My blatant click bait of a title is also obviously purely speculation on my part. However, judging from what we have seen in beta up to this point so close to launch, I’m inclined to dismiss the fervent calls for reparations from the Horde or retaliation against them barring that. As far as BfA went, the pendulum swung to sweep the Horde’s legs out from under them without actually addressing Teldrassil, and in Shadowlands the pendulum sings the other way to address Teldrassil without sweeping the legs out from under the Horde.
Shadowlands repeatedly brings up and even at points retells the story of the burning of Teldrassil, and Blizzard is going to lengths to continue that story. Not just from informing denizens of the Shadowlands of the burning, but also by saving Night Elf souls en masse from the Maw, to showing named NPCs that players that have leveled through Teldrassil would recognize show up and give their two cents on their deaths and what their afterlives may be going forward. And I can only hope for more of their stories to continue throughout the patches of Shadowlands.
But we have seen little, if relatively anything, about the Horde, spare a few snarls from Tyrande at them. And even there, where Tyrande growls, she doesn’t even look over her shoulder at the Horde leaders or even the Horde Night Fae aligned player, instead running right after Sylvanas. And the Horde wants it exactly this way as well.
We had these lines in Shadows Rising:
- Thrall reminded them. “Not all of the Horde stood with her that day.”
“And yet she spoke for your side, acted for your side,” Maiev shot back. “The warchief is the voice of the Horde, the hand of the Horde, but now you have scattered yourselves to a council, dispersing the blame, hiding behind cowardly revision of history that will not be forgotten!”
And that’s exactly what we’re getting. The story of Teldrassil not being forgotten. But the Horde hiding from it, to the point of absence from the story. Just like the Horde did nothing of significance during Warlords of Draenor following Mists of Pandaria, Shadowlands so far echoes this trend as much as BfA echoed Garrosh’s running the Horde into the ground.
To those saying that’s not enough, that you don’t accept it, that you are still upset: That’s exactly what Blizzard wants. Blizzard wants you here ranting and raving. Wants you to be a dot of data they can point at an call passionate.
For even in continuing Teldrassil’s story, Blizzard is intent on throwing elements that sting in, even beyond the Horde’s being allowed to huddle with its head in the sand until the world walks by. Unless things have changed in the beta from last I checked, even some of the Night Elves in the Maw do not get saved, but rather get turned into an amalgamation for which the only salvation is oblivion. And Blizzard wants these elements tied into the Shadowlands. Blizzard wants you to be sad.
- Danuser stresses that the Shadowlands has stakes. After seeing Ursoc and other characters die in the Shadowlands, fans have wondered if there’s another destination for souls. The answer is no. “The destruction of the soul is very real,” Danuser explains. “There are real things at stake here. And if these spirits like Ursoc are not protected and nurtured, they’ll be lost forever.”
The innocent souls who have been funneled into the Maw thanks to the schemes of Sylvanas and the Jailer are in great peril as well. “There are many souls that have been funneled into the Maw that the Jailer has forged into weapons or monstrosities, and they’re just gone,” Danuser says.
In this way, Blizzard is looking to be able to say it has addressed the story of Teldrassil, yet specifically in a way looking to not give you satisfaction. Blizzard wants to say, look, Teldrassil has not been forgotten.
For it is the Horde that has been forgotten instead, as Blizzard is no more capable of addressing the Horde’s involvement thereat than Blizzard is capable of addressing the giant sword still sticking out of Silithus.