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Old 07-01-2013, 06:48 PM
TSCR TSCR is offline

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Default Literary Review/Analysis of WarCraft III

Hi everyone

I decided to do a literary analysis on WarCraft III. So far I've only done the Prologue and the Human Campaign but I'm planning on doing the rest in the following weeks.

In my analysis I plan on looking at how the story is written to gain a better understanding of what is written e.g. I analyse the dialogue and body language. I try to focus more on the subtle and nuanced messages of the story rather than the more obvious ones. I'm not too good with computers so I didn't know how to transfer all of this to this forum with the correct formatting so I just decided to link people to my blog.

You can read my analysis here:

http://videogamestoryplotnarrativean...-reign-of.html

http://videogamestoryplotnarrativean...eign-of_2.html

BTW my review is 12000+ words so it'll take a while to read it.

As for myself, well I'm a literary enthusiast and I really like to analyse storylines. Video game storylines are usually overlooked so I plan on analysing them in my blog. My reviews aren't for everyone because at times I can overthink myself or get a little too analytical but sometimes that can be a good thing. Here's a sample of what I wrote about the ambassador in the cinematic where Medivh warns Terenas:

Quote:
Although he may seem insignificant the ambassador’s role is quite important in this scene. He’s trying to get permission to set up quarantine around the infected villages and this attempt is made more difficult by the arrival of Medivh. Notice how when Medivh flies in, everybody stops talking except Terenas who Medivh addresses? In fact everybody else continues to remain silent for the rest of the cinematic except the ambassador and the reason was stated by a background voice before Medivh made his introduction. When the ambassador was making his stance, somebody accused the wizards of being paranoid. Then a wizard arrived in the hall and told them to abandon the homeland they had protected for several years. What kind of impression does that give everyone of Kirin Tor which is an organisation of mages? Medivh entered the room at the wrong time. He entered just in time to make Kirin Tor, and wizards in general, look like fools. That’s why the ambassador was the one who ordered the guards to take them away. That’s why Terenas didn’t mind hearing him speak a bit. This is also why everyone else grew quiet with Medivh’s arrival. After all he arrived while the ambassador was speaking and he was a magician so they probably presumed he was from Kirin Tor and had a message from them. Of course after Medivh left, the ambassador probably said he had no connection to Kirin Tor and nobody should judge it by him but there are a lot of biased people in that meeting and I don’t think they were going to forget about Medivh’s stunt so easily. What Blizzard did with the ambassador is a good way of getting information across in your story in a very subtle way.
I hope I've posted this thread in the right section. While my analysis is primarily about WarCraft III I use lore from other material to supplement my ideas so I thought this thread would be mroe fitting in the Lore Discussion Section. The WarCraft lore is huge so I hope I haven't missed anything.

Last edited by TSCR; 07-01-2013 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:04 PM
Slowpokeking Slowpokeking is offline

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Welcome here.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:01 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Interesting idea but as you yourself have said, and based on the sample, you are overthinking this a lot.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:07 PM
GenyaArikado GenyaArikado is offline

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It's good overthinking though
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:45 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
Interesting idea but as you yourself have said, and based on the sample, you are overthinking this a lot.
Hey, the travelogue was all about overthinking, right?

"There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition."

- Jorge Luis Borges

To OP: This looks quite interesting and in-depth. A few notes:

