I really don't even begin to understand all the lore surrounding the Warcraft Universe. There is simply so much going on. To be quite Frank, the system and the setting itself make very little sense to me. World of Warcraft is especially so. There seems to be a significant ammount of anachronism going on, what with massive cannons, zepelins, and motor cycle riding Minotaurs roving the streets of Orgrimar.
But, does it really matter that I don't get it? I don't really think so. It seems to me that when you get into playing a video game, you are able to suspend a lot of your sense of disbelief about the world. What you are seeing is what is there. If it weren't supposed to be there, it wouldn't be. When it comes to me playing WoW, I don't have any problem with the fact that a whole lot of settings, styles, and themes are all mashed together.
Becuase it is fun. I get a huge kick out of whatching a goblin parachute from a falling helicopter. I also get a huge kick out of summoning my vanity pet rocket-bot (which I think I got for Xmas one year). I do not however ask many questions about the world. I take it for what it is and I am grateful for that.
However, with role playing, and especially with games like D&D, the setting really matters. In order to develop a sense of immersion into the setting, I think a lot of people maintain that it is necessary for that setting to make sense. Players will question things that don't seem right. I believe everyone DM has had that moment where they have to think of an NPC name of the top of their head and come up with BoB the Half-Orc. This kind of extemporaneous NPC naming tends to ruin some people's gaming experience.
But, does it really have to?
If we are playing in a fantasy world, does the setting need to made perfect sense? With magic, or steampunk, or even cyberpunk elements, just about anything becomes possible. Is there really a need to explain how every little thing works, or, why every little thing is the way that it is?
If I want to throw some fantastic encounter on a flying city together and have the players go there, do I need to explain how the city is flying? why it is in this particular portion of the sky, or how it moves?
I don't think you should have to. This may just be my preference, but I don't really have a problem suspending disbelief even when it comes to Pen and Paper gaming. However, I don't really know how other people feel about this. What do you think? Does the setting need to make sense?