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A Critique Of Dwarves And Doguns, And The Future Of Wynncraft Quests

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Theeef, Nov 10, 2019 at 5:47 PM.

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Should Wynncraft have designated Writers?

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  1. Theeef

    Theeef uwu? HERO

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    Introduction
    Hello person. I'm not much for introductions, so let's get right into it. These are my critiques of the Dwarves and Doguns Quest line. I was going to go all out and make a comprehensive review of the quest, but unfortunately I've recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness called laziness, so that just won't do. This will just be a basic outline of flaws I found in the writing and gameplay of the quest, and how I think they can be improved. Anyways, here we go.

    Disclaimer: Everything here is my opinion and is not meant to offend anyone who worked on the Dwarves and Doguns quest line, or anyone on the content team for that matter. Additionally, this critique obviously contains spoilers of the Dwarves and Doguns quest line, so if you have not yet completed it, beware.

    Edit: Going through this again several hours later, I’m seeing how many grammar mistakes and whatnot there are in this thread. I didn’t proof read it or anything so it’s quite a yikes to read but hopefully the message should still get across just fine.

    My issues with Dwarves and Doguns
    1. The Dwarves as villains are poorly written
    - Background: The Dwarves are somewhat meant to appear as the villain for this quest line. The player is supposed to be angered at the Dwarven generals of the past (for exterminating the Doguns), while still understanding the position of the Dwarven citizens, who are made out to be heavily manipulated by the current rulers. This would be perfect, if not for the fact that it's very poorly executed.

    - The Problem: One of the main problems I have with the Dwarven Generals is that their motivations are relatively dull. In my opinion, a good villain must have strong motivations. Even if you might not necessarily agree with their reasons for doing bad things, you should be able to somewhat understand their reason for doing it. In Dwarves and Doguns Part I, in the library you discover that the old Dwarven Generals only motivation for the Dwarven Genocide was expansion. While this is a realistic motivation (has happened before, see literally all of history for more), in a setting like Wynncraft, I feel like a much more evocative motivation could be thought of.

    - Potential Solution: Instead of the main motivation of the Dwarves being expansion, use a different one. In my opinion, it would be interesting if the Dwarves attempted to attack to Doguns directly before the Dwarven people knew much about the Dwarven Generals' position on the Doguns. This fight would no means be a war, just something that last a day or so. In this battle, the Dwarves would lose badly against the Doguns. The Dwarven Generals would then use this to their advantage, and lie to the Dwarven people saying that the Doguns attacked Dwarves without being provoked, which then starts the propaganda chain we throughout the quest. This leads us to our next point...
    Old Dwarven Generals motivations suck. Instead of expansion, have better one. Maybe try Dwarves secretly attack Doguns, Dwarves lose, tell the people Doguns attacked people unprovoked, starts propaganda chain and malice towards Doguns.

    2. Propaganda is poorly written and used
    - Background: The Dwarven people were initially against fighting against the Doguns. The Dwarven Generals' solution to this was to use propaganda in order to breed contempt for the Doguns, allowing them to go to war against them. They mainly do this by calling them demons, and spreading false rumors (these rumors are never specified).

    - The Problem: The player goes into this quest practically already knowing that the Doguns are in the right, and the Dwarves are basically nothing more than murderers. As a result, any propaganda that is introduced just seems silly, and the Dwarves really just appear to be idiots to the player. This is obviously bad, considering the player is supposed to sympathize with the Dwarves. There is no real understandable reason for why the Dwarves would turn against the Doguns, simply because the propaganda is just so bad.

