Games this Week... A Begrudging Return to WoW

I resubbed to World of Warcraft this weekend because I am a fool.

A fool!

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is set to release October 26, which means pre-patch content should be dropping soon, and while the story of Battle for Azeroth still makes me want to throttle someone, I cannot help but want to return to Azeroth and defend against the terror of the Scourge before we delve into the realm of the dead. 

Blizzard has released three new prologue stories, with a fourth forthcoming, titled "Afterlives", chronicling the afterlives of significant characters in Warcraft lore: Uther the Lightbringer in Bastion, Draka of the Frostwolves in Maldraxxus (above), and the spirit of Ursoc in Ardenweald.

My favorite, though, is the one about Uther. 


Spoiler alert: Uther died at the hands of Arthas, aka the Lich King, way back when, and had his soul ripped out of him via Frostmourne, a literal soul-sucking sword. Seeing it play out again in the new style of video that Blizzard has been doing these last few expansions tore my heart open all over again, and I might have shed a tear or two watching Uther's transformation from a broken soul to a paragon of Bastion. 

The story of Arthas's fall is a literal gold mine for Blizzard. It was the entire point of Warcraft III and Wrath of the Lich King, and the echoes of that story line are vast. Arthas's transformation impacted numerous characters across Azeroth, and even though we defeated him at the end of Wrath, the echoes of his influence remain. And now that we are about to adventure into the Shadowlands, we are very likely going to see those echoes manifest even more strongly as we encounter characters who did not survive his evil campaign.

I'm hopeful for an expansion that focuses heavily on the reign of the Lich King and expands upon the lore that was established in Warcraft III and Wrath of the Lich King. While I am still mad about the character assassination of Sylvanas Windrunner that happened in Battle for Azeroth and the game developer retconning of events and story lines that I, and many others, have played through, I am begrudgingly willing to pretend that I'm okay with that so that I can play this new expansion. 

I've invested so much time into this game and world over the years, and as much as I sometimes hate it, I have so many good memories and amazing things to point to within the game that made me fall in love with it in the first place.

And while I may continue to have my complaints about the story line, and various other decisions that the game developers make--I doubt I will ever forgive them for what they did to Sylvanas--I look forward to exploring this new realm of Azeroth and soaking in the new landscapes, ambience, music, and lore.

Do any of you play World of Warcraft? What are your thoughts about the upcoming Shadowlands expansion?