(BfA): Issues with Yrel's Story

Battle for Azeroth Beta General Discussion
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Reposting it here from the General discussion in the hopes of opening dialogue on the beta where things might be seen by the developers and considered before it's set in proverbial stone.

Hey folks. I'm a long time fan of WoW and I do a lot of story telling and writing in your universe for my guild on the Wyrmrest Accord Server. As a fellow writer in that sense, I'm not going to say that the idea of Yrel becoming a holy-fanatic as is represented in the current Mag'har intros is outside the realm of possibility unlike many other players.

As a matter of fact, I've been sold on the idea of the Light being as dangerous as the darkness since Final Fantasy III (Japan) first pushed the idea as a part of it's story way back in 1990.

However, my constructive feedback which I will also repost on the beta is this. I think that a lot of the player dislike of this stems less from the concept, and more on who is pushing this "Shining Crusade" (sorry had no better ideas for a name).

Players worked with Yrel heavily in WoD, especially Alliance players. Because of this, and the fact that this is a Horde only story, there is a level of suspension of belief.

If your goal is to paint the Mag'har as liars to the Alliance, then that's one idea. Bear in mind however the Alliance players aren't allowed to see this and they worked most extensively with Yrel and Maraad.

This act marginalizes much of the Alliance story for Warlords of Draenor. Given that the Alliance lost one of the few Draenei heroes of WoW in WoD, in the form of Maraad, I would suggest reconsidering the above story resolution for Yrel.

Yrel fought with Durotan against Blackhand and extensively with Hellscream, Khadgar and others. She also received some of Velen's foresight before the AU version sacrificed himself.

Because of this and how it conflicts with the story, I think unless you have a redemptive arc planned for Yrel and a return to Draenor in the cards where we confront a tyrannical Army of Light, I would submit that in this case it might be worthwhile to at least consider what your throwing away before you do so.

You often equated Yrel with Joan of Arc in the Warlords of Draenor Alpha and Beta. That has promise. Joan of Arc was a martyr, and it might be a better send off for Yrel to of been murdered by the AU son of Grom for not being "pure" enough or something. This would then align well with precedent in the game on the Scarlet Crusade and evil Paladin lore.

An alternative scenario which I think might be cool, would be her being one of only a few Draenei that manage to cross over when the Alliance (having heard of the Mag'har) try to do the same thing Sylvanas does, and call in reinforcements from AU Draenor.

Picture this. It would give the Alliance a real shock if Yrel were to come through older, wiser and more world-weary and say something to the tune of:

"My first student and Hellscream's son were claimed by the Naaru and nearly killed me. I am sorry, there are no Draenei for you on that world, and you would do well to watch these.. "Lightforged". But first Khadgar. You MUST seal the way behind us!! That world is lost."

In the distance players see a pack of crazy Lightbound Draenei now Lightforged x10 all crystalline / pink and insane and trying to cross over to kill the evil "heretic".

In the above scenario, the Alliance gets some closure for WoD and the Draenei get a replacement for Maraad. Yrel could then at some point get further characterization with Velen which would I think be fascinating.

Anyways, a lot of ideas. I don't know what you have planned for the story, but I respectfully submit only this. Don't make Yrel a convenient corruption story. The character has far, far more potential than that. A upstart Draenei or Lightbound Orc that nearly kills her (or succeeded in killing her and Durotan) would have far, far more emotional resonance.

Thanks for reading!
Agreed, making Yrel a villain is a HUGE mistake! Please PLEASE don't do this Blizzard!
Sure wish the fanservice the Horde keeps getting would have been given, in at least some fraction, to the Alliance as well.
05/09/2018 06:31 PMPosted by Necroxis
Sure wish the fanservice the Horde keeps getting would have been given, in at least some fraction, to the Alliance as well.

Won't happen.
Two days ago this expansion was a disgustingly alliance-favoring abomination that was destroying the Horde so the Alliance could feel good about themselves. Today it's Horde fanservice.

Don't worry, Sylvanas will murder Anduin's unborn child by next week.
That is not a Mega-thread. That is you trying to redivert posters to a thread you created 35 minutes ago. Please post your thoughts here and don't open multiple threads on the matter. Thank you!
05/09/2018 07:25 PMPosted by Jaquio
That is not a Mega-thread. That is you trying to redivert posters to a thread you created 35 minutes ago. Please post your thoughts here and don't open multiple threads on the matter. Thank you!

I'm sorry, but I know it's not and didn't mean to redirect, just feel it contained a valuable message for the people over at Blizzard HQ!

Why would they throw away the best thing to happen to Draenei?

05/09/2018 07:28 PMPosted by Callexx
I'm sorry, but I know it's not and didn't mean to redirect, just feel it contained a valuable message for the people over at Blizzard HQ!

Please by all means post your thoughts here. I want Blizzard to at the least give the matters we're raising some consideration. I certainly don't want Yrel to go the route that Kael'thas or other characters who had potential did.

Illidan was killed off, then reinvented for Legion brilliantly, but Yrel probably wouldn't ever see anything like that, and I do feel it cheapens the Alliance side of the Warlords of Draenor campaign, while robbing Blizzard of some amazing storytelling potential.

AU Yrel and MU Velen reuniting would be amazing, especially when we eventually must fight the Ethereals (which I know is probably coming one day). It also would give the Draenei more than just the Prophet. It'd put another strong female leader on deck, which is never a bad idea.

I mean it's their character ultimately, so they can do what they will ultimately. I just feel like if the character was done in this way, it throws away all sorts of potential while Maraad himself stays "all dead" to quote Princess Bride.
05/09/2018 06:31 PMPosted by Necroxis
Sure wish the fanservice the Horde keeps getting would have been given, in at least some fraction, to the Alliance as well.

What do you mean? Its literally giving the Alliance the same service the Horde has been getting.
Disagree. Her new directon gives her characer. She was a horrendous boring character in WoD with mary sue things going on. Never got the time to develop. let her die off screen. no one cared about her enough to bring her back.
My general opposition to this is less about Yrel and more about the change to the Naaru. Every Naaru ever shown to us in the game and in the lore has been a benevolent defender of the weak. They show up when called to throw themselves between people and what threatens them. A'dal, M'uru and O'ros did this with Outland when asked. M'uru sacrificed himself for the redemption of the Blood Elves. L'ura sacrificed herself to buy the Draenei time. Etc. Etc.

Nothing about any of these creatures has ever been tyrannical. The closest we ever saw was in Xe'ra, who's actions I think make a lot of sense in the context of her situation. Her Army of the Light was losing ground to the Legion. She only saw her prophecy as the way to succeed, and her chosen one was rejecting her. At that point in the Argus campaign I'm fairly sure nobody knew the Titans were around, and Illidan had never offered a plan in how he was going to defeat a planet sized Titan.

Changing the Naaru into tyrannical mini-Light Lords so suddenly just doesn't suit them at all.

I will say in relation to Yrel though, if you have to turn her into Whitemane or something at least let her rejoin the Alliance as Lightforged. A lot of us have been asking to have her show up all throughout Legion, throwing her into the villain slot in the Horde's Mag'har story is messed up. Besides the Alliance could use an actual crusader in their ranks, everyone's always complaining we don't do enough in the story. Let her do that.
They're making Y'rel evil?! WHAT NO!!

Heck I was Horde through WoD and I loved her (though I played Ally through WoD beta which was where I really got to know her)

Personally Y'rel doesn't make sense as going a light-zealot. She ended up working with orcs for goodness sake, it just doesn't feel right at all.

I like OP's idea of making her come through the portal, but rather than saying the Naaru did it, like we have seen in the Scarlet Crusade it's very easy for extremists to crop up among a group even if it wasn't the original message, get enough of them and they take over. The scenario will work then without having to throw the Naaru under the bus. (Though I do like light being used as a dangerous weapon, the Naaru have shown themselves too selfless in BC so rather it should be someone becoming corrupt through their own extremist views rather than a Naaru directing them.)

