World of Warcraft: Dragon Legion debuts as the least ambitious film in the game’s 18-year history. Most of its screen time is centered on an unfamiliar stone statue, a watchman who flips a large illuminated switch to bring the dragon back.Warcraft celebs like Thrall and Sylvanas don’t show up, and there’s no narrative linking everything to the game’s disaster, and worried, the ongoing storyline. It’s out of touch with most of what’s happened over the past few years. It’s kind of like a reboot, but it also drags down a storyline that’s been hanging in the air for years. World of Warcraft may finally have a way out of its high-stakes storytelling.
Previous extensions tried to provide a way beyond what is reasonable. The Legion had all of Azeroth besieged by demons. Battle for Azeroth is an expansion pack about a faction leader committing genocide in the service of a higher power. Then the stakes in Shadowlands are downright cosmic, playing with life and death and the fate of the world. That’s the problem with Marvel movies: every new story puts the entire universe at risk, and it’s hard to dial down from it.as a person getting off play Warcraft Often just before the first attempt at a global catastrophe in Cataclysm, it’s hard to know who the big bad is and how far we’ll have to go to find the real culprit.
As World of Warcraft’s fantasy world expanded, so did its systems. Garrison, the personal base of operations added to the Warlords of Draenor expansion, is a compelling idea, but their lack of customization and presence in the world doesn’t match self-expression, which, for many, is Focus on World of Warcraft. Artifact weapons have a similar problem. When everyone is running around with legendary weapons, they’re not that legendary. They should be one of the few things players can never hope they use. Later, in Battle for Azeroth, island expeditions gave you a way to invade and plunder parts of the world that you really had no right to set foot on, all in order to gain more and more power against the gods threat. None of these features are failures, but by trying to keep up with the story, their ambitions overshadow their usefulness, especially as their usefulness fades with the end of the expansion.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker pulls the focus of its story to a cosmic scale and shows us why an entire planet is worth saving. Endwalker, like the most recent WoW expansion, struggled within its reach, and some parts of its nearly 50-hour runtime couldn’t quite keep up with what was essentially an extinction event. But it differs from WoW’s current predicament in that Final Fantasy XIV takes a minute to cool down after each major release. You often get stories that magnify the aftermath of dealing with major events you’ve been involved in, and sometimes these stories prove that despite being seen as a hero, you haven’t solved all the problems.
World of Warcraft lacks the contrast needed to make its massive conflict and course of events truly feel huge. However, this week’s Dragonflight announcement suggests that may change. A single cutscene isn’t enough to quell all my concerns, but features like retro-style talent trees, crafting gear, and UI changes refocus attention on how you interact with familiar parts of the game, rather than pushing all the work to a huge new feature that will be forgotten in the next expansion. At least, that’s a good sign.
World of Warcraft is no longer the most influential MMO, and that’s okay. It’s still a game with a style of its own. Even as a regular FF14 player, with every second of my raids casting slow heals on allies, I can’t help but wish I had World of Warcraft’s rhythmic design at my fingertips again. Blizzard’s so-called “professional fantasy” is widely used and has been used over the years to explain the truly mind-bending redesigns of some professions, but no other game makes it feel too much for players to press 15 buttons to make your little one throw fireballs Satisfied. And the only way to get back to this and underscore why World of Warcraft has remained so popular is to dig deeper into its roots.