Warcraft Movie Thoughts

Obviously this is an incredibly late opinion on Azeroth’s foray into the cinematic world. Based on the comments at the time, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it in the theatre.  Many people I talked to only echoed the reviews of what I had already read. For a movie I was so hyped about initially, I ended up avoiding it out of fear of disappointment.

Now perhaps it is because I went in with such low expectations…I actually enjoyed it. If you’re not of that opinion let me cut you off and point out that I enjoyed it. I didn’t necessarily say it was a good movie. It has too many flaws for that to be the case and you could literally see them on the screen. Because at times the CGI was Gul’dan awful. And at what point did Gul’dan become jacked up and beat Durotan?

It wasn’t the only hole in the lore by any stretch of the imagination. I think that’s what bothered a lot of people (besides the bad CGI human stuff) the most. If I had gone in expecting them to adhere to the lore Blizzard has in place then I would probably have been upset as well. But I’ve learned when things get made for the big screen, you have to toss out what you know from the source material. The house elves of Harry Potter prove this. Game of Thrones has merged so many characters from the books it’s hard to even keep track.

Gul’dan’s physical prowess aside, most of the major players felt right. Lothar was the only character I had a hard time with. It could be the mystery accent that never seemed to settle in as something specific which took away from things when he often spoke. I even enjoyed Khadgar, which says something given how sick I am of that character thanks to the last two expansions.  And who doesn’t love a good Glenn Close cameo?

If anything, the movie tried to do a bit too much. But based on the material it chose to use, it was confined to do so. You couldn’t just focus on the human side of the conflict because much of the story and drama comes from the orcs. And focusing just on the orcs would have been hard to do without making the humans look like villains. They painted themselves into a corner indeed. But, again, taking it for what it was made it easy to watch. Do I wish I didn’t have to turn my brain off? Of course.

Despite it’s success overseas, I don’t foresee a sequel. We might get another movie in the universe but even that is skeptical at best. As such, I’m glad the producers gave us more than a handful of Easter Eggs. My personal favourite is easily the Summoning Stone. That and the clear suggestion there was something more to Moroes than the surface suggested.

I guess in a roundabout way, I could say the same about the movie itself.

30 Days (April) – Favourite Major City

When I sat down to think about this, I knew the answer right away but it was interesting to realize I’m not really a huge fan of any of the racial cities.  I don’t mind Silvermoon but it’s out in the middle of nowhere and I could barely tell you where the bank is.  I spent more time in there doing For The Alliance than I did as a Blood Elf.  Thunder Bluff is about the only one on the Horde side that I would consider “nice” otherwise.  The Alliance side pretty much starts and ends with Ironforge.  Dalaran has the best story.  I mean the mages actually moved their city to hover in the sky.  That’s pretty impressive.  But in this case, impressive is bested by tragedy.

Let’s face it, the old human kingdom suffered a lot.  Lordaeron is now dormant on the surface, and the Forsaken ruling the tunnels (sewers?) below.  Stratholme’s story is well documented.  In fact, thanks to my favourite Caverns of Time instance, you can experience that history firsthand.  You get to join up with Arthas and essentially help him burn the city to the ground.

The tragedy of Stratholme is, of course, a key point during Arthas’ descent into becoming the Lich King.  Knowing that the grain was plagued, it’s hard to say whether he was actually in the wrong in his actions.  Logic tells us he was, but it is most certainly open for interpretation.  What cannot be done for Stratholme, is change.  It burned…and still burns.

When the players were introduced to Stratholme, the city was one of the larger dungeons because it was essentially two dungeons in one.  One half of the city was run by the Scourge, while the nutbars in the Scarlet Crusade had the other side.  Though, the SC was actually being run by a dread lord in disguise.  That revelation was always fun when you took a player in there for the first time.

These days it’s fun, but it doesn’t have quite the same feel that it did pre-Cataclysm.  The dungeon is now two separate instances instead of one whole place, though instead of the Scarlet Crusade you get their undead versions.  The otherside is still Scourge heavy.  I think if you kill the leader on each side there’s actually a scenario of the Argent Dawn coming in to clean up the place.   Oh, the city still burns just fine, but for whatever reason it doesn’t have the same feel that it used to.  Perhaps the CoT version stole the thunder or perhaps it’s the division into two completely separate instances.

Even if it isn’t what it once was, it is still one of the best places to venture through and in terms of cities it probably does have the most tragic of tales.  It’s been key to the stories of Arthas, Jaina, Tirion, Etrigg, and more.  It’s a true cog in the Warcraft lore and that’s why it tops the list for me…despite the fact the Baron (and now his son) never gave up the damn horse for me.

