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  #1  
Old 11-08-2018, 01:14 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Default What if WC3+ did not retcon in the titans, burning legion et al?

Something I noticed about Warcraft 1 and 2 compared to Warcraft 3 was the introduction of generic doomsday villains in the latter. Prior to the retcons, the orcs were invading and conquering Azeroth for all the same reasons as real cultures have done. Fast forward to Warcraft 3, and now the demons are retroactively responsible for any and all war.

How about we imagine a universe in which wars are fought because one or both sides wants to fight of their own accord? What would motivate them?

With the orcs, they were motivated by a hunger for resources and such. They were able to convince other races like goblins and trolls to ally with them by promising resources and, I don't know, revenge against the humans and elves and dwarves who were racist against them or something.

This doesn't have to be specific to the world of Azeroth. There is no reason why we cannot make this thought experiment about other universes where the same armies exist, such as the Alliance, Horde, Scourge and Sentinels. I will use those four as a common point of reference since they are fairly popular.

The army I am having the most difficulty thinking of motivations for is the Scourge. They are already a generic doomsday villain without much believable or sympathetic reason for what they do, which isn't very interesting to write about. What kind of motivation, what culture, could we give them that would be interesting to write about?

(Feel free to make comparisons with Warhammer Fantasy Battles, since we all know Warcraft is a clear rip-off.)

Last edited by BoxCrayonTales; 11-10-2018 at 05:36 AM.. Reason: title change
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2018, 03:35 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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The way to handle the Scourge that comes to mind is something I read on /tg/. Which was this:

https://desuarchive.org/tg/thread/50708196/

>Scourge is made up of both living and undead participants as the Cult of the Damned rewards only diehards with undeath and raises the already dead, the middle section of cult members is more useful alive plus they can sway large groups of military to accept Ner'Zhul as their lord and saviour
>Arthas kills his dad and replaces the administrative body of Lordaeron with Scourge loyal subjects
>Scourge has massive numbers but is still contained in Lordaeron, has to withdraw immense manpower to support the Legion in Kalimdor so what's left in Lordaeron is but a fraction of the entire force to hold things together


More of a Lordaeron Revolution than an army out to KILL ALL HUMIES/LIVING.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:52 PM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
The way to handle the Scourge that comes to mind is something I read on /tg/. Which was this:

https://desuarchive.org/tg/thread/50708196/

>Scourge is made up of both living and undead participants as the Cult of the Damned rewards only diehards with undeath and raises the already dead, the middle section of cult members is more useful alive plus they can sway large groups of military to accept Ner'Zhul as their lord and saviour
>Arthas kills his dad and replaces the administrative body of Lordaeron with Scourge loyal subjects
>Scourge has massive numbers but is still contained in Lordaeron, has to withdraw immense manpower to support the Legion in Kalimdor so what's left in Lordaeron is but a fraction of the entire force to hold things together


More of a Lordaeron Revolution than an army out to KILL ALL HUMIES/LIVING.
That reminds me of something. To a degree.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:20 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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What does it remind you of?

Also, here's another post by what I'm sure is the same channer:

https://desuarchive.org/tg/thread/59336508/

Going just by Warcraft 3, no supplementary reads like novels or forum posts, it could be argued that arthas really just wanted to rule Lordaeron, not necessarily it's zombified and blighted version but he'd took it as a necessary evil to being king.
Come to think of it, coming back to supplementary lore again, the Cult of the Damned didn't consist excludively of undead but modtly living members who sought a change tjrough this new religion. I think it's applicable to the Scourge as well that the greater organisation has had numerous living members who saw it modtly as a religiously motivated revolution, and it was mostly the bulk of its military force that was undead due to it being cheaper and more efficient in combat.


Lordaeronian Revolution it is.

Last edited by Cacofonix; 11-08-2018 at 06:59 PM..
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:22 PM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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What does it remind you of?

Lordaeronian Revolution it is.
My fanwork. The revolutionary Lordaeron part that is. The rest has a different dynamic.

In any case, for a more geopolitical world (as I suspect the aim is here), I believe that two principal segments for the Scourge are Ner'zhul and Arthas.

For Ner'zhul, he needs to be fully represented as a religious figure, and someone who has a vision for the world, even after the Legion is defeated.

