World of Warcraft

Prolonging the Faction War is Bad for both the Story and for Gameplay.

wow5 - Prolonging the Faction War is Bad for both the Story and for Gameplay.

Wars end. The aftermath of warfare, the results of achieving strategic goals, and the process of rebuilding are all part of the story of war, but it is a part of the story that World of Warcraft has been unwilling to tell.

People blame the game's roots in the RTS genre for the unending wars, but this cannot be the case. The First War ended, decidedly in the favor of the Horde. The Second War ended, with the orcs on Azeroth largely imprisoned, and the Outlands beyond the Dark Portal sealed away. The Third War saw the fall of Lordaeron, the establishment of a new Horde in a new land, and the rise of the Undead, and the banding together of Horde, Alliance, and Night Elves to defeat the Burning Legion. While the RTS games focused on the active parts of war, they were not afraid to allow the wars to end, and to radically change the world as a result.

Blizzard needs to let the Fourth War end and change the state of Azeroth going forward. Not just tit-for-tat, trading Northern Kalimdor for Lordaeron, but actual change. Once again, the Horde's political structure has produced tyranny and pointless aggression. Once again, the Alliance and reformist elements from within the Horde have marched on Orgrimmar and deposed the tyrant, before uniting before a greater threat. Are we going to forget again and allow ourselves to march down the same path repeatedly every few years?


The only way forward is to dissolve both the Horde and the Alliance. Why should a newly repentant Forsaken Lordaeron swear fealty to a Warchief? Why should the debt owed by the Darkspear and the Tauren to Thrall tie them into an endless machine of war? Why should the various Eastern Kingdoms choose to subjugate themselves to the "High King" of Stormwind? Why would the dual theocracy of the Night Elves do the same, when they abandoned the idea of royalty millennia ago?

But what about the game? Since release, WoW has been divided into two factions — but that was not always the vision of WoW. During the Alpha, Orcs, and Humans, and Trolls, and Dwarves could all group together to fight together the threats to Azeroth. That was, after all, the world Warcraft III left us with.

The factions arbitrarily divide the player-base into red team and blue team. This split breaks apart friend groups, leads to faction imbalances on different realms and in different areas in the game. What do we get in return? Important parts of the storyline, including entire zones, are hidden away from one faction or the other, reducing the amount of content in the game. Of late, PVP content has been irrelevant (fighting over towers in Legion), non-nonsensical (why were we fighting in Ashran?), or nearly non-existent (no new battleground in BFA, no PVP warfronts). The introduction of Mercenary Mode proves that the faction divide does not serve PVP, but rather hinders it.

Let the war end.

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