I've long had a complicated relationship with the story of Warcraft
. Once, I was enamored by the world they've created -- I was one of the earlier contributors to Know Your Lore
, eager to share my love of the franchise's narrative. I'm no longer so enamored. I don't hate it, but neither do I love it. I'm not angry, I'm disappointed. Yes, I often disagree with the narrative choices Blizzard has made with their story, but moreso I come to realize World of Warcraft
is burdened by itself in respect to its narrative. Story and game mechanics are in constant conflict, and when you're looking at a game like WoW
and a company like Blizzard (with their focus on tight gameplay), story will lose that battle every time. Blizzard has mentioned more than once that orcs versus humans is the core element of Warcraft
. Whenever the narrative tries to move back to the roots of the franchise, that's where it goes. And that's the problem.
The war between the Alliance and the Horde can never end. Worse, it can never progress -- and the characters involved in that war story cannot progress unless removed from it. Mists of Pandaria
made this more obvious than it has ever been before.
For the sake of parity, let's look at both Jaina Proudmoore and Thrall. These two characters have had a history together since Warcraft III
. Not a romantic history as some like to claim, but a history. They were allies. Both of them held out hope for peace between the Horde and the Alliance for years. Both of them made sacrifices in the hopes of accomplishing it, Jaina moreso than any other, allowing the Horde to kill her orc-slaying father. They were both powerful, influential people in their respective factions. The events of Warcraft III
made us believe they might achieve that peace. World of Warcraft
showed us otherwise.
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor