With the release of Battle for Azeroth for World of Warcraft soon to be unleashed, Blizzard has preemptively added some new quest elements in the game to reflect the new update. Amongst the changes, a new questline called the War of the Thrones introduces a narrative beat in which the Night Elf world tree, Tekdrassil burns down, leading to outcry from the community.
The reason fans are upset over the burning of the tree stems from the perpetrator, Sylvanas Windrunner, a prominent character from World of Warcraft’s past expansions. Sylvanas brought with her the prospect of stability and a new found hope for the Horde. Unfortunately, the War of the Thorns quest line takes the character and shows her burning the sacred tree. essentially reigniting the war between the Alliance and the Horde.
Players are upset, not only due to the burning of the tree which basically wiped the slate clean and put a black spot on the character Sylvanas but also due to the implications it has on the players themselves. In the latest update, Horde players who want to participate in the upcoming DLC are forced to go through every story beat, including participating in the burning of the tree, an act that has caused many a death in its destructive nature, while painting the Horde in a distinctively antagonistic tone.
This is problematic as the Horde, from both a narrative perspective and from that of the player, are much more complex, in other words, it would have been nice to see Blizzard give players more divergent choices and freedom, instead of forcing all Horde players that participate in the new questline responsible for the burning of the Tekdrassil tree.
With the release of the Battle of Azeroth DLC scheduled for August 14 and War of the Thrones acting as preamble, there may still be some twists and turns that change things up for the future of the Horde.
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