I’ve been doing some thinking, some pondering, some soul-searching over the plot line of the new expansion… and I really don’t think I like what I know so far. In previous expansions, we fought incredibly powerful and epic enemies. In BC, we fought Illidan who was a massively powerful mage who dedicated his life to power and combat, was granted extra power by demons. He was the first of his kind – a demon hunter and was thousands of years old. We may or may not have been prepared. In WolLK, Arthas was a Paladin, who was effectively merged with a Shaman/Warlock, infused with demon power, given amazing gear and had the power over death. Come on. In Cataclysm, Deathwing was the freakin’ aspect of earth granted power by the titans and corrupted (and possibly empowered further) by old gods. In MoP… we got an orc who only a few years before was basically mopey kid in Outlands who couldn’t have fought off the average basic campfire. While the enemy in Warlords doesn’t seem to be quite as insignificant as Garrosh, I don’t expect the epicness of previous expansions. There will be spoilers below, continue at your own risk. Also, check out the end of the post for the Warlords trailer.
The general premise we have so far is that Garrosh escapes his prison and travels back in time to Draenor before it was broken into Outlands, before the horde invasion of Azeroth and green orcs full of demon blood. He then convinces them to not drink the demon blood (though I don’t understand how they’re going to plot faery why the burning legion let’s that slide) and teaches them about the modern war technology and such. This creates a time bubble where the other Outlands exists alongside our universe and hijacks the dark portal to invade current Azeroth. While, I don’t mind the complicated timey-whimey stuff, this means that our enemy is again – the horde. We just had an expansion where the major build up AND conclusion was a bunch of orcs and they pets/toys and now we’re going into a full expansion based on that same premise? Sure, instead of this being the modern horde manipulated it’s the “Iron Horde”, but it’s still a pile of stupid angry orcs attacking stuff for pretty much no reason.
At Least It’s Not Garrosh
We’ve been told that while Garrosh is the instigator of the new threat, that he’ll play a much more minor role in what’s going on. So who is probably leading the threat? Grom, his dad. Such change! Admittedly we don’t know the whole story, maybe there’s a bigger villain pulling the strings that we will get to deal with later on, but maybe not. Overall though, it just feels like going back after more orcs isn’t a new theme. If they’re going to revisit an older theme (burning legion, for instance), at least don’t pick one they literally just did.
The Bigger Problem
My other huge issue is the fact that, as with Garrosh, how are these Warlords going to be of noteworthy power? Since their time (remember that these orcs were defeated by the human alliance, even with demon blood power they won’t have now) we’ve beaten titan creations, old gods, the Sha, the Mogu, fought off the burning legion and so much more. Modern Azeroth would be vastly more powerful and prepared for an incoming threat than the old forces of Draener. Even with training and planning, they simply haven’t been hardened by all the massive, end-of-the-world conflicts that have made our characters and related NPCs powerful. I hope that Blizzard has a plot reason that makes sense of this and not just, “well, Garrosh taught them how to be tough then they have a big training montage to ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and now they’re super-powerful.” And… well… I was really hoping for burning legion action. We had this long legendary quest where Wrathion was preparing us for the oncoming threat of the burning legion. He literally told us it’s coming and we’re not prepared. And then… no burning legion next, just more angry orcs. I’m excited about a ton of the features coming up and new content in general, but they haven’t excited me by the story they’ve pitched. Is anyone else turned off by this or are you rallying to go kick some more orc butt? And hey, maybe I’m totally off base and it will be epic. Tell me something to make me excited in the comments below.