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Success Story: World Of Warcraft Documentary

Looking For Group, a new World of Warcraft documentary, is as earnest as the late Jim Varney. It’s a sixty minute reflection on the first ten years of the giant of MMORPGs and as it was created in-house at Blizzard, it’s all about the good times. Creators and players alike fondly reminisce and the whole thing almost collapses into a blackhole of backslapping self-aggrandisement around the forty minute mark, when a kung fu panda is held up as an example of the maturing narratives tastes of the WOW audience. But despite the fluff, I found my cynicism thawing as I watched. The whole thing is embedded below.

Insights are few and far between, and they’re mostly concentrated on the technical feat of running all of those servers while creating new content, but if you’re capable of accepting that this is an almost feature-length chunk of promotional material, you might just find something worthwhile. For me, it’s the reminder that WoW is an enormous thing that so many people love. That matters and it’s easy to forget now that I’m so removed from it (I last played around the time it originally launched, for a couple of weeks non-stop).

I get a buzz when I see people talking about the things they’ve created and while I don’t think this kind of multiplayer questing will ever be my particular cup of tea, I’m fascinated by the challenge of expanding it while maintaining a cohesive and functional whole. Seeing the art team, I also realise how much I appreciate WoW’s colours. I’ve never found it to be a particularly attractive game but, from a purely visual perspective, I’ll take Pandaria’s rainforests over the scorched earth of Mordor any day.

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2020
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Adam Smith

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