•   Friday, June 21, 2024
World of Warcraft

WoW: Arthas, Anduin and Zovaal - Lore news in patch 9.1

BlizzCon 2021 was exciting! After the first panel for World of Warcraft, there were naturally a lot of questions in the WoW community, which Blizzard's developers answered one by one in subsequent interviews. Today, we're taking a closer look at the conversation with Blizzard's developers Steve Danuser and Morgan Day (source: BellularGaming) in more detail and pick out the most important information from the interview.

Parallels between Arthas and Anduin

The fate of Arthas Menethil remains a major theme in Shadowlands. In Oribos, we witnessed just how much power the dungeon master wields outside of the Maw when Bolvar is brought to his knees by the Shard of the Lich King's Crown. This tremendous display of power unnerved Calia Menethil so much that she briefly pondered if the Dungeon Master once also controlled her little brother's mind via the Crown of Dominance. The big question now is: Did the Dungeon Master control Arthas remotely in the Third War the same way he controlled Anduin in the Bastion in the Patch 9.1: Chains of Domination video?

Steve Danuser: There are similarities, deliberate ones, that we're showing in the cinematic to have Arthas overtones. But we see clear differences as well. When Anduin attacks the Archon, we get that moment where the power weakens a little bit and we see his personality come through. He's horrified at what's going on. But then that Domination magic kicks in again, the runes light up, and he is once again suppressed to the Jailer's will.

That wasn't the case with Arthas. Arthas made choices along the way, and yes there was a dark power calling to him and all of that, but it was still very much choices that he made that led him along the path that he went.

Danuser thus confirms that there are of course parallels between Arthas and Anduin through the actions of the jailer himself. However, there are significant differences between the stories of the two heroes. The dungeon master's influence was more subtle with Arthas, he merely showed the prince the dark path, the rest Arthas walked on his own. So he made all his decisions of his own free will. Anduin, on the other hand, had no choice but to obey the dungeon master from the beginning. In the video, we see this brief moment when Anduin's mind is briefly awake and he looks down, terrified, at the Archon, whom he single-handedly pierced with King's Grail moments before. Then the dungeon master's runes on his armor light up and Anduin's soul sinks back into darkness. So unlike Arthas, there is still hope for Anduin.

WoW Patch 9.1: Cinematic Trailer for Chains of Domination - King's Grail World of Warcraft from€14.99

Ner'zhul, Arthas, and the Dungeon Master.

Ner'zhul was the first Lich King. Originally, the Eredarlord Kil'jaeden imprisoned the Orc Warlock's soul within the Lich King's magical armor. Source: Blizzard The jailer was infuriated not only by Arthas' stubbornness, but also by his predecessor Ner'zhul's cunning. In Torghast, he makes no great secret of the fact that he considered them both failures. So far, there have only been hints that we'll see Arthas again in Shadowlands. However, at BlizzCon, the developers revealed this much, that we will learn more about Ner'zhul in patch 9.1. We've already heard many new storylines in Shadowlands about the creation of the Lich King artifacts, now the question is how Ner'zhul's old story fits into the new narrative. And more importantly, how big was Ner'zhul's influence on Arthas before he crowned himself Lich King?

Steve Danuser: Ner'zhul... We're going to be delving more into that story and what happens when this mortal, y'know that it looks like someone is going to go along with the plan and then they don't. That doesn't please the Jailer. Whatever is left of Ner'zhul, after all that's been through with him, you can imagine that is receiving some of the Jailer's ire. It may be that we see a little more of that story as Shadowlands unfolds.

Morgan Day: There are definitely opportunities on that one as we explore spaces like the Sanctum of Domination. Who would the Jailer have trapped away in there? What are some of the people or souls he would be tormenting? There' definitely opportunity with the new raid coming up to explore questions like that.

So Ner'zhul will remain only a peripheral character. Instead, there will be a lot of new information about the backstory of the Pantheon of Death. In addition, we'll delve into some of the mysteries of the lost Primus and learn more about the Jailer's past, when he still went by the name Zovaal. The return of the Dread Lords in Patch 9.1 has also been confirmed by Blizzard's development team. We will definitely find many answers on the mysterious island of Korthia.

Garrosh in Revendreth

Similarly exciting is the story of Garrosh, who made a brief appearance in Afterlife: Revendreth. Many WoW fans hoped that the former warchief would return to Shadowlands at a later date. In game data from the mythic final battle against Count Denathrius, there was originally a reference to Garrosh being part of the secret battle phase between the Count's mirror worlds. However, the idea was scrapped; the Orc did not appear in the live version of Castle Nathria. Does this mean the end of Garrosh's story, or will Hellscream Junior show up in Shadowlands after all?

