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  1. #1

    When did the Forsaken change?

    I'm leveling a Forsaken priest in WoW Class at the moment. It's been a long time since I played Horde or did the early Forsaken quests. But there's a really big difference in how the Forsaken are treated in Classic versus Battle For Azeroth.

    Classic makes it really clear that the Forsaken are different after being raised from the dead. They're the same person, but warmer, positive emotions are greatly muted, and the more negative emotions dominate. For example, Clarice Feldman was the wife of a paladin who went off to fight the Scourge. In life she both loved him and resented him for leaving her. In death, the love is muted, and the resentment magnified. There's another quest about a husband who's wife was killed by his best friend. He sends you to kill that friend, and keeps his hands to remind him of his revenge, but gives you his only momento of his wife, her ring.

    Classic is pretty clear that this is normal for Forsaken, that it's just how they are.

    In D&D terms, it's like their alignment takes one step towards Evil after being raised. Someone who was Lawful Good in life is Lawful Neutral in death. Neutral in life becomes Neutral Evil in death.

    In Battle For Azeroth, on the other hand, this doesn't happen in most cases. There are 3 new Forsaken raised during the story: Amelia Stone, Thomas Zelling, and Derek Proudmoore. All three of them seem like the same person after being raised, and don't exhibit the change in emotions. Zelling in particular is deeply concerned about his family, and hurt when they reject him. A Classic-style Zelling would care about his family in an intellectual sense, and insist that the Horde carry out their agreement to take of them. But he wouldn't seek to see them or bond with them.

    There is one case where the newly-raised Forsaken behaves in the Classic-style: the Night Elf Wardens. They come back angry at the world and Elune. Ironically, I've seen more player complaints about the change in personality for the Wardens than for Zelling or Proudmoore.

    It makes me wonder if I missed something in the story. A plot point where Forsaken resurrection was "fixed", and newly-made Forsaken started coming back with an unchanged personality.

  2. #2
    The forsaken were pretty much rewritten in the novel before the storm, changing their society on a fundamental level, reducing the changes people experience in undeath drastically.

  3. #3
    Legendary! Flurryfang's Avatar
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    Just as @Combatbulter said, the Forsaken was changed up for Legion to be primarily just undead versions of their former self. Even Lillian Voss, who used to be very vengeful, have become a warm person, who cares about people and is the heart of the Horde War Campaign.

    But it does seem like the people who writes major characters/books, have not sent the message clear down the work hierarchy, as many new undead in BFA are made either mindless or evil, as you point out with the Wardens. It makes everything feel wierd, as it did feel wrong when suddenly the Night Elf undeads just went completly against Tyrande without much reason, when other Forsaken characters does not do that at all.
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  4. #4
    Actually I didn't notice what you mean when I played BFA, but now that you mention it you are completely right. I think that the Forsaken loosing their nature in order to become more like the other races is a big loss because they were one of the most special and unique races in the game, as most games/stories usually do not allow playable undead characters, much less evil characters.

    Its a shame that we lost one of the more unique races on the game, as well as one of my favorite ones. To further exacerbate this problem we lost our "evil" leaders for Alliance characters. Even Lilian Voss had a very interesting story when she was created, but now she has become like every other character which is a shame.

  5. #5
    The racial cannibalise speaks on its own. There is clearly an intention to change the appeal of the undead to fit in thw narrative of unicorns and redemption but I cannot really approve

  6. #6
    Immortal Kathranis's Avatar
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    I would argue it starts with Cataclysm when they started reanimating new undead using valkyr, with Lilian probably being the main example of new undead being more neutral. There's also a point made of new undead having the choice of being raised or returning to the grave (not always consistently presented) which suggests that the newer generation of Forsaken are perhaps less haunted than the ones who were turned by the Scourge.

  7. #7
    Stood in the Fire Lilixer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathranis View Post
    I would argue it starts with Cataclysm when they started reanimating new undead using valkyr, with Lilian probably being the main example of new undead being more neutral. There's also a point made of new undead having the choice of being raised or returning to the grave (not always consistently presented) which suggests that the newer generation of Forsaken are perhaps less haunted than the ones who were turned by the Scourge.
    That's probably fairly accurate, could be down to the means of the raising as well, back in Classic the Forsaken were barely free of the Lich King's grasp, so the method was probably extreme and brutal, and ripped away remaining humanity, where as now it's probably more advanced and retains much more now
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  8. #8
    I don't think anything really changed. It's all about how they take it.

    For example in cataclysm we've got Lilian Voss, who screams bloody murder at waking up surrounded by monsters, turns on everything her family trained her to be, and beats her dad to a bloody pulp before hurling him off a tower. She then takes her murdering skills and puts them to good use against her former allies, murdering every single Scarlet Crusade member on the continent that we don't get to first. She wasn't even technically horde-aligned until BFA.

    Having trouble digging it up atm but I also recall the quest in Thunder Bluff that has you take a memento to Silverpine to discard at her husband's abandoned grave that I still think is really poignant.

