Apr 1st 2012 11:19PM I love this dude. He has such a fun manner about him, and whenever he talks about lore, you can tell he's super passionate about it.
Mar 30th 2012 6:27PM Well said. I still love this game, and I'll be the first to defend it against baseless critiques, but Dragon Soul felt underdeveloped and thrown together (at least encounter-wise.) I can't help but feel that there were originally other intentions for a lot of the raid, including some new art assets, but they had to shift gears and work with what they had to get it out on time.
I think this could have been a very memorable raid, but the bosses themselves are kind of forgettable for a few reasons, not the least of which being that we've been looking at all of these models for the whole expansion. Take Ultraxion. I get it, he's Deathwing's "ultimate creation" (I thought that was Chromatus?) but he's just a big Twilight dragon. Personally, the whole "Twilight dragons are horrifying abominations" loses a little of its impact for me when they're just purple. A resurrected Theralion and Valiona, both heads stitched onto the same body, would have been much more memorable, and would be a fitting end for their bickering dynamic (which were some of Cataclysm's more memorable raid quotes for me.)
Hagara is another example. I'm okay with another evil shaman, but for an orc boss in a raid where Thrall features so heavily, I feel like they could have set her backstory up a little better. Maybe she's former Earthen Ring, or lost her family to Alliance incursion in the Barrens, and wants revenge on Thrall for leading the orcs to settle in an inhospitable land but not taking a stand against the enemy on their doorstep. Her Tauren lieutenant could even have been a former resident of Taurajo. They set up these far-reaching Horde storylines in the beginning of Cataclysm, why not have them tie in to the final raid?
Just examples of things they could have done to make Dragon Soul feel like a culmination of all things Cataclysm. I would have liked to see Goblins and Worgen tie in somehow, too, even in some small way. Blood elves and Draenei were heavily involved in the Sunwell, and the Ebon Blade were instrumental in the attack on Icecrown. Their inclusion in the final raids brought some sense of completion to their respective storylines. Dragon Soul brings closure (hopefully) to Thrall's storyline, but other than putting a villain down, it didn't do much for me story-wise. It didn't help that a lot of folks felt disconnected from Deathwing as a character.
Now, if we had gotten a chance to encounter an pre-corruption Neltharion in a Caverns of Time instance...
Oh well. I still have faith in this game's story, and I don't mind a few stumbles. Here's to new stories and lore in Mists!
Mar 25th 2012 3:09PM There are still yak mounts. It was only speculation that they would be the Pandaren racial mounts. Blue posts have generally hinted that turtles were the frontrunner for the Pandaren, and I guess that's now confirmed.
Mar 21st 2012 8:29PM I really don't expect Garrosh's arc to end with him being corrupted by demon blood and slain. An ending like that wouldn't contribute much to the direction the story has been headed, in my opinion, and could really be seen as a step backwards. The writers have done a great job making Garrosh a contentious character among fans, and showing that he does have multiple facets to him. Ending his character in such a predictable way would be a letdown and a waste of a good redemption story.
I do expect Garrosh's "corruption" to involve the Sha; perhaps he becomes the host for one, and brings it back to Durotar. This could have something to do with the source of power at the center of Pandaria, assumedly some Titan artifact that causes negative emotion to manifest as the Sha. Removing it from its island quarantine risks spreading the Sha all over Azeroth (this is starting to sound like Lost.) It may become necessary to "remove the mantle of Warchief from his shoulders" or whatever the exact phrasing was, but I haven't seen it explicitly indicated that we will KILL Garrosh. (Besides, that kind of downfall would be a huge bummer for Thrall, who put Garrosh in charge; he would feel like he let Grom and the Mag'har down, etc. And Metzen and co. have sort of admitted that Thrall's story needs to chill for a while. If Garrosh dies as an evil warlord, his arc really becomes about Thrall again, since his character never really got the chance to see developmental fruition.)
There's also the parallels between Garrosh and Varian's characters. If a central theme of the expansion is mastering oneself, who better to exemplify that internal struggle than two characters with serious rage issues? It sounds like Varian is going to come out of this changed for the better, and Garrosh's descent will show the other side of that coin. Call me crazy, but I see a cool opportunity here for Garrosh to LEARN something from Varian. I've always sort of felt that these two are being set up as such bitter enemies as a way to eventually unite the two factions against the Legion or whatever the final threat is; I mean, if those two hotheads could someday resolve their differences, respect each other as warriors and all that, the mortal races would be unstoppable against the forces of Darkness.
TLDR: I'm thinking Sha, not Demons, and hopefully some redemption for Hellscream. Let's not start celebrating Garrosh's funeral just yet!
Mar 13th 2012 1:01PM I can just about promise you that this is not the female dwarf model. Yes, the WoW art team recycles assets, often in ways players might not notice (did you know that Broken Draenei use the male tauren animation rig, or that the Armadillo Pup companion pet uses kodo idle and run animations?) Sometimes it can disappoint players when they notice it, but it's a good way to conserve resources. Also, I know you didn't say this, but folks will often call "the devs" lazy for not creating brand new art for this or that creature, when it much more likely comes down to time. WoW's artists would probably love to work on certain things (you don't become a 3D artist at Blizzard by being lazy or dispassionate about art) but they can't remake every asset from scratch.
That said, I expect Mists to be a very art-heavy expansion (especially compared to Cataclysm.) I fully expect the art team is currently cranking on as much new visual content as they can :)
Mar 6th 2012 8:20AM I believe this was recently added, but typing /yw willl cause you to say "You were happy to help ______." There's even voice acting!
Feb 29th 2012 1:32PM Concepts by Mark Gibbons, particular his uncolored sketches. As a 3D artist, I appreciate how he clearly stylizes his concepts with the modeler's task in mind. His line work is gorgeous and he nails the Warcraft visual style in an awesome, gritty way.
Feb 26th 2012 4:27PM Re: Alien vs. Aliens, agreed. For anyone who hasn't seen it in a long while, I highly recommend going back and watching the original Alien. Aliens is awesome and very memorable, and Her Royal Highness is unarguably iconic. But Alien is actually kind of a filmic masterpiece (imho.)
Feb 26th 2012 4:19PM @ dazziq According to Wikipedia, hybrid big cats like Ligers and Tigons are not sterile! Apparently, it's well-documented that they can produce healthy offspring, which just confuses the definition of speciation even further.