A willing suspension of disbelief. Sylvanas did nothing wrong, Saurfang did.

General Discussion
08/06/2018 07:51 PMPosted by Virgael
I am convinced that as far as Horde interests are concerned Sylvanas had it right. It was better to try and fight an inevitable war now rather than later. She is no saint, but she is one hell of a Warchief who made the best choices possible with the information she had.


This is just not true. Who is the leader of the Alliance ??

It is the boy-king and He is a true pessimist. He wants nothing but peace since MOP. There would have been no war If Sylvanas did not make the move.

Now, if Varian was still the king I would understand Sylvanas expecting an attack from Alliance but the boy king ?? We all know it does not make any sense.
A Good War, Page 1:
“They might try to conquer the Undercity . . . but Darnassus becomes our hostage against that. The night elves will not allow your city to fall if they fear it means you will destroy theirs. The same goes for a strike against Silvermoon.” Saurfang’s thoughts raced. She’s right. This could work. “And even if the Alliance agrees to retake Darnassus . . . The Gilneans!”

Sylvanas’s eyes disappeared beneath the edge of her hood. “They lost their nation years ago. The Gilneans will be furious if the Alliance acts to help the kaldorei first,” she said. “The boy in Stormwind will have a political crisis on his hands. He is smart, but he is not experienced. What happens when Genn Greymane, Malfurion Stormrage, and Tyrande Whisperwind all demand differing actions? He is not a high king like his father. The respect the others give him is a courtesy, not an obligation. Anduin Wrynn will rapidly become a leader who cannot act. If the Alliance will not march as one, each nation will act in its own interest. Each army will return home to protect their lands from us.”

“And that is how you defeat Stormwind.” Saurfang was in awe. It was brilliant. Destroying the Alliance wouldn’t take a thousand victories. It would take one. With a single strategic push, the pressure on the Alliance would cripple them for years, just as long as they could not conjure any miracles on the battlefield. “You destroy the Alliance from within. Their military might counts for nothing if their members stand alone. Then we strike peace with the individual nations and carve them away from the Alliance, piece by piece.”

“If you want your enemy to bleed to death, you inflict a wound that cannot heal. That is why I need you to make the plan, High Overlord,” Sylvanas said. “The moment our strike begins, there will be no turning back. We can divide the Alliance only if the war to conquer Darnassus does not unite them against us. That only happens if the Horde wins an honorable victory, and I am not blind—the Horde does not trust me to wage war that way.”


A Good War, Page 4:
He struggled to form words. Finally, pure hatred made him spit out a condemnation. “You have damned the Horde for a thousand generations. All of us. And for what? For what?”

Her expression didn’t waver. “This was your battle. Your strategy. And your failure. Darnassus was never the prize. It was a wedge that would split the Alliance apart. It was the weapon that would destroy hope. And you, my master strategist, gave that up to spare an enemy you defeated. I have taken it back.


Yeah, no, Sylvanas is still a self-sabotaging idiot. Malfurion's survival would have been an annoyance, but not nearly so much as abandoning your stated objectives at the moment of victory, and then blaming the strategist who managed to accomplish your stated objectives for fulfilling another of your stated goals, IE, accomplishing an honorable victory.

She switched characters from Gus Fring to Tuco Salamanca just long enough to shoot herself in the foot. This remains a stupid plot contrivance in service to bad writing, no matter how much extra padding it gets.
08/06/2018 08:22 PMPosted by Doomgard
08/06/2018 07:59 PMPosted by Virgael
...

That is exactly what an Alliance player should think.

But.... not a Horde player.


nah your just an Undead


IF you as an Orc player are saying that you understand what Saurfang did, thats cool beans broseph.

IF however, you are saying that everything is binary undead vs. all others. Then no. That isn't true at all.
Arguably though you are completely neglecting the before the storm novel; including Anduin attempting to create a lasting hope that could blossom into peace only for sylvanas to even kill the forsaken who had called for a retreat. REGARDLESS of what Saurfang did or did not do here, burning the tree served the exact purpose Anduin stated killing him while he left the field in arathi would- to completely and irrevocably unify the alliance against her.

