Talk:Richard A. Knaak

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Some counters to criticism

We have examples of the things that have been legitimized, but none of the things that have been contradicted. I think until we see them the idea that the series is unreliable is a tough thing to lay out as fact.

Especially considering the Caverns of Time expansion and the inclusion of all of Knaak's characters in the WCIII game manual. Obviously Blizzard feels his version of history to be legitimate. --Steven Kilpatrick 00:28, 19 August 2006

Criticism of "War of the Ancients Trilogy"

After War of the Ancients, Knaak received much criticism from fans for his inaccurate portrayal of events. Many things outlined in versions of the War published both before and after his books tell a different story, particularly in such characters as Tyrande, Maiev and Mannoroth, but chiefly in the case of Azshara, who was demoted from a powerful and dynamic villainess to a rather mundane, passive character. In a general sense, women who were originally described as influential figures in the conflict assume roles comprised mostly of non-action.

There is also some suspicion that the involvement of Knaak's original characters, Rhonin and Krasus, in events they originally had no place in, to be self-indulgent, and unnecessarily confusing. Accomplishments formerly credited to other characters now fall under either Rhonin or Krasus.

Though some have opted to entirely ignore the trilogy, there is evidence that some of it is legitimate. Characters introduced in the books: namely Xavius, Jared, Ravencrest, and Varo'then, are supported by other - in some cases multiple - sources. However, these same sources have illegitimized other claims Knaak makes in his trilogy. As such, the entire piece has been rendered unreliable, barring evidence from alternate sources. This has confused newcomers to the franchise and veterans alike.

While Knaak is respected for his contributions to Warcraft, a significant portion of the fan community have been left unsatisfied with his work. --Nephalim 23:56, 12 April 2006

Well his work often displays him trying to dig his hand into the Warcraft universe through Krasus and Rhonin. War of the Ancients was okay as far as an overall view, but when you actually notice his word choice and character development, the characters lose tone and all start to sound the same. I also do agree that Knaak attempts to credit his own characters with what the original people did. The fact that Rhonin and Krasus were sent back to 'fix' the problem seems unnecessary since it was just Nozdormu battling against the Old Gods who were somehow attempting to alter time. I don't even see the time altering aspect of it, other than sending Krasus and Rhonin back, because it later turns out that originally that was the goal of the Old Gods to corrupt Neltharion to make the Demon Soul and use it on the portal that was summoning Sargeras to make the portal for the Old Gods, which even as the portal was closing, they still were able to reach out. So had Krasus and Rhonin not been sent back in time, it would've all played out normally. Rhonin and Krasus had no real parts that actually mattered in the War. Krasus was rendered near catatonic and was afflicted by an overly paranoid Neltharion. Rhonin somehow gained tons of power because of the presence of the Well of Eternity, even though humans were never attuned to it like the Night Elves. He shouldn't've been as powerful unless he actually approached the Well and imbued himself with its power. I think if someone like Christie Golden wrote the story without the time alterations, eliminate Hakkar the Houndmaster, Rhonin and Krasus from the story, and just write what originally happened in the war, it would've been great. She can actually develop characters, set the scene, and use more than one phrase throughout the story. IconSmall FelbloodElf Male.gifWarlockMykael Mourningsun

Validation of "War of the Ancients Trilogy"

In an interview with Blizzplanet, Knaak addresses many of these issues. Blizzard sanctioned all the changes made to the timeline, and in some cases, requested them. Chris Metzen is also fairly involved in keeping the lore in line and helped sculpt many of the events in the trilogy. The inclusion of the characters mentioned above were there because Chris wanted to make sure fans of the earlier novel would have familiar characters to relate to. In addition, recent announcements make the Caverns of Time and the dragon Nozdormu extremely important players in the expansion, lending the books further credibility.

One might question how much evidence critics need when Knaak's version of history is listed along side the games in the series as official cannon on the website. An exerpt from an interview [[1]] seems to put the question to rest:

Medievaldragon - I heard Chris Metzen works with you when creating these books and that the stories of these pocketbooks are part of the Warcraft Lore 100%. Material that obviously affects the Quests in World of Warcraft the MMORPG

Richard - Very much true. Chris wants everything matching up as best as can be expected. He knows how much the fans love this world , and we go over every chapter, outline, etc. I credit him much for the success of the books and games. He wants to please the fans, believe me. Even the manga will match up!

