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  1. #21
    Because they still do what they always do: Operate by rule of cool.

    Rule of cool works awesomely for short stories.
    It is utterly detrimental to big stories, more so when rule of cool makes it needed to change things on the fly.

    Big stories in wow, never get written start to end in one go by one person, in stead there is a vague start and a vague end goal by various writers. It is comparible with the mess that became star wars eps 7-8-9.
    I'm an altoholic since 2005.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhalosh Whalescream View Post
    Yet they sometimes to this day manage to make somewhat immersive quest zones that have good enough storylines?
    Because you're not on the writing team, of course. Isn't that what you want to hear?

    Of course, the better answer is that they do, and you just don't like the stories they tell. But that's not what you want to hear, I'd wager.
    How joyous to be in such a place! Where phishing is not only allowed, it is encouraged!

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by tristannarutofan View Post
    They arent. Pretty much anyone reasonable agreed that the sylvannas arc ended well.

    And boy howdy did the garosh arc end great. It was fine as is but seeing him turn to dust was cherry on top!
    No, no they did not.


    And Frankly Blizz isn't good at telling larger arc stories because they don't value consistency and didn't have a strong overarching position that controls tone and narrative focus over time, it was only relatively recently that they hired a 'narrative director' position with explicit focus on keeping their stories focused, hopefully that will help things.
    Twas brillig

  4. #24
    Two reasons:

    1. It's difficult. Making engaging short-term content that ALSO comes together as meaningful long-term content is challenging. Not impossible mind you, but a lot harder than most people think.

    2. It's not really how they think about their content delivery. Market research probably shows that player engagement is already highly episodic for reasons having to do not with story but with content mechanics - a new raid, a new PvP season, etc. are single draw points on the game timeline that cluster interest all by themselves. What this means for the story is that rather than trying to somehow make the lore work on an entirely different time scale (big long-term arcs), they'd rather further amplify the already existing short-term interest with story highlights written for that purpose. That's why the BFA/SL stories were so full of singular "movie moments" and absurdly contrived cliffhangers - they didn't care about big-scale cohesion, only about getting their sound bites out to push the current seasonal content update further.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by A Chozo View Post
    It's interesting, isn't it? This isn't WoW-only. Starcraft, Diablo, even Overwatch - the small stuff is neat, it's endearing. The main storylines are cursed and godawful:

    - Don't remember much about Starcraft, Warcraft I - III, and the first diablo;
    - Diablo 2: Base game's plot was okay but the expansion was better;
    - Starcraft 2: Basically the story takes a dive every time they talk about that fucking prophecy. They butchered Xel'naga lore and redeemed Kerrigan.
    - Overwatch: The game is non-canon and somehow they already have retcons. Overwatch 2 starts where the trailer of Overwatch 1 ended. The small stories are cute but the bigger picture? Ugh.
    - World of Warcraft: With the exception of Pandaria, every fucking main expansion plot is atrocious. TBC, WotLK (lmao look at me I'm Evil Cartoon Villain Arthas!!), Cata (Deathwing, master tactician, is now mad! The madness oooo), WoD speaks for itself, Legion + BfA + Shadowlands have the same problem of failing to expand the lore and making the main antagonist be absolutely stupid in order to lose.
    That's such a bad take.

    You not remembering anything about WC3 is definitely a "you" problem, because literally everything happening in WoW is based on the things that WC3 set up.

    And Arthas is the most popular villain in the Warcraft franchise, one which many people love. He is this universe's Darth Vader.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Xilurm View Post
    And Arthas is the most popular villain in the Warcraft franchise, one which many people love. He is this universe's Darth Vader.
    While i agree Arthas is the most popular villain in warcraft, its definitely not because of Wrath. His "i'll get you next time gadget" antics were criticized at the time, and the story can't keep it straight if the LK is only arthas, is nerzhul/arthas, or is its own entity. Also arthas kills his humanity like twice but apparently after that arthas' humanity is all thats holding the scourge back.

    Similarly, the 'there must always be *thunder* a lich king' was mocked the hell out of, with SL trying to provide an answer to the logical mess that that was.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by tristannarutofan View Post
    They arent. Pretty much anyone reasonable agreed that the sylvannas arc ended well.
    I ended in most people ceasing to care about SL lore.

  8. #28
    The issue is the delivery. The plot might not be bad, but it simply does not work if it is drip-fed over the years. They can't really toss a few major cutscenes once in half a year and expect it and patch quest-line to carry it all.

