I played Warcraft 2 and Warcraft 3, and I played Frozen Throne.

That was it for a while. I eventually played the original Warcraft and I liked it well enough. I can’t really say that I’m a fan of the series because I’ve always found them to be on the “shallow” side, both gameplay and storywise.

I think the point where I really stopped caring was with the announcement of the MMO and my mind hasn’t changed much in all that time. Diablo 2 and Starcraft also drove a nails into the coffin of my interest. I realized after playing a couple entries in each series that Blizzard was telling the same story again and again.

All the characters were just so… meh. I don’t know.

What I want to do is compare it to the storytelling in Professional Wrestling but really, my knowledge in that area is so limited I don’t want to bait a flame war — it’s more the philosophy of storytelling that bugs me.

There are so many characters, and with that many characters the individual motivations are bound to get murky. And their principles are so shaky that it’s hard to tell if someone’s standing up for their beliefs or standing around so that they can get beat up. It’s so unfocused.

And not in the tension-building way that ambiguity can bring — more like, confusion as to the motivations and goals of the characters.

“So, who am I supposed to root for?”

Anyway, Warcraft is a franchise I’ve maintained an academic interest in — mostly because I wondered how a story could even develop in the stagnant environment of a hero-flooded environment like an MMO.

I hate the name “World of Warcraft” because Warcraft isn’t a world. There is nothing to discover. There’s a lie right in the title. Starting with Warcraft 2, all endings were canonical. There were no choices. Everyone is a protagonist.

You can’t have a world without exploration.

You can’t have a world without consequences.

It’s just kind of offensive. There’s no room for interpretation anymore, and the story isn’t all that great to begin with — what do you stay for?

Here’s a forty-minute video summarizing the story of Warcraft.

Notice how it begin all mystical and stuff at the beginning, with events thousands and thousands of years before the games begin? Then, once the games begin — time compresses into smaller and smaller chunks.

Oh sure, time continues to pass — but what, a few years at a time?

Why are these games still centered around Thrall and Jaina and characters introduced in the first few games?

It’s been twenty years since the release of Orcs & Humans.

Let me remind you this is a game where some characters have been alive for hundreds or thousands of years. Why, in twenty REAL years, is the focus of the story on the same generation of heroes?

*sigh*

At some point, I will have to go and listen to the entire series uncondensed, just to see if there’s anything redeeming in the series. I mean, at least Guild Wars 2 advanced the world’s history 250 years. Stuff changes. Whatever. I don’t care.