Sadly the Alliance is pop culture and poop quests all the way down. At least outside of books. Swing by your library if you want Alliance plot.
Edited by Caedmun on 2/21/13 9:29 AM (PST)
Blizz admits it dropped the ball on Alliance content in Cata. That said, zones you should seriously go through for perspective reasons:
Barrens. You will not understand the full scope/fallout of Camp Tarajo, Bael Modan, and the associated incidents without playing BOTH sides of those quests.
Ashenvale, and to some extent Darkshore before it. While the Alliance lost territory there in terms of end-result quest hubs, playing the Alliance quests there were one of the few points where it actually felt like something other than living in a horde fanboy's daydream fic.
Westfall is interesting due to the upheaval and changes going on, and to generate more of an appreciation of internal strife for the humans.
Redridge is just sorta old-school fun with new style mechanics. Yes, the major quest line there is one big pop culture reference. No, it doesn't really have relevance beyond the zone. But it does have Keeshan sitting on top of a tank, blasting away with some mounted weapon, screaming "BLOOD AND THUNDER, RIGHT?" as he mows down blackrock orcs. Its just fun.
Be sure to also hit the Twilight Highlands to see the Wildhammer quest lines there.
Edited by Scarletwitch on 2/21/13 9:43 AM (PST)
Duskwood still has that creepy, horror story vibe vibe to it. Plus, there is still Stitches, YAY!!!
Redone Darkshore is cool also. Lot's of neat stuff going on there. You get to help out ManBearPig aka Malfurion plus the fallout from Cata and helping the Nelves recover is cool.
Redridge & Westfall are heavy with Pop-Culture but the underlying theme in Westfall is nice to experience, gets old after the first trip through. Redridge has a nice cutscene with Keeshan blowing stuff up and the whole tank part is just plain fun.
I'm currently leveling a toon through Stranglethorn so I won't comment on that yet but it seems ok so far.
Yeah, but only when mind controlled by sha.... Doh!
90 Draenei Paladin
Stonetalon right up until and including the bomb drop. It's probably the only good cata developed content that the Alliance got. Just a shame they screwed up after the bomb dropping by making the alliance just tell the hero "we give up. attack that camp then go to the next place."
I'd also second Darkshore, Westfall, and Duskwood. However, a lot of Alliance zones don't have an uplifting final ending - at best, it's closure on tragedy. Sometimes, you've made things worse.
Having played through Darkshore before the Cataclysm and after, my heart was broken for most of the quests. Questgivers/NPCs that I remembered from my earliest WoW days were dead/dying and I COULD DO NOTHING. There's one questline there that if you don't shed at least a single tear, you have a heart of stone.
After the revamp Darkshore is really the only decent zone. Duskwood isn't bad, but it wasn't changed all that much either.
If you want areas with a relevant story it goes Darkshore > Ashenvale > Stonetalon > Southern Barrens. Other than those zones the alliance kind of gets screwed on story, you get rambo in Redridge and CSI in Westfall but nothing really relevant to the story. I guess Western Plaguelands would be relevant as well. But that's about it. Ashenvale use to be pretty good, now it's just going around and fighting the horde a little but mostly cleaning up their mess. Darkshore is the only good zone for alliance out of the 4 from the story chain.
90 Human Rogue
Edited by Maigraith on 2/21/13 10:04 AM (PST)
My must-see Alliance zones:
Gilneas (need to play a Worgen) - Second best starter experience in the game, behind the death knight one. Epic, thrilling, and emotional. Excellent characters. Beautiful zone. Awesome all around.
Westfall - The CSI reference's significance is way overstated by fans. Mostly, it's a very well-told tale about how the inner politics of the Alliance aren't as black and white as they seem. Gives great backstory for Deadmines.
Darkshore - Massacring the Horde, fighting off the Old Gods, saving Kalimdor from the Cataclysm, Night Elves getting back the spine the lost after Warcraft III, Malfurion being awesome. What's not to love?
