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- The achievement "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" involves completing other achievements associated with the various holidays throughout the year. The less-inclined often scoff at those who dedicate themselves to completing it, questioning why a badass adventurer would take time off from saving the world to participate in petty festivities. When you do complete it, however, Alexstrasza the Dragonqueen sends you the following letter:
With the drums of war pounding in the distance, it is easy for the denizens of Azeroth to forget all that life has to offer.You, on the other hand, have maintained the dignity of the good races of Azeroth with your ability to remember what we fight for. To not celebrate our victories is another form of defeat. Remember that well, reveler.May others be inspired by your good cheer.-Alexstrasza the Life-Binder
- This piece of art◊ from Blizzcon '09 that Chris Metzen had to stop to deliberately point out as his favorite. "For all the epic weapons, that's who those guys are."
- From a development standpoint, the Shrine of the Fallen Warrior. Can also double as a Tear Jerker.
- The community has often done some Heartwarming things too:
- A player died in real life, and his server organized a massive funeral for him. Then another guild decided to crash it and kill everyone in attendance.
- Ahab Wheathoof. If there's a reason why he sounds so different from other Tauren...because he's a kid who was flown out and made a quest for the Make a Wish foundation.
- One guild actually has a blind player...and another who acts as his seeing eye friend. read more here.
- This quest, in memory of a player who died of leukemia. The poem is equal parts heartwarming and tear jerker.
- Children's Week (starts on May 1st each year). You get your very own orphans, Human and Draenei for Alliance, and Orc and Blood Elf for Horde, and you take the orphans to various places in Azeroth, Outlands, and/or Northrend. At the end of the questline, you return the orphan to his/her matron, the orphan gives you his/her pet and sends you a letter telling you how much fun they had and that you're his/her new big brother/sister.
- It's a minor one, but the baby Murlocs in Loch Modan. Especially when they're selected and do a baby version of the Murloc battle cry.
- This thread about how one faction should kill another somehow ends with an actually rational argument, and even more shockingly, starts a trend of reasonable discussions on Wo W from it's begining to the first day of Mists of pandaria. In other words, a bunch of people who don't know each other actually got over their hate of people different than them and beat G.I.F.T..
- A parent posts on the official forums looking for information about Blizzard's hiring practices on behalf of their eight year old son, who wants to get into the gaming industry when he grows up. Despite forumgoers predicting otherwise, Blizzard staff respond to the thread, culminating in a massive post chock full of advice and the qualifications that Blizzard looks for when hiring staff that was posted on Lead Systems Designer Ghostcrawler's behalf.
- A poster on the Korean forums told a story of how he helped the local server outcast (helpfully translated to English) improve his game, and how it ended causing a massive shift in attitude amongst the Korean players.
- The tomb of King Terenas Menethil II, last true king of Lordaeron, was built not by the Silver Hand nor the Forsaken. It was built by the former citizens of Lordaeron, who risked their lives so that his memory would not be forgotten.
Classic Old World
- After finishing the now-removed questline for Tier 0.5 (Dungeon Set 2), if you go back to find Bodley's ghost on the Blackrock Spire balcony he'll greet you with some warm words:
<name>! You've returned just to talk to me? That's very thoughtful of you, and you look pretty sweet in that outfit, too!You don't know how good it makes me feel to see you. It can get pretty lonely up here, what with most of these yahoos not being able to see me, and all. It's a great thing that you did for all of us, and I'll never forget it!Thanks for dropping in and saying hi, and don't be such a stranger.
- In an odd sense, the relationship between the Horde player and Nathanos Blightcaller over the course of his questline. Originally disdainful of you and constantly belittling you by calling you an imbecile and a fool, you eventually earn genuine respect from him through your actions, which include the death and decapitation of Ramstein the Gorder, the abomination that killed him, and the masterful way you assassinate the Scarlet Oracle Demetria.
The Burning Crusade
- Close to the end of a lengthy quest chain in Nagrand, which involves you running about the place and finding out what's up with the spirits of the Mag'har ancestors, sweet old granny-type orc Greatmother Geyah mentions that she is Durotan's mother. Immediately you inform her that Durotan's son, Thrall, is now the Warchief of the Horde, and you rush off to Orgrimmar to tell Thrall where his granny lives. Thrall comes to Nagrand and, after telling Garrosh Hellscream that Grom slew Mannoroth and redeemed himself and the orcs, spends the next few hours happily reminiscing with Geyah. It's made extra heartwarming by all the effort you made to bring them all together.
- A (paraphrased) quote from that part of the quest: "Go to my grandson. Tell him that his blood is here, in this shattered world." So sad, and yet so heartwarming. This old lady thought she alone was the last surviving member of her family and finds out that she has a grandson on another planet, family at long last on the shattered world of Draenor.
