BlizzCon 2013 – How ‘Warlords of Draenor’ Happens

“Wibbly, wobbly, timey-whimey stuff.” Right. Now that that’s out of the way.

I fully support Blizzard’s decision to use an alternate (past) timeline to affect our future. I think that’s a clever way to retread some old content and, as Metzen said, allow newer players to experience some of what Warcraft was like in the Olden Days. However, I want to know HOW it happens, and I want the explanation to be a somewhat plausible one.

What Happens

Garrosh and Kairoz (Kairodormu, from the Timeless Isle) somehow travel back in time to Draenor of the past, evoke a divergence of the timestream, create an alternate reality, and happen to link it back to our current timeline using the Dark Portal as a traversal point. This allows Garrosh, on past-Draenor, to mobilize the old Orcish Clans into a new army and have them attack our present-day Azeroth.

How it Happens

This is what is still ambiguous. Obviously Kairoz has taken Garrosh back through time. The Lore panels stated Kairoz (not naming him explicitly, save for one accidental name-drop), or as they call him “Garrosh’s dragon-friend,” makes this happen.

How? Why? Explain!

The Timeless Isle is already a weak, shoe-horned segue to the next expansion. If they had hinted at the Isle’s existence, and time-travely bits in general, earlier in the expansion, the progression of events would seem more natural… but they didn’t. It became a matter of “5.4 is here, and look, time travel! NPCs! A convenient setup for our next expansion!”

But we have what we have, and cannot alter it. So. Is Kairoz evil? A traitor to the bronze dragonflight? Are they really going with that motive, again?

I want to believe that Kairoz takes Garrosh back in time via the Dark Portal with hopes of showing him his past, the heyday of the Orcs, to possibly redeem him — or, at least, chill him the hell out. Perhaps Kairoz’s intent is merely to observe, but Garrosh takes the opportunity to affect the past to alter the future. Kairoz then, somehow, cannot close the Dark Portal Time Gate Thinger and it becomes a gigantic gaping wound between realities, allowing Garrosh to exploit it and send his Iron Horde through to present-day Azeroth.

Very possible, that. However, I fear that Blizzard will hand-wave and simply say that Kairoz is a traitor or a deranged time-tinkerer or some nonsense, which is an idea a lot of lore-fiends are already tossing around. Ugh.

The concept of this bronze dragon betraying something that has been a part of his core ideals for so long (that is, don’t mess with the timestream!) is more than a bit preposterous, and again goes down the road of “he went crazy!” It would be far more compelling if Kairoz were to do this with the best intentions, and without plans of altering the past… and it is Garrosh who goes all nut-job on us (again) in a maddened bid to remake the world, or all of time, with his design.

Again, that’s my hope. I don’t want Kairoz to become a bad guy, or for Blizzard to say he was bad all along, or he went insane, or any of those overused story tropes they often trot out. They’re likely going that route, given the glimpse at Soridormi’s Murder and the hint that Kairoz was the perpetrator. I’d want something that keeps the villainy more in Garrosh’s corner. At least give Kairoz some amount of cluelessness to explain why he opened up an alternate reality of potential Horde badassery to the worst possible person: a warmongering dictator known as Garrosh. Kairoz had to have had a good intent. Maybe he saw it as more an experiment, and it went haywire? I could get behind that. Otherwise, he would have to have a more insidious intent, and where would they be going with that? The founding of the Infinite Dragonflight? Kairoz does not become Murozond, he can’t become Murozond.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the storytelling happening here, and the characterization, but I know for a fact that Blizzard’s writers can make very high-level story decisions to cater more to gameplay (understandable) than good writing… and I’m hoping they don’t botch it here.

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