Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Would You Like to See Legion Unfold?

I've been reading a fair deal of fan theories about what will happen in the coming Legion.  Some of them, I must admit, have been really good.  There are a hell of a lot of really creative people out there in the gaming world and it seems like a few are having some funny with with fantasy of how to tell a good warcraft story.

If you read this blog even from time to time you might have heard me say that I think it is time we, the heroes of Azeroth had a set back.  I've often posted my fan theories mainly because I kind of dig that sort of stuff and I enjoy getting lost in the fantasy a bit with writing.  I think as early as when Cataclysm was announced before we really knew anything about it I had my theories of a story line that involved us losing.

When Warlords was announced I had a very elaborate scenario were we lost in our bid to save this alternate Draenor.  It was before we really knew anything about Warlords.  I had said a great ending would be if we come to combat the iron horde and the legion invades as we do so.  We attempt to save this Draenor from the legion as they open portals all over the world and we fail.  The final battle would be us trying to escape alternate Draenor before it exploded and if you won the fight and made it out alive the fight would end with you either in stormwind or orgimmar, depending on your faction of course.  If you failed, Draenor blows up with you still on it.

Seems I was partly right.  The end fight was against the legion like I predicted, but of course we won just like we always do.  I really have been aching for a set back.  I think the game needs it.  We, the heroes, are way too strong and keep getting stronger.  There was no sense of doom or dread in legion.  We knew we would beat everything the iron horde threw at us and later everything the legion threw at us.  We need a loss.  I have been on and on about it for a long time.

It seems that I am no longer the only one that thinks that.  A lot of these fan theories I have been reading where people making up their own story of what they would like to see all have us suffering loss.  Be it with our heroes dies, our cities burning, or just flat out having battles we can not win.

I think, for me at least, that is why I am really digging a lot of these fan made theories.  They jive with something I have been wanting to see for the better part of 6 years now.  I want to see us, the heroes, put in our place.  We are but mortals yet we take down the high and mighty as if we were an adult trying to beat up a toddler.  Super easy and really unfair.  We are too strong.  We need to be knocked down a few pegs if you ask me.  We need to lose.

Now loss does not need to be actual loss.  Like my idea for Draenor at the time.  While we "lost" in saving Draenor we did escape with our lives and the lives of a great many others we got off the planet in time.  So you could say even in defeat we won, a few battles at least even if not the war.

For story purposes we can not actually lose.  If we lose, we are dead, it is game over.  But we can lose in the sense like I mentioned for Draenor.  We can lose because we were not able to save the planet but win in the sense we made it out alive and managed to save a great many people in the process. 

I would love to see Legion bring us a story like that.  One with some depth to it, something character building, something that shows we do not always win.  While I have not quite thought out my story line for how I would like to see it unfold for Legion the way I had Warlords before it, it remains pretty much the same.  I want to see us lose.  And it seems a great many others have jumped on my bandwagon with that thought in mind in their own fan theories on what they would like to see happen.

How would you like to see Legion unfold?  More of the same with us exerting our dominance over each and every obstacle  in our path or maybe seeing some set backs?  Perhaps you have some other completely different idea in mind.  Maybe you picture the final battle not against the legion but against the titans or the old gods.  Do share.  What would you like to see?

22 comments:

  1. Imho bringing Legion in - well, Legion - ironically sucks.

    Legion has always been our Nemesis, and we will have to deal with it, see Sargeras die if we want to end Warcraft story.

    It's not what I would want to do now. I dealt with Legion with my own hands - in W3, in TBC, now it just happened in Draenor. Demons are a powerful enemy, but extremely dull, bringing one and the same species and one and the same scorched green colors to our table. I'm sick of demons and while I admit we must deal with them in the end, I would prefer another expansion at the moment.

    Is it possible that Blizzard will come up with one more - ahem *final* ahem - expansion about Legion? After we had this Legion?

    The worst they could do is to send us deal with Legion again after we beat them in Azeroth. To another planet, you know, a story so fresh that it has mold on it. If we lose, we can't let Legion walk on Azeroth, we must fight back - and that means one more expansion about demons.

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    1. Demons are at least more enjoyable of an enemy than orcs. In my opinion at least. But yes, I agree to demon burn out. There have been what, 6 expansions so far, and half of them involved demons.

      This expansion allows them the option. If they want to keep going, we do not fight Sarge, if they want to end it, we do. It opens the door to them closing the door, so to speak. Maybe that is what they have in the back of their minds.

