Yesterday morning I reached level 120 on my Rogue. I was about 10 quests into Stormsong Valley when this happened and with it I unlocked a whole lot of new things to do. The biggest one being World Quests which are popping all over my map, on both sides of the world. I was really happy to hit this milestone but I also notice that I’ve burned myself out quite a lot leveling this character up. Even though I hadn’t done a “one day race” like some of my friends did, it has taken me one full day, 3 evenings and one morning to get to this point, I do feel the new content burn quite heavily. Blizzard has managed to pack so much lore into this expansion so far and with my determination to do every quest I can possibly get my hands on things get rather exhaustive quite fast. I’m about halfway done in Stormsong Valley as we speak but I’m not making a lot of progress. I’m taking breaks every time I’ve tackled a sidequest or mainstory line because I just can’t play for much longer than that. I’m trying to break things up by doing Worldquests and leveling up my Engineer but I guess I’ve just spent a bit too much time focused on getting to 120 to really enjoy it now that it’s there.
In other news, because I’m so burnt out on my Rogue at the moment I’ve decided to take baby steps into the expansion on my Paladin. It’s the class that I originally wanted to play in this expansion and I notice that I’m having a much easier time on her than I had on my Rogue while leveling up. I decided to start out in Nazmir and the zone so far seems to be okay. I guess going to the Blood Troll capital at night on my Rogue was a bad idea because it seriously gave me the creeps. Now on my Paladin however I’m just enjoying the swamp atmosphere while picking a lot of herbs along the way. Maybe it’s because the pressure to level to 120 is off or maybe I just enjoy Paladin more but I think I’ll spend a bit more time on her than on my Rogue in the coming week.
Today I want to take the time to talk a bit more indepth about Drustvar. The first zone I’ve completed in Battle for Azeroth. This post will be rather spoiler heavy so if you’ve not yet done the zone or do not want to be spoiled please stop reading after this paragraph. I feel the need to write up this blogpost because Blizzard, in my opinion, has done such an awesome job with the zone stories in Battle for Azeroth so far that I just want to gush about it. So without further ado, I present you: Drustvar.
Let me start off by saying that I’ve gone into Battle for Azeroth mostly blank. I did spend a few hours one night on Beta leveling through like the first ten quests in Stormsong Valley but other than that I was a complete blank slate. I wanted to be surprised and charmed by what Blizzard had developed for this expansion so I wanted to experience everything fresh.
The above screenshot is part of the introductory town of Drustvar. You are sent on your way because there are issues and no one has heard from Lord and Lady Waycrest, they rule Drustvar, in a while. As you arrive in the zone the first village you pass through is abandoned and overrun by wild creatures. There is still a little girl around however who sends you on a wild goose chase finding people and things for her. It’s clear from the second quest or so that she’s probably not the nice little girl you think she is. The questline culminates in her summoning a Wicker creature with a satanic ritual for which she killed her cat (poor Smoochums) and one of the few surviving villagers commenting on how the girl has been dead for a while. Yeah, I guess the tone for this zone has been set nicely.
I see a lot of people comparing Drustvar to Duskwood but then in autumn colours and way bigger. I get the sentiment here but Drustvar is so much more than that. The overarching story becomes quite clear very early on: they are having issues with a powerful Witch Coven that is calling themselves the “Heartsbane” and who are cursing every village in Drustvar, making sure the people in town suffer one way or another.
A big part of the Drustvar experience is helping villages cleanse the local curses and kill the local witch of the coven responsible for it. The story really kicks into gear though when you come across Lucille Waycrest who is about to be hanged as witch. She is the daughter of the Lord and Lady Waycrest and she’s gotten herself in a bit of a pinch by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. A part of the questchain to help her escape involves taking control of your very own Wicker construct and clearing out a more powerful Witch that has been terrorizing the village. Let me tell you, it was awesome. Running into a mine full of mobs and just completely obliterating them with my Wicker body had me cackling. I mean just look at how I looked? It’s an amazing theme and I loved all the Wicker looks in Drustvar.
