With looming Nazjatar and Eternal Palace raid in 8.2., June draws the equator line of the expansion. As we’ve firmly set the course towards the Old Gods from now on, it’s time to look back and see what we’ve experienced so far.
Lorewise it has been one of the most grim chapters in Warcraft history, one that left deep scars in our souls. Both Alliance and Horde are in a sad place now, despite all the achievements.
Undercity is a Chernobyl area, not fit even for the Undead population, and Teldrassil is a grim scorched stump, definitely not decorating the skyline. Despite the skirmishes in Darkshore and Arathi, continents are now dominated by a single faction by 90%.
Both factions did not have either aerial or naval fleet to launch a full-scale invasion to another continent, so they sought allies. And allies they have found. The Alliance is in a happier spot now: the reunion of Jaina and Kul Tiran nation alone was worth all the war. We’ve fixed the troubled kingdom and acquired a fleet.
Zandalari were not so lucky being allies with the Horde. On the bright side, the court was cleansed of corrupted advisors, and the source of the threat, a synthetic Old God, was slain by its heroes. Not a moment too soon – the Golden Pyramid and the whole Zandalar would have been engulfed by corruption and serve as a bastion of sickness and Old Gods in the coming months without our interference.
On the dark side, this union led to a dominating fleet blasted into smithereens, and the vague but beloved king slain. The Horde itself is also shaking from within, being dragged into the unnecessary war by an outright evil warchief, committing war crimes, preparing for a coup d’etat (not a civil war), and being bossed around by local KGB (aka Nathanos and dark rangers) doesn’t add bonus points too. On the bright side, it is time to remember the origins of the Horde, of answering the question who they are and what does honor mean to them.
It is safe to say now that the Alliance appeared to be more skilled in the terms of warfare. The Horde had an advantage of the first strike, but in the long term it played out to be nothing. Sylvanas’ greatest stake of Zandalari fleet was outplayed by brilliant gnomes and SI:7, and she has nothing to offer to break the tide. She was good in tactical ranger strikes – the one thing she excels at – with Darkshore blitzkrieg and almost eliminating the Alliance authorities at Lordaeron, but this is where her strategic play ends. More and more on she goes into crazy schemes, like trying to corrupt Derek Proudmoore or releasing the exposed Ashvane – all of them are not enough even if they were successful.
At the same time she’s failing internal poilitics by large, relying on her secret force agents and fear, and not even trying to extinguish the flames of displeasure of the Horde – in fact, every next move is leading to her impeachment, if not demise. The one thing a good warchief could do now is sign a peace treaty – cause the war is lost. Yet she will not acknowledge that, and whether it’s the Old God’s influence, or her evil nature, or both, this is not how it ends. We’re due to learn how it will unroll.
Whatever happens next, it is pretty clear that Sylvanas has already drifted into being “enemy of the state” – in fact, all states.
8.1.5. ending draws the line under Battle for Azeroth as in Horde vs Alliance battle for Azeroth territories. 8.2. starts Battle for Azeroth as in battle for Azeroth the Titan – her wound and possible corruption by N’Zoth.
The lesson we all learned in BfA (and hopefully Blizzard too) is that Horde vs Alliance is not what the world of Warcraft wants anymore. Battle for Dazar’Alor raid proved this even more than the pre-patch events. All the attack and defense on either side was a grim task to do. Killing the other faction in a raid felt just… wrong, a lead to nowhere. Even the victorious Alliance is not happy with the process and the aftermath.
A lesson that was learned the hard way.