And Arthas needs to be less a spoiled prince who cracks under the first show of pressure and more a true defender of his people, one that after long years of defending Lordaeron loses his faith in humanity/the Alliance and their ideals, and realizes that accepting the Lich King's way and transforming his nation is the only way for it to survive in the changing world.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:27 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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It's a mistake to think of the Scourge as generic doomsday villains. They want what many religions claim to offer: eternal life. Actual, honest to goodness, immortality. For themselves and their kingdom.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:14 PM
Jon Targaryen Jon Targaryen is offline

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The Scourge wasn't "offering" anything though. They were insisting.
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:01 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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The Scourge wasn't "offering" anything though. They were insisting.
They don't have to stop being villainous.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2018, 06:05 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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The WCII Horde wouldn't be more opposed to extermination of unwanteds than this alternative Scourge. The Scourge can shift priorities from "exterminate all Humanity/Life" to "exterminate the non-believers."
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:08 AM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Something I noticed about Warcraft 1 and 2 compared to Warcraft 3 was the introduction of generic doomsday villains in the latter. Prior to the retcons, the orcs were invading and conquering Azeroth for all the same reasons as real cultures have done. Fast forward to Warcraft 3, and now the demons are retroactively responsible for any and all war.

How about we imagine a universe in which wars are fought because one or both sides wants to fight of their own accord? What would motivate them?

With the orcs, they were motivated by a hunger for resources and such. They were able to convince other races like goblins and trolls to ally with them by promising resources and, I don't know, revenge against the humans and elves and dwarves who were racist against them or something.

This doesn't have to be specific to the world of Azeroth. There is no reason why we cannot make this thought experiment about other universes where the same armies exist, such as the Alliance, Horde, Scourge and Sentinels. I will use those four as a common point of reference since they are fairly popular.

The army I am having the most difficulty thinking of motivations for is the Scourge. They are already a generic doomsday villain without much believable or sympathetic reason for what they do, which isn't very interesting to write about. What kind of motivation, what culture, could we give them that would be interesting to write about?

(Feel free to make comparisons with Warhammer Fantasy Battles, since we all know Warcraft is a clear rip-off.)
Warhammer does have a Doomsday problem, but it's more like a constant struggle, not some kind of final battle (I'm excluding the End Times, of course).

I think the Burning Legion in Warcraft III was kind of a mistake. Orcs going from nothing to being able to gather a whole army was kinda lame too.

An alternative history for W3, scrapping everything post-W2:

* Tutorial: Orcish survivors of the Second War flee south of Black Morass, to Stranglethorn Vale. It's mostly children, women, and elders. The demon blood is starting to wear off, and the shamans retake control of the Horde. One of them has a vision, of a new land to the west: Kalimdor. The humans learn about their plan and chase them, but they manage to escape anyway.
* Human Alliance: Kil'jaeden is angry at the orcs, but they could still be useful. This time, they won't be the predator, but the prey. The citizens of the Alliance lost many of their beloved ones during the war, and vehemently hate the Horde. The Cult of the Damned is born, revering darkness instead of light, which failed them before. Their members clash with the Alliance's ruling class, specially because of the orcs being imprisoned instead of executed.
* Undead Scourge: The cult starts using necromancy to defend themselves, and the Alliance splinters in a religious civil war. They manage to win Lordaeron to their cause, keeping the other nations at bay. Kil'jaeden tells the cultists about the orcs in Kalimdor, and they sail west looking for revenge.
* Orcish Horde: The orcs are trying to go back to their elemental roots, but Kil'jaeden won't let them, corrupting them once again. Pretty similar to the original campaign, except Medivh is replaced by some elemental deity.
* Night Elf Sentinels: The true goal of Kil'jaeden lies in northern Kalimdor. Demons take control of the Scourge, and the orcs stop being a priority. Pretty similar to the original campaign.

As you see, the plot would be very similar, except Medivh is gone, the orcs sailed to survive, and the undead are just a darkness-worshiping version of the Alliance, with their own living citizens.

