Blizzard story developers' answers...

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Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:03 pm

...to some community questions:

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/threa ... 5587&sid=1

It looks like they took community input and passed them on to the story guys at Blizzard. This is a nice supplement to the quests in game and other lore, and mostly answers tidbits which fell through the cracks.

(It doesn't touch much on stuff which will be answered in Cataclysm or forthcoming books, or stuff which will likely be addressed in near-term expansions, such as whatever's after Cataclysm.)
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by night_druid » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:45 pm

Bonetti wrote:...to some community questions:
Lots of answers to questions I never knew to ask ;)
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Big Mac » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:06 pm

night_druid wrote:Lots of answers to questions I never knew to ask ;)
That was a bit of a "42" moment. They give some answers to which I don't know what they questions are for. :?
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:50 pm

Big Mac wrote:They give some answers to which I don't know what they questions are for. :?
Which ones? I can probably provide more context for most (if not all) of them, if you want :-)

I will say that I'm glad of the explanation of the Forsaken wielding the Light. That's bugged me since I started playing, and it adds an interesting twist to the Forsaken priest that has been one of my main characters since the days of Molten Core :-)
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Big Mac » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:01 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:They give some answers to which I don't know what they questions are for. :?
Which ones? I can probably provide more context for most (if not all) of them, if you want :-)
"Q: Will a dev ever actually answer anything in this thread?" was the last question I understood. :shock:
Bonetti wrote:I will say that I'm glad of the explanation of the Forsaken wielding the Light. That's bugged me since I started playing, and it adds an interesting twist to the Forsaken priest that has been one of my main characters since the days of Molten Core :-)
I mostly played Alliance, but I really like the concept of undead PC races. That is one of the reasons I bought Ghostwalk. And it was one of the things I was looking for, when I first saw the World of Warcraft RPG.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by night_druid » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:12 pm

I've always wondered how a race of hostile, xenophobic isolationists (aka Night Elves) became the Alliance's chief diplomats...;)

Oh, did they ever definitively say if elves were evolved trolls or not?

On the subject of PC races in WoW, given the lore in Frozen Throne, I'd think it'd be kinda cool if Alliance picked up Valkur (giants) while Horde picked up Ogres. That'd be neat, but probably screw things up royally (too many doors too small to fit through).
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:02 am

night_druid wrote:I've always wondered how a race of hostile, xenophobic isolationists (aka Night Elves) became the Alliance's chief diplomats...;)
...because the druid leadership of the Night Elves consists primarily of Cenarius' followers. Yeah, they hate the orcs with a passion for slaughtering Cenarius, but they've worked well with the Tauren druids. Basically, the Night Elves working as diplomats are almost exclusively members of the Cenarion Circle.

They come from a different tradition than the Earthen Ring (druid vs. shaman), but the two have similar goals and thus together they bridge the factions and bring the natural-world classes together. The two organizations also have a common enemy in the Twilight's Hammer cultists -- Horde first sees them as villains via the Earthen Ring and BFD, then later in Silithus with the Cenarion Circle.
night_druid wrote:Oh, did they ever definitively say if elves were evolved trolls or not?
I haven't looked recently, but when they first unveiled the timeline on the WoW website it was very clear that this was canon. It was also clear based on books in game that the titans know this is the way it is (and thus players know), but that Night Elves flat out don't believe it and instead have an origin story that is clearly a cultural myth.
night_druid wrote:On the subject of PC races in WoW, given the lore in Frozen Throne, I'd think it'd be kinda cool if Alliance picked up Valkur (giants) while Horde picked up Ogres. That'd be neat, but probably screw things up royally (too many doors too small to fit through).
Er... Vanir (Titan faction) or Vrykul (half-giants and human progenitor race)? I think that either one would not be a good choice. That'd be like making the Earthen or the Mecha-gnomes Alliance, or that would be bringing Titans in explicitly with one side.

Ogres were a slave race to the orcs when they were demonically run. So, in essence, they are Horde -- except that they're Rend Blackhand Still Bloodthirsty Horde, not Thrall Shamanistic Gentle Horde. I suppose they'd be fun, but then Blizzard would need to figure out a sexy female ogre model...

I'd like to see Naga and Murlocs as playable races... except that if Murlocs become Alliance I will be severely, severely irked.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:18 am

Big Mac wrote:"Q: Will a dev ever actually answer anything in this thread?" was the last question I understood. :shock:
OK, that's beyond the scope of a post :-) If there are specific ones you're curious about...
Big Mac wrote:I mostly played Alliance, but I really like the concept of undead PC races. That is one of the reasons I bought Ghostwalk. And it was one of the things I was looking for, when I first saw the World of Warcraft RPG.
One of the interesting things about the post-Wrath of the Lich King version of Azeroth is the direction the Forsaken will take now. It began as a rebellion against Ner'zhul as his grip on the Scourge slipped, and Arthas was unable to bring them back under control when he beat Illidan to the throne. With Arthas dead, and the throne once again occupied (to keep the Scourge more or less controlled), the Forsaken lost the primary enemy they were driven by. Now, they're a fully independent faction with no nearby allies and surrounded by Alliance (Gilneas, Stromgarde, Alterac) that want them wiped out.

(OK, there's an argument that the Blood Elves are -a- allies and -b- nearby. I'm more inclined to agree with those who see them as a leaderless faction more or less following the strongest blood elf around -- namely, Sylvannas Windrunner (former elf now Dark Lady). But, they're not any more help against the humans trying to wipe the Forsaken out because they don't see a difference between the self-willed Forsaken and the Lich King's invasion force of the Scourge, and there's still the plaguelands between the two. The Forsaken are geographically isolated with enemies on all sides...)

Of course, with Garrosh in charge of the Horde now and losing control (Cairne assassinated, Vol'jin watching him to bring him down, blood elves weak, goblins half-enslaved), Sylvanas, standing more or less alone, is forging her own path and pretty much ignoring the restraints he wants to put on her and the Forsaken. The Horde is fracturing, and she may be the strongest leader left... The Horde hasn't really helped the Forsaken.

