Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Should Horde be able to group with Alliance?

Zoso has an interesting post on factions, in which he remarks that both Horde and Alliance often do exactly the same quest for some neutral faction like Argent Dawn or Cenarion Expedition. But they can't group to do it together.

When I'm playing Horde I often get annoyed at Alliance players pulling mobs that I just targeted from under my nose. That makes you assume some sort of inate Horde vs. Alliance enmity. But when I leveled up my human priest I noticed that for him too it was mostly Alliance players that got into his way. No wonder with Alliance outnumbering Horde, the likelihood that a random player is Alliance is simply higher. There is no natural enmity, the players behind Horde and Alliance are the same. Sometimes during leveling up to 70, with Horde again, I even managed to cooperate wordlessly with some Alliance player who quested in the same area. He pulled a boss mob, I helped him killing it, then he stuck around until the repop, I pulled, and he helped. Very nice.

On a PvE server Horde and Alliance is often frequenting the same neutral villages without getting into each others way. So why can't they group together? Why did I have to make an Alliance alt and transfer stuff in a complicated way via my wife's account and the neutral auction house whenever I want to buy something from the Alliance AH? World of Warcraft has grown, in both landmass and level range, and once the first rush of blood elves and draenei has passed, it will be hard to get a group together for low-level dungeons. Being able to invite people from the other faction would be a real help there.

Even PvP doesn't always have to be Alliance vs. Horde. In the arena system you can be paired against players of your own faction as well as "the enemy". And while Alterac Valley has a strong Alliance vs. Horde theme, the other battlegrounds are so bland and symmetrical that nobody would really notice if two Alliance groups fought each other there. Obviously that would cut down on waiting queues, which would be an advantage.

So what do you think, should the barrier between Horde and Alliance be lifted? Or is having two enemy sides essential for the World of Warcraft?
It's an arbitrary decision made by Blizzard.
The relationships between factions, within factions, and with NPCs are not terribly consistent. I'm Horde, and take a quest from a mob in Nestingwary's camp, and the guy says "For the Alliance". Whatever.
And also, you can't PvP your own faction (like that toon that just needed the blue item you could've used and sharded it).
The inability to work together is important for the Warcraft universe, but not currently for World of Warcraft. Blizzard appears to be taking a larger view of their property though. I think the inability to communicate and work together is supposed to give us that "uneasy truce" feeling, although it does nothing of the sort.
The idea that horde and alliance can associate in the same city at all is dumb (Rachet, Gadgetzan, BBay, etc…). However, blizzard has eradicated all notions of orcs vs humans (from the original Warcraft) and even has undead npcs working together with argent dawn. Isn't that like having an npc Nazgûl in LotRO hanging out in Rivendale giving out quests to attack the forces of Mordor to players who rolled orcs?

At this point you might as well give the horde and alliance the ability to communicate, group and raid together. There is no lore in WoW.
When I first started on my new server, there was a definite 'us vs them' feeling to the game. If I saw an alliance player in the Barrens, I would shake my fist at them.
Now in Outland the 'us vs them' scenario no longer seems applicable. I'm sharing the Aldor Inn with characters of both races, and of course, there is virtually no interaction 'emote-wise' between us. Perhaps Blizzard should have tailored their Reputation factions in Outlands specifically to Horde and Alliance: Scryers could have been Horde and Aldor could have been Alliance quite easily.
The Broken Ones in Zangarmarsh could have been trying to overthrow the Sporeggar, rather than be 2 completely isolated reputations, with the Horde on one side and the Alliance on the other.
Nowadays I'm just as likely to wave at a Nightelf as an Undead.
The divide Blizzard has created between horde and alliance is very artificial and at this stage of the game, simply stupid.

The communication barrier is the worst - Blood Elves can't speak to Night Elves, or even worse, undead humans can't speak to living humans? What, they forget how to speak common and can only speak orcish now? Completely retarded.

As others have mentioned alliance and horde players are already interacting with the same neutral npcs (who miraculously speak all languages equally) and work towards the same goal with factions like Argent Dawn. I think its past time to remove some of the artificial barriers between the two sides.

1) Remove the language barrier. Allow characters to train the languages of other races if they wish.

2) Flag some zones as 'cooperative'. Within these zones horde and alliance can group, if they leave the zones the group breaks up.

3) Don't change anything else. Keep the sides as distinct as possible, but allow for sensible interaction.
Sure it would be nice to be able to "work with" the other side to get bosses done or do an instance, or whatever. Sure we're the same kind of people on both sides of the imaginary battle. Just because I'm Horde doesn't make me evil and just because that 7th grade ally just ganked me doesn't make him honorable. So what: you pick sides and you play the game. If you play a game of chess you aren't both red or black. There's one of each. Issues of neutral areas and the authenticity of this 'age-old animosity" aside, I think things are fine the way they are.

