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I Bought MoPFollow

#102 Dec 08 2013 at 8:05 PM Rating: Good
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I think perhaps you're over-criticizing things to be honest. Making mountains out of molehills, etc.

But then people tend to do that with things that they don't tend to like.

I'm not going to quote that huge block of text you just posted (I did read it, though). At the end of it, though I saw this:

Quote:
The random army clashing at the Jade Statue? That came on so fast - you equipped those soldiers so much earlier in your questing, and suddenly they were back in the limelight? And wait, when did the Horde presence get THAT big? And why are we marching to do battle at this statue; that makes no sense - why lose so much of an army at a strategically insignificant location and not even have the pleasure of taking out supply chains or bases in the process? Etc.


You don't think the Horde were sitting around doing nothing while you were training Jinyu, do you? If you did the Horde quests, you'd see the same thing -- the Horde train the Hozen up just like the Alliance train the Jinyu. They both get done at relatively the same time, and they both see that the other side is doing practically the same thing.

Why the statue? It is simply the halfway point between the Hozen camp and the Jinyu village (seriously, look at a map of Jade Forest. It is almost exactly halfway between Grookin Hill and Pearlfin Village). They both started marching at the same time, and ran smack into each other right there and then, right next to the statue. Now, of course the soldiers on the battlefield didn't know, or didn't care about the importance of that statue (even though it was huge and made out of solid Jade), it was just collateral damage.

This was basically a skirmish out in the middle of nowhere -- both sides had wounded people and some special/elite agents and were almost out of troops. They conscript a bunch of locals to their cause and they march forth, hoping to eradicate the other side, not knowing how close the other side is to being ready themselves. They both march simultaneously and smack into each other at the center of the map.

*shrugs*

But then I guess I'm a person who isn't so judgmental -- I tend to just enjoy what I can enjoy of what comes my way. I don't pick every story apart going "this sucks, that sucks, that sucks, and that sucks." I try to look at what's good in a story, rather than what's bad. Now, there are occasions where the entire experience reeks so bad that I just can't like it... but in video games... that is very rare.

Come on, some of us (myself included) used to play NES games. When did NES games ever have compelling story (later Dragon Warrior games notwithstanding)? The story in MoP isn't *that* bad, and it STILL miles beyond most MMORPGs (which are somewhat sparse in story themselves from what I've seen).

I think in the end, some of us forgot to enjoy the ride while looking around for everything to criticize. I like a good story myself, but a halfway decent story is still halfway decent. It still isn't "bad".

But if you really hate it that stinking much, well... dunno what to tell you to be honest. Other than to perhaps try to not judge everything so harshly. It isn't healthy.

Edited, Dec 8th 2013 9:07pm by Lyrailis
#103 Dec 08 2013 at 8:34 PM Rating: Good
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That's pretty harsh, Lyrallis. You two have different perspectives and different expectations of the game. To call iddigory's perspective unhealthy is basically saying his opinion is invalid. I don't have a dog in this fight and probably should just stay out, but it's pretty uncool to resort to ad hominem attacks when you can't acknowledge the validity of an opposing argument because you don't agree with it.
#104 Dec 08 2013 at 8:45 PM Rating: Good
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Azwing wrote:
That's pretty harsh, Lyrallis. You two have different perspectives and different expectations of the game. To call iddigory's perspective unhealthy is basically saying his opinion is invalid. I don't have a dog in this fight and probably should just stay out, but it's pretty uncool to resort to ad hominem attacks when you can't acknowledge the validity of an opposing argument because you don't agree with it.


I was merely saying that vehemently attacking MoP's story, acting like it is all "complete trash" (not saying they used these exact words, but that's the general tone I got from their words) is harsh, and having such views isn't very healthy.

I know a family member who does the same thing -- they vehemently attack _everything_ -- this sucks, that sucks, that sucks over there, everything sucks. They live in the 1960s -- 99% of all movies, music, games, EVERYTHING sucks to them. They live in utter misery because "the good old days" are gone and nothing is good anymore.

