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  #26  
Old 11-13-2018, 06:52 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
Where does Arthas's story fit in your revised Scourge/Third War? Is he granted an audience with the Lich King/ringleaders in the Scourge Revolution, sees their magic, and converts? Just killed and made into a puppet?
Since this is brainstorming, the answer is not set in stone. This could go in a variety of directions.

For the sake of simplicity, we can assume that the campaigns occur simultaneously a la later Tiberium games rather than wholly independently as in WC1/WC2 since that makes continuing the story easier. That presents its own storytelling challenges, but what can you do?

Anyway, in canon the Lich King deliberately targeted and tormented Arthas with the intend of driving him mad, manipulating his broken mind and turning him into a loyal servant as part of an overarching plot to sabotage the Legion's plans.

There are several problems with the Lich King's plan. Why does he need Arthas specifically if the kingdom is being destroyed anyway? How did Arthas telling Illidan about the skull of Gul'dan contribute to the Legion's downfall? Quite honestly none of it makes very much sense since the plot doesn't give very much information on the sabotage plot at all. We could assume the Lich King did a lot of stuff behind the scenes that was instrumental in ensuring the Legion's defeat, but there's little evidence from canon that he really contributed very much to their defeat.

In a "retrocraft" AU in which he is acting of his own accord, the corruption of Arthas could take a very different direction if it occurs at all. Someone made an alternate timeline custom campaign in which a time traveler warned Arthas of what would happen and he decided to flee to Kalimdor... but the events of the Scourge campaign happened without him anyway, off-screen and in record time (in the time it takes Arthas to sail away, the Lich King conquers Quel'Thalas, resurrects Kel'thuzad, and steals the Book of Medivh from under Dalaran's nose). But I digress...

If each campaign is telling the entire third war from the perspective of one side each, then Arthas would logically be expected to fall midway during the Alliance campaign and appear midway into the Scourge campaign. For simplicity's sake, we can assume many events play out similarly.

Why would the Lich King target Arthas? We could work in something about how the Lich King subscribes to the same faith as his cult and rejects God as cold and uncaring (if He even exists at all). So he deliberately targets Arthas and tries to destroy his faith in God, so that Arthas will join them willingly and hand over the kingdom legally (for some standard of legality).

Or something like that.

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Originally Posted by Nazja View Post
Done.
Thank you.

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Originally Posted by Marthen View Post
While I agree with many points regarding Warcraft II said here, and my own fanwork follows many of these points (as it is a rather extensive rewrite/redesign that follows the "what if Warcraft remained consistent factually and thematically with early lore and remained a more grounded geopolitical setting” principle), I'd disagree that the Legion appeared completely out of nowhere in Warcraft III. The scope, the role, the history, yes, but the very existence of a d(a)emonic force loyal to Sargeras and seeking to reach Azeroth? That is absolutely Warcraft II, and I'd easily argue should be retained, just without an overblown scope and unnecessary historical revisionism.
I guess that makes sense?

WC2 didn't imply the existence of an organized hierarchy of demons. While there were countless demonic races with their own histories, as mentioned by Gul'dan, they didn't seem to be organized into some cohesive army of destruction. Sargeras was just one of many demon lords and wasn't responsible for Medivh's madness at all (as shown by Kil'jaeden being afraid of Medivh, rather than supportive of his supposed master as in the retcon).

So you could make an argument for demon politics and many factions of demons. Pretty much like D&D, right?

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Originally Posted by Marthen View Post
When it comes to the high elves and the night elves, and this is something we've been discussing a lot with another Warcraft II grongard on my Retrocraft discord (as I am dealing with the matter in my fanwork), the night elves as presented in the final version of Warcraft III do not particularly work without first retconning the elves of Quel'thalas, otherwise you end up with too much an overlap, since the elves of Warcraft II were both druidic and lunar themed. This means if one wants to keep the Sentinels in some form without retconning the elves of Quel'thalas, they need to be significantly different from their Reign of Chaos incarnation.
Retrocraft is a good name, I think. Neatly encapsulates the idea.

Warcraft already has a few distinct fields of magic, including mages, warlocks, necromancers, shamans, druids, etc. You could try to devise more with their own distinct themes. I think the solar/lunar symbolism could be expanded into fields of magic. Maybe the elves draw their power from the celestial bodies, similar to the Netflix cartoon Dragon Prince. The high elves draw their power from the sun and sky, whereas the night elves draw their power from the moon and stars.

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I don't see what's wrong with the Burning Legion as used in WCIII when you just not make them be behind the Orcs' warmongering. They didn't even seem that overpowered in the plot itself and ignoring backstory (see how they depended on the Scourge with the talking demons who are actually fought in game elite units).
As others have suggested, they work in retrocraft if their scope, role and history is scaled way back.
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  #27  
Old 11-13-2018, 08:19 AM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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I did previously propose one alternative WC3/WoW universe along similar lines. Thrall's orcish uprising would have represented less of a spiritual revolution or restoration to shamanism but something more akin to an Iron Horde industrial revolution. It would have involved an industrialized orcish capital built on the ruins of Stormwind, with the Horde reconquering Azeroth while the northern kingdoms dealt with their own problems. (Stormwind/Azeroth was basically a no-show in WC3 anyway.) So the primary focus would have remained in what we now refer to as the Eastern Kingdoms. Admittedly I was inspired by the GW2 charr here, but the Iron Horde from WoD already provided good aesthetic justification for that particular industrial turn.

If one was worried about tauren, WC3 could have continued the proud and honored tradition of taking inspiration from Dragonlance (hello, Jeff Grubb and Richard Knaak), then the tauren could have been seafarers from the islands around Balor. Knaak even had experience writting Dragonlance novels of such minotaurs. And the Gurubashi jungle trolls and goblins happen to also be nearby too. So there is a solid Horde composition right there.

Also while we are at it, can we scrap notions of the Dragon Aspects?

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When it comes to the high elves and the night elves, and this is something we've been discussing a lot with another Warcraft II grongard on my Retrocraft discord (as I am dealing with the matter in my fanwork), the night elves as presented in the final version of Warcraft III do not particularly work without first retconning the elves of Quel'thalas, otherwise you end up with too much an overlap, since the elves of Warcraft II were both druidic and lunar themed. This means if one wants to keep the Sentinels in some form without retconning the elves of Quel'thalas, they need to be significantly different from their Reign of Chaos incarnation.
Embracing that overlap would not be that problematic, IMHO, as one could simply make all such elves as one of the new factions. It's not as if elven priests and sorceresses were of critical importance or memorable for the "Human campaign" of WC3 anyway.

Also, as a grognard who veers away from Discord, I would LOVE to hear more details about y'all's Retrocraft.
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  #28  
Old 11-13-2018, 08:48 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Embracing that overlap would not be that problematic, IMHO, as one could simply make all such elves as one of the new factions. It's not as if elven priests and sorceresses were of critical importance or memorable for the "Human campaign" of WC3 anyway.

Also, as a grognard who veers away from Discord, I would LOVE to hear more details about y'all's Retrocraft.
I remember back when Star Alliance was around, some of their Warcraft custom campaigns (which were never released) devised ideas like wood elves and IIRC two different concepts of spider-themed dark elves. This was years before WoW introduced the shal'dorei and fal'dorei.

Considering the bazillion varieties of elves introduced by WoW, I think finding a new division is probably easier than before. Like the sun versus moon magic I suggested.

Which reminds me...

Why would the sentinels get involved with the Third War, such that their POV campaign could begin at roughly the same time as the Alliance, Horde and Scourge campaigns?

With the Lich King, I posited that he got involved because he detected Medivh's manipulations (since the latter wasn't exactly subtle about it) and initially prepared his invasion to pre-empt whatever Medivh had planned. He might have even been dormant until Medivh's magic awakened him. (So the War of the Spider could be given more attention in this history, such as positing it occurred in the distance past, over the same period as the first and second wars, or even more than once.)

With the Sentinels, I could try to use the same logic. Perhaps they sent an invasion force to halt what they perceived as an attack by Medivh, unaware that he was already dead. The guardians of tirisfal were ancient, so presumably the immortal sentinels would have encountered them before. (The guardian lore circa WC2 is so vague I suspect you could expand them into something analogous to Legacy of Kain's pillar guardians and it wouldn't be much of a stretch. Creating the "Pillars of Azeroth" to fence off the demons sounds like a pretty reasonable thing to do, and doesn't require opening the can of worms that adding titans did. I mean, why even have a single guardian? Surely Tirisfal would have realized that was extremely risky given their responsibilities? They could replace the dragon aspects without carrying the same baggage.)

Speaking of immortality, the high elves were not originally described as mortal. They were barely described as anything, save that the guardians' lifespan rivaled theirs. I think they were pretty much just straight up copies from Tolkien at that point in time.
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  #29  
Old 11-13-2018, 10:38 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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My off-handed suggestions for multiple guardians has inspired me to do a lot more thought about it.

