Thursday, May 26, 2022

Do spoilers ruin the story of WoW?

February 13, 2022

No other online role-playing game has as many story spoilers as World of Warcraft. A few years ago, the story, especially the grand finale of an expansion, was a well-kept secret. Today, we know months in advance how the story of patch X.Y will turn out. Well, some important parts of the story Blizzard publishes in the form of cinematics themselves. The best example of this was the latest video "Shattered Legacy", in which Sylvanas tries to overcome her inner conflict. However, Sylvanas' quest for redemption is only a small part of Zereth Mortis' story. Most of the information about the story comes from the dataminers, who meticulously search the data from the test server for new dialog texts and cutscenes every week.

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WoW: Shattered Legacy - German version of the Sylvanas cinematic

Dataminers - a curse and a blessing at the same time

Thanks to dataminers, we can already get an idea of what to expect in Zereth Mortis and the new raid "The Mausoleum of the First". The final battle against the Dungeon Master is also no longer a big secret. Although Blizzard's developers attach great importance to secrecy in the case of Anduin, Arthas and Zovaal, a lot of spoilers have been circulating on the web for weeks, revealing almost all the secrets surrounding the grand finale of Shadowlands. Most players don't let story spoilers spoil their gaming fun. However, there is a group of players in the WoW community who are firmly convinced that dataminers ruin the story and thus the gaming experience.

These players demand that Blizzard keeps the campaign and all important data such as dialog texts, cutscenes and cinematics under lock and key until the release of the next story chapter. The opposing side argues against this and says that it is not possible to test the game content sensibly this way. But this problem can theoretically be solved easily. The developers could provide the most important quests and dialogs on the test server with dummy text or even test them exclusively internally. After all, the developers of other well-known online role-playing games like Final Fantasy 14 manage to keep the game's story secret until the very end. So why doesn't Blizzard make the same effort?

10:56
Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker | For crying! Endwalker story is a highlight

Spoilers and the many misunderstandings

The pre-released information about the story of Sylvanas made waves in the WoW community. Blizzard's developers received a lot of criticism for this. Source: Blizzard Are the dataminers the problem or does Blizzard now not care about the story spoilers? The authors of Blizzardwatch discussed this delicate topic with their readers after the release of the cinematic. The big question was: Should Blizzard publish the story in advance on the test server or rather hold it back until the release of patch X.Y?

And does the pre-released information really spoil the fun of the game? Or is there another reason why the spoilers are pissing off some players? After all, most of the data from the test server is published without context, leading people to time said events incorrectly or misinterpret the text and images. And although these WoW spoilers are our daily bread, even our editorial team is not immune to these mistakes.

Especially at the beginning of the test phase, we are overwhelmed by a flood of new information. Classifying them all chronologically is no easy task, and many text passages or videos really only make sense after the official release. The big problem is that this chaos of data often leaves players with a false first impression. The lack of context and the time jumps between the events in BfA and Shadowlands have done massive damage to the story of Sylvanas in particular. This chaos causes a lot of frustration, especially for Lore fans. However, not only the dataminers are to blame, but Blizzard's developers themselves, who can't or don't want to make a clear decision regarding spoilers.

Can Blizzard still stop the information tsunami?

I admit, spoilers leave me completely cold. I even enjoy sorting through the data and speculating about what this or that dialogue might mean. And yes, I find it silly when you want to talk about a movie, series or game with a few colleagues over coffee, but there's always one in the group who forbids everyone to talk. He or she is quote: "not ready yet". In these rounds, there is then an awkward silence for quite a while. However, these small conflicts can only be compared to the hullabaloo about WoW's story spoilers on the net to a limited extent. Players who like to be surprised by the story can hardly escape the information tsunami that rolls towards them every day.

What do you think about the story spoilers in World of Warcraft (buy now )

? Is there any solution to this problem at all? Do players have to live with the spoilers? Or should Blizzard's team come up with a strategy for the test server that satisfies all players? Let us know your opinion in the commentsSupportbuffed - it only takes a minute. Thank you!

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