"Official" lore, and what it means to you?

Greetings fellow adventurers!

Although my paid time in Azeroth has come to an end I do intend continue some tomfoolery in-game (or as much as the level 20 restriction allows), at least for a little while. However, I’ve had a bit of a mental block when it comes to RP in WOW for quite some time. I’ve been thinking about it over the last few days and I think my lack of interest stems from how we, the player characters, have gone from simple heroes to *the hero*. And I feel like the universe is currently inconsistent with itself, breaking my immersion.

So, I’m curious how others handle this conundrum. Do you acknowledge current events, like the big hole in the sky and the rampaging legion of undead? Do you completely ignore these things and simply use the Warcraft universe as a backdrop for your own rip-roaring adventures? And if you choose something in the middle of these two extremes, where do you draw the line on what to acknowledge and what to ignore?


Good question (I think it has been adressed before, somewhere), and I understand your point of view :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t ignore the events in-game, that would just feel wrong to me. Warcraft is Warcraft, and it is what its creators decide it is (whether we like it or not:)

I definitely do not RP as The Champion - I don’t concider any of my (many) characters a ‘champion’ of anything, although some of them have decades, centuries, or even millennia of experience with what they do.

I usually don’t detail my characters’ “résumé”; when talking about it IC in RP, I try to play it off as support missions; patrols, guard duty, lesser assignments.

Some events were so big in-game that one might have been there, like The Wrathgate, The Broken Shore, lots of BfA events…

Another issue is timing, which .

Lorewise, The Battle for Light’s Hope, for example, happened ONCE, while our DK characters in-game might have done it at any point from WotLK to… BfA?


Uh-oh, here comes a longpost.

I never ignore solid and confirmed lore–even when I personally think it’s bad, boring, a really cringy retcon, or just an absolute slog to RP through (cough cough BFA cough)–because solid and confirmed lore is what makes up the WoW universe in the first place and allows all us roleplayers to play on an even playing field, so to speak. There are plenty of grey/untouched areas of the lore where one might find plenty of wriggling room, but the 100% Written In Stone Stuff? No dismissing that, ever. How do you reconcile a character who ignores certain parts of content with a character that doesn’t? The answer is, you don’t. And since there is no community without reconcilation and no RP without a community, this is something important that we should all work on preserving.

Note: of course it’s perfectly valid if your character ignores the lore due to their own IC ignorance. Say, a troll who never saw Teldrassil and claims that the tree never burned and it’s all just anti-Horde propaganda could be genuinely interesting to interact with. A nelf who decides that the War of Thorns never happened so they can continue RPing in Darnassus and proudly announce that fact to anyone willing to listen, though? Yeah, nope. Whenever I meet a player like this–a player who abandons the Even Playing Field–my own character will just assume that they are just mad from grief/delusional/drunk/completely bananas.

If you choose to do something like this, you are actively alienating yourself when it comes to general RP, or at least the kind of RP that goes deeper than your typical surface-level small talk which usually occurs in walk-ups or open social RP. This is also why I believe that no experienced RPer worth their salt will ever be caught dead RPing as one of the actual Heroes of Azeroth (or, as I like to call them, All Those Damn Highlords With Actual Ashbringers), or anyone related to the big lore figures (or, as I like to call them, All Those Damn Sons of Arthas). Creativity is fun and all, but one must never forget that RP is a group sport.

To answer the second part of the question… While I never ignore the lore, I do pick and choose the capacity in which I OOCly interact with it. Shadowlands in general does nothing for me, so I am very happy to skip the events my guild does there and instead remain on Azeroth, where my characters have plenty of work to do (thanks, Scourge!). My characters acknowledge everything that happens in the lore (to the extent they are reasonably capable of learning of it, of course) and all the guild lore that is generated there, but I personally just choose not to participate in the RP that goes on there on the excuse that my characters were somewhere else, doing something else. Not to mention most of them are small fries who would never even step foot into Oribos.

As for the Blizzard plot turning the PC into The Hero… Well, the line I draw between IC and OOC is red and a mile wide, so it’s not a big problem for me because what I do in raids/PvE is completely disconnected from what I do in RP. Linaria Duskweaver will remain a snotty Magistrix with some really shady hobbies no matter how many raid boss mounts I have sitting in my collections tab.


