Destruction is the game


Of all that we know so far about Battle for Azeroth, the one thing that has really made me angry is the revelation that Teldrassil will be burned. Honestly, this seems all out of proportion to whatever Alliance retaliation we may get in the form of sacking Lordaeron.

So, yeah, okay, I get that making everyone angry is pretty much the whole point of the expansion. Apparently we have all gotten just a little too buddy-buddy since WoD, and what is WoW without visceral faction hatred?

But Teldrassil? Hell, why not Stormwind again, or The Exodar, or — here’s a great idea — Goldshire? I mean, the latter would have a whole moral Sodom-and-Gomorrah flavor to it. The Horde could come off as avenging angels. But Teldrassil just seems beyond the pale.

Maybe I react to it so strongly because that is where I started my very first character in WoW — a night elf hunter. I was brand new to WoW, and the beauty of Teldrassil just hypnotized me. The whole idea of a Great Tree appealed to almost every otherworldly fantasy I had ever had. I loved those very early quests, I loved exploring further and further until I got to Darnassus, which, I thought, was surely the biggest and most marvelous city in the whole game. That I eventually discovered Stormwind and the rest of Azeroth never diminished my wonder at Teldrassil. I still go back there from time to time just to wander around and maybe spend a night in the Tree. To think that it will be lost to my first character forever is almost too much to contemplate.

I understand that conflict is the essence of drama, that the game would be pretty boring if we all went around blissfully prancing through fields of flowers and cooing at unicorns. (That would be Second Life…) I know the game is centered around battles and killing and such. But do we have to have such a fixation on mass destruction?

It seems like Blizz is fascinated by the process of building unspeakably beautiful worlds and then turning them into scarred and ugly wastelands. It reminds me of my brother’s approach to building blocks — to him, the whole point of meticulously building a structure was to knock it down, as violently and rapidly as possible. I never understood that.

And Blizz almost never rebuilds anything they have destroyed. Yeah, I know they finally repaired Deathwing’s destruction of Stormwind, but that was after years of player nagging. Left to their own devices, it seems very unlikely they would have done anything. Look what happened to the Vale in Mists, or to Menethil Harbor or Theramore or for that matter to any of the Wrath destruction. Nobody ever cares enough to fix any of this devastation. Blizz just goes gallivanting about looking for more beauty to destroy. Any untouched place is fair game.

While burning Teldrassil is despicable, I am hoping it may be a prelude to a regrowth that will come back even more glorious than the original. Fire is, after all, often a precursor to renewal — a way to cleanse and start again. It would be wonderful if, at the end of Battle for Azeroth, Teldrassil starts to grow again and continues to do so even into the next expansion. I don’t think the boys at Blizz care a rat’s ass about such a process, of course, and it will likely remain an ugly scar for the remainder of the game, but still one can hope.

I am beginning to get very demoralized with this continuous, unrelenting destruction. I need to go look at puppy pictures and cheer up a bit. And plot my horrible revenge on the Horde.

9 thoughts on “Destruction is the game

  1. I am relieved to read I am not alone with those thoughts. I wholeheartedly agree. People say “let it go”, but I struggle with doing that.

    Teldrassil and Darnassus are places I visit several times a week. I levelled every single character I ever played there. From the long run through Elwynn Forest, Dun Morough and Wetlands, on the boat to Auberdine and onwards to Darnassus on foot, just to level humans and dwarves there too.

    I cannot imagine the game without Teldrassil…

    1. I, too, leveled a couple of humans through Teldrassil, even though as you point out it was a LONG trip to get there. I really am hoping this is a temporary, one-expansion development.

  2. Well, not all places turned into scarred and ugly wastelands after Deathwing’s attack. Some grew lush vegetation. And I like Thousand Needles more like it is now :p

    I am really looking forward to finding out why all this happened. I’ve said it in the past, and will say it again: the only ones who would benefit from this war, are the ones who seek to destroy us. A divided Azeroth is easier to conquer.

