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Old 12-17-2017, 07:47 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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Night Elf Icon (War3) Night Elves: What Could Have Been?

As threatened.... if you were following my discussion with Marthen in the Druids and Sentinels thread, this thread should not be a surprise.

So there's some discussion right now about what should happen to the Night Elves after Teldrassil burns down. Not a lot, but some. Personally I don't see a way forward for the Night Elves as a society. Their husk will shamble about for as long as the franchise needs them, but to me the Night Elves are dead, and there's no going back now. This is why I maintain that Night Elf fans should leave the franchise. There is nothing left for you here, and the writers at minimum do not care one bit about what you want to see in the game.

That doesn't mean I don't think that it would be fun to talk about how it could have been different, how Night Elves could have been portrayed that would have preserved their identity and maintained their respectability. What follows is one of my ideas about how that could have been done, but I'd love to see others.

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When Admiral Perry turned up in Japan, it was a wakeup call for that peculiar, traditional, and xenophobic society (sound familiar?). They quickly brought on advisors and modernized. The results for Japan were, shall we say, mixed, but until they decided that Pearl Harbor was a great plan, this was working. So what does that have to do with the Night Elves?

There was a quest in vanilla Stonetalon where a gnome expressed an interesting idea. With magic and technology, the Night Elves could continue to preserve their forests. Magic should be a nonstarter, but technology, especially for a society that's ignorant of it? That's doable.

In Warcraft III, the Wardens found goblin land mines and brought them back to their dens. Tyrande later finds them in her mission there, I recall a voiced line about the cache, and depending on what the player wants to do, she can use them. Night Elves would go on to use guns in some situations, as well as sniper cannons. Gnomish advisors were also there at Stardust Spire.

Hopefully you can see where I'm going with this, and it helps the classic problem of gnomes not getting lore either. The Night Elves, after Warcraft III, ally with the Alliance because the Warsong Clan is not leaving Ashenvale, and because Thrall is doing jack all about it. Gnomish advisors are brought in, and treated lavishly. They create settlements in Ashenvale, working side by side with druids to manipulate wood, stone, and metal according to gnomish schematics. Goblins quickly get involved on the side of the Horde because - they're not going to take this sitting down!

Ashenvale becomes a sort of proxy war between Gnomeregan and the Undermine, with both sides lapping up the benefits of the new technologies.

As for the Night Elves themselves, this kind of adaptation raises a host of internal controversies. Pollution wasn't well understood by the druids before, but now that they can see it, some are raising concerns. They are typically blocked though, by the more hawkish elements, who want to see the Horde expelled from Ashenvale forest by any means, and are not above rhetorically shoving dead babies in the faces of their ideological opponents. Kaldorei nationalism also rears its head - also much to the consternation and objection of the more druidic elements.

The fundamental question for the Kaldorei becomes one of expansion versus preservation, and to what extent expansion and adaptation can be said to actually support preservation, and which part is the old Azsharan impulse of empire being reincarnated as "this is what we have to do to survive"?

Of course, despite these controversies, I wouldn't strip out the Night Elves natural allies from the equation, or druidism that matter. The Night Elven embrace of technological elements isn't a choice between druidism and development, it's a shotgun marriage. If you can imagine the barrel end of an artillery piece held in place by large roots and vines, you're on the right track. These kinds of sacrileges are viewed as necessary to permit the Night Elves to save Ashenvale forest.... if after the fighting stops, there's an Ashenvale left to save.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:04 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Ah, I've given this quite a bit of thought over time, usually on a few different avenues.

A: "Natural Enemies and Natural Allies"

Night Elven natural allies continue to aid them, as the Wild Gods of Hyjal, Druidic forces, and Elunite influence pair off against the Horde's elemental ties, decay aspects, and Loa. Eventually beginning to symbolically mirror the natural cycle of destruction and regrowth in nature.

In this 'canon' the tauren would've been a bit more split in their opinion of the Nelfs, many feeling that they and Cenarius should've reigned in the Centaur more. Troll and orc spirit magics would've played a bigger roll, developing ties with other animals in Kalimdor. Finally, the Forsaken would've represented fungal growth and supplemented shadowy magics.

Furbolg would've also been solidly Night elf, due to Tyrande aiding them in WC3, Dwarves would've explored the titanic aspect of the Nelfs ties with Mountain Giants and green dragons, and Nelfs would've helped the moonkin repopulate. We also would've explored Elune's influence on Water Elementals to counter the Horde's uses of fire elementals.




B: "Fire with Fire"

Similar to your proposal with the Gnomes and Goblins, this would see the night elves bring in gnomes to help counter the goblin shredders and such the horde utilize. Though it'd be mostly in the vein of gnomes serving as 'techslayers' and teaching night elves the basics of how to tear apart goblin tech (ironically operating much as I envisioned goblins working with orcs and tauren vs. dwarves originally).

We'd also see gnomes building into some of the mountainsides and working with dwarves to salvage titan stuff, while the Horde salvages legion stuff from the third war.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:24 AM
TerrorhoofMayo TerrorhoofMayo is offline

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Night elves could have been a mentors and guides to the lands of Kalimdor to their younger allies. They could have also started policing magic after WC3.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:30 PM
Icefrost Icefrost is offline

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The most common logical error made when people start suggesting fixes for the elves is to take the wrong things for granted.

