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Dealing with WoW eventsEdit

I think an addition to the lore policy on how to deal with WoW events would be helpful. Currently there are several approaches, including:

  1. The Nefarian approach: describe the background lore revealed in WoW but do not include any player-driven events like Nefarian's death.
  2. The Aliden Perenolde approach: integrate player-driven events into the storyline, describing the actions taken by the player in terms of "an agent of the Horde", etc.
  3. The Eranikus approach: describe the actions taken by the player in explicit terms, e.g. "The player and his or her raid party are required to defend Keeper Remulos from Eranikus."

Approach (1) simply leaves out too much information in my opinion. We do want to capture not only the background lore revealed in the game, but the significant events which take place in it.

Approach (2) is, to my mind, somewhat confusing and a little presumptive. Confusing, in the sense that unless the reader knows that "agent of the Horde" is code for "a Horde player character", the article simply seems vague and unclear. Presumptive, in the sense that I don't think we can presume as to exactly how events in WoW will be integrated into the lore in future games. If we look at Warcraft I and II, there were similar contradictory potential storylines, and the next game described a history which didn't always match one or the other.

Approach (3) is my personal favourite, as it conveys exactly what we know and nothing more, and makes it clear to the reader the source of the information being described. It makes no assumptions as to how questline lore will or should be treated by future developments in the series. It also avoids conflicts between Horde and Alliance versions of quests, or between different quests where the same character dies, such as the Corrupted Ashbringer Scarlet Monastery event, and the Horde and Alliance quests there.

Any thoughts?--Aeleas 14:09, 17 September 2006 (EDT)

I agree. Approach (3) seems to be the most reasonable one. Concerning approach (2) it must also be considered that not every reader of WoWWiki has done all of the quests. So, if someone reads the article about Aliden Perenolde saying that he was killed by an "agent of the Horde" and then suddenly finds the NPC in the online game, he will probably be like "Wha..?! WoWWiki said he was dead. Guess the article was wrong." It is far to unclear that something like "was killed by an agent of the Horde" really means "there is a Horde quest in the game where you have to kill him". Why not just say it like it is? --Foogray 13:16, 25 October 2006 (EDT)
The Corrupted Ashbringer example brings up a good question: is Renault Mograine (a.k.a Scarlet Commander) canonically dead?
There are quests for each faction to kill him, but as discussed before this certainly does not constitute canon. However, by triggering the Cathedral event with Corrupted Ashbringer, Highlord Mograine kills Renault. The player indirectly causes Renault to die. Is this canon? I would have to argue yes; the direct actions of NPCs against other NPC's should be considered canonical.
However, this would mean that Onyxia, Ragnaros, Nefarian, etc. are not canonically dead because players kill them without the assistance of other NPCs. Rend Blackhand would however be considered dead because the player can summon Vaelastrasz using Seal of Ascension to assist in killing him. I read an official article on the WoW site a few months back summarizing all events that have taken place right up until the release of the expansion. I'm having difficulty locating it, but it clearly stated that C'Thun, Nefarian, etc. were outright dead. --Tyrsenus t c 04:06, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
Just because a player kills a boss themselves doesn't mean they won't be canonically dead- we're not going to know until Blizzard publishes any post-WoW material. It's possible that Blizzard will say something like "Nefarian, son of Deathwing, slain by Alliance and Horde agents" or somesuch. This is why all major bosses are listed as "killable" in infobox status. --Ragestorm (talk · contr) 09:10, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
Just a clarification, there are no quests with Corrupted Ashbringer. It's merely an event. I think this (and similar events) should require different treatment than quests because it's not player-driven in the same fashion that quests are. --Tyrsenus t c 23:52, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

