Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What The History Books Will Say About These Dark Times

On December 7, 2010, Deathwing the Destroyer unleashed a devastating sneak attack upon Azeroth. Volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis threatened to rip the world apart. Low-lying regions such as the Thousand Needles, Tanaris, and the Swamp of Sorrows experienced severe flooding. Tectonic upheavals shattered the Barrens, the Stonetalon Mountains, and Ashenvale. Deathwing himself landed in the Alliance capital of Stormwind, causing thousands of causalties and much destruction, before apparently losing interest and flying away to begin a months long flight around the world, leaving death and devastation in his wake.

In response to this horrific assault upon both their nations, King Varian Wrynn and Warchief Garrosh Hellscream showed unity of purpose and joint resolve by attacking each other wherever possible. There was heavy fighting in south Barrens, at Astranaar, at Stonard, and throughout the Twilight Highlands. Only in Vash'jir where the cowardly acts of the Naga resulted in the destruction of both fleets were the Horde and the Alliance unable to come to grips with each other and show their bold disdain for Deathwing.

There were some minor side issues as well, but fortunately these were dealt without distracting the leaders of the world's people. Ragnaros the Firelord appeared upon Mount Hyjal and threated to destroy the World Tree, but this was perceived to be an internal matter for the druids to work out, which they did with the help of mercenaries and a few idealist flakes like Nat Pagle and Argent Confessor Paletress. Similarly, the decision of the Zandalari to abandon their peaceful efforts and instead unify the Amani and Gurubashi and unleash Hakkar the Soulflayer upon a distracted world was clearly an internal troll matter, and was left to them to resolve. Nothing would distract the brave King and Warchief and their true allies from their noble goal of seizing control of an abandoned Kul Tiras prison. Clearly, they had both learned the lessons of Wrathgate and eschewed any notion of working together against a common foe.

About this time there were reports of heavy activity on and about Blackrock Mountain, but nobody knows what this was about and it does not appear to have led to anything.

And what will the history books have to say about 4.3? More of the same, I expect. Deathwing is an internal dragon matter, to be dealt with by them. Garrosh and Varian, leaders of the two most powerful factions in Azeroth, will continue to behave as if there is no Deathwing, no threat to the existance of the world, no thousands (if not millions) of their citizens wiped out by his actions to be avenged.

Other than Alezstrasza and those three guys in the Badlands, has any NPC shown an interest in stopping the Destroyer? Perhaps a few, but I can't think of any. In this expansion, Blizzard has abdicated any attempt to tell a compelling story, and is relying on loot and Justice Points to keep us going. Yes, it works, but don't we as customers deserve better?


Dechion said...

I never really looked at it from that point of view, but you are absouletly right.

Hell, one of the reasons I am near quitting is because I simply don't care about deathwing at all. They treat him more like a force of nature than abig baddie that needs stopped, and I guess I just can't relate to fighting with a thunderstorm.

scotth said...

Isn't this like real life though.

Right now in the US you have the economy on the brink of meltdown, and two political parties more worried about making each other look bad than actually doing something.

Art Imitating Life or Life Imitating Life or something.

Ratshag said...


In Rash of the Itch King, Arthas showed up at the end of dang near every quest, rasped "I could kill you, but I won't", and then left. He looked like a bufoonutang.

I think they got it about right with Cho'gall - he was there, he killed some of yer allies, but ya managed to escape an' bring the fight ta him.

Well, economics be a many-headed hydra, and twice as slippery. Cut taxes? Cut interest rates? More bank regulatin'? Less? I agrees what both parties spends way too much time bickerin', but given what there ain't one clear course of action, I can understands why it be happenin'.

In Azeroth, though, is one clear problem: A dragon is destroying the world. And one clear solution: Kill the dragon. But they ain't bickerin' over how fer ta do that, they's bickerin' over the Swamp o'Sorrows. Would be like if Germany done invaded Poland in 1939, and France and England responded by attacking each other's colonies in Africa.

tkc said...

How can one hold the NPC's to blame for not responding to Deathwing when a large part of the player base eagerly sought out the Aspect of Death for the soul purpose of getting roasted in his flames for a measly 10 achievement points.

scotth said...

Well, yes, but, nevermind...

To me, it doesn't seem too far from reality that leaders would be too worried about their own squabbles, or trying to profit from the chaos of a disaster.

It might not make for a very compelling story though. Particularly when people go to Azeroth to get away from real life.

Ratshag said...

I'd pay moneys fer ta see Garrosh run around the world tryin' ta get that achievement.

I think we can agree what payin' $10 fer a movie and gettin' two hours of C-SPAN would be less than fun. Even with the 3D glasses.

Jack Brown said...

Interesting. Thinking about it, I definitely don't get the "big bad enemy" feel from Deathwing that I got from Arthas or Illidan.

That may have contributed to my playing a lot less WoW lately. That and it got boring real fast after starting to level about the second alt. Five levels and a handful of zones wasn't enough.

Hm. That was probably a thread hijack. Oh, well. :)

Lui said...

The only reason Deathwing is about is so we can all get that bbq/fire achievement. Otherwise it's business as usual methinks.

....off topic only 1140 outfits to try on. It might be a while..... so make yourself comfy on the lounge Ratters!

Twice said...

On the nose again Ratshag.

I have some hope that Deathwing's transition to killable will bring with it some lore/logic that will give the whole expansion some more continuity.

Keepin' my fingers crossed.

Khol Drake said...

In a word: yes.

Which is a large part of why I quit playing several months ago. Other than raiding, there was nothing compelling left to do, there was no real story to follow. Each zone compartmentalized its story to be completely independent of each other zone. There were very few, if any, threads that carried through to multiple zones and that was a major weakness of this expansion.

LifeDeathSoul said...

well, i personally feel that it's the players who make the difference to the world. We're the heroes, not the faction leaders.

That being said, Garrosh does launch an attack on the twilight highlands in order to beat The twilights hammer. of course he gets sidetracked by the alliance but then we all know he has dungs for brains. I mean for God's sake, he even does it to his allies like Baine and Sylvannas. (source: Leader short stories for Baine and sylvannas) Even Vol'jin has more sense by trying to work with the alliance to solve the Rise of the zandalari.

I guess the real heroic factions of Cata are the Earthen Ring and The Guardians of Hyjal. After all they are the ones who are trying to hold back Deathwing and the twilight's hammer. Like True Heroes, they do not flaunt their heroism but do what needs to be done.

@Khol drake: uhm I actually felt that the zones do have some continuity to them. Vash'jir and Hyjal do lead nicely to Deepholm, and Deepholm does lead nicely to either Uldum or Twi Hi. Whichever your starting zone you will actually have a rather complete story. Consider a Vash'jir as a starting zone. At the end of the shimmering expanse area you are then presented with a choice to actually head back to Orgrimmar to take the portal to deepholm.

Zellviren said...

Unsurpringly, I completely agree with the sentiments in the green box.

I daresay a lot of players feel this disassociation more strongly than they'd care to admit, possibly out of fear for being barbed with the "lol rp" tag.

tkc said...

I wonder if the sort of reactions here are known by Blizz. After all, Pandamania doesn't seem to have a well defined big bad guy (yet). Rumor around the campfire is that the ex-pac will be more about the Horde vs. the Alliance. Or Pokewow.