Can't defend against tech/magic stuff without employing their own?
Why not? Who decided that?

Warcraft is high fantasy, not dystopian cyberpunk nor detail-oriented science fiction where the most common plothole is the inconsistency of whether transporter beams can be used through a starship's shields or not.

You can just slap 10,000 years of experience and unique druidic knowledge on those problems and call it solved. You can just decide to do that and get away with it. You just have to want to see it as simple as it could be. You just need to remember how far one can actually go with nothing but a simple change of perspective and a little adjustment to the scope of some things. No whacked-out insane-genius ideas required. Save those for where to go next, not for solving a problem that never needed to be, until we all decided to take one guy at their word when they said so, instead of questioning it.

Lost their will, their self-determination, their "fangs" as it were?
Unlike blizzard's faction-war writing would suggest, there's no need to take that skin off the horde's nose, if that's too much for the larger balance of things.

Instead all we need to do, once again, is to go back and dare to reorganize a bit deeper than most people would.
Mages invited into the ranks of the ancient warrior-clerics and druids?
F*ck that. That's the antithesis of keeping that warrior identity sharp and their ideology focused. Far more so than people blinded by the commonality of magic elsewhere in the setting give it credit for. You don't stand out from that by trying to one-up everyone else at their own game, no matter how much desperate, misguided justification you think you can dig up from ancient times. You do it by standing up to what everyone else is doing. Because as stated above, we can just do that and we can just say it works, too.
Kick those suckers out and let them go grovel for asylum from the king of Stormwind instead. Then have night elves show up to round up alliance mages and place them under watch, like the templars from Dragon Age - all the way down to the bit where sometimes the paranoia gets out of hand and bad stuff happens.
Going a bit far? Tell that to the next Lothar-wannabe commanding an alliance force in battle and ask him if he'd go for that deal in exchange for an elite huntress squad making a literally invisible approach on that enemy gun emplacement under moonlight's shadows. Now multiply by a dozen at least.

As a result, disagreement, friction, actual issues to discuss between allies who all bring a set of balls to the table, figuratively or otherwise, instead of yes-men as substitute delegates?
I'll have another one of those, pronto. Make it a double, chief.

Presence, motive, philosophy, and their mark on the alliance they'd be a part of, instead of exclusively the other way around.
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:16 PM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Just wanted to point out that the Burning Legion has been defeated, meaning that draconic measures against magicians should become a thing of the past instead of seeing a re-emergence.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:21 PM
Icefrost Icefrost is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazja View Post
Just wanted to point out that the Burning Legion has been defeated, meaning that draconic measures against magicians should become a thing of the past instead of seeing a re-emergence.
I was under the impression that we were discussing ideas of a what-if scenario in the past. Although I suppose I personally didn't exactly go and carefully word everything in the past tense, so...half my bad too, I guess?

That said, I think you're also a bit beside the point. Although necessity tends to make a better case for something than just plain old fear and revulsion, letting the night elves have their own effect on what the larger narrative of WoW is actually allowed to do in the first place, in order to not completely invalidate something important about them in the process, is pretty much the bigger point I was making.
After all, you can't tell me that the other races haven't had lease in the past to have something about the setting redefined to better justify current circumstances and creative decisions. That same effect over the years has seemingly done nothing for the night elves but go against them in more ways than I care to list.
Suffice it to say that there's a reason I hate and blame the blood elves' popularity in particular for a lot of what has happened to the details of the arcane as well as elves in general.
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Old 12-19-2017, 03:55 PM
Tilgath Tilgath is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazja View Post
Just wanted to point out that the Burning Legion has been defeated, meaning that draconic measures against magicians should become a thing of the past instead of seeing a re-emergence.
The Burning Legion is defeated, but don't demons still exist? Rampant arcane usage would still be a problem since demons would be attracted to it on their own regardless of the Burning Legion's status.
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:14 PM
TerrorhoofMayo TerrorhoofMayo is offline

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Kyalin did you do the Suramar quest line? Specifically the Arcan'dor one.
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Old 07-29-2018, 07:33 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerrorhoofMayo View Post
Kyalin did you do the Suramar quest line? Specifically the Arcan'dor one.
I didn't play legion, but when I went to review the content, I did watch through lets plays of the Suramar content from end to end. Why?
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Old 07-29-2018, 01:37 PM
TerrorhoofMayo TerrorhoofMayo is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyalin V. Raintree View Post
I didn't play legion, but when I went to review the content, I did watch through lets plays of the Suramar content from end to end. Why?
Oh, I thought you did.

So what's your take on the Arcan'dor?
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:10 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerrorhoofMayo View Post
Oh, I thought you did.

So what's your take on the Arcan'dor?
I don't like it. I think it's too convenient of a way around the problem of arcane magic, which is a problem that I like if it can be handled well. I don't think it is handled well of course, I think instead they're trying to portray all opposition to arcane magic as flat and simple bigotry.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:11 PM
TerrorhoofMayo TerrorhoofMayo is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyalin V. Raintree View Post
I don't like it. I think it's too convenient of a way around the problem of arcane magic, which is a problem that I like if it can be handled well. I don't think it is handled well of course, I think instead they're trying to portray all opposition to arcane magic as flat and simple bigotry.
Really? It's a good fusion of arcane and druidism where night elves aren't not evolving. It's also not the first time arcane effects were bypassed through use of a conduit, at least in concept.
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