We want the devs to "get" factions.

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11/30/2011 03:44 PMPosted by Lochlyn
Blizzard's blatant, constant, excessive pro-horde rudeness toward Alliance players, particularly at Blizzcon.


blizzard is the most unproffessional company i have ever seen...its really comical to be honest..especially with their rules on these forums
Wall-of-Text incoming, sorry.

Bashiok shouldn't be so condescending towards someone who wrote an extremely well-reasoned critique, that if not dismissed out of hand could be to the benefit of all players, Alliance and Horde.

Moreso, as we've seen time and again, playable race factions of the horde and alliance rarely if ever get directly involved in The Big Problem of any given expansion. Let's break it down. I'll leave out fundamentally neutral factions that don't actually contain any species whose members might otherwise be in the Horde or Alliance.

In Vanilla, which had a relatively disorganized endgame in terms of storyline, Alliance had unarguably the better questline for Onyxia, with Bolvar Fordragon generally being awesome and such. To me, this is the pinnacle of how an endgame questline for the Alliance should play out, it should involve faction leaders, have high stakes, and genuine threat not just to the players on the quest. Zandalar Tribe were trolls, but when most people I know think about trolls and dungeons they sigh and say "Oh look Yet Another Troll Dungeon, Zul'Whocares". Still their storyline is ongoing and has had deliberate effort put into its revival.

Cenarion Circle and all its offshoots have always contained Night Elves and Tauren, with Cata throwing Trolls and Worgen in as well, there's parity and they haven't really been involved in anything major until Cataclysm with the Hyjal and Firelands storylines. Likewise, the Argent Dawn and its offshoots, which I'll include Knights of the Ebon Blade under because they have extremely similar goals and share storylines, contain representatives from all the races. They both skew Alliance in as much as the most prominent members of the Druidic and Argent organizations are Night Elves and Humans respectively. Still, I wouldn't define this as "Alliance" storytelling.

In Burning Crusade is when we see the real disparity strike in terms of the quality and effort put into an "Alliance" storyline versus a "Horde" storyline. While by any bar we currently have Thrallmar and Honor Hold are both equally lame, what is the one faction-specific quest chain that everyone remembers from Burning Crusade, arguably the single most important quest chain in the game in terms of lasting impact? Thrall's visit to Nagrand. Such artistry and planning went into a moment that got the player personally involved not just with Orcs, but with the Horde. Their actions literally shaped the future.

Mind you, I'm not talking about neutral content that both sides can see. If I wanted to see that Nagrand chain firsthand I would have had to roll horde, and as much as I wanted to ever since I saw it while leveling, I never did. Now that questline is gone, and even if I had the time and patience, I couldn't see it. Burning Crusade had an opportunity for a truly great Alliance story but it was squandered, primarily by virtue of the fact that Illidan was squandered. Who wouldn't have liked to see Tyrande or Malfurion involved there? Yes, Maiev helps kill him, but she is such a non-entity in terms of interaction with the player (much like Illidan) that there is no emotional payoff.

Right now, the Alliance's greatest reason for disliking the horde is primarily "Because the Horde has the better story." All the best parts of "Alliance" story, insofar as their protagonists are more closely aligned with Alliance than Horde on a racial level, are accessible to both the Alliance and the Horde. Another example, Wrath of the Lich King. Bashiok condescendingly snipes at the OP because Wrath was "Alliance-biased". If by that you mean "neutral NPCs who have never been a part of the Alliance for as the game has been out" then sure.