- Also, Thrall learning that his real name is Go'el after so many years of not even thinking his parents had even had a chance to name him. All the more heartwarming when he ends up casting off the slave name of Thrall and becoming Go'el for real and saving the world by HOLDING IT TOGETHER WITH ONE SPELL! In Lord of the Clans novel, Thrall taking up the Doomhammer after Orgrim's death and leading the Horde. Not a spoiler because You Should Know This Already if you've played the game at all.
- The draenei quests on Bloodmyst Isle. After a long grind through multiple quest chains, you're congratulated by the head of the small settlement for all your hard work, and he informs you that because of you, your exiled people will forever have a home. Par for the course, but then you turn to leave the building... and everyone you helped on your quests, from the injured soldier you helped clear a safe path back for to the elekk stablemaster you ran errands for, to the night elf fisherman and his daughter you reunited, is there, applauding you - complete with one of the leaders of the draenei, who's come all the way from the Exodar to thank you personally. Manly Tears.
- Lorewise, the conversation that Lady Liandrin has with the Naaru in Shattrath City during the Burning Crusade. Her people were abandoned by the Alliance, chose to follow a dark, demonic path and were turned evil by Kael'thas who vampirically corrupted a Naaru to regain their connection to the Light. It's the beginning of the redemption of the Blood Elf People. It's revealed after killing the final boss of the Sunwell Plateau raid that this was all part of a major Xanatos Gambit by said Naaru, and a shard from his remains are used to reignite the Sunwell, this freeing the Blood Elf people from the need to feed on fel magic.
Wrath of the Lich King
- We have the Alliance-side quest line centered around Brann Bronzebeard. Its conclusion definitely applies here. After escaping with Brann from the Engine of the Makers, he asks to be introduced to King Yorg Stormheart, king of the Frostborn Dwarves. He happens to be a Mountain Dwarf. Upon meeting him, Brann immediately recognizes Yorg as his dead brother Muradin. However, we find out earlier, in Dragonblight, that Muradin Bronzebeard is still alive—and word has already reached Magni. The resulting reunion of the brothers Bronzebeard is simply touching, especially for fans of Warcraft III and earlier. Just as soon, Muradin's memories return in flood, and he resolves to fix his mistakes... Namely Arthas. The brothers split once more. Thrall (and his Grandma), eat your hearts out.
- After the defeat of Deathbringer Saurfang in Icecrown Citadel, as an Alliance player, you get to see a man who, until this point, has had nothing but bile and hatred for the Horde (and, if you know his complete backstory, completely justified in those feelings), perform one of the most heartwarming gestures ever. Keep in mind, Deathbringer Saurfang was originally a Horde warrior that fought alongside one of the most famous Alliance paladins but was struck down re-animated by the Lich King himself. He also was the son of High Overlord Saurfang, who is more or less the leader of the Horde forces just under Thrall.
High Overlord Saurfang says: Behind you lies the body of my only son. Nothing will keep me from him.
Muradin Bronzebeard says: He... I can't do it. Get back on your ship and we'll spare your life.
A mage portal from Stormwind appears between the two and Varian Wrynn and Jaina Proudmoore emerge
King Varian Wrynn says: Stand down, Muradin. Let a grieving father pass.
- Defeat the Lich King with Shadowmourne, and he drops a sealed chest with some items in it. The box is a veritable fountain of heartwarming moments.
"Oh lad, how I missed those endless days in Lordaeron, sharpening your skill with this dull blade. Forging you into a weapon meant to withstand the demands of a great destiny. Heh! You sure put them skills to use, didn't you lad? If only I'd been able to stop you that day, how different things migha' been. If only I'da never discovered that accursed blade. Farewell, Arthas, my brother."
- Giving Sylvanas the vial of her own blood causes her to ponder what the Lich King's defeat means, which is not heartwarming in and of itself. As a reward, however, she gives you a music box that summons banshees to sing the sad Lament of the Highborne.
- The following quote is from Muradin when you show him Arthas's old training sword. It may jerk some tears.
"What's this! He... he kept it? All this time, he kept it! I knew! I sensed a part of him still alive! Trapped... struggling... Oh, Arthas! Perhaps - perhaps he might someday remember what he once was. By the Light, may he at last find rest, free from the icy grip of that terrible blade."
- Handing Arthas's old Silver Hand badge to Uther's ghost will cause him to admit that forgiving Arthas for his terrible crimes was difficult, but that he will choose to remember Arthas as he used to be.
- Another one of the items is a locket with a picture of Jaina on it. Showing it to her leads to the following:
Highlord Darion Mograine says: Father...
- Finally, you can find the soul of Alexandros Mograine, father of the death knight leader Darion Mograine, and reunite father and son.
Highlord Alexandros Mograine says: Darion, my son.
Highlord Alexandros Mograine says: At last, I am able to lay my eyes upon you again.
Highlord Darion Mograine says: Father. I feared for your... your sanity.
