Ask Creative Development -- Round II Answers

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85 Troll Priest
5800
Also on the RPG books, I think we can take the stuff in them with a grain of salt. Blizz has adopted alot of the stuff in the RPG but they clearly are leaving themselves room to change things in game if they want to without it contradicting the 'established' lore too much.

My take will be that the RPG lore is solid unless other lore sources say otherwise. Its not like they said everything in the RPG is incorrect or dumped.
85 Troll Priest
5800
I really like this idea. The forsaken navy, upon haunted ships, powered by the souls of the damned. That would make the forsaken navy damn scary.


Doesn't seem to have helped them much; I think they've been routed in every naval engagement they've attempted.


Yeah but at least they can have cool spooky style while they are having their ass kicked:P
90 Blood Elf Priest
4970
Oh, RPG books aren't Canon? What is this...?


"On the World of Warcraft official website, the Warcraft RPG is said to be an important part into getting to know more about Warcraft lore. In the "History of Warcraft" section section;
"Want to know more about the lore of World of Warcraft? The game doesn't require any additional reading to play. However, you might enjoy gaining a more detailed knowledge of Warcraft lore. Here are some resources that are available: ...RPGs... Warcraft Role-Playing Games provide a wealth of information about Warcraft lore."
Many of the creatures and some of the lore expand beyond what appears in the computer game."

"Like the MMORPG, Chris Metzen is in charge of the lore and uses the books to expand upon things in his view of the World of Warcraft. Many things do not show up in the MMORPG due to limitations of the game's scale and other gameplay mechanics. These limitations make the game incapable of showing everything. Metzen's personal view is that the history of Azeroth is not found in just one source, but includes the RPGs, novels, comics, manuals, and games."




"For example, in this interview, Metzen discusses a little bit about on how he uses the RPG to explain things within the World of Warcraft MMORPG.[3]
BI: How do the Gnomes fit back into Warcraft lore? They were notably absent from Warcraft III. Where have they been?
Metzen: I think we deal with it a little bit in upcoming D&D supplements. During Warcraft II, the Gnomes were, in effect, building weapons and lending designs to the Alliance — but they were staying out of any direct fighting. In Warcraft III and Frozen Throne, and even in World of Warcraft, it becomes clear that the Gnomes have had internal problems of their own for several years. As of World of Warcraft, they still offer support to the Alliance in terms of building tanks, designing weapons, sending flying machines, and so on. But they had a problem at home that has recently been discovered - an ancient menace from the depths of the underground, called Troggs. The Troggs invaded the Gnome's city of Gnomeregan and wiped it out. The Gnomes decided not to let the rest of the Alliance know about this because they figured that they could deal with it on their own. But Gnomeregan fell, probably thanks as much to the Gnomes' own actions as to those of their enemies - they likely blew themselves up with whatever failsafe devices they used to defeat the threat. After the destruction of their homeland, the Gnomes fled to the safety offered by their nearby allies the Dwarves.
Furthermore, Metzen discusses the RPG as an expansion to Warcraft lore within several Foreword letters within the RPG as well."



"Blizzard Entertainment As you might imagine, many of us here at Blizzard have been playing D&D and other paper-and-pencil games since we were old enough to get shot down by girls. Armed only with funny dice, a fistful of Number 2 pencils, and our raw imaginations, we set out to be heroes, explorers, kings. Whether we were facing down the mighty dragons of Krynn, getting stranded somewhere in the endless fields of Faerûn, trying to keep our wits about us in Castle Ravenloft, or boldly challenging the unknown in worlds of our own making, our collective love for fantasy roleplaying has been with us from the very start. We've been developing the Warcraft series for the past ten years or so — frankly, it feels like it's been in dog years — and it's been a truly amazing experience to build a rich fantasy setting from the ground up. I guess the countless hours we spent thumbing through our old, ragged DMGs and Player’s Handbooks paid off after all! Though developing the world of Azeroth has been tremendously rewarding on the creative front, seeing it made into an official Dungeons & Dragons product — Dungeons & Dragons Warcraft the Roleplaying Game, in fact — has been downright monumental for all of us. The book you hold in your hands builds upon the D&D Warcraft RPG. It is full of the strange yet wondrous creatures that populate the world of Warcraft. In many ways, this Manual of Monsters is like a time capsule for ten years’ worth of ongoing world development. Looking back over much of this artwork, an old phrase comes to mind — “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Damn straight they do. Fat, two-headed ogres; wiry trolls with bright mohawks; hooded, spell-casting death knights: these guys immediately remind me of developing Warcraft II eight years ago. That was an amazing time for us creatively. Although it took a few years, introducing the new generation of creatures with Warcraft III proved to be just as exciting. Lion-faced, furry wyverns; centaur-like dragonspawn; ill-tempered quilboar and serpentine naga: they all rolled on to the scene and quickly dominated Warcraft's new visual landscape. Still, with every new batch of creatures we introduced, we held firm to the classic fantasy archetypes such as gnolls, kobolds, harpies, and hydras (among others) that we all grew up with. We've always felt that there is a precious balance between the classic motifs that define contemporary fantasy and the higher concept ideas that keep the settings we love fresh and distinct from one another. It's the merging of the “new” and “old schools” in fantasy that makes it such an engaging medium for us as developers, designers, and — especially — players. We sincerely hope you enjoy Manual of Monsters and use its creatures to fuel as many adventures as you can imagine! All right! Enough about the monsters already! Go and get 'em! Grab your dice, get out there, and give 'em hell! Good hunting, y'all!
- Chris Metzen (co-author), Creative Director, Blizzard Entertainment, 7/07/03 "


