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Old 04-21-2014, 11:47 PM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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Default Did Blizzard play their own games? RTS retcons.

The more I think back about the RTS games, the more amazed and frustrated I have been with Blizzard's ineptitude with their own game world as experienced in the RTS.
This is a thread that I'm sure the grognards, like BaronGrackle, will enjoy, but I hope you young pups of WC3 and WoW also appreciate. It's all about the retcons to the game world of the RTS games (and between the RTS games) and WoW. Did Blizzard even play their own games? Did they just completely forget the most basic things about the world they created and what it looked like?

Retconned geography almost goes without saying. For example, the Swamp of Sorrows was south of the Black Morass in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, but WoW switches it around so that the Black Morass is now south of the Swamp of Sorrows and has become the Blasted Lands.

But here is a factoid you may not be familiar with from the first game: Black Rock Spire was supposed to be in a swamp.



The area around Black Rock Spire in WC1 was covered in trees and swamp water with a mud-brown tileset. It was a bit disappointed, to say the least, when I played through WoW for the first time in 2004 and saw that there was nothing in the area that looked remotely like how it was in-game. You could say, "Hey, well maybe the orcs destroyed the area later which is why it doesn't look that way?" But no, because WoW basically suggests that's how the area came to look due to Ragnaros.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:45 AM
Westlee Westlee is offline
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I think they've gotten into a bad habit as far as retcons go.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:33 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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but I hope you young pups of WC3
This affects them as well. Just ask a Night Elf fan about his favorite race. Ask a paladin fan whether the Silver Hand disbanded at Arthas's whim.

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Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
Black Rock Spire in WC1
According to the ToD and BtDP novels, Blackhand never set foot in Blackrock Spire. The text indicates that Doomhammer was the first to make his "capital" there.

What bothers me, is that if these were video games we'd be able to dismiss parts of them as "game mechanics"... as decisions made for the sake of an enjoyable video game. With later novels, I'm convinced that a lot of decisions were made as "novel mechanics"--decisions made for a brisker written story instead of covering all the intricacies of an RTS game.

Just look at the decision to have Arthas's psyche completely replace Ner'zhul's as the Lich King. The only benefit that decision had was avoiding complications and allowing them to keep the focus on Arthas.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:36 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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The orcs captured the Red Dragons.



A little known fact is that they then used green paint on the Dragons.
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It's really been a case of Blizzard shitting on the Alliance and Horde storyline, but with the added bonus of the Alliance fanbase requesting to shit further on the Horde fanbase.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:47 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Originally Posted by JorgeAxe View Post
The orcs captured the Red Dragons.

A little known fact is that they then used green paint on the Dragons.
In the intro to the Chronicles set that includes Day of the Dragon, Metzen describes how he and Aaron Rosenberg agreed to completely change the direction of what dragons were in the Warcraft universe.

It doesn't really offend my retro sensibilities, but the turns-into-humans thing sets off my furry alarms.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:56 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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In the intro to the Chronicles set that includes Day of the Dragon, Metzen describes how he and Aaron Rosenberg agreed to completely change the direction of what dragons were in the Warcraft universe.
Interesting, what do they say?

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It doesn't really offend my retro sensibilities, but the turns-into-humans thing sets off my furry alarms.
Why Giant reptiles share the same beauty standards as humans is beyond me...
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It's really been a case of Blizzard shitting on the Alliance and Horde storyline, but with the added bonus of the Alliance fanbase requesting to shit further on the Horde fanbase.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:37 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Interesting, what do they say?
It's the intro Metzen wrote for the Warcraft Archive.

I don't actually own it, so I just remember what I read when I looked through it in the store. Metzen talks about how, when he was working on Warcraft III, Knaak gave him a phone call saying he'd seen the Warcraft games and was interested in working on a Warcraft book. Metzen was thinking things like "I'm not worthy!" during the call because Knaak was already known for his Dragonlance novels. I guess since Knaak had written so much about dragons already, he ran some changes to the lore of Warcraft's dragons that Metzen readily approved.

(In my opinion, the fact that Knaak played the Warcraft games first and approached Metzen instead of the other way around is evident in how well he treats the kingdoms, the world geography, and the "feel of Warcraft II" in Day of the Dragon. Dragonpeople aside.)
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:52 PM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Why Giant reptiles share the same beauty standards as humans is beyond me...
Because otherwise they couldn't arbitrarily be attracted to Alleria, duh.

Actually, they could. Dwarves want women with beards (according to DotD) and are somehow still attracted to Alleria.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:55 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Because otherwise they couldn't arbitrarily be attracted to Alleria, duh.

Actually, they could. Dwarves want women with beards (according to DotD) and are somehow still attracted to Alleria.
Maybe they think they can change her.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:58 PM
JorgeAxe JorgeAxe is offline

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Because otherwise they couldn't arbitrarily be attracted to Alleria, duh.
Probably because Vereesa was one of the only females in the Warcraft universe back then.

