Night Elves...

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10/02/2014 01:35 AMPosted by Dreakon
In an RTS you are the army fighting the war, the story can span years, in wow you are effectively a soldier fighting in a battle where the story is far more limited. Warcraft 3 was awesome in its story telling, it really covered off all the main races and characters that existed at the time. You played those characters. There were four factions also, each with its own story. An MMO based around a two faction system is old and outdated but it is integral to wow, hense the idea of a wow 2 is so appealing, its like hitting the reset button to start over again but keep the same universe running
I agree with this, we need a warcraft 4 (ignoring WoW lore, we could say that wow is another timeline)
To address a few points....

@ Tamedstrange.

Eshkigal answered the matter sufficiently - but I'll add this.

Discussions of what something is are typically irrelevant to discussions of what something should be unless the latter point describes a limitation to what something can be - and I would expect the latter assertion to be fleshed out.

Now, it's something entirely different to say "the way it is is also the way it should be", and there can be a discussion on that - but I do have a problem with this logical mismatch.

@ Eshkigal

I agree that the player character needs to be scaled back, but I would add that the major lore figures need to be scaled back as well. One of the bigger problems with this story of a world is that it's not trying to be one - we've shrunk the focus down to what a few people are doing in an attempt to make everything feel epic, and instead we've made it feel small and inconsequential due to the problem of not being able to lose.

This has also squeezed out a great deal of development for certain races, and pidgeonholed certain races into filling a given role in order to make the larger narrative work - which again, has hit the Night Elves almost as savagely as it has the Orcs.

My suggestion would be smaller, diffused conflicts, paired with a few big bads lurking in the shadows who may not be defeated with the regularity and certainty of raid bosses. The world should have a feeling of being overwhelming to both the character AND the champions of given races.

Correct me if I am wrong but given their mortality and recent death rate combined with their low birth rate doesn't that pretty much mean the Night elves are on the way out?


Each one of these variables is the product of speculation and fanon. We don't know how long the Night Elves have, how many they lost (compare humanity's most devastating war tolls to the countries' respective populations before you speak doom on this point), or their reproduction rate. It is impossible to say one way or the other what is going on with the population.

Full Disclosure: This post contains opinions regarding the operating effectiveness of Activision-Blizzard, which I am a shareholder of at the time of this posting.
Ahhh, alright I suppose. Though another question not sure if it is relevant to this thread (correct me if its not). But what happened to Tyrande? in WC3 she was a little aggressive but very disciplined and an extremely talented commander it seems, then in wow she seems to have become prone to tantrums, doesn't lead from the front anymore, and in general degraded a bit as a character. However I say this having missed a lot of recent Night Elf Specific lore.

As an aside, I want us to lose, not the world but something big enough to set us back and make us !@#$ our pants. Something like AU draenor getting destroyed or territory right next to a major capital getting totally overrun and perhaps the enemy spills out right to the front gates and such. Something that takes an expansion just to resolve.
It was blizzards overreaction to the accusations that Tyrande had devolved into mere arm candy for Malfurion (every female Knaak writes devolves into this) That and Kosak wanted to 'humble' the night elves again since Night Elves were the designated Watson with a red shirt in cataclysm to push the Blue Warchief plot.
10/06/2014 06:33 AMPosted by Anyaceltica
It was blizzards overreaction to the accusations that Tyrande had devolved into mere arm candy for Malfurion (every female Knaak writes devolves into this) That and Kosak wanted to 'humble' the night elves again since Night Elves were the designated Watson with a red shirt in cataclysm to push the Blue Warchief plot.


Kosak also has a documented problem with Night Elves.

Night Elves weren't just humbled in 5.1, they were made responsible for every single Alliance failure in the questline, and this is the only real exception to my earlier patriotic rant. They and they alone failed to stop Garrosh's landing. They and they alone were the party that Varian had to "correct" during a little patience. They and they alone gave up the divine bell, and they and they alone had their city infiltrated (damn the plotholes) in what was essentially a reenactment of one of Dave Kosak's comics.

