WoW's next expansion - Lesson's unlearned.

Silvanus

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That's pretty much the Swords and Sorcery fantasy genre in a nutshell. Nobody has truly come up with anything special or unique in the genre for decades and that includes what it looks like.
They certainly have in literature: Earthsea, the Witcher, Wheel of Time etc are all sufficiently distinct from the swords-and-sorcery mould exemplified by Tolkein, D&D, and classic Warhammer.

Games lag behind. But I'd say Castlevania and Dark Souls still create fantasy worlds that are meaningfully different.
 

Hawki

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They certainly have in literature: Earthsea, the Witcher, Wheel of Time etc are all sufficiently distinct from the swords-and-sorcery mould exemplified by Tolkein, D&D, and classic Warhammer.

Games lag behind. But I'd say Castlevania and Dark Souls still create fantasy worlds that are meaningfully different.
I can't say I really agree, on a number of premises:

-I don't think Lord of the Rings really belongs in the category of swords and sorcery. That's incredibly broad, but LotR's basis for SnS is indirect (as in, I doubt Tolkien could have ever envisaged something like DnD).

-Wheel of Time borrows highly from Lord of the Rings. Extremely highly (As in, "chosen one from a quiet rural area has to go on a quest to stop a dark lord, as the world prepares for a showdown between the forces of good and evil." Did I just describe LotR or WoT?) Moreso than something like Warhammer for instance, whose influence is far more indirect. In fact, I'm not even sure if Warhammer can really be called Swords and Sorcery, as while it does have its RPG spinoffs, Warhammer is first and foremost a setting of grand armies. It's not sword-wielding heroes that get stuff done, it's armies, and the cultures it takes inspiration from are from all over the world.

-Does Castlevania really count as a "fantasy world?" I could be wrong, but I never really got the sense of Castlevania having much in the way of worldbuilding. It's not even an example of high fantasy. Castlevania's world is basically Europe (with a few jaunts in Japan), ranging from the 11th to 21st century, with Dracula emerging now and again to mess things up in ways you might think would give a different history, but don't.

-Similar to Dark Souls, again, I know precious little about Dark Souls, but it seems to be taking from a generic European medieval mould as far as I can tell, at least in regards to stuff like architecture and armour design.

-With The Witcher, I've only read the first book, and it's kind of distinct, sort of, but it isn't really a rejection of Tolkien or anything, since LotR is rooted in stuff like Saxon mythology, whereas Witcher derives from Polish mythology.
 

Silvanus

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I can't say I really agree, on a number of premises:

-I don't think Lord of the Rings really belongs in the category of swords and sorcery. That's incredibly broad, but LotR's basis for SnS is indirect (as in, I doubt Tolkien could have ever envisaged something like DnD).
Well sure, but D&D isn't a benchmark to judge the genre by; it's just a prominent example. LotR is too. I'm taking "Swords and Sorcery" to be fairly synonymous with "(high) fantasy settings featuring magic".

-Wheel of Time borrows highly from Lord of the Rings. Extremely highly (As in, "chosen one from a quiet rural area has to go on a quest to stop a dark lord, as the world prepares for a showdown between the forces of good and evil." Did I just describe LotR or WoT?) Moreso than something like Warhammer for instance, whose influence is far more indirect. In fact, I'm not even sure if Warhammer can really be called Swords and Sorcery, as while it does have its RPG spinoffs, Warhammer is first and foremost a setting of grand armies. It's not sword-wielding heroes that get stuff done, it's armies, and the cultures it takes inspiration from are from all over the world.
That description you gave is so vague and broad as to apply to thousands of stories from fantasy, sci-fi and horror, as well as mythology. It doesn't indicate reference to LOTR; it's like a proto-story template, thousands of years old. Wheel of Time's setting and conception of magic are vastly distinct from Middle Earth.

-Does Castlevania really count as a "fantasy world?" I could be wrong, but I never really got the sense of Castlevania having much in the way of worldbuilding. It's not even an example of high fantasy. Castlevania's world is basically Europe (with a few jaunts in Japan), ranging from the 11th to 21st century, with Dracula emerging now and again to mess things up in ways you might think would give a different history, but don't.
Horror-fantasy, sure it does. You can't really argue that there's nothing unique in fantasy and then simultaneously argue that anything that's too different from the model you have in mind doesn't count.

-Similar to Dark Souls, again, I know precious little about Dark Souls, but it seems to be taking from a generic European medieval mould as far as I can tell, at least in regards to stuff like architecture and armour design.
That's the impression a surface level look might give, but it's really not the case.

