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Author Topic: Bitch Thread for Warlords of Draenor  (Read 219013 times)
Merusk
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Reply #1015 on: July 27, 2014, 04:11:01 PM

Agreed. If the lore NPC is fighting alongside and it goes down in lore that "Thrall and a group if heroes" did something it's more palatable.  Like the portal of time raids.  However when you're constantly rendered useless for another scripted scene to play out then it gets irritating.  Worse still when they also release statements that "we don't care about lore". 

Well then assholes. What's up with the need to only let your lore characters do things. 

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet within your power.
Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #1016 on: July 27, 2014, 04:41:14 PM



Well then assholes. What's up with the need to only let your lore characters do things. 


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Maven
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Reply #1017 on: July 27, 2014, 07:34:22 PM

Nailed it.

Warcraft cutscenes can't happen with player agency. Cutscenes are used to create the 'official record' for the lore and reference for future products. This situation is a result of corporate, not artistic goals (and if it were artistic, you'd be 'someone', not an individual without identity), as is their lack of priority on the lore. That's NOT the same thing as 'we don't care', but a corporate artist / collective designer's concern is to do the best they can do for their particular area, and they prioritize mechanic design skills, not writing, for those roles.

There are a lot of important forces at work, mainly to do with the brand or the business, that has lore take a back seat. Sucks.

Besides, it is crap appealing to a very young audience hooked on comics and similar media, which has a lot to do with the nature of the beast, Metzen and Blizzard's emphasis on style over narrative substance aside. IMO you can't tell a good story in an MMO unless:

- It's a personal one customized to that player.
- An illusion is given that the players' version of the world is the only one that exists. Everything revolves around the player.
- Most importantly and where even Guild Wars 2 fails, is that the story is *about something* besides fighting a world-threatening presence with you and your buds.
-- And no, Warcraft, "about something" doesn't mean "universal themes everyone can get behind".

Hell, has any MMO fulfilled that third one? Without the first, you're just one person swept up in forces greater than yourself -- the story becomes objective. Without the second, you get something like WoW, where lore characters become the actors and players become bystanders.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 07:36:04 PM by Maven »
Kail
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Reply #1018 on: July 27, 2014, 08:16:09 PM

IMO you can't tell a good story in an MMO unless:

- It's a personal one customized to that player.
- An illusion is given that the players' version of the world is the only one that exists. Everything revolves around the player.
- Most importantly and where even Guild Wars 2 fails, is that the story is *about something* besides fighting a world-threatening presence with you and your buds.
-- And no, Warcraft, "about something" doesn't mean "universal themes everyone can get behind".

Hell, has any MMO fulfilled that third one? Without the first, you're just one person swept up in forces greater than yourself -- the story becomes objective. Without the second, you get something like WoW, where lore characters become the actors and players become bystanders.

I kinda disagree.  It's possible, not with WoW maybe (because it's written as a single player game where the player has no real agency) but there are a lot of neat stories in other media which are about characters being caught up in forces greater than themselves, or without the illusion that the world revolves around that character.  MMOs are arguably better suited than other video games to tell these kinds of stories given that an MMO environment is inherently about dealing with forces greater than yourself (i.e. the hundreds of other players), and the world doesn't revolve around you specifically, whereas this isn't the case in a single player game.  Trying to shoehorn a single player storyline into such an environment is certainly possible, and you can do it well or you can do it poorly, but I don't think it's the only way to go (or even the best way).
Ingmar
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Reply #1019 on: July 27, 2014, 11:34:05 PM

Nailed it.

Warcraft cutscenes can't happen with player agency.

Nonsense. It works fine in SWTOR.

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Maven
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Reply #1020 on: July 28, 2014, 12:04:07 AM

Well it's a good thing I specified Warcraft!
Nevermore
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Reply #1021 on: July 28, 2014, 12:05:47 AM

What makes Warcraft so special in that regard?

Over and out.
Maven
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Reply #1022 on: July 28, 2014, 12:16:15 AM

Restrictions placed by their engine and design. The player is there to watch. They can't affect the action. Cutscenes are homogenized to cut down on asset production. If a player has a choice, it's determined through options in the quest dialog, but all roads lead to the same path as far as cutscenes go.

