Whenever World of Warcraft Horde warchief Sylvanas Windrunner was discussed at BlizzCon 2018, department swept the space. Some individuals booed, some individuals cheered. Sylvanas is on a genocidal rampage, you see, and it’s triggered a schism in the Horde. Some individuals follow her – and will to the ends of the, um, Azeroth – while others honestly rebel under the hashtag Not My Warchief.

Some individuals are upset with her. When Sylvanas torched the really crucial World Tree Teldrassil, a bit like the mean man at the end of Avatar (sorry if you have not seen it however where have you been?), her number-two, Vorok Saurfang, mutinied. He removed his shoulder pads and walked away – and the #NotMyWarchief supporters followed in solidarity with him.

“I’ve heard these conversations on the web about ‘she’s going off the rails’, however is she?” -Alex Afrasiabi

But some individuals are miffed Blizzard is turning another Horde leader into the WoW huge baddie. Not long earlier, it was Garrosh Hellscream, and now it seems Sylvanas. Will her fate be the very same – will gamers ultimately challenge and eliminate her? It’s among the most questionable stories I’ve seen in World of Warcraft, and individuals have not been shy about making their sensations understood.

How does Blizzard feel about all of this? “I’m delighted about the feedback,” WoW innovative director Alex Afrasiabi informed me at BlizzCon 2018. “Any time we get a gamer base that’s divided in their assistance for a character, I seem like we’re doing our tasks. Any time it’s one-sided to the point of ‘this is plainly the ideal instructions’, it’s not as fascinating.

“That was truly our objective with Sylvanas, to produce adequate possible deniability in the actions she’s devoted where she can still have a fanbase, where she might still have individuals supporting her actions and stating, ‘Well naturally she’s doing that for the Horde.’

“I’ve heard these conversations on the web about ‘she’s going off the rails’, however is she? I’ve been composing Sylvanas personally given that 2006, and this is practically – the Wrathgate and the Blight and the Forsaken – in character. Those were all under Sylvanas’ orders. What we’re seeing now is an escalation of the strategies Sylvanas has, plainly, and we’re in the middle of that.”

Saurfang’s mutiny.

The outcome is members of the Horde now have a really fascinating option to make: back Sylvanas or betray her? And it seems like, for possibly the very first time ever, World of Warcraft will let us pick.

“We have actually never ever been a video game always about making private gamer options or options that matter, however we did identify this was among those minutes where there’s going to be a contingency of our gamer base who’s truly delighted about following Sylvanas to the ends of the earth, as it were – ‘I do not care what she does, she’s our Warchief! She is the Banshee Queen!'” Afrasiabi stated.

“We have mission lines entering … [to] manage gamers an option whether to betray Sylvanas or not.”

“We have mission lines adopting Tides of Vengeance [patch 8.1] which we’re truly delighted about, and those will really manage gamers an option whether to betray Sylvanas or not.

“Beyond that,” he included, “when you play an option like that, you need to follow it through, so in subsequent missions that come out, you’re going to be on the side you select, and we’ll see what comes of that, if you’re ideal or incorrect.”

Sylvanas’ ultimate fate “you’re going to have to wait and see”, naturally. But it sounds like, at least for now, Sylvanas is simply too beloved to kill off.

“She’s an interesting character and she’s a character beloved not just by our playerbase but by our developerbase as well,” Afrasiabi said. “Like I said, I’ve been personally working on her since 2006, making stories for her; I definitely have a connection with her in a lot of different ways, and her just ending up as a raid boss feels like a bit of a letdown to me.

“Sylvanas’ destiny is to be found out and discussed by the player base, but it would be dismissive to think she’ll just go down as another raid boss, because she’s a little bit more than that.

“Does that mean you will not fight her?” he added. “Not necessarily true either. The reality is you can fight her every day of the week in Grommash Hold, in a raid, ideal now. But I do believe there’s a lot more to Sylvanas’ story that hasn’t been told yet.”

And Saurfang now, at the beginnings of a revolt, as he makes what looks like an alliance with the Alliance to ‘get his horde back’.

World of Warcraft patch 8.1, Tides of Vengeance, will be released 11th December in the US and 12th in Europe.