Destruction is the game

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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.