What if there had never been a WoW and instead we were playing Warcraft 4 the RPG with an experience akin to legendary games like Witcher 3 and Dragon Age: Origins? Or Skyrim or Fallout New Vegas? You get the idea.
What if all the playable races were not jammed into “the Horde” or “the Alliance” for the Red vs Blue dynamic?
What if the races, factions, guilds, etc. all had their stories occur naturally rather than being shelved for years/decades until they fit a particular expansion or theme?
What if the lore was not regularly retconned for the sake of Rule of Cool every time some forgetful Blizzard dev wanted to implement a bad idea?
Those are the sorts of questions I ask myself on a regular basis and which I hope others will have some interesting answers to.
A lot of characters, races, factions, zones, story lines, etc. would need elaboration, re-working, and meaningful player interactivity (because you are no longer just a faceless murder hobo playing through a one-size fits all radiant quest line).
Before I continue, I want to say thanks to the many good folks who have contributed to these types of discussions in the past. Too many to mention them all, but I want to give Versan an honorable mention since I have adopted or incorporated many of his good ideas.
In this thread, I am going to share my thoughts mainly around Stormwind, but also generally the Alliance and the Eastern Kingdoms, because what I have mainly considered in great detail is the story and events revolving around a character that starts in Stormwind, either as a Stormwind native or as something like a refugee from the north at the onset of the game. I imagine the Warcraft 4 RPG as having a similar, if not the same, starting point on the timeline as classic WoW, but with some notable amendments to create a more organic and immersive world.
The Eastern Kingdoms
The decades of turmoil, strife, and calamities of the Great Wars have left the Eastern Kingdoms in a state of catastrophic crisis.
Lordaeron, once the father to the Alliance’s leadership and power, now lies in ruins, with its remnants struggling to survive, and many more fled south as refugees in a sad mirror to the exodus of Stormwind in the First War.
Alterac, recently annexed into Lordaeron, fairs little better, with its settlements assaulted and destroyed, but with its extreme mountain terrain providing numerous hold outs for those survivors of determined flesh and indefatigable will.
Gilneas holds out as an isolated bastion, closing its gates in an effort to stop the onslaught of the plague, and the King calls upon the greatest generals and wizards of the Kingdom to devise stratagems and tactics to overcome the insurmountable dark forces arrayed against them. But as the wise masters say, “It is the greatest of minds whose blunders are most terrible.”
Dalaran and its mages know this truth better than any as they balance their arcane efforts on a razor’s edge that might save the Eastern Kingdoms, or hurry its doom.
Stromgarde was largely saved from direct onslaught by the Scourge and the Burning Legion with Grand Marshal Garithos’ Alliance forces turning back the tide at Thoradin’s Wall. But notable forces sent to aid Lordaeron were lost, and worse others, leaders and soldiers, abandoned the continent entirely to flee west into unknown waters. King Thoras Trollbane died under mysterious circumstances, and the vengeful forest trolls took their opportunity to strike, along with the help of ogres. Stromgarde lost many of its holdings and was barely holding on, unable to provide support to its allies or launch counterattacks against its enemies.
Kul Tiras lost its King and half its fleet along with its most veteran and elite soldiers when Daelin Proudmoore went on an insane quest across the world to find his wayward daughter and never returned. With so many losses, the remaining Kul Tiran forces, under the weak leadership of Katherine Proudmoore, were dis-organised and suffered numerous defeats. Barely able to keep control of Kul Tiran waters, they could do little to help those under siege by the Scourge and the Burning Legion other than ferrying refugees from northern ports like Southshore to ones further south like Menethil Harbour and Stormwind. With in-fighting among the Kul Tiran noble houses for power, and the limited viable real estate upon the Kul Tiran islands, few refugees were welcomed into Kul Tiran ports themselves save for the men press-ganged into naval service in a desperate attempt to make up their devastating losses.
