Night elf fans, don't buy

Reposting this here on behalf of Kyalin on Scrolls of Lore.

I believe I mentioned some time ago that despite being a huge Judas Priest fan, I’ve had some difficulty in listing to one of their most recent popular singles “Never the Heroes”. I decided, after months of skipping it over, letting it collect dust in my phone’s music library, that I would listen to it again today - and I find myself feeling the way I did the last time I listened to it.

So I’ve been following this thread:

https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/wo…e-order/365758

Seems simple enough - if you don’t like the product, don’t buy it - and as a measure of consumer advocacy and just because it’s the right thing to do: if you think someone is going to be miserable with the product, tell them that they ought to reconsider. I’ve done this and I’ve made no secret of it, but the thread has been choked up with a spate of whataboutism and more recently, apologism. The former I expect. It is in the interest of many Horde fans to stand in the way of any kind of catharsis for Night Elf fans because that catharsis necessarily requires an onscreen loss on their part - and so it makes sense that they would throw up their problems as a shield to fixing the Night Elf ones.

To them I say this: It is not the case that in order to fix the Night Elf problem that you have to demolish the Horde. You don’t have to return to Vanilla’s hellish Hordeside questing either - and you know that. Stop throwing up spuriousness in an attempt to stop one of this narrative’s many problems from being fixed. Show us sympathy for our issues, and you will see it returned.

That leaves us with the apologists - and I’d like to turn your attention to post 407. I respect Amadis as a poster, and he’s constructed a very thorough argument, but, that’s what’s attracting my attention here, because it’s a showcase of a line of thinking that I’ve been railing about for years. For this, I am going to point back to a few pieces of former work to reduce the workload on my part.

First - please refer to the framework in this thread: I use it as a yardstick to measure satisfaction.[1]

That said, there’s an element that I’m missing: and it’s that the player has to actually experience things for them to matter. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and writers are asked to show and not tell, it’s bonkers to me that we are asked to accept deplorable presentation and framing, engineered to make the Night Elves look like weakened victims most of the time, because we as players can, if we put in substantially more effort than most people are willing to do in order to learn our lore, we can find mitigating factors in books, or scrape victories out of tweets, snippets of interview lines, mission table descriptions that are frequently doubted to actually be canon, or straight up headcanon. We see a particularly egregious example of this in Amadis’s hindsight application of “umbral chains”, which is a) speculative, and b) ignorant of the presentation and the impressions that this content was creating at the time, and the first impression that it left. I understand that points like these are traditionally responded to with yet more references to esoteric lore snippets held together with a web of red yard and push-pins - but when it comes to how the race is ultimately viewed by most people - that doesn’t matter. As Lindsay Ellis put it at the end of her examination of a similar incarnation of a conflict between the text of a work and it’s framing: “Framing and Aesthetics supersede the rest of the text. Always. Always. Always.” [2]

Which leads me nicely to this:

"Posting over and over that you don’t believe the Night Elves have never won anything when they have doesn’t actually contribute to anything."

The Cataclysm revamp was reviled by many if not most Night Elf fans because it felt like defeat after defeat. From a canon perspective it was understood to be a win (although popular misconception about that exists to this day - and triumphal Horde fans will never let Night Elf fans forget it), but these felt like losses - and they were locked in forever.

Mount Hyjal and the Molten Front were neutral faction wins, and yes, that matters. Having the good parts of the faction snipped away from the playable faction in a game built around its faction rivalry is a means of losing those things, and we had no better of a metaphorical representation of this as Blizzard’s decision to put Malfurion in Darnassus, but to not write in boss raid mechanics when Horde players decided that they wanted to kill his wife. No, it’s not canon, but yes, that sort of thing matters - as does the problem of the Night Elves only being shown as being able to succeed against enemies who AREN’T the Horde, but being useful only as that faction’s victims when the enemy IS the Horde.

Stoneplow is fine, but minor.

Val’sharah is its own issue, which I have addressed here. [3] I will however stop to put my finger on something more specific: we have a problem with considering situations that consist of “we lost less than we could have” as victories instead of mitigated defeats. I do not share this problem. A mitigated defeat is still a defeat.

… which dovetails us nicely into Darkshore, which had the potential to be the redemptive moment that we needed. It came close - it brought Malfurion back. I’m happy to have “Terror of Darkshore”, and I will certainly take the tack on “oh, by the way, you won” clarification from the last Blizzcon. But the scenario remains deeply flawed. No one asked for Dark Wardens. Tyrande’s performance against Nathanos was atrocious for the buildup it got, and as more adept commentators than I have pointed out, the quests still make the Night Elves look weak. [4]

In addition to being badly marred by the issues discussed previously, Darkshore and subsequent content is silent on Ashenvale, or other territories that we should see Night Elves fighting for - which smacks of another incidence of the victory being in actuality a mitigated defeat. This could have been countered by the inclusion of something that looks like an unambiguous victory - on the level that the War of the Thorns depicted an unambiguous victory. But, whereas Blizzard can find the resources to show the Horde as powerful and the Night Elves as, to paraphrase the words of Wreave, like the front bumper of the Alliance’s car (whose purpose is to take most of the damage so that the rest of it turns out fine), it seems they couldn’t find the resources to give the Night Elves a victory of a similar caliber. Certainly as well, while it’s just fine to make Night Elf fans suffer, it’s inconceivable to have Horde fans go through a similar defeat - even if they don’t experience it - even if it’s counterbalanced by an equal Reconquista in Lordaeron.

