Ion saying they “mined out all the lore from WC3” as justification for Shadowlands


so in the start of the Asmongold interview with Ion, Ion actually says this: “we mined out a lot of the lore and original settings from Warcraft 3 and onwards”… and I’m left baffled at this.

How does he think this when Blizzard wasted Azshara and Nzoth (old gods in general) in SINGLE patches when they are characters with so much lore, that are expansions onto their own?

Even legion’s final patch had so much potential and content for a full expansion – army of the light rebuilding, azeroth invading different legion worlds, Xe’ra, turalyon/alleria backstory, legion’s end, more of sargeras than him just showing up randomly at the end, titan revival plot, draenei and argus and so much more.

heck, if BFA wasn’t bogged down by Azshara/Nzoth/Sylvanus, there’s another full expansion that can properly focus on a Fourth War.

is this seriously something the game director thinks about narrative of the game? that they “mined out” almost everything from OG warcraft so they had to make up all this new stuff for SL? how is he ignoring how much expansion material (stuff directly tied to Azeroth and Warcraft) they wasted in single patches?

I dunno, this just seems absolutely ridiculous for a lead Blizzard dev to say and it’s baffling that this is how Blizzard sees their lore and narrative :/


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14 thoughts on “Ion saying they “mined out all the lore from WC3” as justification for Shadowlands”

  1. Yeah not every patch has to be a huge story with big implications in the lore, just look at how positive the feedback was for the Castle Nathria/Denathrius story, at least until you know everyone is a dreadlord

  2. All the characters you mentioned aren’t finished yet. Turalyon and Alleria will most definitely play a part in the next expansion(s). Azshara and very likely N’Zoth can also come back into play. Illidan is still out there. Sargeras is still out there. Most people are glad Sylvanas will no longer be the main antagonist, but she’s still down there.

    The lore didn’t just end bro.

  3. Ion is game director, not narrative director. You should look at those people who write the story that wasted these characters so quickly. And since most of it was still under Afrasiabi, perhaps he pushed it that way to get all the good known stuff under the wheels before he has to leave. who knows

  4. You’re putting a super negative twist on a relatively harmless comment.

    It’s not a “justification” of Shadowlands, the man was literally just describing how Shadowlands differed from other expacs.

    You’re making it sound like Ion is going and saying Shadowlands is the greatest thing ever and that there is nothing left to make stories about.

    There’s plenty of legitimate stuff to be upset about with WoW, it’s not really necessary to nitpick every single soundbyte and try to turn it into some super negative thing.

  5. The biggest mistake the writers made with SL wasn’t trying to build an expac independent of WC3 lore, it was that they retconned a huge amount of previously established story to make the Jailer out to be this master tactician who has been manipulating events since Sargeras met the dreadlords way back when. But despite the insane amount of mental calculus and contingency planning it took to make everything turn out the way it did, the Jailer somehow failed recognize a band of mortals who have killed titans and old gods as a serious threat and lost because of his own hubris. We didn’t even do a very good job of messing up his plans. Pretty much everything went right for the Jailer but we were just somehow stronger than him when it came down to it.

    It just points to problematic pattern of recent villains like Sargeras, N’zoth, and now the Jailer losing simply because they keep underestimating us. A better story imo would involve the players actually making meaningful headways against the villain’s armies, winnowing their options down until the only choice is direct confrontation. And while all that is happening, we’re actually learning more about the villain, their motivations, and their ultimate objective.

    I also agree that the devs have a horrible habit of using major characters/locations for a single patch before killing them off, putting them on ice, or just making them irrelevant. Azshara and N’zoth should have had more time to shine rather than each being featured in a single patch of an expac about faction conflict. Sargeras shouldn’t have just turned out to be a giant cloud that was just floating over Azeroth before getting sucked up by the titan vacuum. Argus and Nazjatar could have been zones we explored for whole expansions if the story weren’t so rushed. The list just goes on and on in terms of significant plot points that had so much of their potential wasted because the narrative feels so rushed and frenetic nowadays. I think if this team was in charge of making Wrath back in the day, they would have condensed Arthas’s story down to a single patch in an expansion about something totally unrelated and that the whole purpose of us killing him would be so that we could command the Scourge against whatever bigger threat we were facing

  6. A friend of a friend of mine who worked for Blizzard in the Quest/Narrative department (yea I know, basically the version of ‘My dad who works at Nintendo) recently explained to us that Shadowlands was basically re-written from the ground up after Afrasiabi’s firing because they ‘didn’t want to keep working on that guy’s story’ after all of the harassment he pulled.

    So even before the pandemic got involved, they were already doing massive re-writes of the game at this point and having to rush a hacked together story. They also said that the leak from earlier this year detailing how Tazavesh was to be our hub city and the cancelled Drust raid was real and the story beats listed there were accurate to the original vision of Shadowlands before everything went tits up with re-writes and Covid lockdowns.

    Yea, obviously I get how what I’m saying here looks like made up bull, but basically it came down to what would have been a great lore-filled expansion (per the leaks) being rushed and re-written amid all of the delays and harassment going on at Blizz.

  7. I think they are focused on macro story telling rather than micro.

    Take Tolkien’s work for example. The lord of the rings trilogy is very focused. It tells a story in scenes rather than an overview. While Silmarillion is very macro, in some cases it feels rushed, because it is not told in scenes, it is told as an overview where a few paragrafs can contain a humans entire life.

    I feel like WoW should be told in scenes but as it is now it all feels very macro and rushed. As if the micro is skipped in order to set the foundation to tell a better story later on at the expense of the foundation already there.

    IDK, that is how it feels to me.

  8. Blizzard could create a compelling setting, characters and story out of wholly new cloth during Mists of Pandaria. The fact that Danuser & Co. were unable to do so in BFA and SL despite implementing many nostalgic throwbacks is entirely on them.

  9. Man I don’t know how to tell you this, but they HAVE mined out almost everything from the RTS days. Key word “almost”. We took down Illidan and Kael’thas, we killed Arthas, Archimonde, Kil’Jaeden, and Kel’Thuzad. We fought the Legion AGAIN and essentially closed that chapter, we visited old Draenor, Kul’Tiras, Northrend, Outland, The Broken Isles, you name it.

    So we had Azshara in a single patch. Yeah, she should have had more. But she’s not “finished”, she’s still alive and out there, and can be revisited.

    But what is he supposed to say? Is he really “ignoring” that stuff was addressed in single patches? Is he just supposed to say “Yeah, we’re morons because we didn’t give Azshara her own expansion”? What are they supposed to do about it now? What’s done is done.

    And honestly, if they did another Legion-themed expansion so soon after Legion instead of Shadowlands, people would have been upset about that as well.

    WoW has been around for over 17 years. The well IS running empty, of course they need to build new stuff.

  10. This is why they only interview in a brief window after an expansion announcement, community completely toxic crybabies. I liked Shadowlands (and Pandaria) for the brand new fantasy lore, it’s the best thing about it, and OP needs a Xanax, you’re being hyper-nitpicky instead of trying to see another point of view. You should always be generous in interpreting someone else’s words and point of view, but you’re being maximally narrow and hostile, it’s a bad look

  11. Ion is a great analogy to the writers of GoT. Handed a great story/game, and once they ran out of material to “copy”, they had zero creative capital and completely ruined the franchise. In this case, Ion is doing a death by a thousand cuts, slow and painful

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