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United Horde & Alliance?

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United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Era » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:22 am

Horde vs. Alliance is a pretty fundamental aspect of World of Warcraft (and Warcraft in general), and effectively separates the playerbase into two competing factions that cannot play together. There seems to be a trend that PvP'ers and high-end raiding guilds go Horde, while PvE'ers and more casual players go Alliance. There's also been quite a few incidents where players feel like there is developer bias and/or imbalance between the factions.

A bit of an argument arose in trade chat last night over whether or not Blizzard should unite the two factions, both in terms of lore (united front against for example the Burning Legion) and in terms of gameplay (being able to play with your friends regardless of faction, as well as a more diverse playstyle amongst the realm population).

Personally, even though I have friends across both factions I'd love to play with, I would hate the change. I don't think it'd make me quit (at least not immediately), but I'd feel the game would loose a lot of it's personality. But on the other hand, I have friends who'd still be playing if they were able to play together (cross-realm is now a thing, but wasn't when they quit, yet faction barriers remain), as well as friends who say they're kind of put off buying the game because they have people on both sides and don't want to have to pick a side.

As far as lore goes, uniting against a common enemy wouldn't be a terrible stretch. But is the lore better when we have competing factions? I think so, but that doesn't mean I'm right. I like how the conflict between our factions add another layer to the plotlines; not only do we have to worry about the new Big Bad Boss, we also have to keep an eye on what our competitors are doing. It's not just "us vs. them", it's "us vs. them and also those guys". Then again, how would it be arriving at a new continent and not having to watch our backs all the time? Free trade between all peoples, sharing profession and class knowledge, helping each other developing new knowledge.

How would you feel if the factions united? Both lore and gameplay arguments are valid.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Worldie » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:51 am

Thing is, a vast majority of the gameplay at the moment involves the horde vs alliance scenario. Lots of quests and zones are essentially playable only in function to the conflict (looking at you Southshore)

I'd love to see a Horde+Alliance faction, but that's mostly because I'm a carebear and hate PvP in every form :P

In the WoW world, introducing a common faction, even if due to a strong common enemy to face, would require to rebuild 90% of the current gameplay, through all the 4 expansions, not just Vanilla(revamped in Cata) content.



Lorewise, it's very possible to make a similar thing, though, not likely. Voljin, Sylvanas and Lorthemar expecially hate Alliance for several reason, and they would rather die than settle down with the former enemy.


So my opinion is, I don't think it's possible, neither in a gameplay fashion nor in a lore perspective.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Sagara » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:40 am

Worldie wrote:Lorewise, it's very possible to make a similar thing, though, not likely. Voljin, Sylvanas and Lorthemar expecially hate Alliance for several reason, and they would rather die than settle down with the former enemy.

So my opinion is, I don't think it's possible, neither in a gameplay fashion nor in a lore perspective.


While I agree with most of the points raised, I'd like to mention that two of the three named actually cooperated to some degree with the Alliance long before the rebellion was even a thing, and that one of them actually considered switching sides at one point, had *SOMEONE* not gone *PURGEMALLINFIRE!* (Hyperbole graciously granted by the Element of Hyperbole).

And the third one is a psychopathic carpet plague-bomber, so I don't think it's the Alliance she hates so much as the inherent concept of being alive that all the Alliance shares.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby KysenMurrin » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:58 am

This topic made me think of a way to do this as a temporary/partial thing. Note I'm pretty sure this will never happen.

Let's say Blizzard kept Horde and Alliance distinct, kept the factions hostile, kept it so that if you enter opposite faction areas you get attacked. But then they do an expansion where a group wants the two factions to work together, and players progress on a storyline where they go against their faction's leadership in order to work with the other faction against a threat. It'd have to be something local that the Alliance and Horde leadership wouldn't be forced to work together on, so they could stay apart while the heroes work together.

They could set it up so at a certain level, and after progressing a certain storyline, you get the option to group and communicate with the opposing faction. Let's say you can talk while grouped, while in the newest neutral city, and in some of the expansion's neutral zones. You can group with opposite faction anytime, but still can't enter their factions' outposts and cities safely.

To prevent exploits like having a Horde raid using Alliance healers while killing Varian, let's say you get free-for-all flagged if you enter your own faction's capitals while grouped with the enemy. Otherwise, PvP flags would continue to function on the usual faction lines regardless of who you're grouped with.

What do you think?
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Worldie » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:37 am

Sagara wrote:And the third one is a psychopathic carpet plague-bomber, so I don't think it's the Alliance she hates so much as the inherent concept of being alive that all the Alliance shares.

Well lore-wise, according to the storylines in the undead areas, Sylvanas is against the alliance because the humans (and expecially worgen) refuse to let the Forsaken claim that part of Lordaeron as their home (even though, tecnically, the forsaken are just revived people that lived there once)
If the Alliance would recognize Sylvanas' land as Forsaken's, she wouldn't really have any big reason to side with the Horde.
Well though, with her new wannabelichkingattitude, I'm not so sure Wrynn and Velen would be so happy to lose the right to slaughter her.

