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Reader Comments (80)

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 8:07AM Vlo said

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No. Fantasy can be anything you could imagine. Not just magic and elves.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 10:53AM SnarlingWolf said

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@Vlo

By definition I agree with that statement.

However, there are generally different types of fantasy which tend to have their own "rules". The problem I see is mainly that MMOs are trying to target the widest audience possible, to make the most money, so they include as many different elements into one world which tends to bother people who want a wholly matching world.

I think at this point it would be smart for a major studio to release a AAA game that is 100% steampunk, and I think it would do well.

I personally don't ever get bothered by the mix in most WoW clones (and WoW itself) but I also don't find myself getting invested in the world at all. Once I see that kind of mixing of settings I tend to just go "Ya it is a game so it can be whatever" and I never bother to get into the story/lore of the world. In older games that stayed all one genre I did get invested in the story and found the games far more enjoyable.
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 3:25PM Daeths said

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@Vlo but but but... what if all i can imagine are magical elves? dont discriminate against the unimaginative!
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 8:16AM JuliusSeizure said

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So long as it fits. Keep it out of LotRO, by all means, but and original IP can have it, and an existing IP that already has it (Warhammer, WoW) bloody well better include it.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 8:16AM belgeode said

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It's all really just fantasy when it comes down to it. If we stop looking at it through "Earthly, modern eyes", then we can come to terms with it better.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 1:29PM nomoredroids said

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@belgeode I'm pretty sure the only eyes I have happen to be earthly and modern, so I'm gonna keep using them, if it's all the same to you.
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 8:17AM (Unverified) said

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The authors can create any kind of world with any mixture of technology. It's their world, it doesn't have to be realistic.

On the flipside, when such elements are introduced sloppily, with little lore/explanation, yeah I can see why people might get miffed.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 8:18AM meancheez said

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The use of steampunk aesthetics in fantasy games has never bothered me. When you have a world of wildly different races, it's not too surprising that they evolve in different directions. Some will rely on magic, some will develop technology.

Not to mention it's just nice to have some variety.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 8:20AM Zethe said

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Not in general. Some games do it good, others really badly. I never liked the steampunk parts of Warcraft. Warhammer i played only a little of but it seemed to fit the game well. Didn't enjoy the Aesthetics of Rift at all, so i can't comment on that.

Allods it was quite nice.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 8:23AM (Unverified) said

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+1 for steampunk ... it just adds another interesting facet to the game and a litte more variety.

Best used when associated with a sprecific race, IMO. It makes them stand out in the crowd ... makes them original, identifiable and a reason to be played (for the folks that like that style).

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 8:25AM Laurs said

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The biggest problem i have with steampunk is that it has no clear boundaries, or limitations. What I mean is, in a world where one can build a fighter-plane with all sorts of doodads and thing-a-magigs why does one need to send a bunch of heroes wielding swords and bows to defeat evil overlords?

WoW is certainly a good example; take Icecrown Citadel, you're sent there to kill the Lich King and at some point your faction's fully pimped out flying murder-boat comes to your aid. Why couldn't they have just made 3-4 more of those and blow the ever loving shit out of the Citadel? Or better yet why couldn't they make an Atomic-bomb sort of device that could annihilate the whole damn thing? Without some clear boundaries you just don't know what's up with steampunk creations, and immersion goes to hell.

If there were a sort of lore device that could explain what can and can't be done via huge steam powered technological marvels, that would be great, the immersion would remain intact and the gameplay and lore functionality of the steampunk elements would thrive without anyone having too much of a fit over them.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 10:42AM (Unverified) said

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@Laurs I think any sort of immersion-killing plot device can do that, and in WoW, especially around Icecrown, it just happens to be the presence of technological marvels. I know a lot of settings try to say that too much magic makes tech break down, or if there's too much tech, magic breaks down. If they had shown, somehow, that they could sneak in one Skybreaker in under the Lich King's radar, so to speak, but that more than one would just be detected and shot down, or overwhelmed by the Chill of the Frozen Throne, etc, then we might have had something there.

Too often there's just not enough thought put into the impact that steampunk-like tech would have on a setting, or why it would ever exist. If Mages abound that can conjure destructive power out of thin air, why did anyone ever decide to build a handgun? Maybe it's because those people who weren't or couldn't be Mages wanted to try and even the score. I imagine that if magic had existed in the real world, those who couldn't or wouldn't use it would have been all for the development of technology to level the playing field.