      We should have went to argus after draenor, or if we came back to azeroth it should have been to deal with the naga or something instead of legion. I think they could have waited another few years for this expansion.

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    2. I'm not sure what I would want instead, but I also am feeling demon burnout.

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    3. Wrong, wrong, wrong about Argus. It was thousands to hundreds of years (according to different lore sources) of Legion domination. Look what Gul'dan did to Tanaan in 5 minutes. The Legion has only one terramorfing option, and it's fel green pools and black ashes. Argus is gonna be a fel wasteland TBC Shadowmoon Valley style, and there could be no options, no survivors, no blossoms, trees or living creatures after all this years.

      I don't know why many people really think it's a blessed place and a location to be played at throughout a whole expansion.

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    4. Demons are fun and all in a way, they are our main nemesis, so they should always be around. But that could be contained to a dungeon to keep the story flowing with them and that's it.

      @Gnomecore

      How do we know what it would look like after all those thousands of years?

      They could do the fel nightmare to destroy everything that is there and then once the world has been stripped down to its base they rebuild. Who is to say their world is not a paradise, even in our eyes?

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  2. In other words, Blizzard have just set a lore trap for themselves - a trap of cosmic proportions. Either it's a gesture of despair due to how Draenor failed (which will result in drastic epicness) or a well-calculated final accord - I'm not in high spirits about the coming lore. They just don't leave themselves a decent back door. We shall see.

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    1. I think I just pointed toward that in the other reply to you before I read this.

      They are leaving the door open where they have the option to shut it now if things get worse.

      No matter they say losing more than 50% of their subs in less than 6 months time hurt the brand a lot with their stock holders. It is also why they announced they will stop sharing sub numbers when they used to love boasting about them. The brand is hurting, they are getting pressure from their stock holders, so maybe this expansion is just an out for them if they can not turn it around.

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  3. In any story telling medium, particularly heroic tales, the heroes or protagonists all suffer hardship and setback along their paths requiring sacrifice and suffering. However, sacrifice and setbacks tend to make for frustrating or futile sense of game play which doesn't translate into fun.

    I would like to see this idea scaled a bit more and placed within the storytelling arc of the expansion. The opening of an expansion sets the stage, defines the enemy and sets you on a path to defeat that enemy. The first patch then should introduce the setback or failure within the storyline. This can be done multiple different ways: unintended consequences of steps taken, new actor that redefines the interactions, actual failure at set upon task, etc. There is a lot of variety in ways these failures, setbacks, and hardships manifest and we are left with a mess of our plans, our strategy, resources, and/or the fight itself.

    Then, the final patch of the expansion ought to be the struggle to overcome the introduced obstacles. New gains (ones that simply don't replace what was previously sacrificed), new resources, new plan through to execution of that plan.

    This is assuming the expansion plays out like this one did. You can add another patch in there to elaborate, or have the two inner patches be two sorts of hardships, first plan fails when a new actor surfaces (similar to the influence Wrathion played), second patch is about overcoming the consequences/complications introduced by the actor and developing a new plan then into the final act where we put that plan into motion.

    Related Thoughts

    We could use microcosms of this as well. Minor setbacks revamp plan and execute in various sizes. We already do it in boss fights; boss hits 30% new adds/new abilities/rage hit change the dynamics. We could do it more with setting and story, having BadBoss fight us until 20% then springs a trap and flees leaving us to loot the room of treasure and gear, only to find him BiggerBadderBoss just down the road immediately or delayed.

    You can see this inflated slightly to work within the story. Lets use dungeons as smaller parts of our plans to defeat the big baddy, have some of those dungeons yield complications or setbacks to our plans within the eventual raid. Have the story in one more directly connect so we have context that this BadBoss got the power to go BiggerBadderBoss when we did X Y and Z in these dungeons.

    Sometimes I think they forget their head canon doesn't translate to the audience. They have these threads of connective tissue in each of these expansions, but I think fail to really viscerally connect them in their audience's minds. That connective tissue is what breaths life and motivation into the story.

    Just a few thoughts.

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    1. That is the standard fantasy trilogy method. I think it could work in warcraft, if they go back to three raid tiers that is.

      Start with the first part, release raids, where the underdogs (us) mount an offense and win a battle we really should not have won.

      In the first raid patch, second raid tier, we suffer a set back, lose something, someone, maybe even have a fight where the bad guy escapes, or we need to retreat.

      In the second patch, third raid tier, we come back from our defeat with a vengeance and win the day.

