The second part of War of Thorns is live now for World of Warcraft

    
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This has less dramatic impact than hoped.

It’s time to set a really big tree on fire with this week’s update to World of Warcraft’s pre-patch War of Thorns. Last week saw the Horde marching on Darkshore, and this week sees Sylvanas… well, reaching Teldrassil and then the tree burns down. We all knew this was going to happen from last year; it’s not exactly a spoiler.

Completing the scenarios allows you to unlock a special mount for both factions (a Teldrassil Hippogryph for the Alliance and a Lordaeron Plaguebat for the Horde), as well as furthering the story and allowing you to view the next Warbringers short for Sylvanas. You can also view that just below if you want, but be fairly warned that it’s both spoiler-heavy and, well, the final nail in the coffin for any hopes that this expansion isn’t just setting up Sylvanas as the big bad. Fairly warned be ye.

Source: Wowhead
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Serrenity
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Serrenity

Unpopular opinion: I found the story compelling, and despite being a historical Horde player, feel like I can’t play them anymore with Sylvanas at the head. Sylvanas actions leave me with questions, but I don’t consider that to be bad writing because Blizzard has never had a character be bad just by virtue of being bad. There’s no reason to think they would start doing so now.

I’m excited to see what’s going to happen. The “WTF!?” moment(s) makes me more likely to play, not less.

I have to agree with this is the first chapter of the story – you aren’t supposed to have all the answers right now. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable explicitly because you don’t know what’s going on. You don’t declare a book to be terrible based on the first chapter you read, that’s silly. You get to the end and then make an informed decision based on the whole story.

But then, that also goes against the culture of instant gratification, so there’s that.

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Sorenthaz

Lol at how many people keep calling this ‘lazy writing’ because it makes Sylvanas and the Horde as a whole look bad.

1. This has been Sylvanas’s character ever since she became undead. As far back as Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne we saw her manipulative nature at play. She mind controlled Garithos and had his human army serve her until she had no more use of him, to where she then had Varimithras execute him. She has never had respect for the living outside of when she needs to use them for her own ends. The only difference is now she’s the leader of the Horde so she can’t hide and has to bend the truth/justify her choices while we begrudgingly go with it since we don’t have the opportunity to really object or stand against it (yet… that’s the key word, as just like with Garrosh we weren’t able to just straight-up oppose him on our own).

2. Teldrassil is burning for a reason, and that’s to ruin the Night Elves’ morale by destroying their home. Do you think Sylvanas ever cared about innocent lives? She plague-bombed Gilneas and Southshore. Don’t pretend that she’s somehow better than this, because she never has been.

3. The only other Horde leader present to this event is Saurfang who can’t just simply rebel against Sylvanas on his own. He’d be killed on the spot without hesitation. Same goes for our player characters. The other Horde leaders aren’t present and there’s a good chance that most of them don’t even know that this event is transpiring quite yet. This is very likely intentional on Blizzard’s part because guess what happens when folks like Baine find out about it? Also note that the Trolls and Orcs don’t really have a solid leader figure for their races; Orcs have Saurfang at best but he serves as more of a representative than a straight-up leader, Trolls have the same issue with Vol’jin gone.

4. It’s meant to be controversial and it’s meant to generate a lot of complaints and questions because the whole point of this is for us to wonder why the hell we’re still fighting a faction-based war. There’s a very high chance this is leading into something bigger, potentially cross-faction features coming in a future patch or the next expansion. Blizzard’s storytelling has been all about doing stuff for reasons that might not seem clear until later, and we’re not going to know everything right away in a pre-expansion event.

5. If it feels rushed that’s because Sylvanas is rushing. She doesn’t want the Alliance getting a foothold on Azerite. She wants them to be completely cut off from the supply in Silithus. She doesn’t have the luxury to plot all of this out in an elaborate manner like she’s a character straight out of Death Note. The whole point of this is that it feels forced for a reason, and that’s simply because Sylvanas maybe isn’t as nice of a person as people somehow fooled themselves into thinking she was.

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fallwind

1) you can’t play the “pragmatic” card here, she “reeeeeed” about hope and went against her own, stated, best interest. She clearly planed to invade and use it as a bargaining chip, that was the pragmatic choice, instead she broke her own plans out of anger, not pragmatism.

