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Old 11-22-2011, 07:00 AM
Porimlys Porimlys is offline

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Hey all, so I was remembering tonight a lore blog I used to visit because it had summaries of all the warcraft comics. Lorecrafted.com. I wouldn't be surprised if it was written by someone who posts here. Anyway I went back there today after a long time and found this blog post. I thought it was an interesting and insightful read so I figured I'd post it to see what you guys think.

http://www.lorecrafted.com/main/2011...c-fantasy.html

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I've been a fan of Warcraft lore for a long while now, but I didn't truly get into it until Warcraft III, when the story truly kicked itself into high gear. When World of Warcraft launched, learning the lore became an outright necessity in order to craft my roleplay characters, especially Tharion Greyseer.

Over the past seven years, I've struggled with many of the story decisions made by Blizzard. Some of them I've enjoyed, but there have been a great many others that have made me raise an eyebrow in questioning disbelief. I realize now that my aversion to some of these ideas spawned from a core misinterpretation of Warcraft's flavor.

You see, sometimes I wanted a complex setting with storylines that avoided all the standard tropes and clichés of the fantasy genre. Other times I wanted a serious portrayal of the subject matter that would truly make me reconsider my outlook on the world in general. There were story arcs that I developed for guild roleplay that traveled depths of darkness akin to the gothic horror setting of Diablo. And sometimes there were ideas I had that would rival the gritty war-like setting of Starcraft. All of these, I thought, were Blizzard franchises, so all of these could, in theory, have interchangeable themes.

However, I soon came to realize that Warcraft has its own distinct flavor. It may echo certain things from other genres, but it's definitely a creature with a unique style. And the best way I can describe that style is by the title of this article: superheroic fantasy.

This struck me hardest during BlizzCon, when Metzen asked whether or not the crowd enjoyed the "far out there" look and feel of Outland during The Burning Crusade. The crowd applaused loudly, even when Metzen admitted that many folk inside Blizzard preferred a more traditional fantasy flavor. I was disappointed to hear that, because I was one who truly loved the unique feel of Burning Crusade. Granted, Warcraft demons and demon hunters have been favorites of mine since Warcraft III, so it's no great revelation.

I began to wonder why the "let's stick to standard fantasy" attitude rubbed me the wrong way, and I came to a simple conclusion: Warcraft is so much MORE than standard fantasy, and narrowing the style would be such a loss.

Warcraft's attitude and style parallels those found in the comic book universes of both Marvel and DC. Warcraft has heroes and villains, many of whom are even costumed. There are superpowers. There are epic characters, weapons, and artifacts. There is science, magic, and technology. There are factions and groups who band together around distinctly identifiable mechanics or themes. Warcraft is also as colorful as its comic book counterparts in both visuals and story.

Most of plotlines that once made me cringe would feel right at home in a Marvel or DC setting. Most of the unbelievable victories and defeats in this universe would be a perfect fit in the hands of the Justice League or the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Superheroes and supervillains are plentiful in Warcraft, just as they are in comic books, and the stories reflect the same overall attitude.

I realized that even the number of retcons and lore adjustments is on par with comic book continuity. Multitudes of writers are all jamming in a singular universe, attempting to write interesting stories that both honor what came before while bringing us, the audience, into the future. They're not trying to craft literature to rival that of Shakespeare or Poe. They're trying to craft events to rival Brubaker, Johns, or Bendis.

The reason this idea overtook my thoughts during the Outland discussion was simple: Outland is Warcraft's "cosmic" setting. Whereas DC has Green Lantern and Marvel has Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy, Warcraft has the Draenei, the Pantheon, and the Burning Legion. Instead of Darkseid or Galactus, we have Sargeras. Outland and the Twisting Nether are one the same epic scale as the cosmic universes of both companies. And, as such, they have their distinct place in the overall story. I realized that, if Warcraft were to stick wholly to the "traditional fantasy only" milieu, we'd basically lose our sense of scale.

