As all good things must come to an end, sadly so must this Doctor Who miniseries I have going on this site.
It has been fun finding parallels between my favorite television show and my favorite video game, and finding lessons that Blizzard should keep in mind for Mist of Pandaria. For the last lesson, it is about a staple of both the Doctor Who and Warcraft Universe I am of course talking about returning villains.
In the Doctor Who franchise, one of the most iconic images, besides the big blue Tardis, is the Doctor’s oldest and deadliest enemy the Daleks.
The Daleks first appeared in the Doctor’s second adventure, titled The Daleks. (aired in 1963) Daleks are a race of super geniuses that survived a nuclear war and in order to protect themselves from the nuclear fallout, they built a suit of armor and locked themselves away from the rest of the world. The Daleks also developed a superiority complex, thinking that they are the greatest creatures in the universe and all other creatures must be EXTERMINATED. (all this back story was explained in their first appearance)
The unexpected popularity of these aliens was so great that the writers decided to constantly bring them them back into the show. Every time the Daleks came back to face the Doctor, the writers wrote them back in a certain way that made that episode more exciting and suspenseful than before.
Which leads us to Rule #3 When bringing back old villains, write them back in a way that makes seem like a bigger threat to the world than before.
Blizzard have developed a reputation of bringing back previously defeated lore characters that I and many other people have compared to George Lucas (Be MOP #24). But like the Doctor Who writers, Blizzard have *usally* found a way make the returning villain’s threat big enough to give the adventures a reason to stop them.
For example, in Doctor Who, the writers brought back three special Daleks from extinction, for a season two finale. Simply adding those three Daleks into the story would not be very suspenseful, so the writers in order to raise the stakes for the finale, the writers found a way for those three Daleks to unlock a prison that released millions of fellow Daleks.
Now the idea of the Doctor and his companion now facing an invading alien force of millions is something for enjoyable to watch. For the more part, Blizzard have brought back a villain they raised the threat to make their importance.
Blizzard has shown that they can reintroduce Bosses with a reason for us to kill them again (not just because they have better loot)
What’s scarier than bringing back two powerful Black dragons who are brother and sister? Bringing them back as undead black dragons and have them reoccupy the laboratory in a mountain that is within striking distance of the major Alliance city.
Bringing back Ragnaros and having his forces invade Hyjal with their burning eyes focused on distroying the World Tree, Nordrassil the tree that was blessed by three of the five dragon aspects, was a real threat to Azeroth.
The only time were I thought that Blizzard fumbled on setting up the stakes was the Zul’Aman trolls during the resurgence of the troll empire during patch 4.1.
For my long time readers, they can recall my feeling towards the troll empire storyline. I do not like them, yet Blizzard still bring them back for every expansion. (Be MOP #2)
When they brought the Zul’Aman trolls back I never got the feeling they were a proper threat. There was a leveling quest chains and a level 85 quest chain in Stanglethorn that warranted an exploration back into Zul’Gurub. Sadly though there was no real – in game – reason to go across the continent to go back to the Ghostlands. It seems that the Zul’Aman trolls were trying to get their old band back together not try conquer the world.
When Blizzard needs to remember to continue to raise the stakes for when the players go to fight the trolls in the Zardalari Isles. There should be a threat that not just affect one zone of Pandaria but whole island, possibly the whole world.
Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mist of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays