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  1. #1

    Wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle

    I was just watching a Brandon Sanderson lecture about writing fantasy, and there was one part when he talks that a good book (or video game, for that matter) should feel like an iceberg - 5% is the game world, and 95% is the behind-the-scenes world that is not shown to you, but you get the impression (or illusion) that it's there.

    Another thing he mentioned is that it's much better to have a universe with one power that is very well developed and explored than a universe with a hunderd barely understandable powers.


    Well, I feel like WoW lore is doing exactly that. It's ADHD jumping from one thing to the next to the next without ever dealing with consequences or exploring them. "Oh here is Pandara - oh look, now we can officially time travel in our universe so - oh look, now we have spaceships and can go to space! The consequences of these are - oh look it's a battle for Azero - oh, old gods! Now finally - oh look, now we can master death itself!"

    The problem is that it never explores any of the newly introduced things in any depth. Instead, it literally throws it in your face - like with time-traveling Garrosh - and then quickly moves onto the next thing, pretending like it never happened. The same thing with characters, they are never explored in-depth as we never see their thoughts, feelings, or internal logic. As a result, it becomes a disconnected mess of stories and characters that don't blend together.

    At the same time, trying to explain literally everything made the game A LOT less interesting. There is no mystery to the world when you get to know how everything works. And when there is no mystery, it's very hard to be invested in the lore.

  2. #2
    This is why the RTS games are probably the best source of lore. Because they don't dwell on having to explain everything, they just touch on elements and allow your imagination to run wild with it.

    It didn't need to explain who the Draenei were, only telling you that the Orcs massacred this race.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    Since Arthas used Frostmourne, which is a Runeblade, and Frostmourne's power eminates from those runes, that made him a Runemaster by default.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Pangalactic View Post
    I was just watching a Brandon Sanderson lecture about writing fantasy, and there was one part when he talks that a good book (or video game, for that matter) should feel like an iceberg - 5% is the game world, and 95% is the behind-the-scenes world that is not shown to you, but you get the impression (or illusion) that it's there.
    Can confirm that world-building is the most important aspect for all forms of creative media across the board. The shows / games I've been invested in the most were the ones that felt like they were alive and had stuff going on in them even when I wasn't directly paying attention to them


  4. #4
    The problem is wow is a 15+ year rpg that's had to provide a metric ton of varied content.

    That said, I'd say many expansions have explored their worlds, its just not much carries over.

  5. #5
    Over 9000! Soon-TM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myradin View Post
    The problem is wow is a 15+ year rpg that's had to provide a metric ton of varied content.

    That said, I'd say many expansions have explored their worlds, its just not much carries over.
    Idk, the only time an entire continent (actually two) was revisited was during Cata, and that one revisit was... Quite controversial, to say the least. But for the rest, we barely have any idea of what is happening. Is all of Outland actually dying, as Saurfang claimed in the cinematic? What is happening in Northrend and the massive amount of undead, which are presumably running amok? In Pandaria, the damage caused to VoEB by Garrosh was reverted... and that's pretty much all we know. As for Draenor... Does it still actually exist, for starters? Weren't all those AUs prone to collapsing on their own? Ok, we know that the AU Orcs (a sizeable amount of them, anyway) belong to the Horde now, but what happened to e.g. the AU Draenei?

    And more importantly, what is going on in Kalimdor/EK? How has e.g. the Legion invasion affected all those zones? What about the aftermath of the 4th war? We have a couple of nifty books, sure, but will anything of that ever be reflected in-game? And more importantly, how are they dealing with the Scourge? Do they just attempt an ineffective defense only to die ignominiously, as it is suggested during the Kyrian campaign?

    Game is quite lacking in meaningful exploration, especially once we return from the SL and everyone learns that all the religions they held so dear are just a steaming pile of bullcrap. For example, followers of the Light will be positively delighted upon learning that there is no Light whatsoever to be found in the afterlife, except as a distant memory in the Warcraft equivalent of the Christian purgatory.
    If the Janitor managed to pwn Azeroth:

    Quote Originally Posted by Haidaes View Post
    "Die, wold soul of *incomprehensible mumbling* with your death my plan to *incomoprehensible mumbling* finally fullfilled and *incomprehensible mumbling*!"

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Pangalactic View Post
    I was just watching a Brandon Sanderson lecture about writing fantasy, and there was one part when he talks that a good book (or video game, for that matter) should feel like an iceberg - 5% is the game world, and 95% is the behind-the-scenes world that is not shown to you, but you get the impression (or illusion) that it's there.

    Another thing he mentioned is that it's much better to have a universe with one power that is very well developed and explored than a universe with a hunderd barely understandable powers.


