In my previous post, I went over my discontent with Blizzard’s newest games, and why they aren’t doing a thing for me. In this post, we’re going to go over the former flagship franchises of the title and talk about what’s gone wrong with them.
I loved Starcraft as a kid. I was absolutely terrible at it, to be fair, but it had a really imaginative universe (to me, anyway) and a very fun story to play through. And yes, I played through it with cheat codes, because Starcraft was hard, dammit.
When Starcraft 2 was announced, I was hella excited. Finally, we’d get closure on all the plot elements from the first game! And more cool ships, troops, and characters! And it’s gonna be three games, each as long as the original title! Okay, maybe they didn’t quite deliver THAT much content, but it was honestly still enough that I didn’t mind paying for each game. I felt we got our money’s worth.
And yes, it’s fair today that the story of Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan reached its natural conclusion (I’m sure some of you hated the reunion at the end of Legacy of the Void, but you’re a terrible heartless person if you did). But the greater story of the Starcraft Universe? Definitely still a lot of room there. And Blizzard has just sat on it, for the most part. We got some small Nova mission packs, and then that’s it, really. Oh, I guess the Co-op missions get a new commander every so often, but come on. There’s a ton of things you can do with a good sci-fi space franchise, you can’t tell me you’re creatively tapped out on it.
Let’s move on to Diablo. It took them a while to get Diablo 3 right, but man is it an absolutely fun game now. That’s the game I play when I want to feel like the powerful spellcaster my WoW mage SHOULD feel like. Wizard was my JAM in that title, and once I finally bought Necromancer, I loved playing the game all over again. I know there are people who didn’t care for the story, but I frankly enjoyed it. I just wish it hadn’t stopped with Reaper of Souls.
Look, I know I can’t complain too much about this. Diablo Immortal and Diablo 4 are both in the works, and I’m looking forward to both (yes Blizzard hella botched that Blizzcon announcement, I know, I know). But for now, all we have is Diablo 3, and as much fun as it is to magically slaughter huge packs of demons and zombies, there’s only so much of that I can do without a new storyline. Honestly, I think a second expansion should have been in Blizzard’s plans to go alongside Immortal to tide us over until 4.
Finally, there’s Warcraft. Oh man, Warcraft. I’m not gonna go into all the reasons why Battle for Azeroth is going to be remembered as another low point in the expansion cycle, it’s been done to death already and by far more articulate people than me. I’m just going to cover my single most key problem. If you haven’t caught on to the theme of the last two posts, it’s story.
Battle for Azeroth’s story should absolutely never have happened in this form. The restarting of the faction war was the most clumsy and painful thing I’ve experienced in this game. Sylvanas retreading Garrosh’s every single descent into madness while Horde players are forced to watch it happen is one of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced in my time playing. Sure, you’ve thrown player agency a bone by allowing us to side with Saurfang or Sylvanas, but a) I do not trust that you’re going to do anything meaningful with that and b) it’s too little too late. We should have been able to oppose this from the beginning.
Between that and the seriously bland nature of classes, it’s hardly a wonder I’ve given up on the title for now. I can only hope that 8.2 will make this interesting again, but there’s a LOT of fixes that need to happen to this game, enough that it may warrant an expansion before they can be corrected. I don’t want to wait that long. I want to enjoy Warcraft again, I really do. But for now, other games are filling that need for me in a much better way.
Do you agree with me on the current state of Blizzard titles? Or think I’m completely off base? I wanna hear from you! Toss a comment down below!