Pushing onward, she moves into Darkshore with her… land forces. From a coastal outpost. The complete lack of air or naval support means that Sylvanas is stopped dead by a barrier Malfurion managed to erect, but rather than waiting for any sort of reinforcement, she has a strategy that amounts to “push through.” So now she’s managed to divide her forces badly, lacking sufficient support, and still trying to push ahead for an assassination mission that could succeed right now by Malfurion just leaving. … [Read more...] about WoW Factor: Dissecting the dumb plan in World of Warcraft’s War of Thorns
Wow factor at events
I’m putting that front and center because if you’re going to talk about World of Warcraft at the moment, you’re going to talk about the latest Warbringers short and the concurrent in-game events, and that means talking about the fact that this is dumb. I’m also trying to leave people who really don’t want to be spoiled for awful storytelling not forced into it, so be fairly warned; things get spoil-y real quick down below. So if you want to read about how catastrophically stupid this is, read on. If you’d rather have any remaining faith in the expansion not being a steaming pile of wombat leavings destroyed by watching the cinematic in-game, well, maybe hold off. … [Read more...] about WoW Factor: There’s no fixing this Battle for Azeroth story
Unfortunately, doing so would require an entirely new team behind the game, I suspect. It would need people willing to acknowledge how badly this had been flubbed and taking a look at the groundwork of the game, re-examining what made people connect with the title in the first place. This is no small feat, and I suspect that it’s unlikely in the extreme that we’d go that route. You can even now see people misreading the problem, like saying that the problem is that the cutscenes are so much better than the gameplay (true from a technical standpoint, but hardly the reason people have distaste for the story). … [Read more...] about WoW Factor: Why people are mad at Battle for Azeroth, part 5: Conclusions and peeling the mask
If we believe that Blizzard’s developers have a plan that stretches just to the next expansion, we have to also believe that it redesigned every single spec to balance around artifacts with full knowledge that it was going to also just delete them altogether. More to the point, the redesign was given exactly one thing that would carry over into the next talent revision; every other cool effect of the artifacts was designed, tuned, and put into the world with absolute certainty that it would then be deleted remorselessly. … [Read more...] about WoW Factor: Does World of Warcraft have a plan?
The core of the issue here, of course, is highlighted by that disconnect. Blizzard’s developers seem to know that you aren’t supposed to be leveling like this, but also that you shouldn’t be gaining seven levels without any actual purpose or power increase. This indicates to me that the developers themselves aren’t really clear on what the point of levels are in the first place, whether they’re supposed to be an increase in power or a progress marker or something else entirely. … [Read more...] about WoW Factor: Blizzard’s schizophrenic view of levels