Anyway, after you’ve cleared Lucille’s name and rescued the villagers of the village that wanted to hang her you set out on a journey towards Waycrest manor with Lucille and Marshall, who is the commander of the Waycrest troops. Lucille knows a large part of what has been happening in Drustvar and seeks to revive an ancient Order that used to fight the Drust as the Kul Tirans were settling down in Drustvar. I guess this also leads to big plotpoint number two. The Drust are forest creatures that look kind of like the Wicker creatures you see everywhere in the zone. When the early Kul Tirans settled there was a war between them and the Drust that the Kul Tirans won. Their final victory was a Waycrest stabbing Gorak Tul, the leader of the Drust, to death and claiming Drustvar for the Kul Tirans. It also becomes clear that not all the Drust were against Kul Tiran settling in their homeland and they have remained on friendly foot with the humans untill this day. They call themselves the “Thornspeakers” and are the amazing Wicker themed Druids that the Kul Tiran humans can become.
As you advance into the zone it becomes clear that Gorak Tul may not be as dead as everyone thought he was and that he is probably the mastermind behind the relatively recent forming of the Heartsbane coven that terrorizes the land. As you rebuild the Order of Embers and work your way through the zone you are treated to a beautiful landscape with many sidequests. The atmosphere in Drustvar is amazing to say the least. The background music is superb and it’s really worth doing every single questline you can get your hands on. Next to the Witches and Wicker creatures you get to fight Yetis, wild beasts, Stone Guardian constructs and even a small patch of mutated mushrooms. You help a Goblin retake a town from pirates. You help create alchemical fire that will make all the Wicker constructs burn. You stop a Wicker construct army from being built and marching through the zone. On the way there are a ton of rare creatures to kill and special treasure chests to find. I personally enjoyed the Runebound Chests because they forced you to look around you to crack the code that keeps them locked. You learn about the history of Drustvar and Kul Tiran as a whole and you get to know a lot of interesting characters. One of my favourites is the falcon master that you pick up somewhere in the middle to become an Inquisitor in the Order of Embers. I like the whole “old England” look and feel that’s tied to the entirety of Kul Tiras but Drustvar just portrays it the best with it’s woods and villages.
The Drustvar zone story culminates in Corlain and Waycrest Manor. As you arrive there it seems like the coven has taken over the town and the manor and it’s up to you to clean out the mess and figure out who is behind all of this. And more important, what has happend to Lord and Lady Waycrest?
This is also where the story kind of splits in two. As you make your way through Corlain it’s revealed that the Waycrest Manor went on lockdown and nobody really understands why. It also becomse clear, from diaries that you find in Corlain, that the girls of the town have been sneaking out during the nights and supposedly went to Waycrest Manor. After that the disappearings started.
The other part of the story takes you to a chapel where you encounter the ghost of Lucille’s dead fiancée. As he shares with you his memories of what happened during their wedding it becomes clear who the culprit of this zone really is. The whole wedding scene was a nice nod to the “Red Wedding” in Game of Thrones, proven by the dead “Red Hand Assassin” in my above screenshot. As you help the ghost find peace you make a final push into Waycrest Manor where it is revealed what you’ve already known: Lady Waycrest is the head of the Witches’ Coven. She is responsible for all the Witches that have been making life hell for the people of Drustvar. She has killed and revived her husband to serve her as a grotesque individual for eternity and she is the one responsible for murdering Lucille’s fiancée at their wedding day. As a final act of cruelty she turns Marshall against you and you then have to kill him while her and her husband flee into the Manor.
Officially this is where the zone ends. You’ve figured out who is behind the Coven and you’ve waged a war to get to there. Lucille takes over as new ruler of Drustvar and sends you back to Boralus to declare Drustvar’s allegiance once more. However she also gives you a quest to chase her parents into the Manor (which is a dungeon) to deal with them once and for all. The dungeon itself is a bit confusing but no less fun, I can see this one being quite a challenge on Mythic+. You kill her parents in the end and then Gorak Tul pops out as final bad guy, bragging about how he was able to influence the Lady Waycrest to do his bidding and be his way back into the world of the living. As you beat him he retreats in what he calls “the Blighted Lands” and issues a final threat.
