MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft: Lore and Story Q&A
Update - That's all for WoW panels folks! Another huge recap is on its way and tons of previews based on the info we got there will follow, there was also an interesting post by Zarhym on new character models.
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Art Director Chris Robinson spoke on this just moments ago at the BlizzCon Open Q&A panel. It was in reply to an attendee who brought up that, in the art panel, it was explained that the pandaren model has 10 times the bone structures of the classic races, allowing for many more facial animations.

To paraphrase his statement -- which isn't too different from what I've said here on the forums before -- we absolutely plan on updating the existing models. As Chris mentioned, we want to make sure we preserve the look and feel of the original models players have come to know and love, while vastly improving their model and animation quality to be more in-line with the newer races.

We're not going to hide behind the statement that too many players will get mad if we tamper with their models, but it's a concern -- not a concern that's going to stop us from doing it, however. I want to stress as well that it's a massive undertaking to go back and do this. And to a lot of people it's something that won't be considered shiny new content. But not only do we hear the masses of players calling for this update, we really feel it's time to bring them up to par with newer models as well.

The game continues to age, but as we have no plans of slowing down on development any time in the near future, we want to keep updating and polishing it to stand the test of time (again, without sacrificing the look and feel which has brought players in over the years).
Update - Annnnd we're done.

World of Warcraft: Lore and Story Q&A
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
(Red Shirt Guy) Thanks for putting a representation of me in the game! In Gilneas, the questlines end with the strong feeling of to be continued and that we are going back, the only zone that had that feel was Hyjal and we went back there too. Are we going back to Gilneas too?
It would be fun to go back to Gilneas, its not on the cards right away but we just love the way the area feels. The zone has its very own story and it's a little hard to integrate to the rest of the world.

You did not mention a world PvP zone for MoP, maybe that could be the World PvP area for MoP?
The war between the Horde and Alliance will really heat up in Pandaria every patch, so we are looking forward to integrating that.

What happened to Arthas's body? What happened to Illidan's body? What about Kael'thas?
It is likely we will bring Illidan back, not so much for Kael'thas, he already had his come back. Arthas's body is somewhere but we don't really know where.

What is the motivation that the Pandaren have for fighting each other?
Something that is hard to get across in the demos is that the pandaren that live on the turtle have been seperated from the pandaren on the mainland for ages. Its almost like a splinter culture. They are the ones that you as players you are going to play. They are going out to the world. You can see these events in the 1-10 experience. By the time your Pandaren gets to 85/90 you have traveled the world fighting for the Aliance and Horde.

When the Pandaren meet eachother on the field they are more of WHATS UP instead of being pissed at eachother. They would probably be drinking beer right after. All the sort of anger, hatred and other negative energies become the Sha. It literally can come and bite you in the butt. They dont want to bring all that bad bagage into a fight. When a Pandaren fights he fights to reach a conclusion. When things are settled you take a beer.

You wrote the book Blood and Honor, are you planning on writing something else in the future?
Writing made me nervous and was exciting, it is different than the writing we have to do for the game but maybe one day I will do another.

This question is regarding Lordaeron, I want to know what happened to Arthas s sister, what happened to her?
We are thinking about it. We dont really have a plan but we have been talking about her forever. There were some hooks in the RPG line but no current plans. While thats on my mind, how many RPers are there in the audience?

We said the RPG line was non canonical but there are some really good bits in those books so all I would say that they are broadly non-canonical but there are lots of bits in there that we want to use. At some point we might put some project together to some ideas that we want to say yes or no on. Admiral Proudmore has some elf baby so that wont actually go through for example.

Why have characters like Krasus, Khadgar, and especially Rhonin that have been directly tied to the Black Dragonflight not been in Cataclysm?
A lot of time we'll have stories in the novel that feel like they should continue in the game but we decide to not include them in the game because it would be really hard to make everybody catch up on the whole story.

Whatever happened to the crown of menethil, or is that something we are going to find out about?
Terenas Crown? Legendary loot drop.

Tyrande was a strong character, but hasn't done anything much recently, why?
Thrall took an entire expansion to add in, we haden't gotten to him before that. Tyrande is the same way, we haven't gotten around to it yet. We don't intend on leaving her being a weak character, she will get her turn when we can get to it.

Jaina proudmoore will also get some love pretty soon. Thrall isn't done yet either, he isn't weak. Champion level Thrall is on the way.

This panel has said that Pandarians have no sense of hatred. How does it make sense for a Pandaren to be a Warlock, but not a druid?
If that is true, I do not like it. I usually get overruled when it comes to game design. These classes, Warlock, Deathknight are not choosing this life. If they can indeed roll Warlock, it is not impossible for them to not hate.

