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  1. #1

    So how do we classify WoW at this point? Fantasy? SciFi? Hybrid?

    There can be an argument made that Warcraft was never in-fact classic fantasy, given the complex machines from WC2-3, but overall, the themes and tropes still aligned with the classic style of fantasy.

    WoW maintained the fantasy style of play for a while. BC introduced us to space travel, MoP/WoD industrialized warfare and Legion, well Legion we were launching from our intergalactic space ship to land planet side to take on demons.

    How would you describe the thematic / genre style of WoW to someone who hasn't played?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Adeptus Astartes View Post
    There can be an argument made that Warcraft was never in-fact classic fantasy, given the complex machines from WC2-3, but overall, the themes and tropes still aligned with the classic style of fantasy.

    WoW maintained the fantasy style of play for a while. BC introduced us to space travel, MoP/WoD industrialized warfare and Legion, well Legion we were launching from our intergalactic space ship to land planet side to take on demons.

    How would you describe the thematic / genre style of WoW to someone who hasn't played?
    Apparently there's a thing called Science Fantasy, so I guess it kinda fits there.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_fantasy

  3. #3
    Elemental Lord GreenJesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfang View Post
    Apparently there's a thing called Science Fantasy, so I guess it kinda fits there.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_fantasy
    The problem is that once the Legion is gone, Blizzard tries to pretend the science stuff doesn't exist anymore. Just look at the Lordaeron assault for example. Humans all lined up nicely with their swords and shields, with giant Lord of the rings cannons being held off by orcs with axes and undead with bows and arrows. Meanwhile, last expansion we had teleport pads going from our spaceship and we had giant particle beam cannons. Blizzard isn't consistent with what genre they want WoW to be so this question is pointless. It's whatever Blizzard wants it to be in that moment.
    Last edited by GreenJesus; 2020-10-13 at 04:37 PM.

  4. #4
    Steampunk Magic Fantasy

  5. #5
    wow is not remotely scifi, scifi implies some kind of science tech. at best it's fantasy with steam punk influences

  6. #6
    Scarab Lord
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    It's Epic Fantasy or High Fantasy, if we're talking fantasy subgenre.

    Having steampunk or magitech elements doesn't make it not fantasy, and it doesn't have nearly enough science to be science-fantasy, and it also consistently chooses to turn away from embracing science-fantasy elements.

    The original question is "how would you describe it to someone who hasn't played", and it's quite clear the answer is "fantasy", or, if they know a fair bit about fantasy subgenres (most people do not) - high fantasy or epic fantasy.

    Shadowlands looks like it's going to be a particularly epic-fantasy-esque expansion, and I'm not seeing any science-y elements at all. One might argue, that as an expansion, Legion was basically science-fantasy, but it's an aberration, and no other expansion has leaned that way.

    Worth noting for the OP that Warhammer 40K is science-fantasy, not sci-fi, and it always has been (though it was a grimier, less extreme kind back in the Rogue Trader days).
    Last edited by Eurhetemec; 2020-10-13 at 04:47 PM.

  7. #7
    Fantasy. Much like Final Fantasy, the Fantasy genre does not require that the universe is setup in the traditional Tolkien style. It still has most of the general fantasy elements: Dwarves & Orcs, Elves & Archery, Swords & Magic, Fantastic new creatures that potentially could exist in our reality, multiple realms beyond the modern realm. WoW does stretch into some Sci-Fi & Steampunk on occasion, but otherwise it fits nicely into the fantasy genre.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardonis View Post
    wow is not remotely scifi, scifi implies some kind of science tech. at best it's fantasy with steam punk influences
    Did you not played TBC or Legion?

  9. #9
    The Lightbringer Nordheim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wardonis View Post
    wow is not remotely scifi, scifi implies some kind of science tech. at best it's fantasy with steam punk influences
    What do you call Legion space ships? Steampunk?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    The problem is that once the Legion is gone, Blizzard tries to pretend the science stuff doesn't exist anymore. Just look at the Lordaeron assault for example. Humans all lined up nicely with their swords and shields, with giant Lord of the rings cannons being held off by orcs with axes and undead with bows and arrows. Meanwhile, last expansion we had teleport pads going from our spaceship and we had giant particle beam cannons. Blizzard isn't consistent with what genre they want WoW to be so this question is pointless. It's whatever Blizzard wants it to be in that moment.
    Its a mix between steampunk and a few other genres.