2) Kinda… it’s burning because she didn’t bother to kill Malf when she had the chance… because… she forgot? The plan was to break their morale by killing Malf and using the civilians in the tree to force the Alliance to accept her terms. When she didn’t kill Malf, because… reasons, she was still planning on invading the tree. Right up until the “chance encounter” (as Bliz put it), there was no plan to burn the tree.

3) totally agree, kinda. The army is made of orcs, not undead. Had the army been primarily Forsaken it would have been far harder for anyone to refuse, but this relies on the orcs showing more loyalty to Sylv than Surfang.

4) Yup, agree, at least I hope so. We were told that the burning would be “morally grey”, that there would be “questions about who burned the tree”, and neither of that came about.

5) Except she did. She had a plan, a GOOD plan, one that could have worked had she not forgot to kill Malf and kept her anger in check.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

To add onto this, with #3… nothing happens when folks like Baine find out. For one, the random absence of the other Horde leaders is, to me, more of Blizz’s lazy writing rather than anything planned.. because they *don’t give a shit* when we’re in Lordaeron.

These same Horde leaders happily stand by and watch Sylvanas bombard her own troops with the plague, and then raise them as undead. They do nothing. At that point the only one who even raises a complaint is Saurfang, but he still goes along with the whole plan. Baine goes along with the whole damn plan. Lor’themar goes along with the whole damn plan, and he’s the one who’s actually spoken against Sylvanas raising the dead in the past.

And what happens after Lordaeron? Nothing. Nothing in BFA actually changes what the Horde are doing or who they follow it. Yes, that may (and this is a big MAY) change in 8.1 or 8.2, half a year or more down the road, but that still makes zero sense – this isn’t something they’d just sit around on their asses for, because they saw exactly where that got them with Garrosh.

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Bryan Turner

She pivoted really, she was looking to make a psychological blow against the Alliance and once she realized occupying Teldrasil wouldn’t cause the intended affect she burned it down instead; here you’re not only denying the Alliance a strategic port (despite the fact every one seems to forget Azuremist Island exists), it also takes out the Night Elf symbol of hope since the tree was planted in hope of restoring the Night Elf immortality it also marks the destruction of the capitol in exile for the Worgen with presumably major collateral damage to Gilnean non military citizens that were all centered in Darnassus

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Ben Stone

Did you even do the questline?

She burns Teldrassil because a night elf made her feel bad. It wasn’t her plan. And afterwards she says she regrets it.

It was totally out of character and lazy writing to quickly escalate the fight.

She has always been manipulative and cunning, and if her plan was to destroy Teldrassil from the onset they should have just ran with that, instead of this half assed ‘Lets occupy Teldrassil, oh wait my feels… burn it!’.

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starbuck1771

Watch the cutscene at 1:14 clearly that’s her daughter. Would you not want revenge on all you blame for the death of your child? Feels hurt? Damn straight. Her dead child was the last thing she saw before becoming the banshee. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banshee

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Serrenity

Is it on the horde side that she says she regrets it? The Alliance doesn’t have anything about her feeling bad.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Some lazy goddamn writing. Beyond the whole Sylvanas debacle, when will Blizzard stop treating our characters (the slayers of Antorus, the champions of Azeroth, etc etc etc) as helpless bystanders? It’s so tiring having these big ‘lore’ moments where we have *zero impact*.

Take a damn book from FFXIV and make us the actual heroes of our own stories for once.

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Ben Stone

Legion had a way better segway into how conflict can be caused by miscommunication with the Horde vs Alliance intro. This just feels hamfisted. I dont care that they burnt Teldrassil for strategy, but the last minute change of plans because of her feelings getting hurt is really bad writing and out of character for the strategic Sylvannas.

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Wrecktangle

I honestly can’t remeber a time when she was actually strategic. Sylvanus has ALWAYS been an emotional character filled with Rage.

From vanilla to Wrath it was about having her revenge on Arthas. Then from Cataclysm to Legion it was about how to keep the Forsaken alive and continue to exist after they sustain losses.

She always made decisions based on her emotions. Based on her wants and needs.

