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Old 02-10-2017, 10:08 PM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Default Tides of Darkness [book]

  1. What makes it so bad for a reading?
  2. What info of it has been retconned by more recent sources?
  3. What qualities that lack from Tides of Darkness we can see in higher quality Warcraft books, like The Last Guardian?
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:32 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Good morning! Let me gauge the situation with counterquestions:

1) Have you read the book? Or are you just trying to understand what you've heard?

2) When did you enter the Warcraft franchise?

3) Which Warcraft books are your favorite? Have you read The Last Guardian or Day of the Dragon, if so how did you feel about them? Have you read Lord of the Clans?

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Old 02-11-2017, 07:37 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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  1. What makes it so bad for a reading?
  2. What info of it has been retconned by more recent sources?
  3. What qualities that lack from Tides of Darkness we can see in higher quality Warcraft books, like The Last Guardian?
1. For starters, it's not exactly well written. The prose is rather lacking and repetitive, and the structure is often so simplistic that I am not so sure that it wasn't written by Rosenberg's son or something.

2. Well, the Chronicle art has already retconned the number of paladins during the Second War, as well as the nature of the Horde's navy (juggernaughts and other armed vessels vs. simple boarding and transport ships).

There are other things as well. For example, Tides of Darkness made it seem there was no second front during the Second War, but merely the western one. Now, it has been confirmed via Twitter that Chronicle Volume II will cover all of the Khaz Modan campaigns, both the initial invasion, the fights at Thandol Span and finally the liberation of Khaz Modan, which makes it pretty clear there will be a second eastern front just as in Warcraft II, unless I am completely missing something.

3. Well, I'll speak of my two favorite books, King's Illidan and of course The Last Guardian. One of the most glaring things, in my opinion at the very least, is that where The Last Guardian and Illidan makes you feel this world is large, grand and often mysterious, Tides of Darkness (just as most Golden's books) makes you feel you are looking at some island directly translated from a game.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:49 AM
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One of the most glaring things, in my opinion at the very least, is that where The Last Guardian and Illidan makes you feel this world is large, grand and often mysterious, Tides of Darkness (just as most Golden's books) makes you feel you are looking at some island directly translated from a game.
Have to agree on this.

Golden's Books are pretty good (overall), but they make the WarCraft world feel like WoW's limited gamescale is the Canon, rather than the gameplay and engine limitation we know it is.

The Books shouldn't do that, ever.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:16 AM
Royalpimp Royalpimp is offline

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It's been years since I've read that book. The main thing that I can remember that bothered me was that it made the war seem a lot smaller than I imagined it should be. There didn't seem to be many battles, many fronts, and what battles and fronts we did get to read about were underwhelming and didn't last long. And the armies didn't feel nearly as large and epic as you'd think the coalitions of most of the world's strongest races should be. Oh and I hadn't played much warcraft 2 at the time so I kind of expected Uther to be Lothar's second somehow, partially because I thought I remembered reading that Uther and Daelin were his lieutenants in the old History of Warcraft, so I didn't really think much of Turalyon at the time either(though this is more of a nitpicky thing, I guess).
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:33 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
Good morning! Let me gauge the situation with counterquestions:

1) Have you read the book? Or are you just trying to understand what you've heard?

2) When did you enter the Warcraft franchise?

3) Which Warcraft books are your favorite? Have you read The Last Guardian or Day of the Dragon, if so how did you feel about them? Have you read Lord of the Clans?
1) The latter

2) Playing Warcraft III in 2007, then switched over to Vanilla WoW and then the expansions.

3) The Last Guardian is my favorite, haven't read Lord of the Clans, played Day of the Dragon in a Wc3 campaign and want to read Illidan after finishing The Silmarillion, due to the amount of praise the dindu book gets.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:13 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Gonna echo what others here have said, made wc2 seem short, small and rather uneventful
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:09 AM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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The main project of Tides of Darkness and Beyond the Dark Portal was to translate the game narratives of the Alliance and Horde campaigns from WC2/2x into a narrative format. BTDP benefited greatly from Golden's involvement as a co-author, and also from what look like deliberate efforts to take elements of Draenor presented in Burning Crusade and incorporate them in BTDP's narrative (there's an outcast arakkoa involved in the action and Auchindoun is characterized properly as a ruined draenei mausoleum rather than an orcish fortress).

