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 157 Comments
  1. Deventh's Avatar
    This has to be the worst 1 hour wasted in anyone's life. I feel sorry for people who were present during this. Holy shit, Blizzard... get your goddamn shit together. This is a disaster.
  1. Amaterasu65's Avatar
    They could have easily talked about some stuff in Azshara patch. Teasing etc... I don't understand anymore. Why don't they want us to love the game?
  1. RushRush's Avatar
    First people cry Blizzard is showing no passion, now we see two people actually showing passion and talking with glee about what they do and people complain about that..



    I do wonder why they had us submit questions though.. oh well.
  1. RangerDaz's Avatar
    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

    Ill be waiting to see if this comes true lol... or if it just becomes another lore disappointment
  1. Nathasil's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by RangerDaz View Post
    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

    Ill be waiting to see if this comes true lol... or if it just becomes another lore disappointment
    Especially when you consider these are the same guys who built up Grommash as a genocidal ass in WoD, just to brush his ENTIRE story to the side and let him join the good guys in the end with no repercussions for ANYTHING he did.

    Going by that we will probably fight Sira+Delaryn as the final Boss of BFA, Sylvanas is on our side and the final scene is her asking to the camera: "How could any of this even happen...?"
  1. evaline's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy View Post
    [blizzquote]I've shown the proof, like the Garrosh dying in the SOO and people still didn't believe me.
    But Garrosh didn't die in SoO?
  1. Oneirophobia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathasil View Post
    Especially when you consider these are the same guys who built up Grommash as a genocidal ass in WoD, just to brush his ENTIRE story to the side and let him join the good guys in the end with no repercussions for ANYTHING he did.

    Going by that we will probably fight Sira+Delaryn as the final Boss of BFA, Sylvanas is on our side and the final scene is her asking to the camera: "How could any of this even happen...?"
    I suppose Grommash eventually got what was coming to him, it just took the Draenei 30 some-odd years. They used the Orcs to help them rid Draenor of any demonic corruption, and then they turned on the Orcs. Not with genocide of course, the Draenei wouldn't lower themselves like the Orcs had, but with a choice: join or perish.

    And so, some Orcs joined, but the majority perished. A sizable few escaped to Azeroth, but in time they will face justice. Grommash paid for his crimes and Yrel planted a hammer firmly in his forehead.
  1. Lady Velvet's Avatar
    If the current in game story is the product of years or months of planning, then Blizzard is indeed pathetic and incompetent.
  1. Maxrokur's Avatar
    What the fuck did I just watch?
  1. Arainie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostPanini View Post
    The verbal masturbation from these guys is sickening.
    Thats how I feel about the MMOC whine.
  1. Gref's Avatar
    Wasn't this supposed to be lore Q&A? Where is the lore? I don't even ... wth?
  1. Ophenia's Avatar
    The war between the Horde and Alliance will culminate in something deep and meaningful.
    Something deep and meaningful like, let's band together against the Old Gods ?

    Nobody believes the lore is written "months" in advance though. Kargath's death back in WoD is something that appeared after the Raid Testing, so at best, weeks
  1. Cavox's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Velvet View Post
    If the current in game story is the product of years or months of planning, then Blizzard is indeed pathetic and incompetent.
    This.
    They're either:
    1) Lying
    2) Incompetent

    Also I love the Blizzard Defense Force™ in this thread, like there's something to actually defend. This shit is pathetic, go play some other games and see some quality that's long gone from WoW. Stop being blind fanboys of a company that does NOT give a shit about you.
  1. Danuel's Avatar
    The war between the Horde and Alliance will culminate in something deep and meaningful
    Nah. It won't happen.
  1. Eazy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Villager720 View Post
    What are you referring to?
    Quote Originally Posted by evaline View Post
    But Garrosh didn't die in SoO?
    They said that Garrosh is going to die in SoO, but that didn't happen. (interview in chinese Q&A or something like that, it's official because it was from the people from Blizzard, it's on youtube)

    My speculation: they knew MoP was a good expansion, so they used a filler one(WoD) to prolong the game.

    EDIT:


    Found it!
  1. Emerelle's Avatar
    There are no black eyes. Just one Skin-Colour including black eyes. There are also no golden eyes, just a few (i guess, since i don't play h*rde) Skin-Colours including golden eyes. Looks als lazy as Tatoos worked into Skin-Colours for some allied races. I'm disappointed.
  1. OneWay'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]
    You jelly because you don't get it?
  1. RangerDaz's Avatar
    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.


    Cinematics, music and art design are currently the only top-notch stuff of the game. Please Blizzard, don't let these people go, they are awesome. (I don't feel the same way about Ion LOL)

    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.


    I love new costumizations, which is probably one of the few things they did well in Battle for Azeroth.
    My Night Elf druid as gone full Elune, while my Blood Elf priest has infused itself in the Sunwell's light.

    Love the racial heritages as well! I wish getting the heritages from allied races wasn't such a pain in the a%$& to acquire... They should be acquired like the Dwarf and Blood Elf ones are today.


    PS: I won't forget your promise about the Grand Finale for Battle for Azeroth ... but i'm sure i'll be disappointed again lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathasil View Post
    Especially when you consider these are the same guys who built up Grommash as a genocidal ass in WoD, just to brush his ENTIRE story to the side and let him join the good guys in the end with no repercussions for ANYTHING he did.

    Going by that we will probably fight Sira+Delaryn as the final Boss of BFA, Sylvanas is on our side and the final scene is her asking to the camera: "How could any of this even happen...?"
    What they did to Grommash in WoD was cringy as hell.
    The best thing they should have done was let him die an honorable death and let Durotan lead the newly united Iron Horde in peace with the Draenei.
    (Why did they even kill Durotan in the new Mag'har storyline??)
  1. Amnaught's Avatar
    So no actual explanations for anything in the lore, then? At all? Sira says ingame "Now is not the time for those discussions" in regards to why any forsaken night elves would side with their murderers. When the fuck is it time? This story makes no sense and if it's just left like that then I think I'm done.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by OneWay View Post
    You jelly because you don't get it?
    Let's be real -- do you?

    There are tons of unanswered questions in the game right now that look like they'll never actually be answered because "it's not part of the story we want to tell", and this is the perfect excuse for any clarification at all on those fronts. And it's not happening, because they'd rather circlejerk on how "awesome" the story is right now. It's not, it's bullshit.
  1. FuxieDK's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Louz View Post
    "Talanji is an example of freshly introduced character that turned out well" :^)
    That remains to be seen, if she follows her father's path, or if she also turn traitor..

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