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Analysis of the Argus the Unmaker Defeat Cinematic (Spoilers)
29.11.2017 um 15:00
The final Antorus cinematic was a fitting end to the Argus storyline, but it also raised a lot of questions for the future! In this post, we'll analyze and speculate on all the details in the cinematic.
Spoilers in the post.
Illidan and Velen
At the start of the cinematic, we learn that Illidan is staying behind with the Pantheon and Sargeras.
In the goodbye dialogue between Velen and Illidan, we see how the viewpoints between the two leaders has evolved in Patch 7.3. At the start of 7.3, Velen is always at odds with Illidan. Velen believes in prophecies, while Illidan does not believe in fate. This reaches a dramatic confrontation in the The Fate of Xe'ra cinematic where Illidan rejects the prophecy that he is the child of light and shadow.
Here in the ending cinematic, there's a nice role-reversal between Illidan and Velen on fate:
Velen: Illidan, we've done all we've can.
Illidan: Every choice. Every sacrifice has led me to this moment. To face him once again.
Velen: You...are not coming with us?
Illidan: The hunter is nothing without the hunt. Did you not see this fate, Prophet?
Velen: Fate? Our survival was never in fate's hands. Light be with you, Illidan Stormrage.
Illidan frequently grins at Velen in Argus cinematics, usually sarcastically, but here the leaders share one moment of understanding and respect before they part ways.
When explaining why he wants to stay behind with the Sargeras and Pantheon, Illidan explains:
"The hunter is nothing without the hunt."
This is an interesting twist on his line to Maiev upon being defeated in Black Temple:
But the huntress... is nothing without the hunt. You... are nothing... without me.
Earlier in Black Temple, he taunts Maiev that now she is nothing...but he realizes he too is in a similar situation at the end of Antorus, if he returns to Azeroth.
While Illidan does make a sacrifice, he's also been looking forward to this in a way. Back in
In meines Vaters Haus
we learned that Sargeras burned Illidan's eyes out, as a "gift" for Illidan seeking the Dragon Soul. Illidan sought to feign allegiance to Sargeras to acquire this mighty artifact, which would allow the Night Elves to seal the demonic portals in War of the Ancients, but instead it deepened the rift between Illidan and his people.
In meines Vaters Haus
cinematic, Illidan is granted a vision of the Legion's true power and he vows to find a way to defeat them, but realizes it cannot be done just on Azeroth:
Illidan: Even if we defeat them here, it will mean nothing.
Illidan: We are doomed...unless we find another way to fight them.
You can see the full Illidan questline and cinematics in our video:
At the end of the cinematic, we see Illidan walk towards the imprisoned Sargeras, glaives ready for combat. He'll enjoy tormenting Sargeras for eternity.
Velen, reporting back to others on the Vindicaar, offers a more noble take on the situation:
Prophet Velen: Illidan serves as the Dark Titan's jailer. His sacrifice has ended the Legion. At long last, the Burning Crusade...is over.
What Happens to Maiev?
We saw Illidan and Maiev working together closely at the start of Patch 7.2 Tomb of Sargeras, but then her arc abruptly ended. We last see her talking to Velen on the Broken Shore, as
We haven't seen her on Argus, although all the other major characters traveled there. She isn't mentioned either in the
Moments of Reflection messages
, which Illidan leaves for Tyrande, Malfurion, and the player.
Once Velen leaves on the Vindicaar, the Pantheon imprison Sargeras, pulling him away from Azeroth as he screams in agony. His one final action is to plunge his sword, Gorribal, deep into Azeroth. He also then tries to swipe at the Vindicaar as he's finally imprisoned, but the spaceship dodges his attack.
Sargeras is massive compared to all other characters, even dwarfing Azeroth. The wound in Azeroth is quite deep, and the part visible in Silithus is basically only the hilt--we are in serious trouble. Sargeras is imprisoned, but the essences of the Pantheon are holding him in check, so they will not be able to help us in Battle for Azeroth.
