Slight spoilers for leveling content in the four zones.
I completely understand why people are uncomfortable with Bastion, they presented the whole idea of losing who you are as a clear negative while not giving the player character a way to redress it or an outlet to address their grievances, i.e. someone you can sympathize with agreeing with you that isn’t clearly under the Jailer’s influence.
But I think the rest of the zones cover the idea of moving on from your mortal sense in a less… combative way that is kinda interesting to look at on a personal level. As people our experiences shape us, we may have some inherent traits depending on who you ask, but by and large our experiences contribute a significant part of our personality and our personality influences our experiences. Are you the same person that you were twenty years ago? Obviously yes, but you’ve changed. Your personality changed. You had new lived experiences, you conquered new challenges, and you learned life lessons. You are probably very different from the person you were twenty years ago. Now imagine who you will be in 50 years. What about a hundred? What about a thousand?
The Shadowlands, or at least the four realms we see, is clearly an ‘active’ afterlife, you have a job to do, a boss to report to, and can, somehow, die. This means you’re constantly growing, adapting, and changing, and over time your personality changes, you lose old attachments.
In the three non-Bastion realms we see we can very clearly tell that every individual save for the most recently arrived is more defined by their centuries in the Shadowlands than their sparse few decades of mortality. Even our fellow Azerothians in Maldraxxus seem to have moved on, no one even mentions Thrall to Draka and, outside of her cinematic, she makes no reference to him. The player character killing Vashj is water under the bridge. Mograine barely reacts to meeting his own son, and literally every other character, from Krexus to Mevix to the Plague Doctor guy has absolutely 0 connection to their home world or past life. Ardenweald is frighteningly similar, except we interact with fewer mortal souls.
Revendreth, however, is portrayed as literally reverse Bastion. The entire point of the zone is to lose who you are, to atone for and eradicate all of the sins of your past life so you can ‘ascend’(does that word seem familiar?) to the Ky-VENTHYR who are given a charge crucial to the Shadowlands which is bringing souls t- REDEEMING LOST SOULS. Granted, this process is clearly a little more warranted given how Revendreth takes in criminals, tyrants, and literally the worst of the worst. Garrosh literally unleashed an old god on a peaceful continent and got sent there, but at the end of the day they do the exact same thing, they wipe someone’s slate clean so they can engage in a crucial task for the stability of the Shadowlands.
Now that I’ve made my point I want to double-back and try to figure out why Bastion is getting more, incredibly justified, distaste. Bastion might just be an unintentional masterwork in MMO storytelling because it quite simply doesn’t give you an out. The tacit understanding in Revendreth is that this Denathrius guy is kinda suspicious and sooner or later you’ll end up betraying him so you can set things right, as a matter of fact you end up betraying him more than halfway through the zone.
Bastion does not give the player this luxury. You have to go through with the process of purging aspirants of their memories and, when confronted with someone having doubts about it, you are forced by the game to take them to be ‘cleansed,’ when the scary purple people show up and start talking a lick of sense, they then start killing people clearly establishing themselves as the villains. But they’re more than just villains, they’re villains with a point. I’ve see people post that they’re conflicted about fighting them, which honestly might be what Blizzard is going for.
Blizzard has made no secret of their love of taking something that seems good and making it ‘MoRaLlY gRaY.’ Shadowlands is this taken to the extreme, every covenant clearly has its ups and downs and the Kyrians, a combination of Greco-Roman philosophy and angelic aesthetics, were clearly going to be the hardest to bring down to grayness. They might have done a little too good of a job in doing so though.