Starym

Pre-patch Drama Interview with Ion Hazzikostas and John Hight on PC Gamer

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It seems everyone has taken note of the community reactions surrounding the burning of Teldrassil and following events, as PC Gamer talked to Game Director Ion Hazzikostas and Production Director John Hight about everything pre-expansion related. The Warbringers: Sylvanas > Old Solider reactions from the community were expected and even planned, as the Horde players were supposed to be thinking to themselves if this act had to define them as well as the Horde leaders, and then Old Solider showed them that it didn't. The rest of the interview delves into just how much more unknown story there is for beta players, how setting up expansions has changed over time, the problems of the stat squish in the pre-expansion patch, and the BfA launch itself.


You can check out the full interview here and here are some interesting excerpts as well.
You can also check out today's other interviews on the subject, like the Daily Mail one featuring Principal Exterior Level Designer Gary Platner and In-game Cinematic Project Director Terran Gregory and Chris Metzen's audio interview on fan toxicity.

Quote

PC Gamer: The pre-expansion event has been pretty explosive and divisive. When you first set out to craft The War of the Thorns and its story, did you ever imagine it being as controversial as it was?

Ion Hazzikostas: We had some inkling that it would be. I think the Jaina Warbringers [cinematic], for example, is one of my favorite things our cinematics team has ever done. I was super excited to have the world experience that and that was received as we expected. Once we dug into the actual events around the Burning of Teldrassil—the attack and the response—there's a lot of emotional investment. It's one of the things that's powerful about World of Warcraft. There's attachment to one's faction—it matters, and people have different views of what it means to be a member of the Horde.

The Horde in particular is this patchwork collection of different races with very, very different motivations. The Forsaken versus the goblins versus the tauren versus orcs: They are fundamentally different in their ethos, their world outlook, and priorities. But they've banded together for strength and camaraderie to claim land for themselves and to eek out a place in this harsh world of Azeroth. And that is what has kept them bound together over the years, but those differences can and will emerge. It was very interesting to see the point and counterpoint unfold as we saw the pragmatic ruthlessness of Sylvanas on display countered by the focus on honor and justice, values embodied by Saurfang most of all. Both of those are still encapsulated within [that question of] "what is the Horde?"

 

Was it frustrating to have players criticize and take what happened and chalk up to bad writing before they've seen the whole picture?

Hazzikostas: It can be a bit frustrating, but it's also understandable and expected and natural. It's human. Emotions aren't rational. When you're feeling anger—or grief even—you lash out. Some people channeled those emotions in ways that are maybe more constructive in giving feedback than others, but I mean… think back to the internet the evening after the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones aired. How many people were like, "I'm done with this. I'm never watching this show again! I don't understand how they could do this?" It's because they just watched something they had an emotional investment in struck down before their eyes. That's part of good storytelling. Clearly you can't just alienate people and never let them back in, but there are ups and downs and those complement each other. They combine to make a coherent and effective narrative.

Hight: One of the fun things about WoW is that we really can tell episodic stories. It's not like we push out the game and people burn through it and the spoilers are available. We can absolutely trick you. If you think that we're doing something that's blatantly obvious and repeating itself, just stay tuned because we're probably setting you up for a surprise. 

 

Speaking of tricks, one thing I noticed is how many people felt like the Burning of Teldrassil was supposed to be this big mystery. People expected a twist and felt like Blizzard set it up that way. Going back and watching some older developer Q&As, though, I couldn't find much evidence of that. What happened there, from your perspective?

Hazzikostaks: On the internet, as this giant game of telephone to some extent, things can definitely take on a life of their own. At Blizzcon 2017, I remember Alex Afrasiabi teed up the question of who struck first: The Burning of [Teldrassil] or the assault on Lordaeron? But that was before alpha. That was at the very initial announcement of Battle for Azeroth. From the time the game was in alpha, beta, and beyond, the order of events was manifestly clear through the contents within the game.

