Horde lore discussion


Could it, though? I’m genuinely unsure. Let me think out loud, for a bit.

I think it is a big conceptual problem with the faction war that one side can only gain something by taking it from other players. You can’t destroy Teldrassil or Undercity without making Night Elf or Forsaken players lose a place they all love. Permanently. I think if it is justified or not isn’t the most important thing here. The loss is real either way. And, as many stories tell us, as much as we might be motivated by revenge, any joy we derive from it is usually short-lived, while our grief and loss isn’t.
Even worse, to some degree our yearning for revenge will always stay unfulfilled. We can never root out or even dissolve the other faction, can never kill all the characters we might want to kill.
So it seems that in balance everyone loses out, doesn’t it?

I guess there are possible ways around that.
One way might be to conquer instead of destroying. The Horde takes Teldrassil, the Alliance takes Undercity. Both factions can simultaneously gain and lose stuff. Even better, the loss doesn’t have to feel permanent, since an obvious goal would be to free your stuff from their hands.
This method would have the problem of substancially lowering the stakes, though. Avoiding afflicting losses makes for the feeling of a children’s story, and the people who would prefer a faction war story would usually also prefer something more “real”. They can always throw out casualty numbers, but as long as they don’t really make them relevant to the story they really don’t mean anything…
But at least putting the option of conquest out there and not just all-out destruction might mitigate some problems.

Another way they could go about it would be to give the factions victories at places where the player of the defeated faction never played and thus have no real relation to. There could have been some great victory of the Horde, with great characters on both sides involved, at some Kul Tiran fortress the Alliance player never visited for questing or anything else, for example. The Alliance player would only hear that some fortress fell, while the Horde player would have some real victory on their hands. Remember how the Alliance player rooted out the vampires that were trying to ally themselves to the Horde that the Horde player never got to hear about? It would be just like that. They even tried to give us a personal reason to hate the vampire boss.
…but it also had no impact on the greater story whatsoever. And that is a problem with this way of doing things. You have to give both factions two fully independent storylines that still fit together perfectly. You also can never copy+paste the same quests for the same areas for both sides while doing this. Both certainly shouldn’r be impossible for Blizzard, but it wouldn’t be easy. And in the end… while both factions get the triumphs without feeling the losses… neither faction would get triumphs over the players of the other faction. I am quite certain not everyone would like that (though I might).

Well, nothing is perfect. So how does a classic PvE scenario compare? Some baddie shows up and we somehow gather power and fight it. While the threat often is played as enormous, actual losses in characters or cities aren’t that common (I think WoD’s blasted lands are quite unique in that a NPC-army actually took long-standing factio fortresses - and minor ones at that). Our long-term absolute victory is guaranteed, though we might lose some battles along the way.
So… in-universe the stakes are unimaginably high, but since we know we can’t lose they actually feel pretty low. And while losses still hurt, at least we take every loss with the almost certainty that we will make the culprit pay in full. So… I guess this ranks somewhere between the “real” faction war and the conquest idea in terms of feel. We do have losses, but we get full revenge, and it does lack real weight, but not as much as a kind of amicable faction conflict would. The more you try to make the fight against the NPC matter, the more you will have to dial up the losses.

I guess as a result the NPC-conflict is more of a compromise solution than a clear winner against the faction conflict ideas… depending on your tastes.

But I guess I haven't really evaluated the conflict as a story. It is a fact that there are many open wounds between the factions that realistically would flare up at some points. I'm just not very comfortable with arguing on that basis alone, since there are quite a few gameplay restrictions.
  1. Faction membership can never be changed:
    This pretty much rules out many more backstabby political maneuvers that would be realistic. They can tell us that the Blood elves had talks with Varian, but nothing could ever have come of them, and they would always need to find some reason why talks failed. Garrosh can be an orcish supremacist, but in the end player orcs and trolls have to stay together and the story has to be bent in a way that makes it possible.
  2. Neither faction can really lose:
    Since both factions have to continue to exist, the war can’t be won. Whenever one side has the clear upper hand, something has to happen to change it, at least in the long term.
  3. Both sides need triumphs and losses, preferably equal:
    The devs have a bit of wriggling room here, but they truly can’t just let happen whatever would happen, since the players are likely to scream bloody murder, if one faction was clearly getting a better deal than the other.