If this were a campaign, I'd have her split off as soon as the Horde stops being useful (which is to say the moment they throw all the overseers into UC).
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:46 pm

night_druid wrote:On the subject of PC races in WoW, given the lore in Frozen Throne, I'd think it'd be kinda cool if Alliance picked up Valkur (giants) while Horde picked up Ogres. That'd be neat, but probably screw things up royally (too many doors too small to fit through).
That wouldn't be so much of a problem for the WoWRPG as the GM could the problem of small doors and small spaces a feature of the campaign. It would give a gigantic PC a good reason to work with smaller ones, as they could be good at flushing out enemies.
Bonetti wrote:
night_druid wrote:I've always wondered how a race of hostile, xenophobic isolationists (aka Night Elves) became the Alliance's chief diplomats...;)
...because the druid leadership of the Night Elves consists primarily of Cenarius' followers. Yeah, they hate the orcs with a passion for slaughtering Cenarius, but they've worked well with the Tauren druids. Basically, the Night Elves working as diplomats are almost exclusively members of the Cenarion Circle.

They come from a different tradition than the Earthen Ring (druid vs. shaman), but the two have similar goals and thus together they bridge the factions and bring the natural-world classes together. The two organizations also have a common enemy in the Twilight's Hammer cultists -- Horde first sees them as villains via the Earthen Ring and BFD, then later in Silithus with the Cenarion Circle.
So if the Taurens split from the Horde, and the Night Elves split from the Alliance, they would probably work well together?
Bonetti wrote:
night_druid wrote:Oh, did they ever definitively say if elves were evolved trolls or not?
I haven't looked recently, but when they first unveiled the timeline on the WoW website it was very clear that this was canon. It was also clear based on books in game that the titans know this is the way it is (and thus players know), but that Night Elves flat out don't believe it and instead have an origin story that is clearly a cultural myth.
Nice. This sort of thing fits in well with LotR orcs evolving from elves or Dragonlance's ogres evolving from irda.
Bonetti wrote:
night_druid wrote:On the subject of PC races in WoW, given the lore in Frozen Throne, I'd think it'd be kinda cool if Alliance picked up Valkur (giants) while Horde picked up Ogres. That'd be neat, but probably screw things up royally (too many doors too small to fit through).
Er... Vanir (Titan faction) or Vrykul (half-giants and human progenitor race)? I think that either one would not be a good choice. That'd be like making the Earthen or the Mecha-gnomes Alliance, or that would be bringing Titans in explicitly with one side.

Ogres were a slave race to the orcs when they were demonically run. So, in essence, they are Horde -- except that they're Rend Blackhand Still Bloodthirsty Horde, not Thrall Shamanistic Gentle Horde. I suppose they'd be fun, but then Blizzard would need to figure out a sexy female ogre model...
Hmm. The Val'kyr look interesting. Their ability to resurrect the slain, could bring some of the MMORPG's "get killed and come back" feel to the WoWRPG.
Bonetti wrote:I'd like to see Naga and Murlocs as playable races... except that if Murlocs become Alliance I will be severely, severely irked.
PC murlocks? :shock: :o
Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:"Q: Will a dev ever actually answer anything in this thread?" was the last question I understood. :shock:
OK, that's beyond the scope of a post :-) If there are specific ones you're curious about...
That was a (failed) joke. :oops:

That question was actually the first quesion, and I was hinting at the fact that I didn't understand any of the questions except that one. :?
Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I mostly played Alliance, but I really like the concept of undead PC races. That is one of the reasons I bought Ghostwalk. And it was one of the things I was looking for, when I first saw the World of Warcraft RPG.
One of the interesting things about the post-Wrath of the Lich King version of Azeroth is the direction the Forsaken will take now. It began as a rebellion against Ner'zhul as his grip on the Scourge slipped, and Arthas was unable to bring them back under control when he beat Illidan to the throne. With Arthas dead, and the throne once again occupied (to keep the Scourge more or less controlled), the Forsaken lost the primary enemy they were driven by. Now, they're a fully independent faction with no nearby allies and surrounded by Alliance (Gilneas, Stromgarde, Alterac) that want them wiped out.
How does the timeline of the Forsaken fit in with the era of the Warcraft RPG and WoWRPG? IIRC, those games are set a bit earlier.

If the Forsaken were still (officially) under the control of Ner'zhul back when the table top game is set, I wonder if it would be possible to make a small pre-Forsaken group, that takes inspiration from freedom fighters (like Blake's 7 did for science fiction).
Bonetti wrote:(OK, there's an argument that the Blood Elves are -a- allies and -b- nearby. I'm more inclined to agree with those who see them as a leaderless faction more or less following the strongest blood elf around -- namely, Sylvannas Windrunner (former elf now Dark Lady). But, they're not any more help against the humans trying to wipe the Forsaken out because they don't see a difference between the self-willed Forsaken and the Lich King's invasion force of the Scourge, and there's still the plaguelands between the two. The Forsaken are geographically isolated with enemies on all sides...)

Of course, with Garrosh in charge of the Horde now and losing control (Cairne assassinated, Vol'jin watching him to bring him down, blood elves weak, goblins half-enslaved), Sylvanas, standing more or less alone, is forging her own path and pretty much ignoring the restraints he wants to put on her and the Forsaken. The Horde is fracturing, and she may be the strongest leader left... The Horde hasn't really helped the Forsaken.

If this were a campaign, I'd have her split off as soon as the Horde stops being useful (which is to say the moment they throw all the overseers into UC).
I think that in the MMORPG, there is an effort to artificially combine the races into two rival factions (with the NPCs making up all the lesser factions). But in a table top game of Warcraft, the lesser factions could be built up and the two MMORPG factions could be played down.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by night_druid » Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:18 pm

Bonetti wrote:...because the druid leadership of the Night Elves consists primarily of Cenarius' followers. Yeah, they hate the orcs with a passion for slaughtering Cenarius, but they've worked well with the Tauren druids. Basically, the Night Elves working as diplomats are almost exclusively members of the Cenarion Circle.
Haven't the druids been sleeping for the past 10,000 years or so? Kinda hard to see them as being up-to-date on any politics :lol:
They come from a different tradition than the Earthen Ring (druid vs. shaman), but the two have similar goals and thus together they bridge the factions and bring the natural-world classes together. The two organizations also have a common enemy in the Twilight's Hammer cultists -- Horde first sees them as villains via the Earthen Ring and BFD, then later in Silithus with the Cenarion Circle.
Never could quite grasp the concept of Twilight Hammer...or rather, how such a group came to be and how does it manage to attract members of all races.
I haven't looked recently, but when they first unveiled the timeline on the WoW website it was very clear that this was canon. It was also clear based on books in game that the titans know this is the way it is (and thus players know), but that Night Elves flat out don't believe it and instead have an origin story that is clearly a cultural myth.
Now that doesn't sound "diplomatic"... :lol: Azeroth does have some strange (racial) family trees ;)
Er... Vanir (Titan faction) or Vrykul (half-giants and human progenitor race)? I think that either one would not be a good choice. That'd be like making the Earthen or the Mecha-gnomes Alliance, or that would be bringing Titans in explicitly with one side.
The Vrykul (sorry, been a while since I've been in those areas; I've been working my Loremaster achievements). I kinda like the idea of playing a hill giant. :lol: Given the story around them, I could see a small faction of 'em breaking off after the Lich King falls to join their "children". Hell, makes as much sense as the draeni joining alliance. Lorewise, though, I could see Earthen join Alliance, although I really don't see much difference between the Earthen in Storm Peaks and regular dwarves.