In Patch 2.1.0, Sinestra describes Nefarian as "fallen." I think it's safe to say that he's canonically dead, and was killed by players. As far as I know, this is the first time that players have been acknowledged to have an effect on canon. --Tyrsenus t c 21:25, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually, fallen doesn't necessarily mean he died, but that he has been defeated and lost his position of power. It can also mean the character assumes the person has died (perhaps Nef has gone missing, and she heard about him being attacked, and assumed she has died). Also it doedsn't mean that "players" killed him, or defeated him. The story of who actually defeated him hasn't been told. In anycase until a published source specifically mentions his outcome, we can only speculate on the outcome, we can't write it down in stone. Even if a source mentions he has died, that doesn't necessarily mean he is actually dead. Its not the first time characters were assumed dead, only to be resurrected in future sources (maiev, magtheridon, etc). Additionally, TBC is not on a specific and linear timeline. Some of the quests and ingame events that can be witnessed may be what will happen, but haven't happened yet in the published history. There are way too many factors, in knowing what has and hasn't occured yet.
Also we avoid terms like "canon", thank you. Baggins 21:43, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Can we decide on this? I favor what Aeleas called Aliden Perenolde approach, from the angle that lore articles should be written from an in-universe perspective. --Ragestorm (talk · contr) 23:23, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm for 3. Eranikus. We should definitely include events that happen during quests. Using the Aliden Perenolde approach leaves ambiguity whether articles are referring to player-driven events or simply lore. Let me also clarify what I consider within the scope of "canon." Things considered canon should be game manuals, authorized novels, material posted on the official website, and story information mentioned by NPC's that is NOT revealed as part of a quest. IMO, events that occur as part of a quest fall within the category of lore (for lack of a better term, I suppose you could call them "quest stories" :P), but not canon. An exception to this could be where two unrelated quests reveal the same information or arrive at the same conclusions. --Tyrsenus t c 00:43, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

The infamous Appendix IIIEdit

Continued from User talk:Baggins#Manual of Monsters Appendix III.

My preference for dealing with the dubious information in Appendix III (which I don't have access to, but understand to include Celestial, Hope, Leprechaun, and some other D&D-based characters which are more or less grafted into the Warcraft universe, would be to:

  1. keep the articles,
  2. give them a new disclaimer banner separate from the regular RPG banner, and
  3. make a policy against including any of the information in other articles, such as Holy Light. Incorporating it into speculation articles would be fine, e.g. Holy Light speculation.--Aeleas 12:01, 15 January 2007 (EST)
I strongly agree. There's a difference between information taken solely from the RPG books that says something about Azeroth (such as the population of Zul'Aman, or something like that), and information taken from Appendix III, which explicitly states that it combines elements of the Warcraft and D&D settings.
I don't see any harm in making a second template to straighten out this distinction.--Flamestrider 16:57, 15 January 2007 (EST)

I agree that they should be able to keep an entry, but that it needs to be different from the standard RPG one. And also the suggestion that they not be linked, or forcefully incorporated into other entries should be looked at. The actual disclaimer used in Appendix III is "Creatures from other d20 sources can add an exciting element to a Warcraft campaign. This appendix details monsters from the MM v3.5, Creature Collection Revised, Creature Collection II: Dark Menagerie, and The Tome of Horrors". As well as stating that they are from other d20 sources, they also list exactly where they are taken from. For example Daemons are listed as being taken from Dark Menagerie. Oahkoah 17:07, 15 January 2007 (EST)