Combined this means that they really can’t just let things happen as they realistically would. They always have to have a hand on the scales. They always have to throw out plot devices to prevent one catastophe or the other. So I’m not sure we can get very far by arguing what would happen between the factions if WoW were real.

If we are talking about realism… I would think both factions have become too large and too diverse to survive very long without internal fighting and rebellions. There is no unity of purpose, not even in opposing the other faction. And after 35 years filled with war after war after war there shouldn’t be any ressources for anyone to fight anyone else, really.

So that’s why I wasn’t talking about a realistic story, but about how the story would make players feel. Because realism in the story isn’t possible, in my eyes, and player reactions are so much more real.
The story will always be forced, bound by gameplay restraints, and a faction war story will be more forced than most.

Enough ranting. Good Night.


You are clearly alliance biased and clearly an alliance player, im talking about the HORDE and i want to see alliance destroyed. You talk about peace and flowers along with unicorn leaders.

You are not convincing by logging with a low level horde toon and answering me.
Take a look what the forum warrior nelf answered to your unicorn peace nonsense and may this be a lesson to your thrall/saurfang alliance lapdog policies.

For Sylvanas
For the HORDE.



I think we all agree that war is bad in principle and in a realistic scenario, no side should still have the capacities and ressources to continue it.

But it’s what this game is about, basically. Without the constant looming threat of an attack by the other, neither Horde nor Alliance would still exist, and we would all take up arms only when the next big baddie threatens to destroy our world.

But that would be- boring. The faction war is what makes this game interesting imo, my complaint is only that it should have been written more balanced for BFA and yes- less bloody too, for all I care.

Teldrassil was pushing things too far. We can practically never complain about anything the Alliance does now without getting GENOCIDE! thrown back in our faces.
Undercity wasn’t a fair compensation because Undead “lives” don’t matter to most ( not even to their queen anymore, obviously ) and they don’t have children so it’s all way less tragic.

Dazar’Alor as payback made no sense either since the Zandalari had absolutely nothing to do with Darkshore and the Night Elves weren’t even involved.

But as it has been said before, all of this would have made sense if the writers had the Alliance strike first.
But no, it happens as it always does: Horde attacks first, Alliance is forced to react and every action after Teldrassil will be considered rightous. Internal conflict happens only on Horde side, team red is divided once more.

Okay, Anduin refusing to aid the Night Elves was a good approach, but the opportunity to make things more interesting with the Night Warrior thing and them acting on their own account was squandered because obviously, they do nothing. And will probably fight side by side with Saurfang in the final raid…


And in this story finanly some player choice in story for once, nope doesnt matter what side you pick have to go traitor to warchief/rebelion path anyway.
Like first part id understand as was changed rather late to add it but future shouldve had actual differences atleats not just play along.

IF you choose to side with sylvannas why you have to work consatntly against her, (and for any that says its good,imagine if you choose saurfangs side but had to work against him the whole time).


Even without changing story a ton and just swapping teldrasil adn undercity the story still wouldnt have been great or fantastic but already been lot better(and i feel like ogrinally was gonna be undercity first but changed later) the cinematic, saying anduin was gonna do whats right for Alliance or something and putting on man pants or so.


I understand, and I argued the same for quite a while. And I certainly agree that the faction war could have been sooooooo much less bad, if they strayed from the “blue good, red bad” formula. So forgive me for not commenting on most of your post and instead focussing on the question where I am at now: If the faction war actually is a good and important part of the game at all, or if it might always be doomed to fail.

