Tobold's Blog
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Open Sunday Thread

Sorry for being late with the open Sunday thread, but I was busy with holiday activities. Anyway, here it is, your thread to suggest subjects and talk about whatever you like.
Here's one, then : Is the Warcraft lore static, now that the game has moved from RTS to MMO?

The Warcraft universe started with really just orcs and humans, with elves, dwarves, trolls and goblins joining only later. In Warcraft 3, alliances shifted as new information became available, and the races fought against or side by side with pretty much all other races, but with the game now being an MMO, what hope is there that new significant development would occur?

Sure, expansions and patches can change some of the lore, but you couldn't have, say, the Taurens deciding they've repaid their debt to the orcs, and deciding to join with the more nature-friendly night elves, or even the more recent blood elves finding a cure for their addiction and begging for forgiveness, because it would mean that people who picked either of those races would now be shifted to the other side of the conflict, which just isn't possible. The Horde vs Alliance war is pretty much static, unless Blizzard takes such drastic actions as declaring that their next game occurs 'in the future' compared to the current state of WoW.

But even the lore itself isn't much to look at; in the past, you could look up to heroes of either side to accomplish great feats, but now it's in the hands of the players. Who has slain boss mob #43, really? Sure, you might decide that they have technically been 'defeated', but you can't name one person or guild who accomplished the feat, because many people did it, and even firsts are subjective to which server you're playing on.

So what could be done to make the lore less static? Or has Blizzard doomed themselves to a static Warcraft lore?
I've often thought about how a massive change of political allegiance could be handled in WOW game terms. It's something that would be fascinating to see (although unlikely in practice for the reasons Hexedian mentioned). How could Blizz make it work if they wanted to?
a) To smooth the path, add a third, neutral "mercenary" faction, including Goblins, maybe Pandaren, and possibly a lost fleet of humans.

b) Let those mercenaries start out neutral with both Horde and Alliance and gain reputation as normal by serving one or other in the battlegrounds and on other tasks. Eventually some mercenaries could become defacto members of one of the old alliances or play one against the other, losing the benefits of high reputation.

c) If there is a grand realignment, existing players could be given the choice: remain as you are with your existing reputation, abandon both sides and become neutral or join the new side with appropriate changes in reputation.

I'd love to see them do something that daring.
Depending on how long WoW lasts, they could certainly use sequels of some sort to continue the warcraft world story.

Political changes do seem unlikely, though, in the four games there has only been one-two alliance changes. (High Elves/Blood Elves splitting from the alliance and joining horde, Night Elves going from working with both sides to working with only alliance.). The other changes have involved culture changes(orcs, scourge forming, forsaken forming), that could be done through in game events and/or dialogue changes.
Also, a couple of predictions for MMO's (with little actual information, this is more based on previous patterns/gut feelings):

When warhammer comes out, it will be about as good as WowW, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less. People on this blog will on average be disappointed, though, thanks to the expectation being built up from players looking for the next MMO to save them from WoW burnout, Warhammer having several months to build up expectations, and it being the only major MMO coming out over the next year or so. (So it gets all the attention. The game won't be able to live up to that kind of expectation build up.

Guild wars 2, when it comes out in a couple of years or so, will also be about as good as Warhammer/Wow. It won't get as much attention on the blogs, probably a bit more than original guild wars. It will be released pretty smoothly and become the second or third most played of these MMO's.
"When warhammer comes out, it will be about as good as WowW, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less"

How do you know? My prediction is that its worse than WoW. Many people will buy and play it, many people will leave it and get back to WoW.

Happened to Lord of the Rings too.
How do you know? My prediction is that its worse than WoW. Many people will buy and play it, many people will leave it and get back to WoW.

It's a guess from the bits and pieces of opinion from the beta, plus news about game features and such. "About the same" could mean a bit better or a bit worse. (I see a bit worse as more likely, but it will be close enough that people's preferred features will make more of a difference than overall quality in which one they play.)

"Better" and "Worse" in this case refer to taking a bunch of people with previously no opinions about these games. People used to certain features and with certain expectations will of course have their opinions changed.
Are you in the WotLK beta Tobold? If so, im curious about your experiences with the DK. Based on what i read sofar, it seems Blizzard is getting a lot of things right with the play mechanics and introductory questline.
forget all the diku stuff for money each money.

i reckon as odd as it sounds SWGEmu is the next big thing, a free new world, crafting will be considered new compared to current systems and it will actually work in everyway.

Welcome to our new overloads, Overloads of freedom!
Man...I was so busy and missed this thread...
But, I did post about this on my blog and wonder if anyone else has any thoughts.

I am seeing a conundrum in the fact that the less a player "games" in their MMO of choice, the less likely they are to see any issues with said MMO.

This started when I kept seeing so many people championing Funcom on AoC in various forums. One person even went so far as to say PvP felt balanced. (O.o)
Yet, when I would see their schedules or play time, it was always "LOW" (1-3 hours low)
I saw the same phenomenon in LOTRO. The game is definitely not as well fleshed out or fun to play as WoW, etc in my opinion...yet, a vocal minority attack anyone who says even the slightest "negative" remark about it.
Their playtimes...
Some stated 30 minutes or an hour...


How can anyone really be enjoying their game of choice if they are not wanting to log in for longer.
Or is it the "issues" that prevents them from playing, or does the person really not have that much time, and gets simple pleasures from that 30 minutes.

but you couldn't have, say, the Taurens deciding they've repaid their debt to the orcs, and deciding to join with the more nature-friendly night elves

I suspected some kind of reshuffle like this when I first saw Scryer vs Aldor in TBC. I thought eventually there would be a realignment, with Horde vs Alliance forgotten and a new war between these two factions.

I'm still expecting it to some degree... The introduction of the Sunwell, with the abundant Scryer reputation drops I thought was a clever way to address a possible imbalance between the two factions. Aldor reputation items went up in market value while Scryer reputation items were driven very low.

Perhaps? Is it possible? Or did they set the idea up, and then abandon it along the way? Or was it never on the cards?
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