So, to start off I’ll give a bit of context. I main Alliance, but I’ve played double agent with the Horde for awhile now and my spiritual heart is 100% lok’tar ogar. I can see why both sides are unhappy with their direction in the last few expansions. Hell of a wall of text incoming.
The Alliance has made no ground in either the War with Garrosh’s Horde, the War of Thorns or the Blood War. They’ve lost ground to Horde occupation across the continents. For their troubles have only managed to return some slash and burn style damage on the Undercity and Camp Turajo that doesn’t give them any gains in the slightest. The Alliance are made out to be winning after the death of Rastakhan, but the victory is so pyrrhic in context of their losses in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms.
The Horde has made ground, but in doing so it’s losing its purpose, it’s soul. It feels defeated both from outside and from within. They gained Ashenvale, but at what cost? And the War of Thorns still rages in the background as the Night Eves fight tooth and nail for every tree. They lost Lordaeron, and saw their own dead used as a rampaging mass against the Alliance – going against the spiritual reverence of their dead that many of the Horde races hold. Worst of all, they’re being divided along ideological lines yet again as the Horde ends up fighting itself. We’re heading towards another Siege of Orgrimmar 2.0 as Sylvanas is being written into a corner.
So, an idea on how I’d fix that narrative.
Let the Alliance win. Now before you grab the rope to dangle me over a plague cauldron, hear me out. The Alliance feels like they need a win, the Horde feels like they need a purpose.
When Siege of Orgrimmar 2.0 rolls around, when Anduin gets faced with the same choice Varian had – spare the Horde or end it. Have him end it. Restrain the Horde leadership present, break the Horde rebels present, round up the citizens of Orgrimmar and do what the Alliance does best: struggle with their own morality and bring back the internment camp system.
The Alliance rolls through Horde territory, imprisoning those who surrender and killing those who stand against them. The Alliance feels victory for once, but stretches itself thin. It opens up for us to see morality of humanity. Alliance soldiers aren’t all good guys, and they know how bad the Internment Camps (and Garithos) were, they just ignore it. But when tasked with hunting down Horde resistance in Ashenvale or Darkshore, what would the Night Elves and Worgen do with those captured prisoners? Would they even capture prisoners? The genocide of the Shatterspear Tribe would be a start for Night Elven retribution. Let the Alliance feel the morality and split in ideology for once. They are not all good guys, and they are angry. Have Alliance players hunt down resistance groups, capture prisoners, hand them over to an NPC who makes it ambiguous as to if they’ll survive torture or not. Let them feel the pain of victory.
But the Horde will be destroyed by this, you could say. I don’t think they will. The Horde was born out of the need for survival, in a harsh land surrounded by people that hated them for who they were. A return to their roots and a real reminder of the reason why the Orcs fled the Eastern Kingdoms would do them good. Ideologically, it would unite the Horde against a common foe as the Alliance split. Have the Horde strike out from their last few bastions of freedom, rescue their leaders, liberate camps. Have them see the atrocities the Alliance can commit first hand, let them feel like the good guys for once. The wronged ones. The outcasts that have to band together to survive! Reunite the Horde that has faced 2 ideological splits, 4 Warchiefs and had to actively commit an immoral attempt at genocide. Give them a cause and watch them come together, and after their victories over the occupation of the Alliance perhaps we can return to a similar level of zone control as Vanilla. A ceasefire, a shaky peace, and two factions tired of conflict and murder but frothing for renewed blood and vengeance.
Now I don’t know how this could be achieved. It would obviously need to be an expansions level of change. I can see two routes.
A Cataclysm 2.0 world revamp, changing the world to reflect the new order. That would work to revitalise two continents that are now famously older than vanilla was before its revamp, but don’t necessarily feel like they have aged poorly. It is a lot of work, and I feel would somewhat estrange new players by having them lose the reason why the Alliance retaliated so violently.
Or, go for a limited change to certain zones when you reach the new level bracket. Similar to Warfronts, and how those zones appear altered for 120 players. Have the new content be exclusive for the new level bracket, with story progressing linearly outside the confines of the old world. That would be jarring, however, when it came moving back and forth between the altered zones. Especially given Orgrimmar would likely need to be wiped out or severely altered for this change to occur.
I don’t entirely know, I don’t think it’ll happen. I think we’ll finish Sylvanas and go back to post-Garrosh Era begrudging peace where everybody is expected to live happily side by side without getting out their need for bloody vengeance.
I just thought I’d let you all know where I’d take the narrative from here to give a bit of discussion to the sub. Thoughts?
Edit: TL;DR. Let the Alliance win, commit atrocities in the process and aftermath. Let the Horde fight for survival and unite themselves once more.
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