Friday, June 23, 2017

The Fate of Argus

While I vacillate a little between Worgen and Undead, I'd say my consistent favorite playable race in World of Warcraft is probably the Draenei. It's not so much their religious societal organization and more the fact that A: they're blue, which is my favorite color, B: they're kind of space aliens (and feel more like them than Orcs) and I love getting a kind of peanut butter and chocolate mix of sci fi and fantasy, and C: they're a twist on a classic monster trope in the sense that it's not that they look like demons, but rather than demons look like them.

And given that one of my main characters is a Draenei (my Mage is just outside the really core group of major characters I play, but the Death Knight is really "vice main,") I've been really anticipating a return to Argus for a long time.

I had had many theories about what Argus would be like for years. One theory I had was that it would ironically look just as gorgeous and pristine as the Eredar had presumably known it before Sargeras came, and that the Eredar who stayed were more subtly corrupted.

But given how it looks in the patch trailer/cutscene and now in the sky above Azeroth (if the game paid more attention to physics, the tides would be insane,) I'm thinking that the "pristine Argus" scenario is definitely not in effect anymore.

We've only gotten vague hints at the geography of Argus since the Draenei were introduced (or rather, re-introduced and retconned in Burning Crusade.) We do know that there was a great city called Mac'aree that was most likely the capital. There's also references to mountains (though saying a planet has mountains is hardly the most profound description.)

The image we now see is a shattered world, seemingly bleeding fel lava and with a giant gap blasted out of it, but unlike Draenor, Argus appears to be still in a mostly spherical shape.

The image does seem to suggest that Argus is not in great shape to be retaken by the Draenei. That being said, it is not entirely blackened like a lot of the other Legion worlds we've seen. There seem to be remaining patches of blue and purple (which I'd guess were some of the primary natural colors of that world, given that they seem to be everywhere the Draenei make their homes.)

Here's the next question though: Are we really going to have Argus hanging overhead for the rest of WoW's lifetime?

I can imagine a couple scenarios that would see Argus removed from the sky within this expansion.

Illidan brought Argus close to Azeroth with what I can only assume is the intention of removing one of the Legion's main advantages in their war with us. They have been able to strike from afar while we are defending the one world we've got. Additionally, while Argus seems to not be (or no longer be now, at least) in the Twisting Nether, it's possible that Argus is is awash with Fel magic that demons there are truly there - not sending disposable avatars to the material world as they have in the past.

It's possible that this is a temporary state, and that it will allow us to strike at the leadership of the Legion for once and that if we can defeat the leadership (which at this point has to be Sargeras, right?) Argus might recede once again into the Nether.

I think something far more dramatic and Illidan-y is more likely to happen though.

Illidan has shown that he will go to any lengths to do what he thinks needs to be done. His pulling Argus to Azeroth is the latest, biggest example of that attitude. He does not care about how other people feel or what unintended consequences might result. In D&D terms, Illidan is heavily on the chaotic side of the chaotic/lawful spectrum.

So while Velen and the Draenei, and possibly the Army of the Light, all might seriously want to re-take Argus and rehabilitate the world as best they can, I think Illidan is going to just blow the whole damned thing up.

I think that Argus will be destroyed at the end of this expansion. And while my Death Knight has been doing plenty to piss off the Red Dragons and my Paladin main, I think the DK's going to be utterly furious at my Demon Hunter (or at least his boss) for robbing him of the world to which he has waited twenty-five-thousand years to return. 

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