World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth - Sylvanas Windrunner is the Leader Horde Has Needed for a Long Time

Cinematic still from World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Cinematic still from World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

People just don’t understand what war actually is. They think war is all about treaties, peace, and being honorable. It’s not. It’s about much more.

The way Sylvanas Windrunner has been written in the Battle for Azeroth expansion has been murky at best. But the evidence of her greatness, whether people want to see it or not, is there for all to see. How Sylvanas has been treated, her past experiences shape her controversial decision-making in war today. Let’s explore.

The Many Tastes of Betrayal

Ever since she regained her freedom from Ner’Zhul, she has been betrayed by those she trusted.

  • Betrayal by Humans and subsequently, The Alliance. Though the Undead, under Sylvanas’ leadership, did not attempt to join the join the Alliance, they were met with much hostility after they were freed from The Lich King’s control. They were seen as abominations and “untrustworthy” and their lands constantly being encroached on. They were “foresaken” by the living.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: So, it is done.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: I had not dared to trust my senses - too many times has the Lich King made me to be a fool.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: Finally, he has been made to pay for the atrocities he imposed upon my people.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: May Azeroth never fail to remember the terrible price we paid for our weakness... for our pride.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: But what now, hero? What of those freed from his grasp, but still shackled to their mortal coils?
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: Leave me.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: I have much to ponder.
world of warcraft wrath of the lich king.gif
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: Now the Lich King is dead and we have returned.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: The people who called this land their home in life, do so in death as well.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: But the Alliance does not recognize our rights. They claim this land as their own while attempting to invalidate the claims of the founders of this kingdom.
  • Betrayal by Varimathras and Putress. Though Sylvanas and Varimathras were begrudgingly allies, Varimathras recruited Foresaken in Undercity, driving a wedge between Sylvanas and those loyal to her. And at Wrathgate, likely acting on Varimathras’ orders, Apothecary Putress unleashes the blight onto both Horde and Alliance, killing Bolvar Fordragon in the process.

  • Betrayal by her sister, Vereesa Windrunner. During the trial of Garrosh Hellscream at The Temple of the White Tiger, Vereesa noticed how much her sister, Sylvanas, loathed Garrosh. She set up a meeting with Sylvanas and they plotted to poison Garrosh. But at the last minute, Vereesa chickened out and confessed their plans to Prince Anduin Wrynn.

  • Betrayal by Godfrey. After committing suicide because he’d rather die than have a worgen for a king (Genn Greymane), Sylvanas had her valkyr resurrect him as one of her Foresaken. Sylvanas commanded him to kidnap Lorna Crowley to hold her for ransom in hopes for a cease fire between the Gilneas Liberation Front and the Forsaken. But Godfrey wanted to kill Lorna and bring her back as a Forsaken to exact revenge on her father, Darius Crowley, one of King Genn Greymane’s right-hand men and leader of the Gilneas Liberation Front. When Darius surrendered to Sylvannas, Godfrey shot and killed her (Sylvanas). Her valkyr were quick to resurrect her.

Reasoning Behind Questionable Actions

While it many will argue that Sylvanas is self-serving, one thing that has remained constant throughout the lore is that Sylvanas is a protector—the protector of the Forsaken. And now, the Horde.

In Edge of Night, Sylvanas threw herself off of the icy cliffs of Icecrown Citadel after the defeat of The Lich King. Lingering in purgatory, she saw a vision of her peoples' future. Without her, then Warchief Garrosh Hellscream would sacrifice the Forsaken, Sylvanas’ people, in a failed assault on Gilneas.

“But you can’t just send them right into the central breach in the wall,” Lydon continued. “It’s a… a chokepoint. Well fortified, closely watched. Heavy armored troops on horseback couldn’t maneuver through the breach: they’d be mown down by musketfire from the debris. Surely you can see—“

”Of course I see!” Garrosh answered. “The door is wedged open; now it must be kicked down. This is what your kind is good for.”

Where is the Dark Lady, Sylvanas? [Lydon] wondered, turning his empty eye sockets toward the gray heavens. Why isn’t she here to counter this beast?
— Edge of Night

She stood up to Garrosh Hellscream when others couldn’t. And she put fear in him.

At that moment, nobody dared look Sylvanas Windrunner in the eye. Nobody but Garrosh Hellscream.

…there was fear in those eyes, but also something else. Something that terrified even the great warchief. His wolf began to edge away instinctively.

Warchief Sylvanas.jpg

Sylvanas is a brilliant and patient war tactician.

She knows that peace between the Horde and Alliance is always short-lived. Her exchange with High Overlord, Varok Saurfang in A Good War offers the explanation of why she burned The World Tree. People like to think that she threw a tantrum, but this was part of her plan that she mapped out with Saurfang.

“If I dedicated myself to peace with the Alliance, would it last a year?”

“Yes,” Saurfang said curtly.

“How about two years? Five? Ten? Fifty?”

Saurfang felt the trap closing in on him, and he did not like it. “We fought side‐by‐side against the Burning Legion. That creates bonds that are not easily broken.”

“Time breaks every bond.” Sylvanas leaned across the table. Her words flew like arrows. “What do you believe? Will peace last five years or fifty?

Both the Horde and Alliance navies were at minimum capacity. Sylvanas effectively divided the Alliance forces and Horde now controls all of Kalimdor, something that has never been achieved. With the razing of Teldrasil, the Alliance is in a political crisis, orchestrated by Sylvanas.

What happens when Genn Greymane, Malfurion Stormrage, and Tyrande Whisperwind all demand differing actions? He is not a high king like his father. The respect the others give him is a courtesy, not an obligation. Anduin Wrynn will rapidly become a leader who cannot act. If the Alliance will not march as one, each nation will act in its own interest. Each army will return home to protect their lands from us.”

“And that is how you defeat Stormwind.” Saurfang was in awe. It was brilliant.”

“We need to frighten them before we arrive here. If they decide to fight instead of run, the final step of this battle will be messier than all the rest,” she said. “What can we do to make the civilians of Teldrassil so afraid they can think of nothing but running?”
— A Good War

Sylvanas has never been naive about what the Horde and others think about her, ever since she was turned into the Undead Banshee Queen, no one has trusted her and that’s largely due in part to those who have betrayed her. She has sacrificed herself time and time again for her people, but critics cannot grasp the complexity of her character or decisions. They don’t understand that Warchief Sylvanas is playing the long game to secure the future of the Horde and peace will be on her terms, not Alliance because peace on the Alliance’s terms has always been flimsy and fragile. Horde has needed a leader who will let the Alliance know that Horde isn’t playing the same game they’ve been playing for hundreds of years.

What if…

Since Sylvanas predicted the behaviors of the Alliance leaders, what if Saurfang, Baine Bloodhoof, and Lore’thmar’s betrayal were also calculated? What if their betrayals were planned for? It’s not that far-fetched. Remember, Sylvanas and Saurfang had already planted the seeds of "Horde dissent" among the Alliance spies. We know she’s using Mathias Shaw and his spies to play Anduin. What if they played King Anduin, allowing Saurfang to be captured, knowing Anduin would release Saurfang? While it’s highly unlikely that Saurfang was in on it, it’s incredibly likely that Sylvanas planned for their betrayal.

Whatever your thoughts on Sylvanas Windrunner — love her, hate her, or you’re on the fence — the story surrounding her in Battle for Azeroth is far from over. We don’t know what Blizzard has planned for her, but we’re excited nonetheless.

Special shout out to my favorite World of Warcraft historian and queen of WarcraftMemes, Katalyst Evrmeme for always being up for talking World of Warcraft lore with me.

There's So Much Beauty in the World of Warcraft

We’re in World of Warcraft’s 15th anniversary. World of Warcraft Classic release date is Tuesday, August 27, 2019, and players who quit WoW are coming back just for Classic WoW. People who have played WoW since Vanilla are on the World of Warcraft forums reminiscing about the good ‘ol days of being brutally murdered by Murlocs in Elwynn Forest, among other things.

Those Murlocs, at the lake… That have like a 2 sec respawn and aggro with a mob of like 5-6 at a time…Died so many times to them…

Old school Azeroth can be a pretty scary and intimidating place. But There are so many beautiful places in Azeroth. All it takes is some exploring.

Just be careful. Unlike later expansions, there is no flying in Classic WoW. The best tip for surviving Classic Azeroth is to do your best to stick to the roads when traveling. This is especially helpful if you will be playing a Night Elf and decide to make the journey from Teldrasil on Kalimdor to Stormwind City in Eastern Kingdoms. For some reason, many, if not most Alliance players who choose Night Elf characters, prefer to quest in Eastern Kingdoms. So, keep in mind that there are there are no portals and there is no boat that goes directly from Darkshore to Stormwind. The Darkshore boat takes you to Wetlands in Eastern Kingdoms. Then, you have to walk on foot, to Ironforge. Be sure to learn the flight paths of each town you visit on your way. Once you get to Ironforge, you’ll take the tram to Stormwind. Yes, this is how you get from the Night Elf starting area to the Stormwind.

But yes, there are so many beautifully scenic places to explore in World of Warcraft. With each of the World of Warcraft expansions, Blizzard Entertainment’s talented team created some of the eeriest, creepiest and beautiful places in all of gaming.

The latest WoW expansion, Battle for Azeroth, also boasts some gorgeous scenery. Whether you have warmode on or not, exploring some of these places is an absolute must. From the Zandalari troll home of Zulduzar to Queen Azshara’s underwater domain of Nazjatar, these places are stunning. There are very few games like World of Warcraft that would be able to compare visually.