I recently posted an article that explored why game fiction generally has the stigma of low quality. But what I didn't truly touch upon was the idea that sometimes the "lesser quality" is embraced by the creators. It's not that anyone's intending to make "bad" fiction, but there are many who intend to make "popcorn" fiction.

Sometimes George R.R. Martin is too heavy a read; we don't always care about politics or betrayals. Sometimes Tolkien is too thick to enjoy; we don't want to explore the internal struggle of an innocent hobbit seeking to cast an ancient ring into a fiery mountain. Sometimes we really do just want tales of overt heroism, villainy, and kick-assery. Sometimes we want our heroes to wield a giant hammer, axe, or sword and smack down his or her foes in grand epic fashion.

And sometimes that's all the creators are trying to give us.

Overall, this outlook has changed how I judge the fiction for Warcraft in general. I'm not expecting something on par with Brandon Sanderson, George R.R. Martin, or Tolkien. Theirs is a different realm with a weight that I may not always want in my games. Ours, however, is a realm of popcorn and fun; a realm where we can speak about the heavy and the lighthearted with the same breath and still enjoy the ride.

Afterall, didn't Metzen once say that Thrall was his Superman?
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:38 AM
SmokeBlader SmokeBlader is offline

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I wish we could go to Argus.Always thought of it as a hellish place where chaos is absolute.It would be something different at least.Chinese themes have been done to death in other mmo's


Also,good lord im tired of superhero movies nowadays.Let this genre die already.

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Old 11-22-2011, 08:34 AM
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I think the guy nailed it. Sometimes I wish I could see the main story of Warcraft in the comics, drawn by the people who continued Kirby's labor or something (I'm not much of a comic book guy, but I think you understood I meant good comic artists )

The weird thing is that now Thrall is in some deep shit that isn't really too Warcraft-y. I don't dislike it, but it's a little out of place, judging by the general narrative style Blizzard used for WC.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:43 AM
Cemotucu Cemotucu is offline

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A very good read. Gives a new look, at least for me.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:23 AM
Tauren Paly Tauren Paly is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kike-Scott View Post
I think the guy nailed it. Sometimes I wish I could see the main story of Warcraft in the comics, drawn by the people who continued Kirby's labor or something (I'm not much of a comic book guy, but I think you understood I meant good comic artists )

The weird thing is that now Thrall is in some deep shit that isn't really too Warcraft-y. I don't dislike it, but it's a little out of place, judging by the general narrative style Blizzard used for WC.
This is the reason why the comics done for warcraft work for fluidly, sometimes even more so then the novels, because the setting, the characters and themes suit so perfectly for a comic book themed world.

I am quite honestly surprised metzen hasn't signed a deal with one of the major comic companies to do an ongoing comic series, not like the medan one, but just ongoing with its own plot and theme, have it theme the main characters in warcraft. This might inject some fun into those wanting a bit more spice in the lore, thats been kind of missing it lately.

Wow is indeed a comic book themed story, I can relate to it after having been a marvel comics and sometimes dc comic fan for years, and you see the overriding themes of big, bright and dark characters with amazing powers fighting against almost impossible odds. It suits as a comic book world.

Though I agree, Thrall becoming to much of themed character away from what he once was doesn't remove peoples feel for the character, as we've seen so much of lately. I still love Thrall, but this current theme isn't to my liking.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:46 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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His points are reasonable. And I don't really like it. In fact, I'd say that it is WoW that started the "superheroic epic" style through the sheer system of PCs power-leveling and defeating eldric threats in mere raid groups.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:53 AM
Tauren Paly Tauren Paly is offline

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His points are reasonable. And I don't really like it. In fact, I'd say that it is WoW that started the "superheroic epic" style through the sheer system of PCs power-leveling and defeating eldric threats in mere raid groups.
But.. thats the theme of warcraft it seems. When you look back at it, you realise this comic book style has always been there, its just been portrayed in a different way. Ordinary characters becoming powerful super villians, other characters learning about themselves and becoming great heroes, some balancing between light and dark, having a small group of good guys battling giant, god like entities, and yet still on there off days doing things like cooking or raising the family.