This all came to the attention of this forum the day after Mr. Kosak claimed that the Night Elves were going to be "badass" in 5.1 in his interview with But Wait! There's Lore. One can only imagine how his interpretation of the word factored into his decisions to prevent Night Elf players from striking back at the Horde during Cataclysm with quests that no one cared about - or to blow development time with massive volcanoes that would only be used for one quest.

Seriously. Fire Kosak.

Full Disclosure: I say all of this as a shareholder of Activision-Blizzard. My opinion is tainted by my financial interest - so don't go buy or sell anything based on what I say.
10/05/2014 10:39 PMPosted by Kyalin
Eshkigal answered the matter sufficiently - but I'll add this.

Discussions of what something is are typically irrelevant to discussions of what something should be unless the latter point describes a limitation to what something can be - and I would expect the latter assertion to be fleshed out.

Now, it's something entirely different to say "the way it is is also the way it should be", and there can be a discussion on that - but I do have a problem with this logical mismatch.


Please translate to English?

I agree with what Eshkigal said. I would still love to see a game with the Night elves not part of the alliance, but that goes hand in hand with my desire to play a game with more variation, more factions, more roles and more racial differentiation. But I know wow cannot handle that due to its fundamental design, hense a Warcraft 4 would be a great way to move the lore towards a multi faction system and bridge the gap between WOW and WOW 2 (if it ever happens).
10/05/2014 11:05 PMPosted by Tecar
As an aside, I want us to lose, not the world but something big enough to set us back and make us !@#$ our pants. Something like AU draenor getting destroyed or territory right next to a major capital getting totally overrun and perhaps the enemy spills out right to the front gates and such. Something that takes an expansion just to resolve.


That sounds awesome. If they could create an atmosphere such as Mass Effect 3 had where you had a constant sense of urgency and doom (just don't have a terrible conclusion like that game). I kind of like the idea of taking that further and have an expansion of constant retreating. Imagine a raid tier of holding the line whilst a city evacuates as the Legion overwhelms the city.

That would be epic ending to the game, however I digress from the topic of this thread.
10/05/2014 10:39 PMPosted by Kyalin
I agree that the player character needs to be scaled back, but I would add that the major lore figures need to be scaled back as well. One of the bigger problems with this story of a world is that it's not trying to be one - we've shrunk the focus down to what a few people are doing in an attempt to make everything feel epic, and instead we've made it feel small and inconsequential due to the problem of not being able to lose.

This has also squeezed out a great deal of development for certain races, and pidgeonholed certain races into filling a given role in order to make the larger narrative work - which again, has hit the Night Elves almost as savagely as it has the Orcs.

My suggestion would be smaller, diffused conflicts, paired with a few big bads lurking in the shadows who may not be defeated with the regularity and certainty of raid bosses. The world should have a feeling of being overwhelming to both the character AND the champions of given races.


I agree with all of this, but I fear that unless the stage is set properly for both to be dialed back, a similar problem will take its place. That is essentially what my first post in this thread (#46) is intended to prevent. By addressing the broad implications of major events rather than myopically developing the narrative around the actions of one or two individuals, major lore figures are subject to the world. They are not its commanders.

The fact that the Night Elves have devoted themselves to the cause of the Ancients for millennia, would draw them under the sphere of influence that the Ancient Guardians hold. No longer would their political structure revolve around Tyrande's and Malfurian's decisions. Now that many Night Elves would seek the council of the Ancient Guardians personally, the presence of Night Elf enclaves oriented toward a specific Ancient Guardian could arise. This does not mean that they wouldn't follow Tyrande's commands and grant her requests, but certainly show that they share loyalties. From here the Night Elves might be drawn toward more domestic issues rather than foreign, focussing on two key issues: regrowing the ravaged parts of the forest while decentralizing the political structure, and helping the Draenei and Worgen settle on the land they have been stranded on, in such a way as to become a part of that land themselves (like the Night Elves before them).

