If you read this blog, and hate spoilers, I've probably already spoiled stuff for you earlier, so uh.. sorry about that. But just in case -
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
What amuses me is the number of people getting REALLY upset about the possibility of changes that go against the lore of Warcraft.
I certainly respect their opinions and their passion for the story, but what people need to understand is that lore is a history, it's not a set of rules. The past can't be changed (well, unless we head over to CoT and mess around!), but the future is an open book. Just because something has been a certain way for thousand years does not mean that it can't ever happen.
Night Elf mages: WRONG WRONG WRONG.. right?
The possibility Night Elf mages seem to be causing the biggest uproar. Evidently Night Elves can't be mages because:
Their powerful magic was recklessly unleashed by the quel'dorei, who believed they were superior to other Kaldorei and practiced magics far beyond the considered norm. This careless use of magic may have allowed the Burning Legion to invade the world, and finally led to a catastrophic battle known as the War of the Ancients. This battle changed the face of Azeroth for all time, and resulted in the creation of the continents of the world, tearing the land apart and forming the vast nexus of energy at the center of the ocean known as the Maelstrom.
...the Well of Eternity imploded in a magical cataclysm, sending untold numbers to their doom. Many Kaldorei were dragged to the bottom of the sea, only to be twisted and transformed into the sea serpents now known as the vile naga. The catastrophe tore the continent apart into three sections, and left a permanent storm known as the Maelstrom where the well once stood. With the majority of the Highborne dead, the kaldorei turned away from their arcane legacy and began a new culture focusing on attunement with nature and their surroundings.
The TLDR version is that the Highborne dabbled in magic that they shouldn't have, which led to the destruction of the Well of Eternity, which in turn turned many of the Night Elves into Naga, tore the world into several chunks, and created the Maelstrom.
Basically: bad things happen when you play with magic.
So the Night Elves are a little shy (to say the least) when it comes to dabbling in the arcane.
But does that mean they'll never do it?
What if something REALLY big went down, and they were forced to reconsider? They are, after all, avoiding magic mostly by choice - they're not incapable of it, right? They can just change their minds, no sweat.
Afterwards, arcane magic was outlawed on pain of death, but the Highborne arrogantly continued their dangerous sorcery.
Rather than execute their defiant kindred, Tyrande and Malfurion sentenced the Highborne to exile. The exiles journeyed over the sea to Lordaeron, where they founded the kingdom of Quel'Thalas and began calling themselves high elves.
Okay, so, it's outlawed. Fair call. But if the Highborne can break the rules, is the idea of the Night Elves changing their minds really so inconceivable? Sure, it's been quite a while, they're creatures of habit now.. but is it such a massive leap that a cataclysmic event might drive them to change their ways?
Forever changed (again)
This already happened. We just weren't around to see it. Something really big DID go down, we just didn't log on until the dust had settled.
Is it time for round two?
I LOVE the idea of the world going through a massive, cataclysmic event that changes zones dramatically - destroys some, sinks some, tears some in half. That something so massive, dramatic and violent tears up the world as we know it, and the people have to rise up and find new alliances and new ways to fight back. I got goosebumps just now as I was writing that.
Posted by Irem on wow.com Aug 15th 2009
This is why I want for this to be true. As players, we've often only got Blizzard's word to go on that we've lost something. "The Scourge has killed thousands of people!" That's not our loss. Those thousands are just words on a screen. "Bolvar and Saurfang the Younger are dead!" Suddenly that's our loss because they're characters we knew and liked and will never see again.This. This, this, THIS.
If they really want to make us feel something powerful while changing the old world, they have to actually -change- it. Make us feel that punch in the gut when we log in and the places we leveled and played in are altered permanently, and when we realize that things we took for granted seeing every day are gone. Force us to own our place in the world by actually taking something away from us. That's the kind of immersion a time-frozen-from-character-creation game world can't provide, and I applaud Blizzard for not playing it safe, if this is all in fact true.
This is exactly how I feel, and I couldn't possibly have said it any better.
Caving to the whiners, or building on the story?
Most people seem to be in one or the other camp.
Is Blizzard relenting to the whiners who want gnome healers and to fly in Azeroth, or are they putting the boot up this game and shaking it up?
Is it a lazy plot device to accommodate player wishlists, or the next step in an ever-evolving tapestry?
Is it lore-breaking, or lore-expanding?
If the speculation is true, they're going to have to spin some really fantastic stories to explain it all and make it believable. As long as it's done properly and not someone waving a wand and saying, "BOOM! Garrosh is the boss of you guys now, trolls can be druids if you want, and Night Elves got over their silly aversion to arcane magic. As you were."
As I said above though, I don't consider lore to be "the rules". I consider it to be a history book of what happened once before. Who's to say it can't change?
Phasing - oh please let it be phased
If this is all true, I have every finger and toe crossed that they use phasing. I have to say I would be very sad if the geographical changes were brought in and simply made permanent for every player, old and new. I would be sad to lose the ability to go see the old barrens, and i would miss Orgrimmar so, so much.
I hope that they leave the old world how it is for new players (and new alts), but perhaps once you hit a certain level (maybe trigged by a questline), the world changes to post-cataclysm. If it's true, I hope they put in a device like speaking to Alexstrasza at the Wrathgate - something that allows you to go up to old Orgrimmar and say "show me what happened here". This game needs more Wrathgates. That will never, ever get old, and I get goosebumps every time I watch it.
I'd love to be able to roll an alt and go see "old Orgrimmar", and take a picture and preserve it Postcards from Azeroth style.
A small, worn and neatly folded card, tucked carefully into my Orc's armor; that she might glance at it occasionally while looking over what is now left of Durotar - remembering what once was.
Oopsie, slipped into lorenerd mode for a sec..
Please Blizzard - if you're going to change the world - use your magic phasing powers for good. Make us another Wrathgate-type video to make all the little hairs on my arms stand on end.
PS - I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I jumped on the possible-Tauren-paladin bandwagon and reserved "Holycao" (which is a play on the name of my first druid, Caoimhe). I couldn't resist!
Bring on Blizzcon, and the truth!