Theramore Must Not Be Destroyed (Part 2)

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Ok, Im going to say my part in this...I went to blizz con once, and asked a alliance question... Know what I got?Booed, thats right...When the crowd booed the devs chuckled. That alone, makes me not really trust what the devs have to say about horde and alliance.

Yeah, the devs have demonstrated an obvious Horde bias time and time again. And that's fine. If you personally prefer one faction over another that's great. The problem, though, is when they allow that bias to impact their work, and it has impacted their work. They obviously put far more effort into the Horde side of the play experience because that's the side which they'll personally be playing more often than the Alliance side, so in that sense they're really catering to themselves. They're making a game which they, personally, would enjoy playing rather than a game which their entire playerbase, Horde and Alliance alike, will enjoy playing.

However... I will say this. I do think we the players do blow it up a little too much

There definitely is some silliness, like the faction identity of forum avatars and whatever.

but at the same time...Blizzard way of shrugging it off is not the right answer as well.

Yeah, while there are some silly complaints, the vast majority of the complaints have a ton of substance behind them. Notice, also, that it's always those complaints which Blizzard always ignores. Like Zarhym stating a while back that we were essentially complaining about who gets the first move in a game of chess regarding the destruction of Theramore, as if to say that the Alliance had suffered no losses at all beforehand. It was as if none of those events occured in Zarhym's mind. But in reality, the destruction of Theramore isn't the Horde getting the first move in a game of chess, but more like the Horde getting its 13th move before the Alliance has even gotten its first. How many "first moves" does the Horde get to have before the Alliance finally gets its turn? That's the issue, and Blizzard just dances around that without ever acknowledging it, and instead we see Zarhym lamenting how he had to be careful about choosing his forum avatar for fear of being accused of Horde favoritism because of it. It'd certainly be nice if they were to address the more serious concerns instead of responding to the sillier ones, insulting the Alliance playerbase, and then claiming there's no Horde favoritism.

It is great for players to have passion and to care about the side they are playing on.I've played both a horde and alliance chars and The horde quests are a ton more fun, The fact that the story+quests and the bliz con treatment I got. How can you expect me to trust the devs or the story, when it has been pretty dull from the alliance end.So I'm going to say this...MOP is your chance to make things fun for both sides. Not just the Horde.

It'd certainly be nice if that were the case, but things so far look to be more of the same. And yes, I realize that there's plenty which hasn't been revealed, but that was the same argument that was made before Cataclysm came out. We were told by other players and Blizzard "Don't worry. We haven't seen the whole expansion yet. The Beta's not the whole expansion. There's more to come, and Blizzard can add in more throughout the expansion with their patches, etc." And yet here we are, at the end of Cataclysm's lifespan, and what's the situation? The Alliance is in the same miserable position that it was when it started the expansion, while the Horde continued to receive even further development, whether it be Thrall's quest chain or Vol'jin's increasing prominence (Notice that that's TWO major Horde figures which Alliance players help out? How many major Alliance figures do Horde players help?). The Alliance is even worse off, actually, since Blizzard is going to end this expansion with the utter destruction of Theramore.

So yeah, I'm not holding out too much hope that things will change. Especially given the responses we've received here and the news which we have heard, particularly that High King idea and the Siege of Orgrimmar. It's great that Varian will get character development, but turning him into the Warchief of the Alliance is not the way to go. Especially if it's at the expense of further development for the other Alliance leaders. And the Siege of Orgrimmar, once again, is not an Alliance story. It's yet another Thrall and Horde story. It's about doing something good for the Horde, as opposed to scoring a victory for the Alliance. Those two things hardly give one much confidence in Blizzard's plans for the Alliance.

And once Blizzard shows that they understand that, the threads will stop.

Read the story story for Velen. Its an apt analogy to the whole discussion.

The Alliance fans are like a mob who has lost all intelligence to passion. Its also afraid and the rumor mongering has gone on overdrive because they dont know what is going to happen.