Emotionally, however, the payoff for the Alliance and Horde were the same over the course of the expansion, with the Horde getting an overall better experience. Why? Both sides fought at the Wrathgate and Undercity. Both sides defeated Deathbringer Saurfang and saw Bolvar crowned Lich King. The Horde just has more character. What was the root cause of the current Alliance/Horde War? A conspiracy within the Horde that a major faction leader may or may not have been complicit in. Compare the two Undercity battles. Horde has Thrall, Varok Saurfang, and Sylvanas leading a frontal assault while Varian (the most poorly written and developed character in WoW for several reasons) and Jaina fight a big worm thing and then kill Putress. The real drama takes place in the throne room, the showdown between Sylvanas and Varimathras, and is again, For Horde Only. The strength of the idle conversation between Garrosh and Saurfang in Warsong Hold alone is enough to make the Alliance jealous. The 7th Legion? Who are they, other than the people who stood around during Saurfang's Crowning Moment of Awesome? They have zero backstory going into the expansion. Non-entities. The only method that Blizzard could think of to give Alliance any sort of parity was to retcon Muradin back from the dead and into amnesia. I'm sorry but that is lazy storytelling and cheapens both Warcraft 3 and WoW for it. The only Alliance-exclusive moment in Wrath that is unambiguously superior, again, is in Dragonblight, when Bolvar Fordragon steps up to save the day versus the former Father Inigo Montoy.

So that's World of Warcraft, and I can point to only two moments where an ALLIANCE character (read: not merely human, but part of the actual Alliance) goes above and beyond in an Alliance storyline. What's weirder, both times it is Bolvar. The Horde has powerful character moments with Thrall, Garrosh, Saurfang (elder and younger), Vol'jin, Cairne, Baine, Sylvanas, etc. After Velen told me I had a great destiny at the end of the Draenei starting area, I've been waiting for a reason to care about the Alliance, and I'm well aware that no matter how many promises, the story of my entire species is never going to be picked up again in any meaningful way. Every time the story of the Draenei is brought up to a Blizzard writer the answer is always (to be as reductive and condescending as Bashiok) "NNNYEARGH BUT ITS HARD". If you had a writing staff that cared even a third as much about quality control as Ghostcrawler and the game balance people that excuse would never fly.

And it isn't even that there are no cool or interesting Alliance storylines, and here's where we come to the Problem of All Problems. It is that almost every time a major Alliance story is written, it is in supplementary material. How did I learn about Nobundo? Short story. How did I learn what happened to the KING OF STORMWIND (kind of important thing to address, no?) Comic book. How did I learn why Malfurion was missing, why Fandral suddenly became evil, why Teldrassil wasn't growing, the whole of the Emerald Nightmare storyline is told in a book that is frankly painful to read. Whatever happened to Maiev? Book. What was the story of the Ashbringer and Darion Mograine? Comic. Metzen even admitted that Anduin Wrynn (who I see as having great potential) was a character that they did not care about until Christie Golden made him interesting for them. It doesn't stop at Alliance, though our storylines have clearly suffered the most for it. Who is Eitrigg and why is he important? Short story, and that one also explains Tirion's backstory. How did Thrall go from Warchief of the Horde to World-Shaman of the Earthen Ring? BOOK. Even when characterizing people who your writers are actually good at characterizing you take a cheat.

Since Bashiok was so condescending towards an intelligent player making a valid point, and the standard for the dialogue has been set, let me ask Blizzard this: Why are you so afraid of your players? Are you afraid we won't be able to grasp all the subtleties, the intricate web of story that is "Oh, Varian Wrynn is EXACTLY THRALL but Dragons!!!!11!!1"? Are you afraid we'll get bored, or get in the way? I won't, I can't speak for all your diminishing subscriber base but I'd have loved to play through the roughly one expansion and at least four major content patches that you threw in the garbage can by handing them off to Christie Golden (who is a good writer, at least), or worse, Richard Knaak.

There was a time when I thought I had a pretty good idea where the story was going and what was going on in the world. If I didn't have insomnia and a tendency to read Wowwiki I would be in the dark about nearly all the story of this expansion. It seemed like there was at least a plan as to where the story was going. After so many missteps and unfulfilled promises, it is hard to see any plan at work, just action and reaction with very little regard for the concerns of the fans.
Less QQ more pew pew

In Burning Crusade is when we see the real disparity strike in terms of the quality and effort put into an "Alliance" storyline versus a "Horde" storyline. While by any bar we currently have Thrallmar and Honor Hold are both equally lame, what is the one faction-specific quest chain that everyone remembers from Burning Crusade, arguably the single most important quest chain in the game in terms of lasting impact? Thrall's visit to Nagrand. Such artistry and planning went into a moment that got the player personally involved not just with Orcs, but with the Horde. Their actions literally shaped the future.

