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Impressive Warbringers Pixel Art

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We have some more great fan creations today, also related to cinematics, and you could say these are remasters as well... They are pretty much the exact opposite of the recent upscales, as they're both pixel art and still images! Wizardriesx put a lot of effort into these de-masters, and it shows, as they are quite impressive and definitely evoke a very specific feeling - and look very nice as well! Let's go in chronological order and also throw in the inspiration for each as well:

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Source.

We didn't really get enough of Jaina (and especially her ghost ship) in BfA, but this cinematic really set the tone for the somewhat darker angle of the expansion.

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Source.

And then we have... this... Probably the most controversial cinematic Blizzard have ever done, and one that still gets referenced every time people discuss Sylvanas. The quote picked for the awesome pixel art above really brings home how weak the writing here was, as taken out of context it really sounds like an extremely emo kid talking about their traumatic event of losing an iphone. With the recent revelations surrounding Sylvanas' true motivation this one makes even less sense, as she didn't burn the tree just to spite that dying elf, nor did she do it to snuff out hope to win the war... because she never cared about the war - she was always going to just kill as many people as she could... ugh, I'll stop before I hurt my brain. That and the amazing bow-wielding ranger knee-sliding dual-dagger-like into a mounted opponent... yea, this is one that even the cinematics team that usually does an amazing job every time messed up pretty solidly.

jjc4pl0jh4241.png?width=1024&auto=webp&s
Source.

The finals Warbringers was also the best, as we got our first glimpse of BfA's big bad (and he's quite big indeed), as well as as getting to finally see Azshara's origin story from her perspective.

 

It's always amazing to see these varied fan creations, from the AI upscaling of old cinematics to Wizardriesx extremely downscaling new ones, all sides of the communities efforts to add to the Warcraft universe are truly awesome.

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10 hours ago, Starym said:

The quote picked for the awesome pixel art above really brings home how weak the writing here was, as taken out of context it really sounds like an extremely emo kid talking about their traumatic event of losing an iphone. 

I actually really liked that line when I first heard it.

I think the whole we are forsaken and we hate the living thing is core to what undead are. Being dead is tough. Other people being alive when you aren't is super tough. And resentment can easily get you to a place where you want to drag everybody down with you into your misery. 

It seemed to me that was what Sylvanas was doing. I thought the cinematic backed it up pretty beautifully. Until the flashback she was just being ruthless. But Daelyn forces her to remember how bitter her efforts have been. She snaps, and burns the tree to bitter Daelyn's draught too.

Which is, I still like to think, a really sharp, powerful message. In hindsight of Warbringers, I really think that specific Teldrassil image would have been greater if Sylvanas had been looking towards Daelyn's body rather than the tree. The tree is the collateral. Life is pain. If you let that pain consume you, you become nothing more than a monster which inflicts pain. And that might be the elf in front of you, but it has consequences long beyond that. 

I mean, you joke about emo kids -- and yeah, the wording is poor. I really wish they'd stop trying to make vague things like 'hope' and 'Azeroth' into something we're meant to care about. But there's a direct line from that emo kid to Sylvanas, to any real-world villain you wish to name, to you and me. Life is pain, so I'm going to make it painful for others. 

Anyway, I was jolly hopeful that was where she was going. They said she wasn't going to be Garrosh, and I thought a villain who intellectually, with compelling experience to back herself up, managed to articulate the problem of pain would be interesting both for the Horde (which has a hard lot, after all -- why shouldn't they struggle with the idea of inflicting pain back on everyone else?) and in herself. 

It sold me on Sylvanas until about 8.2. Then it belatedly settled in that everybody else had been right. She was just badly written.

But you can't tell me off for not having enough hope, eh? 

Although I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say her character is badly written. Because however badly it's executed, frankly, I think we still don't know what her character actually is. We've gone an entire expansion and we don't know what her motive is. We don't even have much more than a vague idea of her plan. That's awful. 

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Also, I should probably say:

1) This is indeed some cute little art.

2) I like these random things Icy Veins showcases occasionally. It fleshes out the site, and keeps me wanting to come back.

3) The fact the articles have a bit of discussion in them (opposed to flat-out reposting, I suppose) also helps with that. 

4) Starym, your rants are charming. 

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1 hour ago, Halock said:

Also, I should probably say:

1) This is indeed some cute little art.

2) I like these random things Icy Veins showcases occasionally. It fleshes out the site, and keeps me wanting to come back.

3) The fact the articles have a bit of discussion in them (opposed to flat-out reposting, I suppose) also helps with that. 

4) Starym, your rants are charming. 

