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Next WoW Expansion Speculation: Faction Divide, Alliance, Horde, Heritage Armor
30/10/2019 à 13:21
With Patch 8.3 Visions of N'Zoth already revealed, it's extremely likely BlizzCon 2019 will focus on what's next in the 9.0 expansion. Today, we're focusing on the faction conflict and how that storyline can evolve beyond the Fourth War, including removing the faction divide.
Battle for Azeroth has seen all Allied Races receive Heritage Armor, as well as six main races--Worgen, Goblins, Dwarves, Blood Elves, Tauren, and Gnomes. Some Heritage quests have advanced the story further than others, with the
Blood Elf questline
reliving the events of
providing closure for Baine after his harrowing escape from Orgrimmar.
This leaves us with seven races missing Heritage Armor, and based of the direction of the current storyline, convenient opportunities to introduce them in upcoming patches:
- With the
Vale of Eternal Blossoms
healed in Patch 8.3 and playing an important role in the Wrathion storyline, Aysa and Ji could embark on a questline to reflect on the ups and downs of joining the Alliance and Horde, as well as the work taken to rebuild the Vale.
Human and Orcs
make an obvious pair that could lend themselves to a
flashback similar to the Blood Elf armor questline. With the show of unity between Anduin, Thrall, and Saurfang in the Fourth War, a heritage armor questline could emphasize the moments the Alliance and Horde worked together in the past, such as the Battle of Mount Hyjal. Or, the heritage armor questlines could show climatic moments for each faction, such as the lifting of the Blood Curse for the Orcs.
Draenei and Trolls
- A Draenei flashback would give Blizzard a good opportunity to clear up their Lore, explaining their life on Outland and the role the spaceship played. The Troll Heritage armor could tie into Vol'jin's return and mysterious investigations, or Rokhan picking up the mantle of troll leadership and furthering the alliance with the Zandalari.
Night Elves and Forsaken
are the two races at the heart of the initial conflict in Battle for Azeroth. Even though both factions have themed-armor from the Darkshore Warfront, it's been quite some time since that Warfront launched. The Night Elves have a long and storied history, and parts have already been seen in flashback through media like the Nazjatar storyline. However, seeing the role of the Night Elves in the Battle for Hyjal, or farther back, the Sundering, could be interesting. As for the Forsaken, the Heritage Armor scenario would be a great moment to see Sylvanas leading the Forsaken as a brand-new leader, recently broken free from Arthas' control. Or, if Blizzard looks to the future, the Heritage Armor could be rewarded from completing a questline related to Calia's coronation. We think, due to the highly-charged nature of their conflict, that this will be the final Heritage Armor set among existing races, revealed in the very last patch that draws the Teldrassil conflict to a close.
Faction imbalance has plagued the community throughout recent expansions, including Battle for Azeroth. Looking at
Mythic raiding for Queen Azshara
, the Alliance Hall of Fame closed roughly six weeks after the Horde Hall of Fame. The faction barrier has led to challenges with balancing racials, guild recruitment, and end-game PvP and PvE.
With the truce forged by Anduin after the end of the Fourth War, 9.0 could be a good opportunity to do away with some faction restrictions, allowing members of the Alliance and Horde to group together for content. Following the Fourth War, the Horde has formed a
, compromised of Thrall, Baine, and delegates from other races, with the assumption that peace is on the horizon as all leaders are mindful not to repeat past mistakes.
Lor'themar: The Alliance has sent word. They have agreed to the armistice. This bitter war is finally over.
Baine: At last we can begin to heal our wounded Earth Mother... and the wounded Horde as well.
Lor'themar: One question remains. Who will serve as warchief? Perhaps, you, Thrall, would--
Thrall: No. I told Saurfang I would not lead the Horde again.
Thrall: But perhaps the question is not who will become warchief... but whether there should be one at all.
Lor'themar: Though the Horde has changed through the years--for good or ill--our people have always looked to a warchief to guide us forward.
Baine: That legacy must end. The war nearly cost us everything. There is no place for a warchief in a time of peace.
Thrall: It is true--the Horde has changed. Our ranks have grown, and new voices have stepped forth to lead.
Thrall: This is what makes us strong. All of us, building a new future--together.
Forsaken leadership is also turning a new leaf on the 8.3 PTR, with
poised to lead after Sylvanas' dramatic disappearance.
Calia: Thank you for coming, Jaina. I wanted you both to know... I have decided to leave Kul Tiras.
Jaina: You're leaving? Why?
Calia: I received a letter from Lilian Voss of the Forsaken. She asks for my help.
Calia: The Forsaken lost their queen. For many, it's the second time they've been abandoned. They feel adrift. Alone.
Jaina: But Calia, none of that is your--
Calia: They are my people, Jaina. My father gave everything for Lordaeron. I wish to honor him, and to prove worthy of the name I was born with. The name Menethil.
Derek: Right, then. So when do we leave?
Calia: I cannot ask you to come with me, Derek. Kul Tiras is your home.
Derek: I am a Proudmoore, and I always will be. But I've changed, and it's time to see where the tides will take me.
Jaina: I understand, though I will miss you both. Come. Mother and Tandred would never forgive me if I let you leave without a proper farewell.
With the Forsaken now potentially led by Calia, who has strong ties to the Alliance, we could see the Forsaken able to pick a side in Patch 9.0. And with the recent race-specific character customizations, from Blood Elves with golden eyes to the Night Warrior customization for Night Elves. we could see a "light Forsaken" customization option reflecting Calia's appearance.
