Lore Wall

Great Lore Wall of ChinaAs I discussed in a previous post, game lore and game mechanics are connected hand-in-hand, so to discuss one while entirely ignoring the other would be a fallacy.

With that in mind, when discussing game lore, one can reach a point where the lore has been pushed so far that the game mechanics can no longer be able to support it. This is what I call a “lore wall”.

Note that this “wall” is not a road block, but merely a boundary that should be acknowledged when it is crossed. One can go beyond the wall, but an entirely new game must be created at that point to support the lore.

A good example of this would be the factions of World of Warcraft.

It’s already well accepted among WoW lore fans that the Forsaken will eventually split from the Horde (and likely take the Blood Elves with them). This event however would have to take place in either Warcraft 4 or World of Warcraft 2, as splitting either the Horde or Alliance within WoW itself would be all but game breaking. It’s awesome lore, but on a game-mechanics side it would require splitting guilds and not allowing long time friends to party together anymore.

While some hard-core lore fanatics might cry, “So what! Do it!!” we need to remember that WoW is ultimately a game and everything else must curtail to that. It’s goal is to be fun.

That being said, I have to admit the sheer brutality and gall of such a move is intriguing, but I think the novelty would wear off fairly quick once the inconvenience set in.

With the concept of the “lore wall” now established, lets look at a piece of future lore we’ve discussed, the Night Elves.

Where does the lore wall rest in Night Elves’ future? How far could you push their lore before needing to move it into an entirely new game?

I think everything almost up to the civil war itself could be accomplished in WoW.

Let’s look at the game mechanics.
Somewhere along the timeline, “The Emerald Dream” expansion is released. We defeat the Nightmare.
In a later expansion, with the Emerald Dream now safe. Malfurion returns. Game mechanics wise, this could be similar to Garrosh going to Northrend.

With Malfurion now in Moonglade, Tyrande joins him. The priesthood follows.
The two night elf factions galvanize as the Darnassians must now choose between Teldrassil, and following their priests.
Time passes, and with Darnassus finally now populated by only Fandral and his most dedicated followers (which could be many), war finally breaks out amongst the Nightelves as Malfurion and Moonglade can no longer allow the abomination Teldrassil has grown into to exist.

So where is the wall? I’d say Tyrande moving to Moonglade to be with Malfurion is as far as you could push it. From a game mechanics standpoint all this would involve is Alliance priests no longer being able to train in Darnassus, but Moonglade instead. This in turn in the lore could signify the priesthood following Tyrande.

Once you start forcing the Night Elves to choose sides you’ve crossed the wall.

The galvanization itself would likely take place between games, with Warcraft 4 or WoW 2 beginning with the playable Night Elves now being the faction in Moonglade.

Why Moonglade and not Darnassus? Well… lets face it. The majority of people who play Night Elves are going to want to play on the same side as Malfurion and Tyrande.

With the concept of the lore wall in place, it allows us to keep the reigns on whether we’re discussing something in a current game, or something that could be done in a future title.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dangablad November - 2007 at 12:22 pm

I myself think that a campaign between Tyrande’s exodus from Darnassus to Malfurion’s push to destroy the world tree makes a great play for a Warcraft 4 (or future second Warcraft 3 expansion) so that one could play as Tyrande and Malfurion in fighting Fandral and rebuilding the world tree on Hyjal.

It could be something to lead into WoW 2. We could be seeing the separation into even more factions, with the Forsaken and Blood Elves building their own faction, like you hinted at (especially with Sylvanas and Kael’thas united, or whatever would pass for united for them)

So you have the potential for several different factions, even based off of the death of Illidan (as I hear that when you kill Illidan in TBC, he stays dead).

I don’t know if you’ve seen the Kael’thas turn-in event in Shattrath, but if Illidan remains dead, and Kael’thas does not, I see him pulling out of Outland altogether and returning to Silvermoon to ally with Sylvanas (which would open up so many possibility) Imagine that as a faction set in the Warcraft 3 expansion. Kael’thas retreating from Outland weakened, with Akama, the Broken, and the Scryers hot on his heels, and what’s left of the naga as his only possible allies. Or, a reunification of the Scryers and Sunstrider, leading them as a group fleeing the wrath of Akama, Khadgar, and the Naaru. The destruction of the Scryers for their treachery, accompanied with Aldor going crazy and kicking them out of Shatt’rath. It could end with Sylvanas saving Kael’thas and a reunification of the Forsaken and the Blood Elves (and my continuing hope that there will one day be more love stories in Warcraft lore)

Akama is now free from his servitude. I would love to see a reunification of the Broken and the Draenei, the leading to a second faction of Draenei/Broken and the two reclaiming their homeland (their inclusion in the Alliance is strenuous, based only on mutual following of the Light) If Velen had the ability to return to A’dal and Shatt’rath, he’d probably take it (Faction line #3, Velen and his followers battling their way across Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms to the portal so as to return to Shatt’rath)

The Tauren leave the Horde (not because they are against the orcs, but because the Earthmother would drive them to side with Cenarius) and ally with the new Malfurion/Tyrande Cenarion group.

