The first major content patch finally went live on the 11th, and it was just what I needed as a player. I’ll admit that I had been in a bit of a slump with WoW and when I did log in, it was mostly to do my Emissary quests for my 1500 rep and then log out. I didn’t know how to feel either way about the patch, and I wasn’t particularly excited about the Darkshore Warfront after getting burnt out in Arathi (but I do enjoy killing rares for a chance at sweet mounts). I had forgotten that a very important part of 8.1 involves a quest-line where Tyrande undergoes the ritual of the Night Warrior, a very spooky process where most people who have attempted it in the past have died. Fun, right?
Becoming The Night Warrior
While there isn’t a lot of information yet about what being the Night Warrior really means, we do know that it’s Elune’s wrathful side and successfully invoking that side of her, like Tyrande did, means that Tyrande has become the avatar of Elune’s wrath. Elune is the goddess of The White Lady, one of Azeroth’s two moons, and is primarily worshiped by the Night Elves. Elune has different faces or aspects, and the Night Warrior aspect is probably the dark side of the moon.
This side of Elune is unsettling, to say the least. When we usually imagine Elune, we think of the gentle moonlight or the peaceful quiet of the forest. The goddess is not usually depicted as a warrior or even willing to fight at all, so Elune bestowing her wrath upon Tyrande is important. It’s also worth noting that in order to start the ritual Tyrande tossed the head of an Orc in a moonwell, which then turned an inky blue black. If you go to the updated Darkshore and look up at the sky, you can see the moon hanging high in the sky. It looks dark and imposing, and the sky itself seems to part for it.
Has Elune Forsaken Us?
The Ritual of The Night Warrior is not a gentle beseech for help by a Priestess of the Moon. No, invoking Elune’s angry side is a demand by a person who seeks vengeance. Tyrande, former High Priestess of Elune, is angry and vengeful and believes that Elune let Teldrassil burn. The Night Elves have worshiped and prayed to Elune for millennia, and have largely been peaceful nomadic types since the Shattering (Well of Eternity collapse). But the Night Elves are still battle hardened, being one of the oldest races on Azeroth, and have aided in battle as members of the Alliance. The burning of Teldrassil, their home since the War of the Ancients, plunged their world into darkness and chaos. I’ll admit that I’m excited to see some bad-ass Night Elf battles in the future, because they are truly skilled fighters.
We still don’t know who or what Elune really is. Until now, she has always seemed to be a benevolent goddess and an almost mother-like figure to the Night Elves. This new face of darkness is concerning, and I can’t shake the feeling about the new Night Elf eyes are just plain freaky. Not only was Tyrande altered in appearance and power, but anyone who bore witness to the ritual now sports dark blue eyes. I think that this new arc won’t end well for Tyrande, either with her being consumed with wrath or being a pawn of evil. The mysteriousness of Elune makes for a good story, and I’m glad to see more Night Elf-themed story.
The Darkshore Warfront
The second Warfront in BfA pleasantly surprised me! I expected a Warfront with an almost identical formula to Arathi’s, except with a different setting. What we got instead was an improved Warfront experience, gathered from trial and error. The whole thing feels stream-lined and just flows much better. Gathering resources isn’t nearly as tedious, and it seems easier to stick together and fight lots of stuff. I don’t know how different it really is from Arathi, but it seems much more natural, and I’m probably a little biased because I just love Night Elf content. Bottom line is I’m enjoying it and I didn’t get nearly as confused in Darkshore wondering what I should be doing next. It’s all “go go go” whereas in Arathi there seems to be some slow points. Maybe it’s just that everyone has gotten the hang of Warfronts by now, so there’s not as much of an awkward phase.
I’m not sure if the end-bosses will rotate like in Arathi, but killing Sira at the end is one of my favorite parts. She has a mechanic that I really like and uses the entire boss platform. I’m looking forward to more fun boss fights as it’s a big improvement from the bosses in Arathi, who weren’t very fun for me.
So What Do I Think?
There’s a lot more content to cover in 8.1, and this post inevitably turned into Night Elf Appreciation Day. For instance I didn’t talk at all about the new war campaign stuff for the Alliance, which is really cool. The new patch also added World Quests in both Warfront zones, which I’m super excited about and was hoping for. The two new raids, Battle for Dazar’Alor and Crucible of Storms won’t be out until early next year, so there will be lots to talk about when those are live. For now, I’ll leave you with my thoughts thus far…
I’m enjoying 8.1. This patch has done just what a major content update should, which is make me excited to log in and participate in that content. The Night Warrior quest-line set the tone for me and was a perfect introduction to the Darkshore Warfront. Being reminded of all the tragedy that the Night Elves have gone through since this expansion began really helps to associate the Warfront with certain emotions, and that’s really what I look for in games. With Darkshore came new rare bosses, mounts, pets, and toys, which are easy to get even if their drop rates are kind of low. The new series of war campaign quests were fun and give a little background into the upcoming Battle for Dazar’alor raid, and I hope that the Crucible of Storms gets the same treatment even though it’s only a two boss mini-raid. Overall, I’m looking forward to experience all of what 8.1 has to offer.