The flaws of Tides of Darkness, to reiterate what others have said here, is that it feels patently more lifeless. Turalyon isn't a particularly interesting hero, for one. The fact that WC2 also ran with the dueling campaigns structure (rather than the sequential campaign structure that WC2x employed and WC3 refined) means that Rosenberg was tasked with creating a narrative that resembled what players played in the game, but also compiled together all of the events that we knew happened during the Second War. He didn't really have enough time to give all those events enough dramatic impact to be meaningful, though. It just feels like a laundry list of the events that were most pertinent out of both campaigns that didn't contradict each other, and without a sense of dramatic attachment to the characters (particularly because nearly zero of these characters were around in WoW in any meaningful way and largely still aren't) the whole thing just feels perfunctory.

Put another way: Beyond the Dark Portal feels like a book that fits in with the general style that Golden really established in her books in the franchise, which is notably different from Knaak's work and yet somehow still feels complementary. Rosenberg's work isn't as detailed as Knaak's, isn't as heartfelt as Golden's, and in the round really comes across as poorly implemented.

TL;DR: it's bad from a style standpoint, not great from an adaptation standpoint, and generates more questions than answers from a continuity standpoint.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:11 PM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Very interesting inputs. Are there other retcons beside those presented in Chronicle vol.II?
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:12 AM
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ToD's problem was that it had to condense the whole Second War into a Book, rather than a Trilogy.

So lot's a stuff had to be cut and the storylines feels a bit rushed.

Which is sad, since the characterization isn't imo that bad, even if I must say they were better portrayed in BTDP.

As for canon:

Remember, these novels were basically BC tie-ins.

Over 10 years ago.

The Lore has expanded a lot since then...
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:47 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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I have a long list of nitpicks. The past couple of days I've started typing them all out again, but I can't really make it coherent. So I'll just say this. You play WoW, right?

WoW has gnomes and goblins. ToD did not.

WoW has an old Horde juggernaught, salvaged and repurposed by the Defias. ToD cast doubts on whether juggernaughts existed.

WoW had an Ironforge museum that includes an orcish catapult used in the Second War. ToD cast doubt on whether the Horde had catapults (seriously, the Ironforge siege depicts them just ineffectively hacking at the doors and mountain walls with axes... at least in the Capital City siege they figure out some kind of battering ram).

In WoW, a troll can swim in the water. Not so in ToD.

In WoW, Uther Lightbringer's wartime visit to Caer Darrow was so momentous that the islands' ghosts are still reenacting it. In ToD, what's a Caer Darrow?

In WoW, have you met Aedis Brom and Christoph Faral? Lovely old veterans, whose comments include their roles in the Battle at Darrowmere and the Destruction of Alterac. In ToD, neither of those battles could have happened.

In WoW, Hillsbrad is a newly-rededicated town with its registry dating after the Second War (since we all knew the original Hillsbrad was razed in the early days of that war). In ToD, the Horde doesn't even touch Hillsbrad. Or any town.

I'm not even kidding. You know Garithos, from WC3? A while back our buddy Omacron was writing his official backstory for Blizzard, and he wanted Garithos's home village to be one of those destroyed by the Horde. So he asked us for some town names that had been confirmed as destroyed during the Second War. We had nothing. He had to make up a story around Blackwood, another set of ruins you'd recognize from WoW but not ToD.

Here's the crux: if Omacron had asked us for a list of Horde victories and razed villages BEFORE THE TOD NOVEL CAME OUT, we could have helped him. It's not that the ToD novel just failed to cover every little detail of the Second War. It's not that it just omitted some battles or failed to answer enough questions. The ToD novel... it took answers that we already had, lore knowledge we had known for nearly a decade, and it wrecked it.

It wrecked it.

. . .

