Will SoD Lore chosen path be a treason or a dead-end? Underwhelming and concerning


To change a bit from gameplay questions… here is a comprehensive rant regarding story and lore.

Because worldbuilding and flavor fluff do matter, especially for Classic Players.

(I made this video -link- to sum up the main mysteries but I must say I am no english speaker, so you may rely on activating the subtitles translation.)

To list the main points:

-beware the SPOILERS of Phase 1-

Here are the most interesting and hyping facts:

  • 2 new reputation factions
    Will they have more fluff and development? What’s waiting as higher rep ranks?
    Can we expect other unpublished NPC organizations in later phases?

  • great ways of obtaining the Runes, diverse by the nature of the starting zones (split by races thus by cultures and lore)

  • great system and great RP fluff for Priest, with the meditation buffs that show love for the original Classic Universe cosmology (4 different religions), introducing Loa Priest vibes nicely.
    – This could easily be expanded to unpublished Priests which would make sense in Classic lore - An’she Tauren Priests with Sun altars for meditation and a Sunfire racial ability - Titan discoveries for Dwarves that lead some to Titan altars (maybe gaining starshards-like ability).

  • especially good flavor for Mages, who become the Scribes of Classic, and their bookworm fantasy.

  • Goblin Mages are a thing - and seem to be put on spotlight (two books to collect referring to them)

  • glimpse about ogre mages and ancient quel’dorei mages, two other requested classic allied races.

  • fun and relevant things for other classes, like Hunter being able to tame Wyvern, or critters.

Here are intriguing, fun/neutral facts:

  • Druid Dwarf found in Wetlands.
    Who is he? Believer of Eonar? Wildhammer ermit?

  • The Prophecies evoked by the Priest “runes” (memories).
    What are they referring to? if they are referring to anything
    – Desecrated citadel (Karazhan? Zul Aman? Zul Gurub? Sunwell? Sunstrider Spire?)
    – City Enthralled (Dalaran? Suramar? Silvermoon?)
    – King’s demise (Magni? Dire Maul king? Varian?)
    – Seven visitors (???)
    – Thousand Lights (Outland’s mysteries?)

  • A Shadowy Figure behind the madness in Blackfathom deeps. It could be very interesting to have a high elf or blood elf “voidmancer” acting as a deuteragonist though the Season. (I am dreaming of an Old Quel’Thalas zone patch to expand Classic to an RPG Book-accurate Quel’Thalas)

  • Little mistake or bug: Hunter Master Marksman rune for Dwarf, the shrub pops a Quilboar out, like in Durotar, however there is no Quilboar in Dun Morogh or Eastern Kingdoms. The correct NPC should be Dark Iron Poacher, yet to be fixed.

Here are the most concerning:

  • Most of the rune abilities (about three-quarters) are from retail expansions. Few original abilities. It is not bad in itself, but where will we end up by Phase5? A fully retail-ized gameplay and classe-flavor?
  • Proto-Sunwalker (paladin) Tauren found in Highbrand. (Heavily reminds Cataclysm Expansion.)
  • Light crystal fallen from the sky (Why not, per se. But it heavily reminds the War Within Expansion’s Hallowfall.)
  • Shadowy Figure if she is meant to be Xal’atath, as she is again a Retail NPC heavily forcing Retail canon into Classic, which is concerning in itself. Moreover, if it’s meant to be the same canon it would add an inconsistency, as at Vanilla time (~year 25) Xal’atath is sealed into a dagger - she was sealed already when Modgud used her 300 years ago, and she’ll be un leashed in BFA.
  • mage book referring to the Ogre Empires of Draenor. In Classic Story, Ogres are a stoopid people whose Ogre-mages’ intelligence was infused by the shenanigans of Gul’dan and the Shadow Council. “Gorian Empire” existence is a retcon of the (mostly controversial) WoD Expansion.
    The hope I keep is the mention of empireS (plural) that may introduce brand new lore different from WoD.
  • mage book for Nar’Thalas quel’dorei. Again it is Retail lore from the retconned Broken Isles, in Legion. In Classic canon, Suramar is sunken - as proven by the artifact in the Explorers League museum in Ironforge. Yet a mere name like Nar’thalas is not a problem as it may have existed in Azsharian times, like ogre empires’ mages, but combined with the other “clues”, it leaves a strange taste in mouth.

More worrisome even, the interview first week of december

  • they’re telling they won’t take a “alternate timeline” chromie-thing for SoD, in accordance with Metzen.
    Fair enough.
    I didn’t like this way either. Let time-travel bs for Retail :laughing:
  • But doing so, they are stating it is the same timeline and same events, same continuity, that means also same worldbuilding, same cosmology :grimacing:

At first glance I have nothing against the same timeline and continuity if we go with a different “telling”, more serious, “classic” - that would uncover hidden moments of WoW’s past, let say, in Karazhan, Quel’Thalas, Hyjal, Grim Batol, Kul Tiras and even Pandaria.
I do have a problem given the Retail issue is not solely a matter of tone and a matter of “telling”, it is a matter of worldbuilding and assuming a different world with another cosmology.

