Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

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Woegjiub
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Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Woegjiub » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:22 am UTC

I used to be an avid fan of the warcraft universe - warcraft was the first game I bought.
I loved it - it was dark, the music was ominous, and the game was gory.
Number two was just as good, because although the atmosphere wasn't as dark, the controls were perfect for an RTS of its style.
(think starcraft)
Number three was alright, despite the cartoony appearance and even less ominous atmosphere, it spawned many excellent custom maps.
WoW is just a monumental turd in comparison to what came before it.
It's not even remotely dark, it's colourful and bright, it seems like it's aimed at 12 year olds, as opposed to those of us who grew up with and loved the original two.

Do you think Warcraft 4 will go back to its roots, and become dark, ominous and evil?
Or will it further the disgusting trend, and become lego warcraft?

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Phen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:53 am UTC

Are you... Are you insulting my legos? Because that shit doesn't fly, man.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Woegjiub » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:25 am UTC

Phen wrote:Are you... Are you insulting my legos? Because that shit doesn't fly, man.

Lego is awesome.
But I saw warcraft as meant to be dark and ominous, not colourful and happy.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby SoapyHobo » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:42 pm UTC

I take it you missed the whole angry internet men shouting about Diablo III thing then?
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Chen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:48 pm UTC

Are we talking graphically/visually dark or dark in terms of story and such? I mean the story in Warcraft 3 was still pretty dark I'd say. Graphics wise Northrend was still pretty bleak and dull and even the Night elf forests were suitably gloomy. Obviously in WoW the graphics are gloomy or not depending on where you are since its an actual world and not just the focus on the war torn areas. The actual war torn areas (like Icecrown or the area around Karazhan) are still fairly dreary, dark places.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Decker » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:31 pm UTC

Over 12 million people can't be right!
Seriously though. I have to agree that while WoW may look kind of cartoony, the story and some of the enviroments can be pretty dark and depressing sometimes. Icecrown, and the story behind Ulduar are two examples I can think of right off the top of my head.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Axman » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

I suspect this is because Blizzard would rather target a massive market over a niche one. Their titles are absolutely getting lighter, and because their release schedule is so sparse, people also haven't noticed that Blizzard games aren't anywhere near as demanding as they used to be. Diablo and Diablo II were titles to upgrade for, but Diablo III looks to have Torchlight-style requirements.

It doesn't take a company too long to look at the success of something like The Sims and realize that the low bar can be the most profitable.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:30 pm UTC

Woegjiub wrote:It's not even remotely dark, it's colourful and bright, it seems like it's aimed at 12 year olds, as opposed to those of us who grew up with and loved the original two?


Off the top of my head:
Duskwallow Marsh
Ashenvale
Desolace
Felwood
Silithus
Azshara
EPL
WPL
Burning Steppes
Searing Gorge
Blasted Lands
Swamp of Sorrows
Deadwind Pass
Duskwood
Hellfire Penninsula
Shadowmoon Valley
Blade's Edge Mountains
Netherstorm
Icecrown

Are all 'dark' areas. That's about half of the areas.

Plus almost every raid, with the exceptions of Sunwell, TK, Malygos, which have a more 'magicy' feel to them.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Decker » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:32 pm UTC

Oooh. I forgot about Silithus. *shudder*
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby diotimajsh » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:16 pm UTC

Hmm, I personally don't find that Warcraft I was all that dark feeling. Maybe I was just thrown off by the retro graphics and game mechanics, but Warcraft III's campaign felt a lot more serious and involving to me than War I's. Some of the graphics may have been a bit cartoony, but really, the entire undead race? Abominations, meat wagons, ghouls, carrion beetles, the Slaughterhouse and Graveyards were at least conceptually kind of gruesome, if you don't find the graphics very compelling.

World of Warcraft may be a bit lighter, yes, probably to appeal to a wider fanbase. I haven't played it long enough to comment. There are the darker zones that others have listed in this thread, though.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Coin » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:22 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:
Woegjiub wrote:It's not even remotely dark, it's colourful and bright, it seems like it's aimed at 12 year olds, as opposed to those of us who grew up with and loved the original two?


Off the top of my head:
Duskwallow Marsh
Ashenvale
Desolace
Felwood
Silithus
Azshara
EPL
WPL
Burning Steppes
Searing Gorge
Blasted Lands
Swamp of Sorrows
Deadwind Pass
Duskwood
Hellfire Penninsula
Shadowmoon Valley
Blade's Edge Mountains
Netherstorm
Icecrown

Are all 'dark' areas. That's about half of the areas.

Plus almost every raid, with the exceptions of Sunwell, TK, Malygos, which have a more 'magicy' feel to them.

Well, this is part of the problem. The areas you believe are dark and gritty are full of horrible colours that I believe shouldn't be used for a "dark (with a possible side order of gritty)".

Take Hellfire Peninsula:
Spoiler:
Image

Do I see a redish purple? Why I believe I do and it looks horrible.

Or perhaps the classical Duskwood:
Spoiler:
Image

Turqoise? Come on! Where is the darkness? The shadows? It doesn't look moody at all! It just looks dull and cartoonish.

I can keep going and going.

The problem with the undead are the two main colours they use: Neon Green, Plum Purple and Light Electric Blue/Turqoise.
It makes them look comepletely artificial and cartoony.
Outlands is some garish space adventure in bright lights of purple, yellow and red and turqoise.
The marshlands employ chemical greens that nature would be hard pressed to spawn.

This is turning into more of a rant now so I'll stop.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:25 pm UTC

Just look at the average age of WoW players. That doesn't mean the game isn't good or anything, it just means the game has been shaped by and for people who are on average about 14-15 years old.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Decker » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:28 pm UTC

Man. I don't care what anyone says about any of the other areas. Silithis and those bug hives are creepy as fuck.

The again, I have a...thing...about flying bugs.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:31 pm UTC

Coin wrote:The problem with the undead are the two main colours they use: Neon Green, Plum Purple and Light Electric Blue/Turqoise.
It makes them look comepletely artificial and cartoony.
Outlands is some garish space adventure in bright lights of purple, yellow and red and turqoise.
The marshlands employ chemical greens that nature would be hard pressed to spawn.


You're complaining that a video game used more than 16 colors? When you said 'dark', I assumed you meant gloomy/scary/evil looking, which these places are. Yes they use more colors on your monitor than WC2 (which could run in 16 colors as I recall, certainly WC1 did), but if you didn't shit yourself in fear when you went through the dark portal the first time, you're doing it wrong.

And what exactly is dark about
Spoiler:
Image


Edit: Win:
Spoiler:
Image
Last edited by mike-l on Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Coin » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:31 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:
Coin wrote:The problem with the undead are the two main colours they use: Neon Green, Plum Purple and Light Electric Blue/Turqoise.
It makes them look comepletely artificial and cartoony.
Outlands is some garish space adventure in bright lights of purple, yellow and red and turqoise.
The marshlands employ chemical greens that nature would be hard pressed to spawn.


You're complaining that a video game used more than 16 colors? When you said 'dark', I assumed you meant gloomy/scary/evil looking, which these places are. Yes they use more colors on your monitor than WC2 (which could run in 16 colors as I recall, certainly WC1 did), but if you didn't shit yourself in fear when you went through the dark portal the first time, you're doing it wrong.

And what exactly is dark about
Spoiler:
Image


Edit: Win:
Spoiler:
Image


I can't believe I have to bring out my old Warcraft: Orcs and Humans files.

Here we go:
Spoiler:
Image

This is what I'm talking about. All muted "autumn" colours in this case to show what I consider to be a much better swamp than the Swamp of Sorrows in WoW ever was. Sure, it's got a toxic kind of green, but it looks far better to me than the stuff used in WoW.

I'm not saying that I like only 16-bit or 8-bit colours, what I do say is that I would prefer WoW to hark back to the old colour palettes that they used and be inspired by the different shades used then, rather than go all garish and "loud". Sure, it appeals to the broader audience, but it isn't what I'd prefer.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Chen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:49 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Image


That seems like a much better swamp of sorrows than the War 1 pic above.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:00 am UTC

I dunno, man... look at the bottom of the picture.

That's right.

Flowers.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby EmptySet » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:36 am UTC

Coin wrote:I can't believe I have to bring out my old Warcraft: Orcs and Humans files.

Here we go:

(Screenshot)

This is what I'm talking about. All muted "autumn" colours in this case to show what I consider to be a much better swamp than the Swamp of Sorrows in WoW ever was. Sure, it's got a toxic kind of green, but it looks far better to me than the stuff used in WoW.


I don't think that looks atmospheric at all. There is little contrast or depth of colour, which makes the background look flat, washed-out and boring. Which might be okay for one area, I suppose, but it's a bit boring if the entire game is like that.

I also agree with many of the comments made by Blizzard's art director following the Diablo III ruckus, which were basically on the lines of "Making everything slightly different shades of grey might seem all hardcore, but in practice it makes it difficult to tell things apart, especially if there are seven other players running around. Also, it gets boring after you've run through a dozen dungeons which are all the same drab shade."

Looking at other games, C&C3 was considered to have a fairly gloomy atmosphere, and it had glowy stuff and lasers all over the shop. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is another good example, being a stealth game and still having quite a bit of colour. Being dark doesn't mean a game has to be bland and boring. If anything, I would say that the problem with Blizzard's art direction is insufficient contrast (or just heavy fog... those WoW shots are as bad as Morrowind for sight distance), rather than excessive colour.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby nowfocus » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:27 am UTC

I wouldn't really chalk this up to the art direction, I chalk it up to the atmosphere where you have hundreds of people milling about who aren't the least bit affected by it. In Warcraft 3, the cutscenes involved you and NPCs. In WoW, they involve your entire server, who may be running through the swamp of sorrows picking flowers as we speak. There is incentive to do some non-gloomy things in areas that are supposed to be gloomy, and the novelty of killing thing goes away quickly when you do it so often and the fights are so reptitive.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Jar'O'Jam » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:02 am UTC

Coin wrote:I can't believe I have to bring out my old Warcraft: Orcs and Humans files.
Here we go:
Spoiler:
Image

I'm not saying that I like only 16-bit or 8-bit colours, what I do say is that I would prefer WoW to hark back to the old colour palettes that they used and be inspired by the different shades used then, rather than go all garish and "loud". Sure, it appeals to the broader audience, but it isn't what I'd prefer.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Coin » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:25 am UTC

Chen wrote:
Spoiler:
Image


That seems like a much better swamp of sorrows than the War 1 pic above.


That's because you are looking at a piece of road, not the general country side which is a shade of vomit never intended for mortal eyes other than after a night of binge drinking and bad guacamole.
Spoiler:
Image
Last edited by Coin on Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Axman » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:56 am UTC

Can I add that I have no idea why people stand the graphics of WoW? I'd rather play Spreadsheets in Space than have to look at that game.

Maybe if the cost of the game depreciated the same as any other game released in 2004; yeah, I don't see Blizzard jumping up and down to sell WoW for $1.42/ month.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Woegjiub » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:59 am UTC

Coin wrote:
Chen wrote:
Spoiler:
Image


That seems like a much better swamp of sorrows than the War 1 pic above.


That's because you are looking at a piece of road, not the general country side which is a shade of vomit never intended for mortal eyes other than after a night of binge drinking and bad guacamole.
Spoiler:
http://www.wowpriests.info/uploaded_images/ScreenShot_122606_171616-768702.jpeg

This is exactly what I meant - compare that dragon to the one in warcraft II.
http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/20 ... een002.jpg
I don't know if it's because it's in 2D, but to me, even that bright, colourful pic from war2 FEELS darker... It might have something to do with the fact that Orc Battle 3 started in my head when I saw it.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby mike-l » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:34 pm UTC

Axman wrote:Maybe if the cost of the game depreciated the same as any other game released in 2004; yeah, I don't see Blizzard jumping up and down to sell WoW for $1.42/ month.


That point would be valid if they never added new content, never updated the game, etc (or hadn't after the first year or two). But we've gotten 2 expansions that really are a new game. Thousands of new items in dozens of new dungeons/raids, every class has a bunch new spells, the talent trees are unrecognizable compared to the original, graphics/art much improved (you can argue about their choices all you want, but there is no doubt that the level of detail is much higher now, compare Isle of Conquest to Warsong Gulch, or Borean Tundra to Redridge), game feature upgrades.

