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  1. #1

    [Lore]Blizzards big mistakes - When did it all start going wrong? And what caused it?

    To me, it seems dissatisfaction with the lore has been steadily growing a direct reversal from the incremental increases it got with the RTS series.

    Question is, can anyone pinpoint when the downtown actually started and what was the cause?

    Personally I feel the popularity of Warcraft has continued because of it's game playability, not because of its story, where the story was an asset and major attraction that spiced up the earlier series, it's often been a source of disappointment and let down - as to why? I'm not sure, but it has to be developments failure to take it as seriously as they do art, music and gameplay - which I feel was a major blunder.


    As for when it went downhill, i'm not so sure, I think the decision to make world of Warcraft continue the story of the franchise in TBC was the major turning point as the way they presented the game (i.e. it's format) was not the best to telling a good story, and they certainly didn't make the changes they needed to pull that part of the game off.

    Classic wow wasn't a story driven game, it was more sandbox, stories were local to zones and peoples for the most part as you were exploring the world of the RTS series that major events had happened. Departing from this is in TBC is where the error was made or refusing to seriously put effort into the main storyline - wow in TBC continued the zone stories, but the main storylines could never be brought out properly with the power they needed. The raids which were turned into the major focus points of the story themselves told no story where I feel if they had made raids into massive story telling events that pulled together the clues contained in the levelling zone quests, it could have worked as an alternative to an SWToR full on approach. But they never did, showing their dis-regard, and I feel it was the main thing.

    I think other key things that hurt the story happened when they made wow a 2 faction game instead of the 4 or 5 factions WC3 had (Alliance, Horde, Night elves, Undead and Illidari by the end of TFT), in wow they also eroded a lot of unique touches, like alliance warlocks, tauren druids (incl female druids and male NE priests), and also by making every thing in the game canon, things became ridiculous (hearthstones for example actually being a thing, and dying more or less becoming meaningless) - however these are smaller issues that better story development could have utilised to much greater effect or gotten around.

    Eager to hear what you think was the cause, and when you reckon it happened. I know some thing WotLK was the height of wow story telling, but it wasn't, it had many lame things about it, and the rot had already long started in my opnion. Legion imo had the best story telling for an expansion followed by MoP - in the way they told it in the game (not necessarily the quality of the story and it's plot although I also feel Legion wins that too). Still they are all patch jobs for a bad direction that started in TBC.

    If I were to do it again, I would have developed an actual RTS or single player game to tell TBC/WotLK and it would have been very different then introduced the expanded realms to World of Warcraft where you could explore the zones in the aftermath of the events yo had experienced. I would tie hand in hand, new single player or RTS game with an expansion.
    Last edited by ravenmoon; 2019-12-19 at 05:00 PM.

  2. #2
    To me it definitely went wrong in TBC, which is weird because it's so early and there has been good lore since in Wrath and MoP for instance.

    But TBC was definitely where WoW lost it's pseudo medieval fantasy label, and I get that it had to differentiate itself from Warhammer somehow, but I'm not a fan of the sci fi elements.
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  3. #3
    Pandaren Monk Rendark's Avatar
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    Warcraft never really had the best story ever told but it was good. Being made into a mmo hurt it a lot but i think the lore really started to die with WoD.

  4. #4
    I am Murloc! Soon-TM's Avatar
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    Well... BC was a huge mess story-wise, but it was (by then) just an isolated incident. Wrath was much better in that regard, although it did have its silly parts. Cata was a huge letdown (DW must be the worst written villain in the entire game), but MoP improved things quite a bit.

    But nothing jumped the shark harder than WoD and its AU/time travelling Orcs, and Legion was only marginally better imho. As for BfA... Well, it looks like they aren't even trying, other than shilling for Anduin and (in another sense) Sylvanas to hell and back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Danuser
    we created a story structure for Sylvanas that, on the surface, echoed many broad strokes of the road Garrosh took (...). These parallels were intentional. But it's within the nuance that we sought to show the story grow and change.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thage View Post
    BFA was about as nuanced as a golf club to the testicles/ovaries.

  5. #5
    It's all the Draenei's fault, if they made High Elves the race for Alliance in TBC everything would be fine.

