Wednesday, 28 April 2010

There may be trouble ahead

There's new information up on MMO Champion about the home city the trolls will acquire in Cataclysm.

It looks wonderfully trollish, if a little empty in these screenshots. But what interests me is the quote from Wryxian about the lore behind the new starter zone. Wryxian says:
"The impending cataclysm will spark rivalry among the Horde leadership"
"But it won't be long before Vol'jin trusts you with vital -- and potentially dangerous -- information about the political struggles plaguing the Horde and, ultimately, the fellow members of your tribe."
What could this possibly mean? Vol'jin and Cairne are the two wise heads in the current Horde leadership (after Thrall himself). There have been rumours that Cairne will be killed in the new expansion and if Vol'jin is exiled as well, that sounds like bad news. With Thrall missiing, will there be anybody left to hold back Warchief Dumberer from the road to war? I fear Saurfang's days may be numbered.

This may be an interesting plot-line from Blizzard's point of view, but I feel a little nervous about it. Part of the reason why I like playing Horde in WOW is that they aren't the clich├ęd stupid baddies. I'm not sure how I'd feel about serving under Garrosh. I don't feel any kind of loyalty or respect for him.

In RP terms, perhaps we'll see the remains of the "old Horde" loyalists gathering in the Echo Isles, whilst the "Me smash!" crew flock to Orgrimmar. It's hard to see this kind of political situation remaining stable without Thrall to hold it together - the Darkspear's loyalty has always been to him as an individual, rather than the Orcs as a whole.

If this were the real world, you'd expect the Horde to splinter within a few years, as many countries forged from disparate groups do when a strong leader departs the scene. It's hard to read Blizzard's thinking on this one. It could go several ways, from the breathtakingly cynical to the courageous:
  1. "Only the lore nerds care about this rubbish. Most players aren't interested. And what are Warcraft lore nerds going to do, quit playing WOW? They'll whine a bit then they'll be back"
  2. "We need a greater level of conflict to make the lore work for of Warcraft 4. So Garrosh will succeed in his coup temporarily (while we launch WC4), but in the long run, Thrall will ride to the rescue".
  3. "This is just the first step on the way to a massive change in the game in future expansions. Ultimately, the Horde will split into Good-Horde and Bad-Horde. The Good-Horde will be the basis of a new third faction headed jointly by Thrall & Jaina, which other neutral-ish groups such as Theramore humans may also join. In future, some races, such as orcs & humans will have to choose between one of two factions when they create the character."
I hope for outcomes two or three. I fear the first.


  1. I'm extremely interested in all this, because I'm such a Hordie for life and giant lore nerd. There's such amazing potential for storylines here, with the various leaders, Garrosh, Thrall, the state of war with the Alliance, hell even the now-not-really-trusted Forsaken (Kor'kron guards in UC!). So many different hooks.

    My only hope is that they don't make the Horde "evil" like they were in the earlier Warcraft games.

  2. I'd agree with you Rades - this cold be a sign of very interesting things or a reversion to the more simplistic world of WC1. Blizzard have a fairly good track record over the years (e.g. the ongoing plot about the blight that led to Wrathgate), but there have been some dodgy moments (e.g. retconned Draenei).

    Let's just hope their lore guys get the final say in this, rather than the marketing team.

  3. Fantastic information- just this moment stumbled on your blog but I'm really enjoying reading back through the archives!

    And I must agree, this place looks as wonderfully trollish as it gets. He who gets a hometown last, gets a hometown best!