All in all the zone was an epic experience for me. The story buildup was amazing, especially with all the added cutscenes Blizzard seems to be doing this expansion. I’m guessing they stole that idea from FFXIV’s book. Some of the quests were downright hilarious, like the one where I had to prick peole with a Silver needle to figure out if they were Witches. Or the one where I pick onions to deter them, because obviously onions are nasty and smelly and no one wants to come near those. Now that I’ve finished the zone and won’t be back untill endgame I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume the WorldQuests in Drustvar will revolve around clearing out what remains of the Coven and helping villagers rebuild. I wouldn’t mind doing those quests at all because it will take me back to a zone I fell in love with. I really hope Blizzard can keep up this level of storytelling throughout the entire expansion, but that’s something only time will tell.
Bonus screenshot: I keep finding pairs of boots in weird places…
A part of me wants to go to bed and a part of me feels like I should atleast write a short blog about Bfa day two. Yesterday I’ve done all of Drustvar in one day and I wondered how long it would take me to finish up Tiragarde Sound. It seems to be an overall smaller zone with less quests and less space to cover. However I’ve already discovered tons of sidequests and finished off a few of the amazing mainquests the zone has to offer. All in all I think Drustvar still has the edge when it comes to storytelling and atmosphere but Tiragarde introduces us to many unique characters aswell. We also get a taste of the Old Gods influence and I got to perform in a jousting show on a horse.
The best part though was this adorable little hunting dog that was bringing me the birds I shot out of the sky during one of many sidequests Tiragarde has. I imagine it’s sort of modeled after a Jack Russel Terrier although I’m not quite sure. He was kind of difficult to get a good screenshot off, especially because it was rather dark in game when I did these quests but the one above should give you a decent indication.
The darkness thing is something that caught me a bit off guard aswell. I don’t think any of the zones get as dark as the ones in Kul Tiras have been getting. I think Blizzard may have amped up the weather or, and that’s more likely, I’m noticing it more now that we are running about in zones that are more open and feel more natural than the Legion ones.
All in all I’m still having a blast and I’m starting to find my way through Boralus as city aswell. I’ve been completing a few Mining quests, I’m really happy these come from the trainer now instead of randomly dropping from nodes, and I’ve been pouring all the ore I’ve been mining into leveling up my Engineering aswell. Although I’m only on 25 skill level at the moment. There’s so many little details that I could go on and on about but honestly it comes down to the fact that Blizzard once again made an amazing zone with beautiful landscapes and good lore. Even the War Campaign makes sense next to the questing in Kul Tiras. I’ve established two camps over at Zandalar right now and I’ve unlocked my Island expeditions. They seem like mini scenarios where you race the opposing factions to get to 500 Azerite per island first. Unfortunately I’ve not really gotten the time to figure that out yet but I will. For now I’m going to focus on finishing off Tiragarde and moving on to Stormsong Valley the next few days and hopefully ding 120 around Friday evening.
Today was the day Battle for Azeroth launched. I tried getting into the server around midnight when it launched for us EU folk but I couldn’t. I gave up around 00.30 and just went to bed. I got up around 8, encountered more server issues and finally managed to get started around 9 in the morning. In theory I was planning to roll my Paladin. But with all the server issues going on I decided to play my Rogue instead seeing as that server seemed to be much more stable. I’ve not regretted my choice one bit.
As starting zone I chose Drustvar. And boy was I in for a treat. I don’t want to spoil too much but the whole atmosphere of the zone was amazing and I’ve tried to discover every nook and cranny. I managed to track down and kill every rare encounter in the zone, earning me an achievement. I’ve done all the available quests and I’ve explored the entire zone. With a dungeon at the end I completed the questline as a whole and can honestly say I really enjoyed my first day of BfA play!
Even though we had the usual launch shenanigans I managed to play for the biggest part of the day and I log off being level 115 on my Rogue. I’m not really sure how everything works yet. I’m leveling up my Heart of Azeroth necklace and I’m picking traits in my Azerite armor. So far it looks like you want to have multiple pieces of one slot so you can itemize them according to all your specializations and I’m sure PvP itemizes differently than PvE. I’m also sure there will be guides soon about which Azerite armour piece gives the best traits and what to look for and pick. I’m currently rocking a chest or headpiece (I don’t remember which one) that gives me a haste boost when I use Adrenaline Rush on my Rogue and it’s amazing. I’m really digging playing the Outlaw specialization right now as it proves to be nice for leveling but also decent for dungeons. Blade Flurry + Killing Spree is definitely somewhat overpowered on packs right now.
