Archive for March, 2014

Some random thoughts on a WoW Insider

“Add to this the fact that, when World of Warcraft Started, there was a novelty in playing the Horde. The Alliance was humans, elves, gnomes, and dwarves, your typical D&D party. The Horde was orcs, trolls, forsaken, and tauren – the monsters”
source

There’s a lot I disagree with Matthew Rossi on in this article on, but one thing I do happen to side with is the idea that the Horde is the Monster faction, the Alliance are the stereotypical fantasy humanoids.

This was the case in Vanilla WoW, but come Burning Crusade, the stereotype was turned on it’s head. The Horde gained Blood Elves, a stereotypically good guy pretty race, and the Alliance gained the Draenei, retconned to resemble the race of demons known as the Eredar, but their antithesis on the moral alignment.

While I understand that this needed to be done to address faction imbalance (too many kids or old-school gamers both tabletop and electronic wanted to play the “good guys”), I still think it’s taken a part of the identity away from the factions. I miss the days of feeling like the Horde was the faction of misunderstood and feared races, bound together for mutual survival. And I still don’t particularly think the Blood Elves story was handled well at all for the entirety of the expansion.

If we could do this all over again, I would love to see the faction identities of Alliance as the “good/pretty” and the Horde as the “misunderstood monster” preserved. I would leave the Blood Elves as antagonists in Burning Crusade (preserving the rebellion of the Scryers of course), but have a separate rebel group who still called themselves Quel’dorei/High Elves refuse to have anything to do with the path that Kael’thas lays out and return to the Alliance. Meanwhile, the Draenei crash-land on Azeroth, and are met and helped by Orcs practicing Shamanism, most of whom have no memory of the Draenei or the horrible things their fathers had done to them. Many Draenei would object to allying with the race that nearly brought them to extinction, but the Prophet Velen would have a vision showing a redeemed Orcish race battling the Legion that once used them. They join the Horde both out of need for a protective alliance and to help guide the Orcs along the path of redemption.

The Horde would still gain access to the formerly-Alliance-only Paladin class via the Draenei, and you could simply leverage the Wildhammer connection early to gain the formerly-Horde-exclusive Shaman for the Alliance.

As far as the Cataclysm races, while I do enjoy my Goblin Hunter, I would have preferred that the Goblins stay a truly neutral race. Yes, playable Goblins gives the Horde a shorty race, but the Goblin people have for most of WoW and WC3 been adamant about staying out of the Horde-Alliance conflict. Plus, the Worgen would make much better members of the Horde anyway, I mean they’re Werewolves for crying out loud! I’m not sure who the Alliance should get in lieu of the Worgen, unfortunately, perhaps the Dark Iron or Wildhammer Dwarves could be added in as a second Dwarf race.

I realize that this would ultimately mess with the story of WoW quite significantly, but frankly, the new races have had terrible lore so far (Draenei and Worgen practically ignored after their starting zones, Goblins have had a racial leader that they spent half their starter zones fighting and yet he’s still in power somehow, and the Blood Elves were kind of messed up from the start, though lately they’ve done much better by them).  I think there’s some very good story opportunities in going this route, and it’s a bit sad Blizzard chose to dilute the flavors of the factions and miss out on these.

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