5.2 Rise of the Thunder King!

90 Pandaren Monk
10700
How would you want this raid to be like? How do you want to see it end lorewise?

To me, I want a choice. The Thunder King needs to be put to rest, but I want players to be given a bitter choice on how we end the Zandalari and the Mogu.

My choice is simple but the hardest for players to live by. The first is the easy path. The surviving prophet Zul of the Zandalari from 4.1 needs to be defeated but before he does I want the fight to end when he's at 1%. He cries, "Why?! Why do this to us mon!? All we want is a place to live... We want our freedom, a home for our babies and for our mates...Why do this to us? What have we done to you to deserve extinction?!"

The choice plays here we as raiders can kill him and end the Zandalari or we can spare him and see what the rewards are.

If we murder the prophet. A cinematic plays we enter the guarded sanctum where he hid the greatest treasures of the Zandalari and we find the babies, children and women and elderly trolls cowering. Our players grab the hand of a child and menacingly grin. The screen turns black and we hear screams from the children and the elderly... A reward Sha touched weapons and armor and rare epics... The faction leaders of each faction in Pandaria appear and all our disgusted on us. King Varian/Garrosh also appear.

Garrosh approves of the murder and says, "Lok'tar Ogar victory or death. Today the continent of Pandaria was painted red with the blood of the Zandalari."

King Varian is disgusted and says, "How could you?! We Alliance our not murderers of women and children. Take your reward but know this - YOU shame us all..."

If you choose to spare Zul and the last trolls of Zandalar. The scene plays out. You enter their sanctum and see the women, children and babies among the elderly. Beleaguered they look at you. A child troll approaches and you smile. The reward you get the approval of all the factions of Pandaria even the Klaxxi. Every one says, "You did right by these innocent. Pandaria is for all who seek peace and if they wish they can share the land with us..." Wrathion appears and gives you a far easier path to make your legendary than if you chose to murder these trolls and for an added bonus you get major rep gains for all the factions.

The rewards are simple but the choice is hard. Spare the trolls and wait till 5.3 for the benefits or kill them all and gain your epics now...

What would you choose? How would you want the Zandalari and Mogu threat to end for 5.2?
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90 Orc Shaman
10040
Not warcrafts style.

Besides, it would force them to leave the Troll fate open ended. Or force a reckon later.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
9755
I seem to recall the Zandalari trying to wipe out my decimated race and go on a xenophobic, genocidal war of conquest.

I hate Garrosh for doing that to my Horde, why should I be any more tolerant of the Zandalari?
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I think that's a far to sympathetic portrayal for Zul.

It was clear from the start that the Zandalari had little interest in making peace with the Horde and Alliance. When the Grurubashi launched their Zandalari-backed offensive into Stranglethron in 4.1, it was very much a kill-them-all-and-take-no-prisoners situation. Likewise when they arrived on Pandaria they didn't send emissaries to the Pandaren to figure out if they could arrive peacefully (a lot can change in 10,000 years), they immediately launched an offensive into the continent and proceeded to raise up one of the most brutal tyrants the continent had ever known.

For Zul to then act like he's the real victim in all this would indicate that he has no absolutely comprehension of the fact that non-Trolls might not be too keen on being killed, which actually makes him seem worse then he would be if he was portrayed as being cartoonishly evil. If nothing else, it seems odd that you connected killing Zul with committing genocide on the remaining population. Zul is responsible for a lot of grief all around, and it's likely that the Zandalari will need a change in leadership if peace is to be a possibility.

As for the choice itself, this isn't Mass Effect and World of Warcraft just isn't set up to tolerate such large discrepancies in the story. The Zandalari and their allied tribes either survive the events of 5.2 or they don't. Whichever is true could have effects rippling across the entire storyline going forward. It wouldn't be long before Blizzard is forced to declare one ending entirely non-canon.
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90 Human Warrior
11695
I'd like to see a raid that we technically -lose-

say... we go after the Thunderking after taking down the first 3-4 boss's, and he turns around and gives us a good !@# wupin. The fight turns into trying to survive long enough to escape and live another day. Kind of like a raid version of the Halls of reflection.

