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View Full Version : Chris Metzen Clarifies the Lore


Warlock
05-15-2006, 10:58 AM
As promised, <A HREF="http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?FN=wow-general&T=8333849&P=1">Chris Metzen has replied to the recent Lore problems</a>. Here is what he said:
<ul><font size=1>Hey y'all,

I wanted to drop you guys a line and explain whats up with some of the recent changes you've all been seeing in the lore and specifically address your concerns about the draenei and their revised backstory. Bear with me here, I tend to get a bit wordy as I build up steam.

Anyway, here we go:

<b>Hit #1: Lore Train-Wreck </b>
Right To be totally up-front with you guys, it's my bad, straight up. The obvious lore contradiction with Sargeras and his encounter with the eredar was clearly documented in the Warcraft III manual. I wrote those bits about four years ago, and to be totally honest, I simply forgot. Genius, right? With my excitement to get the draenei up to speed and root them more firmly in the setting, I forgot to do my homework and go back over my earlier writing. I can assure you, no ones more crushed about this mistake than I am. Ive spent the last few days kicking my own ass over this one. Sucks to fail. It may not always be evident, but we take this story stuff really seriously at Blizzard. It's been one of my personal missions at this company to maintain a high level of integrity throughout the Warcraft game setting (all of them, actually) and I think weve done a pretty decent job of upholding the continuity over the years.

I think it's important to note that world building is far bigger than just storytelling, and it requires (in my humble opinion) a certain amount of flexibility. Sometimes you need to expand certain ideas or retcon whole sections of continuity to broaden the scope and accessibility of your setting. There are a good number of these types of situations already (like totally revising our timeline, suggesting trolls were the progenitors of all elven subspecies, etc. there's a hundred other examples). To make an omelet, ya need to break a few eggs, and WoWs one big omelet.

The trouble is, this has become a pretty big setting. There are literally thousands of characters, hundreds of locations, and all sorts of creatures, items, and plot themes that all define this world. As you can imagine, it's a lot to police. Sometimes things do fall through the cracks, mistakes get made and were forced to scramble to come up with clever solutions to continuity errors. (Hakkar, anyone? ). You not only have me jamming ideas, but a ninja team of quest designers, an army of freelance RPG writers, and a commando squad of red-hot novelists who are all involved in fleshing out the lore and making it more than just wallpaper on a game.

I'm explaining all this not to excuse this particular mistake, but to give you some understanding of how the mistake was made. I've read a fair amount of posts over the past few days and I know theres a lot of confusion and frustration surrounding the whole eredar/draenei train wreck. Believe me, I know exactly how you feel. At the end of the day, we're all just a bunch of geeky fanboys and fangirls, and we all get pretty fired up when people start screwing with the worlds we love. If anything, all of the venting and creative suggestions Ive seen over the past few days have reinforced for me the fact that you guys really do care about this world and its troubled denizens.

While I can't promise that these types of mistakes will never happen again, I do want to state clearly that we take the responsibility of crafting and maintaining this lore very seriously. You all pay good money to adventure through this world month by month, and you deserve the best we can give.

Dont lose faith well do ya proud!

<b>Hit #2: So Whats the Story, Blizzard? </b>
Ok, so what's the real scoop behind the eredar/draenei story then? At this point, even though the NEW lore directly counters the Warcraft III manual, we're still going to run with it. There are a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which is that I think it's far stronger than what I crafted back in the day. The eredar were not necessarily all evil. Sargeras did come to them and tempt them with power. They did NOT make Sargeras crazy. This gives the eredar more dimensionality and roots the draenei to a key moment in Burning Legion history.

We've also woven all of this new lore into an upcoming novel by Christie Golden (author of Lord of the Clans) that depicts the draeneis escape from Argus and the RISE OF THE HORDE on Draenor. The book DOMINATES, and you're going to really dig it. Durotan, Nerzhul, Guldan, Doomhammer, Hellscream, Kiljaeden, Velen; this story is the one youve been waiting for. I'm getting geeked up just thinking about it.

However, this new lore does leave a large hole. How did Sargeras go nuts? What drove him to fall and begin his Burning Crusade? I dont know yet. It will be his encounter with some evil race (who dares me to use Old Gods???), but it wont be the eredar.

I'll chew on this. Maybe we'll solve this by the end of the expansion. See this is that flexibility stuff I was talking about earlier

<b>Hit #3: World of Spacecrafts </b>
Another concern I've been hearing about is the inclusion of certain sci-fi elements into the setting. I appreciate that this stuff is pretty far out, but thats the whole point: Outland, and the greater universe out there in the void, ARE far out. Change is always difficult. I remember people getting really upset about dwarves with guns, steam-tech, Gnomeregan as a hi-tech city many people had a hard time rolling with those technologies in a fantasy setting. But I ask you all can you imagine WoW without those elements now?

We're definitely throwing some new concepts at you all, but I'm very confident that when youre able to see these elements in context, over the course of the game play, you'll understand why we've been so excited to include them.

To be clear, were not talking about having the Millennium Falcon cruising around the Twisting Nether (Im certain there would be some legal issues there, to say the least). The draenei nether-ship you've been hearing about is far more than it seems. Its part of a larger dimension-traveling fortress called Tempest Keep that essentially teleports through alternate realities. It doesnt bank and roll or shoot proton torpedoes (not yet, anyway).

While we will be introducing a number of naaru technologies (like this ship, for instance), we're not planning on going hog-wild. Conceptual balance is everything. For those of you who are fearful of seeing jet-packs and laser pistols filling up the AH, never fear. If you did see them, theyd likely be goblin engineered and get your character killed anyway.