    Well, I feel like WoW lore is doing exactly that. It's ADHD jumping from one thing to the next to the next without ever dealing with consequences or exploring them. "Oh here is Pandara - oh look, now we can officially time travel in our universe so - oh look, now we have spaceships and can go to space! The consequences of these are - oh look it's a battle for Azero - oh, old gods! Now finally - oh look, now we can master death itself!"

    The problem is that it never explores any of the newly introduced things in any depth. Instead, it literally throws it in your face - like with time-traveling Garrosh - and then quickly moves onto the next thing, pretending like it never happened. The same thing with characters, they are never explored in-depth as we never see their thoughts, feelings, or internal logic. As a result, it becomes a disconnected mess of stories and characters that don't blend together.

    At the same time, trying to explain literally everything made the game A LOT less interesting. There is no mystery to the world when you get to know how everything works. And when there is no mystery, it's very hard to be invested in the lore.
    You don't know how right you are.
    There's no mystery left in this world.
    There's barely anything left for players to speculate and theorize about since the Chronicles came out.

  7. #7
    Blizzard development suffers from a split personality.

    They know that Warcraft's main selling point is the unique setting. Simultaneously, they stubbornly refuse to put story before gameplay. As a consequence, the story is fully limited to developing something that caters to the broadest possible group. This is why any kind of faction-specific or race-specific arc in WoW always gives way to a broader narrative, even when it doesn't make sense. It's how WoW ended up with a Red Alliance, a Blue Horde, twelve dozen aborted racial narratives, and a cast of homogenous cosmic villains. Blizzard wants every bit of content to be equally applicable to every player, because it's the most "efficient" use of development resources. The result is, as said, something that's wide as an ocean but deep as a puddle. Because that's what happens when story gets demoted to set dressing for gameplay.

    This is not going to change anytime soon. At best they'll keep releasing books and comics for the people who haven't yet figured out that none of it is meaningful or relevant.

  8. #8
    I've always thought that too. That's why old Warcraft worked for me so well, the focus was on war and politics on alliance side and tribal feuds and clashes on horde side, and the setting around it was about magic and demons etc, now its the other way around.

  9. #9
    The 'World' part in World of Warcraft has been dead for a long time. Since then the game focuses only on the maggots writhing in its carcass.
    The absolute state of Warcraft lore in 2021:
    Kyrians: We need to keep chucking people into the Maw because it's our job.
    Also Kyrians: Why is the Maw growing stronger despite all our efforts?

  10. #10
    I'm not really sure it would be reasonable to criticise Warcraft for lacking depth.

    Even when the lore was 'good' it was always just apeing from warhammer and Metzan's homebrew DnD games (which are both themselves kitchen sink franchises) and polishing down the rough edges for mass consumption.

    Beyond that, even their 'best' story in Arthas has been self-described by blizzard as reverse king Arthur.
    Tonight for me is a special day. I want to go outside of the house of the girl I like with a gasoline barrel and write her name on the road and set it on fire and tell her to get out too see it (is this illegal)?

  11. #11
    The game needs more mystery.

    The best fantasy always leave something to imagine.

  12. #12
    Scarab Lord Darththeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangalactic View Post
    I was just watching a Brandon Sanderson lecture about writing fantasy, and there was one part when he talks that a good book (or video game, for that matter) should feel like an iceberg - 5% is the game world, and 95% is the behind-the-scenes world that is not shown to you, but you get the impression (or illusion) that it's there.

    Another thing he mentioned is that it's much better to have a universe with one power that is very well developed and explored than a universe with a hunderd barely understandable powers.


    Well, I feel like WoW lore is doing exactly that. It's ADHD jumping from one thing to the next to the next without ever dealing with consequences or exploring them. "Oh here is Pandara - oh look, now we can officially time travel in our universe so - oh look, now we have spaceships and can go to space! The consequences of these are - oh look it's a battle for Azero - oh, old gods! Now finally - oh look, now we can master death itself!"

    The problem is that it never explores any of the newly introduced things in any depth. Instead, it literally throws it in your face - like with time-traveling Garrosh - and then quickly moves onto the next thing, pretending like it never happened. The same thing with characters, they are never explored in-depth as we never see their thoughts, feelings, or internal logic. As a result, it becomes a disconnected mess of stories and characters that don't blend together.

    At the same time, trying to explain literally everything made the game A LOT less interesting. There is no mystery to the world when you get to know how everything works. And when there is no mystery, it's very hard to be invested in the lore.
    Time Travel was confirmed long before we went to Pandaria.