Highlord Alexandros Mograine says: The Lich King tormented me without end, Darion.
Highlord Alexandros Mograine says: Endlessly, he sought to break my will, to force me to serve him, to bind me to his blade...
Highlord Alexandros Mograine says: Finally, when events demanded his full attention, he left me.
Highlord Alexandros Mograine says: The one memory, I clung to, Darion... The one thought that kept me from giving in...
Highlord Alexandros Mograine says: It was your sacrifice, my son, that again saved me from eternal peril.
Highlord Darion Mograine says: Father... For you, I would give my life a thousand times.
- Earlier on in the storyline, there's Thrall consoling High Overlord Saurfang after the Battle of Undercity. "I'm sorry about your boy."
- The short questline Brothers In Death from the Death Knight starting area. Death Knights were created to be cold-hearted killing machines, encouraged to fight to the death to test their strength and weed out the weak, operating on a pure survival-of-the-fittest mentality. If one gets captured, it's because they were weak and deserved to die. And yet, Thassarian still cares about Koltira enough to risk the Lich King's retribution by sending you to rescue him. Koltira is touched by the gesture and then plays a distraction so you can get back safely. If you stick around by Thassarian for a bit after accepting the quest, he has a short chat with Bloodbane, where he comments that he doesn't give a damn about the Lich King, the Alliance, and the Horde, Koltira is his friend and that's all that matters.
- Continues a bit at the end of the Andorhal chain for Alliance players. Even though the battle ends badly (see the above entry), Thassarian ends it by deciding to go to Undercity and confront Sylvanas by himself over what happened to Koltira, showing that he still cares deeply about his friend even though earlier in the chain they both acknowledged that they couldn't call each other brother anymore and would probably have to fight to the death one day soon.
- From the Death Knight starter experience, during the second Battle of Light's Hope. Tirion delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Darion Mograine and his Death Knights. But the tone is less like two bitter enemies verbally sparring and more like a father scolding a wayward son for his poor choices then urging him to mend his ways. Adding to this, the instant the Lich King was struck back, Tirion immediately revives Darion and accepts the Knights of the Ebon Blade's help against their common foe.
- A Gorloc named Moodle in Sholazar Basin spends almost all of her (I think Moodle is female) time insulting her people and talking down to them because she is so much smarter than they are. Most Gorlocs have the minds of five-year old children. She talks normally. When she sees what happened to the Mosswalkers at the hands of the undead, she finally admits that she loves her people and wouldn't ever want anything to happen to them, even if she DOES talk bad about them. Tearjerker and Heartwarming all in one. Moodle eventually becomes a helper on the daily quests for Oracle reputation. She went from hating having to do things for people she didn't know to willingly helping her people with 'silly tasks' like collecting 'shinies' for some unseen deity.
- This is more a Tear Jerker, but if you have any kind of soul at all, the end of the Crusader Bridenbrad quest is also heartwarming. You went through all that trouble to stop him from becoming undead, and you succeed. Not only does he not become undead, he is personally taken to heaven by Azeroth's version of a powerful angel.
- What makes this even more impactful is that this entire quest chain was done in the memory of the brother of a Blizzard employee who had died of cancer, Brad Bridenbecker. All of the steps in the quest chain are metaphors of steps attempted in cancer treatments.
- Theres a Questline in the eastern kingdoms, where you join two paladins (a dwarf and a blood elf) and a worgen shopkeeper on the journey to Light's Hope Chapel. In the middle of it there's the typical commentary in the caravan and such. However, soon, you find that Gildwin (the Dwarf) is captured and is about to become a death knight. Note that this is after the death knights of Ebon Hold betrayed the scourge, so he won't be coming back if he does. So the entire Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits comes in, this by itself is not a lot, however if you realise that the team consists of two already dead people, a Retired Badass and a Goblin who barely wanted to join the first place. you have to realise how much they've bonded over the course of the trip.
- If you do the Battle of Darrowshire make sure you stay for a bit after you complete the quest.
- Since Cataclysm, the quest line that sends you around the Eastern Plaguelands lets you choose an item that grants a perk while you're in the zone. Once you've finished Darrowshire, you can take Pamela's Doll ("Is someone following you?"). You don't get a bonus to damage, or money earned, or anything. But every now and then little Pamela appears and follows you around, keeping you company while you fish or visit Light's Hope Chapel.
- In Cataclysm, the entire Western Plaguelands seems like it will be be one of these, especially for everyone who played through the Western Plaguelands up until the expansion comes out. There's something about seeing the WPL 80% cleansed of Scourge taint very relieving.
- In the latest Novel, Thrall meets an alternate version of his friend Taretha (in this timeline he still died as an infant). After proving his claims and asking her for help, he tells her what happened to her in the real timeline and how he blames himself for failing to save her. She tells him that it doesn't matter, because even though she died she ultimately made a difference for countless people.