There was no sound strategy in burning down a land where many of the civilians had been evacuated; it was, as someone else here mentioned, a temper tantrum.
08/06/2018 07:51 PMPosted by Virgael
But the factor that made this go off the tracks wasn't Sylvanas, it was Saurfang.

One death could have meant occupation, instead of burning of Teldrassil. But Saurfang made that choice -- an honorable one -- that traded a single life for all the lives of the Kaldori innocents and for all those who will die as a result of this conflict (which we must assume will be far and beyond greater than the number killed last week).


That's not true. Saurfang didn't choose to burn Teldrassil and unite the Alliance against the Horde - Sylvanas did.

What's moronic is that Saurfang blames himself because he assumes Malfurion surviving his wounds will give the Alliance the hope and unity they need to beat the Horde. Not only is that an assumption, both he and Sylvanas never believed they needed to kill Malfurion when the plan was being created. All they thought they needed to do was capture Teldrassil. It's inconsistent with the earlier part of the story.

Also, Sylvanas made the situation worse by setting the tree on fire. If Malfurion wasn't going to be the uniting factor for the Alliance, burning Teldrassil surely would be.
08/06/2018 08:30 PMPosted by Barukor
A Good War, Page 1:
“They might try to conquer the Undercity . . . but Darnassus becomes our hostage against that. The night elves will not allow your city to fall if they fear it means you will destroy theirs. The same goes for a strike against Silvermoon.” Saurfang’s thoughts raced. She’s right. This could work. “And even if the Alliance agrees to retake Darnassus . . . The Gilneans!”

Sylvanas’s eyes disappeared beneath the edge of her hood. “They lost their nation years ago. The Gilneans will be furious if the Alliance acts to help the kaldorei first,” she said. “The boy in Stormwind will have a political crisis on his hands. He is smart, but he is not experienced. What happens when Genn Greymane, Malfurion Stormrage, and Tyrande Whisperwind all demand differing actions? He is not a high king like his father. The respect the others give him is a courtesy, not an obligation. Anduin Wrynn will rapidly become a leader who cannot act. If the Alliance will not march as one, each nation will act in its own interest. Each army will return home to protect their lands from us.”

“And that is how you defeat Stormwind.” Saurfang was in awe. It was brilliant. Destroying the Alliance wouldn’t take a thousand victories. It would take one. With a single strategic push, the pressure on the Alliance would cripple them for years, just as long as they could not conjure any miracles on the battlefield. “You destroy the Alliance from within. Their military might counts for nothing if their members stand alone. Then we strike peace with the individual nations and carve them away from the Alliance, piece by piece.”

“If you want your enemy to bleed to death, you inflict a wound that cannot heal. That is why I need you to make the plan, High Overlord,” Sylvanas said. “The moment our strike begins, there will be no turning back. We can divide the Alliance only if the war to conquer Darnassus does not unite them against us. That only happens if the Horde wins an honorable victory, and I am not blind—the Horde does not trust me to wage war that way.”


A Good War, Page 4:
He struggled to form words. Finally, pure hatred made him spit out a condemnation. “You have damned the Horde for a thousand generations. All of us. And for what? For what?”

Her expression didn’t waver. “This was your battle. Your strategy. And your failure. Darnassus was never the prize. It was a wedge that would split the Alliance apart. It was the weapon that would destroy hope. And you, my master strategist, gave that up to spare an enemy you defeated. I have taken it back.


Yeah, no, Sylvanas is still a self-sabotaging idiot. Malfurion's survival would have been an annoyance, but not nearly so much as abandoning your stated objectives at the moment of victory, and then blaming the strategist who managed to accomplish your stated objectives for fulfilling another of your stated goals, IE, accomplishing an honorable victory.

She switched characters from Gus Fring to Tuco Salamanca just long enough to shoot herself in the foot. This remains a stupid plot contrivance in service to bad writing, no matter how much extra padding it gets.


Military Strategy was never Saurfang's goal. Yes, an honorable victory was needed for the objective. But, it was HIS honor that was on the table. Besides, no one was there. Who says Saurfang doesn't best Malfurion in combat? It was Saurfang's personal virtue that prevented him from killing the druid, not some glorified PR move.

Are you suggesting that Sylvanas would just hold Teldrassil? Destorying it makes perfect sense. By that point, a trail of blood from Ashenvale to Darkshore is everywhere. War is already started.

At least by burning the Tree she holds Kalimdor. Why hold a city you can't defend when your naval power is diminished and the leaders of that city still live?
I agree with this 100%.

Our sense of morality should not be in the game.
We're out there killing people by the thousands, but we can't live with one tree being burnt.

We would have gotten executed a long time ago if our characters followed real life morals and norms.
08/06/2018 08:41 PMPosted by Irrenhaus
I agree with this 100%.

Our sense of morality should not be in the game.
We're out there killing people by the thousands, but we can't live with one tree being burnt.

We would have gotten executed a long time ago if our characters followed real life morals and norms.


i agree with it too. well written and right to the point.
08/06/2018 08:34 PMPosted by Auntehbelz
Arguably though you are completely neglecting the before the storm novel; including Anduin attempting to create a lasting hope that could blossom into peace only for sylvanas to even kill the forsaken who had called for a retreat. REGARDLESS of what Saurfang did or did not do here, burning the tree served the exact purpose Anduin stated killing him while he left the field in arathi would- to completely and irrevocably unify the alliance against her.

There was no sound strategy in burning down a land where many of the civilians had been evacuated; it was, as someone else here mentioned, a temper tantrum.


The weakness of this argument is that it assumes that peace is possible. Anduin believes it is. Maybe a major part of the alliance thinks it is.

But you know who doesn't? Most of the Horde. The ones who suffered at the hands of the alliance, and who made the alliance suffer. The moral of Before the Storm and the Novellas is to highlight the tragedy of misunderstanding that creates war. That there are in fact, two sides.

But again, as I said in my original argument, our perspective is tainted by objective circumstance because we know it is being written. Both sides need to be argued for.

And Hordies have to get over the fact that they aren't playing classic Lord of the Rings hero roles. They are anti-heroes, complicated, morally gray and sometimes evil. But I still say that isn't where Sylvanas is coming from.

At least not yet, she has a bit farther to fall still.
08/06/2018 08:30 PMPosted by Thera
08/06/2018 07:51 PMPosted by Virgael
I am convinced that as far as Horde interests are concerned Sylvanas had it right. It was better to try and fight an inevitable war now rather than later. She is no saint, but she is one hell of a Warchief who made the best choices possible with the information she had.


This is just not true. Who is the leader of the Alliance ??

It is the boy-king and He is a true pessimist. He wants nothing but peace since MOP. There would have been no war If Sylvanas did not make the move.

Now, if Varian was still the king I would understand Sylvanas expecting an attack from Alliance but the boy king ?? We all know it does not make any sense.


The argument is that the boy-king doesn't actually have control of his leige-lords. That Genn Graymane will eventually get him to go to war to take Lordaeron. From Sylvanas' perspective that makes sense. Anduin is young and inexperienced, Saurfang and Sylvanas see that and suspect that the other alliance power will sway him. Since the Horde is at a tactical disadvantage, the feeling is that they will lose an eventual war with the Alliance.
I just finished reading the Horde novella, people interested in the lore should too. Sylvanas explains to Saurfang that she burned the tree because he didn't kill Malfurion, thus failing not only their chief objective but actually giving the Alliance a rallying point of hope, that though wounded Malfurion escapes.

If you read the novella, you find out that Saurfang AGREES with her assessment. Part of what makes him so upset is he realizes all the Elves that died in the tree, and all the Horde that will die in this massive upcoming war are on his hands.

