Warcraft III Lore retconning to match WoW is a terrible idea


Actually I have played DnD since 3.0 and you’re completely ignoring shamans connection to the animal spirits, tendency to shapeshift and heal.

Speaking of DnD and Pathfinder, funnily enough most editions and variations (such as Pathfinder, my personal favourite) Shamans and Druids tend to share spell lists completely or partially. In fact most monster manuals or bestiaries give druid spells to primitive spellcasting NPCs in early books before an explicit Shaman class, prestige class or archetype is added in later supplements.

But putting aside my 20 years of TTRPG experience… I don’t have much experience with 5th edition beyond a couple of sessions where I decided I’d rather go back 3rd, 4th or Pathfinder 1st (or recently the rather excellent Pathfinder 2nd).
So maybe in 5th edition Shamans and Druids are wildly different but in WoW they overlap a lot.
Go read Lord of the Clans and pay attention to Thrall learning shamanism.

Also not all druids were taught by Cenarius, Trolls used indistinguishable magic long before Night Elves even existed. They were maybe not explicitly called druids but they used the same powers from the same source in the Warcraft Cosmology. Nature Magic.

The key difference between Shamans and Druids lorewise is that Druids draw their power from the “Life” axis of the Warcraft wheel of cosmic forces while Shamans draw power from Life’s two runty children: Water and Spirit, in addition to the three other elements, but not the Decay element (I think… maybe some Dark Shaman do) which rests between Death and Void.

Course these lines get blurred when Shamans also channel life into the soil and plants and when druids draw power from the plane of Fire (hey Fandral!)
And that’s kind of the point, outside of game mechanics, the lines are blurry because the narrative side of warcraft lore is not a game.
There is no point in drawing lines and boxes around everything because the lore contradicts them.

But yes, I also hope they just split the timeline.


Hell, sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be a better idea to just reboot the franchise entirely using the Warcraft movie as a springboard.

Single-player 100% offline open world RPG set in Azeroth following the events of the 2016 film and following THAT version of the lore, since it’s a lot more grounded than the crazy shenanigans going on in-game.

I’d pay $60 for that.


I’m semi-onboard with that except that… as much as I personally enjoyed the film, it was kind of terrible.
I’d take a mulligan and just reboot the entire franchise then. Remake Warcraft 1 and change the canon to better fit.
The film did introduce the idea of Garona likely being Medivh’s daughter which I think is probably the best origin story for her rather than being a warlock experiment speed-aged to maturity or being a draenai rape-baby and retroactively adding little tentacles to her.
It would also kill the comic canon which would be the best part. Anything to more thoroughly remove that blight from the lore would be better.


The movie basically reinstated the idea from Warcraft 1 that Garona was half-human with that.

And it’s not just likely; according to the novelization, she straight-up is Medivh’s daughter.

And I disagree about the movie being terrible. It had flaws, sure, but I enjoyed it immensely. If it’s doing its job and entertaining me, and if I can like its story more than the games’, then I can’t see it as terrible.


And so do Sorcerers, Wizards and Warlocks. And in DnD, Mages are closer to Shamans than Druids are, unless you’re going entirely homebrew. And in Warcraft Lore, Paladins are essentially just ‘Light’ based Shamans, rather than through other elemental planes.

Except that in the War of the Ancients, it dives into how someone even becomes a Druid, which is (apparently) solely through being taught by Cenarius to harness life’s natural energies, as he is the only Demigod child of Elune. There were no Druids before Malfurion in pre-WoW lore. And in the books going into Thrall’s backstory, if I’m not mistaken he communicates with elemental spirits who allow him to channel their power to do things like cast Chain Lightning, or summon his feral wolf spirits.