I'm not saying "Cutscenes cannot have player agency." I'm saying WARCRAFT cutscenes enforce this restriction. However, I would ask you provide a counterpoint so I can better understand your position instead of making it seem like you don't understand mine.
Merusk
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Reply #1023 on: July 28, 2014, 06:53:28 AM

Good thing Warcraft doesn't do cutscenes as much as they do NPC model acting. Which ALSO ignores players but could easily incorporate them.

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Mithas
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Reply #1024 on: July 28, 2014, 08:26:43 AM

Tried out the beta this weekend. In order to get into Draenor you have to do a quest chain in Blasted Lands. Mostly the kill x type quests. Once I got into Draenor, it was a slideshow. Basically couldn't do anything. I'm not sure if it was my computer acting up or if there were too many people there or what. Got bored quickly and logged out.

I've been subbed almost non-stop since launch. I am practically a Blizzard fanboy. I think I am done. It all just seems so old and tired. If they are starting to lose people like me, they are in trouble.
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Reply #1025 on: July 28, 2014, 08:57:58 AM

I think we're having a semantics issue.
Hutch
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Reply #1026 on: July 28, 2014, 10:17:04 AM

Giving the "real" kill to a lore character in a stupid comic is less annoying, because who gives a shit about the comics. But it gets pretty ridiculous for the game to pull kills out from under their players again and again. It's the way they frame it, mostly. It doesn't feel very heroic or like a victory when you have NPCs elbowing into the scene to get the "real" win. I didn't like when it happened with the Lich King, and I doubt it's gotten any better feeling in any of the instances it occurs after that.

This trope gets reversed in the Garrosh fight at the end of Siege. Thrall gets bitch-slapped by Garrosh in the prelude to the fight, and then the players take down Garrosh without any NPCs coming in to finish him off.

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Reply #1027 on: July 28, 2014, 10:44:39 AM

Giving the "real" kill to a lore character in a stupid comic is less annoying, because who gives a shit about the comics. But it gets pretty ridiculous for the game to pull kills out from under their players again and again. It's the way they frame it, mostly. It doesn't feel very heroic or like a victory when you have NPCs elbowing into the scene to get the "real" win. I didn't like when it happened with the Lich King, and I doubt it's gotten any better feeling in any of the instances it occurs after that.

This trope gets reversed in the Garrosh fight at the end of Siege. Thrall gets bitch-slapped by Garrosh in the prelude to the fight, and then the players take down Garrosh without any NPCs coming in to finish him off.


Incorrect.  The fight ends when his hitpoints get low  and then the npc cutscene begins where they haul him off to jail.  Whether it's jail or a sword, the npc's decide how that fight ends and you have zero say in it.

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Zetor
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Reply #1028 on: July 28, 2014, 11:00:01 AM

I figured the fight ended when he keeled over and the Dark Souls VICTORY ACHIEVED animation (aka "y'shaarj corruption dissolves into swirling particles") played. I mean, the fight is over when everyone receives their lewt and the raid disbands, right?  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 11:08:25 AM by Zetor »

Hutch
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Reply #1029 on: July 28, 2014, 11:21:38 AM

Giving the "real" kill to a lore character in a stupid comic is less annoying, because who gives a shit about the comics. But it gets pretty ridiculous for the game to pull kills out from under their players again and again. It's the way they frame it, mostly. It doesn't feel very heroic or like a victory when you have NPCs elbowing into the scene to get the "real" win. I didn't like when it happened with the Lich King, and I doubt it's gotten any better feeling in any of the instances it occurs after that.

This trope gets reversed in the Garrosh fight at the end of Siege. Thrall gets bitch-slapped by Garrosh in the prelude to the fight, and then the players take down Garrosh without any NPCs coming in to finish him off.


Incorrect.  The fight ends when his hitpoints get low  and then the npc cutscene begins where they haul him off to jail.  Whether it's jail or a sword, the npc's decide how that fight ends and you have zero say in it.

By that definition, the players never win the final boss fight. There's always a cutscene.

The players defeat Garrosh, period. I get that you like to troll me, and this is the bitch thread after all, but the Garrosh fight is the exact opposite of how the Lich King fight ended.

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Paelos
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Reply #1030 on: July 28, 2014, 11:38:22 AM

It ends with the players stopping him, but your point is really lessened since: 1 - He doesn't die, and 2 - He gets away to the fucking past or something.

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #1031 on: July 28, 2014, 11:39:58 AM

I don't even know who you are.  

