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Sylvanas Will Not Be Garrosh 2.0

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5 hours ago, NinjaDomo said:

Just because she wrote it does not mean she is responsible for the plot...


This would not be entirely correct.  And yet, it doesn't really matter anyway.  I was mainly pointing out that "Warbringers" is neither out of line for the character or taking Sylvanas in some new direction.  And that direction is based on her development in a recent work by Christie.  Those who seem puzzled by the feedback being given specifically to her are revealing naivete to the current canon and its sources.

And I don't believe that the novel authors are merely puppets for some internal executive or committee.  They'll be brought in as partners and guided for sure but you would not get good material by hiring writers and taking away their creative input.

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Well I guess people are forgetting what Lok’tar Ogar means, means Victory or Death. Not Honor, but Survival. People forget that the Horde is about Survival and not Honor. The reason as to why so many Horde players have conflict with Sylvanas, because they themselves have forgotten what Survival is to the races of The Horde. 

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5 hours ago, Aegrotat said:

Was going to say, the horde didn't rebel against Garrosh because of Theramore or something, they rebelled because he literally claimed that they needed the true, Orcish horde (featuring a few goblins). and not even just purging the horde of other races, but also removing a large section of other orcs for things like disagreeing with him, or being warlocks

They also rebelled because they didn't believe in his actions or motivations and thought what they were being asked to do was wrong.

In fact this was something revealed to Anduin in a vision by The Light.  In a simple conversation at a pub between soldiers he saw a Forsaken soldier who would partake in the Horde rebellion against Garrosh question his orders and what he'd seen done.  There would have been similar conversations (one would hope) among Nazi soldiers (yep, I went there), because you cannot hide behind "just doing my orders."

This may be a subtle nuance to some but it's important.  Especially if you have a problem with The Horde, as a whole,  being considered evil.  

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2 hours ago, Asthlynn said:

Well I guess people are forgetting what Lok’tar Ogar means, means Victory or Death. Not Honor, but Survival.

Um, my question then becomes how many of your own people must you killl then subsequently resurrect as your unead slaves before the whole 'victory or death' thing becomes moot?

Wiping out the races of the horde in battle to save the races of the horde...  just seems... counter intuitive to me.

And Lok'tar Ogar may mean victory or death but Strength and Honor has been a Orc saying for just as long.  

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15 hours ago, Sholto said:


Yeah, she is that bad and she's done the same.  She slaughtered The Desolate Council in cold blood as a stepping stone to war, as a means to spin the event with the rest of The Forsaken, to blame it on Humans, to stamp out the hope they had of ever being accepted by their living relatives or ever being accepted as anything but a notch above The Scourge.  Sylvanas loves The Forsaken the same as a common wife beater loves his battered wife. 

And the rest of The Horde are simply tools for her.  She doesn't even respect Baine, though she and The Forsaken owe their current existence to his generosity in bringing them into The Horde after being rejected by The Alliance as abominations.  Her only desire is more power and more Forsaken, but she'll gladly sacrifice any that dare question or challenge her, because her sights are set on Stormwind and turning all of Humanity into more undead to serve her.

This is pretty much how I see Sylvanas as of now.  The issue really is how Blizz expect us to buy into any narrative of following her, either blindly or reluctantly, when we see how she acts and what she is prepared to do.  Saurfang has clearly shown what he thinks of that and there are many players who think he has a point and that a new Warchief is essential for the Horde for story sense (as much as for player satisfaction). 

If Blizz turn this into some revelation that Sylvanas really did it all for us then it will fail because her actions will be inconsistent and the idea that the end justifies the means is not one players are keen to swallow (Teldrassil - firebombing a defenseless city - just being the latest atrocity to add to our repertoire of "morally grey, war is hell" actions: Southshore - forsaken blight, Theramore - mana bomb).

The other thing is the precedence given to the Forsaken and their methods in the War Campaign is tainting the Horde.  Killing your enemies is one thing but Horde values demand fallen enemies be treated with respect as part of the fundamental code of honour and decency at it's heart.  Raising those enemies as undead and turning them into Forsaken to aid you in betraying all they held dear in life is monstrous and pure Lich King behaviour (it is of course what Arthas did to Sylvanas and she has learned the lesson all too well).  We are all now accomplices in this.

The tension between having an undead race as part of a faction when it's really antipathetic to all living creatures is becoming a more obvious problem.  Callia Menethil  presents interesting possibilities in that regard.  Also, the introduction of death knights on both factions has long shown that you could bring undead characters in game and tie them to the living without the death cult / blight plague elements that seem to brand the Forsaken everyone's potential enemy.  Do what to do with the Forsaken?  Nathanos looked a possible replacement to Sylvanas as leader of the Forsaken but he is too much her unquestioning loyal right hand in game.  If the Forsaken were to split between factions then he and Callia look the obvious choices.  Time will tell.