At the same time, it ties back to a little bit of potential cognitive dissonance. People have an emotional attachment and you don't want to think the worst. You want to think there might be some other explanation than one that you find personally unappealing because it's uncomfortable. But sometimes storytelling is uncomfortable.

If we had our druthers, we wouldn't actually reveal any of the story before the game was launched. Players would experience it all sequentially for the first time with twists and turns and surprises as they go. The reality is that the benefit we get to the overall quality of the experience from having a robust beta testing program and continuing to do that every expansion far outweighs the potential upside of the story being more of a surprise for those who care most. Where possible, we're trying to safeguard the most impactful moments. Those are often our cinematics and a few other things that we really keep under lock and key throughout the whole beta process. There is more stuff that players will see for the very first time in just a few days—some really big story beats that we cannot wait to share with the world.

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So, in all honesty...he admitted that they are going to always focus on the Horde having internal issues that become global issues, while the Alliance's conglomerate of races that have diverse history and origination, are "ok" kneeling to a King because they feel morally obligated to? Just say its Bad vs Good...and that everything the game kept too since prior to Cataclysm with no side being right or wrong, just politically different is now in the past...instead of leading us on to believe at one point the Alliance will have "their" moment of darkness...

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I love how Ion acts as if we didn't just go through a whole "what it means to be horde" story line in MoP, was anyone asking for it again? He also just flat out says basically that the alliance are uninteresting golden boys, as if the alliance isn't comprised of different races with different morals? did we play the same WC3? cause the NIght elves aren't just purple humans in that game, granted since WoW they really ruined them. I also KNEW he would bring up game of thrones at some point because that's what this expansion feels like, a very very poor man's game of thrones, They figured out people love to hate cersei so they just earsed slyvanas's character and made her into cersei also to have the nerve to act as if the burning of teldrassil is even remotely similar to the red wedding. You know the biggest difference, the red wedding had good writing it was a consequence to a character making bad choice after bad choice, and although you may not have liked Him dying, you could TOTALLY see why it happened. Here slyvanas just threw a hissy fit, threw away her grand strategy because some Nelf threw shade her way. Sorry blizzard but believe it or not, you guys aren't writers, if you could pull off something like the red wedding you'd be published authors not working on a story on an MMO, probably the worst of the worst genres when it comes to stories in gaming.

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50 minutes ago, Nazamber said:

So, in all honesty...he admitted that they are going to always focus on the Horde having internal issues that become global issues, while the Alliance's conglomerate of races that have diverse history and origination, are "ok" kneeling to a King because they feel morally obligated to? Just say its Bad vs Good...and that everything the game kept too since prior to Cataclysm with no side being right or wrong, just politically different is now in the past...instead of leading us on to believe at one point the Alliance will have "their" moment of darkness...

No, he admitted, that people, who don't read the lore may think like that. But if you finished Good War and Elegy you can perfectly see that the Alliance has the same problems. Anduin is still referenced as a "boy king" - not a "High King" his father was. He's trying to unite his nations, but has very weak control over all the races of the Alliance and is on the verge of becoming a puppet to Greymane, the elf leaders and others.

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7 minutes ago, Badadada said:

No, he admitted, that people, who don't read the lore may think like that. But if you finished Good War and Elegy you can perfectly see that the Alliance has the same problems. Anduin is still referenced as a "boy king" - not a "High King" his father was. He's trying to unite his nations, but has very weak control over all the races of the Alliance and is on the verge of becoming a puppet to Greymane, the elf leaders and others.

That all sounds interesting, but when was the last time you had to read a comic book to understand and enjoy Marvel or DC movies?

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8 minutes ago, Badadada said:

No, he admitted, that people, who don't read the lore may think like that. But if you finished Good War and Elegy you can perfectly see that the Alliance has the same problems. Anduin is still referenced as a "boy king" - not a "High King" his father was. He's trying to unite his nations, but has very weak control over all the races of the Alliance and is on the verge of becoming a puppet to Greymane, the elf leaders and others.

