Are we really OK with Night Elf Genocide?

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The burning of Teldrassil bothers me for a multitude of reasons but today I'd like to focus in on one very particular aspect of it. If Sylvanas's various mined dialogues are any indication of the direction they're taking with it then it's a very clear cut act of genocide. Not only that, it's a successful act of genocide as decreed by Blizzard's writers.

Now at first blush this may seem par for the course in Blizzard lore as we all remember the Draenei and Aldrachi at the very least. So genocidal acts aren't necessarily new to Azeroth's story, but this will be the first time a player faction commits successful genocide against another player faction.

Are we really ok with that?

While I don't play a lot of Horde and I know they're losing Undercity it's largely been portrayed as retaliation for Teldrassil, not a proactive genocidal strike against an entire player race. But if it did turn out to be a genocidal display of power by the humans I'd feel betrayed and even less invested in the faction war than I already am. I can't imagine it's a great moral booster for Horde players who just finished dealing with Garrosh, and I know a lot of Alliance players are demoralized by it.

So how do you feel about it? How does the Night Elf genocide impact your experience of the story going forward?

Please keep it civil.

EDIT:

While nothing in BfA is final if we take a look at the pattern of edits to Sylvanas's dialogue regarding the burning of Teldrassil we begin to see a trend.

Link: http://www.wowhead.com/news=282153/burning-of-teldrassil-broadcast-text-updates-spoilers?webhook/burning-of-teldrassil-broadcast-text-updates-spoilers


"The Horde's children, and their children's children, will curse our memories as they burn.
If life had any mercy at all, you and I would exist in peace for the rest of our days. We have both seen enough of war, but neither of us has seen the last of it.
The Horde and the Alliance have been at a stalemate. Both of our armies have been exhausted against the Legion.
But therein, I see an opportunity."

"We take this azerite and use it to conquer Kalimdor.
We build the greatest empire ever known; one that is untouchable against the Alliance.
With the seas parting our lands, rather than mere borders, we can live and prosper without conflict.
That is how you ensure the survival of the Horde for the next hundred years, $n."


In this first draft Sylvanas makes it quite clear that she means to drive anyone not of the Horde from Kalimdor. Kalimdor being the Night Elve's native homeland means that Sylvanas must plan on and be willing to kill every Night Elf standing because you don't get an entire race to pickup and leave by just asking. We even see the writer realize this and tune in the dialogue a bit more with the next edit;


"What is certain is that Teldrassil and its Night Elves pose a clear threat to the peace and safety of the Horde on Kalimdor.

Darnassus will serve as a safe harbor for smuggling azerite to the Eastern Kingdoms. We simply cannot allow this to occur.

To win this war, we must control the azerite. To control the azerite, we must eliminate the Kal'dorei threat.

We do not have time to waste."


Right there Sylvanas makes it clear that she means to cleanse Kalimdor of the night elves specifically. This would directly entail a very deliberate destruction of known Night Elf holdings and the collection and enslavement or destruction of any discovered refugees. It is how every society throughout history has eliminated entire races from their homelands. It doesn't matter if the Kaldorei put up a fight, it doesn't even matter why Sylvanas is doing it, the systemic elimination of an entire race from their homeland is genocide.

Of course as the link above says all this could change, but short of rewriting the entire narrative of BfA there is nothing Goldin or Blizzard can do, no amount of sugar they can coat this with to keep it from being the premeditated genocide of a player race by a player faction.
It's making me want to faction change.

The Horde is (Un)dead.
-Jaina told Varian to dismantle the Horde, something that would lead to a genocide, nobody cared and many Alliance players were dissapointed because he didn't do it, stopping an eventual war.
-Many members of the Alliance tell every time they can they want to annihilate all the forsaken presence, ignoring the fact they are a people, they have feelings(even if... dark), they have a home and some are civilians. If humans did literally the same actions the forsaken do, I imagine Alliance players would find a reason to defend them.
-Some leaders of the original Alliance were totally ok with the suggestion of the possibility of genocide of the orcs during the Second War, some got even angry with the fact they were not going to do so.

So yes, I am totally ok with the genocide of the night elves, weren't they amongst the people who would be probably totally ok with the genocide of Horde races?
Yes. I am not only OK with it, I agree it must be done.

You call it genocide - I call it open war. War on Azeroth and this universe.

Invading Night Elf lands, destroying theml, kicking them out of Kalimdor, making it secure for the Horde. I am OK with it.

Genn attacked Sylvanas after the Broken Shore. They were the first to attack AFTER both factions fought together. I dont even know if Anduin knew about Stormhiem as it happened- im pretty sure Genn and Rodgers were eager for a fight.

If Tyrande and her people will allow that instigator, assassin, war provocateur Genn to hide in her tree, we will burn it down and all in it.
honestly, i feel like its just an excuse to update the NE and Foresaken cities. They arent going anywhere game or lore wise. They just want to update the cities and need a story to justify it.

having said that.. i'm very annoyed with the way the elves are depicted. They're practically kicked in the face with each new expansion. Now their forests and home are being destroyed. Im just waiting for the day now where Tyrande and Malfurion are killed off and the sentinels are added to stormwind guard
Genocide implies purposeful destruction of a race, there’s nothing to indicate Sylvanas wants to wipe out Nelves, just to conquer Kalimdor.

And in WoW, conquering something generally means displacing it’s denizens.

