Yeah, like we need another Kerrigan.
I think we can all agree that when it comes to anything Sylvanas plays a part in, "the world" getting saved is more likely to prioritise:1. The Forsaken2. The Horde3. AzerothMaybe 2 & 3 are closer/interchangeable in equality of priority, but 1 wins by a country mile.Any talk of a third Faction would require a lot of work to justify its viability, rather than just a blanket "home for the morally grey"; there needs to be some commitment factor to joining it (if, indeed, it pans out as a 'playable' third Faction), not something you can join/leave the way you 'change underwear', per se.As to the overall "what does Blizzard really mean, in their response in this interview?"; why does everything have to have/everyone always look for 'hidden reasoning/agendas' in these press interactions... when there flat out may not be any? Scepticism - even cynicism (or are they the same?) - is great, but when it gets to 'fuelling conspiracy theory' levels, it's unhealthy, esp. psychologically. If it leads down a path you don't like, then stop... if you're happy with where it takes you, then "you opened the floodgates yourself - no turning back".There is a bigger "Wait 'n see...!"™ at play than a lot want to admit; give it some freedom... let the leash off, a bit... and (try to) enjoy the ride. Keep your 'defenses' ready, mind, in case it gets as ugly as you think it will, but...
First Chris then Ion. Blizzard sinks a new low with each new post about this situation. When are you gonna take any responsibility for your sht blizzard? "ah its the toxic fandom, ah its the players who dont want a change, ah its this that bla bla bla" no. It is your abyssmal decision making and your inability to aknowledge it. Also I loved how Ion basically said what I commented on on Chris' interview post about "emotionaly invested people feeling betrayed" but I was told that im and people like me are toxic because of it, but here is their lord and savior Ion telling the exact same thing.But the funniest thing of all of this is that blizzard wins in the end. Because it keeps everyone focused on this trash, so no one can talk about the gameplay ascept of bfa that will inevitably destroy this game, like the removal of player choice in the form of ML, the abysmall class design that makes everything feel the same 3 button spam, the boredom that is the combat with the new global cooldowns etc. In the end, blizzard always wins.
From a storytelling perspective, the Horde are the Bad Guys. They always have been; go back in the lore, and the orcs were an invading force, who immediately set about conquering this new world they'd arrived at instead of attempting diplomacy with the existing population. Sure, their world was dying and they needed a new place to live for their race to survive, but the fact remains that they made no attempt to peacefully coexist with the people who had been there for generations before the orcs arrived. Dramatic storytelling needs conflict, and this served as a great way of providing it in the early days of Warcraft (and even the early days of WoW). Now we've had, what? Three expansions(?) where the Horde and Alliance have had a mostly peaceful - if tense - coexistence other than the occasional Horde Warchief who hungers for the old ways of non-stop war. Garrosh essentially nuked Theramore, and everyone, including most of the Horde leaders, condemned it and we all got to rally behind uniting to get rid of the Criminally Insane Head of State Whose Ascension to the Throne Was Somewhat Dubious. None of the players really got too upset about the destruction of Theramore because it was a military outpost, there weren't many civilian casualties, and most players didn't really spend much time there anyway. It didn't really register, from an emotional perspective.Now, there are only so many Threats From Beyond Our World that can be thrown at us so that players from both factions can feel heroic and be united in our quest to save the world from some new, more powerful, external threat. Also, A LOT of players have complained over the years about how the game just isn't as interesting or fun as it was when the focus was mostly on war between the factions. Blizzard is taking us back to faction war, which I personally feel is a good thing for the game and for the storytelling. The big controversy right now, of course, is Horde players' perceptions of the burning of Teldrassil.Why are players experiencing cognitive dissonance about this? Because everyone recognizes, whether consciously or unconsciously, that Teldrassil was home to thousands of civilians - most of its population - including children. Players say they feel burning Teldrassil is an "evil" action - they're right. It is evil. People are upset that Sylvanas ordered it, and became even more upset when it was revealed that she ordered it purely out of hatefulness. As Ion Hazzikostas pointed out, many players are questioning their in-game identity (and some are questioning what this says about them as people), because, let's face it, there is no justifying the murder - by fire, no less - of thousands of civilian men, women, and children. It is an unforgivable act; if a head of state did that in real life, most of the world would absolutely be in favor of the removal by force of that head of state. So players are conflicted: if I continue to support the Horde despite this despicable act that most of the Horde's leaders and soldiers seem perfectly fine with (the notable exception being Saurfang), what does that say about me?The main problem is that Blizzard made some choices some years ago to cool