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BlizzCon 2018 Speculation: What's Next for the Alliance, Horde, and Sylvanas
2018-10-31 à 20:07
With the reveal that BlizzCon 2018 will focus on Battle for Azeroth patches beyond patch 8.1: Tides of Vengeance, we're reviewing some potential theories for the next WoW patch. Today, we're focusing on the faction conflict and how that storyline can evolve beyond what has seen from the Tides of Vengeance PTR.
This article is entirely speculation based on game analysis, not confirmed news. Also, story spoilers.
Saurfang's Coup and Alliance Interference
Throughout the 8.1 PTR, we've seen the conflict escalate on both sides, and not just regarding the war itself. On the Horde side, we discover that
Saurfang has escaped imprisonment in Stormwind
, and could even be working with the Stormwind Intelligence Agency, SI:7, to stage a coup against Sylvanas Windrunner. With players able to choose
which side to represent
in the conflict, there are many directions that the storyline could proceed.
Some of the new BlizzCon merch includes
statues of Saurfang and Genn Greymane
, which would imply they will both be major characters in the fight against Sylvanas. In the epilogue of the novel
Before the Storm
, Greymane mentioned how he came to better understand the Forsaken, and how his ire should be more directed at Sylvanas instead of either the Forsaken or the Horde:
Genn took a deep breath. "But he was right.
were right. I still think what was done with the Forsaken against their will was horrifying. But it's clear to me now that some of them are still the people they once were. So I was wrong, and I apologized.
Anduin nodded. A smile crossed his face fleetingly, then was gone. It was clear he was still burdened with guilt and stubbornly wouldn't relinquish the pain of it. Not yet.
"You were right about Sylvanas," Anduin said, that cold bitterness lingering his his voice. "Light knows, I wish I'd listened."
"I wasn't right about her, either," Genn said, startling Anduin for the second time in as many minutes. "Not entirely. I knew she couldn't let this go by without doing something. I thought she'd attack
. Not her own people."
With this in mind, it's possible that the two old soldiers could reach an understanding and fight against the Warchief together.
Zekhan, Lorash, and Sylvanas' Special Plans
If players choose to side with Sylvanas and report Saurfang's whereabouts to the Banshee Queen, she mentions having special plans for Zekhan, also known as Zappyboi, the young Troll Shaman from the Battle for Azeroth and Old Soldier cinematics. We've already seen Sylvanas' question her followers loyalty - when Koltira Deathweaver is caught making deals with his Alliance counterpart Thassarian during the post-Cataclysm Battle for Andorhal questline in the Western Plaguelands, Sylvanas punished him by imprisoning the Blood Elf deep within the catacombs of the Undercity. Death Knight players eventually save Koltira from constant torture during their Legion Order Hall campaign.
Zekhan is young, but embodies the ideals of Horde honor as fervently as Saurfang does, which makes him a target. Her special plans for the Troll might include using him against Saurfang by attempting to break his will or even killing the Shaman and raising him as an undead servant of her own. Sylvanas already proved able to raise other races as Forsaken, such as the night elves Sira Moonwarden and Delaryn Summermoon, and she is also raising the Blood Elf
during the 8.1 storyline, something that was specifically forbade by Lor'themar Theron during Siege of Orgrimmar:
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: I can raise your dead, Regent Lord. Your rangers can fight again.
Lor'themar Theron says: Sylvanas! You will leave our corpses alone or I will deal with you here and now.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: I'm sorry to see your lack of commitment... What of the human corpses?
Lor'themar Theron says: ... well, I suppose that's between you and the Alliance, isn't it?
This shows that at least the Blood Elven leadership has issues with Sylvanas raising their people as her subjects. A
possible Warfront located in Silvermoon
could tie into this predicament once again, and it will be interesting to see if Lorath will still uphold his ideals or allow Sylvanas to go through with raising Blood Elves to fight once again.
Sylvanas' Purposes Coming to Light
With the first signs of the rebellion coming from players siding with Saurfang and possible backlash from the Blood Elves, Sylvanas' favor within the Horde can become as frail as ever. During the 8.1 storyline, she also receives criticism from Baine Bloodhoof, Arcanist Valtrois, and the newly recruited Forsaken Thomas Zelling and Amalia Stone, after raising Derek Proudmoore:
"I cannot abide this, $n. Each time I think Sylvanas has gone too far, she finds a new line to cross. I have watched her commit one dishonorable act after another.
