I will not go into my personal disappointment with the narrative decisions that brought us to Amirdrassil (though I will say the zone is lovely) but I will point out that, irrespective of my displeasure, I am disappointed Blizzard isn’t leaning in to the narrative opportunities here, and it boggles my mind.
You are correct: It’s NIGHT Elves. And there is now nothing “night” about us. Blizzard ruined the day/night cycle, first by fixing it to Pacific time, so it’s almost impossible for anyone on the East Coast to actually experience the shift from day to night and second by reducing the darkness, and the time the game considers to be “night" so it’s almost not even worth having a day/night cycle in the first place. FFXIV does an amazing job illuminating the “functional space” of the player while still creating mood lighting. I am fairly certain Blizzard could do likewise, but I digress. That said, there is no reason why Amirdrassil could not be set up with a cyclical, personal, day/night cycle, and I would argue, it should.
The missed opportunity here is that Amirdrassil is the product of the intervention/interaction of the two “gods” responsible for the care and maintenance of the great Cycle of Life, Death, Rebirth and Renewal. And while I have mentioned numerous times how Blizzard missed an opportunity to use the location of Teldrassil as the place where Amirdrassil would spawn (literally life from death, hope and renewal from destruction) at the very least I am disappointed that Blizzard simply refuses to lean into one of the few new ideas Shadowlands introduced that is, to my mind, eminently fascinating and would be an amazing hook for a renewed interpretation of even just druids if not Night Elves themselves.
(As an aside, that Elune never shows for the “Consecration” of Amirdrassil, given the Night Elves are supposedly her “favored” children, even if just as an eclipsed moon for a hot second, is just disappointing, but I digress).
Amirdrassil should absolutely be cycling between an Emerald Dream flavored time and an Ardenweald flavored time, “day” and “night” fecundity and hibernation, summer and winter. Amirdrassil could have been the nexus of the Great Cycle, where the Emerald Dream and Ardenweald touch. This cycle between “sun”/nature and moon could have connected with the Night Elf racial, which offers a different buff depending on the game’s determined day and night.
I mean, if you’re going to go “little effort” and just put the new Night Elf city in the zone your working in at the moment (and not have the city be evergreen - I guess some lessons are never learned), a zone that is literally obsolete in nine months, at the very least, use it for some world building. Have Amirdrassil be the nexus between the realms of Life and Death. Have the Night Elves change up their place. Make it that there is no coincidence that so many denizens of Ardenweald have the same long, arcing ears that Night Elves have, or that Ardenweald itself has the same colorings as Night Elves. Have Amirdrassil cycle through denizens of the Emerald Dream and Ardenweald on the regular. Let’s borrow a little Arcan’dor as well. What if Amirdrassil throws off seeds, and it is the role of the Night Elves to plant these seeds to create new Trees. And that Amirdrassil throws off fruit, which the Night Elves eat, and while it does not restore their immortality, it connects them to The Great Cycle in ways yet to be known. Maybe the Winter Queen calls the Night Elves her “adopted” children, and instead of Night Elf souls just being all blue, the ones who remain in Ardenweald find new form, or that eating the fruit allow Night Elves to be reborn, so instead of just going to the Shadowlands, or becoming wisps, Night Elves can opt into, being born again.
I admit, I have loathed the entire story of the Night Elves since Afriasiabi almost (almost, because someone higher up had to have signed off on this monumental mistake. You don’t let one dude destabilize a multi-billion dollar IP) unilaterally decided blowing up Teldrassil would be “cool” (it wasn’t, because Afriasiabi had no plan beyond just wanton destruction - if you’re going to cause a eucatastrophe, you have to have it all planned out, or there is no point to the story). All I had asked for, and pled for, was for there to be something “worth” everything I had lost with this deeply unenjoyable narrative.
To date, nothing Blizzard has offered has come close. It just feels like whatever the narrative team may have wanted to do, the developers were forcing compromises. the end result is a narrative that just seems to not reach any goal. The individual quests are good. The attempt is there. But for me, Blizzard is not sticking the landing. Because I have decided that the price I am demanding Blizzard pay for the cost I paid in losing a place that was my introduction to ALL of WoW, is using this disaster to weave the Night Elves into the lore of the Great Cycle and into Ardenweald (two ideas coming from Shadowlands that I really feel expands the lore in new and interesting ways).
Now, there may be things I don’t know yet, that have not been revealed on the PTR - and every time I put forth a screed, there is always in the back of my mind I can come back to these forums and take the mea culpa. But then I have been hoping to be able to do this for six years. So you will forgive me if I remain cynical.
At the end of the day, I do find it disappointing that Blizzard did not use this opportunity to expand the lore and tie in the Great Cycle and Ardenweald to the Night Elves - but rather seemed to just rushed a new world tree, in an obsolete zone, simply to clear decks for the “Infinity Saga” of WoW.