-With The Witcher, I've only read the first book, and it's kind of distinct, sort of, but it isn't really a rejection of Tolkien or anything, since LotR is rooted in stuff like Saxon mythology, whereas Witcher derives from Polish mythology.
Why would it need to be a "rejection" of Tolkein?

There are many different traditions in fantasy. That's kind of my point, and supports what I'm saying about how fantasy isn't all just following the same mould.
 

CriticalGaming

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That description you gave is so vague and broad as to apply to thousands of stories from fantasy, sci-fi and horror, as well as mythology. It doesn't indicate reference to LOTR; it's like a proto-story template, thousands of years old. Wheel of Time's setting and conception of magic are vastly distinct from Middle Earth.
Agreed, if you want a more direct knock-off in fantasy fiction then compare the Wheel of Time to the Sword of Truth series. As the SoT copies so much from Wheel in a terrible way it's fucking sad. Sword of Truth is also painfully generic in its characters.

-With The Witcher, I've only read the first book, and it's kind of distinct, sort of, but it isn't really a rejection of Tolkien or anything, since LotR is rooted in stuff like Saxon mythology, whereas Witcher derives from Polish mythology.
I'm curious as to what "first book" you actually read. Because there is the first book which is The Last Wish but that book is a collection of short stories that mostly server as a Witcher version of popular fairy tales stories like Beauty and the Beast.

The Sword of Destiny is the first book that actually follows a cannon and sets a lot of the foundation of the series moving forward. The Witcher is one of the most unique fantasy series I can think of and certainly has no relation to Tolkein in anyway unless you was to derive all fantasy from Tolkein directly regardless of the context of said fantasy world.

Fantasy stories have a few basic rules that are required to identify them. These rules are the fundamentals of how each author makes their world distinct from other fantasy worlds, despite them using the same or similar elements like monsters and magic.

Every author tends to have their own rules for things like Magic. How does magic work? Who can use it? How is it used? What are it's limits? What are the consequences of using it? What is the source of magic? Things of that nature.

This is also applied to the monsters (if any). What's interesting about fantasy settings is that monsters are not always a requirement but magic usually is. At the same time magic doesn't have to exist but monster then do. It's one or both, but never neither.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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Well sure, but D&D isn't a benchmark to judge the genre by; it's just a prominent example. LotR is too. I'm taking "Swords and Sorcery" to be fairly synonymous with "(high) fantasy settings featuring magic".



That description you gave is so vague and broad as to apply to thousands of stories from fantasy, sci-fi and horror, as well as mythology. It doesn't indicate reference to LOTR; it's like a proto-story template, thousands of years old. Wheel of Time's setting and conception of magic are vastly distinct from Middle Earth.



Horror-fantasy, sure it does. You can't really argue that there's nothing unique in fantasy and then simultaneously argue that anything that's too different from the model you have in mind doesn't count.



That's the impression a surface level look might give, but it's really not the case.



Why would it need to be a "rejection" of Tolkein?

There are many different traditions in fantasy. That's kind of my point, and supports what I'm saying about how fantasy isn't all just following the same mould.

In a nutshell yeah, all fantasy can seem derivative on the surface. Time period, magic, clothing, etc. It’s also expected when there are thousands of takes on the genre. Where each winds up along the way though can make all the difference, but like pretty much anything it of course takes time and dedication to reveal.
 
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Hawki

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Well sure, but D&D isn't a benchmark to judge the genre by; it's just a prominent example. LotR is too. I'm taking "Swords and Sorcery" to be fairly synonymous with "(high) fantasy settings featuring magic".
Making them synonymous is reasonable, but these are two different things. You can have high fantasy that isn't swords and sorcery and vice versa.

That description you gave is so vague and broad as to apply to thousands of stories from fantasy, sci-fi and horror, as well as mythology. It doesn't indicate reference to LOTR; it's like a proto-story template, thousands of years old. Wheel of Time's setting and conception of magic are vastly distinct from Middle Earth.
I agree that it's a template, that's my point. Even if the template pre-dates LotR, it's a template that LotR popularized, and it's a template that WoT uses to a T. If you want another example of the template being copy-pasted, see Sword of Shanaara for instance.

Also, WoT's setting being "vastly distinct?" Really? I'll grant that of what I've read, there's some distinctions in WoT from LotR, but off the top of my head:

-Both have a 'time conceit,' in that LotR is meant to be in Earth's distant past, while WoT is meant to be in Earth's distant future.