1 hour ago, Sholto said:

And I don't believe that the novel authors are merely puppets for some internal executive or committee.  They'll be brought in as partners and guided for sure but you would not get good material by hiring writers and taking away their creative input.

I can't agree with you on this though.  Neither Golden, nor any of the others, is the writer of the warcraft / wow storyline and they are directed as to what events and developments to dramatise, i.e. they are asked to make compelling stories out of outlines that the game developers have mapped out well in advance.  Otherwise the game would have to follow the writers choices rather than the other way round.

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12 hours ago, TheOrcvader said:

But I hope your opening line doesn't justify the harassment of Christine Golden because that is still a lame, deplorable, childish set of actions by the people giving those of us who enjoy this hobby a bad name...


No, these people are a toxic element of both game culture in particular and fanboi culture in general.  

I was pointing out that whomever wrote this blog shouldn't be puzzled by where criticism is being directed though, because Sylvanas was not revealed to be evil in "Warbringers", that occurred slightly earlier in her latest novel.  And the novel's are canon, and considered canon by Blizzard themselves, not fan fiction or some extended universe of happy suppositions or interesting "what ifs".  

WoW lore support and reference authorities have been slow to incorporate its information about where things are now that BfA has started is really behind and not based on all of the available information.  This blogger is right to call out the toxic behavior, but for the behavior itself.  Their judgement and puzzlement over its target reveals they should have maybe done a little homework and framed that part of this post to be less naive.

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59 minutes ago, Cowabunga said:

This is pretty much how I see Sylvanas as of now.  The issue really is how Blizz expect us to buy into any narrative of following her, either blindly or reluctantly, when we see how she acts and what she is prepared to do.  Saurfang has clearly shown what he thinks of that and there are many players who think he has a point and that a new Warchief is essential for the Horde for story sense (as much as for player satisfaction)....

 

Well, for players this is likely at least partially by design.   If they're only going on "Warbringers" and the events unfolding in game (I'm making some assumptions here because I haven't started leveling a Horde toon through BfA yet), then they are basing their alignment to Sylvanas and the Horde "cause" based on maybe even slightly more information than your average Horde member would have.    They know as much as Saurfang, which is more than a grunt would know about her.

Their alignment and devotion to her and the direction she's taking the Horde is just another example of toxic nationalism, solidarity and why blindly following leaders, thinking "I'm just doing my orders/duty" is so dangerous.  Cynically though, I think players likely need no other reasoning than, "yeah, for the Horde!  Kill the Alliance!" and be okay with that simple mindedness, or the notion that anything goes "in war."

Prior to the events of "Warbringers" only Sylvanas' most trusted and closest advisers and enforcers know how evil she is, oh, and Anduin, Genn, the rest of the top Alliance leadership, Archbishop Alonsus Faol, and everyone else at the Netherlight Temple.  I can only assume that Magni Bronzebeard's participation in the Horde part of BfA to acquire and charge up the Heart of Azeroth means he's in the dark and is doing so under the assumption that Horde players are involved in an effort to save Azeroth.  Because her use of Azerite has, from the very beginning, been corrupt and she's only patronized Baine's efforts and desire to heal the planet.   

In fact, the  Goblin engineer originally charged with research into Azerite rebelled and unsuccessfully tried to scuttle all the research so that Sylvanas couldn't put it to use for evil and destruction, or weapons of any kind.  He'll  be perhaps the first unsung tragic hero of this whole mess, the first to take some kind of stand against her.  I'm curious if his ultimate fate will be revealed in game.



 

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The other thing is the precedence given to the Forsaken and their methods in the War Campaign is tainting the Horde.  Killing your enemies is one thing but Horde values demand fallen enemies be treated with respect as part of the fundamental code of honour and decency at it's heart.  Raising those enemies as undead and turning them into Forsaken to aid you in betraying all they held dear in life is monstrous and pure Lich King behaviour (it is of course what Arthas did to Sylvanas and she has learned the lesson all too well).  We are all now accomplices in this.

 

Except here you have to separate The Forsaken from Sylvanas.  They, as a people, have more nuance than this.  It has only been certain power hungry individuals within, and now Sylvanas, that wants to make more Forsaken.  They do not have a hate for the living except what has been burned into them by Sylvanas.  She has taken away their hope.  She has projected her own issues to them and she has been mentally conditioning them to see her and her alone as all that they have and convinced them that she has their best interests at heart.   They, many of them, do not want to live forever and welcome the normality of death even.

But the average Forsaken craves connection with their living relatives and though sometimes muted, bonds with other living beings.  Anduin witnessed this himself and had his own prejudices against them challenged.  It was this desire for connection that threatened Sylvanas and ultimately lead to her conspiring to slaughter The Desolate Council and turn it into an "I told you so" moment to pin the whole thing on Anduin and The Alliance. 

