Blizzards credibility. Chinajoy interview

(Elyssarain) #21

I hope you’re not serious. Consequence for what? Blighting an entire zone cos the Forsaken could? Genocide? The writing for the night elves have reached the lowest since…well any time in WoW history. And I wish I was just being hyperbolic. Asking for it to get lower can only spill over onto everyone else.


Sylvanas is iconic character and no matter how much bad things she can take from writers, Sylvanas will stay as Forsaken lider. May be will be put back from warchief place, but she will remain in game for more time than next expansion aka “SoO 2”. I bet for this.

(Zarao) #23

Going with some karmic justice route would be one of the worst ways Blizzard could take their story towards.

Also, who defines what’s moral here? Our own RL standards? How do they apply to a fantasy race such as the Forsaken one?

Sylvanas actions aren’t seen as specially damning when seen from a Forsaken point of view. Why should the story punish a character only for behaving as its playable race was written to be?

Her motives even resonate with the ones other races before hers had.

Arguing that the game should lose all the characters that clash with our RL morals would translate into having everyone turning into different shades of human.

Often see this logic coming from Alliance players, and I understand that it’s their preferred theme to play. But I’d caution against dictating what everyone else should experience.
There are those that would rather keep the zombie faction acting as…zombies. Crazy right?

I wholeheartedly agree with this.

But fact is, that they have painted themselves into a corner.
The faction war needs to be cooled down somehow, and with Sylvanas mindset dominating half the playable races, that’s simply impossible to achieve.

So, she either needs some rather drastic event or change. Or needs to die.

I do think there are ways to salvage her character even if it dies. And given the theme she operates in, it wouldn’t need to be permanent.
She is still one of the most iconic representatives for undeath. If someone is to be brought back without some eye rolling cliche, that’s her.

Dying to save her people would do the trick for me. Then, would could revisit her character growth once we deal with the Death themed expansion.
Maybe get a glimpse of the Hell she talked about, and work alongside her again after having her character grow after remaining some time there.

All the above is just speculation, but the point is, that I do think there are ways we can keep the race and character relevant and iconic, even if she “dies”, and without contrived plots that handwave the big stuff of this faction war.


Because if that’s how they act the playable race is evil, and we never had a problem killing off evil races like demons. :stuck_out_tongue:
And before you say it, I doubt people who think like this would argue against exterminating Void Elves just because they wear blue, either. I certainly wouldn’t…

Really… at this point we don’t know her motives anymore.

Well, since RL morality seems to be what ingame characters like Anduin, Jaina and possibly Thrall preach by now… is there really a difference left?

To be clear: Except for the magicky stuff that directly affects the soul (which is very real in WoW), Sylvanas’ actions in war aren’t really that gruesome in the historical context. She burned a city with civilians in it? Yeah, not a nice thing to do. But far from humanly unprecedented. Using chemical weapons? Same.
But you know who doesn’t do it? The other peoples in WoW. Judging Sylvanas as monstrous isn’t really a judgement from any “realistic” perspective. It is judging from the perspective the game is giving us. The people we meet ingame find these actions unspeakably abhorrent. Saurfang believes that this is just the same evil that orcs used to do when they were high on demon blood, aka when the orcs were just evil. The world of warcraft isn’t a place of harsh people, sadly. It is a place of heroes overcoming great evils. If someone does something really bad, very often you will find some evil magic behind it.

Now, this wasn’t the case in WCIII, but it certainly seems to be the case now. Players who judge Sylvanas by moral standards aren’t just projecting themselves into the game. They are porjecting themselves into the characters the game world gave us.

I’d be with you in arguing that the story would be much better, if the characters were more… well, cruel on both sides. A story in which Sylvanas didn’t stick out like a necrotic, swollen thumb. But that’s not the story we have.

Now, here you have a problem. You can’t be the shining hero, if you let obvious villainy pass. So… saying that a genocidal dictator like Sylvanas should be allowed to survive, because other players like playing under this, erm, “morally gray” regime, is saying to the white knights that they can’t play the role they like to play. When the zombies (openly) act like zombies, the “good guys” want to fight them to extinction. Zombies are monsters, and good guys fight monsters, no moral considerations necessary, really. One side has to die, or both sides have to be so crippled they can’t do much of anything - which again would be something many players wouldn’t enjoy.

As a dev… look at the demographics, see what how many like what and whom you can afford to annoy, and pick your poison.

I often see no logic at all coming from Horde players. Why did I throw this in for no reason? Because you did, too. Really, it would be much less antagonizing if you kept the othering out where it really isn’t needed. You can say that you understand that many players think this way without marking them as Alliance. Or you can make opposing you a matter of faction pride. It’s just demeaning for everyone involved. And I have more mud to throw than you.

And it’s especially stupid, since there are quite a few post-WCIII-Hordies that would actually like to see the faction be uncompromising towards certain actions and percieved evils as well. Who prefer the Forsaken as persecuted victims rather than as “zombies”, for example.

(Zarao) #25

I’m not saying that she should get a free pass only because she leads a playable race.

I’m saying that arguing for punishment, solely because her “morals” clash with ours, isn’t the kind of plot that amounts for any good.

“She deserves to die because she is a bad person” is one of the worst cliches of storytelling.

I’m not saying she should get a free pass for her actions. But there shouldn’t be some random divine justice that automatically punished everyone that steps out of the moral line defined by certain races.
If Sylvanas character manages to survive her ways through some logical and plausible mean, her character and race should be allowed to do so without fearing some writer smiting them by Karma.

There should be a middle ground. If the story favours the shiny white knights in a plausible and realistic way, yes, they can meet some of their expectations regarding race.
But if the story goes the other way around, it should be considered about as plausible and acceptable too.

Just as we can’t fathom Sylvanas endgoal to prevail, the opposite shouldn’t be taken for granted either:

And this ties to the other bit I wrote:

I wrote about Alliance players not because I’m being judgemental.
I said so because it’s a simple fact that these players are often sold on the narrative that the “good guys prevail”, and “evil deeds will always be punished

The sort of mindset that often gives people the impression that races or characters are to automatically be punished by the story itself (talking about Deus Ex machina ways here, not by the hand of other characters), simply because they are “harming” some morals.

And as much as the honourable savage theme was cheered by a pretty big chunk of the Horde players, those are still people that have a more diluted concept of morals, as they often contemplate more pragmatic approaches that have them turning towards the “Honourable”, even if they are also “Savages”.

And again, not saying the above in a demeaning fashion. But point is, that often enough the ones that want to be the stereotypical Good Guys, will obviously turn towards the Alliance.

There should be.
And if Blizzard is truly aiming at making political correctness, and peace loving, unrealistic and disneyesque cliches prevail…well.
Might as well delete several Horde races and start neutering a whole bunch of the rest.

Really, hope that’s not the route they are heading towards.


Well, I don’t think people disagree with you on that as much as you think (and I really don’t care about an explanation of why you think they really think that. I won’t give you one why I don’t, so you don’t have to give one why you do and can just dismiss it :slight_smile: ). But if people really think that way, I agree, that’s not really a good idea.

The point would probably be better made arguing about the moral which kind of story sends, and if Blizzard wants to send that message. Bad guys going unpunished and profiting from their evil actions is something Blizzard wouldn’t stand behind, pohilosophically, I’m sure, so if they are looking at it like that, and care about it… yeah, they would have to make their story fit their message better.

But I’m not about to defend that perspective, and I personally think the value of the “message” is much overrated (since I think culture usually precedes art) and the entertainment value of the story is much more important, I just think that the critique you are reacting to might have some foundation in that direction, and that you might want to talk about that rather than the simple version, if you want to argue against it at its strongest.

Even after your explanation that’s the only reason I can see to bring that “fact” up. You seem judgemental. Always. Every word about the Alliance coming from you is seen as an attack. So you should really try to leave it out when you can. I didn’t comment on the point you were trying to make, because I didn’t care about the point (and thus do not care about you repeating it, either), but only the unnecessary othering. Which… is kind of the point. The “truth” you mentioned was detrimental to your point, not furthering it.

There are Horde players who champion Baine. Baine is really the Horde version of Anduin, without the position of power. So… I disagree that all of them are thinking about someone in any way pragmatic, when they think about the honorable savage.

They’ve done so for ages, really.

(Anouk) #27

Well I’m pretty sure that either she or the players will leave the Horde (my guess is Sylvanas). With Thrall, Saurfang and Baine opposing her, She’ll be removed pretty soon.

She most certainly wont die yet. If I had to guess, she will become the new big Villain, help a new evil to power or be Kerriganed.

I don’t really care what Blizzard does with her tbh. I just hope she has a really amazing 4D chess plan set up that will blow our minds, because I don’t know what the :point_right: :ok_hand: she’s trying to do…

(Zarao) #28

That might be the case in some game that has us all in one side of the fence. But fact is, that this should be seen as is: a two faction game.
Blizzard was the one that wrote the Forsaken in.

For one side, the Forsaken are obviously the “Bad Guys”. But point is, there are players rooting for them too.
There is actually one side that doesn’t consider them bad (well, at least marginally less so).

Regardless of how “bad” they are portrayed to be for some, Blizzard (and players) should acknowledge that they have their hands tied regarding the amount of punishment they can issue for these particular bad guys (talking about divine justice here: Good beats Bad, evil is vanquished, etc).

