Welcome! This is my blog about fantasy games, and my experiences roleplaying therein.
  • Warcraft Retrospective 30: Inspector Maievert

    Before we move on to The Frozen Throne, I should point something out: World of Warcraft was already long in development by the time the original Warcraft 3 shipped. The book The World of Warcraft Diary: A Journal of Computer Game Development, by Johnathan Staats, helped me appreciate just how far into development it was. Warcraft 3 and WoW were developed in parallel, and they piggybacked off each other’s worldbuilding. This might explain, somewhat, why there are some inconsistencies between them, both factual and thematic: the Warcraft 3 story went through a number of iterations, which were costly to change by the time WoW shipped.

  • Warcraft Retrospective 29: Interlude: The Value of Mystery

    Let’s catch a break from the fast-paced storytelling of Reign of Chaos, take a step back, and look at the big picture.

    This story is not particularly novel or groundbreaking, not even by video game standards. If we judged games solely by the quality of writing and depth of characterization, I could easily name some games even from the same year that beat this game fair and square. Where Warcraft 3 excelled was presentation, and that was made this story and these characters so memorable and evocative.

  • Warcraft Retrospective 28: All In

    Previously on Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos…

    Bravely bold Tyrande rode forth from Ashenvale.
    She was not afraid to die, o brave Tyrande!
    She was not at all afraid of the humans and the orcs,
    Brave, brave, brave, brave Tyrande!

  • Warcraft Retrospective 27: Beneath the Stars of Ever-Eve

    And so we get to the final campaign of Reign of Chaos: the night elf one. And… oh boy, it’s going to be awkward for me to talk about it.

    It’s no secret that I like night elves. This website is, after all, named after a night elf roleplay character of mine. It’s furthermore no secret that I like elves as a fantasy concept. It might, however, surprise people who know me as the Argent Dawn realm forum’s resident elf-lover that I’m really not that fond of the elf concept in general, except for two races in all of fantasy that I know of.

  • Warcraft Retrospective 26: Redemption Equals Death

    As we focused on Thrall and Grom Hellscream, the Burning Legion and their sinister plans sort of fell by the wayside. This is about to change.

  • Warcraft Retrospective 25: Go West (Life is Savage There)

    The Invasion of Kalimdor

    While in Lordaeron, mortals tremble and despair as doom has come to this world, Thrall and his orcs and recently-joined Darkspear trolls continue to sail west to Kalimdor, blissfully unaware of the fate of the land they left — for now.

  • Warcraft Retrospective 24: Paint This Continent Black

    Last time, we saw Arthas lead the Scourge to the outskirts of Silvermoon, where he plans to raise Kel’Thuzad at the high elves’ sacred font of power, Comic Sans the Sunwell. Meanwhile, this was playing in the background.

    The undead theme is an interesting departure from the others. Unlike the noble and triumphant human theme or the rousing and warlike orc theme, this one isn’t energetic. It’s eerie, haunting, and foreboding. Something foul is in the air, creeping on you and sapping your resolve — and the growls of the walking dead and the clanging of unholy mechanical contraptions will be the last sounds you hear before your life, too, is drained away.

  • Warcraft Retrospective 23: Darth Arthas

    Undead campaign

    Last time, we stopped at the shocking twist of an undead-looking Arthas returning to Lordaeron and killing his father, cementing his fall to darkness. And please hear me out: this might be an unpopular opinion, but while the human campaign was a compelling story, I don’t think its epilogue, specifically, was executed that well.

    Sure, by the end of the campaign, Arthas fell to extreme “ends justify the means” thinking, but he still committed all these atrocities in the name of saving the people of Lordaeron from the Scourge — because he thought he was the only one willing to what it took. Everyone, and everything, was expendable in the name of victory over the undead, and sickness was to be purged. He was a Scarlet Crusader before there was a Scarlet Crusade. A well-intentioned extremist. He was Redcloak, having gone too far to save his people to stop now.

    At the end of the campaign, he was not Darth Vader.

    Actually, speaking of Darth Vader, there’s a similar problem with his story in the prequels.

  • Introducing Central Archives Single Sign-On! (For Real)

    My last post made on April 1, with “enterprisey” or just stupid fad (NFTs) features, was of course an April Fools joke.

    What I didn’t tell you was that one of these features, external app authorization, was in fact a real feature in development, and the screenshots were real, too. And now, I’m proud to annouce that Central Archives now provides an OAuth 2.0 authorization server and an identity provider for single sign-on!

    What it means is that external websites and plugins can now provide a “Sign in with Central Archives” button that will act similarly to signing in with Google, Facebook, or Discord. You can even, if you choose to, share information about your verified Archives characters, so you won’t have to verify them again.

    For a demo, see the demo client page.

  • Introducing Chaos Archives Enterprise Cloud Pro!

    Hello everyone! As you all know, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve Chaos Archives in accordance with the best practices of modern website design and software industry. As the roleplay portal grows in popularity, so should its technologies mature.

    I have done extensive research into the trends of contemporary websites and Internet platforms, and with them in mind, I’m happy to present the next iteration of Chaos Archives, named Chaos Archives Enterprise Cloud Pro.

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