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#1
Euph

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Huge thanks to Euph for putting in the effort to write this awesome opinion piece. It's only the second "community article" here on TF but many more will come in the future, hopefully on a regular basis, as Project Titan becomes "real".
 

"I want us as a company to really begin to look at opportunities to create really simple stories that everyone can relate to, so that sometimes it's not about mastering or getting lost in all the minutiae, but the simple points of human connectivity."

Chris Metzen - (EUROGAMER 2012)

 

The_Last_Refuge_by_Grimmjow962

 

Pro-tip: If you feel lost, read some of the links embedded in the post and come back afterwards. :)

 

Welcome to the second Lore Focus topic! If you missed my last one, go and read it because it'll help you understand this one much better. As a small recap, I looked into the current big three Blizzard games: Diablo, Starcraft and WoW at how the lore was formed around real-life mythologies and to what extent it was a direct representation of said mythologies. I found that all three had some very significant themes in their lore which were governed by real-life mythos.
 
The aim of this article is to discuss the likelihood that Titan will be set on Earth, but I will also talk a little bit about which specific mythological themes or stories we can expect to see in Titan. I'd just like to mention that this is far from a deep-analysis, it's an article that is here to present some good talking points for speculation and hopefully get peoples' minds thinking in new places. Let the games begin!
 
 
 

Planeswalkers Pantheon by *Cryptcrawler

 
 

What mythologies will Titan use?

 

Before I get into talking about Earth, I would like to quickly mention what mythologies will be used in Titan, and to a lesser extent, how they'll be used. We've had some light shed on this by both tweets from Blizz employees and a direct leak to our website that stated there will be:
 

"Heavy use of Greek, Roman and Viking myths"

 

Using this as a platform for a bit of speculation, here's what I came up with:

Greek And Roman Mythology
Think Demi-Gods and Gods, Heroes, Pandora's Box, Persephone and Atlantis. 
 
Greek and Roman mythology are one in the same, the main difference seems to be that Roman mythology picked and chose bits of Greek mythology to use. I think that Titan will have a spine of Greek mythology running through so as to provide a familiar story at the heart of the MMO. So what do we get if we make Greek Mythology simple and clear? The four or five ages, two of which are: 'Age of Gods and Mortals' and the 'Heroic Age'. Not only do the names sound suiting (as players are often positioned as heroes), the actual content to these ages sounds applicable to what we think we know about Titan. Go and read up on it and see what you find, report back in the comments below!
 
Viking/Norse Mythology
Think World Tree, Runes and Gods of aspects of nature. 
 
Norse mythology is something Blizzard also love and have used extensively in WoW. The great thing about Nordic tales and myths is that they blend so well with ideas behind Greek myths and this really allows Blizzard to amalgamate the two without too much difficulty to create something that is both new and familiar. However, I also feel that because Blizzard has included so much (the majority) and such a direct chunk of Nordic tales in WoW, I find it unlikely that they'll want to cover this base too much again. So, if we still abide by the rumour that it will include 'Viking myths', I think we have to temper this with the idea that Blizz have already delved really deep into this lore and if we do see any of it in Titan, it will be limited in depth.
 
Pieces from other cultures
Think Teotihuacan

 

As I've mentioned previously, there were lots of little pieces of Blizz games that came from all sorts of old stories, cultures and so on - WoW perhaps being the most obvious with this. We are likely to see many different real-world cultures and environments being inspiration for those in Titan just as in the past.
 
 
 

Titan: 'It's Based on Earth's history'?