My next zone will be Tirisgarde Sound. Seeing as I took all day just to get through Drustvar I expect not to be done with this subzone in one measly evening. I do think I will ding 120 before being done with all the zones, but the same was true for Legion. It won’t stop me finishing it all off and tackling as much content as I can while doing so. I hope to make it to level 120 around the weekend, because we all know the REAL game starts at max level…
As we’re one hour away from BfA launch I’m reliving the hype from many other expansion launches. I’ve only pulled an all-nighter for one so far (Wrath of the Lich King) but I’ve tried to be around for the midnight launch for most of them. Some where smooth. Others not so much. I’m not going into this one with high hopes, mostly because even if you get through you’ll be fighting so many people over quest mobs it may actually be impossible to get going for quite a while. Instead I opted to take tomorrow off and use that to get some leveling done. I know some of my friends are going to go all night and I say good luck to them. Me, I’m going take it easy, explore, do quests and enjoy the ride. As usual.
Did I get everything done I wanted from Legion? Not by a long shot. I got my 36 Mage Towers done and all my Class Hall mounts but I still miss a lot of hidden appearances for my Artifact weapons. I’ve never properly finished the Chromie scenario. I’ve not taken part in the riddle mounts. I’ve not raided Tomb of Sargeras or Antorus properly and I never got my desired Mythic +15 done. I’m not that fussed though. I can go back for mounts and weapon skins. Pets and toys. Achievements that don’t go away. There’s always content to do and content to go back to with so many expansions.
So right now I’m saying goodbye to Legion and hello to Battle for Azeroth. May your content bring me joy. I’ll see you all on the other side!
A few months ago I decided I was going to roll Horde for Battle for Azeroth. Most of my friends play there. My Alliance guid is kind of dried up and I dislike raiding with them. I had this plan firmly set in my mind. Even if I knew that the Horde would burn Teldrassil, I didn’t care.
Blizzard has been dripping us more and more lore over the past few weeks. We got our Warbringers shorts, we got our quests and scenario’s. I’ve read Before the Storm and all the comics leading up to this. Today Blizzard released the novella’s that came with the Collector’s Edition of BfA to the general public. Me, as Alliance diehard, decided to read the Alliance story first. I knew it would describe the events as they were happening ingame. I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong.
By the end of the novella I was crying. Crying because the story is just so sad and crying for all the fictional characters who suffered. I didn’t think I would be this sappy yet here I am. I always thought that I could look past the lore and past the stories and everything and just play the game on the character I want to. For the first time in what seems like forever though I just can’t bring myself to look past things anymore.
I know it’s a fictional world. And I know that I shouldn’t care but I do. And so I decided today that I am not rolling Horde in BfA… yet. I may be able to do it later, when the story has advanced a bit more, but for now I’m staying with my Alliance roots and will take a Night Elf to the new world first. I’m still debating which one it will be, my Warrior or my Rogue, but my heart bleeds blue and I will march into Battle of Azeroth for the Alliance.
So with BfA ever edging closer (only 9 more days!) I’d like to give a small update on the BfA prep goals that I had set for myself. I tried to keep them doable and I actually made a lot of progress in the past two weeks.
1. Class mounts. I’ve actually done all of them except Mage! I’m currently doing the questline on Mage though so I will probably get that done tomorrow and I can officially close this chapter. After doing 11/12 I have to say that there are some massive differences from class to class in how they obtain their mount. The easiest ones literally only have a scenario to complete while the harder ones are prefaced by a series of quests. All in all I’ve found it quite enjoyable to do and I’m quite pleased with myself that I’ve gotten them all done so fast.
2. Professions/Profession Quests. This one mostly regarded my Paladin and her Alchemy. I’m quite happy to report that I’ve cleared out all of the Alchemy Quests in my Questlog! I’m also 6 days away from unlocking every single Legion recipe. This because I need to do “Wild Transmutation” to discover the last few things I’m missing so yeah. I’ve also been making some profit by selling flasks that I needed to make to level up. I’m at 100/100 Alchemy/Herbalism for Legion and I’m ready to tackle BfA profession wise. Other than the odd profession quest here and there on my other characters I consider this goal to be done.
3. Emissary Quests/Honor Grinding Unfortunately this has fallen quite to the wayside. I’ve been focused a lot on getting some other stuff done but with my last Class mount looming on the horizon I think I’ll have more time to do these.
4. The Chromie Scenario Same as number 3 really. I will have more time the coming few days because no more other class shenanigans. I’m taking my Warrior through and see how it is. I’ve heard rumours that with the whole stat squish and pruning it’s become rather easy, but we’ll see.
5. Level an Allied race I’ve been working on this actually! I’ve made a baby Nightborne Warlock who is currently sitting at level 30. I’ve chosen to go the Stonetalon Mountains > Southern Barrens route for leveling for now. I’m throwing in the odd dungeon here and there but try to keep my play time limited. I don’t want to burn myself out leveling when there is a new expansion right around the corner. I may reach close to level 50 when BfA launches and I think I’ll be stuck there for a while, but I’m progressing. Slowly.
I think I’ll do one more update the evening of the BfA launch. For now though I’m going to enjoy finishing off the final things and taking it a bit slower in general. Because in 9 days we’ll be off to a new adventure!
Now that we’re less than 10 days away from BfA launch I figured it would be a nice time to take a look back at Legion as expansion and highlight some of it’s highs and lows for me personally. I’d like to talk about my favourite, and least favourite, storylines. Which expansion mount looks the most amazing (hint, it’s a Class one!) and what I found most disappointing overall. So without further ado, here is my Legion in a nutshell!
Most awesome class campaign: Rogue Yup. Kind of a shocker isn’t it? I’ve not played Rogue seriously since Wrath of the Lich King and as class it was the last one to see max level and probably my least favourite up untill that point. But holy hell Blizzard did such a masterful job with the storyline here. I have to admit that the class hall itself was a bit of a letdown (I didn’t particularly enjoy any of the Class Halls overall) but the story. Oh the story. And all the iconic characters. I loved the whole thing surrounding Matthias Shaw. I loved staging a pirate type coup. And I especially loved the Class Mount involving me assassinating targets in Horde (or Alliance, depending on the side you play) capitals. It was all very well done and 100% Rogue.
Least awesome class campaign: Death Knight There. I said it. I know it will probably not sit well with many people because I’ve read nothing but praise about the Death Knight storyline but honestly I hated it from start to finish. Maybe because I was around in Wrath where the whole thing about being a Death Knight was being free of the Lich King and not following in his footsteps. Well here comes Legion and you are basically his puppet again. I hated killing and reanimating things. I hated having to bully my way to information and I sure as hell avoided any unnecessary killings when I could. I feel like Death Knights are set back by this story line and it probably is trying to make a point about how the Lich King is still evil. I just wish I had the choice to not go along with it.
Best looking Mount of the expansion: Shaman Class Mount! Shaman takes the cake, I mean hello. You’re actually riding an elemental. Can’t really top that can you?
Most disappointing Mount of the expansion: The Riddle Worm/Paladin ClassMount. This is actually a nice tie. I see people riding around on the Riddle Worms and honestly it’s just ugly. I don’t want to ride a gigantic eel out of water, if it was a water mount I guess I would have taken a bit more liking to it. But just seeing them soar the skies is a sore sight for me. I rate the Paladin Class Mount here because really, it’s just another horse. I would’ve loved to have something a bit more exotic than that. They are pretty horses in their respective four colour variations, but still rather disappointing.
Most creative encounter: Elisande, the Nighthold I’m guessing this one comes with a bit of nostalgia goggles because the Nighthold was the last serious raid I did with my guild in the expansion. I really liked the Elisande fight, even though for us it wasn’t a very steep learning curve. The fact that she resets herself while adding mechanics was a delight and I really loved dealing with all of the stuff that was going on there. Killing the right adds, dodging the spheres, it was an amazing fight overall and especially enjoyable on a high mobile class like Warrior.
Most disappointing encounter: Varimathras, Antorus the Broken Throne This one is most likely caused by the fact that I’ve only done it on LFR but man, this fight is dull. All the mechanics can be neglected and it’s just a straight up tank and spank, making it uneventful to say the least and straight up boring on almost anything but a healer class. Please don’t make fights like these anymore Blizzard.
