Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BWBT: Favorite Blizzard Title

Yesterday's Blizzard Watch Breakfast Topic (BWBT) posed the question "what is your favorite Blizzard title?". For me, that's a surprisingly difficult question to answer. I have and have played nearly all of the Blizzard games available to me - some long after their initial release, such as with The Lost Vikings and Blackthorne (both of which are available for download for free via All of the Blizzard-made WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo games have a home on my computer, alongside Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.

If the question were which Blizzard franchise was my favorite, I would answer "WarCraft" in a heartbeat - it was introduced to me at a young age by the same person who introduced me to other core geeky fandoms such as Star Wars and Magic: the Gathering. WarCraft: Orcs and Humans introduced me to the RTS genre. WarCraft II is why I care about game story and lore, not just in WarCraft games but in every game I play. WarCraft III showed me how awesome pre-rendered cinematics could be, thereby sparking my interest in the topic of video game creation.

World of Warcraft is certainly the title I've played the most, but at times I miss the army vs. army nature of its RTS predecessors. When World of Warcraft was still in early development, I remember seeing playable orcs dressed as grunts and humans dressed as footmen and found myself somehow attracted to the idea of playing the footman in a massively expansive RTS world. Of course, that's not at all how the MMORPG turned out, but if it wasn't for that idea lodging itself in my head, I likely would have passed on the monthly subscription fee.

I think in the end, I'm going to have to go with WarCraft II as being my favorite Blizzard title (the Beyond the Dark Portal expansion pack edges out the original Tides of Darkness if I have to pick between them). It's old and dated, and no longer nearly as much fun to play after having experienced the massive UI and AI advancements made in WarCraft III and StarCraft II, but everything I like about WarCraft games can be traced back to those titles. I became interested in WarCraft lore because the WarCraft II introduced me to characters like Anduin Lothar, Turalyon, Kurdran and Sky'ree. The first video game cinematic that ever hooked me in was the WarCraft II cinematic involving the catapult and zeppelin. WarCraft II is what drew me to the Paladin archetype, and where I became enamored with gryphons.

So yeah, it's more about nostalgia than anything else, but if I had to pick, that would be my answer.

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