    - Potential Solution: Delving deeper into the specific propaganda used by the Dwarves could definitely be helpful, see the solution for the previous point for some ideas. Anyways, I think it would be very beneficial if the player would go into the quest believing the same thing the Dwarves believe. They should feel as if the Dwarves were monsters, who slaughtered Dwarves up until the Dwarves valiantly rose up and defeated the demons. One way this could be done is have various NPCs mention how afraid they are for Doguns to show up, even though most of them are already killed. There should be more display of pride for the warriors of the Molten heights, almost deifying them because of their bravery against the Doguns. Additionally, one idea my friend had (I think it was @Parzizal but I honestly can't remember), was that the player starts the quest line fighting against the Doguns with the Dwarves. Perhaps the player is told that some Doguns are believed to be alive and that they're planning some sort of attack, and you're tasked with finding the hideout. Something like that, I don't know. You successfully find the Dogun hideout, and defeat one of the rogue groups. Then, throughout the quest line you learn that the Doguns really just want to live in peace, and that you have just committed a terrible act against an innocent group of innocent creatures. This will develop conflict between the player and their self, conflict between the player and the Dwarves, and conflict between the player and the Doguns. The rest of the quest will follow the player's attempts to make ammends for what they have done, by trying to bring peace to the Dwarves and the Doguns, and showing the Dwarves that they've been lied to the whole time.
    The player knows from the start the Doguns are the good guys, so propaganda is useless. Make the Doguns seem like bad guys from the start, and task the player with exterminating a group of rogue Doguns. The player succeeds, but later discovers the true, peaceful nature of the Doguns. They want to make things right after their wrongdoing, and thus strive to bring a true end to the Dogun war, and bring the Dwarven Citizens into the light.

    3. Axelus is poorly written
    - Background: One of the main characters you deal with throughout the quest is a boy named Axelus, who is later revealed to be the son of the King. Ignoring the fact that this "reveal" is lackluster, he is found to be the leader of an organization attempting to help the Doguns. Later, towards the end of the quest he is killed by a Dwarven chief, in a boring, emotionless scene that is meant to be quite sad... I think? Lots of complaints here.

    - The Problem: We never get to know Axelus as a character before he is revealed to be the King's son, or before he is killed by the Dogun Chief. As a result, both the discovery of his true identity has very little meaning or emotion. This is the same case for his Axelus' death, as the player hasn't really gotten to know Axelus.

    - Potential Solution: In order for the reveal of Axelus' identity to have more of an impact, the player should spend more time getting to know Axelus as an individual, before later on learning his title. Perhaps, if the previous two solutions I suggested were implemented, it would be interesting for the player to meet Axelus in the fight against the Doguns. In this fight, the player defeats the Doguns, along with Axelus who was helping them. Later on, when the player realizes what they've done, they can seek out Axelus and attempt to help him. Only AFTER these events, where the player has realized Axelus' wisdom and bravery, will the learn that he is the King's son. I feel that this reveal would have a much larger impact, after the players has both fought AND befriended Axelus via their own means, not just because it's clearly the only viable choice. This will also make Axelus' death seem much more tragic, because the player will see Axelus as more of a friend than just a one dimensional character who wants to help Doguns because it's the only valid option, and the rest of the Dwarves are just idiots. One final touch that would make a good difference would be rumors around town that the king's son has gone missing recently. Perhaps the King could blame this on the Doguns, and it could be your reason for attacking the rogue group. If this is used as an explanation, Axelus' name cannot be known, as it's more beneficial to reveal Axelus' identity after you've gotten to know him well.
    If other solutions used, do this. You meet Axelus in your first fight with Doguns. He gets away after you murder the Doguns. Later, once you realize your error, you seek out Axelus and find him. You work together and become friends. You admire his courage and morality, and are surprised when you learn he is actually the king's previously missing son, who was believed to be kidnapped by Doguns.

    Nitpicking
    It seems that most of my critiques of this quest line have been story based upon further review. Any other problems I have will be much more brief, as this thread is already quite long. Most of these are just nitpicking anyways, so take them with a grain of salt.
    1. Unskippable cutscenes. There's tons of these, everyone knows these suck. Wynncraft's current system doesn't allow you to easily skip through cutscenes like you would with regular dialogue, so this might be a thing to work on whenever possible
    2. Axelus' death sparks basically no reaction by the king. He basically just goes "oh how sad, this is kinda my fault lol" and then they make peace. This is NOT how it would go down... In my opinion, it would be very interesting if the King realizes his parenting mistakes and throws himself in front of Axelus before he can die. At this point Axelus will become the king, the King's arc of having realized his mistakes and attoned for his errors will be completed, and the Dwarves and Doguns will be able to make peace with Axelus as the new king. I think this would be a perfect ending, I don't know about you guys.
    4. Korzim knows my name, despite me never telling him. This goes for a lot of Wynn quests. NPCs randomly referring to you by your name isn't cool, it's just weird. It's like when you work in a retail or some shit and have to wear a name tag, and your customer calls you by your name like they're your best friend. Like no bitch, you dont know me. Anyways, that's just very nitpicky.


