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Almost had Writer’s Block

Published on August 19, 2014 by in Gaming, real life

Uh oh. Writer’s block is hitting me hard this morning. Almost in the home stretch of Blaugust, and I’m wondering what on earth to type out right now. I think mainly because I’m distracted by school being also right around the corner. Classes for me start September 2nd, I’m going to be taking two classes […]

 
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Change is Scary

Gatekeeping a Hobby Yesterday was one of those strange days where a lot of people were talking about the same ideas.  I was not privy to the original source that sparked the discussion, but several of my friends over twitter were talking about the definition of a “real gamer”.  It seems that someone was spouting […]

 
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So You Win Again, Redux.

It’s a long time ago…Back in November of 2013, I started a Contest. Its aim was very simple: guess the Warlords Release Date. Back then we were all working on a theory that the Game would be far earlier than a year from this date (which would ha…

 
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Welcome To the Future


[Author's Note: If you have a Tinfoil Hat, I'd strongly suggest you put it on before you read this Post. The Management thanks you for your understanding.]

I finally managed on Saturday night to watch the Warlords Cinematic for the first time.

I’d seen a fair deal of commentary on it beforehand, which is a first (because normally I’d have watched it ‘live’ with everyone else) and I was aware of a number of dissenting voices after the Première. Some complained that there was no relevance for Alliance players, others that there simply wasn’t a hook for either faction. The fact this is a single and pivotal moment in Warcraft history wasn’t lost on me however. Like Arthas and Sindragosa, or Deathwing and Azeroth, this is a moment when the storyline rises and falls into the path of the viewer, and there are inevitable conclusions to be drawn as a result.

Okay, strap yourselves in people, HERE WE GO.

I watched the whole thing once, then again in as high a quality as my intermittent French Internet would allow, and two things immediately jumped out at me when the Cinematic ended. No, I didn’t notice the ‘Orcfest’ or think the whole thing was a deliberately skewed presentation for the Horde players in the audience. The points that that grabbed me immediately?

That would firstly be this title card:

and secondly, this Special Guest Villain.

These are Interesting Times we are heading into, and I’m not talking about the new character models or the change to item stats. For the first time in ten years we’re in Alternate Universe territory, remember? Look, there’s even a CM who’ll turn up here and remind you of the fact in case you’ve forgotten:

MULTIVERSE. Hands up if you’re still confused? ^^

Yes, it’s okay. I get that this is another timeline we’ve ventured into, and that’s why Outland can exist at the same time. The question however I now want to ask as a result of this key change in our location is simple:

How long do we intend to remain in this Alternate Universe, exactly?


Part of me thinks, looking at the nature of the Cinematic, that this isn’t necessarily a one Expansion deal I’ve just signed up for in the now established Multiverse.


Coming around *again*
Hollywood loves a reboot: just look at Stargate (above) as an example of that, or Superman, or Spiderman… in fact, backing a completely new and original idea is often the risk that major studios aren’t prepared to take because they can’t be sure that concept will ever make back the money invested to begin with. Warcraft’s history is vast and rich, but a great deal of it had already taken place when the original game was conceived, and we’ve spent the last ten years referencing the key moments in that past, and being conveniently dropped into their narratives via the Caverns of Time instances. When you think about it, these key markers in Azeroth’s History have been the best part of the whole process for many people: the Legion, The Battle for Hyjal, the Well of Eternity…

Which is where the first pointer, our Title Card, now comes in.

Thirty Five years is a VERY specific frame of reference.They could have simply titled it ‘Draenor’ or ‘The Past’ but no, we get a very deliberate marker, and I feel this is significant for several reasons. First off, it sets the player in a hugely momentous point in Warcraft history. Forget the ‘DocBrown’ explanations that have become popular, this is Warcraft plonking players at a crossroads: because the Orcs don’t drink Mannoroth’s blood, a whole slew of significant events then could also simply fail to take place in the Alternate Universe we now find ourselves drawn to because of Garrosh’s intervention. Let’s be clear here: I’m not talking about the past we’ve left, but the present we now find ourselves in WITHIN THIS MULTIVERSE. A Multiverse where, it must be said, a large number of the Burning Legion’s major players may well still live and could be sent out in the NEXT expansion for players to kill YET AGAIN. After all, we all know that death is ‘only a setback.’

I dunno about you, but that could be a great way of reinventing our basic plotline for a second turn of the wheel.

Blizzard could very easily be setting us up for a reboot of the Warcraft Universe from this point forward. I think a lot of that will depend on what the Warcraft movie’s got hidden up its ample sleeves in a year and a bit’s time.