As a bonus, she also got to murder Calia Menethil, but all of this ultimately backfired on her because that set in motion the holy undeath of the rightful leader to the people of Lordaeron.  And in the process, even Genn has changed his opinion of The Forsaken and is able to separate Sylvanas, who isn't really even the same as them anyhow, from who they represent as a people.  He and The Alliance know that the average Horde citizen is completely in the dark about who and what she is.  In the meantime, they're following their leader and there is no other mechanism than war and insurrection to remedy her.  They can't just send an email CC'd to "All" saying "she sucks, you're stupid to follow such a lamer."  They're going to have to come to that conclusion on their own, or die fighting in a war she started for no good reason.

 

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Nathanos looked a possible replacement to Sylvanas as leader of the Forsaken but he is too much her unquestioning loyal right hand in game.  If the Forsaken were to split between factions then he and Callia look the obvious choices.  Time will tell.

Yeah, currently he's simply her lap dog.  He's the single most complicit character right now and right with her for everything, including the genocide against Humans to create more Forsaken.  If he's going to somehow turn hero and against her, he's still in need of convincing.

 

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I can't agree with you on this though.  Neither Golden, nor any of the others, is the writer of the warcraft / wow storyline and they are directed as to what events and developments to dramatise, i.e. they are asked to make compelling stories out of outlines that the game developers have mapped out well in advance.  Otherwise the game would have to follow the writers choices rather than the other way round.


Having worked with writers in similar situations and around these sorts of creative jobs I would have to actually see a "blue post" that confirms these are simply writer for hire with no influence over story.  Because guy on the street has a lot of assumptions about creative jobs that come from simply having no idea how any of this really works.  No offense.

Edited by Sholto

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6 hours ago, Asthlynn said:

Well I guess people are forgetting what Lok’tar Ogar means, means Victory or Death. Not Honor, but Survival. People forget that the Horde is about Survival and not Honor. The reason as to why so many Horde players have conflict with Sylvanas, because they themselves have forgotten what Survival is to the races of The Horde. 

That's all fine and good on a bumper sticker, because that's where bumper sticker politics belong.  The truth is Sylvanas is the biggest threat to the "survival" of the Horde.  Full stop.

In the wake of the cooperative victory against The Legion there was no threat to The Horde.  They're now fighting for survival in a fight she threw them in because of her own lack of character, greed and inner demons.   Only an idiot lives by a credo based on pressure they invent for themselves.  

edit: that motto is also from a dysfunctional culture that has evolved some since it was created.  And it does not represent the culture of the Tauren or, for the most part, the Troll.  Orcs are damaged and see everything as a threat because they have been the threat for so long and see the world very simply, or did.  But if that's all they have, if that's all they're about, then nobody should shed a tear if it's one day decided that everyone would be better off if they were all hunted down and exterminated.  Even they would be better off if all that defined them was "Lok'tar Ogar" and they were okay with that.  It's an existence that's sad, and worthy of violence, not admirable.

Edited by Sholto

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On 8/22/2018 at 5:59 PM, Sholto said:

Except here you have to separate The Forsaken from Sylvanas.  They, as a people, have more nuance than this.  It has only been certain power hungry individuals within, and now Sylvanas, that wants to make more Forsaken.  They do not have a hate for the living except what has been burned into them by Sylvanas.  She has taken away their hope.  She has projected her own issues to them and she has been mentally conditioning them to see her and her alone as all that they have and convinced them that she has their best interests at heart.   They, many of them, do not want to live forever and welcome the normality of death even.

But the average Forsaken craves connection with their living relatives and though sometimes muted, bonds with other living beings.  Anduin witnessed this himself and had his own prejudices against them challenged.  It was this desire for connection that threatened Sylvanas and ultimately lead to her conspiring to slaughter The Desolate Council and turn it into an "I told you so" moment to pin the whole thing on Anduin and The Alliance. 

The novel did this but I don't really see any of it in game which is the disappointing part.  Nathanos tells us how he loathes humans and wants to destroy Stormwind and raise every last citizen to serve Sylvanas.  It's too much a caricature of the Lich King and the scourge and this genocidal viewpoint is too obviously repellent but it's not just Nathanos as her loyal right hand.  It's the likes of Lillian Voss seemingly fine with anyone being turned into a Forsaken despite the trauma and the toll it took on her personally.

Moving away from specific Forsaken to the Horde in general, it's characters like Rexar and Occuleth knowing full well that they are undertaking a mission to recover the corpses of dead enemies (or desecrate graveyards) and raise them as undead and set them to betraying everything they held dear in life.  These characters seem to unquestioningly accept that the end justifies the means and hold their noses while the likes of Amalia Stone, Marshal Valentine and a certain crown prince are all retrieved (or not) and turned into obedient servants of Sylvanas.  It's a 12+ game but you don't have to be 12 to understand this is wrong and why any living being should shudder at the idea of doing this.  Given what happened to Saurfang's son it seems he was removed from the early storyline as he simply would not have stood for this: other characters can quell their misgivings or rationalise it as necessary but no way would he accept doing to others what was done to him and his son.