As others have said, it's not like magic always (or even occasionally) has some sort of limit placed on it, we just tend to give it a pass because, hey, it's fantasy and magic is generally limitless. Forget attacking Icecrown with Skybreakers, why wasn't it laid to waste by the various dragon wings, none of which had much love for Arthas.
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 11:15AM Eamil said

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@(Unverified)

This is probably going to sound odd but I don't think it's always the developer's job to provide us with explanations for every single detail. As long as I can think of a plausible explanation, I don't see a reason to let it bother me. In the case of the gunships, you listed a couple different possibilities for why they could only send in one gunship, so why not just pick one and assume it's true?

I always figured the gunship was mostly for transportation in the ICC scenario - it doesn't assault the citadel itself, after all, it's just there to get you up to a higher level and you just end up getting attacked by the other faction's gunship in the process. When you get right down to it the ship's guns don't really have the strength to do any damage to the tower itself, and it probably would be noticed and shot down by Sindragosa or other frost wyrms if it tried to reach the top to shoot at Arthas.
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 11:48AM LuxAurumque said

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@(Unverified) It may surprise many people to know that there are many times in history of war that don't make sense to us happen. One of the facts of war is that no one has all the information. There are many things that in hindsight are obvious to us, but at the time the action would seem to be suicide. Also many little operational matters that we do not know about get lost to time.

For example why didn't they use more airships in Icecrown could have as simple they got blown off course. Why didn't the dragon flight get involved, maybe they were on the fence about joint operations with humans and were debating the viability (politics). Why didn't such and such army crush the other one; their supply line got hit by covert operations and a small skirmish confused the position of the enemy long enough for their reinforcements to arrive.

It may not be epic but the truth of the matter is that many wars are won and loss not on the battle lines but by boring things like weather, supplies, and information!
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 12:01PM fallwind said

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@Eamil how far do you take that? If it isn't the devs job (well, technically the writers and gameplay designers) to create a good story to go along with the game, why not just play World of Spreadsheets?

Considering how much time and MONEY gets spent on making good lore for a game, to draw in players and make them want to play, they should pay more attention as to why tech simply doesn't rule all (and give those reasons to the player so we don't need to guess)
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 1:30PM Eamil said

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@fallwind

"how far do you take that? If it isn't the devs job (well, technically the writers and gameplay designers) to create a good story to go along with the game, why not just play World of Spreadsheets?"

Conversely if they provide too much detail it bogs down the game with little things, and can also be equally immersion-breaking if the information can't be presented in a way that fits. The intro to the gunship battle is long enough without adding a line to the airship captains saying "All right, airship taxi service coming up! Too bad we can't get to the top of this thing without frost wyrms shooting us down. Also we have no reason to be saying this except for the benefit of the person at the keyboard!"
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 3:19PM Vagrant Zero said

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@Eamil This may come as a complete and utter shock to you, but EVERYTHING those imagery non-real people that live inside your monitor do, think, and say, is entirety for the benefit of the person at the keyboard.

I have to pay devs box + sub + cash shop crap and to top it off you actually have the temerity to suggest I need to write the story for them as well?

Well that's just stupid. And I pass on stupid.
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Posted: Jun 2nd 2011 4:27PM MaddZ said

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@Laurs

This is an excellent point. I like Steampunk in my fantasy, but only up to a point. In Warcraft 2 you had some aerial units, but they looked like balsa-wood gliders. There were some guns and other stuff, but nothing "modern". Now we have aerial gunships with massive bombs and cannons attached, and even massive tanks with multiple turrets and even flamethrowers.

Obviously I don't need a lot of realism in my game, but damn boys, could you please tone back on the craziness? At this rate the "steam punk" part of the game will eclipse SciFi in terms of raw power, and yet lasers/bullets/flame throwers will still fail against a 2ft tall gnome with a shield the size of a dinner plate. -.-
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Posted: Jun 3rd 2011 7:31AM Eamil said

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@Vagrant Zero

"This may come as a complete and utter shock to you, but EVERYTHING those imagery non-real people that live inside your monitor do, think, and say, is entirety for the benefit of the person at the keyboard."

Nice job missing the point, which is that they have to NOT make that completely obvious to everyone who sees it or it becomes jarring.
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Posted: Jun 3rd 2011 7:36AM Eamil said

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@Vagrant Zero

Oh yeah, also:

"I have to pay devs box + sub + cash shop crap and to top it off you actually have the temerity to suggest I need to write the story for them as well?"

Nice straw man. You're taking what I said and blowing it out of all proportion. All I'm saying is use your imagination to fill in the gaps because EVERY LITTLE THING doesn't have to be spelled out for you. There IS a point where exposition becomes "pointless infodumping."
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