That sounds fair to me, a modified RPG template sounds good for the Appendix III section,  Kirkburn talk contr 17:12, 15 January 2007 (EST)
I do not agree with this, and through the discussion at SoL(read from [1] onwards), you might have a better understanding the position we should be taking on this.
The wiki has a need to remain neutral on the topic, brandishing a banner saying we don't think this is canon is not neutral. To the wiki, canon and cannon do not exist, as Blizzard has never said what is and isn't canon, and likely nor will they ever do so. Kirkburn has started to add mentions on the page that it is a controversial peice of lore to users and linking to Appendix 3, avoiding any stance other than neutral on the matter. If we could have a template for this, it would be fine. We do not however need a template the likes of the speculation to replace the RPG header on the page.
We can certainly not do point 3, as several of these things have later made it into other lore sources, and are also refrenced throughout the entirity of MoM. Doing so would undermine MoM as a source of lore, no longer be a neutral stance and suggest the lore, while easily having the possibility of existing in sources in the future, is not and will not ever be official. We don't have the right to make such claims, only Blizzard do, so until such an unlikely day takes place that they do make a statement on that, we should not be taking any active roles to discredit anything from that source. --Zealtalkcontrweb 17:18, 15 January 2007 (EST)
It is not our job to say the articles as a whole or in part is canon or not canon to remain neutral POV, not until we have a valid and verified quotation from an official published source. But we can at least make an additional RPG heading marking it as "Appendix III" for anything that only shows up in Appendix III (and no refrences in other sources of lore in any form).
As well as before we will continue to point out that a controversy exists. Additionally holbeinheim is working on a brand new citation method which may include a disclaimer notice of some sort, where citation to information can be made if there is some relation within other articles. But the material will not be removed.Baggins 17:26, 15 January 2007 (EST)
But why should Appendix 3 have a new header? The implication we consider it a suspect source is then applied (This is exactly why those source headers existed before and were later changed to not be that as it was biased, we shouldn't be going back to bad practices). It should be no different in the eyes of the wiki, and i think Kirkburn's previous method is plenty. If anti-wiki critics have an issue with that, it is there fault for not understand what neutrality is and having biased opinions on sources. --Zealtalkcontrweb 17:31, 15 January 2007 (EST)
It may not be our job to judge what is canon, but we should certainly provide the reader with the ability to make that distinction. If a reader wants to discount all Appendix III material as non-canon (and there is certainly a strong argument for doing so), he or she would need to be able to identify it. If it's interwoven throughout the wiki, as with Holy Light, we've made the decision for the reader.--Aeleas 17:45, 15 January 2007 (EST)
"it's interwoven throughout the wiki, as with Holy Light, we've made the decision for the reader."
Again this will hopefully be addressed in Holbenheim's new refrence policy. Where quotes from material that may be considered "controversial" will have a special citation style. Not sure how he'll implement as of yet though. The only difficulty is that we don't take it too far. The new refrence policy will also be affecting how we cite material from any source, to try to avoid confusion from people who don't have access to one or more sources of info, removing refrences. In the new system a refrence will refers to an entire paragraph or section if it comes from a specific source, and not appear to be a citation for just individual sentences. This way people don't question individual portions and delete them thinking they weren't fact checked or made up.Baggins 17:50, 15 January 2007 (EST)
No, existinace in an article does not make it canon just official. Yes it can be marked that Appendix 3 info is controversial, yes it can be marked where Appendix 3 info is used. But there should not be a header saying "this is Appendix 3 info it is controversial".
The secondary issue is Appendix 3 info is found throughout MoM, so infact, it should not be pointing at Appendix 3 at all, but MoM. It is MoM itself that is controversial, not Appendix 3.
You then have the next issue of future sources then taking Appendix3 info and expanding upon it, which then means the wiki has to decide, is this source also controversial or it's existance in another source making it less controversial. If you haven't picked up what's wrong about that straight away, then it's because the wiki is then disrediting MoM as a source and making it less canonlike compared to others. Only way around this is to make a heading for every single source to balance it, which is ridiculous, the existing ones are bad enough.
In summary, we can not do this for the sake of remaining neutral, simple. --Zealtalkcontrweb 17:56, 15 January 2007 (EST)
Also want to add that MoM is no different to any other source in this. It's only controversial because of narrow sighted people. We don't say WoW is controversial for Night Elves using the Holy Light, we don't say novels are controversial because authors are allowed to make up their own events and characrters to certain extent. Both of these, mechanics and author elaboration exist in all RPG books, and according to Metzen, are to be all considered part of Warcraft lore (he's impled they are all canon, shock horror). Metzen himself is credited and works closely on all sources, he allows the authors to go wild in places, it's created much of the lore we know and love, aswell as lore we hate. There is no reason for the wiki to single out MoM Appendix 3 for this, otherwise we must do it for everything. --Zealtalkcontrweb 18:08, 15 January 2007 (EST)
"This way people don't question individual portions and delete them thinking they weren't fact checked or made up." Why on earth would we want a reference policy that discourages people from checking individual facts?
Regarding MoM, count me among the narrow-sighted. Whatever effort has gone into making it mesh with the overall lore, in my view, it simply does not. The novels do, and even the previous games, aside from some rather clear retcons. But Celestial, Leprechaun, and Centaur (Eastern Kingdoms) simply do not.
My interest in the wiki is as a reliable and useful resource for World of Warcraft, which is I suspect what the vast majority of our potential audience would be interested in. I have no objection to RPG information having a place here, but when it becomes inextricably interwoven through all of our articles, the wiki ceases to be a reliable source for information on WoW. When that happens, the pool of interested readers and potential editors is reduced to a small fraction of what it would be for a WoW-focussed site.--Aeleas 18:35, 15 January 2007 (EST)
Well a refrence to centaur in the eastern kingdoms made it into the Horde Player's Guide, btw. Oddly the concept existed in one of the Warcraft 3 multiplayer maps as well for the Blasted Lands. I'm sure no one is going to weave leprechauns across all the articles... No reason for it. As for your wow-only outlook its not this wiki's policy.Baggins 18:40, 15 January 2007 (EST)
The refrence dicussion doesn't have much place here, but i know Baggins is generally speaking from a result of what i've discussed with Kirkburn about citations and refrences. From what you've said Aeleas i think you misunderstood Baggins.
Anyways, i suggest you read the newer mission statement. WoWWiki is not a WoW resource. Also you view of the lore does not make it so, the wiki must remain neutral unless Blizz discredit a source themselves. People seem to have trouble understanding this is practically the number one rule for a wiki, NPoV, and we should not stray from it, ever. --Zealtalkcontrweb 18:44, 15 January 2007 (EST)
The mission statement specifies a focus, though not priority, on WoW. To me, that does not conflict with the current lore policy, which specifies, "While this wiki serves as a repository for all Warcraft lore, there is an emphasis on the World of Warcraft game. Information which focuses on aspects of lore which do not match the version presented by the game should be clearly labeled."
Being NPoV certainly doesn't prohibit providing context for information, just the opposite. As I suggested above, include the information, but let readers know where it is coming from so that they can judge for themselves, and ignore it if they choose to.--Aeleas 18:54, 15 January 2007 (EST)
The lore policy gravelly needs a rewrite, but here and now is not when to talk about it :p
The thing is Aeleas, providing a disclaimer is not the way to go about it, simply refrencing and citing it as a source is more than enough. The controversy is user issue, and is available for people to read when looking at that source. We should not be running around throwing that disclaimer on everything from the source, as that would be bias. It's not an issue the wiki should be even recognising in it's policy on writting lore, it's simply an issue to list as criticims of the source by lore fans. --Zealtalkcontrweb 18:59, 15 January 2007 (EST)
"The lore policy gravelly needs a rewrite, but here and now is not when to talk about it" We're on the lore policy talk page for a reason. If you think the disclaimers on non-WoW lore are biased, please propose a vote to change the policy. It would be easier to debate with a more concrete proposal for change.--Aeleas 19:08, 15 January 2007 (EST)
I know what page we're on.. ¬_¬ My point is it needs a seperate discussion, not in this one. The changes i wish to propose will appear soon enough, i have far too many policy proposals to write as it is. --Zealtalkcontrweb 19:15, 15 January 2007 (EST)