What you are saying though is that players KILL every single thing in their path but somehow miraculously do not deliver a fatal blow to Garrosh because, reasons.  Just because he doesn't get killed by an npc doesn't make it any different, you still had no say in the outcome of the fight and nowhere were you told "capture him alive"  you get to the boss and blizzard says "sorry forgot to tell you but..."

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Rendakor
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Reply #1032 on: July 28, 2014, 12:12:49 PM

Giving the "real" kill to a lore character in a stupid comic is less annoying, because who gives a shit about the comics. But it gets pretty ridiculous for the game to pull kills out from under their players again and again. It's the way they frame it, mostly. It doesn't feel very heroic or like a victory when you have NPCs elbowing into the scene to get the "real" win. I didn't like when it happened with the Lich King, and I doubt it's gotten any better feeling in any of the instances it occurs after that.

This trope gets reversed in the Garrosh fight at the end of Siege. Thrall gets bitch-slapped by Garrosh in the prelude to the fight, and then the players take down Garrosh without any NPCs coming in to finish him off.


Incorrect.  The fight ends when his hitpoints get low  and then the npc cutscene begins where they haul him off to jail.  Whether it's jail or a sword, the npc's decide how that fight ends and you have zero say in it.

By that definition, the players never win the final boss fight. There's always a cutscene.

The players defeat Garrosh, period. I get that you like to troll me, and this is the bitch thread after all, but the Garrosh fight is the exact opposite of how the Lich King fight ended.

So you're saying it's OK if the NPCs step in after the loot is given out, but if the NPCs intervene before that it's not? swamp poop The LK fight functionally ends at 10%, so it's not really different from the Garrosh fight. You just watch Tyrion save you all in-game then get up to hit him a bit more with no risk or challenge involved before the rest of the cutscene plays.

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Hutch
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Reply #1033 on: July 28, 2014, 12:30:36 PM

There is no NPC interference in the Garrosh fight. Thrall gets walloped. Then the fight starts, and the players defeat Garrosh. Then there's a cutscene.

The cutscene could be the NPCs arguing over who has to dispose of the corpse, rather than who gets to dispense justice. The fight would play out the same either way.

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Reply #1034 on: July 28, 2014, 12:37:16 PM

Well it's a good thing I specified Warcraft!

There is nothing special about Warcraft that makes it impossible. They're making the *choice* to keep the player from having any agency.

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Maven
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Reply #1035 on: July 28, 2014, 12:42:59 PM

There is nothing special about Warcraft that makes it impossible. They're making the *choice* to keep the player from having any agency.

If I understand correctly, you're stating that it's possible for them to change, while I feel I'm writing about how things are as they stand from a design and corporate policy stand-point. I agree that if they wanted to make the effort (I'm ignoring exploring the pros and cons of such a shift and focusing exclusively on their ability to do so), they could implement it.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 12:44:51 PM by Maven »
Ingmar
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Reply #1036 on: July 28, 2014, 12:54:44 PM

I'm saying they never should have made that "design" choice in the first place. But yes, it's obviously possible for them to change. "They made this choice deliberately" is not a valid defense of a bad choice.

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Nevermore
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Reply #1037 on: July 28, 2014, 01:01:18 PM

I'm not saying "Cutscenes cannot have player agency." I'm saying WARCRAFT cutscenes enforce this restriction. However, I would ask you provide a counterpoint so I can better understand your position instead of making it seem like you don't understand mine.

I didn't understand your position when I made my post.  Your position seems to be 'Blizzard made the decision that players cannot have agency, thus it is impossible', the counter position is 'The decision Blizzard made regarding player agency is stupid and should change'.

Over and out.
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Reply #1038 on: July 28, 2014, 01:35:37 PM

The cutscene could be the NPCs arguing over who has to dispose of the corpse, rather than who gets to dispense justice. The fight would play out the same either way.

So the fight is the same if the boss gets up and runs away in a cutscene? You're being pedantic here. Whether or not the NPC literally stops your fight or rescues the bad guy after a fight, the result is that you effectively did not kill the boss. The guy isn't dead by your hand. That's what we're getting at here. Blizzard has done it over and over again since the Lich King.

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #1039 on: July 28, 2014, 01:44:11 PM

Blizzard has done it over and over again since the Lich King.Kael Thas

They even retcon'd Ragnaros into not being dead.

