The Argent Tournaments missing piece

November 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

(Update: Now that I have run 10-man ToC, the tournament makes even less sense without some specific instructions from Tirion.  Also, now I know why everyone has been railing against Tirion, Varian, and Garrosh lately.)

I was doing the Argent Tournament dailies today and I was thinking about how stupid the AT is in general.  I mean, here we are, practially on the Lich King’s doorstep and what have we spent our time doing?  Jousting.  Not just jousting each other, but jousting the Lich Kings commanders.  Oh, and fighting gladiators and beasts Roman Coliseum style.  I know I’m not the first to post about this quasi renaissance fair spectacle, but we’ll pretend because I need to talk about the sillyness of the AT before I can make my point make sense.

By the way, even though these events have been in the game for almost a year now, they are technically ‘spoilerific’ if you haven’t ever done the Wrathgate questline.  So if you haven’t, and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading here.

Anywho, so we have this big awesome questline leading up to the Wrathgate.  You turn in that last quest, get your achievement and your pulled into a fantastic cinematic where Highlord Bolvar Fordragon and Saufang the Younger ride out to confront the Lich King himself (after he sends a few waves of scourge that is).  It’s an awesome moment where you really feel the epic-ness of your surroundings and the war between the Alliance/Horde and the armies of the Lich King.  It helps also to solidify the danger that the Lich King poses, reminding you that he is a force to be reckoned with, but one that needs to be confronted and defeated anyway.

Then as you move into Icecrown you begin to help the Argent Crusade and the Knights of the Ebon Blade push back the scourge and claim important strategic footholds in the land.  These piece by piece battles are done due to the fantastically brilliant phasing mechanic (seriously, kudos to the guy who developed that idea), and really give you a sense that you really are helping to move the war effort forward and are really dealing heavy blows to the Lich King.

But then we come to the Argent Tournament, and the action seems to just stall out.  There’s no longer any impending feeling of doom or fear of the Lich King’s power, nor is there any sense of urgency about taking him out.  Here we are just gallivanting about on our fancy mounts jamming sticks at each other.  It’s just all very anticlimactic and silly.

One explanation I have heard is that Tirion Fordring has set up this tournament as a way to weed out the weak and unprepared so that when he finally moves the battle to the Lich King, he can be confident that the soldiers with him are the cream of the crop.  I’ve also heard that he’s trying to give the Horde and the Alliance a safe way to get out their aggression at each other, while simultaneously teaching them to work together.

I don’t know if I really buy those explanations, but mainly that’s because there’s not really enough information in game to tell us what’s going on.  Or if there is, it’s on the list of ‘How did I miss this?’  What I think is missing from the Argent Tournament is a bad-ass cinematic.  One where the forces of the Argent Crusade and the Knights of the Ebon Blade as well as representatives from the Horde and Alliance are gathered together on the tournament grounds and Tirion comes out and addresses everyone.  He could give some inspirational speech about our successes so far, and possibly the dangers to come, and then he could explain why the heck we are at this silly tournament in the first place.  Maybe Darion Morgraine could make some snarky comments.  Maybe something else totally dramatic could happen, like, I don’t know, a representative from the Lich King could come to the grounds and throw down a challenge, only to be killed by one of the second tier leaders of the Argent Crusade or Knights of the Ebon Blade.  Then the crowd could get a little upset only to have Tirion calm everyone down and remind them to focus and tell us to get to work.

I’m not sure when the best time to introduce this cinematic would be.  It’s too late to do it now, but really they should have either made it the advertising cinematic for the patch itself, or they should have made it an ingame event you go through the first time you go to the Tournament.  Let’s say you have to pick up a quest in Dalaran which phases you properly so that you can go to the tournament grounds, and you fly there from Dalaran.  Then you land, turn the quest into whomever is at the flight point, and then the cinematic starts.

Then we would have some explanation of why we are here in the first place.  It would help get us involved and rekindle the desire to prepare ourselves properly to kill the Lich King.

The way it is now is just a bunch of nonsense.

They still have a chance to stick in a cinematic for patch 3.3.  One where Tirion says, ‘ok enough of this nonsense, everyone is ready, we’ve found the best people, let’s go kill the Lich King!’  It could be super inspirational and exciting and really help us get energized to get into Icecrown Citadel and kick the Lich Kings ass!

But…I sadly doubt any of this will happen.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”


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