  6. #6
    While every expansion prior had some debatable moments, I'd say WoD is when stuff really flew off the rails.
    Time travel without clear rule definitions that you consistently adhere to is always a bad idea. But then the blunders kept coming with :

    1. The potential for infinite Archimondes from a singular Legion (and no confirmation he was dead dead via blue Tweet even after fighting him in the Twisting Nether)
    2. Nearly countless retcons to established lore of Draenor/Rise of the Horde
    3. The elements of an alternate timeline planet silencing the Doomhammer on MU Azeroth because it was used to kill a guy who actively encouraged the torture of elements
    4. Yrel not actually helping when we need her in 7.0 but that being the send off message for the expansion
    5. Grommash's forgiveness
    6. Orcs being genocidal without cause - and then looking wholly different to what our orcs looked like when they drank the same demon's blood
    7. The Dark Portal's being powered by 3 dudes instead of 100s of draenei souls
    8. Cho'gall alluding to ...nothing plot wise
    9. Ner'zhul sucking and going down early like a chump for no reason
    10. "There is no AU Azeroth" - Gul'dan shown clearly talking to a Medivh
    11. Kargath just YOLO deciding to return to his place of torment and die in the arena his whole existence and identity was about escaping
    12. The Horde and Alliance immediately going back into war with each other over an ill-defined, irrelevant titan artifact that never affects the story
    13. Gronn being numerous, retarded, and subjugating exactly ZERO ogres
    14. Thrall never spoke to his "parents" about anything, or did and we weren't shown it or told about it (can't decide which is worse)
    15. But where are the rock flayers?
    16. Zones colliding to form "new" zones that resemble neither
    17. Based on his boss fight dialogue lines, Kil'rogg's vision of his death somehow predicted an alternate universe Alliance/Horde from another planet storming his demon infested citadel to murder him - and he seemed cool with that
    18. Where are all these damned goblins coming from? How did Garrosh get the plans for all this tech when he was locked-up prior to his arrival on Draenor? Did he use his time artifact to ferry over gobos from our timeline? If he could sporadically drag people over from MU, why did he need the Dark Portal? How is he paying them?
    19. Where are the mok'nathal? Is MU Rexxar like 70? Dude is fully grown and haggard in the AU 30 years prior to MU.
    20. How does Gul'dan "know" about Khadgar? Why does Khadgar describe having a past relationship with Gul'dan who he never met in the First or Second War?
    21. How is AU Garona here? Wasn't she the product of rape by orcs against Maraad's sister? But there is no AU Maraad, and those events/skirmishes between the Horde and Draenei didn't occur because Gul'dan was never calling the shots in AU.
    Last edited by Villager720; 2019-12-19 at 03:55 PM.

  7. #7
    The Lightbringer chrisisvacant's Avatar
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    The fantasy-tech-scifi vibe is my least fav aspect of WoW. It takes me right out of the story and I start wondering, "Why are we sitting here on a boat when we have space ships and mass teleports?"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Villager720 View Post
    1. The potential for infinite Archimondes from a singular Legion (and no confirmation he was dead dead via blue Tweet even after fighting him in the Twisting Nether)
    The Mythic version of the fight happens in the Nether, but we still see Archimonde alive, if barely, outside the Nether after the 'kill'.

    3. The elements of an alternate timeline planet silencing the Doomhammer on MU Azeroth because it was used to kill a guy who actively encouraged the torture of elements
    The elements of Draenor did not silence the Doomhammer. It was Thrall's own guilt over Garrosh that did so.

    7. The Dark Portal's being powered by 3 dudes instead of 100s of draenei souls
    No, they were still using draenei souls. Don't you recall seeing all those draenei and orc souls floating around, especially in the room with Gul'Dan? Plus the orcs and draenei you rescue from cages afterwards?

    16. Zones colliding to form "new" zones that resemble neither
    Draenor exploded. I'd say that changes the landscape a lil' bit.

    17. Based on his boss fight dialogue lines, Kil'rogg's vision oh his death somehow predicted an alternate universe Alliance/Horde from another planet storming his demon infested citadel to murder him - and he seemed cool with that
    All of Kil'rogg's clan are "cool" with their death. Remember Kil'rogg's father being 'ok' with making the Bleeding Hollow clan cower in a jungle, and himself withering in a tent until his son finally killed him?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Soon-TM View Post
    Well... BC was a huge mess story-wise, but it was (by then) just an isolated incident. Wrath was much better in that regard, although it did have its silly parts. Cata was a huge letdown (DW must be the worst written villain in the entire game), but MoP improved things quite a bit.

    But nothing jumped the shark harder than WoD and its AU/time travelling Orcs, and Legion was only marginally better imho. As for BfA... Well, it looks like they aren't even trying, other than shilling for Anduin and (in another sense) Sylvanas to hell and back.
    I think WoD's major sin wasn't really tiney wimey, but the fact the Legion, not something a bit more cosmic, can transcend time and space. And THIS is the only time they did it. So fucking stupid way to explain it like that.