For the first expansion:

* The night elves have lost their immortality, and Illidan is trying to use high elf arcane magic to recover it. The sentinels invade Quel'Thalas, and destroy it. Illidan flees, and recovers the Eye of Sargeras. The ritual is stopped, and the failure leads to rifts opening all over the world, not unlike the events of Beyond the Dark Portal. Illidan and his followers manage to achieve immortality, but the ritual wasn't completed. They're cursed and become naga, the fifth playable race.
* The orcs find one of the portals, and try to rescue the orcs from Outland.
* The stranded survivors of the Old Alliance fight their way back into Azeroth, and join the New Alliance against the undead.
* The Scourge frees themselves from the remaining cultists and demons, and cleanses their own lands from the corruption. Undeath becomes part of their society, and they still remain at war with the other human nations, now radicalized into the light.
* The naga manage to close the portals, and save Azeroth, gaining the respect of the other races.

After that, night elves and orcs hold most of Kalimdor, with some human and undead settlements around. Humans and undead hold most of the Eastern Kingdoms, with some night elf and orc settlements around.

A potential second expansion would add another new race. Demons would be nice, Kil'jaeden returning in person to finish the job.
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2018, 09:50 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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We all look to agree that the way to make a "non-generic doomsday villain" Scourge is to make the revolutionary/anti-Alliance (instead of anti-Humanity) element that could be there in the Cult of the Damned more obvious and also to make it have more of a legit connection with Lordaeron's citizens (instead of just plaguing much of them and turning a lot of them into undead puppets).

Last edited by Cacofonix; 11-09-2018 at 11:31 AM..
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2018, 01:26 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
Warhammer does have a Doomsday problem, but it's more like a constant struggle, not some kind of final battle (I'm excluding the End Times, of course).

I think the Burning Legion in Warcraft III was kind of a mistake. Orcs going from nothing to being able to gather a whole army was kinda lame too.

An alternative history for W3, scrapping everything post-W2:
You claimed to be scrapping everything past WC2, but your outline relies on plot points introduced by WC3 such as the blood-curse and kil'jaeden's larger role in WC3, seemingly only to preserve the overall arcs of the canonical campaign.

According to details on the development of the cancelled Warcraft Adventures, originally the orcish depression was caused by alcoholism (possibly a reference to the internment of the American Indians). The return of shamanism was already introduced in Adventures, but only WC3 claimed that the orcs were corrupted by an organized demonic effort that occurred shortly before the first war (originally they had been losing the old ways for a while).

Kil'jaeden was originally just Gul'dan's tutor, and the role of demons was not codified at that time beyond generically evil beings in the "great dark beyond". Even Medivh was merely deranged by a generic extraplanar influence and had no special connection to Sargeras, who was just a generic imprisoned demon lord.

We don't need to follow the same arcs as canon. I am curious as to how the story could have gone without that limitation. Otherwise, I agree with your suggestion that the Cult of Damned be in part motivated by anti-orc sentiment and dissatisfaction with how the light had failed.

What does need to be worked out is the new backstory for the sentinels and the scourge now that the Burning Legion is no longer a thing. Warcraft 2 certainly made its fair share of retcons, such as the addition of Lordaeron north of Azeroth/Stormwind. It did not, to my recollection, make any big pronouncements about the cosmology of the universe beyond the vague statements about the dark beyond being inhabited by generically malicious demons intent on invading the world for their own dark purposes. Warcraft 1 even explicitly referenced God and Hell, suggesting that the religion which became the Light was originally a fantasy version of Christianity.

To that end, I would prefer to avoid any of the world codification that Warcraft 3 did, such as the dragon aspects, the world tree, etc. I don't want to retcon away any of the older lore, either, such as the druids of Caer Darrow. Before Warcraft 3 introduced the idea that arcane magic was evil and addictive, the high elves were suggested to practice druidism.

I don't know what backstory to give the sentinels and scourge myself, but I can probably come up with a few different ideas.

For example, the idea of a Lich King is not an inherently bad one any more than the Overmind in Starcraft. I feel that they have both received poor treatment from Blizzard, so this is an opportunity to perhaps correct that.

