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10-11-2011 @ 10:04AM
I attended Chris Metzen's GDC talk, and here are some interesting details to add. He indicated they would be announcing a new WOW expansion at Blizzcon that would change how people view Garrosh. Garrosh has a big story arc. Right now he is an asshole, but he is supposed to be. Metzen talked about how right now Blizzard is getting clobbered over players' dislike of Garrosh, but that later people will look back at Garrosh with nostalgia and say, "Man, remember how we used to hate that guy?"There was plenty of other interesting stuff, like how they were surprised by the players' idea about a Thrall-Jaina relationship; or how the writer of the gnome faction leader story was really inspired by the passion of gnome players on forums and changed his approach to the story. Probably the most interesting was that Metzen started world design in Warcraft II from unit colors (he found pinkish/violet orcs unacceptable, but purple orcs lead to the Twilight cult, while yellow lead to the Alterac faction (they're cowards), blue was heroic Stormwind, etc.) Lore in Warcraft initially grew out of gameplay, although now they take it more seriously. Overall, a very good talk.
10-11-2011 @ 10:22AM
That's interesting. Would love to find a transcript of that. But at the same time it worries me. They did the same thing with Varian. Varian was very unpopular with part of the playerbase after the Battle for UC for a time and that prompted Blizzard to whitewash him. Varian didn't need to be fixed. He was fine as he was as flawed, prejudiced, deeply troubled King trying to protect the interests of his people. They "fixed" him by attributing everything controversial about him to that zany split personality of his and introducing the subsequent Lo'gosh possession plot that seems to have prompted the entire fanbase into a gigantic facepalm. Now what made Varian controversial and polarizing has been resolved and with the cause of all his recorded flaws resolved he's poised to be a less dynamic character. And I'm not left saying "that guy's a stud, I'm with that guy" as Metzen said they were going for.I like Garrosh. I like that he has flaws. I like that he screws up. I like that other characters think he's crazy and doubt him at every turn. I like that he follows realistic, human motivations and thinking patterns rather than being on cruise control to the Greater Good (tm). But I don't like that Blizzard's writers can't seem to agree on him and that Blizzard's less competent writers (read: STEVIE NIX) thoughtlessly undo the progress that Blizzard's more competent writers make with the character.So if Garrosh is getting a huge story arch, great. He deserves it. If they are aiming at making him more liked... I appreciate the sentiment, but God help me if it doesn't worry me at the same time. Blizzard's efforts with Thrall and Varian with this expansion suggest that "running deep" with a character involves a Super Sayun transformation and a step away from controversy. Unlike most other folks I think Blizzard did a good job with his characterization (until Stevie Nix) and I'm inclined to be cautiously optimistic... but the last thing I want is for him to be whitewashed.
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