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Ingmar
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Reply #1040 on: July 28, 2014, 01:50:07 PM

Blizzard has done it over and over again since the Lich King.Kael Thas

They even retcon'd Ragnaros into not being dead.

That's not the same thing we're talking about here. Badguys coming back when you thought they were defeated isn't a factor one way or the other in making you feel like your character is just an extra in someone else's movie.

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Reply #1041 on: July 28, 2014, 01:52:44 PM

Agreed, making a guy come back from a supposed defeat is a common trope in almost every fantasy story. While just as stupid in many cases, there's a large leap between that and having the "killing blow" taken away from you in the final cutscene.

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Merusk
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Reply #1042 on: July 28, 2014, 03:25:12 PM

Rags was never "dead" anyway. Just exiled to the fire plane like any other elemental when defeated.  You have to defeat him on his home plane to actually kill him. It's summoning & multi-dimensional travel 101 guyz!  awesome, for real

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Reply #1043 on: July 28, 2014, 03:45:28 PM

It's really, really easy to give the player a feeling of agency in even Warcraft cut scenes the way they currently do them. You kill or banish (or capture, but ONLY IF YOU KNOW THAT GOING IN) the bad guy, cut scene starts with NPCs reacting to your awesome feat instead of kill stealing or overriding you. I mean, didn't they do that in the Sunwell? You have help getting rid of Kil'jaeden, but the raid actually does the killing, and then some NPCs show up and are like "Holy shit! Now let us barf up an epilogue for you guys." It wasn't a CUTSCENE but ... it pretty much could've been one.

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #1044 on: July 28, 2014, 04:55:27 PM

"We need you to capture Garrosh to pay for his crimes"  One line was really all they needed but they pulled the bait and switch at the end.

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Simond
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Reply #1045 on: July 28, 2014, 06:27:23 PM

*Game refers to the raid as basically a special forces team all the way through the instance, doing things that the regular Horde/Alliance troops could never dream of*
*Raid dismantles Garrosh's entire military one piece at a time, proving his attitude completely wrong*
*Raid beats the crap out of the only being to successfully weaponise an Old God and leaves him broken and utterly defeated in the dirt*
*Nobody kills him, and Taren Tzu drags him away in chains*

"Waaah, it's not fair we didn't achieve anything it was all the NPCs why doesn't Blizzard make everyone bow down and fellate my genitals"

Really?

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #1046 on: July 28, 2014, 07:05:25 PM

Purposefully misinterpreting the argument, 5 points to house troll. 

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Maven
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Reply #1047 on: July 28, 2014, 08:35:42 PM

So, which of the ten - twenty-five - fourty raid members of a game focused on stroking the individual ego of its players gets the credit?

I'm joking. Kinda.
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Reply #1048 on: July 28, 2014, 09:35:16 PM

So, which of the ten - twenty-five - fourty raid members of a game focused on stroking the individual ego of its players gets the credit?

I'm joking. Kinda.

You all get the credit in your own cutscene.

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Sjofn
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Reply #1049 on: July 28, 2014, 10:43:20 PM

So, which of the ten - twenty-five - fourty raid members of a game focused on stroking the individual ego of its players gets the credit?

I'm joking. Kinda.

Well, again I refer to beating Kil'jaedan. The entire raid gets a verbal high five for beating him, and everyone goes home satisfied. That is much better than "yoink!"

No, they're not saying, "You, Sjofn, are the best!" But I prefer "Sjofn's Guild/Group of Assholes from LFR/Whatever defeated the big bad! Thanks, guys!" to "Sjofn's Guild/Group of Assholes from LFR/Whatever hurt the Lich King a lot, then had to be saved by one of our Sues, then sort of helped win. Thanks?"

Thing is, WoW is clearly not about stroking the individual ego of its players, but now it's not even about stroking the collective ego of its players, or even really acknowledging them as a plot force, and that just strikes me as weird. I'm not playing this escapist shit to be an extra. I'm totally cool with not having everyone think I am the bestest best (my favorite NPCs are the ones who think I'm overrated and are sort of assholes to me) (plus I'm one of the people who LIKED Dragon Age 2, a game that is a celebration of failure), but when I'm not a focus of the story, it makes me wonder what the point of it is. Having NPCs always steal the big resolution moment really, really deflates a sense of investment for me.

God Save the Horn Players
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