The new patch build, PTR 4.1 (13726), introduces a new lore change at Hatchet Hills, outside Zul’Aman. Budd and the gang are no longer in Hatchet Hills. Surprisingly, now you will find Vol’jin, Halduron Brightwing and … Vereesa Windrunner.
Now you might be wondering — this is the second time Blood Elves and High Elves meet. The first time was outside the Argent Tournament for the epic weapon quests.
Now they come together to fight a common enemy … the Amani. But wait, Vol’jin is also here with a convoy of Siame-Quashi (Darkspear Elite). They aren’t alone. You can find Farstriders (Horde Blood Elves) and Silver Covenant Rangers (Alliance High Elves).
Looking back at the story progression in-game, and through printed-media: Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy where Sylvanas helped Lord Lor’Themar rescue Anveena from Dar’Khan, reminds me of a question I asked during our video interview with Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson in the 2010 New York Comic Con.
Medievaldragon: What’s happening to Blood Elf culture (especially Rommath’s role in it) now that the Sunwell was restored with M’uru?
Metzen: What we showed at the end of Burning Crusade, like during the whole Sunwell event, was that the warped naaru M’uru was kinda transformed back into his purest self, purest light that Velen used to reignite the Sunwell, as a fountain of Holy power, as much as it is arcane. So the suggestion was that over time the Blood Elves will start to actually use real Light power, in a healthy way, instead of dominating it. So what will likely happen over time is a slow transition, but what Velen did was give them a chance to redeem their civilization, a chance to get back to their roots, a chance to upset their magical addiction. So that kinda thing will probably gonna play out very slowly. We didn’t talk much about it in Wrath of the Lich King, but it is a theme I love a lot, but it has to be played out very slow.
It would have been unconceivable back in the Burning Crusade expansion to ever see both elven factions making a truce to fight a common enemy. Far less likely, to unite with Trolls — their sworn enemies — to fight the Amani. There’s some irony there.
On the other hand, the Zandalari has invited all tribes to unite and join as a single unit under the Zandalari banner … including Darkspear and Amani. Vol’jin’s loyalties lie with the Horde, however.
One thing seems clear. The Zandalari, who were former neutral allies against Hakkar the Soulflayer in Zul’Gurub, turn out to be our enemies now.
The World of Warcraft MMORPG continue to be an ever-evolving story, rather than a stagnant and static world.
Silvermoon Messenger: I bring word from the Regent Lord of Silvermoon. Lord Lor’themar demands an explanation for the presence of this … exile in our lands.
Vereesa Windrunner: Quel’Thalas is as much my home as it is yours and I would not see it fall to our ancient enemy. Now, you tell your cowardly regent —
Halduron Brightwing: Vereesa, please! She is here at my invitation, courier. Most of my Farstriders are away and cannot be recalled easily. Vereesa’s rangers know the land and they are experienced combatants.
Silvermoon Messenger: Lord Lor’themar does not concur with your reasoning, ranger-general. You have no authority to invite this —
Halduron Brightwing: I am the commander of Silvermoon’s defenses and I will seek assistance as I deem necessary! Now, Chieftain Vol’jin, before we were so rudely interrupted, you were telling us of the Zandalari plan.
Vol’jin: Dat I was. Da Zandalari called a meeting o’ all da troll tribes includin’ da Darkspears. King Rastakhan, he be plannin’ to unite da troll tribes under his Zandalari.
Vereesa Windrunner: Including the Amani?
Vol’jin: Da Amani, da Gurubashi, all o’ dem. He be dispatchin’ emissaries to every tribe.
Halduron Brightwing: My scouts have reported nothing but quiet outside Zul’Aman.
Vol’jin: Dey be holed up inside da ruined city, regroupin’. Rastakhan be callin’ me his brother, but da Horde be our true brothers. We gotta stop him before he can sweet-talk da others into joinin’ his empire.
Vereesa Windrunner: So how are we going to deal with this alliance between the Amani and the Zandalari?
Halduron Brightwing: We must prevent it from occuring in the first place.
Vol’jin: Dat be da plan. My men be infiltratin’ da city and learnin’ what dey can about da new Zandalari warlord.
Vereesa Windrunner: Halduron, we should combine our forces and make preparations to act on reports from the Darkspear scouts.
Halduron Brightwing: Agreed. Messenger, you may carry word of our plans back to Lord Lor’themar, but make it clear that I will not tolerate any further interference.
I love blood elves and high elves having some action, together with Vol’jin, but I don’t like the new approach to the Zandalari. They’ve always been peaceful, contraty to violence and expansionism, and suddenly, Blizzard retcons all what we know about them to get some more loot.
They were the perfect neutral faction for a South Seas capital city, and the best civilization to hold off against Azshara and her naga. Those guys were able to shield their lands off during the Sundering, they’re probably one of the best mages of Azeroth, but now, no matter they’ve always been portrayed as neutral and peaceful, want to destroy Azeroth or something. It’s LAME.
Or maybe it isn’t that lame. Seems I missed some old quests that show the Zandalari have their own aggressive moments. Well, only waiting is left to see how this ends :).
I really like this twist with the high and blood elves (Maybe we will finaly see Sylvanas and Vereesa meet? I don’t think this is a theme (the amani) Sylvanas doesen’t care about).
Note how the high elf rangers are kind of like mages (because of living in Dalaran maybe?), they wear mage gear and staves, while the farstriders are your usual rangers in camouflage gear, and carry swords and shields.
About the Zandalari, yes, they’ve been kind of helpful, but it’s always been in their own best interest if you notice, not really for the greater good. In fact, their attacks on the corrupt Gurubashi and their blood god and the Drakkari killing their loa, are probably based on their own interest of uniting them all (Don’t they have a certain control over the loa? The drakkari killing them and the gurubashi subitting to Hakkar aren’t good for that goal.)
That doesen’t mean they’re evil, just that the Horde and Alliance have… conflicting interests with the Zandalari. From their point of view, having one or the most powerful faction in the world be made entirelly of trolls, meaning, made of only one race, could be very dangerous for the other races.