Blizzard released the follow-up to their Jaina video in their World of Warcraft “Warbringers” series the other day to mixed receptions. The series helps to provide more background story leading up to a renewed Horde vs. Alliance conflict that is at the heart of the soon-to-be-released “Battle For Azeroth” expansion. The latest video features Sylvanas as she leads her forces on an assault on Northern Kalimdor and Teldrassil, the World Tree. Sylvanas in the short is depicted as a cold-blooded killer, destroying all Night Elves who come across her path. This is a seemingly bizarre turn for a character that for the past few expansions has never shown this level of bloodlust. Needless to say, a lot of fans aren’t happy with the direction Blizzard is taking with the character.
A Reddit thread on the World of Warcraft subreddit is blowing up with players voicing their confusion at Blizzard’s sudden change of direction with Sylvanas. Endless memes are popping up expressing players reaction to the video. One of the most popular ones features a screenshot from the Mists of Pandaria trailer.
The biggest issue with the Sylvanas change is that since Warcraft 3 came out 16 years ago, the relationships between the Horde and Alliance have occupied a morally gray area where no one faction was obviously the “good guys” or the “bad guys”. Both had their own rationale for the actions they took, and were guided by a sense of something greater rather than shedding blood to shed blood.
The Sylvanas video makes it seem like the Horde is definitively the bad guy in this conflict and that is making a lot of fans very unhappy. So much time has been spent with a variety of different stories trying to portray the characters as a lot more complex than merely good vs. evil. All of this lore seems to have been somewhat flushed down the drain with this one single video trailer. It seems like Blizzard is doing whatever it takes to refocus the narrative to a Horde vs. Alliance conflict, regardless of whether the path they need to take to get the story there makes any sense.
Hopefully, Blizzard has some plot twists or some other big story reveals planned later down the road that will help fans make more sense of what takes place in the Sylvanas trailer. If not, then the same question will be on everyone’s mind – how do we call Thrall?