Monday, May 2, 2011

For every action...

I've been playing WoW for a good, long time now. Over 5 years at this point. That's a lot of time to spend on one game, even one as expansive as WoW. Enough time that there really shouldn't be anything I hadn't seen or done.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. I did and saw a lot, but one thing I failed to do was really invest the time in seeing the Horde side of the game. In the past week, I've been lamenting this fact quite a bit.

Other than my first unofficial toon that I rolled on Norf's account way back in the day, I completely shunned the Horde until the waning weeks of Wrath. That's when I rolled Hotahinahu and steadily leveled him through the old-world (sticking almost exclusively to Kalimdor).

I knew there were storylines and experiences that I was missing and that would be gone forever once Cata hit. But I tried not to dwell on it. Short of taking an extended leave of absence from work and eating/sleeping/breathing WoW for a few weeks, there was nothing I could do at that point to experience them. I'd messed up and deprived myself of a good portion of the game, but oh well. Life goes on.

So why am I writing this post? What changed?

I've been leveling an Enchanter Rogue recently and, like Hotahinahu, I've been sticking almost exclusively to Kalimdor. (Mostly because when I leveled Grevioux, I stayed almost exclusively in EK.) As I've been doing so, I've noticed that a lot of my favorite quest lines are ones that relate back to things I did Horde-side prior to Cata...things no Alliance toon gets to see.

The second half of Thousand Needles is spent driving back the Grimtotem assault on the former Tauren encampments. If you'd never played a Horde toon through this zone you probably weren't familiar with Arikara (Magatha's Wind Serpent familiar), Cliffwatcher Longhorn, Arnak Grimtotem or Lakota Windsong. You had no previous interaction with them so you don't know the history they have in that zone. You don't know you're missing it, so you probably don't give it a second thought. But seeing them all there again really made the zone feel complete.

Same with Felwood and the events at Bloodvenom Post.

And as I went through Desolace and helped unify the Centaur clans? I couldn't imagine how my Tauren Warrior would feel about that. Had I rolled Hotah, I never would have given it a second thought. But as it stands...I felt dirty the whole way through that questline.

Those moments, though. They were shining examples of what can make a really strong, compelling game. When your current situations can be directly correlated to your past actions...even if that's "you" as a player, not a specific toon. It drove home this point that, Horde or Alliance, your actions can affect everyone on Azeroth. But to really see that, you have to know both sides.

I keep wondering how many other things like this I deprived myself of by never taking the time to fully experience the Horde side of the game.


  1. Indeed this is why Azeroth still draws me in to keep playing. I have both Horde and Alliance toons that I play at different times for different reasons. What I enjoy is comparing the storylines and how the act and react with opposing sides. At any rate especially post Cata, there is a whole bunch more to see and explore beyond just the raids, BGs and Heroics.

  2. The end-game stuff has been fun, but since Cata's launch I've most enjoyed taking my two Worgen through the 1-60 game. With two exceptions every zone has been amazingly fun and I've felt engaged the whole way through.

    I actually have a list of zones next to my computer that I scratch out as each of the two new characters have completed them. I think I can manage one more new toon before I'm better off just seeing what's left over on one of my 85's.