"In rebuttal to a poster that claimed that the RPG was not official, Eyonix had this to say: [5]

Blizzard Entertainment Any piece of literature authorized and licensed by Blizzard Entertainment is in-fact, official. The book series written by Richard A. Knaak in particular is an excellent example of real 'Azerothian' history and lore available outside of our game software. We work closely with authors that help us expand our game universe, and the information should be considered official.

I'm very sorry but your assumptions are not correct. - Eyonix"

Specifically this last one. Wow, you done messed up.


Stumbled across this in an earlier post. These are pretty serious points to consider, Bashiok.
Q: Are the Warcraft and World of Warcraft RPG books considered canon?
A: No. The RPG books were created to provide an engaging table-top role-playing experience, which sometimes required diverging from the established video game canon. Blizzard helped generate a great deal of the content within the RPG books, so there will be times when ideas from the RPG will make their way into the game and official lore, but you are much better off considering the RPG books non-canonical unless otherwise stated.


O_O ...... All those years of work....now considered non-canon?! Holy crap!

Pandaren, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, Ley Walkers, Plagueshifters, Argent Dawn Templars, Bonecrushers, Runemasters...etc etc....

All of that is non-canon now? So wait... if the RPG isn't canon, then what about the TCG? If the TCG is canon, yet the RPG books aren't in the slightest, then I'm afraid the Warcraft universe just became more bland than you can possibly imagine.

This is a pretty mind boggling thing to stomach, considering wowpedia, wowwiki and even wikipedia has noted the RPG books as canon for years, and many, many articles have direct references from those books. Did Metzen himself actually say that the RPG books, every single shred of it, is 100% non-canon?

Last time I checked, he did dismiss Finall Goldensword as being non-canon...but certainly not *everything* in the books altogether.

Oh well, time to move on. Adios, RPG.


Half-Elves are canon, although there's only a handful of known examples. Just Arathor the Redeemer and Rhonin's children that are only mentioned in the novels as far as I know.

Half-Orcs in the sense of Half-Draenei/Half-Orcs are also canon with 2 known examples in game, Garona Halforcen and Lantresor of the Blade.

Runemasters are also still canon after a fashion, but are now limited to Iron Dwarves and Vrykul rather then Dwarves/Tauren.

I'm not so sure on the other ones. Wowpedia being down decreases my apparent knowledge of the Warcraft universe considerably.
90 Night Elf Warrior
5995
Oh, RPG books aren't Canon? What is this...?


"On the World of Warcraft official website, the Warcraft RPG is said to be an important part into getting to know more about Warcraft lore. In the "History of Warcraft" section section;
"Want to know more about the lore of World of Warcraft? The game doesn't require any additional reading to play. However, you might enjoy gaining a more detailed knowledge of Warcraft lore. Here are some resources that are available: ...RPGs... Warcraft Role-Playing Games provide a wealth of information about Warcraft lore."
Many of the creatures and some of the lore expand beyond what appears in the computer game."

"Like the MMORPG, Chris Metzen is in charge of the lore and uses the books to expand upon things in his view of the World of Warcraft. Many things do not show up in the MMORPG due to limitations of the game's scale and other gameplay mechanics. These limitations make the game incapable of showing everything. Metzen's personal view is that the history of Azeroth is not found in just one source, but includes the RPGs, novels, comics, manuals, and games."