That way Ally have Y'rel, a kickass character most people liked, as well as a strong female leader aside from Jaina (I'm wary of her, but she is one hell of a strong lady.) Y'rel gets to be a good figure still AND there is a way we can also keep the Mag'har's intro story stay in line.

Maybe the Mag'har are misunderstanding what's going on, and think Y'rel is still in charge, directing those coming after them, but in fact Y'rel has been knocked from power by the extremists and imprisoned. A new Extremist leader, still raging after what the Iron Horde did, violently chases the Mag'har, they would not be able to tell Y'rel had been replaced.

Meanwhile Anduin overhears from SI:7 that Mag'har have been seen among the Horde ranks. Hoping to bolster the weakened Lightforged who lost many in the fight with the legion, he asks Khadgar to go and see if some of the Draenei from that world would like to come and serve in theirs. Khadgar is reluctant gives in, and since working with Y'rel the most, he locks on her to open a portal to that world, only to find Y'rel imprisoned and sentenced to execution! Y'rel explains what happened, though they are caught conversing, and the extremists then attempt to come after Khadgar. Khadgar quickly yanks both himself and Y'rel from that universe, sealing the portal before any of the extremists can come through.

Y'rel then goes to Anduin and explains that her world is not safe to draw ranks from, as her people have started down a path of overzealous insanity. Unable to go back to her world, lest she be killed, Y'rel decided to take the place lost by Maraad after his death, as well as helping keep an eye on the Lightforge, lest they start showing signs of extremism that her people did.

That's just a fast spitball I could come up with, I'm sure others can build better on it.
Yrel isn't evil, she's antagonistic. Yrel wants to do what's best for everyone which requires converting the Orcs, of which some have done willingly.
Because the Alliance should always be the picture perfect stance of morality, and any and all allies must represent that they are the flawless unicorns they are.
05/10/2018 01:29 AMPosted by Atlyo
Because the Alliance should always be the picture perfect stance of morality, and any and all allies must represent that they are the flawless unicorns they are.
Yrel isn't Alliance. No AU draenei has interacted with a member of the Alliance in what is 30+ years for them.

05/10/2018 01:28 AMPosted by Ryger
Yrel isn't evil, she's antagonistic. Yrel wants to do what's best for everyone which requires converting the Orcs, of which some have done willingly.
Except it's outright stated that it's naaru mind control, like what Xe'ra tried with Illidan, instead of her having a misguided idea of uniting the world.
This is me chiming in to the argument of 'ho don't do it'. This is ABYSMAL writing. It's not good character development, and given the history of draenei culture, is downright nonsensical verging on offensive.

For one thing, historically, y'all folks at Blizzard seem to have two, and only two, buckets to put female characters in, those being 'I love my boring husband! <3 <3' and 'Look at meeeee, I'm craaaaaaaaaaaazy!!!!!!11!1!'. Like... that's it. Tyrande manages to be both somehow, but everyone else gets put into one bucket or the other eventually. If they even exist AT ALL (come on, where the hell is Mrs. Fordring? Mrs. Mograine? You people have the WORST CASE of Fridge Girlfriend syndrome ever, I'm telling you.)

So like... how about not doing that? Just once? Maybe a few times? Sure, it's probably irrational to think you're going to even things up and have just as many 'badass in their own right without the crazy' female lore characters as males, but like... how about three? Five even.

Also, I'm quoting this detailed rant from a friend, because they go into the social aspects of the issue far more completely than I can:

I’m usually pretty hands-off when it comes to the subject of Blizzard lore. The reason for this has always been because I know what they’ve written is bad, and that if I’m going to enjoy it, I’m going to have to derive that enjoyment from micro-level things like character interactions. However, even the character interaction in this one is awful, if the dialogue is any indication.

I usually love this awful, awful lore. I don’t look to Blizzard for talent or nuance in this department, I look to them to take characters I like, as if they were barbie dolls, and mash them together and go “now kiss.” You know, like they did with Velen and Illidan and Khadgar for the past couple years.

This is not that.

They had a chance, that started with Xe'ra and her attitude about conversion, to introduce nuance and distrust to the subject of the Light for maybe the first time in WoW’s story since the Clerics of Northshire decided to tell everyone about this nice yellow thing they found. What Blizzard has done with that chance is deliver a message that goes like this:

“The Draenei, who are as a species infused with the Light of the Naaru, have turned down peace with their neighbors in the name of waging holy war, fashioning themselves as benevolent angels uplifting Draenor’s natives out of ‘savagery’ and carrying out, presumably, the actual ongoing will of their Naaru masters, who have impressed a new zealotry upon them for reasons unknown. The moment the Draenei could stop being refugees, they chose to become conquerors, or were so weak-willed that when they had that choice imposed upon them, they reveled in it and took up arms against native people who were still rebuilding after the previous war.”

This spits in the face of the Draenei legacy. It undermines their bravery in choosing against the Legion, their thousands of years spent as nomads in search of a home, their roles as peacemakers who, upon finding their backs against the wall, always choose the path of cooperation and friendship rather than isolation and violence. They crash-landed a spaceship in ancient Elven territory. You know what happens when you do anything to ancient Elven territory? The elves kill you!

The elves didn’t kill the Draenei because the Draenei are always like this. They chose a path that would allow them to be allies with the very people whose lives and lands they disrupted. They made no effort to convert any elf- remember being a level 10 Draenei, and you go on a quest to learn the language of the Furbolgs? That’s what the Draenei we know are like. They’d rather learn to communicate with furbolgs than raise a weapon against them even for a moment, if they have the choice.

And Blizzard wants to tell me that these Draenei, or that some alternate universe reflection of them, would engage in a holy crusade to convert or condemn the ‘savage’ orcs who were living on Draenor first? It isn’t the mirror universe from Star Trek. That would have been a neat angle for Warlords of Draenor, everyone having a mustache and a more or less entirely flipped moral center, but it didn’t happen, that’s not the choice they made when they decided to play with an AU. Blizzard wants me to look at the Xe'ra incident, and then look at this, and say “oh, I guess the Naaru are just like that, and this is what happens when you listen to them.”

But O'ros and A'dal have been jingling at everyone they can since 2007, and at no point did the Aldor mobilize all at once to beat up all the Arrakoa in the Lower City because they wouldn’t convert. This isn’t how the Naaru have been shown to us. It’s been a Xe'ra thing. A Naaru Prime thing maybe, but even then, the first thing we were shown on no uncertain terms is that you can choose to resist that influence.

(cont in next post)
“I’m secretly a huge monster and I’d love to terrorize the orcs just to feel on top for once” should not be Yrel’s dark secret. This is revolting, and you can tell that the writing comes from people who haven’t been tracking the characterization of these cultures- not for a couple years, certainly not for ten or twenty. And I know, if you want writing to get done, you can’t always pull from a stable of writers who have been with you forever- they have other jobs to do and families to feed. But asking the new writers to brush up on the established lore before they write something as abominable as this seems like a necessary measure to ensure a consistent and interesting ongoing work, and I’m coming out of the other side of this post thinking that the writer(s) of this scenario really don’t know anything about the decade or more of context and labor that has gone into making these cultures something we recognize.

That’s a more tragic story than the one they’re trying to tell, but I hate it just as much.
Yep, the draenei lived for decades in relative peace sharing the world with the orcs and other races. That is a huge nonsensical turn on both Yrel's character and the Draenai. But again, they turned Grom who commited genocide and a ton of war crimes into a hero...
If they wanted so badly to show the darker side of the light, they could have do it without sacrificing even more draenei characters... Which they dont have many left (lightforged non incuded) Or even say that she was killed trying to be the voice of reason, to paint the faction as true radicals.

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