The most recent Warcraft lore posits six cosmic forces of light and shadow, life and death, order and disorder. This makes a bit more sense than the dragon aspects of time, life, nature, magic and earth, so I will use the cosmic forces as a foundation for this idea.

So the Council of Tirisfal created the Pillars of Azeroth in the distant past to serve as a bulwark against the demons. These were physical manifestations of the six cosmic forces that allowed Azeroth to exist, and were thus a manifestation of the heart and health of Azeroth itself. (Yeah, this is a direct copy of Nosgoth. Ideas can't be copyrighted!)

So normally the pillars call a new guardian when the current one dies, a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Aegwyn, Guardian of Chaos (what else would be fighting beings who used chaos magic?), defied this and invested her power in her son, selfishly preserving her own life in the process. It isn't surprising that he later goes crazy and misuses his power.

Medivh wasn't tutored by the Council, so he wasn't aware of the lore they harbored. Like the existence of the pillars, or their connection to each other and the planet. When he went mad, his corruption manifested physically on the Pillar of Chaos and alerted the other Guardians. (This ties into how the orc's arrival caused the land to start sickening and reflecting the mutated landscape of Draenor. That's due to misuse of fel magic, which causes chaotic mutations in living things.)

The problem was that a number of schisms had happened in the past which prevented the Guardians from banding together and killing Medivh, and may have provoked Aegwyn to act foolishly in the first place. It's unknown whether this was simply bad luck or an organized plot by a cabal of demons.

Among other things, the Guardian of Death had been excommunicated and bound in Icecrown Glacier after he pursued the forbidden path of undeath, becoming the Lich King. The Guardians actually tried to kill him and succeeded, but his mastery over Death itself meant that he remained the Guardian despite being dead.

That doesn't excuse the other Guardians for not trying to stop Medivh, though. Maybe they did and failed like Aegwyn did, or perhaps they had bigger matters to attend to and didn't consider the orcs an existential threat. Medivh certainly didn't consider them much more than tools for his own conquest of the planet.

So the Lich King's prison decayed and he was awakened from his slumber. He wasn't cartoonishly evil and had super complicated sympathetic reasons for becoming undead, so when he sensed Medivh's manipulations of portals he prepared to fight off whatever evil Medivh had planned. Of course, this preparation took years and two wars passed before the Lich King even started an organized invasion.

Meanwhile, Medivh was killed and a new Guardian of Chaos was called: Prince Arthas Menethil. Without the council to tutor him, the boy remained unaware of his power and joined the order of the paladins. (This follows the WC1/2 RTS timeline which has thirty years between the arrival of the orcs and the end of the Second War. Of Blood and Honor further extends the timeline by taking place ~12 years after the Second War and the epilogue occurs a further ~15 years later or ~27 years after the Second War.) The Lich King targets Arthas specifically because he is the Guardian of Chaos.

Or something like that. This is all just brainstorming anyway.
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  #30  
Old 11-13-2018, 12:30 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
There are several problems with the Lich King's plan. Why does he need Arthas specifically if the kingdom is being destroyed anyway?
He needed another body since he didn't trust Kil'jaeden to give him one if he did his job. He chose Arthas since he was "torn between light and darkness."

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How did Arthas telling Illidan about the skull of Gul'dan contribute to the Legion's downfall? Quite honestly none of it makes very much sense since the plot doesn't give very much information on the sabotage plot at all.
Illidan was able to kill Tichondrius (okay maybe not in light of later lore but ignore that) who wasn't able to advise Archimonde at Hyjal. Tichondrius would be able to warn Archimonde away from Malfurion's trap.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Why would the Lich King target Arthas? We could work in something about how the Lich King subscribes to the same faith as his cult and rejects God as cold and uncaring (if He even exists at all). So he deliberately targets Arthas and tries to destroy his faith in God, so that Arthas will join them willingly and hand over the kingdom legally (for some standard of legality).

Or something like that.
Alright.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
WC2 didn't imply the existence of an organized hierarchy of demons. While there were countless demonic races with their own histories, as mentioned by Gul'dan, they didn't seem to be organized into some cohesive army of destruction. Sargeras was just one of many demon lords and wasn't responsible for Medivh's madness at all (as shown by Kil'jaeden being afraid of Medivh, rather than supportive of his supposed master as in the retcon).
Medivh does direct Gul'dan to The Tomb of Sargeras though. Him being connected to Sargeras isn't a big stretch following that.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Warcraft already has a few distinct fields of magic, including mages, warlocks, necromancers, shamans, druids, etc. You could try to devise more with their own distinct themes. I think the solar/lunar symbolism could be expanded into fields of magic. Maybe the elves draw their power from the celestial bodies, similar to the Netflix cartoon Dragon Prince. The high elves draw their power from the sun and sky, whereas the night elves draw their power from the moon and stars.
The High Elves already were tied to the moon though (SilverMOON). They got sun themes in WC3 I figure to differ them from Night Elves (who got the moon themes) and also for their opposition to the Scourge (who are tied with the cold of death). If the plan is to stick to what the pre-WC3 series established with WC3 and after changed to fit with this then High Elves should have the moon magic you speak of.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
As others have suggested, they work in retrocraft if their scope, role and history is scaled way back.
That's what I suggested (making the Horde already a force and warring on their neighbors before the Legion shows up).

Last edited by Cacofonix; 11-13-2018 at 01:39 PM..
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  #31  
Old 11-13-2018, 03:01 PM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
I did previously propose one alternative WC3/WoW universe along similar lines. Thrall's orcish uprising would have represented less of a spiritual revolution or restoration to shamanism but something more akin to an Iron Horde industrial revolution. It would have involved an industrialized orcish capital built on the ruins of Stormwind, with the Horde reconquering Azeroth while the northern kingdoms dealt with their own problems. (Stormwind/Azeroth was basically a no-show in WC3 anyway.) So the primary focus would have remained in what we now refer to as the Eastern Kingdoms. Admittedly I was inspired by the GW2 charr here, but the Iron Horde from WoD already provided good aesthetic justification for that particular industrial turn.

If one was worried about tauren, WC3 could have continued the proud and honored tradition of taking inspiration from Dragonlance (hello, Jeff Grubb and Richard Knaak), then the tauren could have been seafarers from the islands around Balor. Knaak even had experience writting Dragonlance novels of such minotaurs. And the Gurubashi jungle trolls and goblins happen to also be nearby too. So there is a solid Horde composition right there.

Also while we are at it, can we scrap notions of the Dragon Aspects?
I am handling these subjects in a different way (for example, the large number of tauren in the East happens for the humans ship them from Kalimdor to be used as workforce, especially after the Second War when their colonies off the coasts of the western continent start to thrive), but the principle is the same (as I said previously on a few occasions, I've rebooted my fan work to be more or less completely faithful to Warcraft II and older lore, only taking general inspiration from more modern things).

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Embracing that overlap would not be that problematic, IMHO, as one could simply make all such elves as one of the new factions. It's not as if elven priests and sorceresses were of critical importance or memorable for the "Human campaign" of WC3 anyway.
Well, that is certainly one way to go at it. The way I've handled it is basically making all elves a single species, and all these entities (Hyjal, Quel'thalas, etc) different remnants of their old empire. The elves of Hyjal are more militant and more zealous in their worship of the Moon Goddess and approach to druidism, as they were founded by the more fundamentalist cores of these cults, Quel'thalas is more encompassing, the reverence of the Moon still central, but not exclusive, and so on.

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Also, as a grognard who veers away from Discord, I would LOVE to hear more details about y'all's Retrocraft.
I am just going to point anyone interested in my Retrocraft discord to this post I've made in my old thread;

http://www.scrollsoflore.com/forums/...&postcount=956

Not much has changed since making it, the discord is still very slow-paced, with the channels essentially working as "threads" that see a dozen posts a day at best, and usually not even that.
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  #32  
Old 11-13-2018, 03:26 PM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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He needed another body since he didn't trust Kil'jaeden to give him one if he did his job. He chose Arthas since he was "torn between light and darkness."
Flimsy justification is flimsy.



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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
Illidan was able to kill Tichondrius (okay maybe not in light of later lore but ignore that) who wasn't able to advise Archimonde at Hyjal. Tichondrius would be able to warn Archimonde away from Malfurion's trap.
There is no possible way that Ner'zhul was able to plan for any of this. Not Illidan, not the skull, not Malfurion's trap, none of it. The chain of events occurred because the writers needed it to occur that way, even though that requires giving the characters divine knowledge of things they should not logically be able to know.




