Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Curse of the Worgen

I said a while back on New Horde Order that I was really disappointed by the Worgen starter zone. The story of Gilneas, was dark, complex, and at times quite boring. Here in a nutshell, is what happened:

Sup baby? I've had all my shots...
The nation of Gilneas is besieged by the Forsaken, who are held at bay by the Greymane Wall. Gilneas city is also under attack by feral worgen. King Genn Graymane decides to free political prisoners under the leadership of Lord Crowley, and the two forge an alliance to save Gilneas. Crowley covers the escape from the city, but is lost when worgen attack the Cathedral.

The refugees of the city regroup at Duskhaven, where they learn that the worgen are their own people, transformed into mindless beasts. The Kings Alchemist creates a serum that allows the transformed citizens to regain control of their bodies. The victory is shortlived as the Forsaken launch an attack by sea. In the midst of the fighting, the entire area is lost to the sea as a massive earthquake rocks the land. 

Genn and the survivors move on to Stormglen, as a second quake destroys Duskhaven.In the woods around Stormglen a night elf named Belysra leads the survivors to the Tal’doren tree where the mystery of the Worgen curse is revealed. The curse has a night elf origin and was passed to humans. Crowley is reavealed to be alive, and the Night Elves give the Gilneans the power to control the curse. 

Genn reveals he too is a worgen. Lord Godfrey is disgusted by Genn’s affliction and kidnaps him. During the rescue attempt Godfrey kills himself, as he would rather be dead than a worgen. 

The Gilneans, having dealt with the Worgen problem, move against the Forsaken, who have occupied Gilneas City. Genn goes to fight Sylvanas one on one, but his son Liam intervenes and is killed. 

Afterward, Sylvanas meets with General Warhowl. Warchief Garrosh is bothered by the setbacks in Gilneas. Sylvanas is told not to use the forsaken plague but plans to do so anyway. Spies carry word to Genn, who evacuates the city. The Night Elves help the Gileans escape by sea, and offer them sanctuary in Teldrassil. Genn sets off for Stormwind, to secure the Gilnean’s place in the Alliance.

Cool story bro. The zone had too much walking. Way too much walking. And, sandwiched into this storyline were some throwaway quests about a Night Elf weapon that can make more Worgen. The Sythe of Elune. It felt odd being in there, with no real reason. What was this weapon and why did it matter.

Then I read Curse of the Worgen. REALLY cool story bro! This graphic novel tells you the "rest" of the story. The origin of the worgen curse, the meaning of the Scythe, even why the Worgen were attacking Gilneas City at the start of the questline! As an added bonus, at the very end, you discover how the Worgen curse came to Gilneas in the first place! 


Argul, the old boss from Shadowfang Keep, had freed the Worgen from the Emerald Dream, which caused the curse to be spread amongst the humans in Silverpine Forest. Eventually, as the Forsaken pushed south, the Worgen were forced into Gilneas.


Understand that while none of this info is needed to understand the worgen zone, I feel that the Graphic Novel actually helped to fit the Worgen into the "World" of Warcaft much more than the zone did. The undisclosed back history did a lot to flesh out the Gilneans and their struggles. 

Maybe its me, but it does seem as if the writers are trying to set up situations in the game that they can then resolve in the spinoff material. I know a lot of people were bothered by Deathwing, largely because he is featured so heavily in the books, and rarely mentioned in the game. I noticed when I read Ashbringer that this seemed to be the case. Ashbringer plays a huge role in the fall of the Lich King, yet we get very little face time before the battle for Light's Hope. The information revealed in Ashbringer made the Death Knight zone so full of awesome, its a shame we got very little of that info from the game.

So what do you think? I know its a trolled topic on forums everywhere, but are they putting to much reliance on other mediums to tell the Warcraft story?

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