- In Northern Stranglethorn you end up having a baby Lashtail Raptor start following you around and thinking of you as it's parent. Naturally, there are quite a few quests with the hatchling. Cut to a few quests later, and the newly reborn Bloodlord Mandokir takes the baby away. After a failed quest to try and have it escape, Mandokir expresses that he will get the hatchling to forget all about you. Much later, inside Zul'Gurub, after slaying Mandokir, you see that the baby is still there, and still remembers you. The text says that while she is a little bigger and has a few scars, she is overjoyed that you actually came back for her. Upon rescuing her, you are allowed to keep her as a vanity pet, her title being <Playername>'aka.
- "She recognizes you. Her father/mother has finally come back to save her."
- Also, after rescuing Ohgan'aka, it is possible to see her traveling with you in Northern Stranglethorn as an NPC, without the vanity pet tag.
- In Cataclysm, After having endured years of players not finding her, Mankrik finally reclaims his wife's body and gives her a proper burial.
- Heartwarming and also Awesome, Mankrik will show up as one possible helper during a daily quest, helping the player kill some very tough bad guys. It's his way of working through his mourning:
Mankrik: My rage is not silenced... but it is quieter. For now.
- Heartwarming and also Awesome, Mankrik will show up as one possible helper during a daily quest, helping the player kill some very tough bad guys. It's his way of working through his mourning:
- Another quest new to Cataclysm (and involving an old NPC) is a short quest line involving Azuregos. After being farmed for money and gear for years, his mind is beginning to fail him. After a lengthy chain started by Kalecgos, future Aspect of Magic players find the former resting in the spirit world with one of the countless and undoubtedly familiar Spirit healers that help adventurers resurrect when they die. He has discovered the name of this one and fallen in love with her. Azuregos proceeds to chew the player out, calling him/her out on the fact that the player in question probably doesn't even realise they HAVE names. The quest cropping up as a result of this is the player convincing the dragon that it can't last, and breaking both hearts. This eventually doubles as a heartbreaking moment when the player realises what he or she has done. While still a good action, a couple in love are still split up. This truly sinks in with the words of the Spirit healer as she resurrects you:
Thank you, *race*. Ultimately we both knew this wouldn't last... You should return to your world now, it is not yet your time. Don't worry, *race*, this one's on me.
- The Elemental Bonds questline, in which Thrall's Love Interest Aggra, along with the player, go through the four elemental realms in what everyone else decreed a hopeless endeavor to make Thrall whole again. An orc motivated by the Power of Love is a sight to behold, in and of itself. The questline ends with Thrall & Aggra marrying.
- There is a short questline in the Blasted Lands about a group of murlocs who were betrayed and attacked by the naga. While it starts off as a Tear Jerker , at the end you manage to rescue three baby murlocs and deliver them to the sea, where they swim to freedom.
- A Titan watcher by the name of Myzrael can be found in Deepholm. If you fought and "killed" her back in Arathi Highlands, she greets you by name and thanks you for having saved her from corruption by the Old Gods.
Mists of Pandaria
- Though it begins as a Tear Jerker, the Krasarang Wilds storyline where you helped Sunwalker Dezco repel the mogu ends with this. Looking after his newborn twins, if you ask him if he named them, he'll tell you that he named one of them Kor, the orc general who was Dezco's oldest friend who died at the end of the quest chain, and the other child he names after his savior, YOU. More like, your character's name.
- In the equivalent Alliance quest, the Night Elf Lyalia is killed by the mogu. Her father, Lorekeeper Vaeldrin, realizes that he's been selfishly searching for immortality rather than spending time with his daughter. He tells you to relay a message to her - "I love you" - then uses water from the Pools of Youth to transfer his own life to Lyalia, killing him and resurrecting his daughter.
- The ending to the Pandaren starting zone, as the balloon lifts off you see the ghost of Master Shang Xi bowing before you one last time as you head off into the World of Warcraft, set to some soaring, uplifting music.
- In the Dread Wastes, a fishing ship has run aground on the southern coast. The crew decided to form a small village, and have lived there ever since. A few quests in the captain, Soggy, asks you to retrieve a charter which was supposed to show that the ship and crew was hired to do some fishing outside the Jade Forest, but Soggy decided to ignore the job and go exploring instead on the other side of the Great Wall which led to the crew's current predicament. Upon retrieving the charter and turning it in, however, it is revealed that the crew found out ages ago and replaced the charter with a letter where they thank him for bringing them along.
Soggy: Would you excuse me for a moment, <name>? I've, uh... I've got somethin' in both my eyes.
- The NPC Lon'li Guju, who is a tribute to the last Pinta Island tortoise who died in June 2012. He follows your character around for a bit if you /wave or /love him.