Conversely, Blizz feels like the Velen too focus on the future to realize the now is just as important to people. It does no one any good if Blizz ends up driving away the same audience they want to write an epic story to experience.
Reposting a suggestion for Theramore from another thread.

Constructive suggestion about the destruction of Theramore? While I'd prefer it not be destroyed at all, and that the event be an assault on Theramore by the Horde which the Alliance rebuffs, how about this?

First, both sides should take part. Don't just make it an Alliance or Horde only event, but have quest chains which reflect the same events but from each side. Secondly, the quest lines should take into account all those difficulties which the Horde would face in attacking Theramore. The Alliance should be tearing up that highway they built so that the Horde can't use it. They should be assaulting the Horde on the narrow roads as they pass. The Horde should be having difficulty getting its siege engines to Theramore. They should be building makeshift bridges to replace the ones which the Alliance burned to the ground behind them, including building massive stone bridges between the mainland of Dustwallow Marsh to Theramore Isle, as the Alliance would've destroyed that main bridge, too. Every inch of ground which the Horde covers between the Southern Barrens and Theramore Isle should be a monstrously difficult struggle.

The event should feature important faction NPC's from both sides actively participating. Garrosh should definitely be present Horde side taking part in the battle and giving out quests, as he was already sizing up Theramore's defenses back in the WoW comic when he showed up there for a peace summit with Thrall and he was also personally present at the battle in Ashenvale in Wolfheart. Have Baine be involved as well, albeit reluctantly. Perhaps have him repay the favor that was done to his people at Camp Taraujo by letting Alliance citizens or captured soldiers escape.

Alliance side, aside from Jaina, Varian and Genn should be present as well. I'd love to see a cutscene or scripted moment as the three of them talk about what's happening, and Jaina is coming to grips with the reality that, despite everything, despite Varian bringing airships and more troops from Stormwind, and Genn bringing Worgen, that the Horde's throwing everything they have at Theramore and it's going to fall. Contrast her reaction to that knowledge with both Varian and Genn, who have witnessed the fall of their kingdoms to the Horde onslaught, and how heartwrenching it must be for them to see Jaina going through the same thing.

Despite the loss of Theramore being inevitable, as someone else pointed out on another one of these threads, the Horde's victory should be worse than defeat. The only way for the Horde to realistically defeat Theramore is for them to unleash the majority of their Kalimdor forces on Theramore. Varian's plan, then, should be for the Alliance to make the Horde pay a massive cost in blood for every inch of ground they take, all the while minimizing Alliance losses and being able to make their escape with most of their civilian population, soldiers, and equipment intact. That, then, would explain why the Horde are powerful enough to take Theramore but not so powerful that they can then lay siege to Darnassus or invade the Eastern Kingdoms. The cost in blood and the lives of Horde soldiers in conquering Theramore should be so high that the Kalimdor Horde will no longer be able to sustain an offensive in Ashenvale, much less go far beyond their own borders.

To that end I'd like to see Varian, Jaina, and Genn coordinating the bloody defense of Theramore. And most importantly, I want to see THE ALLIANCE in action in this battle. Not Stormwind, or Theramore, or Gilneas, but THE ALLIANCE!* I want Genn to send Alliance players out into the swamps of Dustwallow Marsh with Worgen packs to terrorize and assault Horde soldiers as they try to get through the swamps. I want to man a gun on a Gnomish fighter plane as Alliance air forces take on Horde air forces over Theramore. I want to defend Dwarven riflemen from being overrun by orc soldiers as they fire volley after volley into the onrushing Horde. And I want to see Varian Wrynn on Theramore's battlements commanding Stormwind, Theramore, Dwarf, Gnome, Gilnean (non-worgen humans, like the ones we saw in the Gilneas starter zone) and Worgen soldiers, all while hacking through orcs, trolls, and tauren, as Jaina reduces Horde soldiers and Horde siege engine alike to smoking ruin.

Mirror all of that with the Horde quest line. Help get the Horde siege engines through the swamp. Defend Horde supply caravans against Worgen sorties. Man the guns on Goblin fighter planes. Man a siege engine and batter down the walls of Theramore. Scale the battlements and attempt to break through the defenders raining fire on you from above.