    Overall Proposed Changes (my ideas)
    - The dwarves wanted to conquer the doguns, but the people were against it. The dwarves secretly attack a group of doguns and lose badly. They run back to their people, lying and saying that the doguns massacred a group of Dwarve's without being provoked. This starts the propaganda chain on a much better foot.
    - Many years later, after the Dwarve's hatred for Doguns has grown, and the doguns are widely know to be demons and monsters, the king's son goes missing. It's determined groups of doguns have been popping up recently, and you are tasked with destroying one of these groups by the king. You successfully locate this group of Doguns and murder them. Strangely, several humans were with them, but they escaped.
    - After your success, you further investigate the camp the Dogun's were occupying. You find several signs that indicate the Doguns actually just wanted to live in peace, and were quite terrified, but you determine that can't be the case. Everyone knows Doguns are horrible creatures, who live to kill Dwarves, right?
    - Through whatever means, you learn even more about the Dogun's, and come to the conclusion that you are a monster, who has just killed an innocent, peaceful family of Doguns who were detached from their main clan. Realizing your error, you attempt to seek out the humans you saw at the fight.
    - Eventually you encounter Axelus, the leader of this group of humans. He explains to you the reality of the Dogun war, and you do your best to help him in order to make up for what you've done.
    - This process leads to you and Axelus coming before the king, where you learn Axelus is actually the King's son. You also learn that the King wants to help to Doguns, but knows the people wouldn't be able to handle it.
    - The Doguns, learning about you murdering several Dogun families, are outraged and start to become desperate. They look to summon Garaheth, both out of fear and hysteria. You must stop this, like in the main quest line.
    - You succeed in defeating Garaheth, but the Dogun chief still feels a life is owed for the death of the Dogun family you killed. The chief attempts to kill Axelus but the King, who realizes this is his responsibility and knows that he's been a terrible father to Axelus, sacrifices himself, completing his arc. With the debt paid, the King dies. Axelus, still slightly mourning with his father is forced to take the throne. Despite his sadness at the loss of his father, he accepts that it was necessary, and works to bring peace between the Dwarves and the Doguns. The people learn the truth, and a treaty is written between the Doguns and the Dwarves, finally ending the genocide against them.

    A Final Note
    If you couldn't tell, most of my critiques here were on the writing of the quest, as opposed to the actual mechanics. I could absolutely shred the writing of almost every Wynncraft quest, but I obviously don't have the time for that. Either way, I think it's about time that Wynncraft hires designated writers to do the writing part of quests. I know that Wynncraft attempts to encourage the GM's to be creative with quest writing, but when it comes down to it, I feel like there is a lot more room for improvement that could be provided with the addition of writers. Writers and GMs should consult together regarding the creation of quests. If a GM gets an idea, a writer will help them solidify it and make it flourish. If a writer gets an awesome idea for a quest, one of the GMs can help them bring it into reality. Writers will check over quests and fix the writing wherever seen fit, in accordance with the existing lore. I feel like this is an element of Wynn that is really crucial yet lacking, and we would see significant in the storytelling element of quests if writers were officially implemented into the Wynncraft content team.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019 at 4:32 AM
  2. tig

    tig Buff Lament | 8 Mythics Found

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    I hate it when NPCs use my name in a quest man.
     
  3. Theeef

    Theeef uwu? HERO

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    Sure do love it when threads get moved to feedback so basically no one sees them
     
    HalfCat_, tig and Druser like this.
  4. Novalescent

    Novalescent Wynncraft Systematic Recreation Developer VIP+

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    I'm sure it's because that this is Feedback after all. And of course, the most important people who need to see this is the CT. I don't mean to be rude, but players can only agree and complain with you. The Content Team are the group who can make actual changes to the game, and I don't doubt for a second a good portion of them look in this subsection.

    Of course, getting people to agree with you does support your argument, but the CT has the final say in what goes into Wynncraft. If anything, your post will better their quest writing. Even if this one was done a bit harshly (I honestly don't know, I really need to play that quest), taking this quest feedback post and other posts relating to quest feedback will help them better their quest development.
     
    Aarontti, Druser and Theeef like this.