Medievaldragon - How much time do Chris Metzen and you spend polishing the book ideas? Does he check with you over the phone every now and then to guide you on the storyline?

Richard - Hours upon hours. If I don't speak with him each week by e-mail or phone every couple days, I'd be surprised. Even tiny things get changed, often almost through the entire project. Makes for some fun hunting through the manuscripts

The appearance of other Knaak created lore within the game manuals and within the lore of Warcraft itself is further validation of Knaak's take on the history. There had never been time-travel before Knaak was given carte-blanche by Chris to write about it. Now, this idea, complete with Nozdormu's involvement, have become one of the key anchors to the upcoming expansion.

The above article seems mostly the opinion of one fan and not the opinion of many. Limited research shows that readers on both and Barnes and Noble's website were more than happy with the trillogy. Limited research also discovered the, "evidence from alternate sources," that the earlier writer calls for. Limited research it seems our, "critic," did not do. -- Steven Kilpatrick 01:17, 19 August 2006

Questioning of the Source

If the argument is whether or not Knaak is reliable, citing Knaak as a source to substantiate his reliability isn't really a logical strategy. You're right, it's a tough thing to lay out, and perhaps I was premature in posting that on the wiki page, but I have done my research, and he has still come up wanting.

The alternate timeline isn't the only problem with the Trilogy. Several attributes which were outside Rhonin/Krasus's involvement were changed as well, such as Maiev's age, Azshara's involvement, the role of sorcery in night elven society and the resistance, Archimonde and Mannoroth's switch, the mutation of the high elves, and the nature of arcane corruption. The stories War of the Ancients contradict still reflect the original storyline.

Everyone always cites Metzen's involvement, but we have no idea what role he played, and Metzen himself has never commented on the subject.

As for alternate sources, I'll cite Shadows and Light, which is more recent than the trilogy, and World of Warcraft itself. Shadows and Light depicts a very different series of events, including characters which had debuted in the trilogy, such as Xavius. World of Warcraft also substantiates the original philosophy of arcane corruption, the original story of the high elves' mutation, and Archimonde and Mannoroth's original roles. Shadows and Light was also allegedly heavily influenced by Metzen and other Blizzard story developers, and World of Warcraft should be obvious. These alone poke enough holes in the Trilogy to make one question what's true in it and what isn't, and these are all completely separate from the alternate timeline Rhonin and Krasus would have kickstarted.

While Amazon and Barnes and Nobles may not boast many negative reviews, if you've been involved in any forums of the Warcraft community, there is a notable representation of fans who have were dissatisfied with the trilogy and the litany of changes/mistakes.

While I have no intention to defend Knaak, I think it's worth pointing out that Shadows and Light is, in itself, a flawed source. I only remember one example particlarly, but it states rather firmly that Maiev is dead, when she pops up alive and well in Burning Crusade. I've been trying to get into Knaak's work recently (Day of the Dragon), and the writing just seems terrible. Fifty pages of pretty elf. Including a rather bizarre comment about Elves (the High variety) having strength far in excess of humans. Odd, seeing as they have consistently poor physical abilities (bow not withstanding) in the RTS, and (Blood Elves) have no markedly improved physical abilities in WoW. Anyway, sorry to babble. Darien Shields 03:55, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I point out that fan dissatisfaction is, under no circumstances, a sign as to whether or not a source is reliable. Also, unless an official statement is made invalidating certain sources, we must regard them as reliable, and note where they differ from other sources. We don;t have to like it, but that's the way it is. And the argument is more a case of whether Knaak's account should trump other sources in terms of a conflict, which does open a whole new set of questions. --Ragestorm (talk · contr) 04:57, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Is this a typo?

[O]thers argue that, since the books are considered canon to the lore, it makes no difference how Knaak treats the characters provided that the story is good.
If the books are considered canon, it seems that how characters are treated makes a tremendous difference. Just saying. (On an off note, the story being good is a moot point. Don't take my word alone on this...but Christie Golden has more talent in her left thumb than Knaak has in his entire being.)
IconSmall Draenei Female.gif Farseer Loloteacontrib 04:19, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Opinions aside, that sentence doesn't work as a counterargument to the preceding statement...--Ragestorm (talk · contr) 17:42, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
My point exactly. The bolded sentence (which I was quoting) was being used as a counterargument, and I didn't think it worked. Sorry if that caused confusion.
IconSmall Draenei Female.gif Farseer Loloteacontrib 21:14, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Canon to the lore?