I can certainly agree that world peace would be boring.

But I don’t really think one united faction is the only alternative to two factions, at least not lorewise. Every political group being able to act in its own interests and being able to fight without sanction from SW/OG and without making every conflict a world war might actually give us more conflict instead of less.

But apart from that… I am really not sure if NPCs couldn’t be just as constant a threat as a player faction? Why couldn’t there be a permanent NPC faction of power that was vying for control of Azeroth and was neither unthinking, nor unable to be reasoned with, but always a looming threat? If the Horde never was playable, but was just an NPC antagonist to the character from the start, would it make the threat feel less real to you?
Or another example, that migth be possible in the future: If Yrel came with an NPC faction of Light-fanatics, set up shop in a cleansed eastern Lordaeron (supplanting the Argents, I guess), had long-term plans to conquer and convert everyone in Azeroth, but didn’t have the power to force it through at the start and would be quite willing to ally with Azeroth’s peoples to fend of Void and Legion… Couldn’t that be just as much of a permanent looming threat?

I’m genuinely interested and not trying to suggest anything here. I personally feel that the factions are increasingly hurtful to the game, and though I can give quite a few justifications for that feeling, I really don’t know if any of those reasons triggered it. So I am very interested in any utility the factions have that I might have overlooked.

Half-baked pig with lipstick
(Araphant) #33

Not really, they don’t matter because the Undercity civilians got evacuated.

Like, Sylvanas orders Saurfang to do it two seconds after Teldrassil, the Horde siege of Lordaeron scenario begins by repelling Alliance Druids and evacuating the civilians.


You’re right, I forgot about that. I still daresay that even if every Forsaken in UC had died in the siege, there wouldn’t have been the same outcry as about Teldrassil. And anyway it’s just one more proof for the biased writing.

(Araphant) #35

I am pretty sure that a retcon with most night elven civilians escaping would be welcomed by both factions.

(Elyssarain) #36

Too late! This trainwreck is too far gone unless they retcon the entire war.


We still don’t know what happened to most of Brill’s inhabitants.

(Araphant) #38

Actually, we do know, as some of the former Brill Citizens appear in Orgrimmar.


And the ones that aren’t in orgrimmar?

(Araphant) #40

Probably brutally impaled on Alliance Spears because the Alliance is evil and racist.

Despite all the sources pointing to the contrary. I guess these particular citizens just ran faster then the others, there was no evacuation ordered on the very eve of Teldrassil’s burning.


Maybe they did survive. But Brill’s destruction is completely off-screen. There’s no short story like a good war, and nothing was shown in game. It’s already gone by the start of the battle for lordaeron scenario on both sides. Blizzard give it zero attention.


The only thing that can be said with certainty is that those former Brill citizens are not in Orgrimmar.

(Araphant) #43

But that did not prevent you from ignoring existing lore implications in order to paint a grimmer picture, now did it?

(Northgrave) #44

We do, they died during the Third War. Then they became undead shambling husks, serving to an orc spirit and lately to a horde elf. And now the saddest thing - even though the Alliance managed to bring peace to some during the Liberation of Lordaeron, some of the corpses are now held in Orgrimmar, bound by vile elf necromancers.


Not really. I’m just pointing out a bias.

(Araphant) #46

Do you want me to point out that the Forsaken still mostly hold Tirisfal Glades and that more then one night elven settlement vanished in flames? Since we are pointing out “biases”.

I mean, I get it you guys are sad and all, but this is slowly turning into a comedy.

Night elves literally lose several settlements in-game, conquered by the Horde. The Alliance isn’t even given a chance to assault Brill, and we are chased out of Lordaeron with pitchforks after we assaulted the Blight Citadel with no gas-masks and had the entire faction reduced to a damsel in distress saved by Jaina.

The Horde: “We didn’t get a Forsaken POV, this is clearly Alliance bias.”

You have every right to complain, but don’t complain by claiming the other faction had it great or better.