On the Horde side, the side that revolted against Garrosh, the force of public opinion needs to be increased. The Orcs in Kalimdor are a composite of different clans. In WoD we are going to see the customs of different clans in action, and we should have seen them a long time ago. Sections of Orgrimmar should have been focus points of specific clans, and settlements throughout Orc controlled territory should have been clan specific. The only clan we hear of in Kalimdor is the Warsong clan. Even as early as Garrosh being made warchief should clan leaders have started distancing themselves from Orgrimmar, and the lead up to the Siege should have seen them not only move out, but seek aid and a defensible center of operations. Sure, Thrall and Vol'jin could have helped, but that process should be more the acts of separate clans and their leaders. Their post Siege activities should not involve attempting to move back into Orgrimmar, but taking advantage of the fact that no clan now has primacy over the others. If Orgrimmar is to still be habitable, which I think it shouldn't, it should only be home to the Warsong clan, and no longer a central hub of Horde affairs.

The Tauren are a composite of different tribes, also subject to different customs, which should make Baine's authority, being from the Bloodhoof tribe, finite. Tribal differences should be central to the Tauren narrative.

Despite the fact that the only tribe of Trolls to hold sway within the Horde are the Darkspear, they still pay homage to more than one authority. From the moment they arrived on Kalimdor, they should have busied themselves with the construction and maintenance of the sanctuaries of their gods, of whom we know very little about. The only Darkspear gods we know of are those they share with other tribes, which says painfully little about what gods are specific to the Darkspear tribe. Guess what needs to be explored.

Giving these political divisions their due ought to involve a concomitant expansion of the represented landmass, with the assumption that it is still yet larger, but unrepresented. Here, the narrative is divided, the leaders dialed back, the player a diminished role, and a sense of mystery and exploration revitalized. Less room for heavy handed development will work against the past errors in judgement on the part of the writers, and allow each race a more complicated identity without the need of such simplistic ideas as "Gray areas". Glory must give way to growth. To paraphrase a quote from Dante, a good when shared shall make the greater number of possessors richer in it, than if it is only possessed by a few.
IMO the Night elves and Orcs fighting in ashenvale should of gotten downright dark and maybe evil. I mean while battle was fierce it was way to much just give and then take, I think if the conflict had ended somwhere in the middle with a battlefront existing like it does in southern barrens it could have been much more involved story wise. It seems that Night Elves fight fierce but they dont seem to go into that dark place and if they did it would definatly give them more story. In my own headcannon (yea sorry) the fighting was worse in ashenvale that anywhere else with Night elves and orcs killing each other in the heat of the moment with no regard for rank or position. Elves killing peons and assassinating sleeping orc warriors, Orcs butchering civilians while claiming they were assassins etc.

I dont want to make the races as a whole go evil but if they had captured the spirit of what a violent conflict like that can do to the combatants it would be good for story. I mean the orcs were fighting for pride, to feed and shelter their families, and honor. The Elves were fighting for pride, to protect their families, and to safeguard ancient territory.

Other than that though I lack alot of ideas for Night elf lore advancements. Maybe have a sect split off into one of the zones, maybe a group of extremists in one way or another. Perhaps more direct confrentation with the other alliance races, I mean shouldent Night Elves hate dwarves and gnomes? both of those races care less for nature and alot more for technological development and controlling the land as oposed to living with it.

Jut my 2 cents really. My knowledge on Night elf lore is no where near as complete as many in this thread.
10/08/2014 04:29 PMPosted by Dreakon
10/05/2014 11:05 PMPosted by Tecar
As an aside, I want us to lose, not the world but something big enough to set us back and make us !@#$ our pants. Something like AU draenor getting destroyed or territory right next to a major capital getting totally overrun and perhaps the enemy spills out right to the front gates and such. Something that takes an expansion just to resolve.


That sounds awesome. If they could create an atmosphere such as Mass Effect 3 had where you had a constant sense of urgency and doom (just don't have a terrible conclusion like that game). I kind of like the idea of taking that further and have an expansion of constant retreating. Imagine a raid tier of holding the line whilst a city evacuates as the Legion overwhelms the city.

