A thought has been rolling around in my head ever since the basic plotline of the WoD expansion was announced.
You know, that whole thing where Garrosh escapes, somehow steals Doc’s DeLorean, and drives thru the Dark Portal at 88 miles per hour. This puts him back in
the old west old Draenor where he decides to make the Horde more awesome before the Alliance has a chance to do anything about it.
We are tasked with stopping this from happening, because… reasons. I’m sure they are good ones that will be explained in the fullness of time.
Granted I can see the Alliance point of view, but what if the Horde did manage to take over the world in the past? Why would the Horde of the here and now want to change that? Why have endless war when there could be a peace ruled by them?
Actually come to think about it, how do we know that the world as we know it today isn’t a result of our interference? What if it was supposed to end differently?
More importantly, how did Garrosh manage to get his hands on the Uranium to power Doc’s time machine? (I’m betting he found it on the Black Market Auction House. Shady dealers, those.)
Anyhow, the way I see it there are several ways this could go.
The first I’ll just call the Star Trek method. His going back splits the timeline and causes a new future different from the one we are currently experiencing.
There is a little problem with that however. Why bother going back to stop him?
Why send our war-weary soldiers on yet another journey to save a timeline that’s not even ours?
Hell, as long as it doesn’t affect our world why should we even care what he does?
Would we even notice?
If that’s the case, seal the portal so he can’t come back, effectively banishing him to an alternate reality and be home in time for supper.
Granted, that makes for poor story telling, so I think we need a different option.
In our second option Garrosh goes back and it does affect us. In fact the whole world is radically different. Possibly even owned by the Venture Company.
I suppose we’ll call this the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure method. Those that travel back are able to make changes that only they will remember, as the rest of the world just sees the changes as the way it’s always been.
Actually, I think The Butterfly effect did a better job with this type of time travel, and it was a far darker film.
Personally this is the only way I think it would work from a storyline point of view, but it’s still going to be very difficult to pull off. His going back has to cause problems though, or we have no story. If we have no sense of motivation then why spend our blood on him?
If that’s the case, and I think it will be, we are going to be going back in time to restore things to the way we believe they should be.
We are also not going to be able to control when exactly we go back to. If we could we’d just send a group back to 10 minutes before he arrived and be waiting for him when he got there. Catch him before he establishes himself, two to the chest and one to the head and that’s a real quick Xpac.
Once again, our characters are home in time for dinner.
Nope, the story will require us to fix a busted timeline, otherwise there is no point in going back.
We will have to go back in time to ensure the Orcs become corrupted. Hell, we might help that to happen.
We will have to set the pieces in motion to start the war. How many characters lost loved ones in the war? How many would try to stop the war from happening to save all those that died?
Our leaders will be there “Boots on the ground” long before the zombie invasion, before the Litch King came, before Deathwing snapped and broke the world.
We will have to take part in the breaking of Draenor, we may even be the ones who cause it.
My Character is a Draenai Palladian. What will be so important to her that she feels justified at breaking her own world? What would cause her, and her leaders, not to take action to prevent the breaking of Draenor? How about standing by and doing nothing to prevent the breaking of Azeroth?
All the war, hatred, cataclysm, death, and destruction for the last 35 years will be laid at our feet. All of it either caused by us or allowed to happen by our inaction.
Is hunting down one Orc, no matter how bad he may be, worth that?
We get the opportunity to go back to the past and all we can think of is making sure all the pain and suffering of the endless war between all our peoples happens just the way it did last time?
We can’t look at this and say to ourselves We have an incredible opportunity here, a chance to do this over. A chance to do it right.
If the best we can think of is how best to kill one another in the past then the worst villain of this expansion might very well be us.
Come to think of it that sounds like pretty bad story telling as well. I really don’t think Blizzard is going to make us into the bad guy. Bad for the story, and bad for business.
What we need here is a third option.
One that lets us save Draenor and Azeroth as well, from some bad thing I haven’t thought of yet.
One that explains why there is still an Outlands that it exists as it currently is for us to go to at the same time as the Draenor we get to try to save.
One that has compelling stories from the past while not greatly affecting the current level 1 to 90 timeline.
What we have here my friends is a pocket dimension.
Somehow, some way, Garrosh managed to travel to a copy of Draenor as it existed 35 years ago. A copy that exists in its own little “bubble” of the universe.
Garrosh, and our characters, can make changes there without making changes to our version of reality.
It also explains quite nicely how Outlands and Draenor can exist side by side in the Warcraft universe, even after this expansion. They are simply two different copies of the same place, the same only different.
Now, while that hurts my head a little, it does make sense to me as a story teller.
Only time will tell if that’s how it all works out or not.
I actually have a lot more to say about the pocket dimension idea, but that’s for another day.
Filed under: World of Warcraft