    It would seem the World Trees are prone to corruption and destruction… Nordrassil was destroyed at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, costing the Night Elves their immortality; Vordrassil (formerly Andrassil) was corrupted and destroyed; Shaldrassil is also corrupted, and caused the escape of the satyrs; and Teldrassil itself was corrupted, unsuccessfully cleansed once, and cleansed again for good, or so it seems.

    I’ve though before that, considering the Emerald Nightmare has another World Tree in the Nightmare’s version of Un’Goro, could the five trees be the “FIVE TORCHES TO LIGHT OUR PATH” that Ilgynoth speaks of?

    I hope we see the Night Elves unleashing their power to once again restore this magical and amazing place.

    (Just trying to keep positive: Maybe it will be a phased thing. As in, only 110 and above players see a Horde dominated Kalimdor. If that’s the case, at least we can visit it on our lower level characters 🙂 )

    1. Yeah, what you say makes sense — I am absolutely not much of a lore buff. All I know is my very first beloved night elf WoW character might never be able to return to her starting area. It’s not really the same if I have to start a new nelf just to be able to see it again. 😢 I really hope your idea about night elves unleashing their power to restore Teldrassil comes to fruition!

  3. I’m leaning towards it being a vision of destruction that sets off a string of events, or as the Lord of Icecrown pointed out perhaps the tree was corrupted and had to have the corruption burned out so that it could grow new.

  4. My very very first character was also a nelf, and i had a very similar experience to what you’ve described. But still, I say let it burn.

    If we’re going to have another horde v alliance battle (which I don’t think we should have, but just going with their premise), then it’s got to mean something. I’m too sick of the meaningless HvA battles where we end up being buddies again to vanquish the big bad anyway. If we’re going to fight eachother, let’s see some real damage.

    I also like what someone above pointed out, that maybe there are darker forces at play (especially if Alleria, being controlled by some sort of void magic is pitted against Sylvanas, controlled by some new found Shadow magic). If the end goal is pointing out how pointless our bickering is, there needs to be some completely over-the-top destruction to really drive the point home. Eh?

    1. Ha! I am impressed with the number of people who hew to the “evil has infiltrated the night elves” theory. And I have to admit the evidence we have does point to that. But, see, there is this part of me that wants to pout and kick dirt and say, “NOOOOO, night elves are good!”

      I usually say that one of the things I like about WoW is that it is morally clear: Good v. Evil. None of the gray areas we find in everyday real life. But in truth, there is a great deal of moral ambiguity and murkiness in the game — I think I was uncomfortable with the whole Suramar story line for that very reason. And there was the Mists role of Wrathion — wise uniter or his father’s true spawn? — along with what appears to be another big part he will play in BfA. Lore buffs can undoubtedly point to many other such instances.

      So I suppose in truth we see what we want to see. Teldrassil may indeed have to be burned for the greater cleansing, but for now I prefer to close my eyes and see happy, good elves dancing around the great tree.

      And I am going to go back in the next couple of weeks and get some good screen shots…

      1. I never thought about Suramar in that way. I could never quite point to why the place never really appealed that much to me – I think you might have nailed it there.

        I understand. I apologize in advance, for getting in the way as you screenshot…

  5. My few night elf characters liked leveling there, and it was a cozy place to come with my Gnome mage on her journeys. Besides, it’s the only Alliance capital where I turn on the volume to max immediately on arrival – because majestic music (I’m normally playing at merely audible sound level).

    Strange enough, I didn’t feel much grief though. It’s like ‘Oh well, if they need it to be that way’. And it’s strange, cause I’ve always been a devoted Alliance player, and I’ll be joining the Lordaeron scenario with pride and with every iron and spell I have against the red banners. We invade Lordaeron to avenge Sylvanas and the Horde, and I’m not even talking Varian’s death here. I have my personal issues: Southshore, Gilneas which are a swamp of fetid blight nowadays, and most importantly, Theramore.

    What intrigues me is how the holidays would change 🙂 Many of them require Darnassus as a quest and achievement destination.

Comments are closed.