Thursday, November 16, 2017

BFA: Where Will We Go From Here?

Good Morning!

I was listening to BlizzardWatch Episode 145 on the way to work and there was a question about Battle For Azeroth, how the show hosts felt about the return of Horde vs Alliance story.

Anne commented that we've never really dealt with that story line and that is true, but  if we do, what then?

Will we be facing an unending succession of bigger, badder mega villains fighting alongside our former enemies, or will we go so far down the road that there can never be peace between us, only temporary, grudging bridges.

I hope that we do find some sort of ending, not one that is interrupted to go fight someone else but as we know Queen Azshara is an upcoming raid boss, I suspect that is a dying hope.

Jaina however is the reason for this article.

Her hatred runs deep and not without reason. Any peace in her time will not happen if she has any say in it, so in order to have peace, we must lose Jaina and I would regret that.

She may be the character that has undergone the most development of any in Warcraft, starting with Warcraft III to Legion.

As a princess of Kul'Tiras she would have little affect on Azeroth, but as a powerful mage she can potentially do a great deal of harm should she choose to. It's probably for the best that the Nightfallen are going to the Horde because allowing her access to the incredibly powerful magic that sank a continent and alters time would be an extremely unwise idea.

The Warcraft Development Team seems to feel that war is the heart of the Warcraft story, so Jaina is unlikely to disappear for good anytime soon.

We may see very little of her after Battle For Azeroth, as Blizzard doesn't really have any idea what to do with her, or females in general, and it would be easy to let her stay in Kul'Tiras after we have left it behind for the next expansion.

We still don't know where she was when Varian died. When the rest of the planet was fighting off the Legion, or where she is in the Battle of Lordaeron's destruction or even what she will be doing in Kul'Tiras.

For a character that previously spent all her time leading the assault on powerful enemies in Hyjal, Icecrown Citadel, Undercity and Pandaria to hand out kill 20 lobsters quests would be silly.

Her focus is entirely on the Horde and she began as an investigative agent of the Kirin Tor. It's possible she will become accessible as we reach level 120, giving missions to investigate Horde towns, movements and fortifications and lead into a renewed assault on them like her father before her.

Teleporting five man groups in and out seems to be her specialty and launching quick strikes on Horde ships or outposts by sending in groups of adventurers would be right up her alley. Send a team in with some incendiary devices to burn down supply depots, war ships at dock, or destroy stockpiles of goblin bombs. Capturing valuable prisoners and intelligence documents also easy to do then pull the adventurers out when complete.

Her focus is entirely on the Horde so I don't expect her to take part against anything Old God related unless it directly threatens Kul'Tiras.

I can't imagine the first raid will involve the Horde vs Alliance conflict because the two sides will need a raid both factions can do, but since neither meet till we reach level 120, there will need to be some kind of Suramar quest line that starts at 120 and sets up the future raid boss.

I have no idea what this might be.

An established character like Magatha Grimtotem would work, she has at least one powerful object in her possession that we know of and nobody likes her.

We've dealt with enough demons over the last 13 years, but it would sideline the whole Horde vs Alliance story if we immediately started with a Void related raid such as elementals or Cultists, and Bolvar surely deserves better than a brief run by encounter.

Although I do think that he has something both Alliance and Horde want....

Sylvanas wants his ability to create both undead and Valkyrs, while Jaina wanted Arthas. If anyone has the ability to bring him back to her, it is Bolvar.

As there must always be a Lich King, it often feels like Blizzard thinks Jaina must always have a boyfriend, be it Arthas, Kael'Thas or Caelestrasz.

I have no guesses on this one and Arthas is a very long stretch by any imagination, but they did make a very fascinating couple, once, and could again with a wiser head on his shoulders this time.

We don't know the new writing team yet or where they want to take Azeroth over the next decade. What stories they want to tell, or retell. But it seems clear that we don't have enough answers yet to know what to expect despite what feels like a deluge of information, and probably won't until BlizzCon 2018 when they will be able to discuss the first raid.

I'm hoping it uses the AI from the island expeditions and a band of adventurers from the opposite faction is inside the raid with us that we skirmish with between bosses and have to compete with for the final boss kill.

That could be interesting,  especially on higher difficulties if the tech works out, and maintain the faction war along the way.