World of Warcraft

Why it would have been more enjoyable for both factions if the Alliance attacked first

wow8 - Why it would have been more enjoyable for both factions if the Alliance attacked first

So a couple months ago I made a
a7l8wb - Why it would have been more enjoyable for both factions if the Alliance attacked first

discussion present a theory that the story wasn't always going to be this ridiculous dumpster fire and a lot of my points went towards the idea that the Alliance would strike first. But I realized I never went too deep into why that would be better but just touched on it instead. I figured everyone was already on board with that but I haven't seen anyone really do a deeper dive into it so I'm gonna fix that.

So before we get to BfA we got to establish what has happened so far in both the story as well as the playerbase.

In Cataclysm Chris Metzen and the writing team did a massive overhaul on the tone of the Alliance/Horde conflict. Claiming that the Alliance would go into, and I quote: "Lawful Good Overdrive". As you might imagine this didn't sit well with players on either side eventually coming to call the Alliance "Lawful Stupid". Because here's the funny thing about having "good guys" in a war setting: if the good guys win then that means they're driving people from their homes and that's not what good guys do. So this put the Alliance in a predicament where they literally cannot win any decisive victories without undermining the "Lawful Good" nature that was predetermined for them. Hence Taurajo which is considered the big Alliance crime but is also the only decisive victory they had in the entire expansion.

Meanwhile the Horde is sweeping up territory the Alliance because the neat thing about not being the good guys is that you can win without worrying about what that does to your character. This actually ended up having gameplay ramifications because if the Horde is claiming more territory then that's less space for the Alliance to play in and eventually made it feel like the Alliance wasn't getting as much story.

These Horde victories were hollow for the Horde playerbase as they were beginning to feel like they only existed so the Alliance could play the victim.

So by now you see the problem. Alliance players are upset that they literally cannot win and Horde players are upset that they are being railroaded into being the bad guys to make the Alliance look better.

This probably could have been avoided if they just made Varian a dick like Garrosh but they sacrificed that option in the book Wolfheart which featured the single dumbest redemption I have ever had the displeasure to see and yes I am counting Kerrigan.

This problem was only amplified in Mists of Pandaria when Garrosh went from warmonger to cartoon villain. Like he would be giving the Umbrella Corporation a good run for its money in the whole "pointless villainy" competition. This especially stung for people who thought that they would see more of the Garrosh we saw at the end of the Stonetalon Mountains questline where we was actually quite heroic.

Meanwhile Chris Metzen double down on the Alliance being Lawful Good idea. The build up to MoP is when Chris actually first used the term "Lawful Good Overdrive". This practically neutered Varian to the point where Anduin who no one really liked at this point in time was actually more relevant than he was. Just think about that. The hugs and kittens princeling was more relevant to the story than the literal High King of the Alliance.

Then it all ends with Varian telling off Vol'jin at the end of SoO in an ending that left no one satisfied.

Now let's look at the aftermath of that nightmare. We got the Horde getting away with all of the villainous shit they did and even getting to keep everything they took except for Ashenvale and feeling generally like shit about it. Meanwhile the Alliance spent two whole expansions getting the snot kicked out of them and didn't get any payback for it.

I was actually pretty excited for a faction war expansion when BfA was announced because I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do this again but get it right this time. But unfortunately Blizzard fell at the first hurdle.

Okay now we're in the lead up to BfA. Everyone is feeling tense about this because we knew exactly what we didn't want which was a pointlessly aggressive Horde and a reactionary Alliance getting kicked around in every direction. The
trailer seemed promising as it depicted the Alliance coming down in full force towards a Horde on the defensive.


But now let's touch on what ended up really happening.

Sylvanas convinces Saurfang that they need to strike first. Already they fucked this up and you can see it in the insane amount of mental gymnastics Sylvanas has to do to justify it and any competent writer would see that and think there was problem.

This was when pretty much everyone realized without a doubt that we were going straight back to Metzen's flawed "Lawful Good" narrative. (I remained in denial for a few months.)

This underlines the major problem that the Horde has no decent "Casus Belli" or justification for war as they spent the last war kicking the shit out of the Alliance while the Alliance just kind of had to take the beating. Not only does this mean the Horde has no good Casus Belli but it also means that the Alliance has at least thirty perfectly valid justifications for war so it's a real head scratcher why they didn't go first. Especially since they hinted early in development that Anduin would be feeling like he needed to prove himself, this never came to fruition but as I pointed out in the thread I linked at the beginning it would have made so much sense and would have been the logical step forward from Anduin's role in Legion.

So anyway Cata/Mop plays out again right in front of our eyes as Sylvanas executes an unprovoked lighting war through Night Elf territory absolutely crushing them in just a few quests and the Alliance is just forced to suck it.

Then it all comes to a head with ever MORE mental gymnastics by Sylvanas to set fire to Teldrassil (which has surprisingly dry wood for a tree in the ocean) and commit a genocide that kind of makes sense if you squint your eyes while sitting upside down thirty feet off the ground.

So then here comes the epic moment from the cinematic that gave us so much hope, but instead of it being the wrath of the Alliance by King Manduin it's purely reactionary response from an Alliance that was just handed an absolutely humiliating defeat and instead of this being a heroic defense of their allies from the Horde it's them facing the repercussions of being accessories to genocide.

So yeah, not really fun for either side is it?

So now I've established why this sucks but come with me on a journey into the world of what could have been for a bit.

Rewatch the
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trailer but pretend that this is the Alliance striking first over mistrust and revenge for past crimes and Teldrassil has not happened.

What does it look like now? For me it looks like a heroic King Anduin bringing the hammer of the Alliance down upon the ones who had caused his people so much suffering in an effort to preserve the future safety and prosperity of his people. Meanwhile it also looks like a vindicated Sylvanas leading the Horde in a valiant defense against an act of naked aggression.

Suddenly instead of it being a recently defeated army assaulting the fortress of unmotivated accessories to genocide, it now looks like both sides in their finest hour demonstrating the best their factions have to offer.

Not only that but it makes the march towards Teldrassil much easier to stomach as the Horde is just responding towards one act of aggression with another. Thern when Teldrassil burns the Alliance can be pissed that so many civilians died but the Horde can turn around and say "Yeah it sucks but you wanted a war."

And now if you'll indulge my fantasies for a moment it could also give an interesting story to the Alliance as maybe the Night Elves would blame Anduin claiming that they'd still have a tree if he hadn't stirred the hornet's nest and cause a political rift in the Alliance that Anduin would have to work to heal and creating a healthy debate for Alliance players to have over whether Anduin deserves part of the blame or not.

Instead we get a rehash of the Mists of Pandaria problem where the Horde gets all of the spotlight for a civil war plot while the Alliance get's to sit in the background getting their asses kicked all over again like in MoP

TL;DR This story would have been better if the Alliance hit first because it would have made more sense.

Anyone have any thoughts to add? I'd love some discussion.

((Deleted and reposted because the original title was misleading.))

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