My biggest fear about BlizzCon would be if they crank up the big dumb red vs blue narrative and give us an expansion all about faction war
— Bel 🆚 Comic Sans! (@belghast) November 3, 2017
So last weekend was BlizzCon and over the last few days I have been dealing with the announcements made there. On the morning before the festivities started… I threw out a flurry of tweets of things that I would have liked to have seen, and then one that was my nightmare scenario. Essentially… the nightmare scenario is what happened. As a result I’ve spent the last few days going through the stages of denial and have finally reached a point where I can talk about it. World of Warcraft for me is a story about being artificially cut off from a chunk of my friends regardless of the decisions I make. When the game released in 2004 we had a group of players that wanted to play Alliance and a group that wanted to play Horde, and while we attempted playing both sides after a point folks wound up greatly preferring one over the other. This was a completely foreign concept to me and felt just wrong to have choosing a side mean you were also saying goodbye to a chunk of your friends in the process. Everquest had factions but they were all personal choices, and even Dark Age of Camelot had Gaheris the Co-Op server that let us all play what we wanted together without the artificially faction boundaries.
For the last thirteen years I have carried a torch in hopes that maybe just maybe the two sides would get their shit together and realize that there is way more at stake than their own petty grievances. We have come so close so many times as we worked together with the other side to tackle the big bads of the world, but always we are artificially drawn back in to the big dumb red versus blue narrative. Battle for Azeroth is doubling down on this tired formula and apparently that is what the player base wants. I have no real faction pride because neither faction has actually done anything that I am proud of. Sure the cinematic they released for this game is epic, and there are moments I feel shivers of excitement from each side. I am just wired to be nostalgic about all of this even though it signals the death of the dream I have held for so long. The faction wall will never fall, and my friends list will always be artificially segregated. We could do so much more if we were allowed to work together, and bring our Tauren and Orc friends along with our Dwarf and Worgen friends to do awesome things. I guess that thing that frustrates me is just how tragic and pointless it always is… all it would take is some communication between the sides and we would stop killing each other and start killing things that deserve to be killed. Fuck “For the Horde” and fuck “For the Alliance”… it should be “For Azeroth”… because the planet is dying while we are fighting .
All of this said… there are a lot of things that they are talking about that do excite me, but it has been a lot of soak given the first massive blow. I love the concept of Allied races because it gives the players something that we have requested for so long… sub races. From the moment I first knew that the Dark Iron Dwarves were a thing… I wanted to play one. The only only problem is that in my perfect scenario they would have been on the Horde. In truth in my perfect scenario all of the sub races that we are getting… would have gone to the other faction. I want to see High Mountain Tauren fighting along side the Alliance and Dwarven fighting along side the Horde. I want to break down the barriers between the two factions and blend them all up together to where your faction choices are just that… choices and not something you are locked into. Basically I am down for anything that degrades the barrier between the camps of players and lets us all do things together. Unfortunately I am having to come to the realization that it will probably never happen, but in the meantime I guess I am going to be leveling a bunch of new characters to take advantage of the new races.
The biggest obstacle between me and playing the horde was the fact that I didn’t like most of the races. The reason why I didn’t like the races was the bestial hunch that the male versions of each seemed to be permanently stuck in. Apparently there is a posture system that is coming that will allow us to go to the barber shop in game and change this… and in truth that breathes new life into all of these races that I refused to play. In theory if I can get an upright Orc like the modern Thrall model… it is going to feel awesome. Similarly Trolls and Undead become perfectly viable options for me to play. The number one problem I have with Worgen is that they too suffer from this forced lurch, and I am wondering if maybe just maybe that might be a thing of the past as well. I love my Horde family, but what always ends up being a problem is the fact that I have years worth of characters on the Alliance side and a handful of false starts on the Horde. I like being self sufficient, and only on one side do I have an army of alts that can craft anything that I could ever want. In theory if I enjoy the races more… I could start working on the same on Horde side. The draw to either side is the people who play there… not the story. I am just frustrated that it seems like I will always have to choose one path over the other when I really want to do both at the same time.