The main storytelling mechanic in wow is cheap and old. It mostly looks like this:
You click on an npc
You see a box full of text.
You barely skim through the text.
You run to the to the location on minimap.
Try to click//hit anything//everything in the highlighted area.
Sometimes you hear an audio log while in the highlighted area.
You go back and complete quest.
This crap is systematically boring.
Wow has new character models for years now. They have facial rigging. What is stopping the developers for animating faces for dialogues??
Build a library of standard and race specific modular animations.
Animations that can be woven together for dialogues.
Create a standard set of camera movements.
Set standardized lightings conditions based on environment.
Why haven’t you done this already?
Text to voice AI exists - and it can be trained for different dialects and voices.
We could easily have Baldur’s Gate 3 style dialogues in WoW.
We’re not even asking for branching story systems, but Jeeezus… at least pretend you care about your game Blizzard! The WORLD of warcraft is only successful if it’s believable. Right now it feels cheap. If it feels cheap, then why am I expected to pay lots of money for it?
Every single quest could be voiced in the game as baseline.
Quality trumps quantity.
if you want to increase gameplay time, then put trash loot and occasional rare loot in the environment along with texts and audio logs.
If every room contains searchable containers people will spend hoooours on just exploring your world and it’s details.
You will never obtain new players from a new generation if you expect them to read boring quest texts.
I don’t care or value this much because there isn’t a story to follow in World of Warcarft. This only applies to latest expansion.
Before this, Blizzard needs to create a “main” questline for new players to follow and learn about WoW’s lore.
I did not fall in love with World of Warcraft because It had the best graphics or visuals or systems or raids or dungeons. I loved its story. I loved the Forsaken, the Lich King, the march of the undead, the scarlet crusade, the characters.
I haven’t played retail since I reached max level in Shadowlands and decided I did not want to join any of the covenants. So I’ve been playing Classic instead, and I feel like the problem isn’t text boxes. The problem, I would say, is this:
Classic is catching up with retail and is implementing many features which I think damages the game. Quest markers on the map and objects being highlighted are two features that removes thinking from questing. If you struggled to find something in vanilla, or if you didn’t know where to go, you’d open the quest log and re-read the quest to see if there was something you missed. You had to be more aware when playing because the game wouldn’t simply point everything out for you. You had to be present.
They’ve taken away all that and tried to replace it with dialogue. These “head pop-ups”. And personally, I just find them to be annoying. I remember travelling around in BFA, and one of my main inputs was closing those pop-up windows. Blizzard doesn’t write good story. The best stories in BFA were the smaller, less consequential side quests.
another crapstic andy praising a 20 year old game it’s Amazing toddler gameplay even when it was new vanilia was inferior to everquest in every single way if wasen’t for the fact that you could play it on your grand mother’s toaster it would never have gotten big
sony went the other way and produced everquest 2 which only a nasa super computer could run at max graphics at the time …
I used to read every bit of text that I could find in a game. These days I don’t do that because so few settings actually bother to maintain consistency with their world-building - to the point where actually paying attention becomes a detriment.
If you’re invested in the story to any significant degree you’ll find that you pay more attention than the writers themselves. Especially in recent years where the writing is either dictated by ‘rule of cool’, misguided attempts at fan service or designed to attempt to induce ‘feels’.
I think they are painfully aware of the fact that nobody reads the quest text. So they don’t even bother as much with them. They always try to put the most important story beats into the speech bubbles anyway and even more important ones are voice acted.
So you only get tasteless bread in the quest text itself. Reducing the amount of people who read the texts even further.
The problem is with the quest design and driving the story. Being a quest designer in WoW must be the best job in the world right now.
You just copy paste everything from one Expansion to another. But the worst is the story layout. The entire premise of an Expansion.
I fully agree on that a thousandfold. And as I’ve mentioned the problem lies with main story.
That’s how each expansion works. It starts strong, we get thrown into the middle of main event. It lasts for like one level. Let’s assume it is the new War Within expansion.
We get to level 71 and we are introduced to the new land. And what do we find? That just like Dragon Isles, Shadowlands, Zandalar, Kul Tiras and Broken Isles the new zone is state of total disrepair.
From level 71 to like 78 we clean the house doing absolute chore of crap filler content, dungeons, and getting accustomed to local culture and people.
Some of those quests are really good, I mean really good but inconsequential in the long run.
Then we reach level 78 and finally Alleria shows up out of nowhere to remind us of the real reason why we are here. The last two levels from 78 to 80 we are chasing Xalatath only to corner her into a Raid.
And that’s where the Dog is burried. Raids are the most Lore dead and hollow places of the entire game. Concluding a story chapter inside them is just bad.
There’s moments of brilliance to be found here and there, thankfully. As much as I found the major story beats of Battle for Azeroth to be questionable I still had a lot of fun exploring Kul Tiras on my Alliance characters. Particularly Drustvar - a zone which gripped my attention and enthusiasm consistently throughout.
There’s a few quests in Dragonflight that piqued my curiosity, thankfully, though I hope upcoming expansions have more depth and grit to them when it comes to the world-building. I’d like to see more of an effort to appeal to a broader variety of personal tastes - too many characters in Dragonflight have been overly cheerful and childish.
Maybe another observation on that summary: You start the addon with the story that is about the great named characters, and you end it there. But they don’t usually accompany you in between, where the story can be about the land, the people, and actually the player.
There are two very different kinds of stories told here. And in one of them the player character is mostly a tag-along. The big names don’t accompany you, when you do something. You accompany them, when they do something.