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WoWJan 17, 2018 2:00 pm CT

Spoilers: Patch 7.3.5 Legion epilogue cinematics

Patch 7.3.5 is now live in World of Warcraft, and it brought with it a couple surprises — namely, two brand-spankin’-new rad cinematics, datamined courtesy of Wowhead. Both cinematics are meant as an epilogue to Legion and a precursor to what spurs animosity between the Horde and Alliance in Battle for Azeroth. Each plays for its respective factions after you’ve beaten Argus in the Antorus raid and are sent to Silithus.

Without getting into too much (yet), the two videos juxtapose how the Horde and Alliance choose to celebrate their victories over the Burning Legion. I have a couple thoughts on them, but before I get into those, now’s your last chance to turn around if you don’t want to be spoiled.

I repeat: Spoiler alert if you don’t want to see the Legion epilogue cinematics out-of-game.

Horde epilogue cinematic

Alliance epilogue cinematic

If you watched both cinematics, you may have noticed that they paint very different pictures of the Horde and Alliance. Where the Horde celebrates in private amongst its leaders and key figures, the Alliance celebrates together, leaders and citizens alike, out near the memorial to Varian. Where the Horde is taking a proactive approach to Silithus, the Alliance is taking a reactive approach.

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I do have a slight concern over the fact that these cinematics appear to be positioning the Horde — or at least, parts of it — as the “bad guys” and the Alliance as the “good guys.” If the faction conflict is going to be ramping up in Battle for Azeroth, I don’t want it to be black and white. Give me the Genn that is okay with an opportunity to engage the Horde in combat “presenting itself.” Give me the Sylvanas that… okay, Sylvanas has always plotted in the shadows, but still.

I want to see the Horde and Alliance in greys. My hope is that the banter between Baine and Saurfang is a precursor to them giving Sylvanas council that balances Gallywix’s greed, rather than foreshadowing of another schism in the Horde’s leadership. Similarly, I want the fact that we only see Anduin, Genn, and Mathias in the Alliance cinematic — and the fact that they’re the only ones to discuss Silithus — to be significant for the future of the Alliance.

Think about it. How mad would Tyrande be if Anduin sending forces to Silithus without consulting her or the other Alliance leaders resulted in the burning of Teldrassil? Yes, it’s the same type of conflict I didn’t want to see from the Horde, but it’s also a type of conflict we haven’t really seen from the Alliance. Sure, I have a bit of a bias here — but I still believe a proactive, offensive Alliance with Genn helping spur Anduin into action is far more interesting than a reactive Alliance.

Regardless of how it all ends up playing out, it’s hard to deny how enjoyable it is to see yet another set of cinematics dropped in our laps. And apparently, these involved Christie Golden collaborating with the cinematics team! Given her new role at Blizzard and the upcoming Before the Storm novel, I’m excited to see what sorts of foreshadowing/misdirecting we’ve just been shown without even knowing it.

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