Our own characters we level as are as much comic book reference as those in lore, Today I stood with a group of 9 other heroes and we killed an ancient evil god, then later I did my fishing and caught some lavascale in a pool of lava. We play comic book hero in wow as much as the lore characters are that.

another thing I've noticed recently, a lot of people complain when the lore characters, like Thrall, Malfurion, Varian, Jaina and the like, do super powerful things beyond the reach of mortal man. People whine and complain at it.. but they themselves don't seem to be able to look at there own character and think 'Hey, my characters doing the same thing'.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kir the Wizard View Post
His points are reasonable. And I don't really like it. In fact, I'd say that it is WoW that started the "superheroic epic" style through the sheer system of PCs power-leveling and defeating eldric threats in mere raid groups.
Metzen always described himself as a comic book geek and Blizzard itself as a "hero factory".

Warcraft RTS series weren't too much into the characters themselves, they focused more in the armies than the few heroes available, which is fine because it suits the game genre. But I still certain chapters, like think Eternity's End are quite comic book-like. Despite having 3 diferent armies, they still had their big personalities in the front line and again it was Malfurion who blow the horn for the wisps and stuff.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:21 AM
Gurtogg_Bloodboil Gurtogg_Bloodboil is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kike-Scott View Post
The weird thing is that now Thrall is in some deep shit that isn't really too Warcraft-y. I don't dislike it, but it's a little out of place, judging by the general narrative style Blizzard used for WC.
Thrall’s efforts recently, like in Twilight of the Aspects, were rife with common comic story tropes. Alternate realities, timelines, over the top enemies and allies, etc.

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I am quite honestly surprised metzen hasn't signed a deal with one of the major comic companies to do an ongoing comic series, not like the medan one, but just ongoing with its own plot and theme,
They had a WoW ongoing. It ran for 25 issues. It was supposed to continue, but then they made the decision to switch to trades for whatever reason. There are two Warcraft trades that have been announced but have been languishing in development for some time.

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Warcraft RTS series weren't too much into the characters themselves, they focused more in the armies than the few heroes available
Maybe the first two games, but WCIII was entirely character driven. The armies were just support for the heroes and their story arcs.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:29 AM
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Thrall’s efforts recently, like in Twilight of the Aspects, were rife with common comic story tropes. Alternate realities, timelines, over the top enemies and allies, etc.
I was thinking about the Elemental Bounds questline, actually.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:58 AM
Tauren Paly Tauren Paly is offline

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I was thinking about the Elemental Bounds questline, actually.
Well both. But in truth this extends to most other warcraft characters. Apparently sylvanas has died 3 times now? And yet she's still ticking. Varian gets possessed by a wolf god, and in another story he actully dies, just to be raised from the dead by his son, and Jaina managing to stand singlehanded against the lich king.