That would be epic ending to the game, however I digress from the topic of this thread.


Thank you, but I don't want to derail things >.<
10/08/2014 04:29 PMPosted by Dreakon
That sounds awesome. If they could create an atmosphere such as Mass Effect 3 had where you had a constant sense of urgency and doom (just don't have a terrible conclusion like that game). I kind of like the idea of taking that further and have an expansion of constant retreating. Imagine a raid tier of holding the line whilst a city evacuates as the Legion overwhelms the city.


How about a constant sense of your own mortality? How about not being able to take on more than two opponents (npcs) unless you, as player, are exceptionally skilled at your class? I don't know about you, but if I were to go to a party of football players who enjoyed clubbing wimps like myself as if we were baby seals, I would feel a constant sense of urgency and doom.

That illustrates that a sense of urgency can be accomplished by small scale events as easily as catastrophic ones, and that there has to be a high probability that you will fail, especially if you aren't on your A game.

The objective stakes don't need to be high, only the immediate ones. I have never played Mass Effect, but we don't need another world ending threat for every expansion in order for it to be palatable to a wide audience. We don't even need one, especially if the story is done well. If we were to finish an expansion with several minor villains with separate stories and a good process of leading through those stories, which is entirely possible, we could easily have an expansion that is more enjoyable than Wrath or BC were.

10/08/2014 04:13 PMPosted by Dreakon
I agree with what Eshkigal said. I would still love to see a game with the Night elves not part of the alliance, but that goes hand in hand with my desire to play a game with more variation, more factions, more roles and more racial differentiation. But I know wow cannot handle that due to its fundamental design, hense a Warcraft 4 would be a great way to move the lore towards a multi faction system and bridge the gap between WOW and WOW 2 (if it ever happens).


While I am glad that you agree with my post, and honestly surprised that someone read it, but it quite refutes your belief. MMO's are not fundamentally unable to handle a complex narrative about several races. WoW's fundamental design is very well adapted to more variation, factions, roles and racial differentiation. Blizzard is choosing not to implement them into WoW, which is far from saying they are unable. Both Kyalin and I have provided suggestions that set the stage for bringing each of those elements closer to manifestation, to the point where a four faction system could spring out of the two we have. I am not saying that the game wouldn't need significant changes to usher those elements in, just that they are possible within the current framework and become more plausible as Blizzard expands and experiments with the technology available to them.
But I know wow cannot handle that due to its fundamental design


Why?

What is special about the fundamental design that causes the problem?

@ Ereshkigal.

Forgive my earlier misunderstanding - the way you put it makes sense.

@ Tecar

I've always advocated that fighting the Night Elves should be a scary thing and that Night Elves should have some moments of pride. This is the race I would imagine to be using traps, or to have no issue with tactics we'd consider to be dishonorable - of course, that's been sidelined along with much of the military they brought in to Warcraft III - and I will forever be disappointed that I will never see a flight of chimaera hurling corrosive acid down on some unlucky Horde outpost.

As for splinter sects - absolutely. I'm not sure about hating Dwarves and Gnomes, but there's room for a traditionalist opposition group (and a leader for it).


Full Disclosure: I say all of this as a shareholder of Activsion-Blizzard. Don't go out and buy or sell anything based on what I've said here.
@ Kyalin

I think Night Elves and Orcs should be intimidated and yet brutal in combat with each other. Ashenvale should of been filled with what we call War Crimes with how much animosity has been built up. I mean as far as a night elven archer with her sisters go in the woods that has got to be in the top 10 things to make a horde warrior !@#$ his pants. But I think a raging orc warrior fully armored would scare the pants off a Night elf sentinel when he gets on her. Both sides have strengths that should have enhanced and used for the story but instead the chance was wasted. I mean the night elves in WC3 had an intensity and a vibe that they would do anything they felt they had to for victory and I want to see that again. I mean to often people are to focused on saying one side should easily win, or one side should make the other fearful at first glance but in reality the conflict had some pretty deep roots that set in fast and could of branched out much better.