There’s reports floating around the internet of a trailer that never saw the light of day outside the San Diego Comic Con, of a trailer that pits Orcs against Humans in a manner that will be eerily reminiscent to those who understand the early Lore of the Warcraft games that came before the MMO. There’s a mention in the trailer description of fathers and sons too, which is of course what we ALSO see front and centre in the Warlords Cinematic. There have been those who have questioned Duncan Jones’ pedigree in producing this movie considering the two major motion pictures he has under his belt: ‘Moon’ and ‘Source Code’, which BOTH ironically have a lot to do with bending and warping the fabric of time. Without spoiling ether for anyone who’s not seen Jones’ previous outings, this is a man who is very adept at making the process of ‘linear time’ work to his advantage in a dramatic setting. Part of me now wonders whether this entire setup isn’t part of a bigger picture, that perhaps the events we know that make up the movie aren’t as cut and dried in Lore terms as maybe they might be… and that maybe Jones’ appointment is deliberate. If you want someone to help you re-write your timeline, this guy has bags of experience. Oh, and before you remind me he’s only directing, go check the movie’s IMDB credits. Go on ^^

And then, on top of all this, there’s this year’s Blizzcon to consider as a way to link the present and the future together.

Some people are already speculating that we could have announcement for the NEXT Expansion before the last one is out, which would be largely ironic considering the six months we lost along the way this year. However, what many people will be failing to consider is the importance of linking together current playable content with the Movie release: if I know Blizzard as well as I believe I do, somebody somewhere already has a plan for this. After all, as has been established on many occasions:

Just remember to substitute the word ‘Blizzard’ for ‘Russians’ in that clip and you’re up to speed.

I’ve been making this point since it was clear we had a Movie to go with the Game: Blizzard will want a way to link the two together, and how would that be possible if the Movie’s going to reference some key points in the game’s past we can’t visit because they already took place?

That’s not a problem if EVERYONE reboots along the way, now is it?

The NEXT Expansion is now the thing I’m really interested about, because I’ve had this concept sold to me for a year now, pretty much non-stop. I’ve grasped the past, but this isn’t something I as yet want to embrace, because I’m not an Orc. However, I’d put a lot of money on the fact this is deliberate planning on Blizzard’s part, because the NEXT Expansion could well focus on Humans, thus meaning we have both sides of our Warcraft Movie’s twin protagonists fresh in the memory. Throw in the possibility of some MAJOR Demon Showdowns (TM) into the mix and I can see a way to get Orcs v Humans to fight each other, and then turn to attack a common enemy: the Burning Legion. You’ll notice there is NO real indicator of exactly what we’ll get in turns of plot in this Movie as yet, and no concrete evidence of what viewers can expect in terms of actual battles. It’s all deliberate speculation for a very good reason. A good marketing department won’t show their hand until everything is ready.

This is not the Reboot you are looking for ^^

Those of you who are wondering why Grommash is the end boss of the Expansion? You defeated the son, now you’ll defeat the father, but to what end? The Legion is already knocking at Draenor’s door, and even if Mannoroth has not corrupted the Orcs, his shadowy mates are very much aware of where this planet lies and what potential it offers as a result. The scope for adventure in ‘alternate universes’ is huge, as in the possibilities for movie tie-ins. How this all fits together? We don’t know as yet, but I’ll GUARANTEE it will, because this won’t just be about getting bums of seats in cinemas. This will be a way of getting new watchers of the Movie to sub to the Game, and that will mean giving viewers a world to play in that is reflected in the plot of the ‘adventure’ they go see.

That means our World of Warcraft could be about to undergo quite the radical shift of emphasis.

 
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The Favorites of Selune – Gardmore Abbey – Session 18

Published on August 19, 2014 by in Uncategorized

Before the summer break, in the previous session we stopped with a cliffhanger: The middle of a fight with a red dragon. The fight had the group somewhat worried, because the dragon had breathed on them already twice, and several rounds of concentratin…

 
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Free to Play: The Hot Seat

Published on August 19, 2014 by in Uncategorized

In another one of his off-the-cuff yet keenly incisive observations, Syncaine muses on the initial success of Wildstar, a game marketed toward the 1% hardcore raiding crowd, versus Guild Wars 2, a game that was supposed to change our fundamental unders…

 
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To coin a phrase

In the next 48 hours the Kickstarter by Campaign Coins will complete, I have been super excited about this project since I caught wind of it in June. The stretch goal shave been nice and have included a number of bonus coins, a fate bag and a variety of options of finishings for your coins. Admittedly […]

 
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How to increase FPS and remove lag in CS 1.6

Getting irritated because of low FPS and oo much lag? Try out these simple things and get back your FPS to 100.Reasons for low FPS:-Low PC ConfigurationInternet problemsBackground apps using too much RAMResolution ProblemLow priority of hl.exe Now we’l…

 
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[TT] Tile Placement

I saw Monster Factory at Gen Con and was immediately reminded of Starbase Jeff from Cheapass Games. Both are tile placement games with two types of “fittings” where you try to complete stations/monsters to bank points. There are some differences in the details, but the mechanics are 90% the same. Carcassonne is broadly similar. How […]

[TT] Tile Placement is a post from: Kill Ten Rats

 
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Simcha has inspired me to read more…Bout of Books

Since I have been enjoying Blaugust and keeping up with it, I figured I would give another challenge a shot. Inspired by Simcha over at Simcha’s Many Lives!, I decided to give Bout of Books a try. Bout of Books is a read-a-thon that is best described by them… The Bout of Books read-a-thon is

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The post Simcha has inspired me to read more…Bout of Books appeared first on Beyond Tannhauser Gate.