It states in the controversy section that Knaak's works are "canon to the lore". The major involvement of characters such as Alexstrasza, Krasus and Rhonin in the Wrath of the Lich King prove that this is no longer the case and that Richard A. Knaak's "contributions" (which I personally dispise) to Warcraft lore are as official and as relevent as anything Metzen has or will create. -Azkera 03:31 (UTC) 31 December 2008

Anything in specific that you would say disagrees with what Knaak has written? --Sky (t · c · w) 03:59, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Err... Azkera, what exactly is it that you're trying to say? are you generally complaining, or are you proposing that the article be changed? --Ragestorm (talk · contr) 04:26, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I think he's suggesting that the "novels as canon" bit be removed from controversy, because it's stated fact that they are and thus not controversial (much as some people might complain otherwise). -- Dark T Zeratul (talk) 05:06, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that is what he saying too. Rolandius Paladin.gif (talk - contr) 05:09, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

My apologies for not being clear. I think that the section stating that the novels are canon to lore should be removed as, evidently, that is no longer the case. - Azkera 13:40 (UTC) 31 December 2008

Ah. Agreed. --Ragestorm (talk · contr) 14:03, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
What happened to "While we cannot stop the use of the term "canon" in talk page discussions, the term is not allowed in articles." that is stated in the lore article. Rolandius Paladin.gif (talk - contr) 14:05, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to have to propose editing that. Blizzard obviously uses the term, and it obviously means something to them, so we need to get over it and start using it, albiet sparingly. I've edited the section. Feel free to fix, expand, etc., just remember the purpose isn't flaming.--Ragestorm (talk · contr) 14:11, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay dokie. I just remembered a quote about the word "canon" a few minutes ago so thought I would throw it in here. Rolandius Paladin.gif (talk - contr) 14:18, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Night of the Dragon

Was it just me, or did that book seem like one big mess that didn't have to happen? All it really pointed out that was anything good was that Deathwing resided beneath Grim Batol. But Sinestra was too powerful for just a consort to Deathwing. And extremely annoying. If we are able to eliminate one of Malygos' consorts with the aid of a red dragon, why couldn't a human wizard, a group of dwarves, a high elven ranger, a draenei priest, an ancient red dragon and a young blue dragon able to take her down? That's a raid group right there, gamewise. And why does Knaak always have to cause something to happen to Krasus to prevent him from being at his strongest? Is he just trying to make us think Krasus is all big and bad, but something always causes a Rez Sickness effect on him? Kalec was too emotional for a dragon, even a young one. Was he supposed to show how obsessed with magic the blue flight is, that he fell in love with a human incarnation of the Sunwell's remaining power? And with the Twilight dragons, they're just unstable nether dragon rip offs. Nether drakes were black dragon eggs that were infused with raw, arcane, cosmic power... and now Twilight dragons are old, preserved dragon eggs that have been fed that power, but are a threat to themselves more than anything else. With Sinestra, she was too full of herself and blinded, and then adding a little, weaselly pet blood elf who happened to be related to the Windrunner sisters was unneeded. I thought WotA was a bit bad... but this was just... insanely ridiculous. Why does any of Blizz tolerate this guy's "work"? It just shows that being credited as an author grants you the ability to make up totally outlandish crap for what was originally a great story. Sorry if that turned out to be me bashing on the guy, but what was the true purpose of this book? They didn't prevent Twilight dragons from being created because three still make an appearance in Obsidian Sanctum along with tons of eggs. It just seemed too full of useless information. As does most of his other books... Why couldn't the story've been Deathwing obtaining a nether drake and seeing if he could use its power on other dragons to amplify theirs and sending empowered eggs to his sanctum? You wouldn't need a full novel about it, just some in-game text explaining it. --Mykael Mourningsun

Well, this isn't really the place to be critiquing Knaak or his writing, but I don't think you'll be finding that many people here who disagree with your assessment. Personally, I liked the Anveena thing and some of the quirkier characters, but that's about it.--Ragestorm (talk · contr) 14:34, 26 June 2009 (UTC)