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Know Your Lore: Missed opportunities of 2012 Part 1

Matthew Rossi

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Okay, not everything is good. As much of a fan as I am of World of Warcraft and the story of the game, there have been times I've been kind of disappointed in something, or felt like we could have seen more than we did. One example I have is the Dragon Soul raid, but not for the reasons I see around the web. I'll go into what I mean in this very article.

What I'm talking about this time isn't necessarily bad stuff, as much as it is things I wish had happened, or had happened more. I'm not numbering them because I don't think of them in a particular best to worst scheme, they're just places where I felt like more could have been done with the story as it was presented to us.

Deathwing and the Dragon Soul

Yes, Deathwing. Now that the year is over, it finally feels like a good time for a postmortem on Deathwing's appearance in World of Warcraft. There were, in my opinion, some very good aspects of Deathwing's use. He was menacing and powerful, his appearances in the Twilight Highlands smashing the Horde's airship fleet and fighting Alexstrasza showed why you couldn't just get a group of folks together and pick him off, the constant strafing of zones in Azeroth kept the idea of his presence alive in player minds. I liked how Deathwing looked ultimately. He was enormous and threatening.

My biggest problem with Deathwing was that we got to see him as a gigantic kaiju, something like a Godzilla. The few times he talked it wasn't to us. If we argue (I don't, but I'll go along for now) that Arthas was too accessible and let us live too often, then Deathwing didn't even bother to notice us. And I'm not just talking about out in the world - even when we finally get to the last raid of Cataclysm and face Deathwing's ultimate weapon Ultraxion, does Deathwing even bother to speak to us? Nope. He talks to Alexstrasza. Now, I get that the lore figures in raids are important, but it's our raid, and we're the ones killing the monsters. It seemed to me that this was at last a perfect time for Deathwing to take note of us and our efforts to balk him. Instead, when Deathwing even deigns to notice us it's when we're on his back.

Worse than that for me, however, was the fact that we didn't get Deathwing, the consummate manipulator. Now, I have no problem with getting to see the brutal, powerful world-threatening Aspect of Death, that's all well and good, but what about the schemer? The guy who manipulate the Aspects into making the Dragon Soul in the first place, who managed to play the Kirin Tor, the Horde, the Dragonmaw, the Aspects, and Krasus off each other? The guys whose plans were so good that marrying Calia Menethil was a sub-plot that would have put him on the throne of a major human kingdom and in position to end up as King of Lordaeron itself? If Lord Daval Prestor had become King of Alterac, the world would be a very different place, and that was just a bit of subterfuge to keep eyes off of his main chance.

While other things bothered me about Dragon Soul - like, for instance, being told by Warmaster Blackhorn that he was hoping I would get past Ultraxion, which is outright telling us that he wanted his boss' plan to fail (I kept wondering why that fight was even there) - I was really the most bothered by never getting to see the cunning manipulator pulling a Doctor Doom on us. It wouldn't have been all that hard, just have Deathwing reveal that he wanted us to go back in time and snatch up the Dragon Soul, and that after he kills us, he's going to use it to destroy the Old Gods and rule the world as unchallenged Master of All. Have the Blackhorn fight be a distraction, and have Goriona snatch up the Dragon Soul while we're fighting him and bring it to Deathwing. Then the next two fights are important because we have to keep Deathwing from being able to use the Dragon Soul. That's just one possibility, mind you, I'm just arguing that Deathwing as a big yelling monster is a less compelling use of him without that brilliant schemer we all know he could have been.

Know Your Lore Missed opportunities of 2012 Part 1

Theramore's fall and the Proudmoore line

I'm not talking about the scenario here, or Tides of War. That's not to say there's nothing to discuss along those lines, just that I'm not talking about them yet. Right now, what I'm talking about is how we had the perfect opportunity to see Kul Tiras and the fate of Tandred Proudmoore and we haven't heard a peep out of them yet.

Don't get me wrong - in a lot of ways Patch 5.1 did a lot towards advancing Jaina's story in 2012, and I appreciated what we got to see, but the fact is that Kul Tiras has been lost since forever - we didn't see it in the original game despite it being a large part of Warcraft II, and even after Gilneas opened up during the Cataclysm and Tol Barad finally made an appearance, Kul Tiras and Tandred Proudmoore (plus Zul Dare and Crestfall) were nowhere to be found. And while I accepted the idea that the Cataclysm changed the oceans (heck, there's a huge land mass pushed up from the ocean floor off the coast of Stormwind now, complete with several small new islands) the idea that the Horde and Alliance fleets were running around the oceans getting into trouble and discovering long lost mist enshrouded continents like Pandaria and didn't stumble across Kul Tiras or Zul'Dare means that either they were sunk beneath the waves (certainly possible, since Tol Barad seems to have moved to a central location and we hear rumors that Zandalar Isle has been destroyed) or moved out to sea somewhere.

Know Your Lore Missed opportunities of 2012 Part 1

Now, while I would accept the loss of Kul Tiras and Zul'Dare, I think that it would be a waste of potential story to not have them both still be out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered. For one thing, Zul'Dare would be an excellent Horde base - it has extensive troll ruins for the Darkspears to explore, and it houses a former orc base from the Second War. Meanwhile, a now-militant Jaina could very easily have some awkward questions to answer from her brother Tandred about where their father went, but even with that Kul Tiras is a natural Alliance base for further exploration of the South Seas and an idea way station between Pandaria and the lands to the north. I realy hope we get to see some signs of what happened to Kul Tiras in 2013.

Next week, I'll conclude this series with what I wished the Dominance Offensive and Operation: Shieldwall had included.

While you don't need to have played the previous Warcraft games to enjoy World of Warcraft, a little history goes a long way toward making the game a lot more fun. Dig into even more of the lore and history behind the World of Warcraft in WoW Insider's Guide to Warcraft Lore.

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