Mind you, I'm not talking about neutral content that both sides can see. If I wanted to see that Nagrand chain firsthand I would have had to roll horde, and as much as I wanted to ever since I saw it while leveling, I never did. Now that questline is gone, and even if I had the time and patience, I couldn't see it.


Actually, they only cut off the last two quests, which had you go to and from Thrall in Ogrimmar. Now, when you get to the quest that sends you from Garrosh to the Greatmother, Thrall just shows up on his own and starts the event. Essentially, they cut out the most annoying part of the quest and gets you to the good part sooner.
11/30/2011 04:12 PMPosted by Galanis
Bashiok shouldn't be so condescending


Yes, he should. Bashiok and the other blues are hilarious when they're condescending.
Methinks the blues just read the title of all the "Theramore in Flames" posts and assumed it was just Alliance complaining that Theramore blew up.

This seems to confirm that.
id you play Wrath of the Lich King?

I understand Cataclysm has been horde heavy in some respects, but let's not rewrite history.


You're still missing the point of the entire post, since the discussion isn't about Cata being Horde heavy but rather the Alliance having no involvement in this conflict.

Do you all even read the countless threads on this topic? I assure you it's not all about "keeping score".

Perhaps you could spend less time trying to come up with snarky comments and veiled insults please.

^ This. It is shameful how CMs are avoiding how this is about neglect and a poor storyline, more so than a victory/lose deal. I don't enjoy pvping on the forums with my fellow players, but there needs to be something done about this faulty half of your product.

Bashiok about Wotlk, there was no Night Elf/Gnome/Draenei character development in that expansion. That's an awful lot of Alliance, please don't forget there are more people involved than the Humans.

Arthas joining the scourge is not part of the Alliance's development, just as achievements of the Blood Elves since their betrayal does not develop the Alliance's story.

11/30/2011 12:14 PMPosted by Bashiok
I think you're speaking for yourself here, because dozens of capped threads have been made on the exact points Dave brought up, and you claim no one is concerned with.


The threads keep capping because Dave's blog completely missed the point, and people keep trying to relay how the point was missed only to have a response like this one from both Blizzard and players saying that it obviously didn't miss the point because of all the threads out there explaining how he missed the point.

It's a bizarre cycle of explanation and denial that only gets more convoluted the more times people try to get rid of the complete misrepresentation of our concerns (lore quality) for something as asinine and petty as a win/loss comparison.
11/30/2011 04:28 PMPosted by Clovyn
Arthas joining the scourge is not part of the Alliance's development


Heh?! How is the betrayal of your prince and the death of your king and the loss of your land not part of the alliance's development?

In Burning Crusade is when we see the real disparity strike in terms of the quality and effort put into an "Alliance" storyline versus a "Horde" storyline. While by any bar we currently have Thrallmar and Honor Hold are both equally lame, what is the one faction-specific quest chain that everyone remembers from Burning Crusade, arguably the single most important quest chain in the game in terms of lasting impact? Thrall's visit to Nagrand. Such artistry and planning went into a moment that got the player personally involved not just with Orcs, but with the Horde. Their actions literally shaped the future.

Mind you, I'm not talking about neutral content that both sides can see. If I wanted to see that Nagrand chain firsthand I would have had to roll horde, and as much as I wanted to ever since I saw it while leveling, I never did. Now that questline is gone, and even if I had the time and patience, I couldn't see it.


Actually, they only cut off the last two quests, which had you go to and from Thrall in Ogrimmar. Now, when you get to the quest that sends you from Garrosh to the Greatmother, Thrall just shows up on his own and starts the event. Essentially, they cut out the most annoying part of the quest and gets you to the good part sooner.