- Varian Wrynn reuniting with his son after Anduin had been missing in an unknown—to the Alliance— land without the protection of Alliance forces and an escalating Horde presence, for over two months.
Anduin: Father, you can't do this. All the hatred and anger our war brings here— it poisons this place.
Varian: Easy, son. We're fighting a different war now. This isn't about hatred of the Horde. This is about a love of what's right. About doing what needs to be done.
- And this:
Anduin: This land is— different than ours. It's a treasure.
Varian: Then we'll protect it with our lives. Son, I need you with me on this. We in this together?
- And also this:
Varian: Anduin, I can handle this. I need you to trust that I'm going to do the right thing here.
Anduin: ... I trust you Father.
- Which is all part of the dialogue where the Alliance finds out that the Horde have attempted to take over The Temple of the Red Crane. Anduin, knowing his father's history of hatred against the Horde, doesn't want his father to rush in and destroy the Temple just to get to the Horde, and King Wrynn agrees that that would be the wrong thing to do.
- And this:
- The very moment King Wrynn steps foot on Pandaria it's obvious that he's become a changed man. In addition to the above quotes, there is this, one of the first things he will say on the Shieldwall quest line:
Varian: Hm. I used to think leadership was all about strength. I see things more clearly now - it's a little bit of give, a little bit of take. It's about binding people together. A bundle of sticks is not easily broken.
- The aftermath of the raid on the Thunder King's city and the defeat of his Dragon. Jaina and Lor'themar confront each other with their respective forces, tensions quickly rising as Jaina accuses the Sunreavers of aiding Garrosh while Lor'themar adamantly defends their innocence. Just when it looks like a fight is going to break out, Taran Zhu rushes in and gives both sides a much needed reality check: That the whole Alliance-Horde conflict is due to a never ending cycle of aggression. Even after Jaina insists that the Horde is always the aggressor, Zhu manages to get through to both and Jaina and Lor'themar agree to stand down (despite Veressa's vehement protests). Maybe hope for peace isn't lost after all.
- It isn't. The Alliance and the Horde make a joint effort to stop the tyrant Garrosh Hellscream from corrupting the Horde into an unstoppable, Always Chaotic Evil empire.
- Jaina's Hope, a cutscene which plays early on in the Operation: Shieldwall questline. Jaina talks about Dalaran being a beacon of hope, as proof that Alliance and Horde can work together in peace, while uplifting music plays in the background. It's all rather inspiring, but unfortunately it's ruined just a few quests later when Garrosh, having infiltrated the Sunreavers with spies, manages to get the Horde into Darnassus. From Jaina's point of view, it looks like the Sunreavers were responsible, and that causes everything in Dalaran to go to pot instantly.
- In the Horde's ending cinematic for the Siege of Orgrimmar, Vol'jin tells Thrall that the Horde needs its true Warchief more than ever before. Thrall's response is to kneel before Vol'jin and nominate him to be the next Warchief. While Vol'jin is stunned by the very idea, Baine and Lor'themar bow, Gallywix tips his hat, and even Sylvannas acknowledges the choice. Vol'jin finally bows in his own acknowledgment.
Vol'jin: I... am not worthy. But I will give my all.. for the Horde.
- The Alliance's is no less heartwarming. Jaina urges Varian to finish off the Horde in their weakened state, and he calls the guardsmen he brought with him to arms, strides forward with sword in hand to "do what a king must do"....which is to say, publicly recognize that Garrosh was not the entire Horde, and to bury the hatchet as far down as it can go. Took a Level in Kindness at it's best.
- Emperor Shaohao discusses why we fight.
- Throughout the expansion, players could complete quests with Lorewalker Cho which would unlock cutscenes where he describes important moments in Pandaria's history with names like "Tell me the story of the Warchief and the Darkness". Each patch (except 5.1) added new stories, though in the final patch, Cho was given only one last tale to unlock. What is it? "Tell my story".
- The Wanderer's festival is a heartwarming festival during which the Song of Liu Lang is sung by Lorewalker Cho at the start while paper lanterns are placed in the water to float away from Pandaria's shore. The magical feel of the festival is compounded by it happening at night with a rain that doesn't cloud up the clear night sky or put out the fires set out. Of course the reason the rain doesn't put the fire out nor come from clouds that cover the night sky is because they are in fact the tears of the Sha of Despair which makes the nature of it's rain adding to the magical feel without harming the fire nor obscuring the night sky ironically Hope bringing despite coming from the embodiment of Despair.
- While farming reputation for The Tillers, players come across a starving dog. You get a quest to gather twenty steaks for him and afterwards the dog can be found at your farm. While you get gold for it, your character's only motivation for helping the starving dog is simple kindness.
- Later in Warlords of Draenor said dog can be found wandering your garrison. It nudges your hand if you /pet it.