They could milk the potential behind this guy, and give the Zandalari more breathing room in future expansion material / lore. Maybe further develop the Mogu, they can technically craft armies out of thin air... create more radical types of humanoid races, or have them branch out to their Titan influenced brethren the Vry'krul, Tol'vir, and what have you, united under the Thunderkings banner.

I really think the cycle of bad guy always loses should be broken every once in awhile here. One of the greatest things about Starcraft 1, and Warcraft 3 was that -technically- the evil faction wins the day (or close enough). Their agenda is met and the future suddenly seems really uncertain. Lets bring that to the WoW front for once.
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90 Pandaren Monk
10700
I think that's a far to sympathetic portrayal for Zul.

It was clear from the start that the Zandalari had little interest in making peace with the Horde and Alliance. When the Grurubashi launched their Zandalari-backed offensive into Stranglethron in 4.1, it was very much a kill-them-all-and-take-no-prisoners situation. Likewise when they arrived on Pandaria they didn't send emissaries to the Pandaren to figure out if they could arrive peacefully (a lot can change in 10,000 years), they immediately launched an offensive into the continent and proceeded to raise up one of the most brutal tyrants the continent had ever known.

For Zul to then act like he's the real victim in all this would indicate that he has no absolutely comprehension of the fact that non-Trolls might not be too keen on being killed, which actually makes him seem worse then he would be if he was portrayed as being cartoonishly evil. If nothing else, it seems odd that you connected killing Zul with committing genocide on the remaining population. Zul is responsible for a lot of grief all around, and it's likely that the Zandalari will need a change in leadership if peace is to be a possibility.

As for the choice itself, this isn't Mass Effect and World of Warcraft just isn't set up to tolerate such large discrepancies in the story. The Zandalari and their allied tribes either survive the events of 5.2 or they don't. Whichever is true could have effects rippling across the entire storyline going forward. It wouldn't be long before Blizzard is forced to declare one ending entirely non-canon.


I think WoW suffers from a storyline that always portrays the bad guys as desperate or mustache twirling villains. The storyline suffers because we can't relate to the bad guys or show we're better than them. Let's say the majority of the playerbase that does the new raid choose to spare the Zandalari in 5.3 its confirmed in lore if they don't in 5.3 its mentioned as their last stand.

We know the Zandalari have been decimated and the Amani and Gurubashi have all been defeated to the point where their effective exiles from their own lands. I think the problem with troll lore is that THEY don't like sending emissaries but we should be reminded that the one time they did, it was to save the world from Hakkar the Soulflayer. Times are different but to end trollkind on some raid against them and their allies the Mogu then its just another stereotypical bad guys getting their just desserts but their motivations be it grand or just simple in terms of they wanting to survive and thrive in a world that rejects them... They should be granted a scenario at least where they could.

My biggest issue with the storyline and how their setting up the Thunder King and his allies is that they are the big bad monsters who like to enslave people but why do they? What's the motivation outside of being big bad? Well their facing extinction or at least severe displacement and poverty surviving on the ruins of their cities and not doing much else. Perhaps that's their fault. As they say Pride goeth before the fall. I think they should begin to realize the price of their pride...If the emperor ShaoHao spared the Mantid even though they were perennial enemies of the Pandaren so should we the Alliance and Horde show that we have it in us to show mercy even to our most hated enemies.

I think that theme would tie into 5.3 perfectly. The end of 5.2 should set up clearly and definitively what makes the Alliance and the Horde. How we treat the Mogu and the Zandalari should be carried on to 5.3 on how we shall treat each other.

I think the arching themes of MoP are how we the players in the world relate to ourselves, our enemies, and those we seek to ally. The expansion needs to show this theme in 5.2. The Thunder King shouldn't just be another Nefarian, Ragnaros, YoggSaron encounter where these immensely powerful beings are just taken down before the real bad guy encounter of the last patch before a new expansion.
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Moral ambiguity is fine when it's used correctly. Someone playing the victim card after he's done nothing but cause us and our allies grief is not a way to use it correctly. Because of this, again I do not think it's fair to connect killing Zul with committing genocide on the remaining population.

What I think would be interesting is that after we defeat the Thunder King and wipe out most of the Zandalari's upper leadership, a new leader rises up out of their ranks and convinces the remnants of the population to retreat from Pandaria. Perhaps Varian makes to conscious decision not to pursue them, knowing the implications of doing so and the fact that they won't be in any position to threaten the Alliance for the forseeable future.

This new new leader turns out to be none other then Vol'jin, who has been passing as a Gurubashi Troll ever since he faked his death. And while the remaining Trolls wouldn't be able to stand against the Horde and Alliance on their own, combined with the Darkspear it means Vol'jin now commands a far larger force then he did originally.

After enacting many cultural reforms within the Trolls (under the justification that the old ways have miserably failed), he sets up a meeting with Garrosh under his assumed identity. The meeting of course is just a ruse to kill Garrosh and take out a large portion of the Kor'kron. While Garrosh does manage to escape with his life (barely), Vol'jin does succeed in killing most of the Orcs who are truly loyal to Garrosh.

This forces Garrosh to resort to recruiting more and more forces from outside those traditionally part of the Horde, and ends any pretense that he really commands that loyalty of the Orcish people.
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I want to kill Zul and spare the Zandalari. Pour encourager les autres.
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What I think would be interesting is that after we defeat the Thunder King and wipe out most of the Zandalari's upper leadership, a new leader rises up out of their ranks and convinces the remnants of the population to retreat from Pandaria. Perhaps Varian makes to conscious decision not to pursue them, knowing the implications of doing so and the fact that they won't be in any position to threaten the Alliance for the forseeable future.

This new new leader turns out to be none other then Vol'jin, who has been passing as a Gurubashi Troll ever since he faked his death. And while the remaining Trolls wouldn't be able to stand against the Horde and Alliance on their own, combined with the Darkspear it means Vol'jin now commands a far larger force then he did originally.

After enacting many cultural reforms within the Trolls (under the justification that the old ways have miserably failed), he sets up a meeting with Garrosh under his assumed identity. The meeting of course is just a ruse to kill Garrosh and take out a large portion of the Kor'kron. While Garrosh does manage to escape with his life (barely), Vol'jin does succeed in killing most of the Orcs who are truly loyal to Garrosh.

This forces Garrosh to resort to recruiting more and more forces from outside those traditionally part of the Horde, and ends any pretense that he really commands that loyalty of the Orcish people.


That's a brilliant idea and I could see that happening.

Though what would prevent Garrosh from pursuing the retreating Zandalari? What would make Garrosh agree to allow them into the Horde?
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That's a brilliant idea and I could see that happening.

Though what would prevent Garrosh from pursuing the retreating Zandalari? What would make Garrosh agree to allow them into the Horde?


I think Garrosh will try to pursue them, but ultimately fail. Perhaps the bulk of his forces will end up being cut off by the Alliance before they can launch an effective pursuit. Varian will probably be smart enough to focus on the Thunder King initially, but once that battle is won he'll have no reason not to strike at Garrosh.

As for why he'd try to recruit them into the Horde, it'll be a matter of desperation. By this point it will be obvious he can no longer count on the loyalty of pretty much anyone within the Horde, so he'll be looking elsewhere to build up his forces. He might already have an agreement with the post-Thunder King Mogu (he's already shown to have an admiration for their culture), so trying to recruit their Troll allies might be the next logical step.
Edited by Falrinn on 11/15/2012 11:14 AM PST
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90 Pandaren Monk
10700
What I think would be interesting is that after we defeat the Thunder King and wipe out most of the Zandalari's upper leadership, a new leader rises up out of their ranks and convinces the remnants of the population to retreat from Pandaria. Perhaps Varian makes to conscious decision not to pursue them, knowing the implications of doing so and the fact that they won't be in any position to threaten the Alliance for the forseeable future.

This new new leader turns out to be none other then Vol'jin, who has been passing as a Gurubashi Troll ever since he faked his death. And while the remaining Trolls wouldn't be able to stand against the Horde and Alliance on their own, combined with the Darkspear it means Vol'jin now commands a far larger force then he did originally.

After enacting many cultural reforms within the Trolls (under the justification that the old ways have miserably failed), he sets up a meeting with Garrosh under his assumed identity. The meeting of course is just a ruse to kill Garrosh and take out a large portion of the Kor'kron. While Garrosh does manage to escape with his life (barely), Vol'jin does succeed in killing most of the Orcs who are truly loyal to Garrosh.

This forces Garrosh to resort to recruiting more and more forces from outside those traditionally part of the Horde, and ends any pretense that he really commands that loyalty of the Orcish people.

