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Warbringers: Sylvanas *SPOILERS*

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Firemane
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If you don't want to be spoiled don't watch the video until you've played through this week's pre-expansion quests. I'll hold my thoughts on the video until later for the same reason.

Edited by: Anonymous on 12/05/2018 - 08:00 Reason: Topic autoclosed
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Honesty
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It's identical to the one shown in game.  The Illidan/demon hunter one was accessible in game from the mage upstairs in the Violet Citadel...I wonder if they'll do the same thing with Jaina's in the next expansion.

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Lierra
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No beautiful ballad. <sad face>

 

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Honesty
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Here be spoilers.  Turn back now if you haven't done the in game quests.

My general reaction to this is very similar to the one I had for the Jaina video, sadness as to what happened to the character.  They are both entitled "warbringers", so I kind of expect them to be focusing on the people bringing up the war that starts off BfA, not an intrinsically happy thing.  I don't mind the "stop motion" animation style when it comes to memories, I think it does a good job of evoking the feel of memory.  It doesn't do as good a job in showing action. 

However, both videos require that you know a lot of other things in order to actually understand the motivations of the characters.  In the Jaina video, you have to know the history of Jaina and her father, which took place in a different game.  If you played the Theramore scenario, you saw what changed the Jaina of the Undercity battle to the current Jaina.  For Sylvanas, unfortunately, you need materials that have been released in books and in written material that comes only with the collector's edition of BfA.  (People have seen previews of this material, and I've heard it will be available on the Blizzard website after the release of BfA, I've seen some of the excerpts people have posted.)

In this additional material, you get to see some of the discussions between the leaders of the Horde where Sylvanas convinces them to go to war.  One goal stated there is to fracture the Alliance, because Sylvanus believes that if Anduin moves to rescue Darnassus, Greymane will split off because he believes Gilneas should be recovered first--which isn't in the game.  Killing Malfurion and holding Darnassus hostage are goals that she manages to get everyone behind, although she has to browbeat Baine (in addition, she's apparently sent the leadership of the Horde druids off to meet with Magni).  At Darkshore, she knows Malfurion isn't dead (Saurfang doesn't have a head hanging from his belt), so in part burning the tree is to crush hope in the same way she thought killing Malfurion would do.  After the cut scene, on the Horde side (in game) she explains to the player character that this wasn't what she set off to do.

The extra material also describes the Night Elf defense as being a lot better than we see in game.  Tyrande is actively doing things out of our sight, and prays to Elune to help her find Malfurion.  Elune is given credit for Saurfang not killing Malfurion and guiding Tyrande to him...kind of nice to have a deus ex machina actually involve a deus; but Saurfang's crisis of "what are we doing" is also given more time. 

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Honesty
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Game wise, I thought the final quest in the sequence in the burning Darnassus was one of the most effective since Battle for Darrowshire.  Unlike every other "put out the fire and rescue the civilians" quest in the game you have no chance of success, and the x/983 counter is devastating.  I still felt like a hero, getting all I could until I pass out from smoke inhalation.  There's no such quest on the Horde side, no chance to feel like a hero, it ends right after the cinematic.  (In fact, in the Horde quests, you have a choice as to whether or not to kill civilians in Astranaar--it doesn't require it for quest completion, there's no achievement, and your quest companion only lightly admonishes you to not get caught.)  Alliance side, of course, all the civilians in that town are dead.

This is, of course, only the prologue.  In the usual course of the story, act I will see things get a lot worse.  Blizzard has said to be patient, we don't have the whole story yet...but I remember the beginning of WoD, and their claims that the Alliance would get its "fist pump" moment to make up for all the losses at the start.  Apparently, that was Varian's "We will end you" line, that was our fist pump moment, if you missed it.  I'm kind of dreading a "Warbringers: Anduin" (I don't know if they are continuing the series).

I have to wonder if they are setting up this expansion to be Life vs. Death, two of the powers in Blizzard's cosmology.  The last one was Arcane vs Fel, and they surely have Light vs Void planned somewhere in the future.  Sylvanas gets a peculiar smile in the video when she sees Anduin take to the field, and there are hints in the extra material I mentioned that she has other plans she's not letting the other leaders in on.  (In addition, both Anduin and Sylvanas' reaction to holding the Azerite is that it makes them think better, more strategically, etc.)

