World of Warcraft Storytelling Panel at E3
Blizzard is holding a special World of Warcraft Storytelling panel at E3 with Steve Danuser (Sr. Narrative Designer), Terran Gregory (Project Director - Cinematics), Christie Golden (Sr. Writer) and Matthew Mercer.
The stream is now over and the VOD can be seen below.
In recent years, Blizzard has been making a conscious effort to tie the storylines between expansions together and provide more cinematics and cutscenes for crucial moments in the story. Legion saw the rise of an ambitious storytelling project tracking 12 different stories across Class Order Halls, capped off by storylines introducing each new Allied Race. Now in Battle for Azeroth, we're unravelling the unity forged by battling against the Legion, getting two high-stakes storylines for the Alliance and Horde, which are both intended to make the player sympathize with their faction, as well as many factions and plot points from old expansions interwoven into the current conflict.
Recently Blizzard published
, an emotional look into the reunion of the three Windrunner sisters after decades apart. In addition to examining the family dynamics, this comic also propels other plotlines forward. Notably, Alleria's training with the Void in Patch 7.3 is not a neat detail regulated to Legion, as may have occurred had this taken place in earlier WoW expansions. Instead, the comic shows how Alleria struggles to keep the Void contained as she constantly hears dark whispers in her head, with hints pointing towards a conflict between the Void and Undeath, or Alleria losing control of the Void, in a future patch.
Earlier this week, the novel
Before the Storm
released, covering the escalating conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. The novel is filled with in-game details, such as the 7.3.5 Epilogue cinematics described in great detail, providing additional insights into the reactions of Anduin and Sylvanas to Azerite. Earlier today, the graves referenced in the Epilogue of the novel were
added to the Battle for Azeroth beta
, strengthening the continuity between the in-game universe and the books.
Liveblog of the Event
What is it like to take all these disparate elements and make one uniform story?
It's a huge team effort and takes huge passion and commitment. There's a phenomenal team across the company and in recent expansions they've decided to weave the story through multiple expansions with the consequences from one affecting another, rather than keep it contained in a single expansion such as Burning Crusade.
Terran says that the cinematic for Stabbing the Planet with a giant sword wasn't as difficult as killing the Alliance King.
Blizzard loves story and one of the recent additions is allowing your player to be used in cinematics. This can be seen in the Aggramar cinematic from Argus questing.
In Chronicles Volume 3, Blizzard made a deliberate effort to include boss kills in the history, as well as note whether the Alliance and/or Horde was responsible. Details like this help players feel part of the larger narrative.
The faction conflict has always been a part of World of Warcraft and there's normally been a greater evil that needs to be defeated. Now, for the first time there's two different narratives and stories.
Sometimes a character death has to happen for the story to evolve. In a war, not everyone has a heroic death.
There are 20 some quest designers and hundreds of people on the World of Warcraft team that all have to work together to create that continuity of the world.
Blizzard has "some stuff we've never tried before" and surprises leading up to BFA's launch.
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