Watch the World of Warcraft Documentary Right Now

Watch the World of Warcraft Documentary Right Now

World of Warcraft: Looking for Group, which is watchable right here in its entirety, takes a look back at ten years of Blizzard's game-changing MMO.

Got a hankering to learn more about World of Warcraft and an hour to kill? Blizzard's documentary revisiting ten years of the hit MMO World of Warcraft is now on YouTube in its entirety. World of Warcraft: Looking for Group is a documentary "celebrating 10 years of adventure, camaraderie, and /dancing on mailboxes all around Azeroth," and promises to "explore the history of WoW with its creators, and journey into corners of Blizzard and the WoW community you've never seen before."

World of Warcraft, set in Blizzard's Warcraft universe, launched a decade ago this month. Since then, the MMORPG has seen millions of subscribers, four expansions (with a fifth due out this week), and over 100 million total accounts. The documentary premiered this weekend at BlizzCon's 2014 festivities before being made available on YouTube.

BlizzCon wraps up today, but WoW players don't have long to wait before getting their hands on the next expansion: Warlords of Draenor, which raises the game's level cap to 100, will launch on November 13.

Source: World of Warcraft on YouTube

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World of Warcraft is the gaming equivalent of going to see the latest Transformers movie in the cinema. While I honestly don't think less of people if they do it (because a bunch of the entertainment I consume is also rather shallow), I don't think it's a very interesting thing analyse.

Seriously, imagine if they made a documentary about random people whoo went to the cinema to see blockbusters and portraying it as some sort niche group who does this extraordinary superspecial and extremely interesting thing together, yeah mate, you're one of millions of people consuming an extremely mainstream (seriously one of the most mainstream products of entertainment ever made, which is why it's so popular) product of entertainment. Good for you mate, but I don't see the interest for a documentary.

I guess it could be interesting sort of if you analysed what the game exactly did on a psychological level that got so many people hooked, and compare it to other mainstream products like angry birds, farmville, Avengers, Transformers, Reality Tv-Shows, and so on. But I just have this feeling that it's just a circlejerk for wow-players to celebrate that they sat on their ass doing nothing worthwhile for 10 years, which I totally don't blame people for, I do the exact same thing myself, but I don't fucking congratulate myself over it and tell people how interesting it is.

This was frustrating to watch. The majority of it is "hey blizzard is great" with very few details on the actual game. I'd really love to learn about technical stuff during development and after launch but they spend so little time on that, and the rest is crap like how much some random person's disabled mother loves the game. Who cares. Don't waste your time.

ThreeKneeNick:
This was frustrating to watch. The majority of it is "hey blizzard is great" with very few details on the actual game. I'd really love to learn about technical stuff during development and after launch but they spend so little time on that, and the rest is crap like how much some random person's disabled mother loves the game. Who cares. Don't waste your time.

Just looking at the title of the documentary, I guessed it would be more about sucking off Blizzard than any actual analysis.
I have my own take on the WoW phenomenon, but I'll relent and say that it's considerably less flattering (and arguably more accurate) than what's on display here.

Actually, I will say this one thing: WoW has made me better appreciate games that DON'T rely heavily on grind and always-online models.

Atmos Duality:
... and always-online models.

Always-online is kind of a necessity of the genre. When did we go from hating on unnecessary online checks (like Ubisoft's games) to hating games that fundamentally need online connectivity to function?

I liked the documentary tbh. It does contain a little too much Blizzard glorifying and too little actual inside info about the actual developement and organisation, as a poster before me noticed. Would be interesting to see more about that. Most of the docu sadly tries to play our heartstrings, and I don't really buy it.

Blizzard bias aside though, one can't deny that WoW is a quite unique phenomenon. It's been a staple of game for ten years now and has become a household name, even outside the gaming community. I won't get into defending World of Warcraft against what has been stated in this thread already (no point, really), but I will say that it certainly deserves respect, and that it's a lot deeper than many of its detractors suggest.

Eh.. I don't know. I really do think there are a lot of stories, both good and bad, to be told about a decade of WoW. It has legitimately been part, in some cases large part, of the lives of millions of people since it's release. I'm not really interested in watching an hour long commercial though which is what this largely appears to be.

