Why is everyone in the Alliance?

It started as a cleaning op. I clicked every blog on my blogroll to see if they are still active. I read them with the WordPress reader that sorts by new posts so I don’t miss something new, but a dead blog can linger on for long. So here’s what I’ve found:

That’s 5 Alliance bloggers and zero Horde bloggers, besides some who play both or doesn’t post about sides. While it’s not representative about the blogosphere and I plan to update my blogroll after the Blaugust ends and I can see who kept on blogging, but somewhat indicative.

It says that people who want to tell about their stories are more likely in the Alliance. I watched my girlfriend go through the horde starter questline and stumbling around incoherently as she always did, fishing out every pool and watching every sight and not getting half level in 5 hours. So I can tell the Horde lore is great and the blog screenshots of Kul Tiras are nothing compared to the huge Aztec pyramid city of Zandalar. This means that it’s not that the Horde is an afterthought by Blizzard, rightfully abandoned, but that for some reason the bloggers moved to Alliance.

Is it better lore, more lovable characters? Is it rejecting evil Sylvanas? Is it a remnant from the age when Horde was an afterthought, living in a dump while the Alliance had majestic cities?

I have no answers but such one-sidedness is a clear defeat for the lore writers and zone artists (game systems are the same on both sides). They did awful lot of work to duplicate Azeroth into Horde and Alliance zones and half of it didn’t get attention from people who are attentive to lore and art. Don’t get me wrong, there are many Horde raiders and Arena PvP-ers, but they are not “Horde raiders and Arena PvP-ers”, they are raiders and Arena PvP-ers who ended up in Horde for some reason. Someone focusing on raids or PvP can’t care less about lore or art.

So I double down on my prediction that factions will end in this expansion and in the next everyone will be in the same faction, every player will have the same quests and cities, simply because duplicating it has no benefit. All the efforts put into designing Zandalar were mostly wasted, and Blizzard probably would have been better off shipping the expansion earlier, only with Alliance content.

Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

12 thoughts on “Why is everyone in the Alliance?”

  1. You previously played and blogged about World of Warcraft; at that time, would your posts count as horde or alliance ones?
    There’s a difference between simply having a character on certain faction and blogging from the perspective of that faction.

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  2. I think you’re just extrapolating from a very small size. For example, it’s well known that high end raiding is *extremely* Horde-biased. This is because Horde had better racials several expansions ago. So many people went Horde, and then many others went Horde because of better recruitment possibilities. You go where the raid slots are, after all.

    Bloggers are a very small, idiosyncratic population. I don’t think you should necessarily take them as evidence of anything.

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  3. “All the efforts put into designing Zandalar were mostly wasted”

    Not really. You level to 120 only on your sides “island” but after 120 you have quests and wq on the other faction’s zones too.

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  4. Interesting observation! For the record I’m playing both – but Horde for the first time. And I’m finding their story better through the first few hours.

    Will be writing about how and if that changes, but yeah, I’ve always been Alliance. This is a new way to look at it for me.

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  5. Once again you jump to the big conclusions without sufficient research.

    Both Kul’Tiran and Zandalaran zones will be used by max level characters of both factions. As you level up, you establish strongholds on the opposing faction’s continent and have some questing there. At level 120, you gain access to dungeons and world quests on both continents.

    In short: development resources were not wasted. BfA just shipped with less levelling zones but more max-level zones than Legion (3+3 vs 4+1).

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  6. I have a Horde character ready for BfA at 110, but we’re waiting on a friend to catchup before seeing that. However our Horde characters have always been low priority alts – partially because most of our friends played Alliance, and personally because I was never that attracted to the morally grey/evil faction.

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  7. Given the “pretty” alliance vs. the “ugly” horde archetypes I suspect there’s an element of psychology and self selection going on here. Mindsets drawn to the “pretty” (or even “good”) side might also be more likely to be doing the self publicising blog thing.
    Horde pride is a thing. Just look at the outcry over Sylvanas recent behaviour.

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  8. I don’t think a whole lot of people are “RP”ers or care a lot about the “lore.” Normally, I would like lore, but in this case it’s so forced to be about faction maintenance and not about story that it’s more cringeworthy than interesting.

    For me, it was always about civilization vs. the third world. Now, I understand that it’s just a game, and they’re just pixels on a screen, and I can understand choosing Horde because of the bloodlust racial talent. People are gunna min-max.

    Another thing I never liked is that it’s not “civilization” that makes the best gear. It just seems absurd that some monster in a hole somewhere has access to, say, the “Sword of a thousand truths” when the craftsmen / enchanters of your civilization can’t do it.

    Anyway: Back to the question: “Civilization vs. the World” players are going to be Alliance. Min-maxers are going to choose the best flavor of the month. One assumes that that is currently Alliance. Anarchists and “Burn the world” types are going to be in min-max camp. That one guy playing a third world oppressed people is going to be Horde. Pure story wonks will have both, at level 20.

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  9. The past couple of years I have been playing around on different WoW private servers through vanilla to cata. I found that most PVPers are on the horde side while casuals/carebear roll alliance.

    There are huge faction imbalances on the PVP servers almost always skewed to the horde.

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  10. @rverghes: if you raid horde for racials, you aren’t “playing horde”. You are a raider who just picked the best race, ignoring lore. Bloggers usually care for lore.

    @Smokeman: if lore people prefer alliance, and everyone else can’t care less, am I not right?

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  11. It’s because Alliance is closer to the traditional fantasy tropes (elves, dwarves, knights etc.) and people are generally more inclined to pick something that’s ‘safe’. In vanilla only the ‘edgelords’ went Horde, mostly for playing as undead (which had a significant advantage in PvP, making Horde the defacto PvP faction).

    The Alliance racials were mostly designed around PvE, what with Humans having bonus rep gains, Dwarven Priests having Fear Ward, and Palladins being amazing buff-bots in raids. And then the game shifted more and more towards PvE and there was little justification in rolling the ‘evil’ faction any more. Releasing Blood Elves in TBC was a desperate move from Blizzard to balance the factions, and it worked for a while, to the point that in Wrath something like 50% of the faction were BEs.

    Eventually the racials got rebalanced and the hardcore crowd started shifting, but the majority was always Alliance, and very few people would even consider paying for a faction change (it costs as much as the expansion). Plus many would hesitate to ‘discard’ their previous faction journey through the expansions simply for a 2% boost in DPS. Hence why for many players Horde is the low-priority alt faction.

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  12. @Smokeman: if lore people prefer alliance, and everyone else can’t care less, am I not right?

    Ok. I’ll accept that.

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