  10. #10
    I am Murloc! Lord Pebbleton's Avatar
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    There's not a clear cut moment to be fair. It's the stupid main/side stories being forced in the game to justify expansions (TBC or WoD), bosses dying but not really, continuous and painful retcons, and the horrible choice of having the lore being told through different media (videogame/books).

    If you ask me who the Titans are, or why Azshara is a naga, my answer would differ from someone else's entirely, and we both would have been correct/wrong in a certain point in time. This is the exact opposite of good storytelling.

  11. #11
    For me it got worse when the game is focussing more on major characters rather than focussing on the world which is getting the most apparent since Cata. World building is very important in any huge fantasy world, a great example is Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Game of Thrones where events happen that shapes the whole world. An example is Ned Stark dying in Game of Thrones, everyone knew he was a major character, but the moment he died the show started to shake up all around the world with the Starks and Lannisters officially going to war. No character was safe from dying which is what made the show a lot more interesting. It got a lot worse in later seasons where they started to focus a lot more on their major characters (Jon Snow, Daenarys, Tyrion, Sanya, Arya) and the world got a much smaller role, which in return felt like it was a lot smaller.

    As bad as TBC stories were, at least it did some great world building with how they integrated the blood elves and draenei into the story (even if you dislike the retcons). WotLK had both great world building and stories. Even if you disagree while saying that they cartoonised Arthas a villain, at least he got a lot more exposure, build up and characterisation than you can say for most other villains. It started in Cataclysm where heroes like Thrall constantly get most of the spotlight and stories focussed on them. The new world shaping was done solely by the rule of cool, adding a lot of unnecesary parodies and have most zones be portrayed by Deathwings damage which would ofcourse not age well. I actually liked having expansions that didn't go that much into the stories of their major characters, but rather have more world building events like Classic had with the Ahn'Qiraj opening and Scourge invasion.

  12. #12
    Herald of the Titans Maljinwo's Avatar
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    Retconning their previous stablished lore to write 'Cool moments' has damaged it

    Even their supposed Ultimate guide is now a in-universe book somehow
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  13. #13
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Villager720 View Post
    While every expansion prior had some debatable moments, I'd say WoD is when stuff really flew off the rails.
    Time travel without clear rule definitions that you consistently adhere to is always a bad idea. But then the blunders kept coming with :

    1. The potential for infinite Archimondes from a singular Legion (and no confirmation he was dead dead via blue Tweet even after fighting him in the Twisting Nether)
    2. Nearly countless retcons to established lore of Draenor/Rise of the Horde
    3. The elements of an alternate timeline planet silencing the Doomhammer on MU Azeroth because it was used to kill a guy who actively encouraged the torture of elements
    4. Yrel not actually helping when we need her in 7.0 but that being the send off message for the expansion
    5. Grommash's forgiveness
    6. Orcs being genocidal without cause - and then looking wholly different to what our orcs looked like when they drank the same demon's blood
    7. The Dark Portal's being powered by 3 dudes instead of 100s of draenei souls
    8. Cho'gall alluding to ...nothing plot wise
    9. Ner'zhul sucking and going down early like a chump for no reason
    10. "There is no AU Azeroth" - Gul'dan shown clearly talking to a Medivh
    11. Kargath just YOLO deciding to return to his place of torment and die in the arena his whole existence and identity was about escaping
    12. The Horde and Alliance immediately going back into war with each other over an ill-defined, irrelevant titan artifact that never affects the story
    13. Gronn being numerous, retarded, and subjugating exactly ZERO ogres
    14. Thrall never spoke to his "parents" about anything, or did and we weren't shown it or told about it (can't decide which is worse)
    15. But where are the rock flayers?
    16. Zones colliding to form "new" zones that resemble neither
    17. Based on his boss fight dialogue lines, Kil'rogg's vision of his death somehow predicted an alternate universe Alliance/Horde from another planet storming his demon infested citadel to murder him - and he seemed cool with that
    18. Where are all these damned goblins coming from? How did Garrosh get the plans for all this tech when he was locked-up prior to his arrival on Draenor? Did he use his time artifact to ferry over gobos from our timeline? If he could sporadically drag people over from MU, why did he need the Dark Portal? How is he paying them?
    19. Where are the mok'nathal? Is MU Rexxar like 70? Dude is fully grown and haggard in the AU 30 years prior to MU.
    20. How does Gul'dan "know" about Khadgar? Why does Khadgar describe having a past relationship with Gul'dan who he never met in the First or Second War?
    21. How is AU Garona here? Wasn't she the product of rape by orcs against Maraad's sister? But there is no AU Maraad, and those events/skirmishes between the Horde and Draenei didn't occur because Gul'dan was never calling the shots in AU.
    Gawd. I knew WoD was messed up but holy cow have you shined a bright light on it. Yikes.
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  14. #14
    Making an MMO, especially one with 2 factions, definitely is what hurt the lore the most

