The Night Elves of Warcraft 3 Are Back!
Since Vanilla, Night Elves within World of Warcraft have had an identity crisis. In Warcraft 3, the race had harmony with nature and was savage by extension. However, in the MMO, Night Elves more often than not play the roles of gardeners. They are great at gardening, yes; but where are the savage Night Elves?
In Warcraft 3, the Night Elves decimated a Horde camp, allowing no pity nor parlay. They were ruthlessly effective, which was part of their appeal. They did not merely tame nature as ‘hippies.’ The race represented both the beauty and destruction nature was capable of. This is the race that blew up an entire zone with nature alone.
The Night Elves have many millenia of lore to tell. Much of their story is told through companion novels like Stormrage, War of the Ancients, and most recently: Elegy. In game, Night Elves get plenty of stories. However, like Naralex in the Barrens or the Firelands in Hyjal, the lore revolves around druidism. The sentinels are present, but rarely mentioned.
Moreover, the raw power of Malfurion and Tyrande has rarely been witnessed in game. Malfurion was notably absent until Cataclysm. Just as the Night Elves regained a leader, they began losing lands. A volcano erupted in the middle of Ashenvale as the Horde invaded once more. The Stonetalon Mountains were bombed and Darkshore was invaded by the elements, trolls, and Azshara. Later, Fandral Staghelm betrayed the elves for a place within the Firelands.
A Return to Form
The Night Elves going into Battle for Azeroth were dealing with dwindling resources. They had lost their city of Darnassus along with the rest of Teldrassil. Darkshore was occupied by the Horde and their heroes were being raised into undeath. The seemingly peaceful Night Elves have been roused by their rage, and it is not a pot the Horde will want boiled over.
Many people wondered why Tyrande, arguably the most knowledgeable general in the Alliance, did next to nothing to stop Teldrassil’s burning. In short, she was tricked and tied down. However, the guilt of her failure is not lost upon her. Tyrande becomes the night warrior to be the hand of vengeance for her people. She proceeds to obliterate a Horde outpost in traditional Warcraft 3 fashion.
Then, in the cinematic, we see Malfurion. In an accurate representation of what it is like to PvP against a druid, Malfurion decimates a caravan carrying Horde supplies. He leaves one alive to tell the tale, and with Tyrande’s owl, Dori’thur, fly into the moonlight.
Later in the cinematic, a contingent of Night Elf forces are seen marching the Nightsong soundtrack, (the Night Elven war theme). The Night Elves no longer ask for peace, nor are they unprepared as they were in the War of Thorns. This is the civilization that defeated the Burning Legion eons before the events of the game.