I'm seeing much of the same tone, and words coming from idiggory's posts in this thread and it kinda makes me sad that they appear to be missing the Good things in MoP while focusing on the bad. I'm seeing idiggory doing the same thing as my family member does.
#105 Dec 09 2013 at 6:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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To me, there's a difference between offering a critique of something and being overly critical. I read iddigory as offering his critique (which in this case is negative) that is built upon a logical foundation. He isn't just saying get off my lawn, this new stuff sucks. He's providing detailed reasons and explanations why he feels MoP isn't written as well, etc. Personally, I don't care that much about story, so it doesn't really matter that much to me. But, whether I agree with iddigory or not, I think he presents a strong argument for his case.
#106 Dec 09 2013 at 9:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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@Lyr,

I really don't think you're seeing my point. At all.

I have no issues with the plot points of the expansion. I think the individual parts could have been used to great effect.

My problem is the storytelling and the plot structure and how that relates to player experience.

For instance, you brought up the Horde justification and such for the Jade Forest plot line. I 100% believe you that the Horde quests establish that stuff. I 100% believed it when I was experiencing the battle.

My problem isn't that this doesn't exist anywhere in the game. My problem is that I couldn't access that information. It shouldn't take a second play through to understand a plot point. FULLY understand one, sure. But it should still be deep and climactic regardless of whether or not I've experienced one side or both.

Some examples of what I mean:

Take Dragon Age's Harrowmont vs. Aeducan plot line. You learn so much more about Dwarven culture and the plot points by playing through both sides of this story (and the most is learned by multiple playthroughs that let you switch sides halfway through, plus playing the Dwarf Noble Origin). But I still understood the events more than enough to CARE about the story my first time through the events. I wanted my guy to win because he seemed like the best candidate, and I cared.

The plot itself becomes more interesting as you gain more perspectives with subsequent playthroughs (things you only get smaller glances of when Harrowmont is controlling the access to information).

My problem with Jade Forest is that I was going into that battle with pathetically little info, and I really, really felt that.

The Alliance quest line should have been sufficient to give me the base details to really care about that battle. Even if I didn't have all the details, I should have had at least the base level of information needed to understand the battle (to a sufficient point), and to care about the victory on my side. They failed to give me that.

And that's my entire point.

I bet that MoP has a lot of really great plot assets in it. I've said as much in this thread multiple times. My problem isn't that I dislike any individual plot points or anything. My problem is that there's a severe failing of storytelling that means I don't have the info or experience needed to care for far too long.

If it all comes together and makes sense in the end, it doesn't do anything to make my experience better in the period leading up to that. It's fully possible that finishing the continent on one faction would make questing through it on the other faction one of the best experiences in the game.

But that literally doesn't matter, because I was so bored playing through the original quest line, because it felt so empty and unfocused, that I unsubbed.

I SEE that these are characters and plot arcs and a world that could be used to great effect. I totally recognize that, and I've seen glimpses of things that could be great. My problem is that I'm being asked, by the story, to trust that they'll deliver on that promise without them doing anything to reassure me they will.

In the end, as a writer, that's your job. The audience is never under any obligation to you - you need to make them want to see more, to learn more, to feel more.

I'm 3 zones into MoP and I've barely seen, BARELY learned, and felt very little. And I might be overestimating myself, but I doubt there are that many players more invested in Azeroth's story. They had ALL the cards stacked in their favor for me, and I still couldn't care enough to keep learning.

As to your opinion that I'm being overly critical, I'm really, really not. If I was going to be overly critical, I'd start in on why the characters they've offered are little more than basic tropes, that the plot lines are overdone, etc. But I'm not looking for them to be revolutionary, I'm looking them to be enjoyable. I was playing through the zones actively wanting to be engaged and enjoy the content. But EVERY time it felt like a quest line was starting to get important, it ground to an abrupt halt and was interrupted by another, seemingly arbitrary and irrelevant, plot arc I'd follow for a while.

The story is the primary reason I'd be playing the game. That's really it. I will play a game with really ****** gameplay if it has a good story, and I may not play a game with AMAZING gameplay if it doesn't. Endgame isn't a motivator for me - it's a means to an end (accessing story content). I'll PVP when I'm looking to change things up, but that's about it.