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Actually, they could. Dwarves want women with beards (according to DotD) and are somehow still attracted to Alleria.
A bearded Wildhammer lady would've shown up in Warcraft Adventures as well.
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It's really been a case of Blizzard shitting on the Alliance and Horde storyline, but with the added bonus of the Alliance fanbase requesting to shit further on the Horde fanbase.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:01 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Y'all need to stop overthinking about attraction in a fantasy world.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:04 PM
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Y'all need to stop overthinking about attraction in a fantasy world.
Or maybe you should start.
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I was probably just upset about the Horde fleet in the Second War.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:06 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Or maybe you should start.
No.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:32 PM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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This affects them as well. Just ask a Night Elf fan about his favorite race. Ask a paladin fan whether the Silver Hand disbanded at Arthas's whim.
True, but I can somewhat understand how those things happened. Night elves having to be downsized for the purposes of the MMO two-faction system, and the fact that we later see that the Silver Hand did not disband later in the game.

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
According to the ToD and BtDP novels, Blackhand never set foot in Blackrock Spire. The text indicates that Doomhammer was the first to make his "capital" there.
That also makes me incredibly sad. I never particularly noticed this, as I only really skimmed through these books for gleaning the Seven Kingdoms info. I prefer the First War history imagined by some guy in this forum, who basically created a history that tried reconciling as much of the orc and human campaigns as he could. He even made maps of it and everything. I'll try finding it.

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What bothers me, is that if these were video games we'd be able to dismiss parts of them as "game mechanics"... as decisions made for the sake of an enjoyable video game. With later novels, I'm convinced that a lot of decisions were made as "novel mechanics"--decisions made for a brisker written story instead of covering all the intricacies of an RTS game.
Agreed.

Quote:
Just look at the decision to have Arthas's psyche completely replace Ner'zhul's as the Lich King. The only benefit that decision had was avoiding complications and allowing them to keep the focus on Arthas.
To be fair, Arthas becoming the dominant personality does help explain how the Lich King went from a Machiavellian genius to the idiot cartoon villain of WotLK. I do not understand, however, how Arthas could have overpowered Ner'zhul's will. Ner'zhul maintained his willful malice through extended periods of torture by the Burning Legion. Yet it gets wiped away at the swat of a dream sword?

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
(In my opinion, the fact that Knaak played the Warcraft games first and approached Metzen instead of the other way around is evident in how well he treats the kingdoms, the world geography, and the "feel of Warcraft II" in Day of the Dragon. Dragonpeople aside.)
As much shit as people give Knaak, this is one bit point that I ardently agree with. Day of the Dragon absolutely nailed down the politics of the Seven Kingdoms and the Alliance. It was THE BOOK that grasped the fact that the Alliance is made up of competing, independent sovereign states.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:20 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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I prefer the First War history imagined by some guy in this forum, who basically created a history that tried reconciling as much of the orc and human campaigns as he could. He even made maps of it and everything. I'll try finding it.
The First War - Unretconned and lore-friendly

This one?
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:57 PM
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That's the one! It's not perfect, such as the fact that it uses the corrupted WoW geography (e.g. Swamp of Sorrows/Black Morass switch-up and the volcanic Burning Steppes), but it still presents an engaging presentation of the First War.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:10 PM
ARM3481 ARM3481 is offline

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To be fair, Arthas becoming the dominant personality does help explain how the Lich King went from a Machiavellian genius to the idiot cartoon villain of WotLK. I do not understand, however, how Arthas could have overpowered Ner'zhul's will. Ner'zhul maintained his willful malice through extended periods of torture by the Burning Legion. Yet it gets wiped away at the swat of a dream sword?
Perhaps it's that while in the "real world" Arthas could be steered around and misdirected, when it came down to a head-on contest of "your way or my way" between their spirits, Arthas' single-minded stubbornness won out.

As evidenced with Gul'dan, Ner'zhul had a penchant for misreading people, and wrongly assuming they were on the same page as he. He thought he had Arthas pegged, but underestimated just how rigidly narrow of vision the prince truly was.

In a way, by "tricking" Arthas into betraying his people and dooming his homeland - both things he'd been duped into himself - Ner'zhul thought he was cultivating a like-minded servant and ally. What Ner'zhul failed to consider was that while he at some point realized he'd screwed up (which led to his downfall on Draenor and extremely fatalistic worldview), Arthas never once readily acknowledged that he'd ever done anything wrong and remained rigidly convinced that he was shaping things with his will, and bad things only happened when other people didn't get with the program.

