I’m planning to write some more later this week about my favourite zone in Wrath and why I think it’s such a masterpiece of design. So I was getting some screenshots (for ‘research’ purposes, naturally) on an alt and was reminded of one of my favourite cut-piece scenes in any game ever.
This one is … well Horde should recognise where this is coming from. And it leads into one of the bosses in Utgarde Keep. Bear in mind that your character has recently arrived in Northrend. You are probably asking yourself: Why am I here? Who am I fighting? Why is this my fight? And … dammit, where’s the NPC with the quest symbol?
Ah, there he is! It’s the leader of the forsaken settlement, you can tell he’s the leader because he’s the one on the horse. (This has been a theme in Warcraft ever since level 1 – leaders get mounts.)
So this is quite likely the first piece of text that you read from an NPC in Northrend if you come in on the zeppelin to Howling Fjord.
But later on, after you’ve done some quests and smacked the local alliance around a bit (note: some things never change), he gets some visitors.
In case anyone hadn’t figured this one out yet, the forsaken as a faction were killed and then turned undead by Arthas. They were enslaved. And then they followed Sylvanas to freedom. Now they’ve come to Northrend for payback and it’s just a bit more personal than ‘Yeah, he’s this evil guy’.
And just to prove it, the local scourge ambassador has come to remind Anselm and the forsaken that he considers them no more than escaped slaves. Well, maybe just a bit more since he’s trying to lure the leader to his side.
He’s introducing some thuggish allies too. Don’t worry, you’ll get to slaughter lots of these guys soon enough, but at least now you know why.
Horde has a strong theme of opposing slavery – orcs also were enslaved (by humans) in the backstory before regaining their freedom. This doesn’t stop some of the forsaken from keeping ‘mind slaves’ in the Undercity.
In any case, say what you like about the forsaken, but they’ve always been a faction who didn’t mess around.
So they’re not going to be friends. Piss off, evil zombies! Err, present company excepted.
The forsaken, in addition to their other qualities, are also decent shots.
All that remains is for the evil elf dude to make sure we know where he’s staying.
And then after he’s magically vanished to go and sulk or plot, Anselm locates some expendable local adventurers to make sure that The Lich King really does get the message.
What I love is that you can totally understand the motivation. What you are being asked to do makes sense.
It also directly impacts on the Big Bad of the entire expansion. And it begins right there in the starting settlement. You were there.