 

Firemane
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I haven't read the "extended universe" material, but I did see that it existed. My initial reaction to the video was one of disappointment. I have no particular visceral attachment to either the Alliance or the Horde. I main Alliance simply because that's where my friends were when the game started. But I do like a good story with good characters, and the truth is that Sylvanas has always ranked near the top for me because her character had more depth than many others in the game. (I like Jaina for much the same reasons.)


I thought the content of the video removed some of her depth and presented her as reactionary and spiteful, capable of being triggered into poorly thought out responses because someone said something she didn't like. Considering I've had just about enough of that in the real world from the loathsome current occupant of the Oval Office, I wasn't overly pleased with what they did with her here.


With that said, it's good that the background reading presents her as closer to the cold and calculating Banshee Queen she's always been, but it's unfortunate they couldn't incorporate more of that into the game itself. Most players don't look outside the game for story material. Obviously for a story as complex as WoW, not everything can be presented within the game world, but the salient points should at least be presented. A better understanding of Sylvanas's motivations would give some insight that the current content lacks.


Am I being too hard on what is simply pre-expansion content? Maybe. But the Warbringer videos are very well done, I wish the in game set up did this one better justice. Oh and Honesty, don't worry, there will be no Warbringer: Anduin video. The third (and final) video in the series is Warbringer: Azshara.

Firemane
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Whoa, this was an unexpected surprise. Some good follow up to the Sylvanas video, and should satisfy those of you looking for a fully rendered cinematic...


Des
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I was going to post about the Horde side, and what they see during all this build up - cheating because I don't have a Horde toon anymore...always been interested in moving one back over though...

i only saved 30 or so...

i get different opinions and feelings, but i'm a bit sad that we had to interject politics into the boards...i see enough insanity in social media, can we all just be friends and kill stuff together?

Firemane
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It wasn't my intent to inject politics into the boards, but my comment was about the man, not the politician. Party affiliation aside, by any objective standard he's a despicable human being who brings out the absolute worst in people and I don't apologize for the comparison. I think the parallel is a valid one.

Des
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oh, i respect your opinion, not asking for an apology buddy

having no party affiliation, i just see the divide between people and worry that offering our thoughts on such visceral topics might create some tension, that's all...you are, and always will be, my friend

Elentur
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I saw the Saurfang video drop in the launcher last night.  Dang.  That was feels.

I have the following views:

* Saurfang is going to get his heroes death in combat this expansion.

* Sylvanna is going to have a long play redemption arc; we just haven't seen how it plays out yet.  I expect it ti involve Anduin and/or Jaina.  MAYBE her sister, but she seems slated for the Void arc post-BfA.

* Jaina is still going to be a whiny brat.

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Honesty
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I didn't get the same emotional impact from the Old Soldier that I did from the other videos.  I did have kind of the same sadness...Saurfang feels that he fought without honor (for axeing Malfurion in the back) for a leader who fought without honor (for burning the tree), and Blizzard needed something to bridge between that and his appearance in the BfA cinematic (where despite being wounded he charges forward grabbing the fallen banner).  For many Horde players, Varok Saurfang is a hero of heroes, the young troll is representing them.  Many Horde players were vehement and despondent after the Sylvanas video, and are now fired up after this one.  All it takes to reclaim his lost honor is to fight for the Horde, I guess.  Saurfang is still conflicted by this, and has a major role still to play.

For those who may not recall, his son was taken by Arthas and was the Deathbringer Saurfang encounter in Icecrown citadel, with the touching scene at the end where Varian allows Varok to reclaim his son's body.  Thus the scenes in the icy wastes.

I like that the cinematic format was used, it does a better job of conveying current events than the stop frame.  It leads in to the BfA cinematic, introducing the new troll (Zekhan, according to a tweet from the director of the video clip, also known as Zappyboi on the forums for his lightning during the cinematic).

