BlizzCon, the Warcraft Movie and Ironmen

BlizzCon has come and gone and WoW was once again all over the (MMO) news. There was also that little announcement about further subscription drops and that they'll never report subscriber numbers again, but oh well. I liked the way Wilhelm put it: "In the end, even World of Warcraft in reality cannot compete with World of Warcraft of legend."

The Legion announcement left me completely cold. I say this not to pooh-pooh on anyone who was excited by it, but because it's an interesting contrast to Warlords of Draenor. WoD at least still sounded somewhat tempting to me. This stuff? Nope. I guess I really am over that. I didn't even like the Legion trailer, mainly because it was focused on Varian.

I've been told that he's gradually been turned into a decent character, and maybe that's true, but if it is it definitely came too late for me. To me he'll always be that douche with the stupid hair. The only time I liked him (sorta) was when he was still the missing diplomat.

I was sort of intrigued by the Warcraft movie trailer:

I don't think it will blow anyone away in terms of story, but it does capture the Warcraft aesthetic pretty well and it's interesting to see a more "realistic" rendition of Azeroth for once. It focuses on a time period from classic Warcraft, which will appeal to a lot of people who may not like or care about the current game anymore. And it will be interesting to see how they change up the lore to make it more suitable for the big screen. For example the orcs come across as a lot more sympathetic in that trailer than I would have expected them to be at that point in Warcraft history, plus there's that whole "green Moses" scene...

I've also been watching people play WoW on YouTube, specifically the Ironman Challenge. I seem to remember hearing about the basic idea of levelling a character with as many self-imposed handicaps as possible as far back as Wrath of the Lich King, but it seems to have increased in appeal the more boring the base levelling game has become.

My favourite has been TheLazyPeon's series about it, because he gets so genuinely enthused about exploring the game in a new manner and so freaked out by his near-deaths. (Dying instantly causes you to "lose" the challenge.) You definitely feel a bit of Vanilla WoW flair in the air whenever his little mage sheeps things and runs for his life.

The other YouTuber I've been watching play through this challenge is Asmongold:

He projects more of a "bro" personality on screen, and if you see the weird sort of "fan mail" he gets, you wonder if he ever regrets it. It's interesting to see how completely different his approach is though. He couldn't get what the challenge was about initially, constantly deriding it as too easy (and to be fair, he did roll a hunter). But then he made a stupid pull in Duskwood and pretty much only survived it because he happened to level up at just the right time and it really seemed to sink in that the game could still be challenging if you do gimp yourself enough. He also has pretty much zero interest in quests and lore and frequently seems to forget that Cataclysm happened (as in, he'll keep talking about what sort of quest he thinks is coming up in the next area, but it's almost always the Vanilla version he describes). Still entertaining in its own way.

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