The point I'm making, is if people are going to make a big bitch about one theme in the warcraft lore, then they need to look at all the other themes in this and ask themselves, do they really know the lore of this genre? Do they really know the type of story it is based around?
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:56 AM
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and in another story he actully dies, just to be raised from the dead by his son, and Jaina managing to stand singlehanded against the lich king.
What did I miss? O_O
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:01 PM
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What did I miss? O_O
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:44 PM
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Also,good lord im tired of superhero movies nowadays.Let this genre die already.
Good lord I'm tired of crime movies nowadays, let the genre die already
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:00 PM
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Good lord I'm tired of crime movies nowadays, let the genre die already
Good lord I'm tired of CGI talking animal movies, let the genre die already
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:19 PM
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You, if I'm remembering right I found Scrolls of Lore as a link from Lorecrafted, I'm glad to see its back.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:41 PM
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This all makes sense when you realize the massive hard-on Metzen has for the 1970s-80s Walter Simonson run on the Mighty Thor, which arguably invented the "Superhero Fantasy" genre. It's why Simonson was brought on to write the WoW comic, why Ulduar's interpretation of Norse Mythology was closer to the Thor comics than the actual myths and why the Titans have such a Jack Kirby vibe to them.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:45 PM
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This all makes sense when you realize the massive hard-on Metzen has for the 1970s-80s Walter Simonson run on the Mighty Thor, which arguably invented the "Superhero Fantasy" genre. It's why Simonson was brought on to write the WoW comic, why Ulduar's interpretation of Norse Mythology was closer to the Thor comics than the actual myths and why the Titans have such a Jack Kirby vibe to them.
Is that meant to be a bad thing? Your find most great genres in one form or another based so much ideology and concepts from another source, as the creators of that product getting there inspiration from something else they either grew up with or become inspired by.

As it stands I like the themes in wow with that slight air of comic book fantasy in it, given I was a comic book fan years before, and it doesn't discredit it in any way.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:48 PM
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Is that meant to be a bad thing? Your find most great genres in one form or another based so much ideology and concepts from another source, as the creators of that product getting there inspiration from something else they either grew up with or become inspired by.

As it stands I like the themes in wow with that slight air of comic book fantasy in it, given I was a comic book fan years before, and it doesn't discredit it in any way.
I don't dislike it, at the very least, though sometimes I feel the tone of the series could use some work.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omacron View Post
This all makes sense when you realize the massive hard-on Metzen has for the 1970s-80s Walter Simonson run on the Mighty Thor, which arguably invented the "Superhero Fantasy" genre. It's why Simonson was brought on to write the WoW comic, why Ulduar's interpretation of Norse Mythology was closer to the Thor comics than the actual myths and why the Titans have such a Jack Kirby vibe to them.
Sargas is Darkseid!

So who is his Granny Goodness?
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:53 PM
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Sargas is Darkseid!

So who is his Granny Goodness?
Me!
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:03 PM
Tauren Paly Tauren Paly is offline

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Sargas is Darkseid!

So who is his Granny Goodness?
Granny Smith obviously, you heard what she does in shattrath.. be that or therazane, they both look similar with there chins.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:07 PM
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I don't dislike it, at the very least, though sometimes I feel the tone of the series could use some work.
These are more or less my feelings on this. Superhero fantasy doesn't really mean they can't muddy the waters a bit more, either. I like a hint of idealism but not if it consumes the whole story.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:21 PM
Tauren Paly Tauren Paly is offline

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These are more or less my feelings on this. Superhero fantasy doesn't really mean they can't muddy the waters a bit more, either. I like a hint of idealism but not if it consumes the whole story.
I gotta agree with that. If they allow certain concepts to consume a larger section of the story, it makes them look far less creative. If you can take a concept from another genre and make it into something else, that it works. Whats the saying? A good thief steals an idea, a great thief makes it his own?

But on that, with the repetative use of lovecraft like old god references lately, it does make it look like they need a boost of creative ideas.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:44 PM
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Sargeras is Darkseid!

So, will there be a story where Sargeras, having killed the Titans, possesses Falstad and enslaves the population of Azeroth to his will, putting all the female characters in bondage gear, bringing Lothar back to life accidentally, only to be shot by Varian before zapping him with his magic and killing him but it was actually a clone and the real Varian was sent back in time and then Azeroth sinks into a hole beneath the multiverse where fifty-two alternate reality Thralls come and blast the super-Old God with their powers while the Army of Light makes a giant stake of light and stabs the Old God with it killing it - then, Varian, sent back in time, skips through time fighting an evil villain who says its his dad but might be Sargeras but might be an Old God, only to return to the present time and start Stormwind Inc. where he recruits people from all over to be Kings of Stormwind?
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