Activision Blizzard has come up among the topics of my blog posts quite a few times. As of the past decade or so, give or take, I have had very little good to say. As a matter of fact my opinion on the company is just straight up terrible. For the most part I don’t like drying attention to Things I Hate. On the internet the opposite of love is, after all, not hate but apathy. I make a constant exception in the case of Activision Blizzard for one reason and one reason only: Very few companies I can think of have been this consistently responsible for creating some of the most defining works of entertainment that I experienced as a child. To put it simply: Blizzard’s games defined my childhood, and it breaks my heart to see what they have become.
Warcraft. I imagine many people have that one specific story that changed everything. As children we were told fairy tales. Evil creatures would do evil things, and valorous heroes would perform heroic acts to put a stop to them. But at some point the lines became blurred, heroes could become villains, and good deeds would not always go rewarded. For me that story was Warcraft. I was too young to understand the story of StarCraft back when I first played it, my deep appreciation for the storyline of that game would not develop until much after I had finished Warcraft 3. But Warcraft was the video game that shook the foundations, the story told to me that turned Fairy Tail into Fantasy.
Anyone who knows even just a little bit about me or my work knows how important powerful female characters are to me. Being able to play such a character in a video game has actually become an important selling point when I shop for games. This was also the period where that started to mature, where the women in the games that I played began shaping my perception into what it is today. A while ago I had done a series of tribute drawings to those women in video games who stuck with me as the most prevalent, the ones who had the strongest influence. Warcraft, even just Warcraft 3, has no shortage of such characters. Ladies search is Jaina Proudmoore, or Sylvanas Windrunner stand out as such. And while I am fond of both of those characters, as far as I’m concerned neither can hold a torch to Tyrande.
“Women! They’re women!”
“Yes. They almost look like elves, but they’re far too tall, and far too savage.” said Grom Hellscream when the night elves were encountered for the first time, for the Orcs were on edge as the whispering voices in the woods gave them a haunted feeling. Indeed there were spirits among those ancient trees, but they were not the danger. The sentinels were. While literally all than night elf men spent centuries sleeping, the protection of the forest was left in the hands of the sentinels, Night elven warrior women, who’s prowess in battle and fearsome tactics were enough to keep even orcs on their toes. Common Tolkien fantasy would have us thinking of elves as peace-loving Forest dwellers, who welcome guests with open arms, warm fires and leafy food. Not these elves. If you do not respect nature then the only greeting you will receive from a Sentinel is an arrow to the chest. One can imagine what an elf must be like, if an orc would characterize them as “too savage”.
Priestess of the Night Elf goddess Elune, Tyrande is the leader of the sentinels. Despite the previously mentioned numerous other prominent women in the campaign of Warcraft 3, Tyrande still stuck out the most to me. When I think Warcraft 3 it is her face I see. She is both a powerful priestess, and a cunning warrior, though not without her own flaws. Many millennia of protecting the forest clearly made her weary of outlanders, she would not give her trust easily. These all perfectly complemented by her love, arch-druid Furion Stormrage, and his softer more peaceful perspective make for possibly the only fictional couple you make me question my thoughts on relationships.
“You realize that we will age as these mortals do. Our powers over nature will wane in time. “
“If pride gives us pause, my love, then perhaps we have lived long enough already. I will proceed to the summit and prepare our defenses there. Whatever comes, my love, remember… Our bond is eternal.”
I stopped following the Warcraft storyline after Cataclysm. Any and all semblance of interesting writing has completely surrendered to the games Alliance vs Horde mentality, which in my cynical opinion, is a despicable attempt to profit off of a fanbase of rivaling groups. As such, my interests in any further developments have long since evaporated. But as I have probably mentioned before, I have chosen not to let the company Activision Blizzard has become to Taint the fond memories they gave me as a child. I acknowledge, that the game is nowhere near the masterpiece it appears through nostalgia goggles in terms of storytelling, but that will never make it any less special to me.
Post on DeviantArt here!