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Starym

The Lich King Wins in This Alternate Shadowlands Art

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AilM3PM.jpg
 

While Shadowlands is looking really good and most of the community seems really hyped for it, the intro cinematic was a bit more divisive. With Sylvanas trampling Bolvar with relative ease, a lot of players have been voicing their dissatisfaction over how the fight went, or at the very least at how it was presented, with the Banshee Queen seeming a tad overpowered. But in comes Kirill Stepanov with his re-imagining of how the fight went down, with Bolvar earning his title this time around:

kirill-stepanov-.jpg?1575968045

Now sure, technically Sylvanas could still get out of that particular situation, but even if she did and won in the end, we really got no feel for Bolvar's power (not to mention the army at his command), so a bit of a bigger struggle would have been nice and this piece really showcases that. As you'd imagine the image is very popular on the WoW reddit and it would be nice if Blizzard took note of the, ahem, one-note direction some of the story elements are going. Sure, they have to set up the Shadowlands expansion somehow and cinematics can't last 10+ minutes, but just making things happen because they need to for the plot to progress is really bottom-of-the-barrel storytelling and hopefully the next expansion will be above that.

Here's the cinematic itself, to remind us of how it actually went:

Also, let's take a look at a few other impressive art pieces from Kirill Stepanov:

kirill-stepanov-public.jpg?1568432573
"Survivors"

kirill-stepanov-start-of-battle-for-azer
"Start of Battle for Azeroth"

kirill-stepanov-murozondfin.jpg?15597466
"The Lord of the Infinite"


Source: r/wow.

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Yeah as much as I am tired of seeing Sylvannas survive everything, Bolvar is no Arthas.

Arthas had years to amass armies, always looking for new powerful undead he can create (IE Sindragosa).    He had an organized fighting force of undead.    He had flipping Shadowmourne.    

Bolvar had a few leftover zombies (his use of the helm was "Stay where you are, don't attack people").    He had a random mace which was pretty cool looking but obviously not shadowmourne.   

It did make total sense for Sylvannas, especially roided with Jailer juice, to win there when she also had time to plan and prep.

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2 hours ago, Migol said:

 when she also had time to plan and prep.

See that's the part that pisses me off. She didn't prep for s h i t. At least that's not how it was presented. She just outOPed him with raw power and """"fighting skill"""". If the cinematic showed how she had the exact response to his every move, how she clearly took a long time to plan this etc, but no, it simply comes off as she just strolled into Icecrown one day, powered up by her Jailer friend and slapped Bolvar around. Stupid.

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21 minutes ago, Starym said:

See that's the part that pisses me off. She didn't prep for s h i t. At least that's not how it was presented. She just outOPed him with raw power and """"fighting skill"""". If the cinematic showed how she had the exact response to his every move, how she clearly took a long time to plan this etc, but no, it simply comes off as she just strolled into Icecrown one day, powered up by her Jailer friend and slapped Bolvar around. Stupid.

It could have been as easy as at the start of the cinematic, when she approaches the base of icecrown citadel, while talking, she could be imbuing an enchantment onto her arrowheads, and you see a black smoky image of a chain dissipate. you wouldn't understand it then, but when it happened at least it would kind of come together that she intended that to happen.

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On 12/13/2019 at 6:12 PM, Starym said:

See that's the part that pisses me off. She didn't prep for s h i t. At least that's not how it was presented. She just outOPed him with raw power and """"fighting skill"""". If the cinematic showed how she had the exact response to his every move, how she clearly took a long time to plan this etc, but no, it simply comes off as she just strolled into Icecrown one day, powered up by her Jailer friend and slapped Bolvar around. Stupid.

I interpreted her prep as the whole "Chains" thing.   IE her plan the whole time was to use her (newly given chain arrow) power to slowly entrap him.      Just shooting arrows at into his torso was accomplishing nada.    She obviously did the anchor arrow into the frozen throne on purpose too.

Without immobilizing him it would have just been an ugly stalemate where he's too slow to hit her but she can't do any real damage to him.

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On 12/13/2019 at 7:12 PM, Starym said:

See that's the part that pisses me off. She didn't prep for s h i t. At least that's not how it was presented. She just outOPed him with raw power and """"fighting skill"""". If the cinematic showed how she had the exact response to his every move, how she clearly took a long time to plan this etc, but no, it simply comes off as she just strolled into Icecrown one day, powered up by her Jailer friend and slapped Bolvar around. Stupid.

