Veterans of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne should recall with little trouble the myriad of trials and tribulations the Blood Elves squared up against. The ancient race would endure the loss of their beloved Sunwell, suffer exile from the Alliance and even face the multitude of hardships waiting for them in Outland in a doomed effort to find a cure for their crippling addiction to raw magical energies. Unfortunately, it did not get much better for them in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Despite two promising low level zones, the beleaguered race would be forced to suffer a middling presence in Azeroth and Kalimdor, leading up to a fight against their own Prince, Kael’thas Sunstrider. The worst would come later though. Blizzard did little with the race, effectively joining them to the Horde and moving on. Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm saw the Blood Elves do little. Yes, they could easily be picked out in quest hubs, and Silvermoon City would be represented in the Argent Tournament, but it seemed the one time High Elves would have no more stories to tell, that is, until Mists of Pandaria.
If there’s one thing Mists of Pandaria does not suffer from, it’s a lack of content. Those dinging 90 are immediately greeted with a plethora of objectives to complete. If you’re like me, and have to complete everything, that means doing your dailies, and in Mists of Pandaria, there are no shortage of them. Golden Lotus, Order of the Cloud Serpent, Shado-Pan, the August Celestials, and that’s not even the full list. However, buried amongst a sea of repetitive and often dismal tasks is Domination Point, the quest hub that tells tale of the Horde’s efforts to discover the ancient power of the Mogu through the use of scenarios, a tool new to this expansion. These scenarios would ultimately do a masterful job explaining the conflict between the Horde and Alliance on a level that any player could digest and enjoy. They would also serve as the staging point for a rebirth of sorts for the seemingly abandoned Blood Elves.
It would be a lie to say that most gamers were excited to see Lor’themar Theron in Silvermoon City at the onset of the Burning Crusade. The character had roots, to be sure. He served as a one time second-in-command to Sylvanas Windrunner, prior to the sacking of the Sunwell. He was even appointed to protect Quel’Thalas while Kael’thas Sunstrider led others to assist the Alliance, as lore goes. The issue is that, unfortunately, he was not Kael’thas Sunstrider, and gamers were disappointed when it came time to receive directives from him as Regent, and not the iconic Prince. Blizzard also did the Regent Lord of the Quel’Thalas few favors. There was no defining moment that made him any sort of ‘badass’ to be respected or even revered.
This would change in Domination Point, however. Lor’themar would leave the comfort of his pencil pushing and take to the Isle of Thunder, eager to prove the strength of the Blood Elves to Garrosh Hellscream and the rest of the Horde. His initial outing would pit him against longtime Alliance standby Jaina Proudmoore. The two would come to blows, only to be seperated by Taran Zhu, at least temporarily. Those diligent enough to do dailies and earn reputation with the Dominance Offensive unlocked new scenarios, each one continuing to explain the narrative of the Warchief’s blind lust for power, and the havoc it was wreaking on the stability of the Horde. While Vol’jin might ultimately steal the show, and perhaps rightfully so, these scenarios also gave players a glance into the inner workings of the Regent Lord. Without spoiling the scenarios, the contents of them would force Lor’themar to come to terms with his people once more being used and abused, this time by Garrosh and the Horde, as opposed to Garithos and the Alliance. The price for aiding the Warchief would continue to rise, as the Blood Elves endured direct exposure to the power of the Sha, and even the wrath of Jaina, look for retribution after the Sunreavers assisted the Horde on a mission within the confines Darnassus. Sadly, these sacrifices would come to mean little to Garrosh, who would have nothing short of total, thankless obedience to his vision for the Horde.
The launch of 5.3 has the Blood Elves sitting on uncertain ground, and the narrative surrounding them has become one of the best in the entire expansion. Lor’themar has claimed that, in the face of being pressured by both the Horde and the Alliance, ‘the next move will be his’. This comment, as well as a couple of others have led a fair percentage of people to believe that the Regent Lord means to take the mantle of Warchief for himself, a move that would be unprecedented. If it happens, it could shift the entire balance of power in the Horde, or even transform it into something entirely different. It’s this clever and thoughtful use of both daily quests and scenarios that has breathed much needed life into the ancient race and positioned them to be integral to the future of the World of Warcraft. The Blood Elves will never again sit idle while the other races posture for power. This time around, they’ll have a say in their own future, and will not be pushed around by a Death Knight, a mad Prince, or even the Warchief.