One thing I'd like to see, and I know it probably won't happen, would be when you create a PC, you pick not only race, gender, and class, but also nationality/tribe, and there'd be some quests that'd relate to your choice of tribe. Never happen, I'm sure.
Ogres were a slave race to the orcs when they were demonically run. So, in essence, they are Horde -- except that they're Rend Blackhand Still Bloodthirsty Horde, not Thrall Shamanistic Gentle Horde. I suppose they'd be fun, but then Blizzard would need to figure out a sexy female ogre model...
Ogres were in Thrall's Horde as well; at least, in Frozen Throne, that half-ogre took command of an ogre tribe and fought for Thrall. Now, how in the heck they got over to Kalendor in the first place baffles me...;)
I'd like to see Naga and Murlocs as playable races... except that if Murlocs become Alliance I will be severely, severely irked.
Heh, I suppose that could work, although both probably have their own set of problems that'd be introduced into the game.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:38 am

Big Mac wrote:So if the Taurens split from the Horde, and the Night Elves split from the Alliance, they would probably work well together?
They would, probably. The druids already do, for all intents and purposes.

Mind you, the Worgen and Trolls are adding druidic elements with the coming expansion, which would complicate things a bit.

(Note that a similar thing occurs with the shamans: orcs, trolls, tauren, draenei, and soon goblins (!) and dwarves. They can work cross-faction fairly well, since they're all tied to the same elements in roughly the same way. Of course, the Earthen Ring didn't start out as cross-faction, since the only shamans were originally Horde.)
Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:"Q: Will a dev ever actually answer anything in this thread?" was the last question I understood. :shock:
OK, that's beyond the scope of a post :-) If there are specific ones you're curious about...
That was a (failed) joke. :oops:
I caught the joke :-) Thus the "beyond the scope" :-)
Big Mac wrote:How does the timeline of the Forsaken fit in with the era of the Warcraft RPG and WoWRPG? IIRC, those games are set a bit earlier.

If the Forsaken were still (officially) under the control of Ner'zhul back when the table top game is set, I wonder if it would be possible to make a small pre-Forsaken group, that takes inspiration from freedom fighters (like Blake's 7 did for science fiction).
Ner'zhul's story (becoming the first Lich King) was in the time period immediately before Warcraft 3, since Warcraft 3 pretty much documents the rise of the Scourge from the dead of Lordaeron. The intention was to invade Azeroth as a prelude to the next attempt by the Burning Legion.

I'd have to double check Warcraft 3, but I think that story started before the expansion (Frozen Throne) documented the Illidan vs. Arthas struggle to reach the throne and replace Ner'zhul. (Arthas won, of course.)

So, basically, anything post Warcraft 3 has the Forsaken in the ruins of Lordaeron -- and that includes WoW and anything derived from it. (The Forsaken is the name of the undead player race which joined the Horde before the WoW launch, the Scourge are the undead still controlled by the Lich King.)

Sylvanas' story is the story of the Forsaken's rise.
Big Mac wrote:I think that in the MMORPG, there is an effort to artificially combine the races into two rival factions (with the NPCs making up all the lesser factions). But in a table top game of Warcraft, the lesser factions could be built up and the two MMORPG factions could be played down.
Well, yeah. There have been a couple suggestions for ways to cross factions, or ways to disrupt the existing balance. However, Blizzard currently seems tied to the current two-faction design. (I'll admit I was hoping for a third, neutral faction with the south sea expansion -- starting with the goblins.)
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:05 am

night_druid wrote:Haven't the druids been sleeping for the past 10,000 years or so? Kinda hard to see them as being up-to-date on any politics :lol:
Not all druids. The select few monitoring the Emerald Dream -- Malfurion Stormrage and his folks, mostly.

Remember, Staghelm's been awake the whole time, from before the Qiraji war to the present day. Plus, you've got Naralexx's disciples around the Wailing Caverns, hoping to wake him from his nightmares, and other druids scattered around all the night elven areas.
night_druid wrote:Never could quite grasp the concept of Twilight Hammer...or rather, how such a group came to be and how does it manage to attract members of all races.
The Twilight's Hammer started as a clan under the Horde which became a cult. Basically, it is now serving the Old Gods (via the elemental lieutenants), so it is the influence of the Old Gods pulling the weak-willed and destructive in which are swelling their ranks.

It seems that in Blizzard's world, corrupting and influencing is pretty easy (witness the number of heroes who have been corrupted and thus become major villains).
night_druid wrote:Now that doesn't sound "diplomatic"... :lol: Azeroth does have some strange (racial) family trees ;)
Yes, they do.

Well, trolls and tauren are the native races (I think), and probably pandaran and a handful of others. Trolls living by the Well of Eternity became the Elves, which split between the Night Elves (followers of Elune and Cenarius) and the Highborne (later High Elves, which split as well as those addicted to the power of magic turned into the Blood Elves after being destroyed by Arthas, Kel'thuzad, and others, and the remaining High Elves who continued to work with humans and the Alliance). The Highborne, under the corruption of the Legion and with the events of the War of the Ancients, also gave birth to (at least) the satyrs and the naga. Of course, the trolls split into a number of types, too.

WowWiki combines the info, adds some speculation, and also has a speculative tree of the origin of the various troll descendants. (Hrm, I missed the origin of the harpies, somehow.)

Many of the others were created by the titans (earthen to dwarves, mecha-gnomes to gnomes, vrykul to humans) or modified (dragons), others came from the gods interbreeding (dryads, keepers, and kolkar).

Most of this is probably not known in-game except to the sages.
night_druid wrote:The Vrykul (sorry, been a while since I've been in those areas; I've been working my Loremaster achievements).
Hah! I'm nearly done with Kalimdor, then one last trip to Outland (Shadowmoon Valley) and I'll have it. If I hadn't had a game today.....
night_druid wrote:I kinda like the idea of playing a hill giant. :lol: Given the story around them, I could see a small faction of 'em breaking off after the Lich King falls to join their "children". Hell, makes as much sense as the draeni joining alliance. Lorewise, though, I could see Earthen join Alliance, although I really don't see much difference between the Earthen in Storm Peaks and regular dwarves.
Well, the earthen seem to still be servitors (e.g. Uldaman) rather than a separate, sentient race. Same for the mecha-gnomes. They really only became the modern races (and self-motivated) with the curse of flesh.
night_druid wrote:Ogres were in Thrall's Horde as well; at least, in Frozen Throne, that half-ogre took command of an ogre tribe and fought for Thrall. Now, how in the heck they got over to Kalendor in the first place baffles me...;)
Well, probably came with Thrall then split off. Thrall ejected the demonically tainted (except for a small piece of the Shadow Council, which he still watches -- see the quest lines involved in RFC for details), so the ogres were probably all dumped at that point. Of course, many of the ones on Draenor are probably relatively untainted...
night_druid wrote:
I'd like to see Naga and Murlocs as playable races... except that if Murlocs become Alliance I will be severely, severely irked.
Heh, I suppose that could work, although both probably have their own set of problems that'd be introduced into the game.
Well, the biggest problem for the naga also apply to the dryads/keepers and kolkar -- they're not humanoid, which is going to wreck the leg and boot models for armor. Murlocs are probably inevitable, assuming the game continues going strong long enough.

I actually expected this expansion to be just the Maelstrom, south seas (thus goblins and Undermines), and Kul Tiras. That would've been the perfect time to bring the sea races in.

I also assume that with all the phasing tech, the next expansion will probably bring in the Emerald Dream (which can be done as phased on top of Azeroth rather than by flat-out doubling the data to construct the parallel world). But... I've been wrong before :-)
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:50 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I think that in the MMORPG, there is an effort to artificially combine the races into two rival factions (with the NPCs making up all the lesser factions). But in a table top game of Warcraft, the lesser factions could be built up and the two MMORPG factions could be played down.
Well, yeah. There have been a couple suggestions for ways to cross factions, or ways to disrupt the existing balance. However, Blizzard currently seems tied to the current two-faction design. (I'll admit I was hoping for a third, neutral faction with the south sea expansion -- starting with the goblins.)
Now that would have been intersting.

How would you see your hypothetical neutral faction? Would they be friendly to the other two factions or hostile?
Bonetti wrote:
night_druid wrote:
I'd like to see Naga and Murlocs as playable races... except that if Murlocs become Alliance I will be severely, severely irked.
Heh, I suppose that could work, although both probably have their own set of problems that'd be introduced into the game.
Well, the biggest problem for the naga also apply to the dryads/keepers and kolkar -- they're not humanoid, which is going to wreck the leg and boot models for armor. Murlocs are probably inevitable, assuming the game continues going strong long enough.

I actually expected this expansion to be just the Maelstrom, south seas (thus goblins and Undermines), and Kul Tiras. That would've been the perfect time to bring the sea races in.

I also assume that with all the phasing tech, the next expansion will probably bring in the Emerald Dream (which can be done as phased on top of Azeroth rather than by flat-out doubling the data to construct the parallel world). But... I've been wrong before :-)
So you think that the Emerald Dream would have an identical map to Azeroth? What would be different? Just the NPCs?
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:40 am

Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:(I'll admit I was hoping for a third, neutral faction with the south sea expansion -- starting with the goblins.)
How would you see your hypothetical neutral faction? Would they be friendly to the other two factions or hostile?
Well, it's the World of Warcraft, so I would assume hostile to both. (Neutral to both would be a little too unworkable, I think, from an MMO point of view.)

If I were running it as a tabletop game, I would allow the players to join their choice of factions, and even potentially swap over (an Alliance orc, a Horde dwarf, etc.) given a good story. I would also allow them to join the groups which are currently in-game as neutral to both (Cenarion Circle, Steamwheedle Cartel, Argent Dawn/Crusade, Kirin Tor, etc.).

In that case, I would potentially create a new goblin faction (based out of Undermine), perhaps allied with elements of the naga breaking away from Vashj and Azshara, and with a new pirate faction (similar to the Southsea or Bloodsail, but not allied with either). This would be a great way to introduce Kul Tiras, which given the hostility between Theramore and them (in a father-daughter spat) they might even be non-Alliance humans at this point. Given that the break was over the friendliness between Jaina and Thrall, Kul Tiras would not be allied with Horde.
Big Mac wrote:So you think that the Emerald Dream would have an identical map to Azeroth? What would be different? Just the NPCs?
Well... it depends. The Emerald Dream is somewhat like the Feywild -- it's a primordial Azeroth untouched by the sentient races. (And yet, the art for it has giant statues and other signs of long-lost civilizations, so something lived (lives?) there.)

However, very large shocks to Azeroth echo in the Dream, and nightmares from the Dream affect Azeroth (e.g. Wailing Caverns). It is also known that something is stirring in the Dream, but I'm not sure it's been explained yet.

I haven't seen a definitive map, but based on what I've read the Sundering which split the continent in three (and created the Maelstrom) should have been reflected in the Dream, and that may have opened it to the influence of the Old Gods which were buried deep underground (and now are trapped in various locations from the sundering -- one's almost certainly under the Maelstrom, one ended up in Darkshore, one ended up under Silithus, and one ended up under Storm Peaks -- or they freed themselves enough to move). If the worlds are linked enough, breaking their prison could have given them the ability to touch the Dream.

However, all of that is lore. From a purely technical point of view, I just don't see them building a whole new, slightly different, world the full size of Azeroth (including Northrend) just to make it greener. It's much more likely to be a lighter touch, re-using as much as possible from the existing scenery, when they do it.

It does lead me to wonder if that's a secondary goal of the revamp for Cataclysm, actually -- setting Azeroth up to be used as a base like that.

