Being a Horde player has been a rather emotional time lately. Sylvanas has been shown to be the one that razes Teldrassil and her motivations in the Warbringers cinematic feel flimsy and out of character. Nobody reacts to the burning in the cinematic, which seems odd. Without our hero ever having a voice, it is up to other characters to show disdain or horror.
Then we got a cinematic about Varok Saurfang’s reaction to the dishonourable way in which Sylvanas was waging war. It shows the old orc consider running into combat alone and without armour, ready to join his son in the afterlife. The lack of honour has him questioning everything, and it is only the words of a young troll shaman (go Zabby Boi!) that pulls him back from the brink.
In the cinematic both of these characters strip their pauldrons off and many Horde players are emulating the removal of massive shoulder armour to show solidarity, to show that they follow Saurfang and his ideals. The old soldier cinematic is probably the most beautiful cinematic that Blizzard has ever made, but maybe that is because there is such emotional depth here and we get to focus on a veteran that has done so much but never really been given time to shine.
There are calls on Reddit and the forums for other players to do the same, which is a less extreme call to action than what was happening before this cinematic was released, which was players calling for subscription cancellations.
Blizzard has created a messy situation here, where important bits of story and the lore are left out of big cinematics and even from the game, placed in extended universe novels instead. This isn’t masterful storytelling, this is obfuscation of what is really going on and it is leaving players frustrated that big events that change so much in the world are being discussed and essentially happening outside of the game rather than inside of it.
At least we are getting Zappy Boi art and memes now, right?