My choosen faction – Why am I exclusively Alliance?
Before I start, this is not a Horde bashing post, I have no quibble with the Horde, or Horde players. It is simply a discussion and explanation of why I personally don’t play Horde and probably never will. This is also bugger all to do with resto druids, but that happens sometimes :P
I have a friend. IRL. Yh, scary I know. However, this friend predates my playing of Warcraft and was actually the first person to introduce me to it back at the end of 2005. Now, some of you may be thinking that I said in my info page that I only started playing at the start of Wrath and that is true. Why did I wait 3 years after trying the game before I actually started playing it?
My first taste of WoW
There are a number of reasons, but one of them is that this friend, who shall remain nameless but knows who he is should he ever read this, is Horde through and through. If you cut him in half he would have “For the Horde!” written down the middle like a stick of seaside rock. He even threatened to get a “Real friends don’t let other friends play Alliance” t-shirt. This meant that when he first introduced me to WoW he made me try a troll. I tried that nasty little troll for a couple of hours and really didn’t enjoy it. I wanted to try out an Alliance character but was informed not a chance on his Horde based account.
So I was rather put off from WoW by playing a class and race I didn’t really like, despite having played Warcraft the RTS when it first appeared in 1994. Fast forward a few years and I am getting repeatedly poked by my sister and brother in law to start playing because they are. I download a trial and start playing one weekend while my wife is away. I made straight for Alliance and created what is my standard (first) character in any rpg – a human warrior (not the most daring combination ever but I don’t care :P ). I entered Northshire Abbey and suddenly was hooked, the little human church, surrounded by pretty trees and a river was rather impressive. I quickly completed my quests and headed out to Goldshire as I was commanded, but already I was hooked.
Alliance 15 : Horde 1
Ever since then, with the exception of a single undead warrior (who ultimately was faction changed to Katjara, the nelf warrior), all my characters are exclusively Alliance. Having tried Horde (my warrior did make it to level 50), I decided that for whatever reason it just wasn’t for me. I am well aware that it is not as clean cut as Alliance/Horde = Good/Evil because the Horde is not evil and certainly not all Alliance are “good”. Despite exploring all of their cities, and a lot of their lands the Horde just holds no attraction for me, with the possible exception of the Tauren. I am not really into the whole Native American thing, but I quite enjoyed their starting area and such, and they do make damn fine warriors.
All other horde areas though are not really to my liking, I like relatively ‘normal’ places and much prefer forests to open plains, so the likes of the barrens, durotar, eversong and such really didn’t do it for me. Which is also why I don’t like Tanaris or levelling a lowbie Draenai, but doesn’t explain why I like Uldum, it must just be the archaeology side of it with Harrison Jones.
In the beginning….
I first played Alliance way back in ’94 with the arrival of Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans and even then never really took to the Horde. The lands. music and background of the humans seemed to capture me much more than that of the orcs. When in Warcraft 2 they really became the Alliance and the Horde with the introduction of gnomes, ogres, goblins, elves and so on, I still couldn’t get into the Horde. Even now, going into Stormwind I am reminded of epic battles building and defending it all those years ago (17!) on a little 486 with a massive 14″ CRT monitor :D Now I feel old :(
Stormwind, Ironfroge etc vs…….
Walking down the Valley of Heroes, it is possible to imagine that my own general from so long ago is immortalised there as a hero of the Alliance (not true I know, but this is a fantasy game :) ). The music as you gallop into the city is quite amazing and very stirring, reminding me that to start with, mere humans held back the “Tides of Darkness”, until they were joined by Elves, Gnomes and Dwarves. Together they all pushed back the encroaching Horde and reclaimed lost areas of Azeroth, some of those have fallen again – cities such as Stromgarde, Lordaeron and Stratholm, but still we fight to regain them.
As well as Stormwind, the other Alliance cities hold similar thoughts, the sheer scale of Ironforge tunneled into the very mountainside, vast forges and halls filled with hundreds of busy adventurers and tradesmen going about there business. Darnassus, built in the branches of an enormous tree, scouts and lookouts positioned in its higher branches, while an entire city flourishes lower down.
Orgrimmar, Silvermoon and the others
In contrast, the Horde cities are nowhere near as impressive to me. Orgrimmar looks like a giant tent encampment in the desert, Silvermoon is a overly exotic jewel dumped next to its rotting corrupt neighbour, Lordaeron is a ruinous place of decay and disease populated by zombies. Thunderbluff is the only one of the Horde cities that strikes me as being anything other than just meh.
So for me, the choice between Alliance and Horde is easy and obvious. It is the faction I have strived to aid for nearly 20 years. I find that the lore surrounding it is much more engaging for me, the cities are places that I truly enjoy being in (thank you Blizzard for allowing me to fly over a new expanded SW :D) and even the music and such are magnificent and rousing. That then is why I now play Alliance exclusively :)