So, yeah. That happened. Actually, a lot has happened as a result of the Broken Shores assault and I have to say it’s refreshing. Not necessarily what all has transpired, which I’ll discuss in a moment, but having an actual pre-expansion event. Not since the Lich King has it been this enjoyable and actually felt meaningful. I mean let’s face it, we went after the Legion at their base and got our rears spanked all the way home. At least, those of us who made it home.
I have to say I was disappointed the day I accidentally stumbled upon the spoiler deaths of Varian and Vol’jin, particularly when I had clicked on the forum thread (via google) for something entirely unrelated. But I made sure to at least avoid the details of how either happened and as such I actually expected them to happen in Legion rather than in the buildup. Though I didn’t rule it out with Varian.
I certainly did not expect Tirion to die. At the same time, his death was a necessity. Not in the sense of “Thrall needs to die because damn it we’re sick of Mary Sue,” but more because of what it represents. In Wrath, Tirion was proof of just how powerful the Light is. Well guess what? Turns out that’s not the case when it comes to the Burning Legion. The epitome of the Light (save for perhaps Velen) got obliterated like he was a candlewick being extinguished. That sends a clear message of power.
Varian’s death was as it should be and was inevitable. Despite Anduin representing the kingdom back in vanilla, he was a puppet to Onyxia for the most part and not much more. He’s grown and we really saw that in Pandaria (which was his expansion, Alliance side anyway). So it was certainly going to happen soon, if not now then likely before the expansion was over or in the next. But much like when he was a child, I don’t think he’ll stand alone. Genn will probably be heavily involved in the militaristic side of things. All that said, Varian’s death reminds me Blizzard could make a full length movie with just their in-game cinematics and it would be incredible. Forget live action (though I’m waiting for home release to see the movie, so shhh…).
Then there’s Vol’jin. This one is the most conflicting of the bunch for me. First off, it seems to have happened way too soon. He was Warchief for not much more than the blink of an eye and also never really got to do a whole lot while he held the position. If he was just meant to be a transitional leader then that’s a bit of an indignity as far as I’m concerned. But that also means we have a new leader of the Horde and I can honestly say I didn’t see it coming. I mean, hot diggity, I am excited by Sylvanas now holding the position and that’s personal affinity aside. There’s a fantastic potential here for so many things. The least trusted leader within the races of the Horde, you know not everyone is going to line up to support her. Heck, the forums alone show that. But Vol’jin’s line of how many will not understand it, but they will see makes me want to know where this goes. And the bigger question will be if she remains Warchief and for how long?
So we have both factions in leadership transition, and the Light clearly not being the answer this time around. It’s certainly putting Azeroth behind the 8-ball, and the introduction of the Illidari to the factions is well done and makes for a nice means of showcasing just how far advanced the Legion invasion is (though Khadgar’s Harbinger video also is a nice touch). Speaking of the Illidari, I didn’t have much interest in the Demon Hunter when it was announced but I am looking forward to at least taking one for a test spin. I’ll certainly post my thoughts upon doing so.
At this rate, I feel like I’m going to be using one (or another Amateur Army member) to take down Jaina at some point. I get Theramore and the fallout of course. But she seems to be going further and further down the rabbit hole in a way similar to Arthas. Except that Arthas was prodded along the way. She’s just…beyond angry. I get the perception of Sylvanas’ actions leaving the Alliance to die but surely someone in Dalaran has had the truth reported back to them. I don’t know. Part of me feels like Blizzard is giving her the Thrall treatment. Some complained Thrall was too soft of a leader and so Garrosh was the “be careful what you wish for.” For a while Jaina came across as the naive girl who was too soft and lovey-dovey “let’s all be friends,” but now has gone completely off the other end of the spectrum. At some point it’s going to come to a boiling point but I can’t see Blizzard ever offing her.
But that’s a tale I am sure is down the road. In the meantime, we have the Legion story in front of us and I fully applaud the developers for putting forward a great launch event. The story was fantastic, the event was great (though I may as well have raided on dial-up…my problem, not their’s), and the first few dominoes have set the rest to fall in a way that looks exciting at face value.