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Old 08-15-2014, 12:28 PM
Cemotucu Cemotucu is offline

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Default Of Timeways and Timelines

@egabald and I have been discussing an issue related to time-lore in the Warcraft setting.

Part of said lore was "explained" in the exposition of one of the Custodians of Time that wander the Bronze's headquarters, and that you need to hear in order to complete The Caverns of Time.

The following is a transcript:

Greetings, <name>. I will guide you through the cavern. Please try and keep up.

We do not know if the Caverns of Time have always been accessible to mortals. Truly, it is impossible to tell as the Timeless One is in perpetual motion, changing our timeways as he sees fit. What you see now may very well not exist tomorrow. You may wake up and have no memory of this place.

It is strange, I know... Most mortals cannot actually comprehend what they see here, as often, what they see is not anchored within their own perception of reality.

Follow me, please. <The Custodian leads you to the entrance of the Old Hillsbrad timeway.>

There are only two truths to be found here: First, that time is chaotic, always in flux, and completely malleable and second, perception does not dictate reality.

As custodians of time, we watch over and care for Nozdormu's realm. The master is away at the moment, which means that attempts are being made to dramatically alter time. The master never meddles in the affairs of mortals but instead corrects the alterations made to time by others. He is reactionary in this regard.

For normal maintenance of time, the Keepers of Time are sufficient caretakers. We are able to deal with most ordinary disturbances. I speak of little things, such as rogue mages changing something in the past to elevate their status or wealth in the present.

These tunnels that you see are called timeways. They are infinite in number. The ones that currently exist in your reality are what the master has deemed as 'trouble spots.' These trouble spots may differ completely in theme but they always share a cause. That is, their existence is a result of the same temporal disturbance. Remember that should you venture inside one...

This timeway is in great disarray! We have agents inside right now attempting to restore order. What information I have indicates that Thrall's freedom is in jeopardy. A malevolent organization known as the Infinite Dragonflight is trying to prevent his escape. I fear without outside assistance, all will be lost.

Follow me, please. <The Custodian leads you to the entrance of the Black Morass timeway.>

We have very little information on this timeway. Sa'at has been dispatched and is currently inside. The data we have gathered from his correspondence is that the Infinite Dragonflight are once again attempting to alter time. Could it be that the opening of the Dark Portal is being targeted for sabotage? Let us hope not...

Follow me, please. <The Custodian leads you to the closed timeway with the wrecked ships in front of it.>

This timeway is currently collapsing. What that may hold for the past, present and future is currently unknown...

The timeways are currently ranked in order from least catastrophic to most catastrophic. Note that they are all classified as catastrophic, meaning that any single one of these timeways collapsing would mean that your world would end. We only classify them in such a way so that the heroes and adventurers that are sent here know which timeway best suits their abilities.

Follow me, please. <The Custodian leads you to the entrance of the Mount Hyjal timeway.>

All we know of this timeway is that it leads to Mount Hyjal. The Infinite Dragonflight have gone to great lengths to prevent our involvement. We know next to nothing, mortal. Soridormi is currently attempting to break through the timeway's defenses but has thus far been unsuccessful. You might be our only hope of breaking through and resolving the conflict.

Follow me, please. <The Custodian leads you back to Andormu.>

Our time is at an end <name>. I would wish you luck, if such a thing existed.


As you see, in the first part there's this paragraph:

Quote:
These tunnels that you see are called timeways. They are infinite in number. The ones that currently exist in your reality are what the master has deemed as 'trouble spots.' These trouble spots may differ completely in theme but they always share a cause. That is, their existence is a result of the same temporal disturbance. Remember that should you venture inside one...
Egabald understands that the bolded line is an evidence of the existence of other realities (as the Custodian refers to "your reality"), before alternate dimension were introduced in the time-lore.

I believe that the expression refers to players perception of reality, which the Custodian notes as lineal and different to its own (and that's why he says "your reality", instead of "our reality"). After all, the bronze dragon spends the first part of the dialogue noting how mortals understand time and such.

He'll join the forum in order to better explain his position (sorry if I didn't do it right!), and to further discuss the issue. Please, co-SoLers, join if you like!
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:47 PM
Aquamonkey Aquamonkey is offline

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I guess I should have picked a username matching my twitter handle. :p I usually go by Aquamonkey on forums.