Hey, thanks. On the Sylvanas thing I'm very frightened that it is actually obvious what she's doing in Shadowlands... aka pseudo-redemption arc with a hint of master planner doing the right thing etc.

So I'd be willing to bet that all of this killing everyone and feed them to the Jailer crap that BfA has been so that she and the Jailer can "fix death". She magically through the power of shitty writing found out death was broken (everyone in the maw since Legion etc) and then decided her and only her could fix it, ofc without telling anyone at all ever (except maaaybe Nathanos) because... you guessed it, shitty writing again. And so with Shadowlands she wants to fix it both selfishly for herself and for everyone else. She won't be the hero etc but she'll at least have a non evil reason to have done all this. I really don't see what else they could even pull other than that.

Also, in relation to hope and writing and what that cinematic could have been... you're basically me from a number of years ago. I also always hoped and thought "hey, this could actually be interesting if done correctly", which I still think, except now I KNOW video game writing is simply just bad. I know they won't do a good job of it because it's simply not the priority and video game writers are 99.99% either hacks with no talent OR simply  aren't allowed to write more complex and interesting stories because the target audience is 13 year olds who want "hero beat bad guy, I'm the hero". This allows me to be shocked when a game pulls off a minor miracle and actually has a decent story (something that hasn't happened in a long time now) and also allows me to not get pissed/depressed when a game shits the bed so incredibly you're left staring at the screen in disbelief that someone could write something  THIS bad (Borderlands 3).

So you should hold on to that as long as ya can! But for good stories I'd suggest you look elsewhere than games, which annoys me to say cos it's my No.1 pass time.

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People can say what they want about BfA, but I really like the storyline and character arcs. It hit the feels deep. Jaina's redemption questline watered my eyes, specially when paired with the fantastic soundtrack. Much like Anduin's small questline arc to visit the Broken Shore and recover Shamalayne. I still cry whenever I watch that cutscene.

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6 hours ago, Starym said:

 On the Sylvanas thing I'm very frightened that it is actually obvious what she's doing in Shadowlands... aka pseudo-redemption arc with a hint of master planner doing the right thing etc.

Probably true, but we don't know, which is the trouble. When it inevitably turns out to be just that it'll feel worse, but it'd feel better if we knew right now. 

... Or maybe I'm just being slow again. But I don't think I am based on the fact we're discussing this. The only real agreement reached in Sylvanas discussions is 'we'd like her to be written better'. To, uh, put it mildly. 

It's a pretty basic thing to worry about when writing characters. It doesn't matter how deep, mysterious, sinister, thoughtful or downright quiet they are, if people can't summarise them you've done a crap job. You need to know what's going on to appreciate it. 

On the story-writing thing, I've actually played jolly few recent games, but I was surprisingly impressed by Destiny 2's story. I thought Forsaken actually stepped over the line and attempted to become philosophical, which astonished me. It made me think

47 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

People can say what they want about BfA, but I really like the storyline and character arcs. 

I'll have to pry your brains on just why that is, some time!

But yeah, I don't think it's worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There's been some epic stuff this expansion, just like there always is. If nothing else I would say the shift to telling story through cinematics has been amazing. The music has been as beautiful as always. They've revisited loads of old characters and mostly done them justice. They've roped in numerous factions we thought we'd never see again. Can you believe we're going to have seen the San'layn and Pandaria again in the same expansion? We get to defend noodle carts again!

Also, a friend pointed out to me that Anduin is basically the cutest character in the whole game. 

It's just hung up, I find, by a main story which doesn't really do it justice. 

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41 minutes ago, Halock said:

I'll have to pry your brains on just why that is, some time!

But yeah, I don't think it's worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There's been some epic stuff this expansion, just like there always is. If nothing else I would say the shift to telling story through cinematics has been amazing. The music has been as beautiful as always. They've revisited loads of old characters and mostly done them justice. They've roped in numerous factions we thought we'd never see again. Can you believe we're going to have seen the San'layn and Pandaria again in the same expansion? We get to defend noodle carts again!

Also, a friend pointed out to me that Anduin is basically the cutest character in the whole game. 

It's just hung up, I find, by a main story which doesn't really do it justice. 

It is hard to top expansions like WotLK and Legion in terms of "epicness", but BfA does a good job with atmosphere and immersion in my opinion. I've had fun doing quests in this expansion, much like in Legion, and I felt invested in the small plotlines (particularly the Witch Hunt in Drustvar).

Sure, there isn't that urgency of Legion, and no other expansion will ever have this same level of urgency, because Legion was the grand finally, the conclusion we've been wanting since the original Warcraft. Nothing will top that.

But yes, I say with a solid YES that the character development of Jaina in BfA is the best one we got since Arthas'.

