Terran Gregory. So much love to Night Elves.

Story Forum
Recently, we have seen Ion Hazzikostas be positive about the Night Elves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0WKnDcvSzE&t=5m49s
    Ion Hazzikostas: We also have a new Warfront. As I mentioned, the Alliance suffered some heavy blows in the initial events of Battle for Azeroth, but now it's time for them to strike back. As so this is actually going to be the Night Elven force and the Alliance as a whole looking to retake Darkshore. Looking to reestablish a foothold in Kalimdor within striking distance of Orgrimmar. Looking to reclaim their ancestral homelands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBN_sRPAH_Y&t=2m28s
    Ion Hazzikostas: I think we're seeing a chance for the first time to really delve into both the Night Elf culture but also their champions. As you saw in the "Terror of Darkshore" cinematic, they are feared by the Horde for a reason. And, yes, while they're in touch with nature, don't get between them and nature, certainly don't harm their homes, certainly don't harm their people.

And this makes a great introduction to an interview about the "Terror of Darkshore" cinematic with Terran Gregory that is an hour long, where Terran Gregory shows so much love to the Night Elves that I wanted to present it here to people who would rather read a wall of text at their own pace:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEHc8le_Qpk

I'm going to present this roughly in the timeline of the narrative creation of "Terror of Darkshore" and I'll put timestamps of where in the actual interview he made the statements. This interview really helped me feel better about the Darkshore Warfront. Though the changes on the PTR to improve the quest content for it has been great, with Lor'danel being plagued and being left plagued, and with the inherent nature of Darkshore being retaken by each side back and forth over and over, I had found myself ultimately siding more towards disappointment with Darkshore. However, something that had me coming back to the testing going on in the PTR was all the Night Elf characters and allies that show up in the Alliance's warfront scenario proper, and even with the destruction of land and life, seeing characters like Thisalee Crow, Jarod Shadowsong, Mordent Evershade, Shandris Feathermoon, Celestine of the Harvest, Lorna Crowley, Tess Greymane, Genn Greymane, and even Maiev Shadowsong - who I strongly disliked before but we now see making amends for her passed crimes - filled me with more elation than Teldrassil's ever present husk could diminish. But this interview with Terran Gregory blew even that out of the water.

Terran Gregory at 1:21:
    I’m Project Director for Creative Development, Story and Franchise Development for Blizzard.

Terran Gregory at 41:41:
    It’s interesting ‘cause going back to when we were pitching this, we were pitching this long before Battle for Azeroth had come out, we were pitching before Sylvanas: Warbringers went live, before “Old Soldier,” before any of it, right? So the audience had not even yet had the reaction to the burning of Teldrassil. But, as we’ve discussed in similar medium that the burning of Teldrassil was very much supposed to do what it did. And that’s ignite a war. And it had to be big. It had to not be something that some people could objectively say “You know that, it wasn’t that bad, I don’t want to go to war,” right? It had to be something so absolutely war inspiring. And because of that, we knew, right? We knew that it was going to hurt, in a narrative sense, right? And we immediately were thinking about the next chapter. The Night Elf’s part specifically we were going to feel like you took us off guard, we were unprepared for the assault Sylvanas brang, it was devastating all the way down to our core, and where are you going to feel in the next chapter point? As so I came in, Alex [Afrasiabi] had asked us to investigate what this teaser for this patch would be, and he want it to be the Night Elves coming to Darkshore. But that was like it. That was the container by which we were going to develop this firm. And that’s when I started seeing that, like, I feel like the Night Elves are going to be coming back with for vengeance. With profound vengeance. Terrifying. They were terrifying. And when they were in their element, right?- barbaric is not the right word, right? Because they were elegant, but the ferocity of which they personified. When you’re in their territory, and the lights go out, you should afraid. And that’s definitely how we approached this film.

Terran Gregory at 26:52:
    It’s more about the message. It’s more about, like, what’s going on in Darkshore. We enter here, clearly the Horde has taken Darkshore, right? They’re occupying Darkshore. When you occupy territory, you have to have supply lines, and when you have supply lines they’re vulnerable to attack, right? And so before there’s any major onslaught, the whole idea is that this is the first first-strike that’s made, right? So they don’t know what’s coming, they just doing their job. Right? And yes, it’s not meant to be “Oh! Okay! Look!” No. It’s the message of: They’re coming for you. And the whole, owl arrives, of course, Tyrande uses her owl for battle visibility, and so the moment that’s there they’ve been found.