  15. #15
    TBC. So pretty much right off the bat.
    Started with forced villains just because they were cool, and they were, no doubt. But it made little sense. And the continued with bringing them back, and then got worse with rehashing and retconning.

    Today the story just moves too slow and feels like you don't get much of a closure.

  16. #16
    For me, it began with Classic.

    Putting undead humans into the Horde was a mistake, Putting Night Elves into the Alliance was a mistake. Those two races watered the motive of both factions down so incredibly much that they basically stood for nothing with them. The Horde suiffred a lot more from this than the Alliance. While the Alliance could at least still say "Well...we all want to defend our homes, right?" the Horde in WoW never had ANYTHING they could agree on. This, imho, is the main cause for the PvP-imbalance, too, since the Horde has absolutely nothing it can stand for on its own it has to rely on "we are the faction that hates the Alliance!" and therefore by definition has to fall back to "We are just there to attack the other faction". it could not work. And it did not work.

    Putting those two races into the old, dusty shit-factions from WC1+2 also meant that Blizzard threw away all the things that made WC3 so beloved and better than WC1+2. They could have went ANYWHERE with new factions in WoW....and they decided for the worst possible combination.

    The idea of factions in WoW and how they work meant that they would never be able to actually tell a good story for all players.

    It was doomed to go to shit from the very start. Adding one of the most beloved Alliance-Races of the franchise to the Horde in TBC and a complete Retcon-Worldchampionship to the Alliance did not help, either.

  17. #17
    woah, I'm rather impressed at the quality of points given by @Nathasil, @McNeil and @Villager720 and i am in agreement with @Soon-TM @LarryFromHR , @Rendark, @Maljinwo, @kranur

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Paraka View Post
    I think WoD's major sin wasn't really tiney wimey, but the fact the Legion, not something a bit more cosmic, can transcend time and space. And THIS is the only time they did it. So fucking stupid way to explain it like that.
    That was grevious, especially how it almost meant nothing in Legion and played no discernable or definable nor remarkable part afterwards making seem just a bad cover up that story development later on proved un-necessary.

  18. #18
    The second the dident show the lore ingame and had to divide with their own bias.

  19. #19
    Every expansion had their seriously bad moments where Blizzard mishandled things.
    But WoD, with its "there is only one legion across all timelines" asspull, that's the point where a lot of things became unsalvageable.
    You can nitpick WoD, but that's probably true for every expansion, but the effects of this decision just fucks so many aspects of Warcraft lore.

    Blizzard should have just closed the book on WoD after it was over, no strings attached.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pebbleton View Post
    There's not a clear cut moment to be fair. It's the stupid main/side stories being forced in the game to justify expansions (TBC or WoD), bosses dying but not really, continuous and painful retcons, and the horrible choice of having the lore being told through different media (videogame/books).

    If you ask me who the Titans are, or why Azshara is a naga, my answer would differ from someone else's entirely, and we both would have been correct/wrong in a certain point in time. This is the exact opposite of good storytelling.
    Apparently Chronicles was supposed to fix that for us, but the mistakes were already there, what was worse was the lack of effort put to explain or even cover up the errors.


    It's not till Shadowlands they are sorting out the mess left in the after wake of previous expansions existing in the current timeline and how jarring that is for anyone trying to understand what's going on. . Wow for a long time ahs seemed to be like a wounded giant crawling forward, , it's leaking nearly as much as it is producing and no one trakes the lore seirously enough to fix the issues.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisisvacant View Post
    The fantasy-tech-scifi vibe is my least fav aspect of WoW. It takes me right out of the story and I start wondering, "Why are we sitting here on a boat when we have space ships and mass teleports?"
    Oh I remember wondering that myself, at Cata you really couldn't use the excuse taht "the old worlddoesn't update wtih the new content" any longer.


    But we see the same thing repeated over and over again, no one explaining why the Vindacaar doesn't play a role in BFA despite its power and effectiveness - very hard to take wow seriously outside button mashing,

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