And at the end of it all, when the Horde have finally broken through Theramore's defenses and Garrosh is inside, I want Jaina to be the one to face him. Not Varian, nor Genn, but Jaina as both Varian and Genn look on. And when I say she faces off against Garrosh I don't mean to fight him, either, but to deliver a promise to him that she would return. Her words shouldn't be the kind that you'd see Varian or Genn deliver, laden with threats of violence and fueled by testosterone. Just Jaina Proudmoore letting Garrosh know that he made a terrible mistake that day, and in due time he'd come to pay for it. And before Garrosh can attack she teleports the last of the Alliance forces out.

Wrap this up with Jaina, Varian, and Genn on an Alliance gunship with the Theramore fleet and the survivors of Theramore aboard those ships, crossing the ocean back to the Eastern Kingdoms. There should be a callback in the dialogue here to Wolfheart about what Varian says about how you sometimes have to let the prey run for a while. His point should be about how the Horde, in winning that battle, may have just lost the war as they expended so many resources to take Theramore that they may no longer be able to sustain any future offensives. Whereas the Alliance, while it lost a heavily fortified position on a strategic location, was able to make it out with most of its people and equipment intact.

Mirror that scene at the end of the Horde quest line. Garrosh is standing atop the smoking ruins of Theramore, surrounded by dead Horde soldiers, with Baine and maybe Vol'jin there criticising him for the massive number of lives which he sacrificed in order to achieve his victory, and how badly he weakened the Horde overall. (New addition to this post) This scene could be reminiscent to that in the Sylvannas short story in which she forsees a future without her in it and Garrosh sacrifices her best troops in order to achieve a pyrrhic victory in Gilneas.

* And if they really wanted to make it an epic event (and because I'd like to see all six Alliance races playing a role in these events), they could show us the consequences of that event right away by including another phased quest line in Ashenvale which ties into the events of Theramore. With Garrosh thinning out the Horde forces elsewhere in Kalimdor to launch his offensive on Theramore, Varian sends word to the Night Elves to launch an immediate counteroffensive against the Horde in Ashenvale. With the Draenei sticking around, and with the events of Wolfheart, he's likely spent months organizing a joint Night Elf/Draenei force. Once he knows about the attack on Theramore, he'd know that that would be the best time for that force to attack, so let's see the Night Elf Sentines and Draenei Legions marching side-by-side and push the Horde from Ashenvale once and for all. Let's have phased Horde quests in Ashenvale where they're not just fighting Night Elf Sentinels, but heavily armored Draenei soldiers who have a very strong dislike for the orc race. End the battle in Ashenvale once and for all with a joint Night Elf/Draenei force pushing the Horde out of Ashenvale permanently (And yes, while storywise the Horde would be out of Ashenvale for good, they can still quest there as they level up, as it's phased questing. If Sentinel Hill can end up burning for all time after a phased questing line, then so can Warsong Lumber Camp).

So this would end with a pyrrhic Horde victory and an optimistic Alliance defeat, and an Alliance victory and Horde defeat. That, IMO, wouldn't be a bad place at all to start Mists of Pandaria with despite the loss of Theramore.

...unfortunately, though, they'll probably just phase in the destruction of Theramore and that'll be the end of that.

Quick addendum to my last post: If Garrosh massively weakens the strength of the Kalimdor Horde in an assault on Theramore, that'd lead to a huge shift in the balance of power within the structure of the Horde itself, as the losses sustained in that battle wouldn't have affected the Forsaken OR the Blood Elves. So if Garrosh is no longer able to project as much power into the Eastern Kingdoms, how then does that affect his relationship with Sylvannas? How much stronger is her position now that Garrosh has lost a lot of his forces while Sylvannas is stronger than ever and can create new soldiers at her whim?
I would love to see The Alliance fight in wow. Swamp of sorrows is really the only chance you get to fight with The Alliance, but you are forced to surrender while you are laying siege to the city. Saying that "we aren't the horde" as an excuse is complete BS. Destroying a Horde stronghold isn't a war crime. Killing civilians that contribute to the war effort isn't a war crime. The Alliance needs to realize it is at War. We show more mercy to Horde citizens then we do to Alliance citizens.
the way i see it stop playing a faction based game vanguard, GW2 among some others dont have factions so all is equal....

thats where im headed.. GW2 im personally feed upwith this so id rather playa game i enjoy story and game playwise instead of choosing one
I think all of that is good but I don't think Blizz will go for it.

