With two exceptions, I have played my troll mage as my main for the entirety of my time in WoW. The first was in Mists of Pandaria, when I mained a Warlock for 2/3rds of the expansion. I wasn’t on a raid team in my guild, so I was mostly soloing and doing LFR for endgame story. Once I joined my current raid team during their time in Siege of Orgrimmar, I returned to my mage. Why? My friend and raid teammate Rho from the Realm Maintenance podcast mentioned something that actually finally clued me into the answer after all this time: It was for story reasons. Rho, it turns out, is going to retire his warlock of the same name, because he feels that after Legion, his story will be complete. And for me, it didn’t quite feel right to NOT take Garrosh down on anyone but my mage, the guy I had spent the past two expansions chafing under Garrosh’s rule with.
I stuck with the mage throughout Warlords, and in Legion I attempted to swap again, this time to my shaman. I actually flipped back and forth between him and the shaman a couple of times, but ultimately made the commitment to stick with the mage through the remainder of Legion. So what was the reasoning this time? Initially, I returned to the mage because elemental shaman numbers were very very bad during the early part of Legion, but after they got some buffs, I tried to go back to him during Nighthold. However, I still wasn’t putting up competitive numbers, mostly due to sheer muscle memory accumulated over years of playing a mage. Also, it fell back to story again. We were finally going to take down all of the remaining big bads in Legion. First Gul’dan, then Kil’jaeden, and finally we’ll eventually indirectly deal with Sargeras in the final raid. And considering the bulk of my mage’s story has revolved around making secret alliances outside the Horde to be ready for the invasion that actually started the current expansion, it really only makes sense to have him be the one I play when I finally see the end of the Legion seemingly for good.
So when I take a look at what we know regarding the story for our next expansion, I find myself thinking again of changing mains, but this time for a different reason. With the previous swaps, it was always a matter of changing for mechanical reasons. I wanted some new gameplay. This time around, like Rho, my reason for swapping is based in story.
Let’s take a look at what we know regarding Battle for Azeroth’s story. We’ve been told it’s all about renewed hostilities between the Alliance and Horde. We’ve been told we’re recruiting new allies. Indeed, the patch 7.3.5 PTR has revealed all sorts of dialogue goodness that explains just how we’ll recruit some of these allies, and in a few cases why they want to fight the opposing faction themselves. We know both sides are going to destroy a major city of the other faction, and many of the new gameplay features revolve around battling each other as well.
We also have a LOT of hints that there will be Old God/Void Lord involvement. However, that’s all they are is just hints. We don’t have any confirmation, and let’s be honest, we probably won’t get any until we see what happens in the game itself.
With that said, if I’m swapping mains for story reasons, I don’t think I can do so under the assumption that the Old Gods are involved. I have to enter this assuming that Blizzard really wants to push a resurgence of the faction war as a narrative device, regardless of how dumb I think it is.
So that pretty much rules Dahkar out as a future main. He would not participate in the faction war, and he won’t do so at the behest of yet another seemingly evil Warchief. He lived through the Garrosh era of the Horde, he has zero desire to get caught up in a meaningless war with people he’s spent years trying to befriend and ally with. The idea of having to face some of his allies from the Tirisgarde simply because “Alliance vs Horde is how it always has been” is not something he’s ever going to be okay with. So with his goals achieved, he’s going to more than likely fade away into the background, either in retirement or working with a neutral faction directly.
So now, I have a choice to make. Pick another character, or make a new one? Do I have a character I’m willing to main that I can take this new war plotline and incorporate it into their story in a way I’m comfortable with? Or do I need to look into creating an entirely new character with a brand new story unaffected by what I’ve done before?
In Part 2, we’ll examine these various choices in greater detail. For now though, I’m going to end this one here. See ya’ll in the next post!