- Speaking of the Tillers, Ella is a Shrinking Violet who simply wants to try her hand at brewing. When she finally gets the courage to actually have someone try her brew, everyone who tastes it remarks on it being some of the best beer they've ever had.
- Also, if players give her a red apple as a present, she insists on sharing it with them.
- In the Pandaren opening area, using /hug on Ji Firepaw when he asks you to at the beginning of one of his quests brings you the message, "Ji Firepaw warmly hugs you back." Aww!
Warlords of Draenor
- When Thrall travels to alternate Draenor, he saves alt Drek'Thar and meets up with Durotan. At first Durotan doesn't trust Thrall because the only other green-skinned orc he knows is Gul'dan, but Drek'Thar vouches for Thrall and the player saying they are heroes at heart, and they saved him and Durotan's brother.
- A meta-example: the late, great Robin Williams was an avid player of WoW, and after his passing, fans petitioned to have an NPC based on him included in the game. The developers heeded the players' wishes and introduced a new NPC for the new expansion, a genie named "Robin the Entertainer".
- Garrosh stops his father Grom in the cinematic from dying the same way as he would in the Prime timeline, managing to tackle him away from the blast just in time to save him.
- The new (old?) Shadowmoon Valley. Players of The Burning Crusade know the zone as a barren, destroyed, fel-corrupted wasteland infested with demons and where few forms of life exist. The Shadowmoon Valley of Warlords of Draenor is a gorgeous and vibrant zone full of many different lifeforms. It couldn't be more different than the Outland Shadowmoon Valley. Also doubles as a Fridge Tear Jerker when you go back to the Outland version and realize to the full extent how much the draenei and orcs lost and how badly their homes and societies were decimated by Gul'Dan, the Shadow Council, and the Burning Legion in the main timeline.
- Tanaan Jungle is much the same. Filled with life, trees, animals everywhere. Its original name in Burning Crusade was Hellfire Peninsula. A barren cracked red desert with only demons, worms, 200-foot tall demon steam mechs and a road paved with the bones of tens of thousands of draenei. The same road in the new timeline is the Road to Glory.
- Heartwarming in an orcish sort of way is a conversation between Thall and Draka. Draka asks how Thrall has no mate yet, causing Thrall to stumble in surprise over his answer that his mate is caring for the little ones back home. Draka scolds Thrall, telling them that they're at war and that's when it's most important to have family at your side. Draka finds it amusing that Thrall never considered this before.
- The fact that Dark Iron Dwarves are a quite well-integrated part of the Alliance after years of being relegated to villains. Thaelin, Hansel and Hulda Shadowblade are amongst the supporting characters of the faction storylines.
- Even better, the only characters who show any open distrust of the Dark Iron dwarves are the other dwarves, who seem to distrust them mostly as a matter of prejudice being a hard thing to get past when it runs that deep—and when the chips are down, they don't hesitate to help the Dark Irons either. Looks like Moira stepping up when Varian sounded the call did wonders for her people, after all.
- Lieutenant Thorn, the patched eye, commander of operations that is also a Worgen (though she's usually in her human form) says this:
Lieutenant Thorn: Commander, I was just wondering. Has Baros mentioned me by any chance? What? Oh...no reason. *Thorn blushes*
- And to make everything even sweeter, Baros says this privately:
Baros: Lieutenant Thorn is a shining example to us all. Never have I seen such a dedicated leader. I haven't worked up the courage to speak to her, but perhaps someday, she will know my name.
- And to make everything even sweeter, Baros says this privately:
- Back on Azeroth, Upper Blackrock Spire contains a moment that was a decade in coming. In Classic WoW, one of the quests in UBRS involves saving a tiny blue dragon whelp, Awbee, from being tortured and killed by Blackrock orcs. Ten years later in the revamped UBRS, Awbee returns as a fully-grown dragon to back you up during the fight with Commander Tharbek.
Awbee: You saved my life once, it is about time I returned the favor!
- In one of his greetings, Exarch Maladaar states that he would forfeit his own soul in order to protect his people. Kind of a Tear Jerker when you consider what happened to him in the main timeline, where he's the end-boss of the Auchenai Crypts dungeon, driven to madness after all the other Exarchs fell and turning the group he led into necromancers.
- The numerous times the Draenor Draenei and Frostwolf Clan struggle through the Iron Horde together and work right alongside one another all the way through to the final battle, without any indications of hostility after the Iron Horde is defeated. A lasting peace between draenei and orcs sharing Draenor seems to finally be a reality.
- When Magni awakens, he finally acknowledges Moira's hard work as part of the council and that he was aware of all the things she had said to him. The acknowledgment moved Moira to shed a tear as her father sets off to Ulduar.
- A minor one comes in the cinematic trailer where Varian and Sylvanas exchange a nod in greeting. It isn't much but it gives hope for eventual peace between the Alliance and the Horde.
