Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Souls in their Chest

Perhaps it is inevitable that in any company as big as Blizzard there is more than one soul. More than one mastermind. While I have been rather unimpressed by Blizzcon, this announcement really makes me hopeful again. I almost feel like Keen :)

Once free to terrorize the world, Deathwing will randomly choose territories in Azeroth to attack each day until his ruinous reign is brought to an end. A blackened sky will be the only warning before every living creature caught in his approach is consumed by his terrible fire. The unfortunate victims of his malice will receive a rare Feat of Strength... as well as a repair bill and corpse run.
There is very little warning once he decides to strafe a zone. If you're not in the zone already, you have virtually no chance of sacrificing yourself to his flame.

If you're in the zone, you're almost definitely screwed.

This is incredible. Not for the event itself, which is nice, but for the change of attitude. During WotLK Blizzard promoted a passive Lich King who would only appear in a gimmick fashion every now and then and miraciously always spare you. Now, he may have had his reasons, but in the end I never feared that guy at all. Was he a danger to Azeroth? Didn't feel like it! Did he ever even try to kill me although I haven't attacked him first? No.

Now comes Deathwing. And ..

1) Deathwing is part of the open world. Believe it or not, but the open world is not only one of three ways of leveling and gathering herbs (by professional farmers) anymore. There is actually something going on.

2) Deathwing can kill you, even though you did not attack him first !!

3) From a pure gameplay point of view that doesn't make any sense! Why should you be killed at random without having a chance? But from a virtual world / immersion / story point of view it makes a hell of a lot of sense! Deathwing is not only the thing that awaits you at the end of Cataclysm to give you looot. No - he is a danger for the world as we know it!

If you are still unimpressed, you probably haven't play WotLK and haven't experienced that Lich King - or Illidans army, for that matter.

Unfortunately, in this youtube video Deathwing does not seem to kill you if you are on a mount - which is rather ridiculous considering the fact that every not-leveling player has a mount and uses it constantly. I hope it is a bug.

I also hope that it is really almost impossible to flee and that some lasting effect can be seen on the ground for some time after Deathwing burned a zone. Well - persistence has never been the strong part of WoW.

On a sidenote: Also part of the open, non-instanced world will be creatures that need at least 5 players to defeat and actually drop something meaningful.

Seems like Guild Wars 2 with its focus on a persistent non-instanced world (in addition to a lot of instancing) does have some effect. I like competition.


  1. I thoroughly agree on the point about the Lich King. Not only did he never inconvenience you, he never did anything to anyone you cared about. It ended up with me feeling rather sorry for him - I was more enthusiastic about downing Tirion Fordring than Arthas, partially because Tirion Fordring had stuck me in an arena with a load of deadly monsters, and Arthas had never really done anything to upset me.

    Have you played Demon's Souls? I'm playing it at the moment, and it has a lot of the "unfair" realism that WoW lacks.

    Let's hope Blizzard can actually stick to their guns and have Deathwing be, you know, deadly. If they can get to the point where he's as hated for randomly ganking you as the Sons of Arugal in Silverpine, they'll be doing something right.

  2. They should probably set a goal of X% of whine posts on the forums.

    Until they reach that number they should make Deathwing ever more .. inconvenient

  3. I'm really happy about this. The biggest problem with Wrath was that after attacking Stormwind before the expansion even dropped, Arthas seemed to stop invading and just hid in his castle. Sure, the dialogue during the end game fight with him suggested he had a long term plan involving heroes, but until then he'd been so passive that I wondered why we didn't just sail back in our ships and leave Northrend to him.

    But that we're going to have a reason to hate Deathwing and want to kill him... given that I'm also unsure as to Deathwing's motives (or even whether they're his own motives), this could turn him into a boss we have a complex, deep relation to. As a dragon.

    I'm hoping he'll do more as well as flaming zones. Attack some cities now and then, feast on the world's farm produc so that civilization is on the brink of famine... that kind of thing.

  4. Heartily approve. Random events make the virtual world breathe. I really loved leveling in Outland because of the wandering Elites that could really lower the boom on you. The sound of the Reaver's footsteps still makes me jump.

    Now, how about giving you immunity to Deathwing's wrath if you take him down?

  5. That sounds very cool. :)

    Though I find it kind of awkward that so many posters responded with: "Great, how can I throw myself into the flames?" Silly achievement junkies...

  6. I completely agree, Shintar.

    However, I also understand Blizzard. They want to make Deathwing kill you, but don't want you to feel bad about it.

    Perfect compromise .. somehow.

    It still destroys the whole immersion when players want to be killed by Deathwing.

  7. Damn...I want to be killed by Deathwing now...mainly because I think it'll be cool.