Yes, I doubt they feel like signalling that someone can get away with genocide. Specially after making such emphasis and trying to portray it such crudely.

But downright asking for punishment on the sole basis that they are immoral, is absurd.
If we were to consider them as downright evil people par on some random raid fodder, they wouldn’t be playable.

There are certain contingencies regarding how much they can get away with, but overall asking for indiscriminate punishment based on their core race themes…
There are times when they should get away with it without anyone automatically assuming that Blizzard signals that they are apologetic regarding crimes against humanity.

At this point it feels as if most are doing so out of spite for Sylvanas, and because they are taking him as the better of two bad alternatives.

Baine, at this point, has been taken over by a writer that has shamelessly neutered and removed most of what made him Horde, to the point he is being used as a token prop to “Yes-man” Alliance values and concerns.
His moral compass is literally defined by whatever Jaina or Anduin feels at any given moment.

Wouldn’t say he is the best example for these old Horde values.
Not in a way that makes him a character worth of considering “typical Horde”. At this rate, he simply has more in common with the Alliance.

Ps: Will leave the Alliance player bit be.

Edit: Anyway, I do think both have explained amply their stance. So we can leave this here.


Oh no he is much worse than Anduin. At least Anduin fights FOR his faction. Not against it. Baine is just a yes-men for anything his alliance buddies wants for him. And an accurate self insert of all players joining the sylvanas hate train.

We play horde because it’s horde. Not cuz we want to identify with the Tauren version of any male human paladin like Baine totally shows.

What are warcraft 3 people at this point? Blizzard took their big brown dump on us too many times followed by massacres in our characters cast. Twice if we count too the warlords. I say screw that and ditch the rebellion. Make them lose.


Really, if you aren’t really trying to claim that you speak for all Horde players without exception, it doesn’t really threaten my argument. Even if you speak for a large majority.

(Keydiam) #31

I think there was a comic about the aftermath and Artanis wasn’t all that happy about the whole thing, but went along with it becaue they lacked an alternative.
Somewhat nice but it still didn’t change the fact that Kerrigan was essentially forgiven and rewarded for her deeds.


Well, we do know who prefers the Forsaken as pitiful victims. Her name is Christie Golden and she has blessed us with literary masterpieces such as Before the Storm.


Well, even if it’s not that, there are many who vehemently stand behind the idea that the Forsaken were actively hunted down by the humans, and are justified in their hatred towards them. In these arguments I get the impression that not everyone on their side thinks that it is enough of an explanation that they are just zombies acting like zombies. More “former victims stiking back against their oppressors” than “helpless cowering victims”, but that’s still not “well, zombie’s gonna zombie”.

And really, that’d be their best shot at fitting in. Cruel people in a cruel world make sense. But if they are acting like monsters while everyone else acts like they are going for 20th century peace talks… they indeed don’t work as a playable race.
So if WoW doesn’t get darker again…expect them to be neutered. All hail Queen Menethil, or something…

(Zarao) #34

There is a middle ground. No need to have the story being about irredeemable monsters or victims.

The Forsaken can be wronged people, without going the extra step that has them being pitiful victims, and act because of it as a warlike ambitious race, without turning all the way into the chaotic Saturday morning villains.

Acknowledging that their MO is that of a “zombie” shouldnt rob them of the fact that there are times when their cause can be a “just” or understandable one.


That only really exists if the enemy is human enough to show aggression once in while, yes.


which is pretty much what we have right now. And it is cold comfort that Alliance players hate Anduin about just as much as they hate Sylvanas.
On topic: Unless the writers come up with some really really good conclusion at the end of bfa, I feel it doesn’t matter much anymore to anyone if she dies then, or next expansion or any time later. They have already killed her character story-wise.

(Leíá) #37

They’ve done this with a lot of the big-named characters. It’s why these characters are no longer all that interesting.

If Blizzard side-lined these character, even just for an expansion, and allowed others to take centre stage like Lorna Crowley and Ly’leth Lunastre, then the story would take a different twist, but a twist that is easier to follow, because these characters are characters that aren’t overly complex, needlessly.
They are just “characters” and that’s what we need.


Thanks for making me laught.

(Призраклеса) #39

Too much “noise” about Sylvanas. It’s clearly seen that Blizzard just pushing Sylvanas on the main role, where she is not belong. And it’s ugly.

For example Artas was Epic. He didn’t need additional “pushing” to be epic. Sylvanas is not. The faster she will die, the better story of the WoW will become.

(Zarao) #40

You mean like they are doing with Jaina, Anduin, Tyrande, Baine,…?

Like…99,9% of BfAs main cast?

Edit: Bias aside, Sylvanas character has always had enough potential to drive her and her factions story for years to come. Regardless of the fact that Blizzard is now handling said F1 like a tractor.