So, a little while ago we got a small leak (ok, not so small and yes it went viral) that mentioned that Titan lore would be 'based on Earth's history'. This is something we have speculated heavily on before and since and I think is something worthy of our time to think about! I've thought up three broad ideas around this rumour of which I am 99.9% it will be one:
 
 

Home by Grimmjow962

 

Set on Earth before or after 'current' lore

 
Blizzard might have decided to explicitly use Earth as the core planet of their game, and this is perhaps why StarCraft lore has referenced Earth directly but never expanded very much on the history of it. The presence of the Zerg in StarCraft also draws similarities to 'The Flood' in Greek Mythology, food for thought. Not only is the mention, but the absence of Earth in StarCraft is interesting and perhaps indicative of the planet being used in Titan. The idea fits in with other clues we've had from Blizzard employees themselves, such as the tweets of (recently ex-) writer Cameron Dayton which reference the following:

  • "Shifting tectonic plates, raising Atlantis, and reviving Teotihuacan. Damn I love my job"

What we can take from this is that, these specific events mentioned above are all in the past - does this make argument for Titan taking place before our real-life 'lore'? Or, does it mean it's very far in the future and ancient mysteries are being explored? Similar to what the new MMO The Secret World has done; which goes by the slogan 'Everything is true' in relation to ancient stories.
 
I would argue for Titan being set on Earth after our current lore. Setting it in the future not only allows players to partake in a fresh new sci-fi genre, it provides the familiarity and mystery of ancient stories - a successful concept employed in the now saturated fantasy MMO market! This allows Blizzard on a business level to both keep their audience while not competing directly with WoW and also have the capability to capture a new audience (the Halo players, perhaps?). 

 

Halo Artwork by Bungie

 

Set on a planet based on Earth

 
Using Earth as the core planet of Blizzards' upcoming MMO comes with its limitations, and while some might argue limitations breed innovation, others might argue that too many limitations just restrict creation. This is why I suggest that another option is that the planet this MMO is set on is a fictional one with many huge pieces of real-Earth lore thrown in and perhaps wrapped up in a different way, such as Blizzard did with WoW with their inclusion of Norse lore, or in Diablo with folk-lore and religious themes that I explored in my previous thread.
 
But Euph, StarCraft mentioned Earth and didn't delve into it directly. I thought you said this is an indicator that they want to use it for Titan?
 
I did say this, and I still think it's a strong argument. However, I also think the argument can be drawn two ways. I think Blizzards' lack of inclusion of Earth in StarCraft perhaps shows an unwillingness to set their games in a setting that they can't control every aspect of, you see... if they carbon-copy Earth but stick a new name on it, they can do whatever they want and this allows for both narrative and business-model freedom in the future. Plus, it would be a whole sticky mess trying to explain and shoe-horn their own lore around our 'current' Earth lore if they set it in the future or even the past. 
 
I feel like Blizzards' previous behaviour of wrapping everything up in a layer of Blizzard skin is the most compelling argument and indicator that they will do the same with Earth in Titan. Essentially, they're going to wrap up the good old planet Earth we love into their own pretty shaped wrapping paper so that they have freedom to deliver whatever they wish.  How did I get onto the subject of wrapping paper again?
 

 

mother ship - leventep

 

Not based on Earth at all

Titan might not be based on Earth at all. In fact, the tweets from blues and 'leaks' from random people on the internet might all turn out to be a big load of poppycock, or we've just completely mis-interpretted the true stuff and absorbed much of the untrue stuff.
 
However, if the planet is not based on Earth at all there are countless possibilities for the setting. To name a few, it could be set on a giant spaceship millions of years from now, it could be set in a planet for the gods or it could be something completely different. What we know for sure, is that we don't actually have a clue what Titan will be set on - it could be anything, but we're here to discuss, dream and think up things based on the little bits of information we have.
 
Eremite has done some really great speculation work in the past on the codename 'Titan' and how it relates to what the main theme of the game will actually be, he looked at what previous codenames were and what the core of the game was to help decipher what 'Titan' meant. He came to the conclusion that the MMO will be heavily based on Greek mythos and that the codename is just one step shy from the concept of the game. Going on these assumptions, I pose you this question:
 
- How would the codename Titan be relevant to a setting not based on Earth?
 
 
 
I hope you enjoyed the read, and do PM me if you see any problems or want to discuss anything at length. Otherwise, leave feedback - good or bad - below! 
 
As a minor disclaimer: This thread is purely speculative, and yes it is based on lots of rumours that I and (I believe) the rest of the community find to be pretty solid in their likelihood.
 
Thanks for making it this far down the page,
 
Euph. 