On 8/22/2018 at 5:59 PM, Sholto said:

Having worked with writers in similar situations and around these sorts of creative jobs I would have to actually see a "blue post" that confirms these are simply writer for hire with no influence over story.  Because guy on the street has a lot of assumptions about creative jobs that come from simply having no idea how any of this really works.  No offense.

None taken.  I simply don't believe Ion Hazzikostas or Blizzard in general surrendered the creative direction of their franchise and game over to any of the writers hired to compliment game revenue by earning book revenue.  The broad strokes of the storyline are not for the writers to decide and the game really does not follow what they come up with: if it did the novels wold have to be written years in advance to enable the game developers to see where they should be going with plot.  So I won't hold Christie Golden's feet to the coals for the plot of the novel.

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4 hours ago, Cowabunga said:

The novel did this but I don't really see any of it in game which is the disappointing part...


I don't see much of it yet, but nevertheless, apart from something like "Durotar", which follows the alternate timeline of the Warcraft film, and doesn't have any connection to the in-game universe, the EU of the novels are cannon and they apply directly to what's happening in game until such time as it's altered in game.  But these authors are not puppets and the development of these stories is collaborative when it's not a proposal agreed to and given support to as a matter of review and then adoption.

These other characters perhaps going against their own natures (why no mention of Baine, who's being played for a stooge, even though Sylvanas owes her life and the survival of The Forsaken up to now to him?) is easy enough to understand when it happens in real life all the time.  In fact, it's a danger to be expected in the general population of people, who will do the most vile of things under the cover of believing it's for "the greater good."

That is the true revelation of the Milgram Experiment.  It's long been incorrectly interpreted as the subjects being cruel because of some combination of anonymity and no consequences but that wasn't it at all.  The subjects were coerced with the assertion that what they were doing was for science and ultimately a benefit and most had to be prompted to the point where failure to act in a cruel way was presented as failure, and ultimately something that put the experiment in jeopardy, to say nothing of the implication that it reflected poorly on their participation in something scientific.

Until more of the Horde put their own convictions ahead of this lie that what they're doing is for the good or the survival of The Horde they will do this and more.  Much more.  It is only individual character that will let a few rise above and recognize the evil of what is being done.

And then you have even the survivors of trauma showing a lot of selfishness and indifference to the experience of others.  Battered wives are not known for raising daughters who are strong and who will never let themselves be victimized.  It is more often than not the character and strength of the child who decides for themselves they will never live a certain way, even if their life has predisposed them to continue the cycle of abuse.  This can be a subconscious cycle or it can be consciously imposed on another, with the idea that "I survived, you're not better than me so you'll survive too..."   I see this same mentality all the time in my own industry which started out normalizing employee abuse (lots of overtime, not always pay for it) where the incoming workers not putting up with it or complaining about it are seen as weaker or troublemakers.  I did the work so who are you to think you're above putting up with it?  That sort of thing.  

Personally, I like that these aren't simplified, black and white, good and evil, two-dimensional characters or dilemmas.  All of this happens all the time in real life and though it's still stylized the nuance gives WoW lore and story evolution a richness that you simply do not find elsewhere, even if a majority of the player base barely pays attention.  I know I didn't for a long time.

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On 10/3/2018 at 5:53 PM, Sholto said:


These other characters perhaps going against their own natures (why no mention of Baine, who's being played for a stooge, even though Sylvanas owes her life and the survival of The Forsaken up to now to him?) is easy enough to understand when it happens in real life all the time.  In fact, it's a danger to be expected in the general population of people, who will do the most vile of things under the cover of believing it's for "the greater good."

That is the true revelation of the Milgram Experiment.  It's long been incorrectly interpreted as the subjects being cruel because of some combination of anonymity and no consequences but that wasn't it at all.  The subjects were coerced with the assertion that what they were doing was for science and ultimately a benefit and most had to be prompted to the point where failure to act in a cruel way was presented as failure, and ultimately something that put the experiment in jeopardy, to say nothing of the implication that it reflected poorly on their participation in something scientific.

Until more of the Horde put their own convictions ahead of this lie that what they're doing is for the good or the survival of The Horde they will do this and more.  Much more.  It is only individual character that will let a few rise above and recognize the evil of what is being done.

It's a matter of degree.  Necromancy is a big taboo and all living species should and do (in game) share a revulsion of it.  It's something that can just as easily be turned on them - as indeed Sylvanas taunts Saurfang with at the battle of the UC, and she actually goes a step further by using blight to kill both Alliance and Horde forces and raise them as skeletal minions.  That's a bit too much surely?  And the war campaign simply establishes raising your enemies and turning them into your own personal shock troops as a legitimate ploy to secure a tactical advantage, not as some ultimate and drastic decision necessary to save the Horde from certain annihilation.