In a pen and paper game, it would either be a lush, verdant version of Azeroth or it would be a throw-back to a pre-sundering Azeroth. It would depend entirely on whether I wanted the two realms separate or linked, and that would be driven by story.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by night_druid » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:51 pm

Bonetti wrote:The Twilight's Hammer started as a clan under the Horde which became a cult. Basically, it is now serving the Old Gods (via the elemental lieutenants), so it is the influence of the Old Gods pulling the weak-willed and destructive in which are swelling their ranks.
I wonder "why now"? What has "awakened" the Old Gods, and how are they able to influence younger races? ;)
Well, probably came with Thrall then split off. Thrall ejected the demonically tainted (except for a small piece of the Shadow Council, which he still watches -- see the quest lines involved in RFC for details), so the ogres were probably all dumped at that point. Of course, many of the ones on Draenor are probably relatively untainted...
You do have to wonder what a female ogre even LOOKS like, since, to my knowledge, no female ogre has ever been seen in WoW. So I guess that'd make them a PC race would be difficult ;) I do suppose Thrall had to have brought ogres with him, since the Ogre Mound building was available, IIRC, in Warcraft III, even if there was no "cenematic" proof that he brought the ogres with him.
Well, the biggest problem for the naga also apply to the dryads/keepers and kolkar -- they're not humanoid, which is going to wreck the leg and boot models for armor. Murlocs are probably inevitable, assuming the game continues going strong long enough.
I've often thought that there really should be more factions, period. Forsaken break from Horde, Night Elves break from Alliance (with furbolg & keepers/dryads), and oddly, at least prior to BC, blood elves join up with Draenari & naga. Maybe even a neutral faction of goblins, murlocks, and a few other races. But as a friend explained, that'd hose the whole battlegrounds thing. And probably there's not enough zones & towns around to make it work, unless they drastically increased the size of the game zones.

I actually expected this expansion to be just the Maelstrom, south seas (thus goblins and Undermines), and Kul Tiras. That would've been the perfect time to bring the sea races in.

I also assume that with all the phasing tech, the next expansion will probably bring in the Emerald Dream (which can be done as phased on top of Azeroth rather than by flat-out doubling the data to construct the parallel world). But... I've been wrong before :-)
Those were the ones suggested by WoWwiki. At this point, there really only seems to be two major villians left: Sargarus, and whatever is eating at the Emerald Dream. I suspect they may join the two together, and Sargasus be the thing eating at the Dream for the next release. I guess it depends on how many more expansions they'll do: 1 (with the final max level be 90) or 3 (with the final max level at 100).
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:14 pm

night_druid wrote:
Bonetti wrote:The Twilight's Hammer started as a clan under the Horde which became a cult. Basically, it is now serving the Old Gods (via the elemental lieutenants), so it is the influence of the Old Gods pulling the weak-willed and destructive in which are swelling their ranks.
I wonder "why now"? What has "awakened" the Old Gods, and how are they able to influence younger races? ;)
Uh... "now" isn't any different from before :-) According to the War of the Ancients, they were whispering in Deathwing's ear before that happened.

As I understand it, the approximate order of events is this: the Old Gods (via their elemental lieutenants) were running a very chaotic world when the Titans showed up. The Titans, who like things tidy, imprisoned the chaotic beings (but were unable to destroy them), and the fight included the death of one of them (see the Master's Glaive in Darkshore). The remainder were imprisoned, either deep within the planet or within a pocket dimension, or both. The Titans took some locals and invested them with power to watch the world.

However, from deep within their prison, the Old Gods were able to reach out and influence the new races and creatures rising on Azeroth. This included Neltharion, the Black Dragon Aspect (later he took the name Deathwing), the race which became the Qiraji, and much of Ulduar. In my view, they were trapped at the time and only able to project thoughts, but once the Well of Eternity was destroyed and the continents were sundered, it cracked their prison enough for more gain with less effort (and, possibly, relocated some of them: C'thun to AQ, Yogg-Saron to Northrend). There are hints that they were also influencing Queen Azshara and her recklessness, and that they corrupted races under the Maelstrom (see the mutated murlocs, for instance), and that those are the ones driving the murlocs and naga from the deeps to the shore.

Now, all of these efforts had to be built from scratch. Some was easy, as the Aqir were already made in their image (or by them, or something), so corrupting the Qiraji and building a vast, underground empire was trivial. Other parts were hard -- given their tenuous ability to reach out, warping Neltharion into Deathwing was probably a tremendous effort and took most of their attention for centuries. Azshara could be lured more easily, but getting her people to follow her in that path, again, probably took a lot of effort.

Into this, enter the Horde and Twilight's Hammer under Cho'gall. They're already disposed to chaos and violence, and they're already summoning demons and having a blast being destructive. With this existing predilection on the part of that clan, all the Old Gods need to do is provide direction to ancient secrets, and the Hammer will do the work for them. That frees what power the Old Gods still have to seeking people with the seeds in them already, and giving them a nudge in the right direction. In the WoWniverse, it's clear that power is very, very attractive -- and here's a group with easy access to a lot of power. All you have to do is commit to using it.

At least, that's my take :-)
night_druid wrote:
Well, probably came with Thrall then split off. Thrall ejected the demonically tainted (except for a small piece of the Shadow Council, which he still watches -- see the quest lines involved in RFC for details), so the ogres were probably all dumped at that point. Of course, many of the ones on Draenor are probably relatively untainted...
You do have to wonder what a female ogre even LOOKS like, since, to my knowledge, no female ogre has ever been seen in WoW. So I guess that'd make them a PC race would be difficult ;) I do suppose Thrall had to have brought ogres with him, since the Ogre Mound building was available, IIRC, in Warcraft III, even if there was no "cenematic" proof that he brought the ogres with him.
I believe the ogres were one of the original races of (what came to be called) Draenor: orcs, ogres, gronn, and the later addition of the draenei. (I think the ogres are descendants of the gronn, actually.)
night_druid wrote:I've often thought that there really should be more factions, period. Forsaken break from Horde, Night Elves break from Alliance (with furbolg & keepers/dryads), and oddly, at least prior to BC, blood elves join up with Draenari & naga. Maybe even a neutral faction of goblins, murlocks, and a few other races. But as a friend explained, that'd hose the whole battlegrounds thing. And probably there's not enough zones & towns around to make it work, unless they drastically increased the size of the game zones.
Well, technically, every one that has a separate bar on the reputation tab is a "faction". There just happen to be two player conglomerates of factions (Alliance and Horde), two neutral conglomerates (Steamwheedle Cartel: Booty Bay (Blackwater Raiders), Gadgetzan, Everlook, Ratchet; Shattrath: Sha'tar, Lower City, Skyguard), and a whole slew of independents (Cenarion Circle and Expedition, Argent Dawn and Crusade and Tournament, Kirin Tor, Oracles, Frenzyheart, Sporeggar, etc.).

