Question on Blizzard Watch today. This was my response.
I really hope that this tracks with lore. I am up to date with the war campaign both sides but my memory sometimes fails me.
Anyway, I don’t believe we know who whispered to Vol’jin to prompt him to name Sylvanas warchief. I remember the quests to ask whether it was the Lich King, or from the Shadowlands etc. well I want it to have been Azeroth herself. Why? Allied races. There are 8 of them if memory serves (4 each side), which nearly doubles the number of races in the two factions. The Zandalari have been numerous (I mean there are troll dungeons with various troll factions everywhere) but they have been reclusive. They are now pledged to the Horde, as equals, but they are joining the fight.
The infection of the old gods in Azeroth is systemic. The baby titan should have been purged if I remember correctly by erm that guy from the special boss in Ulduar, whose name is escaping me. Anyway Horde, Alliance – the citizens of Azeorth – fought back for their right to live and impressed this watcher so that he stopped the re-origination. The fate of Azeroth has been in our hands ever since.
The various factions are good at fighting. Gives us swords, bows, daggers etc. and we’ll go to town on the big bad and defeat it. What they are not so good at is admitting their mistakes. It has been said a few times that “there is blood on both sides” but it’s not just blood, I think the Alliance needs to take a look at how the Horde came to be. In the beginning it was a group of rejects, banding together because the proud races of the Alliance wouldn’t help. I say that as someone who mains Alliance. In my opinion the Horde have been more aggressive but the Alliance’s inaction, or intolerance, or prejudice etc. has been just as damaging.
Plus all the events have basically been pushed under the carpet. Azeroth was carved up, there was battles for territory but on the whole uneasy peace, temporary truces etc. There were a few moves, like I think that there was a book just before BfA about the Alliance reaching out to Forsaken relatives, who they had previously denounced. Ultimately though I think the issues have never been hashed out. This war though is bringing everything up as I just did the Naztajar quests and I think Genn and Lorethmar exchange words about what the Alliance and Horde have done to one another.
I think maybe Azeroth knew that things had to get worse before they got better. A true war between the factions so all the issues were shouted out, and then there could be actual resolution. Also like I said it united Azeroth, not just the factions, because maybe Azeroth thought that it needed everyone to finally defeat the old gods. Azeroth knew that Sylvanas was like a lightning rod for trouble, that she would get everything moving.
I do think Sylvanas has been playing her own game. That she was looking out for her own interests in terms of cheating death. However, I don’t believe that we will fight her like we did Garrosh. I think Sylvanas in delving deeper into areas we haven’t will gain an understanding of the old gods, a weakness that we can exploit in order to get rid of them forever. It will be like a Darth Vader redemption. Sylvanas will know and admit that she went too far but ultimately she will take her bow as she lived – the ranger-general/defender of Silvermoon. I think it would be cool if she just disappeared, like she had a moment of weakness and saved the day, and then went off with Nathanos, abdicating her position of Warchief.
Anyway, I hope that will avoid demonising the Horde as a faction. Especially because I think the Alliance needs to vocally accept their own crimes. The factions will then truly unite. They will redesign the character creation screen and add a cinematic/a box with text, which explains that a hero must experience the past in order to be strong enough to battle the current threats, so a faction is chosen for any content pre-120. They could separate faction choice from race choice, to ensure friends can play together, and just say that they are disguised if doing opposite faction quests. This will also hand-wave away the problems with the timeline being out of whack and things not making sense, like all the quests referencing Garrosh as warchief while levelling 1-60, then Horde finding him pre-Azeroth in Outland etc. etc. It’s like caverns of time, experiencing the past.
The next expansion will be about what the Lich King has been up to while we’ve been busy. It’s Bolvar, not Arthas, so it isn’t the Lich King who raised Sylvanas, but it’s the same powers. So I think maybe Sylvanas should pop up here, as the secret to ending her torment lies with how it began. I think it would be nice to show consequences as well as there will be issues leadership wise with the factions uniting. There will be elements who rebel, who hold onto their hate, and so there could be lots of cool quests in relation to that.
Where do we go? Where are all the new zones. I’m not sure to be honest. I’m actually a huge fan of going back to familiar places as that feels a lot more natural story-wise. So I wouldn’t be opposed to having a story campaign, and being sent all over Azeroth. This could lead to fixing what we broke, and also resolving dangling plot threads from Cata. I’ve always thought that blizz should make more of the huge wealth of content they already have. Azeroth is a big place. However, I do acknowledge that I am biased towards story and it’s not for everyone.
I suppose it depends on what triggers the expansion. I mean we didn’t really deal with Azolj-Nerub (the spider big things in Northrend). If the Lich King does something big maybe that creates a lot of new zones relating to that, or the dragon aspects are coming back into importance – Wrathion what is he doing? – and I think there’s some kind of dragon isle we haven’t been to?
Anyway TLDR: Sylvanas lives but goes her own way, but she has a hero moment before she leaves which destroys the old gods and Azeroth lives. The Alliance and Horde unite, new players get an explanation as to why the timeline doesn’t make sense. The next expansion focuses on the Lich King and Wrathion.