Story and Lore Developer Live Stream
Cinematic Project Director Terran Gregory and Senior Game Designer Steve Danuser sat down to discuss the story and lore of World of Warcraft!


  • The Process
    • The in game story is planned out months and sometimes years in advance.
    • Cinematics have always functioned as an important point in a story in Blizzard games' history, and it started with the Wrathgate in WoW.
    • The game can create good ambient story, but cinematics shine in telling the more emotional story points.
  • Story in Battle for Azeroth
    • Bfa was a good opportunity to bring Jaina back into the story and develop all the different experiences she has had throughout the story.
    • People have strong feelings about the state of the Horde right now, and the conflict allows good storytelling and depth to develop.
    • The two philosophies of honor and conquest is the core of the ongoing story within the Horde.
    • Zekhan was already planned to be in Old Soldier as Saurfang's counterpart before players fell in love with him.
    • Bwonsamdi was influenced a lot by how his voice actor embodied him.
    • Christie Golden wrote the dialogue for the Bwonsamdi and Rastakhan cinematic.
    • There will be a lot more interaction between Talanji and Bwonsamdi going forward.
    • Flynn was super fun to develop as a counterpart to Talia.
  • Cinematics and Cutscenes
    • Prior cinematics were pretty self contained, but as the story has progressed, a lot of cinematics have bridged to the next.
    • The team has weekly meetings where multiple departments discuss the cinematics being developed and how to improve them.
    • Cataclysm was when a lot of the new cutscene technology was developed and this is why there are a lot of in game scenes (Uldum) because they team had a new toy that they ran wild with.
    • The Terror of Darkshore cutscene was a moment to show the ferocity of the night elves seen in past games.
  • Customization
    • The night warrior customization was a way for players to support Tyrande's transformation and vengeance for Teldrassil.
    • Golden eyed Blood Elves was a story choice to represent the light's role in the cleansing of the Sunwell.
  • Storytelling
    • The team wanted to let the player have some agency in the direction of the Horde and not just watching it develop.
    • Perspective has a major role in storytelling. There can be a difference between a character making a mistake and a write making one.
    • The Saurfang quest is not necessarily fundamentally changing the questing system of the game, but it was a moment to add meaningful choices to the story.
    • Choices will be used when it makes sense to create a more invested story.
    • The payoff for your choices will be meaningful.
    • There are moments in the Battle for Dazar'alor that haven't been seen yet. Terran showed off his Mekkatorque shirt with a "hint hint" when he said this.
    • Olds Gods and Azshara are coming!
    • The war between the Horde and Alliance will culminate in something deep and meaningful.
    • There is so much passion and love for the characters on the team and they want to do right by them.
    • Christie Golden coming on board was a huge win for the story team.
    • The team hopes that when Battle for Azeroth's story concludes and the "last funeral pyre is lit" players will have seen it as a great story that changed the world of Azeroth.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Story and Lore Developer Live Stream started by Stoy View original post
Comments 155 Comments
  1. TOM_RUS's Avatar
    Most useless stream of the year!
  1. Shinrael's Avatar
    Lol imagine if that slip up at the beginning wasn't scripted xD
  1. Eazy's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    The in game story is planned out months and sometimes years in advance.
    Months. I think that sometimes it's even weeks.

    When I said that people laughed at me saying that Blizzard is writing lore ONLY YEARS before.
    I've shown the proof, like the Garrosh dying in the SOO and people still didn't believe me.

    I think that Blizz is just acting to what playerbase likes(and even changing dramatically quests in the PTR etc.), which makes it even worse, instead of trying to make a nice coherent story. And yes, I think that's wrong, imagine Tolkien publishing his first book and then listen to the fans all over the world and use their ideas/try to get as many readers as possible... That would be massive failure.
  1. Exeris's Avatar
    "The in game story is planned out months and sometimes years in advance."