From a gameplay point of view, changing the fundamental design would be too large of an undertaking, I think, and it would potentially lead to much frustration in the player base if they actually split the existing factions. Imagine no longer being able to mail between two of one's alts because one is Forsaken and the other is Orc -- or one is Night Elf, and another is Gnome. Breaking peoples' mules would be very, very unpopular :-)

I don't see the Blood Elves joining with the Draenei -- they've been viciously attacking each other for a while, and the Blood Elves went and imprisoned (and leeched from) one of the Naaru, a move wholly unpopular with the Naaru-following Draenei. Given the relationship of the Draenei and the Naaru to the Light, the only faction choice (other than independence) which makes sense for them is the Alliance.

Well... the Draenei might be willing to ally with the Tauren now that Holy Cows will be available (priests and paladins are coming to the Tauren in Cataclysm), if only to have a "Make Bigger Doors, Darnit!" faction.
night_druid wrote:
I actually expected this expansion to be just the Maelstrom, south seas (thus goblins and Undermines), and Kul Tiras. That would've been the perfect time to bring the sea races in.

I also assume that with all the phasing tech, the next expansion will probably bring in the Emerald Dream (which can be done as phased on top of Azeroth rather than by flat-out doubling the data to construct the parallel world). But... I've been wrong before :-)
Those were the ones suggested by WoWwiki. At this point, there really only seems to be two major villians left: Sargarus, and whatever is eating at the Emerald Dream. I suspect they may join the two together, and Sargasus be the thing eating at the Dream for the next release. I guess it depends on how many more expansions they'll do: 1 (with the final max level be 90) or 3 (with the final max level at 100).
Well, that was my speculation before this expansion. I figured they would save Deathwing, but the idea of using an expansion as an excuse to revamp the zones and prep for flying (and completely change the quest flow) seemed to be a bigger effort than I thought they would undertake.

As for villains, that's only partially true. First, you have Sargeras and the Burning Legion. The latter should not be underestimated, they fought the Titans to a standstill (or possibly a retreat), and have many worlds under their control. There are known gateways to Legion homeworlds on Draenor, and they've invaded Azeroth multiple times. I could see an effort on their part to invade again, or an effort on the part of organizations dedicated to saving Azeroth to push the Legion further away. It could also coincide with a revamp of Outland (maybe there are more floating islands), and it would not be difficult to stretch that for at least two expansions -- one being the Archimonde and Kil'jaedan replacements (new lieutenants) and probably ending on Argus and bringing the Eredar down. (This would be a good, Draenei-centered effort, actually, since it would be a redemptive storyline for them.) Sargeras is at the top of the Legion, but the Legion is so very much more vast than just him.

Second, as you alluded, there is the Dream. That could be any of a number of things.

Third, you have the remainder of the Old Gods. Three have been dealt with, there were at least five when the Titans found Azeroth. Some of the lieutenants and elemental lords are making their presence known in this expansion (and Ragnaros was already touched on before). They may take care of the four elemental lords and their lieutenants this time around, though. Still, you have the remainder of the old gods (with hints that one is under the Maelstrom and one is in the Dream). As blue posters on the official forums pointed out at one point, though, Azeroth is not the only world with Old Gods.

Fourth, you have Rhonin. OK, that's a personal "let's kill of Knaack's Mary Sue" thing, but given that magic is drawn from the Twisting Nether, power clearly corrupts nearly everyone eventually, and he's the leader of the Kirin Tor... there's a character ripe for plucking as the next Arthas.

Fifth, you have the Titans. They are not good. They are not evil. They are order -- they come to a world in chaos, shape it to their liking, set up mechanisms to keep it stable, and they move on. Many of those mechanisms are being destroyed or corrupted (Uldaman, Ulduar, and now Uldum; the Aspects). It would not surprise me if they return to "fix" what has since become "broken" -- and that includes undoing the damage being wrought by the various sentient races. Furthermore, one titan (Sargeras) has already been corrupted, who's to say others aren't?

Sixth, you have the various demigods (Aggaman, Cenarius, Malorne, possibly Elune, that whole crew) and loa (I don't think they all showed up in Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman), although the latter may seem underpowered after Sargeras and the Titans.

Seventh, you have the Naaru. These are immensely powerful beings, and a select few of them enter a clear "evil" cycle. Furthermore, no other race in WoW is anywhere near that altruistic, so there practically has to be a deep secret under their sweetness and light cover. (See also: speculation of the Naaru as the Ori (Stargate SG-1).) Also, even if they are exactly what they say they are, an embodiment of light, then there is almost certainly an embodiment of darkness, too. If so, it's probably not the Legion, since that's opposed to the Titans (via their former lieutenant) or the Old Gods (who seem to be localized to specific worlds). It's probably a new race which could easily make its presence felt.

Eighth, the current rulers. Garrosh and Varian are both being set up to be stupid and make mistakes, and both show signs of all the pride and arrogance which caused Illidan and Arthas to fall. Hey, they turned Malygos into a villain in Wrath, this isn't out of reach. Similarly, Sylvanas may well turn out to be a Bad Guy eventually (although losing two Horde leaders as eventual raid bosses just isn't fun -- we already lost Kael'thas :-) ).

Ninth, the Aqir races. The Nerubian ruins are barely explored, the Qiraji are barely destroyed, and there really isn't a sense of the ancient War of the Sands in Silithus or the war between the two spider empires. If both are sleeping rather than bare remnants, a re-awakening of those would be as devastating as what's happening in Cataclysm. There were hints of how widespread it could be in the gate opening events.

Tenth, Aegwynn. Anyone who has (barely) survived death that many times has probably shredded themselves so badly that they're ripe for turning. Rumor is she's disguised and currently advising Jaina, despite having apparently died at least three times so far.

