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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by DatToffer View Post
    That's funny, because I remember we wanted the exact opposite in vanilla. We wanted our leaders to lead us to battle and act like the heroes they (for some of them) were in Warcraft 3.
    I remember that as well, but in true Blizzard style they went from one extreme to the other. Wrathgate was special (in part) because of the leaders taking charge, and that's memorable to this day. But somewhere along the line WoW ceased to be our story and instead made us bystanders in the story of the racial leaders, and I think something was lost along the way. It's great to have them personally involved every now and then and I think there's room to explore their own stories as well, but the way the storytelling is done at the moment with them being the driving force through every main story is frustrating to me.

    Another thing I remember from vanilla is how cool it felt when the end of a long questline sent you to report to Bolvar or Thrall or Tyrande in person. Contact with the leaders was rare, and felt all the more special for it.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Snufflupagus View Post
    That absolutely is not the point of medieval fantasy. Even medieval societies were sceptical about the value of monarchs.
    No, sorry, but they were not. This is ahistorical. You start getting people experimenting with republics in small states like Venice and the Netherlands but until the early modern period monarchies are universally accepted without scepticism.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by b1gh3x View Post
    I've noticed this popping up in a number of different games, the implication that having a single leader is a bad thing.

    The Horde no longer has a warchief, but a council
    Forsaken, despite having a 'living' monarch, now have a council.

    Even in ff14, that little sultana wants to give up her reign in favour of a democracy.

    The whole point of a medieval fantasy is to have a king. In LoTR, the whole premise is the Return of the King.

    These 'democratic councils' feels like an injection of modernism that cheapens the whole raison d'etre of the genre itself.
    I think there is a contradiction at the heart of what people want from fantasy settings these days. They want to escape to an idyllic (usually premodern) world that is fundamentally different from our own but they still want that world to speak the same political language that corresponds to our modern outlook which is generally critical of patriarchal structures, unjust hieararchies, faith/superstition. So "Kings" cannot really exist authentically to begin with and you might as well replace them with a council.
    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?

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Iheartnathanos View Post
    No, sorry, but they were not. This is ahistorical. You start getting people experimenting with republics in small states like Venice and the Netherlands but until the early modern period monarchies are universally accepted without scepticism.
    That's only true if you look at a very specific slice of time. Otherwise you'd be completely ignoring, oh, I don't know, Ancient Greek democracies (effectively the ones who invented them) or the Roman Republic and its hatred of single rulers, which covers HUNDREDS of years of history. It's only really with Augustus and the subsequent Roman Emperors that monarchic rule comes to the forefront again.

    And the people in the (European) Middle Ages did not simply forget about Rome and its republic days. There's continuous debate about this, and it's really only thanks to the concurrent spread of Christianity and its highly hierarchical world view that monarchy becomes the de-facto reality of life. That's a very specific historical period - and if you're only looking at that time, then it's no surprise monarchy is all most people consider for government

    That's a bit like going "in post-Civil War America, no one really considered monarchy as a form of government" - yeah no surprise, you've set it up to exclude the time when it was a thing.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Biomega View Post
    That's only true if you look at a very specific slice of time. Otherwise you'd be completely ignoring, oh, I don't know, Ancient Greek democracies (effectively the ones who invented them) or the Roman Republic and its hatred of single rulers, which covers HUNDREDS of years of history. It's only really with Augustus and the subsequent Roman Emperors that monarchic rule comes to the forefront again.

    And the people in the (European) Middle Ages did not simply forget about Rome and its republic days. There's continuous debate about this, and it's really only thanks to the concurrent spread of Christianity and its highly hierarchical world view that monarchy becomes the de-facto reality of life. That's a very specific historical period - and if you're only looking at that time, then it's no surprise monarchy is all most people consider for government

    That's a bit like going "in post-Civil War America, no one really considered monarchy as a form of government" - yeah no surprise, you've set it up to exclude the time when it was a thing.
    Er… we *are* looking at a slice of time. Medieval Europe. I was responding to someones claim that medieval people were sceptical of monarchies. Thanks for completely missing the point.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1gh3x View Post
    I've noticed this popping up in a number of different games, the implication that having a single leader is a bad thing.

    The Horde no longer has a warchief, but a council
    Forsaken, despite having a 'living' monarch, now have a council.