I’m not saying it would be impossible to write in other forms of druidism, but at least before WoW launched, there wasn’t anything out there about it. Making Trolls (who were voodoo based) to be lumped into Shaman/Druidism was honestly disappointing. Not to mention they could have made a Spear-based class instead of making Taurens be Druids too…

So much missing potential, and homogenizing of the unique cultures Warcraft 1-3 built for simplicity of gameplay :confused:


Sorcs and Wizards in DnD have always shared spell lists (unless that changed in 5th) but Druids and Clerics have always had unique spell lists with relatively little overlap.
Warlocks didn’t even have spells at all, they just had Invocations which were basically spells but infinite use and generally lower power.

And I can promise you that in 3rd edition Shamans were just Edit: went and checked. I was wrong it was a veriant cleric class, 4th edition both were primal classes and in pathfinder they share spell lists. I don’t know what exactly 5th edition did to Shamans but if they aren’t about nature spirits they don’t match the word shaman at all.
The entire purpose of a shaman, including in real world culture, is to be a bridge between the mortal realm and the spirit realm. Spirits both in the ancestral sense and in the natural sense.

Thrall is reprimanded by Drek’thar for only paying attention to the elements and not the spirits of nature. This is why the Frost Wolf clan has such a deep bond with wolves, because they actually have a supernatural tie to the wild beasts that is explicitly channeled as a magical power by their shamans.

And yes, in War of the Ancients Malf becomes the first nature caster to be called “druid” but other forms of nature caster already existed, such as the Trolls who derived their power from the Loa. Cenarius is literally the child of a Loa as Malorne is a Loa. (Loa are more commonly called “Wild Gods” by non-trolls.)
So even by that logic, Troll casters drawing their power from life/nature/the emerald dream (which are all connected forces/concepts/manifestations) are druids in the technical sense, just not the semantic sense.

But I have the feeling we’re not going to agree and are both just swinging our lore d*cks around now.

Fundamentally, I feel we kind of want the same things with fairly minor opinion differences.


Would you happen to remember which book you got that one from? I thought I had read all of them, but apparently I’m missing some :slight_smile:

And I agree, I think we generally agree it’s just the finer points. Like I agree you can call elementalism for instance, a form of nature-derived power, but I think where I pull the difference is that druids tend to pull from the innate life-force of a being itself. So you can use it to grow roots to ensnare people, heal wounds or deal damage to enemies. While Druids can talk to spirits and commune with the elements, the power bases are from different forms of energy. I believe it’s also differentiated due to the emphasis on the Emerald Dream and the creed of the organization to protect nature. For instance, while the Blood Loa technically allowed trolls to utilize life-force energy similarly to Druids, they utilized sacrifice and blood magics to deal damage and cast curses. So while the energy source is essentially the same, I’d put them more towards a Warlock or a Life-Force Mage than anything Druidic.

I guess the main differentiation I see is that Shaman’s powers ultimately come from beyond just the physical realm, whereas Druids powers come solely from the Physical realm. (Until you get into lvl 20 DnD mechanics, but then you’re a demigod and rules change for you).

I don’t believe Shaman’s are really in 5e as far as I’ve seen (as a legit class anyways. Although I never roll a Cleric so it’s mostly that no one I’ve played with have picked it.) I played mostly 3.5e and 5, both of which had Wizards having heavy spell overlap with them and druids (as well as Paladins overlapping the other spells). There was a cool interactive graph on the DnD reddit where they did a total spell-overlap and you could see how many classes knew particular spells. Only like 12 or so spells below max-level are unique to a class (mostly ranger), but I digress.


Well we know Night Elves are derived from Dark Trolls, which in turn are derived from Zandalari Trolls and the Zandalari culture practiced Loa worship already back in the days of the Aqir and Troll war. (Warcraft Chronicle 1)
Loa and Wild Gods are the same thing.
Malorne is a Wild God and Cenarius’ father.

The Chronicle also shows the wheel of cosmic forces and elements and actually positions nature as a force further from the mortal realm than the elements which are closer, contrary to your description.

Now of course this seems to be the entire crux of this discussion:
If the Chronicle, Blizzard’s official warcraft bible going forwards, counts.

