I feel we're being misrepresented here.
We've been over every inch of Alliance development, but the question remains -- how do you solve the problems that Alliance players have been complaining about? And to be perfectly honest, this is a problem to which I have no ready solution. But the fact of the matter is this: Alliance players don't feel particularly heroic. They don't have a compelling reason to be doing what they are doing. They lack a leader that shows them what it means to be Alliance. And, in fact, they lack that reason to be a proud member of the Alliance at all.
As it stands, the role of the Alliance in World of Warcraft is one of reaction, and it's tied to the Horde and their role of action. What the Alliance does and how it moves or reacts to a situation is fully dependent upon what the Horde is doing at any given point in time. In order for the Alliance to do anything, the Horde must do something first. And that doesn't make for terribly compelling gameplay at all, from the Alliance perspective.
How do you fix it? I don't know. But something needs to be done, because there is one half of World of Warcraft that is coming off with some truly brilliant, innovative storytelling, and there's a side that is simply limping along, waiting to catch up. The Alliance desperately needs a moment of glory. It needs an injection of heroic deeds that make the player feel like they are important, that their actions have meaning, and that those deeds ultimately end with some form of heroic success. They need a leader that understands what they've been through, sees them as the heroes that they are -- and shows enough trust and benevolence to share his visions, his plans, and the victory they sorely need.
Because in the end, that's all the Alliance really want. A victory. Success.
Some of this is good. Moments of glory, taking an active part in events, our leaders leading, having our own stories that aren't reliant on the Horde. All fine requests. But, here's what it doesn't mention:
- We're not missing victories, but presentation of them. In contrast to what the article's saying, Cataclysm was not defeat after defeat after defeat for the Alliance. It's just that our wins were never displayed. In Ashenvale, we win, but is that ever shown? Nope, no phasing, nothing changes, Maestra's Post is still being pounded on, as is everything else. No effort is put in to having our victories look like victories, and that's ultimately unsatisfying. Same thing happened with Dalaran. While it was fun, we're unlikely to ever get that city. There's nothing to show that we won except a small base on a one-patch island.
- We're missing racial diversity, as humans are bulling all the other races out of the way. Horde side you have Theron, Vol'jin, Garrosh and to a smaller degree Baine all taking an active part in the story. Alliance side? Varian, Anduin, Jaina, with small input from Vereesa. The only times we've had a significant showing from other groups was in A Little Patience, which was awful for the Night Elves and their leader, and Blood In the Snow, which is probably the only non-human development that's been good since a small quest chain in Krasarang.
- We're missing development. More effort is clearly going into the Horde side of things than the Alliance side. 5.3 is probably the biggest indicator of the disparity, but even looking at the copied quest text in 5.2 shows who was first in mind when it came to that patch. Equal development isn't unreasonable, it should be a given.
Victories are fine, but they are by no means the be-all-end-all. That line of thinking won't do anyone any good. As was mentioned recently, the probably most liked human storyline was the one where they were decimated over and over, in WC3, and probably not the one in Wrath where they killed the guy that did the decimating.
Anyway, anyone else feel they should add something?