So while other players might be able to completely ignore the severe issues of storytelling here and trudge through it to the point where things finally start to come together, I have no such motivation. Because the story, which is my motivation, is severely lacking.

And that's a completely reasonable and valid approach to playing an RPG, MMO or otherwise. It's also perfectly reasonable to only really care about the gameplay (which is why games like ME3 have started implementing the "fast" approaches, allowing people get to get a basic context for the gameplay, when that's all they want).

I'm fine that there are people who don't care that the storytelling is bad. I really am. I'm happy for them - they can still really enjoy the game.

For me, it was so boring. And that was so disappointing because I could so clearly see missed opportunities and potential even while playing.



Here's a good analogy: Imagine you were at a comedy show. The comedian had solid setups for his jokes, and you chuckled at the punchlines, but they weren't as funny or outrageous as you expect. And some of the jokes your brain tells you a funnier punchline before the comedian even delivers one. And the comedian isn't even keeping consistent with the topics. One joke is about airline food, one's about in-laws, and then he's talking about commuting, then back to airline food. But none of these jokes are leading into the next. They're just jokes for jokes' sake. And, sure, the comedian has great stage presence, but it's not enough to excuse the other issues.

That's quite like what playing the first three zones is like.
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#107 Dec 09 2013 at 12:54 PM Rating: Excellent
Honestly, I have to agree with Digg. When I played through Jade Forest I was thrown out of the water by the armies coming against each other at the Jade statue. It just seemed to come out of nowhere. It would have better if they had introduced a quest to have you go back to the camp where your army is, and have you rejoin them for the battle, it wouldn't have seemed so abrupt.

Then in Dread Wastes you have the Klaxxi quests, which I really enjoyed. Halfway through the quest line though, I got sent off to help some Panda fisher people. Now, it's entirely possible that this was the fault of my leveling add on. I'm not sure, I'll have to pay more attention when I do the zone on one of my alts. But it was still jarring, and I was actually really irritated that they interrupted the Klaxxi line for this.

That said, while the story is important to me, I don't think it's as important to me as it is to Digg. I really enjoy gearing up and raiding, even though I really can only do LFR stuff. Still, I thought the story telling in Cata was way better.
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#108 Dec 09 2013 at 2:33 PM Rating: Good
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I can see your points iddigory. I haven't played through over half of pandaria yet but I definitely see where you're coming from. There are so many sub plots I am going through in just jade forest that it's starting to get me detached from the main story line. Still, as a player, it isn't as important to me as it is to you (which is just personal preference). I am more concerned with flow and whether or not it feels like I'm grinding or questing. Thankfully it still feels like the latter.

But I definitely see your point - the writing could be so much better.
#109 Dec 09 2013 at 4:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Then in Dread Wastes you have the Klaxxi quests, which I really enjoyed. Halfway through the quest line though, I got sent off to help some Panda fisher people. Now, it's entirely possible that this was the fault of my leveling add on. I'm not sure, I'll have to pay more attention when I do the zone on one of my alts. But it was still jarring, and I was actually really irritated that they interrupted the Klaxxi line for this.


That's not a fault of your leveling addon.

When you take that quest from the Klaxxi, the Klaxxi tell you in the quest dialogue "Some Pandaren have moved in on our Southern Shores -- Find out what they want and get rid of them if you can" or something like that.

Same goes with the Pandaren up north (that whole bit about the Sapmasters). Same thing, the Klaxxi tell you to go up there and try to convince them to leave, because they're tapping sap out of the large tree up there (which the Klaxxi obviously don't like).

They send you, knowing that you can talk to them. It is just by pure luck that both groups of Pandaren end up unearthing a sleeping Paragon.

@Dig:

Well, at least you're not being overcritical like I thought you were at first. That's a relief to hear. That's a bad path to go down, it makes one miserable in life. As to your points about the story, well... I can kinda see the point you're trying to make, though I'm still not convinced it is such a huge issue, at least not for me. They don't want to shove story down your throats; they want you to use your imagination perhaps. AND they made the "Double Agent" achievement for a reason -- they WANT people to play both Horde and Alliance to see "both halves" of the story.