    I feel like you glossed over the most important part of Zelling's arc, the quest literally called "To Be Forsaken" where his family discards him as a monster and his outburst nearly kills them, before finally resigning himself to his new place with the Horde. I remember when people were convinced that "taking care of them" part was sarcastic hitman speak, but Rexxar would never allow that.

    You've got to think to the individual: do they feel forsaken? As in betrayed, abandoned, discarded by those who once seemed to love them? That's the linchpin on whether they wind up genocidally monstrous or just that one guy in the top hat in Tirisfal who was lonely and wanted a murloc pet.
    Last edited by Powerogue; 2020-08-06 at 11:16 PM.
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    And just like the thread before it, let's back away from sexualizing Azshara and return to the original topic at hand.

  9. #9
    Doesn't it involve the way they die? I'd say that most forsaken that died and where raised during Classic, where victims of the scourge and died in a terrible, painful and scary way. Whilst newly reanimated forsaken don't die the same way.

    Zelling for example died "peacefully" knowing that there was a way he could help his family.

    Voss I believe died of sickness (or at least it is never stated that she was killed), probably just had lots of fear for her life and searched for help from his father before dying. We can see this fear manifest itself at the beginning of the Cata forsaken experience. However, she has had plenty of time to overcome such trauma.

    The newly reanimated night elves died practically the same way as the original forsaken so it makes sense that they are so filled of negativity. The only outlier would be Amelia and Derek who died in battle but when reanimated where more confused than bitter.

  10. #10
    There is no in-story explanation. It's an element from BTS that made undeath a minor cosmetic effect rather than a fundamental alteration to the body and soul as part of the wholesale rewrite of the race, along with the removal of their entire prior cast and the reframing of their relationship with Lordaeron.

    I will make a rare agreement with @Powerogue on a Forsaken-related topic and say that Zelling does show some alterations, like how he almost lashes out and kills the family he was saved by or Amalia being a wreck and having to be treated for much of the initial quests, then relishing in the opportunity to kill those who previously screwed her over while she was alive for being crooked. Given the turn Zelling takes, how Derek is essentially the same guy and Amalia basically vanishes, this is something that gets nixed in the course of BFA in favor of making them as close to being recoloured living humans as possible.

    You'll notice that while Amalia is changed by undeath itself which is to say the experience of dying and coming back and has to be carried through it, something key in Cataclysm especially and foundational to the Forsaken, this isn't the case for the others. Derek's trauma has nothing to do with his undeath, but is entirely based on his post-raising torture, similarly to how the BTS undead have no real major mental changes or trauma wrapped around mortality but their dilemma is centered entirely around their police state and their societal rejection. Were you to remove these entirely social factors they'd be functionally alive except for needing a different kind of repair every once in a while.
    Last edited by Super Dickmann; 2020-08-07 at 10:13 AM.
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  11. #11
    When the guys in charge of the lore noticed they didn't make the forsaken like Anduin. And it was unbearable to them that a 6 years old child could not play that kind of character. Also it would fit perfectly with the other anduin'races of the horde.

  12. #12
    Legendary! Zuben's Avatar
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    I just chalk it up to dramatic experiences affecting them, some permanently, some temporarily, then they are susceptible to the same personality development as living humans. For every Calder Gray there is a Belmont or two.

    Also something to take into consideration, Sylvanas was a major influence to how the Forsaken society operated. She's been absent from Undercity since she became Warchief, so the Desolate Council of ordinary citizens was formed. I guess everyone relaxed quite a bit, and now with Sylvanas permanently gone from the picture even the hardliners are in for some introspection.
    Last edited by Zuben; 2020-08-07 at 11:37 AM.
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  13. #13
    Pandaren Monk Villager720's Avatar
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    I recall something about Sylvanas and Nathanos beginning to show “more positive emotions” in the Dark Mirror short story. I believe it was implied that it was something that was happening over time.

    Perhaps the ‘emotional fog’ we saw in Classic slowly dissipates over time? I mean back then, most Forsaken were maximum 4 years old.

  14. #14
    Moderator Aucald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Villager720 View Post
    I recall something about Sylvanas and Nathanos beginning to show “more positive emotions” in the Dark Mirror short story. I believe it was implied that it was something that was happening over time.

