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Old 08-20-2018, 05:26 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Default World of Warcraft Development

So the new kickstarter campaign for World of Warcraft Dev Diary by Johh Staats is approaching, and with it, some Q&A and interviews are arriving.

Here's the first one.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/299001858

It covers certain things I spoke of while on discord (the undead's identity being in flux for long, Metzen wishing for Lordaeron Ruins to be the capital, the Undercity was born thanks to the art team and their wishes, the naga and the demons planned as playable at a certain point, etc), but there are also other tidbits, like the South Seas originally being planned for the first expansion.
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Old 08-21-2018, 06:20 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Staats released an excerpt of his diary here;

https://imgur.com/a/Nme3Dy8

An interesting tidbit; there's a mention of six planned Ream vs. Realm battlefields. This once again confirms my assertion that Classic/Vanilla was originally supposed to be about an open war between the Horde and the Alliance, as mentioned in the manual, several (human and dwarf) intros, the cinematic, and early questing, and that they only retroactively changed it to a cold war after much of this content was scrapped.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:02 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Staats answered some more questions on twitter to me through DMs, as well as some through public tweets. What I can share.

1) The split into two hard factions indeed came only after the team played Dark Age of Camelot (late 2001/early 2002). Classic was from that point planned to be an RvR heavy game featuring an open conflict between the Horde and the Alliance.



Which is in striking contrast to the previous version where they were not even sure they'd include Player versus Player at all.


2) The very reason why Kalimdor ended so big from early concepts/Warcraft III maps (map1, map2) is that the designers considered it better design to spread cool places evenly.

This aligns with what Staats mentioned in the interview I've posted, the designers often moved things from their original location when they needed to fill empty spaces or needed to make an area less crowded, despite the objections of the lore team.

3) The team simply did not have time to make all the human nations represented in-game. Plus they thought having so many would make lore too hard to understand for the newcomers.

4) World of Warcraft nearly bankrupted Blizzard, on all fronts.
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Old 08-23-2018, 12:55 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Keep posting interesting tidbits you find Marth
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:44 PM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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I'm listening to this interview right now: https://countdowntoclassic.com/2018/...v-john-staats/

What he says about what was cut from Karazhan (in the end, going to a platform on open universe and then teleporting to an asteroid full of demons) seems to match what was done in Legion for Upper Karazhan. Also, the giant octopus old god structure seems to be what we see today in Stormsong Valley.

I already had the impression what WoD/Legion was WoW 2.0 and these tidbits cement my thoughts.
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Old 08-24-2018, 02:33 AM
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I already had the impression what WoD/Legion was WoW 2.0 and these tidbits cement my thoughts.
After having learned of their Realm vs. Realm plans for Classic and how the cold war was at that time supposed to be hot (clear to anyone who had paid any attention to the manual/early questing) until they scrapped the planned RvR content, Battle for Azeroth with its full on faction war and no definite world ending threat, warfronts, Kul Tiras and Tol Dagor (Tol Dagor seems like a reuse of their old ideas for Tol Barad), it feels Battle for Azeroth is also Classic 2.0, perhaps the most of them all.
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Old 08-25-2018, 05:17 PM
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I always thought WoW's first "cycle" ended with Cataclysm. As I see it:

1- Exploration and wonder (Vanilla)
2- Visiting another world (TBC)
3- Vanquishing a major enemy force of the past (WotLK)
4- Breaking and revamping the world. (Cata)

Then, IMO, the cycle began anew:

1- MoP was exploration and wonder. I even remember some developer interviews talking about trying to get the feeling of exploration from vanilla.
2- WoD, we visited another world. It's even the same, but not quite the same, otherworld.
3- Legion, we vanquished a major enemy force of the past.
4- BfA is now, again, breaking and revamping the world.

So, I'd guess the circle begins anew next expansion.

Or I am just looking too much into it and trying to find patterns that do not exist.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:08 PM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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Originally Posted by Deicide View Post
I always thought WoW's first "cycle" ended with Cataclysm. As I see it:

1- Exploration and wonder (Vanilla)
2- Visiting another world (TBC)
3- Vanquishing a major enemy force of the past (WotLK)
4- Breaking and revamping the world. (Cata)

Then, IMO, the cycle began anew:

1- MoP was exploration and wonder. I even remember some developer interviews talking about trying to get the feeling of exploration from vanilla.
2- WoD, we visited another world. It's even the same, but not quite the same, otherworld.
3- Legion, we vanquished a major enemy force of the past.
4- BfA is now, again, breaking and revamping the world.

So, I'd guess the circle begins anew next expansion.

Or I am just looking too much into it and trying to find patterns that do not exist.
It could go like this:

- Exploration and wonder: visiting the backside of Azeroth and/or perhaps the Dragon Isles, establishing new threats as well;
- Visiting another world: K'aresh is a good candidate, where we might learn a lot about the Void, or perhaps some demonic world to witness the fallout of the fracturing of the Burning Legion - most likely Nathreza, Rancora, Xoroth, or Nihilam;
- Major enemy from the past - the Shadowlands at last?
- Breaking and revamping the world - my Ice Age concept.
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:14 PM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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The kickstarter for the World of Warcraft Development Diary is up now.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whenitsready/the-world-of-warcraft-diary
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Old 11-25-2018, 01:51 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Didn't Staats state that night elves were never planned to be a Horde race? (And for good reason!)

Had we gotten concept art night elves, I do agree that the Horde might have been the better faction for them. (If neutrality is not an option.)

