The most common sentiment from the WoW media comments is this: I expected nothing, I expected it to be bad, and yet I’m still dissappointed. Totally in agreement, let’s talk about this crap they tried to pass as an expansion finale.
Well, they said that we get all the answers in 9.2. – and hell, that was about time. We had absolutely zero information on why do we fight for two expansions straight, but presumably driven by Jailer’s plan. So what was the master plan according to Danuser & Co?
Don’t laugh. From what I figured out, his plan was to use Azeroth the Titan’s power stocks (azerite and stuff), buried under Icecrown (of all places, never even mentioned in azerite-centered BfA – and for some reasons, channeled not to Torghast, but directly to a very secret and barred Sepulcher) to use as a battery for recreation of reality – erhm… to combine living worlds and the worlds of the dead into a Jailer-dominated army to fight a vague bigger threat that we never heard of before or seen even a glimpse of it?
This is it. This is it. And nothing else.
I can’t even articulate how idiotic the whole thing is. For two expansions straight Sylvanas – and Jailer – were babbling about how cycle of life and death is unfair – flush that in a toilet. Jailer was babbling about domination for ages, twirling his moustache – flush that in a toilet. Jailer’s relations with Pantheon – flush that in a toilet. A bad guy doing bad things to fight the bigger bad, the common Warcraft trope done very, very, very bad.
We never know what this threat even is – not the slightest thing, not a glimpse, not a dialogue line, we don’t know who they are, what they want, and what are the stakes, and why did the writers need another even cosmic-er, bigger power out of the blue, and why only living and dead combined could fight this threat, and why only dominated, not by accord. We don’t know why refurbishing of living and dead worlds was needed. We still DO – NOT – KNOW – ANYTHING about Jailer and his motives. Calling this a character arc is like comparing a child’s spaceship drawing to an IRL spaceship. It’s not a fucking arc!! It’s been bad guy doing totally different bad things in scattered manner, in random short cinematics, without logic or explanation, which ended in a totally different motive out of the blue in the same meaningless cinematic, explained nothing, and settled with some vague warning while turning into a reverse-Pinocchio (another “brilliant” touch).
Ok, let’s work with what we have and try to cobble up the actual character arc out of this scrapbook.
We should have got an explanation (character eavesdropping in Torghast, like we did) that his goal is not to break the cycle, but to make an army of living and dead, and why it’s necessary, and what he did to make them work together but failed (Pantheon-opposed or smth.), and why this domination move was absolutely necessary. We should have been given explanation – points of view – from Covenant leaders – how this idea was not accepted by them, as in he tried to explain, but they refused and chained him.
We should have gotten an explanation how he forges the key, why exactly Anduin, not a zillion characters from other worlds (and why he even needed Jaina, Baine and Thrall), what the seals are, what’s the deal with Arbiter, and how he tricked Sylvanas – presuming she was tricked into doing his bidding.
In 9.2., we should have learned – cypher and stuff – who the “bigger” bad guys are, and what are the stakes, and why exactly Azeroth’s power to fuel recreation, and how it even operates and channels into this locked place of a Sepulcher.
We should have seen a dozen of other explanations, put into fitting slots during an expansion, to make even this idiotic, recycled idea work, and we got literally nothing in the end. And don’t even start with Sylvanas “arc”.
I don’t know what else to say – or rather, I don’t understand why I’m still wasting my time on thinking and analyzing this “lore”. Even Ny’alotha/Nazjatar appendix to BfA’s central war story had more logic in it… and a better finale.
Whatever they’re planning for 10.0. – if it’s the same story team working on it, I’ve lost every glimpse of hope. They’re just impotent to create anything original and/or even walk in the same shoes, recycling previous tropes.
Frankly – they should finish the story, and they should have started it with BfA. BfA should have seen the final war between Horde and Alliance, which ended not in truce, but in a long-lasting peace. And the final expansion – to eradicate the Azshara/Old Gods threat, heal and hatch Azeroth the Titan, and let her out to fight the Void Lords on the cosmic scale, because it’s not our feat, as a single Old God is almost too much. We brought peace to the planet, and fulfilled our destiny – saved and hatched the final champion of Titans which will now cope with the biggest big bads of the universe. The End.
I don’t know about 10.0., really. I expect a lot less grind, more sense, and smaller leveling stories on a smaller scale on our home planet which might be good. Current Blizzard just cannot into cosmic scale and believable villains or big arcs. Whether I’ll be playing it (apart from IRL circumstances and stuff) – is by itself a big question. But judging by the state of Shadowlands and a cesspool of boredom which is Zereth Mortis, daily and lorewise, it may very well be the time to let go. We’ll see about that expansion announcement in April, shall we?