How do you imagine Sylvanas would die?

(Ashval) #1

The problem with Sylvanas’s character, as well as one of her strongest points, is just how incredibly divisive she is. She has both strong detractors, who would throw a fit if she doesn’t die a horrible death, and followers who would throw a fit if she does. This makes writing an ending for her rather difficult.

How do you think could this issue be handled? I personally think it could be done by making the overall ending the same, but with several short in-game cinematics that depend on player choices. Let’s say it goes like this: in an attempt to wrest more power for herself, Sylvanas is enslaved by whatever death god she was trying to usurp (Mueh’zala, for example). So we fight her in a raid, but she’s not herself, and in fact trying to help us destroy her so she could break free. Once we bring her to low health, one of four cinematics plays:

  1. Horde Loyalist: Having been defeated, Sylvanas lies dying, looking at her champion and thanking you for ending her misery. She has a short, but powerful monologue about how she dies free, and how she respects you for your strength and ruthlessness. Before drawing her last breath, she tells the player about Mueh’zala’s weaknesses, and once that is done, you bring her corpse to Nathanos in a quest so he could bury her as a hero.
  2. Horde Rebel: As the player approaches Sylvanas’s dying form, she makes a spiteful speech about how the Horde has always been nothing, and how easy it was for her to manipulate it. The player grabs for his weapon, and Sylvanas makes a last, desperate move to make you suffer, but you are faster. Before you make the final blow and decapitate her, one of the Horde characters (maybe Zekhan) says: “You are nothing.” After the fight, you bring her head home and mount it on the spires of Orgrimmar, and Thrall then inspects her body to discover Mueh’zala’s weaknesses.
  3. Anduin’s follower: The dying Sylvanas looks down in shame, contemplating her life choices and how she now despises herself for being so weak. You offer her your hand, but Sylvanas angrily rejects it, saying that she would rather die free than be a servant to anyone. She then cuts her own throat to end her suffering. After the fight, you use the Light to call a fragment of Sylvanas’s spirit to interrogate her on Mueh’zala’s weaknesses.
  4. Tyrande’s follower: The dying Sylvanas desperately tries to crawl away from the battlefield, but you grab her before she can do so. You use some sort of Void-empowered sword Tyrande has given you, and realising what is now at stake, she begs for mercy, crying, apologising and trying to justify her actions as you slowly approach her. As she does so, she accidentally tells you of Mueh’zala’s weaknesses. Finally, you open a portal to the Void, which slowly sucks Sylvanas away as she screams in terror, to suffer for all eternity.


She doesnt die. She dies and Forsaken die with her.

She lives on as a leader of Forsaken loyaliats.

This war camlaign might have been a disaster but it itroduced a choice in game. Weak ones at the moment, but in the end I think you will be able to side with Sylvanas if you want to.

(Ashval) #3

That’s the problem. Sylvanas’s loyalists (let’s say, 25% of the playerbase) want her to live, but the other 75% want her to die. Therefore Blizzard should create some sort of choice that, while giving us different perspectives on the character, would lead to the same end.


Well 8.2.5 kind of established that well. It ended with Sylvanas being in bad terms with Horde. She flies off to do her thing. Thise loyaliats are already reunited with her.

That doesnt mean she has to have anymore story development inside faction conflict at the moment. She might do smth in 8.3 that in any way helps both factions tackle next raid boss. Then she curses us both, saying something along the lines that this new formed alliance is just a ploy. And runs off with her loyalists.

In other words she can still continue representing Forsaken playable race but having very different views compared to traditional Horde. Judging them for their foolish ways.

So does Tyrande version of Alliance. This gives player to choose their favored ideals and follow it.

P.S. in your variation you are still killing her… which solves nothing.


Does it? Seems like they’re damned either way, so they can just do what makes sense to them. As they’d have done either way. Comitee writing that tries to mitigate damage wouldn’t make the story any better. As long as the players still cry and rage they are at least still invested. Even if they go, they’ll probably still follow the story, and the game, and thus might come back. But if the story is so bland to not engage anyone… well, the players who go because of that have no motivation to look back.

If they want to make a single-player story where what you choose actually changes the world, they can do that. And it might be a better idea than being wishy-washy about it. But doing it for one specific situation to avoid backlash would only make things worse, if it’s not a general shift in their way of telling the story - which would have its own backlash, by the way.

(Zarao) #6

The only way that I can picture a satisfactory death for her, is if she sacrifices herself to save the Forsaken (thus redeeming herself in their eyes), and transcends into a neutral death-tied being, like some Valkyr that goes into the Shadowlands (thus not completely wasting her character).

This would please about everyone.


You wouldn’t claim that doing it like this wouldn’t lead to significant Alliance rage though, would you?

(Zarao) #8

Why would it?