All of that would take a lot of time to flesh out and I think they spent most of that time working on their Horde characters. The Alliance characters are on the back burner at best.
Yea, I'm just kinda done empathizing with this uber-skeptical, "we've been burned before" type of response to anything regarding faction content and story. The cynicism and sense of despair coming from Alliance players whenever story progression is discussed in any capacity is starting to come off a little forced. It's definitely not very useful. -Zarhym

This is probably all you're going to get out of blizzard when it comes to this issue. They don't really care what their Alliance players think about the story they are telling. It's their story and they will tell it how they want to.

If they want the Horde and Thrall to be the main parts of their story with the Alliance just being a part of that story then they will.

I do find it kind of funny that a CM is "done empathizing" with parts of the player base. If I ever said anything like that to a customer I would be fired.

I couldn't help but consider player perception when choosing which spectral mount to go with as my avatar. I went with the gryphon because I didn't want to waste time reading any posts about why I chose the Horde mount. -Zarhym

And apparently he thinks we are children.

But then I thought about the potential of seeing people complain that I only chose the gryphon as an empty gesture to the Alliance. I feel like there's a metaphor in there somewhere, hah. -Zarhym

You know what is really not useful? Being condescending to your customers.

The CMs like to say that posts should move the conversation along. How is anything you posted in that reply useful to the conversation?

Oh, things will happen in Mists. Count on it. -Zarhym

That's all you had to say. The little jab at customers you don't agree with wasn't needed.
04/14/2012 03:46 PMPosted by Taterdots
As a player with both Horde and Ally 85s, it's hard to get immersed in your character when the story breaks apart from zone to zone. For Alliance, you're lucky to get 2 zones to connect for levels 1-60, Redridge->Burning Steppes is a good example of how a zone's story should unfold. Otherwise you get harsh transitions where the only plot line is your ending Quest Giver saying "I need this letter delivered to another zone."

No kidding. It doesn't help that the Human Level 10-20 experience is a disjointed pop culture reference which leads into another disjointed pop culture reference. A CSI Miami or Rambo joke on occasion is fine, but they turned the entirety of both zones into parodies. It would've been nice if they'd created some stronger thematic ties between the zones rather than, as you put it, having a quest giver say "I need this letter delivered to another zone". We're playing heroes of the Alliance, not members of the Alliance Postal Service. Some recurring themes as you level, as well as more conflict with the Horde (including victories) would be nice. For instance...

1) Echo Ridge Mine: Instead of being random Blackrocks with Goblin mercenaries who've found a route through the mountains, they're Horde soldiers. Garrosh successfully recruited a great deal of Blackrock Orcs in the Burning Steppes into the Horde and is using them to supplement his own troops as they try to gain a foothold into Elwynn Forest. So right there, Human characters will be introduced to the Horde/Alliance War straightaway.

2) Jasperlode Mine: It's currently a waste of space at the moment, so make it more interesting. Turn it into another entry point for Horde troops to pour into Elwynn Forest. You can have quests that involve carrying explosives into the mine and setting off an explosion, sealing it and preventing more Horde reinforcements from getting through.

3) Eastvale Logging Camp: They're under attack by the Horde, who're trying to seize their lumber so they can hastily erect an outpost in Elwynn. Instead of clearing out wolves and bears and collecting lumber you have to fight off Horde skirmishers to protect the logging camp.

