Over the past couple of weeks, weve been looking at World of Warcraft legends but how do we define a legend?
Legendary figures can be anyone of note, either for positive or negative reasons. We have obvious candidates like Thrall, Illidan, Deathwing (of course), Malfurion and many others. But the problem is that where once there were many candidates, now the number is dwindling snd we are in sore need of an injection of new characters we can grow to love and respect for the role they play in Azerothian lore.
Recently though, Blizzard has been culling left, right and centre. Both Cairne Bloodhoof and Magni Bronzebeard were killed off-screen (or in the latters case, transformed) and their respective replacements dont have a hope in hell of escaping their shadows. Cairne was a particular favourite of both Horde and Alliance players and yet, to find out how he was murdered, you had to go outside the game and into the tie-in novels.
Likewise, being a bad guy in WoW means you will die at the hands of ten and twenty-five man raids. In recent years, all the fan-favourites from classic lore have fallen: Illidan, Kael'thas, Arthas, Malygos, Onyxia, Nefarian and, of course, Ragnaros and Deathwing. We now have an almost blank slate, especially once the Mists of Pandaria storyline begins, to meet new legends and forge forward with new lore.
Since WoW launched seven years ago, the bosses weve faced, the faction leaders weve known, have all come from the lore of the RTS games. Thralls retirement as Warchief, his replacement by Garrosh and the return of Varian Wrynn (via the comic books) and the discovery of Medan (also via the comics) have really been the first footsteps Blizzard has made in introducing new, exciting characters who will usher us into the future of the Warcraft franchise.
When it comes to WoW legends, Garrosh is the wildcard, the unstable element, but even he seems to have mellowed since assuming Thralls position. That said, hes still running rampage across Ashenvale, taking territory from the Night Elves for his Horde. Yet hes not without his morals, as witnessed by his dealings with Kromgar, and theres a good chance he will be remembered as one of the Hordes great leaders. That said, hes hardly a good role-model and often lets his temper betray him.
Med'an is one of the new legends of the Warcraft universe.
Similarly, Varian Wrynn, leader of the Alliance, has really attempted to live up to his position since returning from the Orcish gladiatorial rings. Hes become the face of the Alliance but he doesnt exactly do much, just stand in Stormwind and resent Genn Greymane and the Worgen. His role is getting more expansive, thanks to the novels, but he has nowhere near the gravitas or the following as his Horde counterpart.
One of the newest legends to come out of the Warcraft franchise is Kalecgos, the new Aspect of Magic, Malygos successor and the leader of the Blue Dragonflight. Fans of the manga - myself included - love him as he is one of the first characters created in the manga to find himself a role in the actual game. The problem is, unless youre a lore fan who avidly collects the comics/manga/DC line of statues, then youre not going to have any idea who this blue-haired elf is, much less care about him.
The next generation of legendary figures ? us aside - are more than likely going to come from outside the game. They - like Medan will be introduced in the comics or novels and then find their way in-game. As we venture into Pandaria though, were more than likely to add figures like Chen Stormstout to this list but the need for fresh blood will mean new characters will always take precedence. This mean Blizzard needs to create new heroes, new figures and retire more older ones.
Its a risky strategy, after all people are familiar with the big names. Just look at how many people gawked at the idea than Cairne would be replaced by his low-level NPC son while he himself was killed off-screen. That said, to continue to evolve the lore, we need new heroes, new legends, to keep Azeroth fresh and with the announcement of the new expansion, this is the perfect time to do it.
So, this is where you come in, who would you like to see in a role which puts them in the spotlight? Do you think Blizzard needs to use older characters like Maiev and Chen Stormstout or introduce more newer characters like Medan? Let us know in the comments box below!
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