Last night while raiding Orgrimmar, specifically while coming into the gates of the city past the Iron Juggernaut, I had this intense feeling of recognition layered with the discontinuity changes bring. It's a similar feeling to when you go back to the city or town you grew up in after a few years. Things have changed, but you still recognize
most of it - tiny flashes of memory jump out, saying (in this case) "Hey, remember hovering over Grommash Hold in your flying mount waiting for raid"
and then "This was always my favorite Auction House, I wonder if I left anything up before I switched factions
" but at the same time the cages and wandering Kor'kron mobs lent a surreal air to the whole experience.
I'd spent the whole night distracted anyway by the little touches of the raid so far - the fight with the Fallen Protectors started a chain of thought that stayed with me. These people were dead because, in part, of actions I'd taken while I was playing as Horde. After all, I stood next to Garrosh in the Shrine of Two Moons as he said that he would learn from the mogu. I helped him steal the Divine Bell from Darnassus. I watched him use it on Ichi, discarding a loyal servant like a broken toy when it didn't work. And more of course - I served Hellscream in breaching the Jade Forest, bringing the war that my faction was waging to foreign shores, and disrupted the cycle of rebirth for the Jade Serpent, loosing the Sha upon the forest. I snuck into Theramore and freed the Horde agent who helped keep Alliance civilians in the city for the bomb to destroy.
Now of course, I didn't actually do any
of those things because it is a game. Garrosh Hellscream is a voice actor's craft and a mass of pixels reading lines written by Blizzard's team of writers. What I find interesting, and overlooked at times by players like myself, is the opportunity to muse
on the ideas presented to us by the game. What would
it be like to return to Orgrimmar as a soldier invading it? What would it feel like to bear a certain responsibility for the ruin of a peaceful valley, the destruction of people who had only sought to protect their home? To see a beautiful land scarred by a monstrous act, and know that the act couldn't
have happened without your assistance, however small, and however deeply you regretted it? For me, part of the fun of playing the game is in thinking differently than I usually do, to explore the ideas presented by the story as I move through it. I mean, at one point we actually have to kill pride
. That's the subtext leaping forth from the head of the text, that is.
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria