Blizzard was in China and due to that timing, this launched late on Thursday. I won’t even both saying spoilers anymore…everyone knows that a giant tree was burned, right?
First thing, holy crud the animators at Blizzard are good. They should have worked on Superman’s mustache. In isolation, this is is a tremendous technical achievement, not to mention the poignancy of the actual storyline. This is the honorable orc I mentioned previously… who’s lost pretty much everything and everyone he knows (including his son). You get a tremendous sense of that in this video. Hats off.
Second, Zappy Boi!
Now the nuanced bits, in relation to how this video intersects with the actual War of Thorns. If you recall, Sylvanas was pitied and she decided to burn down a city in spite. It was such a self-serving act that made absolutely no sense in the larger scale of things. The interwebs went nusto. In succinct terms, it was dumb.
Saurfang clearly articulates this within the video. There is no long game to be had here, and the Alliance is going to act in revenge. Not like they have a choice, if Sylvanas is going to randomly burn down cities, then they need to take her out of the picture. He knows what’s coming, he’s seen it before. He’s tired of it.
I’m not sure if he wants to die so much as surrender in that walk across the field. The Alliance would surely capture him. Zappy Boi gives him a really weird talk about how the Horde is all he has, and Saurfang turns around, then gives a big roar. This is where it goes off the rails for me.
Sylvanas’ actions will cause the death of numerous members of the Horde, for no sane reason. She demonstrates worse qualities than Garrosh did. He may have been mad, but he at least had a goal and took steps to get there. The Horde is still healing it’s wounds from that time period, and now this crazy nut is in charge. At no point has she shown any care for the Horde as a whole – it’s always about herself and the Forsaken. I can appreciate that character trait, but the folks around her (in lore) certainly should take some issue to that.
Saurfang is put in a position where he has to support yet another leader that is acting irrational and putting the Horde in grave danger. He almost decides he’s had enough and wants to quit, then through some weird twist decides to take up his axe and go to town.
Everyone has seen Braveheart? You know that part of the war where Wallace looks back for support and the supporting armies desert him? He still manages a win and then goes after them – ball on chain fun is to be had.
Saurfang in this spot is provided three options. One is to quit. One is to follow. One is to lead. Quitting apparently is not in his blood – that’s been pretty evident over the years. Following is something he does well, but it seems to be driving him off the deep end because he sees where it’s going to lead (worse than Garrosh). He could also simply decide to abandon the Banshee Queen and take 80% of the Horde under his leadership. He’d get all the Orcs, Trolls, Tauren for sure. Probably a solid set of the various Elf races too. That leaves Goblins to make a strategic choice (lore dictates they take the easy/life path). There’s a risk that Sylvanas lives through this fight and goes more crazy. It’s pretty easy to see how the Horde + Alliance vs Sylvanas ends. We already did that raid.
All that to say that as beautiful and well-crafted a video as this is, and at how it presents the Horde as not being unified behind their leader, it just reinforces the difficult storyline predicament that Blizzard has put themselves into. Any Horde player that does not support Sylvanas’ actions is going to instantly empathize with Saurfang. And that splits the Horde up – again. Vs. an Alliance that has never been more unified and focused.
I am so utterly confused as to what’s being attempted here that I am paying even more attention to the storyline than normal. So I guess that’s a silver lining?