Developer: When it came to Afterlives: Revendreth, we thought "What kind of character would embody the sort of soul that would be sent there, that's filled with pride, but still had some quality in it that didn't deserve the Maw?" That was really Garrosh's story. He had this path laid out for him, and circumstances and choices that other people made led him to go down a certain way. But you could have, perhaps, seen a different route for him. He became a really great embodiment there.

Obviously he wasn't part of that initial core Shadowlands 9.0 story, but now as we go into Chains of Domination, we have a chance to explore some more of those other stories. We feel like Garrosh had a really great arc, and that he had a really culminating moment in Warlords of Draenor, so we don't want to retell a huge story with him. But I think it's safe to say that we'll get some payoff for his appearance in the Afterlives trailer and I think that you'll see some fitting events that will transpire, but I don't want to go into spoilers.

It's cool to talk about Revendreth and the different afterlives, and what makes them unique. Revendreth is unique in that it isn't potentially people's final resting place. It's more about the rehabilitation - can this soul be saved or will they be whisked off to the Maw? Similar to Ardenweald, which is more about the cycle of life and death and rebirth. So that's one of the fun elements of Revendreth that's good to keep in mind.

Garrosh is a battery, a source of great power because of that big life he led. That's a fun story to tell.

So Garrosh Hellscream won't play a main role in WoW anymore. He is only a part of the story of Revendreth. His fans, however, can look forward to another story - and that is the story of Thrall. Christie Golden spoke at BlizzCon 2021 about Thrall, his mother Draka, and Garrosh

, whose death still weighs heavily on Thrall's conscience. So we can look forward to an emotional Thrall story with Garrosh getting a part. 03:56WoW
: The Fourth Afterlife Short - Revendreth World of Warcraft from€14.99

The first and the cosmic secrets of WoWIn

Warcraft Chronicles Blizzard's authors arranged the story of World of War


(buy now 14,99 € )

and introduced us to the cosmic powers on a large map of the Warcraft universe.

In doing so, Blizzard laid a new foundation for plenty of new stories that no longer focus exclusively on the Titans. Shadowlands ties a new red story thread to the larger story with the First Ones. But who exactly are the First Ones? And when will we learn more about the mysterious creators?

Developer: We've got a book coming out called The Grimoire of the Shadowlands that is written from the point of view of a broker. One of the chapters in there discusses a different point of view on the cosmology of the universe and what it means.

So there will be a new book that will give more information about the First and the creation of the Shadowlands.

The image of good and evil is outdatedIn

Legion, we learned to look at the cosmic powers from different perspectives


In the interview, Danuser delves into this topic and attempts to explain the grand interplay of cosmic forces in more detail.

In the story of the Mag'har orcs, the forces of light show their dark side. Source: Blizzard Steve Danuser: The thing to keep in mind is that these forces, whether it be Light, or Order from the Titans, or Shadow...characters in our world tend to ascribe good and evil motivations to these things, but really, those powers don't care about morality. They are driven to do what their nature is. And so, the nature of the Titans is to impose Order on things. If you are on that program, helping them accomplish that goal, then they will be benevolent towards you, and they will help and guide you. Perhaps we'll learn what will happen if you aren't someone who agrees with their agendas.

The same could be said of the Light--what happens when Illidan didn't go along with Xe'ra's plan? Well, sparkles rained down from the sky [...] Even, for example, in Visions of N'Zoth, when you think about the things N'Zoth was saying, he wasn't like 'serve my evil will!' He was like 'I can make you stronger! I can help you!' There's a bunch of bad stuff out there, you should be joining me and letting me help you do these things.' You could say 'was he lying to me?' Well part of it...probably was. But there's truth in it too.

These things exist beyond the morality we as mortals think of. As that more-cosmic storyline unfolds, those moral questions and mortal points of view, vs these cosmic ancient powers, will be something to explore.

On the whereabouts of the Draenei heroine Yrel, Steve reveals this much:

One of the things we've tried to do with the Mag'har Orc storyline...we see the conflict just didn't go away between Yrel and her forces and Grommash and his Orcish forces


Clearly, there's some more story to tell there. Legion gave us some great opportunities to delve into the lore of the Light more with Xe'ra, and her interactions with Illidan, and Turalyon's POV on it, Velen's POV...I think Velen learned a lot about the light. At one point he may have been blindly devoted to that, and I think he's gotten some different perspectives. That's definitely a storyline that will be playing out.

Steve Danuser talks about how there is no clear picture of good and evil in WoW anymore. The message is clear: We players should finally get rid of moral stereotypes, because we often look at the story from a human perspective. The assumption that the light is good and the void is evil is a good example. Whether it's Yrel, Xe'ra or N'Zoth - in recent years, developers have made it clear to us that black and white thinking no longer exists and that every faction in WoW has its good and its dark sides

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