  • In Classic, Arcane is Chaos (not Order) - from the Twisting Nether, toward the Twisting Nether.
  • In Classic, Fel and Undeath are part of Shadow.
  • In Classic, Elune, the Loa, Undeath, Light, (An’she) are different and nuanced cultures, and not some divagation of a same standardized cosmic grid.
  • In Classic, Zandalar Trolls are not the Zandalari Trolls of Retail, their culture speaks of the mysterious Haruspex, Shera Ali’kh, Demoniacs, Freethinkers, with indian ocean’s vibe instead of mesoamerican.
  • In Classic, the Draenei are a mongrel race native to Draenor, with no relation with Eredar.
  • In Classic, the Worgen are also Shadow/Void-cursed creatures.
  • In Classic, the Titan are a whole people from the skies, merely the Pantheon are their leaders.
  • In Classic, Suramar is a sunken (or underwater) city.
  • In Classic, Sylvanas’ and Varimathras’ intentions, Varian Wrynn’s fate, remain shrouded in fog. (Not to mention there is obviously no “Clone” feeble Varian in Stormwind unlike Retail’s Expanded Universe.)
  • And of course, in Classic, Spirit Healer are a mystery and we don’t (want to) know what’s behind.
    And I could go on and on…

Sorry we will not appreciate a world where the classic fantasy universe and atmosphere is tainted by the “fact” there are SL’s Bastion, Arbiter, Maw out there, with the comically evil mastermind Jailer behind it. We would struggle to immerse in Azeroth knowing there is - or will be - an Alternate Draenor with comically inconsistent Grommash.
And, as a hardliner myself I will say also - knowing there is a Burning-Crusadesque Outland with the Light Eredar exiles calling themselves “Draenei” in place of the true Draenei, who would be stated as mutation from the former.

Retail has its own merits (like the Zandalari of BFA, the Nightborne of Legion) but it has be kept different.

Beside from this rant part, I am still playing and following the Retail game and its story so it is not like I were your usual hater.
But Retail story should convince us with good stuff in Retail WoW, not force us into it, when we precisely try and avoid it by playing the Classic Universe.

I think that sometimes things must be set apart, and can be enjoyed separately.
Think Heathstone.
Think The Begining (movie).

Messing up Classic canon with Retail canon is a terrible decision in desing and purpose.


Doubt SoD is “canon”.

If it is “not”, what prevents them to have it “its own thing”, I mean its own canon (I would follow it first compared to “the Canon” of retail, I must confess).

Pretty sure SoD is canon. See this quote by Aggrend:
Early on in Season of Discovery development we met with Chris Metzen to talk about the narrative in the season. In that meeting we mutually agreed not to treat Season of Discovery as any sort of alternate history for World of Warcraft. The term that Chris used to describe our narrative approach to Season of Discovery is “found photographs”. This basically means you are finding little bits of information about characters or locations that fleshes them out a bit more as fixtures that are part of the living world of Azeroth, but doesn’t change characterizations, motivations, or reframe any storylines in a major way.

The way I’ve described this to people is this; say you are going through family photos and find a picture of your parents when they are very young on vacation in Italy. You realize you never knew they traveled in their youth. Does knowing this now change your relationship with your parents or how you view them as people? Probably not, but it’s just a fun detail you now know that you didn’t before. That’s what we’ve tried to do when touching any established lore characters or storylines. Simply create a situation where you get to learn about some other adventure that these established characters were part of that maybe didn’t bubble up in a novel or in-game story previously.

Fair enough.

I think they’re hoping that including tidbits of modern based lore in there, will make some people interested in it that otherwise wouldn’t be (doesn’t work on me, but it undoubtedly will for some).

I don’t play Classic because it looks ugly and old. Not the only reason of course, but that’s mainly it. Adding new lore but still have it look ugly and old isn’t appealing to me.

I mostly agree with what You wrote. To add to that, I’d like to point out that the way Blizzard delivers it’s lore is becoming completely ridiculous.
For years the lore of warcraft was told by: RTS games, WoW and books. Blizzard was often criticized for putting too much lore in books, instead of the game (things like killing Cairne offscreen). This culminated in BfA and Shadowlands, where the motivation of Sylvanas was completely missing from the game, and only revealed in the book, which came out near the end of Shadowlands.
After listening to Blizzard employees in interviews after shadowlands, I had a feeling that they understood the need to put the lore in the actual game, and not in the outside sources.
But with SoD they completely doubled down on their previous tactic of putting lore anywhere but in retail WoW. Now, RTS games, books and retail is not enough to get all the lore. Now, to have a full overview of the modern story of wow, You need to play a separate game.
From the point of view of a lore enthusiast, it’s just ridiculous.

Thankfully there’s content creators who will do that for us and tell us all about it. :smiling_face:

Ah sheesh here’s hoping SoD was going to be an alternate universe without all the crap added from Retail. Guess we’re gonna have those stupid Vulpera show up too.


Yes. This is the point I criticize.

Actually I would not have an issue with low-polygon classic-like models of some concepts from Retail when they fit or are made fitting for Classic atmosphere and frame.

Let’s say, introducing a race of Dark Elves based on early Kaldorei lore and the Retail idea of the Shal’dorei (with a different background tho).

Retail had some genuinely cool ideas.
Even playable Good-aligned Eredar with India vibes in tBC was quite briliant, the problem is calling them “Draenei”. Draenei in WCIII and Vanilla are not this.

Dark elves called Nightborne are fine, the problem is making Suramar suddenly not underwater.

That are, the inconsistencies, mistakes, and the globally unseriousness/cynism of the world building in the original game’s expansions.

The problem with Vulpera is not their design as beastfolk, it could match easily with low-res model, it’s the art direction having them furry-worthy and their unexplainable absence in the world between WCIII and wow Legion included.

In this matter I think a Reboot of the lore from Classic vanilla would be better for the Classic World and Classic experience.

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