News around the internet has it that many World of Warcraft players are in an uproar. Over what? The new Battle for Azeroth pre-expansion patch. Anyone who plays World of Warcraft knows with each expansion comes great changes. Some expansions have almost rewritten the entire Azeroth landscape. However, with the expansion Battle for Azeroth, the WoW community has been turned on its proverbial ear.
On Tuesday, Blizzard released their official pre-expansion patch which has been scheduled for some time. Most World of Warcraft players knew it would be released, but what they didn’t know was what was going to happen. Players have been teased with tidbits about the upcoming war between the Horde and the Alliance. It’s a more-than-a-decade battle but there have been times (some expansions) where both sides fight together for the common good of Azeroth.
When the Battle for Azeroth cinematic trailer was released in November 2017, Horde players cheered as their beloved warchief and banshee queen rallied the troops with the war cry “For the Horde.” Battle ensues until it looks like the Alliance are beaten down. That is until their young king Anduin heals his troops and does his own war cry. The trailer told players all we needed to know; that this was going to be a war for the ages. However, players weren’t given many details as to how the Horde and Alliance would start fighting again.
With the dust barely settling on Sargeras’ sword, the discovery of Azerite, (a supposedly powerful mineral but the actual lifeblood of Azeroth after Sargeras stabbed the planet with his sword) has Sylvanas thinking it’s time for war with the Alliance. Or so Blizzard would have you think. The animated short series, Warbringers has been featuring familiar and strong females in the WoW universe starting with Alliance mage Jaina Proudmore. The second animation featuring Sylvanas has caused players on both sides to question the Horde warchief and quite honestly, the Horde itself.
In the video, Sylvanas and a dying night elf exchange words with the night elf pleading Sylvanas to leave the tree alone as it only has innocents there. But it seems that Sylvanas wants a bit more blood, flatly stating that “…this is war.” Even the dying hunter can see that this is far more than just a war. She considers the warchief’s drive being hate-filled. What spurns Sylvanas is the following exchange:
Sylvanas: Don’t grieve, you’ll soon join your loved ones.
NE: I grieve for you. You’ve made life your enemy, and that is a war you’ll never win. You can kill us, but you cannot kill hope.
Sylvanas: Can’t I?
Sylvanas then orders that the world tree be burned. Wait! What? Since when did the Banshee Queen have a vendetta against the living? In this video, which also plays as a cutscene at the end of this week’s quest chain, shows Sylvanas as nothing more than a warmongering, life-hating mental case. Did the war again Sargeras finally break the undead queen or does Blizzard have something else up their sleeve?
The player community, especially on the Horde side are now questioning what it means to be on the Horde side, what Sylvanas’ motives are, and quite frankly, where did their powerful, yet tortured leader go? The Alliance community at best thought the Horde were playing in the somewhat grey area (rather than truly black or white, good or evil). With this development, the Horde community has to follow along (reluctantly) without much argument. We even witness Saurfang questioning these events (that’s saying something for an orc.).
Social media is abuzz with lamenting, outrage, and of course, naysayers on the subject. Dare I say, even some are quite upset to the point of physical distress. There are a couple of Facebook groups that have reactions that are quite the opposite. Some are glad that Sylvanas is taking a stand, while others are in horror that she orders such atrocities. The druid community is probably the most conflicted as the world tree is revered by Horde and Alliance characters alike. The majority of the upset folks are merely angry at Blizzard, or the author that wrote the storyline as it appears they have cheapened a very much loved (and albeit flawed) character.
Did Blizzard take the easy way out with the story and make Sylvanas an oversimplified maniacal leader or will there be a more reasonable explanation for her actions? The hope is that Sylvanas has some inside knowledge of future events. However, most of the community believe she’s merely a Garrosh 2.0. We all know how he turned out.