Interesting post. It's true that often I find myself wondering exactly what pushed my character to go kill a boss apart from "This guy told me to do it, and he's the good guy so it must be the right thing to do."As for Grizzly Hills, though I suck too much at PvP to completely love the area, I enjoyed Drakuru's questline a lot too, not only because, as you said, it involves my character personnally, but also because I thought the foreshadowing was spot-on. From the moment he started to ask me to gather mojo, I knew something was fishy, but it was only a feeling of unease until the top of Drak'tharon keep.
Very interesting post. However, most of this stuff doesn't apply to me. I love what Blizzard is doing, and I try to see it all. Every time I pick up a quest from somebody, I go on WoWWiki or Wowhead and search their name up, too see if they have anything special about them. Most of the time... they do =DGrizzly Hills... I never did the Grizzly Hills. Why? I was too high level when I finally finished Dragonblight =P I went from Dragonblight straight to Zul'Drak, so I missed Drakuru's "Blood-Brothering" of you. I had no idea that even happened lol. When I saw Drakuru in Voltarus, I was like "Oh, another general of the Lich King? Fun..." and just did the quests for the guy.!Spoiler!It's quite funny because after you do the quests for Drakuru, you betray him. I guess it's Blizzards way of letting you kick back at those people that have kicked you =P
I agree with you 100%. Grizzly Hills drama left me in a fury, wanting Drakuru's corpse at my feet and my blood on his hands. When I finally saw him again face to face, I had to serve him still, all the while this time around, undermining his efforts... until finally the deception provided to me by the Knights of the Ebon Blade allowed me to gain my sweet, sweet revenge. I think its an issue of too many quests, too many writers. I think there are people at Blizzard with varying degrees of strength in terms of linking quests with storylines, linking storylines with game mechanics, putting it all together to form a cohesive picture... and the Guru of Drakuru series is indeed near the pinnacle (if not THE) of these. Because of the excellent storycraft AND its connection to the game mechanics (read: quests), I don't think I have had a more satisfying achievement listed under my character.
One word:WrathgateThe story telling in Lich King is some of the best I've experienced in all of gaming. Telling a good story in an MMO is inherently difficult, and I think Blizzard has done a fantastic job in this aspect. I actually feel like a part of the world now, like I'm making a difference (phasing tech is the coolest thing EVER). Props to Blue, they've figured out how to tell an engaging story in an MMO. But yeah, I did the Drakuru quests in Grizzly, but didn't do Drak'Theron, so I was confused when I saw him again in ZD. Once I did the DK quests though, it all clicked, and made me smile.
Excellent Post, well written and thoughtful. I hadn't thought about how much of a difference my one little NE Rogue made in the overall scheme of things. Guess I'm the kind of player WoW caters to, my "suspension of disbelief" is on a hair trigger, and I tend to immerse myself in the game when I play. I know there's millions of others doing the same quests I'm doing, but it's still personal when I'm asked to take on a quest for someone who can't do it or can't be bothered to do it for themselves. And I feel a little guilty if I abandon a quest just because it's become low level for me.
Thought provoking post. I want to get some feedback on what other people think about the Death Knight storyline. I think that the introduction quests to the DK were awesome. I really felt like I was my DK. The dialog with the lady from elwynn forest (whom I had to kill) really struck a nerve. I actually felt bad for killing her. On the flip side, I really enjoyed being evil for those first few quests where I had to kill the townsfolk en masse. Now that that's done with, though, I feel like there is not a special quest line anymore. As if now I'm another Alliance member who actually cares about killing horde or saving outland. I was lead to believe that the Ebon Hold faction cares only about the downfall of the Lich King, now I'm killing animals for Nesingwary?Of course, I understand that the DK (or any class / race) cannot have its own storyline throughout the game, so I would settle for the occassional nod towards being from a different alliance and having different objectives. I'm only level 71, so I'm still holding out for that possibility before 80.Thoughts?
I, too, skipped over the entire Grizzly Hills quest line and went to Zul'drak (as many did at release). I figured Drakuru had something to do earlier in the game, but no idea of what importance. After having gone back to do the quest series so I could get the Zul'drak dungeon quests I realized how much I had missed. Still, I felt it was necessary being I had leveled over most of the zones before completing them.This was Rotgurgle's first post here, and I think it was excellent. Good work!
For me, the most affecting quest chain was not Drakkuru, but Har'koa (begins with To Speak with Har'koa). A phased quest chain, and at the end of it you are left with a feeling of accomplishment. That your character actually made a difference in the war. Again, it doesn't matter that many other characters will do or have done the chain; while you are doing it you (or at least I was) caught up in the story, and actually worrying about the fate of an NPC. Many of the Icecrown quest chains give you the same feeling. Yay for phasing!
