^^^ the last sentence hits it. My experience with a lot of video game writing is that emotion as viewed as just another variable in the code that you can set instantly. You want to make the player sad? Blair needs to be sad, so just set blair.emotion.sadvalue = MAX_INT and have him lose his home, his lover, and quite possibly the war in the months since we saw him last.The Tiger's Claw blowing up worked for WC2 because your character arc was centered around its destruction. The Concordia being destroyed was part of what I said earlier about WC3 following 2's story beats but worse.
It feels like they just wanted an excuse to not have the Concordia because they wouldn't be able to model it in WC3's engine but the damage it took in Fleet Action would have been a good enough excuse to sideline the ship. The opening scene could have been Blair transferring off of the crippled Concordia instead. That would have set the tone of the war going south just as well. I guess that wasn't dramatic enough though!
Presumably there are deleted scenes of Blair getting a papercut on his transfer orders and stubbing his toe on the shuttle ride to the Victory as well