There is a significant difference between a King being undermined and called a "Boy King", which doesn't cause global crisis than two faction leaders entities causing genocide, just saying.

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1 minute ago, Nazamber said:

There is a significant difference between a King being undermined and called a "Boy King", which doesn't cause global crisis than two faction leaders entities causing genocide, just saying.

Have any alliance leaders actually called him boy king by the way? that seems more like an insult the horde leaders use to describe him, as far as we've seen all the alliance leaders treat him as if he's his father, which he isn't even close to, they all agreed Varian would be their "high King" but now it just goes back to a monarchy? screw it, even though Anduin isn't even remotely ready to lead the alliance, his father was so we'll all just accept him.... The alliance races are so boring, they even took their one evilish race, the dark irons and made them carebear followers to Anduin. There must be posters all around Blizzard's office saying "Reminder: Alliance can not be interesting. NO differences between races culturally or ideologically"

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1 hour ago, Badadada said:

No, he admitted, that people, who don't read the lore may think like that. But if you finished Good War and Elegy you can perfectly see that the Alliance has the same problems. Anduin is still referenced as a "boy king" - not a "High King" his father was. He's trying to unite his nations, but has very weak control over all the races of the Alliance and is on the verge of becoming a puppet to Greymane, the elf leaders and others.

We saw in the cinematics and scenarios that Genn is definitely trying to turn Anduin into a puppet. So, there's a little bit of showing some of that stuff in-game, something they have been struggling with for a while, it seems. I do somewhat wish that they would allow all of these important details from outside the game to show up ingame, as many of us don't go through every single lore-related media they give us.

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Sounds like he forgets his own lore or ignores it. Both sides are kind of a patchworks, Alliance has Draenei, Night Elves, Void Elves who stand out more from it's other cultures. Also, huge parts of Horde should have been more unified as well, mostly Orcs, Trolls and Tauren since they have been there the longest, brought together by Thrall, and they share similar cultures and values. So on both sides, those arguments are rather unfounded. They don't have to be locked into one type of unified/having constant internal struggles. 

And of course, they are usually represented by humans and orcs (and sometimes elves, undead humans and elves, rarely anything else), so they should give more spotlight to others, but that's unlikely, so we are stuck with human and orc (even with Sylvanas in charge) aesthetic.

If anything, Horde should have been more unified within it's people by now, considering most of it's races live in Orgrimmar now (only tauren, blood elves and zandalari have their own "main" capitals).

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No mention of how this is turning into Siege of Orgrrimar 2, the reckoning?     It's following the same dot to dot plot path of bad choice for warchief predictably makes things go wrong and conflict escalates while the "good" horde plot a coup.    And it just happened like 2 expansions ago.   

 

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22 minutes ago, Migol said:

No mention of how this is turning into Siege of Orgrrimar 2, the reckoning?     It's following the same dot to dot plot path of bad choice for warchief predictably makes things go wrong and conflict escalates while the "good" horde plot a coup.    And it just happened like 2 expansions ago.   

 

As mentioned i the quotes above
" We can absolutely trick you. If you think that we're doing something that's blatantly obvious and repeating itself, just stay tuned because we're probably setting you up for a surprise.  "

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1 hour ago, Starym said:

That all sounds interesting, but when was the last time you had to read a comic book to understand and enjoy Marvel or DC movies?

When was the last time an MMORPG expansion lasted 2 hours of playtime? They tend to be more like around 2 years. I understand your argument, but Stan just posted an interview with some Blizzard guys in the news section, and I quote:

7 hours ago, Stan said:

Vanilla story had a hyperbolic fantasy and comic book-esque story and over the course of time, the audience has gravitated towards more compelling narratives.

Add Ion's Game of Thrones reference in this post and you'll see that - luckily - they have no intention to make WoW lore look like all those blockbuster Marvel or DC movies. I get it that some people don't like reading, but 2x 90 pages is not that much compared to a George R.R. Martin novel. Trust me it's worth it - but if someone is really lazy just read the first chapters of both.