What then, of Shadowlands?

This leaves us with the very last bit of apologism, and it’s one that those of us who, like me, have been following the sad state of the Night Elves since before 2010, are familiar with:

“Wait and see” - Or, contemporarily: “Ardenweald will fix it”

I remember being told this about the Cata revamp - when optimism that this newfound phasing technology would show the Night Elves progress in the war. That didn’t happen.

I remember being told this before 5.1, when Kosak said there would be “badass Night Elves”. The opposite was given to me.

I remember being told this before the Siege of Orgrimmar. We got a robot cat, not an Ashenvale reconquest.

I remember being told this before we knew more about the War of the Thorns. It was turned out to be worse than I predicted.

I remember being told this before BfA wound through what it calls a player experience. I think Drahliana and Katiera are the only ones who are satisfied with what happened instead.

Oh, and Horde players were told this too about BfA - ask them how “wait and see” goes with this company. As for me, as I said in a previous post, in 2010 I was 20 years old and in college. Next year I’ll be turning 30, and I don’t feel like waiting until I can cash social security checks before getting something for the money that Blizzard wants me to spend. Therefore I won’t - and this is why I’m here recommending that other Night Elf fans refrain from spending that money either.

Blizzard is a company that has repeatedly demonstrated that it has no interest in giving Night Elf fans the basic experience that people generally look for in video games - feelings of competence, relatedness, and autonomy. It is perfectly reasonable for Night Elf fans to pick up their ball and go home, and vow not to return to the franchise until Blizzard makes real investments into actually making this game one that we can feel good about. If Blizzard wants to change that, then they’re going to have to win us back as customers - as we should expect from any profit-seeking company.

While the same goes for the Horde, I can hear the keyboards clattering at this point. “At least you aren’t the villain”, they will still say (and so in a way you said), and while I’d argue that with the state of Tyrande that’s not necessarily certain, it’s worthwhile to point back to Rigby’s framework once again. It’s not just the MHP Alliance that wants to be the hero, we all want to be the hero in our own way, and I would hope, as perverse as it may sound, that your experience offers you a base of understanding for how we feel. The hollow pain of the whole thing is actually quite beautifully expressed in the song I mentioned earlier. Because as much as you will say that we were the good guys of this story and we should feel good about that. All I hear is:

“Never the heroes
We were made to fight
Never the heroes
We were just sacrificed”

[1] [https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/sho...d.php?t=221401](https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/showthread.php?t=221401)

[2]
[3] Goalposts: [https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/sho...5&postcount=47](https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/showpost.php?p=1610495&postcount=47)
Review: [https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/sho...7&postcount=51](https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/showpost.php?p=1611127&postcount=51) (Due to Tinypic’s demise, my analysis went with it. The score ended up being in the low 50s for the expansion overall)

[4] [https://warcraft.blizzplanet.com/blo...are-really-bad](https://warcraft.blizzplanet.com/blog/comments/the-8-1-darkshore-quests-are-really-bad) (I appreciate that there were changes between the posting of this and the live warfront, including the implementation of one of the noted suggestions, but most of the issues remain.)

https://forums.scrollsoflore.com/showpost.php?p=1626398&postcount=287

13 Likes

What do you guys want from them? For them to come out onto next year’s blizzcon stage with the head of Sylvanas prop and throw it on the floor then shout out “we love you night elf fans!”.

5 Likes

Maybe they could have a patch zone with more night elves and maybe some wisps.

A lead up to a cutscene depicting Tyrande throwing Sylvanas’ head on the ground in the game would work. Nathanos’ too.

9 Likes

Already bought it

For context, this is a disagreement between Kyalin and me that has gone back more than five years. For example, this from April/May of 2014 from a thread titled “Are you proud of your race?”:

Kyalin indeed took their own advice and unsubscribed long ago. But I have been here the whole time. Now, if they had killed Malfurion in the War of the Thorns, I would have unsubcribed as well. But they did not, so I stuck through the slog of BfA in turn (though initially just to finish off getting 100 reputations to Exalted on my main here). And I’ll play through Shadowlands myself and make of it what I will for myself.

So my response over all to Kyalin is pretty much the same as my response to Syaeles was: Going around telling other people what to do, as if you don’t expect them to use their own minds and research things on their own and come up with their own decisions, is disrespectful. Leave people come up with their own decisions.

14 Likes

Kyalin isn’t telling people what to do. She’s merely giving a recommendation.

See the thread title.

5 Likes

The thing that bugs about threads like this, it feels that the nelves posting this think they are special that the story going this way only happens to them. It doesn’t every single race in this game literally has the same issues.