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3 hours ago, Halock said:

Probably true, but we don't know, which is the trouble. When it inevitably turns out to be just that it'll feel worse, but it'd feel better if we knew right now. 

... Or maybe I'm just being slow again. But I don't think I am based on the fact we're discussing this. The only real agreement reached in Sylvanas discussions is 'we'd like her to be written better'. To, uh, put it mildly. 

It's a pretty basic thing to worry about when writing characters. It doesn't matter how deep, mysterious, sinister, thoughtful or downright quiet they are, if people can't summarise them you've done a crap job. You need to know what's going on to appreciate it. 

On the story-writing thing, I've actually played jolly few recent games, but I was surprisingly impressed by Destiny 2's story. I thought Forsaken actually stepped over the line and attempted to become philosophical, which astonished me. It made me think

I'll have to pry your brains on just why that is, some time!

But yeah, I don't think it's worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There's been some epic stuff this expansion, just like there always is. If nothing else I would say the shift to telling story through cinematics has been amazing. The music has been as beautiful as always. They've revisited loads of old characters and mostly done them justice. They've roped in numerous factions we thought we'd never see again. Can you believe we're going to have seen the San'layn and Pandaria again in the same expansion? We get to defend noodle carts again!

Also, a friend pointed out to me that Anduin is basically the cutest character in the whole game. 

It's just hung up, I find, by a main story which doesn't really do it justice. 

Oh man... don't get me started on Destiny lol. It's the most amazingly frustrating game story-wise ever. Forsaken was indeed much better and SHadowkeep was acually good until the final mission, but the thing about Destiny writing... the campaign stuff is bad/video-game standard, written forthe generic light vs dark people, but then the LORE is some pretty god damn amazingly written sci-fi stuff. Like legit, a lot of the codex entries in destiny are genuinely awesome bothin terms of writing AND story development, except you don't ever get to read it properly cos it's all unlocks from hidden stuff, while the main campaign writing is like 17 levels beneath it in quality. If you get the chance/haven't yet, read the entirety of the Marasenna lore book, it's incredible.

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4 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Sure, there isn't that urgency of Legion, and no other expansion will ever have this same level of urgency

The Iron Horde actually completely sells me on that urgency, on that sort of fear/exhilaration mix. Storming the Dark Portal gets me pumped, every time. WoD had both an edge and a power to it that I don't think Legion quite mastered, though it tried very well, and obviously did way better in most other respects. (Like actually finishing its stories!)

WoD is actually my favourite expansion, but I can rarely get anyone else to  agree with me on that. 😅

4 hours ago, Valhalen said:

But yes, I say with a solid YES that the character development of Jaina in BfA is the best one we got since Arthas'.

Surprised to find I agree with you. I can think of characters I like more, but she has some real, convincing subtlety going on with her story. And it feels smooth like few others have. I reckon you're right. 

1 hour ago, Starym said:

Oh man... don't get me started on Destiny lol.

Heh.

I actually find the simplistic light/dark thing part of what lends it its charm. I feel like I'm stepping into a Star Wars movie or something. I love it. I also love the occasional hints -- often nothing more than a unusual lilt of a voice -- that suggests maybe things aren't that simple. 

And I thought Forsaken amazing because it solidified that idea that things really aren't that simple, that the light/dark thing is a construction even within the game world, and that things get messy fast when your simplistic, if useful, ideas get thrown into the real world. 

Mentioning Star Wars; I thought it felt analogous to Rogue One. Or at least Rogue One's intentions. Not sure that film pulled itself off. 

I liked the final mission, myself! But I think it really needs to be carried forward. If it's back to business as usual it'll just have been weird and dumb. 

I did start reading the lore books, but never really got going. Thanks for the recommendation -- I was actually hunting around for a reason to play it again and that might do nicely.

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The lore you get from the Pyramid itself after the campaign is also damn good, goes directly into the dark vs light thing and to the core of the story (it's not done yet though, 1-2 more still to go as it's a weekly thing). The final mission of Shadowkeep I was just sorely disappointed in the look and feel of the pyramid, it was just very plain in there and meh.

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7 hours ago, Halock said:

Can you believe we're going to have seen the San'layn and Pandaria again in the same expansion? We get to defend noodle carts again!

It's a good thing they aren't completely forgetting about previous events and locations, even if part of that reason is a matter of convenience, so they can reuse some assets from Pandaria. Still, too many characters and stories are ignored for way too long or aren't getting resolved (in some cases, getting lazily written ending instead). Usually they keep adding new stuff, instead of expanding upon established lore, their writers prefer to pick easier way of making up new stuff, which often leads to retcons or contradictions (in cases when they didn't bother to explain).