Thanks for noting that, I should make the time to get a token DK or something there to play through it. On the flip it does suck that the Onyxia chain for Alliance and the Battle of Undercity for both are gone. There should be a way to preserve such great quests so that when Blizzard does do something really good its not on a limited timetable. I've got no issue with what most claim as "Horde Favoritism" as long as its in service of a good story. Really the problem to my mind is that for both sides there are too many ignored issues and way, way too much is being done offscreen with no player involvement, or even game involvement.
11/30/2011 03:31 PMPosted by Firestyle
I don't know, but goblins OWN worgen. In every aspect. As a matter of fact, the goblin character models and animation owns every single other race made.

I noticed this myself while making a brief attempt at playing Horde side as a goblin on this character at the beginning of Cataclysm. Goblin got amazing animations for all playstyles, and Worgen got some very bad ones (casters especially, melee's okay). Let's not forget the difference between the starting areas (or the areas after that) either . . .

I really hope Worgen get some extra polish whenever they get down to that player model revamp they've been promising for years.
Methinks the blues just read the title of all the "Theramore in Flames" posts and assumed it was just Alliance complaining that Theramore blew up.

This seems to confirm that.


I garuntee you that they've read the threads. The problem is that they can't actually do anything about it. They're the stewardesses of this flight we're on. Their job is to keep the passengers calm and orderly. Anything they say is geared to that end. Which is why they're completely unimportant in this situation. Nothing they say actually matters, because they have no power. Fargo's post on the other hand, troubles me much more, because he's an actual designer, and the fact that he's missed the mark as badly as he has is a much more problematic issue. There's a hitch in the communication between the players and the devs. Either the CMs are feeding them misinformation, or the players haven't stated their goals clearly enough yet. The solution is to continue pressing the issue until we get an adequate response from Blizzard. This is the most volatile issue on the forums since the RealID fiasco. They can't afford to screw it up.
Impatient or not, SEVEN YEARS of character development leaning FAR more heavily on the Horde side of the equation gets a bit ridiculous ya know?


Did you play Wrath of the Lich King?

I understand Cataclysm has been horde heavy in some respects, but let's not rewrite history.


I have, Bashiok. 4 Alliance chars, 1 Horde chars. Let me tell you what I remember.

In Wrath, the Horde got, but was not limited to, the following questlines.

1. The Struggle for the Soul of the Horde, as Saurfang and Garrosh faced off over the question of how far the Horde should go to secure dominance in Northrend, to the point of Saurfang working behind the scenes to undermine some of Garrosh's more agressive moves
2. Helping the Forsaken utterly destroy an Alliance fleet, personally assassinating its leaders and participating in a pitched battle lead by the Elite Dark Rangers, the best of Sylvanas' forces.
3. Helping the Forsaken develop a plague that would be used at Wrathgate, and then joining Thrall on an epic battle to the heart of the Undercity, taking back their city from demonic forces in a triumphant battle against the forces of darkness.
4. Participating in a power struggle between sisters that spans a whole zone and ties in the question of what it means to be Horde.
5. Rescue the Taunka and their Chieftain in an epic struggle against the Nerubians, a frantic race through the Taunka Village where you cut down bugmen left and right before resucing the Chieftain himself.
6. Participate in the charge on Icecrown, including cutting down Alliance soldiers who get in your way. Charge up Icecrown Citadel lead by Saurfang himself. Infiltrate the Citadel with Sylvanas in a desperate bid to stymie Arthas' power.

In theory, I suppose the Alliance has answers to most of the quests above (Although we never do get to avenge our lost naval fleet, and our recruitment of the Frost Giants wasn't half as heart pumping as the recruitment of the Taunka), but at most, that makes us equal.

And the Alliance's "Advantage" in Wrath? The thing that, besides their faction-only quests, supposedly means they're dominant in that expansion?