4) Stone Cairn Lake: This could be the location of the makeshift basecamp that the Horde is trying to set up in Elwynn. They're raiding the Eastvale Logging Camp for lumber and building a base of operations. You go in there and burn them out. You could maybe even have a quest where you have to repair the damage they've done to the Stone of Remembrance after they've defaced it.

That's one example of what they could've done. The Human Alliance player is introduced to the Horde/Alliance War right away, secures several victories for the Alliance over the Horde as he goes, and he's introduced to a larger theme which can be followed up on in Redridge and the Burning Steppes.
the way i see it stop playing a faction based game vanguard, GW2 among some others dont have factions so all is equal....

thats where im headed.. GW2 im personally feed upwith this so id rather playa game i enjoy story and game playwise instead of choosing one

You never know. Maybe that's Blizzard's plan? To turn WoW into a factionless game. I can see it now. A theocracy where all the races of Azeroth bend their knees in praise and adoration of their God-King Green Jesus.
04/14/2012 02:42 PMPosted by Breuse
That you’ve chosen to ignore every jot of it and even deride the justified criticisms which Alliance players have had for a while is a problem on your end, not ours.
I find it funny when the horde complain about "alliance QQ" about the lore issues of CATA, when they too where just as teary eye when Garrosh first became warcheif and Carine died.
I really don't care if it's destroyed or not but I can understand why they're doing it. It seems everytime the Horde and the Alliance are about to but heads (Thrall and Varian in Wrath) Jaina steps in and makes it all better.

She's almost neutral. Destroying Theramore will pretty much make her choose a side and her story can move on. With there supposedly a lot of Horde vs. Alliance conflict in MoP, she can't stay neutral.
That thread was funny.

So was the Blue's hilariously bitter-sounding response in it.

People give you the 'we've been burned before!' line because you really and truly burned them. You kept promising that Cata would lead to the best lore payoff ever. It didn't. That Thrall questline and the final cinematic of DS is painful. It's bad writing. It is focused on the wrong thing and presents it in the worst way, and is full of nonsensical things happening because the plot demands it.

Why did you have to come up with a new character to be Thrall's 'main squeeze', instead of using an existing one? You know people don't like characters clearly made to be another character's accessory, right?

How does a Flame Druid stun several Aspects long enough for Staghelm to hit Thrall with that ridiculous Plot Spell? What happens to the plot-hook about restoring the World Tree? That's our motivation, remember? It's not "Thrall's awesome, go hang out with Thrall".

What is Deathwing doing for almost the entire length of Dragon Soul? He's just flying around. No, you can't claim that he's just so big that he doesn't deign to notice us (unlike Arthas, who ranted too much, and just yelled GET THEM MY MINIONS, and blah blah blah). We're sitting around a superweapon that might kill him. Ignoring that is just plain stupid. Plus, he does, indeed, tell his minions to get us. While we're powering up a weapon that might kill him. He wasted a ridiculous amount of time to make a dragon that was slightly weaker than he was, and only used him in a situation where he was around himself and not doing anything. Then he flew up to us, in range of his flame breath, and just rambled about it.

Why are we supposed to be happy that Aggra is pregnant, instead of screaming that the end of the world is coming, since the Aspects have lost a bunch of their power, since, no, stopping Deathwing wasn't their true purpose?

It's not even Horde vs. Alliance - it's just bad all around. It's like watching a Fantasyish Battlefield Earth/Gigli crossover. You're just floored by how such a huge budget made something so horrible, and confused why anyone would think this sort of interaction counts as 'romantic'.
So you're going to offer feedback about what YOU feel they're doing wrong until THEY do what YOU want.

Good luck with that pal.

I guess it just never occurred to you that maybe they want the story to be the way that it is. Maybe they want the Alliance as the losing side. Did you ever think about that?

Did it ever cross your mind that's how stories work? You know...One side does better than the other or one side wins and the other loses?

In that case, I reserve the right to cancel my subscription. It's not as if that's been a problem for me before. As for how stories work, what I'd like is a story that makes sense. In a prior post Zarhym was talking about how the destruction of Theramore was essentially the first move in a chess game, and that would be the impetus to really kick off the war. But that assumes that the Alliance hadn't already suffered numerous blows prior to that. Hits which they apparently just ignored.

