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Humans and orcs are just the pillars upon which the Alliance and Horde were built

Zarhym hit the forums to clarify an important point that is being lost in recent lore discussions around the internet. Chris Metzen was quoted in a PC Gamer interview:

...the pillars of the franchise are orcs and humans; it really is the Alliance and Horde by extension, and it really is those two groups beating the brains out of each other for an extended period of time. That's always gotta be what Warcraft is about...

And as Zarhym entirely correctly points out, it's not just the orcs and humans that are all that matters now, but the entire Alliance and Horde factions that have developed over the course of the franchise's life. Warcraft started with them but has expanded unto everything else.

This is also a good opportunity to place front and center the fact that the Warcraft universe is an evolving story. It's not like Lord of the Rings, where everything that is has and (likely/hopefully) ever will be in the universe is already written in stone. Gandalf isn't suddenly going to join forces with the factions of darkness beyond the great sea while Frodo becomes the next Gollum -- but Thrall? Maybe he'll defect to the Alliance some day.* No one knows; it's evolving and ever changing.

Zarhym's full statements, after the break.


What's your opinion on this? Metzen stated in his interview that only orcs and humans matter, so why do we even have the other races? Aesthetics?

You didn't just quote him out of context. You changed the meaning of what he said altogether:

Chris Metzen:

"...the pillars of the franchise are orcs and humans; it really is the Alliance and Horde by extension, and it really is those two groups beating the brains out of each other for an extended period of time. That's always gotta be what Warcraft is about..."

He's saying that the franchise began with orcs and humans. Those two races are the pillars upon which the Alliance and Horde were built. But the story has progressed and evolved so much since Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. Just because the faction rivalry has its foundations in a war between two races doesn't mean we think no other races matter.

I'm not saying his statements shouldn't be up for discussion. But I beg you not to start the discussion based on a false pretense.



Why, exactly would I want to follow a king who is not only thousands of years younger, but who you claim was delibratly written to be an !@#$%^- (and sorry for the language thing here, and I'll have to find the interview, but it was Blizzards words, and not mine).

This, again, can be drawn back to my reason for responding to this thread. You don't have the exact quote, but you're claiming we said Varian was written to be an [expletive deleted]. I don't know what quote you're referring to because, well, neither do you it seems. But I think I know where the general phrase you picked up on came from.

Chris said in interviews during the Mists of Pandaria press tour that Varian was written with several character flaws, and we expected him to have likability issues. The whole point was to create a character who was a little rough around the edges. It makes for a more interesting story when you see a flawed individual rise up to the challenges of being a truly great leader, which is what we have in store for Varian this expansion. So it was important for us to give him a bit of dimension in terms of personality.

Now, sure, I'm paraphrasing what Chris said as well. The difference here though is I sat in with him on multiple interviews where he relayed this sentiment. So my paraphrasing is more accurate than yours. :p


If what he was saying has been taken "out of context" then why are you making such efforts to ensure humans and orcs are always the "guys in charge" or superior to everyone else?

We're not going out of our way to ensure they're always the ones in charge. But that's been the natural progression since the Horde were founded more or less under absolute rule by the most powerful chief of the most powerful orc clan.


And even the High King idea (which frankly shatters what many feel is the thematic of an Alliance) seems to support this idea.

Similar to what I said about the Horde above, the Alliance formed an allegiance around human kingdoms. If you're suggesting they're thematically better served by a republic or democracy, Azeroth lore says otherwise.

*OK, well, he probably won't do that ... but it illustrates the point nicely.

While you don't need to have played the previous Warcraft games to enjoy World of Warcraft, a little history goes a long way toward making the game a lot more fun. Dig into even more of the lore and history behind the World of Warcraft in WoW Insider's Guide to Warcraft Lore.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore

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