off on the "Horde are bad guys, Alliance are good guys" thing and explore "Horde are noble-but-misunderstood people who want to make a better life for themselves and their children" so that Horde players could feel like good guys and feel heroic. The mistake, in my opinion, was trying to make Horde heroic in the same way as Alliance. I personally feel that Blizzard should have given Horde players ways of feeling heroic in the context of their faction's ideology instead of what was done, but it is what it is and past choices can't be unmade. So players are having a tough time with the idea of the Horde being Bad Guys, even though that is the Horde's dramatic role in the storytelling. (Insert Obi-Wan Kenobi explaining about how everything depends on your point of view; yes, I understand that from the Horde's point of view, they're not bad guys, and that's absolutely a valid point.)(Side note here about people feeling this action was out of character for Sylvanas - it would be out of character for living Sylvanas, before the Lich King took her life and raised her as a banshee, but it's not inconsistent with banshee Sylvanas' actions and statements when you go back through the years and review them. She just doesn't feel she has to hide her real self anymore. And in Before the Storm, she does come right out and say her end goal is to kill everyone in the world and raise them all as Forsaken. Her reasons for this are terribly misguided, and from a certain perspective "not evil," but that perspective is not shared by most living beings.)Other games have done similar things with their storytelling (making the bad guys not bad guys anymore) and they've suffered for it. Blizzard, I think, has recognized their mistake and is trying to correct it. I believe Horde players who can accept that their in-game dramatic role diverges from their real-life ideals should embrace being Bad Guys and roleplay it for all it's worth, enjoying how liberating that can be. (I played a Sith warrior in SWTOR and made a commitment that that character would always choose the Dark Side choice when presented, no matter what, even when that conflicted with my personal values - which was almost always - and it was really fun... until the storytelling changed to "a vastly stronger foe has emerged from previously-unknown space and the Republic and Empire must put aside their differences to join forces against this threat to our very existence" at which point that game became a snoozefest.) Those players who just can't reconcile that have several options available to you if you really feel that strongly about it, although I have a feeling that Blizzard has some interesting twists coming that may alleviate some of the anxiety many players are feeling (some things are hinted at in Before the Storm that already are having a big impact on the in-game storytelling). It's probably going to pay off to wait and see.
I agree with the larger part of what you say Mortagnan - well written.
I already got used to the fact that Horde allows evil individuals to take the throne and then rule with an iron fist, crushing everything in their wake, including civilians and kids.The thing I never got used to was my character being responsible for it. There is no binary, not even in the real life, that if some people from a very large collective do something abhorrent, that everyone is automatically responsible and should be punished. If that was the case, ethnic cleansing would be justified. Then it would be totally normal to say that all Orcs should die, without any exceptions.In the past, the story was written in such a way that it was mostly believable that the player character just got swept into those events, most of the time pretty unwillingly. And even in direct offensives against the Alliance, it was never so abhorrent and obviously wrong.What makes it even worse is that this happened only few years after Garrosh. The Horde citizens and warriors should have a good sense by now what kind of fate this much destruction brings. It should be obvious for them to question Sylvanas. Heck, EVERYONE should question Sylvanas all of the time. Yet in game, nobody is shown doing that. Why only Saurfang? The morale of the entire Horde should be completely decimated. No enthusiastic advances against the Alliance on the newly discovered continents. The Horde soldiers should now be very hesitant to even march against enemy soldiers, let alone civilians. Did the entire Horde got some kind of massive amnesia? One that gets renewed every time something horrendous happens?Let's go start a war! But forget how it worked under Garrosh.Let's just burn the Tree. But forget about Theramore.Let's just defend the Undercity for Sylvanas. But forget about Teldrassil. (Oh, how fake her "For the Horde!" scream sounds now.)Let's kill our own and raise them. But forget about the Wrath Gate. (This time it's OK, because the one doing it now is on "our side".)And I am sure that next time Sylvanas does something, the Forsaken will forget about Undercity in order for them to be loyal.Do Orcs, Trolls and Tauren have no leadership anymore? Nobody who sees the parallels? Blood Elves? Why are Baine and Lor'themar even following Sylvanas into battle now?At this point, I PRAY for Garrosh 2. Because if Sylvanas does something that will have to force us forgive her, then that would be even worse. I feel terrible just thinking about me trying to ever defend her for anything.The only thing that could absolve her of guilt would be if everyone waked up and it was revealed that all of this was just a dream. Heh, maybe it's all just Emerald Nightmare after all.