Hello. I have a hot take I’ve been thinking over these last few days on Danuser’s writing.
So there’s a lot of problems I could criticize over the years regarding WoW’s writing, but I want to focus specifically on Danuser’s goals for Warcraft.
Danuser’s goal is to reinterpret old lore and perspectives.
People criticize this as just retconning things, and this is true-ish, but I don’t think the storytelling method is inherently doomed.
This is gonna be a bit strange, but I want to compare Danuser’s goal with Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: KOTOR 2.
It’s not super well known, but (part of) the reason TLJ is written the way it was was BECAUSE Rian Johnson was inspired by KOTOR 2. KOTOR 2 has a character named Kreia, and she has a very unique take on the Force I won’t get into. All you need to know is that her views on the Force are very controversial. Additionally, the game makes it clear that a lot of the Jedi Order, while not outright evil like the Sith, have A LOT of flaws, flaws which allowed a lot of preventable problems to happen.
Knowing this, it’s easy to see where Rian got his ideas for book burning and rejecting the old teachings, Luke falling into despair and acting poorly.
Though there’s two problems with this.
- It doesn’t work for Luke’s personality. (off topic opinion)
- This was one of three Star Wars FILMs released of a VERY small new canon.
2 is key here, because while Kreia’s hot takes on the Force may be very controversial, she is also a character in a single video game existing in the Old Republic era, an era of canon that was already quite a bit more established than I think most people realize. If you didn’t like her hot take, well, there’s tons of other eras and sources from that same era you can enjoy while ignoring her. Ultimately, while Kreia will remain controversial in nerd circles forever, she is unquestionably a net positive for the franchise. The Last Jedi? Less so.
The Last Jedi was not only larger and more promoted, but it basically existed as the main source of story for an entire new canon. So to have that new source be wildly controversial and contradictory of most previous portrayals was… not a wise choice.
Which is somewhat more akin to World of Warcraft expansions. Shadowlands isn’t one of several expansions or concurrent stories, it’s THE current expansion in a game that constantly tries to encourage you to only play the current expansion by nerfing or destroying everything older.
While I think Danuser’s reinterpretations could work on a smaller scale alongside other stories (similar to KOTOR 2’s), they don’t work as the main platform of storytelling, as they just leave people unhappy.