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1 hour ago, Badadada said:

No, he admitted, that people, who don't read the lore may think like that. But if you finished Good War and Elegy you can perfectly see that the Alliance has the same problems. Anduin is still referenced as a "boy king" - not a "High King" his father was. He's trying to unite his nations, but has very weak control over all the races of the Alliance and is on the verge of becoming a puppet to Greymane, the elf leaders and others.

"People who don't read the lore may think that way" While this may be true, that creates a dangerous way to tell stories. If you want a certain narrative in a game, you can't expect everyone reads or watches the content outside of the game. If we see that a person is righteous and just at one moment then suddenly they're slaughtering children and it's not explained why except in a book, it's going to create dissonance for people that haven't read that book and suddenly the lore looks all over the place.

Having lore outside the game is fine, but if people are getting the complete opposite impression because they just play the game... that's a story problem.

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3 minutes ago, Badadada said:

When was the last time an MMORPG expansion lasted 2 hours of playtime? They tend to be more like around 2 years. I understand your argument, but Stan just posted an interview with some Blizzard guys in the news section, and I quote:

 

This is even more of a reason to not HAVE to explain things outside of the game. The expansions and game lasts a lot longer than 2 hours, you can tell a lot more in that time without needing an outside source.

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56 minutes ago, Aegrotat said:

This is even more of a reason to not HAVE to explain things outside of the game. The expansions and game lasts a lot longer than 2 hours, you can tell a lot more in that time without needing an outside source.

I must admit, it's probably rightful to criticize Blizzard on their cross-media preferences, but this does not justifies the whining of the drama queens about Sylvanas following the War of Thorns events. It's like saying something does not exists, because you can't find it on Wikipedia.
On the other hand - books were always quintessential to the fantasy genre, and I believe they will always be - so think about these novels that they just gave away for free before the BfA launch.

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love how he is upset by players complaining . what did u think was gunna happen ur turned gameplay into shit then did the same with story tellling . ion needs to go work somewhere else . 

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2 hours ago, Badadada said:

When was the last time an MMORPG expansion lasted 2 hours of playtime? They tend to be more like around 2 years. I understand your argument, but Stan just posted an interview with some Blizzard guys in the news section, and I quote:

Add Ion's Game of Thrones reference in this post and you'll see that - luckily - they have no intention to make WoW lore look like all those blockbuster Marvel or DC movies. I get it that some people don't like reading, but 2x 90 pages is not that much compared to a George R.R. Martin novel. Trust me it's worth it - but if someone is really lazy just read the first chapters of both.

I'm sorry, so it's my fault if I don't want to read a C grade short story and just would like the game's story be in the game? That's what you call lazyness? When I want to read a book I'll read something actually well-written and with a little more depth than "hurr-durr the Alliance will attack us 100% within the next millenia or so so we must attack in the next 5 minutes, also let's commit genocide while we're at it cos we're basically terrorists now".

You can't justify parts of the story that are needed to show how your main character's arent actually dumb and clueless being removed from the game. It doesn't matter if it's a 90 page booklet or 2 sentences, it simply cannot be removed from the game. Take highlights from the 90 pages and put it in the damn game it's not that hard, truly.

 

Or actually, let me put it to you another way since you decided to completely ignore my point about Marvel movies and cherry picked my meaning:

If i bought a BOOK that I wanted to read and the book was missing key plot and character parts and I was then asked to go play a game of super mario to get those missing pieces, would THAT be ok with you?

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16 minutes ago, Starym said:

I'm sorry, so it's my fault if I don't want to read a C grade short story and just would like the game's story be in the game? That's what you call lazyness? When I want to read a book I'll read something actually well-written and with a little more depth than "hurr-durr the Alliance will attack us 100% within the next millenia or so so we must attack in the next 5 minutes, also let's commit genocide while we're at it cos we're basically terrorists now".

