Ok, so there's a lot of things coming up videogame-wise that I'm excited about. WoW patch 5.2, Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm, Assassin's Creed IV... I thought I'd take a minute to share some videos and talk a bit about why I'm excited for each and how each video encouraged that.
So cool. Blizzard is really elite at crafting trailers for their games. The poetry in this one was really cool, different from Blizzard's usual fare and it rings really true with Pandaria. I'm "new" to WoW, in terms of actually playing, but I paid attention to the game from day one, having loved the story of Warcraft III and its predecessors. When I had less money I couldn't justify the monthly payments and then no one I knew was playing much, but at Blizzcon last year a large chunk of the people I know who play WoW got sucked back in, so I started considering it again. I jumped in for the last couple months of Cataclysm and then picked up Pandaria when it came out.
A big part of Pandaria's draw for me is that it's the first completely new lore in WoW that isn't strongly supported in the pen and paper RPG or novels. That's always the kind of things that draws me to games. While certainly the dialogue and quests don't always have the deepest dialogue ever, the over-arching story, especially with some hidden backbone stories (the conflict between the Old Gods and Titans as well as the third faction in the Burning Legion, with hints that the Old Gods may be rising and the Legion returning), is very complex and has a broad scope that really allows for a number of finite stories which balance well with the ongoing tale. The Thunder King looks to be one of the former (a surge from the Mogu, which will certainly be put down by players) with hints at the latter (a Titan players directly talk to who hints at something big coming from upon Azeroth, and further whispers from Wrathion about the return of the Legion).
I've been waiting on this one a while. I was a huge fan of StarCraft and I followed all the fiction (I highly recommend Liberty's Crusade, The Dark Templar Saga, Heaven's Devils, Devil's Due, Ghost: Spectres, and Flashpoint if you want to really understand the StarCraft world). I greatly enjoyed StarCraft II (despite the all-too-common "Blizzard's writing is shallow!" complaints). I've wanted to see where the tale of Kerrigan and Raynor would go for over a decade. The end seems to be nigh, which has got my curiosity at a peak.
I like StarCraft enough that I've tried to make up pen and paper conversions (and did try the Alternity: StarCraft game) and I've written 1.5 stories (the second is ongoing!) to use as entries to the Blizzard Writing Contest. I can't wait to see where the story is going next.
Also very cool. I find it very interesting how they've moved in a different direction than in other games in the series. This is the first time we've moved backwards in time from the previous game (since when we got Altair after Ezio we still also got Ezio). We've also got major changes in the modern era story (no spoilers!) and some hints at needing to connect with a different bloodline of assassins. Beyond that, pirates! This is clearly a way to make the games fulfill fun scenarios for the fans; swashbuckling attacks, beautiful vistas, and maybe some answers to how things came to be how they were in Assassin's Creed III.
It seems clear to me that the team behind Assassin's Creed has had the story for the modern era very well plotted out since the beginning but have been trying out ideas for the past on the fly in order to come up with entertaining locales in which to play. I'm still hoping for a game set during the World Wars, Meiji Japan, or the various eras of the Indian Independence Movement (I can only imagine the conversations between an assassin and Ghandi). I can't wait to see where they're going, either!