-Both take place in "the Third Age" after "the Breaking of the World" (the terminology is lifted wholesale)

-The main antagonist is Sauron/the Dark One, who lives in a desolate region called Mordor/Shayoul Ghoul, who is powerful, but hasn't regained his full power, who is served by an army of orcs/trollocs, with Nazgul/Shades as lieutenants, with plenty of Darkfriends in 'good' lands (I don't think LotR has a specific term for Sauron's servants)

-The protagonists are located in the Shire/Emmond's field, the main one of whom is called Frodo/Rand, who's accompanied by a group of hobbits/ta'vareen, and are forced to leave their home. Key to their success is an Istari/Aes Sedai called Gandalf/Moiraine, and former royalty of a destroyed kingdom (Arnor/name forgotten) named Aragorn/Lan.

-White Tower exists in both settings.

-Setting ends with a final battle that sees the Dark Lord defeated and the coming of the Fourth Age.

Again, this is all just off the top of my head. I'll grant that as the books went on, WoT did acquire more distinctive features (more of a political focus), and you're right in that the magic system of WoT is fleshed out while no magic system exists for LotR, but WoT clearly belongs in the same vein of fantasy as LotR. Even Jordan admitted as much, making a "standing on the shoulders of giants" reference for Tolkein.

Horror-fantasy, sure it does. You can't really argue that there's nothing unique in fantasy and then simultaneously argue that anything that's too different from the model you have in mind doesn't count.
I think you've misunderstood my argument. I didn't say there was nothing unique in fantasy, I was disagreeing with a no. of your premises. I didn't comment on Earthsea for instance because I'm completely in the dark about that.

With Castlevania, I was responding to the notion of it being a "fantasy world," and I'm really not sure how it could be called that. Castlevania explicitly takes place in our world (well, two parts of it at least), and the history of our world in Castlevania seems pretty analagous to our own - Crusades still happen, French Revolution still happens, both World Wars still happen, etc. If Castlevania's considered fantasy at all, it's an example of low fantasy (our world with fantastical elements).

I'm curious as to what "first book" you actually read. Because there is the first book which is The Last Wish but that book is a collection of short stories that mostly server as a Witcher version of popular fairy tales stories like Beauty and the Beast.
I'm referring to The Last Wish, yes. It's a collection of short stories, but I didn't see them as fairy tales. Far as I could tell, everything happening was, well, happening, so to speak. Geralt relates his tales while recuperating IIRC.

The Witcher is one of the most unique fantasy series I can think of and certainly has no relation to Tolkein in anyway unless you was to derive all fantasy from Tolkein directly regardless of the context of said fantasy world.
No, I don't. It's kind of my point for me. It's more that if one wants to observe a shift in fantasy from the template Tolkien established, it's more that I don't think The Witcher can be cited as an example, since it's drawing from its own mythology (Polish vs. Saxon, in the broadest of terms).

Or in another way, in a world where Lord of the Rings never existed, something like The Witcher could still pop into existence. Stuff like Wheel of Time? Not so much.
 

Samtemdo8

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Those are also a lot newer and I would say that GW1 doesn't look better then WoW. GW2 certainly does, but again, much newer.
WOW doesn't look like its from 2004 if your looking at the graphics now of current content.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
WOW doesn't look like its from 2004 if your looking at the graphics now of current content.
Yeah, I was going to try and post some screens to make a point, but its hard to tell what is new wow, what is classic and what is actually from the early days. I still maintain that a lot of areas of wow look quite nice and the character models fit into the world really well.
 

Gordon_4

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WOW doesn't look like its from 2004 if your looking at the graphics now of current content.
And even a lot of the old content got an overhaul with Cataclysm. So they don’t look as pretty as everything from say, Legion onwards, but they still look like they all belong in the same world.

Only exceptions (I think) were Silvermoon and the Exodar and their surrounding areas - still can’t fly on your mounts there.
 

Brokencontroller

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Yeah, I was going to try and post some screens to make a point, but its hard to tell what is new wow, what is classic and what is actually from the early days. I still maintain that a lot of areas of wow look quite nice and the character models fit into the world really well.
You download wow classic and compare graphics in that with the retail version.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
You still have to give money to play Classic WOW?
Yeah, they came out with wow classic which plays like the game did at launch, but it needs a subscription. But, there are some changes, I'm just not sure how much graphically changed for it, I don't think it goes totally back to the launch version.
 