Why cant they roll Druid then? The bear as a bear argument is crap.
Monday morning we will yell at the design dudes. Pandaria was not there during the Sundering so I guess Cenarion was not there teaching them. I still think druids are out, that might change though.

Dragon Soul is inconsistent with a lot of lore or changes a lot of lore, how does that work?
Wait and see.

Arthas's mother was mentioned in the WotLK novel, there was never any mention to what happened to her. Was he a Mamas boy that he did not kill her?
We have not officially -made that up- yet, we have not crafted her fate. My impression from WC3 is that it works better if she would have died somewhere before the fall of Lordaeron. Killing Terenas is pretty striking, I just think it diminishes the moment if he goes on a Charlie Manson spree.

..or you kill her and you get a legendary crown. (Reference to earlier question) ... but probably not!

Is it safe to assume his mum was killed previously by Arthas' corruption?
It is something we need to talk about.

I just read the Sylvanas Windrunner short story, what happened to the Shards of Frostmourne?
It wasn't specifically adressed in the story, I don't think we've adressed it in the lore. Some very smart people in the lore picked these things up and took them somewhere safe and I imagine there might be some shenanigans one day, with some people trying to reforge it one day, and that's all I know about it ...

My question is about Algalon, he kind of goes into a mid-life crisis he seems to wonder how you can differ from the Titan plan, then he decides more than one hour a week to see what makes us tick. What is he up to? Are there more of his kind to see what he is up to?
We don't know, it wasn't addressed in the story or lore. We might see someone reforging it in the future. Good question.. hmm.. the whole titan storyline.. who those folks are, what they are doing in the universe. Are they still alive? Do they have a plan if the world goes south? The titan storyline throughout WoW is something that needs to play out during a long time. Its not like we will have titans in two expansions. They are from somewhere really exotic. Not sure how to leveraget them into the timeline again, I loved what we did with in WotLK and Cataclysm. Ill riff a little bit and tell you that there are things about TBC that I really really loved. Shattered planets in the sky and etherals running around.. but as we talked to the community people wanted to kill kobolds and stuff thats what fantasy means to them...

There is a part of me that just wants to launch into the universe. Are the titans still moving out there? Is the Burning Legion still out there? I want to go to Argus. How badass would it be if there was a shiny fleet of Draenei out there... oh technically thats Protoss. Its just a matter of feeling it out. We have a lot of time with this game. Let me just ask you all.. Is anyone here into the cosmic stuff?

*crowd goes YUUUUS* There is something about Azeroth that is unique within the cosmology and thats why its in the focus of this.

Do you have plans to resolve the Forsaken's strained place in the Horde?
We realize that it is unresolved, we are going to explore the fissures in the Horde more in the future

I love trolls. They are awesome. They are the best race ever created in WoW in my opinion. You gave us the new heroics and they were great and fun to play. But will we ever see a return of the troll empires?
*Chris looks like he got the best idea ever just now* If the troll tribes could ever unite, look out world! We are going to continue the troll storyline in MoP. We will probably actuallize the Zandalari. They are not done yet and they are crazy. They are being driven by something just now.

I like the serious parts of WoW, some comic elements are fun, but will MoP be all lighthearted or will we get some war and darker parts?
You haven't even seen them or the expansion yet, we went back 15,000 years when creating them. We created a rich history and they aren't a joke race. There is a lot of story behind them, we think they are awesome fighers. They love life, play hard, work hard, fight hard, sleep hard. We aren't building an expansion based on an April Fool's joke. The Pandaren had some nice artwork for a long time, we have been thinking about them forever. They aren't a joke, they aren't silly, just a little bit lighter. They are relaxed, but this is part of the growing war between Horde and Alliance. The Pandaren are going to be part of this story.

I read the shattering and the short story and Cairne Bloodhoof seems like he's walking the Sunwalker path.
It can go a lot of ways. The sunwalker thing, everybody had a fit when it came out. It just did not feel all that right. Sunwalker was an attempt to atleast try and realise the lore and make sure it would fit as well as it could fit and the quest designers did a good job figuring that out. I dont think its appropriate for a tauren leader, I like the idea that Baine and Cairne are not supernatural people, they are just Tauren. Im not a huge fan of making them a sunwalker. I dont think we have solid plans yet of where Baine was going to go.

Are we going to see more of the book's events in game ever?
Some big things are coming in Patch 4.3, really big. It completes a very large story. It has been hard to develop the story for the books in real time with WoW, that is why we talked a lot about the past. Moving forward we want to try and do some story in the books that is current with the game. Not everyone wants to go and read books and comics, they want the content in the game. Players feel cheated when it is in a book and not in the game, which is why big current events happen in game rather than in books.

The books provide more details, but we are going to try to get more of the books in game beyond just the big events.

Ive played Alliance for 7 years *crowd woos* you have done a wonderful job with the Horde story, and its really great but when it comes to Varian he is a boring and 1 dimensional characters. Does Alliance ever get to kick ass in WoW?
Heres the deal, part of the Thrall thing I have been pushing, I particularly love that character. I dont see that as a Horde issue but as a Thrall issue. Im biased. Heres what we are going to do: I dont know exactly where its going to drop, we are tyrying to get this for 5.0. Varian has the possibility to be a very awesome char. There will be a really awesome questline where Varian really shines out as a character. You will be his squire and will help Varian be an awesome character. And all the Alliance races WILL worship Varian as a true king.

The Alliance is going to need a king that has his shit together. We are going to need this for MoP. We owe the alliance big time! We are also going to explore the various relationships with Andruin (his son), before Christie Golden wrote the shattering we had no plans for Anduin. Its all thanks to Christie that Anduin has been such an important character.

We got some plans for that boy one day, so there you have it.

Are there any rules to the Val'kyr Resurrection of Sylvanas?
She had nine, used five so far, so there are only four left.

I brought my archive to sign for you. I have 10 Horde 85s on 1 server. One of each class. I have always had a soft spot for Tirion to kind of justify why I loved him so much. Now for my question, Neptulon in the Throne of Tides. What happened to him? Are we going to find out about his relationship to Ozumat?
Maybe we ill just leave that buried under the ocean. I have no good answer for that. What happens in the Throne of Tides stays in the Throne of Tides.

The new Lich King was awesome before, but once he became Lich King he hasn't done anything about the Scourge. Why not?
The Scourge and cult of the damned are independent of one another. The timeline is messy, if we could do it like a book the Scourge would have toned it down and things aren't as bad as they used to be. Clearly the quests are still in the game, it isn't something we can go back and fix right now. Someone picked up those Frostmourne fragments.

In the Gundrak dungeon there is an area with the stone sentinel guys, and if you look over the rig you see a huge snake tail. There is nothing that massive and snakey in .. its a Chris Metzen answer to just go well look into it so I brought a screenshot of it for Chris.
*Chris looks at snake tail*
Dude just showed you his snake, man. -Dave

That is not the thing that is driving the trolls. Its a super secret WoW storyline. Thrall is going to leave Aggra and start dating Jaina.. in all seriousness I have no idea what it is but its really awesome! Sometimes really awesome stuff shows up ingame and we scramble to explain what it is. Welcome to developing video games. We put the WHAT in WHAT.

How will the panda leadership work since they belong to both factions? Can the leader be voiced by Jack Black?
They don't really have leaders like the other factions. There are important pandas, representatives to each faction sure, but no single leader. No Jack Black voices, it isn't a panda movie. We were going to give Alliance pandas in Burning Crusade, but it didn't really fit. We have been serious about doing it for a long time, and it is a good thing we didn't do it then. We can do it much cooler and in a more interesting way now.
This article was originally published in forum thread: World of Warcraft: Lore and Story Q&A started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 164 Comments
  1. mickx's Avatar
    pandas pokemon and removing talent trees to save themselves balancing them for another 10 levels with resurrected bosses no truely explained dungeons or raids and alot of uncertainty.sounds like few months back they realised how good Guild wars 2 could potentially be and decided to rush release a new expac with a bunch of interns told to brainstorm ideas.glad i went casual in wotlk and then quit completely in cata once it was not getting better. It sucks wow is going the way it is it had such potential.
  1. fox1012's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by KungenTCG View Post
    Embarrassing amount of "lol we don't know what we're gonna do" in this.
    My thoughts exactly.
    I can't take the story in this game seriously.

    It's like everyone who in charge of the story of the game has left and is now working on Titan, and everyone left is just like "What do we do?? Any original ideas anyone? Oh okay, what dead cool villain can we bring back?"

    They're brining Illidan back?
    Oh god...
    I don't think I can, in good conscience, support this game.

    How about that Old Republic game, eh?
  1. Kelxin's Avatar
    Posted... didn't show up. Tried posting it again, said duplicate post. Been almost 24 hours, still no post?

    Edit: But then this post shows up instantly... wtf.

    Anywho, 3/4 of my 120 person guild has said the moment a panda steps foot in this game, they're cancelling their subscription and blacklisting every game bliz offers in the future including Diablo 3. If they're doing this to WoW, why wouldn't they do this to any other game also?
  1. Farabee's Avatar
    Metzen sounds like he just doesn't give a damn anymore. It's cool. Neither do we.

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