To the best that I can recall, it was Primarily limited to a Neutral Organization of Paladins leading the charge, lead by a Human who has never been an Alliance hero or member in the scope of any Warcraft game, and was in fact kicked out for fraternizing with a wanted Orcish war criminal who probably killed Light knows how many human, dwarven, and elven soldiers in the war, and who is currently and was in the Wrath and Vanilla eras, neutral to the point of chastizing Alliance for fighting back against Horde hegemony, and who, despite holding a legendary sword and being in charge of an organization dedicated to the fighting of plague, devestation, and tyranny, sits back while the Horde slaughters and mind controls Alliance citizens literally in his front yard. That wasn't an advantage to us, that was an insulting reminder that once again, just about anything we take pride in as a faction, already has been or will be soon torn away from us to be a neutral thing so the Horde can have it too, especially when added to the whole Dalaran thing, in which an entire historically Alliance city was torn away and made neutral - this despite the fact that Dalaran's EK Holdings have been and continue to be under constant seige by the Forsaken since Vanilla.

We don't necessarily have more reason to go after Arthas, seeing as the Forsaken and the Blood Elves were as much victims of his as any human.

I suppose we could have an advantage in that we found out the orgin of Humans and Gnomes except... That didn't go anywhere or give us any particular advantage. It sort of sputtered out as soon as Storm Peaks stopped.

We also lost our most promising new hero, Bolvar Fordragon, to neutrality, and another major hero, Brann, revealed his stripes to be very solidly neutral.

Compare this Cataclysm, where the Horde gets their own warchief as the neutral head, someone who has dominated lore in game and out for over a Decade, and who is still very much pro-Horde, to the point of killing Alliance soldiers, recruiting a whole entire race (or a significant cartel thereof) to the Horde, and threatening to destroy the Alliance utterly in the quest featuring him in a certain patch. And who get victory after victory against the Allliance in the old world, and even in places where they "lose," generally end by either avenging the loss (S. Barrens), or by keeping most of the ground they initially gained anyway (Ashenvale).

So Cataclysm is a Horde-focused expansion. Where is the Alliance's Garrosh vs. Saurfang Questline? Where is the Alliance's Wrathgate? Where is the Alliance's Rescue of the Taunka?

I certainly don't see anything that compares.

So, I'm sorry Bashiok, I have to disagree. I don't think that Wrath had much of an Alliance bent, or if it did, the gap between Alliance and Horde in Wrath was a lot smaller than it has been between Horde and Alliance in Cataclysm, for certain.
11/30/2011 04:33 PMPosted by Gavinn
Did YOU play the wrath of the lich king? uhhh the blood elves and the FORSAKEN would like to have a word with you? and just how exactly was it alliance centric? other then see jaina cry...and then cry some more...


Blood elves didn't do anything in wrath. Forsaken had a minor role only because of the faction of them that betrayed the horde. Other than that, the only thing that the horde was doing during wrath was being sad about losing saurfang the younger, and having one of the most painfully long RP segments of any fight in the history of the game. We were just along for the ride.
11/30/2011 12:54 PMPosted by Bashiok
Impatient or not, SEVEN YEARS of character development leaning FAR more heavily on the Horde side of the equation gets a bit ridiculous ya know?


Did you play Wrath of the Lich King?

I understand Cataclysm has been horde heavy in some respects, but let's not rewrite history.


The floodgates are officially open now, Snakeman.

Please enlighten us to what Wrath of the Lich King brought the Alliance in terms of story.

We lost Bolvar, Brann seems to be true neutral, You took out the most badass Alliance moment in WotLK (Attack on the Undercity).

So please, tell us what exactly did we the Alliance get in WotLK?

A half-assed origins story for the Gnomes (which is suspciously just like the Dwarves, but with GEARS!).

I can only think off the top of my head one shining moment the Alliance got, and it was the return of Muradin, and what did he do?

He participated in the gunship battle, and now sits idle as a member of the coucil of 3 hammers.

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