- When you refer to people in eastern cultures having the surnames of their fathers (patronymics), to which cultures do you refer? I believe East Asia usually has family surnames rather than patronymics, though some Middle Eastern societies have something like Thrall's. Thrall bin/ben Durotan. Or even Thrall Durotanovich if you want to go farther north
- Terenas' pose in the throne room could also be shown as a sign of exhaustion or weakness. He's been ruling for a long time, and is perhaps no longer so capable of meeting new threats.
- Biblical prophets might have been humble towards God, but many took pretty aggressive attitudes towards people. This can be seen, for instance, in Elijah and Jermiah.
- Uther's rebuke towards Arthas in Mission 2 (followed by the "loathsome beasts" comment) is interesting, since it suggests that Uther himself may not be as free of vengeful thoughts as he claims. I can imagine him being aware of this on at least some level, and it being sort of an underlying conflict (which is also translated to his relationship with Arthas—does Arthas pick up on this?).
- This might be splitting hairs, but there were a fair number of non-Alliance people in the Eastern Kingdoms: Stromgarde, Gilneas, and Quel'thalas. I believe all of those states left the faction.
- Good interpretation of Antonidas' motives.
- I'm not sure if I quite agree on everything in a story needing to happen for a reason. That really depends on the type of story being told. Something that's more realistic/naturalistic might benefit from random and meaningless events. Of course, Wacraft is not that kind of a story.
- I don't agree with Kel'thuzad being a gray character. Whatever sympathetic aspects he might have (which seem only barely implied) are eclipsed by his villainy.
- The reason that the orcs were easier for Medivh to convince might have just been because they had much less to lose than the humans. Moving to a new land is kind of a logical choice for them.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:20 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by destron View Post
Hey, the travelogue was all about overthinking, right?

"There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition."

- Jorge Luis Borges
I suppose it is odd since I feel that I myself sometimes do the same in my discussions here, still there is a limit to that and the OP is way out of my comfort zone, indeed to little old cynical me his apparent faith in Blizzard goes into the farcical

Your work otoh is basically fanon. Hence it is strictly your interpretation/expansion of actual lore, and the reader either buys it with the understanding that it is a story of your making that is fundamentally divorced from canon, that it is really its own thing. Or the reader moves on and dismisses your ideas. Here however we are invited to believe these interpretations to be intended, to be true, and given the depth the OP goes into it is just too much for me, it doesn't hold my interest.

Great quote btw.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:28 PM
TSCR TSCR is offline

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Originally Posted by Slowpokeking View Post
Welcome here.
Thanks

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
Interesting idea but as you yourself have said, and based on the sample, you are overthinking this a lot.
Well that comes down to the person so that's why I said my analysis aren't for everyone.

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Originally Posted by GenyaArikado View Post
It's good overthinking though
Thanks and I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by destron View Post
Hey, the travelogue was all about overthinking, right?

"There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition."

- Jorge Luis Borges

To OP: This looks quite interesting and in-depth. A few notes:

- When you refer to people in eastern cultures having the surnames of their fathers (patronymics), to which cultures do you refer? I believe East Asia usually has family surnames rather than patronymics, though some Middle Eastern societies have something like Thrall's. Thrall bin/ben Durotan. Or even Thrall Durotanovich if you want to go farther north
- Terenas' pose in the throne room could also be shown as a sign of exhaustion or weakness. He's been ruling for a long time, and is perhaps no longer so capable of meeting new threats.
- Biblical prophets might have been humble towards God, but many took pretty aggressive attitudes towards people. This can be seen, for instance, in Elijah and Jermiah.
- Uther's rebuke towards Arthas in Mission 2 (followed by the "loathsome beasts" comment) is interesting, since it suggests that Uther himself may not be as free of vengeful thoughts as he claims. I can imagine him being aware of this on at least some level, and it being sort of an underlying conflict (which is also translated to his relationship with Arthas—does Arthas pick up on this?).
- This might be splitting hairs, but there were a fair number of non-Alliance people in the Eastern Kingdoms: Stromgarde, Gilneas, and Quel'thalas. I believe all of those states left the faction.
- Good interpretation of Antonidas' motives.
- I'm not sure if I quite agree on everything in a story needing to happen for a reason. That really depends on the type of story being told. Something that's more realistic/naturalistic might benefit from random and meaningless events. Of course, Wacraft is not that kind of a story.
- I don't agree with Kel'thuzad being a gray character. Whatever sympathetic aspects he might have (which seem only barely implied) are eclipsed by his villainy.
- The reason that the orcs were easier for Medivh to convince might have just been because they had much less to lose than the humans. Moving to a new land is kind of a logical choice for them.
I think logical timelines help to make a story flow so I enjoy thinking of travel logues.

- I'm primarily referring to middle-eastern cultures. In Ancient Arabia naming was done like that. For example 'Ahmed bin Abas' translates to 'Ahmad son of Abas' which is similar to what is being done here.

- Yeah true. There are a number of ways of looking at it.