Oooh, now this is an interesting one…

I outright ignore any prospect of my character or other people’s characters being ‘the one’ or the hero. While I have no aversion to characters taking place in many of the global-scale catastrophes or skirmishes, I do believe that myself and my guild especially prefer to take a ‘sidelines’ approach. We’re forbidden to interact with major lore characters and equally forbidden to have any direct impact in an outcome.

Shadowlands, specifically, my guild and I discussed at great length what we were all comfortable with. The rampaging scourge exists, the hole in the sky exists, and Shadowlands exist. We’ve ran campaigns featuring all of these, and are currently stationed in Ardenweald. We have taken part in the battle of Ardenweald and intend on tackling some dreadlords in Revendreth, but will we be shaking Tyrande’s hand or becoming Maw Walkers? Absolutely NOT.

As for what we ignore… We push the boat a little where there has been an inconsistency, where no clear retcon has been made or there is no ‘solid’ answer or knowledge but intentionally leave it vague as to not declare the rules ourselves. I would never nor do I recommend anyone to outright ignore set in stone lore no matter how nonsensical it is, however, no.


WoW is never going to have a story ongoing that fits neatly into most people’s ideals of one or their characters personal story. Keep what you like/want/seems reasonable and ignore the rest. Pretty straightforward. The backdrop has always been inconsistent and although the slips in grammar, standard of story quality and endless repetition of re-dressed experiences they provide have accelerated, it still provides a plentiful setting for sane and balanced RP.

A characters PvE/PvP is seperate from their RP for the most part, we find the comfy place amidst it all to do our thing. Personally I go with WYSIWYG unless somone’s taking the p*** in terms of snowflake syndrome with half-Dargon + half-Naaru characters or Grummle ERP or wielding Legendaries or something. We can always ignore those muppets.

I dunno man, it’s either fun or it 'aint. If ye create a character ye love to play and find people to interact with not much else matters really.


Thanks for the replies all.

Due to the revelations of the last few days I think that I’m going to be taking a break from WOW for an extended period. If anything it will give me a chance to how the current story plays out, and let me adjust the backstory of the character that I’m most invested in (from an RP perspective).

His rough history for those who are interested

Glim originated from D&D sessions in the early 2000s. Originally a rogue/illusionist, I recreated him as a rogue in WOW back in 2005.

Although I had fun RPing with him I ended up disliking being a rogue (too much stabbing of orge butts while levelling) so he ended getting pushed to the sidelines by my warlock. So when TBC entered beta (and we as a guild were fortunate to obtain some beta keys) I decided to officially kill him off as part of an event during the reopening of the Dark Portal.

A few years later, during Cataclysm, I was messing around with death knights when I hit on an idea to bring Glim back to (un)life. Since Glim was an engineer I thought it could be plausible for him to try and escape his death at the Dark Portal by activating a wormhole generator. This malfunctioned and dumped him out in Acherus, where he was promptly killed and raised.

Shadowlands lore introduced a couple of problems with this backstory. Firstly, Glim was originally slain by Frostmourne (yes, some extravagance on my part but Arthas is everywhere in the starting area). Since Frostmourne seems to split souls, and I’ve never forgotten the bad CGI in Time Cop when the bad guy encounters his younger self, I don’t want Glim potentially running into himself. Thankfully there’s many other causes of death that can replace this so no big deal.

Secondly, Glim has already been to the Shadowlands, as have all the original Archerus death knights. They get sent there to beat up a guy for a horsie, and go there every time they use the likes of Wraith Walk. This is the one that was bugging me the most and I’ve yet to think of a reasonable way around this one except for pretending that Shadowlands (the expansion) doesn’t exist.

So for now, it’s so long, and thanks for all the fish.


Regarding that Wraith Walk Shadowlands thing, and the brief (Deathcharger?) quest that temporarily takes the DK to the Shadowlands, I chose to view this as a very limited visit to the afterlife; sort of like an instanced, very small, localized version of it.

In my headcanon, these little visits to the Shadowlands don’t let my DK characters neither explore nor understand the Shadowlands beyond what the quest’s, and ability’s, flavor text implies.

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