6 Likes

A single positive thing happening for the Night Elves but it will never happen as long as the horde, the superior faction, is involved in their misery.

2 Likes

Bad things happen to peoples sometimes. The blood elves have had no real positive events happen to them to make up for the scourge slaughtering 90% of their people, other than getting the Sunwell back.

we all want something different from this game, we all want our vision to come to fruition in one way or another, but…thats not how things works , this is not a public company. if they see fit to just shut the servers down they’ll do it, one day this will happen, and there’s nothing you, me and any other player can do to stop, and the sames can be said about the lore direction.

so these threads looks more like threats to blizzard to either focus on the NE and destroy the horde or you’ll leave.
You’re entitled to do whatever you want with your money, support blizzard or don’t, but at the same time everyone here has suffered from this terrible writing since cataclysm with green jesus. and you don’t see ppl complaining over it for MONTHS! this is tiresome.

and stop blaming horde players cuz they are victims just like you, we do not control nor has any say in the direction of the story of the game, hell most forsaken players and sylvanas cult members would prefer to have the banshee queen back in UC as their leader rather this nonsense of ‘‘azeroth is a prison’’.

and still you guys cannot stop complaining over and over and over for the same reason and knowing that blizzard rarely updates a region after its expansion is over, cuz there are alot of quests, phasing, game systems that requires that region to stay in the time bubble, yeah phasing and sharding are cool tech but they do not solve everything, if this game becomes more phased than it already is, it will lose the meaning of MMO, cuz everyone will be playing alone on their own version of wow. the stress on the serves would just not be profitable nor the money spent on something that less than 10 will use.

anyway I sincerely hope you NE gets something to comfort you, but i would not expect most to think the same for fellow horde players that are ‘‘suffering’’ ( cuz you know no one here is really suffering cuz a video game),
but alas please unsub, the forum will be quieter for a while.
you guys make sylvanas’ threads look more healthy and to be this low must mean something.

4 Likes

What other race has got all of the following:

  • Almost wiped out by the other faction
  • Had their leaders look like joke in the revenge patch
  • Their lands destroyed & occupied
  • Their deads raised and joined their murderers
  • shown as incompetent with a single blood elf rogue taking down entire cities
  • has their innocents suffer in wow hell forever
  • gets denied even a single kill on a horde character, even if noname characters
  • Will be denied any justice / revenge, it’s as the blood elves would forgive the scourge
  • even more misery to come in Shadowlands

And I find these horde players here more than ridiculous. The horde can do all of this to the night elves but as soon as it comes to the night elves getting even a single minor victory against the horde, it’s unacceptable. They will say the same thing about freeing souls in the maw and this will be why they won’t be freed

Edit: *the scourge not the horde

11 Likes

The Night Elves have my condolences for what Sylvanas did to them. I do hope they can save their people’s souls from the Maw. That said, any form of reprisal against innocent members of the horde will always be unacceptable.

Just because there were some criminals among the Horde, doesnt mean all the civilians go up to the gallows. From what I understand, no one knew Sylvanas would burn Teldrassil, not even she knew she would do it, until moments before she did it.

1 Like

I semi agree with you but i do agree that if this was Horde players that had even something REMOTELY close to that, they would also be going nuts. Although, i also understand the Horde view point, they are constantly being written in ways that they HATE and no matter how much they tell and express to Blizzard, it continues to happen to them. So when you think about it, we are all on the same boat.

3 Likes

No sir, i’m going to stop you right there lol. The burning of Teldrassil was a conjoined effort, you’re not going to pin this all on Sylvanas. The Horde marched against Night Elves unprovoked and slaughtered their civilians and took them hostage, and that was before the burning. You don’t get to say “some criminals” when Lorth himself that Sylvanas had the full support of the Horde, as in the entirety of it.

4 Likes

It has nothing to do with the Horde - once again, if Val’sharah is any indication, the Horde will probably have to quest with Tyrande in Ardenweald the same as the Alliance. The problem is gameplay. They won’t add happy go lucky times for anyone unless there is gameplay for it. The last time I can really remember light hearted questing at all was Valley of the Four Winds, but Night Elves aren’t Pandaren.

See the Vale of Eternal Blossoms also as an example. Blizzard finally got around to showing it restored. But so that they could fill it with purple N’Zoth corruption events instead.

There will never be prologue phasing where everything’s just happy. And if lore statements that things are canon better is not enough for someone because those results not phased in game to show as such, then Kyalin is right, this game isn’t for them.

6 Likes

The war as a whole, and other atrocities perhaps, but no one knew Sylvanas would burn Teldrassil, neither Nathanos, nor Saurfang knew, and they are the upper echelons of Horde leadership at the time. Seeing as how Lor’themar and Saurfang reacted to it, that is evidence that if they had known Sylvanas would have burned Teldrassil, they would not have supported her.

1 Like

I didn’t know I wanted this before. But I know I want this now.

5 Likes
13 Likes