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. Eggroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Elune-life-nature View Post
    No, it is not a problem. The maximum thing that an Alliance player would do is to get mad and whine but they would still fill the company's pockets with cash. So no big deal.
    Not so sure about that...
  1. Boo Radley's Avatar
    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.
    I had to balk at this comment, because Rowling is famously regarded as a scumbag nowadays for not stopping at book seven and trying to milk her series for woke points, and even the usual whales arent having it. So yes, she is regarded as a writer who was not but is now bad because she did something the fans dont like.

    Not a bad comment, just one bad example in the comment. No offense meant, carry on.
  1. Amnaught's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by OneWay View Post
    Yes I do. The tons of unanswered questions in the game right now makes perfect sense, as it did in any expansion before.
    Right, like how they answered the questions of why Grommash is on our side, or how timelines work, or why there isn't an alt-Argus/Archimonde?

    Lore skimping is what killed WoD for me, I like lore and I like reasons for things happening beyond "Draenor is freeeeee!"

    Plot holes break immersion. And that's exactly what these are.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I had to balk at this comment, because Rowling is famously regarded as a scumbag nowadays for not stopping at book seven and trying to milk her series for woke points
    But how else were we supposed to know that Nagini was an amalgam of Asian-people stereotypes and also people at Hogwarts used to not have bathrooms and just go wherever and then magically vanish the evidence?
  1. Al Gorefiend's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I had to balk at this comment, because Rowling is famously regarded as a scumbag nowadays for not stopping at book seven and trying to milk her series for woke points, and even the usual whales arent having it. So yes, she is regarded as a writer who was not but is now bad because she did something the fans dont like.

    Not a bad comment, just one bad example in the comment. No offense meant, carry on.
    I haven't seen all the Harry Potter movies so I didn't realize.
  1. OneWay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Amnaught View Post
    Right, like how they answered the questions of why Grommash is on our side, or how timelines work, or why there isn't an alt-Argus/Archimonde?

    Lore skimping is what killed WoD for me, I like lore and I like reasons for things happening beyond "Draenor is freeeeee!"

    Plot holes break immersion. And that's exactly what these are.
    Unlock Mag'har orcs. If you have already, then it's on you if you don't understand what is going on.
  1. Amnaught's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by OneWay View Post
    Unlock Mag'har orcs. If you have already, then it's on you if you don't understand what is going on.
    I have. There is still no explanation. Grom’s daughter just says there were years of peace or whatever and then Yrel broke it. There was no reason for peace between the maghar and draenei
  1. Niwes's Avatar
    do that 2 lore developers REALLY believe that shit they are talking ?

    brutally hillarious...
  1. AxellSlade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoy View Post
    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 days and sometimes weeks in advance.
    • Story in Battle for Azeroth
      • Zekhan was not planned to be in Old Soldier as Saurfang's counterpart, but when players fell in love with him.
    • Cinematics and Cutscenes
      • The Terror of Darkshore cutscene was a moment to show we have no idea where we are going with the story.
    • Storytelling
      • help
    I fixed that for you Blizzard.
  1. spalernTJ's Avatar
    Glad I jumped ship 3-4 months ago... Final Fantasy XIV has suuuch a good story going for it... I had forgotten what it was like to play an MMO with story and RPG elements.
  1. Honeyprime'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!

    Well, I heard the word "meaningful" alot, and, uh..........?. Didn't get much else out of it really. Feel like I kind of wasted my time.

    And here I thought this was actually going to be a Q&A. Sometimes I have to shake my head and agree with others that Blizzard seems to be out of touch sometimes.
  1. vipers's Avatar
    The in game story is planned out months and sometimes years in advance.

    But hey lets blame everything to Christie Golden what is wrong on BFA
  1. lockybalboa's Avatar
    My six year old son could write a better story than these jokers
  1. Razzako's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mmoc1d86f7839b View Post
    Glad I jumped ship 3-4 months ago... Final Fantasy XIV has suuuch a good story going for it... I had forgotten what it was like to play an MMO with story and RPG elements.
    IMO, it is as horrible as BFA is.
  1. Zulkhan's Avatar
    Seriously, what the hell that was supposed to be? Not a "Q&A" for sure. What's the fucking point of asking questions among themselves while showing the most embarassing display of self-gratification ever witnessed during these events? I only managed to resist until the thirtieth minute then I just gave up. What a waste of time.
  1. Varleen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Amnaught View Post
    I have. There is still no explanation. Grom’s daughter just says there were years of peace or whatever and then Yrel broke it. There was no reason for peace between the maghar and draenei
    Or why should we feel sad for Grom's death. I mean, the guy deserved it.
  1. spalernTJ's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Razzako View Post
    IMO, it is as horrible as BFA is.
    Feel free to have your opinion. For me personally, FF XIV blows current WoW out of the water. More fun Class design, more engaging storytelling, especially the expansions; Heavensward and Stormblood, the freedom of activity, the lack of RNG-Inception, more engaging music, especially on many boss fights. My guess is you haven't even finished Realm Reborn.
  1. Razzako's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by spalernTJ View Post
    Feel free to have your opinion. For me personally, FF XIV blows current WoW out of the water. More fun Class design, more engaging storytelling, especially the expansions; Heavensward and Stormblood, the freedom of activity, the lack of RNG-Inception, more engaging music, especially on many boss fights. My guess is you haven't even finished Realm Reborn.
    I've finished it but for some reason I couldn't get engaged as other people. The game feels too instanced at times, it had some good moments but that's actually how I'd describe the game. I love Dragoons though, the classes were well thought out.

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