Maybe, I don't know, the Lich King could be older than Ner'zhul and been plotting his invasion for some time. I never really bought the official timeline's amazingly short period in which he was able to build his army. The official timeline overall has become increasingly unrealistic due to compressing the time in which events take place. I would prefer to go back to the way Warcraft 1 used many years to divide events, since that feels more realistic given the generally medieval level of technology prevalent. I would further limit availability of magic and steampunk to dramatically alter the economy, although that's a given since the canon ignores how this would alter the world given that guns and bows are used side-by-side in canon. (For an example of how guns and magic would break a medieval setting if used by anyone remotely competent, watch the anime Drifters which features famous real world historical generals from across time and space being thrust into a generic fantasy setting and turning it upside down.)

Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with introducing Northrend considering that WC2 already introduced Lordaeron. But I don't know how to explain the new Lich King without more time to think. I do think he should be something that predates the first war and takes advantage of the dissatisfaction among the alliance after the Second War, but beyond that I am not sure how to detail what is essentially an entirely original character.

Bringing back Ner'zhul and his death knights strains credibility more than a bit, but I can imagine the AU Lich King be able to pull some strings and make that happen. The Scourge already includes some demons (and during WC3's development one of the ideas was for demons to be their own race IIRC), so perhaps the Lich King has mastery of both necromancy and demonology.

Right now I am bit torn between which is a better choice: bringing an entirely new antagonist out of the woodwork without a retroactive connection to prior stories (as in the suggestion that the Lich King was around for a while but only got involved recently), or explaining prior events in the context of a new villain (as the canon did when it retroactively connected previously unrelated plot points and made Sargeras responsible for corrupting Medivh as a part of an existing goal to conquer the world for millennia). I fear that my new Lich King idea is falling into the same trap that Sargeras being retconned as the big bad did.

Because a major problem of retcons is that if done poorly they can weaken the story. By this I mean that prior events are rendered nonsensical since elements that were retconned in would have logically changed the course of events dramatically, or even completely alter the tone and scale as the Warcraft Chronicles do to the worst extreme. With all the titans and void gods and stuff running around, the story of the mortal characters seems kind of pointless.

In any event, something I want to try is to emulate WC1 and 2's depiction of the campaigns as being independent (or retroactively occurring side-by-side in later games) rather than linear as in the trend that Starcraft started. I feel the trend of linear campaigns harms the storylines of the individual races (witness how Starcraft made the zerg play second fiddle to Queen of Blades and never bothered to give them much characterization before killing them off) and was instrumental in the "villain tries to destroy the world/universe and has to be stopped" narrative that took over all the Blizzard games starting with Starcraft. (I have a lot to say about how terrible I think Starcraft turned out, but I already said as much in the Starcraft forum. I am sad that Starcraft never receives as much attention as Warcraft does, because I cannot find many willing to talk about it in detail here or anywhere else.)

I am rambling right now so I will stop here. Let me know your thoughts and advice in this matter.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:47 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Relevant link: https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads...ld-of-Warcraft

Somebody else opened a thread to discuss a sequel to Warcraft 2 without the retcons made by Warcraft 3, which is very similar to the ideas suggested in this thread.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:55 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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It sounds like you're not pleased about Azeroth having one big archenemy who's a force behind other villains (in the Legion's case, the Horde and Scourge). I can see your issue. Can't you just make the villains more independent (Horde is already around before the demons make contact, Scourge largely connects to anti-Alliance/Terenas movements in Lordaeron with Ner'zhul through his agents appropriating them for his schemes)?

Last edited by Cacofonix; 11-09-2018 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:39 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
It sounds like you're not pleased about Azeroth having one big archenemy who's a force behind other villains (in the Legion's case, the Horde and Scourge). I can see your issue. Can't you just make the villains more independent (Horde is already around before the demons make contact, Scourge largely connects to anti-Alliance/Terenas movements in Lordaeron with Ner'zhul through his agents appropriating them for his schemes)?
I am neither pleased nor displeased. The response I got made me curious about speculating about an alternate WC3 which continues from WC2 without the retcons involving the titans and legion and such.

WCA already provided some idea for how the orcs could have reclaimed their shaman roots without invoking the blood curse, so I was curious as to whether similar logic could be applied to other concepts introduced in WC3. That is a much bigger topic which includes this one within it.