Terran Gregory at 31:32:
    I think we refer to her as the healer. Because the healer always gets taken out first. It’s like “Why did he go after the Blood Elf first?” Dude, it’s PvP, you have to go after the healer first. Before she can bubble. Just like BAM! Crit for a million.

Terran Gregory at 39:06 on the shapeshifting effect for Druids:
    So the great thing about this effect, and I’m glad we get to talk about it, this effect specifically, a lot of times if something was, say, established first in the high-fidelity CGI pipeline, then when we go in-game we want it to match a more of an in-game style, right? We want the in-game to feel like an in-game effects, versus like if it transformed in pre-render you would imagine it would be some sort of crazy werewolf transformation, would be incredibly hyper-realistic. Actually: We went back to the first World of Warcraft cinematic and the Night Elf that’s running through the woods. So when you’re cutting this together later you can grab the video and lay it over: She’s running, she’s running, she’s running, she’s running, and she jumps, and there’s this light that goes over the body and she just immediately becomes the cat and then lands, and we used that, we used that and said, you know what, there’s an establishment in the CGI pipeline that we can easily achieve in the in-game effect and now they’re unified, right? Both her and Malfurion look just like they did, they just shapeshift into the new form. So that’s where we got the inspiration for doing that. It goes from the eyes, rolls over the face, reveals his head was where his head was, revealing the raising Malfurion.

Terran Gregory at 44:45:
    Perhaps they’ve been pacifist for this long, right? And again, they got taken off guard. But the whole meta going on here is, you know, you poked the bear. You literally poked the bear. And for the first time, as we’ve said, since Warcraft III, their true face, the one we haven’t seen since the Night Elf armies with Sentinels of the Warcraft III encounter, they show that again, and we want it to be terrifying, and the whole setting of Darkshore, the whole setting of just like the terr- In fact, the name, “Terror of Darkshore,” was the name of the pitch. Because Malfurion is the Terror of Darkshore now, right? Everyone in the Horde army is probably talking like “Dude, you better not go out there by yourself, ‘cause this thing, this thing is going to just tear you limb from limb.”

Terran Gregory at 47:59:
    The Druids, they’re here to win it, right? They’re not necessarily all about the rules of engagement right here. They’re about “We’re here to win.”

Terran Gregory at 50:06:
    We definitely never wanted this troll to feel like he just flimsy or weak. Even at the beginning, right? We didn’t have him that class shell-shocked soldier. He was more so centering himself. Like this a battle-hardened individual who’s seen stuff, but had never seen anything quite like this.

Terran Gregory at 51:04:
    And the sound designers had a field day with this. Between adding the growls, and really doing amazing sound design on his vocal performance to give it more gravity, to give it more, you know, oomph. He’s always felt much more like a wizened elder. “I’m giving the elder advice.” That’s definitely Malfurion. But to see that same voice *hiss.* It’s a great shift, right? Boom. We’re going into this here now.

Terran Gregory at 54:33:
    And then, the wisps. …Oh… and there she is [Tyrande]. [Teldrassil] Extinguished, right? And yet, and yet, this composition is designed that even if it’s this burnt out husk, it’s what we’re fighting for. Right? We’re taking it. Even if you burn it. We’re here to fight over this. This is ours. This is our homeland.

Terran Gregory at 55:22:
    Elune has the power to do this. We’ve established that she does. And here it is again. She calls upon it. The unnatural dark falls upon Darkshore. And it gives the Night Elves battle, you know, enhancement. Right? Flip back to Tyrande. One really cool thing about this, was, right, again, when these things are pitched everyone’s in the early phases of any given development, so we were talking about this scene, and I remember nudging Alex [Afrasiabi] and being like, “Dude, you know, what would you think about giving an armor refresh for Tyrande?” And it was so early that they hadn’t even started, like, the Night Warrior. Because the cinematics start a long back, right? And so they hadn’t really established the visual aesthetic of the Night Warrior. But we were like, “Do you think we could get something to make sure at the end here when we see her, when we finally see her that there’s like enhancement, right?” And Alex [Afrasiabi] was mere like, “Oh yeah, let me just talk to the guys,” right? And then within, you know, however long it took, sent it over, and I saw this, and I was like *gasp!* And suddenly this moment, this reveal, was that much more profound, as far as like, “I’m here.” And this is of course a call back to that classic Warcraft III image. Where the male Night Elf, female Night Elf are just standing right side by side, the Druid here, the female in front, female in front because that’s the Night Elf culture from Warcraft III, right? The Sentinels. The matriarchal society. And so she’s at that forefront, Malfurion, who we just saw how powerful Malfurion is in this whole film, but he is clearly in a position of being “second in command” here. So if he was that wicked, what is that by power of transference mean about how powerful she could be.