<b>Hit #4: Blood Elves Sure Get Around </b>
I also saw some strangeness about the apparent contradiction of how the blood elves could have sabotaged the draenei nether-ship since they're all holed up in QuelThalas. Remember, there are twisted blood elves in Outland who have been there since TFT campaign. It's those creepy elves who sabotaged the draeneis flight to Azeroth.

I'd love to elaborate on this further, but I'm afraid I'd spoil your appetites for dessert.

In conclusion, I just want to reiterate that we do take these continuity errors very seriously.
It's very important to me that you all feel you can trust us as developers and know that were out to build a world thats worthy of your time and your passion.

Thanks for bearing with me here. See y'all on the other side of the Portal!

<b>Chris Metzen
5-12-06</b></font></ul>So there you go. They won't be changing the new Eredar lore, but they will fix the Sargeras bit. Also, some details on "Rise of the Horde"! Yay!

ScytheRexx
05-15-2006, 11:01 AM
Chris Metzen is such a casual guy, and he has my type of humor. I always wondered why I always loved WarCraft so much and I just realize now that Metzen is someone like me, a geek, who loves to tell a good story.

I am happy he came out to explain issues with the lore, and I can understand we all make mistakes, I will be waiting for the new information on the corruption of Sargeras, I am sure it will be very interesting.

I sure will miss not being able to fly the millenium falcom through the twisted nether shooting down space orcs with photon torpedos. :p

Bradford
05-15-2006, 12:18 PM
Chris Metzen is such a casual guy, and he has my type of humor. I always wondered why I always loved WarCraft so much and I just realize now that Metzen is someone like me, a geek, who loves to tell a good story.

I am happy he came out to explain issues with the lore, and I can understand we all make mistakes, I will be waiting for the new information on the corruption of Sargeras, I am sure it will be very interesting.

I sure will miss not being able to fly the millenium falcom through the twisted nether shooting down space orcs with photon torpedos. :p

Go play SWG.......

Rebirth
05-15-2006, 12:32 PM
I'm in the same boat as ScytheRexx.

He's a good man.

Kerrah
05-15-2006, 12:34 PM
Check my new signature for my idea about this whole thing.

Ersinus
05-15-2006, 02:32 PM
He has balls to say that he did wrong, respect Chris.
I hope that Rise of the Horde will return the evilness to Eredar back as it was before the lore-mess-up.

And as soon as possible revelation of these naaru, what the hell are they?

Yuber8900
05-15-2006, 02:58 PM
The Naaru are obviously the Xel'Naga.

Ablamar
05-15-2006, 03:14 PM
I am glad Chris responded to all our concerns. Maybe Chris should get some more assistance when it comes to the lore of Warcraft? I think Blizzard might be leaning too much on just him to make sure that the stories don't contradict. I can understand that you can lose track when you are involved in not only the overall lore, but also the small things like for example a quest in Tarren Mill.

I am not entirely satisfied with the Eredar story but I can live with it. Because I can understand that it is probably already woven into the expansion and the upcoming novel. This is also the reason why Blizzard should think about strengthening the loreteam. For some reason, it seems that Blizzard still tries to work the way they did, back in the days when they first started. I might be wrong though. Anyway, kudos to Chris for having responding to us. I appreciate him explaining the ins and outs of this all.

Smeedle
05-16-2006, 03:44 AM
It's great that Metzen admits he made a mistake and all but, really, the mistake shouldn't have happened in the first place. As Metzen says he should have done his homework. That he didn't do his homework when it came to a huge expansion of the lore like the new Draenei backstory (we're not talking about some small bit of lore for a quest or even a new instance but something really big) doesn't bode well for the future of Warcraft lore. I mean, he is writing something about Sargeras and the Eredar and doesn't even check on his past writings on the subject? Not that there was that much written about the subject in the first place - and he doesn't even bother to read up on those few bits of text? What does that tell us about how Chris Metzen works? What does that tell us about how much he really cares for the lore to be consistent with other lore sources?
As it is we already have a lot of smaller (and some bigger) lore inconsitencies between the different Warcraft games, the novels, mangas and the RPG books - we really don't need more lore mistakes and retcons. It's getting more and more frustrating trying to keep up with the lore. I really hope Metzen learned from this mistake and will be more careful in the future but somehow I doubt it.

Timolas
05-16-2006, 07:33 AM
I respect Metzen and all, but I think he honestly needs a few people to assist him and check out his works for him just to give him a hand to see if he made any mistakes... I mean think about it. We remembered something about Metzen's own universe he forgot. He should just get some pressure relieved with a few aides.

He gave me the impression he was saying "Look to the future of the lore, dont linger in the past." so to speak too. More like WoW is the future, and we all agree WoW isnt too great when it comes to lore fixes.... ah... screws.

Kenzuki
05-16-2006, 05:10 PM
I respect Metzen and all, but I think he honestly needs a few people to assist him and check out his works for him just to give him a hand to see if he made any mistakes... I mean think about it. We remembered something about Metzen's own universe he forgot. He should just get some pressure relieved with a few aides.

He gave me the impression he was saying "Look to the future of the lore, dont linger in the past." so to speak too. More like WoW is the future, and we all agree WoW isnt too great when it comes to lore fixes.... ah... screws.

7 other people besides Metzen write the lore actually. He has the final say, however.

Yuber8900
05-16-2006, 08:32 PM
7 other people besides Metzen write the lore actually. He has the final say, however.

But none of them are us which sucks ass.