But we did not get free Gaul, we got romanised Gaul. The former would have been at home among the Germanic tribes, the latter would not. Especially not after the Horde killed one of the most important figures in the night elf pantheon.

A point that often gets brought up are synergies between druidism and shamanism. And on paper I would agree that they are a good reason for placing the night elves on the Horde. In practice, however, shamans in Warcraft (especially orc and goblin shamans) only seem to care about nature beyond the elements once the its almost too late; once the elementals themselves are hammering the point that the complete disregard for nature also disrupts the balance and agitates the elements home.
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Old 11-25-2018, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Nazja View Post
Especially not after the Horde killed one of the most important figures in the night elf pantheon.
Yeah, but after that the night elves got to fight side-by-side with the Horde, and the group that killed Cenarius was a splinter that the Horde itself later fought against. And, considering that Cenarius is now alive and well...

I think diplomacy could have explained that. All you really need would be to make the night elves feel more sympathy for the Horde than the Alliance.
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Old 11-25-2018, 11:20 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Originally Posted by Deicide View Post
Yeah, but after that the night elves got to fight side-by-side with the Horde, and the group that killed Cenarius was a splinter that the Horde itself later fought against. And, considering that Cenarius is now alive and well...

I think diplomacy could have explained that. All you really need would be to make the night elves feel more sympathy for the Horde than the Alliance.
I think you're underestimating religion.

According to Christian teachings, Jesus's death was orchestrated by his own father and he came back 3 days after his death, and yet, this event was used to justify centuries of anti-Semitism.

Cenarius eventually came back too, but the desecration of ones deities is not easily forgiven nor forgotten. The night elves were willing to work with the orcs at Hyjal because there was no other way to save Azeroth, but were they willing to forgive them? I would hope not, or they truly would have been neutered.

And we also have to consider that when the night elves' new allegiance was being decided on, Cenarius was considered well and truly dead. If we consider Cataclysm lore, then yes, perhaps it could have worked if we ignore religious fervour. But I doubt Blizzard had already planned his return when Vanilla was released.

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I am not particularly sure how many people actually mean the night elves exactly as they were in Reign of Chaos when saying this.
Fair enough, but in that case it becomes less a question of which faction we believe night elves would fit better and more a question of what we would rather have liked night elves to be like.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Nazja View Post
I think you're underestimating religion.
I think you are overestimating the setting.

What you write makes sense, but it requires a more "gritty", "realistic" setting than what we have. In my mind, the Warcraft 3 night elves would not join any faction, because both offend their religious convictions. The Alliance is too industrial and too arcane-focused, the Horde disrespected their territory and killed their demigod.

But, once you have to put them on a faction, I think the Horde fit the Warcraft 3 kaldorei way better than the Alliance. You just need to explain how the negotiations went, or even make an excuse as to why they rejected the Alliance.

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Originally Posted by Marthen View Post
Here is something I shared on the discord previously. A bunch of parts detailing Metzen’s role in Warcraft and generally the team’s stances on lore.

https://imgur.com/a/oo5WIcV
I've always figured that was how storytelling was done in gaming companies. You can notice that usually the more Blizzard delves into storytelling, the worst stories go.

Warcraft 2 story is simple and so generic, it just sends you from battle to battle, advancing the war until it reaches its conclusion, yet the expansion set is IMO the best story of the Warcraft saga. That's because there's very little details and the mind of the player figures out the rest, making a strong headcanon.

As the tools for storytelling evolve, you start to see the flaws in the story. Characters begin to act in strange ways and take stupid ideas, we get bad dialogue, there are twists that make no sense.

Just compare Starcraft 1 and 2. The later has amazing tools for storytelling but fails to tell a good story. The former is pretty simple, but the story is amazing.

When I ask for good storytelling in WoW, I'm not hoping for a award-winning romance quality. I just want the decisions of the storyteller to make sense. Things like WoD should never have existed, that expansion was in principle a horrible decision.

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Some of that is in the book, some was said by Staats during the AMAs, some I know from my private conversations.
To me it was always clear the inclusion of the forsaken in the Horde, the night elves in the Alliance and the blood elves in the Horde were mandated by executives rather than natural consequences of past stories. It's no wonder to this day all three stories are still debated (watering down of the night elves, Horde being evil, people asking for high elves).
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:24 PM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Originally Posted by Deicide View Post
I think you are overestimating the setting.

What you write makes sense, but it requires a more "gritty", "realistic" setting than what we have. In my mind, the Warcraft 3 night elves would not join any faction, because both offend their religious convictions. The Alliance is too industrial and too arcane-focused, the Horde disrespected their territory and killed their demigod.

But, once you have to put them on a faction, I think the Horde fit the Warcraft 3 kaldorei way better than the Alliance. You just need to explain how the negotiations went, or even make an excuse as to why they rejected the Alliance.
I'd argue that the Horde is just as industrial as the Alliance. It just doesn't show in Warcraft 3 because after the beating they took in the second war they were sent back to the stone age.

Just look at these buildings:


Now, you could say that Thrall's shamanistic Horde would frown be against industrialisation, but is it really? One of the first things he did in Kalimdor was to build a giant metropolis, instead of many small villages for each clan. It was no metal monstrosity like Hellfire citadel, but to me it's clear that the technological advancement of WC3's Horde (or lack of it) was not a permanent fixture. (Not to mention that Horde logging operations seem to have a larger impact on the environment.)
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