    Perhaps the ‘emotional fog’ we saw in Classic slowly dissipates over time? I mean back then, most Forsaken were maximum 4 years old.
    In Dark Mirror, Nathanos' new body brings him closer to being truly alive - which reconnects him with his emotions that were more distant in his original undead form. The same may be true of Sylvanas to some degree given that her undead form is also closer to alive than most Forsaken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Dickmann View Post
    Derek's trauma has nothing to do with his undeath, but is entirely based on his post-raising torture, similarly to how the BTS undead have no real major mental changes or trauma wrapped around mortality but their dilemma is centered entirely around their police state and their societal rejection. Were you to remove these entirely social factors they'd be functionally alive except for needing a different kind of repair every once in a while.
    Derek and Calia's journey to Lordaeron and vow to help the newly-raised Dark Rangers at Darkshore belies this - they come to her to help them with the feelings of "hatred and malice" they feel, which is apparently all they feel, similar to Sira Moonwarden's plight in Shadows Rising. The implication is that Derek experienced the same issues, stemming from undeath itself and not his torture at Sylvanas' hands (as the Dark Rangers didn't get tortured beyond being raised into undeath).
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  15. #15
    The Unstoppable Force Arrashi's Avatar
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    The moment blizzard writers realised that forsaken aren't lawful good and don't match new narrative of happiness and friendship.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Aucald View Post
    Derek and Calia's journey to Lordaeron and vow to help the newly-raised Dark Rangers at Darkshore belies this - they come to her to help them with the feelings of "hatred and malice" they feel, which is apparently all they feel, similar to Sira Moonwarden's plight in Shadows Rising. The implication is that Derek experienced the same issues, stemming from undeath itself and not his torture at Sylvanas' hands (as the Dark Rangers didn't get tortured beyond being raised into undeath).
    I like how Sira's condition is portrayed in the book, but I'd question extrapolating her experience to being what the other undead night elves. Mostly because we have no idea of what their feelings or position actually are. We know they go to Calia, sure, but they do so because 'death is cold, even for those who burn', i.e existential ennui and seeking a new direction. Ditto, Derek, after being a torture victim, is helped to turn into a regular dude through his interaction with Calia but very little of that centers around his undeath. OP already brought up most of the examples I'd use for contrast - the Agamand mill guy and the Thunder Bluff widow, but it's also very different with how Sira is portrayed - Sira didn't want to be raised, but upon being raised, her nature meant that she was emotionally dull and the only thing she gets a kick out of is hurting others. By comparison, Derek's issues center around nurture - i.e his torture.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

  17. #17
    I mean its been around 10 years (in game) since vanilla time and even longer since the Forsaken joined the horde, perceptions of undead have changed alot since then. Especially since when the bulk of the forsaken were risen they were exactly that forsaken they were left alone isolated after their city and race was destroyed, they were brought back into these monstrosities the world rarely saw before.
    Since then forsaken as a people have, faction and new forsaken have situations very different compared to vanilla. The only thing holding the Forsaken as a "people" was Sylvanis she always had a vision for them and they followed Id like to see where they go but for the most part I think alot of them are "over" being sorry for themselves and more "lets do something" instead.

    Also im sure its a case by case and plenty of "new" forsaken im sure went mad the second they were brought back. As mentioned above the process of just being undead leaves you empty and vaccant and not all deal with it the same.

  18. #18
    Moderator Aucald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Dickmann View Post
    I like how Sira's condition is portrayed in the book, but I'd question extrapolating her experience to being what the other undead night elves. Mostly because we have no idea of what their feelings or position actually are. We know they go to Calia, sure, but they do so because 'death is cold, even for those who burn', i.e existential ennui and seeking a new direction. Ditto, Derek, after being a torture victim, is helped to turn into a regular dude through his interaction with Calia but very little of that centers around his undeath. OP already brought up most of the examples I'd use for contrast - the Agamand mill guy and the Thunder Bluff widow, but it's also very different with how Sira is portrayed - Sira didn't want to be raised, but upon being raised, her nature meant that she was emotionally dull and the only thing she gets a kick out of is hurting others. By comparison, Derek's issues center around nurture - i.e his torture.
    Generally the feeling of existential ennui is not comparable to "burning," although hate and rage certainly dovetail with fiery imagery. Every Forsaken reacts to their plight differently, and many examples have been offered up that depart from the Forsaken stereotype of Classic on into Legion.
    "Here lies a toppled god.
    His fall was not a small one.
    We did but build his pedestal,
    A narrow and a tall one."

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Aucald View Post
    Generally the feeling of existential ennui is not comparable to "burning," although hate and rage certainly dovetail with fiery imagery. Every Forsaken reacts to their plight differently, and many examples have been offered up that depart from the Forsaken stereotype of Classic on into Legion.
    The concept of the race is such for a reason, but what characterizes people like Bartholomew or even early Zelling/Amalia to give a more recent example is the nature element - undeath is a malady and an affliction that has certain in-built effects. You can cope with it in different ways - depression, anger, acceptance, what have you, but it's there. Meanwhile undeath has continually been downplayed in having such effects in favor of the nurture and societal element. Undeath aren't fundamentally different because of the misalignment of souls, which makes even wielding the Light for example different, but they're basically the same as anyone who's gone through trauma and it's the society around them that alters them. Compare prior CDev comments with how Faol uses the Light 4. eg. It's a major writing direction shift.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

  20. #20
    Elemental Lord Kyphael's Avatar
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    When Arthas died. Their mission was complete. Blizzard turned around and started giving them lore bolstered by Sylvanas' fear of dying, and selfish desire to continue existing in a world they have no place in, nor really belonged. They became a crude reflection of Sylvanas' cowardice, and that was when they went from sympathetic, tortured souls seeking revenge (vicariously to rid the world of a monster) to selfish walking corpses wanting to continue to exist... because death is scary so I'd rather walk around as a corpse? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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