When you're reading a novel, oftentimes an author will shift the PoV from one major group to another in different chapters so the reader knows what's going on. The game can't really do that, though due to the huge HvA PvP stuff going on, and the fact you see everything from the eyes of your character. Unless, of course, you roll an opposite faction alt, which Blizzard very much encourages you to do.

Quote:
Honestly, I have to agree with Digg. When I played through Jade Forest I was thrown out of the water by the armies coming against each other at the Jade statue.


The last quest you take from them before going to Loremaster Cho, IIRC, they tell you "we're going to start marching now." and they send you to Cho... though I can't remember why. Or maybe it is an Auto-Accept quest that pops up saying "I (meaning the player character) better warn Cho..." or something like that. I can't remember clearly.

Either way they did this to make an excuse as to A). why the player gets to witness the battle from the outside and B). why the player isn't IN the battle themselves and C). Why the Player Character isn't held at fault for destroying the statue, since the player wasn't there. Yu'lon warns that people in Jade Forest will not like you, but at least you aren't being hunted down by the Shado-pan either.

Edited, Dec 9th 2013 5:12pm by Lyrailis
#110 Dec 09 2013 at 4:17 PM Rating: Good
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Lyrailis wrote:
Well, at least you're not being overcritical like I thought you were at first. That's a relief to hear. That's a bad path to go down, it makes one miserable in life.


Nah, it makes you the happiest country in the world. Hard not to be when you think everything else is worse than what you already have (which is also pretty bad). Smiley: lol
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#111 Dec 09 2013 at 4:23 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Lyrailis wrote:
Well, at least you're not being overcritical like I thought you were at first. That's a relief to hear. That's a bad path to go down, it makes one miserable in life.


Nah, it makes you the happiest country in the world. Hard not to be when you think everything else is worse than what you already have (which is also pretty bad). Smiley: lol


Unless what you have is slowly going away.

There could be a couple examples of this:

1). Material items. Clothing, Cars, Houses, etc. If you think that everything is worse than what you already have, then you're going to be miserable when you are forced to get something new. The ole "they don't make anything good these days" remarks. And I'll agree somewhat -- especially in the clothes department. I used to have, for example, several shirts I'd wear to work. I liked them, but after years of wearing them to work, they are wearing out one by one, and now I only have one left. I had to buy new shirts, but they are heavier and hold more heat so I end up sweating and overheating during the warmer months.

2). Boredom. For the people who think they cannot make any good movies/music anymore (I'm partly guilty of this myself for the movies aspect), you're going to get bored watching the same "awesome" movies you love so much. If you can't accept any new movies whatsoever, you're going to end up a bored, miserable person. You're going to be bored and there will be nothing new that you like. I'll admit it; I am guilty of doing this to movies. Very few movies have been put out in the last 3-5 years that I've been actually interested in. And some of the few that I have been (Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, etc) are remakes of things I've already seen. Suffice to say I can count on one hand the number of honest-to-God new movies (that aren't remakes) I've seen during the last 5 years:

a). HTTYD
b). Source Code
c). The Host
d). Rango
e). Avatar (not sure if that was done within the last 5 years?)

And I bought The Hunger Games for $4 from a DVD Kiosk but I haven't watched it yet. I hear it is good... lol. Hopefully it is as good as they say.

Edited, Dec 9th 2013 5:23pm by Lyrailis
#112 Dec 09 2013 at 4:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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Lyrailis wrote:

And I bought The Hunger Games for $4 from a DVD Kiosk but I haven't watched it yet. I hear it is good... lol. Hopefully it is as good as they say.


Katniss is spot on and it's worth watching for Jennifer Lawrence's performance alone (especially for 4 bucks), but Peeta is a tragic mistake. No offense to the actor, he's just so, so, so wrong for the part. Supporting players are mostly very good - Lenny Kravitz FTW.
#113 Dec 09 2013 at 5:27 PM Rating: Good
I don't think it's the actor, I think it's the character. The character itself is a wet noodle until the third book.
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#114 Dec 09 2013 at 5:40 PM Rating: Good
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teacake wrote:
Lyrailis wrote:

And I bought The Hunger Games for $4 from a DVD Kiosk but I haven't watched it yet. I hear it is good... lol. Hopefully it is as good as they say.


