Feelings on this WoW Insider article?

58 Undead Death Knight
120
http://wow.joystiq.com/2013/04/14/know-your-lore-what-is-the-alliance-missing/#continued

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?
Edited by Gandred on 4/15/2013 2:59 AM PDT
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100 Night Elf Hunter
18025
So just to be clear, when you repeatedly say "We" you don't mean the Forsaken right?
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90 Human Warrior
13130
The player character being the Supreme Allied Commander instead of Varian? That's a very interesting idea but I do't know if it would fly well with some Alliance fans who see people with joke names taking part in that. (Imagine seeing someone named Spacegoatz or Fartwizard taking part in such a role... yeah it would be bad.)

So just to be clear, when you repeatedly say "We" you don't mean the Forsaken right?


No he means me and your mom but that's for another thread.
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Stickney missed out on the whole lack of non human development within the Alliance. I really think this is at least 50% of the problem.

As a human I'm actually pretty chill with the story. I particularly love the way they've developed Jaina.

The really disappointed alliance players tend not to be human players. The NE contingent in particular is on the verge of revolt. But all non humans are withering on the vine from a story standpoint.

This is where the contrast with the Horde is especially sharp. It's not just an all Orc story. (Right now Orcs are getting hit with the villain and stupidity bat, if anything, even from the Horde standpoint.)
Edited by Sybhyl on 4/15/2013 3:44 AM PDT
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90 Human Rogue
12005
Being more actively involved in the story as heroes is a good point she's making. Knowing more about what is actually going on with Alliance leadership is another one. I just don't see this being resolved in this expansion. 5.3 is almost finished and 5.4 is already being worked on.
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90 Tauren Shaman
13440
I think that different people have different issues. Im sure there is a fair few issues but its also clear there is disagreement on what actually is at fault with the Alliance story.

The question is, how can they change things to better work the Alliance story to make as many people as possible happy? In a weird way they have switched around their methods of dealing with the factions. I blame that on the removal of Thrall as a centeral figure in the Horde and the focus on Varian on the Alliance side.

The thing is I think its better for BOTH factions if they dont have spotlight stealing going on. We are seeing a wide variety of Horde on display in MoP but Varian is central to the Allaince. The Alliance already has an issue with this simply because they have so many developed characters in their pool to draw from. The horde pool is far more shallow. Thats probably why varian's influence feels more pronounced than Thralls.
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100 Dwarf Hunter
7980
I don't agree with every aspect of the article, but it is a good piece.

For me, I can distill it down. I want to see the Alliance win. I want them to win with the same rate and scale of the horde, and with the same permanence.

I don't need to see horde capitals burn. I don't need to push horde races to the brink of extermination. That is silly and totally unnecessary. I DO want some random leveling Alliance character to help utterly route Horde forces, and have the phasing leave that as the end result. I DO want to reclaim parts of Ashenvale. I DO want to see Stromgarde re-taken and have the Alliance base there be something better than, quite literally, a hole in the ground.
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90 Night Elf Mage
4425
I've been leveling a new Alliance character lately and my biggest issue is there just doesn't seem to be a good payoff at the end. I mean, I'm doing all these heroic things all through the zone but at the end it just doesn't feel satisfying most of the time. Even when things are a clear victory, many times it's a bitersweet one.

I understand the Horde needed to take some zones to balance out the leveling experience, but why couldn't they have written a few Alliance zones where the Horde pushed a little too far and were resoundingly smacked in the face for it. They could have balanced the zones and still given the Alliance some serious victories at the same time, even if they were defensive victories. Give us some more payoff for our heroic deeds.

Best zone ending I experienced was Bloodmyst Isle. How sad is that?
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90 Human Paladin
7705
Best zone ending I experienced was Bloodmyst Isle. How sad is that?


I dunno, a Velen cameo is hard to top.

I think Wrath had some good endings throughout the questing experience.

The defeat at Ang'rathar, the Civil War in the Undercity. They revamped the UC NPCs, and the event kept getting mentioned in game and in literature.

The Drakuru quests in Grizzly hills ending in Drak'theron. This grand reveal that you helped deliver the Drakari to the Scourge, and then you quest through Zul'drak.
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90 Human Warrior
13130
As a human I'm actually pretty chill with the story. I particularly love the way they've developed Jaina.

