Does Azeroth have physics?

| Thursday, April 16, 2009
I mean both the natural laws which govern the world and the science. I like knowing how things work, or at least trying to find out, or read and fail to understand when other people figure it out (quantum physics is crazy stuff).

Are there gravity and momentum? Is there conservation of energy? My theory is that these do exist and the laws can be learned. We can understand the science of the worlds of Warcraft.

But magic, surely that ruins it! I disagree. Magic can be understood as another force or perhaps set of related forces. Does a mage casting fireball violate conservation of energy? At first glance, of course. But doesn't the sun generate tons of energy as well? It converts matter. The mage converts magic to energy. Where does the magic come from? Obviously there's the mana bar. Water restores it, as does just standing around, I guess spirit is like chlorophyll for magic generation, except it works in the dark. Perhaps spirit collects magic which is floating around.

Still, there seems to be a violation. Mana can create water which creates mana which can create energy and at all steps there is an increase. Effectively there can be unlimited energy. Maybe there is no conservation of energy, maybe it truly can be created. After a long time excessive conjuring of energy and matter could destabilize the universe and cause it to collapse under the force of gravity. Why hasn't this happened?

Clearly magic is the balancing element. It is the cosmological constant. This works in other areas as well. How do our absurd flying mounts stay up with so little flapping, never tiring, never running out of fuel? Magic. In the case of creatures like dragons it may be the direct use of magic. For other forms I think it is indirect, taking advantage of the fact that magic has distorted the laws of physics. Look at Outland. It is shattered and should have either drifted apart, started to collapse back together, or the parts should be n some type of orbital pattern. None of these are the case. Perhaps the massive amounts of magic there keep it in check, just as magic stabilizes the universe.

The gnomes are the closest I see to physicists, but even they are more on the engineering side. Their learning appears to be by trial and error, not systematic study. High elves and blood elves seem to have tried studying magic systematically, but problems such as demonic invasions, exploding worlds, exile, and undead invasions seem to disrupt their work. The magi of Dalaran were magical scientists of sorts, at least until everything went to hell and they ended up having to militarize.

Is this futile, to attempt to bring rationality to a magical world? Perhaps. But so much seems futile and yet we still fight on. Is it that hard to imagine a world where someday we can ask why and the answer can be more elaborate than simply: "a wizard did it?"


LarĂ­sa said...

Oh did you ever read the series of articles describing the natural laws of Azeroth? It was the most geeky and intelligent and lovely thing I ever read. If not, head to Cope and read it. This is the first part, there are a couple more. I guarantee you'll love it!. It was one of the most interesting blog entrences last year, imo.

Klepsacovic said...

Thanks for the link. That was a fascinating read. It seemed strange though that he didn't acknowledge the existence of magic, since it could have been a useful tool for explaining so much.

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