Timeline Issues

It seems that various timelines printed in official sources don't seem to agree with each other and get retconned every now and then...

For example, the timeline in Lands of Conflict is different than timeline in first edition of the Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, Second edition has a different timeline than in Lands of Conflict, and Lands of Mystery makes refrences to the timeline as it is in the second edition sourcebook.

The books themselves describe events in a clear order, often stating that a book takes place after a previous book. The events described in every sourcebook predate the start of the World of Warcraft RPG. The newest book, Lands of Mystery clearly takes place before World of Warcraft, as Brann Bronzebeard has not yet gone missing, as per introduction lore in World of Warcraft manual.

Here are some examples.

The first edition sourcebook clearly states that it is set approximately one year(26 years after WC1) after the events of Reign of Chaos, which it states occured 25 years after WC1. However it briefly touches on what will happen later that year(events of frozen throne). Each sourcebook released after it are approximately one year after the events of Frozen Throne.

Lands of Conflict "adjusted"* the timeline around a bit moving the events of Warcraft 3 backwards to 20 years after Warcraft 1, with many of the events set after it adjusted between 20-25 years after warcraft 1. The book taking place at a newly adjusted "25 years after WC1". This version of the timeline seems to be the one used in this article. It seems to be the least reliable version.

The second edition of World of Warcraft RPG uses the same timeline from Warcraft RPG first edition, with Warcraft 3 being set 25 years after WC1. However it sets the new book at 30 years after WC1(just after the events of Lands of Conflict), approximately 2 years after Frozen Throne. Refrences in Lands of Mystery state that it takes place 2 years after Frozen Throne as well, clearly in refrence to the second edition book, placing it in the same year as the second edition. Since Brann Bronzebeard is not yet missing it occurs before the start of World of Warcraft. Which would be approximately 32 years after WC1 going by that version of the timeline.

Metzen is said to be in charge of the timelines printed in various official sources, but I'm beginning to think he doesn't really have a clear idea, how much time passes between each event. But considering that Lands of Conflict's version seems to be least reliable timeline compared to other sources, I think it should be ignored, and this article adjusted to reflect the most current printed timeline. At least until blizzard changes its mind again..

-Baggins 02:36, 15 April 2006 (EDT)

I'm going to admit the various timelines released by Blizzard are screwed up. Each labels the events in the games at different points in time.

Now, we have yet another official timeline in Alliance Player's Guide, june 2006...Baggins 07:46, 10 July 2006 (EDT)


I was wondering, for us in articles, if we could establish a WoW version of AD and BC. Blizzard have been going off the first war/first warcraft game, so i've made a few ideas i'd like to propose.

  1. War:
    • BW - Before War
    • AW - Anno War
  2. Warcraft (Short):
    • BW - Before Warcraft
    • AW - Anno Warcraft
  3. Warcraft (Long):
    • BWC - Before Warcraft
    • AWC - Anno Warcraft
  4. First War:
    • BFW - Before First War
    • AFW - Anno First War

Let me know what you think. --Zeal (talk - contr - web) 00:23, 28 December 2006 (EST)

The only problem I have with it is that there isn't any straightforward locked down timeline and Blizzard keeps on releasing a new timeline, with changes practically every time they release a new book or game, :p...
Its the main reason I've been hesistant to give specific dates when I list information from the RPG. This article has some accuracy issues as well, sometimes refrencing a hodge podge of dates from random timelines, including the first one established in Warcraft I & 2, and later ones.Baggins 00:27, 28 December 2006 (EST)
Well until i see reason otherwise, i'm sticking with what makes sense in terms of timelines, which i expressed in War of the Ancients. Makes it straightfoward and locked down enough for me. Was merely considering appending (New) and (Old) to dates. --Zeal (talk - contr - web) 00:52, 28 December 2006 (EST)
So you are saying you just want to say happens before event, or after event, but don't plan to be super "specific" with numbering the dates?Baggins 00:54, 28 December 2006 (EST)
I plan to be specific with dates as Blizzard wish to give, eg. Warcraft 3 = 21 AW (Old). --Zeal (talk - contr - web) 01:01, 28 December 2006 (EST)
Well there you see we have a problem, which timeline from Blizzard do we choose? One time line states Warcraft 3 ends in year 21 [1], another states it ended in year 20 [2], and some of the most recent timelines says it ended 25 years or in some 26 after [3][4][5]. Or you can go back to the warcraft 3 manual itself, it gives yet another date, and I'm sure I'm not refrencing every possible timeline option out there...
You only used one event for an example, and I just refrenced 3 seperate timelines used by Blizzard, and I can assure you that for some individual events, they have been moved up or down the timeline into different years each timeline, so they don't all match up.Baggins 01:12, 28 December 2006 (EST)
So many edit conflicts :p Didn't realize retcons were a topic up for debate for this issue :p Newest official source is always the most accurate source. In most cases, WoW, or it's website, is that source. I can't see any reason to ever reference retconed timelines unless it's a talk about the differences or the timeline specific to that source, and in that case, it's easy enough to append the source to the differing dates. --Zeal (talk - contr - web) 01:23, 28 December 2006 (EST)

Nope the official site's timeline is not the newest timeline source, it hasn't been updated or altered in ages. Infact most of it is just taken from the Warcraft 3 manual, or WoW manual, which are also out of date. To be honest Blizzard's most recent released timeline would have to be the one in Alliance Player's Guide. I think to be fair we would have to post every single possible timeline Blizzard ever released, and let people decide for themselves from that. But that is not needed on individual pages.