    Even in ff14, that little sultana wants to give up her reign in favour of a democracy.

    The whole point of a medieval fantasy is to have a king. In LoTR, the whole premise is the Return of the King.

    These 'democratic councils' feels like an injection of modernism that cheapens the whole raison d'etre of the genre itself.
    I think it is called development and evolution? Monarchs are more or less outdated now in a world where democracy is the preferred rule. Even so, for the Horde, it has proven that having a singular leader can be very bad - on two occasions. The races still have race leaders (except for the Forsaken, Pandaren, and the Dwarves). The Horde has a direct council, meanwhile, the Alliance still has a ruling figure but leaning towards a council too.
    FOMO: "Fear Of Missing Out", also commonly known as people with a mental issue of managing time and activities, many expecting others to fit into their schedule so they don't miss out on things to come. If FOMO becomes a problem for you, do seek help, it can be a very unhealthy lifestyle..

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1gh3x View Post

    The whole point of a medieval fantasy is to have a king. In LoTR, the whole premise is the Return of the King.
    Plenty of medieval civilisations didn't have Kings.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Iheartnathanos View Post
    Thanks for completely missing the point.
    I think I'll send that right back at you. Saying "until the early modern period monarchies are universally accepted without scepticism" is just incorrect. People didn't just FORGET that the Roman Republic or Greek poles existed. The people who were actually doing political discourse certainly knew, and most medieval "monarchies" were FAR less absolutist than the ones we classically associate with the "typical" monarchy, i.e. English or French models more influenced by 16th century and later monarchies than the actual ones from the Middle Ages (indeed it wasn't until 1603 that England became that kind of monarchy under James I).

    Earlier monarchies were largely centered around one singular model, which was that of the Holy Roman Emperor. And that was a very complicated system of interconnected ruling paradigms involving various kings and of course the Pope; even someone like Charlemagne (arguably the archetypical medieval monarch) was only made Emperor through intervention. The divine right of kings was a popular legend more than a political reality - those "monarchies" were far more oligarchical than people realize, and certainly far more so than the centralized, absolutist monarchies of the early modern period. Not surprising, considering that the limitations of technology made that impractical during the Middle Ages, requiring high degrees of delegation within a domain. As a result "monarchy" was an abstract concept justifying hegemonic rule far more so than lived reality for the majority of commoners - and an intricate system of distributed Realpolitik for the privileged. The pageantry of absolutist monarchs is not a medieval experience; it's really only from the 17th century and onward that this was even feasible.

    And here's the point I'm trying to make: people KNEW that was the reality. No one who seriously discussed monarchy during that period was "without skepticism", as you put it; they didn't need to be, because they knew how the system worked, and that the monarch was just one political tool among many. That's why even the most divinely appointed rulers like Popes were frequently subject to political whims, were deposed and counter-elected, and so on. No one had illusions about the reality of monarchy, at least not among those who could afford to think about things at all in the first place. It's not really fair to count commoners during that period, who were largely illiterate, ignorant of most larger political structures, and so busy not starving to death they couldn't really afford to speculate about the nature of their system of government. That, too, only really became a more widespread activity with the advent of the modern period, when technology allowed for more secure existence, wider dissemination of information, and greater personal mobility.

    What you're talking about isn't the medieval life - it's the life of the 16th and 17th century that we've come to associate with quasi-medieval societies because of popular cultural depictions that are wildly removed from historical realities.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grazrug View Post
    Sylvanas was the best warchief we ever had. Teldrassil was a massive blow against Alliance players morale.
    Of course you would believe that, since the horde very rarely has to face the consequences of its actions. More often than not, what happens is that the crime is not punished, but rather rewarded down the line.

    Garrosh + horde committed atrocities? Only Garrosh is effectively punished, because during the last patch, the horde left him.

    Sylvanas + horde committed atrocities? Only Sylvanas is punished, because the other members shifted all the blame to her. Saurfang is a blatant example. What is more, while the Alliance lost Teldrassil forever, Undercity is still there. Even better: its cleansing made it possible to find a common ground for the forsaken to like Calia, so now you get a strong leadership, and my alliance main had to help your faction do that.

    You guys are literally the Rey Skywalker of the WoW universe enlarged x1000 and you still cannot stop complaining

  10. #30
    I don't think it's exactly news that some writers struggle to not insert their political views into a given franchise.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by b1gh3x View Post
    I've noticed this popping up in a number of different games, the implication that having a single leader is a bad thing.

    The Horde no longer has a warchief, but a council
    Forsaken, despite having a 'living' monarch, now have a council.

    Even in ff14, that little sultana wants to give up her reign in favour of a democracy.

    The whole point of a medieval fantasy is to have a king. In LoTR, the whole premise is the Return of the King.

    These 'democratic councils' feels like an injection of modernism that cheapens the whole raison d'etre of the genre itself.
    Neither the horde nor the alliance were sole monarchies. Each race in the faction has it's own leader(s) and they're the high king's or Warchief's "cabinet." Both factions have always been oligarchies.

  12. #32
    It's not as if Warchief was a position with much history. It was a few decades old and created with the intent of being manipulated by a council.

  13. #33
    Honestly given the size of the factions and how spread out they are, dictatorships or oligarchies with a strong bureaucracy seem the most likely.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by StationaryHawk View Post
    It's not as if Warchief was a position with much history. It was a few decades old and created with the intent of being manipulated by a council.
    I think it was a historic position among the orcs that was not in constant use so much older but not meant to be active outside War.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by b1gh3x View Post
    I've noticed this popping up in a number of different games, the implication that having a single leader is a bad thing.

    The Horde no longer has a warchief, but a council
    Forsaken, despite having a 'living' monarch, now have a council.

    Even in ff14, that little sultana wants to give up her reign in favour of a democracy.

    The whole point of a medieval fantasy is to have a king. In LoTR, the whole premise is the Return of the King.

    These 'democratic councils' feels like an injection of modernism that cheapens the whole raison d'etre of the genre itself.
    Orcs are alien invaders. Warcraft was never Fantasy at all, not really.

    Or on the other hand: You're just comparing fantasy to the Arthurian ideal. The genre of Fantasy as we know it began with the Hobbit & even in LoTR, we don't actually see any good kings. Aragorn becomes a king, but we never actually see him being a king. During the narrative, the only kings we see are antagonistic.
    Last edited by Ersula; 2022-06-25 at 06:21 PM.

  15. #35
    I agree that it seems to be a trend, but I don't think it adds modernity or anything to the game, since these councils happened sometimes in (real world) history
    ...that's just my opinion, anyway.

    All of this cosmological stuff is too boring for me. I'd like to get Warcraft back, please. my thing is killing defias and orcs.

  16. #36
    OP isn't wholly wrong, but is a bit confused.

    A unique characteristic of actual medieval history is aristocracy, not monarchy. Monarchy is sort of age agnostic, with the exception of modern liberal philosophy.

    WoW is not medieval, however. It is not but is inspired by high fantasy, which is decidedly modern, yes, but specifically a sort of reaction against liberalism. The premise is recreating a memory, not antrophologically accurate examination.

    For example, the Catholic Church during much of the Middle Ages actually had statements against the existence of any magic; With the adage that anything that appeared as magic was either divine intervention or demonic sorcery(sorcery being understood at that time as illusion).

    High fantasy elevates superstitious magic to a sort of cosmology.

    On the topic of kings, they should be featured quite heavily in games such as WoW. However, there is a caveat that WoW is inspired with a lot of modern pulp fiction(such as the Lovecraftian elements).

    So its fitting that there are unique instances of non-monarchy, such as the despotate of the Horde or Forsaken specifically. But these fit because of huge lore justifications, ie, the Horde never practiced high monarchy, and where it did, the upper castes of society were wiped out(Forsaken), or abandoned the commoners (Blood Elves, who actually retain Regent as their leader title to reflect their respect for the institution.) Night elves are like this as well.

    The issue is incompetent writers; High fantasy or pre-modern societies alike do not abandon institutions because a series of short term bad events. We had two evil warchiefs, so what? We simply check their powers a la a Magna Carta, or even reinforce the institution by simply forcefully installing a noble ruler.

    The Forsaken would only make sense to create a storyline of Civil War in the vacuum after Sylvanas: Restore the nobility or continue the Sylvanas line with a new despot. This makes sense for the Undead, who abandoned their fantasy-relevant morality of cherishing nobility because of their corruption and perversion. That is engaging storytelling.
    Last edited by Kent088; 2022-06-25 at 06:47 PM.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by b1gh3x View Post
    The whole point of a medieval fantasy is to have a king.
    Where, even, did you get that idea? And, at any rate: WoW isn't "medieval."

