Jun 21 2008

The grass really IS greener.

So I’ve been playing my Horde alts pretty steadily for a while now, and I have to say I feel pretty ripped off.

Having played Alliance ever since World of Warcraft went retail, I’ve gotten pretty used to every starting area, every Alliance zone, every Alliance quest. I’ve leveled two characters past 60 and one to 70 and that’s pretty much enough, thank you. To be honest I don’t think I could start another Alliance alt if you paid me; I’ve done those quests far too many times to force myself to do them once again.

So keep that in mind. Maybe I’m worn out on Alliance.

But the Horde? You guys got it good.

Not a single day goes by that I don’t find another awesome Horde quest or a great new area that I either didn’t have access to as an Alliance character, or simply didn’t have any call to visit. For example, just a moment ago a Warlock cast Detect Invisibility on my Shaman while I was standing in the courtyard of the Undercity, revealing the dozens of ghostly Lordaeron Citizens walking around. They’ve been there the whole time, invisible. The Warlock said he’d leveled two undead to 70 and this was the first time he’d seen them.

And please, don’t get me started on the quests. Alliance gets quests like:

“Go kill the Orc tribe near this town. They’ve been encroaching on our territory and as they are not part of the Horde we have no means of diplomacy. This is the last straw, please deal with them for us, and come back after you’ve killed twenty of them.”

Or perhaps:

“The elemental trees in the nearby forest have become tainted with a foul poison from the nearby manufacturing plant run by the (again) not Horde goblins. Please put them out of their misery, and come back when you’ve collected twelve of their crystal hearts as evidence of this act of mercy.”

But what would the Horde versions of these quests be like?

“There’s an Alliance town nearby. Go kill the peasants and farmers. Come back when you’ve got them dead and then go and kill the town guards. Then kill the blacksmiths, then the city council. Keep an eye out for the specific Alliance people on this list, and while you’re at it bring me 30 human fucking skulls if you want some extra pocket change.”

Seriously. Nothing like “Oh they’re encroaching on our territory and committing acts of atrocity against the innocent baby bears and watery-eyed fawns in the area.” And the elemental trees? Try:

“Hey I wanna make a badass new cloak. For this I need snowy-white tiger fur. But not from the adult tigers, bring me the pelts of newborn innocent tiger cubs that you’ve just torn from the still-warm bosom of their freshly-slaughtered mothers. Your reward? Oh I guess I can scrounge up some coppers. Get to killin!”

These are (paraphrased) actual quests. I didn’t change the Alliance town one much. But note: it’s about Horde fucking with the Alliance. It’s not about working towards peace or being nice to your neighbors or saving the planet, it’s about good old fashioned carnage. The Alliance wants to bring peace and brotherhood to the Alliance, the Horde want skulls for the skull throne.

Small wonder Horde players are so loyal to their characters. The whole Horde quest system seems to reinforce this sense of constructive fanaticism.