    It would be incredibly stupid of Blizzard to do away with a genre that has worked very well with them for over 15 years because you dont think they are conssistent enough.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordheim View Post
    What do you call Legion space ships? Steampunk?
    They're a science-fantasy element within a high fantasy or epic fantasy game. A huge amount of just general fantasy has flying ships of some kind in it. Legion was the most science-fantasy expansion we've had.

    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicPeon View Post
    Its a mix between steampunk and a few other genres.

    It would be incredibly stupid of Blizzard to do away with a genre that has worked very well with them for over 15 years because you dont think they are conssistent enough.
    I think that's not quite right because steampunk isn't the main focus. It's just in the mix. The main focus is straight-up high fantasy or epic fantasy, with steampunk or magitech stuff pretty often getting into the mix, but usually in a small role.

    Agree re: them not changing though - what they have clearly works.

  12. #12
    Wow is a game set in a fantasy universe..

    there you go

  13. #13
    High Science Fantasy

  14. #14
    Elemental Lord GreenJesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurhetemec View Post
    They're a science-fantasy element within a high fantasy or epic fantasy game. A huge amount of just general fantasy has flying ships of some kind in it. Legion was the most science-fantasy expansion we've had.



    I think that's not quite right because steampunk isn't the main focus. It's just in the mix. The main focus is straight-up high fantasy or epic fantasy, with steampunk or magitech stuff pretty often getting into the mix, but usually in a small role.

    Agree re: them not changing though - what they have clearly works.
    Exactly. Elder Scrolls has ancient Dwemer robot technology, but I wouldn't call elder scrolls "Science fantasy". It's just a small element but it doesn't define the genre of the whole game since everything else besides that is based on regular medieval culture, dragons, magic, etc.
    Last edited by GreenJesus; 2020-10-13 at 05:30 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Pebrocks The Warlock View Post
    Did you not played TBC or Legion?
    Just because fantasy has technology doesn't make it science fiction. Think of science fiction as like our universe, but with new technology or sped up into the future.

    According to American writer and professor of biochemistry Isaac Asimov, "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology."[5] American science-fiction author and engineer Robert A. Heinlein wrote that "A handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."[6]
    WoW isn't even remotely close to 'our' universe. In WoW's very beginning it started off with old gods/titans/dragons. It's THE definition of fantasy.

    Science fiction has at least a hint of real world-ness to it. WoW starts off with magic/dragons/etc.

  16. #16
    It's still pretty dark fantasy. Only exception was maybe MoP.

  17. #17
    Scarab Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by AryuFate View Post
    It's still pretty dark fantasy. Only exception was maybe MoP.
    Nah mate.

    Dark fantasy is well darker than WoW: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_fantasy

    Even if we look at the darker side of traditional fantasy, stuff like Joe Abercrombie's First Law series or R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series, they're absolutely pitch-black compared to WoW.

    WoW is pretty much PG13 fantasy. Yeah a lot of people die by implication, but a lot of people die by implication in Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Adeptus Astartes View Post
    There can be an argument made that Warcraft was never in-fact classic fantasy, given the complex machines from WC2-3, but overall, the themes and tropes still aligned with the classic style of fantasy.

    WoW maintained the fantasy style of play for a while. BC introduced us to space travel, MoP/WoD industrialized warfare and Legion, well Legion we were launching from our intergalactic space ship to land planet side to take on demons.

    How would you describe the thematic / genre style of WoW to someone who hasn't played?
    The space ship for me was a huge mistake. There’s no way that combatants of a civilization which is able to craft such ships and travel in space can die to a stupid orc warrior or a nelf rogue. They should be at Protoss tech and power level, minimum.

  19. #19
    It's High/Epic Fantasy. Just because it isn't medieval Europe it doesn't mean it stops being fantasy.

  20. #20
    Warcraft started off as traditional fantasy with some light steampunk influences in gnomes, goblins, and dwarves. Demons were fairly generic otherworldly monsters even up through Warcraft 3. Then WoW turned everything into an extreme science fantasy shit show, namely starting in BC. It has gone off the rails since then with their hybrid science-magic. Why the Alliance isnt nuking their enemies from space in their magic ships is beyond me. Why the Horde didn't continue to industrialize after Garrosh to increase their own technology and then combine it with goblin ingenuity and elven magic is also beyond me.

    Nothing in the game makes any actual sense anymore. It's "whatever is convenient for the plot" fantasy.

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