Katniss is spot on and it's worth watching for Jennifer Lawrence's performance alone (especially for 4 bucks), but Peeta is a tragic mistake. No offense to the actor, he's just so, so, so wrong for the part. Supporting players are mostly very good - Lenny Kravitz FTW.


J.Law is one of the main reasons I was interested in that movie.

lol.

Hey, I'm a guy, what can I do?
#115 Dec 09 2013 at 6:19 PM Rating: Good
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Woody is also pretty great, although, I think I liked him better when he was drunk and rude.
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#116 Dec 09 2013 at 7:56 PM Rating: Good
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Not to nitpick, but Avatar was just Dances with Wolves starring blue aliens instead of Native Americans. Good graphically, for sure, but definitely not an original story.

Original movies are few and far between these days, because studios find it easier to market familiar ideas and titles (comics, TV shows, remakes) than taking a risk on original scripts.

Anyway...

:-)
#117 Dec 09 2013 at 8:21 PM Rating: Good
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Azwing wrote:
Not to nitpick, but Avatar was just Dances with Wolves starring blue aliens instead of Native Americans. Good graphically, for sure, but definitely not an original story.


Dances with Wolves? Don't you mean Pocahontas?

I've never seen Pocahontas so we could call it a "new story" for me.

Quote:
Original movies are few and far between these days, because studios find it easier to market familiar ideas and titles (comics, TV shows, remakes) than taking a risk on original scripts.

Anyway...

:-)


That, and... with the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of stories, it gets harder and harder to write something completely original that's never been done before. There's always going to be similarities (and tropes) that you see elsewhere.
#118 Dec 09 2013 at 10:13 PM Rating: Good
That's true Lyr, but it would be nice if studio execs would try. All you see these days are comic book movies and movies based on books. I enjoy these, but still. It'd be nice to see something that at least attempted to be new and original.
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#119 Dec 09 2013 at 11:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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#120 Dec 10 2013 at 7:17 AM Rating: Good
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
I don't think it's the actor, I think it's the character. The character itself is a wet noodle until the third book.


I've only read the first book so far (just started the second), but I didn't think he was a wet noodle. Then again, I was very aware of the fact that all of the events were being experienced from Katniss' perspective. So for the majority of the book, she has a severe bias towards Peeta.

I mean, at very few points in the book was Katniss actually even close to understanding Peeta's motives or actions. She pretty much isn't on the same page until the very end, when it all comes rushing into focus.

That made Peeta interesting to me. His simple motives were usually far more dynamic, and periods where Katniss was obsessing about the game strategy are often where he was just being honest about himself.

I don't think Peeta was a weak character. I think Katniss only perceived him as a puzzle piece, and so that's how he was treated.
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#121 Dec 10 2013 at 12:06 PM Rating: Good
Yeah, that's a good point. As a whole, the series is very good. I really didn't like the ending though. I won't say why because I don't want to spoil it for you, but it annoyed me.
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#122 Dec 10 2013 at 12:38 PM Rating: Decent
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I absolutely love the hunger game series. Saw the 1st movie, then read all 3 books and went back to watch the movie again. First time watching it, it felt rushed and disconnected, but after reading the book, they really couldn't fit everything in or else it would be a 4 hour movie.

The books are simply fantastic.
#123 Dec 10 2013 at 1:03 PM Rating: Good
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Webjunky wrote:
I absolutely love the hunger game series. Saw the 1st movie, then read all 3 books and went back to watch the movie again. First time watching it, it felt rushed and disconnected, but after reading the book, they really couldn't fit everything in or else it would be a 4 hour movie.

The books are simply fantastic.


There's actually a lot there that you don't often see discussed, actually.

For instance, the racist reaction to Rue being black in the movies (even though she was clearly black in the books). It's actually a really important detail in the books.

This is a world where the death of a little black girl sparked a revolution. Where she was seen as so innocent and so sweet that her loss was too much to bear, and it catalyzed a world to actually stand up against the classist systems that were dominating them.

Considering how much of this book is a direct criticism of the dominance and language of media in our society, I think it's fair to say that it's a poignant point. I just wish it got more attention.
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