So how I understand the dialogue is that there's reality-reality and then there's the mortal perception of reality. As mortals perceive reality, it's just a single timestream past-present-future (our timeline). But reality-reality is that there is much more and the Bronzes can see all the timelines and their variations.

The Custodian says there are infinite timeways, but only a few of them connect to our reality (timeline) and are deemed "trouble spots." The timeways that don't connect to our reality are therefore connecting to other timelines. And since those alternate timelines aren't the "One True Timeline", the Bronzes don't bother policing them and focus on the ones that affect our timeline.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:46 PM
Cemotucu Cemotucu is offline

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What I understood is that while mortals have a perception of reality as past-present-future, the "reality-reality" is that time is chaotic.

(This first part is in line with what was told to us in The Last Guardian).

That doesn't change the fact that even when we're told the player's perception is not 'real', it is what he perceives. It is 'his/her reality' (which is the 'present'); the Custodian says: "What you see now may very well not exist tomorrow.", and that is why he can only access some of the timeways... the timeways that "exist" in his/her present.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:24 PM
Aquamonkey Aquamonkey is offline

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I guess the difference comes down to how we interpret "mortal reality"? If I'm getting you right, you see it as just being the 'present'. And the "trouble spots" timeways are the ones connecting to the 'present'.

I see it more as being the timeline in its entirety. Timeways connecting to any point in our timeline I'd consider a "trouble spot", be it 'past', 'present', or 'future'. The Bronzes are concerned with the preservation of all parts of our timeline, not just timeways connected to the 'present'.

A change in the timeline will change the 'present' or how mortals perceive reality (with no knowledge of a change), but it affects everything along the timeline from the change forward. Effectively (but not literally) changing it to a different timeline.

And we've already seen alternate timelines within the Warcraft universe existing parallel to our own.

EDIT: Oh and there's Nozdormu's quote from the Dragon Soul raid:
Quote:
It is time! I will expend everything to bind every thread here, now, around the Dragon Soul. What comes to pass will NEVER be undone!
I guess "thread" is their term for timelines.

Last edited by Aquamonkey; 08-15-2014 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:36 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Don't double post. You can edit the posts into one. You can use quotes, copy and paste people's responses.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:14 PM
Cemotucu Cemotucu is offline

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Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
I guess the difference comes down to how we interpret "mortal reality"? If I'm getting you right, you see it as just being the 'present'. And the "trouble spots" timeways are the ones connecting to the 'present'.
No. What I meant is that "the present" is just the mortal perception of reality; for a mortal, only some timeways connect with reality (which he can only perceive as present).

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Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
I see it more as being the timeline in its entirety. Timeways connecting to any point in our timeline I'd consider a "trouble spot", be it 'past', 'present', or 'future'. The Bronzes are concerned with the preservation of all parts of our timeline, not just timeways connected to the 'present'.
Of course, but 'the present' is only the mortals' perception of reality. When the Custodian speaks to the player, he's not addressing what he'll do or what he did. He is addressing what he is just going to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
A change in the timeline will change the 'present' or how mortals perceive reality (with no knowledge of a change), but it affects everything along the timeline from the change forward. Effectively (but not literally) changing it to a different timeline.
Exactly! There's a "rewritting" of the timeline.

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Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
And we've already seen alternate timelines within the Warcraft universe existing parallel to our own.
The only we saw before War Crimes was Blackmoore's, and it vanished when Thrall discover that the only thing that matters is the present.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:39 PM
Arashi Arashi is offline

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Old 08-21-2014, 02:44 PM
Aquamonkey Aquamonkey is offline

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New short story confirms what Kosak and Neilson had previously teased: the WoD universe was not split off from our timeline by their time travel.

As Kairoz puts it:
I've spent my life studying the timeways. If you try to count and compare blades of grass, you'll drive yourself mad, he had said. My plans require a few… favorable conditions, and we'll find them here. This is the perfect timeway for us. Not a perfect mirror image, but perfect nonetheless.
So these timeways do in fact lead to completely different timelines (or threads as Noz described them).
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:57 PM
Aquamonkey Aquamonkey is offline

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It's been several hours my post has been pending approval from mods. I think I might have put a link in it and this is a new account. So I'll post again and combine/delete if the old one ends up going through.

The new short story confirms that there are an infinite number of timelines/"threads". The AU was already existent and "not a perfect mirror image" of the Prime universe. Kairoz's plan was to cultivate an infinite number of Hordes from all the timelines to fight the Legion in the Prime universe.

Their interference in the AU is rewriting how it was supposed to go.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
It's been several hours my post has been pending approval from mods. I think I might have put a link in it and this is a new account. So I'll post again and combine/delete if the old one ends up going through.

The new short story confirms that there are an infinite number of timelines/"threads". The AU was already existent and "not a perfect mirror image" of the Prime universe. Kairoz's plan was to cultivate an infinite number of Hordes from all the timelines to fight the Legion in the Prime universe.

Their interference in the AU is rewriting how it was supposed to go.
Yep sorry about that Aquamonkey, newbie posts that contain links get automatically flagged by the filter to trap bots. Think once you reach ten posts it won't happen again.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:29 AM
Cemotucu Cemotucu is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
It's been several hours my post has been pending approval from mods. I think I might have put a link in it and this is a new account. So I'll post again and combine/delete if the old one ends up going through.

The new short story confirms that there are an infinite number of timelines/"threads". The AU was already existent and "not a perfect mirror image" of the Prime universe. Kairoz's plan was to cultivate an infinite number of Hordes from all the timelines to fight the Legion in the Prime universe.

Their interference in the AU is rewriting how it was supposed to go.
Yeah, there are apparently infinite AU's, with their own timeways.

Now I imagine that the usual time-rules (modify the past, and you change future) are applied within the timeline, because that was also said in the CoT and evidenced in WotA Trilogy.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:00 AM
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My guess with the no duplicates rule blizzard stated they were doing could mean two things:
* Duplicates will conveniently die.
* Surviving duplicates will suffer some sort of Chronal fusion.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:35 AM
Menel'dirion Menel'dirion is offline

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A thought. Aman'thul told Nozdormu that there's one timeline. We're finding others. That said, despite certain people not being born or not dying, event still seem to be playing out the same. Perhaps what Aman'thul was trying to tell Nozdormu is that despite the multitude of Timelines, certain things are always meant to be. All the timelines have shared landmarks, and no matter where these timelines may diverge, certain things always stay the same. The way the Spirits react to Garrosh, AU Velen's loss of ability to see the future, and Gul'dan's talk of the Orcish Destiny would seem to indicate that.

Of course, there's one other possibility: This is a Draenor thing.

Think about it. There is no Nozdormu on Draenor. What if Draenor, without all the Titanic regulation that Azeroth has, is a prime fertile place for creating new timelines, but Azeroth is not because Azeroth has had the Bronze flight regulating it. Perhaps that's why Kairoz took Garrosh to Draenor instead of taking someone from the Alliance to try to fix things on Azeroth, not to mention recruit some sort of Infinite Alliance.

I'm not saying there isn't an AU Azeroth, but I'd wager it's more or less identical to our own.... at least within the time frame in which the Bronze flight was active there. It wouldn't diverge from ours until an AU Horde invaded it.

I would also wager that after the Bronzes got nerfed following Cataclysm, Azeroth started becoming more susceptible to more alternate timelines.

Last edited by Menel'dirion; 08-22-2014 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:46 AM
Cemotucu Cemotucu is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menel'dirion View Post
A thought. Aman'thul told Nozdormu that there's one timeline. We're finding others. That said, despite certain people not being born or not dying, event still seem to be playing out the same. Perhaps what Aman'thul was trying to tell Nozdormu is that despite the multitude of Timelines, certain things are always meant to be. All the timelines have shared landmarks, and no matter where these timelines may diverge, certain things always stay the same. The way the Spirits react to Garrosh, AU Velen's loss of ability to see the future, and Gul'dan's talk of the Orcish Destiny would seem to indicate that.
The thing is that we have been two different mixing things: timelines and universes.

It seems there are infinites universes out there. And each has its own future, past and present (perceived in a lineal way by mortals). That's why timetraveling to the past overwrites the future.

However, what you say about certain events happening always (despite the universe) is exactly what Medivh said in The Last Guardian: you can't actually change the future -in the big picture-, as everyone just plays his/her part.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:50 AM
Ashendant Ashendant is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menel'dirion View Post
A thought. Aman'thul told Nozdormu that there's one timeline. We're finding others. That said, despite certain people not being born or not dying, event still seem to be playing out the same. Perhaps what Aman'thul was trying to tell Nozdormu is that despite the multitude of Timelines, certain things are always meant to be. All the timelines have shared landmarks, and no matter where these timelines may diverge, certain things always stay the same. The way the Spirits react to Garrosh, AU Velen's loss of ability to see the future, and Gul'dan's talk of the Orcish Destiny would seem to indicate that.