She desecrates more than the memory of a fallen enemy. She desecrates the Horde itself.
This cannot stand. Something must be done. And soon."
Player: Valtrois, do you have any thoughts about Derek Proudmoore being returned?
Valtrois: "I was skeptical of the Forsaken when I first joined the Horde, but was assured that they chose their state of undeath willingly. This, however...
The nightborne suffered greatly under the Legion's heel. The atrocities I witnessed... it is distressing how much I am reminded of them now. I will leave it at that."
Player: Zelling, you look disturbed. Is it about Derek Proudmoore's revival?
Zelling: "What have I done? All I wanted was to be with my family, to take care of them and ensure that they had everything they needed. And now...
Zelling: Derek Proudmoore didn't ask for such a fate. He died a hero to all Kul Tirans, and he has earned his rest beneath the tides. To think I had a hand in this... this...
Zelling: Forgive me, $n. We must set this right."
"When I was a cadet, my instructors would tell me stories of Derek Proudmoore's bravery. Every captain I knew dreamt of living up to his legacy.
It pains me to see him like this, to know that he will never again be accepted by his people or his family.
And to know I played a part in it."
It will be interesting to see if the Horde take action against their Warchief, though it's unlikely to play out as Siege of Orgrimmar did during Mists of Pandaria.
Sylvanas and her Val'kyr
As of Patch 8.1, Sylvanas has now only 3 Val'kyr left at her disposal, the exact number of Val'kyr that were destroyed in order to resurrect her after her third death in the Silverpine Forest (
Les sentiers de la gloire
). This leaves Sylvanas in a delicate position, since losing one more Val'kyr means she will no longer be able to resurrect if she dies again.
A showdown with the Warchief is all but guaranteed at this point. Sylvanas has mentioned grand plans in the past, especially during the
A Good War
And that was almost certainly true, wasn’t it? Elune
intervened. Perhaps she had even stayed Saurfang’s killing blow. And she wouldn’t be the only force beyond the Alliance to oppose Sylvanas’s true objective.
Sylvanas’s anger grew cold.
She had known this would happen. It had simply come sooner than expected. That was all.
But how will those plans go if she loses her safeguard? There have been many parallels between Sylvanas' actions and the Lich King's; the loss of a surefire way to come back in case of defeat might just be what's needed to push the Warchief into an act of desperation.
Who Wanted Vol'jin Back, After All?
During the 8.1 storyline, we attempt to figure out
who brought back Vol'jin's spirit
. We speak with the 3 entities most familiar with life and death in Azeroth - Bwonsamdi, The Lich King and Eyir, and they all have the same answers - Vol'jin got brought back by a force greater than what they're able to understand, and neither of them are fans of Sylvanas, as she threatens the very balance of life and death. The Void is also wary of Sylvanas, as seen through Alleria's whispers in the
Three Sisters comic
No one knows for sure who wanted Vol'jin back, or why he was told to appoint Sylvanas as Warchief. There is only one likely answer at this point, which would be Old God interference. N'Zoth, the Old God most familiar with manipulation and deceit, is still at large despite imprisonment, and has been been shown to successfully manipulate Azshara, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that N'Zoth was the one who manipulated Vol'jin into naming Sylvanas as the next Warchief... somehow.
Discovering the answer to this question might be just what frees N'Zoth, as well.
With the constant raising of new units in Battle for Azeroth, this can be weaved into the possibility of new Undead character customizations. We have seen light-raised Undead with priests resurrecting Calia Menethil into a mid-stage of Undeath in Before the Storm, as well as raised elves and skeletons all through the expansion.
This expansion has also been big with new character customizations, from Blood Elves with golden eyes to the Night Warrior customization for Night Elves. This could mean that all races could get a "Forsaken" character customization option as if they were raised into Undeath. We don't know what "light Forsaken" could look like, as Calia Menethil has not been shown as a Forsaken in-game, but it could lead to another customization option to Forsaken characters.
Lorash Sunbeam and Delaryn Summermoon, a Blood Elf a Night Elf raised as Forsaken.
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Urhg, just kill her and be done with it.
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