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2-08-2012 @ 6:32PM
One thing I really hated about all the retcons about orcish history and origins introduced in WC and beyond was the re-imagining of Draenor into some pretty, lush, bright planet (with some bad parts) with Blizzard tring to paint Nagrand, Terokkar, Zangarmarsh, and the Farahlon domes as the norm, and Hellfire Penninsula and Shadowmoon Valley as anomalys caused by daemonic magics. In WC1 and 2, Draenor was a horrible place to live. It was cold and dark, with a dim red sun and broken, ugly topography. When the first orc went through the portal and came back telling stories about lush swampland and a bright yellow sun, the other orcs throught he'd been driven insane. And you understood why the orcs were such a hard-edged, hard-bitten race: because Draenor would KILL YOU if you weren't. And you understood why they wanted out: compared to Draenor, Azeroth was a freaking paradise. Then WC3 and Metzen came along and rewrote it as "the orcs were nice guys for thousands of years and then some jerks made them evil but now they're cool again." I'm sorry, I was much more interested in this history of a race of utter bastards doing their stone-cold best to survive on a world that was nasty as hell., a world where Gul'dans and Grom Hellscreams were the norm rather than the exception. I think it would have made for a more interesting story, too, if Thrall were not simply trying to return his race to their peaceful, shamanic roots, but rather actively trying to pull them out of the quagmire of centuries of bloodshed and warfare, trying to emphasize the one thread of their traditions that he believed would lead them to a better future.
2-08-2012 @ 10:19PM
I'm sorry, but the difference between "retcon" and "telling us more" is very real and needs to be addressed here. We see that in Rise of the Horde Draenor IS a harsh, unlivable world exactly as depicted in WCI and WCII BECAUSE of what the orcs have done to it after embracing demonic magics. That's not a retcon. There WAS no continuity there to retroactively change. No one had ever offered an explanation for how so many orcs, ogres, etc could exist on the planet if it was barren as we see Hellfire to be. The explanation of RotH (that it was through reckless orc warlocks tainting everything via uncontrolled demon summoning exacerbated by their having turned their backs on and angering the native elemental and ancestor spirits) doesn't retcon anything.Furthermore, even when Draenor could support life it was a wild, savage world with fearsome predators and gigantic, wild monsters like Gronn. Life was always hard and brutal for the orcs. That hasn't changed at all.
2-08-2012 @ 8:38PM
Well said, Omegan. Personally, it's always been my understanding that that "horrible red world" specifically referred to Hellfire Peninsula, which the bulk of the orc forces were moved to in preparation for the invasion of Azeroth. Taking into account the magical aging of young orcs, it could make sense for the broken, ugly topography of Hellfire to be all they knew within recent memory, making Azeroth seem lush and beautiful by comparison.
2-08-2012 @ 11:36PM
Whether or not you call it a retcon, it certainly was an implausible twist based on earlier material because in WC1 we had the concept of the barbarians (orcs) vs. the Civilized nations (humans). Standard fantasy fare yes (and also the history of the Dark Ages [NOT referring to DAOC]), but it worked as a struggle over the direction Azeroth would take.Then we get WC3 and WoW where the devs decide they want to go more morally relative. In order to do this we get a twist which feels unnatural compared to the past history: The humans are suddenly racist and the orcs had a noble history. The problem is, neither view works in light of WC1, so we have to deal with a curve ball: poor widdle innocent orcs corrupted by the eredar. It makes them innocent, but it also makes me question their intelligence not to ask questions about this sudden "Kill the Draenei" policy.In other words, now the orcs are savvy smart savage warriors who are so naive one wonders how they hadn't already been taken over by some other orc with desires of being a dictator. If they're innocent, they're foolish; if they're smart, they have real guilt.Ultimately the shift in direction is kind of like those webcomics where the author suddenly goes off in a stupid direction. It's his comic of course and he's free to run it any way he wants... but you know that change made it lame and its no longer worth reading.That's not to say there is no place for a story about redemption for the orcs... it's just that the story we're getting has a lot of problems if you start to think of it.
2-09-2012 @ 12:32AM
"Wasn't us, man, it was the demon blood."Demon blood?"Totally. But it wore off the second we were beaten. So you guys are jerks for keeping us locked up."That's .. convenient. "But Thrall came and saved us. He was born without it."How?"Durotar didn't drink it. He was awesome and innocent and knew Gul'dan was up to something. So Gul'dan banished him."He followed all the way to Alterac Valley before saying anything?"No... Gul'dan banished him immediately! His tribe couldn't find usable land until Alterac, that's all."Right.. why didn't Gul'dan just kill him?"Ogrimm protected him. Ogrimm also knew something was up and didn't drink the blood. He took over to save the Orcs, not because he had power-lust."Ogrimm? He was uncorrupted?"Totally"So.. why didn't he just gut Gul'dan, and say 'We've got everything south of Ironforge. That's probably enough land'? "Because... he knew those Humans up north that he didn't know about would send troops, so he had to keep advancing."He knew the likely movements of people he didn't know about?"Dude was a tactical genius like that."Such a tactical genius that he stretched his army way too thin?".. Only because Gul'dan took troops and went off on his own."Okay. The tactical genius didn't know the crazy self-serving traitor would betray him."... While Lothar was dumb enough to walk into a 'meeting' and get ganked. Not by Ogrimm, he was a good guy, remember? It was the Shadow Council."Gul'dan didn't take the surviving members with him?"Most of them. Some probably stayed."And Ogrimm still let them live, after all that?"TACTICAL. GENIUS."Sure. Explain why the corruption turned some different colours."The Orcs turned green from the fel mana in the air. The Fel Orcs turned red from even more fel mana. Green-to-Red is a logical progression. Orcs used to be brown, there's still some uncorrupted ones out there"So why are the Blackrock clan grey?"Who the hell knows?"So why isn't Thrall brown?"It affected him in the womb."Wait.. if he was conceived while the Horde was massing in Helfire, how did Geyah know his actual name?"He was conceived in Nagrand. The radiation had spread that far."And it still didn't affect the Mag'har?"Nope, because Garadar was an isolated quarantine area."Right."Oh, stop nit-picking this! They somehow told her, while she was in quarantine - and they got a magic ultra-sound that showed the baby was a boy, that's how they picked his name so far in advance!"If the Mag'har were uncorrupted, explain Garrosh?"Dude got dropped on his head a few dozen times? Given how whiny he was about his daddy issues, they probably had to thrash him to sleep with a broken bottle."
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