This editorial may contain minor spoilers, but I’ll try to keep everything as general as possible for those that haven’t finished questing through the Broken Isles yet.
One of the biggest complaints from Warlords of Draenor was the fact that we were pretty much the center of the universe. Holed up in our garrisons, we sat on our asses all day, barking orders at our followers to bring us back gold. We were always in charge, won pretty much every battle, and to be honest the campaign against the Iron Horde didn’t really feel like much of a struggle. There was no challenge, no fight, no resistance.
After playing through Legion, I was happily surprised to see that things have changed. I feel more like an adventurer instead of a king. Sure, being the leader of an order hall gives me a few flashbacks to Draenor. But from a questing and storyline perspective, Blizzard actually seems to be making us experience losses!
Think about it. The Broken Shore was such an awesome experience. Shit hit the fan, and the deaths of major characters were jarring enough to build excitement for the expansion and to incite a desire for vengeance towards the Legion. This is something we haven’t seen in a while, and I thoroughly enjoyed the opening scenario as an intro to the expansion.
However, after questing in the Broken Isles for a while, I’m actually starting to get a bit worried. This was neat at first, but Blizzard might be tempted to overuse this whole losing thing until it becomes trite and cliche – to the point in which we no longer feel its true weight.
Starting right off the bat with the artifact questlines, a lot of NPCs were killed. Several of them were pretty well established characters, but then others of them we had met just minutes prior.
Next I headed to the Exodar. After helping to fend off a demon invasion, I witnessed a huge loss for our campaign against the Legion. I definitely think it achieved the provocation that the story writers were going for.
So then I keep on questing, and I get to Stormheim. See here’s the part that worries me. I’m halfway into the zone’s opening quests, up on the Skybreaker, and I can already predict what’s going to happen. Sure enough – we end up losing.
Oh, and you’ll never guess how the Highmountain questline starts – yeah, beef shish kabob.
By the time I got to Val’Sharah, I’m sitting here thinking, “oh boy, I wonder who gets to die this time…”
I’m glad we’re not the center of attention anymore, but I desperately hope that Blizzard doesn’t take this too far. Losing is great – it gives us inspiration to keep fighting towards the end goal. But death is kind of a big deal. Killing off characters willy-nilly and letting us lose every battle is a bit extreme; I just hope as players that we don’t become calloused and desensitized to the true meaning of death and defeat.
What are your thoughts on this? Weigh in by leaving a comment below!