Stormwind, like Kul Tiras, had a King foolishly lost at sea and a black cabal of degenerate nobles vying for power at the expense of the Kingdom itself. Stormwind tried to shut itself to the refugees, but too many had already arrived and flooded the city before the dis-organised and corrupt Regency Council could take any actual action to prevent it.
The lands of Stormwind are beset from all sides by numerous issues. Some fanon follows as much of Stormwind’s lore is simply empty. The noble assembly lacks characters, the fiefdoms lack definitions and parameters, the world lacks characters beyond questgivers who simply tell you to kill enemies and collect things, so I am forced to fill in some blanks. I have had to invent numerous nobles because most are unnamed, and those that are are inevitably evil or corrupt so there are none to play the roles of moderates or allies.
Stormwind Political Factions:
Fordragonians a.k.a Loyalists
Ostensibly led by Regent-Lord Bolvar Fordragon, but led in fact by Katrana Prestor, they are composed mainly of the nobility based in Stormwind City and Elwynn Forest. They control Stormwind City, the Stormwind Army proper. Publicly they prioritize the safety of the boy Prince Anduin and that Varian will return soon, where then he will lead Stormwind in facing the many threats in the realm. To that end, they keep the entire Stormwind Army garrisoned in and around the capital to the misfortune of the rest of the Kingdom. They follow the Church of the Holy Light as written in the Tome of Divinity. Their Virtues: Respect, Tenacity and Compassion. They worship no gods.
Tullians a.k.a Moderates
The silent majority: difficult to persuade, unwilling to risk themselves, and generally in support of the status quo simply out of passivity and self-preservation. Count Markus Tullian is a reserved and cunning man, respected for his military leadership in the First and Second Wars as well as his shrewd maneuverings in the noble assembly. Though he leads no formal coalition, he is the de facto leader of the moderates. What he says will sway most on the fence and most often he calls for caution and inaction, to the benefit of the hegemony and to the detriment of all calling for change.
Garithonians a.k.a Opposition
Led by Baron Standhaft Garithos, they are composed mainly of nobility far from the protection and control of Stormwind City, as well as those of foreign birth. They demand action be taken against the various threats across the kingdom and foment discontent about Bolvar’s failure to defend the land and its people. To that end, Standhaft Garithos leads his house men-at-arms to set the lands to rights personally and they recruit from among foreign refugees and those locals they aid. They question the Church of the Holy Light’s doctrine and advocate a return to the pre-First War era worship of the old human god: Tyros*. Their Virtues: Strength, Honour, Courage, Mastery, and Faith.
*In my fanon I give name and origins to the now retconned human god from Warcraft 1.
The House of Nobles
Being the center of the kingdom, Stormwind is obviously the center of power as well, with the king and the House of Nobles residing in the city. However, the noble class is experiencing something of an existential crisis. Namely, the question of ‘what is it to be a noble?’ In the kingdom’s early days, the ideas of landed nobility and feudalism served to expand Stormwind into the strongest of the human kingdoms, in spite of its isolation from the others. Nobles held land, were trained in battle, and raised and trained levies to support the Crown and tame the troll-held wilderness that was the land.
That martial tradition held through the Brotherhood of the Horse, Stormwind’s knightly order, and allowed the nobility a measure of pride and honor even as the kingdom transitioned to a more absolute monarchy, where power was centralized around the Crown, and the army became an institution of the kingdom itself, rather than a composite of a multitude of separate forces. That knightly order, of course, came to a crashing end with the Horde, and the destruction of the kingdom.
The new nobility is made up of a mix of survivors of the old, a generation past since wartime, and a number of uplifted knights, merchants, and generally anyone considered of possible value to the rebuilding and expanding kingdom. The old Brotherhood of the Horse is no more, and nothing ever rose to take its place. Likewise, with the deaths of most of the old martial nobility, and a kingdom with a centralized military, there’s little purpose to being a noble beyond what they have. Land, money, and power, and the former two are valued only in their influence on the latter.
The House of Nobles is a ruthless bunch. Free from the threats facing the kingdom, they spend their days in a never-ending competition, a game where the power of the house is wielded on behalf of the rich, and those smart enough to be on the verge of becoming rich. New blood entering the house usually involves spilling old blood, usually by using mercantile tactics to usurp lands, holdings, and trade connections, but sometimes literally. Less scrupulous nobles maintain strong ties with the criminal underworld. Bazil Thredd maintains an, ostensibly anyway, Defias empire with enough noble backing to ensure little interference from the Stormwind Guard, the ghettos and rundown sections of the city acting as a small kingdom under his control where he can operate free of rivals.
Lady Prestor a.k.a Onyxia:
At the center of all this of course, is Onyxia. In her role as Lady Prestor, she’s the de facto ruler of the house, with both the fiscal and magical connections to ensure that whomever she wishes to rise, rises, and whomever she wishes to fall, falls. Aside from idle pleasure, she uses this control to ensure a sort of complacency. Even as the kingdom suffers, the nobles want for nothing, and any misfortunes that do fall upon them can be laid at the feet of a fellow noble’s machinations. With so many foes inside the city, none see the need to address any foes outside of it, and attempts to do so are labeled as attempts to gain power and glory fighting non-threats, and the ringleaders quashed by the rule of the vast majority.
To mundane eyes she is a powerful and influential woman, but beneath the mask she is the black dragon Onyxia. Toiling towards her own dark machinations and in competition with her brother Nefarian, she at once seeks Stormwind’s ruin and the growth of her own power. Tainted by the Old God’s corruption, her plans often lack sense, but her extreme cunning, guile, and dark magics keep her plots from being revealed, even if they fail to actualize.
(And lastly, I want to add that for the world to work, I think that psychic powers/mind control needs to be more complicated than just “/cast mind control” and then you make them walk off a cliff. Even Detheroc, the best exmaple of the most powerful psychic demon in lore, had to create an illusion that he was the legitimate human lord and leader of the Alliance forces for the men to follow his commands.
I believe that Onyxia, for all her power, would not be as powerful as Detheroc, particularly in terms of mind control powers, and so her control over Bolvar would be a balancing act of dark puppetry. She can’t command him to murder Anduin because that is something he would never do, but she can drive him towards his worst impulses, making him do foolish and reckless things by pushing him to do what he wants to do, but in insane ways. So, for example, Bolvar does want to protect Anduin and prioritises this above all else, and he does want to believe that Varian will return. Therefore, Onyxia is able to goad Bolvar into garrisoning all of available Stormwind forces in the capital to protect Anduin (rather than organising resistance against the numerous domestic and foreign threats) and also to be unable to accept Varian’s MIA status thus stagnating the government.)
The City’s Administration
The House of Nobles only has so many members, and while they directly rule the city, they don’t necessarily manage it as well. That task falls to a number of individuals and groups, with varying interests and agendas of their own.
First and foremost is the city’s bureaucracy. Baros Alexston is the primary example of this. They’re the city’s architects, planners, and workers. The people who ensure the streets are lit at night, the canals are flowing smoothly, and the buildings aren’t collapsing. The elite of this class are those of the old Stonemasons guild that refused to join in with the riots, and instead accepted the offer of the Crown to hold high-ranking positions in the city’s administration. While they’re considered traitors to the cause, a number still maintain cordial ties to the Defias rioters that were imprisoned during the organization’s conception. Like most of the groups in the city, their motivations range from simply doing their jobs and ensuring the smooth running of the city, to using their positions, along with criminal contacts, to personally enrich themselves.
The Districts of Stormwind:
The city’s merchant class as a whole represents another power base. While not noble, they command wealth and influence, comprised of both artisans and traders, and stretching across the entire city. Unlike the House of Nobles, they can’t write off the goings-on outside the city, as to them, a business disruption is a loss of lives and livelihood rather than setback in some political game. Even an affordable loss caused by bandits or beasts or orcs is still an infuriating one. Of course, a lack of political power can hold back even the greatest of wealth. Bribes are wielded cautiously as well, as taking one side or another in a political match can lead to being legislated out of existence, or having sweeping taxes levied against them. They’re a force for stability, in that they’re the primary patrons for troubleshooting adventuring types and mercenaries, along with certain other interventionist causes that would earn them more than a bit of trouble from the city nobility if they were known.