Fappy:

Atmos Duality:
... and always-online models.

Always-online is kind of a necessity of the genre. When did we go from hating on unnecessary online checks (like Ubisoft's games) to hating games that fundamentally need online connectivity to function?

Surely you can see the word "online" there? I mean, they totally have to be the same thing! But yeah, I agree completely. I don't get the correlation at all.

Fappy:

Always-online is kind of a necessity of the genre. When did we go from hating on unnecessary online checks (like Ubisoft's games) to hating games that fundamentally need online connectivity to function?

In my effort to provide brevity, I omitted context. My bad.
So here's why I hate Always Online in WoW, despite being a necessary evil in MMOs:

In this case, Always Online didn't stay in the MMO genre, but went on to star in Blizzard's following games; all in completely unnecessary manners no less.

Making all multiplayer (even AI skirmishes) Always Online in Starcraft 2 was bad enough.
Diablo 3 was ENTIRELY ALWAYS ONLINE, despite its predecessor being absolutely superior in this aspect by offering all possible modes (local, closed bnet, and open bnet).

I have no doubt that WoW's success as an always-online game heavily influenced those design decisions.

LOL Whats this documentary? It clearly wasn't made in the same universe as WoW as we know it was made in. Blizzard wasn't some humble start up that stumbled into fortune like Mojang did years later. That was behind them with Warcraft II. Before WoW was even launched I remember Game Informer calling WoW a 800 lb gorilla that would probably dethrone their MMO rival Everquest II which was launching at the same time as they were. WoW was the first time I remember seeing advertising blitz for a game outside of normal game journalism outlets. Then of course lets not forget that WC3 StarCraft and Diablo 1 and 2 had already proven to everyone that Blizzard was one of the best devs in the world. So I really don't understand why they are showing so many Blizzard employees acting like doe eyed youths that didn't know how hard it would be to manage their MMO. This is none sense.

Scorpid:
LOL Whats this documentary? It clearly wasn't made in the same universe as WoW as we know it was made in. Blizzard wasn't some humble start up that stumbled into fortune like Mojang did years later. That was behind them with Warcraft II. Before WoW was even launched I remember Game Informer calling WoW a 800 lb gorilla that would probably dethrone their MMO rival Everquest II which was launching at the same time as they were. WoW was the first time I remember seeing advertising blitz for a game outside of normal game journalism outlets. Then of course lets not forget that WC3 StarCraft and Diablo 1 and 2 had already proven to everyone that Blizzard was one of the best devs in the world. So I really don't understand why they are showing so many Blizzard employees acting like doe eyed youths that didn't know how hard it would be to manage their MMO. This is none sense.

Because they... didn't? I'm confused here. Yeah, people knew they were a good developer, that means a whole lot of nothing when it comes to MMO development, especially back in that time. Shit, game development in general has changed in the last 10 years. It's not a question of being advertised, it's a question of being noticed. Which they were. It's not their job to expect it.

Atmos Duality:
Diablo 3 was ENTIRELY ALWAYS ONLINE, despite its predecessor being absolutely superior in this aspect by offering all possible modes (local, closed bnet, and open bnet).

Diablo 3 had its share of issues at launch. Always-only was not one of them, despite all the howling about it at the time. The state of the console games attests to this: rife with hacks and dupes. It may have caused some problems very early on, but was definitely the right decision in the end.

Scorpid:
LOL Whats this documentary? It clearly wasn't made in the same universe as WoW as we know it was made in. Blizzard wasn't some humble start up that stumbled into fortune like Mojang did years later. That was behind them with Warcraft II. Before WoW was even launched I remember Game Informer calling WoW a 800 lb gorilla that would probably dethrone their MMO rival Everquest II which was launching at the same time as they were. WoW was the first time I remember seeing advertising blitz for a game outside of normal game journalism outlets. Then of course lets not forget that WC3 StarCraft and Diablo 1 and 2 had already proven to everyone that Blizzard was one of the best devs in the world. So I really don't understand why they are showing so many Blizzard employees acting like doe eyed youths that didn't know how hard it would be to manage their MMO. This is none sense.