That's a brilliant idea and I could see that happening.

Though what would prevent Garrosh from pursuing the retreating Zandalari? What would make Garrosh agree to allow them into the Horde?


I've heard this before time and time again everyone wants Vol'jin to lead the surviving trolls. Problem with this notion is that he hates the Gurubashi and most other trolls. Why? His tribe was exiled from Stranglethorn and worse his tribe had to needlessly suffer because of this. Why would he then spare them? Is it in his nature? Its a nice little idea but something not in his character. You also have to remember he helped destroy the leadership of both the Amani and the Gurubashi.

IF Zul dies we have to realize he led his people from the Cataclysm, he and Rastakhan have done much for their people. Whether we like it or not they've worked in tandem to provide the trolls with resources and above all hope. To then kill them and worse put Vol'jin the guy who helped kill the leadership of both the Amani and Gurubashi after he walked out on them. Is just bad writing. It doesn't work because its not in his nature and not what the trolls would accept even if he takes the roll.

I hope if Vol'jin leads the raid against the Thunder King and the Zandalari then they need to do justice to the reality of what has driven these people to such extremes. Give the story an ending deserving of the tribes of Zandalar who now are few in number thanks to the other races.
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90 Troll Shaman
5420
Speaking of Vol'jin's faked death, who's in charge of the Darkspear in his absence?

Morakki? Vanira? Someone else?
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85 Tauren Shaman
6230
Speaking of Vol'jin's faked death, who's in charge of the Darkspear in his absence?

Morakki? Vanira? Someone else?


Thrall said he'd advise them /sighs

11/15/2012 12:08 PMPosted by Tienzan
Give the story an ending deserving of the tribes of Zandalar who now are few in number thanks to the other races.


More due to their aggression and refusal to talk with any other powers in the world.
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Evil for the sake of it rarely comes out good. And frankly? I would much rather not have my character railroaded into an evil act. It would be completely beneath his station as a hero to do so.
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90 Human Warrior
13525
11/15/2012 02:10 PMPosted by Briswald
Evil for the sake of it rarely comes out good. And frankly? I would much rather not have my character railroaded into an evil act. It would be completely beneath his station as a hero to do so.
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11/15/2012 12:08 PMPosted by Tienzan
I've heard this before time and time again everyone wants Vol'jin to lead the surviving trolls. Problem with this notion is that he hates the Gurubashi and most other trolls. Why? His tribe was exiled from Stranglethorn and worse his tribe had to needlessly suffer because of this. Why would he then spare them? Is it in his nature? Its a nice little idea but something not in his character. You also have to remember he helped destroy the leadership of both the Amani and the Gurubashi.


Vol'jin's wordview has been shaken lately, under the right circumstances he might take pity on the other Troll tribes and start seeing them in a different light.

There is a Vol'jin novel incoming and the Zandalari invasion of Kun Lai is mentioned in the synopsis. He can't go back to the Horde right now in case he's seen by the wrong person and his secret is revealed, but as a Jungle Troll he might be able to pass as a Gurubashi and infiltrate the Zandalari forces.

As he spends time with them and understands their basic goals and drive, he could come to the realization that the only thing separating them from the Darkspear is the fact that their culture teaches them that all these horrible methods are acceptable. And under the right circumstances they could be taught to be more like the Darkspear.

The fall of the Thunder King along with the Zandalari's upper leadership could be those circumstances.
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85 Blood Elf Warlock
10350
11/15/2012 02:10 PMPosted by Briswald
Evil for the sake of it rarely comes out good. And frankly? I would much rather not have my character railroaded into an evil act. It would be completely beneath his station as a hero to do so.


So you don't want to have to make the choice between loot and doing the right thing?
:3
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
9755
11/15/2012 03:53 PMPosted by Berith
So you don't want to have to make the choice between loot and doing the right thing?


It isn't so much the choice as what is tied to the choice, Zul's death. Zul, in response to the Cataclysm destroying the Zandalari islands, launched a genocidal campaign against pretty much everyone.

He will do or has done something with Hakkar, a being that requires live sacrifices in order appease it, and attempted to install one of the most brutal regimes in Azerothian history on a peaceful group of peoples who were minding their own business.

