Sunday, 25 October 2009

The view from the other side

It's sort of grey and black and glowy...? No - not that side, I mean team blue - Alliance.

The starkest difference between the two factions for me is that, while I'm on Horde, I'm in one of the biggest and best guilds on my server. When Alliance, I'm guildless. I'll have to fix that, but I don't want to join just any old guild, so I need to find a decent guild that will take an unknown level 71 priest.

Aside from that, the difference is very subjective. In some ways, playing a fantasy staple feels much more "right". I've just done the quest where you end up riding Thassarian's Deathcharger, and the atmosphere was the exact antidote to that mish-mash feeling I get when Grulnak is in some instance with three blood elves and a tauren.

The same fantasy genre baggage colours the many other aspects of the game as well. For example, although Grulnak, an orc shaman, is probably one of the most benevolent non-Tauren Horde in the game (at least, the way I play him) his motivation for some quests is tenuous at best. But even his motivation fits the game a lot better than, say, a Forsaken warlock. Although I reject the "Alliance good, Horde bad" view that some players have (there's the whole Defias thing, for a start), overall Blizzard's (perhaps understandably) lazy approach of having essentially one set of quests for two factions does Horde far more of a dis-service than it does the Alliance. A lot of the Horde settlements in Northrend are really well done, and the Wrathgate chain has its moments, but the last time I really felt the game cateered to the Horde was during the Mag'har chain.

That being said I'm probably heading for trouble as an Alliance clothie as well. If my priest ever reaches level 80 why would he (or say a mage) enter the tournament and not attempt to roast his opponent inside his armour, but instead take up a lance and try and fight him at his own game? Of course everyone does (except perhaps on RP servers?), because that's where the game progression takes you.

Perhaps I just need to lighten up a bit. The thing that keeps me playing is the MMO part of the game - if I want to focus on the RPG part then a single player game would fit my prejudices far better.

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