Best content overall: Mage Towers This should come as no surprise really. I’ve tackled all 36 Mage Towers, and the Holy Priest and Shadow Priest ones twice, and I can honestly say it’s some of the most fun I’ve had in an MMO in a very long time. Even though some of the Healer ones almost made me break my keyboard, as did Subtlety Rogue on a 1% wipe, I’ve never felt more proud of myself than when I got all of these done. It feels like it’s a testament to my perseverence but also to my adaptability and skill in this game in general. I may not be a Mythic raider but I know how to play everything and I enjoy playing everything.
Stuff I hoped would go away with BFA: APGrind The AP grind. Oh the AP grind. It was horrible. Before the whole catch up mechanics it grinded my gears so much. Alting was a nightmare because of this and even playing more than one specc was made so much less enjoyable because of the damned AP grind. I know it’s coming back in BfA in a bit more friendly form but in my opinion Blizzard should have done away with it alltogether.
What Blizzard needs to do more in future expansions: Storytelling like the Class Hall campaigns I think one of the most outstanding things in Legion were the Class Hall campaigns. Even though some may have had better stories than others (I’m looking at you specifically Monk and beer related content) they all felt unique and fitting to the class in one way or another. I felt engaged in the stories for every class I did and, as cherry on top, it was excellent solo content with a splash of grouping up. It was well executed and really helped built the rest of the expansion with that base. I really hope that Blizzard will do something similar in BfA with tailor made content that you can do solo and gives fun and engaging storylines.
Most torn opinion:Professions Ahh Professions. For some reason I get the feeling that Blizzard looked at FFXIV for this. We suddenly had a ton of profession quests in Legion. And even though I enjoyed doing them it also felt like a chore to do on every new alt I made. I’m not overly thrilled on the whole 1-2-3 star recipe thing either, especially for the gathering professions Mining, Herbalism and Skinning. I can honestly say I’ve Mined a LOT on my Warrior this expansion yet I’ve not obtained all three star skills and it’s pissing me off. I like that they added more depth to the professions and I can see why they did the “expansion split” with the pre-patch but I’m not a fan of the star system and the quests get really repetitive when you do them more than once. I guess I’ll have to see what BfA brings on this front.
So there you have it. I could go on and on for a very long time about all the things I liked and disliked about Legion but overall I enjoyed the expansion more than I thought I would, especially without a raiding guild. I can only hope BfA shapes up to be as good and hopefully even better.
I have waited to write this post untill after I did the next leg of the War of the Thorns quest (SPOILERS AHEAD). I found it fitting to take one last screenshot on my Warrior in her home before it would burn. I knew it was coming and I knew it would be heartbreaking from the Alliance point of view and it most definitely was. I have to admit that at the end when you collapse after trying to rescue citizens and are directed back to Stormwind while the Night Elf Priestesses stayed behind had me tearing up. It’s such a sad event and I’m particularly mad at Blizzard at the way they chose to write this. Sylvanas burning the tree in a hissy fit? Really? Even though I know I should wait to see how this plays out I find it very disturbing that Blizzard pulled off this particular move and am beyond disappointed at the writing team right now. I can’t even bring myself to do the Horde side of things because I’m just so… so mad and emotional. I don’t want to aid her in burning the World Tree. I don’t want to have to do anything with Sylvanas at all at this point. Hell even my decision to go Horde for BfA has been heavily affected by this whole scenario. Even though all my friends play Horde I just can’t bring myself to go over to that side right now. It just feels wrong and evil and I want nothing to do with it. There is a reason my main character is a Night Elf and I will do her proud by keeping on playing one into BfA and crush as many Horde as I can. I also know that Blizzard is playing with our emotions like this so we really get into the faction conflict. Well for me it has worked. Nobody touches my tree!
August 1st will always be the day that the Night Elves lost their home now, but it’s also the first day of Blaugust! With a very lively Discord and lots of participants this year I’d love to see how everything turns out. We have game bloggers from all directions of the earth and from all sorts of games. I personally will probably be writing a lot about World of Warcraft the coming weeks, the BfA launch comes at a great time for me, and I want to dedicate a small series of posts to Octopath Traveler which has smoothly worked it’s way into my top 3 favourite single player games of all times. For a full list of participants I’d like to direct you all to this post by Belghast who is once again doing a fantastic job in managing all of this. It’s also his 20th wedding anniversary so drop by and congratulate him!