Sylvanas is cold and ruthless but despite all the guessing as to her motives we don't have any soild proof that since her ascension to Warchief that she is out to harm the Horde. Until that happens, the Horde will stand behind her, some leaders more than others, because they have no choice now. The only alternative is destruction by the Alliance.

P.S. - The novella also shows that the Horde as a whole still looooove killing Alliance, as it should be.
agreed, from the point of the character (NOT the player) this makes perfect sense.
08/06/2018 08:23 PMPosted by Drencher
08/06/2018 08:08 PMPosted by Virgael
At least with the tree burned, she only has to fight on one front.


This.. this is just utter non sense. They will be entrenched in a long guerrilla war in Ashenvale and Darkshore. Feathermoon Stronghold still exists. The Alliance should still be securing the Azerite in Silithus which Sylvanas completely ignored by choosing to send her forces into Ashenvale to begin with.


Willing suspension of disbelief.

Yes, Kalimdor will not fall completely. But the argument being made by the game is that the Kaldori in Kalimdor from Teldrassil will keep the Horde locked down on every other front.

If your problem is tactical, sure I get it. But let it be just be tactics. As a Hordie, you should know that your (character's) fate lies in defeating the alliance, not hiding in the UC sewers.
Best analysis I read so far.

People are projecting their own wishes onto a character that isn't theirs. It isn't just about Sylvanas, they do it to everyone. The polarizing nature of the game definitely tempt us to do so.

Like when I, as a Horde player, hate Jaina. I just hate her guts. I don't care what she's been through, I just want her dead, better yet I want her to turn evil so I can feel good about killing her myself. An when that doesn't happen, well I'll just call it "lazy writing".

Like when I, as an Alliance player, hate Sylvanas. I just hate her. I don't care about her reasoning, I don't care about her rationale. I just want her to be dead. When that doesn't happen, well I'll just call it "lazy writing".

See? It happens all the time in this forum, this story is only worse because they're pitching us agains each other and driving us further and further away from a common ground. That's the purpose of this story, and they's doing a hell of a job on that. My main is a Kaldorei, and my heart was beating fast throughout this whole book, even when I knew the outcome. Specially because I knew the outcome. Delaryn, Malfurion, Tyrande, Astarii, Ferryn etc... my heard sank as each and every effort they made proved pointless. Now, I want blood. Now, I want revenge.

That's what I'd call good writing.
08/06/2018 08:53 PMPosted by Dammekos
I just finished reading the Horde novella, people interested in the lore should too. Sylvanas explains to Saurfang that she burned the tree because he didn't kill Malfurion, thus failing not only their chief objective but actually giving the Alliance a rallying point of hope, that though wounded Malfurion escapes.


Killing Malfurion was never their chief objective.

It's mentioned in game, but never in the story and never to Saurfang.

Additionally, burning the tree fails to destroy the Alliance's hope. Even Sylvanas says so in-game and in the novella. In-game she says the Alliance will still come for the Horde, and in the novella she makes some stupid statement like "the Alliance attacking us in pain will work to our advantage."

Let's face it, Sylvanas blew her top because a single soldier rustled her jimmies.
08/06/2018 08:50 PMPosted by Virgael
The argument is that the boy-king doesn't actually have control of his leige-lords. That Genn Graymane will eventually get him to go to war to take Lordaeron. From Sylvanas' perspective that makes sense. Anduin is young and inexperienced, Saurfang and Sylvanas see that and suspect that the other alliance power will sway him. Since the Horde is at a tactical disadvantage, the feeling is that they will lose an eventual war with the Alliance.


We have been shown that Genn has no sway over Anduin. Anduin is smart(even Sylvanas admits this) but in-experienced. However, He doesn't just blindly follows what other leaders says. This is true against Genn and Jaina as well. Also Velen is always helping him out.(Broken shore quest line is a great example of this)

Anduin has tried to make peace with the Horde many times before. The last one was in Before the Storm.