I cannot change the title for this thread so if anyone else agrees I will make a new thread with a title along the lines of "What if WC3+ did not retcon in the titans, burning legion et al?" in order to attract correct responses.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:43 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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Go make the thread if you're up for it.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:32 AM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
You claimed to be scrapping everything past WC2, but your outline relies on plot points introduced by WC3 such as the blood-curse and kil'jaeden's larger role in WC3, seemingly only to preserve the overall arcs of the canonical campaign.

According to details on the development of the cancelled Warcraft Adventures, originally the orcish depression was caused by alcoholism (possibly a reference to the internment of the American Indians). The return of shamanism was already introduced in Adventures, but only WC3 claimed that the orcs were corrupted by an organized demonic effort that occurred shortly before the first war (originally they had been losing the old ways for a while).

Kil'jaeden was originally just Gul'dan's tutor, and the role of demons was not codified at that time beyond generically evil beings in the "great dark beyond". Even Medivh was merely deranged by a generic extraplanar influence and had no special connection to Sargeras, who was just a generic imprisoned demon lord.

We don't need to follow the same arcs as canon. I am curious as to how the story could have gone without that limitation. Otherwise, I agree with your suggestion that the Cult of Damned be in part motivated by anti-orc sentiment and dissatisfaction with how the light had failed.

What does need to be worked out is the new backstory for the sentinels and the scourge now that the Burning Legion is no longer a thing. Warcraft 2 certainly made its fair share of retcons, such as the addition of Lordaeron north of Azeroth/Stormwind. It did not, to my recollection, make any big pronouncements about the cosmology of the universe beyond the vague statements about the dark beyond being inhabited by generically malicious demons intent on invading the world for their own dark purposes. Warcraft 1 even explicitly referenced God and Hell, suggesting that the religion which became the Light was originally a fantasy version of Christianity.

To that end, I would prefer to avoid any of the world codification that Warcraft 3 did, such as the dragon aspects, the world tree, etc. I don't want to retcon away any of the older lore, either, such as the druids of Caer Darrow. Before Warcraft 3 introduced the idea that arcane magic was evil and addictive, the high elves were suggested to practice druidism.

I don't know what backstory to give the sentinels and scourge myself, but I can probably come up with a few different ideas.

For example, the idea of a Lich King is not an inherently bad one any more than the Overmind in Starcraft. I feel that they have both received poor treatment from Blizzard, so this is an opportunity to perhaps correct that.

Maybe, I don't know, the Lich King could be older than Ner'zhul and been plotting his invasion for some time. I never really bought the official timeline's amazingly short period in which he was able to build his army. The official timeline overall has become increasingly unrealistic due to compressing the time in which events take place. I would prefer to go back to the way Warcraft 1 used many years to divide events, since that feels more realistic given the generally medieval level of technology prevalent. I would further limit availability of magic and steampunk to dramatically alter the economy, although that's a given since the canon ignores how this would alter the world given that guns and bows are used side-by-side in canon. (For an example of how guns and magic would break a medieval setting if used by anyone remotely competent, watch the anime Drifters which features famous real world historical generals from across time and space being thrust into a generic fantasy setting and turning it upside down.)

Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with introducing Northrend considering that WC2 already introduced Lordaeron. But I don't know how to explain the new Lich King without more time to think. I do think he should be something that predates the first war and takes advantage of the dissatisfaction among the alliance after the Second War, but beyond that I am not sure how to detail what is essentially an entirely original character.

Bringing back Ner'zhul and his death knights strains credibility more than a bit, but I can imagine the AU Lich King be able to pull some strings and make that happen. The Scourge already includes some demons (and during WC3's development one of the ideas was for demons to be their own race IIRC), so perhaps the Lich King has mastery of both necromancy and demonology.

Right now I am bit torn between which is a better choice: bringing an entirely new antagonist out of the woodwork without a retroactive connection to prior stories (as in the suggestion that the Lich King was around for a while but only got involved recently), or explaining prior events in the context of a new villain (as the canon did when it retroactively connected previously unrelated plot points and made Sargeras responsible for corrupting Medivh as a part of an existing goal to conquer the world for millennia). I fear that my new Lich King idea is falling into the same trap that Sargeras being retconned as the big bad did.