I really had a long awesome post in the works for the start of Blaugust but my day went a bit different than I thought it would. I ended up with a bit of a headache after being slightly overheated at a barbecue and I honestly can’t formulate sentences very well right now. So my awesome post will be postponed untill tomorrow. I will recap what I loved and didn’t love about Legion and what the status of my goals set untill launch are! So goodnight for now and I will see you guys tomorrow!
Today I want to talk about the Battle for Azeroth prepatch, the currently live War of the Thorns, my perceived ending of it and build a case why I think Malfurion Stormrage may indeed die and why the Alliance burn down their own tree. SPOILER WARNING!!! I will be talking about the prepatch quests and the “Before the Storm” novel by Christie Golden, aswell as reference some of the comics that Blizzard released aswell. If you still want to read the book or if you do not want to be spoiled, turn away now.
If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen that I’ve recently posted a bit of a thread where I explain that the Alliance may actually burn down Teldrassil themselves and why Sylvanas may not be as evil as Blizzard is portraying her to be. I want to dedicate this blogpost to that theory, why I came to that theory and what I think may happen in the BfA expansion. So without further ado, my very first tinfoil hat post!
We start my theory where Legion ends. Sargeras has driven his gigantic evil sword into the heart of Azeroth. Even though we beat the corrupted Titan, we suffered an extreme blow to Azeroth herself. In the wake of this event Azerite is discovered and we are sent to Silithus to investigate on both sides. We speak with Khadgar and Magni who tells us that Azeroth is suffering. In the narrative it seems that Sylvanas (and mostly Gallywix) were the first to discover Azerite. Gallywix tells Sylvanas of this amazing stuff coming up around the sword and he sends his goblins to start mining it (how he knows it’s mineable will become clear in a few mins of reading time!). On the Alliance part of the fence Anduin is informed of Azerite aswell and the fact that the Horde has already begun with digging it up. So it makes sense for Alliance players to scramble to Silithus to stop the Horde effort.
This is basically where the ingame story ends for Legion. We have this huge sword that has exposed Azerite and Alliance and Horde will be fighting over this precious material.
Comics and Before the Storm
After we have restored peace to the galaxy a chain of events is set in motion. Sylvanas retakes Windrunner Spire with her sisters and they all realise they can never be a family again. This comic also shows that Sylvanas went into the meeting with more evil intentions, she had assassins ready to kill her sisters, and that the Void seems to be aware of an aspect of Sylvanas that no one else seems to notice, referring to her as a champion of “Death”. We also see Jaina again and see the struggles of Magni Bronzebeard as he deals with Azeroths’ pain.
The “Before the Storm” novel starts around where Sylvanas and Anduin both get a touch of Azerite in their hands. We see their reactions ingame but in the novel it’s a bit more detailed. Azerite seems to boost your brain and give you amazing and terrible ideas. On Anduins side it is exactly like how it plays out in the ingame cinematic. On Sylvanas’ side though, it seems a bit different. Gallywix doesn’t actually hand her the Azerite but shows her the tip of his staff, that’s made from it. He also reveals that Deathwing probably wasn’t the reason for the Goblin home island volcano to blow up but the fact that the Goblins had been digging too deep and probably hit an Azerite vein.
Sylvanas orders Gallywix to find people to make weapons for her, which he does, while Anduin decides he wants to visit all the people that helped defeat the Legion and plans to make a tour to all capitals. He also for the first time enters the Netherlight temple, the Priest Class Hall, and sees that Priests of all races have no issues working together including Humans and Forsaken. He also learns that Calia Menethil is still alive, Arthas’ sister.
I don’t really want to go into details too much when it comes to this book but I do want to talk about the two major plotlines. The first is the Azerite race and how the Horde and Alliance deal with it. Basically it comes down to Anduin wanting the Cenarion Circle, Earthen Ring and Priests to go to Silithus and try to heal the wound at the behest of Magni Bronzebeard. Sylvanas however sees an opportunity to make powerful weapons so she can finally execute her master plan: Ravage Stormwind.
