Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shattered Lore

 I enjoyed doing every quest and exploring Azeroth in depth.  Coming to know it as well as any fictional world I'd adventured in.  But Cataclysm changed that.

Im not speaking of the things I've complained about before, the unoriginal rip off quests and jokes, but they also have launched Warcraft as a 'multimedia platform game'.  Want to know what happened to the Nightmare?  better read the book.  What happened with the worgen?  Get the comic.  What the heck is up with the faction leaders?  Time to read the wow homepage.  Its made the game unknowable except to a few dedicated or obsessed fans with lots of expendable income.  The more they do this the more disconnected people will feel with whats going on in game and the less involved with their characters.

Its only going to get worse as they bring in characters from these books and expect everyone to be excited because of the stories they told elsewhere.  With the tantrum thrown over Magister's Terrace and the Sunwell I thought they had learned from their mistakes but its repeating again.

I've heard rumors that they added an item to share some of the Staghelm story, so they at least wised up and realized we needed to know a little more.  Of course I still think they could of done so much more with his story than taking the easy way out.  World need Jerks in them as I discussed earlier in my 'Races and a Dynamic Game' post and they got rid of one of their best.

The item is a good start but the game needs to self-contain the information needed about its world.  Relying on your fans to have massive amounts of free money to get the story means only some of them will get it (Gameoverthinker's comments seem relevant).  Requiring them to spend time away from the game to learn about the game isn't feasible.  Even a book in the game (Remember lore books Blizzard?  Vanilla WoW used them well) would help to ensure the knowledge exists but of course with how Blizzard is approaching this I'm sure copyrights would be a problem.

Pulling the world apart means fragmenting your player base into the different groups who watch/read the different mediums your releasing the information into - this is simply a fact.  I cant help but think this is bad for the overall game - and roleplayers in particular.

You see roleplaying is basically playing makebelieve like we did when we were kids.  Its hugely entertaining most of the time and pretty fun the rest.  But it relies on a shared body of knowledge.  Months after Blizzard did their 'yep the Nightmare is gone the god-avatar Malfurion took care of it' people were RPing it as existing because nothing told them otherwise IN THE GAME.  This caused arguments and anger and people yelling back and forth and other uglyness.  Its like a couple of kids playing superhero and the kid playing Spider-Man didn't know that his wife ever being married to him was secretly erased from happening by the devil (That's a real story, seriously).  


  1. It doesn't help that Blizzard have a habit of creating lore and then dismissing it as "not 100% canon" seemingly whenever they please.

    Take Lothar's death, for instance--it went from a practical decision to ambush him to "both sides tell a different story" to a completely noble and honourable duel in what seemed to be an attempt to whitewash the Horde.

  2. It's almost a microcosm of what game consoles are doing. Like Kingdom Hearts series was on PS and PSP ... so to get the whole story you had to multi-platform.

    It's a pain, and I hate it.