There are more possibilities, but I'll end with this thought: Tenth, as Blizzard has stated, creating new villains isn't that hard. They're mining existing lore, and creating new lore as they go along. Going into WoW, Neltharion (Deathwing) was known, but Nefarion and Onyxia and the attempts to rebuild the Black Dragonflight weren't -- and they're staples of the WoW Pantheon of Villains now. Ditto for Kel'Thuzad (and Naxxramas) being known, but the entire Ahn'Qiraj setup was new for retail, as was every boss in Molten Core (except Ragnaros), Blackwing Lair, Zul'Gurub, Naxxramas (except K'T), and Ruins/Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. Ditto for Outland: Illidan, Archimonde, Magtheridon, Vashj, and Kael'thas were known, but the rest were created. Furthermore, Burning Crusade introduced big hints at the Infinite Dragonflight (messing around with time, thus the need for the Caverns of Time) and adding a whole new world and race of beings (Ethereals vs. Void), both of which may blossom into full-blown volumes of lore in time. Wrath added a new Lich King, and turned a neutral Aspect into a villain (Malygos), while the rest was pretty much new. Sure, they're running out of named characters from Warcraft 3, but they're adding new stories way faster than they're using up the old ones.

People have been speculating that "They'll stop at 100" since, well, forever -- especially when they raised the level cap for BC. Some designers may have had that in mind originally, but it's pretty clear that they'll do whatever makes a fun game. If it stops selling, they'll stop. If it doesn't, they'll keep going -- it's moving under its own momentum now, not under the power of the RTS.

(Sorry about the Wall Of Text.)
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:49 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:(I'll admit I was hoping for a third, neutral faction with the south sea expansion -- starting with the goblins.)
How would you see your hypothetical neutral faction? Would they be friendly to the other two factions or hostile?
Well, it's the World of Warcraft, so I would assume hostile to both. (Neutral to both would be a little too unworkable, I think, from an MMO point of view.)

If I were running it as a tabletop game, I would allow the players to join their choice of factions, and even potentially swap over (an Alliance orc, a Horde dwarf, etc.) given a good story. I would also allow them to join the groups which are currently in-game as neutral to both (Cenarion Circle, Steamwheedle Cartel, Argent Dawn/Crusade, Kirin Tor, etc.).

In that case, I would potentially create a new goblin faction (based out of Undermine), perhaps allied with elements of the naga breaking away from Vashj and Azshara, and with a new pirate faction (similar to the Southsea or Bloodsail, but not allied with either). This would be a great way to introduce Kul Tiras, which given the hostility between Theramore and them (in a father-daughter spat) they might even be non-Alliance humans at this point. Given that the break was over the friendliness between Jaina and Thrall, Kul Tiras would not be allied with Horde.
WoW does have that Defias Traitor, that is helping out the Alliance. I don't see why anyone who is nominally part of a faction, should not be able to turn against that faction in the same way.

If I got to run a tabletop WoW game, I wouldn't have the IFF telepathy that the game has, but I do think that maybe factions should initially be hostile or friendly to people based on their apperance.

And if I got to play in a tabletop WoW game, I would love to play an independent Forsaken that wants to carry on with whatever they were doing before they were transformed into undead.
Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:So you think that the Emerald Dream would have an identical map to Azeroth? What would be different? Just the NPCs?
Well... it depends. The Emerald Dream is somewhat like the Feywild -- it's a primordial Azeroth untouched by the sentient races. (And yet, the art for it has giant statues and other signs of long-lost civilizations, so something lived (lives?) there.)

However, very large shocks to Azeroth echo in the Dream, and nightmares from the Dream affect Azeroth (e.g. Wailing Caverns). It is also known that something is stirring in the Dream, but I'm not sure it's been explained yet.

I haven't seen a definitive map, but based on what I've read the Sundering which split the continent in three (and created the Maelstrom) should have been reflected in the Dream, and that may have opened it to the influence of the Old Gods which were buried deep underground (and now are trapped in various locations from the sundering -- one's almost certainly under the Maelstrom, one ended up in Darkshore, one ended up under Silithus, and one ended up under Storm Peaks -- or they freed themselves enough to move). If the worlds are linked enough, breaking their prison could have given them the ability to touch the Dream.

However, all of that is lore. From a purely technical point of view, I just don't see them building a whole new, slightly different, world the full size of Azeroth (including Northrend) just to make it greener. It's much more likely to be a lighter touch, re-using as much as possible from the existing scenery, when they do it.

It does lead me to wonder if that's a secondary goal of the revamp for Cataclysm, actually -- setting Azeroth up to be used as a base like that.
Rebuilding Azeroth to help build the Emerald Dream sounds like twice the work. But I suppose they might have rebuilt Azeroth using some sort of modular logic, like environmental Lego. If they did that, then it might be a lot easier to take the individual bricks and then throw them together to make Emerald Dream or a number of other new locations.
Bonetti wrote:In a pen and paper game, it would either be a lush, verdant version of Azeroth or it would be a throw-back to a pre-sundering Azeroth. It would depend entirely on whether I wanted the two realms separate or linked, and that would be driven by story.
That is a very interesting idea. It would certainly allow a GM to continue to use the maps invalidated by the changes.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:43 pm

Big Mac wrote:Rebuilding Azeroth to help build the Emerald Dream sounds like twice the work. But I suppose they might have rebuilt Azeroth using some sort of modular logic, like environmental Lego. If they did that, then it might be a lot easier to take the individual bricks and then throw them together to make Emerald Dream or a number of other new locations.
Not necessarily. They're rebuilding Azeroth to allow for flight (patching up all the out-of-sight areas that can't be reached now) , and it's always been two levels anyway (terrain + completely fixed features, and a layer of doodads "spawned" on top). In the older datafiles, they've hand-crafted what amounts to one giant 3D mesh per zone, which fit together seamlessly (or maybe it really is just one giant mesh -- either way...) That left it perfectly static, with only the doodad layer being able to be changed. Anything which can be interacted with is a doodad -- including the cannon in Deadmines and the door which is destroyed.

What Wrath introduced was phased objects -- NPCs and doodads. Everything in every phase is always actually present, but the server only tells you about those objects which are in your phase.

What Cataclysm is introducing is phased terrain -- you only see the terrain which is in your phase. That allows them to (for instance) have an early portion of the Gilneas quest line take place on the farm. Then, a cataclysmic event takes place and the next time you're there, it's a freshly created bay as the earth was shattered and the sea rushed in. And you find yourself swimming where you were running not too long before, but the rest of the zone is not changed (and it doesn't have to be duplicated somewhere).

That's what I mean by being able to take advantage of this -- not that they're necessarily rebuilding Azeroth with the intention of creating the Emerald Dream out of it, but that with the Azeroth rebuild to make it all clean (for flying mounts) plus the ability to phase both the terrain and the doodads, they can now create the Emerald Dream as a "patch" on top of Azeroth's base data files. That way, they don't have to create an entire world the size and scope of Azeroth plus Northrend (or come up with a lore reason to shatter it and shrink it). Really, the only thing they need to do is add texture and atmospheric effect phasing, and they could re-use the same base mesh with different "paint", and tweak the settled areas to match the Dream's primordial state.