I think they are going to have to do one more before release, Anduin.  I think they'll want to expand on that scene in the cinematic where he stares at his father's sword, then puts it down to call on the light in a tremendous AE resurrect/heal/shield.  He's conflicted, and I think they will want us to understand that conflict and highlight it.

Blizzard has been effective at firing up its player base, which was their whole point in these marketing materials.  I still think that most of our returnees want to see what the new stuff does, and is it fun, but there's a wide swath of people who want to shout "For the Horde" or "Stand as One."

And Elentur, I disagree entirely with your opinion about Jaina.  As I said earlier, I'm sad about the "revenge, rawr" motivation they've given her, but 'whiny brat' is not close at all.

 

Elentur
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That's based on a lot of older stuff from her.  I hope we don't see a repeat of that, and the current showings for Anduin, Saurfang, Sylvannas show they're moving forwrad.  But Jaina has always been kinda whiny in my view; how she reacted to Thrall getting his mate, and disapperance during Warlods/Legion, leave a lot of questions.

 

Firemane
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What was Jaina's reaction to Thrall getting his mate? I don't recall that. She's at their wedding in Cataclysm. The whole Jaina and Thrall being in love thing was never canon, it was never anything more than silly fan fiction.

Jaina has never come across as whiny to me. They've been inconsistent with her character at times, especially between the games and the novels, but I've never thought she was whiny. She has plenty of good reason to distrust the Horde at this point.

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So...why is it called the War of Thorns?  Haven't seen anyone use that as a symbol, there's no little prickling attacks, Teldrassil wasn't thorny.  No one has called it that in game, just on the calendar and marketing materials.  The only thing I've come up with is that Game of Thrones is popular, and this is a play on that.

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Aeth
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As with everything, Blizzard decided it needed more spikes. ;)

Elentur
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It could also loosely be based on the War of the Roses, although that was more of a civil war in England.  However, we haven't seen everything yet; Blizzard may throw some intra-faction strife/split in, which makes sense.  

I agree that they've been pretty inconsistent with Jaina as a power player; she's strong headed, powerful (as powerful as Khadgar?  not yet....), dedicated to the Alliance but sees (saw?) the value of peace between A & H.  But why are we now just seeing her internal conflict on what happened with her father?  That was a long time ago (game wise); the mana-bombing of Theramore is more recent and devastating.  I can only base on what is in-game; I don't read the novels, comics, etc.  I think you have it right, inconsistent is the best term for her.

I wonder if we'll get giant Jaina like from the Hyjal CoT encounter :)

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Well, the two houses in the civil war used roses (one red and one white) as their symbol, so that name makes sense.  Neither side here uses thorns as a symbol.  Blizzard has mostly numbered its wars, the Third war shows up in the Old Soldier cinematic.  The calendar also has the "War of the Thorns" end next Tuesday with the release of the expansion.  A war ending to be replaced by a battle and not a bigger war?  That also seems odd.  Hopefully someone will give us a reason for the name.

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Aeth
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The War of Thorns: that time both faction leaders got a little prickly.

Firemane
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Elentur wrote:
she's strong headed, powerful (as powerful as Khadgar? not yet....)

She would wreck Khadgar one on one. He wields Atiesh but doesn't technically have the full power of the Guardian (which has to be granted). Now that Med'an has been (thankfully) retconned out of canonical lore, Medivh is the last to have possessed that power. And if you've been paying attention to Jaina's progression over the years (she was a match for the Lich King at the height of his strength for example, and that was before she added the Thunder King's power to her own), she would likely have given even Medivh a run for his money. High Arcanist Thalyssra won't even dare to try to challenge her.

She's a ridiculously powerful Mage, as we will soon see.


Elentur wrote:
But why are we now just seeing her internal conflict on what happened with her father? That was a long time ago (game wise); the mana-bombing of Theramore is more recent and devastating.

Well, because she's returning to Kul Tiras for the first time since her father's death. She's never really come to grips with it before. Plus, in the wake of Thrall abdicating (in favor of Garrosh), Theramore, and Varian's death at the Broken Shore (which many Alliance still lay at the Horde's feet) she now is beginning to wonder if Daelin may have been right about the Horde all along.

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