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#2
Slayer

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Wonderful read, Euph :wub: 



#3
Eremite

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Great article Euph.

 

You've beautifully encapsulated all the ideas that have been floating around here at TF lately, given them a real definition and focus, if you will.  I hope it captures some new Titanites and breeds more thought-provoking discussion.



#4
vitaminX

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nice job



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Beautiful :)


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#6
kapxapot

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He came to the conclusion that the MMO will be heavily based on Greek mythos and that the codename is just one step shy from the concept of the game.


StarCraft II was codenamed Medusa.
Diablo III was codenamed Hydra.

Greek mythological names are traditional for Blizzard games' codenames. That doesn't mean they are "heavily based on Greek mythos". So this conclusion is just invalid.

#7
DevilsD

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Very well done mate.

 

I might have more to say once ive had a good think about it all :)


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#8
papaz

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Great article! I really enjoy these kinds of articles.  

 

I personally hope it's based on earth which will give the devs more freedom. 

 

Also it seems that the famous Cameron Dayton post you mention "Shifting tectonic plates, raising Atlantis, and reviving Teotihuacan. Damn I love my job"

 

was never about Titan.

 

http://titanfocus.in...ge-13#entry5413



#9
Eremite

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This discussion might better belong here, but these threads are very closely related so it's probably best here.  I don't want to derail Euph's great thread, so hopefully this all ties together in the end.

 

Greek mythological names are traditional for Blizzard games' codenames. That doesn't mean they are "heavily based on Greek mythos". So this conclusion is just invalid.

 

Perhaps, but Blizzard having tradition for their project's names doesn't mean there isn't some meaning behind them.  In my article a connection was made between the codenames of the two projects, their antagonists, and the myths they're derived from.

 

The base assumption you're making, despite the obvious (at least to me) connection of codenames and games in the past, is that Blizzard's codenames never have relevance to their products.  I'm not sure how anyone can be sure of that after having read my post or this very similar post at TitanBuzz written independently of mine and making even more connections.

 

Also, I don't believe I ever quite said that Titan will be "Heavily based on Greek mythos" like Euph said, but it is apt enough.  That statement is very open to interpretation anyway.  Some of the things I wrote, and what Euph captured the essence of with his phrase were:

  • ... they'll use the inspiration of Greek mythology... to build their own MMO.
  • ... the connection between the word "Titan" and the content is going to be just as strong as the connections between Medusa/Kerrigan and Hydra/Diablo.

  • ... "Titan" is the same - just one step shy from a direct description of the game.

Like Euph said in his article, these myths from around the world are strikingly similar in theme and characters, so feel free to interchange and combine your mythos of choice if you don't particularly like "Greek."

 

The bottom line is that if you believe the leaks are true about Titan being set on Earth or some psuedo-Earth, then it stands to reason Blizzard is going to involve Earth's best stories to base their story on, namely our mythology from around the globe.  And if it's not set on Earth like Euph asked, well then hell if I know anything at all. :wallbash:  



#10
Eremite

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Also it seems that the famous Cameron Dayton post you mention "Shifting tectonic plates, raising Atlantis, and reviving Teotihuacan. Damn I love my job"

 

was never about Titan.

 

http://titanfocus.in...ge-13#entry5413

 

Or it's another deflection! ;)

 

But even if he isn't describing Titan directly with this quote, he's describing his past work.  And past work will have bearing on the content of future work, so...

 

Okay, I'm just grasping at straws now.  Damn you papaz and your posts!  Where's that 'dislike' button?



#11
Euph

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Thanks for all the kind words, it is much appreciated. :)

 

Great article! I really enjoy these kinds of articles.  

 

I personally hope it's based on earth which will give the devs more freedom. 

 

Also it seems that the famous Cameron Dayton post you mention "Shifting tectonic plates, raising Atlantis, and reviving Teotihuacan. Damn I love my job"

 

was never about Titan.