Terran Gregory at 58:07:
    It’s very much Sentinel and Warden inspired. Right? And Wardens are, as we know, the keepers of vengeance. And while they were crated very specifically they’re still, you know, at their core a Night Elf institution. The concept of wielding vengeance as a weapon. And I felt that actually factored into this. This was just my feeling in putting this story together. If they are capable of being empowered by vengeance, then that means they’re more powerful after they lost Teldrassil than they were during the fight of Teldrassil.

Terran Gregory at 1[hour]:07:04:
    Red versus blue. Red versus blue. [The red] It’s shrinking, right? [The smoke from Teldrassil] *Fwoosh* [at the Horde] It’s all “I’m coming for you like a wave.”
11/13/2018 01:29 AMPosted by Amadis
Terran Gregory at 55:22:
Elune has the power to do this. We’ve established that she does. And here it is again. She calls upon it. The unnatural dark falls upon Darkshore. And it gives the Night Elves battle, you know, enhancement. Right? Flip back to Tyrande. One really cool thing about this, was, right, again, when these things are pitched everyone’s in the early phases of any given development, so we were talking about this scene, and I remember nudging Alex [Afrasiabi] and being like, “Dude, you know, what would you think about giving an armor refresh for Tyrande?” And it was so early that they hadn’t even started, like, the Night Warrior. Because the cinematics start a long back, right? And so they hadn’t really established the visual aesthetic of the Night Warrior. But we were like, “Do you think we could get something to make sure at the end here when we see her, when we finally see her that there’s like enhancement, right?” And Alex [Afrasiabi] was mere like, “Oh yeah, let me just talk to the guys,” right? And then within, you know, however long it took, sent it over, and I saw this, and I was like *gasp!* And suddenly this moment, this reveal, was that much more profound, as far as like, “I’m here.” And this is of course a call back to that classic Warcraft III image. Where the male Night Elf, female Night Elf are just standing right side by side, the Druid here, the female in front, female in front because that’s the Night Elf culture from Warcraft III, right? The Sentinels. The matriarchal society. And so she’s at that forefront, Malfurion, who we just saw how powerful Malfurion is in this whole film, but he is clearly in a position of being “second in command” here. So if he was that wicked, what is that by power of transference mean about how powerful she could be.


I love this!
I'm glad the night elf fans are getting some of what they have wanted since WC3 next patch, It's taken far too long.
I am playing a wc3 custom game right now as the night elves and destroying the horde. Stone golem guys destroy the horde badly.. don't know why there arn't any in wow?
11/13/2018 02:28 AMPosted by Christopher
I am playing a wc3 custom game right now as the night elves and destroying the horde. Stone golem guys destroy the horde badly.. don't know why there arn't any in wow?
Most allies of nature were moved toward neutrality or written out entirely. The warfront is the first time in WoW's history that they've gotten to use chimeras.
11/13/2018 02:28 AMPosted by Christopher
I am playing a wc3 custom game right now as the night elves and destroying the horde. Stone golem guys destroy the horde badly.. don't know why there arn't any in wow?


Correct me if I'm wrong, those are the boulder throwing giants right? It's probably because, these days at least, NE's and the Alliance in general have more practical siege units.
11/13/2018 02:54 AMPosted by Galenar
11/13/2018 02:28 AMPosted by Christopher
I am playing a wc3 custom game right now as the night elves and destroying the horde. Stone golem guys destroy the horde badly.. don't know why there arn't any in wow?


Correct me if I'm wrong, those are the boulder throwing giants right? It's probably because, these days at least, NE's and the Alliance in general have more practical siege units.


Nah they're the guys that can pick up trees and smash buildings.
https://wow.gamepedia.com/Mountain_Giant_(Warcraft_III)
This man loves saying right, right?

