Eurogamer.net recently sat down with Blizzard Senior Vice President of Creative Development Chris Metzen. They talked about the story for all three of Blizzard's big franchises and the ins and outs of creating stories and heroes for each one.
On Warcraft, Metzen waxed philosophical on creating a meaningful story for 11 million fans who are each carving out their own individual stories on their own characters, and on translating that story culturally as well linguistically between all the different cultures of the people who play WoW. As Metzen observed, a story that goes over well in North America may fall flat in China. He also talked about making lore decisions and balancing the needs and wants of the players and the writers. Sometimes the players want you to go right when you want to go left, and it is a challenge, he says, to decide which way to go.
If you're a fan of Blizzard's other franchises, there's more to read as well, from Metzen's observations on the "goofy" love story of StarCraft's Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan, to the human heart at the center of Diablo's horror story. He also talks about balancing story with game design decisions and how his own personal struggles inform his work.
Chris Metzen has always been my favorite guy over at Blizzard, and this interview reminds me why. Even when I disagree with certain story or lore decisions he makes, the man has an unending fount of love and passion for his worlds, his characters and those who read or experience his work, and it shows. If you feel the same (or even if you don't), this interview is well worth reading.