The really disappointed alliance players tend not to be human players. The NE contingent in particular is on the verge of revolt. But all non humans are withering on the vine from a story standpoint.

This is where the contrast with the Horde is especially sharp. It's not just an all Orc story. (Right now Orcs are getting hit with the villain and stupidity bat, if anything, even from the Horde standpoint.)


Even as a person who would love to see more Worgen screentime and am very dismayed by the lack of it, I'm pretty alright with the story.

My biggest gripe is how badly it's being conveyed though. It's like they're just rushing it out at lightning speed and there's little explanation or thought put into it. There's still an incredibly shallow explanation for what the High King is, for one example. I know Metzen talked about it a lot over interviews and Blizzcon announcements, but this still needs to have a lot more definition in the game because it makes no sense for characters to just throw the word around like they knew what it meant and talked about it while we were away.

That's at least one among several other issues I have with the story not being conveyed well. (And yes, it does mostly pertain to the Alliance.)
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90 Night Elf Mage
4425
04/15/2013 06:26 AMPosted by Aurric
Best zone ending I experienced was Bloodmyst Isle. How sad is that?


I dunno, a Velen cameo is hard to top.

I think Wrath had some good endings throughout the questing experience.

The defeat at Ang'rathar, the Civil War in the Undercity. They revamped the UC NPCs, and the event kept getting mentioned in game and in literature.

The Drakuru quests in Grizzly hills ending in Drak'theron. This grand reveal that you helped deliver the Drakari to the Scourge, and then you quest through Zul'drak.


It's not that I don't think Bloodmyst's ending was great, it was. It's just that it's one of the oldest questlines left in the game. And while those other zone endings you mentioned were definitely cool, I was more referring to Alliance specific questlines. No question Blizzard can do some very satisfying conclusions, just wish more were thrown Alliance's way.
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90 Orc Warlock
10490
Stromgarde re-taken and have the Alliance base there be something better than, quite literally, a hole in the ground.


But.. Our CAPITOL is a hole in the ground! And another one is a sewer! And another one is some tents on some mesas!

In all seriousness, I think Caedmun and Grimroar kinda hit the nail on the head from both sides. Blizzard isn't showing what the Alliance is doing, and they're not doing a very good job of telling either. So much critical lore is easy to miss, restricted to books or interviews, or simply never mentioned.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
9390
"On the Alliance side of the matter, events played out in a way that had the Alliance losing nearly every battle they fought"

"Because in the end, that's all the Alliance really want. A victory. Success."

Why on earth are these myths so prevalent among some alliance players? the alliance's problem in cataclysm wasn't a problem of wins vs loses, quite the contrary in fact. If you look at it from a pure strategic viewpoint, the alliance is fairing far better than the horde, aside from the lorderan campaign. No, the issue with the alliance in cataclysm was a problem of storytelling, it had very little to no phasing, and most of the zones had very underwhelming endings.

I also disagree with Stickney's opinion that the horde was "horde vs world" and the alliance was "hero vs world" or rather, I disagree that the alliance should return to that. Instead of focusing all development on the PC, they should instead focus on developing the faction leaders, far too much development has been sifted to Varian, Jaina, and anduin this xpac. The fact that between 5.1 and 5.2 Vereesa has had both more screen time and development than most alliance leaders is unacceptable in my opinion.

To me, the alliance's biggest problem this xpac is its lack of inner conflict and how disproportionate balancing of their racial content has been. The alliances races have been conformed too much, most night elves now have been degraded to purple humans, dwarves remain humanities sidekick, and the draenei and Worgen presence is nonexistent (thankfully though no one cares about gnomes .) instead of having the other Leaders be Varian's sounding board, have them occasionally come into conflict over their different Ideals.


- 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.

The Sunreaver Onslaught dailies where not developed first and then just copy and pasted to the kirin tor, they made the dailies and quests first and then added the quest text simultaneously. All faction specific daily hubs have been carbon copies of the other, be it tol brad, argent torment or the Wildhammer and Dragonmaw clans. That one issue of misplaced text is more of a sign of an overstretched and overworked Quality assurance team then a sign of Bias. The alliance does have many legitimate gripes this xpac, please focus on them instead of diverting attention on this topic when has been beaten to death already.
Edited by Rainasa on 4/15/2013 7:08 AM PDT
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90 Human Death Knight
11510
04/15/2013 02:58 AMPosted by Gandred
- 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.