When you do what Zul has done there really is no going back. Zul could have played the victim card but chose to attack others who have not wronged his people instead and attempt to either kill or enslave them. Zul does not deserve to be a victim and to portray him as one is cheap.

Giving us a choice in sparing women and children is one thing. Tying such a choice to sparing an enemy that tried, out of the blue, to wipe us out is quite another.
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It isn't so much the choice as what is tied to the choice, Zul's death. Zul, in response to the Cataclysm destroying the Zandalari islands, launched a genocidal campaign against pretty much everyone.

He will do or has done something with Hakkar, a being that requires live sacrifices in order appease it, and attempted to install one of the most brutal regimes in Azerothian history on a peaceful group of peoples who were minding their own business.

When you do what Zul has done there really is no going back. Zul could have played the victim card but chose to attack others who have not wronged his people instead and attempt to either kill or enslave them. Zul does not deserve to be a victim and to portray him as one is cheap.

Giving us a choice in sparing women and children is one thing. Tying such a choice to sparing an enemy that tried, out of the blue, to wipe us out is quite another.


Couldn't of said it better myself.

There is a big difference between killing Zul, someone who has done nothing but cause us grief since he entered the stage, and committing genocide upon the Trolls.
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90 Pandaren Monk
10700
It isn't so much the choice as what is tied to the choice, Zul's death. Zul, in response to the Cataclysm destroying the Zandalari islands, launched a genocidal campaign against pretty much everyone.

He will do or has done something with Hakkar, a being that requires live sacrifices in order appease it, and attempted to install one of the most brutal regimes in Azerothian history on a peaceful group of peoples who were minding their own business.

When you do what Zul has done there really is no going back. Zul could have played the victim card but chose to attack others who have not wronged his people instead and attempt to either kill or enslave them. Zul does not deserve to be a victim and to portray him as one is cheap.

Giving us a choice in sparing women and children is one thing. Tying such a choice to sparing an enemy that tried, out of the blue, to wipe us out is quite another.

Couldn't of said it better myself.

There is a big difference between killing Zul, someone who has done nothing but cause us grief since he entered the stage, and committing genocide upon the Trolls.


I think your looking it from the outside looking in. We have to remember to Zul his actions are moral and justifiable. In our mind their not. Let's try to see it from his point of view.

Zul forsees the Cataclysm and the end of troll kind so he calls a summit of all the trolls on Zandalar to see the state of troll kind. A conclusion is made. Trolls are going extinct.

Tanaris has fallen to the Goblins. The Hinterlands has gone to the Wildhammer and Lordaeron to the Scourge and humans before them. The bastion of Zul'Aman fell to treasure seekers and again to Blood Elf/ High Elf partnership. Why? because to him divided we fall...

In his mind trolls do not need the help of the Alliance and Horde. Like Zuljin before him he sees the actions taken by both sides work against troll interests and occupy troll land.

He hates and despairs the loss of his people. His rational thinking is skewered by these emotions. So he justifies conquest and destruction. he calls on the Zandalari to fund the rebuilding of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman. This fails and since Zandalar is no more which means these trolls have no home and can't return to their old capitals they try to occupy Pandaria.

Is it right? No. Is it justifiable? From the mind of a broken mind born in prejudice to those that slighted it - YES! He in his mind justifies the conquests and murders. If I have to kill a few pandas, humans, orcs etc than that's ok. Zul thinks that they've been killing trolls for years and their blood feeds our gods and brings justice to his slain brothers and sisters.

Now we come in and stop the Zandalari from taking Pandaria. Remember they HAVE NO HOME! They cannot return to Zandalar its gone and they can't return to Quel'thelas or Stranglethorn or Tanaris those lands are too hostile and Zul'Drak is too dangerous.

So what options do they have now? If you cannot see that killing him vindicates his prejudices because we shown him that we will continue to slaughter and impede troll kind no matter what. So he thinks to himself - I was right. Humans/Orcs/Pandaren their all the same they take and take and never consider us. While we think the same of him and the genocide we feel he has called against us.

In the end two wrongs don't make a right. He's wrong and we're wrong but we know better.
Sparing him forces him to realize that we're not all the same and there is another path. If he can some how be made to realize that even in his death throes that the path for his people is born in peace than maybe then 4.2 and 5.2 will be worth it.

That's what I want to see.
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