      Star wars, among hundreds of other things, have been using this design to great effect for many years. There is a reason for that. It works.

      But in warcraft we win, win win, and nothing else ever. Even when we lose someone important it never seems like it matters.

      I liked the idea of using dungeons and scenarios to tell the story. But one issue with that it is would require them to keep making more as the expansion goes and from the looks of it blizzard has absolutely zero interest in adding more content (of that style) after release of an expansion. But it would be a great idea for story telling.

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    2. I understand that Blizzard would organizationally have a production (fabricating) team for expansion sub group for dungeon fabrication. If they've budgeted 10 dungeons for the expansion, I think 8 release dungeons, and one each major patch or 7:1:1:1 or 6:2:1.....You get the point. I would say that this would lengthen the life of the dungeons and their perception. You can play with difficulty gearing. I'd even consider a 4:4:2 format as healthier than 10:0. I would think 4 would be the minimum number maybe 5 to start with or risk burn out. But then again we burn out anyway.

      If blizz likes experimenting, try this one!!!! 5:3:2. Just give it a try.

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    3. addendum: They fabricate all 10 dungeons during expansion construction, bank the ones for later, test/fine tune them in those patch beta.

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    4. That is who a good business model would work. They would make everything and then stagger release. It would seem as if there was more content when in fact it was everything that was originally made to begin with.

      Just think of what the selfie patch would have looked like if they had never announced BRF as content that was on release. They delayed it for staggering the raids, but it was release content and we know about it.

      Now if they never told us about it until they started working on 6.1 than 6.1 would not forever be known as the slefie patch only and it would have been a raid tier with the selifie stuff as additional, which it should have been.

      So creating and holding back, from us, the content and the knowledge of it, would only work to benefit them in the long run I would think.

      Just look back at this expansion and if we did not know anything about BRF and it was actually part of 6.1. It would be a whole different view of what we got wouldn't it?

      And they really need to start developing for these year long droughts. Despite their best efforts they are completely incapable of coming out with new expansions in a timely manner, they have to know this by now. So they should design to have extra stuff intended for release during that time. Even if it is just a small quest hub, a one boss raid like EoE or OS or RS, or a set of three dungeons they tell a story like the ICC 3 and the DS 3. They need to make content to have to release at these points which they should well know by now will happen.

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  4. Don't really matter how it unfolds to me I just don't want to wait until September for it. With the content droughts it seems to me like Blizzard is trying to kill WoW so they can concentrate on the newer titles.

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    1. I second that emotion. Would be nice to see the prepatch come out this month and the expansion next.

      I sometimes think to myself, with my tin foil hat on, that it seems blizzard is intentionally trying to kill the game. So you are not alone thinking that.

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  5. HI GE! Really, I was under the impression that when Legion comes out you were gone because of the crap they are doing to hunters. No? Yes?

    -roo

    ps - sorry to hear about your friend. Yes there are devices available for someone who lost an arm to be able to play games. Also devices where the feet are used, too. Now, I was researching this 10 years when my best friend had a stroke and could not play hi console anymore. But we found some items he could use, but cost is a factor. Always seems to be when some with a disability needs something. :( my best to him.

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    1. Long time to see my old friend, nice to see you around.

      There is still a lot of time and I will stick around to see what happens with the expansion. I still have not purchased it, but I know I probably will. I am just not happy with the direction of the game but know I will want all the goodies that come with the preorder if I ever came back, so I would get it.

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  6. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    I am not really sure a MMORPG can stand an expansion in which the players are on a losing side. More specifically, I do not think WoW's audience could stand it and would outright rebel in a manner worse than the real id or flying debacles. Also, I think it would be the end of the game if they did such, no matter what intentions of having the big comeback in the next expansion.

    With regards to making it a valley in an expansion where by the middle of the expansion we are losing but we make a big comeback in the end, again I simply see that as a recipe for a disastrous loss of subs. Not saying that such could not be done successfully, but I am saying outright, Blizzard can't do that good a job of storytelling in the game. It would be an unmitigated disaster to my way of thinking for Blizzard to even attempt it.

    To be frank, a lot of the revealed information could well be pointing towards a disastrous introduction of the Legion expansion. I don't think it is the end of WoW necessarily, but if we hear of Thrall dying, go ahead and look for the server shutdowns.

    In fact, I wonder if that is not the plan for Legion ultimately. I know that in theory Blizzard is already hard at work on the next expansion but in reality that means absolutely nothing for the long term. Blizzard has cancelled whole developed game systems after spending years and money on developing them, so cancelling the next expansion would not be a total shock nor out of character for Blizzard.