(Incidentally, there's been a partially-complete Emerald Dream zone in the data files since before launch. It's super green, with some weird statues, and it's very heavy on vegetation. Rebuilding the entire world like that would be a tremendous effort, which is why my suspicion is that they'll take advantage of a system like this to do it when the time comes.)
Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:In a pen and paper game, it would either be a lush, verdant version of Azeroth or it would be a throw-back to a pre-sundering Azeroth. It would depend entirely on whether I wanted the two realms separate or linked, and that would be driven by story.
That is a very interesting idea. It would certainly allow a GM to continue to use the maps invalidated by the changes.
Well, you probably shouldn't use the maps with settlements in the Dream -- not directly, anyway, since I think there aren't sentient races (or there are different races) -- no Horde, no Alliance, no elves (except the dreaming druids' spirits), etc.

However, there's already a mechanism to keep using any map you want -- the Caverns of Time. Just say that someone from the Infinite Dragonflight is threatening your favorite time, and send the heroes to it. Such a mission could take years, if it's subtle :-)
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Big Mac » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:52 pm

Thanks Bonetti. The phasing terrain sounds very interesting. I might need to sit co-pilot to my WoW playing friend and watch her trying out some of these quests where the land changes.

Do you know how players of different phases are going to interact (or not). Will PCs that have done the early quests be unable to repeat them with lower level PCs? Or will they run through water, alongside a PC that is running on the ground.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:41 am

Phasing is tied to the character, not the account. It's also tied to the quests. As you turn in a quest, the new phase takes effect, and anything you are no longer in phase with despawns from your client (and anything you are now in phase with spawns). They usually try to put the quest far enough away that the changes aren't jarring.

In Wrath (and thus available now), the big ones are the Death Knight starting area, the Wrath Gate event, and portions of Storm Peaks (the Sons of Hodir quest chain) and Icecrown (the Argent Crusade area near Dalaran in particular, but also Shadow Vault). The DK starting area is the easiest to do -- your friend can just create a new character on a new server and run through the first few quests to watch stuff change.

In Cataclysm, when it launches, you can see it (terrain) in the Worgen and Goblin starting zones.

To answer the other half -- the individual character has a phase tied to them. If they are in a different phase than you, you cannot see each other (which also means that you can't help them on the quest). This has been exploited on PVP servers by deliberately not completing certain quests in order to be able to dodge into a phased area and escape after attempting to gank other players.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by night_druid » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:49 pm

I kinda wonder if the Titans are really the Xil'Naga, given the presence of zerg in WCIII & some easter eggs in SCII... :mrgreen:
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Bonetti » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:12 pm

Interesting question. I think I read that WoW's universe and Starcraft's universe were intended to be separate (no citation handy). However, the same folks direct both stories and provide both visions (and much of the base art for both are generated by the same artists), so its inevitable that there is a lot of resemblance. Look at Prince Valerian -- he'd fit in well with the Blood Elves, almost a Terran Kael'thas.

However, reading up on the xel'naga, I think that they have a similar role but otherwise do not overlap (unless Blizzard starts adding a lifecycle dependent on other races to the Titans). One might argue that the naaru, with their light/dark cycles, might be closer to the xel'naga (and they inspired the draenei, who at least superficially overlap some with the Protoss).

The silithid do strongly resemble the zerg (right on down to shapes and their creep), but seem to not be otherwise be directly related.

The only direct overlap in WoW between the series so far are the original collector's edition pets (mini-Diablo <Lord of Destruction>, zergling) and the Blizzcon 2009 pet (Grunty -- a baby murloc in a Terran marine suit).
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:24 pm

The phasing sounds like a giant instance with no limit to how many people can go into it. There must be a boarder, where two people in different phases can walk together and then split up.
Bonetti wrote:This has been exploited on PVP servers by deliberately not completing certain quests in order to be able to dodge into a phased area and escape after attempting to gank other players.
How does that not surprise me! :lol: I hate PVP servers, now. :roll:
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:37 pm

Bonetti wrote:I think I read that WoW's universe and Starcraft's universe were intended to be separate (no citation handy).
I wouldn't expect any of their universes to be connected. Doing stuff like that adds complications. Just look at D&D's connected settings. The joint-canon can be pretty complex.
Bonetti wrote:However, the same folks direct both stories and provide both visions (and much of the base art for both are generated by the same artists), so its inevitable that there is a lot of resemblance. Look at Prince Valerian -- he'd fit in well with the Blood Elves, almost a Terran Kael'thas.
This is the other side of the same coin. Joint-canon can be complex, but it can also provide shortcuts. If you raid stuff, without making a formal connection, you can save a lot of time. Just look at the way that most fantasy worlds use elves, dwarves, orcs, dragons and a bunch of other stuff.

But I think in computer games, a lot of the crossover stuff might be down to the "easter egg" mentality. They almost can't do a game without adding easter eggs.
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Re: Blizzard story developers' answers...

Post by night_druid » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:52 pm

Bonetti wrote:Interesting question. I think I read that WoW's universe and Starcraft's universe were intended to be separate (no citation handy). However, the same folks direct both stories and provide both visions (and much of the base art for both are generated by the same artists), so its inevitable that there is a lot of resemblance. Look at Prince Valerian -- he'd fit in well with the Blood Elves, almost a Terran Kael'thas.
It'll be interesting to see how his character develops out in the next expansion. ;) But I don't expect they'd be linked (I still want my Tauren Marines, damnit!!! :mrgreen: )
However, reading up on the xel'naga, I think that they have a similar role but otherwise do not overlap (unless Blizzard starts adding a lifecycle dependent on other races to the Titans). One might argue that the naaru, with their light/dark cycles, might be closer to the xel'naga (and they inspired the draenei, who at least superficially overlap some with the Protoss

The silithid do strongly resemble the zerg (right on down to shapes and their creep), but seem to not be otherwise be directly related.
If that's the case, then are the Old Gods in fact "dark" naaru? ;)
The only direct overlap in WoW between the series so far are the original collector's edition pets (mini-Diablo <Lord of Destruction>, zergling) and the Blizzcon 2009 pet (Grunty -- a baby murloc in a Terran marine suit).
I can't imagine pets are taken as serious canon. ;)
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