Some tidbits from the Blizzcon 2017 fan Q&A session. Most of the questions were about gameplay, but there were a few interesting lore nuggets mixed in. All the quoted bits are from pages 2 and 3.
(Note: I’m putting in the question about Jaina not because it feels like a lie to me, but for comparison and contrast with how they talk about Sylvanas. Also, I think it’s interesting that the questioner used the G word with regard to her and the devs didn’t correct it. Not that I think they think it’s accurate, but I think it shows that they’re happy to have players hate characters on the “other side,” even irrationally. And also, what’s that bit about “responsible for what the Horde is today”??)
Participant 14 : In the Battle of Azeroth, is Jaina actually a good guy? I mean, are we just supposed to forget the whole genocide of Dalaran?
Alex : Jaina is complicated, just like any of the other characters. She’s as evil as I am. Bad example.
Jenny : How evil are you?
Alex : As these guys. So look… if I am Jaina… as a character, Jaina is racked with regrets… looking over her past decisions and the things that she’s done, responsible for the death of her father, potentially responsible for what the Horde is today as a result of that.
What could she have done differently at Stratholme? Could she have saved Arthas? What about the Battle for Undercity? So if you could have unpacked all that, break all of those things apart, it has left a character that has some damage (and then not even speaking about Theramore). So one of the things we are going to do is explore that damage, explore those decisions with Jaina, and try to understand how she got to be the way she is, and hopefully pull her out of it.
So… no, she’s not evil. She’s conflicted, and it is something we absolutely want to explore.
Participant 17 : Hi there my name is Grant. With the Horde attacking Teldrassil, and the Alliance attacking Lordaeron, what are your plans for the starting zones in those areas, and also just some of the other leveling zones in the Eastern Kingdoms?
Alex : Starting zones are not going to change. In order to appreciate the burning of Teldrassil, you kind of have to understand what Teldrassil is first; and the wait time works in our game is that it flows by level. So you’ll still be able to start in Shadowglen, go to Dolanaar, Darnassus, Darkshore, go through all of that and then when you hit 110 — we will burn it all down.
The same thing for Lordaeron, and what happens there. You’ll still make a character in Deathknell, and go through all those cool experiences, and get to the place of a questgiver, and all the other fun stuff; and then we’ll see what happens; but once you do get to that point in Battle for Azeroth — where these events have occurred, the land around you will (of course) change; and potentially more. You know we have got a Warfront in Arathi that who knows what’ll happen there.
Jenny : Alright, another viewer would like to know: are the continents of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms completely split between the factions; and what does that mean for places like Silvermoon city and the Exodar?
Alex : Well, Silvermoon and Exodar are still Alliance and Horde respectively. Those zone boundaries are very tricky for NPCs to cross. We will have a fiction in place, obviously.
Those two are kinda the last bastions of their factions, and maybe a way in for those factions as well, and we will be sure to use them in this battle.