An Unseen Enemy vs A Known One – BFA vs Legion
Is an unseen enemy vs a known one, more or less exciting?
Today I rewatched the Legion cinematic – the one where Varian and Sylvanas trade pleasantries on opposing airships and then engage with a known enemy, the Burning Legion.
The Burning Legion is an enemy that is known to Warcraft players as they’ve invaded Azeroth at least 3 times (3? I think it’s three…consult Nobbel if you want specifics) or go and buy Warcraft Chronicle brush up on your lore (I am!) p.s. that’s an Amazon affiliate link – so if you go and buy that book, you’ll be supporting this website.
When I watched the cinematic again (for the 100th time) – two things happened…
- I experienced an overwhelming urge to level my Human Warrior named Wrynn
- It dawned on me why Battle for Azeroth seems lacklustre in comparison to Legion.
My second point is why we’re here today…
Faction War – Distraction War
This whole time in BFA, we’ve been having a “faction war” – I put that in air quotes and rolled my eyes while typing it, because frankly, I’m a wuss who enjoys BFA with warmode firmly turned OFF.
Yeah, I said it, I don’t like being disturbed whilst I go about the business of defending Azeroth by…*cough* picking flowers *cough*.
Back to my point – during this “faction war” – our enemy has been secretive and hidden from us. That is, as hidden from us as all the purple tentacle clues all around us would allow us to believe.
The thing is though, we’re not stupid and we know there’s more to it – so the “faction war” has felt like a whole lot of very frustrating foreplay for what we suspect (already know – thanks to all the clues) is the big bad we’re facing.
An Unseen Enemy vs a Known one – Urgency vs Apathy
But instead of allowing us to feel that sense of urgency and doom the way we did when we watched those screeching demons swirling around Varians airship in the Legion Cinematic – the devs are purposefully trying to increase suspense by making us guess who the real big baddy is.
Is it Azshara? No. Is it N’Zoth? Well, it could be? I find the whole thing just a bit…like I want to say,
“Well thanks, but actually I think I’ll just head home.”
Pick up my keys, go home and eat ice cream on the sofa – because that would be more satisfying.
Nothing more than a glance of terror on Azshara’s face at the end of the Eternal Palace raid – and then the purple tentacles that snatch her away and disappear from sight. It just doesn’t feel as epic as it did in Legion when we knew our only way forward was through the fight, thanks to the experience we’ve had from TBC and those of us who played through the RTS Warcraft series we know the danger of that enemy.
I’m still actively playing BFA – but I can see why players have quit in droves or have chosen to spend their time in Classic for instance. This is just pertaining to the story right now, I haven’t even touched on gearing, Azerite or essences btw.
(P.s. Blizzard story writers, I’m not having a go at you, I still love you! I’m just spit-balling why a portion of the player base are feeling disengaged from BFA at the moment).
Why do we fight?
(Extra points if you said the above headline, in your head like the Panda from the MoP cinematic)
Is it Sylvanas? Is it the Horde? (snore) – is it this unyet unseen force ?
When we don’t know what form our enemy will take – it just doesn’t feel very epic?
We have nothing to be scared by, nothing to make our hair stand on end and give us goosebumps.
Will a giant purple portal just open and a voidlord army pour out?
Will Warlocks Voidlords turn on their masters?
My voidlord literally says when summoned, “Ahh, a new world to devour.”
Will the void erupt through Alleria (please Blizz, NO) and she ushers in some kind of void veil over Azeroth forcing us to find our way out of the *cough* Shadowlands *cough*?
Part of me is sincerely hoping that by the time I hit publish on this post Blizzard will have released a cinematic that makes me a fool for not having felt excited up to now. I have no doubt they will blow me away with where the story takes us.
The story of WoW and the art team smash it out the park with every expansion, but if you are wondering why players feel disconnected from BFA at the moment, the only reason I can find (aside from class mechanics/azerite/essences/RNG) – is this question of an unseen enemy vs a known one not feeling as thrilling.
What do you guys think?
Do you think that Legion felt more epic because we knew what we were facing?
How do you think things will unfold in 8.3?
What big reveals are you wanting or expecting?