    I am not sure it should be turning into a telenovela the like of that other game, but a happy middle between that and what WoW does would be nice.
    All my ignores are permanently filtered out and invisible to me. Responding to my posts with nonsense or insults is pointless, you're likely already invisible and if not - 3 clicks away. One ignore is much better than 3 pages of trolling.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Myradin View Post
    Similarly, the 'there must always be *thunder* a lich king' was mocked the hell out of, with SL trying to provide an answer to the logical mess that that was.
    That plot point made sense though. The only reason it felt cheesy was because it followed the whole "the Dutchmans must have a captain" thing from PotC.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordVargK View Post
    I ended in most people ceasing to care about SL lore.
    This. By the time it actually came out I couldn't find myself caring any less about the story. I just wanted it to be over.
    Last edited by Khaza-R; 2022-07-24 at 05:24 PM.

  10. #30
    Make better one, lad.
    Write BIG, awesome story that please ALL playerbase. Make it understandable, simple, cool and now very long but not very short. Use some old characters, introduse new ones. Make nongeneric story, but remember, its T-ranked game - so no rape, no mass murder, no cheating, no violence ofc. And more so - make it last for 5-6 patches with breaks for about 4-6 months. With same level of exitement and remember - lasting gameplay features must be build in it.
    And make it differ with 30years of old BAD lore and stories.
    Do your best and we will see.
    Last edited by Dancaris; 2022-07-24 at 05:29 PM.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Khaza-R View Post
    That plot point made sense though. The only reason it felt cheesy was because it followed the whole "the Dutchmans must have a captain" thing from PotC.
    It only made sense in the context of the Scourge being numerous enough to wipe out Azeroth and Arthas was holding it back, which itself wasn't received well from what I recall.

  12. #32
    I don't think this is a blizzard thing. This is just how telling a story goes. Specially since the people telling the story aren't all the same people that told it 10-15 years ago.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Eon Drache View Post
    I don't think this is a blizzard thing. This is just how telling a story goes. Specially since the people telling the story aren't all the same people that told it 10-15 years ago.
    Warhammer 40k storytelling (the publisher is Black Library) is superb. Though there are vast scale discrepancies and technical errors, the story itself is consistent despite the many authors that work on this.

    This is because Games Workshop assigns the canon to a council of veteran authors that preside over the axioms of the lore. These are hard truths of the 40k universe that are never shared with the readers so they can keep guessing at the mysteries. Even the junior authors can only write stories by consensus from the council, they don't get insight in these axioms either.

    This is how you maintain a huge fictional universe, keep its canon pristine while also keeping it shrouded in enigmas. Games Workshop never has to worry about authors breaking the lore with a clever plot twist because they rule it with an iron fist. These are constraints that don't burden the creativity as 40k keeps coming up with interesting new concepts that can further be explored. Like the inner psyche of a Space Ork, which is something vastly different than the muscular green humans in Warcraft.

    If I were Blizzard, I would poach a few of the Black Library authors and let them go to work behind the scenes of Warcraft. It doesn't require a reset, just like 40k's silly 80's stuff didn't need a reset. Just a few well placed and meaningful retcons were enough to keep the momentum.
    Last edited by Cloudmaker; 2022-07-24 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Unrelated to World of Warcraft

  14. #34
    Pandaren Monk Cloudmaker's Avatar
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    This is a Warcraft Lore forum. Stay on topic.

  15. #35
    The only good overarching story they made was the human starting zones in Classic.
    The absolute state of Warcraft lore in 2021:
    Kyrians: We need to keep chucking people into the Maw because it's our job.
    Also Kyrians: Why is the Maw growing stronger despite all our efforts?

  16. #36
    Pandaren Monk Cloudmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerovar View Post
    The only good overarching story they made was the human starting zones in Classic.
    I kinda liked Goblin starting zone story. At some point I kept creating them and giving them gremlin names just for one purpose only: To fly with sky rocket. Haha
    Last edited by Cloudmaker; 2022-07-25 at 11:16 AM.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Dancaris View Post
    Make better one, lad.
    Write BIG, awesome story that please ALL playerbase. Make it understandable, simple, cool and now very long but not very short. Use some old characters, introduse new ones. Make nongeneric story, but remember, its T-ranked game - so no rape, no mass murder, no cheating, no violence ofc. And more so - make it last for 5-6 patches with breaks for about 4-6 months. With same level of exitement and remember - lasting gameplay features must be build in it.
    And make it differ with 30years of old BAD lore and stories.
    Do your best and we will see.
    BFA and SW. It is very easy to write a much better story.
    It is as easy as not writing it. You remove all the "Main Story" and you already have a much better story.