WoW was in development for about 6 years before it released. When they started the project they still were a small company and were taking a HUGE risk trying to get into the MMO space. A lot of the higher-ups in the company had no idea WoW would become the beast that it became, and kinda still is. I agree they didn't stumble into fortune, it was a calculated risk that paid off way bigger than they probably thought possible.

ssManae:

Diablo 3 had its share of issues at launch. Always-only was not one of them, despite all the howling about it at the time. The state of the console games attests to this: rife with hacks and dupes. It may have caused some problems very early on, but was definitely the right decision in the end.

Hmm. Lets compare: Hacked items in local PvE games vs UNABLE TO PLAY consistently because of mandatory internet requirements (on BOTH ENDS).

A minor inconvenience (that one has to go looking for, no less) vs total game state failure (that one can avoid only by chance and circumstance).

At least the console versions were PLAYABLE out of the fragging box.
Maybe your internet is great. Good for you. It ain't so for me, or many other Diablo fans.

So you'll have to forgive me if I disagree utterly with your assertion of it "definitely the right decision in the end."

The correct decision, as far as I'm concerned, would to just let players choose right from the start.

-Those that want to compete in the digital arms race and "player economy" can opt to play only on Official Servers (which have to be policed by Blizzard regardless)

-Those that prefer to just play through the game on their own/with friends locally could just wallow on local hosts.
Nobody really cares if single/local games cheat, hack or mod, and they really threaten nobody.
(this has the benefit of lightening Blizzard's server load efficiently, and keeps the players out of the sights of DDoSers, scammers and account thieves; the latter doesn't care about local players, they want the stuff worth actual money on the official servers.)

That's how Diablo 2 did it, AND IT WORKED FINE.
Yes, Blizzard had to ban accounts and fix exploits, but golly gee gosh!
THAT'S WHAT THEY'VE HAD TO DO IN DIABLO 3 AND WOW ALREADY.

thetoddo:

WoW was in development for about 6 years before it released.

I seriously doubt that.

If WoW was in development that long, it was strictly in background concept (ideas) and not specific assets or mechanical structure, because on release, WoW had assets and flavor mirroring Warcraft 3 more than any game before that (more accurately, The Frozen Throne; which had a faux-beta for WoW as the campaign "The Founding of Durotar").

The difference in tone between Warcraft 2 and 3 alone should be enough to call that into question.
Orcs were the definitive Fantasy Bad Guys in 2, but sympathetic puppet figures in 3.

(Blizzard pulled something similar in Wings of Liberty, but it was far more stupid. They made the ZERG OVERMIND a SYMPATHETIC victim. Yes, the evil mastermind behind the all-devouring and assimilating Zerg swarm. An entity that brutally kills or infests everything it encounters right down to the genetic level, became a sympathetic entity because of a retcon.

I bring this up, because Blizzard was obviously just making this stuff up as they go, and always have been.)

Games with such a long development time ON ASSETS reflects that.

That's why Duke Nukem Forever is such a mess. Its gameplay can't decide what kind of a shooter it wants to be, and its tone can't decide whether to be satirical, badass, or just plain 90s offensive, so it tries to do a bit of everything...because that's what they had ready.

WoW was announced at a 2001 Trade Show with art assets shown. Blizzard claims development started in 1999 but I couldn't find any kind of documentation beyond a blurb on their website. The trade show was in September '01 with enough done that they felt they could show something to shareholders and investors, but I suppose you could assume they whipped that up in the months prior rather than 2 years prior. But let's say Blizzard is lying and work didn't start till the day after the trade show it was still over 3 years from announcement to release. Three years of no new titles, while maintaining Battle.net at their own expense. I agree they were pretty sure they were going to have a hit on their hands, but they admit they had no idea how big it would be so fast. I started playing day one and a lot of my friends couldn't play for two months because you couldn't find the box on shelves.