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Ben Stone

Her actions in Cata and Legion were very strategic, but yes she was out for revenge with Arthas.

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starbuck1771

It’s about time. As someone who’s very first character was a nightelf druid many years ago I hated Teldrassil with a passion and still hate it every time I am forced to go there. I couldn’t get my nightelf and worgons away from there fast enough. ? Ding Dong the tree is dead!

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Dug From The Earth

I wonder how many WoW fans also stop reading a book 1 chapter in when they read about events that seem inexplicably simple or straight forward because they havent read the other 90% of the book that explains the rest of the details.

Or walk out of a movie theater 15 minutes in when they show an obvious “hook” scene like the main character moments before their death before the film rewinds saying “2 weeks earlier” leaving you to go “wtf, they are gonna die at the end”

There are SO many story situations that Blizzard could (note: they may not) take this, and all of what we have seen so far could intentionally be there to trigger us and to make us think “A” instead of “B”… and guess what… TONS of players are falling HARD for it.

People need to check their damage meters, because their “Jumping to conclusion” power is OP as F#%!

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Ben Stone

No it was just lazy writing. It was super out.of character for her. Totally ditch her plan because someone hurt her feels….

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starbuck1771

I think you’re not paying attention to the story. I think the child in the story was her daughter and she blames the nightelves for her death.

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Serrenity

It’s not really out of character for her though. Her plan was to destroy the morale of the Nelfs – destroying the tree does that better than Malfurion’s death ever could.

Whether she regrets the actions or not doesn’t really impact the motivation of her actions.

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rafterman74

Sure, there are many ways they could still take this story. All of them are bad, predictable, or repeats of previous expansions. They’re not digging out of this one.

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rosieposie

Nope, that’s just a terrible way to tell a story. And yes, I walk out of movies all the time, and every time I have done so, I’ve been vindicated. 15-30 minutes are enough to gauge a quality of something if you have a brain, and it should also be enough for the story teller to pull you in.

Last movie I walked out of in disgust was Ready Player One, and I actually gave it a few more minutes than it deserved because of Spielberg. And what do you know, I was totally right to walk out – that movie is a shallow 80’s reference shower with bland characters and weak plot, exactly what it felt like after 20 minutes in.

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Sorenthaz

So yeah Sylvanas is fully evil/corrupt/whatever you want to call it. She’s all bitter about herself being undead and wants to spread it around.

Which, y’know, this isn’t anything new from Sylvanas. This has been a constant thing for her since she ever started working on plague weaponry back in WotLK.

Just now she has nowhere to hide and she’s at the forefront of the Horde, so she sure as hell is going to use the Horde for her own goals.

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Wrecktangle

This exactly.

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Steve Fury

sigh..I don’t want to sound like one of those players…but playing through this quest line has really killed any interest I had in the expansion. Even when the tree was burning I didn’t feel any real emotional pull..because it happens so quickly and for no other reason than “Sylvanas is bad and she’s bored”..All of it just feel lazy and I don’t want to support a game where the devs feel like they can get away with such abysmal story telling. Maybe BFA will be great but I’ve seen mixed reviews. I think it’s time to move on to something else after 10 years lol

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Joey

I’m in the same boat. My sub is done in 12 days and I’m sorry I pre-ordered.

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Sorenthaz

“Sylvanas is bad and she’s bored”

That’s disingenuous as hell. Sylvanas has her reasons, and it’s to shove the Alliance out of Kalimdor so they can’t compete for the Azerite in Silithus. With Theramore being bombed the only port the Alliance has over to Kalimdor is through the Night Elves at Teldrassil.

Serrenity
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Serrenity

So, can we also talk about 30 minutes of game-time killed your interest in an entire expansion, which we know almost nothing about what’s going to happen?

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Bryan Turner

Sylvanis is just being environmentally conscious, roughly 20 to 30 years ago that World Tree was planted in the ocean disrupting the whole ecosystem; thankfully Sylvanis is bringing balance back to Azeroth.

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Doubleplusgood

yes, all those Murlocs that got displaced to Darkshore will finally be able go home!

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Bryan Turner

After all this time, the Murlocs are finally having their #MeToo moment, Dark Lady watch over you.

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Doubleplusgood

#make Teldrassil Murloc again!