- Yes I know there are conflicting views since there are contradictions with historical data but what I'm specifically referring to is the idea of a biblical prophet. Ideally a biblical prophet was supposed to be humble even to their enemies. Sure some historical information says this is not the case but that's why I'm basing this on the idea of a biblical prophet rather than the reality of them.

- That may be the case but if Arthas does pick up on this, Blizzard never really dwells deeper into.

- Perhaps I wasn't clear with it. What I mean is that Arthas is xenophobic against races that aren't 'normal' to him like orcs and trolls. The kind of races the Alliance has fought against. Sorry I couldn't think of a better word to define them. Any suggestions are welcome.

- Thanks

- True it depends on the story being told but since WarCraft is the kind of story that seems to be trying to say 'Take me seriously' I think I can apply that rule to it.

- Well ti depends on your definition of the 'grey'. I find how Kel'thuzad acts to be quite admirable (especially how he treats his usbordinates and how he helped Arthas) because he can be a lot worse.

- Yeah that could work as well.

Oh yeah and if you like my work then please visit again. I usually write how long until I post my next analysis. Currently I only have a review on StarCraft but I plan to cover more video games soon.

Last edited by TSCR; 07-01-2013 at 09:38 PM..
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:36 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSCR View Post
Thanks

I think logical timelines help to make a story flow so I enjoy thinking of travel logues.
The travelogue to which I referred is my own blog, which also involves a lot of over thinking. You can find it in the link in my signature if you're curious. C9H20 is a longtime reader, which is why I mentioned it to him.

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Originally Posted by TSCR View Post

- Yes I know there are conflicting views since there are contradictions with historical data but what I'm specifically referring to is the idea of a biblical prophet. Ideally a biblical prophet was supposed to be humble even to their enemies. Sure some historical information says this is not the case but that's why I'm basing this on the idea of a biblical prophet rather than the reality of them.
The issue is, however, that it's not always easy to separate the idea from the reality, since there are only so many firsthand sources regarding the prophets.

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Originally Posted by TSCR View Post
- Perhaps I wasn't clear with it. What I mean is that Arthas is xenophobic against races that aren't 'normal' to him like orcs and trolls. The kind of races the Alliance has fought against. Sorry I couldn't think of a better word to define them. Any suggestions are welcome.
Fair enough, that makes sense. Xenophobic might actually be a good term, since that literally does mean afraid of strange things or strangers, though Arthas' idea of what's acceptable is broader than what most people think of when someone mentions xenophobia.

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Originally Posted by TSCR View Post
- True it depends on the story being told but since WarCraft is the kind of story that seems to be trying to say 'Take me seriously' I think I can apply that rule to it.
Yeah, I think that's a reasonable interpretation of Warcraft.

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Originally Posted by TSCR View Post
- Well ti depends on your definition of the 'grey'. I find how Kel'thuzad acts to be quite admirable (especially how he treats his usbordinates and how he helped Arthas) because he can be a lot worse.
I don't really see Kel'thuzad's treatment of his subordinates as being enough to make him any less of a villain, but to each his own.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:04 PM
CoDimus the Staunch CoDimus the Staunch is offline

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I really loved the first Alliance cinematic in Warcraft 3. It showed how much pride, stubbornness and arrogance exists in the Alliance.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:38 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Kel'thuzad is a bit more sympathetic in TFT, when he is explicitly shown as Arthas's friend.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:51 AM
TSCR TSCR is offline

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Originally Posted by Call of duty 1 View Post
I really loved the first Alliance cinematic in Warcraft 3. It showed how much pride, stubbornness and arrogance exists in the Alliance.
Yeah we need to see more of that in WoW rather than having the Horde get all the spotlight.

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Kel'thuzad is a bit more sympathetic in TFT, when he is explicitly shown as Arthas's friend.
True but I'd say what he does in RoC's campaign is quite sympathetic as well. He advises Arthas about his insecurities and such despite him being the man who killed him and I've never seen too many villains like that.

