View Single Post
Old 06-10-2018, 10:19 AM
Krakhed Krakhed is offline

Krakhed's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,313


Originally Posted by Lord Grimtale View Post
The Alliance may be more uniform in its values and races, but that by no means has to entail that the Alliance has no theme or is somehow less interesting than the Horde. The factions are interesting and appealing their own ways and it's really up to the player's personal opinion on which one they find more interesting than the other. Personally, I think if players want the races to have bickering and in-fighting then they need to just roll Horde, whereas if players want to have a far more idealistic hero fantasy then they should just go Alliance.

Odok also articulated these different faction themes perfectly.
I'll articulate my opinion of this briefly. You're right, the Alliance typically portrays a more traditional heroic fantasy than the Horde. That's part of the point. You're also wrong, as the Alliance races weren't designed to get along as well as they do.

Alliance races have largely had their flaws ironed out, but are still occasionally remembered to jarring effect.

The common opinion of the Draenei is that they're near perfect virtuous angels. When Blizzard actually goes deeper into characterizing them, they make sure that the Draenei think so too. They're an arrogant and contemptuous race, not as different from the Eredar as one might believe. The existence of the Sargerai shows what happens when they lose faith in Velen and he can no longer hold them back. The one thing about the Draenei that mustn't be forgotten is that Velen often overrules their own judgement in their stories. The Draenei would have abandoned the Alliance if left to their own devices. They'd probably never have allowed the Broken back in, and the main role of the Broken in the Exodar is still as drudge laborers.

This characterization pops in and out of existence at random. The whole Yrel development is pretty much just someone remembering that Draenei have character flaws and exploiting them for the scenario. Draenei will go against their judgement for a higher authority. Draenei are already more than willing to show their superiority if allowed to. Yrel's just showing something that was supposed to be part of the Draenei for years.

And another case. From early in WoW, there were signs of racism in Humans and the Alliance. Not just towards the Horde either. There are NPCs that comment on creepy purple elves. I'm pretty sure there's a moment in Northrend where it's mentioned that people don't feel comfortable alongside the Draenei. There's probably a scattered NPC here and there that expresses a distaste for Worgen. Of course, some of those cases are examples of a corruptive force trying to drive a wedge into a crack. Also, there was clearly political infighting among humans back in Vanilla.

Dwarves? Dwarves have shown imperialistic tendencies since Vanilla, and the current Dwarves are effectively split between rival factions that have probably been at war for hundreds of years.

The Alliance as a whole occasionally shows dismissive tendencies towards other races, even those they have no real conflict with. They'll disregard the Tauren as mere filthy bullmen and drive them out as if they were just murlocs. This aspect is pretty clear from Vanilla to Cataclysm. Descriptions of Horde races from their perspective are littered with contempt. Vol'jin was depicted with roaches and flies around him on the Alliance side, and ample descriptions of how disgusting he is.

Night Elves are another case of this kind of writing. They have tons of layers that are forgotten and remembered, in such a way to give them schizophrenic writing. Are the Night Elves prejudiced, isolationist, or set in their ways? Are they arrogant? The answer here is "sometimes". Tyrande is not a single character. Sometimes she's portrayed as ideal nice Alliance Tyrande. Sometimes she's portrayed as flawed Night Elf Tyrande.

These flaws don't just disappear because the writers forget them 90% of the time. For that remaining 10%, someone remembers and makes use of them. Flaws that were always supposed to be there.

Back in Vanilla, the difference between factions could be summed up pretty easily. The Alliance were old, established civilizations. The Horde were new ones, starting from the bottom.

Last edited by Krakhed; 06-10-2018 at 10:23 AM..
Reply With Quote