- The climax of Anduin's prologue comic are this and awesome. His own thoughts are interspersed with dialogue and Varian's final letter.
Dreadlord: But there is another way.Letter: Anduin, I now believe as you do...Dreadlord: Peace.Letter: ... is the noblest aspiration.Dreadlord: You cannot fight and win. Join us. [etc...]Anduin: You're right. I'm a man of peace.Letter: But, to preserve it...Anduin: And the Wolf is gone forever. I am the Light that remains.Letter: ... you must be willing to fight.Anduin: And I will finish this. Anduin proceeds to obliterate the dreadlord in one shot with a SmiteAnduin's thoughts: Yes, I changed my father. But he also changed me. Will that be enough [to save] the Alliance? For Azeroth? It will have to be. There will be peace, one day.
- In the Madefire motion-comic version, this is made even better by a swell of the heroic version of Anduin's new theme.
- In a Death Knight quest, the Ebon Blade form a new Four Horsemen. One of the first horsemen? Nazgrim. And there isn't any Fridge Horror, either - he is the type of Orc that would gladly become a Death Knight if it means to sink his axe into the deserving again.
- When you dismiss your Voidlord, it says something that is... less than favorable, but it shows that a power-hungry megalomaniac has gained the respect and friendship of a being made of pure, congealed darkness and evil.
Voidlord: When my armies devour this world, we will save you for last.
- In Durotar, you can find Tyrathan Khort watching Vol'jin's funeral pyre from afar. He honors his friend so much that he's willing to infiltrate enemy territory where he'd almost certainly be killed if found to attend Vol'jin's funeral. And he fully intends to avenge Vol'jin's death to honor the pact they made.
- Even after the complete tragedy that was the Broken Shore, with the Alliance and Horde back at one another's throats, with Varian dead and Sylvanas Warchief, with Genn and Jaina pushing for all-out war on the Horde and Tirion Fordring, one of the few remaining voices of peace dead, the heroes of the Alliance and Horde still band together for the invasion events, with Horde and Alliance alike going to Sentinel Hill, Kharanos, Tarren Mill, the Crossroads, and even the rear gates of Orgrimmar without so much as an issue (aside from the occasional scuffle breaking out once the dust settles), and the commanders coordinating the defense such as Gyran Stoutmantle, Saurfang, and Helcular show only respect to the defenders regardless of faction, calling on their shared love for Azeroth to inspire them. It's moments like that which give hope that one day, Azeroth will present a united front against the Legion and be just as unstoppable as they were against the armies of C'thun back in the day.
- Partway through the Highmountain questline while following Huln Highmountain's past, you learn a truth about Spiritwalker Ebonhorn. He is an uncorrupted black dragon, his true name Ebyssian, that was rescued by Huln, using the Hammer of Khaz'gorath to purify his egg. In thanks, Ebonhorn has been watching over Huln's descendants all this time.
- In Highmountain, a tauren sends you to find his lost baby son, Moozy; he's too injured to keep searching, and his wife is checking upstream. Of course, you find the baby in a basket and reunite him with his parents... But one player went and created this adorableness out of the experience.
- In Suramar City, there's the occasional Nightborne that's clearly starving. There's sometimes a world quest to feed them, but even if there isn't, Players have the option to give said elves a bit of ancient mana in return for a 10% health buff. The name of the buff? Empathy.
- The finale of the Nightfallen questline has players giving fruit from the Arcan'dor to the various Nightfallen members and finally curing them of their Horror Hunger.
- In a twisted sort of way, the finale of the Death Knight class storyline, pre-Broken Shore. With the plan to raise Tirion Fordring as the commander of the new Four Horsemen having failed, and the power within Light's Hope Chapel poised to destroy the Deathlord and the first three of new Horsemen, Darion Mograine, who had disagreed with the plan but went along with it anyway, opens a death gate and holds it for everyone else to escape, at the cost of his own life. This allows him to be reanimated by the Deathlord as the commander of the new Four Horsemen, of course, but the important part is that Darion, who even after the Ebon Blade was freed from Arthas's control had always acted as the perfect cold-blooded pitiless death knight, gave his life to save others, and ensure that the Ebon Blade would survive to protect Azeroth—at least until the Legion is defeated. In effect, he proved that death knights might be monsters, but they can also be heroes.
- Even though the context of the scene is rather tragic, Vol'jin naming Sylvanas his chosen successor as Warchief has undertones of this. He admits he never trusted her, (or probably ever even liked her) but he praises her for coming through for The Horde in its hour of need, basically admitting that she is the person he believes The Horde needs to hold it together through one of its darkest hours. The icing on top of it all is Sylvanas doesn't even seem pleased about being placed in charge of the entire Horde, (like you might expect her to be) and she simply stares at Vol'jin in shocked silence as he expires. Even as the other Horde faction leaders respectfully carry their now deceased leader out in silence, Sylvanas just stands there.