As somebody who has an entire wall full of 3rd edition DnD books, I contest your claims and am willing to site page numbers and share photos of my sourcebooks at you all day if need be. But I’ll save that for a PM.
Druid has the most unique spells of all the full casters in core rules. (unless you count cleric domains associated with nature, plants, animals and elements)
Druid can even wildshape into elementals in 3rd edition/pathfinder.
And yet in my sourcebooks, primitive spellcasters often called “Shaman” generally are given druid levels.

The sourcebook Oriental Adventures introduced a proper shaman class, which as I posted above, plays most akin to a cleric with a tiny splash of monk and druid.


Actually, this is how I feel about Warcraft 1 and 2, and all the stories prior to that, I already read them, be it in a wiki or in a book, comic and everything else, but I want to experiment them in a game, Warcraft 3 Campaign like, and that’s why I believe the true potential of Refoged lies on the possibility of adding extra campaings expanding on previous warcraft lore, The First and Second Wars, The Fall of Draenor, The War of the Ancients, etc. When all those histories have been properly taken care of, we can talk about the future of warcraft lore. I’m pretty sure WoW would be over by then, so maybe a retelling of WoW lore in an RTS perspective with some retconn to better fit the storytelling would be a viable option.


If you have one in mind, I’d be interested in seeing it.

I just feel that Arthas’ story post WC3 has the potential for going wrong more than going right, based on the track record of the current writers. We’ve seen so many stories given just for the sake of telling a story, and it ends up being very inclusive rather than feel epic. As sucky as the WoW intepretation goes, I find it acceptable to move forward from.

Otherwise I see Arthas/Nerzhul Lich King going the way of Darth Vader style redemption story, where the two personas butt heads and Arthas finally frees himself to make some ultimate sacrifice and… ugh. That’s just the way the whole thing is set up. I don’t think you can have a compelling dual-evil persona bad character without ending up clinging on the cliches that sets it up. Kinda like having unavoidable romance in Warcraft story where it’s not necessary; it’s all to serve a story they want to tell.

And looking at BFA, damn if they’re not shipping every character with someone.


Even Metzen wouldn’t save the story in my opinion. Look at SC2, Diablo 3 and first few WoW expansions (when he still worked). They just sucks and Metzen was involved in them. Only someone new with vision and passion can save potential Warcraft IV story.


it wouldn’t be too farfetched to say that it could even be someone that posts here or on reddit. There’s plenty of people with a good understanding of the lore and have the skill to be creative and salvage the story.

But then again…the forums have people that probably haven’t played warcraft games outside of war3 ladder and are saying stuff like shamanism and druidism are the same thing and barely distinguishable…

i mean…it’s in the books that druids (not “druidism” the religion, but actual druids) in this universe are blessed by elune and physically/spiritually linked to nature. it’s not a school that you just learn…i thought that was pretty clear in lore but that’s one thing that WoW is kinda ruining. They know their audience, but i mean, eventually there’s gonna be human and little fox druids all over the damn place! how do you think that’s gonna affect a future RTS? lol


Wait… What? Heck no Night Elves are not descended from Trolls! That was Ret Conned when Wc2 and 3 were made. The War of the Ancients puts Night Elves ahead of the Troll timeline in terms of civilizations, as Azshara was already Queen of the Night Elves before the Troll civilizations started forming, as the Sundering is how the Troll vs Highborne Elf rivalry got set up.

I literally said 3.5e and 5th. More specifically 5th as they did a huge overhaul of classes, especially towards the higher levels. And that still doesn’t change the Warcraft Lore regarding the classes. Shamans and Druids are not the same, nor do they pull their powers from the same sources. Additionally, Shamans can only turn into a Spirit Wolf (not a true animal) whereas Druids imitate actual nature (Tree, Bear, Cat, etc).