"For example, in this interview, Metzen discusses a little bit about on how he uses the RPG to explain things within the World of Warcraft MMORPG.[3]
BI: How do the Gnomes fit back into Warcraft lore? They were notably absent from Warcraft III. Where have they been?
Metzen: I think we deal with it a little bit in upcoming D&D supplements. During Warcraft II, the Gnomes were, in effect, building weapons and lending designs to the Alliance — but they were staying out of any direct fighting. In Warcraft III and Frozen Throne, and even in World of Warcraft, it becomes clear that the Gnomes have had internal problems of their own for several years. As of World of Warcraft, they still offer support to the Alliance in terms of building tanks, designing weapons, sending flying machines, and so on. But they had a problem at home that has recently been discovered - an ancient menace from the depths of the underground, called Troggs. The Troggs invaded the Gnome's city of Gnomeregan and wiped it out. The Gnomes decided not to let the rest of the Alliance know about this because they figured that they could deal with it on their own. But Gnomeregan fell, probably thanks as much to the Gnomes' own actions as to those of their enemies - they likely blew themselves up with whatever failsafe devices they used to defeat the threat. After the destruction of their homeland, the Gnomes fled to the safety offered by their nearby allies the Dwarves.
Furthermore, Metzen discusses the RPG as an expansion to Warcraft lore within several Foreword letters within the RPG as well."

"Blizzard Entertainment As you might imagine, many of us here at Blizzard have been playing D&D and other paper-and-pencil games since we were old enough to get shot down by girls. Armed only with funny dice, a fistful of Number 2 pencils, and our raw imaginations, we set out to be heroes, explorers, kings. Whether we were facing down the mighty dragons of Krynn, getting stranded somewhere in the endless fields of Faerûn, trying to keep our wits about us in Castle Ravenloft, or boldly challenging the unknown in worlds of our own making, our collective love for fantasy roleplaying has been with us from the very start. We've been developing the Warcraft series for the past ten years or so — frankly, it feels like it's been in dog years — and it's been a truly amazing experience to build a rich fantasy setting from the ground up. I guess the countless hours we spent thumbing through our old, ragged DMGs and Player’s Handbooks paid off after all! Though developing the world of Azeroth has been tremendously rewarding on the creative front, seeing it made into an official Dungeons & Dragons product — Dungeons & Dragons Warcraft the Roleplaying Game, in fact — has been downright monumental for all of us. The book you hold in your hands builds upon the D&D Warcraft RPG. It is full of the strange yet wondrous creatures that populate the world of Warcraft. In many ways, this Manual of Monsters is like a time capsule for ten years’ worth of ongoing world development. Looking back over much of this artwork, an old phrase comes to mind — “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Damn straight they do. Fat, two-headed ogres; wiry trolls with bright mohawks; hooded, spell-casting death knights: these guys immediately remind me of developing Warcraft II eight years ago. That was an amazing time for us creatively. Although it took a few years, introducing the new generation of creatures with Warcraft III proved to be just as exciting. Lion-faced, furry wyverns; centaur-like dragonspawn; ill-tempered quilboar and serpentine naga: they all rolled on to the scene and quickly dominated Warcraft's new visual landscape. Still, with every new batch of creatures we introduced, we held firm to the classic fantasy archetypes such as gnolls, kobolds, harpies, and hydras (among others) that we all grew up with. We've always felt that there is a precious balance between the classic motifs that define contemporary fantasy and the higher concept ideas that keep the settings we love fresh and distinct from one another. It's the merging of the “new” and “old schools” in fantasy that makes it such an engaging medium for us as developers, designers, and — especially — players. We sincerely hope you enjoy Manual of Monsters and use its creatures to fuel as many adventures as you can imagine! All right! Enough about the monsters already! Go and get 'em! Grab your dice, get out there, and give 'em hell! Good hunting, y'all!
- Chris Metzen (co-author), Creative Director, Blizzard Entertainment, 7/07/03 "

"In rebuttal to a poster that claimed that the RPG was not official, Eyonix had this to say: [5]

Blizzard Entertainment: Any piece of literature authorized and licensed by Blizzard Entertainment is in-fact, official. The book series written by Richard A. Knaak in particular is an excellent example of real 'Azerothian' history and lore available outside of our game software. We work closely with authors that help us expand our game universe, and the information should be considered official.

I'm very sorry but your assumptions are not correct. - Eyonix"

Specifically this last one. Wow, you done messed up.


Stumbled across this in an earlier post. These are pretty serious points to consider, Bashiok.


Doubly quoted for truth. Bashiok, are you saying that we have been misinformed by Blizzard in that what has come before is now, NOT CANON? Might I suggest you get that checked and cleared and have someone in authority confirm that?
Not really, there was at least one success in Northrend. Other than that the only time the Forsaken fleet really shows up is in Gilneas where they are target practice for leveling Worgen players.

http://www.wowhead.com/quest=11221


If I recall, those ramshackle survivors ended up sinking most of the Forsaken fleet in return.

They also show up in Vashj'ir, where they're sunk like everyone else.
85 Dwarf Shaman
RAR
1685
I always assumed the Old God's were hiding IN Azeroth at the time when the Titans came, lying in wait, so then after they left they pop out like a big birthday cake and wreak havoc on everything. THEN the Titans came back to Swiffer the place up and lock the Old Gods back in the cellar where they came from.