- After an Alliance player retrieves Varian's compass, Anduin visits the Broken Shore to see the evil first-hand with his own eyes. Reaching the exact spot where Varian fell, Anduin breaks down in grief and stress, having had no time to mourn his father's death, and feeling that he is unable to be the hero and king his father was. Greymane — who had himself recently criticized Anduin for being soft and naive, partly prompting the visit — takes it upon himself to console Anduin in his darkest hour and explains the purpose of Varian's Heroic Sacrifice and valiant actions; a message of inspiration and defiance to his people in the face of an overwhelming enemy.
- The above, prompted with a vision of Anduin standing face to face with his father in the afterlife prompts a meek question from Anduin that makes Varian quickly reaffirm his belief in Anduin's ability to lead his people, giving the boy the resolve needed to step out from his father's metaphorical shadow.
- It's possible to find and loot a small pebble in the streets of Dalaran - "rubble from when the city was transported to the Broken Shore". It has a very, very faint aura of magic to it, but other than that doesn't seem to have a purpose... except if, for some reason, you return to your garrison on Draenor and show it to Dog - the same one who followed you from Sunsong Ranch - the canine will sniff it curiously. And then, somehow, Dog will follow you across worlds again, to Dalaran's new location, where he's being cared for in Breanni's pet shop. Just to see you.
- In the Demon Hunter storyline, you return to the Black Temple to recruit Akama. If, during the breakout sequence in the Vault of the Wardens, you chose Altruis the Sufferer—who had left the Illidari in protest of their growing extremism—as your second in command, Akama realizes that the Illidari have changed for the better and willingly joins after you defeat him. (If you chose Kayn Fury, it's the other thing.
- Since Wrath of the Lich King, the Alliance version of the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth had a merchant named Hakmund of Argus, a wandering draenei without a home. Years later, when we go to Argus, you can find Hakmund standing in Mac'Aree, absolutely speechless about finally being back where he belongs.
- During one of the storylines in Azsuna, you find a Wretched NPC named Runas the Shamed, who was banished from the Nightborne and thus wracked with the same mana addiction as the rest. The Blue Dragon Elder Senegos is very mistrustful of him, and warns you to keep an eye on him. Yet through it all, addiction aside, Runas certainly insists that he wants to help...right up till the very end, where his last act is to warn you about the resident leader of the Nightborne, Ael'Yith, and his plan to attack Senegos. One sentence, in particular, stands out:
Runas the Shamed: This hunger is consuming my very mind. It is taking every ounce of my energy to just...just...can you hear me, my friend? I...I cannot see you anymore. I think...perhaps it is time to say goodbye, then. Thank you, my friend, for letting my last hours mean something.
- Of special note is that the ensuing zombie-like husk remains friendly afterwards...as if whatever little remains of Runas the Shamed doesn't want to hurt anyone any more.
- From the Antorus cinematic, a moment without words. After watching Sargeras be dragged away and imprisoned by the assembled Pantheon, Velen gives a slow, gentle sigh, evidently realising that after thousands of years of running from the Legion, at long last, his people's eternal battle has ended.
Velen: Light be with you, Illidan Stormrage.
- From the same cutscene, a warm smile comes from Illidan's lips as he realizes that Velen has finally taken to heart the lessons he was trying to teach him about choosing your own path.
- Still from the same, Velen's parting words to Illidan.
- In the Alliance epilogue to Legion, Anduin gives a speech to the people of the Alliance to commemorate the fall of the Burning Legion. Meanwhile, Genn just stands in the back, smiling proudly at the young king.
- If you complete Uuna's scenario, "A Dark Place", congratulations. You have freed the soul of an innocent draenei child and gained a friend who will give you hugs and react to your surroundings. May double as a Tear Jerker while you'll be doing the scenario.
Battle for Azeroth
- While the opening cinematic is a bit sad to see that once again without a third party the Alliance and Horde are back to killing each other. Its really nice to see that Anduin and Sylvanas have fully come into their own as leaders. For Horde players it can be downright a tearjerker to hear the sad and lonely Sylvanas scream "FOR THE HORDE". Anduin putting down his sword and mass healing his troops is a great show of him becoming the leader he was always meant to be.
- Sylvanas is able to inspire and lead her forces in a breakout against The Alliance lines. Not bad for someone who only joined The Horde for convenience and spent most of her time with them before her rise to Warchief as The Friend Nobody Likes. Genn is also right there by Anduin's side in the battle, just like he was for Varian at the end.
- Genn facing-off Saurfang to protect Anduin. It's clear not just a King saving another, but Greymane's Papa Wolf tendencies as he yells Anduins name and offer him a hand.
- Genn's smile toward Anduin when he and the rest of the army are healed and Anduin rallying the troops. That is a smile of pride, especially heartwarming considering how he showed doubt to Anduin's leadership during Legion.