Leading up to Patch 7.3, Azeroth
started having nightmares about Sargeras
Magni is the conduit for Azeroth's message here, as well as in the upcoming expansion Battle for Azeroth where he gives every player the
Heart of Azeroth
and instructs them to find Azerite, the Blood of Azeroth.
However, perhaps we shouldn't trust Magni as his actions at the start of Legion unwittingly led us to our current situation and fulfilled some of Il'gynoth's whispers:
"The King of Diamonds is made a pawn."
“Five keys to open our way. Five torches to light our path.”
“The Lord of Ravens will turn the key.”
Magni, a walking diamond, sent Khadgar, the Lord of Ravens, to seek the five
Säulen der Schöpfung
, which in turn opened the
Tomb of Sargeras
. In the
, we learn Illidan opens a path between Argus and Azeroth using the
, the same one that Gul'dan tried to use to infuse Illidan's body with Sargeras' Essence.
More to Sargeras' Story?
Back in the Patch 7.3.2 PTR, we
datamined a number of spells
implying that Sargeras will be controlling Argus on Mythic Difficulty. This would make Sargeras' reveal in the cinematic even more satisfying.
Datamining points to numerous "Sargeras" abilities, implying that Sargeras will be controlling the tortured Titan throughout the encounter on Mythic difficulty.
Grasps players with overwhelming power, stunning them.
Ketten von Sargeras
Inflicts 500000 Shadow damage every 2 sec. as long as the player is attached to the Chains of Sargeras. This effect stacks.
Sargeras inflicts Collective Punishment on the target every 5 secs for 15 sec. Each strike inflicts 60000000 Shadow damage divided among players within 20 yards.
Inflicts a player with Sargeras' Fear, inflicting them with Crushing Fear if they are not within a short distance of another player.
: Inflicts 200000 Shadow damage every 0.5 sec. for 30 sec.
This effect stacks.
Inflicts a player with Sargeras' Rage, causing them to release Unleashed Rage if any other players come nearby.
Inflicts 200000 Shadow damage every 0.5 sec. for 30 sec to both the player with Sargeras' Rage and to any players who come nearby.
This effect stacks.
Urteil des Sargeras
Lashes a player to a stake with a deadly chain, inflicting 500000 Shadow damage every 0.5 sec. for 30 sec.
Players can break the chain by moving 35 yards away from the stake. When the chain breaks, the player will trigger Shattered Bonds.
: 1500000 Shadow damage every 2 sec for 10 sec.
The Phase 3 and 4 descriptions also differ on Heroic vs Mythic difficulty, implying something truly special will happen on Mythic difficulty.
Phase 3 on Normal, Heroic, LFR reads: When Argus reaches 40% health, he is sufficiently weakened such that Aman'Thul is able to subdue him with a . However, the players must then contend with Argus' Constellar Designates.
Phase 3 on Mythic reads: When Argus reaches 40% health, he is sufficiently weakened such that Aman'Thul is able to subdue him with a . Or, so it seems...
Phase 4 on Normal, Heroic, LFR reads: His Constellar Designates buying him the time to regain his strength, Argus kills the players with . All hope would be lost, were it not for the titans...
There is no Phase 4 for Mythic.
There is also a special red version of Argus and his weapon:
Silithus and Old Gods
Sargeras' sword can be seen across Azeroth but the wound is specifically in Silithus. This could be bad news for us as the Old God C'Thun rests nearby in Ahn'Qiraj.
World of Warcraft Chronicle
we learn the titans imprisoned C’Thun underneath Silithus, reinforcing his prison by building the
. This was a 40-player raid in classic WoW that dropped Tier 2.5 and notable upgrades for players progressing through Naxxramas. It opened alongside the 10-player raid
Die Ruinen von Ahn'Qiraj
(formally 20-man prior to Cataclysm) which offered more-casual players a chance at
Zirkel des Cenarius
reputations and books that granted more-powerful spell ranks.
On a mission to revitalize the desert of Silithus and transform it into a lush forest, the night elves discovered Ahn’Qiraj and entered the temple. This awakened C’Thun and the qiraji, starting the War of the Shifting Sands. The only way to subdue the qiraji was to seal them behind a magical wall, which could only be opened with the Scepter of the Shifting Sands.
