Thread: Ret-conning

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  1. #1

    Ret-conning

    Alright so i've heard this word thrown around a bit, and I'm kind of curious...is it still considered Ret-conning if lore changes due to a piece of information changing later in the story.

    Say for instance.

    Billy has an orange.

    Okay so Billy has an orange, so what?

    Later in the story you find out

    BUT little did Billy know, because he had never seen an orange before, he was actually holding a peach!

    I know this is a very basic example, but would that be considered ret-conning? Ive seen blizzard use plot twist like that and people say it's a ret-con, but to me it's just impossible for one character or any group of characters to know everything, so just because something happens later to contradict what was at the time considered "fact", doesn't mean that it was ret-conned, just means that the something changed.

  2. #2
    The unpleasant effect is the same as ret-conning. The reason you read lore is to learn the story. When the story is unreliable, that's unpleasant, no matter whether it's placed into characters' mouths, or relayed by the author directly.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Nomial17 View Post
    Say for instance.

    Billy has an orange.

    Okay so Billy has an orange, so what?

    Later in the story you find out

    BUT little did Billy know, because he had never seen an orange before, he was actually holding a peach.
    That's an example of possibly the best form of Retconning, though. That's a case of "we didn't just change things, the character had a certain flaw that left this door open."

    It's a "hide in plain sight" type of plot twist, more than anything.

  4. #4
    You bring up the point of perspective, which is a good one. When talking about points like "Did the Titans or Old Gods arrive first on Azeroth" or "Were Doomguards actually slaves to the Titans" we have sources that conflict, or have a very subjective opinion.

    The problem is, anything any NPC or source states in the game, is very easily seen as the truth, according to lore, rather than a statement from their own perspective.

  5. #5
    Probably, much of the retconning that's happened in WoW lore has to do with deity level backstory getting changes, stuff no mortal would really know; so I see why you'd ask.

    Genuine retconning does happen, such as with Garrosh's age, but generally they are things that could be explained by opacity of history or the victor writing the history books. Literally everything you read and hear in the titan ruins could be propaganda for example. Still, whatever changes are made, regardless of explanation, will be considered a retcon by someone.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TheWindWalker View Post
    That's an example of possibly the best form of Retconning, though. That's a case of "we didn't just change things, the character had a certain flaw that left this door open."

    It's a "hide in plain sight" type of plot twist, more than anything.
    Right so that's kind of another thing. Does ret-conning depend on how the information is changed later, not just that the information itself is changed, or does it have more to do with where the information came from (you may except an God like entity to know more about things than a mortal, so "correcting" a god may seem less believable)

  7. #7
    Whether it's "really" a retcon, IMO, depends on whether it was planned or not. If Billy had always been holding a peach and, looking back, you can see the clues to that - no, that's just a regular ol' plot twist. But if it was tacked on post-hoc to try to fit things together, it's a retcon.

    It's also important to note that retcons are bad because they tend to be symptoms of poor planning and/or they fuck up other parts of the story that depended on them. Not all changes that technically qualify as retcons are horrible transgressions; sometimes they even end up being a good thing.

  8. #8
    Changing of the accepted lore is always a retcon. It isn't given the negative connotation of a retcon however until someone dislikes or disagrees with the lore change.
    Last edited by Xeraxis; 2013-09-01 at 06:19 AM.

  9. #9
    Scarab Lord Moon Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomial17 View Post
    BUT little did Billy know, because he had never seen an orange before, he was actually holding a peach!
    but the way blizz does retcon, Billy would've seen an orange, tasted said orange and said it was citrusy but then because they just feel like it, decide to say "it was actually a peach, and Billy just made shit up"
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Elodeon View Post
    The unpleasant effect is the same as ret-conning. The reason you read lore is to learn the story. When the story is unreliable, that's unpleasant, no matter whether it's placed into characters' mouths, or relayed by the author directly.
    Actually a lot of people liked the unreliable narrator trope because it adds a bit of depth and realism to the story. Why should everything the character's say be true? So I didn't mind say the Draenei retcon because it was ancient history from a different planet that really didn't affect the game too much at the time so it kind of made sense that we were wrong.

  11. #11
    I see some pretty good perspectives here, and I'm enjoying that. I find that ret-con isn't a bad thing to do, it has this big negative connotation because it might mean bad planning, but it also might mean something better came along and things need to be tied together. Not always great, but the end product can be great if you dont look at the change in lore as a mistake.

  12. #12
    It depends. If the writer had originally intended for the orange to actually be a peach, it's not a retcon. If the orange was originally meant to be an orange, but the writer later decided it would suit the story better if it were a peach (for whatever reason), that's a retcon.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by hrugner View Post
    Genuine retconning does happen, such as with Garrosh's age, but generally they are things that could be explained by opacity of history or the victor writing the history books. Literally everything you read and hear in the titan ruins could be propaganda for example. Still, whatever changes are made, regardless of explanation, will be considered a retcon by someone.
    As far as we know, Garrosh's age was never changed. He is called "young" as a reminder of his inexperience, not of his actual age.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Blade View Post
    but the way blizz does retcon, Billy would've seen an orange, tasted said orange and said it was citrusy but then because they just feel like it, decide to say "it was actually a peach, and Billy just made shit up"
    The only real retcons I can think of in this vein within the Warcraft universe were the orcs' background in Warcraft 3 (even then there had been seeds of that planted as far back as the WC2 manual), the draenei-eredar connection, the Thrall vs. Garrosh duel pre-Wrath and Garona's species.

    Otherwise, it's usually a case of in-universe inconsistency because we see things from the perspectives of different PoV characters, or sometimes an explanation of previous events that doesn't actually go against the old lore.



  15. #15
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    butt hurt players say ret con as a means to try and justice there sensitive selves of taking on whats happening.

    We all know where this is coming from, butt hurt garrosh fans actually think there beloved garrosh has been ret conned, despite the fact the devs have told them all that he's not, this is just his natural character flow, the bad seed was always there, and said players just convinced themselves of otherwise because they have a poor understanding of character.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Tauror View Post
    As far as we know, Garrosh's age was never changed. He is called "young" as a reminder of his inexperience, not of his actual age.
    So he's just being casually insulted on a regular basis? I guess I like that more than thinking of it the other way.

  17. #17
    Fluffy Kitten Lokann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrugner View Post
    So he's just being casually insulted on a regular basis? I guess I like that more than thinking of it the other way.
    Mostly I reckon it's because he's after all still rather new to leadership, plus he's always seen as Grom Junior (which is one of the major reasons for his fall).

    Then again, Thrall would also still be considered a fairly young adult, though after Grom died noone's really called him as such.



  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by hrugner View Post
    So he's just being casually insulted on a regular basis? I guess I like that more than thinking of it the other way.
    Like Lokann said, he is new to leadership and the "young" always come from elder Horde members.

    The latest source of Garrosh's age that we have is the Beyond the Dark Portal novel and there is no indication there of Garrosh's age being changed.

  19. #19
    Saw title, thought thread was about scamming Paladins. Disappointed.
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  20. #20
    Ret-Conning is bascially someone queuing for LFR as holy and then switching to ret just before the boss pull.

    I think the comments already posted will support this.

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