I wouldn't pay 15 bucks a month to play Vanilla WoW (in 2010). Fortunately Blizzard doesn't ask me to.

Edit: To the OP, I just reread your original post, your logic was:
1 - Dark = good
2 was less dark, but was good because of controls
3 was less dark, but was good because of custom maps
WoW was less dark, but I'm going to ignore all the great gameplay features that makes it the most successful video game in history and just call it bad.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:44 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:ut we've gotten 2 expansions that really are more game to keep you grinding.

Fix'd that for you. If you want to know what 'new game' expansions are like, take a look at Eve, which releases game altering content on a roughly semiannual basis. WoWs expansions let you go somewhere new and fight something a bit harder while you grind out 5 more levels.

Another thing; level caps? Wtf.

nowfocus wrote:In WoW, they involve your entire server, who may be running through the swamp of sorrows picking flowers as we speak.

And when all those images look like something out of Pokemon, it doesn't matter if you call it the Tunda of Terror, it's not imposing, it's silly. And furthermore, when one of your tasks involves picking flowers or embroidery, I don't care if you're a 500 year old barbarian shaman wearing the skulls of your enemies, sitting there with a needle and thread while you fashion a hip pouch isn't terribly impressive.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:46 pm UTC

Doesn't bother me any. I don't play WoW because MMORPGs don't interest me, but I rather like the art design. It's consistant and has character. If I want "dark and gritty," I can play pretty much any Unreal Engine 3 game that looks like every other UE3 game.

EDIT: What's wrong with level caps? Releasing an MMO with unlimited levels would be near impossible while being fun and satisfying for people on the high end. As more content is released, they increase the cap that already takes an enormous amount of time to get to.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:15 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:EDIT: What's wrong with level caps? Releasing an MMO with unlimited levels would be near impossible while being fun and satisfying for people on the high end. As more content is released, they increase the cap that already takes an enormous amount of time to get to.

Because after a certain period of time, the entire game becomes weighted towards the endgame content. And releases stop being about having a good experience while you level up, and turn into balance fixes, Elder Dragons of RidiculouslyBigNess, and mining Awesomeonium in the Mountains of Everlasting Angst.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:07 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:EDIT: What's wrong with level caps? Releasing an MMO with unlimited levels would be near impossible while being fun and satisfying for people on the high end. As more content is released, they increase the cap that already takes an enormous amount of time to get to.

Because after a certain period of time, the entire game becomes weighted towards the endgame content. And releases stop being about having a good experience while you level up, and turn into balance fixes, Elder Dragons of RidiculouslyBigNess, and mining Awesomeonium in the Mountains of Everlasting Angst.

I don't see how that would be any different if there was no level cap. At some point, you'll be leveled so high that even hardest content will be a cakewalk. Instead of building endgame content, the devs would be building high-level content, so it wouldn't be any different. They could make it scalable, I suppose, but even that has to have some sort of limit.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Jar'O'Jam » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:30 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Because after a certain period of time, the entire game becomes weighted towards the endgame content. And releases stop being about having a good experience while you level up, and turn into balance fixes, Elder Dragons of RidiculouslyBigNess, and mining Awesomeonium in the Mountains of Everlasting Angst.

Endgame content is there because person will most likely spend a lot of time exactly there, at maximum level, rather than during first 10 levels, for example, which will fly by.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby mike-l » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:35 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Because after a certain period of time, the entire game becomes weighted towards the endgame content. And releases stop being about having a good experience while you level up, and turn into balance fixes, Elder Dragons of RidiculouslyBigNess, and mining Awesomeonium in the Mountains of Everlasting Angst..


I don't see a problem with this... I've logged hundreds of days of play time over the years, maybe 10 of those were leveling up.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Amnesiasoft » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:18 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote: At some point, you'll be leveled so high that even hardest content will be a cakewalk.