As for the Overmind rant, you are confusing the acquisition of new information with a retcon. Unless I missed a piece of information that is contradictory to what came before. You might not like the development of the Zerg story, but it's internally consistent once you get the history dumps from WoL and HotS.

thetoddo:
WoW was announced at a 2001 Trade Show with art assets shown. Blizzard claims development started in 1999 but I couldn't find any kind of documentation beyond a blurb on their website. The trade show was in September '01 with enough done that they felt they could show something to shareholders and investors, but I suppose you could assume they whipped that up in the months prior rather than 2 years prior. But let's say Blizzard is lying and work didn't start till the day after the trade show it was still over 3 years from announcement to release.

I remember that trade show, actually...I feel older all of a sudden.
Anyway, it makes far more sense for Blizzard to begin developing technical assets following Diablo 2, rather than Tides of Darkness because that's where Blizzard got their first REAL experience in managing a large online game.

And they did pretty well with it, given the new ground they were breaking.
A pity they decided to stop trusting the fans that made Diablo 2 retail-worthy as far as 2011, and decided playing keep-away with PC players was the best business philosophy.

I would like Wings of Liberty a lot more if I could consistently PLAY the other half of the damn game, or at LANs as I have their other products for the better part of a decade.

But my internet connection won't permit it, and they hate LAN now because...I have no fucking idea.

Three years of no new titles, while maintaining Battle.net at their own expense. I agree they were pretty sure they were going to have a hit on their hands, but they admit they had no idea how big it would be so fast. I started playing day one and a lot of my friends couldn't play for two months because you couldn't find the box on shelves.

Dude, after Warcraft 3, EVERYONE knew that WoW was destined for greatness.

I'd go out on a limb and say that the timing of Vivendi Universal's acquisition of Blizzard was no accident; they knew Blizzard had a golden goose and capitalized.

As for the Overmind rant, you are confusing the acquisition of new information with a retcon. Unless I missed a piece of information that is contradictory to what came before. You might not like the development of the Zerg story, but it's internally consistent once you get the history dumps from WoL and HotS.

I didn't play Heart of the Swarm, because by that point, Blizzard was firmly on my shitlist.
So I'll take your word for that. But the rest of the continuity, well, I'm a fucking nerd about. So forgive the length here.

The continuity might be technically consistent, but it's an incredibly stupid concept and one I wish Blizzard would stop pulling every time they need to introduce a new Big Bad Faction to replace the old one.

The way the Zerg were written, from Day 1, from the instruction booklet throughout all of Starcraft 1 (and Brood War), was as ruthless killing machines lead by a clever entity who outgrew its creators constraints and devoured them strictly for more power.

They were clearly designed from the ground up to be the sci-fi Plague Monster, the game's Faceless Swarm of Bad Guys, the literal antithesis of the races with free-thinking entities. And it worked! The Zerg were legitimately intimidating, creepy, and well...alien.
(and they're coming for us Earthlings; the Infested Terrans are zombies in everything but name)

The Overmind's attitude, in action and from his own perspective, showed ABSOLUTELY NO SIGNS OF LAMENT for what he was doing throughout Starcraft 1. Rather, it was the opposite. He was eager, pleased, almost giddy with anticipation upon invading Aiur. What was presented was a retcon of its entire personality, if not its actions.

We saw none of the Overmind's regret, because it obviously wasn't supposed to exist in the first place, and anything else is just an excuse for Blizzard's obvious ass-pull.

(The "My Xelnaga programming doesn't get passed down to Kerrigan" thing raises FAR more questions than it answers.
If he was capable of engineering Kerrigan as an exception, then why wasn't he capable of doing that for, say, ANYONE ELSE?)

There was no need to write the Zerg as anything but a force of nature waiting to be exploited, because that's what they are. First by the Overmind, then by the UED, then by Kerrigan. Making them sympathetic is unnecessary, even for the new plot with the Satan stand in.

And it's not the first time Blizzard has done this; it's actually the THIRD TIME.
The first time was the Orcs in WC3, and then Sylvana's Undead faction in TFT.

Hilariously, WC3 twists are nested, since the Undead served as the Burning Legion's replacement for Orcs as the new Big Faceless Badguys. "The evil faction is now sympathetic" only gets more ridiculous each time they do it.
Sorry mate; I don't buy it anymore.

 

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