The second plotline is Anduin still hoping for some sort of peace. After seeing the priests of the Netherlight Temple working together in harmony he sets up a plan for Forsaken and Humans to meet eachother. On the Forsaken side of things a governing body, formed in the absense of Sylvanas, is all too eager to accept this invitation and after deliberations by both faction leaders (Sylvanas and Anduin) the meeting takes place and, as to be expected, goes horribly wrong. Sylvanas kills her own people that are trying to defect and kills Calia Menethil. Anduin manages to stop an all out war starting right there and then but doesn’t prevent Sylvanas from realizing that she’s not universally loved among her people and this probably angers her more than anything up untill that point. For Sylvanas this meeting was a moment of humiliation and defeat, defeat brought by a boy and a girl who was supposed to be dead.
Fast forward: War of the Thorns
So that leaves us with the prepatch. We have powered down Sargeras’ sword as champions by giving up our artifacts and Sylvanas has come up with a plan to take Teldrassil. She explains her motivations to the player ingame, Teldrassil is the biggest harbor for the Alliance in Kalimdor and by capturing it she effectively cuts off Stormwind from obtaining Azerite. It is a great tactical move which is fueled in part by her desire to take revenge on Anduin after humiliating her. She is not planning to destroy it, she does not want to kill all the Night Elves except for one: Malfurion Stormrage. And even that is a tactical kill. She wants to defeat the Night Elves greatest champion in the hopes that they will break and she has a very easy time capturing Teldrassil. What follows are a series of quests that get their own twist depending on whether you play Alliance or Horde. The narrative is largely the same though, with the Horde having some knowledge that the Alliance do not.
Playing from the Alliance perspective you are surprised with the attack by the Horde and scramble to save whatever is left of Ashenvale outposts and Darkshore. You fight the Horde eventually and come to a stalemate at Wellspring River after which you tactically retreat and wait for reinforcements. From the Alliance PoV the Horde is the aggressor in every single way and you are scrambling to stop them.
Playing from the Horde perspective you start your war campaign by taking all the Night Elf outposts in Ashenvale and then regroup at Zoram Strand after it’s clear that the Alliance is making a stand in Darkshore. Sylvanas however orders Saurfang to find an alternate route through Felwood and take a big chunk of the army with him. She takes the rest of the army and invades Darkshore and comes at a standstill at Wellspring River.
This is where the current story ends. Playing from both perspectives you can see how Blizzard wants to influence the Horde vs Alliance narrative. As Horde you only kill the guards in Astranaar. As Alliance you come there to find all civilians dead. As Horde you find Alliance already mining away at Azerite in the Master’s Glaive. As Alliance you arrive to find the Horde doing the same. It’s interesting and it’s really pushing the “Us vs Them” narrative in a smart way.
So what happens next?
From all the information we have I can conclude a few things. Next to seeming a tactical move, Sylvanas started this war to show who’s boss. After realizing she doesn’t have universal control over her own people, let alone the entirety of the Horde, she needed to do something drastic to prove she’s someone they should respect and be afraid of. The Alliance are actually caught unawares by this move, even though Anduin could have known Sylvanas would be up to something after their disastrous meeting in the Arathi Highlands.
With the next batch of quests coming out next week I’d like to make a prediction as to how this will all turn out:
Saurfang will be succesful finding an alternate way to Darkshore via Felwood and will have the Alliance in a two tailed grip. Sylvanas will come from the south and Saurfang will come from the north. Alliance reinforcements will arrive but it will effectively be too late as the Horde will have captured Darkshore in it’s entirety. As last desperation move the Alliance retreats to Teldrassil, beckoning the Horde to follow. Malfurion will engage/distract Sylvanas and Saurfang as her army descends on Teldrassil. Sylvanas kills (or mortally wounds) Malfurion and makes her way to Teldrassil just in time to see how it is set ablaze with the Horde army trapped. The majority of the Night Elves escapes as the Horde army perishes in the fire.Sylvanas escapes back to the Undercity, taking Saurfang with her as she needs to recover from this loss. Anduin, outraged and struck with grief over the loss of Malfurion then orders the Siege of Undercity and that will be the starting point of BfA.
So yeah. That’s my version of how things will turn out. I know that it’s a lot of buildup to basically only a paragraph of predictions but honestly we don’t have THAT much material to work with here. I am eager to see how the story will turn out and if I am right in my predictions. I guess we know in about 14 days!