Too bad we had to ultimately kill him off. If anyone had a chance of becoming good, it was him IMO.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:06 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Too bad we had to ultimately kill him off. If anyone had a chance of becoming good, it was him IMO.
I disagree. He was the sort of a character who has consciously chosen to be the top servant of the supreme antagonist, but remained genuinely pleasant on the personal level... Even after being transformed into a flying magic skeleton.

"Villains can have friends too", or so to say. He certainly didn't express being sorry for spreading the all-killing monster-turning plague throughout Lordaeron.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:43 PM
TSCR TSCR is offline

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Originally Posted by Kir the Wizard View Post
I disagree. He was the sort of a character who has consciously chosen to be the top servant of the supreme antagonist, but remained genuinely pleasant on the personal level... Even after being transformed into a flying magic skeleton.

"Villains can have friends too", or so to say. He certainly didn't express being sorry for spreading the all-killing monster-turning plague throughout Lordaeron.
Yeah true but what I mean is that he had a better chance than anybody else. Of course you're right in saying it wasn't a very high chance but relatively I don't think there was any other bad guy who had a higher chance than him.

Of course WarCraft is a universe where bad guys rarely get redeemed permanently so I guess that's to be expected.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:15 PM
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I just posted my review to the undead campaign:

http://videogamestoryplotnarrativean...eign-of_8.html

There really wasn't much I could say because this campaign was pretty straight forward but I tried to do what I could.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:39 PM
TSCR TSCR is offline

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For anyone who's still interested, here's my analysis of the Orc Campaign:

http://videogamestoryplotnarrativean...ign-of_15.html

There was a lot to say about this once compared to the Undead Campaign but it still wasn't without its flaws.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:42 AM
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That was certainly a good read and you gave me a different perspective on Warcraft III. You just made a few mistakes regarding the lore. For instance, Archimonde isn't a Dreadlord (he's a draenei/eredar) as you said in the Blackrock & Roll Too! review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Story Review
One criticism I have for this scene is why didn’t Archimonde just kill Arthas and Kel’Thuzad? They were of no more use to the Burning Legion and given Ner’zhul’s history it wouldn’t be surprising if he just decided to have them work against the Legion. If Archimonde had just killed those two here then it would have made the invasion in Kalimdor a lot smoother.
Actually, without competent figureheads leading the charge, the Legion would have had many problems in Kalimdor. The bulk of the Legion's forces were made of Scourge agents, and nobody knew how to command them better than Arthas and Kel'thuzad, even if they didn't make an appearance at the Battle of Mount Hyjal.

Quote:
From what I understand, Archimonde refers to arcane magic as ‘our fire’ which makes sense because magic first given among the elves through the Well of Eternity. The Well of Eternity draws its powers from the Twisting Nether which is where Archimonde came from.
False.

The Well was a creation of Titan origins, being pretty much a bottomless source of Arcane magic crafted by the Titans. It didn't draw its powers from the nether. Archimonde comes from the planet Argus, the homeworld of the draenei

The main school of magic of the Legion is actually Fel magic, as they don't use Arcane magic much if at all. That claim about stealing magic from them makes sense if we're talking about Archimonde's origins, Argus. The eredar were very keen on using arcane magic, being possibly the most skilled race in using arcane magic.

Quote:
The Kaldorei’s unfamiliarity with the orcs is expressed by how Cairne addresses the orcs: he refers to the as ‘greenskins’, a term everyone unfamiliar with the orcs uses.
Well, uhm, Kaldorei means "Children of the Stars", and that's a term used for night elves, not tauren.

Last edited by Pixy; 07-15-2013 at 01:51 AM..
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:58 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Archimonde's comment was made directly to Dalaran and is related to the Guardian of Tirisfal backstory.

In short, the misuse of arcane magic (away from the covering elven runestones) that Dalaran and Stormwind mages commited was showing the demons of Twisting Nether the location of Azeroth and drwaing them to it - even without a summoning ritual demons started to appear all over the leylines, which led to the establishment of the Guardian. This culminated in Aegwynn's battle against the Avatar (?) of Sargeras himself.