To me, the burning of Teldrassil (for whatever reason) is more symbolic than anything. It’s not like the Horde was going to rule over Night Elves. They were getting kicked out anyways.

Same goes for Lordaeron, even if the Forsaken didn’t blight their own city, do you really think the Alliance was going to capture the city and let the Forsaken citizens remain to inhabit it? (Or that the citizens would want to stay in an Alliance controlled Lordaeron)
I don't think the burning of Teldrassil qualifies as "genocide". It's a vicious, cruel , ruthless act of war, but not genocide. To call it an act of genocide would imply that it's a part of a goal to wipe out all Night Elves. That's not the case here.
I don't think the burning of Telsrassil qualifies as "genocide".
03/04/2018 04:42 PMPosted by Trionis
honestly, i feel like its just an excuse to update the NE and Foresaken cities. They arent going anywhere game or lore wise. They just want to update the cities and need a story to justify it.


Blizzard gave up long ago on updating cities that aren't Orgrimmar or Stormwind.
I am not much of a Forsaken fan, so I'll play the devil's advocate here.

What do you suppose is going to happen to the Forsaken?

Their population center is almost entirely contained in Lordaeron. There isn't much in the way of civilians depicted or implied beyond the immediate area of Undercity and arguably in Silverpine. Brill is wiped clean off the map, and the Undercity is destroyed in a scorched earth retreat.

The Alliance may have the intention of destroying a horrible weapon. They may even be correct in their assumptions about it. One can lay fault for the situation as one sees fit, but the inescapable truth is this: In one hammer blow, the Alliance has wiped out the most, and arguably second most, heavily populated Forsaken settlements.

Now, there are all sorts of cat-in-a-bag spin off debates here. Should the Forsaken be re-producing, isn't their queen just Arthas "light", and there are some interesting things to be said there, to be certain.

But always consider- the Forsaken are a sapient species (in the insanely loose Azerothian definition of things). They have free will as individuals. If you can only think about all those dread guards, plague-crafters, and experimenting psychotics, how do you suppose the Forsaken in the Argent dawn will feel?

It may or may not carry the intent of Sylvanas's attack, but the outcome is devastating for the rank and file Forsaken.
03/04/2018 04:26 PMPosted by Duskears


So how do you feel about it? How does the Night Elf genocide impact your experience of the story going forward?

Please keep it civil.


It doesn't because the material doesn't give me the impression that Blizzard is actually aiming for/portraying genocide in the first place. The tree is not the night elf race. And similarly, I don't think we're seeing genocide against the Forsaken either.
The Alliance is okay with Frost Troll genocide so I guess so.
03/04/2018 04:55 PMPosted by Caedmun


What do you suppose is going to happen to the Forsaken?


As a whole? Largely nothing. They'll go where their waifu wills it because Sylvanas is practically a deity to them. The propaganda about Lordaeron belonging to the Forsaken "now and forever" will be altered to Kalimdor and every Forsaken will eat it up.

As for population concerns... I mean, Sylvanas went from formerly only being able to raise humans to threatening to raise High Elves and Orcs.
Vengeance for Duke Lionheart!

...Wait, hold on. The Night Elves are on our side now.
03/04/2018 05:08 PMPosted by Bronnix
The Alliance is okay with Frost Troll genocide so I guess so.


The Frostmane show up on Zuldazar, right? I wonder if they'll mention a dwarven "adventurer" slaughtering their children squatting around a campfire.
the orcs succeeded once and tried again a few years later

its nothing new to the horde, and they dont even feel bad about it
03/04/2018 04:39 PMPosted by Kulzgal
-Jaina told Varian to dismantle the Horde, something that would lead to a genocide, nobody cared and many Alliance players were dissapointed because he didn't do it, stopping an eventual war.
-Many members of the Alliance tell every time they can they want to annihilate all the forsaken presence, ignoring the fact they are a people, they have feelings(even if... dark), they have a home and some are civilians. If humans did literally the same actions the forsaken do, I imagine Alliance players would find a reason to defend them.
-Some leaders of the original Alliance were totally ok with the suggestion of the possibility of genocide of the orcs during the Second War, some got even angry with the fact they were not going to do so.

So yes, I am totally ok with the genocide of the night elves, weren't they amongst the people who would be probably totally ok with the genocide of Horde races?
"Look at all these times the Alliance proved they wouldn't go as far as genocide to justify actually committing genocide!" Fantastic argument. And the NE never attempted genocide of the Horde races, nor were they part of the Second War Alliance to even advocate the genocide of the orcs.
It's not genocide.

It's war.

Genocide would be rolling all the Night Elven survivors up in camps and setting them up for mass execution with gas and fire.

Sylvanas is trying to run them off of Kalimdor, and probably doesn't intend to hunt all the Night Elves to the end of Azeroth in an attempt to turn them into cream cheese to spread over her fungus bagels.
03/04/2018 05:13 PMPosted by Rokugan
It's not genocide.

It's war.


Genocide tends to happen in war.

Whether genocide is the intended goal, it doesn't matter. She's destroying the population center for an entire people. Dropping nukes on a capital to make the civilians flee the country doesn't stop the fact you're nuking the capital and possibly killing a large majority. Especially when you're the one starting said conflict.
03/04/2018 04:41 PMPosted by Finnoldoran
kicking them out of Kalimdor, making it secure for the Horde.


A sad fact though that forced movements of entire populations are result in, or are caused by genocide.

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