It’s full steam ahead toward World of Warcraft’s sixth expansion, Legion, due out August 30th. The prepatch released this past week, the beta is ongoing, and the first part of the animated series, Harbingers, is now on Youtube. Bear witness to Gul’dan’s journey from regular old asshole to fell-infused asshole.
Of course this isn’t our Gul’dan, this is the Gul’dan from the alternate timeline created by the events of Warlords of Draenor. Yeah, World of Warcraft’s lore has gotten weird. Blizzard stopped retconning the game just to retcon the game and started writing the retcons directly into the story. You have to give it to them; Warcraft has basically become a series of best hits repeating.
None of this prevents Harbingers from being good, and the first episode is just that. Not that that should’ve been too surprising; Blizzard already proved that they could pull off these types of animations with Lords of War for Warlords of Draenor and The Burdens of Shaoshao for Mists of Pandaria. This marks the third animated short done in this fashioned, so it seems likely that all expansions will have one until further notice.
Gul’dan proves once again to be one of Blizzard’s more interesting characters in the Warcraft universe, and Troy Baker voices him expertly. He rose to fame based on simply using his voice, but Troy Baker also has some impressive ranger. If it weren’t for a few nuances, I might not have known it was him.
This might be a completely different backstory, but as said, it’s also a completely different timeline, so if that’s not a license for creative freedom, I don’t know what is. I can only wonder what’s in store for the remaining characters in the Harbingers series, including Khadgar and Illidan. The latter’s history is well-known, thanks primarily to Warcraft 3 as well as the Burning Crusade expansion. It’ll be interesting to see how Blizzard shakes it up this time around.