The obvious point is if you have the wrong leader you are forced to go along with it or face accusations of treason and betraying your own cause, that's the rub of it.  Thrall or Vol'jin would not contemplate these actions but since we have the wrong leader we are led into moral turpitude out of an obligation to follow orders.  We know where that has led in real life, we surely don't need to play out the moral in game?

As to the bolded: ideology will often provide a justification for a segment to the population to do terrible things but I would disagree that the majority are persuaded by that, it's often a militant or extreme minority who use force to secure their aims and views (e.g. ISIS) and there is always significant dissent or conflict over those objectives and methods.  In game, the Kor'kron Guard became Garrosh's loyal foot soldiers and seemed to share his racial prejudices and currently the Forsaken are in danger of doing the same for Sylvanas.  Garrosh was opposed by the bulk of the Horde and for all Blizzard's attempts at nuance Sylvanas is putting herself in the same position. 

Who in the Horde wants Stormwind destroyed so all it's citizens can be raised as new Forsaken?  What need would the Forsaken have of the Horde then?  Necromancy and Sylvanas's ambitions should send a shiver down living Horde spines.

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There was no significant dissent in Germany in WWII  (yes, I know, I went there).  Where is the significant dissent in Israel?  Where is the significant dissent in the USA?  

I think history proves that the masses often take their time to reach a point where the abominable actions of their leaders/representatives/institutions are seen as too much and they take action to put them down from within.  And then again, sometimes they never get there and that which they're complicit in requires an outside force and violence for it to end.

And seeing this play out in game, in any media for that matter, is what gives it a sense of truth.  You may laugh but that's the job of art and as disappointed as I am with the teams behind class mechanics the folks at Blizz who create this world are artists and though not solely responsible for why this MMO has endured while so many comers have fallen over the years, the way they create the world and how it reflects our own in subtle and not so subtle ways, is very likely part of it.  Pure fantasy, based on nothing true or real, is disposable and forgettable, like pop music.

Sylvanas' ambitions should send a shiver down the spine of the Horde, but more than that, they should and would disturb a growing number within The Forsaken itself.  And that is why she's not up front about it.  That's why only her most trusted inner circle know, and know that there was no threat against the Horde that precipitated this war for its continued survival, she lead them into the war for her ambitions and put them in jeopardy and made them the literal enemy of the world (edit: any single orc participating in the burning of the World Tree betrays the nobility and heritage of the orcs who fought alongside night elves to protect the World Tree, despite the fact that they were not welcome in The Alliance after killing Cenarius and the fact of their fel taint...this action even changed the mind of Cenarius whose spirit watched from within the Emerald Dream, an event and personal revelation not unlike the recent re-evaluation that Greymane has made with respect to The Forsaken).  (edit2: I bet Sylvanas would sacrifice every single citizen of Loredaeron if it meant she gained the inhabitants of Stormwind as new Forsaken).

Now we have to see how and when they discover how they've been played and what they intend to do about it.  If Blizz says that Sylvanas will not be Garrosh 2.0 there's a few ways to interpret that.  Perhaps the Horde will not participate in the overthrow of Sylvanas and they will always be on the wrong side of this.  Or perhaps it will mostly be an internal coup and despite the efforts of The Alliance, it's The Horde itself who will be the most instrumental in her downfall.  

I'm not holding my breath for her to suddenly get her soul back and go, "my bad."

edit: but I think The Horde will also need to confront the truth that Garrosh, villain for sure, had a point in his convictions.   Regardless of what members of The Horde consider The Horde, it was created by an even greater villain than Garrosh for evil intentions and was purely an Orcish organization and based on Orcish culture with an evil mission.   The Horde conflict against The Alliance is an inversion of the European colonization and rape of The New World and ironically the Humans and The Alliance represent indigenous people, with the Tauren, Trolls, and other indigenous races of Azeroth taking on the roll of collaborators and traitors to their own world.  Or, that's at least one way to look at it based on the facts.  And yet I wonder how many Horde players even on RP servers look beyond the aesthetics and visual influences on various Horde cultures to see this possibility when they've, for years, claimed that it's not good versus evil in the conflict between Horde and Alliance and cast themselves, as various races of The Horde, as POC and indigenous defenders and minorities kept down by the awful Alliance.  The truth is, none of them may be able to ever be free of conflict or achieve their best selves so long as they are part of "The Horde" because it's an organization that began evil and seems destined to corrupt itself and return to evil, demanding solidarity above all else.   And that is definitely a lesson for IRL.