    In LoTR, the whole premise is the Return of the King.
    Cool. LotR is irrelevant (and, as far as I'm concerned, overrated).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ersula View Post
    Warcraft was never Fantasy at all, not really.
    Oh, it's fantasy. It's just never been bog-standard fantasy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent088 View Post
    WoW is not medieval, however. It is not but is inspired by high fantasy, which is decidedly modern, yes, but specifically a sort of reaction against liberalism.
    What? High fantasy has precisely jack to do with any sort of reactionary backlash.
    Last edited by Dacia Ultan; 2022-06-25 at 07:09 PM.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Dacia Ultan View Post
    Where, even, did you get that idea? And, at any rate: WoW isn't "medieval."

    Cool. LotR is irrelevant (and, as far as I'm concerned, overrated).

    Oh, it's fantasy. It's just never been bog-standard fantasy.

    What? High fantasy has precisely jack to do with any sort of reactionary backlash.
    WoW isn't medieval? you're right...i'm sure Blizzard created the medieval concept on their own...and didn't base it off our own historical medieval period... OH you mean cause there's dragons it means there's no medieval aspects in the game? got it.... ya stupid thoughts typically get put into stupid messages. There are ZERO medieval concept within the world....of warcraft


    Of course you don't like LOTR, lemme guess......."It haz tew mahny whyte peeples!!!!" Regardless, to say LOTR is irrelevant in a discussion about World of warcraft has to be some low IQ level shit. I mean you do know wacraft stole the idea of orcs vs humans and the orc concept as a whole from LOTR right? it's been universally agreed upon that the concept of orcs used in most table top games/card games and video games are directly linked and based off Tolkien's design. SOUNDS RELEVANT TO ME!! But mah purple hairz!!!!!!

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Kent088 View Post
    OP isn't wholly wrong, but is a bit confused.
    Jeez, he's not the only one that's confused.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by OokOok View Post
    WoW isn't medieval? you're right...i'm sure Blizzard created the medieval concept on their own...and didn't base it off our own historical medieval period... OH you mean cause there's dragons it means there's no medieval aspects in the game? got it.... ya stupid thoughts typically get put into stupid messages. There are ZERO medieval concept within the world....of warcraft
    Aesthetics that are abundant in WoW that are also antithetical to a medieval setting:
    • Steam power
    • Naval combat
    • Space travel
    • Furries
    "There are ZERO medieval concept within the world....of warcraft" isn't what he said. But it is abundantly un-medieval. Also Medieval isn't a genre, fantasy is; which is the topic of this conversation.
    Quote Originally Posted by OokOok View Post
    Of course you don't like LOTR, lemme guess......."It haz tew mahny whyte peeples!!!!" Regardless, to say LOTR is irrelevant in a discussion about World of warcraft has to be some low IQ level shit. I mean you do know wacraft stole the idea of orcs vs humans and the orc concept as a whole from LOTR right? it's been universally agreed upon that the concept of orcs used in most table top games/card games and video games are directly linked and based off Tolkien's design. SOUNDS RELEVANT TO ME!! But mah purple hairz!!!!!!
    Again I point out: All kings in LoTR are antagonists, except Aragorn, who isn't a king during the narrative. LoTR is more like WoW in this way. Wanting your fantasy to be pro or neutral to monarchy is more of an Arthurian thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dacia Ultan View Post
    Oh, it's fantasy. It's just never been bog-standard fantasy.
    This is honestly the bigger debate: What defines fantasy? Genre is more than just aesthetics. Some people like to define Fantasy as a type of story rather than a collection of motifs: For example, you've probably heard the argument Star Wars isn't sci-fi, it's fantasy; only without the aesthetics of medieval europe, instead using the aesthetics of the cold war. This angle asserts that Fantasy & Sci-fi are both stories about people living in extraordinary times, where Fantasy is based on historical parable, Sci-fi is speculative.

    From this angle, WoW is neither. And a lot of fiction has embraced blending of these two genres & I think we just need to embrace that & forget these labels.
    Last edited by Ersula; 2022-06-25 at 08:14 PM.

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