 

http://titanfocus.in...ge-13#entry5413

 

Thanks for highlighting this Papaz, I also find it ironic how I've read that before and even commented on that, but clearly completely forgot! I remember the first time reading the tweet thinking it was to do with Vash'jr in WoW:Cata and shifting tectonic plates was obviously... the shifting of tectonic plates in Cataclysm. However, the deletion and all that is all a bit fishy. Why delete something if it talks about earlier work? If it was causing too much controversy why not instead state "This tweet was actually about old work"? It could be harmless, it could be a conspiracy! Who knows? I think drawing it towards Titan though is still productive in helping us think of solid ways Blizzard might use old stories.

 

StarCraft II was codenamed Medusa.
Diablo III was codenamed Hydra.

Greek mythological names are traditional for Blizzard games' codenames. That doesn't mean they are "heavily based on Greek mythos". So this conclusion is just invalid.

 

As Eremite said, that phrase was really a liberal interpretation of what he said in his article and I'm sorry if you felt it invalid. While in that sentence I discuss Greek mythology in relation to the name, I also mention another reason for us to believe Greek mythology will be a base theme in Titan, such as the 'leak' we had. However, if you are still not satisfied with such a weak justification (all speculation we can do with so little information is weak, really) I would offer you up the idea that 'Titans' to one extent of another are mentioned in both WoW and Starcraft and perhaps the world stone in Diablo is also created by these 'Titans'. If you would believe this, then maybe the idea that this MMO will be an expansion into this mostly untouched mention of Titans seems more plausible, as Blizzard are obviously keen on the idea of mentioning 'great makers'. Furthermore, if we just dream about what 'Titan' could lead to for a moment, it could lead to things like player-created content, give way to the idea of heroes or demi-gods and so on.

 

My last 'Lore Focus' thread was about exploring how Blizzard had used mythologies in their other games, this thread is about how they might do the same in their upcoming MMO. There are no definites at all in this article, everything is plastered with a health-warning that it's not the be all and end all of Titan lore speculation.

 

All I'm here to do is play devils advocate to an extent; explore different avenues with the little information I have, and use the information in both a restricted and unrestricted manner (depending how far-out the speculation is). What I'm trying to do most is explore a bit more of the information we already have in a sensible manner and help people start thinking about different ways in which Titan could form, hopefully some of my speculation is on the right track. :)

 

I've always liked this idea:

 

When you only have a few pieces of information, it's easy to presume that they're the most important ones.

 

 
I'm very much aware that a lot of this is shots in the dark, well, all of it is - that's what speculation is. I just hope my speculation was somewhat tempered with apt reason and logic. 
 
Thanks for the feedback, and I will take both my wording and conclusions into further consideration before posting in future. It's ironic that I analyse the words of Blizzard and am yet unprepared when it comes to my own words. :)

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#12
mynsc

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Great article! I really enjoy these kinds of articles.  

 

I personally hope it's based on earth which will give the devs more freedom. 

 

Also it seems that the famous Cameron Dayton post you mention "Shifting tectonic plates, raising Atlantis, and reviving Teotihuacan. Damn I love my job"

 

was never about Titan.

 

http://titanfocus.in...ge-13#entry5413

 

I never really believed this. First of all, if the tweets were innocent, he shouldn't have deleted them. Plus, it would be so incredibly random to post something like this about a job you had years ago, when you could ofc post something about your current job, that should be equally as interesting.

 

It's entirely possible he didn't mean Titan, I just don't believe it.


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#13
kapxapot

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Eremite, Euph,

Okay, I see that it was just not very accurate wording about "heavily based". Thanks for answers. Interesting parallel between Medusa and Kerrigan, but I don't see how Diablo is more relevant to Hydra than any game with "multi-headed" villain.

Also even if all this is correct we can only guess how "Titan" is connected to next-gen MMO by Blizzard... Maybe it is called so just because it's a very big and ambitious project? The task to repeat and surpass World of Warcraft is really TITANic.

#14
Euph

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Also even if all this is correct we can only guess how "Titan" is connected to next-gen MMO by Blizzard... Maybe it is called so just because it's a very big and ambitious project? The task to repeat and surpass World of Warcraft is really TITANic.