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Hirku

#mgrlllmgrlrrr

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rosieposie

The Alliance have only themselves to blame: Malfurion built a (Wisp) Wall and wanted the Horde to pay for it!

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Bryan Turner

I guess they didn’t react to well toward those tariffs levied at the Ashenvale Lumbermills; a trade war was inevitable.

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Doubleplusgood

Isn’t the Teldrassil treetops where Darnasus and the NE starting zones are? What happens to those zones?

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Malcolm Swoboda

Currently (as in 2018, presumably 2019+ until further notice) this will be a phased experience. You’ll level in Cata, until later, and you likely visit a NPC to timetravel revisit the old version. In the longer term, no one knows how Blizzard may treat their world transformations.

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Doubleplusgood

this sounds confusing. So currently, or at least once BOA goes live, the NE have no capitol? Darnassus is gone?
you have to time travel back to go there?

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Malcolm Swoboda

I don’t understand how this is confusing.

The Night Elves in the current timeline do not have a capitol. In Battle for Azeroth there are Night Elven and Worgen refugees in at least Stormwind, maybe elsewhere (I don’t know, I’m just a follower of the game and not an active players). You can time travel back using the Bronze Dragonflight loophole to use the city for now, but as I was implying, I think there would be longer term attempts to reconcile the state of things.

Darnassus is burned. I don’t know how damaging this is, how much Blizzard will use this (can we visit its new state?), or if it can be recovered. Theoretically, this is an expansion about the world-blood of Azeroth being a miracle substance, so part of me doesn’t rule out Darnassus returning and being utterly blooming by the end of the expansion. An opportunity to redo the zone/city, like Cata but more contained in scope. Perhaps similarly for Undercity. We’ll have to see.

There are other time travel NPCs. Recently Silithus was given two states: Cata and Legion – due to epic events. You can travel between them if you need to do something, or want to meet someone in an older state.

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Doubleplusgood

Sorry I am not a current player, I am a follower also interested in what is currently happening. And very surprised that they burnt down a capitol city. Was there a big battle? (I did not play the quests) The NE must have put up a large fight with all those big tree guardians and main NPC characters to defend their capitol. It couldn’t have been as easy as lobbing some fire bombs at the tree.

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Malcolm Swoboda

That is the PvE/PvP pre-expansion event currently.

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rosieposie

There was a big battle, but in the end it was just lobbing some fire bombs at the tree. Yep, I know, it doesn’t make sense, but it seems that for know ‘Plot’ has been replaced by ‘EXPLOSIONS!111!’

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Doubleplusgood

Huh, sounds like Sylvanas got it pretty easy. Anytime a group of max level horde players ganged up to attack Darnasus, it never ended pretty.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

It’s a messy situation, yes.

Nothing’s going to happen to new NEs, they’ll still start out on Teldrassil and do the same quests they’ve done since Cataclysm (technically since Vanilla) launched.

Keep in mind that new characters in WoW don’t start out in the current in-game year, they start in the past – Cataclysm timeline. Progressing through your levels is also progressing through the timeline of Azeroth… barring some glaring exceptions.

It obviously doesn’t make complete sense because BC and WotLK happened before Cata. Plus Allied Races shouldn’t be running around doing questing in the Cata time either, because they weren’t around for any of that.. hell they weren’t around for anything pre-Legion, really.

It would make more sense for characters of those races to start out at 100 or 110, but obviously Blizz isn’t going to do that because hey that means less people buying expensive level boosts.

So yeah, at some point in the future Blizz might decide to rework the leveling experience, especially if they do the level squish they talked about during the last Q&A. But until then, you just sort of assume that new characters are traveling from the past up to the current point in time, which will be BFA.

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Doubleplusgood

Thanks for the explanation. So technically Darnasus will still be an available zone for max level characters, its just that in game terms they are visiting it in the past. Which is the present Darnasus for new players until they progress to it being burnt as well. At which time they can only then return to the past Darnassus and hopefully not bump into their past selves creating a temporal paradox.
I get it now! all very simple.

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starbuck1771

Well Horde is taking Kalimdor and it looks like Alliance is getting the Eastern Kingdoms so maybe they get the Bloodelf starting zone. We shall see. ?