Any lore about the Old Gods is welcome to me. They've always intrigued me because it seemed like there was already lore around them that I just didn't know - mainly because I didn't raid so I didn't see the inside of Ahn'Qiraj or Ulduar until much later (when I could solo them). So I've pieced together some stuff here and there, but having a canon source is very satisfying - to confirm the parts I got right, and to explain the rest.
I'm truly surprised to see how polarized some of the community is over the confirmation of the Old Gods influence. The fact that a character is influenced by an Old God does not mean they cease to be an individual who is yet still driven by other motives. It's not so black and white as a lot of you are making it out to be. Though the Old Gods are indeed immensely powerful, they don't wield absolute power over all of their subjects. However, Queen Azshara made a desperate deal with the Old Gods - and cursed herself and her followers into servitude when they were transformed into the Naga. So of course she is a servant to the Old Gods! Its utterly absurd that people are ready to give up on the story lines and characters simply because of the influence of powerful entities. Everybody serves some-one, some-thing, or some-kind of idea. Get a clue people!
TBH I do not see any big change in Queen Azshara story either.I think we already knew back in Vanilla that Azshara was evil herself, willing to sell her world to the Legion in exchange for personal power. After Well of Eternity destruction Highborne were drowning and made bargain with some mysterious force buried under the seabed that transformed them into Naga capable of surviving underwater.In Cataclysm Vash'ir storyline we learned more of this dark force under the seafloor, and Naga were still acting in alliance with this dark force, which was perfectly logical and consistent for me. And while it was probably not confirmed directly back then, it was quite obvious this dark force was an Old God, with all the visual accessoires (faceless monsters, etc) and us knowing that Old Gods are buried around the world. We did not know the name "N'Zoth" back then, but it does not seem major storychanger.And I still do not think Azshara is a mindless puppet fully controlled by N'Zoth. Rather, I see her as a willing "partner" of the bargain, doing evil deeds on requests of N'Zoth in exchange for power, as she dealt with Legion before the Well destruction. And I think this is very consistent with her character.Further, in Legion it was obvious that this underwater dark force and Naga are on the evil side together with Deathwing, Ragnaros and Al'Akir, while Neptulon and Therazane were opposing them and thus befriended us (well, to certain degree, Elemenal Lords are still reluctant to befriend mortals).Nor I ever saw any problems with Thrall character development in Cataclysm. With all black dragons being corrupted, Aspects needed someone to wield Earth power, and they have decided to use mortal shaman. And it is quite resonable they have chosen Thrall, being both probably the strongest shaman in the world and one of the wisest persons in WoW.Remember, he was probably the only orc understanding diplomacy, capable of holding his temper and negotiating peaceful solutions when not only most orcs, but also many humans would rush to fight! And this was already establiched before Cataclysm. So it was quite reasonable that he was called to wield Earth power to save the world, and he understood that world as a whole is more important that his beloved Horde - still being only part of the world. And then, he was not transformed into some "god", has not ascended, was not given immoirtality - he was just temporary granted control over Earth forces so Aspects could accomplish their task of stopping Deathwing. And after the victory he just became an ordinary mortal again, one very tired after the responsibility he had to took.Of course, it's sad that the orc he has chosen as his successor failed so terribly. Thrall was blinded a bit by Grom being one of his closest friends... though, if you remember Grom in WC3, he was not much different to Garrosh. He was a great general under Thrall command, capable of leading armies and performing heroic deeds himself, but never wise as much as Thrall to decide politics and strategy. And he understood it and followed Thrall leadership. And Garrosh would probably make as good general under Thrall leadership as Grom was, but neither Garrosh nor Grom were wise enough to be leaders. But then, do you know any other orc that would be better in this role, capable of diplomacy as much as Thrall was?
"N'Zoth was not afraid...""While not all of N'Zoth's plans were successful, he was counting on most to fail--only one had to work in order to usher in the Hour of Twilight."The way I've seen the old gods is that they can not feel fear, so this is like stating the obvious for me.I've also had this idea that they can not feel doubt or that things won't go their way. Failure is not in their nature. Just like feeling fear isn't in their nature.I really don't like what they are doing(or revealing if this is how it's always been) with the old gods."Seriously? Now the Old Gods are even behind quilboar and centaur? Blizzard, not everything has to be tied to them. This is ridiculous. It is extremely poor writing to have every single villain now have the backstory "they were corrupted!"Couldn't agree more with this.I really like the Old Gods and find them interesting, but a lot of that interest is tied to them being mysterious and chaotic. The more Blizzard write about them, the less interesting they make them.