Ner'zhul was a manipulator who moved a million pieces around to funnel his pawns into a "predetermined" fate they couldn't seem to avoid. Arthas seized what he wanted and forced it to do what he wanted. Ner'zhul thought he was dealing with a kindred spirit with whom to share his vision and power, but in reality he'd only managed to elevate a control freak to a position from which Arthas could wrest that power away.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:14 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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I think it would've been cooler if Ner'zhul and Arthas, after joining to one body/avatar, had continued thoughts and discussions between each other. Their thoughts back-and-forth would become so constant and interwoven that eventually their personalities and goals would become indistinguishable--then the Lich King would have effectively become a single person.

In the Frozen Throne ending, Arthas is flooded with thoughts about former friends and decisions he made to lead him where he was now... I like to think that Ner'zhul could have had a similar experience.
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:24 AM
Myrillion Myrillion is offline

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True, but I can somewhat understand how those things happened. Night elves having to be downsized for the purposes of the MMO two-faction system, and the fact that we later see that the Silver Hand did not disband later in the game.
The amount of lore-rape that happened due to the two-faction system. Seriously.

It's kind of sad to think that Knaak actually tried to get a feel for the lore and still stuffed up so much. Not sure who is worse what Metzen became or Knaak in Warcraft...
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:45 AM
Drusus Drusus is offline

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I think it would've been cooler if Ner'zhul and Arthas, after joining to one body/avatar, had continued thoughts and discussions between each other. Their thoughts back-and-forth would become so constant and interwoven that eventually their personalities and goals would become indistinguishable--then the Lich King would have effectively become a single person.

In the Frozen Throne ending, Arthas is flooded with thoughts about former friends and decisions he made to lead him where he was now... I like to think that Ner'zhul could have had a similar experience.
"I was a Shaman once..."

Yeah that line was a bit weird all things considered.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:07 AM
Melorandor Melorandor is offline

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Anything about the island of Zul'dare always intrigued me why it never appared in game nor Cataclysm. Supposdley it was off the coast of Gilneas. I guess BLizzard probably retconned it in to either "It's Purgatory Isle now" or "It uh...um...Sank? Yeah it sank with the reefs..."

Also that Hasic.

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Originally Posted by JorgeAxe View Post
Probably because Vereesa was one of the only females in the Warcraft universe back then.



A bearded Wildhammer lady would've shown up in Warcraft Adventures as well.
Should just give Female Dwarves beards anyways as customization feature.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:01 AM
Ujimasa Hojo Ujimasa Hojo is online now

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Anything about the island of Zul'dare always intrigued me why it never appared in game nor Cataclysm. Supposdley it was off the coast of Gilneas. I guess BLizzard probably retconned it in to either "It's Purgatory Isle now" or "It uh...um...Sank? Yeah it sank with the reefs..."
Other interesting things to point out about Zul'Dare are its Trollish name and it being a Gilnean territory. If it is indeed Gilnean territory, then wouldn't Gilneas have been involved more in the Second War because the Horde attacked it?
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:24 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Other interesting things to point out about Zul'Dare are its Trollish name and it being a Gilnean territory. If it is indeed Gilnean territory, then wouldn't Gilneas have been involved more in the Second War because the Horde attacked it?
When you combine modern lore into it, then yes. When you just look at how things were in 1995-96, not necessarily.

Back then, we didn't have any examples of troll city names. There was no apostrophe in the name "Zuljin", so the troll leader's name wasn't as similar to "Zul'dare" as it is today. The random apostrophe WAS common in Draenor-based names such as Gul'dan and Cho'gall, and the city name did seem similar in style to the orcish port-city of Zeth'kur. I for one saw naming similarities between Zul'dare and Zeth'kur and assumed they were both orcish names.

Geographically, the island of Zul'dare was about equidistant to Lordaeron, Gilneas, and Kul Tiras. When the Horde had its first mission here, they encountered "Nation of Azeroth" (Stormwind) forces.

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Old 04-23-2014, 12:42 PM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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Geographically, the island of Zul'dare was about equidistant to Lordaeron, Gilneas, and Kul Tiras. When the Horde had its first mission here, they encountered "Nation of Azeroth" (Stormwind) forces.
Considering that later sources, primarily the Lord of His Pack short story, indicate that the Gilneas fought battles against orcs at their borders, I'm curious as to where and when that happened, especially since we never see Gilneas in any of the WC2 missions.
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:12 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Considering that later sources, primarily the Lord of His Pack short story, indicate that the Gilneas fought battles against orcs at their borders, I'm curious as to where and when that happened, especially since we never see Gilneas in any of the WC2 missions.
It could be anywhere, including Zul'dare. Even Hillsbrad is a skip over from Gilneas.


EDIT: Or around Dalaran. When BtDP came out, Gilneas had been in the Alliance and the Horde had attacked Dalaran--which was a westcoast city when we look at the map. The Horde may have had to sail around the Gilnean peninsula to reach it.

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