 
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Rectilinear Themepark Fun-Time Mashup

Published on August 19, 2014 by in Uncategorized

Liore recently talked about playing games because they’re easy. I play easy games when I want to relax. I know where the challenges are. I don’t always need to be facing certain annihilation if I don’t press the right keys or move out of the bad stuff …

 
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Blaugust Has Ruined My Routines

So here I am, yet again, at bedtime, trying to think of something interesting to write about. Unlike other days, it’s not pastmy bedtime with me laying in bed posting on my phone. This is a quiet time for me. I often have the time to jot stuff down at work, due to the nature of my job. But things are busier around the office than in the past. Or perhaps it’s that when I am not posting every day, those brief opportunities only seem to come up more often.

Anyway, Rades over at Orcish Army Knife had some interesting insights into the behavior of Garrosh Hellscream in the Warlords of Draenor cinematic trailer released the other day. I encourage you to read it, but suffice it to say that the Garrosh we see in this trailer is a far wiser Orc than the one defeated at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar. I don’t know enough about the backstory surrounding his appearance here versus what we consider the normal timeline, but I would be interested to find out. For all I know, the information is out there, I just haven’t heard about it because I am not really involved in WoW any more.

There are quite a few folks excited for WoD to drop. Others have said the trailer left them “meh.” It certainly didn’t get them excited for the new expansion. At least, not more excited than they may already have been. While I found the cinematic interesting, it made me more interested in the fabled Warcraft movie they keep telling us happening, more than it drew me back into WoW itself.

As Shintar asked, “Why should I be invested in this as a player?” I’ve mentioned this before, I think that as the World of Warcraft cinematics moved away from showing essentially player characters and classes to showing Epic Lore NPCs like Illidan and Arthas, so too the expansions themselves focused more on the “big story” and left players as sidekicks in their own stories. And the game is poorer for it.

GIVE IN TO THE MADNESS!! GO NOW TO THE BLAUGUST INITIATIVE PAGE ON ANOOK! POST YOUR BLOGS! THE AGGRONAUT HAS SPOKEN!!

~~~

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.
 
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Second Order Preferences

Published on August 19, 2014 by in General

A first order preference is what you want or like. You want pie. A second order preference is your preference about your preferences. You also want to lose weight, so you do not want to want pie. You can keep going to higher orders, where you might run into ambivalence as you miss being interested […]

Second Order Preferences is a post from: Kill Ten Rats

 
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Sega Genesis: 25 Favorites

I was doing my usual rounds of the interwebz today and ran across this article on Polygon. The author wrote the post a few days ago (on the 14th) and was talking about the 25th anniversary of the Sega Genesis console’s release in North America. He posed the question, “what games did you love the […]

 
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SWTOR: Fall Calendar

A few days ago I rounded up all the dates, both announced and
speculative, for the fall in World of Warcraft. I want to do the same
for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sadly, Bioware can be notoriously
closed mouthed about upcoming events when it sui…

 
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GenCon Loot and Recovery

GenCon is over and I can say now that I spent more than I should have, but not as much as I wanted to, so I count that as a win. The Loot The card boxes on top are Bug Out and My Word from Out of the Box. Bug Out is a basic matching game that has […]

 
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Ingress is becoming a grind

My progress in Ingress has been fun but has become a grind. Portals are too powerful Even the lower level portals have been beyond my ability to damage. I looked up a few resources on how to attack portals, but my level 2 XMPs have not been able to do much damage. Perhaps I am

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The post Ingress is becoming a grind appeared first on Beyond Tannhauser Gate.

 
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On New Space Invaders

The title of this post is a reference to how Nintendo has been titling their 2D game releases lately. Murf, this one’s for you. Hangeki Hangeki is a shooter from Pentavera, and as far as I can tell it’s their first game. Hangeki at first glance bears a very large resemblance to Space Invaders, but […]

 
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Building Character

A new edition of Dungeons and Dragons is once again in print.  4e had some issues gaining traction, which in turn opened the market up for competitors to steal market share.  With 5e coming out, Wizards is trying to reclaim it’s spot as the leader in tabletop role-playing games. The production value is nice, but […]

 
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Whozits and Whatzits Galore!

Published on August 18, 2014 by in Uncategorized

I’m not exactly sure where my desire to “COLLECT ALL THE THINGS!” began. Perhaps it started with Diablo 2, especially when I started to delve into the mods. This normally brought about hundreds of new items, cube recipes, and other random stuff to…

 
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