The last but one lore piece of 9.1. Chains of Domination naturally refers to the last remaining Covenant – Kyrian and Bastion.
The introduction quest naturally made me cringe – as they’ve woven in a Torghast run. Luckily, it was not too tedious or long: all we had to do is to cover 3 levels. They were undertuned for one-shots like all other lore Torghast runs, and the third level has vendor and the final easy boss which I stomped into the ground. So I guess it could be fine for re-runs. Also, they introduced some new traps – probably they are in current Torghast too, I wouldn’t know, I don’t do Torghast.
Considering gameplay, a small grind in Bastion after the first cinematic cutscene seemed a bit anti-climactic, but NPCs help you with it in the manner Draka/Thrall did in chapter 5, so that will do.
Torghast lore fits fine, as this is naturally where we could get Uther’s soul piece. And yet it’s a nail in a coffin of Torghast being dangerous. Bolvar refers to the souls storage room as to one of the stalls when visiting a market: I think I saw tomatoes a couple of shops back, let’s return and get them. Well, as we already stormed the very seat of the Jailer and killed Tarragrue by the time of this trip, it’s justified, still it seemed funny to me.
Uther’s memory lane was interesting – Warcraft 3 players vividly remember the mission and the moment of Uther’s death by Arthas’ (and player’s) hand. For those who have played the RTS, there’s an interesting easter egg: during the mission you’re only able to produce ghoul troops, and Arthas is a level 3 hero, while Uther is level 10. So to beat him you really need a ghoul army – and that is exactly what happened in this WoW scenario :)
As we get back to Bastion, everything rolls on the rails quite expected – and as it should roll. I think it’s the fattest, biggest plus of the campaign chapter, because this is exactly what we were lacking for a while. Blizzard is very motivated recently for plot twists, rule of cool and hooks to the future, while sometimes, often all we need is a big fat dot, a resolution of the current problems – and no, plot twists are not really required for a moving moment.
In that terms, both gameplay and lore, Bastion may be the best chapter of all. We solved Uther, we solved the forsworn, we restored the corrupted temple and assigned a new archon there, and now we can do the sigil. Bastion now is not only restored, but reworked their values.
Many players were reluctant to accept Bastion modus operandi because refusing the memories to its denizens, even if for the good cause, seemed like a mind rape. Turns out, Blizzard had this moral question in mind all along, and it’s such a great story move – not only the “traitors” went back into the fold, but the authorities also accepted their truth as one of the options, eliminating the threat of similar uprising in the future, and making everyone happy, providing every next Kyrian a choice – whether to let the memories go, or keep them.
Bastion concluded their major story arc, the character arcs – Uther, Kleia, Adrestes, and the Covenant’s moral dilemma. No stones left unturned, no questions left – and that’s the WoW we haven’t seen in a while, and that’s the WoW we need right now.
What I’m talking about, it’s the best chapter in 9.1. lore, no question. Whoever was responsible for it in the lore department – I want them to get busy with the major expansion WoW arcs. I’m impressed. Bravo!