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World of Warcraft

WoW: Battle for Azeroth - an end with horror?

Visions of N'Zoth is the final chapter of Battle for Azeroth. The Old God breaks his chains and unleashes the horrors of Ny'alotha, a nightmare realm that threatens to become reality. The goals of the Old God, who has come out of nowhere to become the final boss of the current expansion, are clear. N'Zoth is after the heart of Azeroth and threatens to devour the soul of the sleeping Titan! That our heroes put an abrupt end to the diabolical octopus was out of the question. In an epic final video, the bearer of the Heart of Azeroth (us) destroys N'Zoth's mortal shell. Our planet is saved! A happy ending as it is written in the book. Still, players are unhappy with the ending of BfA and are venting their anger on the official forums and beyond. On YouTube, there was a hail of criticism and dislikes, and the end cinematic got more thumbs down than any WoW video before. What was the reason? And why is Battle for Azeroth causing such a stir in the Warcraft community? We review the story of BfA and revisit the most important key moments of the story.

Table of Contents

  1. 1WoW: In the shadow of Legion
  2. 2WoW: The first shock
  3. 3WoW: The great secret of the Banshee
  4. 4WoW: Many parallels, few clarities
  5. 5WoW: False promises
  6. 6WoW: Horde preferred!
  7. 7WoW: Decisions without consequences
  8. 8WoW: The desolation of Nazjatar
  9. 9WoW: The great N'Zoth as a figure of fun

WoW: In the Shadow of Legion

Let's get right to the elephant in the room - namely Sylvanas Windrunner. With his last breath, Vol'jin appointed the Banshee Queen as Warchief of the Horde in WoW: Legion. And although there were much better candidates for the post among the Horde ranks, Sylvanas surprisingly quickly asserted herself as a skilled leader. The peoples of the Horde respected the last wish of their deceased chieftain and followed the Banshee Queen into battle against the Burning Legion. In the hullabaloo of war, Sylvanas faded somewhat into the background, and except for a few brief appearances during the Sturmheim campaign, there was no trace of Banshee in key Legion chapters. It wasn't until the opening of Battle for Azeroth that Sylvanas stepped out of the shadows again. And she did so with a bang that players won't soon forget!

WoW: The First Shock

WoW: Sylvanas triggered the Fourth War to destroy the balance between life and death. The souls of the dead strengthen the maw and grow the influence of the dungeon master. Source: Blizzard No other character made as much of a splash in Battle for Azeroth as Sylvanas. While the peoples of Azeroth celebrated their victory against Sargeras and his minions, the Banshee Queen ravaged the Dark Coast and burned down the Night Elves' World Tree. No one expected this brutal assault, which cost the lives of countless Kaldorei. Until now, Sylvanas was much more known for her nebulous intrigue games. This abrupt turnaround from a gray eminence to a bloodthirsty butcher especially pissed off Sylvanas' longtime fans. The release of Warbringer: Sylvanas finally marked the climax of the drama. Fans berated Blizzard's writing team, even threatening Christie Golden, who was announced as the new story writer for WoW shortly before BfA's release. In the forums, it went haywire for days! A few days later, Chris Metzen, lore guru and one of the creators of the Warcraft universe, intervened in the heated discussion on Twitter and asked the players for composure and a little patience. He promised that the whole dark story surrounding Sylvanas would soon be cleared up.

WoW: The Great Mystery of the Banshee

Our editorial team was also puzzled as to why the character development of the Banshee Queen suddenly turned 180 degrees. There must be some secret behind it, anything else doesn't make sense. In search of answers, Lore fans came up with all sorts of theories. Rumors made the rounds that the Dark Princess had succumbed to the whispers of the Old Gods. Another speculation was that she aspired to the power of the Lich King and wanted to follow in Arthas' footsteps. The Dark Princess never made much of a secret of her desire to master death itself. After numerous setbacks in Northrend, Gilneas, and Stormheim, going to Bolvar's Frozen Throne would at least be obvious.

WoW: Many Parallels, Little Clarity

WoW: As exciting as Saurfang's rebellion against Sylvanas was, laying siege to Orgrimmar one more time took a lot of air out of the story's sails. Source: Blizzard WoW: Instead of the gloomy pair of Sylvanas and Nathanos, the undead now get the boring Calia Menethil and Derek Prachtmeer as leaders. Source: buffed This theory proved true at the end of Battle for Azeroth. At least to a small extent. Sylvanas turned his back on the Horde and disappeared in an unknown direction. The Banshee did not reappear until the big announcement of the next WoW expansion. In the trailer for Shadowlands, she challenges the Lich King to a duel in Icecrown. Sylvanas surprisingly wins the duel. But instead of crowning herself Queen of the Undead, the Banshee destroys the Crown of Dominance and opens the gate between the world of the living and the dead. But instead of answering questions, Blizzard created many new ambiguities. Only during the presentation of Shadowlands did the developers come out with important information about previously secret plans of the Banshee Queen. And that was exactly one of the big problems of BfA. Blizzard made a big secret about the true intentions of the Banshee for far too long. Looking back at Sylvanas' story, her personal odyssey in World of Warcraft (buy now €14,99 ) makes perfect sense. However, that doesn't change the fact that developers almost never tell these complex stories in-game, preferring for years to rely on fans to gather this important info themselves from novels, comics, and short stories. This is the main reason why so few players can follow the story. Not that we misunderstand each other, it's not WoW's story that's bad, it's Blizzard's storytelling. The problem of many stories running parallel to each other is not a new one, but in Battle for Azeroth, the Californians overdid it big time.

Countless jumps between many different scenarios caused a lot of discomfort for the majority of the gaming community. The story of Battle for Azeroth simply lacked a common thread. The war campaign, the new island realms, Nazjatar, Mechagon, the Heart Chamber and N'Zoth - anyone who wanted to keep track of the main storyline had to keep a diary.

WoW: False promises

WoW: The fact that Magni Bronzebeard had helped the Old God to freedom did not play a role in Battle for Azeroth at any point. Strange, isn't it? Source: buffed

What Blizzard announced two years ago as "the biggest and bloodiest faction war ever!" quickly turned out to be a lukewarm conflict that was dealt with quickly and half-heartedly in the war campaign. At this point, both developers and authors wasted a lot of potential. This can be seen especially in the original warfront concepts that were leaked a year ago. According to the first drafts, the battles between the Horde and the Alliance should have covered all of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. There were plans for war fronts at the gates of Thunderrock and Silvermoon. These and other old areas would also have been given a new graphical makeover. Just imagine how much life would return to these dormant lands and cities! The only downer remains Uldum and the Valley of Eternal Blossoms, where the developers have at least partially implemented the first draft with the encroachments of the Black Empire. So it remains a mystery for now why Blizzard dropped the original idea with the "Great Faction War" again.

WoW: Horde preferred!

WoW: Despite its narrative weaknesses, the Horde war campaign was much more exciting than the Alliance. Source: buffed Speaking of the Horde and Alliance. Were you also bored as an Alliance hero? Because as far as the story is concerned, the blue faction once again had to take a back seat. Even during the reconquest of the Dark Coast, the Alliance didn't really get into the mood. Tyrande's metamorphosis into a night warrior and her small rebellion were completely lost in the chaos of many short stories. The official confirmation that the Kaldorei were able to recapture the Dark Coast after all is only a small consolation. And there's the quest series with Vol'jin, which is only available to Horde players. His quest to find the origin of the Whisper, to which we owe Sylvanas as a warchief, is a very important piece of the puzzle for the story of BfA. Even more, it is only through him that we get clues about a villain whose power exceeds that of the Lich King and all the other gods we know. There is no good reason to exclude Alliance players from this quest line. Vol'jin was a great hero during his lifetime, and through his rebellion against Garrosh he made many contacts with the Alliance. At the latest after his death, which ended all worldly loyalties anyway, he could have asked heroes from both sides for help.

WoW: Decisions without consequences

Let's move on to another design point that annoyed players in Battle for Azeroth. We are talking about so-called decision quests. On the one hand, these were only available to Horde players, like the Vol'jin quest line. Secondly, the players' choice - to support Saurfang's rebellion or to stay loyal to Sylvanas - didn't affect the events of the war campaign at all. In the end, it didn't matter at all whether you fought with or against Saurfang. If you play both variants (if you can call them that) of the Horde war campaign, you quickly realize that Blizzard put its resources into the rebel story. If, on the other hand, you opt for Sylvanas, then the player can expect much shorter quest lines that seem very choppy. One dialog option, short closing video, done. The Californians could have made a really dramatic story with betrayal and atonement out of it. Of course, we are aware that Blizzard can't spare any developers for unscheduled work at the moment. Still, a special info or a juicy detail about Sylvanas' plans would have sufficed as a reward for loyalty. Such a small story puzzle piece alone would have increased the replay value of the war campaign enormously in one fell swoop.

WoW: The Desolation of Nazjatar

WoW: Even Tyrande didn't make it to Nazjatar, although she and the tyrannical Naga Queen share a common history. At this point, Blizzard could have picked up the story from the War of the Ancestors. Source: Blizzard

Speaking of missed opportunities. Do you remember Nazjatar? Well, the great myths and legends of the power and wealth of the deep sea realm of the Naga Queen Azshara. When Blizzard announced Azshara as a boss for Battle for Azeroth, Lore fans in particular went wild. It's an encounter that some Warcraft veterans have been waiting for since the beginning of WoW, as Queen Azshara is one of the most powerful magical beings to ever walk Azeroth and beyond. Her empire, which perished in the raging ocean more than 10,000 years ago, survived in sagas that the Kaldorei told each other as a reminder. In Cataclysm, our heroes captured artifacts that touted the immeasurable wealth and splendor of Queen Azshara's new empire. In the trailer for Patch 8.2, we got our first glimpse of the kingdom of Nazjatar. Azshara's palace looked magnificent and the preview images made us really want to experience the new adventure. But when the time finally came, instead of an exciting underwater kingdom, we got a barren quest area that resembled Azsuna down to the last detail. The disappointment of the players was also great at this point. The only thing in Nazjatar that wasn't a ruin was Queen Azshara's palace. At least that's what we assume, after all, the palace was nowhere to be seen from the outside. The whole thing looked quite different on the original maps of Nazjatar, taken from PTR servers. Next to the queen's palace, the gigantic body of N'Zoth was also visible. This was fused with Nazjatar. It was a cool idea, but Blizzard also cut the part with N'Zoth and the gate that led to Ny'alotha out of the game. Instead, we got the boring Mechagon.

WoW: The great N'Zoth as a joke character

WoW: In patch 8.3, Furorion matures out of nowhere to become the leader of the troops that go into battle against the Old God. He has quite a bit ahead of Anduin, for whom the role would fit much better. Source: buffed While we're on the subject of N'Zoth: Blizzard announced the Old God as the final boss of Battle for Azeroth just a few weeks before BlizzCon 2019. This decision was unfortunate in that Ny'alotha and the Old God were no longer a big issue after Shadowlands was introduced. This doesn't do justice to N'Zoth and the numerous myths that have been spun around him since Cataclysm. His story also doesn't really fit into the setting of Battle for Azeroth. Just think of the phenomenal announcement trailer for BfA, where the Horde and the Alliance are all over each other. An Old God doesn't fit in, especially if he doesn't even have to be the catalyst for the conflict. Not to mention that Sylvanas and everything that happened in BfA leads directly to Shadowlands. Technically, the expansion ended with the end of the war campaign and Saurfang's death. Ny'alotha and N'Zoth now only serve to bridge the long wait until Shadowlands (December 2020 is still a long time away!). We would have liked to see a separate WoW expansion with the Black Empire and the Void as the main theme. Too bad.

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WoW: Furorion versus N'Zoth in Ny'alotha - ingame cinematic World of Warcraft from €14.99 to the home page to the gallery The links marked with * are affiliate links. Affiliate links are not ads, as we are independent in our research and selection of featured products. For product sales we receive a small commission, which we use to partially finance the free content of the website. 22