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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
Medivh does direct Gul'dan to The Tomb of Sargeras though. Him being connected to Sargeras isn't a big stretch following that.
That's an absurd leap of logic that could be used to justify any number of absurd "one degree of separation" relationships, as was done by Blizzard when they shrunk the previously infinite Warcraft universe into an absurd "the titans who ordered the universe for a trillion years are all stored inside Azeroth".

Aegwyn had been fighting demons for centuries. Medivh inherited her power and scryed the nether for knowledge. That's how he knew about the tomb, not any kind of influence by Sargeras who was dead at this point in the story (whatever that means for demons, since his tomb was supposedly haunted).

Even Gul'dan's statement that Sargeras was Kil'jaeden's former tutor makes the universe unrealistically small. The nether is apparently infinite, so the likelihood that Kil'jaeden's former tutor is entombed on the same planet his student invades is so astronomically unlikely as to be impossible. Even Blizzard acknowledged this by making Kil'jaeden responsible for the invasion (despite this retconning Gul'dan's diary). The only way it would make sense is if Kil'jaeden and Sargeras were a trillion trillion years old or something, and he clearly doesn't demonstrate the wisdom of living so long.


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The High Elves already were tied to the moon though (SilverMOON). They got sun themes in WC3 I figure to differ them from Night Elves (who got the moon themes) and also for their opposition to the Scourge (who are tied with the cold of death). If the plan is to stick to what the pre-WC3 series established with WC3 and after changed to fit with this then High Elves should have the moon magic you speak of.
Sure, why not? That makes perfect sense. Maybe the pre-retcon Quel'thalas uses the Sentinel tech tree for all we know. Maybe they were night elves all along?

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
That's what I suggested (making the Horde already a force and warring on their neighbors before the Legion shows up).
And I keep suggesting we stop making the legion directly responsible for any wars whatsoever. It is plenty sufficient for Medivh and Gul'dan to have masterminded the opening of the portal themselves in their lust for power, with everything else being out of their hands.

The fact that Sageras invaded during WC2 canon contradicts the idea that demons would need pawns in order to invade worlds. They can invade on their own unless someone is there to stop them. That's why Aegwyn had to fight them for centuries.

I have no idea why Draenor didn't become a demon world if this was the case, although the fact that the orcs had mastered demonology (i.e the summoning of and compelling obedience from demons) would suggest they had some way of defending their world from demonic invasion. It is entirely possible that Kil'jaeden was not serving Gul'dan willingly, considering that he is a demon and all. That Gul'dan, who was raised in a culture that taught demonology for who knows how long, didn't suspect Kil'jaeden of ulterior motives would suggest that the orc warlocks were either insanely stupid (and lucky for having survived so long) or had some really strong demon-binding magic.
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  #33  
Old 11-13-2018, 04:39 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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I have no idea why Draenor didn't become a demon world if this was the case, although the fact that the orcs had mastered demonology (i.e the summoning of and compelling obedience from demons) would suggest they had some way of defending their world from demonic invasion. It is entirely possible that Kil'jaeden was not serving Gul'dan willingly, considering that he is a demon and all. That Gul'dan, who was raised in a culture that taught demonology for who knows how long, didn't suspect Kil'jaeden of ulterior motives would suggest that the orc warlocks were either insanely stupid (and lucky for having survived so long) or had some really strong demon-binding magic.
I mean, the orcs' magical relationships are different in all three games. WCI has in my opinion the most elegant style, with warlocks and necrolytes representing two rival magical schools as distinct as the clerics are from the conjurors.

WCII has warlocks linked somehow with shaman (since shaman Ner'zhul taught warlock Gul'dan), with necromancy developing after Gul'dan began learning from Kil'jaeden?

WCIII has shamans holding monopoly, until the demons introduce warlocks and necromancers both.

Did I get that right?
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  #34  
Old 11-13-2018, 05:01 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Flimsy justification is flimsy.
I say it's solid enough for Ner'zhul to single him out as not just an agent but someone to have his back. The Legion Lords would be okay with it since being the prince would make him handy to wreck the Alliance.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
There is no possible way that Ner'zhul was able to plan for any of this. Not Illidan, not the skull, not Malfurion's trap, none of it. The chain of events occurred because the writers needed it to occur that way, even though that requires giving the characters divine knowledge of things they should not logically be able to know.
Well, Ner'zhul can both see through his undead hordes and also look into souls to see their lives. He doesn't need to know what Furion is planning to figure that killing off one of the BL's greatest demons would hinder them. Recall that he doesn't want them to win.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
That's an absurd leap of logic that could be used to justify any number of absurd "one degree of separation" relationships, as was done by Blizzard when they shrunk the previously infinite Warcraft universe into an absurd "the titans who ordered the universe for a trillion years are all stored inside Azeroth".
I mean, Medivh being connected to Sargeras isn't that weird from what I see, but that might be since I dig The Last Guardian so much.

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Sure, why not? That makes perfect sense. Maybe the pre-retcon Quel'thalas uses the Sentinel tech tree for all we know. Maybe they were night elves all along?
Maybe. But that bounces back onto the problem of finding a national character for Night Elves that doesn't overlap with High Elves. You can make them more like the Nightborne I guess but if so you'd need to shift around their WC3 backstory of rebelling against Azshara.

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And I keep suggesting we stop making the legion directly responsible for any wars whatsoever. It is plenty sufficient for Medivh and Gul'dan to have masterminded the opening of the portal themselves in their lust for power, with everything else being out of their hands.
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The fact that Sageras invaded during WC2 canon contradicts the idea that demons would need pawns in order to invade worlds. They can invade on their own unless someone is there to stop them. That's why Aegwyn had to fight them for centuries.
They introduced Sargeras using avatars to keep that element of the background in light of Sargeras' scale, I figure.

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I have no idea why Draenor didn't become a demon world if this was the case, although the fact that the orcs had mastered demonology (i.e the summoning of and compelling obedience from demons) would suggest they had some way of defending their world from demonic invasion. It is entirely possible that Kil'jaeden was not serving Gul'dan willingly, considering that he is a demon and all. That Gul'dan, who was raised in a culture that taught demonology for who knows how long, didn't suspect Kil'jaeden of ulterior motives would suggest that the orc warlocks were either insanely stupid (and lucky for having survived so long) or had some really strong demon-binding magic.
In WC3's defense, it didn't seem to have Draenor get any special attention from the Legion. Kil'jaeden just thought the Orcs could be forged into lackeys for them. It was TBC with Rise of the Horde who introduced the Draenei backstory of Kil'jaeden hunting down Velen's runaways to Draenor (with Kil'jaeden disguising himself as Ner'zhul's wife).

In a more retro WC3 backstory, you can have Legion Lord Medivh slip a tip to Gul'dan about Azeroth and show its green beauty (ripe for taking). The Draenei can be not Eredar but instead a client species of theirs. The Horde would have already wiped them out.

Last edited by Cacofonix; 11-14-2018 at 12:24 AM..
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  #35  
Old 11-14-2018, 07:03 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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I mean, the orcs' magical relationships are different in all three games. WCI has in my opinion the most elegant style, with warlocks and necrolytes representing two rival magical schools as distinct as the clerics are from the conjurors.

WCII has warlocks linked somehow with shaman (since shaman Ner'zhul taught warlock Gul'dan), with necromancy developing after Gul'dan began learning from Kil'jaeden?

WCIII has shamans holding monopoly, until the demons introduce warlocks and necromancers both.

Did I get that right?
I think so. This is something I tried to address in my "Pillars of Azeroth" idea in which each school of magic was represented by a separate pillar (at least in pure form, since in practice many classes are eclectic). Chaos is represented by warlocks, Order by conjurers/mages/arcanists, Death by necrolytes/necromancers, Life by shamans/druids, Light by clerics, Dark by... I have no idea for that last one.

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I say it's solid enough for Ner'zhul to single him out as not just an agent but someone to have his back. The Legion Lords would be okay with it since being the prince would make him handy to wreck the Alliance.
If we wanted to emphasize the "torn between dark and light" thing, I suggested making him the new Guardian of Disorder after Medivh's death. Sure, it is unlikely that the Pillar of Disorder would call a prince of all people, but it's magic so there's always some degree of fate involved.

Since one of my alternate Lich King ideas is that he isn't Ner'zhul but the Guardian of Death, it makes sense that Guardian would target the only other vulnerable Guardian at the time (as well as kill two birds with one stone by taking the Kingdom's line of succession, which makes more sense to care about if he isn't evil).

Of course I'm not glued to the specific pillar, so Arthas could just as easily be the guardian of another pillar.

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Well, Ner'zhul can both see through his undead hordes and also look into souls to see their lives. He doesn't need to know what Furion is planning to figure that killing off one of the BL's greatest demons would hinder them. Recall that he doesn't want them to win.
Yes, but there doesn't seem to be much for him to actually do. If he was in any way instrumental in the legion's downfall, it isn't clearly established by the story. At the very least we could have had the undead leader loyal to the Lich King plotting the legion's destruction in secret.

