Patch 7.3 PTR: More spoiler heavy cutscenes explore Argus’ past and present

Patch 7.3 is chockablock with content, including several huge lore bombs that show players things they’ve wanted to see in-game forever. Seriously, it’s almost unreal how much juicy lore content is contained within the patch. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of it.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Patch 7.3, and any further reading will expose you to those spoilers. Turn back now if you would remain unspoiled.

This is spoiler country

First up, we have the long-awaited reunion of (most) of the Windrunner sisters as well as the turn to darkness for one of Blizzard’s oldest heroines. That’s amazing enough, but it’s hardly all: We’re going to see the very dawn of the Burning Legion itself in this patch. Sargeras had an unruly mob of demons before he went to Argus. After, he had his generals — and the core of the army that would shake the universe. And now, we get to see that foundation in game.

The folks over at Wowhead have been catching a lot of these really excellent videos, and these are no exception. For my money, the last one may well be the most important and best realized of them, and it really serves as a testament to the skills and hard work of the in-game cinematics team.

The Windrunners and the Sons of Lothar

What we have here is just a taste of what we’ll see later, but it reveals that Alleria is aware of the Light and darkened cycles of Naaru existence. Why is she aware of it? As we reported before, dialog from patch 7.3 reveals that Alleria has been studying the Shadow and Void magic in an attempt to learn a weapon to use against the Legion. Take a peek at some of the latest dialog from her:

Become a Watcher
Alleria: What are you talking about?
Locus-Walker: Why your mate of course. How does he feel about your choices?
Alleria: Turalyon trusts me to make hard decisions, and I him.
Locus-Walker: I am not talking about trust.
Locus-Walker: How can you expect to embrace the Shadow with the Light shining so brightly at your side?
Alleria: Without the Light there is no Shadow teacher.

But there’s more than Alleria’s flirtation with the Void to discuss. We also have a video of the previously datamined conversation she has with her sister, Vereesa. This video opens with a reunion between Khadgar, Alleria, and Turalyon.

As fun as it is to see them all together again — and to see Alleria ask about Kurdran and Danath — the real meat of that video, to me, is the discussion of Sylvanas between Alleria and Vereesa, especially the obvious hesitation in Vereesa’s voice about the whole matter. We get to hear Alleria’s quite understandable objection to the idea of Sylvanas leading the Horde — it was the Horde that killed their entire family, after all — and Vereesa’s “Oh, it gets worse” voice is very well done here. I’m hoping to watch this all play out very carefully once it goes live.

From here we move on to the distant past of Argus. How did the Burning Legion get started? For years we’ve known from books and other media, but now we finally get to see it.

Sargeras and the Triumvirate

The video is really well done. The broad strokes are simple — Sargeras comes to Argus and makes his fateful offer to the Triumvirate of Archimonde, Kil’jaeden, and Velen. What impresses me most about the video is how economical it is. That is, how well it uses facial expressions to convey emotion — especially on WoW character models, which, let’s face it, can be pretty stiff — and its restrained use of voice-over flashback techniques while never overshadowing what it’s presenting to you. Hearing the covetousness in Archimonde and Kil’jaeden’s voices, Velen’s vision while holding the Ata’mal Crystal and the tremor in his voice while he speaks — everything here really works to convey what we’re seeing.

Because this is it. This is the moment the Legion was formed. Sargeras doesn’t lie — he doesn’t tell the truth, either, but he absolutely does transform them, does offer them might beyond measure, and does set them against the hungering void in his own way. And we even get to see Sargeras’ model in game for the first time ever. This is the moment where everything changed and we get to see it happen, not in a novel or tie-in media, but right in game with the in-game rendering. That’s pretty amazing.

Kudos to Wowhead for finding these and everyone working on cinematics at Blizzard for producing it. I’ve never been so ridiculously excited for a patch before. I’ve been less excited than this for entire expansions. This almost feels like it could be its own expansion.

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