Policy Addition Edit

Vote results archived at WoWWiki talk:Policy/Writing/Lore/Archivevote --Adys 06:39, 15 February 2007 (EST)

The following is an addendum for the Lore policy to be appended at the end of the current policy.

The Policy Edit

As stated above, WoWWiki considers all official sources of lore to be valid and worthy of inclusion. However, when there is a valid question as to whether a source would reasonably be considered canon by the reader, WoWWiki will endeavor to present the information in such a way as to permit the reader to properly evaluate the information from that source.

Sources which fall under this policy include:

  • Sections of the RPG books which incorporate beings from the Dungeons and Dragons universe (including, among others, hopes, celestials, leprechauns, demodands, devils, and the D&D variants of wyverns).
  • On-line strategy guides not written from an in-universe perspective, such as Mojo Stormstout's Warcraft III guide.
  • Holiday-themed content, such as the Warcraft III Bunny map.
  • Other sources, as agreed upon through discussion and general consensus of editors.

The following shall apply to all articles dealing with information from the sources identified above:

  1. The information will be limited to separate articles, and speculation articles. Do not integrate it with information from other sources.
  2. Such articles will clearly identify, in the text of the lead sentence, the specific source of the material (e.g. "Manual of Monsters Appendix III," "a Warcraft III holiday map," etc.). In addition, they should be tagged with the general disclaimer banner for non-World of Warcarft sources, as described above.

Reasoning Edit

The above discussion pretty much covers it. Inclusion is fine, but there are some things which the reader should be able to choose to disregard as dubious canon. The above policy aims to give the reader that choice.--Aeleas 12:08, 16 January 2007 (EST)

Infobox arts Edit

Unsure where to put this - talked recently on IRC a few times about making official the priorities on the kind of images used in the Infobox.

My proposition would be:

  1. Cinematic Screenshot
  2. Ingame model (only if the NPC has a special unique model for itself - example: Yes for Lady Vashj, no for Tyri)
  3. Official colored art, followed by official B&W art
  4. Ingame non-unique model screenshot

No fan art (belongs to user pages), no modelviewer-generated images (Though having transparency is nice, a shot of a character in its environment is better).

If the character has a specific NPC page for itself (Example, a major boss character such as Illidan), the page describing anything concerning the game should only have an ingame screenshot, the rest wouldn't belong to the page.

Comments? --Adys 10:59, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Good ideas, although on second thought Lady Vashj has some a really nice promotional artwork tied to World of warcraft (the artwork currently being used on the page) that shows her with excellent detail, and interesting pose, and dynamic composition. So in that case, I'd still choose artwork over in-game model.

I'd go with;


  1. Cinematic Screenshot
  2. Official colored art, followed by official B&W art (exception being if B&W is of higher quality, or better detail. This comes down to whichever is more aesthetically pleasing, and best accuracy to source material.)
  3. Ingame model (including models from previous games) (only if the NPC has a special unique model for itself)
  4. Ingame (WoW) non-unique model screenshot.

I'd also suggest trying to keep pictures within a certain dimensions, to avoid infoboxes that are super tall, or super wide, or super squat. Baggins 11:17, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Baggins, though I am quick to point out that different people have different ideas of what are aesthetically pleasing. --Ragestorm (talk · contr) 11:44, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Cinematic > Official artwork (Color > BW) > in-game screenshot > Transparent image of subject > Fan-recolored official artwork (never, but less never than complete fanfic) > fan art (never)

My thoughts, unless this discussion is just for admins.--SWM2448 20:16, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Upcoming revampsEdit

This policy is going to get a few revamps in the upcoming weeks so that it is more in-line with certain policies mentioned in other policy pages, as well as internal policies of the book keepers/admin staff. A good example is the "retcon" section. It has been deemed that retcons and discussions of retcons tend to contain much more speculation than confirmed truth. This is in part because for many of the things we assumed were retcons, Blizzard has been known to go back and utilize the older material as flavor lore, or in some cases further explained to show how it fits within certain contexts.

This change won't happen today, but be prepared for edits by Admin staff.Baggins 19:57, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I've discussed the revamps with Kirkburn and others on irc, and the changes have been made. It would be helpful if anyone could point out any left over refrences to the older policy that may exist on other pages.Baggins 23:47, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

In-universe Edit

While most people right now do this it isn't policy, and I've seen a few too many people inform us that something happened "in the third War of the Ancients novel," instead of "in the latter stages of the War of the Ancients." I propose that we make it lore policy to write lore articles from an in-universe perspective, with the exceptions of "this character starts the following quests" and the appearances section we're talking of implementing. --Ragestorm (talk · contr) 14:14, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Spoiler Edit

How do we deal with spoilers? I plan to spend some time updating the plots of several novels.

I would prefer that there be spoiler tags just because they can be helpful, and I don't really see any reason not to. I think there is some issue on other wikis of "sounding serious" so that reading a spoiler alert ruins that conceit, but I think that isn't really necessary here.

The only issue is where to put them. Some things, things which are common knowledge or announced by Blizzard, like the basic premise of cataclysm are obviously not spoilers. Therefore, I would argue that most lore issues that fall into the category of in-game are not spoilers just because the vast majority of this community has probably incidentally come into contact with any new content. Not much to spoil. But I'd like to hear thoughts.

On the other hand, for novels and manga, which is mostly what I'm concerned about, I've found that the majority of players have not experienced this content, and there is a much larger chance of giving things away if they see it here by accident. I don't see the harm in letting them know they may not want to scroll down too far. -- Dcb2124 (talk) 14:15, September 3, 2010 (UTC)

Spoilers are not used here, per that "seriousness" argument, which is fairly mischaracterizing the argument, actually. Update the plots as you wish. The other thing about pages here is that people shouldn't be reading them if they have spoilers, and with particular works, it's easy to make a heading (generally "Plot") which people will know contain spoilers. It's an encyclopedia: people come here to read/learn comprehensive topics, and such topics will always have spoilers. --Sky (t · c) 14:32, September 3, 2010 (UTC)

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