As I mentioned in my last post (Why I love warcraft) I love the lore of the warcraft universe. However, perhaps because I love it, I’m not always entirely satisfied with how everything pans out. There’s also some other aspects of the game that I think could be improved. I’m sure everyone has a list like this. If you do please share.
Transport me to the core Lothos
Let’s take a trip back in time to vanilla days. I didn’t play then, as I’ve mentioned before I started playing January 2010, but I played through the content. In vanilla there were a number of factions, some of which are still around today. The ones to which I’m referring to right now are Hydraxian Warlords, Ravenholdt and Syndicate.
Now, Hydraxian Warlords was the faction against Raggy in Molten Core. Why is this important now? Well, we just had Firelands didn’t we? We put Raggy down for the second and likely final time. I mean I fully understand and support that we had the new faction Avengers of Hyjal to get rep with (and a shiny title). A small mention of how they were continuing the work of the Hydraxian Warlords, or working in conjunction with etc. would have been brilliant. Since the cata revamp Duke Hydraxis has been removed along with the quest chain. New players would be legitimate in wondering; what is this faction?
You can’t change what has already been ignored though. So what I wish to see coming up is a link between this forgotten faction and Neptulon. Neptulon got short shrift in cata. The last players see of him he’s being abducted and the raid instance supposed to resolve this (the Abyssal Maw) was abandoned. Now, it was never established whether Duke Hydraxis had broken from Neptulon’s control to stand against Ragnaros. The common belief was that the four elemental lords served the old gods. However, with Neptulon’s actions in Vash’jir this, in his case, is cast into doubt. Therefore, it’s possible that Duke Hydraxis was acting with his master’s consent. I’d like to see in Mists (or at least eventually) the fate of Neptulon resolved. Bringing back an old faction in some form would be the icing on the cake, a nice nod to continuity.
The Black Prince
Right, that’s the Hydraxian Warlords talked about, so now Ravenholdt and Syndicate. These are two diametrically opposed factions which are found in Hillsbrad Foothills and Arathi Highlands. Now, I know what you’re going to say; Ravenholdt has an important part in Fangs of the Father quest series. Yes, it does but only rogues get to see it. To the rest of the player base Ravenholdt as a faction is a non entity, something you grind to get Insane in the Membrane. This might seem to contradict what I’m going to say later but it doesn’t. I don’t have a problem with certain factions being given special attention by certain classes. I think that sort of thing actually gives the game more depth. However, Azeroth (or more specifically Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor) is home base. I don’t have issue with ignored/forgotten factions from Outland or Northrend. They’re from different continents and different wars. While new is good, building on old, I believe, gives a richer game experience.
The origins of the Ravenholdt syndicate has never been explained. They’re a faction of thieves and assassins – perfect for rogues. The Syndicate however is a criminal faction born from remnants of the Kingdom of Alterac. Given that they are diametrically opposed I’m tempted to believe (though there is no evidence) that Ravenholdt was born from the remnants of the Kingdom of Alterac as well. Whereas the Syndicate perhaps were Lord Perenolde’s supporters, Ravenholdt could have been Alterac’s answer to SI:7. The Orcish Army Knife made a wonderful post on suggesting a new 5 man instance. That could be a good way to bring these old factions back into relevance and also make some new human lore. My favourite lore in game is to do with Lordaeron. The Foresaken are trying to claim the entire top half of the Eastern Kingdoms for themselves (or for the Horde) and with the renewed focus on Alliance/Horde conflict in Mists it would be perfect continuity.
A brief look at Mists
I won’t say much about Mists as that’s the topic of another post. However, I would be remiss in not mentioning it. As I said before leaving story hooks in for future development is one thing, ignoring them is another. From what has been released about Mists so far (this could all change come the press event later this month) it seems to be all new stuff. We’re on the continent of Pandaria, with Pandarens and they have enemies the Sha and all this. What about all the existing lore? Where’s Kul Tiras for a start? Theramore is being destroyed in the next expansion which would be a perfect time to bring that human settlement back.
Kul Tiras isn’t the only existing lore standpoint that Mists could have used. As I said just two paragraphs up there’s the heavy Alliance/Horde conflict in the Eastern Kingdoms which is just ripe for developing. 5 mans is one to develop such an area or maybe even optional phasing based on level. In swtor some class quests take you to planets that are much lower in level (such as the Bounty Hunter quest in Ord Mantell). Much of the planet is still level 1-10 apart from the pocket which the Bounty Hunter visits. Phasing or instancing such areas would allow high level players to still assist low level players (or complete loremaster themselves) but allow the area to reflect player involvement. I’m not talking like Mount Hyjal here where once you passed a certain point you were locked out of what came previously, I’m thinking a more concurrent system.
Enough new, never heard of before stuff. Take existing conflicts, existing areas (that don’t exist in game) and go deeper. It will be richer and more warcraft.
In the next part I’ll look at game features