I am with Rotgurgle on Anub'arak and the Nerubians. It's a fantastic character (perhaps the most sympathetic villain I have ever encountered, without being even remotely set up to be so from the start (like some movies do)) and a fantastic story - one can only hope that Blizzard will bring him back as hinted on the beta forum in one of many threads pleading for a more suitable end or continuation of it.Some people seems to be slightly bothered by the fact that you're now more of a regular soldier albeit still a very skilled one. Take the quests welcoming you to Borean Tundra as Alliance for example, I can't remember the exact wordings at all but it's along the line of "praise the Light that you are here, <name>, we're severely short on competent people that can be trusted to not get lost on the way to the mailbox, can you help us with urgent x/y?". Not sure if I get the entire meaning across (it's part of a larger picture, take the workers and craftsmen signing up as soldiers outside the inn at Valiance Keep), but the point is that even if you're not the great hero single handedly saving the world (I might mention that I've always found that exaggerated) but you are part of the Alliance as a valued and trusted elite soldier. You're way above the rank and file, partially outside the chain of command and known to the higher echelons of the latter - and saving lives of regular soldiers every day by taking on missions where they can't or might not succeed.I find that much more realistic and much more enjoyable. Actually, a paralell can be drawn to many Forgotten Realms characters here, particularly in books. Even the greatest of heroes (magnitude of Drizzt and Elminster) are often concerned with local problems. Sure, they run into some amazingly powerful entities and other things (especially in the case of Elminster but then again he's spent a couple of thousand years getting there) but even when they do it's very rarely able to affect the entire or even close to a significant part of the world. The world is simply too large for it, and dealing with local problems is something everyone have to do regardless of whether you're the Archmage of the Seventh Tower of the Lost Mist or a junior accountant at Joe Bernhard's Accounting & Finance.And that is something that, I think, above all things helps bring perspective to stories and characters alive. Not to mention one of the most precious commodities in life - purpose.
Truly excellent post!On with the show...I think the key to feeling accomplished in MMOs is to forget that there are 11+ billion people out there, doing the same thing you are - or have done the same thing. Just for a few minutes consider that Marshal Dughan is really desperate and you are the only person who saw his Wanted Poster: Wanted: "Hogger". Or, to go on a greater scale, there may be many heroes out there, but A'dal asks you to gather a group of 25 and execute The Fall of the Betrayer. You, and nobody else, is the one who leads the group to get Outland rid of the mad half-demon, half-elf.Even later on, the warriors of the Shattered Sun Offensive only show up with Velen and Lady Liadrin after you have dealt with Kil'Jaeden. Regardless of their immense power, even the leaders of all of the Blood Elves and all of the Draenei are not stupid brave/mighty enough to lead the assault against Sargeras's first commander (the notion that you are being used as "dead meat" eludes me somehow...).So in general, I am going to disagree - it's a matter of perception. Blizzard does in fact create excellent storylines with quite a bit of personal player involvement (even in Outland and the whole "working for greater powers" you can become pretty involved if you know your Lore).I love the game :)
Personally I think some degree of RP is needed to fully enjoy such a vast world as Azeroth (and outlands). I think ArgentSuns post is a good one, you do have to forget there are 11 billion other people out there doing the same thing you are, if you keep reminding yourself there are thousands doing the same thing then why are you even bother to play at that point?This game is different to so many people in how a story is told, where someone might want the glory and fame of taking out say Illidan, the Lich King and such (as for me I've never done most of those end game things so to me I don't mind not being noted as the brave hero that slew the evil man in their temples :P) I prefer to think of myself how I started out, the big warriors of SW were off fighting the evils that roamed across the land and the home front needed me to help secure the smaller less dangerous things. (I'm a chicken I know) I think of myself as the support or the "rogue" who though won't commit to something large as taking out Illidan or Arthas, I'll be there to back them up and give them the chance to accomplish it so in the end everyone will be the better.I think though in terms of over all scales WOTLK did a TON better job at story telling, when you first hop on that boat from Menthil Harbor and land on shores of Northrend the men are already singing your praises (if you read the text that is) they regale you as the solider they need, as the ones they have aren't made for the work they need to be done, so in that respect they increase the scope of your journey, no longer are you some unknown peon who has not a name, you are renowned enough to be known by commanders who seek YOUR help in ending the conflict because no one else will do. They also include the people and even Arthas more, take the quest where you meet up with that Death Knight in the Zigg. if you had played a DK you would know he was there, at practically