Friday, 17 May 2024

A Look Inside How Blizzard Maintains World Of Warcraft’s Lore

BlizzCon 2010 will always be remembered as a pivotal moment for Blizzard. It was during this event that Ian Bates, better known as “Red Shirt Guy,” posed a question that left the lore panel speechless. His inquiry, though unexpected and specific, exposed a discrepancy in the Warcraft universe that had gone unnoticed by even the most knowledgeable experts.

The incident went viral, showcasing the passion and dedication of World of Warcraft fans. It also shed light on the challenges faced by developers in an era of interconnected franchises and intense scrutiny over what is considered canon. Blizzard, with its extensive lore and decades-old franchise, is at the forefront of this issue.

Bound By The Past

Ion Hazzikostas, the game director of World of Warcraft, oversees a game that has been evolving for 14 years. The lore of Warcraft goes even further back, with its roots traced to the mid-90s and the RTS games created by Blizzard. The sprawling narrative of the Warcraft universe spans across novels, comic book series, real-time strategy titles, and expansions, each adding layers to the complex web of orcs, humans, magic, and conflict.

To navigate this labyrinthine lore, Blizzard relies on a team of three lore scholars known as the Lorewalkers. These historians, led by Sean Copeland, handle the critical task of preserving and understanding the rich history of the Warcraft universe. They assist developers in ensuring continuity and accuracy in storytelling, answering queries about familial relations, historical events, and even the existence of canonically known foods.

The Lorewalkers

Blizzard’s team of historians is an invaluable resource for the development team, especially when crafting new quests and storylines. They meticulously research every detail, cross-referencing information found in older games, short stories, and novels. This attention to detail ensures that inconsistencies are caught before they become glaring errors, avoiding a “Red Shirt Guy” moment.

Occasionally, conflicts arise between planned storylines and established lore, requiring adjustments. Blizzard strives to maintain consistency, but when necessary, they do make changes. These revisions are done sparingly and as a last resort, allowing room for creativity and exploration. The priority is to tell engaging stories without betraying the foundations of the Warcraft universe.

Book Worms

Blizzard’s commitment to maintaining a cohesive and accessible canon led to the creation of World of Warcraft: Chronicle. This multi-volume series serves as a comprehensive guide to the history of the Warcraft universe. It provides clarity and helps stakeholders make informed decisions that shape the game’s narrative. The books offer a reliable reference point for developers, reducing the need for extensive research or retcons.

The Alliance

Blizzard’s historians play a crucial role in making sense of the complex world of Warcraft. By understanding Azeroth’s past, they provide the foundation for a meaningful future. Continuity exists to enhance the storytelling experience, not to restrict creators. The historians are driven by the opportunity to assist developers, inspiring them to create something amazing.

For Ion Hazzikostas, the weight of history is both a blessing and a burden. He acknowledges the profound impact World of Warcraft has had on its players, bringing people together and creating lasting memories. The game’s legacy and the responsibility to maintain it drive him to ensure that the Warcraft universe continues to evolve and captivate players.

In conclusion, Blizzard’s commitment to maintaining the lore of World of Warcraft is evident through the work of their dedicated team of historians. Their attention to detail and extensive research ensures that the Warcraft universe remains coherent and engaging. With their expertise, Blizzard continues to shape the future of Azeroth, providing an immersive and captivating experience for players around the world.

FAQs

Q: How does Blizzard maintain the continuity of Warcraft’s lore?
A: Blizzard has a team of historians, known as the Lorewalkers, who assist in preserving and understanding the rich history of the Warcraft universe. They provide guidance to developers, ensuring continuity and accuracy in storytelling.

Q: Does Blizzard make changes to the lore when conflicts arise?
A: Blizzard strives to maintain consistency in the lore, but if conflicts emerge between planned storylines and established lore, they may make adjustments. These changes are done sparingly and as a last resort, allowing for creative storytelling while respecting the foundations of the Warcraft universe.

Q: How does Blizzard ensure accuracy in the lore of World of Warcraft?
A: Blizzard has created World of Warcraft: Chronicle, a multi-volume series that serves as a comprehensive guide to the history of the Warcraft universe. This resource helps stakeholders make informed decisions and provides a reliable reference for developers, reducing the need for extensive research or retcons.

Conclusion

Blizzard’s meticulous attention to detail and commitment to preserving the lore of World of Warcraft is evident through the work of their dedicated team of historians. Their expertise ensures continuity, accuracy, and a cohesive storytelling experience for players. As the Warcraft universe continues to evolve, Blizzard remains dedicated to crafting epic worlds and experiences that bring players together, creating memories that last a lifetime.