Because a major problem of retcons is that if done poorly they can weaken the story. By this I mean that prior events are rendered nonsensical since elements that were retconned in would have logically changed the course of events dramatically, or even completely alter the tone and scale as the Warcraft Chronicles do to the worst extreme. With all the titans and void gods and stuff running around, the story of the mortal characters seems kind of pointless.

In any event, something I want to try is to emulate WC1 and 2's depiction of the campaigns as being independent (or retroactively occurring side-by-side in later games) rather than linear as in the trend that Starcraft started. I feel the trend of linear campaigns harms the storylines of the individual races (witness how Starcraft made the zerg play second fiddle to Queen of Blades and never bothered to give them much characterization before killing them off) and was instrumental in the "villain tries to destroy the world/universe and has to be stopped" narrative that took over all the Blizzard games starting with Starcraft. (I have a lot to say about how terrible I think Starcraft turned out, but I already said as much in the Starcraft forum. I am sad that Starcraft never receives as much attention as Warcraft does, because I cannot find many willing to talk about it in detail here or anywhere else.)

I am rambling right now so I will stop here. Let me know your thoughts and advice in this matter.
I was trying to "remake" the W3 plot, fixing the retcons and the plotholes.

The Lich King is gone, Ner'zhul being recycled to lead the Scourge never made any sense whatsoever, specially because he stopped being himself altogether. Necromancy was introduced by the orcs, but that's it, there aren't any other connections.

A reimagined undead faction could be demon-influenced, or just some wizards learning necromancy from orc books, and trying to build their own new society.

My biggest gripes with W3 are:

* The Burning Legion, and supervillains in general. The Dragon Aspects.
* Orcs going from almost extinct to full army. The existence of the Frostwolf clan.
* The interlude between the murder of Terenas and the beginning of the undead campaign. The undead faction being mindless killing machines, with no goals and society of their own.
* Garithos and his army being nowhere to be found half of the time.

Of course, if you really want to go further, you could just scrap the undead and the night elves, and divide Alliance and Horde in three factions each, these being: Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, Trolls, and Goblins.

Or go even further and re-imagine W1 and W2 too. Remove the Dark Portal and make orcs native to Azeroth. If you still want a choke point, use a giant mountain range with a secret mountain pass instead.

As for StarCraft, I always felt it was a poor franchise. The story was bad, and the races weren't that original either. SC2 should have fixed that by growing the franchise, but they didn't, and thus it's pretty much dead now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Relevant link: https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads...ld-of-Warcraft

Somebody else opened a thread to discuss a sequel to Warcraft 2 without the retcons made by Warcraft 3, which is very similar to the ideas suggested in this thread.
I said it multiple times before, the best thing for Warcraft IV is to either reimagine WoW, or go back to a distant past, with ancient empires as the playable factions.

* Ancient Azeroth: Trolls, Night Elves, Aqir, and Demons.
* Ancient Draenor: Arakkoa, Ogres+Orcs, Botani, and Draenei.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
I am neither pleased nor displeased. The response I got made me curious about speculating about an alternate WC3 which continues from WC2 without the retcons involving the titans and legion and such.

WCA already provided some idea for how the orcs could have reclaimed their shaman roots without invoking the blood curse, so I was curious as to whether similar logic could be applied to other concepts introduced in WC3. That is a much bigger topic which includes this one within it.

I cannot change the title for this thread so if anyone else agrees I will make a new thread with a title along the lines of "What if WC3+ did not retcon in the titans, burning legion et al?" in order to attract correct responses.
Just use this thread. Are you sure you can't change the title?
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Last edited by Lon-ami; 11-11-2018 at 08:44 AM..
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2018, 10:15 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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Is Arthas still around in your Warcraft or no? Is he still in the Scourge or no?

Anyway, the only bit that might stand out as odd about Ner'zhul becoming the Lich King is what was it about him that made Kil'jaeden insist he do that job. I'd just write that Ner'zhul had a special affinity in himself among mortals for the magic of Nercromnacy so KJ figured he'd be most suitable as a controller for Undead.
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2018, 12:20 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
Is Arthas still around in your Warcraft or no? Is he still in the Scourge or no?

Anyway, the only bit that might stand out as odd about Ner'zhul becoming the Lich King is what was it about him that made Kil'jaeden insist he do that job. I'd just write that Ner'zhul had a special affinity in himself among mortals for the magic of Nercromnacy so KJ figured he'd be most suitable as a controller for Undead.
It was just Blizzard forcing legacy characters into the plot regardless of how small it made the world seem.

In my opinion, the scourge and sentinels could have been given completely different backstories without bringing in the titans and burning legion.

The druid/mage divide was a key social division between the high elves and night elves. Then later lore introduced the blood elves, nightborne, etc to the point where the spirit of the original retcon was drowned out. So the alternate universe Sentinels could have something like the nightborne lore added to them to make into dark elves or something like that, explaining why there is a division between the high elves and night elves.

The Lich King doesn't need to be a recent addition to the timeline. WC2 retconned in the guardian of tirisfal as having been around since forever, so the alternate universe lich king could easily be written as an ancient figure who only recently became involved in the affairs of the rest of the world. For example, maybe the dark portal opening for the first time provoked the lich king into fighting the war of the spider or something.

If the alternate sequel to WC2 is supposed to have the same writing style, then the scourge and sentinels need their own POV chapters with in-character memoirs, not the omniscient narrator cliffsnotes in the WC3 manual.

Aegwyn's POV section basically served to retroactively explain why the first war happened in the first place, explaining plot points that were only vaguely alluded to in the WC1 manual and game. I did think it was a bit cliche that Medivh and Gul'dan were motivated solely by personal power as opposed to nationalism or something (the colonization of the Americas easily overshadows all fictional narratives about evil overlords), but they weren't the sole movers and shakers of the politics so this was forgivable.

I don't want to be lazy and just recap WC3 with some details changed, but writing a wholly new conception of the third war in the same style as WC1/2 is going to be hard especially if we are going to try to keep ideas from WC3 like the two new armies.

If we assume Warcraft Adventures remains canon, despite being cancelled, then years after the Second War ended Thrall is forming a new horde who have re-embraced their formerly declining shaman traditions. The novel Blood & Honor (at least the version I read, reprints may have rewritten it) has an epilogue which takes place years after Thrall formed the new horde and makes no mention of a third war, but it does give us a larger period of time between wars.

As suggested before this is the perfect environment for the Lich King to sway converts. But what motivates the Lich King in the absence of the legion retcons? What is his biography that reveals previously unknown information about the previously vague Azeroth history Aegwyn-style? We know that Azeroth, prior to retcons, explicitly had some form of Christianity and an afterlife inhabited by dead souls and demons. The shtick of the scourge, at least according to the unit lore on their website, is that they recruit from the souls in the neither (which is never mentioned in the actual plot event though it seems pretty important).

I can assume that the Lich King, prior to whatever made him the lich king, was a student of demonology and necromancy not unlike Gul'dan or Medivh. Perhaps he was even related to Tirisfal somehow. The important idea is that, a la WC1 and WC2, the villain isn't a generic evil bad guy but someone with very much understandable desires like wealth, power, land for his people or whatever else motivated real Europeans to commit genocide against the Amerindians.

The fact that the scourge recruits souls from the afterlife who retain their memories could play the key role. Rather than enslaving all undead, the lich king treats the souls of dead as vassals similar to how human kings treat peasants. Gul'dan's POV chapter in the WC2 manual explicitly states that he saw the souls of dead orc ancestors watching the living and desiring to become involved in the affairs of the world (at this point in time the orcs shaman traditions had decline and only rudiments of ancestor worship remained). Surely that could alter the culture of the scourge, perhaps making them more like the forsaken that appeared later?

So the Lich King could offer a new chance at existence for the souls of the dead, as well as promises of hope and revenge to the peoples of Lordaeron and Azeroth after the horrors of the first and second wars.

Ner'zhul and his death knights don't need to be included, but it might not be impossible that the Lich King rescues them when they are lost following the collapse of Draenor rather than Kil'jaeden.

Brainstorming will probably include a lot of ideas.
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  #20  
Old 11-11-2018, 11:53 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
Just use this thread. Are you sure you can't change the title?
I genuinely cannot change the title.
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  #21  
Old 11-11-2018, 12:10 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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Then go ahead and make your thread then.
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  #22  
Old 11-11-2018, 02:16 PM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
I genuinely cannot change the title.
Done.
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