    Months? explains a little why it's such a mess.
  1. Cavox's Avatar
    The in game story is planned out months and sometimes years in advance.
    I want that to sink in.
    Someone greenlighted months/years in advance this godawful, shallow, stupid story in WoW.
    These people are being paid absurd money for this mess.
  1. Theangryone's Avatar
    If it was actually planned out, the Darkshore questline culminating with the Malfurian cutscenes would have been linear and made sense.
  1. Skildar's Avatar
    maybe I expected something else for this panel, but I'm a bit disappointed
  1. Villager720's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy View Post
    I've shown the proof, like the Garrosh dying in the SOO and people still didn't believe me.
    What are you referring to?
  1. tripleh's Avatar
    Omg they won't shut up and address some of the issues. There just talking about working with there other co workers. .
  1. Psygon's Avatar
    More details plox
  1. GhostPanini's Avatar
    The verbal masturbation from these guys is sickening.
  1. Bigby's Avatar
    I didn't think these things could get any worse than Ion's, but at least Ion made a very poor attempt at answering questions.

    This is just an hour of these two about one step away from sucking each another off live.

    >DUDE OUR STORY IS GREAT
    >WOAH WE HAVE SO MANY GREAT WRITERS
    >DUDE [Character] IS SO COOL
    >AH YES I LOVE [CHARACTER] TOO
    >AND [Character] IS EPIC TOO
    >YESSS I LOVE [Character]
    >WE'VE GOT SO MANY COOL THINGS COMING FOR [Character]
    >AND DON'T FORGET HOW AWESOME [Character] IS
    >YES, VOICED BY [Voice Actor]
    >NOT FORGETTING THE EPIC EVENTS OF TIDES OF VENGEANCE
    >HAHA NO SPOILERS THOUGH
    >ESPECIALLY THE STUFF WITH [Character]
  1. Louz's Avatar
    "Talanji is an example of freshly introduced character that turned out well" :^)
  1. Aeula's Avatar
    So not details, just them gushing over how 'great' they are? What was the point of this?
  1. Nerovar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigby View Post
    I didn't think these things could get any worse than Ion's, but at least Ion made a very poor attempt at answering questions.

    This is just an hour of these two about one step away from sucking each another off live.

    >DUDE OUR STORY IS GREAT
    >WOAH WE HAVE SO MANY GREAT WRITERS
    >DUDE [Character] IS SO COOL
    >AH YES I LOVE [CHARACTER] TOO
    >AND [Character] IS EPIC TOO
    >YESSS I LOVE [Character]
    >WE'VE GOT SO MANY COOL THINGS COMING FOR [Character]
    >AND DON'T FORGET HOW AWESOME [Character] IS
    >YES, VOICED BY [Voice Actor]
    >NOT FORGETTING THE EPIC EVENTS OF TIDES OF VENGEANCE
    >HAHA NO SPOILERS THOUGH
    >ESPECIALLY THE STUFF WITH [Character]
    lol this comment is 10/10
  1. Sentynel's Avatar
    30 minutes in and they're still sucking each other's dick bright and shiny. Jeez.
  1. Al Gorefiend's Avatar
    IIT: expect lots of "Blizzard are bad writers! I don't like the story!"

    Remember when J K Rowling and George R R Martin became awful writers when they did something the fans didn't like? No. Exactly.
  1. Bigby's Avatar
    If nothing else, this stream reinforces what's wrong with Blizzard's writing team. They genuinely think the stuff they write is amazing, as if WoW's popularity as a game somehow confirms they must love the story by proxy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Gorefiend View Post
    IIT: expect lots of "Blizzard are bad writers! I don't like the story!"

    Remember when J K Rowling and George R R Martin became awful writers when they did something the fans didn't like? No. Exactly.
    George and JK don't cram their stories with massive, glaring plot holes that are completely ignored, randomly retcon events, have character's entire personalities evaporate to fit their story on the fly, etc.
  1. Smallfruitbat's Avatar
    I don't know why I held out any hope that this would be worth watching. Basically, everything is great story, actors, directors and they group hug every week.
  1. Izzyfurious's Avatar
    People expected this would be decent?

    Thats why so many in here are so dissapointed. When you finally stop believeing your expectations of this Vlog like stuff from them is gonna be fulfilled. You will be much less dissapointed, angry!

    STOP EXPECTING THESE TO BE DECENT!

    THEY WILL NEVER BE.

    Learn from the past ones what a majority said of those in general. Do not expect it to be different, or you will be dissapointed over and over again.

    Freaking humans... we never learn -.-

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