Arthas: My part in his downfall

October 16, 2009 at 6:33 am | Posted in raiding, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments
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Wotcha everyone,

Spinks posted a lovely article here, and whilst I wanted to reply to some of the points she raised, I didn’t want to clog up her comments with an unholy mess of a ramble.

So here it is.  Lucky you (it’s not too late to run).

I can understand how there might be howls of anger at Arthas being the end-boss of a 5-man instance.  Surely Arthas, Lich King of Dooooom and general bogeyman throughout Wrath of the Lich King should be end-boss of a 25-man raid?  And a real challenge at that.  He is, after all, the Apex Predator of raid bosses, surely?

According to the Lore, he’s the biggest, baddest dude on the face of Azeroth.  Just thwarting his plans has taken the combined might of two alliances, numerous groups and societies, and a few hundred guilds.  Per server.

I try not to be a Lore-monkey.  Where did “Lore” come from?  Isn’t it…  “Background”?  At some point game background, there to add some flavour to the games we play, became more than just background, and to reflect that newfound prestige it gained a brand new, more impressive title; “LORE”.

And with it came Lore-monkeys.  Ready to complain at a drop of a hat whenever THE LORE was ignored.  Or even worse, when it was changed.

As you might have gathered, I’m not that interested in LORE.  I like some semblance of coherence to a game, but I’m more of the opinion that what makes for a good game is far more important than making sure the LORE is followed to the letter.  After all, fun is the reason we play, and a good game is going to be more fun.  If the LORE means less fun, then dump the LORE first.

I also don’t think that every part of the World of Warcraft is a raid waiting to happen.  Why should Arthas be solely a raid boss?  Why does he need to be a raid boss?

Not everyone who has played through Wrath of the Lich King is in a raid community.  And not all of those raids are going to be geared up enough to take on Arthas in Arthasland, if Arthasland is the final top-tier raid at level 80.

Now, with Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard have tried to create a play-through story experience.  Areas in some zones change to reflect our position within the story; we get cutscenes and even flash-backs to previous, world-changing events.  We even play Arthas, so we can have a better understanding of the big cuddly harbinger of doom.

So, here we are.  We have played through the storyline.  We’ve seen the start of his reign, we’ve seen the effects on Northrend, we’ve played through a massive campaign which has had the sole aim of ending Arthas’ designs upon Azeroth.

I wouldn’t mind seeing an end to that story.  Don’t I have the right to some form of story closure?

The LORE should exist to enhance my gameplay, not restrict it.  And if Arthas is such a big bad guy that only a raid should be able to take him down, then why stop at 25 man?  Oh, how soon we forget those halcyon days of 40-man raids.  Ragnaros got 40 people beating on him at once.  So did Onyxia, back in the day.  So who’s this no-mark who only needs 25 people to take him down?

No.  I want to play my part in Arthas’ downfall.  I want to be able to put the boot in, even if that meant a really cool solo encounter.  One hobbit does it for Sauron..  One man kills Kurtz.  One man kills the Emperor (Okay, he’s more machine than man.  And he had his slacker son in the room).  The science fiction and fantasy genre is filled with One-man-making-a-difference.

Haven’t I earned that right?  Dress it up however it needs to be, but I’ve got just as much invested in seeing Arthas kicked to death than any other player, so why should it only be a small, select group of people on each server who get to do it?

Go Blizzard, you make Arthas a 5-man instance boss.  And I thank you for that.  You could even make him a solo encounter.  Maybe I could wait until he’s asleep.  And on the toilet.

After all, I’d hate for the climax to this story to just be another way of measuring the size of my epeen.




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  1. I understand your point of view. At the same time, in the Warcraft series, you (the game player) played the heroes of the story – Arthas, Kaelthas, Thrall, and you commanded whole armies.
    You fought the Burning Legion, then you fought as the Scourge, decimating armies of humans and Elves. You took the role of Kaelthas and Illidan,and fought the Scourge but were betrayed.

    Basically, you played the big hero and the big villian, and the earth trembled as you shaped history.

    Now we have to believe in WoW that those same epic characters can be defeated by Lolz, Dotemup, and Ibashu in a pug. It’s just wrong!

  2. Wotcha Vlad,
    Whilst the Lolzs, Dotemups and Ibashus of this world might not appear to be taking World of Warcraft all that seriously, don’t forget that not only do they play through the same campaigns that the rest of us do, but they also pay their subscriptions just like we do. So whilst I might find it hard to respect them as individuals, it’s up to Blizzard to respect them as paying customers and give them all the rights that the rest of us do. Which also means putting the boot in on Arthas. They put the same time and effort in, so it’s only fair.
    Besides, when we consider the fact that World of Warcraft is riven through with self-referential and pop-culture in-gags (most of which are, quite frankly, awful) how can there be such prejudice against player “comedy” names? When Haris Pilton is just one example of Blizzard’s name choices, why is it that just players get treated like jerks when they choose names in a similar vein?
    The whole point of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is to make players the centre of the struggle against Arthas. That means we should get to finish the story at the centre. That means Lolz, Dotemup and Ibashu (with their mates Lolzboi and Yousuxxor) also get to be the heroes at the centre of their own story when when they face Arthas down in a PUG.
    Ain’t MMOs grand?

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