During the last few weeks Blizzard was feeding us with chunks of intro lore for the upcoming Legion expansion.
Notable thing is: I cannot remember the lore attack on the players this big and important before the upcoming expansion. All the things we get are vital for the plot.
As they are all here now, let’s try to review them (in no particular order).
- Gul’Dan. His story was a nice revelation. It showed us that he’s a true bastard, and has always been this way. Rough background forges character, but it forges character in a different way – eventually it all depends on the personality. We could remember Thrall – who was a thrall, yes. His story was not a candyland, and yet he became a cool guy. And we have Gul’dan, who didn’t spare the only orc who was kind to him. It’s always been easy to hate him, and the video adds up to that, while also revealing more about his origins. Well done.
- Khadgar – the story shares themes with Anduin comic. There’s a disguised Nathrezim who cannot fulfil his goals because Anduin and Khadgar are clever enough, and they also can pew pew the shit out of demons. I liked how it reveals the danger and cunning of Dreadlords – and we will turn into them next week through pre-expansion events. These coming city events just got a perfect background.
- Illidan – all my fears since I’ve first heard of his returning at Legion preview came true. They’ve exploited this old, lame catch phrase about “PREPARED” like… three times in 5 minutes? Fan service of this sort reminds me of a very, very bad product placement in the movies. And the story itself started well, but very quickly it turned into a traditional hero shite. We are good, we are awesome, we are Team Fabulous. NO. Blizzard completely failed to deliver the background of Illidari Demon Hunters. When you read a book, you shiver from all the atrocities they went through their training. You learn that they are barely sane – and for a reason; they’re clients of madhouse. Nothing of this is clear from the video. Normal elves, but now with cool tattoos and cool eye cloths. Did I mention cool blades? Them too. Blizzard failed to deliver the horrific background and essence of the class. So I hated the second half of the video. If you want to roll a DH, William King’s ‘Illidan’ is a must-read.
- Highmountain: A Mountain Divided – moose tauren are a cool story. It’s an acquaintance with this zone, and it sets many things for us to track during the game. They’ve explained why we will be fighting a new race of drog’bar who also have some purpose, they have wits, and they are not just savage pillaging tribes like troggs or gnolls – that’s what I thought first.
- Magni: Fault Lines – I would approve this return of the dwarven king. It’s not as lame fan service as Illidan’s return. Magni became completely another dwarf, and yet will serve as a supporting character, he won’t try to claim the screentime all for himself. He would reject the dwarf throne – the council of three hammers is a nice thing, and there won’t be time for ‘Magni king – Magni not king’ stuff with all the Legion invasion. A prophetic figure now, he fits best for the job of delivering secret knowledge to the world. He’s far beyond any kingdoms and thrones now.
- Nightborne: Twilight of Suramar – seemed a bit messy to me. I guess it sets the background to the raid, but all the night elves stayed no-names for me. I think I shall return to the comic before I enter the raid and while questing in Suramar itself at level cap.
This is one of the most important chunks of plot. Everything that will happen in pre-expansion events (invasions, city events, Broken Shore scenario) is happening after the Tomb of Sargeras actually opens. The audio drama shows us: how was it opened. It shows us how Gul’dan got to the Broken Isles after Archimonde launched him to the portal as his very last act and effort, how Khadgar chased the warlock, and why he could not stop the orc.
The bitch Maiev, one of my most hated lore characters, is also there. And she behaves like always.
The most interesting part for me was the motives of Gul’dan and his silent dialogues with Kil’jaeden. It’s really amazing, and it adds much depth into even ‘pure evil’, would-be plain evil character. Awesome.
So, with all the parts of the Draenor -> Legion puzzle in our hands, we are ready for the invasions, scenarios and Legion itself. At least we are armed with lore now.