Let’s talk about this web series Blizzard and Paul Jr are doing, okay?
Azeroth Choppers, a show whose time really hasn’t come.
Here, check out the most recent episode.
You’d think I’d love this show, because it’s got two things I really like; World of Warcraft and Orange County Choppers…. oh wait, I mean Paul Jr’s custom bike builds.
Thing is, I don’t like it. It’s not even okay, it’s annoying as hell.
In fact, I’ve got a LOT of problems with this thing. Enough that I want to drop the flag and call bullshit on the whole thing.
The first and least irritating point about the whole scheme is, not once, in either episode, has anyone mentioned that the World of Warcraft developers and art crew have already designed two choppers and put them in the game.
If the whole point of the show is to see how incredibly awesome and cool it is to have this guy design two Warcraft themed motorcycles, one Alliance and the other Horde, why in hell wouldn’t you mention that you’ve already done your own take on it yourselves?
THEY”RE ALREADY IN THE GAME, DAMNIT.
If you didn’t play World of Warcraft, you could be forgiven for thinking the choppers on the graphics intro to the show were created specifically for the intro, and weren’t really in the game.
Not once, at any of these meetings where artwork was passed around, ideas traded, concepts tossed out, not fucking ONCE did anyone happen to mention, “Oh yeah, and we already designed our own take on these two faction choppers, here, check it out, tell us what you think.”
Not once? Really?
Or… did they intentionally not film any of that because this is supposed to be some kind of wonderful new collaboration?
If this is to drive enthusiasm with the existing fans of the game that also love badass hogs, then why not show us exactly what Paul Jr thought of the Blizzard designs already in the game.
Seeing what Paul Jr, a master custom bike designer, thought about the existing bike designs would have been actually relevant to the show and to Warcraft game fans. It would have been an awesome thing to see. Pretending they don’t even exist feels like they’re aiming the show at everyone except WoW players.
I for one, having long familiarity from watching OCC and the bike build offs, would have loved to have seen what Paul Jr thought of their designs from his experienced artistic eye.
Guess talking about chopper design in a video game in a TV show about chopper design in a video game was too much like crazy talk.
I mean, come on. They’re passing around these beautiful full sized high-rez concept art pieces, but nothing about the in-game choppers? No big pictures of bikes with sidecars, the PWN license plates, the trikes the Goblins use, none of that? Not once while talking about what a Horde or Alliance motorcycle might look like did the thought come up.
Fine, let’s move past that.
Let’s move on to the big “who are you, and what did you do with Blizzard” part of the whole thing.
What we supposedly have here are some of the real powerhouse artists and creative people in Blizzard going to another artist, one that works in chrome and steel, and commissioning two custom pieces of artwork inspired by World of Warcraft.
We’re talking the BIG TWO, here. Chris Metzen and Samwise Didier. These two guys are amazingly talented creative geniuses who have created something that has absorbed my free time and my life outside of family for over eight years.
But let’s not bullshit each other here. They are the heart of a company that is world famous for their mantra – “We’ll release it when it’s done.”
“When it’s done.”
Think about it. Before there was a crazed fan base or a WoW, there was a company named Blizzard that had made it’s bones by saying they wouldn’t release crap just to make a ship date. They’d release it when it was done and up to their standards, and if you want it you’ll just have to wait instead of playing some buggy half-assed shit pushed out the door to turn a fast buck.
So what are we getting here, from these creative giants that have spent years putting quality and artistic vision and excellence before bullshit ship dates and arbitrary deadlines?
In the second episode, we get “We gave you ten weeks when we first commissioned these bikes, but now we’re telling you you’ve only got five. Because fuck you it’s dramatic.”
What the flying fuck is that about? No explanation why.
Put episode one and two together, and what you get is, “Hey guys, glad you could come to this meeting where we are supposed to talk about the design sketches and concept art for what the bikes will look like. What’s that Paul Jr, you say you already have platforms made with frames and tires and shit? ALREADY? Wow, totally blown away. Oh, and I guess it’s a damn good thing you’re already that far along since surprise, we just cut your time in half, hahahaha fuckers.”
Either it’s all pre-scripted bullshit for artificially pumped up drama, “oh wow, impossible time to complete, impossible man, oh my god what’ll we do, oh wow.”
Or it’s all true, it’s not scripted and fake, and the time being cut really was a surprise for Paul Jr, and especially for his two build teams.
Probably not, but let’s pretend. Let’s pretend that it’s being honestly presented.
I’m not going to bitch about not adding more people to each team in the face of changed deadlines. In complex systems, adding more people to a project can actually make things take longer if the existing people have to take the time to train up the new people.
On the cynical side, if they brought ten more skilled craftsmen on board to complete the builds, where would we get the fake drama from? Also, how would we get to know the builder’s personalities if there was an army on the build? And we probably shouldn’t outsource components to other machine shops in the area that had extra waterjet or CNC capacity to make the deadline, because there isn’t much thrill in competently getting things done. Without raging around kicking things and whining about deadlines.
Regardless, we’re pretending that this is all honest and on the up and up.
WHAT THE FUCK are these two artists or Blizzard management in general doing going to another artist and telling them there is a deadline that must be reached and to hell with quality craftsmanship and beautiful art?
Blizzard setting arbitrary deadlines for another artist? Really? We don’t care if it’s ready or not, you have to make the ship date? REALLY?!?!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!
Either way, it’s got no heart.
Don’t get me started on Chris Metzen representing Alliance. Yeah, like he has ever, ever shown a preference for Alliance. Yep, when I think Alliance fanboy, I think Chris Metzen. Talk about scripted for TV.
It’s just a shame. I love me some OCC, I’ve enjoyed all the bike build shows that have been on for over a decade.I’m personally more a fan of Russell Mitchell and his Exile Cycles, when I finally buy one of my own that’s where I will go, but I still love all the build shows.
I still sit around the office with my maintenance crew and we’ll talk about some of the builds that Paul Sr and Paul Jr have done. I think the Dragon bike that OCC did was amazing, and showed what they could do when given a rough idea and were let loose.
Just, why? What benefit do you get from telling an artist working with chrome and steel that he has to rush it?
The carry away here really is, either the whole thing is completely fabricated made-up scripted bullshit, or they really did just tell an artist that the quality and craftsmanship of his final creations isn’t important, just throw some shit together in red and blue with spikes on so we can get this show pumped out to the fans.
Such a great idea for a collaboration and a show that had me so enthusiastic, and here it is I’ve watched episode two, and I’m laughing.
I’m laughing, but it’s not funny. It’s sad.
Holy crap Samwise, Metzen, you’re supposed to be living the dream! Making your own rules, having a blast, showing the world that the old labels of geek and nerd and all that other crap dumped on computer programmers and graphic artists is so last century, you’re fucking AWESOME, you’re Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta, you’re geniuses that have done it YOUR way and now you make the rules in the new world, you are the ones everyone else watches and tries to race to catch up to
This is what you come up with?
Is this really the best way you can think of to get the greatest custom Warcraft-themed bikes that ever were?
Because if you’re not trying to get the greatest goddamn custom bikes to fit your vision for Warcraft, what the hell is the POINT OF THE SHOW?!