A source of some consternation when World of Warcraft: Legion was first announced was the mysterious absence of Jaina Proudmoore in the proceedings. Dalaran, city of the Kirin Tor over which she once presided, has been moved to the Broken Isles as the new capital for the expansion, and the Kirin Tor themselves are now headed by Archmage Khadgar. So, where is Jaina?
Our recent interview with Laura Bailey, voice actress for Jaina Proudmoore in every World of Warcraft expansion to date, indicates that she might not be appearing anytime soon.
As she says:
"GameSided: Are you coming back as Jaina Proudmoore in Legion? Can I ask that?Laura Bailey: I have not gone in to record yet? I don’t know if I’m allowed to answer this. I think I am. I mean, I’m pretty sure I am. I haven’t gone in and done anything."
We don’t have a set release date for Legion yet, nor has the beta begun, but with Blizzcon 2015 this week it’s a fairly safe bet that the beta is imminent, and maybe even this week or next, as the final raid of Warlords of Draenor has already been out for four months. If indeed a beta is to be announced soon, then it would make sense for any storyline NPCs to already have dialogue recorded. Warlords of Draenor, praised for its rich and plentiful voice acting, already had most of it in place when the beta launched. Only cutscenes were missing at the time.
Two conclusions can be drawn here: one is that we have much longer to wait for a beta than we thought, and Blizzard runs the risk of making the same mistake with Hellfire Citadel that they did with Siege of Orgrimmar by leaving people in it for far too long. The other is that Jaina simply isn’t a prominent figure in the launch content of Legion. She may appear later–her being given the silent treatment by Blizzard hints that she may have an important role to play by the end.
Hopefully the latter is the case. Jaina has a rich backstory, and is arguably one of the best-known and most intriguing characters in Warcraft lore thus far–a powerful idealist who had her world overturned multiple times, yet still strives for peace. Her simply being written off in favor of Khadgar’s leadership would be truly devastating not only for the Alliance, but for anyone who has paid any attention to her rise over the years.
Keep an eye on Blizzcon 2015 this week–maybe we’ll catch more hints of her magic during the Legion panel, or in a soon-to-be beta.