Whether you will be playing World of Warcraft Classic, sticking to Battle for Azeroth, or will be playing both, don’t forget to appreciate the scenery. Do you have a favorite place to chill in Azeroth? Tell us your favorite places in the comments or on Facebook.

Has World of Warcraft Lost Its "Wow" Factor?

Has World of Warcraft Lost Its "Wow" Factor?

After playing World of Warcraft for 14 years, Battle for Azeroth is the first expansion where I took a break from the game for more than two weeks. Did “Battle for Azeroth” kill World of Warcraft?

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Pop Quiz: How Well Do You Know World of Warcraft Lore?

Pop Quiz: How Well Do You Know World of Warcraft Lore?

World of Warcraft is one of those games that just immerses you into a beautiful fantasy world of magic and mayhem.

WoW is not your typical MMORPG. The lore that was created to build the world…of Warcraft is incredibly detailed and vibrant. And almost everyone who plays WoW thinks they know everything about the game. Do you? Test your might!

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World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth is All About Girl Power

World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth is All About Girl Power

Regardless of which Warbringers' episode was your favorite, there's one thing that's certain: Battle for Azeroth is about powerful women.

World of Warcraft's in-game lore has focused primarily on Azeroth's kings and male leaders with female protagonists being side quests and intermissions. But Legion began focusing more on its female leaders. From the Loa telling Warchief Vol'jin to choose Sylvanas "The Banshee Queen" Windrunner as his predecessor to her sister Alleria Windrunner harnessing The Void, Legion set the stage for Azeroth's female leaders to be at the forefront.

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#WorldofWarcraft Are You Ready for Battle for Azeroth Release Day on August 14, 2018?

Guides? CHECK! Snacks? CHECK!

Tensions between Horde and Alliance have intensified since both factions worked together and effectively destroyed The Legion in Antoras. We can argue all day and night about whether or not Sylvanas was justified in her burning down of Teldrassil (*cough she was cough*). With the Battle for Azeroth expansion quickly approaching, there are more important matters to discuss: the best guides for your class and dungeons, what are you going to snack and how many days off from work are you going to take for the expansion release.

Casual or hardcore, there's little excuse for not knowing how to play your class. We all have lives outside of Azeroth and the WoW community knows it. That's why there are so many guides available to help you be the best you can be at playing your class.

There are several places to go for guidance. Icy Veins and WoWhead are classic go-to guide sites for class specialization, talents, gear and best in slot items (BiS).  And my favorite place to go to for all things priest is Warcraft Priests. The website formerly known as HowToPriest is now Warcraft Priests. They've been the best place to go for guides, getting started and macros for playing all three specializations: Holy, Discipline and Shadow. Warcraft Priests' Discord is very active, friendly and helpful.

For raid and dungeon fights, go to Fatboss TV to watch and study boss fights. Don't forget to check out the commentary from some amazing WoW players via their Twitch channels as well. For example, Midnah is arguably one of the best druid healers around. She's a small time streamer but incredibly knowledgeable about Restoration Druids.

Like most WoW players eagerly anticipating Battle for Azeroth, you'll likely be sitting for hours at a time leveling. You're looking over your guides and you're ready to jump into action. You're gonna need sustenance. By sustenance, we mean food--keyboard-safe snacks like:

  • Nuts, if you're not allergic to them.

  • Fruit. Bananas, berries, already chopped melon and pineapple, sliced apples

  • Celery with your favorite dip.

  • Dry cereal. Frosted Flakes and Captain Crunch Crunch Berries or whatever you prefer.

  • Popcorn.

WoW isn't one of those games you can just pause. You have to get to a safe spot before going AFK. Sometimes, that can take a while, especially if you've already been going at questing and running dungeons or raiding for hours already. Don't forget to stretch, walk around for a few minutes. Hell, if you're worried about your weight, do 10 squats every hour or 10 push-up or 10 crunches. Set an alarm or timer to remind you that you need to get up and get your blood circulating.

Share with us how you get ready for WoW expansions.

 

Know Your Warcraft Lore (Possible Spoilers)

Cover Photography by Arwen
Cosplay: Sylvanas Windrunner: Narga-Lifestream | Lady Jaina Proudmoore: Ver1sa

Do you know your lore? You can get started here!

With Battle for Azeroth just around the corner, Warcraft addicts new and old, are becoming more and more intrigued about how Horde and Alliance came to be such fierce enemies. Blizzard Entertainment began releasing Warbringer videos, creating excitement, wonderment and faction loyalty. 

Jaina Proudmoore's haunting song sent chills down the spines of virtually Azerothian. Warchief Sylvanas's Warbringer only confirmed most people's suspicions, but it also offered possible insight into Sylvanas' motives as well as a certain scene that takes place during the battle between herself and newly crowned King Anduin.

