|This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.|
The Warcraft universe is a setting created by Blizzard Entertainment in 6 hours and 23 minutes way back in 1994, when (allegedly, as it has only been rumored and never proven) Games Workshop decided that Warhammer Fantasy didn't need a video game (to hear Blizzard tell it, it was a rejected fan game that GW refused to license). Thus Blizzard took the main concept of Warhammer and created the game Warcraft.
In actuality, it was intended by the marketing team in the middle of development to branch into other eras; then, one guy said "Why don't we just obtain the Warhammer licence?" This was highly unpopular with the development team and it was dropped. Still, myth evolved into something else. This shit is not made up. An ex-Blizzard developer came out with the truth several years ago.
The plot of the game was simple, and the artistic style was mostly drawn from the sketchy scribblings of the viking enthusiast Chris Metzen. Azeroth is the kingdom of men and knights, demon-worshiping Orcs came from a swamp one day, both sides want to wipe each other out. The plot was considered so unimportant back then that all of it was just improv by the narrator.
Regardless of whether or not Warcraft was a stillborn Warhammer game, Warcraft still borrowed their green skinned Orcs from the Warhammer greenskins which had been the first. Notably, unlike Warhammer which had changed their Orcs to asexual fungus apes, Warcraft still retained females as mentioned in the first game. Overall it was an okay RTS game back in the day, but it hasn't aged well thanks to limitations of the time. Blizzard hadn't yet had a hit game, so it kept them afloat and enabled them to make a sequel.
In Warcraft 2, the canon turned out to be the Orcish end. Azeroth, now known as Stormwind (the continent is Azeroth), fell and most of the inhabitants were slaughtered like livestock. What few survived were lead by a man named Anduin Lothar, the champion of Stormwind, across the snows and seas to the other great human kingdom of Lordaeron, where the king named Terenas Menethil called a meeting of the world leaders. Lothar's ancestors were owed a debt by the Dwarves of the Ironforge mountain, and so the Dwarf king Magni Bronzebeard sent his brother Muradin. The wild Dwarves of the north, who rode giant gryphons, came after recognizing the threat the Horde presented. The magical kingdom of Dalaran came as well, as they also realized the danger the Orcs posed since one of their own, a powerful mage named Medivh who was the head of a secret society, had intentionally lead the Orcs to the world while under demonic control. The Elves refused to see reason, and instead hid themselves away behind their magical runes despite the General of their great armies coming to the aid of mankind. They quickly changed their tune when the Horde rampaged through their lands and slaughtered their people. The other human kingdoms were drawn in as well including Stromgarde (Lordaeron Jr.), Alterac (trade hub), Gilneas (smug isolationists), and Kul Tiras (naval).
Over the years, the setting was expanded to include elves, dorfs, trolls, ogres, and all kinds of generic fantasy creatures you can think of in the game Warcraft 2. It was a lot like the last game, but hey, it was still a pretty good game. It was a 90's game: The fluff was there if you went and read the manual, and if you were too illiterate to care about the story, you were also welcome to just play the game and send out your Footmen en masse for the fun of watching the fighting, or to repeatedly click on them to listen to them say funny things.
When Blizzard employees were rich enough to afford weed instead of booze, they started to do weirder shit to the setting in Warcraft 3. Mummified spidermen and cow-people ripping off Native American culture started to roam the lands of Azeroth. Also it was the age when plot holes began to surface, but they were small and insignificant at that time, and it did put the series on track to its own distinctive lore. Units continued to have hilarious quotes. Plus, at a time when online multiplayer was still an afterthought for most games, it had solid matchmaking along with a very flexible mapmaker, which allowed for the creation of some very unique custom game mods. One of them was the unique Defence Of The Ancients map and game mode, which created the MOBA genre.
All this shit culminated into World of Warcraft, which was initially planned as a spin-off, but got far more popular than the RTS games (so don't expect to ever see any more made. At this point, Warcraft 4 would likely have 26 factions and if you are curious to see what that is like, then try this ultimate battle mod), where time traveling immortal dragons are fighting with bugs created in the image of space bugs by an ancient deity while dimension-faring demon look-a-likes are furious that space-faring blood elves stole a creature of positive energy and are channeling its powers so that they can become paladins and so on and so on. Since the majority of the players are 14 year old blizzardfags, no one really cares that in every single content patch the previous fluff is brutally raped or that the fluff is simply stupid. Consistency, what's that?
In fact, WoW is an experiment financed by the government to find out how much shit people can take or willfully deny.
Speculations are that gnomish death knights will make people wonder at least a bit, but I'm much more pessimistic. OLOLLOLOLOL, Wrath has come and gone and no one questioned the existence of Gnome Death Knights. Fuck you, Warcraft.
Some of many examples of Warcraft's horrific experimentation are, roughly in order;
- Tauren Paladin "Holy Cows," (whilst this was initially explained by having them draw not from The Light, but from the Sun, the writers later forgot this and had Tauren paladins worship the Light only one expansion after their introduction).
- Night Elf hippies using environmentally unsafe arcane magic that they avoid because it's addictive and served as a homing beacon for the demons threatening the world.
- Forsaken Hunters that don't have a sense of smell and can't eat what they kill.
- Blood Elf "I broke a nail!" Warriors, (because elves all fall into that stereotype. See Legolas and Drizzt for examples).
- A faggoty emo dragon who has a ridiculous looking jaw and acts like an obnoxious kitteh.
- Not one, not two, but THREE furry races with the Worgen, Pandaren and Vulpera.
- Lightforged undead princess, with holy magic raising someone in an unholy form despite holy magic being able to resurrect people anyway.
Over time people have started to call the devs out on their bullshit, but seriously, for all they get right, the above is the tip of the iceberg for issues.
Warcraft does have a boardgame, a tabletop RPG, and a trading card game, so it is not all /v/.
It's kind of a big deal
Today the Warcraft franchise towers over the world of video gaming like an Olympian god on a mountain. But it's important to remember that it got there incrementally, by stealing the best bits of other people's ideas and improving them just enough to not get sued. Warcraft II took Command and Conquer and made it bright and fantasy in contrast to C&C's drab olive maps and fifty shades of quonset hut buildings. Warcraft III took 3D and made it interesting by focusing on heroes that conveniently reduced the amount of 3D they'd have to draw on screen at any moment; it also gave birth (for better or worse) to the tower defence and MOBA genres. World of Warcraft took every original idea every other MMO ever had and did it just slightly better, leaving behind a veritable skull pile of defeated challengers, at least two of which began with the prompt "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...".