But that's okay. Now, I get to watch it die. I get to watch it disappear. It killed a decade of lore with just a few hundred pages, but it's been gradually dying for a decade since. Die, you bastard, die! Bwa-ha-ha! LOKTAR OGAR!


EDIT: I bet if Christie Golden had written ToD, we'd know more about Alleria's pet bird in her statue. Her novel may not not have matched my WC2 memories, but fuck us if it wouldn't have matched WoW gamescale.

If Knaak had written it, we'd probably have an actual backstory for Rhonin and his foul deed that got him demoted before DotD occurred. Geeze, we know more about what Rhonin did as a time traveller in War of the Ancients than we do about his own first wartime experience.

Cripes, I'm rambling again. Not deleting it this time. Good night, and here's to Chronicles!

EDIT: Decimated, before Hillsbrad! A literal tenth of them killed, off-screen, before the first land battle begins! And Rosenberg probably didn't even do it on purpose... he was just saying phrases like "thousands" and "tens of thousands" at random, like numbers don't actually...

G'night!

Last edited by BaronGrackle; 02-13-2017 at 01:08 AM..
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:25 AM
Eterna Eterna is offline

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Well I personally liked the book but I can definitely see why it receives criticism. It is a very simple to read book that was clearly meant for WoW players who never touched the RTS.
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:20 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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What a handful of delightful information. Thanks Gackle.
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:16 AM
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In WoW, Uther Lightbringer's wartime visit to Caer Darrow was so momentous that the islands' ghosts are still reenacting it. In ToD, what's a Caer Darrow?
Marthen, 1997: The Lightbringer is coming! The Lightbringer is coming! The Lightbringer is coming! The Lightbringer is coming! The Lightbringer is coming!

Marthen, 2007: Oh, I am afraid he is not. See, Uther received his monicker only after Blackrock Spire.

Marthen, 1997: But he was still present at the battle of Darrowmere, right? The one where he stood against Gul'dan and a number of Alteraci traitors, the one that could easily considered the decisive battle of the Great War, as Uther's victory there allowed the Alliance to expose Alterac's betrayal and possibily led to Gul'dan's betrayal of the Horde at such crucial moment. Is it so, no?

Marthen, 2007: Uhm, this might be hard for you, but I am afraid the battle does not even exist, kiddo.

Marthen, 1997:

Marthen, 2007: Actually, Uther's no longer even a veteran of the First War.

Marthen, 1997:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah, Tides of Darkness was painful for the oldscool Uther fans like me.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:00 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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^ Right, Turalyon called Uther by "the Lightbringer" after Blackrock Spire. So the ghosts of Darrowmere now couldn't have been awaiting the Lightbringer during the war. No, Turalyon just came up with the name on a whim.

You may notice that Turalyon isn't a very popular character. I imagine it's because of the books.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:21 AM
Royalpimp Royalpimp is offline

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Yeah, kind of took a lot of the spotlight from Uther. Honestly, Uther was hardly anything that special in that book, kind of made me wonder why he was so revered in Warcraft 3, besides his faith bla bla bla. Although Turalyon's lack of popularity might also be because the two books he was in took place before Warcraft 3/WoW which are the most popular periods for most players/fans. And he was just kind of bland in general.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:37 AM
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Marthen, 1997: The Lightbringer is coming! The Lightbringer is coming! The Lightbringer is coming! The Lightbringer is coming! The Lightbringer is coming!

Marthen, 2007: Oh, I am afraid he is not. See, Uther received his monicker only after Blackrock Spire.

Marthen, 1997: But he was still present at the battle of Darrowmere, right? The one where he stood against Gul'dan and a number of Alteraci traitors, the one that could easily considered the decisive battle of the Great War, as Uther's victory there allowed the Alliance to expose Alterac's betrayal and possibily led to Gul'dan's betrayal of the Horde at such crucial moment. Is it so, no?

Marthen, 2007: Uhm, this might be hard for you, but I am afraid the battle does not even exist, kiddo.

Marthen, 1997:

Marthen, 2007: Actually, Uther's no longer even a veteran of the First War.