Of course, there's one other possibility: This is a Draenor thing.

Think about it. There is no Nozdormu on Draenor. What if Draenor, without all the Titanic regulation that Azeroth has, is a prime fertile place for creating new timelines, but Azeroth is not because Azeroth has had the Bronze flight regulating it. Perhaps that's why Kairoz took Garrosh to Draenor instead of taking someone from the Alliance to try to fix things on Azeroth, not to mention recruit some sort of Infinite Alliance.

I'm not saying there isn't an AU Azeroth, but I'd wager it's more or less identical to our own.... at least within the time frame in which the Bronze flight was active there. It wouldn't diverge from ours until an AU Horde invaded it.

I would also wager that after the Bronzes got nerfed following Cataclysm, Azeroth started becoming more susceptible to more alternate timelines.
The problem with that is that during WoD you go to another AU planet.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:54 AM
Menel'dirion Menel'dirion is offline

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The problem with that is that during WoD you go to another AU planet.
Wait, what planet?
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:57 AM
Cemotucu Cemotucu is offline

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Wait, what planet?
Xandros. It's a full Alternate Universe. Also, it seems the connection between both universes is messing with MU Twisting Nether as per a Garrison Inn quest.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:57 PM
Menel'dirion Menel'dirion is offline

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Xandros. It's a full Alternate Universe. Also, it seems the connection between both universes is messing with MU Twisting Nether as per a Garrison Inn quest.
I'm not saying it's not a universe. I'm saying that due to the lack of temporal regulation, Draenor is a hot spot for the creation of other universes. The universes would only vary on worlds without Titan based temporal regulation.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:45 PM
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Aman'Thul's blessing of the Bronze Aspect:
Quote:
Unto you is charged the great task of keeping the purity of time. Know that there is only one true timeline, though there are those who would have it otherwise. You must protect it. Without the truth of time as it is meant to unfold, more will be lost than you can possibly imagine. The fabric of reality will unravel. It is a heavy task—the base of all tasks of this world, for nothing can transpire without time.
In light of the super confirmation of the multiverse. I read Aman'Thul as saying each universe has its predestined timeline of how things are supposed to go. That timeline can be altered via time travel, with dramatic changes unraveling that universe.

Garrosh's interference in AU Draenor is a huge upset; even the elements sense it. I suspect that this AU will unravel. Of course, this dramatic change was also part of Karioz's plan (and in other AUs), but he wasn't concerned with them unraveling. His only concern was bringing back infinite Hordes to Azeroth Prime.

And as Cemotucu said, some things appear to be common across all timelines. During DS, Nozdormu bound "every thread" to DW's death so it could never be undone.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:56 PM
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Would this unravel the entire AU, or just that timeline? If that was that AU's true timeline, it now becomes false because it was meddled with... and does another timeline--one that would be utterly identical to WoD's timeline save for being interfered with--become the true one?
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
Aman'Thul's blessing of the Bronze Aspect:


In light of the super confirmation of the multiverse. I read Aman'Thul as saying each universe has its predestined timeline of how things are supposed to go. That timeline can be altered via time travel, with dramatic changes unraveling that universe.

Garrosh's interference in AU Draenor is a huge upset; even the elements sense it. I suspect that this AU will unravel. Of course, this dramatic change was also part of Karioz's plan (and in other AUs), but he wasn't concerned with them unraveling. His only concern was bringing back infinite Hordes to Azeroth Prime.

And as Cemotucu said, some things appear to be common across all timelines. During DS, Nozdormu bound "every thread" to DW's death so it could never be undone.
I agree with all you said, save for one thing.

Considering that Nozdormu allowed some changes, I wonder if Medivh's theory about certain events being destined to happen event if the actors change would apply. Think of WotA Trilogy.

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Originally Posted by Blayze View Post
Would this unravel the entire AU, or just that timeline? If that was that AU's true timeline, it now becomes false because it was meddled with... and does another timeline--one that would be utterly identical to WoD's timeline save for being interfered with--become the true one?
With the confirmation of the multiverse, I think we should start thinking of Universes as things that contain a timeline (if you percieve time as lineal), but different from reality itself.