But this thread is for retrocraft anyway so trying to ponder the idiosyncrasies of canon is a waste of time here.


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I mean, Medivh being connected to Sargeras isn't that weird from what I see, but that might be since I dig The Last Guardian so much.
Sargeras could be substituted with anything else, or nothing at all. Aegwyn speculates on what evil force influenced her son, but there's just as much evidence that his madness was her own fault by breaking protocol.


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Maybe. But that bounces back onto the problem of finding a national character for Night Elves that doesn't overlap with High Elves. You can make them more like the Nightborne I guess but if so you'd need to shift around their WC3 backstory of rebelling against Azshara.
I thought replacing their WC3 backstory was a given since we were discussing Retrocraft. That means that all the retconned backstory about titans, aspects, wells of eternity, world trees, etc would not be retained or at least not in the same form.

For example, Deathwing and Alexstrazsa were not originally aspects but merely politically powerful dragons. Nothing was really established about the culture of dragons at that point beyond those two characters and Deathwing betraying Alexstrazsa to help the Horde conquer the land.

The demon soul plot device was retconned in the late 90s/early 00s novels, when the writers were preparing the new storyline for WC3. Even then the retcons were still in flux, since The Last Guardian hints that Draenor was inhabited by alien humans to explain Garona being born on Draenor as a half-human.

In fact, Garona's backstory was always weird. She was half-human yet born on Draenor and recounted the events prior to the opening of the Dark Portal and afterward almost as though she had lived them herself. By definition this suggested that humans lived on Draenor (as TLG attests), yet the same narrative shows that the orcs had never encountered humans before visiting Azeroth (suggesting Garona was born after the portal opened). The movie offers an explanation for this years after the first game: Medivh was her father and traveled to Draenor sometime before opening a permanent portal. So the orcs might have viewed Medivh as some kind of supernatural creature given his power, and did not equate him with the humans of Azeroth even if he seemingly appeared in human form.

Or the humans of Draenor were sufficiently different from those of Azeroth that the orcs didn't make the connection until sometime later. They could just as easily have been one and the same as the Draenei, who were originally mentioned in the WC2 manual but given no other details besides they were enslaved by the orcs. (One oddity I noticed is that the Draenei are named for Draenor or vice versa, but the orcs are not despite being the dominant civilization. Why would that be, I wonder?)

This plot point could go either way depending on writer fiat.

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They introduced Sargeras using avatars to keep that element of the background in light of Sargeras' scale, I figure.
In my opinion, the constant retcons just weaken the story and shrink the universe rather than explain anything. Claiming Sargeras had avatars who he sent to invade Azeroth just raises more questions than it answers.


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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
In WC3's defense, it didn't seem to have Draenor get any special attention from the Legion. Kil'jaeden just thought the Orcs could be forged into lackeys for them. It was TBC with Rise of the Horde who introduced the Draenei backstory of Kil'jaeden hunting down Velen's runaways to Draenor (with Kil'jaeden disguising himself as Ner'zhul's wife).
I stopped following the lore sometime in 2006, so I haven't read the novels past then. All I know is that the lore is now a mess which can't decide whether it's about a multiverse war or an alliance/horde war.

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In a more retro WC3 backstory, you can have Legion Lord Medivh slip a tip to Gul'dan about Azeroth and show its green beauty (ripe for taking). The Draenei can be not Eredar but instead a client species of theirs. The Horde would have already wiped them out.
Again, we don't need to make any kind of connection between the Legion, Medivh and the Draenei. That just shrinks the universe. The eredar didn't even exist in WC2.

I'm content with a simple backstory in which the orcs started studying new schools of magic and ending up displacing shamanism with necromancy and demonology, then Medivh went crazy and decided they would make a great army for his mad conquest, and lured Gul'dan with the tomb of a demon lord his mother had previously defeated, and then with them both dead the war continues without them because they had been playing upon pre-existing political ambitions in those they considered pawns.

We don't need demons manipulating everything in the background. It's gotten absurd by this point because according to official lore they were supposedly responsible for every war ever, but after being defeated the Alliance and Horde keep fighting despite having no demons manipulating them. The entire point of the legion retcon was to make everybody the good guys and have them team up against the legion, so having them fight without that influence defeats the point of introducing a dualistic good/evil morality in the first place.

So I don't want demons directly responsible for anything. If they want to manipulate people's existing desires to achieve their own ends, sure, but I don't want to fall into the trap that canon did multiple times already. The only desire of the demons is to destroy the world anyway, which I don't consider a very compelling motivation. Sure, the zerg wanted to do the same thing (prior to being retconned into peaceful space orcs who obeyed anyone with a psi-emitter) but they had a plan to create a perfect zerg universe.
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:35 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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I mean, the orcs' magical relationships are different in all three games. WCI has in my opinion the most elegant style, with warlocks and necrolytes representing two rival magical schools as distinct as the clerics are from the conjurors.

WCII has warlocks linked somehow with shaman (since shaman Ner'zhul taught warlock Gul'dan), with necromancy developing after Gul'dan began learning from Kil'jaeden?

WCIII has shamans holding monopoly, until the demons introduce warlocks and necromancers both.

Did I get that right?
Warcraft II also mentions ancient shamanistic principles and rituals that predate the rise of the warlocks. So, even if the shaman and the warlocks overlapped, then in some sense were not indentical, probably philosophically.

Which, when you think about it, is not that different from Warcraft I.

In Warcraft I,the orcs had two caster categories which both drew their power from the same source, only one category was a secretive scholar (the warlock), and the other was a religious disciple (the necrolyte).

In Warcraft II, the orcs had once again two interconnected categories, one potrayed as secretive scrolars and manipulators (once again the warlocks), the other one as following ancient principles and rituals, making them feel once again like religious disciples (the shaman). And when you couple it with the fact that Warcraft II still potrayed these shamanistic magiks as necromantic (in the sense we understand it, communing with the dead and the spirits of the underworld, not in the sense of raising undead), you will realize that Warcraft II just simply switched the shaman for the necrolytes, but retained the whole dynamic between secretive, manipulative scholars vs. religious, ritualistic disciples of the dead.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:24 AM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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And I do think that we saw more of that close connection in Warlords of Draenor as well between the Shamans and Proto-Necrolyte (priests) of the Shadowmoon clan. And indeed, even as far back as Burning Crusade, we learned that orcish shamanism was closely connected with light/void magic, particularly at Oshu'gun.
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  #38  
Old 11-14-2018, 09:57 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Warcraft II also mentions ancient shamanistic principles and rituals that predate the rise of the warlocks. So, even if the shaman and the warlocks overlapped, then in some sense were not indentical, probably philosophically.

Which, when you think about it, is not that different from Warcraft I.

In Warcraft I,the orcs had two caster categories which both drew their power from the same source, only one category was a secretive scholar (the warlock), and the other was a religious disciple (the necrolyte).

In Warcraft II, the orcs had once again two interconnected categories, one potrayed as secretive scrolars and manipulators (once again the warlocks), the other one as following ancient principles and rituals, making them feel once again like religious disciples (the shaman). And when you couple it with the fact that Warcraft II still potrayed these shamanistic magiks as necromantic (in the sense we understand it, communing with the dead and the spirits of the underworld, not in the sense of raising undead), you will realize that Warcraft II just simply switched the shaman for the necrolytes, but retained the whole dynamic between secretive, manipulative scholars vs. religious, ritualistic disciples of the dead.
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And I do think that we saw more of that close connection in Warlords of Draenor as well between the Shamans and Proto-Necrolyte (priests) of the Shadowmoon clan. And indeed, even as far back as Burning Crusade, we learned that orcish shamanism was closely connected with light/void magic, particularly at Oshu'gun.
Yep. Warcraft Adventures depicted Thrall having to learn some necromancy (speaking with the dead) in order to become a shaman.

Even so, the statements in WC1/2 in which their magic sickened the land (and is what prompted the elves to join the Alliance) suggests that perhaps something was amiss. They did consort with demons, after all, and those were established as being destructive and evil beings from Hell.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:16 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Blizzard themselves seems to have given up on the idea that demons are responsible for everything, considering that they introduced the Iron Horde and the Lightforged Draenei and all the other contrivances needed to justify perpetual war between the Alliance and Horde. A year old reddit post pretty much sums this up: https://www.reddit.com/r/wow/comment...g_the/dpm5o57/
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:04 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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If we wanted to emphasize the "torn between dark and light" thing, I suggested making him the new Guardian of Disorder after Medivh's death. Sure, it is unlikely that the Pillar of Disorder would call a prince of all people, but it's magic so there's always some degree of fate involved.

Since one of my alternate Lich King ideas is that he isn't Ner'zhul but the Guardian of Death, it makes sense that Guardian would target the only other vulnerable Guardian at the time (as well as kill two birds with one stone by taking the Kingdom's line of succession, which makes more sense to care about if he isn't evil).

Of course I'm not glued to the specific pillar, so Arthas could just as easily be the guardian of another pillar.
Sure. Would the Lich King need a body?

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Yes, but there doesn't seem to be much for him to actually do. If he was in any way instrumental in the legion's downfall, it isn't clearly established by the story. At the very least we could have had the undead leader loyal to the Lich King plotting the legion's destruction in secret.
I recall that early plans for WCIII had the Dreadlords be enthralled by Ner'zhul into serving him (with Mal'ganis I'm guessing a leftover of this plot point). I guess in a different WCIII we could have been shown Scourge loyal demons fighting on Ner'zhul's side.

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Sargeras could be substituted with anything else, or nothing at all. Aegwyn speculates on what evil force influenced her son, but there's just as much evidence that his madness was her own fault by breaking protocol.
Maybe so.

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I thought replacing their WC3 backstory was a given since we were discussing Retrocraft. That means that all the retconned backstory about titans, aspects, wells of eternity, world trees, etc would not be retained or at least not in the same form.
Well, a lot of their backstory was tied into their identity (or vice-versa). They had no Mages or Magelike units besides Demon Hunters (who are rebels against NE society) since they had strict policies against abuse of Arcane thanks to the mess the Highborne made. The leftovers of the Highborne broke away from them over it (who as already said were tied to the sun instead of moon and got Arcane casters to differ them). That's at least one.

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For example, Deathwing and Alexstrazsa were not originally aspects but merely politically powerful dragons. Nothing was really established about the culture of dragons at that point beyond those two characters and Deathwing betraying Alexstrazsa to help the Horde conquer the land.

The demon soul plot device was retconned in the late 90s/early 00s novels, when the writers were preparing the new storyline for WC3.
The Aspects have been iffy outside of Day of the Dragon I wouldn't complain about scrapping that angle for them just being god-dragons with no roles granted to them by a high authority.

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Even then the retcons were still in flux, since The Last Guardian hints that Draenor was inhabited by alien humans to explain Garona being born on Draenor as a half-human.

In fact, Garona's backstory was always weird. She was half-human yet born on Draenor and recounted the events prior to the opening of the Dark Portal and afterward almost as though she had lived them herself. By definition this suggested that humans lived on Draenor (as TLG attests), yet the same narrative shows that the orcs had never encountered humans before visiting Azeroth (suggesting Garona was born after the portal opened). The movie offers an explanation for this years after the first game: Medivh was her father and traveled to Draenor sometime before opening a permanent portal. So the orcs might have viewed Medivh as some kind of supernatural creature given his power, and did not equate him with the humans of Azeroth even if he seemingly appeared in human form.

Or the humans of Draenor were sufficiently different from those of Azeroth that the orcs didn't make the connection until sometime later. They could just as easily have been one and the same as the Draenei, who were originally mentioned in the WC2 manual but given no other details besides they were enslaved by the orcs. (One oddity I noticed is that the Draenei are named for Draenor or vice versa, but the orcs are not despite being the dominant civilization. Why would that be, I wonder?)
Well, the pre-WC3 lore had the Orcs be in Azeroth before the First War notably longer than in later lore (with the First War itself lasting notably longer). She could just be about 18 by the day the Orcs are making serious inroads. I don't recall Garona saying she witnessed all the events in WC1's backstory.

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In my opinion, the constant retcons just weaken the story and shrink the universe rather than explain anything. Claiming Sargeras had avatars who he sent to invade Azeroth just raises more questions than it answers.
I didn't say it worked. Considering how he's hasn't been all that relevant in the plots themselves (including Legion) I could be down with dropping the Avatars and other hints that he's still in the Great Dark for just killing him for good when Medivh dies.

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I stopped following the lore sometime in 2006, so I haven't read the novels past then. All I know is that the lore is now a mess which can't decide whether it's about a multiverse war or an alliance/horde war.
Won't fight you there.

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Again, we don't need to make any kind of connection between the Legion, Medivh and the Draenei. That just shrinks the universe. The eredar didn't even exist in WC2.
But I dig the Eredar/Post-TBC Draenei, at least in their design. Yeah, the backstory was wonky but playable Eredar had something to it. I don't see Medivh being Sargeras hurting his character too hard. You can just scale down the Legion (they're just one notably big organization of demons loyal to Sargeras who are broken for good at the Third War's end).

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
I'm content with a simple backstory in which the orcs started studying new schools of magic and ending up displacing shamanism with necromancy and demonology, then Medivh went crazy and decided they would make a great army for his mad conquest, and lured Gul'dan with the tomb of a demon lord his mother had previously defeated, and then with them both dead the war continues without them because they had been playing upon pre-existing political ambitions in those they considered pawns.

We don't need demons manipulating everything in the background. It's gotten absurd by this point because according to official lore they were supposedly responsible for every war ever, but after being defeated the Alliance and Horde keep fighting despite having no demons manipulating them. The entire point of the legion retcon was to make everybody the good guys and have them team up against the legion, so having them fight without that influence defeats the point of introducing a dualistic good/evil morality in the first place.

So I don't want demons directly responsible for anything. If they want to manipulate people's existing desires to achieve their own ends, sure, but I don't want to fall into the trap that canon did multiple times already. The only desire of the demons is to destroy the world anyway, which I don't consider a very compelling motivation. Sure, the zerg wanted to do the same thing (prior to being retconned into peaceful space orcs who obeyed anyone with a psi-emitter) but they had a plan to create a perfect zerg universe.
Look, I'll admit that while the demon blood backstory might have been compelling enough with WCIII: Reign of Chaos as either a conclusion for the franchise or an open reboot that ignores the older lore, it has led to later problems with the Orcs (who even in WoD are overall presented as noble savages who were tricked by the dastardly Garrosh) and also the Zerg. So sure, can it.

Last edited by Cacofonix; 11-14-2018 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:42 PM
Triceron Triceron is offline

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Like some others said, I think Scourge would be the replacement if not demons.

I would say Warcraft 2 would have to be where the retcon/alt universe starts and WC3 becomes a 3-faction war between Alliance, Horde and Scourge, all taking place in the EK. The Night Elves practically exist to be foils for the Legion, so I'd say if we omit the Legion, we omit the Night Elves as well. Without the Legion their entire history would be pretty boring, might as well cut them.

I could see this being more of a linear progression of WC2. Horde remains comprised of Greenskins, the Alliance doesn't let their guard down and remains united, and the Scourge is raising the dead of both sides and easily becoming a new threat. I actually kind of like that.
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  #42  
Old 11-14-2018, 08:10 PM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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You could have some more antagonistic to Alliance (or towards the High Elves maybe) Night Elves join the Horde. Make their style more like those early plans where they were more feral with spirit animals, tomahawks, and what I think were harems. They were supposed to be Warcraft's Dark Elves so I can see it. Especially if the Ogres or Forest Trolls or Goblins still leave the Horde.

Also, you can still tie in the NEs with demons. You can just rewrite the War of the Ancients to be more of a civil war over the future for Night Elfland and less of a front for a Legion invasion. Azhsara and her posse can be degenerate demon worshipers who are leading their society into perversion. Demons can aid the Highborne but as more of a backup.

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  #43  
Old 11-15-2018, 02:14 AM
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One could also develop a Scourge from the remnants of the Horde's Shadow Council and Necrolytes. Though Doomhammer crushed their betrayal in the "Broken Isles" during the end of the Second War, these shattered remnants could have reformed to calculate their vengeance. This Lich King could even be the undead-raised Gul'dan. Demons could still be powerful minions, albeit not the sort attached to any Burning Legion.

Warcraft 3 should probably address what happened to Ner'zhul and Co., but I'm not sure if making him the Lich King would work as well without the Burning Legion.
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Old 11-15-2018, 02:50 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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One could also develop a Scourge from the remnants of the Horde's Shadow Council and Necrolytes. Though Doomhammer crushed their betrayal in the "Broken Isles" during the end of the Second War, these shattered remnants could have reformed to calculate their vengeance. This Lich King could even be the undead-raised Gul'dan. Demons could still be powerful minions, albeit not the sort attached to any Burning Legion.

Warcraft 3 should probably address what happened to Ner'zhul and Co., but I'm not sure if making him the Lich King would work as well without the Burning Legion.
Well, that's mostly how early Warcraft III (pre-Alpha/Alpha) had it. The death knighs were the orcish death knights (the fallen paladins were called anti-paladins/deathlords), the cold wraiths were transformed warlocks of the Shadow Council, many Scourge buildings had orcish runes/Shadowmoon symbology on them, and so on.