Marthen, 1997:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah, Tides of Darkness was painful for the oldscool Uther fans like me.
The Lightbringer title would make more sense if he had a pivotal role in bringing Alterac's betrayal to light.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:59 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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The Lightbringer title would make more sense if he had a pivotal role in bringing Alterac's betrayal to light.
Too conceptual. Blizzard only does literal.
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:51 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Yeah, kind of took a lot of the spotlight from Uther. Honestly, Uther was hardly anything that special in that book, kind of made me wonder why he was so revered in Warcraft 3, besides his faith bla bla bla. Although Turalyon's lack of popularity might also be because the two books he was in took place before Warcraft 3/WoW which are the most popular periods for most players/fans. And he was just kind of bland in general.
I don't think he was really bland back in Warcraft II, I actually loved this idea of a spartan-soldier paladin who would believe in the merits of extreme martial discipline. Sadly, Tides of Darkness never even touched that aspect.

On the other hand, things are getting better now. Uther's official Heartstone entry once again mentioned that he had been Faol's apprentice even before he became a paladin, as well as that Alterac's treachery led to an attempt at his life. Here's hoping that Chronicle Vol. 2 will shed more light onto this.

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Old 02-14-2017, 09:27 AM
Royalpimp Royalpimp is offline

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I don't think he was really bland back in Warcraft II, I actually loved this idea of a spartan-soldier paladin who would believe in the merits of extreme martial discipline. Sadly, Tides of Darkness never even touched that aspect.

On the other hand, things are getting better now. Uther's official Heartstone entry once again mentioned that he had been Faol's apprentice even before he became a paladin, as well as that Alterac's treachery led to an attempt at his life. Here's hoping that Chronicle Vol.2 will shed more light onto this.
I don't really remember him in Warcraft 2, never finished the game. But yeah, I agree things are looking better and better, I'm actually feeling positive towards that book. At least when it comes to human lore, we'll see about everything else.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:10 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Very interesting inputs. Are there other retcons beside those presented in Chronicle vol.II?
Oh! The Ultimate Visual Guide is the book that described a "southern front" at Khaz Modan and Thandol, which Marthen mentioned.

It also said that Danath served with Turalyon in the war, which wasn't the case in ToD. (Frankly, I'd rather Danath stay on that southern front and not meet the other heroes at least until the final battles at Blackrock Spire and the Portal.)

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Old 02-14-2017, 01:30 PM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Oh! So the Ultimate Visual Guide is the book that described a "southern front" at Khaz Modan and Thandol, which Marthen mentioned.

It also said that Danath served with Turalyon in the war, which wasn't the case in ToD. (Frankly, I'd rather Danath stay on that southern front and not meet the other heroes at least until the final battles at Blackrock Spire and the Portal.)
Mathen: The BtDP game manual mentioned that Danath made himself a hero during the liberation of Khaz Modan. Is this going to be mentioned or somehow alluded to in Vol. 2?

Matt Burns: We don't call out his specific contributions in the liberation, but he's still definitely a war hero.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:34 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Mathen: The BtDP game manual mentioned that Danath made himself a hero during the liberation of Khaz Modan. Is this going to be mentioned or somehow alluded to in Vol. 2?

Matt Burns: We don't call out his specific contributions in the liberation, but he's still definitely a war hero.
Well.

Maybe they won't talk about him much. That might be ideal.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:09 PM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Well.

Maybe they won't talk about him much. That might be ideal.
Well, yes, I think Matt meant that it will be mentioned that Danath was present there, but it won't be specified what exactly he did.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:48 PM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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Well, yes, I think Matt meant that it will be mentioned that Danath was present there, but it won't be specified what exactly he did.
Another interpretation is that they're not planning to call out exactly what Danath did regarding the liberation specifically, but they might be calling out other things that he did that established his war hero status.

If the core thing we take away from what Burns said is that Danath is still a war hero, that's probably the crux of what Vol. 2 is going to give us about him, and hopefully with greater detail as to what made him a war hero.

I guess what I'm saying is that we shouldn't set out expectations too high.
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