Many players are rightfully still pissed off that Sylvanas was chosen to take Vol'jin's place as Warchief of the Horde. But there has to be a reason that the Loa revealed to Vol'jin that Sylvanas was to be his successor. We know from Sylvanas's Warbringer episode that life and hope have become her enemy. Perhaps she sees life as a weakness, hope is useless. But in the Battle for Azeroth trailer, we see something a little different--we see Sylvanas BECOMING the hope of the Horde. She's watched the people she was supposed to protect die once before when The Lich King came with his undead Scourge. 

Sylvanas sees that death and loss of hope, again, in the people she's supposed to be leading. We know that one of Sylvanas' plans was to create an undead army of her own. And maybe leading her soldiers to their deaths was, somehow a part of that. That would certainly contribute to the distrust that other Horde leaders and fans of Warcraft lore have toward her. But perhaps, during this battle, she realizes that her hatred for the living was turning her into The Lich King. Maybe some of our answers are forged in the lore already and we just have to find it. 

So, if you want to catch up on the lore, or want to begin reading the lore, Ge'NeL has created an index page of Warcraft books, in order, to help you get started.

Battle for Azeroth to Be Released Mid-August

This is not a drill, Azerothians!

Thursday morning, Blizzard Entertainment announced the release date of the highly anticipated sixth expansion to World of Warcraft. Originally estimated to be released between the end of August and early September 2018, Battle for Azeroth will be released August 14.

Select players are currently alpha testing BFA, working out as many bugs as possible while getting a sneak peak at new and possible races, lands and raids. Pre-purchase of BFA is open through Blizzard's shop

Have you pre-purchased BFA? Testing alpha? Which faction do you pledge your allegiance to? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

Zandalari Troll Paladins and Kul'Tiran Human Druids?

It's definitely looking like it.

Preordering Battle for Azeroth allowed WoW players to unlock four allied races: Void Elves and Lightforged Draenei for the Alliance and The Nightborne and Highmountain Tauren for the Horde. Now, there is another alliance race in Alpha gameplay--Kul'tiran Humans. While we are unsure whether or not Kul'tiran Humans will be the next playable Allied Race, we do have insight into what they look like. Can you say "Human Druids"?

Ge'NeL tried to get some answers from game developer Ion Hazzikostas during their live Q&A on Twitch May 15. While he was unable to get to Ge'NeL's questions, he answered other questions that gave fans and players some possible spoilers.

One of the cool things we may have learned is the very real possibility of Zandalari Troll Paladins--well into BfA, though. In the Alpha, Zandalari Prelate of Rezan are the highest order of troll who wield the light to serve Loa. Until now, players endured an emotional rollercoaster of of being excited about the prospect of Zandalari Troll Paladins because the new NPCs in Throne of Thunder, the Prelate of Rezan. But, upon completing the Zuldazar questline, though, it is revealed that they lose their their connection to Rezan. Then a player asked Hazzikostas this:

 
question 1.jpg
 

Hazzikostas' response made it seem like it was definitely possible.

"Once they've come close to harnessing--wielding-- those powers, maybe they could learn to do so again in a more structured way. We will have to see down the line when the Zandalari do become fully available as a playable, allied race. It's not going to be right at the start. That's something a bit further down the road...as that's a part of the first chapter. We're going off to the new world to seek the aid of the Zandalari Trolls and Kul'tiras Humans on our respective factional sides. But getting them to formally join our cause that's kind of more of an end point than a starting point..."

And then there were human druids--maybe? We know that the Zandalari will be playable but not immediately after the release of Battle for Azeroth. That means Kul'tiran Humans will also be introduced at the same time. And if it's possible that Zandalari could become paladins, say, by learning to harness the light with the aid of Lady Liadrin's Blood Knights, then there is a very strong possibility that Kul'trias Humans will, not only be playable, but be druids.

Polygon gives us a peek at some of the human forms.

 
 

Wowhead also gives us a look at possible druid forms. 

 
 

The Kul'tiras, the home of Jaina Proudmoore, is one of the areas Alliance players will quest to level in an attempt to woo them to join the Alliance. The Kul'tiran will be the quest givers, obviously. Included are nature quests--druidic. There are also many "wicker" creatures in the zone. Whether or not these "wicker" druids will be playable is unknown just yet. But the datamined pics make it feel like it's oh so real!

 
Source: Blizzard Entertainment via Wowhead

Source: Blizzard Entertainment via Wowhead

 

There are also many "wicker" creatures in the zone. Reddit user Caaethil created a graphic detailing how a Kul'tiran druids could possibly work.

 
 

Speculative, though this may be, it does not mean that it is impossible. Do you think there is something to these speculations? Which would you like to level first IF these speculations turn out to be true?