Time travel

| Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Did you know that different zones are at different points of time?

For the most straight-forward example, loot at Tempest Keep and Magister's Terrace. kael'thas is in both, but it is not at the same time. Magister's Terrace, in fact all of the Isle of Quel'danas, exist after the events in Netherstorm.

Other examples include any quest chains which move across zones. The earlier quests are at an earlier time, and so their zones are as well.

Escort the Taunka from Taunka'le village and you've moved them to a slightly later time in which they are refugees and are moving both to the Horde base in Dragonblight and even further east to Grizzly Hills.

This is a side effect of a combination of static universe but advancing story. Yes, the story does advance. We are not mere observers learning more as we go along, we are changing the world.

Why does this matter? It can cause some weird problems when Blizzard updates content.

For example, the Plaguelands used to exist at a time before or during the first assault on Naxxramas. As far as the NPCs in Light's Hope Chapel are concerned, they still are. However Naxxramas is gone, which means that the areas of the zone where it was once visible are not in a later time, a time after it moved. That means that within the zone there is a time difference of years: the time of when the citadel arrived and when it left. Except Light's Hope must be in a later time, since there was the DK starting event; that should have pushed it ahead. Yet we appear to simultaneously see both the eastern coast destroyed and the Scarlet Crusade in the chapel preparing for a suicidal assault on a necropolis which is no longer there. What time is it?

How will the recreation of Azeroth affect this between-zone time travel? I have no idea.

In other Plaguelands business,
One of my guildies recently started a blog. It's here. If you like my posts, then you might like the most recent post about the plaguelands and other WoWness. I suspect because it's influenced by a conversation we had a few days ago. It's a different expression of the balance of world and game.


Jarik said...

You should have seen the people QQing about the Onyxia revamp. Because apparently having a mob who died prior to WotLK still be in the game as a level 60 boss is fine, but make them a level 80 boss, and this destroys all concept of continuity and time line.

Anonymous said...

Hehe, it is peculiar isn't it? Definitely something Star-Trekkian going on with time in Azeroth. I try not to think about it too much because it's the equivalent of laying into your own suspension of disbelief with a cleaver. The thing I find really weird about the DK plot is that after the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel you, you're invited to join the war in Icecrown and ... instead ... you go on a package holiday to Outland?! Like whut?

LarĂ­sa said...

Interesting observation. As a matter of fact it never occured to me, but then I'm a noob when it comes to lore. Maybe they should help us out? Set a little "Azeroth date", just as there's a stardate in ST? When you enter a zone you get the information about your position on the timeline.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I've always loved the strange timeline in WoW. The whole chain(s) with helping the Taunka, and then making them members of the Horde was great fun to me, for that very reason.

/helps taunka
/taunka meets the horde
/taunka becomes horde
"oh wait, haha, now we're back at where i've been before. fun fun!"

I kinda like the messed up time-universe of Azeroth

Klepsacovic said...

@Jarik: Thank you for reminding me to write my next post about Onyxia.

@Tamarind: Don't get me started on DK gameplay after the starting zone.

@Larisa: I suspect most people don't realize what's happening, so to suddenly notice they're traveling back in time would be quite the shock.

@magicandmadness: I wonder if we'd be confused if we went back and anything had changed. Cataclysm is going to be a shock.

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