|A good storyteller is worth his weight in spring rolls. TRUFACT.|
Those of you who follow my attempts at fiction will be pleased to know that the last part of the prequel I've been writing is close to completion (you should expect to see it published next week.) This final part features a guest appearance by none other than Loremaster Cho, and as I was writing his dialogue I could hear actor Jim Cummings in my head. I feel it a testament to this guy's ability to breathe life into the Pandaren that whenever he speaks, even if it is only in my imagination, it is with his intonation and gravitas. It is easy to see why Blizzard gave him the reins for the Burdens of Shaohao based on his vocal performance, but what I find sad in-game is that Blizzard haven't utilised his potential nearly as much as they could. If you levelled Archaeology in this Expansion, you'll know just how good he is at telling tales, after all. Since that moment when he realised the truth about the Emperor's vision in the Jade Forest, he's been very much a bit part in a larger storyline which could have greatly benefited from his wisdom and insight.
In fact, Cho would have been a fabulous way to pull the Alliance storyline back into focus with the problems of the Horde.
Of course, if you ask Blizzard, there is no bias. However, there's enough of us on the Blue Team who feel as if there's a charge to be answered on this front, that making your Big Bad a Hordie perhaps wasn't the soundest of moves if you didn't sufficiently balance the counterpoints. It isn't actually too late to address that either: we still have at least one patch left after 5.4. I feel perhaps therefore it is time to let Cho what he does best and give him the opportunity to speak for those who have as yet been given no voice, to tell their story in a wider context. There have been many heroes of the Alliance we have met in our time in this land, but we do not as yet have their adventures resolved. This could well be the absolute ideal opportunity for that to happen, and to bring some closure for both factions to boot.
|When Three Tribes go to war... interesting choice of shoulders there Moira :p|
We have encountered a vast number of NPC's in our trip across these new lands, both Alliance-factioned and otherwise. The team at the landing site (SOCKS!), the people in the Vale, the Shado Pan, even the great Chen Stormstout himself... all of these 'players' are potential untied threads that could be pulled together using Cho as the lone voice, the touchstone. You don't need any other actors either, just him and some already created NPC's, plus your Storytime buff. If I were a smart woman, I'd link this somehow into the next expansion, that we're collecting fragments from the last encounter with Garrosh as a way for Pandarens to document the past and prepare for the future.
|STOP LOOKING AT THE SPINY LIZARD DAMMIT.|
Setting up stuff in-game already has some fairly significant precedent this time around, after all. Take Gamon, legendary Horde NPC who is already looking like he's in a spot of bother with the Kor'kron Elite in Orgrimmar. Without spoiling you for the Seige, you can expect to run into him once you make it to the Horde capital. He's one story that will get a conclusion but... yet again, he's playing for the Red Guys. Without sounding like I'm whiny, WHERE ARE THE BLUE TEAM IN ALL THIS? How are our stories resolved? How can we find closure after Garrosh's demise? I'd have no problem spending hours listening to Cho telling me the great stories of that final push that I never saw, how the unsung Alliance heroes like Sully and Amber were working behind the scenes, helping us win the day. You know, just the same way as Hilda Hornswaggle kept me up to speed when I was working from Lion's Landing.
|Me and Varian Down by the Schoolyard.|
In all of this, let me be clear, I'm still happy to take many for my team. We've already lost good people for the cause, after all. If you want shock impact, a big name casualty would be a ball from left field I can GUARANTEE no-one would see coming at this late stage. It would amplify the loss and horror of what had happened, especially in the greater war for the removal of a corrupt leader. After all, look what happened to Bolvar Fordragon. Yes, I know I've mentioned it before, but it's worth saying again. Personal stories make a huge impression, especially in the context of massive battles. The human reaction is everything.
That side of the story still lacks in Pandaria. It isn't too late to change that, even now.