Though I also would love to see a threat appear in upper Kalimdor that required Orcs and Night Elves to work together (I know we had mt Hjyal but something focused on the two races in question) for mutual survival. I honestly think the only kind of understanding they can achieve now is through battle and they could find the seed of real peace in mutual respect eventually.
If Blizzard even slightly cared about the cultures, past conflicts, and military operations of the races, it may be the case that some races would have a stronger military than the next. However, a stronger military doesn't mean that said race would even feel confident about invading the territories of another race. The Orcs may have a distinct advantage as raiders and in fighting on open plains over the Night Elves. This would mean that Orc raid bands could be highly mobile and able to steal resources should the terrain work to their advantage, and simultaneously be able to field a large organized force to contend with an enemy marching toward them.

However, this is not the kind of warfare that the Night Elves ought to engage in, much less play into. Since the Sundering, their army has been adapted to fight the armies of the Legion, which contains soldiers who make the Orcs look like lambs, and sorcerers who excel those of Dalaran. The Night Elves have learned that they cannot go toe to toe with these kinds of forces, so they have adapted tactics and a technology to fend off armies with powerful soldiers and magic. The recent descriptions of their fighting methods have really only scratched the surface of the kind of war they ought to wage.

So what kind of war should they wage? Keep in mind I am not asking how fierce they ought to be when compared to the Orcs, this seems a useless question. The Huns weren't more fierce than the Romans and Visigoths. They were used to a different kind of warfare; the very kind that the Romans have historically had problems with in North Africa and the Middle East up to the 5th century CE: large scale mounted warfare.

While I ask this to hear others' opinions, here are a few of my thoughts, in roughshod fashion. Night Elves should put a premium on the constant surveillance of the enemy as well as remaining invisible to them. They should use very well coordinated attacks whose primary purpose would be to deter the enemy first, then expose, isolate and dispatch small targets so as cause confusion, fear, and a general breakdown of morale. Espionage should be their most effective line of defense, and in their forests they should be without equal at it. So the Orc assassin who out-classes Night Elves within their forests would be a very rare and probably be a very lucky individual.

This kind of warfare is particularly suited to the environment they inhabit. Add to the tactics I have described, their kinship with the Children of Cenarius and the Tree Ancients, and the diversification of their army by way of the several creatures allied to and (for lack of better words) tamed by them. Their forests alone should be a deterrent, as the Night Elves have had 10,000 years to learn how each and every part of the landscape and ecosystem can be used to their advantage. And with an enemy like the Legion haunting their past, why wouldn't they? This is not a military that is much interested in invading other lands, but perfecting the defense of their own.

This allows us to make sense of not only how Priestesses of the Moon and Keepers of the Grove might be leaders of their campaigns, but also Wardens and even dissenters like the Demon Hunters. I have pontificated long enough, otherwise I would continue this in greater depth.

As for traditionalists and opposition groups, where should the Draenei and Worgen fit into this scenario? I personally am not in favor of groups of Night Elves becoming inimical to them, as they seem to be significantly more sensitive to Night Elf ways of living than their allies in Eastern Kingdoms.
Night Elves should fight like Eldar. Rapid pinpoint strikes of highly trained warriors targeted at vulnerable locations, retreating before proper forces can be brought against them. Diversionary baiting to draw enemy formations out where they can be destroyed by the superior skill that comes with centuries of experience. When drawn into pitched battle, they bring to bear the heaviest and most devistating weapons imaginable: Glaive Throwers that massacre entire regiments. Treants capable of weathering unimaginable damage and smashing fortifications appart. Not to mention that they are physically one of the largest and strongest races on Azeroth.

The main problem? Blizzard doesn't employ strategists, anthropologists or ethnogrphers. They are unable to properly build cultural identities or develop remotely reasonable battle plans. The whole Wrathgate thing, while cinematic, was absolute stupidity. That isn't how a siege works!

