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Discussion > WoWMay 13, 2020 8:00 am CT

When is it good to change the direction of Warcraft’s story?

I keep thinking about how brilliant the swerve was in Warcraftwhen it comes to the story of the Horde.

The Horde in Warcraft and Warcraft 2 was, to put it mildly, a one-note group of monstrous, malevolent invaders who rampaged their way across Azeroth after they’d ruined their own world with demon worship and vile magic. There wasn’t anything noble or likable about them. Even characters like Orgrim Doomhammer were, at best, slightly more competent killers.

But the story got deeper as it progressed, and when Warcraft 3 came to pass, it took the character of Thrall, son of Durotan, and used him to bring a whole new sensibility to the Horde. Suddenly Orcs weren’t just the swarm of invaders we saw in the previous games — they were conflicted survivors, some tortured by their pasts, led by the orphaned son of their most conscientious objectors. Trolls were given a new gloss as the Darkspear entered the story, and when the Horde arrived on Kalimdor (a continent that didn’t even exist back in the original two games) we got to meet the Tauren, huge and powerful figures with a deep connection on a mystical level to the world of Azeroth.

Then we got to see the story of the Undead, as the Human campaign gave us Arthas, a hero who went bad, betrayed his own people in a mad quest for revenge and ultimately ended up in service to the very powers he’d once fought to stop. His victims ended up the Forsaken, walking corpses forced to endure past their own deaths. It was a brand new take unlike anything we ever saw in the Warcraft setting before it. It’s easy to forget how revolutionary Warcraft 3 really was — how characters like Thrall, Sylvanas, Arthas, and others made the setting so different from what it had been.

So my question for you is, when should the Warcraft setting bring in whole new elements? When is it a good idea to just go beyond anything we’ve ever seen before? Shadowlands will definitely expand a few scraps of lore we’ve seen in ways wholly new to the game — how do you feel about it? Are you excited to go to a place we’ve never seen before, and do you think it’s reminiscent of the first time people played Warcraft 3 and saw Outland and Kalimdor, places that they’d never been in the Warcraft games?

What changes have enriched the game all these years, and which ones would you rather they have never made?

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