It's how am I handling it in my fanwork, the Scourge and the Plague are Ner'zhul's brainchild, based upon ancient dark magiks of the Shadowmoon, Gul'dan's research, Ner'zhul's own research (particularly his research of the fungus of Draenor), and the core of the Scourge is formed of trasformed Shadowmoons/Shadow Councillors/Stormreavers (after arriving to Azeroth, the few surviving Stormreavers and many of the restless slain Stormreavers fall under his influence). The whole dynamic of his trasformation is also different.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:22 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Sure. Would the Lich King need a body?
I have no idea why he would. If mobility is a problem, couldn't he just create a body? The Scourge, at least according to the battle.net site, recruits souls and summons their entire infrastructure directly from the nether, so they clearly don't have a problem finding bodies to inhabit.



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I recall that early plans for WCIII had the Dreadlords be enthralled by Ner'zhul into serving him (with Mal'ganis I'm guessing a leftover of this plot point). I guess in a different WCIII we could have been shown Scourge loyal demons fighting on Ner'zhul's side.
I figured that the Scourge's demonic members were enthralled or otherwise bound into service by the Lich King.



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Well, a lot of their backstory was tied into their identity (or vice-versa). They had no Mages or Magelike units besides Demon Hunters (who are rebels against NE society) since they had strict policies against abuse of Arcane thanks to the mess the Highborne made. The leftovers of the Highborne broke away from them over it (who as already said were tied to the sun instead of moon and got Arcane casters to differ them). That's at least one.
Alternately, maybe they could replace the high elves entirely? The WC2 elves were essentially identical to the later idea of the night elves, as you pointed out yourself. Or did I suggest that already?

The Sentinel backstory doesn't really foster them being involved in the Third War from the onset (as the first and second wars did with the Alliance and Horde) without invoking something like my suggestion for them to invade Azeroth to counter Medivh's plans but not learning he was dead until long after arriving. Them being invaded by the Horde (despite the horde being shamans now?) is just a rehash of the last Alliance/Horde conflict and if we already have the Alliance we don't need to replace them with another target to invade. Unless the intent is to recreate the Iron Horde plot in which even the newly rediscovered shaman horde are still expansionist conquerors or something. Which still causes problems because the point is to have all the four factions fighting each other in the same war from start to finish if we want to remain true to WC1/2.

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The Aspects have been iffy outside of Day of the Dragon I wouldn't complain about scrapping that angle for them just being god-dragons with no roles granted to them by a high authority.
They weren't even god-dragons to begin with. Warcraft Adventures actually stated Deathwing was Alex's rebellious son. Which is honestly even more disturbing than canon since it means he's so unscrupulous he sold his family into sexual and warmachine slavery.



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Well, the pre-WC3 lore had the Orcs be in Azeroth before the First War notably longer than in later lore (with the First War itself lasting notably longer). She could just be about 18 by the day the Orcs are making serious inroads. I don't recall Garona saying she witnessed all the events in WC1's backstory.
Sure, that was also offered as an explanation. There's a disagreement between her account and the Azeroth calendar, as she claims the first war started ~15 years after the first attack on Stormwind when the Stormwind timeline claims it was ~10 years later. A period of ~10-15 years elapsed between the supposed opening of the dark portal and the beginning of the first war; the timeline is vague as to the time between the opening of the portal and the first attack on Stormwind, which could be anywhere from under a year to ~5 years.

There is disagreement as which battles are even part of the First War. The timeline wiki page can't decide whether the first attack on Stormwind was the start of the First War or whether Blackhand's rise was the start. This is important because the WC2 retcon that the war lasted five years is only a retcon if it removes the decade of border skirmishes that occurred prior to Blackhand's rise. That's the only difference between the WC1 and WC2 timelines: a decade of border skirmishes prior to the First War that may or may not be considered part of the war itself.

With this decade, it makes sense for Garona to have been born after the portal opened. She may have aged to a grown woman in a decade due to hybrid vigor or genetic fluke. Without this decade, Garona would had to have been born on Draenor or aged to a grown woman in a couple of years at most. That she was able to socially interact with humans suggests that she had prolonged contact with them during her childhood, such as slaves (the orcs were stated to have enslaved the draenei for millennia in WC2).

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I didn't say it worked. Considering how he's hasn't been all that relevant in the plots themselves (including Legion) I could be down with dropping the Avatars and other hints that he's still in the Great Dark for just killing him for good when Medivh dies.
Again, making Sargeras responsible for Medivh shrinks the world. It isn't believable that Sargeras is both responsible for his madness and Kil'jaeden's tutor without them having some kind of grand plan in place as in the retcons, which as I have said at length invalidates the otherwise free agency given to the Horde. The fact that Kil'jaeden is afraid of Medivh indicates they were never allies in the WC2 lore. It's a one-in-a-trillion chance that Sargeras even tutored Kil'jaeden in the first place, unless Medivh had stolen knowledge from Sageras and then deliberately sought out his students like Kil'jaeden and that's how he discovered Gul'dan.

Sargeras was dead or undead as of WC2. He wasn't responsible for Medivh's madness. That's entirely on Aegwynn's head.

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But I dig the Eredar/Post-TBC Draenei, at least in their design. Yeah, the backstory was wonky but playable Eredar had something to it. I don't see Medivh being Sargeras hurting his character too hard. You can just scale down the Legion (they're just one notably big organization of demons loyal to Sargeras who are broken for good at the Third War's end).
WC2 did allude to demonic races with ancient histories, so I suppose I don't see a problem with Eredar being added as one of these races, but it is a retcon since Kil'jaeden's WC2 art is a generic demon.

Again, I just said that making Sargeras an active villain shrinks the world. Aegwynn and the other guardians must have logically fought countless demon lords that sought to invade Azeroth. Blizzard only gave attention to Sargeras because he was the ONLY demon lord ever mentioned in the lore prior. In the same way that Star Trek writers had "brain bugs", the Blizzard writers took isolated plot points and then exaggerated them to the point where they took over the story at the expense of other possible plots, degenerated into self-parody, and generally introduced more inconsistencies and questions than they ever hoped to solve.


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Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
Like some others said, I think Scourge would be the replacement if not demons.

I would say Warcraft 2 would have to be where the retcon/alt universe starts and WC3 becomes a 3-faction war between Alliance, Horde and Scourge, all taking place in the EK. The Night Elves practically exist to be foils for the Legion, so I'd say if we omit the Legion, we omit the Night Elves as well. Without the Legion their entire history would be pretty boring, might as well cut them.

I could see this being more of a linear progression of WC2. Horde remains comprised of Greenskins, the Alliance doesn't let their guard down and remains united, and the Scourge is raising the dead of both sides and easily becoming a new threat. I actually kind of like that.
I would prefer to keep the WC3 tech trees around because they are pretty cool and offer a lot of strategy opportunities. And that's before introducing variants like the high/blood elves, corrupted ancients, and naga.

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Originally Posted by Cacofonix View Post
You could have some more antagonistic to Alliance (or towards the High Elves maybe) Night Elves join the Horde. Make their style more like those early plans where they were more feral with spirit animals, tomahawks, and what I think were harems. They were supposed to be Warcraft's Dark Elves so I can see it. Especially if the Ogres or Forest Trolls or Goblins still leave the Horde.

Also, you can still tie in the NEs with demons. You can just rewrite the War of the Ancients to be more of a civil war over the future for Night Elfland and less of a front for a Legion invasion. Azhsara and her posse can be degenerate demon worshipers who are leading their society into perversion. Demons can aid the Highborne but as more of a backup.
Great! That's pretty much the story of the Horde. They started out as expansionist conquerors and bargained with demons to increase their power. It creates a nice parallel between them, without turning them into puppets of generic doomsday villains.

Of course, we should compare this with other possible options before committing. Are there any other suggestions we could imagine, perhaps drawing from mythology or fantasy fiction?

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One could also develop a Scourge from the remnants of the Horde's Shadow Council and Necrolytes. Though Doomhammer crushed their betrayal in the "Broken Isles" during the end of the Second War, these shattered remnants could have reformed to calculate their vengeance. This Lich King could even be the undead-raised Gul'dan. Demons could still be powerful minions, albeit not the sort attached to any Burning Legion.

Warcraft 3 should probably address what happened to Ner'zhul and Co., but I'm not sure if making him the Lich King would work as well without the Burning Legion.
I introduced the idea of the Lich King as an ancient guardian specifically to allow for him to do all these sorts of things and more. Since he has mastered travel of the nether, he would able to rescue these guys and recruit them for his armies. The idea here is the give the Scourge a long and illustrious history in which to build their culture, which was absent from canon.

When these former leaders of the Horde were killed or lost during the first and second wars, the Lich King was there to recruit them. This allows him to retain these infamous strategists as members of his court and war councils. This would allow the Scourge to field warlocks, necrolytes and death knights from the WC2 era if desired.