We know that the timeline of WoD's AU was changed by Garrosh. It will deviate now. However, I'm not so sure about another AU having the exact same timeline; maybe it will be another "almost perfect copy", but it wouldn't be the same.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
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I agree with all you said, save for one thing.

Considering that Nozdormu allowed some changes, I wonder if Medivh's theory about certain events being destined to happen event if the actors change would apply. Think of WotA Trilogy.
The Keepers were charged with fixing even minor events:
"For normal maintenance of time, the Keepers of Time are sufficient caretakers. We are able to deal with most ordinary disturbances. I speak of little things such as rogue mages changing something in the past to elevate their status or wealth in the present."
So I think having WotA play out a bit differently was only done by necessity. Nozdormu couldn't revert it to the way it original unfolded and merely settled on having the broad strokes be preserved.

But then he played loose with the rules to save the Blue eggs...


Regarding the point that some things are destined: It kind of defeats the purpose of having a Bronze Dragonflight if fate is self-correcting.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:02 AM
AndyJP AndyJP is offline

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So if the Iron Horde is invading our reality, what do you think will go on in the Azeroth of their alternate reality where the Orcs never invaded?

Without Orcs, there is:

*No Lich King
*No Expedition to Kalimdor
*No 1st or 2nd war, not sure about 3rd.
*Nobody bothers to visit Northrend.
*Peeps like Rhonin, Kael'thas and daddy, Turalyon, Lothar and many others are likely still alive. Illidan is still in jail.
*No fucking up Pandaria, if it's even discovered since nobody bothered to explore Azeroth before the Orcs appeared.
*Nobody gets to dance like MC Hammer.

The Orcs are why we can't have nice things.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:10 AM
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So if the Iron Horde is invading our reality, what do you think will go on in the Azeroth of their alternate reality where the Orcs never invaded?
Blizzard already told us how Azeroth would fare without the orcs:
"Indeed, if the orcs never make it to Azeroth, the Alliance will never form. Eventually civil war will break out, further weakening the human kingdoms. Ultimately the Burning Legion will invade Azeroth, destroying it in the absence of any defenders."
However, AU Azeroth's outcome depends on how different it is from Azeroth Prime. Also, the AU Legion is quite distracted by what's happening on AU Draenor and has already lost one of its top commanders (Mannoroth).
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by AndyJP View Post
So if the Iron Horde is invading our reality, what do you think will go on in the Azeroth of their alternate reality where the Orcs never invaded?

-snip-

The Orcs are why we can't have nice things.
Well, the quest in the Black Morass dungeon says that without the Horde to unite them the human kingdoms end up arguing with each other until they erupt into war and destroy one another.

Assuming the Legion never got around to invading on its own (since we keep them busy in altDraenor instead), there'd still be the Old Gods to deal with. The night elves would continue their Long Vigil up until C'thun woke up again. But without the other races needing to find Kalimdor, could the NEs handle it on their own? There wouldn't be any tauren or Darkspear to help either, since the centaur and murlocs would wipe them out without orc help. On the other hand, they'd have the full support of a not-dead Cenarius and possibly the other Ancients.

Brann would probably still be involved with ol' Yoggy and Algalon, and maybe they could be defeated but without Dalaran in Northrend I'm not sure if there'd be a "place of power" to send the reply code. Assuming that re-origination was avoided, let's move on to the next big event: Cata.

Deathwing would never have a need to escape to Deepholm, because no orcs means no enslaved Alex, which means no DotD, which means no him retreating. Would Deathwing still end up causing the Cataclysm in that scenario? If he does, I think that'd be the ultimate end point for AUzeroth without Thrall to step up as Earth Warder.
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Originally Posted by Reignac View Post
You know, when I put the "i hate all of you" tag in threads, I'm not trying to be funny or cute. With a handful of exceptions, I really do hate almost everybody here.

It's one thing to have problems and voice your concerns, but when you endlessly bitch day in and day out about the same tired old shit, it honestly makes me wonder why you are even here. Generally when somebody doesn't like something, they stop caring about it.

And on that note, SoL is a forum I no longer enjoy. So, I'm done here. And I genuinely think the people who have absolutely nothing at all positive to say about the game and, the people whose posts are composed entirely of whining, really consider leaving (or at least sticking to non-WoW sections). Because if you truly get no enjoyment out of WoW, then why are you here?

With that said, goodbye.

Last edited by Reignac; 08-23-2014 at 12:14 AM..
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