You can't justify parts of the story that are needed to show how your main character's arent actually dumb and clueless being removed from the game. It doesn't matter if it's a 90 page booklet or 2 sentences, it simply cannot be removed from the game. Take highlights from the 90 pages and put it in the damn game it's not that hard, truly.

 

Or actually, let me put it to you another way since you decided to completely ignore my point about Marvel movies and cherry picked my meaning:

If i bought a BOOK that I wanted to read and the book was missing key plot and character parts and I was then asked to go play a game of super mario to get those missing pieces, would THAT be ok with you?

No, your problem - in my humble opinion, based on your comments - is that you can't decide between playing the game as a regular gamer or a roleplayer knowing the world in-depth. Casuals can perfectly enjoy the game without ever reading any additional media - the game will provide you every sufficient information, in time. The point of superhero movies is the same: every man from the street can watch them without ever opening the comic books they are based on.
However, if you are actually concerned how your character should feel about the story, what's your role in the world or you are enthusiastic about why Sylvanas does things she does, I see no reason why any fan of the franchise would refuse reading additional material, just because it's not in the game. Do Marvel and DC fans skip certain informations just because they are not in the movies? Those companies employ the practice of product bundling too - mabye even more than videogame studios, since the information on their characters are scattered around various formats.
And knowing how much work they put in the expansion prelude playable content I think it's nonsense to ask for even more. We had the Silithus zone revamp, War of Thorns, Battle for Lordaeron, Allied race content and Magni will also hand out the new artifact amulet in a dedicated quest. I think it's safe to say that so far BfA has the most eventful launch - I doubt it's phisically possible to produce even more lore-related quests they can put in the game. But even if they would have the resources to do that without a drop in quality - what's the point of creating so much temporary content? Most of those will be removed soon - or players will never again return to them. It would be just wasteful to turn all that 180 pages into in-game material (or even just the highlights of it). Not to mention, that MMORPG is not the kind of genre where players tolerate long and slowly advancing cinematics, in which their character plays no active role.

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36 minutes ago, Badadada said:

Not to mention, that MMORPG is not the kind of genre where players tolerate long and slowly advancing cinematics, in which their character plays no active role.

It comes down to a few kinds of people: People who want all the lore, that read outside, people who want lore but don't want to read a bunch of externals because they want stuff in game, and people who don't care. the people who don't care will just skip cutscenes, the others will have no issue watching them.

The end of the day, this is a game and they have to appeal to the lowest common denominator, being the people that want lore, but don't want to have to read books to find it out. They can keep making books about lore, but if a character makes some kind of big decision or character development, it SHOULD just be available to see that in game. I love lore, I love reading it all. But some people just want to be able to see it in game.

Destiny for example, suffered the same problem. It had a deep, awesome lore that people didn't know about because it was external for the most part. External is fine, but it should not be MANDATORY to understand what's going on. It should supplement it. You said that  books were always quintessential to the fantasy genre, but books were not quintessential to fantasy VIDEO games. You don't need to read deep Diablo lore to understand what's in the game and enjoy the story but it's still fantasy. Multimedia story telling is fine, but mostly if it's a choice.

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2 hours ago, Badadada said:

No, your problem - in my humble opinion, based on your comments - is that you can't decide between playing the game as a regular gamer or a roleplayer knowing the world in-depth. Casuals can perfectly enjoy the game without ever reading any additional media - the game will provide you every sufficient information, in time. The point of superhero movies is the same: every man from the street can watch them without ever opening the comic books they are based on.
However, if you are actually concerned how your character should feel about the story, what's your role in the world or you are enthusiastic about why Sylvanas does things she does, I see no reason why any fan of the franchise would refuse reading additional material, just because it's not in the game. Do Marvel and DC fans skip certain informations just because they are not in the movies? Those companies employ the practice of product bundling too - mabye even more than videogame studios, since the information on their characters are scattered around various formats.
And knowing how much work they put in the expansion prelude playable content I think it's nonsense to ask for even more. We had the Silithus zone revamp, War of Thorns, Battle for Lordaeron, Allied race content and Magni will also hand out the new artifact amulet in a dedicated quest. I think it's safe to say that so far BfA has the most eventful launch - I doubt it's phisically possible to produce even more lore-related quests they can put in the game. But even if they would have the resources to do that without a drop in quality - what's the point of creating so much temporary content? Most of those will be removed soon - or players will never again return to them. It would be just wasteful to turn all that 180 pages into in-game material (or even just the highlights of it). Not to mention, that MMORPG is not the kind of genre where players tolerate long and slowly advancing cinematics, in which their character plays no active role.

So again you decided to ignore my overall point that I made clearer with the book example. Ok, I guess you don't actually want to discuss this but rather just have this need to defend Blizzard at every turn. That's fine.

But if you think adding 5-10 lines of dialogue into the game from the novellas is some kind of huge undertaking that would bury Blizz in development you either don't understand what I'm saying or don't really understand how development works. Sylvanas should have had those 5 sentences (as silly as they are) in the game before the Teldrassil event, Saurfang should have had his reactions to the burning in the game. These are the MINIMUM requirements for storytelling on this level, that your characters don't appear to be doing things for either no reason or terrible reasons, and it's extremely irrational for you to demand and expect PLAYERS of a GAME to have to go outside the game to actively LOOK for explanations. I had no idea that Sylvanas even had specific reasons for attacking the Alliance, let alone which novella I should "look into" as a dutiful follower of the story, I just happened upon that info on reddit as part of my job. Most players don't read reddit or the forums or even a lot of news sites, so basically you're saying they don't deserve to know what's actually happening in the game they play and pay for because adding 10 lines of dialogue is too hard and too resource-expensive for Blizzard. That makes sense to you? Really?

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2 hours ago, Starym said:

But if you think adding 5-10 lines of dialogue into the game from the novellas is some kind of huge undertaking that would bury Blizz in development you either don't understand what I'm saying or don't really understand how development works. Sylvanas should have had those 5 sentences (as silly as they are) in the game before the Teldrassil event, Saurfang should have had his reactions to the burning in the game. These are the MINIMUM requirements for storytelling on this level, that your characters don't appear to be doing things for either no reason or terrible reasons, and it's extremely irrational for you to demand and expect PLAYERS of a GAME to have to go outside the game to actively LOOK for explanations. I had no idea that Sylvanas even had specific reasons for attacking the Alliance, let alone which novella I should "look into" as a dutiful follower of the story, I just happened upon that info on reddit as part of my job. Most players don't read reddit or the forums or even a lot of news sites, so basically you're saying they don't deserve to know what's actually happening in the game they play and pay for because adding 10 lines of dialogue is too hard and too resource-expensive for Blizzard. That makes sense to you? Really?

Fair point. I absolutely loved the "Old Soldier's" cinematic that Blizzard put out, though it was great showing that Saurfang actually disapproved of Sylvanas's action I was rather puzzled as to why Blizzard didn't bother implementing those same actions in-game once the tree was burned.

They should have also changed the Sylvanas Warbringer cinematic to something more impactful other than her getting killed and becoming the Banshee queen. I agree with you that the short cinematic just made it seem like she waged war just because she died in battle and became who she is. 

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3 hours ago, Starym said:

Sylvanas should have had those 5 sentences (as silly as they are) in the game before the Teldrassil event, Saurfang should have had his reactions to the burning in the game.

I think this says a lot even. I know people who legitimately thought Saurfang just... was completely ok with the burning of Teldrassil because in game there wasn't really anything that showed it (You know until the Lordaeron stuff). But then the Lordaeron cinematics came out and people were specifically able to point out that Jaina clearly didn't know about the burning purely by her facial expressions.

So much can be shown without a character dumping exposition, or outside sources. And I know Blizz is capable of doing it and would be completely fine putting a bit more in game.

