World of Warcraft appears to be quietly ignoring Battle for Azeroth’s genocidal intro in Shadowlands

    
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This went over great.

Calia Menethil: “All right, fellow Forsaken… I know a lot has happened over the past however long it’s supposed to have been since this war has started. For one thing, this war started with us invading a sovereign nation and then committing genocide! That is a big one. We’re going to have to -”

Arcanist Valtrois: “Oh, good news about that! It didn’t happen.”

Calia Menethil: “…I’m sorry, what?”

Arcanist Valtrois: “Well, maybe it did, sort of, but we’re all acting like it didn’t.”

Calia Menethil: “Could you explain that again? And by again I mean at all.”

Arcanist Valtrois: “Oh, it’s all very simple. See, it appears that in the current version of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, they’re just not mentioning the genocide, the battle of Lordaeron, burning Teldrassil, any of that at all. Especially for new players, who are automatically sent into fighting for either Kul Tiras or Zandalar without any understanding of why the Horde and the Alliance are fighting in the first place.”

Calia Menethil: “Current version?”

Arcanist Valtrois: “That’s magic theory talk. Just ignore that part.”

Calia Menethil: “And the fact that the Forsaken were apparently fine with all of this?”

Arcanist Valtrois: “Actually, the new introductions for each race include the claim that Forsaken fight to defend the living and we’re totally ignoring all of that part.”

Calia Menethil: “So we’re ignoring the entire emotional impact of a horrifying decision because it would be too difficult to deal with the actual real questions that raises about our entire national identity.”

Arcanist Valtrois: “Yeah, turns out that’s a popular option these days.”

Source: Official Site, Wowhead; thanks to Jessica for the tip!
Update, 12:55 p.m. EDT
At 12:30 EDT, literally the same moment our article went live, Blizzard’s Steve Danuser tweeted full partial takebacks.

“To clarify, the Horde race descriptions that were datamined were for content not yet playable. They were placeholders and had not been vetted. I agree that the tone is off, particularly in the Forsaken entry. This was not an intended change of perspective for the race. The lines are being updated. Changes will appear in a future build. It’s alpha, so they (and other things) are always subject to change. Thanks for calling out issues like this. Please know we have only the best of intentions. Apologies for the consternation this caused.”

As MOP reader Emiliano noted, these tweets seem to refer to the race introductions only, not necessarily to the overall whitewashing of Tel’drassil. Cheers to Gen’Challa for the original tip!

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Keith Dunham

The forsaken have been commenting genocide since wow classic

Alyn
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Alyn

This is why the story lore in Final Fantasy 14 is far superior to what has become to this venerable 15 year old mmo. It’s unfortunate.

Alyn
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Alyn

To clarify my last statement, I am referring to the consistency of the Warcraft overall theme and story lore. Did a poor job on that sorry for that. I suppose it is 15 years of growing frustration with what has and is happening with WoW right now.
From one of my current favorite author’s and story-
“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

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drivendawn

Agreed. Not to mention deeper more memorable characters and interesting villians aka Emet-Selch.

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Jo Watt

I’d say both stories are good to some degree. There is obviously way more to WoWs lore. But to me what causes WoW to be more… engaging is the voice acting. They really seem to get into character vs FFXIV where it feels very bland, almost as if the voice actors are slightly uninterested or disconnected… it’s hard to say exactly. It’s what really ruins the experience for me personally.

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Jo Watt

Tbh.. I would put so many messed up non final phrases and comments so that anyone who data mined for content would get everyone up in arms about stuff that won’t even be real.

That bit with the Undead description.. you could almost say it sounds like an Alliance Undead that defects to live under Calias rule or something.

Who knows what all is real and what’s place holder at this time. If this was much closer to release I’d maybe ask questions but really you never know when or where they might add in the why and how of things that happened.

There is a lot going on also. So I mean while a huge tree got burned and people slaughtered is important.. what can you really do about it when you are already fighting the enemy that did it… fight them harder? Yell at them some more and say how they did such a bad thing? Or maybe focus more on gathering help and trying to out do or disrupt them first. The night elves are a pretty ancient race… I’m sure they will deal with it personally.

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Viktor Budusov

Normal logic for the …bad writer.

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DruVirus

Are they “ignoring” it? Or are they just not leading with it? I mean, it is important to the context of why the faction war started up in BFA, but if memory recalls, they DO go over it in the war campaign. At least in the Warfront for Darkshore (and its intro quests) they do.

While it would be nice to see it as an intro along with the BFA cinematic, I wouldn’t say Blizzard is sweeping it under the rug or anything. In general, the burning of Teldrassil (while the impetus for factions going to Kul Tiras and Zandalar) is something that even Anduin in BFA isn’t ready to tackle. It’s a plot line Blizzard has already stated will be dealt with in Shadowlands.

What will probably happen for new players is that they’ll end up in Boralus, do quests (including the war campaign) and learn about the burning as they go along in the content. Because, right now, that’s how it’s its integrated into the system. Now, if they remove all that mentioning of it? That’s different.

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Bruno Brito

“As one of the undead Forsaken, you have been reanimated by dark magic. Though shunned by the living, you tirelessly strive to protect them.”

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DruVirus

Yeah. That line is pretty shittily written in general. But does it have to mention BFA shenanigans? I mean, it’s a race introduction. Not a “let’s tell you all about every atrocity this race has done so far in WoW” bio.

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Bruno Brito

you tirelessly strive to protect them.”

you tirelessly strive to protect them.”

It’s quite a huuuuge leap from being undead detached psychopaths to “you tirelessly strive to protect them.”

And, if you level in BfA, you should know what happened in BfA.

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Emiliano Lozada

According to RedShirt. They were actively rewritten to not include the battle of lordaeron nor any mention of Horde hostility (burning of stormwind). I can post the full quote when I’m on the PC. Where right now the events are actively talked about during BfA, those same quests make no mention of it in the Alpha.

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UndarkAido

Isn’t the tutorial set before BfA? Like you do it, then you do vanilla, BC, Cata, or MoP, then BfA, then Shadowlands?

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Emiliano Lozada

No. With Shadowlands every new player starts out in BfA and then moves onto Shadowlands.

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UndarkAido

It’s still before BfA then

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Neurotic

You live by the datamining, you die by the datamining.

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Sean Farrens

Pretty much since Blizzard hired Danuser the Warcraft story has become utter shit. Go figure.

kofteburger
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kofteburger
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Anthony Clark

The whole genocide of burning Teldrassil was too much for me. That was win I quit.

I came back for Classic because in Classic that hasn’t happened.

Yes, I prefer to live in the past before the horrors that came later.