An Alliance fleet gets slaughtered by the Forsaken off the shores of Northrend and the Alliance doesn't think that's motivation enough?

Gilneas is invaded by the Forsaken and the Alliance doesn't think that's impetus enough?

Southshore is annihilated and the Alliance doesn't think that's motivation enough?

Ashenvale is being invaded by the Horde and the Alliance doesn't think that's impetus enough?

A druid school is hit with a WMD and the Alliance doesn't think that's motivation enough?

Does all of that really make sense to you storywise? The way Blizzard's been writing things, it's as if the Alliance won't really take the war seriously until the Horde are right up at the gates of Stormwind... or annihilate Theramore, apparently.

There's storytelling and then there's bad storytelling, and the Alliance has been victim to bad storytelling throughout the entirety of Cataclysm, and that looks to be continuing with Mists of Pandaria.

Or maybe you should just try to think back to the last expansion that was Alliance driven and shut the hell up knowing that they're boosting your story in MoP.

Alliance driven how? Because that looked to be balanced fairly equally. Or are you going to trot out the silliness that having the Argent Tournament guards being all human and dwarven somehow makes that an Alliance centered expansion?
I really don't care if it's destroyed or not but I can understand why they're doing it. It seems everytime the Horde and the Alliance are about to but heads (Thrall and Varian in Wrath) Jaina steps in and makes it all better.

She's almost neutral. Destroying Theramore will pretty much make her choose a side and her story can move on. With there supposedly a lot of Horde vs. Alliance conflict in MoP, she can't stay neutral.

For one, I don't think that Theramore needed to be destroyed in the first place in order to get Jaina off the sidelines (although there was no evidence she was, seeing as how the Alliance incursion into Kalimdor was coming from Theramore, so she was likely committed to the war). They could've easily gotten the same result by simply having the Horde launch an assault against Theramore. One which is ultimately rebuffed, but at great cost of life. Seeing her people in peril and the Horde war machine right at her doorstep would be more then enough motivation to get Jaina off the sidelines and into the action. Especially if Garrosh commits some horrible atrocities along the way (I.E. picture the Lord Humungus and what he did to his prisoners in The Road Warrior).

That being said, Theramore's destruction is a done deal (I was just continuing a title from a previous thread which I was trying to reply to, so the thread title isn't mine). I just wish that Blizzard, in pushing forward with the destruction of Theramore, would actually think things through and find something in that event for Alliance players to be proud of, and to have the event actually make sense. I posted about that above in a quoted block of text, so I'm not going to repeat what I said.

Point is, it isn't enough to look at what Blizzard says. Look at what they say and what they do. And what they've done up to this point is provide subpar writing for the Alliance side and make it only an accessory to the story which they really want to tell, which is about the Horde. And I'm not complaining about the care and the attention which the Horde has received. I think it's great that they've done such a great job with them. I just wish that the Alliance had received the same level of care and attention as well.
04/15/2012 04:12 PMPosted by Jaedeth
I want it destoryed, its destruction only helps the alliance story.

That presupposes that the same people who've given us a lackluster Alliance storyline throughout the entirety of Cataclysm will capitalize on it effectively to give Alliance a boost. Odds are, though, that a story in which the Alliance suffers yet another major defeat will only continue to feed into the Horde storyline, culminating in the Mists of Pandaria expansion ending with Thrall regaining his title as Warchief.
My main argument against destroying it is that there will be no reason for Alliance to quest in Kalimdor if it's destroyed. It's a good quest hub that puts Alliance and Horde in potentially close contact in Dustwallow Marsh while levelling.

Without it, on PvP realms, Alliance will mostly stay on their own continent. Night elves have some quests in Feralas and parts north of the Barrens, but there are minimal dwarf-related quests on that continent and nothing major for humans if Theramore is taken out.

So, you can pretty much kiss any chance of low-level world PvP goodbye, unless people make the effort to go there.

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