I’d have to dig back through some sites, but I remember one where Arthas and Ner’zhul fused, and their uniting cause was hatred of Kil’jaeden and the Burning Legion (for what they ended up doing to both of them, and the fact that they are the truest threat to the Scourge). It went something about how he returned to the Plaguelands to marshal his forces for a march to the Dark Portal, where he could twist the portal to take him to Sargeras’s realm. Once there he effectively had a showdown with Sargeras (after slaughtering legions of Demons and raising them to his side, as well as various adventures and arranging his forces). Effectively it ended with Arthas being struck down and Frostmourne being shattered, but Sargeras was dealt a series of unhealable wounds, effectively shuttering him into his personal domain, as moving would re-open them and drain him of most (if not all) of his powers.

I thought it was a fairly fitting end, no one can really beat Sargeras, but at the same time it gives wiggle room for all the other characters, as well as bringing in more Legion agents (since now everything Sargeras does must be done indirectly).

I’m definitely with you though, there’s way more ways Arthas’s story could go south than it being spun well, and with such a crazy strong character like Arthas, it would be hard writing in enemies to fight him (without some sort of excuse, like fusing with Arthas took most of the Lich King’s powers or something).

Personally, I’d like the whole romantics bits taken out, or done how they were in RoC where it was pretty subdued and ignorable in the grand scheme of things. BfA and other expansions just read like poorly done fanservice now :confused:

Also, I’d really like Jaina to be a real character again. Wc3 she was a badass prodigal Mage who lead her people from Doom and Destruction to literally save the world. Then she sided with Thrall and Rexxar to save the peace in Kalimdor from the warmongerings of previous generations. I’d love to see more factionalism in later campaigns, similar to how the Undead campaign was in TFT where you had Arthas and Sylvanas’s stories going, despite being counter to each other.


Uh, not sure if you’re being sarcastic on this one, but actually it’s now fully canonic that the night elves descend from a tribe of Zandalari trolls that settled on the shores of the Well of Eternity after the Aqir-Troll war ended, they evolved into the Kaldorei roughly at the same time the Amani and the Gurubashi developed their own culture and characteristics, however at a much faster and notable rate by the influence of the Well. The Troll vs Highborne thing came to be when the Kaldorei started expanding and Azshara humilliated the trolls who tried to oppose them. The Zandalari are one of the oldest races around, as they also had an story with the Mogu, who dissapeared way before the Night Elves even existed.

I have also thought a lot about the way Warcraft story should continue, and I’m in for a retelling of wow’s history, but in a new perspective, maybe a whole new history that adopts several of wow’s most attractive moments and things. My intro would go this way, right at the start of Wotlk or BC, maybe a mix of both:

Fifteen years have passed since the mortal races banded together and stood united against the might of the Burning Legion. Though Azeroth was saved, the tenuous pact between the surviving factions, had all but evaporated. Partially recovered from the horrors of the demonic invasion, drums of war thunder once again, while ancient foes resurface in remote lands throughout the world to threaten enemies and allies alike. Lady Jaina Proudmoore, hero of the Third War and recognized as the most powerful sorceress alive, summoned her old allies to a peace summit on the port city of Theramore, fearing the world was in grave danger once again. The restored Grand Alliance, led by King Varian Wrynn from Stormwind, the Sentinels of Darnassus, led by Tyrande Whisperwind, and the New Horde, led by Warchief Thrall of Durotar, attended the conference, however, tensions started to rise as old hatreds and rivalries began to surface. The bickering of the attending parties halted suddenly when the final delegation arrived at the meeting, the Forsaken, led by the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner.

Horrified by the presence of the undead, several attendants attempted to leave immediately, however, the pleas of Lady Jaina prevented them to do so. With the animosities settled, Sylvanas explained the leaders present that her forces recently routed the Scourge legions on the Plaguelands back to the icy continent of Northrend and, with the Lich King still dormant, the moment was perfect to launch a preemptive strike and destroy the Scourge forever, however, she would need their help in order to do so. Jaina also told them that her agents stationed on Nethergarde Keep had recently discovered strange pulsations and ripples emanating from the ruins of the Dark Portal and she feared that an incoming invasion could arrive on any moment, so she urged them all to keep themselves united and forget their petty rivalries and old feuds while she investigated the signals further.