Like for example, Khadgar just disappeared, is working with Medivh, but we still don't know much about it, either because they don't want to overuse characters or they don't fit their story (even if they could). Jaina in BfA was fine for the most part, still it was disappointing when she just went missing for entirety of Legion, especially for someone who was so heavily involved in fighting them in W3. 

Edited by Arcling

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Yeah, I'm okay with the convenience thing. I feel like we're getting a lot more stuff than we used to... even if it perhaps doesn't feel as substantial? I don't know. 

Khadgar seems like a particularly weird case. I understand why they dropped him -- he worked incredibly well as a focus towards the big, overriding threat, but where'd he fit into a faction war? 

But not having Khadgar is sad.

You say he's working with Medivh -- we actually got that as a reason? I missed it, if we did. 

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40 minutes ago, Halock said:

You say he's working with Medivh -- we actually got that as a reason? I missed it, if we did. 

He appeared not long after Sargeras made The Wound and war had begun. As Dalaran remains neutral/independent, he refused to participate in war, instead went to consult with Medivh and to find answers in his tomes. I think they could both fit well into next story, perhaps they would learn something about Void Lords that might be useful in defeating them. Probably not in Shadowlands, as this will likely only focus on Sylvanas and Jailer, which might lead us to another confrontation with forces of the Void Lords, plus they are running out of villains. 😁

Edited by Arcling
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Ooooooooh. I vaguely remember that. Thanks.

And yeah, it looks like providing a segue into the next expansion is the done thing now.

Although I suppose BFA doesn't really seem to -- it's just that the Shadowlands cinematic has overlapped with the current expansion's content. Wonder if we'll get another one at release. 

Those guys are seriously getting to the point where they could make a film. 

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3 hours ago, Halock said:

The Iron Horde actually completely sells me on that urgency, on that sort of fear/exhilaration mix. Storming the Dark Portal gets me pumped, every time. WoD had both an edge and a power to it that I don't think Legion quite mastered, though it tried very well, and obviously did way better in most other respects. (Like actually finishing its stories!)

WoD is actually my favourite expansion, but I can rarely get anyone else to  agree with me on that. 😅

I actually do get what you mean. In WoD it always feels that you're one step behind The Iron Horde. It felt unsettling.

I'm one of the few people that also like WoD as well. It's not my favorite expansion, but sure is epic. I love the idea of improving your Garrison, and sometimes I port to mine just to chill. It is the closest we'll ever have of housing in WoW.

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16 hours ago, Halock said:

(...) I was surprisingly impressed by Destiny 2's story. I thought Forsaken actually stepped over the line and attempted to become philosophical, which astonished me. It made me think.

That's very cool! How was that so?

I stopped playing at Destiny 1, when they discountinued the support for the PS3 - but by then, the game sure did had a mysteriously-deep-but-whimsical feeling, despite not getting anywhere with it. I guess it boils down to that meme quote "I don't have to explain why I don't even have time to explain".

Overall the game was (is?) very entertaining, but often feel like an class-B smartass friend: It tell smart jokes every now and then, but It can grow tiresome.

Anyway, some of the items' descriptions still are printed in my memory! They are fun, despite the uncohesive in-game world-building:

Quote

"Everyone followed him when he left, if not with their feets, then with their hearts"

"War is the struggle to exist, everything real is a combatant"

"Love and patience in equal measure will open the unlimited way"

"In that last moment she seemed as wholly luminescent as the sun and I wished to be so brave"

"Praedyth's fall isn't over yet. Because it hasn't happen and it will happen again"

Edited by Johnzinho

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17 hours ago, Halock said:

The Iron Horde actually completely sells me on that urgency, on that sort of fear/exhilaration mix. Storming the Dark Portal gets me pumped, every time. WoD had both an edge and a power to it that I don't think Legion quite mastered, though it tried very well, and obviously did way better in most other respects. (Like actually finishing its stories!)

WoD is actually my favourite expansion, but I can rarely get anyone else to  agree with me on that. 😅

I am with you when it comes to WoD. After I heard we will go back to old Draenor I was hyped to the roof. But it was poorly executed. The whole Timetravel/Garrosh/alternate timeline mishmash was just confusing.. Nonetheless I enjoyed most of the areas and quite unique atmosphere.  But in the end Blizzard ruined it themself by endless content holes and so on.

I still feel they abandoned WoD in the last third, and already concentrated on Legion. Not to forget, they quit to announce the subscriptions numbers during WoD, and for good reasons..

I have some hate/love for WoD, as it has a connection to my all-time favorite TBC (yes I am a fanboy when it comes to BC)

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