Edited by Sholto

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      Game Director Ion Hazzikostas talked about Visions of N'Zoth in the latest Content Preview on October 7. We learned pretty much everything about the new patch, and in the following section, you're going to find its main features:
      Assaults
      Invasions return to the game once more, and this time, they're called Assaults. The Vale of Eternal Blossoms and Uldum will be periodically under assault by N'Zoth's forces, and your goal is to drive them back by completing quests and interacting with various objectives to complete the "emissary." Blizzard uses technology and everything they've learned from Mechagon and Nazjatar in this new iteration of Assaults to ensure dynamic replayability. Assaults are mandatory if you want to enter Horrific Visions.
      Initial Preview of Assaults in Visions of N'Zoth Horrific Visions
      Described as alternate realities where N'Zoth's power is ascendant, these are 1-5 player "scenarios" of Stormwind and Orgrimmar, where you need to complete various objectives for rewards. Horrific Visions revolve around a new mechanic called Sanity, which starts draining as soon as you enter a Horrific Vision. Your goal is to complete as many side objectives as possible and defeating the mini-boss before your Sanity is completely depleted.
      To help you with that, we've got Wrathion with a new Legendary Cloak and a Titanic Research Tree for Horrific Visions with perks that gradually trivialize the feature.
      Ny'alotha, the Waking City
      We will be facing N'Zoth in Ny'alotha, the new twelve-boss raid located in Uldum. It comes with a raid skip quest after you defeat the first boss and new sets up for grabs:
      Ny'alotha Cloth Sets Preview Ny'alotha Leather Sets Preview Ny'alotha Mail Sets Preview Ny'alotha Plate Sets Preview We've also covered the continuation of the story in Patch 8.3 and what happens in the raid in the articles below:
      New Forsaken Leadership in Patch 8.3 (Spoilers) Azshara's Bargain and the Key to Defeating N'Zoth (Spoilers) I'lgynoth's Whispers in Patch 8.3 (Analysis) N'Zoth's in-game model has been updated multiple times.
      Rewards Updates
      Visions of N'Zoth comes with two new factions, six new Essences, a brand new Mythic Season, a new Seasonal affix, Profession updates, and more that we'll cover soon.
      Heart of Azeroth will have a new Minor slot, two Stamina nodes, the maximum level increased to 85 (was 70). Coming in a later PTR update, Blizzard will be adding an infinite progression slot to aid you against N'Zoth's corruption at max level (whatever that means).
      New Allied Races: Vulpera & Mechagnomes
      Another pair of Allied Races will become available in Visions of N'Zoth. Alliance players will be able to recruit Mechagnomes, and their Horde counterpart are the Vulpera of Vol'dun.
      Official Mechagnomes & Vulpera Preview Mechagnomes & Vulpera Racials Mechagnomes & Vulpera Unlock Requirements Vulpera Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnome Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnome & Vulpera Dance Animations Vulpera Tidbits: Racial Mount, Shaman Totems, Hunter Pet New Heritage Armor: Goblins & Worgen
      Goblins and Worgen received new models and animations in Patch 8.2.5, but no Heritage Armor, which is added in Patch 8.3.
      Goblin & Worgen Heritage Armor Sets Preview Auction House Overhaul
      The Auction House will be completely revamped. No more lag caused by the system being clogged with single stacks. Stackable items are no longer purchased or sold in stacks; copper is no longer displayed in the Auction House, but used for calculations. If you regularly forget the name of goods, you can create a shopping list, and more!
      Auction House Revamp Preview The Removal of Titanforging
      Ion teased the removal of Titanforging in Patch 8.3 through something more "twisted and corrupt." We found some interesting Corrupted Rings from Ny'alotha with various Kiss/Curse Effects. Based on datamining and game assets, it seems we will be able to cleanse and alter them somehow.
      Are Cursed Items the Alternative to Titanforging? Class Changes
      No patch would be complete without some class changes, and you can find all class changes planned for Visions of N'Zoth here.
      Allied Race & Pandaren Death Knights
      We found encrypted sound files of Bolvar and Mograine together with Death Knight creature textures for Allied Races and the Pandaren, and new Death Knight Swords of the Ebon Blade.
      We think Allied Races and the Pandaren will be able to roll Death Knights in the near future, and there is at least a partial revamp of the Death Knight starting area planned now that Bolvar is the Lich King. Given that the files are encrypted, it's likely that this bit will be unveiled at this year's BlizzCon.
      New Mounts
      As usual, with every content update, multiple mounts are coming with placeholder descriptions, sources, and whatnot.
      Alpaca Mounts - Presumably, new reputation mounts available for purchase at Exalted. Chalcedony Cloud Serpent - A new recolor of the existing serpent, possibly tied to the Assault on Vale. N'Zoth Serpent - New Stormsong Valley Rare Mount from the Adherent of the Abyss. Aqir Flying Mount - Mythic N'Zoth mount, maybe? Ny'alotha Allseer - Ahead of the Curve reward? Island Expedition Vendors
      In Patch 8.3, you will be able to purchase Island-specific and Invasion-specific crates for Dubloons.
      New Dubloon Vendors Selling Island Expedition and Invasion Crates 3 New World Bosses
      Blizzard is adding three new world bosses to the game, which drop item level 445 loot.
      Miscellaneous
      Other minor things planned for Patch 8.3 include:
      A new PvP event where players can serve N'Zoth, similar to Talon's Vengeance. Heroic difficulty for the Darkshore Warfront. Division of Operation: Mechagon into two wings, each with Heroic and Mythic Keystone difficulties. Darkmoon Arcade, allowing you to play your favorite mini-games at the Darkmoon Faire. Deepwind Gorge updated to be a capture point map. New Battle Pets and Pet Battle Dungeon - Blackrock Depths. New Story Quests: Rie of N'Zoth ...and more! We'll be periodically updating this hub with more details!
      Vision of N'zoth is the final major content patch of BfA, and here's our hub with everything you need to know.
    • By Stan