After the Legion campaign, Calia was introduced to Anduin Wrynn, who was shocked at her survival. Considering Calia the rightful heir to the throne of Lordaeron, her and Anduin developed a strong bond. During the events of Before the Storm, Calia wanted to participate in the gathering between the Humans and the Forsaken in secret. As one of the Forsaken in the meeting recognized her, Calia revealed herself and attempted to convince the Forsaken to defect to the Alliance. As she was convincing the Forsaken in the Gathering to defect, this earned the ire of Sylvanas Windrunner, who personally flew through the field to murder Calia, as well as all Forsaken present in the gathering.
Calia's corpse was later sent to the Netherlight Temple, and the Naaru Sa'ara revived her as an undead touched by the Light. Now seeing herself as the same as the Forsaken, Calia wants to learn under Faol's guidance how to be an undead walking under the Light.
Sylvanas and her plan to master death will be the subject of our Shadowlands/Death speculation article, but for the purposes of this faction article, it would be remiss not to mention her die-hard loyalists after the Fourth War.
Following the campaign, loyalists can hear
in Orgrimmar, pledging allegiance to the Dark Lady.
It seems that there are still some Banshee Loyalists in the Horde's ranks, but they are remaining in the shadows, hiding among the Horde's ranks. In other
NPC Dialogue in Orgrimmar
, Baine and Gazlowe indicate that as long as those who allied with Sylvanas are seeking forgiveness and have pledged loyalty to the Horde, they should be forgiven. We've seen this rush to forgive and move on has rattled some
who feel everyone has forgotten Sylvanas and the atrocity of Teldrassil, and based on this Horde whisper, there may even be more complications.
Should there be a need for players to pick a side, such as PvP Battlegrounds, Sylvanas' loyalists vs the Horde could provide an appropriate divide. These loyalists may also further drive the story in 9.0, as they are likely opposed to Calia Menethil leading the Forsaken. And should/when Sylvanas resurface in 9.0, these loyalists may receive special orders from her to carry out her latest scheme.
Blizzard has hinted there could be Alliance division in the future, as noted in a
interview from early BFA:
Alliance don’t have that same division in their ranks just yet, and there isn’t that same natural point of choice.
If peace with the Horde comes at the expense of rebuilding relations with the Night Elves, this could potentially lead to Alliance division in Patch 8.3 or beyond with Night Elves and Worgen on opposing sides from the rest of the Alliance. Losing Greymane's confidence would hit Anduin particularly hard as well.
Visions of N'Zoth Broadcast Text
, we've learned Tyrande's opinion of the Fourth War, and it's not good:
Anduin: The armistice is signed. At long last, the Fourth War is over.
Tyrande: No. Not while the Black Moon still cries out for vengeance. Not until the Horde has answered for its treachery.
Anduin: Further bloodshed will not bring back the fallen. We must renew our hope and forge a future for those who survived.
Tyrande: And when the next warchief musters an army, will hope save you if it is Stormwind that burns?
Anduin: I know it's difficult to trust, but there are signs of change within the Horde. In place of a warchief, there is now a council led by Baine, Thrall, and the others. I believe they can--
Tyrande: Your faith is naive, lion son. I will sign no treaty unless it is written in the Banshee's blood!
Genn: There is truth in her words, Anduin. Peace may be on the table today, but soon enough the Horde will sound their drums and march for war.
Genn: When that day comes, no scrap of parchment will hold them back.
Anduin: The path to peace will not be easy, and not all will choose to walk it. But this is the only way to build a better future. I believe it will work, Genn.
Tyrande also reveals to Shandris that her mission is to track down Sylvanas and investigate why Elune's power waned:
Tyrande: Know this. My hunger for vengeance will not be sated so long as Sylvanas Windrunner remains free--and until I know why Elune abandoned her children.
With Tyrande focused on vengeance, we could see a temporary change in Kaldorei leadership as Shandris takes control. Or, this could lead to further splintering of the factions, similar to the Sylvanas loyalists, where the Night Elves are split between those who want peace or immediate vengeance. Following the Fourth War, Night Elves reflect on the conflict in Boralus and the dialogue shows how they have conflicted opinions:
I fear for Tyrande. The Night Warrior is fierce, but... can a mortal control such power indefinitely?
She is the high priestess of Elune. If anyone can wield the goddess's strength, it is her.
Perhaps you are right...
All this talk of the war winding down...Sylvanas is still out there. Have they all forgotten what she did?
Not Tyrande. She is still out there too. Hunting Sylvanas and Nathanos like the dogs they are.
May the might of the Night Warrior lay waste to those walking corpses.
My brothers and sisters still seek vengeance for Teldrassil. But I...I am so tired of war.
To be honest, so am I. Rage still burns within my heart, but I long to live my life without it.
I hope that one day, we can.
With Tyrande, Alleria, and even some members of the Horde hunting Sylvanas in Patch 8.3, we'll likely see a clash leading up to 9.0 which could even result in the loss of more of Sylvanas' val'kyr or another display of her dark magic. However, the potential for Tyrande's storyline specifically will be discussed in our dedicated Tyrande/Elune speculation article instead!
If the Alliance remains intact throughout 9.0 with no faction divisions, we're likely to see a similar questline to the 8.0 War Campaign, culminating in players picking sides (Anduin vs Tyrande) and a dramatic resolution to the Teldrassil situation.
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