This leaves orcs, trolls, humans, dwarves and gnomes. The Stormwind humans are already heading toward being split into two different factions. I could see the Darkspear remaining allied with Thrall and Jaina joining with them, just as an end point of the friendship arc between Thrall and Jaina. (Yes, they killed her father, but I seem to remember Jaina not agreeing with him that much anyway).

However, there are a lot of lore pieces with Stormwind, Ironforge, and Gnomeregan still up in the air for WOTLK. For example: How does finding Dalaran impact Stormwind, and Jaina for that matter? Does the other kingdom of humans finally come into play (can’t remember their name, they are south of Silverpine). Would Jaina find herself pulled into her old life in Dalaran, or continue leading her band of humans in Dustwallow? (Faction campaign #4, Thrall convincing Jaina to stay on Kalimdor)

How would finding Uldam impact Ironforge and the dwarves (I don’t see a civil war in the terms that you do, as a breaking of faiths in Ironforge Ironforge is the most stable capital city in the entire game. It’s the only one that does not house another faction/person allied against the leader.) The Dark Iron/Ironforge war has already been touched on, but the three factions of dwarves responding to the discovery of Uldam by Bronzebeard and the Royal Explorers (cause you know they’ll find it) could spark a whole new conflict. (It would be really weird for my main, who is a Wildhammer dwarf who left Aerie Peak for Ironforge, and has since reconciled with the Wildhammer clan after the death of his father at the hands of Hinterlands trolls). Would Bronzebeard ask for the help of the Stormwind humans in claiming Uldam for the Ironforge dwarves?

What would the rebuilding of Gnomeregan do for the gnomes as a race? Would the fact that it’s in Northrend (I believe) cause them to break all ties with the Alliance altogether?

Where do Dalaran’s loyalties lie? With Stormwind? With Jaina and the humans who listened to Medivh? With no one?

There are still a lot of questions to be answered before we can truly speculate what lies on the other side of that “lore wall” But that is where I’d see a lot of the factions heading. And now I have myself hoping for a second Warcraft 3 expansion, just cause I would like to experience these events from the eyes of the heroes, instead of my own hero.

2 Cocles November - 2007 at 4:51 am

That’s actually an intriguing idea to utilize a Warcraft 3 campaign. Wouldn’t even need to be an expansion, it could be a series of free downloadable campaigns similar to the Rexxar campaign. A nice little segway to utilize the lore between two separate games.

As far as Kael’thas goes, I think he’ll be back as soon as patch 2.4 with the opening of the Sunwell.

Take a look at Kael’thas on WoWWiki. All signs point to Kael returning to the Sunwell and using the energy he acquired from the manaforges to re-ignite the Sunwell and create a portal for Kil’Jaeden to enter Azeroth. Kil’Jaeden (not yet fully formed) will be the end boss of that 25 man raid, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a new improved Kael’thas were the second to last boss.

I think the Forsaken/Blood Elf alliance will therefore be between Sylvanus and Lor’themar Theron. This doubly makes sense since not only is Lor’themar the Regent Lord of Quel’Thalas in Kael’s absence, Lor’themar was also Sylvanus’s second in command when she lead the elven rangers.

As far as Jaina goes, I wouldn’t be surprised if she knew all along that Dalaran was up in Northrend. As far as I know, her esteem with the Kirin Tor never diminished. Dalaran itself has already been established as neutral. Dalaran is going to do what’s best for the Kirin Tor at any time. I doubt they’d tie themselves up in some alliance that forced them to turn away other would be allies.

Once I get done with a few more thoughts on the future of WoW’s races, I’ll tell you what I think/would like to see with future factions.

3 Dangablad November - 2007 at 8:30 am

You raise very good points. I agree with all of it.

Looking at a Forsaken/Blood Elf alliance and the “New Plague” you talked about, I’m interested to think about what would happen if the Forsaken could test a plague on the imprisoned Naaru in Silvermoon. The implications if they could expand the plague to the Naaru would be monstrous.

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