“Just let it go, play X instead” is really unhelpful in this conversation. Imagine if the people who originally wanted Paladins on the Horde, druids that aren’t tauren, or orcs with upright backs and brown skin, got told to “let it go and just settle with X instead”.
The point is that there currently is no way to live out the fantasy established in the Warcraft RTS games (and lots of prior games, movies, books, etc.) of being a pale, blonde, Tolkienesque elf who is an archer, a mage, a priest or a holy warrior and who surrounds itself with forests, knights in shiny armour, great castles, and enchanted cottages. You just can’t do it.
Right now, you have the choice of which trade-off you want to make in order to get as close as possible to that experience. Do you A) want to abandon the cultural, architectural, and general aesthetic context which elves usually move around in and join the Horde, or B) do you want to abandon the pale skin, blonde hair, and fair appearance of your character and join the Alliance? Neither side wins, really.
What most High Elf players want is super simple. The fact that they aren’t getting is is just really sad.
Helfs may be culturally and aesthetically different from velf, but from belf? They utilise blue in place of red, and tend to commonly have blue eyes. Also they don’t drain mana from living things. That’s it. Other than supporting the alliance they don’t differ much at all. They both utilise magic to a similar degree, they both are “outdoorsy” ranger types. Skilled archers, etc. If the Horde and alliance didn’t exist their differences would be tantamount to a dietary choice and favourite colours. Hardly striking in terms of culturally different.
They’re about as different as tauren and highmountain tauren. HMT though worshippers of earth mother have a slightly more individualistic streak to them given their territory made living in distinct tribes straightforward and they had no “big threat” that banded them all together until very recently, so tribe identity is still very important to HMT. Also they’re the ancestors of Huln, who is hero worshipped in HMT culture, so they’re all descendants of a huge hero. This leads to them being a bit more daredevil and bold than regular tauren who tend to be quite humble (check Lasan Skyhorn) . Also they appear to have a more direct approach to elementalism given their separation of clans into representations of sky, water and earth. Normal tauren have a much more general all encompassing approach to their nature religion.
They’re not hugely different, but differences are there, and culturally they’re about as distinct as belf and helf. The only exception is they’re politically aligned. If that’s the major seperation culturally between belf and helf, then it really does just boil down to “we want alliance pale elves” rather than some kind of substantive cultural difference that needs exploring.
Because the game experience is vastly different for Horde and Alliance faction? For starters, Horde players (including Blood Elves) are sent on quests to slaughter High Elves. So clearly even the game feels a strong distinction between Alliance High Elves and Horde Blood Elves.
A Horde Blood Elf with blue eyes would still fight for the Horde, both during quests and warfronts and battlegrounds, murdering humans and High Elves (and Void Elves), and would in turn be treated as hostile by those, unable to enter Alliance Settlements (many of which directly relate to High Elves e.g. the High Elf lodges, Allerian Stronghold, Wintergarde Keep, Windrunner’s Overlook, Violet Rise, etc), being hostile to Silver Covenant members, etc.
Also they have a totally different aesthetic, access to spiky and red and ragged Horde mounts and transmogs and cities, while the Alliance’s blue is far more linked to High Elves. My Blood Elf is a proud ex-fel-addict cupcake bitter and angry enough to murder her Alliance-ex-brethren alongside brutish primitives and rotting corpses. Clearly that’s not the ‘High Elf’ people want to play.
That was the point. Highmountain Tauren became an Allied race even though they have very little to set them apart from regular Tauren. They have different extra horn options? Well Blood Elves have different extra hair colour options (I guess Belfs get red hair colours from breeding with ginger humans or something, it’s rather odd that High Elves don’t when they’re supposedly the same race and more connected to humans). They have tattoo options (which regular Tauren could also have really since they also used warpaint) and the same could go for Belfs and Helfs.
For some of the differences in a Belf and a Helf experience see my reply above (that experience would differ more than a Tauren and HM Tauren experience do). Tauren and HM Tauren fight for the Horde - yes (Belfs and Helfs - no). Tauren and HM Tauren are both not okay with draining fel and living creatures - yes (Belfs and Helfs - no). Tauren and HM Tauren both believe that integrity is more important than the ends justifying the means - yes (Belfs and Helfs - no). Tauren and Highmountain Tauren are both not okay with throwing a longstanding cultural coopertation aside to slaughter their ex-friends and ex-brethren - yes (Belfs and Helfs - no). Tauren and HM Tauren dress and build with the same aesthetics - yes (Belfs and Helfs - no).
So if HM Tauren warranted being an added Allied Race (instead of just extra horn and tattoo custzomizations for Tauren) then High Elves warrant being an Allied Race just as much, or more.
The High Elfs that are associated with the Alliance seems to have their settlements away from their capital Silvermoon, which could be enough to warrant slight changes in both posture, attitude and other cultural traits. Wouldn’t be unreasonable that a fair amount of them also live in the mage quarter of stormwind which should hold a different culture than that found in Silvermoon.
You make some good points. However, it’s quite simple to make them seem very distinct if you only round on those things that do make them slightly distinct. You picked stuff HMT and T share and that belf and helf don’t. I can do the same but vice versa for example :
Has Paladins, priests and a “light” approach to their faith ? Belf yes, helf yes
T yes, HMT no.