New Lady Models

Courtesy of WoWInsider

As expected, the new female Human model was rolled out today.  I haven’t read the feedback and opinions on the matter, but I will share mine and I’ll start with the positives.  They most certainly look more up to date, particularly with cell shading on the body and in the face.  In fact, I really like what I’m seeing in the face.  Hair as well.  For the most part it looks so much better and not like a game ten years old.  I’ve always appreciated WoW’s laid back cartoonish feel and this updates without losing that.  Thumbs up.

Unfortunately, it isn’t all roses in this garden.  See the full body shot?  How in Illidan’s latrine did she actually get skinnier?!?!  It might be surprising coming from a male player, but this actually bothers me.  There have been conversations on end about sex and video games and how the latter is tailored.  The previous form was perfectly fine.  Now she’s lost weight, toned her body, and conveniently lifted (tightened?) the chest.  Let’s be honest, was any of that really necessary?  Personally I don’t think so, and I feel like it just plays off the idea of female characters as glorified eye candy and when you already have a female player base frustrated with how NPC ladies are portrayed (if at all), this isn’t going to help the matter.

Sure, most of the players are still men/boys, but I don’t think any of them would have said much if the body on the left was updated without the liposuction.  Hopefully with gear on it won’t be so bad, but this just makes me concerned overall that we’re going to see all the characters restrung as buff beasts of Adonis and Athena.  I don’t mind mixing it in a bit, but it could simply be done with the existing races that are already slender.

Rant aside, the model overall is a significant improvement.  My disappointment is what it is but I can’t argue the poly count and shading don’t make a better model.  I just wish they didn’t have to try and make a better model out of the model herself.

Alas, I Barely Knew Him

Golstaff.  Defender of the Northshire Abbey.  Fierce “taker-down” of Murlocs in Goldshire and Eastvale Logging Camp.  Level 10 Fury Warrior.  But most importantly now, dead.

That’s correct, the first character in my One Life To Live adventures has bit the bullet as it were.  Actually, he was on the wrong end of a sword, and a second sword.  I was collecting some Linen Scraps for Sara Timberlain.  I took on bandits in Southern Elwynn Forest, along the river.  Things were going fine.  I saw a Warrior and Mage and charged the Mage.  He went down fast and I was still in decent shape against the Warrior, until one on patrol joined the fracas.  I took down the first Warrior and thought I was in good shape until my Victory Rush missed and Bloodthirst did as well.  Moments later I was staring blankly at the screen.

Golstaff is dead.  Total play time: 2 hrs, 26 min, 32 seconds.

I’ll admit, I did mourn him a bit.  Despite my loathing of the Human race, and the tediousness of another lowbie Warrior, I gave him my all and he was the very first candidate of this project.  I was actually starting to become intrigued about what the Fury spec was going to be like to play.

Alas, out with the old and in with the new.  For contestant #2, it’s over to the other side of the faction fight.  As random luck would have it, I go from a race I don’t like to the only one I haven’t played.  Meet my Goblin Hunter:

One Life To Live -The Inaugural

I officially got the One Life To Live project off the ground today.  As you know, I was waiting for the two new races this week before delving in.  The idea will be to get characters as far as I can without dying.  I’ll do a different race each time, and try to do a different class each time as well, until both start repeating.  With all the options available, it will literally be dozens of characters before I repeat a combination.

I stated last week I had put a great deal of thought into the project and that was true, but as one would expect a bit more thought went into things as well.  For starters, I eliminated the Death Knight class.  It seems cheating to be able to start at 55 when others would be at level 1.  Also, I was going to RP the toons but I don’t see that fairing well.  For starters, it will probably be hard enough for me to not get too connected with them, because any death is their end.  To add an RP element and a further extension of myself would make that harder.  I’d also spend more time trying to write about them than play them to be honest.

Having said all that, I’ve mapped out the first 12 characters (each race’s first go round).  This was done as random as can be.  Want proof?  I’m currently leveling two low-level Warriors.  I also like the Humans the least out of all the races.  First combo?  Yep. Human Warrior.  Whee.  I know you’re thinking I can just do something daft and get the toon offed and move on, but that would take the fun, and principle, out of the whole thing.  So, no, we’ll have none of that.

So, I guess this is it.  Launch time.  Our first character is off and running and up to level 4.  You can follow Golstaff either here when posts come about, or on the Galakrond(US) realm.

I'm not a guinea pig! I'm a real human!