Funny thing is, this has actually been a problem for both victories and defeats. Alliance victories like Ashenvale or Stonard have the problem where they all tend to happen off-screen or do not get phased in. Alliance defeats tend to get phased in, but some also happen off-screen (I'm looking at you, Southshore) while others just show up out of nowhere. One of the more bizarre things about Gilneas and Andorhal is that the Alliance quests have the player actually winning, kicking !@# and taking names, and then suddenly they suddenly end with "LOL nope you lost go to the next zone"

There probably would have been less complaining about Alliance losses if they had been treated with a sense of gravitas. It wouldn't have eliminated complaining, since you're never going to please everyone, but the current treatment of them definitely doesn't help.
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Rainasa, I think I've seen more high elven NPCs than all non humans put together in this expansion.

I like high elves...but that's just lopsided and crazy.
Edited by Sybhyl on 4/15/2013 7:09 AM PDT
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Even as a person who would love to see more Worgen screentime and am very dismayed by the lack of it, I'm pretty alright with the story.

I definitely agree with the dissapointment. I was really looking forward to seeing them take part in the war after SIlverpine showed them as a group willing to play dirty and do whatever it takes to win.
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94 Draenei Shaman
18395
I think the response from neutral factions to the different player factions causes issues as well. When Sylvanas is busy playing LichQueenLite, and her minions (whether sanctioned or no) reduce Southshore to a slime pit and turn Hillsbrad into an impressive prison facility, the Argent Crusade is too busy dealing with mean pumpkins and unruly cornstalks. When Garrosh summons magma giants, no big deal, and when Jaina gets her tidal wave on - Thrall appears and tells her it isn't cool. That kind of disparity makes me respond badly when Taran Zhu shows up and tells me I'm fighting a silly race war, and that all my reprisals are ridiculous. It made me want to take his mace and plant it somewhere the sun don't shine.
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90 Worgen Rogue
12125
I definitely agree with the dissapointment. I was really looking forward to seeing them take part in the war after SIlverpine showed them as a group willing to play dirty and do whatever it takes to win.

The thing with that too, only the horde was able to see what happened to worgens after Gilneas. The Alliance players wouldn't even know what happened unless they play a horde character.
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90 Human Death Knight
11510
The Sunreaver Onslaught dailies where not developed first and then just copy and pasted to the kirin tor, they made the dailies and quests first and then added the quest text simultaneously. All faction specific daily hubs have been carbon copies of the other, be it tol brad, argent torment or the Wildhammer and Dragonmaw clans. That one issue of misplaced text is more of a sign of an overstretched and overworked Quality assurance team then a sign of Bias. The alliance does have many legitimate gripes this xpac, please focus on them instead of diverting attention on this topic when has been beaten to death already.


I'm actually genuinely curious, does anyone have examples of quest text or dialog that was obviously originally done for the Alliance but got copypasta'd to the equivalent Horde NPC?

Because the instances where obviously Horde dialog ends up being said by Alliance NPCs get brought up all of the time, but never the other way around. Do these instances actually exist, and just never get mentioned, or are these QA failings faction specific?
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100 Night Elf Death Knight
9990
The problems with the Alliance are too numerous to count. 5.3 is a good snapshot though. The alliance isn't really doing anything, we're just falling behind Vol'jin. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't this a big reason the Alliance were unhappy with cata? Because we were forced to fall behind Thrall the whole time? And at least he had the decency to be neutral. Vol'jin? Nope, he's still firmly horde.

Not only is this a stupid story decision, is stupid tactically. Why not have a separate alliance contingent led by, say, Shandris Feathermoon, operating out of, oh I don't know, Ashzara, and force the Horde to fight a two-front war, with the night elves assaulting them from the north and the Darkspear Rebellion attacking them from the west and south? This would also give the Alliance a solid victory by kicking the goblins out of Ashzara.

Working with the Darkspear is one thing, by communicating through a troll emmisary or something like that. I should not be taking orders from a Horde leader.
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