This post contains spoilers about the 3.3 Raid and Instance content. As such, it is behind a “Read More” tag, as surprising people with spoilers is one of the qualifications for being a dick in TRI. (DBAD!)
It is not, however, complaining about Icecrown. Instead, it’s about some of the roleplay implications for what’s going on in the Citadel.
If you don’t want to know anything about these instances until after you get to see them yourself, you’ll want to skip this post. (:
Icecrown is, as it were, a Big Deal.
This is Arthas.
The Lich King. The Bloody Prince. The leader of the Scourge.
In some ways, to some of the people in Azeroth, he’s the Big Bad to end all Big Bads, with the possible exception of Sargeras. They’ve been gunning for him since Warcraft 3.
And if that isn’t enough, walking into the Icecrown instances and listening to Uther stammer and groan in pain/fear when Arthas walks up, or listening to Bolvar Fordragon scream his resistance, obviously in pain, as Arthas is “trying to break him” should be enough to turn the stomach of most veterans of the Third War and anyone that was at The Battle of the Wrathgate or from Stormwind. Not to mention Deathbringer Saurfang, watching an entire friendly force get turned into skeletons and turned against you at the beginning of The Pit of Saron, or seeing what the Pit of Saron really is – a giant pit of forced slaves, wearing next to nothing, chained to the rock as they mine out Saronite. And then getting chased out by The Lich King himself.
In short? Arthas ain’t got much in the way of sympathy goin’ for ‘im.
But all this is worth stopping to think about – even if just for a moment.
This is pretty horrible stuff. And our characters are, to some extent, pretty used to horrible stuff. They’ve seen it all (some of them) – death and destruction, the horrors of war. But seeing it before doesn’t make it hit any less hard when faced with some of these horrible things, even if it does mean that they’re all probably pretty good at walling it off and dealing with it later.
I’m not suggesting (or maybe I am) an entirely IC run of the 5 man instance chain, or an IC raid on Icecrown Citadel.
If you want to take this that far, go for it. But you don’t need to. Just take a few minutes, and listen to the character you’re playing – get into their head for a bit. Some of them are used to war, battle hardened. Some are not. Both have to square with what’s going on, and the veterans of the Third War have to square with facing armies of their own freshly-risen comrades yet again (a wound and a terrible memory that some of them may not have actively dealt with yet).
One of the greatest strengths of the Lich King, and of the scourge in general, is his ability to instill fear, desperation, isolation and misery. Our characters have to manage to fight that, to steel themselves against a force that, by all accounts thus far, will kill them, turn them against their friends, and force their minds into the eternal torment of slavery. Finding hope, resolve, resilience – that’s a challenge every character will face.
Now, don’t get me wrong? Icecrown is cool.
The fights are fun (JETPACK OMG!), the boss fights require coordination, and some of the trash mobs have more health than Anub’Arak in ToC. The architecture rocks, the music is awesome, and the lore is enough to send some of the more die hard lore-junkies onto a week long high.
Just don’t forget where your character is coming from in all of this.
Take some time to see through his/her eyes – you won’t regret it.
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