Cathedral District & The Church of the Holy Light
The Church, as ever, is a voice of stability and hope. Their primary motivation in this time is to keep the people in line and society functioning Though he could trigger a revolt with words alone, Benedictus knows that it would be a very short-lived revolt, and he himself is neutral, but attaches himself to power, so the seat of the clergy remains Stormwind City and the Crown their patron. While charismatic, Benedictus is lacking in true faith, just waiting for the appearance of something ‘greater’ than the Light for him to throw in with. He, and the upper echelons of the church, are friends to everyone, but allies of no one.
There’s a noteworthy split in beliefs between the city and the countryside, with clergy in the midst of growing instability and conflicts siding more with the people they minister to than the elite hierarchy in the city itself. The danger of a schism is another thing keeping church politics very internal, and no definitive sides from being taken. Still, they’re a powder keg waiting to explode, and a prospective target for all the competing powers.
The precariousness of their position between the inside and outside of the city doesn’t allow them to act overtly, but they’re a vital force in maintaining the confidence and morale of the common man. It’s not a balance that even Onyxia wants to interfere with, so while she would love an opportunity to get her claws in them, paranoia at messing with powerful Light-wielders that aren’t causing her problems is ultimately enough to ensure that the opportunity would have to be a golden one.
Stormwind’s always had its own independent, and proud, magical tradition. Far away from Dalaran, Stormwind’s conjurers were given relatively free reign from the Kirin Tor, and built up their own base of power. Naturally, with the First War, (especially with Medivh’s treachery leading to him killing a number of the best and brightest himself) this was shattered. The rebuilt Mage District in Stormwind was little more than a Kirin Tor puppet, reporting directly to the Six and taking its policy cues from them. With a newly trained generation of mages however, Stormwind’s own have been taking back control of magic in the city. Dalaran’s destruction, and subsequent isolation, during the Third War, has left them powerless to enforce or maintain their grip on power.
The lack of regulation, of course, has found its way to other corners of the district, namely the Slaughtered Lamb, and the budding warlocks that practice beneath it. Their existence is a secret to everyone, having access to darker arts is generally seen as not worth the risk, with the more unscrupulous nobility once again often serving as patrons. Secrecy is their mantra and all their public members ostensibly being law-abiding mages of His Majesty’s newly constructed Royal Stormwind Institute of Magic.
In essence, the Mage District is in the midst of a power struggle between lingering supporters of the Kirin Tor, and home-grown mages that want to restore Stormwind’s magical tradition and independence, all while the warlocks practice in the background, using their talents for political gain and recognition.
The Dwarven District
The Dwarven District is the center of land-trade in Stormwind. With the kingdom’s isolationism, and troubles in the countryside, most of its imports and exports go through either the Dwarven District or the harbor, rather than the main gates.
The link to Ironforge is the lifeblood of the city in terms of importing both finished goods and materials alike, mines throughout the kingdom suffering, and Ironforge’s militarization is funded in turn, Stormwind providing a customer base. Like in all things though, a trade deficit cannot be maintained indefinitely, the House of Nobles using a complex system of borrowing, subsidizing trade, and generally making money appear and disappear on paper to keep things going. Of course, Onyxia’s plans extend to the point where such a system collapses, and the kingdom is forced into fiscal ruin and recession.
With a stronger Ironforge, the Dwarven District is more a foreign enclave than a part of the city proper, dominated by dwarven businesses dedicated to spreading dwarven goods throughout the city and facilitating trade. With its distance from Ironforge though, and presence in a foreign city, other points of view have emerged within it, a faction becoming more attached to Stormwind than their homeland, and growing more concerned at the blindness and neglect in its leadership.
Old Town isn’t really that old, considering the relative youth of the city itself. Kind of a contradiction really that I’ve never understood. Could probably use a name change. Military District? Government District? Anyway, it’s the stomping ground of at least a couple of groups.
