WoD’s great cinematic

Aside

The WoD cinematic is really good. As a semi-retired lore nerd I love seeing this stuff, just as much as I love seeing the Mage cast a Sheep spell in the first trailer, or Arthas summon an undead dragon. The MoP trailer did what it had to do (show us the Pandaren) and did it in a way which was fun. It certainly makes me think this is Orcs vs Humans … of Warcraft.

Non-serious aside – It does feel like a story set to make us like killing Orcs, and as an Alliance player I don’t really care if that is the wrong view. Orcs have proven themselves weak willed, power hungry, and generally the bad guys in the lore. Guldan gets his historic plans thrown asunder, but we’re still facing Orcs as the foes. These Warlords just reenforce the point. Thrall was the exception, and only that because some silly human made an effort to civilize him instead of kill him.

Now wonder he liked Jana. I’m happy to kill orcs, wargs, goblins, any sort of green or brown skinned filth.

(edit: truthfully that trailer makes the idea of playing an orc seem very appealing)

Is it as good as the others in terms of placing the players “in the world” and throwing down a challenge? Probably not, but then the excitement from an expansion is only partly attributed to the pretty non-gameplay video. There is not much that would top “you are not prepared“. As a video to continue the hype and announce a release date it was fine; great in fact.

Bring on more cinematic media for players, add more online comics, give us preview pages, lore updates, stat blocks to drool over. Complete the character models (I know, I know) and a few decent armor sets and it’s finished isn’t it? All of it. Build the hype with many strings of your bow Blizzard.

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5 or 10 levels in the next expansion?

It is seriously weird that it might be a contentious discussion about
how many levels are in the next expansion.

  • If its 5 levels then apparently that feels slower. More of a grind.
  • If its 10 levels then that feels like you’re getting more reward or making better progress.

Dah, what? Logically it’s about the time spent not the numerical
values. 20 hours of game-play split 10 or 5 ways should not really make
a huge deal.

The talents, rewards, items, quest difficulty should not be so
lopsided that it could be breaking if either choice was made.

If you’re in the 5s camp then perhaps we need a mod that fakes the
Ding and Grats animation to allow the trained reward response to feel
more like the 10s.

Perhaps even a mini-Ding per 10 quests completed, each which
reiterates a power you’ve recently learnt just in case you’re ignoring
that recent new talent or power up.

Ding. Whoosh. Ding. Grats. Wheeee.

But perhaps there is a point or two to be made…

Scaling between different level characters had tended to rely on
levels are a lever for advantage. So if there are more breakpoint a
between current and future max level then the impact of that gap can
be spread across more points.

Your level 91 in a 100 max has less of the gap built in to it than a
91 in a 95 max.

It also may affect the gear scaling as the levels build up. 10 levels
allows for a more granular range of item levels. I’m not sure if that
is desired or not. Might be that another item level crunch helps
smooth the curve of itemisation.

Lastly it might affect the quest Gray effect. A normal challenge at
level 99 is probably yellow, where a level 90 or 91 is gray or green
at best.

I’ve seen the new heirlooms used as the basis for the expansion having 10 levels. That ignores the fact that the heirlooms are on PTR and that they might not last two expansions. I have a huge number of heirlooms which cover base game plus many expansions already, why not more.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew

Wildstar actually sounds interesting

warrior_logo_mbThe more tangential information I read on Wildstar the more I think it might be trying to approach a different audience and supply a different game.

A few things sound interesting, like having playstyle pathways where you pick the style of challenge you want, and the game as aspects built especially for that style. If you like combat, you kill monsters. Prefer discovery, then be challenged to find nooks and special areas.

I also like the art style of the game. Having an overtly cartoon world means the rendering could be sympathetic to longevity in graphics, and also potentially avoids the problems of the uncanny valley which most “real-looking” games face. The tech and resources needed to render out a human face which looks “right” are crazy complex and high. A styled cartoon looks right as we fill in the detail mentally. Our minds are the sketchpad and resources which gives the game appeal.

A non-real style also means that emotional, special, and blood/damage effects can also be skewed toward imparting the meaning without a special particle engine. Take the presentation of a spaceship for example. I have no idea what a Devastator class warship might look like in a space game, but I can tell you without a second of thinking that rendering of water in Farcry was incredible and still looked like cgi. I accept the spaceship as real, but I call bullshit on the water’s repeating pattern at max camera distance.

I have no intention of playing Wildstar, especially as my old pc will not be up to the challenge; but I am interested. That is more that I can say about many of the other games being published and in Beta at the moment.

Interesting times. I’m going to keep watching it. TyphoonAndrew