Voljin on the other hand, if you did the troll rebellion Alliance wise, is totally against mating up and in fact quickly states as soon as you make the deal, that after Garrosh is removed they are again enemy and that they won't side with them ever.

And Lorthemar... 5.1/5.2 storylines and his strong connection with Sunreavers quite say that he hardly gives a fuck about the Alliance and is happy to pursue the Horde dominance plans.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Fetzie » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:56 am

Lor'Themar just wants the best deal for his people. If that would, at some point, be with the Alliance instead of the Horde (i.e. if we hadn't taken out Garrosh as soon as we did) I do not think he would be too proud to negotiate joining the Alliance.

Of course, that wouldn't happen in-game for game-play reasons, but politically it has always been an option for the Blood Elf leadership.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Sagara » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:55 am

Fetzie wrote:Lor'Themar just wants the best deal for his people. If that would, at some point, be with the Alliance instead of the Horde (i.e. if we hadn't taken out Garrosh as soon as we did) I do not think he would be too proud to negotiate joining the Alliance.

Of course, that wouldn't happen in-game for game-play reasons, but politically it has always been an option for the Blood Elf leadership.


Precisely. I wouldn't be surprised if Blood elves went neutral because Lor'themar finds it the best solution. So far the only thing he seems to be fully against is:

1) The Legion destoying/corrupting the elves
2) Anyone else destroying the elves

And I wouldn't be surprised he would include High Elves in this if he has the chance. Horde and Alliance really look like a tertiary priority for him.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Worldie » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:43 pm

I thought blood elves still kept the hate towards the Alliance from when Kael'thas was their leader
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby bldavis » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:07 pm

not really...they are in the horde because at the time, KT was their leader, and it was do you want to side with the alliance and have sylvanis as an enemy, or have her be on your side?
if you go neutral, you are opening up to both factions possibly attacking you

the current siding with horde seems to stem from Jaina going all emobatshitcrazy and trying to remove the sunreavers from dalaran by force, despite the fact dal is supposed to be a neutral city

as far as Vol'jin, in cata he was the one that reached out to the alliance for help with the zandalari when they first showed back up in 4.1
i doubt he would join the alliance, esp now that he is warchief, simply because the darkspear are one of the 3 founding races of the modern horde, and are the first race that encountered the orcs as they fled EK for kalimdor.

vol'jin has been a strong member of the horde since its inception, and while he may work with the alliance, i doubt he would ever want a complete truce and to combine with them.
just far too many cultural differences.


personal belief...combined factions might be interesting...but that isnt how wow was designed, and that isnt how the world works in wow...
in a game like GW2, no factions is great! they still have racial tension, such as between charr and humans, but they still work together.
but that is how the game was designed, around everyone working together against the dragons...it wasnt meant to be a world with 2 competing factions with a very long history of war

speaking of which, even if the horde did want to combine forces, what alliance race would welcome them?
humans? dwarfs? both had their lands at least partially plundered and/or invaded by the orcs
worgen? if it wasnt for the foresaken..maybe but gilneas was part of the first alliance as well..so they probably wouldnt side with the orcs either
nelfs..maybe with the tauren and possibly with the belfs, being fellow druids and elfs but ashenvale ruined any chance of being true friends with the orcs
draenei..well you saw what happened in outland right? and what we are facing in draenor...again no because of the orcs

really the only race i can see working with the horde would be the gnomes, and that would be interesting because of their rivalry with the goblins on an engineering front.


if they completely rewrote the lore and changed the attitude of a LOT of the leaders, and some of the racial tensions, then yeah
but as is...no way in hell should there be a combined faction.
working with each other against a common enemy? oh by all means..and that has happened before
for the most part, the horde and alliance worked together (kind of) against the lich king, and they worked together fairly well against deathwing.
it would take a big bad like that to get them to work togehter again though.
(hmm maybe the burning legion? :? )
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Arnock » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:59 pm

It might have happened if warcraft remained an RTS game, it even seemed like they were going that way in WC3, with the factions working together to defeat archimonde. But it'll never happen post WoW, having competing factions is too much of a fundamental part of gameplay.

Also, Blizz has intentionally been fueling the horde vs. alliance tensions over the last three expansions. TBC and, to a lesser extent, wrath both maintained WC3's theme of an uneasy truce as both the Horde and Alliance faced common foes. But since wrath the lore has been consistantly driving the horde and alliance apart.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Ironshield » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:51 am

Assuming your goal is letting people play together, I don't really see a lore or game play reason why you couldn't have cross faction PvE instances. Pretty much all of them have an aspect of common enemy written in for the game play reasons already. You can already communicate cross faction with realid so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine a scenario where you can "group" with a realid friend but the group on joins you up once you enter an instance. Like a cross realm LFD where you both port out to SW but can't see each other because you're on different servers.

