WoW Lore – how the backstory of the game shaped Azeroth today

In order to weave a good tale, it is commonly taught that the characters drive the story, and not the other way around. Within the realm of World of Warcraft, there resides numerous species of creatures, both real and of the fantasy world of Azeroth. Though at first one might simply brush off the creatures as simply a part of the game, it holds that most of the species have a backstory and lore, and not to mention a culture and society associated with them.

For example, has anyone bothered to stop and think of any significance for the murlocs? According to their lore on the World of Warcraft Wiki, they had a large part of forming the present-day Horde, even though it was more or less incidental. It is known that murlocs generally distrust most other forms of (mostly) intelligent life. From their nature, years ago, they attacked a tribe of trolls, the Darkspears, and apparently were doing so well that had a group of stranded Orcs not banded together with the Darkspears, that the murlocs might have overwhelmed them. The Orcs and the Darkspears then formed an alliance, which became the center of the Horde. (Murloc, WoW Wiki) Were it not for this mishap, the Alliance could have potentially gained the trust of more races and overwhelmed the Orcs and any other groups they may have had in their Horde. In short, the murloc, an early-game grunt-style creature, was responsible for most of the events in the World of Warcraft.

The history of the Alliance and the Hordes dates back significantly further, even before the events of the first game Blizzard (after its new name acquisition) put out on the market: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. This history is significantly more rich than that of the murlocs, and it tells stories of betrayal, war, and redemption between a few significant members of the Alliance, and their struggles against the Orcs and their growing Horde. (Alliance, WoWWiki)

The current events of WoW came to be, not unlike real life, driven from the events that Blizzard created for the fictional world of Azeroth. Knowing these past events allows for us to make decisions as to whom we help in game. From an outsider’s perspective or even that of a new player, it seems that the Orcs are the “bad guys” and the Alliance are the “good guys,” the heroes of the realm. Having previously looked into the lore of this universe, I can neither confirm nor deny this. While the Horde does have cruder, more traditional “bad guy” attributes, their story shows that they want redemption and to more or less be accepted into the land from which they were exiled. Meanwhile, the Alliance is wary of the motives of the Horde and really just doesn’t want them to have their way, however, they also don’t want to hold the Orcs hostage and kill them off.

Unlike many games on the market today, WoW has a rich backstory, which holds an explanation for most of the Alliance vs. Horde events happening in the game, as the writers at Blizzard used the characters and the universe to tell the events of the story.

Works Cited

“Murloc.” WoWWiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.

“Alliance.” WoWWiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.

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One Response to WoW Lore – how the backstory of the game shaped Azeroth today

  1. ideasbylocke says:

    This is fascinating to me. Traditionally my background is mostly sports games and first person shooters, not MMORPGs. The realm truly exists and your character is just a shadow in the current events of the realm. If you begin the game in three week, and I in one year, we could eventually meet at the same place, fighting on opposite sides. The part of your post that interested me the most was the comment on the Horde being “bad guys” and the Alliance being “good guys”. I feel that your neutral stance is the correct one to have, since “good ” and “bad” are both perceptions created by a previously held disposition towards someone or something. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t help compare the Horde to Cold War Communism and the Alliance to Cold War Capitalism. Not really sure why this popped into my mind while I was reading it, but I guess perception about good and bad is up to the person playing the game.


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