      Here is a an updated blog post with all Class changes coming in Patch 8.3.
      Check out our Visions of N'Zoth Content Hub for more details!
      Blizzard (Source)
      In our next major content update, Visions of N’Zoth, we’re working on some tuning updates to a few specs that are under- and over-performing in various ways.
      Developers’ notes: Specs which excel at DoTs on multiple targets have, over the course of many tiers of content, generally had very high performance on the average. Their DPS advantage in raid encounters that play into their multi-target strength (which are relatively common) is not balanced by a comparable disadvantage in other areas. A small reduction in damage on these specs will leave them noticeably strong in the situations in which they’re strong (albeit slightly less than before), and give other specs more opportunity to stand out at other times. At the same time, a few of the Essences added in Rise of Azshara are not performing as well as we would have liked, so we’re increasing the effectiveness of some parts of them to help keep them competitive with the other Essences available.
      With the first build of the update on our Public Test Realm (PTR), you will see the following changes:
      Classes
      Druid Balance Moonfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%. Sunfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%. High Noon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%. Power of the Moon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%. Mage Frost Ice Lance damage increased by 20%. Developers’ note: Ice Lance damage hasn’t kept up with Icicles scaling, making builds that ignore Ice Lance possible. The intent of this change is to give Frost Mages a better incentive to use Ice Lance within their rotation, as a DPS net gain. Monk Brewmaster Stamina bonus reduced to 30% (was 35%). Stagger percentage reduced to 90% of Agility (was 105%). High Tolerance now increases the effectiveness of Stagger by 5% (was 8%). Developers’ notes: Brewmaster’s extremely high effective health against Physical damage meant that they are rarely in danger against spike damage that threatens other tanks. This should still be a strength of Brewmaster, but not by such a wide margin. Fixed a bug causing Gift of the Ox orbs to spawn too often for players with high amounts of Stamina. Mistweaver Rising Mist healing increased 30%, and now extends Heal-over-time effects by 3 seconds (was 2 seconds). [Coming in a future PTR build] Developers’ note: This talent is currently overshadowed on its row, and we want to make sure it’s competitive enough to make its unique playstyle a viable option. Life Cocoon now absorbs for 55% of the caster’s maximum health (was 1100% of the caster’s spellpower). [Coming in a future PTR build] Developers’ note: This ability had gotten weaker compared to player health pools since the start of the expansion, and this will help it better maintain its value. Windwalker Rising Sun Kick damage increased by 25%. Blackout Kick damage increased by 10%. Developers’ note: These changes are intended to help Windwalkers perform better in single-target fights. Paladin Holy Glimmer of Light (Azerite Trait) may now be applied to a maximum of 8 targets. Developers’ notes: Over the past year, builds centered around this trait have steadily pulled ahead of all other Holy Paladin playstyles, and to some extent all other healers in high-end content. This change is meant to preserve the gameplay of the trait, but limit the ability to increase its value drastically by stacking every possible bonus that reduces Holy Shock cooldown. Priest Discipline Atonement healing reduced to 50% (was 55%). Mastery: Grace effectiveness increased by 12%. Developers’ notes: Discipline’s ability to contribute both damage and healing is slightly too high for what one character can bring to a group composition. At the same time, we’re making their Mastery stat slightly more attractive. Schism now increases damage done from Priest spells and abilities only. Developers’ notes: This is intended to be consistent with other class cooldowns. Shadow Auspicious Spirits damage bonus reduced to 25% (was 50%). Fixed a bug causing Spiteful Apparitions (Azerite Trait) to be increased by 75% if you do not have Auspicious Spirits talented. Developers’ notes: The multiplicative interaction between Auspicious Spirits, Spiteful Apparitions, and Chorus of Insanity has specifically been a big part of Shadow’s damage scaling somewhat out of control at high target counts. Chorus of Insanity critical strike bonus reduced by 25%. Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced by 8%. Vampiric Touch damage reduced by 8%. Warlock Affliction Deathbolt now deals 20% of the total remaining damage of the Warlock’s damage over time effects on the target (was 30%). Developers’ note: Under certain conditions, Deathbolt provides a degree of single target burst damage that feels out of line for a spec designed around damage-over-time spells. Additionally, it has been the dominant choice for Affliction’s level 15 talent row for much of the expansion. We’re reducing its effectiveness to bring it more in line with the other two options in that row. Essences
      Worldvein Resonance Major rank 1, when used, now additionally causes you to gain +50% bonus to stats from Lifeblood Shards for 10 seconds. Vision of Perfection Proc rate increased by 12%. Unbound Force Major rank 1 damage increased by 40%. Minor rank 1 duration increased to 4 seconds (was 3 seconds). Minor rank 3 increase of duration increased to 2 seconds (was 1 second). Purification Protocol Major rank 1 damage increased by 15%. Major rank 2 now has the potential work on targets that are part of raid and dungeon encounters. Vitality Conduit We’ve rebuilt the way this Essences works, and it should be visually more impactful, as you will now see healing on your targets. As always, changes like these are a work in progress. We are likely to make further adjustments for testing throughout the PTR.
      Thank you very much for your testing and feedback!
    • By Stan
      We're revisiting Pandaria in Patch 8.3, so Blizzard added a new soft pink recolor of the good old serpent mount to the game. The source of the mount is a placeholder and unknown for now.
      Chalcedony Cloud Serpent
      The gentle Chalcedony Cloud Serpents love to play in the petals that fall in the Arboretum, coloring their scales a soft pink hue.

