Game Informer Interview on WoW's Lore and Story Consistency
14/08/2018 alle 19:58
Battle for Azeroth is an expansion with a rich narrative tapestry from the very start. We're introduced to multiple island kingdoms, revisit Jaina's story through an intricate series of cross-media narratives, and grapple with the concept of Honor as Sylvanas Windrunner leads the Horde down a dark path, one that Saurfang (and probably some players) struggle to comprehend.
Curious about the Battle for Azeroth story? Check out our
With the increasing complexity of the Battle for Azeroth storytelling, one might think Blizzard would need a team of lore specialists, and you're right! Game Informer interviewed members of Blizzard Entertainment on the process behind keeping all the lore straight in Warcraft, as that universe now spans several decades.
Click here for the full Game Informer Interview!
The Red Shirt Guy
The article opens with a recap of the humorous exchange between Ian Bates, the "Red Shirt Guy," and Chris Metzen at BlizzCon 2010. Bates correctly pointed out that
stated that Falstad Wildhammer would join the Council of the Three Hammers, but Kurdran Wildhammer occupied that role on the beta. Metzen replied that he thought Falstad had died in an earlier novel--but instead Falstad was alive and well in Aerie Peak.
This issue was fixed and
Tassonomo dei Granmartello
was later added to the game to commemorate the interaction.
While humorous, this shows how tangled and complex Blizzard's lore can be. The lore spans several decades and a variety of media, as explained below:
That sprawling tale now stretches across 23 novels, 10 comic book series (the most successful running for 25 issues), three real-time strategy titles (and their two expansions), World of Warcraft and its expansions (of which Battle for Azeroth will be the seventh), a Hollywood movie (with two of its own spinoff novels), and oddities like Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone (with its nine expansions and four adventures).
Blizzard employs a team of three lore historians to know every single detail about WoW, ranging from foods associated with each culture to how to pronounce phrases in Shath’yar, the language of the Old Gods.
These historians make sure that all details line up, especially when a major character with a long history reappears in Warcraft, like Alleria Windrunner in Patch 7.3. Back in Cataclysm, the writers were going to create a storyline involving the red dragon Krasus facing off against Sinestra--but later realized he was already dead.
“Going back to the Cataclysm expansion, at the end of the first raid tier, the final boss was the black dragon Sinestra. We wanted a red dragon to come and join players in the fight and ultimately sacrifice himself in order to enable their victory.
“There was a well known red dragon named Krasus, who was the male companion of Alexstrasza, leader of the red dragons, and he would have had a real bone to pick with Sinestra. It would have made a lot of sense for him to be there. He was an important figure that people would definitely recognise, and his sacrifice would have been meaningful.
“We were going down that road but realised he actually died in a book! So we had to invent a new red dragon.”
Does the name Lorewalkers sound familiar?
Raminghi della Sapienza
are a faction in Mists of Pandaria, one in which the player returns story scrolls to see past events re-enacted. You can also talk to
Una domanda senza tempo
on the Timeless Isle to complete a lore daily!
Retcons are a hot topic among the playerbase. Blizzard touched on this slightly, explaining how retcons are used as a last resort.
The example they gave, changing Khadgar's age and appearance due to the Warcraft movie, was interesting as other details from the movie did not make it into the game as canon. For example, Stormwind ends up sacked at the end of the war in canon, but in the movie it's thriving.
“Khadgar, who was prominent during the Hollywood movie, was much younger in the film than we had imagined him being at that point in time,” Hazzikostas says.
“When we depicted him in The Burning Crusade expansion he was actually much older and had a long grey beard. So we went back, and made a new Khadgar model in WoW, which initially perplexed people because they hadn’t seen the movie yet... the Khadgar that you see, you are to assume, feels like a continuation of the one from the movie.”
Blizzard Library and
A special part of Blizzard's campus is the library. We've personally toured the library and can vouch for its whimsical decorations and treasure-trove of game knowledge.
One of the books used most frequently for fact-checking is the Chronicle series. This series was written to unify the lore, presenting a cohesive vision instead of scrambling to account for plot holes at the last-minute or leaving questions unanswered. In Volume 3, for example, Blizzard confirmed that
Azshara was in league with N'Zoth
, definitively stated
which faction killed each raid boss
, and made a
number of minor tweaks
to the lore, including tightening up the story of Ashbringer.
Blizzard HQ has a library for staff on-site, a treasure trove of everything the developer has ever released. A key piece of the collection is the multi-volume World of Warcraft: Chronicle, an attempt by Blizzard to be less reactive with its lore and establish an easily accessible canon.
"One of the goals we had while creating these books was to craft a truly cohesive and compelling guidebook that covers the history of the Warcraft universe, from its origins to now," explains historian supervisor Sean Copeland.
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