Two words: "Returns," preceded by the word "Diminishing."
I'm not sure where Guild Wars 2 is going with regards to their level cap, but I know one thing they've contemplated is entirely removing it.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:25 pm UTC

Primarily because as I understand it, WoW's principal draw isn't the pvp.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Axman » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:41 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:That point would be valid if they never added new content, never updated the game, etc (or hadn't after the first year or two). But we've gotten 2 expansions...
Two expansions that cost money; other games have added large amounts of content and cost less over time. And even if the game looks better now than it did before, you can play it with integrated graphics. Empirically, it's an undemanding title, and by current standards, looks pretty tired, even for a mass-market product. And this is important for delivering a dark, and therefor believable game--you gotta have good lighting and lots of polygons. If you cut those from a 3D game, you're forced to stylize the models or they'll look ugly. Stylized models come off cartoonish, and WoW has taken the personality of Warcraft repeat-select dialog to its extreme conclusion.*
WoW was less dark, but I'm going to ignore all the great gameplay features that makes it the most successful video game in history and just call it bad.
Woah, by what possible standards is this the most successful game? Financially? The Sims. Culturally? Myst. Success of platform? Half-Life 2. And that's just on the PC, let's not get into the Mario Kart phenomenon.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:44 pm UTC

And to preempt "number of players", Modern Warfare 2.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby mike-l » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:09 pm UTC

Axman wrote:Woah, by what possible standards is this the most successful game? Financially? The Sims. Culturally? Myst. Success of platform? Half-Life 2. And that's just on the PC, let's not get into the Mario Kart phenomenon.


Ok, I used a superlative in my zeal. I don't have any numbers, but by any of the criteria you've listed, WoW has to be on the short list for the top. 5 years of (very liberally, 12 at it's height) 5 million subscriptions is pretty crazy, and, for good or for worse, it defined the MMO genre (not saying it's the best, but it's influence is certainly the most powerful).

Certainly by any measure it's more successful than Warcraft 1 (the best on the OP's list by his metric)
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby ProZac » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:18 pm UTC

You know, while playing WoW, I've heard guild memebers step into a new instance and praise "how good it looks". Really? Have you been under a rock for the past 5 years? Another is a guild member that decided not to buy a new flying mount because "It didn't have walking animations, only flying." ... ... Give me a giant 6 pixel red flying cube and write "Can Fly" on the side. Same damn game.

WoW has 'most successful MMO' going for it, and that's about it... outside of the mmo realm, this game has done nothing amazing, nor stands out at all.

And sa far as 'dark and gritty' does it really matter what a game looks like? As long as it looks good enough to convey in an easy matter the information you need to know/what's going on, it shouldn't make a difference. I suppose those an 'appeal' factor to it, because if you slapped a teletubbies skin on MW2 it wouldn't be near as successful, but is the appeal factor of a game really limited to being 'must be dark and "cool"'. I friggin hate movies that are 'dark' like the new batmans and the watchmen because without perfect lighting in the room, you can't see what's going on in half the scenes, and now we have a 'failure to convey information'.

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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Coin » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:31 pm UTC

ProZac wrote:And sa far as 'dark and gritty' does it really matter what a game looks like? As long as it looks good enough to convey in an easy matter the information you need to know/what's going on, it shouldn't make a difference. I suppose those an 'appeal' factor to it, because if you slapped a teletubbies skin on MW2 it wouldn't be near as successful, but is the appeal factor of a game really limited to being 'must be dark and "cool"'. I friggin hate movies that are 'dark' like the new batmans and the watchmen because without perfect lighting in the room, you can't see what's going on in half the scenes, and now we have a 'failure to convey information'.


Personally I think that it's not as much an appeal factor (as in: "This shit looks so good that I could sit here staring all day") but more an annoyance factor ("This shit is so ugly I want to tear my eyes out."). I find the scenery annoying.

For the second part the new batman movies can't hold a candle to the original Tim Burton Batman and Return of Batman when it comes to grit. They don't make the grit like they used to. (Now get of my lawn...)
As for the "failure to convey information"-stuff, that just misses the point. The darkness is there to set the mood and make things look interesting. Creating an atmosphere.
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Re: Will the warcraft franchise get any worse?

Postby Axman » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

I have also considered that my personal standards for dark and/ or edgy have changed a huge amount since... wow, the sixth grade. Yeah, I'd definitely stand by that argument.


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