the beginning, handing out quests( even trying to keep what DK he had from becoming fodder for those pesky Crusaders) and now here he is again (yes he kinda takes on the role as Hero and leaves you sorta in the dust, be he also needs your help too since he himself can't do it alone and no it's not like the betrayer quest for Zul Drak) But it does get you involved in that you know his sister is also looking for him and if you have a DK your self (and even playing on it at that point) you have an emotional attachment to the idea that Arthas and his lackeys betrayed you and left you for dead at the ground of the chapel and didn't care. Now for a DK there is more hate there since you finally have a chance to be rid the world of someone who stabbed you in the back. Further on if you travel to UK you finally have a chance to get rid of that annoying BE Servant of Arthas and watch him wither in the light of day. (*dances*)I guess in the end it comes down to perspective, I see what Arthas has done more in WOTLK that I had seen what Illidan or even Kael had done in BC. In order for the game to be interesting to me and even engaging as a story it has to draw me in emotional, make me feel what those characters feel (weather anger, sadness joy or revenge) When they can take me on the trip with them I don't mind if I'm not the hero, because you can't be the hero every day of the week. :P
There are some more points that are excellent story-parts.For instance, with the Bronze Dragonflight quest that has you protecting the hourglass of eternity, you do it twice, which I think is excellent. When you first do it at level 74 or so, and your future self pops up, it's kinda cool, even if the character model looks just like yours (I personally think that the model should've been in full Valorous gear). Then, when you hit level 80, you're given the quest again, and your past self sits there and makes fun of your equipment, asks if you've been raiding, and even has the gall to ask about Icecrown.I laughed out loud while I was in Vent with some of my friends doing this quest. Another cool bit of storytelling was with the Ruby Dragonshire Guardian and the DK that kills her. Granted, there's no quest that I've found that tells you to kill the fellow, but I went at killed him right after I finished the Guardian's quest because I felt bad for her.I hope that we see more of this as the last few raids are released.
Seems like Blizzard like to plot stories about caged up NPCs betraying their own kind, remember that bristtleback hog caged up in Camp Taurajo? He "helped" us betray his own kind and kill their leaders, although he didn't get released from the cage or summon some bad-ass ruler of Kalimdor (we did it for the buffz!) it is still an interesting story-line to follow, albeit a short and simple one.
I do believe that this very subject is the reason RP servers are around... Blizz can only do so much (storyline wise) in game. Why did that Night Elf Druid who befriended Illidan 10,000 years ago kill him? Because they want teh phat lewtz. Seriously, how many people actually READ the quest descriptions before you run out and start killing stuff? With ten million players, Blizz has to do what they can to cater to EVERYONE...With the majority of "everyone" being 12 year olds with ADHD, if they don't make the game in such a way that you can keep running around killing stuff with no regard for the storyline *pant* people would get bored (zomg long sentence).Also, note what you are asking of the devs. Exactly HOW much can you achieve with a simple blurb of text at the beginning, and one more blurb at the end? Also note that quests (and storylines) can't truly alter the surroundings incredibly, which would make it difficult to support multiple people doing the quest at once.Yes, we have Blizz's miraculous "phasing" or "instansing" or whatever they are calling it which, while a brilliant idea and being what allows such awesome quests like the Battle for Undercity possible, removes a bit of the "open world-ness" that WoW is famous for.Another thing to note is development time. People LOVE complaining about how long Blizz takes to implement something new, then they complain even MORE once its released and not as epix as they expected. I mean, seriously! Which do you think took longer to program: The Battle for Undercity or Red Linen Goods?Blizz put everything WE need to create the world in there, all we have to do is immerse ourselves in it. Join an RP server, or find some people who would also enjoy character and story development.EDIT: A few more thoughts. Remember, we are playing an MMORPG - yes, the last three letters stand for "ROLE PLAYING GAME". If you want the game to spell out the adventure, you aren't playing an RPG, you are playing an ACTION game.
Icecrown gets you pretty personally invested in Arthas's deals if you ask me. The quest where you turn around and destroy the human expedition was quite enjoyable. But yes the Drakura part was genious at least, while the story of Anub'Arak completely butchered! It saddens me to see such a great character and hero for the undead scourge get farmed in a heroic, like he was nothing more than a moth to Arthas' flame. He came off as the best addition to The Frozen Throne and with excellent subtle storyline progression together with the nerubians. Sad to see they made it an entrance level dungeon that basically tells you to go down there and kill one of the strongest heroes of the scourge with 5 people. 5 retarded people even.
Just to clear things up, I'm gonna nitpick a little here by saying that 11 billion people don't even exist. Very interesting OP, though.