As opposed to us rolling up to the seat of pantheon, juiced by our titan friends, to kill a godlike figure after being annihilated in epic one shot fashion? Or how Grommosh Hellscream defeated Mannoroth with a single blow to the head (WOD cinematic)? Or how a BUNCH OF WISPS defeated Archimonde (WC3)?

It happens.

Bolvar had one cool moment half the game ago and people act like he's some juggernaut. Given that this is the first time the dude even stepped off the throne, I'm not sure we had a real good sense of what his power ever really WAS. 

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On 12/17/2019 at 3:51 PM, Migol said:

I interpreted her prep as the whole "Chains" thing.   IE her plan the whole time was to use her (newly given chain arrow) power to slowly entrap him.      Just shooting arrows at into his torso was accomplishing nada.    She obviously did the anchor arrow into the frozen throne on purpose too.

Without immobilizing him it would have just been an ugly stalemate where he's too slow to hit her but she can't do any real damage to him.

Agreed, her plan was knowing the chains would bind him. With that ace up her sleeve, she could approach defeating him without the chains with more confidence, knowing she'd have that insta-win up her sleeve.

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On 12/13/2019 at 4:46 PM, Migol said:

Bolvar is no Arthas.

Exactly - people forget the original Lich King was a combination of Ner'zuhl AND Arthas, both who were incredibly powerful in their own right. Bolvar was just Bolvar, a strong soldier but not one that approached Arthas or Tirion in power. While Bolvar did possess the Helm of Domination, he was essentially wearing the legacy version of that legendary and was missing the second part of the set: Frostmourne.

Sylvanas on the other hand was one of the best rangers in all of Azeroth before she became an immensely powerful banshee, and since Icecrown she has been continuously infused with increasing levels of unseen power. She's repeatedly done bad-*filtered* stuff throughout her history, but all of a sudden she's being painted a Mary Sue because she gets the upper hand on a knock-off Lich King? She would have wiped the floor with Bolvar when they were both living, no reason to think she wouldn't be able to now considering she's drawing power from a similar font.

 

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4 hours ago, durdyenglish said:

As opposed to us rolling up to the seat of pantheon, juiced by our titan friends, to kill a godlike figure after being annihilated in epic one shot fashion? Or how Grommosh Hellscream defeated Mannoroth with a single blow to the head (WOD cinematic)? Or how a BUNCH OF WISPS defeated Archimonde (WC3)?

It happens.

Bolvar had one cool moment half the game ago and people act like he's some juggernaut. Given that this is the first time the dude even stepped off the throne, I'm not sure we had a real good sense of what his power ever really WAS. 

While that's a good point Mannoroth was "just" a demon, we didn't really have any indication that getting an axe to the head wouldn't kill him and the Archimonde thing I've ALWAYS hated (as I'm not one to pretend Blizzard has been flawless before recent issues).

My biggest complaint about it (and I don't know why everyone keeps treating this as some crappy anime/movie where the two characters just HAVE to fight it out 1 on 1) is not that the Lich King should have been crazy powerful and insta defeated her or something, it's that
a) he didn't put up much of a fight at all
b) the Maryest of Sylvanases didn't seem to have any trouble whatsoever, either with getting to him or with defeating him (seriously, show SOME vulnerability with her for gods sake) and the biggest one ever
c) THE SCOURGE IS AN AZEROTH-THREATENING FORCE.

Remember when they were the No.1 threat to the whole planet and Arthas had to be constantly holding them back or they'd take over everything? Oh, wait no, Sylvanas can just stroll through all of them by herself (again, completely unscathed) and get to their source and basically destroy their leader NP.

Remember when all the heroes and forces of Azeroth had to siege a CONTINENT to get to the Frozen Throne? It's incredibly easy to improve this kind of stuff 100% by just simple details. Like she should have been bruised and bloodied at the start of that cinematic, maybe show a bunch of dead forsaken along the path to Icecrown, have her be a LITTLE vulnerable during the fight, maybe even have it seem like she'll lose until the end. But no, she's the usual infallible immortal perfect bad guy/protagonist trope and succeeds at everything, regardless of the context. At least the defeat of Archimonde was relatively large scale with entire races and armies having to fight him...