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Originally Posted by Marthen View Post
Well, that's mostly how early Warcraft III (pre-Alpha/Alpha) had it. The death knighs were the orcish death knights (the fallen paladins were called anti-paladins/deathlords), the cold wraiths were transformed warlocks of the Shadow Council, many Scourge buildings had orcish runes/Shadowmoon symbology on them, and so on.

It's how am I handling it in my fanwork, the Scourge and the Plague are Ner'zhul's brainchild, based upon ancient dark magiks of the Shadowmoon, Gul'dan's research, Ner'zhul's own research (particularly his research of the fungus of Draenor), and the core of the Scourge is formed of trasformed Shadowmoons/Shadow Councillors/Stormreavers (after arriving to Azeroth, the few surviving Stormreavers and many of the restless slain Stormreavers fall under his influence). The whole dynamic of his trasformation is also different.
As I said above, I think that suffers the problem of the Scourge not really having much time in which to develop a culture and history. While I like those ideas too, I think they should be added onto a more ancient Scourge faction led by an ancient Lich King.

I didn't realize it until recently, but the Scourge's spider and ice symbolism (which they had since their inception early in development) was taken directly from George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones. The Scourge is directly based on the white walkers.

So why go the whole hog and take inspiration directly from the white walkers of Westeros?

This is just off the top of my head, by maybe there is another sub-race of elves, winter elves or something, who serve in the courts and war councils of the Scourge. They ride giant spiders into battle and raise the dead as zombies.

On a related note, an idea I had for connecting the WC2 and WC3 death knights (as opposed to making them two separate units) would be that the fallen paladins willingly allowed themselves to be possessed by the spirits of the death knights a la Shadow of Mordor's wraith character (who was obviously ripped off from Game of Thrones).

Perhaps the former warlocks, necrolytes, shamans, death knights, etc were recycled to create the new death knights, liches, cold wraiths, etc rather than anything on a one-to-one basis.


EDIT: An idea that just came to me is that the Night Elves are aliens, just like the orcs. In fact, a lot of new races could be introduced as aliens. Kalimdor could be another planet!

My justification for this is the difference between the Warcraft 2 and Warcraft 3 maps. WC2 just expanded the to a single continent beyond Azeroth/Stormwind, whereas WC3 permanently limited the continents of the world (at least until Pandaria and other retcons).

So the elves of alternate Quel'thalas could have a tech tree identical to the sentinels, except with high elf skin coloring. (E.g. the high elf/blood elf archer is just a modified night elf archer model.) I remember some old cancelled Star Alliance mods suggesting new elf factions like Wood Elves and Dark Elves (long before WoW introduced a dozen varieties). These alternate Thalasians could be labeled Wood Elves to differentiate them from Night Elves, High Elves, Dark Elves, etc. The Wood Elves could venerate the celestial bodies in general, rather than just the night or day. The alien elves would have their own belief systems.


EDIT: My idea for "white walker" elves among the Scourge mirrors the addition of the san'layn/darkfallen in WoW.

Last edited by BoxCrayonTales; 11-15-2018 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:01 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Sure, that was also offered as an explanation. There's a disagreement between her account and the Azeroth calendar, as she claims the first war started ~15 years after the first attack on Stormwind when the Stormwind timeline claims it was ~10 years later. A period of ~10-15 years elapsed between the supposed opening of the dark portal and the beginning of the first war; the timeline is vague as to the time between the opening of the portal and the first attack on Stormwind, which could be anywhere from under a year to ~5 years.
There's actually never been any disagreement between the two, some people simply misread the manual (though to their defense, it had to do with certain prints of the manual lacking proper formatting). The prologue and epilogue of Lothar's chronicle (both written in italics to differentiate them from the rest of the chronicle in the original print of the manual) speak of the current day, ie the start of the war and the rise of Blackhand, and they are dated to "some forty years since Aegwynn's first arrival to Azeroth", ie about forty years after 558/9 (as Medivh is born in 559). Basically, there's no discrepancy like some assumed for years, the war starts with the arrival/rise of Blackhand, and it is about fifteen years after the opening of the Great Portal.

This further fits with the timeline established in Warcraft Adventures (620), which says that Durotan was murdered 22 years ago, as he learned of Blackhand, his blood brother, becoming the warchief.

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As I said above, I think that suffers the problem of the Scourge not really having much time in which to develop a culture and history. While I like those ideas too, I think they should be added onto a more ancient Scourge faction led by an ancient Lich King.
That's the thing, they don't need to develop anything, as just like I said, they are the direct continuation of the Shadowmoon and their cultural beliefs, only evolved. And that's something I am doing with the other kingdoms that come to follow Ner'zhul eventually (Lordaeron, Azjol-Nerub, Zul'Drak), they retain much of their culture and social structure, only trasformed through new faith. Essentially, the Scourge is like Christianity (or other newborn faiths), built upon the culture and structure of its parent, slowly absorbing new spiritual and cultural life as it expands over new territories. And since it is also a revolutionary movement essentially, there is no need to connect it to any ancient beings, be it demons, elves, guardians, etc. It should be immediate, fresh, something never seen in the universe before.
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:55 AM
Cacofonix Cacofonix is offline

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I have no idea why he would. If mobility is a problem, couldn't he just create a body? The Scourge, at least according to the battle.net site, recruits souls and summons their entire infrastructure directly from the nether, so they clearly don't have a problem finding bodies to inhabit.
I figure Ner'zhul needed a living body that was strong rather than a corpse. After all, the Dreadlords could enthrall undead.

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I figured that the Scourge's demonic members were enthralled or otherwise bound into service by the Lich King.
The final WC3 has the Dreadlords as the Lich King's jailers/overseers. This alternate WC3 would apparently have a load of them become loyal to Ner'zhul through his magic.

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Alternately, maybe they could replace the high elves entirely? The WC2 elves were essentially identical to the later idea of the night elves, as you pointed out yourself. Or did I suggest that already?
We could do that yeah, but I acted like we were keeping the new WC3: RoC Races (Tauren, Night Elf, Undead) while abandoning or reworking its cosmology.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
The Sentinel backstory doesn't really foster them being involved in the Third War from the onset (as the first and second wars did with the Alliance and Horde) without invoking something like my suggestion for them to invade Azeroth to counter Medivh's plans but not learning he was dead until long after arriving. Them being invaded by the Horde (despite the horde being shamans now?) is just a rehash of the last Alliance/Horde conflict and if we already have the Alliance we don't need to replace them with another target to invade. Unless the intent is to recreate the Iron Horde plot in which even the newly rediscovered shaman horde are still expansionist conquerors or something. Which still causes problems because the point is to have all the four factions fighting each other in the same war from start to finish if we want to remain true to WC1/2.
You could just put them at war with the Alliance from them expanding into Kalimdor and/or their ties to their old enemies the High Elves. They can be allied with the Horde (who abandon their ties to demons for other paths to power while Lordaeon embraces undeath) who sail there not on some prophet's say-so but to check for allies against the Alliance.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
They weren't even god-dragons to begin with. Warcraft Adventures actually stated Deathwing was Alex's rebellious son. Which is honestly even more disturbing than canon since it means he's so unscrupulous he sold his family into sexual and warmachine slavery.
They can still be relatives as god-dragons.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Sure, that was also offered as an explanation. There's a disagreement between her account and the Azeroth calendar, as she claims the first war started ~15 years after the first attack on Stormwind when the Stormwind timeline claims it was ~10 years later. A period of ~10-15 years elapsed between the supposed opening of the dark portal and the beginning of the first war; the timeline is vague as to the time between the opening of the portal and the first attack on Stormwind, which could be anywhere from under a year to ~5 years.

There is disagreement as which battles are even part of the First War. The timeline wiki page can't decide whether the first attack on Stormwind was the start of the First War or whether Blackhand's rise was the start. This is important because the WC2 retcon that the war lasted five years is only a retcon if it removes the decade of border skirmishes that occurred prior to Blackhand's rise. That's the only difference between the WC1 and WC2 timelines: a decade of border skirmishes prior to the First War that may or may not be considered part of the war itself.

With this decade, it makes sense for Garona to have been born after the portal opened. She may have aged to a grown woman in a decade due to hybrid vigor or genetic fluke. Without this decade, Garona would had to have been born on Draenor or aged to a grown woman in a couple of years at most. That she was able to socially interact with humans suggests that she had prolonged contact with them during her childhood, such as slaves (the orcs were stated to have enslaved the draenei for millennia in WC2).
Well, historically a woman in Medieval European society was considered a woman instead of a girl when she had her first period (which would be about 12 or so). Garona could really be just about 15/16 at the First War's start. An adult in Orc society.