If the PvP crowd are jealous they could even introduce a PvP instance where you queue for a black/white team but it would have to be perfectly balanced, think random starting positions with a change ends at halftime type bg. I'm sure the smart writers at Blizz could find some sort of lore that could attract people from both factions to team up with enemies against erstwhile friends.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Thels » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:29 am

The Horde versus Alliance is really a core concept of the Warcraft universe in general, from the days of Orcs vs Humans, and the WoW game in particular.

The game is designed as a Horde vs Alliance game. Let alone the amount of work that would be required to do so (entire zones would have to be completely revamped, because practically every zone that has both a horde and an alliance base, has those two bases at conflict), it would no longer be the game that people are playing right now.

While they might get a few people in that would be able to play with friends on both sides with a single character, they would lose a truckload of people that would leave due to the change.

If you really want to play with both sides, level an alt on both sides. Or pick a side now, and get your free level 90 when WoD hits on the other side of the fence.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Newsom » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:59 am

It will never happen because of gameplay issues. Nothing to do with lore.
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Jadhzia » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:02 am

As other already said, the two-faction war is too much ingrained in the Warcraft world to be removed. So I'm not expecting any change, any opening for cross-faction grouping (even though I'd love to). It's basically nothing more than marketing.

From a purely storytelling point of view, I believe it would be high time they allowed this. In order to have equality between both factions, they defanged the Hord and hardened the Alliance. Nowadays, both factions are so similar that the war between them is not longer credible (for a fantasy setting). I would really like to see some old inconsistencies removed:

- Sometimes we can't communicate with people from the other faction (language barrier), other times we can because of the need of a quest or cinematics. Druids from both factions seem to be able to ignore that problem often enough, as are most important NPC and quest givers. ;)
- I find it hard to accept that an individual born into a faction wouldn't be able to grow enough brain to decide to take a step back from the war and befriend people from the other faction. Some of the very heroes of Azeroth can, why can't we?

But that would require a real motivation to write a solid story, which may not be the best approach for a video game, especially an MMO (the horrible and awkward way they dealt with Jaina in this extension shows this clearly enough).
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Re: United Horde & Alliance?

Postby Era » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:57 am

Newsom wrote:It will never happen because of gameplay issues. Nothing to do with lore.


Probably not, and as mentioned I'd prefer if it didn't, but we've had some quite nice ideas though. This one for example:

KysenMurrin wrote:This topic made me think of a way to do this as a temporary/partial thing. Note I'm pretty sure this will never happen.

Let's say Blizzard kept Horde and Alliance distinct, kept the factions hostile, kept it so that if you enter opposite faction areas you get attacked. But then they do an expansion where a group wants the two factions to work together, and players progress on a storyline where they go against their faction's leadership in order to work with the other faction against a threat. It'd have to be something local that the Alliance and Horde leadership wouldn't be forced to work together on, so they could stay apart while the heroes work together.

They could set it up so at a certain level, and after progressing a certain storyline, you get the option to group and communicate with the opposing faction. Let's say you can talk while grouped, while in the newest neutral city, and in some of the expansion's neutral zones. You can group with opposite faction anytime, but still can't enter their factions' outposts and cities safely.

To prevent exploits like having a Horde raid using Alliance healers while killing Varian, let's say you get free-for-all flagged if you enter your own faction's capitals while grouped with the enemy. Otherwise, PvP flags would continue to function on the usual faction lines regardless of who you're grouped with.

What do you think?


And also:

Jadhzia wrote:As other already said, the two-faction war is too much ingrained in the Warcraft world to be removed. So I'm not expecting any change, any opening for cross-faction grouping (even though I'd love to). It's basically nothing more than marketing.

From a purely storytelling point of view, I believe it would be high time they allowed this. In order to have equality between both factions, they defanged the Hord and hardened the Alliance. Nowadays, both factions are so similar that the war between them is not longer credible (for a fantasy setting). I would really like to see some old inconsistencies removed:

- Sometimes we can't communicate with people from the other faction (language barrier), other times we can because of the need of a quest or cinematics. Druids from both factions seem to be able to ignore that problem often enough, as are most important NPC and quest givers. ;)
- I find it hard to accept that an individual born into a faction wouldn't be able to grow enough brain to decide to take a step back from the war and befriend people from the other faction. Some of the very heroes of Azeroth can, why can't we?

But that would require a real motivation to write a solid story, which may not be the best approach for a video game, especially an MMO (the horrible and awkward way they dealt with Jaina in this extension shows this clearly enough).


What about a questline where you'll get to cross over to the other faction, keeping your race and class (with frequency restrictions of course, or maybe as a paid alternative to faction change)? Again there's obvious gameplay issues (I'm sure we'd have some fully ex-Alliance Horde servers or something), but it could be interesting.
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