    You want my opinion? Mine is simple, WoW is over for all intents and purposes but for the crying. Enjoy Legion because it is at least 50-50 odds that it is the last one you will ever get.

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    1. While I do believe that it seems by the large that the audience playing the game currently could not handle such a story line I don't know if I agree that an MMORPG could not handle losing.

      If written well and still making us seam as if we only lost a battle but still came out ahead in the war it could work. The issue would come down to how blizzards writers and developers handle it. So more so it comes down to do we have faith in a group of people that have more often than not let us down. That is the iffy part.

      Warcarft, while still making money and there is no doubt about that, is still a drain on resources now that blizzard has many other product lines which require less workers and offer a higher profit margin. Which starts making warcraft look like it is not worth the effort, even if it does many money. If it ends, that will be the reason. Why have 100 people make warcarft for a 20% profit when you can have 10 people make hearthstone for a 300% profit. As players, that is what we have to worry about killing the game, more so than anything else. The business aspect.

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    2. way back in the day of computer games there was a company that design aerial games - Battle of Britian, Something over the Pacific, a WWI game, etc. You could play either side, Allied, Central Powers, Japanese, British, etc. However if you played the side that lost and did good with your flying, bombing, etc, you still lost the game. Dynamix I think that was the company. But like I said, one still lost the war.

      So, companies learned not to make the losing side playable.

      I really think it would be interesting with Legion, BUT, if it depends on me to run dungeons, raids, etc. then no, a flat out no.

      I really would like to see a game like WoW come out as single player or you could allow certain people in it. I guess I am becoming a hermit.

      Put Windows 10 on my gaming computer. WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP. It screwed up - why? the little well known bug that if you install Win 10 on a system that has Windows 7 and you don't use a password then it will lock up at the sign in screen waiting for your password. So I had to re-set it, meaning all the programs I had on were removed and there is no way to go back to windows 7 short of formatting the hard drive and re-installing everything. Damned MS, damned the to hell! (pounding fist into the sand)

      oh well.

      -roo

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    3. People like to win, that is true. They like to win even more when they are expected to lose, it makes it all the more exciting.

      We, in warcraft are expected to win. So winning, while nice, is no surprise. But if we were expected to lose and won, that is what makes it exciting.

      Now for the game you mentioned, if you could take the side that was supposed to lose and even if was really hard somehow manage to win with them, that would have been epic and a great deal of fun. Look a Civ. It is one of those games that even as the losing civilization, which there are many of, you can conquer the world. That is fun.

      Thanks for letting me know I need a password before I upgrade. Still do not plan on updating, but that is great to know. Horrible design they did with that however. If people have no PW they should not require one on update.

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  7. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    There are two possible outcomes I can see stemming from WoW:Legion. In the first, Azeroth holds, stops the invasion, and counter strikes back into Argus itself, with the final raid being the push back into Argus, with an outdoor style raid zone. The expansion ends there, setting up the next expansion to be much like "Beyond the Dark Portal" was for the original Warcraft 2 RTS game.

    The second outcome is the developers having fun at the expense of the players in anticipation of the end of WoW, making the content patches push us further back, with the last patch being the final stand at Iron Forge with all the races being driven back to that one last stronghold. And that is the end of WoW as the Demon Horde of the Burning Legion sack the last stand of the last free city on Azeroth.

    Oh there are alternatives, such as Fordragon bringing the undead of the Lich King into play, possibly on the side of the Horde/Alliance but not necessarily. All the dragon flights will likely be a source to tap for the Azerothian defenders, and could involve a patch or two or an expansion or two more for that matter. But as that will all require revising older territory to have new mobs and quests and goals beyond their original purpose and would require a heavy dose of phasing to pull off. For that reason, I suspect that the older territory will largely remain untouched by Legion.

    That brings us back to what we can reasonably expect to see, and for me, that is the first option. Not the worst outcome possible, and while it may not have the feel of defeat that Grumpy wants at some point, it will still be a pretty depressing thing with all the deaths to come.

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    1. It think they are throwing everything they got at the expansion with reckless abandon. That has to mean something. Throwing the emerald dream at us, aszhara at us, massive stat increases at us, artifact weapons at us, illidan coming back, demon hunters being added, seeing old favorites like the LK and such again even if in flash backs. It all has to mean something. Personally I think it screams desperation. But it could mean they plan on ending things and just want to sum it up by giving everyone what they always wanted before they end it.

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