@ made a great point in the Queue a few days ago about the importance of failure http://blizzardwatch.com/2016/01/22/the-queue-the-narrative-importance-of-failure/
No one does “Bad Guys Win” as well as blizzard does. Arthas and Kerrigan are two of their BEST characters. It’s not just that the bad guy won, but I was cheering them on as they did it.
I think World of Warcraft could really benefit from this. There is one catch though. I don’t think they can pull it off, unless the downtime between expansions gets much smaller. While it’s a great story for us to lose and be on the run. A year plus of losing and running is probably more than most of us can stomach.
We also need a charismatic villain, one people clamor to put in to place, and then once they are supremely evil and ruling over all, they smile at us, say ‘thanks’, stab us in the back, and start destroying everything we love.