The events of the War of the Shifting sands are heavily referenced in the questline to Ring the Scarab Gong, a massive server-wide event in classic WoW. Players across realms had to do numerous turn-ins of trade goods while raiders worked towards retrieving the scattered pieces of the Scepter around the world. These quests involved a variety of tasks such as farming green dragons for
Die Verderbnis des Alptraums
, raid all classic content and defeat Dr. Weevil for
Drachisch für Dummies
, and complete a speed run of Blackwing Lair in
. You can read more about the questline on the
Das Szepter der Sandstürme
page. It is no longer possible to do, but players could complete it until Cataclysm to get the
Veteran der Sandstürme
Zidormi, when spoken to about phasing between old and new versions of Silithus, also alludes to the Black Empire:
Silithus has ever been a magnet for ancient, malevolent powers.
I could open a timeway to reveal how the Black Empire once sprawled across these sands. Or show you wars waged between mighty armies.
So much history. So much pain.
But that can wait. I believe you are here for another purpose.
Here's a brief recap of the War, from
World of Warcraft Chronicle
The Old Gods originated from the Void Lords' desire to create eternal torment. Their strategy was to create Old Gods, fling them into the Great Dark, and hope they would make contact with worlds and contaminate vulnerable titans in their pre-awakened state.
The Old Gods that found Azeroth quickly plunged it into a world of despair, forming the expansive Black Empire. They created two races--the "faceless ones" (n'raqi") and the aqir (later split into the Mantid, Qiraji, and Nerubian races).
The Pantheon eventually defeated the Old Gods, destroying Y'Shaarj first. The resulting chaos and destruction led the Pantheon to realize that destroying the other three Old Gods would destroy Azeroth itself. Instead, they decided to imprison C'Thun, N'Zoth, and Yogg-Saron deep underground.
The destruction caused by eliminating Y'Shaarj and his stronghold was still corrupting Azeroth, so the keepers poured their energy into controlling this rift, turning it into the life-giving Well of Eternity.
There's a lot of supporting evidence that the Old Gods will play a major role in Battle for Azeroth. For example, we learned that Queen Azshara will be a raid boss, and she is heavily linked to N'Zoth. More details in
The Old Gods References in Battle for Azeroth
After players defeat Argus and view the cinematic, the skybox changes inside the raid-instanced Vindicaar. In the sky of Azeroth, we see a red dot where the planet Argus used to be. On the Antorus Vindicaar after defeating Argus, we have a more disturbing sight--all of the planets are engulfed by the Void. Back in the Patch 7.3.2 PTR, we speculated something like this would happen as we found new void-themed art assets in the PTR.
Quite interesting, as Sargeras' original motives were to destroy planets so they
be corrupted by the Void.
Here's a quote from when we first speculated on the new Void Assets:
encounter back in the Nighthold, he showed us several different visions of the sky referencing the different threats affecting planets, such as Azeroth.
Phase 1 "Absolute Zero" has a Frost theme, like Wrath of the Lich King
Phase 2 "A Shattered Void" has a Fel theme, like the Burning Legion and Argus
Phase 3 "Inevitable Fate" has a Void theme, showing a planet encased in tentacles.
Phase 2 is Legion, and Phase 3 is a Void/Old God future.
Phase 2: A Shattered World
Phase 1: Absolute Zero
Phase 3: Inevitable Fate
Star Augur Etraeus yells: Is that not enough? Must I show you the true horror of our reality?
Star Augur Etraeus yells: Very well... witness what I have seen, and TREMBLE!
Star Augur Etraeus yells: These are the beings who will devour the future you so futilely fight to protect!
Star Augur Etraeus yells: Avatars of non-existence... knowing nothing but hunger.
In Patch 7.3.2, similar yet new files have been added. Perhaps these new assets will be used in the sky of Silithus or another part of the story.
There's a lot more Void, Black Empire and Old Gods speculation, which we've covered in
Next WoW Expansion Speculation: Black Empire and Old Gods
as well as
The Old Gods References in Battle for Azeroth
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