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Again, making Sargeras responsible for Medivh shrinks the world. It isn't believable that Sargeras is both responsible for his madness and Kil'jaeden's tutor without them having some kind of grand plan in place as in the retcons, which as I have said at length invalidates the otherwise free agency given to the Horde. The fact that Kil'jaeden is afraid of Medivh indicates they were never allies in the WC2 lore. It's a one-in-a-trillion chance that Sargeras even tutored Kil'jaeden in the first place, unless Medivh had stolen knowledge from Sageras and then deliberately sought out his students like Kil'jaeden and that's how he discovered Gul'dan.
Do demons using a warmongering Horde for their schemes really have to ruin the Horde's free agency? It did when WC3 to Rise of the Horde did it since the Orcs were presented as pristine noble savages in the state of nature before the demons found them and their warmongering gets blamed on outside parties.

I see no loss of free agency if some demon lord (let's say Archimonde since he was introduced in WC3) comes across Draenor and sees the WC1-WC2 styled Orcs as handy for his schemes in Azeroth.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Sargeras was dead or undead as of WC2. He wasn't responsible for Medivh's madness. That's entirely on Aegwynn's head.
Her narrating in WC2 made it sound like Medivh was doing alright until demons found him.

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WC2 did allude to demonic races with ancient histories, so I suppose I don't see a problem with Eredar being added as one of these races, but it is a retcon since Kil'jaeden's WC2 art is a generic demon.
I think they tried to address that by saying Kil'jaeden's WC2 look was him taking the shape of Orcish spirits/ancestors. I guess you can just make him King of Doomguards.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
Again, I just said that making Sargeras an active villain shrinks the world. Aegwynn and the other guardians must have logically fought countless demon lords that sought to invade Azeroth. Blizzard only gave attention to Sargeras because he was the ONLY demon lord ever mentioned in the lore prior. In the same way that Star Trek writers had "brain bugs", the Blizzard writers took isolated plot points and then exaggerated them to the point where they took over the story at the expense of other possible plots, degenerated into self-parody, and generally introduced more inconsistencies and questions than they ever hoped to solve.
Won't deny the Legion hasn't turned out well overall. I'll say that making your world's archvillain be conquerors/destroyers of the universe who repeatedly fail to beat one single planet doesn't help their credibility.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
I would prefer to keep the WC3 tech trees around because they are pretty cool and offer a lot of strategy opportunities. And that's before introducing variants like the high/blood elves, corrupted ancients, and naga.
The Blood Elves could be a neat direction to take the High Elves if you have the society fall into corruption (instead of just Kael'thas' posse) and abandoning their Druidic ways to become more like their WC3 style.

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Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post
As I said above, I think that suffers the problem of the Scourge not really having much time in which to develop a culture and history. While I like those ideas too, I think they should be added onto a more ancient Scourge faction led by an ancient Lich King.
There's also the "Scourge is more of a legit revolution within Lordaeron/Alliance." Combining them with the Ner'zhul Horde's leftovers their "culture and history" can be an unholy meeting between the Old Horde and the Alliance of Lordaeron. Especially once Lordaeron's adored prince starts advocating for the Scourge (maybe he acceptably succeeds Terenas or doesn't incriminate himself in Terenas' murder).

Last edited by Cacofonix; 11-15-2018 at 11:08 AM..
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  #48  
Old 11-15-2018, 11:08 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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That's the thing, they don't need to develop anything, as just like I said, they are the direct continuation of the Shadowmoon and their cultural beliefs, only evolved. And that's something I am doing with the other kingdoms that come to follow Ner'zhul eventually (Lordaeron, Azjol-Nerub, Zul'Drak), they retain much of their culture and social structure, only trasformed through new faith. Essentially, the Scourge is like Christianity (or other newborn faiths), built upon the culture and structure of its parent, slowly absorbing new spiritual and cultural life as it expands over new territories. And since it is also a revolutionary movement essentially, there is no need to connect it to any ancient beings, be it demons, elves, guardians, etc. It should be immediate, fresh, something never seen in the universe before.
I don't find it believable that the new faith spread and built its armies so quickly in a quasi-medieval environment. The Alliance and Horde already had large armies by the time the First and Second Wars began.

When exactly do we expect this alternate Third War to start? Assuming Thrall becomes warchief sometime in 620, which is over 40 or so years since the portal was first opened, but only about a decade and a half since Ner'zhul got lost in the portals and ended up elsewhere.

I personally disagree with the "it should be totally new" idea. I don't find it believable that Ner'zhul and company would ever have found their way to Azeroth without help, since they weren't trying to go there in the first place. If Medivh can be the latest in a long line of guardians, I don't find it the least bit unbelievable there are other guardians around and that they might take part in the war.

Making the Lich King the ancient guardian of death, bound by the council for defying their mandate of non-interference, neatly explains how Ner'zhul's band could have been rescued without requiring Sargeras and Kil'jaeden to do everything. He just followed Medivh's trail and observed Draenor from afar. I think it makes the world bigger to have things like that existing on the periphery.

I already suggested making the night elves into aliens, I'm not going to do that again for the Lich King rescuing Ner'zhul.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:20 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Then we disagree on the fundamentals and there is little point in going forwards in this discussion for me.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:24 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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I figure Ner'zhul needed a living body that was strong rather than a corpse. After all, the Dreadlords could enthrall undead.



The final WC3 has the Dreadlords as the Lich King's jailers/overseers. This alternate WC3 would apparently have a load of them become loyal to Ner'zhul through his magic.



We could do that yeah, but I acted like we were keeping the new WC3: RoC Races (Tauren, Night Elf, Undead) while abandoning or reworking its cosmology.



You could just put them at war with the Alliance from them expanding into Kalimdor and/or their ties to their old enemies the High Elves. They can be allied with the Horde (who abandon their ties to demons for other paths to power while Lordaeon embraces undeath) who sail there not on some prophet's say-so but to check for allies against the Alliance.



They can still be relatives as god-dragons.



Well, historically a woman in Medieval European society was considered a woman instead of a girl when she had her first period (which would be about 12 or so). Garona could really be just about 15/16 at the First War's start. An adult in Orc society.



Do demons using a warmongering Horde for their schemes really have to ruin the Horde's free agency? It did when WC3 to Rise of the Horde did it since the Orcs were presented as pristine noble savages in the state of nature before the demons found them and their warmongering gets blamed on outside parties.

I see no loss of free agency if some demon lord (let's say Archimonde since he was introduced in WC3) comes across Draenor and sees the WC1-WC2 styled Orcs as handy for his schemes in Azeroth.



Her narrating in WC2 made it sound like Medivh was doing alright until demons found him.



I think they tried to address that by saying Kil'jaeden's WC2 look was him taking the shape of Orcish spirits/ancestors. I guess you can just make him King of Doomguards.



Won't deny the Legion hasn't turned out well overall. I'll say that making your world's archvillain be conquerors/destroyers of the universe who repeatedly fail to beat one single planet doesn't help their credibility.



The Blood Elves could be a neat direction to take the High Elves if you have the society fall into corruption (instead of just Kael'thas' posse) and abandoning their Druidic ways to become more like their WC3 style.



There's also the "Scourge is more of a legit revolution within Lordaeron/Alliance." Combining them with the Ner'zhul Horde's leftovers their "culture and history" can be an unholy meeting between the Old Horde and the Alliance of Lordaeron. Especially once Lordaeron's adored prince starts advocating for the Scourge (maybe he acceptably succeeds Terenas or doesn't incriminate himself in Terenas' murder).
I am generally opposed to stories which strain credibility.

Medivh was the first person with the idea to use the Horde as his army to conquer Azeroth, and he was doing this of his own free will due to being corrupted by his own power. It strains credibility that random demon lords would show up and do the same thing, or that he was a puppet the whole time. That is not creative in my opinion.

The Lich King being a lost member of the Order of Tirisfal would neatly explain why he would have tracked Medivh's actions to Draenor and rescued Ner'zhul's forces for recruitment.

The Night Elves being aliens attracted to Azeroth and Draenor by the portals created using Medivh's knowledge could justify their involvement without needing to restrict the maps of Azeroth. Or maybe Ner'zhul stumbled upon their world and ended up fighting them, which led to them following him back to Azeroth when the Lich King rescued him.

The night elves, as said before, were originally much more violent and wild, so I think that portrayal could be helpful for informing these alternate alien counterparts. They fought with Ner'zhul's forces, Ner'zhul escaped them, they tracked down his trail for years until they found Azeroth and decided to attack in order to pre-empt any future invasions by what they perceived as hostile alien forces.

This raises the question of why there are elves on multiple planets, which is something that could be left open for a future plot. As a matter of fact, the different elf cultures from canon could be rewritten as cultures from different planets rather than one. I honestly found the number of new ethnic groups growing unmanageably large in WoW.
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