This problem is not exclusively on the shoulders of the Night Elves either. The Blood Elves are a shadow of their former character, the Orcs have become 2 dimensional savages over the last 2 (and maybe soon to be 3) expansions, there is practically nothing to speak of on the Gnome front...

I don't think it's an issue of them not caring, I think it's more an issue of them n it ha ing the necessary skills to do anything about it.
10/11/2014 02:13 AMPosted by Caeledor
The main problem? Blizzard doesn't employ strategists, anthropologists or ethnogrphers


And nether does Games Workshop. They have an obsession with WWI tactics, and know next to nothing about guns, but I blame that on being British.

10/11/2014 02:13 AMPosted by Caeledor
Night Elves should fight like Eldar.


But Eldar lose all the time in their own codex...

I agree with the rest though.
The problem is....lack of Illidan.

Really, it is.

In Warcraft III, Tyrande, Malfurion and Illidan formed a kind of thematic threesome.

Malfurion was the wise one who revered the natural order.

Tyrande was the rash one who revered a higher power.

And Illidan was the one revered himself.

That egotistical theme contrasted well with the other two. And there was so much more built upon it: llidan was defined by his ego, and it's an aspect of character's that can sometimes be really appealing. Where Tyrande devoted herself to Elune and Malfurion devoted himself to nature, Illidan just set himself on fire and yelled "I'M FREAKING AWESOME! FOLLOW ME EVERYBODY!".....and then he went too far.

When Illidan was taken out, the Night Elves lost something important. At first Blizzard tried to compensate by making Blood Elves an entire race that is very similar to Illidan's way of thinking....but they're Horde.

Then Blizzard tried making the Worgen, who have a backstory that parallels Illidan's in a Druidic way(Malfurion even comments on this in the Worgen comic series), but Blizzard is afraid to put Worgen into the story now....and still, Worgen are another race. Not Night Elves.

Blizzard took a step in the right direction by putting mages back into the race. But they need to bring things full circle and allows Warlocks as well. And more than that, they have to make the story behind Night Elf Warlocks somehow be related to Ilidan.

But the only way that's going to really happen is if something happens to Malfurion/Tyrande to make them allow it. Like humbling them, or Illidan coming back, or one of them dying. I personally would love to see how the story would unfold if Tyrande died and Illidan came back just to see his brother couldn't save her.
10/11/2014 08:35 AMPosted by Draile
But the only way that's going to really happen is if something happens to Malfurion/Tyrande to make them allow it. Like humbling them, or Illidan coming back, or one of them dying. I personally would love to see how the story would unfold if Tyrande died and Illidan came back just to see his brother couldn't save her.


I'd rather Malfurion died instead honestly, but there's no way with that happening with Metzen in charge. Tyrande being killed off would be a terrible way to solve her character identity issues, but I could totally see Blizzard doing it.

Really, none of this really requires any of them dying though. The only thing I'd ask for, is to create a situation where Malfurion becomes really pissed off and jealous. That'd warm my little heart. :)
09/25/2014 02:38 PMPosted by Lena
Maybe Blizzard could retcon orcs and humans into the night elves' most important victory in their history.

Oh wait, that already happened.


this wasn't a retcon it was time travel.
10/11/2014 08:51 AMPosted by Madelynn
10/11/2014 08:35 AMPosted by Draile
But the only way that's going to really happen is if something happens to Malfurion/Tyrande to make them allow it. Like humbling them, or Illidan coming back, or one of them dying. I personally would love to see how the story would unfold if Tyrande died and Illidan came back just to see his brother couldn't save her.


I'd rather Malfurion died instead honestly, but there's no way with that happening with Metzen in charge. Tyrande being killed off would be a terrible way to solve her character identity issues, but I could totally see Blizzard doing it.

Really, none of this really requires any of them dying though. The only thing I'd ask for, is to create a situation where Malfurion becomes really pissed off and jealous. That'd warm my little heart. :)


why is having a character die everyones' answer to everything. Thrall is the only one this concept should apply :D

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