The Command Center is the city’s military headquarters, encompassing both the local patrols and guards, and the military garrison. Dominated by political appointment, local commanders serve at the whim of the House of Nobles, and the lack of action engaged in by the army ensures that there are no successes or failures to be judged by, merely patronage. It can generally be assumed that a commoner in a position of power over the Guard is fantastically corrupt, but in a fashion where he has more supporters among the nobility than detractors, but that only serves to prolong the period before a commander falls from grace. Military command however, is moreso reserved for nobility, seen as a sort of dumping ground to ensure prestige, without any of the side-effects of actual power.
Then we have SI:7. The death of King Varian Wrynn has irreparably damaged the reputation of the organization. Despite the official story that Varian is alive and will return, Stormwind’s spies were the scapegoat for the assassination by the Naga, offered up to the people as a neglectful group responsible for allowing his death (a deliberate move to destroy them). While Mathias Shaw still leads the organization, it’s much diminished in its reach and manpower. Still, without having to focus on finding a missing king or such, their limited resources are directed instead at analyzing the situation in the kingdom as a whole. Out of everyone, they have the fullest picture of exactly what’s going on, and have found it disturbing to say the least.
While SI:7 lacks the resources to affect change, Shaw is directing the organization in the fashion he deems best fit to fixing the kingdom’s problems. Their lack of resources is intentional however, and much of their funding these days is through elicit means, all definitely off the books. In the field, they’re dedicated to ensuring that well-marked maps of enemy positions happen to ‘appear’ in the hands of those who most need them. While there’s more than a couple traitorous nobles on Shaw’s hit list, the organization lacks the clout to engage in the sort of assassinations they got up to in vanilla WoW, but that lack of power has forced them to be smart, vicious and tenacious, and it’s unlikely that dissolving the organization officially would stop them from simply operating from underground. While they have even less power and clout than the city’s warlocks, they’re a wildcard, and the closest to uncovering the great secret at the top of Stormwind’s political food chain.
Harbour District (replacing the Park District)
The streets of the Harbour District are dominated by the ‘Defias’, or at least, anyone with a knife and a scrap of red cloth to hide their face. Still, unlike in the countryside, there’s a far stronger power-structure for organized crime. From the Stockade, Bazil Thredd runs the Defias gang in the city, and he has the wealth to ensure his reach. While it doesn’t stop any cutpurse from pretending to be a member of the gang, it does ensure people are willing to kill such impostors if they run their mouths in a fashion that damages their reputation. Poisoners, thugs, assassins, the Harbour District is the place to go for discreet business.
Already poor and crime riddled, the Harbour district is now flooded with refugees and makeshift dwellings.
(I think that Stormwind would be flooded with a high population of refugees from the fallen human kingdoms and these people would be heavily involved in the equation. They represent both mouths to feed and hands to work, but also would respond to different rhetoric. The isolationist policies that might communicate safety in Stormwind to the natives would instead communicate to them the abandonment of their homelands and the Alliance.)
Defias Brotherhood & Westfall:
Definitely a major player in this vanilla-Stormwind setting, not just outside of the city, but within it as well. Though the Defias espouse a populist cause, they’re a creation of Onyxia, and their actions are both confusing and often hypocritical, as per her plans in stirring the events that led to their inception. While their goal is ostensibly rebellion against the king and nobility, vanilla (and later Cata) paints the picture of them almost exclusively victimizing the poor and impoverished, while simultaneously maintaining ties with corrupt members of the House of Nobles like Gregor Lescovar.
While VanCleef rules from the Deadmines, preparing his ultimate weapon for a coastal assault on Stormwind (a grandiose scheme held together only by his own charisma and the fanaticism of his closely-held lieutenants), his reach doesn’t really extend much further than that. With the organization’s anarchistic goals, their own sense of organization gives way to personal greed and other agendas, leaving them unified only so much as can be enforced at any given time, allowing them to represent a shifting front of uncontrolled lawlessness stretching across the kingdom. The red bandanna might be the symbol of the Defias, but the old Stonemasons have quickly given way to any thug with a knife and scrap of red cloth.