 

I've wondered this myself actually, 'what if Titan is just named that because it's such a huge project?'. However, I think the links between name and game that you mentioned from Eremites' points aren't easily dismissable. Codenames usually have some pragmatic relevance to a project, some people might just name the project with the same first letter of the actual name e.g. 'Dragons project' might be called 'Daisy'. In the case of this MMO, it's unlikely they had a name first and I feel it's more likely they named it after a core piece of the game.

 

That said, we could just be wishing these links upon the names. :D


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#15
Rayman

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Nice post homie :)



#16
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Codenames are not retail names, or even hints at retail names...

 

I know blizzard likes creating suspense and doesn't tell people when leaks are misinformation, but for their next game it needs to be codenamed Project Bananas or something just to see people talk about what other fruit may be involved and whether Donkey Kong will make a cameo.

 

For this game to not be an existing IP would be shocking and could end up backfiring on them (and they know that). To say "they are going to reference stuff" is unnecessary as they have already done that, alot...



#17
Euph

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Codenames are not retail names, or even hints at retail names...

 

I know blizzard likes creating suspense and doesn't tell people when leaks are misinformation, but for their next game it needs to be codenamed Project Bananas or something just to see people talk about what other fruit may be involved and whether Donkey Kong will make a cameo.

 

For this game to not be an existing IP would be shocking and could end up backfiring on them (and they know that). To say "they are going to reference stuff" is unnecessary as they have already done that, alot...

 

I agree, codenames are not retail names, or even hints at retail names... I'm not sure if you read the thread that I used as the basis for my mentioning of the codename: http://titanfocus.in...me-speculation/

 

^ It discusses the idea that the codename refers to a core concept/axis of said game.

 

For your second point about "they are going to reference stuff", I don't understand what point you are making, perhaps you could elaborate and I will try my best to tell you why I included the line or the point or whatever it is you have issue with.

 

Once again, feedback is always useful - thank you. :)


Edited by Euph, 16 May 2013 - 10:56 PM.

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#18
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I just read those 2 links about project name relevancy and can do little more than roll my eyes.

 

Kerrigan is not Medusa in any way, shape, or form. She has zero similarities to the story of Medusa and even the hair bit is a massive, massive stretch. She is not a "sci fi" version of Medusa and its silly to even try to make that connection when she shares zero similarities with the mythos. If I had to guess the meaning behind this, maybe its a reference to the 3 gorgon sisters and the 3 different faction stories split up (Medusa WoL, Stheno HoTS, and Euryale LotV) The 3 games are related and the 3 sisters are related and it follows the Greek theme they have going.

 

 

Same goes for the Diablo project name connection, If I had to guess the connection there it would probably be on the 3 heads, 3rd game or maybe referencing the fact that there are 3 prime evils but the connection is so damn loose its not even worth mentioning, seriously grasping at straws here. If theres any connection its likely more technical in term than anything related to the story, (Hydra 3rd game, Titan massive project, Phoenix SC Ghost development ressurection?)

 

Fact is every single project listed outside of "Project Blackstone" which happened to be the real name of the game or whatever (http://us.battle.net.../en/blackstone/) is related to Greek Mythos.

 

Hydra/Medusa/Phoenix/Titan.

 

All Greek mythos related and its no surprise why, Blizzard is a fan of Greek mythos and has tons of references to it in essentially all their stories and game universes right down to the point that they have entire Greek myths ripped and twisted to fit their stories. Looking at this project name and trying to draw the conclusion that its Greek mythos related is like seeing games listed in Alpha and Beta and thinking the same thing.



#19
Lokan

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Really nice article, good job Euph!


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#20
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Back to the topic of Earth and its possible role in Titan:

 

It would seems very probably that Earth, or an Earth-like planet, will have a strong presence in Titan. Let's not forget that if a key feature in the lore is time travel, an unlimited number of doors will be opened to internally develop the planet's history. Simply because our (young) planet has a few million years of history as is doesn't mean Titan's earliest referenced events will be from a currently comprehensible timeframe.

 

Thoroughly enjoying the articles, though, Euph. Keep it up!