Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Your Worgen Doesn't Know about the Worgen Storyline

And you thought worgen were kind of scary before they wore armor and carried big sharp things.

Spoilers Alert: this article discusses the Horde questing experience from roughly levels 10-20 in the Silverpine Forest. It is heavy on developments of the worgen storyline that are not discoverable by Alliance players. If you expect to play through the Horde quests in this zone, you might have more fun not reading this and discovering it for yourself. Similarly, you would be better off finishing the worgen starting experience before checking this out as well.

Our new worgen brethren will reach Greymane Harbor and be whisked away to Teldrassil by the Night Elves along with Genn Greymane and virtually every other NPC they have met to that point. Their experience in the new zone of Gilneas is complete. Future patches may (hopefully) bring something new, but no Alliance characters have any business in Gilneas after this point in the current content.

The worgen story goes on, however.

Two key characters who we have met in Gilneas remain, vowing to carry on the fight against the encroaching Forsaken: Lord Crowley, and his daughter Lorna.

Horde characters entering Silverpine at around level 10 are recruited and play a substantial part in fighting the "rebel" worgen who are doing hit and run activities against the undead and eventually push the Forsaken back to the Greymane Wall.

A few new developments are soon discovered by Horde players.
  • Crowley has reached out to the wild worgen around Shadowfang Keep and the now mostly-destroyed Pyrewood Village. Those worgen have recovered their senses as well and joined Crowley in fighting the undead, under the leadership of Ivar Bloodfang.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner is recruiting! On her way back from Northrend, she gave job offers to a number of the val'kyr who are capable of raising new undead. This is something Sylvanas and her fellow perversions of nature could not do on their own, so Sylvanas goes merrily skipping through Silverpine Forest slaughtering humans and raising them as undead to join the Forsaken.
  • Except... It soon becomes apparent that worgen, who are sort of perversions of nature themselves, cannot be raised into undeath.  Bloodfang knows this and goes about Lordaeron, offering the "gift" of lyncanthropy to surviving humans as an effective way to resist the Forsaken. Horde players at one point are sent to kill the remaining leaders of Southshore in exile but instead witness their transformation into worgen with the help of Bloodfang. (and then, the players go running for their lives).
  • The Alliance sends forces to aid Gilneas. An Alliance submarine sneaks past the Horde blockade, takes it apart from behind, and lands troops. The Alliance gets a solid foothold in the city as a result.

Sylvanas gets increasingly frustrated with how all this is going and looks for more allies. She has players grab the body of recently deceased Gilnean Lord Godfrey and raise him up as a zombie.

Worgen players will recall Godfrey to be the key advisor to Genn Greymane, who was so disgusted by the lyncanthrope infection, he captured the king to give to Sylvanas as his play to get away clean.
Players put an end to that plan and so Godfrey threw himself off a cliff rather than face justice. It is his snappy top hat worgen players exiting the starting zone are all wearing. Godfrey is raised as a ghoul and cheerfully joins Sylvanas' cause.

Godfrey uses Horde players in his plan to force Crowley into surrendering the fight against the Forsaken. They kidnap Crowley's daughter Lorna and arrange a meeting under the remains of the Greymane wall.

There, Crowley and Bloodfang come face to face with Sylvanas, Godfrey and a couple of val'kyr. Sylvanas presents Crowley with...ahem, three choices. She is going to kill Lorna and raise her as undead. Or, Crowley can bite his own daughter, preventing undeath but turning her into a worgen instead. Or, he can take his daughter and slink off, abandoning the fight against her.

Inexplicably, Crowley chooses that third option. Yeah, yeah he loves his daughter, but she's there grimly facing her fate and demanding to be worgenized so she can help rip the face off the Banshee Queen and her cronies. Crowley really has wimped out here.

It's a little hard to tell who is the most pissed off about this turn of events.
  • Lorna is upset with her father but runs away with him. 
  • Bloodfang is upset with Crowley for not upholding the fight and runs off swearing, "This is not over." 
  • I, the Alliance player disguised as an undead so I can see this content, am looking around for some rotten fruit I can throw at the back of Crowley's head because I'm deeply dissatisfied with this resolution. 
  • Godfrey is so upset he has been denied his revenge, he shoots Sylvanas in the back of the head and kills her.
That's right. Sylvanas is dead! For about 15 seconds. Then, the two val'kyr decide they can and should do something about that. And then she is unundead. Which you might think would make her "alive" perhaps. But no, she's just going to be more tormented and frakking crazy than ever.

Crowley and his henchmen run off to nearby Shadowfang Keep, where they dig up some remnants of the Scourge and begin consolidating power. We shall all meet Crowley again when we visit the renovated Keep in our forthcoming adventures.

Anyway, I believe this whole story leads to what will be a persistent stalemate in the new battleground, the Battle for Gilneas. We have Alliance forces on the ground. We have Forsaken banging on the door. And we have the rebel worgen forces scattered, if not neutralized.

A faction stand-off like this will probably never be resolved any more than that spat down in Warsong Gulch.

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