    In fact, Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cataclysm all had time travel.
    Peace is a lie. There is only passion. Through passion I gain strength. Through strength I gain power.
    Through power I gain victory. Through victory my chains are broken. The Force shall set me free.
    –The Sith Code

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    This is why the RTS games are probably the best source of lore. Because they don't dwell on having to explain everything, they just touch on elements and allow your imagination to run wild with it.

    It didn't need to explain who the Draenei were, only telling you that the Orcs massacred this race.
    Except that leads to people creating headcanon for the stuff, and getting violently unsatisfied when characters are fleshed out, sometimes years in the future, and their headcanon doesn't fit in. Look at Breadisfunny with Alleria for a good example.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Darththeo View Post
    Time Travel was confirmed long before we went to Pandaria.

    In fact, Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cataclysm all had time travel.
    Vanilla had time travel. Remember Battle of Darrowshire and the Caverns of Time and Chromie in Andorhal?
    The most difficult thing for people to do is objectively look at something they don't like and be able to accept that it is not bad, that other people like it, and if it was changed to the way they'd like it that other people would not like it and want it changed back. The second most is to receive something they didn't want or ask for and be grateful for it, not immediately demand what they wanted instead.

  14. #14
    Dreadlord Cloudmaker's Avatar
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    Interesting thought but now after so many years wasted on mystery I finally wish to have things revealed because the constant questioning angers me. Especially after killing our enemies and realizing that nothing was achieved or more that it was exactly how our enemies intended to be. Speaking of Dreadlords and Argus. I feel like I am being stuck in a black hole that is devouring my efforts, time and energy and I tire of it.
    #SaveAlgalon

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    This is why the RTS games are probably the best source of lore. Because they don't dwell on having to explain everything, they just touch on elements and allow your imagination to run wild with it.

    It didn't need to explain who the Draenei were, only telling you that the Orcs massacred this race.
    RTS games and vanilla. Say what you will about the storytelling or gameplay of vanilla WoW, but the huge benefit was the huge amount of unknowns. I still remember the first time I did the excavation quests in Wetlands at about in 2005 and getting the message from Aman'thul. Same thing with Uldaman and Discs of Norgannon. Titans were cool as long as we didn't know anything about them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by cparle87 View Post
    Except that leads to people creating headcanon for the stuff, and getting violently unsatisfied when characters are fleshed out, sometimes years in the future, and their headcanon doesn't fit in. Look at Breadisfunny with Alleria for a good example.
    But that's their problem. Not the authors or other consumers.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Darththeo View Post
    Time Travel was confirmed long before we went to Pandaria.

    In fact, Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cataclysm all had time travel.
    Didn't the time traveling in the war of the ancients books also predate wow?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudmaker View Post
    Especially after killing our enemies and realizing that nothing was achieved or more that it was exactly how our enemies intended to be.
    Except that wasn't the case until they decided to spew a half-assed "explanation" at us that violated the previous rules. The more they explain, the more they wreck things.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by cparle87 View Post
    Except that leads to people creating headcanon for the stuff, and getting violently unsatisfied when characters are fleshed out, sometimes years in the future, and their headcanon doesn't fit in. Look at Breadisfunny with Alleria for a good example.
    Who really cares?

    End of the day, headcanon will be better for every individual than the shitshow twisted lore that we have right now that is inconsistent, full of retcons, and full of characters who are characterized terribly.

    Headcanon is not a problem so long as the lore remains open and unexplained. Individuals can enjoy a story for different reasons, including fabricating their own interpretations or outcomes.

    I would rather someone headcanon their reasons why Arthas went bad and fell to dark powers than be told now that it was all the machinations of some super evil god dude who was puppetmastering his every move. The story worked fine by simply implying human choice as a contributing factor to turning evil, and not just cosmic powers manipulating every major event.
    Last edited by Triceron; 2021-07-22 at 03:23 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    Since Arthas used Frostmourne, which is a Runeblade, and Frostmourne's power eminates from those runes, that made him a Runemaster by default.

  19. #19
    Dreadlord Cloudmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanoro View Post
    Except that wasn't the case until they decided to spew a half-assed "explanation" at us that violated the previous rules. The more they explain, the more they wreck things.
    Yea. To be honest I was kinda relieved seeing Titans in Argus. I liked it. It pisses me off now that there is a comic war going on behind the scenes yet there is nothing we can do to help.
    #SaveAlgalon

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by cparle87 View Post

    Vanilla had time travel. Remember Battle of Darrowshire and the Caverns of Time and Chromie in Andorhal?
    Not really. Darrowshire was seeing dead souls tormented by their past. Caverns of time was in vanilla... sort of like how ULDUM and Karazhan were in vanilla... (not really but had a location on the map)....

    Chromie's broken watches in Andorhal aren't much in the way of time travel.

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