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-Similar to Dark Souls, again, I know precious little about Dark Souls, but it seems to be taking from a generic European medieval mould as far as I can tell, at least in regards to stuff like architecture and armour design.
It has a lot of aesthic trappings of generic high fantasy but there's a lot of worldbuilding and themes beyond that which sets it apart from a lot of the generic fantasy stuff. I mean, you can write fucking tomes talking about all the Souls Lore and themes, even if the game stories are.....KILL MORE BOSSES.
 

Gordon_4

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Yeah, they came out with wow classic which plays like the game did at launch, but it needs a subscription. But, there are some changes, I'm just not sure how much graphically changed for it, I don't think it goes totally back to the launch version.
WoW classic is vanilla WoW on its final stable patch prior to the Burning Crusade pre-patch. They just staggered the raids as far as I’m aware.

And WoW classic - all versions - are bundled into a retail WoW subscription.
 
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Samtemdo8

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I'm just happy Wrath of the Lich King Server is going to come out so I can finally invest the era of WOW I completely and regrettably missed out on
 

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On Tuesday Blizzard had a livestream about the next expansion for World of Warcraft called Dragonflight. In this new expansion players will be traveling to the Dragon Isles, a location long referenced in the lore, where they will join the Dragon's in controlling the reawakening of this ancient land.

For years now WoW has been on a downward spiral for a lot of reasons. Borrowed power being a giant problem, which basically is a system of growth the players use to gain power in a given expansion that is then tossed away and forgotton about in the next. Legion started this problem by giving players a legendary weapon they would empower for the entire expansion only to have to throw it away at the start of the Battle for Azeroth.

Dragonflight did not reveal any borrowed power system, which is good. The problem is.....the reveal didn't show us anything. It's a few new zones, a new level cap, and a trainable dragon mount that you can use to fly around and do tricks with. That's it. No new features were presented, no talk about new dungeons or raids, no new battle grounds or pvp modes. Nothing.

Blizzard has never ever not shown a bucnh of features coming in an expansion during the reveal. NEVER.

Shadowlands was a fucking failure, so much so that the final patch for the expansion has been cancelled in favor of getting this new expansion out faster. This is not the first time Blizzard has done this, Warlords of Draenor was famously ass and it too also got it's final patch cut in favor of pushing out the next expansion. But never has an expansion been revealed and it shows us nothing, like they completely run out of tricks and have no ideas on what to offer the dropping playerbase to stick around.

Despite the shit Blizzard has been in legally over the past couple years, WoW was a big part of my life and there is still a part of me that wants the game to be good. Everytime WoW news pops out I want to scream as it just doesn't seem like there is anyone left at that company that knows what the FUCK they are doing. Players give feedback that is ignore for no reason other than the dev turning a blind eye to it. And it's just frustrating because it doesn't have to be like this, they have the money and the talent to make the game good again and they just fucking aren't. How can the higher ups not getting pissed off at the teams for not producing? Because the longer this garbage goes on, the more subscribers and overall playerbase they loose.

It just sucks man because it's like watching them make the same mistakes expansion after expansion.

I don't need a controversy to keep me off Blizzard games, Blizzard being genuinely garbage at making games is doing that on it's own.
The big problem is not how shitty an expansion is when we got the big giant elephant in the room that is the enormous case of abuse that Activision-Blizzard is responsible of, but who knows, I guess people are so gullible to keep financing Acti-Blizz these days.
 
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Brokencontroller

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The big problem is not how shitty an expansion is when we got the big giant elephant in the room that is the enormous case of abuse that Activision-Blizzard is responsible of, but who knows, I guess people are so gullible to keep financing Acti-Blizz these days.
Bad press is Blizzard's company moto. It wont stop people from buying their games. The vast majority of people in general arent aware of a company's ethics and workplace situations. Expecting people to bail on their favorite games for interpersonal behavior within the company isnt reasonable.
 
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JMAAMusic

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Bad press is Blizzard's company moto. It wont stop people from buying their games. The vast majority of people in general arent aware of a company's ethics and workplace situations. Expecting people to bail on their favorite games for interpersonal behavior within the company isnt reasonable.
Yes, I'm fully aware. The root problem, A.K.A. capitalism, is responsible for not just Blizzard's bad press shenanigans, but also for the rest of corporations. I'm not saying people should stop buying their favourite games, there's mouths to feed under every Blizzard employee, but even then, the most effective solution to this is just taking direct action such as unionization.
 
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