Friday, March 15, 2019

8.1.5 Alliance War Campaign

The Alliance War Campaign for 8.1.5 is fairly reactive. Things are happening horde-side, and the Alliance is basically watching the fallout. Shades of this older post of mine:
Now in Pandaria, we see the end result of that. One side had to go evil to make the war "fit" with modern sensibilities. Thus one of Garrosh or Varian had to go bad, and Garrosh was the one chosen. 
That sets up two stories: a civil war within the Horde, and the Alliance attempts to finish Garrosh. Of those two stories, the civil war is always going to be the more interesting story.
There's a nice cutscene, though:

The writers' work with Jaina has been the major standout this expansion. They've done an excellent job with her all around.

I wasn't really on-board with all the "Garrosh 2.0" complaints about the storyline earlier. But it's looking more and more like this expansion will be a re-tread of the Pandaria story line. There's some differences, notably Sylvanas is treating the rest of the Horde much better. But her character and motivations are really mysterious. There's been no attempt to get Horde players to sympathise with her or her aims, even if you disagree. That lack makes it really seem like they're setting her up to be deposed.

Oh well, there's still plenty of time left in the story. Perhaps Blizzard will surprise us.

I think this story illustrates the disadvantages of "going big". If Sylvanas hadn't burned down Darnassus, there's actually a lot more room for the story to manoeuvre. But because she did, the story points in one direction. Though imagine a scenario where Sylvanas sues for a peace or truce that leaves her as Warchief still. Anduin agrees to this truce (as his nature inclines him to), and that causes a schism in the Alliance as the Night Elves, Worgen, and Kul Tirans strongly disagree. That would be an interesting turn of events, and move the "civil war" over to the Alliance side.


  1. I doubt that Blizz is thinking that far enough ahead to create a split on the Alliance side. They seem to be stuck in making the Horde do the heavy lifting and have all the angst. In Wrath, it was the Apothecaries who pushed the Horde/Alliance cold war into a hot one; in Cataclysm the Horde were the ones who frequently were the aggressors (which is how we got Jaina 2.0); and you already covered Pandaria. So yeah, I can't see Blizz ever breaking out of that tendency.

    1. Which is kind of weird. I've always thought that a writer would be more likely to say, "we did this last time, so let's do something different this time". Maybe they'd unconsciously repeat themselves for small things, but it seems unusual for major story beats.

    2. Or maybe they're so dead set into showing that the Horde are the "bad guys who can be reformed" that they miss the entire concept of subtlety. The thing is, the WoW-verse was always more grey-area than, say, Wildstar, but the WoW story folks seem to have a huge blind spot in how to create conflict.

      "I have seen the enemy, and it is us." --Pogo

    3. Well, if the "bad guys" continuously backslide, can they really be reformed?

      To be honest, I agree with Jaina's perspective ever since Theramore: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

  2. Alliance civil war storyline would be really cool.

    1. I think so too. Though I don't see it being a "hot" civil war with actual fighting, but more like tension in the leadership, and people refusing to cooperate with each other.