Reluctant at first to join forces with those he viewed as the sworn enemies of humanity, Varian was roughly convinced by Thrall after he commented on how the Scourge was instrumental for the Burning Legion during the Third War and that it still remained a latent danger to the world. In the end, the night elves politely retired and refused to join the campaign on Northrend, as they had their own problems to focus on, however, offered their aid and council should the invasion go the wrong way and with the investigations Jaina conducted, both Varian and Thrall however, agreed to join the Forsaken on the crusade against the Lich King, doing so, hoping to prevent a Fourth War from happening, however, little did they know that they sparked its very beginning.


Except that’s from the Warcraft Magazine Issue 5, which was from 2011, i.e. during WoW retcons. I don’t believe that that is canon as far as RTS Warcraft is concerned. Especially considering the books perspectives on it, and it’s telling of the ancient history.

And this is from the same magazine issue where it’s claimed all Magnataurs are related to Cenarius, and that Kobolds are Trogg’s that have evolved.

In keeping with my stance on how I think Warcraft should continue it’s RTS story, I don’t take WoW re-writing of lore as canon.


TBH of you take that stance, then you can’t talk about canon. You have to be specific and… tech ically use headcanon to keep it consistent within itself


Not necessarily. You can refer to ‘old canons’ or ‘original canons.’ If that wasn’t a thing, then the old Star Wars Extended Universe would have imploded long before Disney took over.


Night Elves, the entire Elf race is descended from trolls, this is canon and has been canon since 2005. It’s never changed.
Chronicle 1 further cements this.

Night Elf civilisation arguably became further advanced than troll culture, but that is despite being a much younger civilisation. Course, what we determine as being advanced is entirely arbitrary.
War of the Ancients nowhere states that night elf civilisation is older than troll civilisation.

The RTS never delves into the origins of elves or trolls so it doesn’t contradict.

But if you’re discounting anything outside of the RTS from being canon you’re fighting a losing battle because the RTS lore before WC3 was exceptionally vague and contradictory. WC3 is the first time they tried to hammer out a consistent story from the lore and then through novels and later WoW expanded upon it.
The first truly major retcon was the TBC Draenai/Eredar fiasco.


Unless you have a specific quote, this is blatantly not true. You can even google “Warcraft Magazine Issue 5” and see that Brann talks about the Troll vs Elf changes. That was 2011, and if the WoW Wiki is anything to be trusted, that is the first citation from any Blizzard Publication as to this Night Elf Origin Story.

The War of the Ancients, literally says that the Night Elves ruled all the forests, which cannot be true if the Jungle Trolls existed at the same time and the Night Elves were simply a branch of mutated Dark Trolls.

Additionally, Male Night Elves do not have tusks like Trolls, the Druids of the Claw took on more bear-like features when they spent eons hibernating. Male Night Elves have no tusks.

I never said that. I’m saying that WoW lore is ridiculous and shouldn’t be taken into account in terms of RTS-Warcraft Lore, because it’s literally undeniable that sizeable portions of it are simply excuses for Expansions/drawing maps the way they did, and having a ‘balanced’ number of races for each side. Not only does this compromise the lore itself, but it undermines itself as they often have to double-back or entirely re-write characters (read Kael’thalas/Sylvanas/Malygos) in order to justify them as raid bosses.

TL;DR - Unless you can give me a citation on this 2005 quote of yours, I’m not believing anything you say anymore.


“The night elves originated from a group of dark trolls living in caves beneath Mount Hyjal, who eventually discovered the Well of Eternity. The powerful magic changed the trolls into immortal elves, who in time abandoned the troll culture and instead worshiped the moon goddess Elune. The Wild Gods, particularly Cenarius, were interested in this new race as they believed the Night Elves to be great caretakers of nature. While the Night Elves nurtured harmony with nature for many years, others hungered for more knowledge of the arcane, which led to their undoing.”

Chronicle volume 1.