On topic, it's nice to see someone who actually appears to enjoy writing Night elves.
I would like to read the OP's statement, before I do I want to know are they're any spoilers or is this just praising the coming content?
11/13/2018 04:28 AMPosted by Resìleaf
This man loves saying right, right?


I know right?
11/13/2018 04:30 AMPosted by Kaileena
I would like to read the OP's statement, before I do I want to know are they're any spoilers or is this just praising the coming content?


Nothing spoilery, just talking about what they did for the Night Elves in the cinematic they showed for blizzcon. I honestly find it a bit trite and weak, they talk about all they're doing for the night elves.. While justifying none of why they did it. They said they came up with the idea to burn teldrassil in the very beginning, to ignite the war. Why couldn't they have torched Stormwind? Or raze Ironforge? What makes this any different? Oh it's because the Night Elves were weak and a joke of a race to them. But now they're making them "cool". Why couldn't they have been cool before?

It just chalks up to me as knowing what a !@#$storm this would be, but plowing ahead anyways. They wanted the playerbase at each other's throats, and miserable, for whatever reason. And now the Night Elves are fighting tooth and nail for their survival, is the only time they are allowed anything they used to have, in a pitiful attempt to stay relevant. Meanwhile the humans lead massive campaign stretching the globe and get actual cinematics about their lead character actually doing feats worth recognizing. Malfurion killed like five random people in a caravan. This is somehow terrifying, yet Anduin literally rezzing hundreds during a battle is allowed to just fly under everyone's radar? If that was malfurion's moment to be badass (to do a feat we all knew him capable of) I wonder what they'll have Tyrande do. Probably get in a fight with Nathanos and only be able to kill an unnamed Valk'yr.. Oh wait..
11/13/2018 05:10 AMPosted by Valuelle
I wonder what they'll have Tyrande do. Probably get in a fight with Nathanos and only be able to kill an unnamed Valk'yr.. Oh wait..


yup, pretty much the issue at hand here.... this is cool talk and all, dude seems to like night elves... seems to be one of the very few devs to get NEs....buuuuut we've seen the story for Darkshore and its just real meh for the night elves in the end :/
11/13/2018 01:29 AMPosted by Amadis
this composition is designed that even if it’s this burnt out husk, it’s what we’re fighting for. Right? We’re taking it. Even if you burn it. We’re here to fight over this. This is ours. This is our homeland.

This guy gets it. I'm mildly impressed.
Now if that love were to be spread among the other writers, maybe we wouldn’t feel burnt out on trust.
11/13/2018 01:29 AMPosted by Amadis
However, something that had me coming back to the testing going on in the PTR was all the Night Elf characters and allies that show up in the Alliance's warfront scenario proper, and even with the destruction of land and life, seeing characters like Thisalee Crow, Jarod Shadowsong, Mordent Evershade, Shandris Feathermoon, Celestine of the Harvest, Lorna Crowley, Tess Greymane, Genn Greymane, and even Maiev Shadowsong - who I strongly disliked before but we now see making amends for her passed crimes - filled me with more elation than Teldrassil's ever present husk could diminish.


I'm genuinely happy for you, I can tell that this is really a step in the right direction.
11/13/2018 02:28 AMPosted by Christopher
I am playing a wc3 custom game right now as the night elves and destroying the horde. Stone golem guys destroy the horde badly.. don't know why there arn't any in wow?


What's the name of the map? I'm working on a little something around this theme myself in light of Reforged.
Wait, night elves arent getting shafted? I dont believe it sorry.
11/13/2018 05:10 AMPosted by Valuelle
I wonder what they'll have Tyrande do. Probably get in a fight with Nathanos and only be able to kill an unnamed Valk'yr.. Oh wait..


i dream with the day that tyrande has her moment throwing starfall obliterating the entire battlefield while the full might of the kaldorei army,chymeras,druids,drias,gigants stands behind her.

i would probably insta race-change.
So did we all just collectively forget how the narrative of Darkshore is executed ingame via datamine? Or did all that go away because of the nice cinematic?
First: I'm glad Night Elves are getting some love. You are way overdue for this. I sincerely hope the end result follows through on the promises and is something you will be excited about playing.

But I've just gotta do a little Horde-side nitpicking on this.

First: Is it just me, or does it sound to anyone else like they decided to have Teldrassil burn and then came up with a reason for it later?

Second: Why do Night Elves/Alliance get the clear-cut justification for war but not Horde? Why do they not care if we say "I don't want to go to war"?

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