The BfA pattern

Story
09/11/2018 15:22Posted by Darvingar
Sira: "Show no mercy, for you can expect none from Maiev."
Maiev, a second later: "Sira... No... Turn back now, or I will be forced to strike you down."

Why is it bad writing, when Sira warns her now-allies, that Maiev shows her enemies no mercy, but does so the moment she's facing her old ally and second-in-command? Yeah, Maiev suddenly have a heart must be bad writing. #smh
I agree with a lot of what you're saying, so I'm just going to pick out points I either disagree with or think need to clarify my position on.

12/11/2018 00:01Posted by Eriù
The problem in this “young adult fantasy fiction” is that the narrative technique is poor and superficial in the best case, and the fact that Blizzard has planned the story since 2016 or has good intentions don't change this.
(Honestly this just worsens writers position XD)


What I'm trying to say here is that Blizz have made poor choices with regard to pacing the story. Characters are taking actions which won't pay off until later content patches - Blizzard know this because they have the storyboard in front of them, so to them, everything makes sense in the Grand Scheme (tm). For us, that's not the case. We see people doing things that make no sense to us - everyone just blithely following Anduin without any dissent despite the fact he fluffed the War of Thorns and very nearly got everyone killed at the Undercity, Malfurion and Tyrande HSing back to Stormwind and sitting in a little side room alone for months, etc etc - and we don't have any idea why, so all we can do is asusme these things are illogical nonsense horse!@#$ and respond accordingly. If we'd had that context earlier, these things might not appear so silly.

The other issue is something I touched upon earlier. A lot of BfA's story, and the things your character does within it, don't really make sense unless you sit down and ponder them for a while. Your Horde characters are essentially duped into helping Sylvanas burn down Teldrassil. Even supposing you're okay with burning the tree in hindsight, it's still not what you signed up to do - but unless you really engaged with the story the first time you played through it, you wouldn't realise that. Likewise the Alliance has been plenty aggressive since the start of BfA - invading Zuldazar to plant bombs on their ships, trying to foment a Blood Troll uprising with no regard for just how awful that would be for everyone, burning Goblin civilians to death on the beaches - but because of how the xpac's story started it's difficult for Alliance players to conceive of these aggressions as anything other than retaliation for the Horde burning Teldrassil. If I'm a Hordie who wants rid of Sylvanas and despises her for what she did at Teldrassil, how am I going to feel about an Alliance that's massacring miners and lumberjacks or burning unarmed Goblin civilians to death by the hundreds? What about if I find out the Dark Irons who summoned the Lava Elemental are making silly jokes and laughing about killing the Goblins?

Note that none of this is a criticism of players. This is a mass market MMO, not an art-lit project. Most of us aren't playing WoW so we can sit and really chew over the events we see and take part in; we're here for the purpz and the titles and the mounts. In my mind Blizzard should've anticipated this and made things a little less impenetrable for us.

I don’t disagree. Simply Bizzard has not provided us much information about Sira and Miev relationship (how close were they?), so I don’t think the line is so out of character to say that she is inconsistent here.


See, I don't think it matters how close they were, it still feels wrong for Maiev not to chew Sira out for her whining at the very least.

Maiev's entire existence for ten thousand years revolved around keeping Illidan imprisoned. When he got loose Maiev was bound by duty to chase him down, and since Sira is second in command it's her job to hold down the fort while the boss is away. It's not unreasonable of Maiev to expect Sira to be able to cope in Maiev's absence - Sira's second in command, after all, and you don't get to a position like that without being competent. To meet with Sira again after she's basically abandoned everything she once stood for, and to then find out she did so because you expected her to do her job? I just can't buy that Maiev would let that slide without at least objecting a little. This is, after all, the same Maiev who chewed out Tyrande and Malfurion for letting Illidan walk away in the first place. Now she has her old 2IC complaining about abandonment because Maiev left to do her job? There should be a comment there, I feel.
"Lay waste to the Alliance!"
The same very Alliance that came to save the land she defended 5 min ago.
Can I please have the same drugs Afrasiabi n' Co are having?
09/11/2018 15:22Posted by Darvingar

Sira: "Show no mercy, for you can expect none from Maiev."
Maiev, a second later: "Sira... No... Turn back now, or I will be forced to strike you down."

This is the pure essence of BfA. Bad writing, logically inconsistent, lack of continuity, a disconnect between what the world is showing us and what the characters say plus the Horde champions telling us how dangerous the Alliance is, followed up by the Alliance doing all they can to avoid conflict.

That, and characters acting in a way that does not fit their previous characterization.

Seriously, the writers cannot even keep a two-sentence dialogue consistent.

This expansion is so damn hilarious.


Err, no. Sira tells us, that Maieve will not spare us. then Maive tells Sira, that she don't want to kill her

They use the same "you", but refer to different persons. Just because Maive doesnt want to kill Sira doesn't automatically mean she has any doubts about wasting the players.
12/11/2018 08:13Posted by Owlsong
I agree with a lot of what you're saying, so I'm just going to pick out points I either disagree with or think need to clarify my position on.


Sorry I have misunderstood your post. I understand your positions better now and I agree with most of them. Simply I don’t think that the problem is just the pacing. They have done objective technical mistakes that concern the form not the contents, and they would be mistakes even if Blizzard had provided us all the information right from the start. But I agree that if they had given us a better context the story wouldn’t appear so unreasonable.

12/11/2018 08:13Posted by Owlsong
In my mind Blizzard should've anticipated this and made things a little less impenetrable for us.


You are right. Even if the story isn't the most important part of the game, it is still a “part of the whole” and affects the total quality, also because we can’t skip it. For the simple fact that we have to level a character in order to access the game contents, we are exposed to the storytelling, no matter if we care about the story or not. A high quality story is a plus not a condicio sine qua non, but it is necessary at least that the story is enough decent to give a nice experience to the players who are forced to do quests. So I agree, Blizzard should have anticipated the problems and fixed them before releasing the expansion.
They aren't a group of amateurs, they are professionals.

12/11/2018 08:13Posted by Owlsong
See, I don't think it matters how close they were, it still feels wrong for Maiev not to chew Sira out for her whining at the very least.


I don’t know...if we assume that they were very very close the sentence isn’t so senseless, but I understand your point and I agree that according to Miev characterization the best narrative choice would have been make her angry with Sira.

Honestly I see another example of poor storytelling here.

Essentially we have a character that was defined by the group she was part of, because the story didn’t provide us enough information about her personality. And Blizzard essentially turns her in a betrayer without caring of defining better and developing her personality.

And consider the dialogue that is the subject of this discussion: we can have two possible motivations for it:

1) The writers want to highlight Alliance nobility and Horde aggressiveness. If it is the case, it is a poor choice because events like this are too frequent into the story and happen also in contest in which they look unnatural. This annoys the players.

2) The writers want to build “pathos”. The theme of two ex comrades in arms that have chosen different paths and now must fight each other is very recurring in narrative and in the right context, with the right storytelling is emotionally engaging. In some case it looks even epic!
But not here because Blizzard has forgotten to develop relationships and personalities. How can we feel sympathetic to Miev if we have so little information about their relationship? How can we empathize with Sira if we have to wait future contents in order to understand her action?
This is not pathos, this is a parody!

So why do the writers give us this dialogue? It is a poor choice anyway you look at it.

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