Chris Metzen, Varien makes up for shit

23 Mar
Chris Metzen

Chris Metzen, senior VP of Story and Franchise Development

I’m frustrated. That’s about the only way to describe my feelings with World of Warcraft lore. I’m specifying WoW and not Warcraft, because the lore there and in Vanilla WoW (and BC), I didn’t have these concerns and this feeling like the faction I play the most, is weak and pathetic with useless leaders. At one time, we had Onyxia! Now we have Jaina Proudmore jokes.

Yes, I’m bringing this up again. It’s been nagging at me ever since I read the Chris Metzen interview by WoW Insider. A lot of Horde players (and even some Alliance players) don’t understand why I’m so upset with the lore and the direction it took during Cataclysm. I’m going to attempt to explain my opinions and why this guy needs to get his fuzzy head out of his fuzzy ass. It all boils down to one thing: morale.

Throughout all of Cataclsym, the Alliance has gotten its collective ass handed to it. Go ahead and argue about Camp Tarajo all you want, but when you place all the weights on the scales, it tips heavily in the Horde’s favor: Ashenvale, Southshore, Andorhol. I can pull out a few more here, but suffice to say that would be beating a dead horse, or the Alliance as it stands.

This is not a “woe is the Alliance, we got beaten post,” this is a post telling you, if we get beaten forever, we’re not going to care much about our faction or this damn game. Warhammer Online died with the biggest complaint being one faction was over powers and kicking the other factions ass. While this isn’t lore, I believe it could get that way. Why? Shortly after the information about Theramore burning (another feather in the Horde’s cap), my server saw a huge wave of faction transfers from Alliance to Horde. I can’t blame them because let’s face it, Horde are just cooler.

The Forsaken got so much love in WotLK, the trolls got their own patch in Cata, the Cata expansion revolved around an Orc, and with all this, the Alliance got Worgen. I’m not complaining about that. The Gilneans have a rich, vibrant lore full of grand characters, both good and evil, with so much story potential (the Goblins, not so much). What are they doing now? They squat in a tree, unable to retake their home because of the Forsaken. Their entire starting zone is empty. Hell, my RP server did more with their story than Blizzard did (tipping my hat to Venedict from Twisting Nether because IMO, you out-did Blizzard with your Worgen riots). Admittedly, the Human’s got a little bit of a lore push in the Barrens, the Night Elves did in Kalimdor as well, but most of that (not all) was the Cenarion Circle and the Argent Crusade who are neutral factions that do not belong to the Alliance or the Horde.

Then there was the debacle at Blizzcon 2011 with a homophobic and anti-Alliance closing ceremony and the Alliance was up in arms (not to mention the homosexual community). Blizzard runs in waving it’s white flag, apologizes for being asshats, and tells the Alliance they will have their hayday. So here it is, Metzen announced how they’re going to make it up to the Alliance:

Garrosh with be the end boss of Mists while Theramore burns. Varien will have “some awesome moments,” as will “other characters like Vol’Jin.” Oh, and let’s not forget that we will be laying siege to Ogrimmar. We, not the Alliance, but the Horde and the Alliance will be moving in to take down big, bad Garrosh Hellscream. Woo Alliance?

I get that their needs to be a balance, something similar to the Burning Crusade which was all Blood Elfs vs. Dranaei, or WotLK which, despite being heavy on Forsaken lore, was about both factions fighting and coming together to kill Arthas. The Cataclysm expansion, though, was just a giant shit on the Alliance (lore wise) and to top it off, we’re starting the next expansion by blowing up an Alliance port. The scales should be even, but they’re not and apparently it’s going to stay that way.

Yes, I think the Alliance is owed something. I think half the player base deserves to be acknowledged and given more than the pittance it has been offered. I think that Metzen needs to stop hiring writers who think like he does and get some guys in who don’t so we can have a more diverse story. I’m happy Varien is going to stop being such a dumb monarch, but I’m not happy that the crap piled on my faction isn’t going to be scraped off.

Chris Metzen thinks he’s doing a good job, though:

“I definitely think we’re coming with some Alliance love. They’ll be proud to be Alliance by the end of this thing.”

Fuck you.


4 Responses to “Chris Metzen, Varien makes up for shit”

  1. Natalaya September 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I dunno. Varian is a good character but making Garrosh, a character with huge potential to redeem his father’s mistakes, into the bad guy, just seems like a sop to me. My question is with all the other villains out there (come on they brought Cenarius back, i’m SURE they can bring someone like Sargeras or Kil’Jaeden back on a premise that their spirits were banished and not actually killed–and they are far worthier enemies than Garrosh IMO) why would they make a character that had the potential to be layered and interesting into a one sided bad guy doofus? Especially when Garrosh, like Varian, clearly had problems with the opposing faction, but expressed a wish to *NOT* go down the same path as his predecessors, could (with some good writing) actually make mistakes and LEARN from them? Or is that too much to ask of Blizz characters at this point?

  2. Sayomara March 30, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I could not agree more with your hatred of Metzen. This was a guy that was hired to draw dragons and how is the head of creative development?!? I mean I know there is a theory of management that your always one degree higher than you should be but this takes its to the extreme.

    I don’t know how much LSD and acid it takes to keep this ideas come but we aren’t going to have a good story that make much sense until it runs out. And Metzen in sent packing to write transformer books or something.

    Blizzard lore is joke. This coming from someone that really enjoys it but its still a joke. There is a reason that people like Jeff Grubb haven’t come back to blizzard. And its not the money.

    Starcraft, Diablo, Warcraft are all getting worse and not better. In fact the complete lack of new ideas and titles should be evidence enough of a lack of creatively at Blizzard. And that is “mega-bad.” A seven year development cycle for games should create better than this.

  3. Nightwill (@oathblade) March 23, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    Thrall is his author insert character. Most gamers who sling dice know how awful a game can get when the DM has some mary sue NPC ‘really’ saving the day while they help. This has lead to an imbalance to be sure.

    Another problem is hat its an ALLIANCE not the Kingdom of Stormwind. They do things like tear down a kingdom in it, turn Tyranade into a baby cannon, the dwarves are a council not a leader, etc it isnt going to feel like a group of unified people. They need not one leader but several with depth.

    If he wanted to give the Alliance some love Varian was obsessed with retaking Lordaeron. Have him with Fordring drive the corruption out of the plague lands and found New Lordaeron. Have the Alliance leaders act as a unified group for it and birth something great.

    • janaelle March 23, 2012 at 7:32 am #

      I love that idea, or possibly retake Arathi Highlands and rebuild Stromgarde? It leaves Lordaeron there for the Forsaken (No one takes Lordaeron from the Forsaken *shakes fist*) and the Alliance get to DO something.

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