Ashenvale - Again, epic conflict with the Horde, kicking the Orcs back to Orgrimmar. Made me love the Night Elves again.
Swamp of Sorrows - Another "oo rah, kill the Horde" zone. Simple and short, but lots of fun. Very nostalgic if you played the old strategy games.
Borean Tundra - Much more interesting story there for the Alliance than the Horde. Lots of Thassarian being awesome.
None of the later zones are much different depending on your faction, except maybe Jade Forest, where the story is vastly more interesting for the Alliance.
This is just something the fans convince themselves of with weird double standards and caveats. Look hard enough for something wrong with the story, and you'll find it.
For example, everyone seems to agree Welcome to the Machine was the best thing ever (I hated that whole storyline, personally), and then they turn around and complain that the Alliance story sucks because it's all pop culture references and silly jokes.
Or people say the Alliance never wins any battles, and when I list off the many, many cases of exactly that, every one is disqualified by some silly caveat. "Oh, Shatterspear doesn't count. They weren't always in the Horde."
That's not how the Sha works. We released them with our hate and anger. It's only once we've already summoned them en masse that they have the power to control us.
I love that Blizzard isn't making the factions so black and white in MoP. I hope they keep it up.
This is the only case where I'd say the Alliance is right to be upset in Cata. That zone has a horribly unsatisfying ending for the Alliance, and doubly so when you consider the spectacular ending the Horde got.
I'd avoid Stonetalon as an Alliance player.
Edited by Thunderbluss on 2/21/13 10:04 AM (PST)
Recommended Alliance side quests...
gives a great into the whole deadmines instance... muchh better than vanilla (jmho)
still my favorite zone.. although Stitches could have been slight better , as make him walk down the hill from where Abercrombie is parked..
Western Plaguelands and Swamp of Sorrows -
nothign will make you !@#$% and moan more than the total retcon seen on Alliance side after the Alliance basically kicks butte in both zones..
Southern Barrens -
Only way to get the whole Taurajo story is too play both sides.
Twilight Highlands -
Compared to the Horde epic intro cinematic, you get shuffled off to Twilight Highlands like a sack of grain, in the back of a bi-plane.
Also do the zone all the way through the wedding.. explains a bit more on the Wildhammer stuff.
The most memorable Alliance zones to me were Redridge, Ashenvale, and Western Plaguelands.... at least for Azeroth. LK and especially Cata give you a much different perspective, even though it's the same story as Alliance.
If you play through Jade Forest as both Alliance and Horde, you can't help but feel like the Horde is there to conquer and enslave, but the Alliance just wants to rescue Prince Anduin. Plus a lot of NPC's like Rell are trying to resist the Sha's influence. I feel like all of the Horde NPC's until you hit 90 and 5.1 content are complete D-Bags.
I recently started leveling toons up on Alliance, after playing Horde for the last year and half and I feel more in-touch with the Alliance than Horde... Garrosh needs to go. I like Lorthemar and Vol'jin's horde... but not Garrosh's.
You didn't actually change much though. Through questing the horde is still assaulting everything (Maestra's Post, Raynewood retreat have a new base close to Astranaar a huge base at Kargathia) and have made big pushes into Ashenvale taking a lot of new bases as well as Silverwing Refuge. The only thing you change is that Astranaar is no longer on fire and some Furbolgs are attacking orcs at Silverwind Refuge. There is no kicking the orcs out of anywhere, the night elves lose a lot of ground in Cataclysm in Ashenvale.
That being said about half of the quests in Ashenvale don't even deal with the horde, they are trying to cleanse the land. I feel a lot of alliance quests in these war zones forget that they are at war with the horde. Taker Feralas, a huge sentinel base there after Feathermoon got destroyed by the Cataclysm and overrun with naga, you don't interact once with the horde in the whole zone. A complete waste of a base. This was extremely annoying to me when questing through the new zones as alliance. There is supposedly a war but a lot of the time it's not a pressing matter.