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Well again though, the Scourge was a Azeroth threatening force because Arthas built it up into one.

It had:

1) Undead Dragons, pretty much an undead dragonflight really

2) A host of armed and organized undead troops

3) Some really, really powerful minions, such as Kel'Thuzad, Anub, etc

4) At the end of it all was Arthas, who could raise new and powerful undead from those he defeated, was absurdly strong himself, and armed with Frostmoure, arguably the most powerful sword in Azeroth's history barring the Ashbringer.

Bolvar had none of that.    The combined armies had dismantled the Scourge machine bit by bit.   The engine is gone and Arthas himself is replaced by a person who has no interest in building up a new Scourge, and literally takes on the "Jailer of the Damned" Role.    He just had some random low level undead soldiers nearby to call on.   No nerubians, no dragons, no valkyr, etc.

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      Anima Infusion - Earning Anima improves your armor's remaining durability. Expedition Leader - Leaving a resting area increases your mounted speed by 10%, and your out of combat regeneration by 100%. Lasts 10 min, and completing a World Quest refreshes the duration. Built for War - While you are above 80% health you gain 1% pri every 3 sec, stacking up to 5 times. If you fall below 50% health, this effect is lost. Superior Tactics - Successfully interrupting an enemy or dispelling an ally increases your critical strike chance by 10% for 10 sec. This may only occur once every 30 sec. Hold Your Ground - Standing still for at least 4 sec grants you 10% increased Stamina, and 4% increased healing done. This effect persists for 4 sec after you start moving. Enduring Gloom - Door of Shadows grants you a shield that absorbs damage equal to 15% of your maximum health. Lasts 8 sec. Move As One - When a nearby ally gains temporary increased movement speed, you also gain the benefit, up to 30%. Call to Action - Activating your Venthyr class ability grants 10% Versatility to you, and 4% Versatility to up to 4 nearby allies. Lasts 10 sec. Nadjia the Mistblade
      Agent of Chaos - Door of Shadows disorients all nearby enemies at the target location for 8 sec when you appear. Fancy Footwork - Door of Shadows increases your movement speed by 80%, decaying over 6 sec. Friends in Low Places - You loot 20% more Infused Rubies, and dredgers throughout Revendreth offer you an expanded selection of goods. Exacting Preparation - The benefits of Well Fed, Flask, and weapon enchant effects are increased by 15%. Familiar Predicaments - The duration of incoming interrupt, snare, and root effects are reduced by 25%. Dauntless Duelist - The first enemy you damage in combat is marked as your Adversary. You deal 4% more damage to them, and they deal 2% less damage to you. You may only have one Adversary at a time. Thrill Seeker - While in combat, you gain a stack of Thrill Seeker every 2 sec, or 4 stacks on killing an enemy. At 40 stacks Thrill Seeker is consumed to grant you Euphoria, speeding up everything you do by 20% for 10 sec. Thrill Seeker decays rapidly while you are not in combat. Theotar the Mad Duke
      Watch the Shoes! - Door of Shadows frees you from roots and snares. Leisurely Gait - Door of Shadows is instant cast, but its cooldown is increased by 30 sec. Refined Palate - The effects of combat potions last 10 to 100% longer. Soothing Shade - Your spells and abilities have a chance to call Tubbins and Gubbins to your side for 12 sec, parasol in hand. Standing in the shaded area grants you 10% Mastery. Token of Appreciation - Grant a shield that absorbs 800 damage to allies who aid you with healing or beneficial magic effects. You will only shield each ally once every 20 sec. Life of the Party - During the Ember Court, your Guests gain additional Happiness for each event completed. When the Court concludes, the effects of any Decrees bestowed upon you are increased. Impeccable Style - Theotar will cover the costs of your Transmogrification. Exquisite Ingredients - Theotar will send you an assortment of flavorful herbs when you complete activities that contribute to your Great Vault. A Matter of Perspective - When you would suffer lethal damage instead gain Peculiar Perspective, preventing all damage dealt to you and healing you for 50% of the amount prevented for 4 sec. You may only benefit from this effect once every 8 mins. What do you think about Soulbinds? Let us know in the comments down below!
      A deep-dive into the Soulbind system and all talent trees coming in Shadowlands.
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