EDIT: So basically, the Old Gods showed up a little bit, or right before the Titans, and hid. Something along those lines.
Edited by Kwanyin on 6/24/2011 9:35 AM PDT
90 Dwarf Warrior
16140
Stumbled across this in an earlier post. These are pretty serious points to consider, Bashiok.


Doubly quoted for truth. Bashiok, are you saying that we have been misinformed by Blizzard in that what has come before is now, NOT CANON? Might I suggest you get that checked and cleared and have someone in authority confirm that?
Why are you aiming this at Bashiok? He didn't answer the questions, CDev did. He just relayed the answers.
85 Blood Elf Death Knight
940
The "RPGs aren't cannon" sounds like a new development, so it's okay that it contradicts all the out dated text surrounding the RPG book summaries.


Blizzard was picking and choose what to make cannon in the books in interviews before this.

And people who get into lore arguments had this convenient little ploy where they would tout the RPG books when it benefited them and ignored them when it didn't.

So I'm glad Blizzard just came out and said it.

However, it does raise certain questions, such as:

-Does the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow actually exist?

90 Dwarf Warrior
16140
06/24/2011 10:37 AMPosted by Draelik
-Does the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow actually exist?
It was detailed in the last issue of the magazine, so yes.

A surprisingly large amount of the overreaction I'm seeing (such as someone claiming that half-orcs, half-elves, and pandarens are no longer canon) is at stuff that's been detailed in other sources already, sometimes before the RPG.
Edited by Vegdrasil on 6/24/2011 10:50 AM PDT
-Does the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow actually exist?
It was detailed in the last issue of the magazine, so yes.

A surprisingly large amount of the overreaction I'm seeing (such as someone claiming that half-orcs, half-elves, and pandarens are no longer canon) is at stuff that's been detailed in other sources already, sometimes before the RPG.


Nice to know that about the Forgotten Shadow. I don't read the magazine so I'm not quite as informed on it's contents as I'd like.

Still it's something they need to do a better job portraying in game. Right now the Forsaken Priesthood doesn't have any clearly defined belief structure that players can see.
Edited by Falrinn on 6/24/2011 11:07 AM PDT
60 Night Elf Druid
3905
Okay, that's two references to the Magazine I've seen in this thread. Do the magazines actually include new lore, or do they just summarize old material? I haven't been subscribing since I didn't think I was missing anything special, but I may have to ebay the old issues now...
90 Tauren Hunter
0
I think people are overlooking the "unless otherwise stated" part of the "RPG books aren't canon" section.

In other words, if it contradicts something in game, its not canon. Everything else in the RPG books is added fluff.

That's how I see it anyways.
90 Night Elf Druid
9145
I think people are overlooking the "unless otherwise stated" part of the "RPG books aren't canon" section.

In other words, if it contradicts something in game, its not canon. Everything else in the RPG books is added fluff.

That's how I see it anyways.


Fluff is what makes a world.
85 Dwarf Paladin
1555
so much better that Ask the Devs... thank you for this Blizzard
90 Blood Elf Warlock
4395
06/24/2011 05:29 AMPosted by Vedan
=( spell breakers fading away... that makes me sad...


Finally! Someone who understands!

We should make an entire thread about these guys!
I'm very glad they finally set in stone that we have never seen a real Titan before.
90 Night Elf Warrior
5995
06/24/2011 10:19 AMPosted by Vegdrasil


Doubly quoted for truth. Bashiok, are you saying that we have been misinformed by Blizzard in that what has come before is now, NOT CANON? Might I suggest you get that checked and cleared and have someone in authority confirm that?
Why are you aiming this at Bashiok? He didn't answer the questions, CDev did. He just relayed the answers.


06/24/2011 10:19 AMPosted by Vegdrasil


Doubly quoted for truth. Bashiok, are you saying that we have been misinformed by Blizzard in that what has come before is now, NOT CANON? Might I suggest you get that checked and cleared and have someone in authority confirm that?
Why are you aiming this at Bashiok? He didn't answer the questions, CDev did. He just relayed the answers.


Then he can relay the questions right back, no? Such as is here going to be a massive retcon of lore? Is there going to be an errata listing? And so on and so forth.

Licensed Blizzard products suddenly being told to the consumers that its no longer useable as world reference? Bad form. Especially in a mmoRPG.
I never really understood why Blizzard didn't just put out their own RPG books, anyway. As a player who's running a tabletop WoW game, I would greatly appreciate it if they would do so--and, if that means not licensing though someone else's game, fine.

I also would like to see them putting out miniatures again. I found those ever so useful, and the HeroScape figures I'm trying to use to bolster the game just aren't sufficient.
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