Obviously, if you are a paranoid corpse aka Sylvanas you would always think that someone is trying to get you no matter how much the others show you the opposite.
Sorry no. Even though im a proud member of the horde, that doesnt mean that I like Sylvanas, or think that what she did was acceptable. Is she beyond redemption? Maybe, maybe not, but even if she does get a redemption at the end of this, people arent going to easily forget what she did. It may be war but War has rules too. War is not a license to kill whoever whenever. At this point Sylvanas is more an enemy of all things that are alive not just an enemy of the alliance. In the past many times she gets to kill (alliance or horde) she seemed more than eager to do so, and even uses plague to kill horde soldiers (treating other horde races as collateral damage) so she can raise them as corpses. Garrosh may have been a bad dude and crazy, but he was right. There is no difference between here and Arthas back in WotLK.
08/06/2018 09:00 PMPosted by Yagarr
08/06/2018 08:53 PMPosted by Dammekos
I just finished reading the Horde novella, people interested in the lore should too. Sylvanas explains to Saurfang that she burned the tree because he didn't kill Malfurion, thus failing not only their chief objective but actually giving the Alliance a rallying point of hope, that though wounded Malfurion escapes.


Killing Malfurion was never their chief objective.

It's mentioned in game, but never in the story and never to Saurfang.

Additionally, burning the tree fails to destroy the Alliance's hope. Even Sylvanas says so in-game and in the novella. In-game she says the Alliance will still come for the Horde, and in the novella she makes some stupid statement like "the Alliance attacking us in pain will work to our advantage."

Let's face it, Sylvanas blew her top because a single soldier rustled her jimmies.


With Malfurion escaping holding Darnassus wouldn't do anything. They were going for a one two punch with the death of a beloved leader and holding Teldrassil hostage. Sylvanas talking to the Night Elf captain made the decision that without both they wouldn't accomplish that, decides to cut her losses and deal with the hand she was dealt.

Burning the tree becomes the only option from her perspective. She is fully aware of the consequences which is why she orders the preparation for the evacuation and defense of Undercity. I imagine she is quite aware that the Undercity will be lost.

We can argue that if Malfurion had died and Teldrassil had been captured that it still wouldn't work, or it would work, or whatever but as soon as Malfurion and Tyrande hearth away the point is moot.
Most of the nonsense being posted in this thread almost certainly means the people posting it haven't read the content they're claiming the OP is wrong about.

This is what happens when you put a game's story in a medium that is a) outside of the game itself and b) requires more thought than a few cinematics which can be turned into meme fodder in 5 minutes.
08/06/2018 08:18 PMPosted by Valdrane
Out of curiosity, did you read the novellas?

ALL of it makes a LOT more sense one you read them.


Actually made a point of reading them after reading that... okay, only "A Good War" so far. But I would say the argument still stands.

Saurfang comes up with the plan to CAPTURE Darnassus (and Teldrassil), and perhaps also perform a "decapitation strike" against Malfurion and Tyrande (... that may have been more Sylvanas).

The Burning of Teldrassil was still a catastrophic error.

On several occasions, Saurfang makes a point of not pushing too far with their objectives. The point is to capture Darnassus and drive the Night Elves out of Kalimdor, to secure the continent for the Horde; the idea is to bleed the Alliance dry by forcing them to commit resources recapturing it, resources that the Alliance does not have. Destroying Teldrassil removes the need to recapture the city entirely, there's nothing left.

... except some VERY pissed off Alliance, and some VERY confused Horde who are wondering just what they've done and are having a lot of second thoughts.

The novella also made it seem Sylvanas burned the tree out of spite... against SAURFANG, specifically for not killing Malfurion when he had a chance. Saurfang is also left wondering if Sylvanas had planned it all along, though he does dismiss the notion; though one could also interpret Malfurion's survival as an excuse to burn the tree.

---

But perhaps most notable is Sylvanas muses the possibility of Saurfang, who she says only lives on because of honor and Horde, what would happen if he lost one or both?

He would become my enemy, a terrible one.


... well, she DID see it coming, didn't she?

Sylvanas created an enemy she has all right to be fearful of, and his name is Saurfang.

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