Duskwood is a terrible place for everyone, particularly the people living there. Like everyone else outside of the city, the demand for the kingdom’s army to intervene is high, but at the same time, the nature of it being a terribly asymmetrical conflict makes the efforts of the interventionist Garithonians difficult to direct, and would stymie even a larger army with the amount of ground to cover.
From Raven Hill, Morbent Fel has raised up a seemingly unending tide of the undead, turning western Duskwood into his personal kingdom. While he lacks the power and control to spread his reach, the myriad crypts and tunnels and abandoned homesteads leave the necromancer almost impossible to locate, and his forces rise and wander and attack anyone they come across without rhyme or reason as their sphere of influence slowly grows.
Karazhan represents a much more insidious threat, the curse rising up from the demonic magics conjured by the possessed Medivh. The tower has slumbered for years, but darkness has begun to seep out. On a westward push towards Darkshire, shadowy creatures act as predators, taking out lone farmsteads and isolated villages, and spreading this dark curse. When forces are marshaled against them, they keep their distance and prod for weaknesses, working to encircle and cut the lines of supply behind any strong points. These sieges take place from the shadows, with little in the way of a visible enemy, and once fear and desertion and lack of supplies take their toll, they pounce to finish the job.
(Not really sure what I want to do here, except that I feel that the worgen in Duskwood are leftovers from scrapped half-finished ideas that simply no longer make sense. The threats in Duskwood should involved undead from Morbent Fel, leftover demonic issues from Medivh, ogres (possibly related to that demonic stuff), and something to do with those green dragons and their hidden enclave. I just don’t believe worgen make any sense in Duskwood.)
Dark Horde Threat
The Dark Horde is the primary existential threat facing the kingdom, in that they’re a foreign army attempting to invade and destroy it. Onyxia and Nefarian, while coordinating somewhat on the matter of the invasion, are also in the midst of their own sibling rivalry and competition, so Onyxia hasn’t sabotaged the defense of Redridge in its entirety. To Nefarian, the Dark Horde is the endgame, the threat that will wash across and destroy the kingdom. Onyxia, however, views it as just another pressure point building up to the kingdom’s collapse alongside many others, and her brother’s tool which she doesn’t want to over-empower. Redridge is the centerpiece of the contrast between the two major factions in the kingdom, and highlighting their extremes.
To the Fordragonians, the orcs are the same old marauders out of the Burning Steppes that local militias and forces have been dealing with for years. Onyxia, via the House of Nobles, has been managing an effective disinformation campaign, not just aimed at lowering the scope of the threat, but wildly raising it as well, causing brief panics about Lakeshire being on the verge of falling, or orcs breaking in throughout the kingdom in legions, then using the failure of those prophecies to paint them as their intended picture of ‘business as usual’ for the region.
To the Garithonians Redridge is a rallying cry, an example of the growing blindness throughout the kingdom. More than that, the orcs are an army, facing the limitations and constraints of an army, which makes them a large and obvious target, a focus of the loose coalition that, despite the importance of fighting them, often draws attention and eyes away from the problems of the kingdom with less obvious solutions, and helps to prevent a total unification behind their faction. Everyone loves fighting orcs, they’re the biggest and most obvious target, so why look at anything else like bandits or rumours about Medivh’s abandoned tower? (May well be part of Onyxia’s plan, setting the Garithonians and Nefarian against each other to give herself more breathing room.)
Other notable mentions:
Ironforge accepted many refugees, and indeed many found permanent homes in the dwarven kingdom, but most continued their journey south both in fear of the pursuit of the dark forces they fled and also for want of more familiar human settlements that existed above the earth rather than below it.