Your comparative points for belf and helf are also generalising quite a bit. For example your “both tauren are not okay throwing away long standing cultural cooperations” the feltotem say hi. Grimtotem also. Its not as simple as you paint it. Also, I assume you’re saying the belf do “throw away the longstanding stuff” again, it’s complex. Despite misgivings about sylvanas, they haven’t betrayed the Horde yet. It’s not as clear as they have no value in such alliances else why are they still with the Horde given the turmoil its been through the numbers of their own they’ve lost along the way.
Also, the integrity comment. Belf are clearly not without complete conscience, the whole battle for loradaeron and lor and sylva dialogue show that. I mean people like Liadrin probably counter most of these generalisations about belf given she went from a place of lacking integrity to redemption. It’s not as simple as you paint it.
And at risk of being unpopular, one key difference between the helf and the HMT is the HMT, despite their samey cowness, and still more distinct from tauren than helf are from belf physically if we take game presentation of all 4 races as Canon.
If we go by game race (ie what we’ve been shown, what is Canon as we’ve been shown) a helf allied race announcement would literally be blue eyed belf for alliance in terms of physicality. What they “could be” is irrelevant given we’re shown in game how they are, and they’re not that different.
Also HMT had a prominent presence in Legion. Helf presence since Legion has been almost nonexistent aside from a few individuals. Certainly not enough to suggest the" race has been active"
Consistent. Yes. Prominent was the word I used. There’s been one dragonmaw or in an orgrimmar Inn for yonks, consistent prescence. Is it enough to suggest dragonmaw should be an allied race a la the glowy yellow eyes? Not really, because its not a prominent presence.
I didn’t bring that up on purpose because that was a patch-job lore forced into the game to justify class choices, nothing more. I don’t consider Gnome priests to be a relevant cultural point either, even though those were also added at the same time. Dwarf shamans on the other hand are a cultural point because they existed before and for reasons other than class choices.
Yes and you can’t play those. Even though they are the same race as the other HM Tauren, this distinction was strong enough for them no not be included under the same race. Therefore the same difference is enough for Belfs and Helfs to be not included under the same banner.
Lorthemar was willing to leave the Horde (which included Sylvanas) during MoP. During the Heritage Armor questline he mentions that Sylvanas was the hero of Belfs and nothing will change that. And one patch later he’s all on board with working together with the Alliance and the Horde rebels. The Belfs’ track record of affiliations is spotty at best, but when given the choice to stay in the Alliance or join the Horde they choose to abandon their previous loyalties while High Elves stood by them.
It’s an important distinction. Just as important as the difference between Nelfs and Nightborne. Nightborne basked in their addiction and used dangerous magics, and sure most of them were cured in time. But Night Elves never became sketchy addicts in the first place. Liadrin and the other Blood Knights drained the Light from Muru in Silvermoon. Even their racial was themed around draining enemies. They followed Kael’thas (and later turned on him sure), and joined the Horde. These aren’t insignificant differences.
Hello, Void Elf here, you were saying? Void Elves were invented out of the blue (heh) with no previous lore, with no previous members, with no presence whatsoever in any previous expansion, comic, book, nothing. They just poofed into existence in an isolated 10-minute scenario that had no buildup or followup and we’re all pretending that they are fine and a perfectly valid Allied Race.
So again, if Highmountain Tauren and Void Elves were justified in becoming an Allied Race, so would High Elves.
Each classic race is given the choice to go either Horde or Alliance in the upcoming expansion. Allied Races remain loyal to Horde and Alliance because it’s just too much of a hassle to rewrite them right as they got added. Besides, I kind of like the idea of having some cosmetic exclusivity on each faction, for example the Horde get to hold on to their Tauren 1.5 models and the Alliance get to keep their Draenei 1.5 models as well.
But as for the classic races (well, vanilla through Legion), they should all have their starting areas revamped and their stories developed to allow for a faction choice.
In the case of Blood Elves, I’m imagining it that they decide to go neutral and focus their attention on rebuilding Quel’thalas. High Elven exiles are welcomed home, and old wounds are healed. Sylvanas and Alleria stay away, but Vereesa returns. As a new Quel’dorei, you play through a brief starting scenario and then you get to pick whether you support Vereesa and the direction she wants to take your people in, with her Silver Covenant loyalists, or you get to support a Blood Elf (perhaps Liadrin) and her cause instead. All High Elves/Blood Elves are welcome in Silvermoon and they do not fight internally, but there is a political division among some of them, and the player is right in the middle of that.
While this would technically mean that the Alliance has an edge over the Horde in terms of the amount of Quel’dorei races they can roll, this kind of evens out if you consider other races. The Horde would probably be able to roll Night Elves as well with this concept implemented, and they also have the Nightborne which the Alliance does not.
Many players claim that adding High elves to the Alliance would kill the game.
You know what? Giving every race (core) choice to join either faction would actually kill it.
Yeah, some races might be given the same treatment as Pandaren, but some just give zero sense: Night elves, Worgen, Draenei, Orcs, Trolls that is for sure and most likely for other core races as well.
Humans might work, given how many groups there are and that they are not united, Forsaken because of how Sylvanas treat them, slight chance for Tauren, maybe. Then we have Blood elves, some people can’t understand that these Thalassian elves are not the ones we are looking for, anyway they were up to join the Alliance in MoP, but after some very pivotal events, Blood elves seem to have lost all interest for this.
For most Allied races, I’d say that it does not give much sense either.
Maybe DI Dwarves, if Horde try to help other political group to overthrow Moira, yeah they might be up to it. KTs are just humans, so the same as core human race and maybe Nightborne. Other AR should not get this choice.