       
      Other Patch 8.3 Content:
      Visions of N'Zoth Class Changes Visions of N'Zoth Development Notes New Forsaken Leadership in Patch 8.3 (Spoilers) Azshara's Bargain and the Key to Defeating N'Zoth (Spoilers) I'lgynoth's Whispers in Patch 8.3 (Analysis) Allied Races & Pandaren Death Knight Textures Added on 8.3 PTR Death Knight Starting Zone Revamp Hints in Patch 8.3 Official Mechagnomes & Vulpera Preview Mechagnome & Vulpera Racials Mechagnome & Vulpera Unlock Requirements Vulpera Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnome Heritage Armor Preview Mechagnome & Vulpera Dance Animations Vulpera Tidbits: Racial Mount, Shaman Totems, Hunter Pet Corrupted Rings with Kiss/Curse Effects from Ny'alotha New Essences in Patch 8.3 Ny'alotha Cloth Sets Preview Ny'alotha Leather Sets Preview Ny'alotha Mail Sets Preview Ny'alotha Plate Sets Preview Ny'alotha Raid Skip Discovered on 8.3 PTR Wrathion's Legendary Cloak Preview New Dubloon Vendors Selling Island Expedition and Invasion Crates in Patch 8.3 Alpaca Mounts in Patch 8.3 N'Zoth Serpent Mount in Patch 8.3 Aqir Flying Mount in Patch 8.3 Ny'alotha Allseer Mount in Patch 8.3 Assaults in Patch 8.3 N'Zoth's Model in Patch 8.3 Ny'alotha Raid Boss Names & Descriptions Goblin & Worgen Heritage Armor Sets Preview  
    • By Stan
      Hallow's End has arrived on live servers and there are no notable updates this year. The Headless Horseman's loot has been adjusted to item level 395. Check out our Hallow's End guide for more information about the event.
      Blizzard (Source)
      It’s time for Tricky Treats, costumes, and—of course—the return of the Headless Horseman during this year’s Hallow’s End!
      Hallow’s End celebrates the break of the Forsaken from the Scourge.
      Fun and mischief reign as the Innkeepers of Azeroth give treats, and tricks, to whomever asks.
      The spookiest time of year has arrived once more, and the Headless Horseman rides forth to strike terror into the hearts and minds of Azeroth’s citizens.
      When: October 18–November 1
      Where: Trick-or-Treat throughout the inns of Azeroth, Northrend, Pandaria, Outland, Draenor, and the Broken Isles (Dalaran) for tasty treats and currency to buy Hallow’s End delights.
      All together now! —the Headless Horseman is back to set fire to Razor Hill and Goldshire once more. You’ll need to lend a hand on the bucket brigade to put them out and face the infamous rider.
      It would be a lovely time of year to take a stroll through the Scarlet Monastery’s Graveyard if the Headless Horseman hadn’t decided to make it his new lair. If you're lucky and succeed in routing this menace from within, you may ride off with his steed.
      Throughout Hallow’s End, characters level 20-120 will be able to queue up for this ghoulish encounter in the Dungeon Finder.
      This year you’ll be able to exchange your Tricky Treats for a newly added 2018 toy:
      Headless Horseman's Hearthstone Head to Val’sharah to undertake a quest that begins with the Hag of the Crooked Tree in Bradensbrook. Follow the tale through to its culmination and you’ll receive some Tricky Treats and a chance of receiving one of four utterly bewitching hats.
      Hat of the First Sister Hat of the Second Sister Hat of the Third Sister Hat of the Youngest Sister ACHIEVEMENTS
      There are a total of 21 achievements that can be earned during this event. Completing the Meta-Achievement, Hallowed Be Thy Name, rewards the title: The Hallowed.
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