Sylvanas would be gone from their story for good. She would still die.
Even if said incident would still save her some face amongst those that did nothing but follow the narrative she has represented throughout the years.

Yeah, I’m going for a middle ground here.


Cairne, Vol’jin, Admiral Taylor, Fordring, Khael’tas, or Rhonin are some charas that deserved a better death.
What makes Sylvanas so special, that she should get a more satisfying ending (with different options) then them?

(Ashval) #10

Because when these characters died, we didn’t feel anything other than rage or maybe sadness. But when Sylvanas dies, boy, I’ll sing in joy, so I want her death to be as epic as possible, just to make her suffer more.


And that the middle ground isn’t satisfactory is kind of the point. I would despise having Sylvanas die a hero (no matter to whom) after what she has done, but since I despise most of the story by now, I probably wouldn’t react very emotionally. Others most definitely would, and I find it hard to believe that you don’t see it.

(Indeed, after BtS I would find it despicable to keep her the Forsakens’ idol, after it was clearly established she was their abuser)

(Zarao) #12

If we are to go down this route, the threads premise is downright impossible. There is literally not a single ending that would satisfy everybody.
At this point I hardly imagine we’ll have an ending that satisfies anyone.

The alternative I proposed, yes, it’s the middle ground.
And even if the end goal here is having everyone slightly dissatisfied (as opposed to satisfied), that’s the most realistic and conciliatory ground we can reach.
Having herself die is, by the way, already a full concession on itself.

Because those are examples of ways in which NOT to handle character deaths. And instead of being as spiteful or petty as to wish bad stories on everyone else, if we are to have yet another demise, the least Blizzard should do is to handle it right.


With that I agree.

And what’s so good about that?

One that’s less relevant than you seem to think. Most Alliance players, I assume, would rather see her as a long-term villain than a redeemed corpse.

(Zarao) #14

The fact that given we are unable to get to a point where everyone is satisfied, at least we reach levels of consensus and equitable dissatisfaction.

“Best deals are those that leave both sides unsatisfied”.


Why is that a good thing, though? Compared to some loving and some hating it?

It’s entertainment, not a deal. Entertainment that doesn’t satisfy anyone failed at its defining feature.

(Zarao) #16

Avoids favouritism.
And at least moderates the zero sum game, not screwing excessively ones in order to make others experience more enjoyable.

The best outcome for the prisoners dilemma is still one that requires both sides to receive certain amount of punishment.

Entertainment that completely screws over one side, while blatantly giving the other their best scenario, is an even bigger failure.

With a moderately unsatisfying ending, you can still salvage some positivity out of the piece. For everyone involved.

Again, prisoners dilemma.


I didn’t mean that she should just be killed offscreen. Just that she should get either the same treatment like Garrosh did (a bit longer cinematic where she dies in battle against a major chara), or like Gul’dan (short cinematic of her dying after we defeated her, that gives a hint to what’s next).
But she shouldn’t get some epic cinematic like Varian, where he was potrayed the last time as a pretty cool chara.

(Zarao) #18


Just one question:

Why? From my point of view, and regardless if you hate or love her character, Sylvanas is one of the games icons and the figurehead of an entire race/theme.
Why should her death, or that of any other character of her calibre, be any less “impactful” or noteworthy, as the one Varian had (which was one of the most appropriate and adequate deaths this game ever had)?

There are those that dislike Varian, do not fancy ingame humans, or don’t care about them. Still, even if I’m rather tilting towards these later, I do think his death was excellent, worthy and appropriate given his character importance.

And I think, that said kind of demise, should be use as template for any and all future deaths that come. At least for those characters deserving of it.


That’s just restating the “middle ground” thing, not justifying or elaborating on it.

(Which I still don’t think is actually a middle ground, by the way, except between Horde positions maybe.)

Again, entertainment industry, not a deal between players. Choosing one side or the other as the target audience is an option, and I’m not so sure that “middle ground” actually leads to better earnings. You need customers to feel something, to have any investment in the story at all to make it worth putting effort into it, and “mild dissatisfaction” doesn’t really sound better to me than “some love it, some hate it”. At least the people who love it are kind of likely to put money in for story stuff. And some will put in money to hatewatch. Are the “mildly dissatisfied” ones willing to do the same? The answer doesn’t seem obvious to me.

Apart from that, I do think twisting the story to serve developments outside of it is always a major risk, and quite often leads to a story that in sum (satisfaction+dissatisfaction) is actually worse than if they had focused on what makes sense for the story and nothing else.

So no, I don’t see why Blizzard should necessarily prefer an equal distribution of satisfaction.

And just talking between players? I don’t really care about your satisfaction either way. I just play for mine.

(Aeula) #20

She doesn’t die and instead returns as Warchief.