Blizzard Glee and the Importance of Story

By David Piner -
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It's been a long time since I sat in my chair and felt like a real true Internet nerd. With all of my posturing, all of my primping, and all of my attempts to deny it, somehow, Blizzard has just made me collapse into their mountains of BS and sit here with my hands hurting, my elbow almost to the point of being bruised, and me realizing it's now 1 AM in the morning. WTF. How did this happen?

I'm no Blizzard fanboy, I'll talk trash about their games in about half a second, like any other TRUE BLIZZARD FAN (TM). However, even at a measily level 94 (THANK YOU QUEUE). While Gabe Newell shakes his fist in rage as Blizzard remains one of the last bastions of games outside of valve's control that also aren't owned by EA or Ubisoft with their terrible launchers. I don't know, it's very nostalgic since we're coming up on WoW's 10th year anniversary. Here I am, sitting here at my PC and yet another grin crosses my face as I see Rexxar with his batman hat sitting along in the middle of nowhere, stumbling across him just by random, and thinking to myself wow, Blizzard cared enough to do this. 

I'll be posting some thoughts about it later, in more detail and with less of my southern sass, but I don't know - it's so insanely great that Blizzard somehow decided ya know what. Maybe we should make an expansion fun. Maybe we should make it a real value to folks so that they don't quit our game in droves. Maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't try some experimental insanely difficult change in this ship's direction and make what people originally desired: a good basic MMO where everything works.

Yeah, okay, throw a knife in me, not everything works right now, but outside of things beyond Blizzard's control (we're all to assume here), the game in of itself works. It's fluid, combat is great, graphics are wonderful. Zones are vibrant and colorful. The quests and the cutscenes all work together. It's that perfect mixture of a single player RPG and a world you share with others. Why can't any other game get this?

One of the things that WoW does great is the story. It presents to you a reason to move forward and do quests, which then lead you to the wonderful world of the endgame. It's like getting on a flight and getting a really good in-flight movie. Of course, in Cataclysm and Pandaria, the story was just total crap. It was like, fighting Deathwing was fighting some mid-boss who kept dying and losing and even in Cataclysm with all of his power he died to the thing that made him powerful to begin with. Good job?

Like I wrote yesterday, Pandaria was like a clown show. A joke. There was no story - it was supposed to be about the Alliance vs. the Horde again for the 239837 time. They pitched it during TBC. They pitched it during Wrath. They pitched it during Cataclysm. Then they were like, this battle is coming to a head y'all! Where? Where did it come to a head? We got a PvP island. That's great. Woohoo! That's not a new concept at all. There wasn't even many of the world PvP quests like in Wrath where there were these mini-pvp areas where you quested in that were optional. It was just a story about a dragon, that everyone in the entire world understood was not already previously defeated, but easily dismissed as a joke.

Dwarves had more of an impact on the story than anything Deathwing did and to return back to panda land, there wasn't any point of doing anything there. Until of course Garrosh found himself some old god powers which had literally almost nothing to do with the pandarian campaign. You fight... some shas and some thunder people and then bam, Garrosh. Why even get up out of bed?

In Warlords, it's back to people you know, names you can fight for, a cause that's just, and a land that makes you warm and fuzzy a way that Cataclysm's butchering of many zones couldn't. Truly, Blizzard finally got up off their asses and put some heart back into their game - at least so far. We'll revisit that after some more playing, of course.

I'm about to pass out, but I just wanted to jot down my thoughts and share the handsome picture of Rexxar. See you all in Azeroth.

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About The Author

David "Xerin" Piner
Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. In addition to his ongoing war against early access titles.

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