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If you have to tell your story through novels, comics, and whatever else for it to make sense, and not through the actual main attraction which is the game, you have failed as both game developers and story tellers. It's the exact reason why I gave up on understanding what the actual frick is going on around 8 years ago.

Edit: Novels, comics, w/e should EXPAND the universe with side stories of characters, worlds, cities, etc. Not explain the main plot and characters of the game you're already playing. The game should hook you on the universe, not leave you confused and dazed because the story of the game is a mess. It shouldn't force you to go to outside sources for the main  game to make sense.

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On 8/10/2018 at 11:07 PM, Starym said:

some really big story beats that we cannot wait to share with the world.

Waiting, waiting and waiting....

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      At Least You're Being Careful is a new achievement for opening this year's gift. Toy Armor Set (Alliance) & Toy Armor Set (Horde) can be found in the 2018 gift. The Alliance set contains Alliance Toy Cape & Wooden Toy Helm. The Horde set contains Horde Toy Cape & Wooden Toy Helm. Miniature Winter Veil Tree's item level is 335 this year. Blizzard also updated the Stag & Sleigh models in Battle for Azeroth. Check out our Winter Veil guide to learn more about the event!
      Stag & Sleigh Model Updates

    • By Stan
      Celestalon clarified in a series of tweets how the secret The Hivemind mount works.
      The multi-person capability is a special perk for the Hivemind group (the 5 people you last completed it with) and the final ritual is what establishes the link. Each player in a said group increases the mount's speed by 10% (Joined Hivemind). If you completed the final puzzle with a random group, you will need to complete it again with a different group for the speed bonus.
      Placeholder for tweet 1074489992548765696 Placeholder for tweet 1074492861976965120 Placeholder for tweet 1074543686430543872 Placeholder for tweet 1074493194040049664 Check out the guide over at Warcraft Secrets if you still haven't obtained the mount.
    • By Starym
      Well, that didn't take long! It seems you can't keep the WoW secret finders in the dark for too long, as they've already broken through and managed to obtain the mount! Warcraft Secrets and the secrets discord were hard at work the past few days and today finally bore fruit as they pushed through all the colored crystal monocles and found their way to the Court of Stars.

      From there it's a whole lot of petting kittens and purring, followed by phase-shifting platforms to navigate, and then the goal itself:

      While the very end of the guide hasn't been updated yet, it will be very soon so head on over to Warcraft Secrets and check out the full guide, and you might be riding this crazy thing soon as well.
      And, of course, congratulations to everyone that helped out in the endeavor, it was an amazing performance by all involved!
    • By Starym
      New hotfixes and this time around there's a whooole lot of dungeon changes to non-boss enemies as well as a tragic modification to Fetid Devourer's classic walk. M+ affixes were also tuned, with a Grievous nerf and a Bursting buff. The Elixir of Tongues has also made an appearance, allowing you to understand the opposing faction, and you can buy it from Lizzi Liverzapper. There's also Island Expedition fixes and a few PvP changes as well.
      December 14 (source)
      Classes
      Hunter Marksmanship Double Tap will no longer be immediately consumed for no benefit if it is activated while channeling Rapid Fire . Dungeons and Raids
      Grievous should no longer stack to 2 on the first periodic. Increasing damage of Bursting to 7% per tick (was 5%). Atal’Dazar Removed Infested from several stationary enemies in the instance. Kings’ Rest Adjusted spawns of Teeming in the instance immediately before and after the Golden Serpent. Animated Guardian’s Released Inhibitors only increases Melee haste. Lowered duration of King A’akul’s Hidden Blade to 4 seconds (was 8 seconds. Lowered Embalming Fluid DoT duration to 6 seconds (was 10 seconds). Lowered Golden Serpent’s Animated Gold health by 75%. Lowered Guard Captain Atu’s Axe Barrage to 6 seconds (was 10 seconds). Queen Patlaa’s Dark Shot changed. It now takes 1.5 seconds to land. Reduced Spectral Berserker Severing Blade damage by 25%. Seneschal M’bara is now level 120 and is susceptible to crowd control. Spectral Berserker is now level 120 and is susceptible to crowd control. Motherlode Adjusted spawns of Teeming in the instance. Reduced Venture Co. Mastermind Leech Globule healing by 50% Increased Feckless Assistant Transfiguration Serum recast to 20 seconds (was 10 seconds). Reduced Weapon Testers Echo Blade damage by 50%. Reduced damage of Venture Co. Earthshaper’s Rock Lance by 25%. Reduced Recast of Earthshaper’s Earth Shield to 20 seconds (was 10 seconds). Wanton Sapper casts Final Blast at 10% health (was at 20%). Sethrallis Increased recast of Healing Wave cast by Charged Dust Devil to 16 seconds (was 10 seconds). Reduced duration of Sandswept Marksman Neurotoxin to 4 seconds (was 8 seconds). Faithless Tender’s Greater Heal is now single target. Reduced melee damage of Faithless Conscript by 70%. Increased respawn of Faithless Conscripts to 50 seconds (was 60 seconds). Shrine of the Storm Lowered damage of Temple Attendant’s Wash Away by 25%. Wash Away no longer hits pets and guardians. Runecarver Sorn’s Carve Flesh initial damage reduced by 75%, but is now increased by 70% per tick. Increased recast on Drowned Depthbringer’s Rip Mind to 16 seconds (was 8 seconds). Removed Infested from the Living Current before Aqu’sirr. Siege of Boralus Reduced damage of Blacktar Bomber’s Burning Tar initial damage by 50% and Fire Bomb by 25%. Adjusted spawns of Teeming and Infested in the instance. Increased cast time of Ashvane Commander’s Bolstering Shout to 5 seconds (was 3 seconds). Reduced Hadal Darkfathom’s Break Water unavoidable damage by 25%. Reduced range on Bilge Rat Demolisher Terrifying Roar to 10 yards (was 30 yards), and added a precast visual. Tol Dagor The Sand Queen’s Buzzing Drone no longer melees, but casts Itchy Bite much more frequently. Ashvane Marine’s Suppression Fire initial damage removed, but periodic damage immediately deals damage. Overseer Korgus Incendariy Rounds no longer stacks. Heavy Cannon’s Cannon Blast damage should now scale with the Keystone Level of the dungeon. The Underrot Increased recast on Devout Blood Priest abilities. Reduced Fanatical Headhunter Barbed Spear duration to 4 seconds (was 8 seconds). Reduced duration of Warcry to 8 seconds (was 30 seconds). Elder Leaxa will now only spawn one Blood Mirror clone. Waycrest Manor Deathtouched Slaver is now susceptible to Stun. Maddened Survivalist Freezing Trap is now Magic. Uldir Fixed a bug with the way Fetid Devourer uses his walk. No time to talk. Island Expeditions
      Resolved an issue in Jorundall that could cause the Southsea Pirate invasion to spawn a pirate ship in Fatigue waters. Items
      Players are now able to purchase Elixir of Tongues from Lizzi Liverzapper. Using and applying the potion will allow players to be able to understand the opposite faction. Captain's Signet of Command is now item level 395 (was 380) to match its Horde counterpart. Scouting Maps should again show up on the Honorbound and 7th Legion vendors and display the Pathfinder requirement to buy it if you do not have that achievement yet. Fixed an issue where Cloak of the Restless Tribes was not scaling properly after exiting a Timewalking dungeon. Player versus Player
      Monk Wind Waker will put a spell visual on the Monk when an ally triggers it. Paladin Ultimate Retribution will now cancel when Divine Shield or Blessing of Protection is applied. World Quests
      It is now raining additional mana for the Nazmir Assault World Quests "It's Raining Mana " and "Untapped Potential ". Previous hotfixes.