled on spikes, warlocks killed and their bodies strung up in the Cleft of Shadows, townsfolk cowering in their homes...
    • + Warlords of Draenor intro scenario. You and about 40-50 named NPC heroes form a strike force to destroy the Dark Portal. The assault takes a turn for the worst when everybody makes a last stand while you destroy the Portal. After you destroy the portal and the dust settles, you see all of the dead bodies of the NPCs you had fought alongside, and are forced to run past their dead bodies as the enemy pursues you. It's rather shocking.
    • + Warlord's Apexis dailies gave you two choices: an easy dailiy for solo players, or a harder and more rewarding dailiy set in a subzone filled with elites that required a party to kill.
    • + I love Zeyan/Philip Zhang's skybox art for World of Warcraft. He did the jaw droppingly beautiful sky boxes of Argus, the burnt out Teldrassil, and Nazmir blood moon. They make the world feel ginormous! You look up to see towering clouds and massive planetary plates, and worlds that go on forever.
    • + It's frustrating that most "rare" weapons in video games are just more powerful stat sticks, with maybe a glow effect attached. They don't really feel special. Legendary weapon questlines to obtain or craft a special weapon made me feel attached to that weapon, made it feel special. In Cataclysm, mages could embark on a questline with the dragons (dragons are usually friendly, heroic characters in WoW) to fight evil. The culmination of the questline had your valued dragon comrade sacrifice herself, and her soul absorbed into your new legendary staff. You could use the staff to transform into her, which made the staff feel really special. In Legion, every spec in the game got an artifact weapon, complete with a questline that sent you off to find it, learn about the lore behind its creation, its wielders, and overcome a challenge to obtain it yourself. The writers tried to tie the weapons into established lore when they could, though many of the weapons still felt like they were pulled out of thin air. However, there are three notable artifact weapons that felt truly legendary: Doomhammer, Frostmourne, and Ashbringer. Those three weapons are prominent weapons with a storied history in the Warcraft saga, and it felt amazing to get them. For Doomhammer and Ashbringer, you interacted with their famous prior wielders, becoming an heir to a great legacy. For Frostmourne, you collected the pieces of a weapon renowned for evil, and reforged into a new weapon to perform heroic deeds. It felt great.
    • + At the beginning of the Legion storyline, Dalaran gets portalled to the Broken Isles. If you take a portal to "Dalaran"... you will soon learn first hand that the exit coordinates of the portal had not been updated, instead sending teleporting you into mid air over the creater where Dalaran used to be. You have about 5 seconds to pull a parachute/cast a protective shield/use a portal before you hit the ground and go splat. At the bottom of the crater, you can find the corpse of an unfortunate adventurer who ran through the portal.
    • + When you kill Kil'jaden at the end of Tomb of Sargeras, another planet, Argus, appears over the world. Starting in patch 7.3, we see mass civil unrest, as people are terrified by the Legion's capital world hanging over them. We see Doomsayers out on the streets proclaiming that the end is near and distributing pamphlets, asking people to bow down to the Legion and beg for mercy (some of them are Dreadlords in disguise). Others wish for Sargeras to destroy the world. Others are evangelizing on behalf of the old gods, saying that they will save us from the Legion. We see people trying to take advantage of the fear: apprentice mages are selling portals to Outland, trying to pay off their student loans. Goblins distribute fliers offering to sell rocketships to the moon. Others distribute pamphlets calling for people to remain calm, pointing out that the heroes had saved the world dozens of times over the past few years and will do so again. Violence breaks out in the streets of Dalaran.
    • + The penultimate Alliance quest of the BFA prepatch event, "A Flicker of Hope", has you trying to save as many people as you can from the inferno that consumes Teldrassil. You're tasked with saving 982 civilians in 3 minutes. You will save 30 at most. You feel the dread as you see the fire consume the town, the sky darken with smoke, hear the screams of the townspeople and see the timer in the corner of the screen running out. For all of your power as a legendary dragon slayer, you are only mortal, and it imbues you with resolve. The Horde murdered thousands of your people. You know what is at stake. You set out to avenge and to protect these people. One of the most memorable experiences I've ever had in a game.
    • + Kul'Tiras is made up of three mountainous zones centered around a central lake. If you are on the side of a mountain facing the lake, you can see other places you've been and have yet to visit around the lake. Reaffirms you're sense of geography, how far you've traveled from those places, and how far away you are from another place. It makes you feel proud for coming so far, vulnerable for being so far away from civilization, and builds up the anticipation of arriving at the next place.
    • + Beast taming challenges. Most hunter pets you just walk up and tame, but in MoP the game developers added spirit beast taming challenges. For example, to tame the ghostly porcupine Hutia in Pandaria, you had to first find him. He was hard to find so you had to look for his tracks and use the flare ability to reveal him. Then, in order to actually tame him, you have to first lower his health to 25%. This is hard to do solo, as Hutia will move very quickly and deal a lot of damage, so you have to lay down traps to slow his movement, use poisons that slow him, pop speed boosts, and plan your movement accordingly. You have to interrupt his heal. Then when he's at 25%, you have to use an explosing trap to knock him back and a freezing trap to completely stop his movement, giving you enough time for the 10 second tame cast. You can also tame certain raidbosses and open world bosses.
    • + Class factions. In most games, your class doesn't really have any lore or story implications; it just changes your playstyle and aesthetic. FFXIV goes further than most in that you get some lore behind your class, and you get to adventure with a couple members of your class, but you don't really feel like you get to meet members of that class. In FFXIV, you become a Dragoon, and you know that there are only 14 other Dragoons in the world, but you never really meet those Dragoons or anything. In WoW, I feel like my character - my class - is a part of an organization. If I play a Paladin, I am a part of the Knights of the Silver Hand, an organization whose history I can trace back to Warcraft 3, and that organization is an active force in the world and I can count on them to do things. If I am a Death Knight, I am a part of the Knights of Archerus, and I feel a brotherhood with them. If I a Druid, I am a member of the Cenarion Circle. If I am a Shaman, I am a member of the Earthen Ring. And so on.
    • + Dressing up the flightpaths in the Shadowlands as hyperspace was very cool. (Only downside is that the flightpaths still take 40+ seconds, when they should be like 5-10 seconds max).

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  3. #43
    Its dungeons and raids are the best. As long as a rivial doesn't take that away it will stay relevant. It's only real possible contender in that realm isn't even in a alpha state.

  4. #44
    Music, Cinematics and Lore.

  5. #45
    Definitely seconded on SL specific features of testing out the covenant abilities during questing was great design and the "great vault" being IMO the best iteration of the M+ Chest idea they've done.

    SL has also introduced, after Legion, WOD and BFA had a lot of "half-cutscenes" where the npcs were used with slightly altered facial expressions...

    But Shadowlands introduced new what I'll call "three-quarter cutscenes" which actually uses the full cutscene rigging to make believable emotions on the faces and lip syncing, which I think looks much better and should be the standard whenever possible. (sometimes they design faces so that the mouth is covered like the lich king and Saurfang the Younger, which works OK to save costs)

    Last edited by Powerogue; 2021-09-16 at 02:12 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DatToffer View Post
    Sylvanas will just give her own head to Tyrande.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aucald View Post
    And just like the thread before it, let's back away from sexualizing Azshara and return to the original topic at hand.

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