At this past weekend’s BlizzCon, one red-shirted fan managed to stump Blizzard world designer Alex Afrasiabi and loremaster Chris Metzen with a rather obscure question about the game’s plot and continuity. Both Blizzard employees were pretty cool with the correction, and they promised the man now known on the Internet as “Red Shirt Guy” that they would “get that fixed.”
Update: Red Shirt Guy issues a response video.
Transcript: (via Reddit)
Red Shirt Guy: Hello. I have… I just finished reading The Shattering yesterday and I noticed something. It said that Falstad Wildhammer was going to be on the Council of Three Hammers but in the beta it’s Kurdran Wildhammer and Falstad is not in the game at all. What happened to him?
Chris Metzen: Isn’t Falstad dead? From Day of the Dragon? No?
Red Shirt Guy: No, he survived and in fact he was the leader of Aerie Peak in vanilla WoW through Wrath of the Lich King.
Chris Metzen: Of course… Yeah, Alex what’s up with that?
Alex Afrasiabi: Thanks, Thanks for pointing that out. We’re going to get that fixed.
Red Shirt Guy: Thank you.
People outside of fan communities often display a piranha-like instinct to knock down the admittedly kinda nerdy fans who devote themselves to arcane matters like these, but the companies that create the fantasy worlds tend to value their input and take their critiques seriously. Marvel Comics’ No-Prize used to go to fans who spotted continuity errors and came up with plausible explanations for continuity errors spotted by other fans.
Metzen, one of the panelists in the above video, profusely apologized in the wake of another continuity error that greatly angered some World of WarCraft fans, concerning the story behind a faction called the draenei: Metzen wrote that “While I can’t promise that these types of mistakes will never happen again, I do want to state clearly that we take the responsibility of crafting and maintaining this lore very seriously. You all pay good money to adventure through this world month by month, and you deserve the best we can give.”
So: Geeky, yes, nitpicky, yes, but serving one of those valuable little functions of fandom. One Redditor proposes a fitting reward for Red Shirt Guy, better than just killing off the character in question for continuity’s sake: “knowing how awesome Blizz is about these things, I wouldn’t be surprised if he sticks around and has a line in-game about being remembered, or saved by a mysterious man in red.”
Additional reporting by Susana Polo.