Ironforge has taken recent revelations of their titanic heritage with even greater enthusiasm than in vanilla WoW. As a relatively untouched, stable, industrialized, and wealthy kingdom, they’ve unified behind King Magni and are engaging in unchecked imperialism, declaring anything titanic to be their domain, and ruthlessly antagonizing the demi-humans and non-Alliance factions in their archaeological pursuits. They see themselves as the heirs to the gods themselves, and anything standing between them and greater understanding of the titans is an obstacle to be crushed.
The fall of Gnomeregan served to militarize gnomish society, the danger facing their race becoming the greatest priority. Their meritocratic regime shifted in priority to ensuring the power of not the greatest inventors, but the greatest in the field of ensuring the survival of their race. Those who lead victories against the troggs and their irradiated kin in Gnomeregan are elevated, those who develop technologies for killing troggs and dealing with radiation are given greater funding and resources. While they don’t buy into the divine viewpoint of Ironforge, in exchange for being able to spread across their lands in enclaves to better ensure their race’s survival, gnomish engineers have become a constant presence in dwarven forces, though more like mercenaries than dedicated soldiers.
The Dark Iron Clan is torn between an aggressively expanding Ironforge on one end, and an eternal war with the Dark Horde on the other. To combat this, there’s a lot more solidarity under the king and Ragnaros alike, the Twilight’s Hammer maintaining a far stronger presence in Shadowforge, along with a greater focus on their golem and elemental summoning techniques. They’re vicious and cornered, but Moira’s defection has opened up new avenues for Dagran Thaurissian, though they must be explored cautiously, lest a much more twitchy Ironforge be provoked into all-out war.
However, an underbelly of resistance is fomenting, in response to the extreme pressure from the elemental lord and the increased cultist presence. Many dark irons privately question the direction of their kingdom and wonder if more of the same might just lead to further decay and collapse into nothingness. Secret whispers of an assertion of their own dwarven sovereignty, above any magics, elemental or shadow, are growing.
Their main concern is fighting the local trolls and orcs, the clan never having really been the largest or most-unified. Ironforge, however, is looking to change that, taking an evangelical approach with their titanic revelations, looking to recruit dwarves of all stripes. That such a coalition would be led by Ironforge has them soured, but it isn’t preventing a steadily increasing stream of young gryphon riders from joining Ironforge expeditionary armies, and the promise of dwarven armies crushing the Dragonmaw and Witherbark alike has many questioning the value of their independence.
More westfall thoughts:
Westfall was supposedly the breadbasket of Stormwind but it doesn’t really seem like it’s been doing that job in the slightest for years. It certainly was not at the vanilla point and possibly for 1-2 years prior to that. Stormwind City itself and other parts of the kingdom without self-sufficient resources wouldn’t be able to last indefinitely on rationing reserves and expensive imports.
Which is why in my vision for a Warcraft IV RPG (where you pick a Stormwind origin), Westfall is the first region that the player sets out to help because no matter what other problems are going on they cannot be solved on empty stomachs. It’s almost pointless to save people that are just going to starve to death. And there would be a sinister propaganda campaign making the issues in other regions must harder to understand, but Westfall’s problems are a lot more undeniable with Defias elements even within the city and the loss of food supplies coming from from Westfall.
Personally, I prefer to give players the option of doing whatever they want in an RPG, but I think famine should shortly follow if Westfall’s quest line is not sorted out early. In general, I imagine a campaign that would flow like this: Stormwind -> Westfall -> Duskwood (Kharazhan included) -> Redridge (Burning Steppes/Blackrock Mountain included) -> Return to Stormwind.
How Choices Effect the World
I see this as an RPG where the player can affect great changes in the world. Which political parties gain control over Stormwind? What is the fate of Stormwind’s mages? What happens to the commonfolk across the land? How are the numerous dark magics stopped (or not)? How much damage does the Horde do? Does Anduin live or die? All these questions and more would be determined by the player’s actions (or inaction).
What do you think? What did you agree/disagree with what I said? What areas of the world did you wish were explored? What theorycrafting pops into your mind? Obviously, I am imagining making a human or dwarf character in Stormwind, but I am sure others would want to make anything from a blood elf to a centaur and everything in between.