    Because as they say here "most short stories are good". Well, just put that on and you're done. What's more, the WoW story team is very focused on ignoring the "main story" for most of the game.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Iain View Post
    Warhammer 40k storytelling (the publisher is Black Library) is superb. Though there are vast scale discrepancies and technical errors, the story itself is consistent despite the many authors that work on this.

    This is because Games Workshop assigns the canon to a council of veteran authors that preside over the axioms of the lore. These are hard truths of the 40k universe that are never shared with the readers so they can keep guessing at the mysteries. Even the junior authors can only write stories by consensus from the council, they don't get insight in these axioms either.

    This is how you maintain a huge fictional universe, keep its canon pristine while also keeping it shrouded in enigmas. Games Workshop never has to worry about authors breaking the lore with a clever plot twist because they rule it with an iron fist. These are constraints that don't burden the creativity as 40k keeps coming up with interesting new concepts that can further be explored. Like the inner psyche of a Space Ork, which is something vastly different than the muscular green humans in Warcraft.

    If I were Blizzard, I would poach a few of the Black Library authors and let them go to work behind the scenes of Warcraft. It doesn't require a reset, just like 40k's silly 80's stuff didn't need a reset. Just a few well placed and meaningful retcons were enough to keep the momentum.
    There are exceptions, but they are exceptions. I think there is a bigger problem then just blizz in this case.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by geco View Post
    BFA and SW. It is very easy to write a much better story.
    It is as easy as not writing it. You remove all the "Main Story" and you already have a much better story.

    Because as they say here "most short stories are good". Well, just put that on and you're done. What's more, the WoW story team is very focused on ignoring the "main story" for most of the game.
    Exactly. We're caught in a vicious cycle where people respond strongly to this Netflix drama that Blizzard keeps doubling down on even though Wow never truly needed it in the first place. Classic had no cut scenes or greater overarching story. It had to rely on the sum of all the smaller and largely disconnected stories that made the world feel so massive.

    That doesn't mean Blizzard can just drop it altogether and call it a day. But it does mean they will have to come up with a bundle of smaller ideas and work those out instead.
    Last edited by Iain; 2022-07-25 at 06:02 AM.

  20. #40
    The Unstoppable Force Kaleredar's Avatar
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    They need to simplify and clarify.

    The game has been... basically about Sylvanas for the past six years, but only since Shadowlands have we had even the remotest idea of what in the hell she was trying to do, and even THAT was couched vague nonsense because it was tied to the vague plan the Jailer had. Moreover, with the alliance/horde divide the story can only ever be told piecemeal on either side, with the efforts of half the playerbase basically just giving way to whatever the story department wants to happen, leaving the efforts of the players feeling... largely pointless. Which is not what you want in your fantasy game.

    WoW's storytelling was always at its... let's say most compelling... when it wasn't about character drama and vague plans, it was when it was about big baddies and everyone teaming up to fight them. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail, but you always know the stakes and whatever interpersonal drama is going on between the characters is playing behind the efforts on the big bad whom we're racing to stop. The characters are only ever ancillary to the main villain/bad guy.

    For that reason I think Legion actually had a pretty good story. Bad guy? Burning Legion. Sure there's some fluff with Illidan in there, and you have the class halls and the various things they're doing and things like Helya and the emerald nightmare, but at the end of the day you know exactly who you're fighting and why, and whether you can keep up with all the little ins and outs of the characters ultimately doesn't matter because all you have to know is "big demon guys bad, stop them." You chase the Burning Legion back to their homeworld after disrupting their plans with Suramar and defeat them.

    Shadowlands? Not so much. In addition to the utter blandness of the Jailer's forces, what we're doing at any given point versus what the Jailer wants and then the drama between Sylvanas and Anduin . Like, why did we go to Korthia? What did any of that accomplish? Did we succeed? Did we fail? Why are emblems important? Why did the Jailer need Sylvanas anyway? Why was Anduin important? They rarely, if ever, interceded on his behalf, why couldn't he have just done all of what he accomplished himself? Seeing as the Jailer basically gets to the very end of what his plan was all along (channel souls into the maw, destroy the arbiter, do whatever he wanted to do in Korthia, make his way into Zereth mortis) did any of the player's efforts beyond killing him at the very end do anything? And instead of explaining any of that, they just kind of bump around Sylvanas and Anduin's drama where Sylvanas finally figures out she's part of the Panthers eating people's faces party and Anduin... eh... is just kind of there.


    So: Simplify the narrative in making the main focus the main bad guy, and clarify what in the hell they're doing. Everything else can just kind of exist around that.
    “Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well and live broadly. You are alive and living now. Now is the envy of all of the dead.” ~ Emily3, World of Tomorrow
    Quote Originally Posted by Wells View Post
    Kaleredar is right...
    Words to live by.

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