Lore vs (statistical) Data

As most of you already know, I’m playing World of Warcraft for a while. “For a while” means “time enough to create about 6 characters.”

Anyway, this morning, playing with my Blood Elf, I got myself asking “what the hell is this ‘dead scar’ in the middle of the map?” And the answer was easy to find on WowWiki. And, to my surprise, they have a pretty good explanation for that.

Which also made me think about the whole WoW lore. I mean, it is not the first time I got impressed by the richness of the lore. When I was playing with a Draenei and doing all the chained quests one right after the another, I got a pretty good idea of the events from the arrival of the Draenei to Azeroth, to the beginnings of the alliance between humans, elfs and dwarfs and the draenei. And the way the quests were designed makes this easy to get, as long as you follow them in order.

Before WoW, I used to play GuildWars. The way GuildWars works is quite the same way WoW works, except that the quests are designed to be done in just one place, then you have to complete a special quest, a “mission” in GuildWars-lingo, then you move to the next area, do more quests, open the mission and so on. It forces you to follow the lore, to learn what did happen in there.

In a way, like Gerald once told me, things get a complete different perspective when you realize that everything your character is is just a few numbers in a database. That’s the way I feel about most people who play WoW: they are just fighting the numbers in the database, not following a story where you play a character on it. They are munchkins, not RPGers.

PS: Isn’t it cool that the two androids in the Star Trek universe make a nice subject?