Arcane magic is indeed connected to the "Astral" nature of the Twisting Nether, and is also somehow connected to Fel, but we don't know the details - the upcoming lore encyclopedia might shed some light on the matter (my personal speculation, coming from both Archimonde's words and the old DotD-to-RPG characterizations of Arcane Magic as corrupting and "bad", is that Fel is heavily concentrated, "deep" layer of Arcane that was tainted by the primordial pre-Legion demons and continues to exist in symbiosis with them).

But the Well, whether it tapped into the Nether or not, was indeed a Titanic creation, and the Titans were seemingly fine with using Arcane and concentrating it in the mortal world.

The demons' goal is (along with Sargeras's intention for destruction and re-creation of universe) is to feed on the magic of mortal worlds, by which they are drawn to planets.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
and is also somehow connected to Fel
Except it's not. It specifically COUNTERS fel, as shown in Illidan's experiments
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:57 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Except it's not. It specifically COUNTERS fel, as shown in Illidan's experiments
Lolwow. TLG had arcane magic connected to the demons and Warcraft 3 had fel-users achieve the same results as the mages (fireball-throwing orcish warlocks, blood mages).

And it's not like Illidan's experiments somehow negate the connection.

Again, the twitter devs promised us a definite answer regarding the nature of Fel in the next book.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:09 AM
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Lolwow. TLG had arcane magic connected to the demons and Warcraft 3 had fel-users achieve the same results as the mages (fireball-throwing orcish warlocks, blood mages).

And it's not like Illidan's experiments somehow negate the connection.

Again, the twitter devs promised us a definite answer regarding the nature of Fel in the next book.
There wasn't a single fel spell used by orcish warlocks in both RoC and TFT. The blood mage only resorted to fire magic and arcane.

The only units who even used fel to an extent are the Doomguard, some Outland creeps and Archimonde, and that doesn't validate your point.

In fact, a Blizzard tweet stated that Fel isn't arcane as some people thought, and there's virtually no evidence suggesting they're related, unless I'm wrong.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:18 AM
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In fact, a Blizzard tweet stated that Fel isn't arcane as some people thought, and there's virtually no evidence suggesting they're related, unless I'm wrong.
Arcane as in the magic type or arcane as in the school?
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:20 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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There wasn't a single fel spell used by orcish warlocks in both RoC and TFT. The blood mage only resorted to fire magic and arcane.
What the hell are you talking about. Half of their spells became the basis for modern Warlock tech spells (Banish, Drain Mana, and the Curse of Cripple of something). The only mage spell they used were fireball (for orc warlocks) and flamestrike (for blood mages).

Are you seriously suggesting that the spells of orcish warlocks weren't powered by fel?!

Quote:
In fact, a Blizzard tweet stated that Fel isn't arcane as some people thought, and there's virtually no evidence suggesting they're related, unless I'm wrong.
Which tweet?

And it -isn't- arcane but is obviously related somehow and works the same way (the magic essence can imitate the elements; it is addicitve (and either can be used to calm the addiction for the other one); it is world-altering - though arcane less so then fel).
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Pixy View Post
Except it's not. It specifically COUNTERS fel, as shown in Illidan's experiments
I don't think that it countered fel so much as replaced it.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:31 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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I don't think that it countered fel so much as replaced it.
Illidan considers a lighter drug to be the first step to curing an addiction.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:53 AM
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What the hell are you talking about. Half of their spells became the basis for modern Warlock tech spells (Banish, Drain Mana, and the Curse of Cripple of something). The only mage spell they used were fireball (for orc warlocks) and flamestrike (for blood mages).

Are you seriously suggesting that the spells of orcish warlocks weren't powered by fel?!
What evidence do you have they powered their spells on fel?

Are you honestly suggesting Kael'thas' spells in the first three missions were fel-powered because apparently modern day warlocks use those spells as well? This is ridiculous.

Quote:
And it -isn't- arcane but is obviously related somehow and works the same way (the magic essence can imitate the elements; it is addicitve (and either can be used to calm the addiction for the other one); it is world-altering - though arcane less so then fel).
The only similarity being they're both addictive. Other than that, they're two completely different things.

Quote:
Illidan considers a lighter drug to be the first step to curing an addiction.
That would literally turn them into High Elves again, minus the drawing arcane from Sunwell part.

Last edited by Pixy; 07-15-2013 at 04:06 AM..
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