With the latest content patch for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth the conclusion of the War Campaign has finally arrived. Players on both the Horde and the Alliance are able to finish up the lengthy chain of quests and be a part of the long-coming showdown between the Alliance, Saurfang's rebels, and the Sylvanas loyalists. By the time the conflict goes to a dramatic (and tear inducing) end, players may find themselves asking who is going to lead the Horde going forward.
Obviously, spoilers for the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth War Campaign follow and readers should stop here if they haven't finished the story quests yet or if they don't want to know the results of the clash between faction leaders. Consider this the final warning before we tread into spoiler territory for the latest content patch.
As we covered in a recent post about what happens at the end of the Battle for Azeroth War Campaign, Saurfang ends up falling in battle against Sylvanas, but not before he tricks her into trash-talking the Horde and losing many of her loyalists. Sylvanas realizes she is outnumbered after letting her mask slip and showing her true colors during her showdown with Saurfang, so after draining the old soldier of the last of his life, she flies off into the sky and abandons her post as Horde Warchief.
The following scenes show the remaining faction leaders, both Horde and Alliance, gathered in Orgrimmar for a final farewell to Saurfang, hero of the Horde. When the Alliance leadership leaves through their portal after the funeral, Horde players find themselves wondering who they will follow into future battles now that Saurfang is deceased and the Banshee Queen has abandoned the Horde. There are a few good options, but one is particularly exciting for longtime Horde fans.
With Thrall back in Orgrimmar and leading Saurfang's funeral procession, the iconic orc has certainly placed himself in a position of importance, if not power. Thrall was a beloved leader of the Horde for many years though he definitely had some low moments towards the end that helped put the faction on a downward path that it is still trying to correct. Fans of Thrall may be eager to call the orc Warchief, but the narrative isn't going to make things quite that easy.
The end of the current content patch leaves things up in the air with no Warchief being named. The Horde leadership seems to want to break the cycle of mistakes by not putting all of its faith in one leader who could potentially be corrupted and lead everyone else down a path of darkness. For now, there is no Warchief, but we'll see how long that lasts when the next content patch arrives. Thrall seems like a logical pick for Horde loyalists who still want to see a figurehead in charge, so it will be interesting to see if Blizzard plays into the fan service and gives him back the mantle.
Some Alliance players are also suggesting that it is time for Alliance leadership to take charge of the Horde. This would obviously be a controversial choice, but is it possible that Blizzard will allow the two factions to unite and give Anduin power to control the Horde? That would be a major shift for the series, so it seems pretty unlikely, but by the end of the next content patch we'll likely be able to have a better idea of what Anduin's future alliance with the Horde looks like now that Saurfang is no longer alive.
Sylvanas loyalists may still be hoping that her secret plan really was worth all the bloodshed and betrayal and the recent Warchief will return to her post by the end of the expansion. That seems highly unlikely after this latest turn of events and the more corpses that the Banshee Queen leaves in her wake, the less likely it is that her secret master plan is going to win anyone over when it is finally revealed. With WoW subscriber numbers growing, hopefully Blizzard can find a conclusion that makes players happy and keeps them engaged.
For now, Horde players will need to carry on with no Warchief leading the charge. Hopefully this is the beginning of a return to the sort of harmony we saw between the Horde and Alliance during the World of Warcraft Legion era of cooperation. It seems like that is where the story is returning, so we look forward to finding out how the remaining BfA content patches carry on that narrative.
Players who long for a simpler time when the tenuous pact between the Horde and the Alliance had all but evaporated may wish to switch over the World of Warcraft Classic. Be sure to consider which World of Warcraft Classic classes are the most fun before diving back into the nostalgic experience.
Be sure to check back for more WoW Classic strategy guides, news, and updates in the coming days. Until then, For The Horde!
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is available now on PC. World of Warcraft Classic is available now on PC.