Blizzard Reverses Course on WoW Classic Cataclysm Controversial Dialogue Removal

Jasper Beaumont

15 Apr 2024

Blizzard Reverses Course on WoW Classic Cataclysm Controversial Dialogue Removal

Blizzard initially removed, then briefly reinstated, and has now once again taken out a controversial WoW Classic Cataclysm dialogue where Garrosh hurls an insult at Sylvanas, in spite of the MMO's head asserting it would "not come back."

In WoW Classic's re-release of the Cataclysm expansion, most of the original content from the 14-year-old addition makes a reappearance, yet certain elements have been omitted. Notably, a contentious moment where Garrosh uses a derogatory term against Sylvanas was eliminated, despite its reappearance a month prior.

During the initial run of the expansion, the exchange in the Silverpine Forest questline between Sylvanas and Garrosh culminated with the latter using offensive language and then leaving in a huff, cautioning the Banshee Queen about her eventual reckoning. This part of their interaction, which includes a rare instance of profanity in World of Warcraft, received mixed reactions for its appropriateness.

This dialogue persisted for about a decade before Blizzard opted to exclude it in 2020. The narrative head at the time, Steve Danuser, expressed no regrets over the decision to exclude the offensive term.

"I make no apologies for removing the word," he stated in response to a fan's comment. "Everyone, of course, is entitled to their own opinion. However, we believed its time had passed, and it would not be reintroduced."

Nevertheless, the dialogue momentarily resurfaced. Although the official launch of WoW Classic's Cataclysm servers is scheduled for May 20, early access to parts of it was available through the Cataclysm beta. There, players noticed the reinstated dialogue, only for it to be removed again shortly after.

The reason behind this short-lived return and subsequent removal has yet to be clarified by Blizzard. However, the company has made several adjustments to its games, including World of Warcraft and Overwatch, following the 2021 Activision Blizzard lawsuit that exposed allegations of inappropriate workplace culture. These changes, along with the decision to potentially leave controversial elements like the Sylvanas-Garrosh exchange out of the game, reflect a shift in Blizzard's approach to content.

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