Ingame WoW does not have a specific timeline either, quests happen out of order, and some events have not yet occured in the literature side of events either.

This is one reason why bookkeepers as a whole have probably avoided using specific dates... Too much of a chance of Blizzard changing things yet again.Baggins 01:26, 28 December 2006 (EST)

With you on the WoW out of order events, would never record them in a timeline until after WoW is over or Blizzard do one themselves tbh. But i still say the only timeline that needs representation across all pages is the most up-to-date version. Would love to see the timelime updated for APG, and rise of the horde (which is undoubtidly the most recent) too. --Zeal (talk - contr - web) 01:41, 28 December 2006 (EST)
Well if RotH is anything like the Horde Player's Guide orc culture doesn't go for writing down specific dates on events. They just record important events, but don't care when it happened exactly. So they never write down specific timelines, that's an Alliance thing. The Horde tends to just round when they think the event occured, like "About twenty years ago", or "a few years ago", or, "many moons ago", etc.
Well i was more refering to new events and even vague dates we have to add to the timeline for before the war. Btw i've implemented this is my mock npc article, Broxigar, very simplistic though. --Zeal (talk - contr - web) 01:53, 28 December 2006 (EST)
I've started listing the highlights of Blizzard's 2006 Alliance Player's guide timeline. You can find it at Timeline (APG). Timeline is now a disambiguation for the various flavors of timelines that have been printed over the years.Baggins 02:00, 4 January 2007 (EST)
Very nice work Baggins. One thing though, could Timeline also contain an accumulation of all the timelines, or possiblly something like Timeline (Unofficial)? --Zeal (talk - contr - web) 12:56, 4 January 2007 (EST)
Hmm, the timeline ( is the closest to one that has unofficial entries in it. As it has outgrown the original version. However the main reason for turning timeline into a disambig and seperating the timelines into different pages was due to the fact that there are slight variences in each one. Certain events listed as having happened at different times during each timeline. This way each one gets a fair account of what each timeline says, a single page doesn't get too big, and its easier to read.Baggins 23:39, 4 January 2007 (EST)


2007 vs 2007

One confusing thing about this is that two of the timeline seemed to have been released at the same time (16 January 2007):

Yet I notice in TBC notes:

  • 30 years ago
    • Rexxar, left the Mok'Nathal to follow the Horde to Azeroth.
  • 20 years ago
    • The events of Beyond the Dark Portal begin.
  • 5 years ago;
    • Battle of Mount Hyjal
    • The Frozen Throne.

vs website:

  • -1 Rise of the Horde (novel by Christie Golden)
  • 0 Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (PC game)
  • — The Last Guardian (novel by Jeff Grubb)
  • 6 Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness (PC game)
  • 8 Warcraft 2X: Beyond the Dark Portal (PC game)
  • 10 Day of the Dragon (novel by Richard A. Knaak)
  • 21 Warcraft 3X: The Frozen Throne (PC game)

First regarding the expansion packs: latter is a 13 year gap between Frozen Throne and Beyond, the former is a 15 year gap, so already there's an inaccuracy of 2 years.

Also re TBC: Rexxar couldn't leave to follow the Horde to Azeroth unless the portal to Azeroth was already open... and BTDP happens a decade after that... yet the website lists Beyond happening in year 8 which would imply Rexxar travels to Azeroth in the year -2, a year prior to the Rise of the Horde novel.

I'm thinking maybe we need to acknowledge that the "Dark Portal" was merely the finalized (fancy gateway with arches on the side) version of the rift after the Warlocks spent YEARS working on it.

Prior to that it was a tiny pinprick which was gradually widened, and prior to being this MASSIVE thing which armies can walk through, was small enough to let bands get through.

The rift had already been widened by the time Garona wrote her journal, but I think even then it hadn't been fully stabilized into the portal we see destroyed in the conclusion of WC2.

So it doesn't seem clear if all year zeroes are meant to be the same: was it the year of the pinprift minirift, or the year of the portal's final completion? Tycio (talk) 21:46, 22 February 2021 (UTC)

Tycio (talk) 21:46, 22 February 2021 (UTC)

Blizzard are not always consistent in their lore, and so the best we can do is to document what we can and note these inconsistencies. Generally speaking though, new info trumps old, and a lot of old lore has been retconned over the years. So in this case where old info conflicts newer info, or concurrent info, we luckily don't have to wonder which of these older statements are true, if newer info overrule both these older statements. PeterWind (talk) 16:58, 23 February 2021 (UTC)