Blizzard could have made the push to 70 more interesting, more challenging, and certainly less symmetrical but to allow the two sides to group together? That would make things way too easy.
no, No, NO, one-thousand times NO TOBOLD. If given the chance, my 47 sxi night elf rogue would gank some hordies right while "our group" is battling an instance leader. What better way to grief then to spend 3 hours clearing out hard dungeons like ramparts just to force your group to a wipe, because your so sexy.

Also I want to make sharazzathathe pvp enabled, even on pvp servers u can't gank anything. Why did I roll a sexy class anyways?!
I play a warlock, and will usually drop DoTs on monsters being fought by other players, regardless of their faction. While waiting for Grilock to respawn, I saw a Human Paladin getting beat down by a bunch of monsters, so I DoT'd them, and sent my felgaurd off to help him out. He thanked me using the emotes, which both sides can understand, and then proceeded to help me kill Grilock, something I couldn't have done on my own. Another Human Warlock actually showed up midfight to help us kill the boss. And then everyone disbanded and went there own way.
I like the idea of "cooperative areas". It would make it ridiculously easy to find level apropriate groupd for runing instances or "neutral/faction" quests. Say you could only communicate in /p and nothing else and after leaving group or more talky with other sides. I have acctually quested with a horde for several quests in one area with each taging what we need and helping in the killing. With the chaznges in the lore " Burning Legion don't care what color you is" its about time the old alliances spirng back to fight the onslaught. Sure some friction will be there but hey we all face annihilation. We must stand together to fight the scourge.
Anyone read the War of the Ancients Trilogy? It's all about a human, Orc, dragon and a bunch of Night Elves working together.

Personally, I agree with the earlier statement that in Outland both sides should have to team up to get anything major done....

...hmmm, 40 (or 50) person raids come to mind here...but on a 20 (25) horde 20 (25) alliance formula or something like that.

I definately think there's a lot of untapped game dynamics that could make the game really cool.
I personally think the BGs should stay seperated by faction, but as for PvE... Look at the theme of the Burning Crusade. Symmetry of quests and towns in all the new zones; both sides are working together to fight the Legion and Illidan. Why can't the players themselves communicate and associate a bit more? I'm sure Blizzard could figure out some lore way to give everyone a similar language to share. Some sort of "Cenarion Common" or "Argent Dawn Common" language. And once everyone's talking to each other, dungeon runs.

Of course that opens the door to exploiting cross-faction communication for PvP and such, but then, people with Ventrilo servers have already been talking across faction boundarys sometimes anyway.
I was doing the Ironjaw quest in Terokkar the other day, and right as I started the fight with him I noticed a Troll hunter trying to tame him. I wasn't sure how hard it is to get him tamed as I'm sure somebody is around to kill him pretty much every time he spawns, so I vanished to be nice and let the troll have his pet.

Immediately Ironjaw ran over and started whacking the troll pretty good. The troll immediately stopped the tame and ran away, eventually feigning death and resetting Ironjaw. It was at that point I realized he was trying to tame Ironjaw not to have him as a pet, but to grief me and keep me from completing the quest. I rather enjoyed that my attempt at kindness ruined his griefing opportunity.
I would actually like to see all the battlegrounds removed. I would like to see blizzard forcing people to go for the real form of pvp, outdoor pvp. There you can taste the anger and hate, crushing despair, tears and crying. Nothing beats that feeling. It's a war out there.

But that is only my wet dream and most likely never going to happen in the world of carebears. People want to have the option to pvp or not to pvp, which in my opinion is damn sad. There already are pve-servers. Why bring it to pvp-servers too?

Working together? Hell no. Killing players from my own faction? Interesting...

-Näre of Cult
Okay .02 time. First off - I don't think Blizzard will ever make things amicable between the Horde and the Alliance. Why? Simply put - they reap too many benefits from leaving things as is. Most people want black /white in their game. The Good v. the Evil. They want to be able to gank and to reciprocate in kind. Why? Because all of that animosity is one of the things that (in the beginning anyway) gave the game its legs.

There's a marketer I've read that states that if customers just *like* your product you're doomed to fail. If they HATE or LOVE your product and do so with every fiber of their being - then you've got something. Bliz knows that the factional strife in the game is one of the things that lends to the whole LOVE/HATE relationship players have with WOW. I seriously doubt they're going to mess with this formula in any significant way.

That *said* - me personally - I'm tired of the limitation. It doesn't make sense. It's stupid. It allows players to do away with the in game lore just because they want to gank.

I'd *LOVE* cooperative areas. I'd *LOVE* cooperative PvE style battlegrounds that Horde and Alliance could stand together in.

In game sub-factions allow the greatest opportunity for Blizzard to offer something like this. That Tauren and Night Elf druids can't cooperate on Cenarion Hold quests is just infantile.

Maybe make a new relationship. Allow Horde or Alliance characters to accept a faction neutral standing for certain areas or quests. Flag these personnel GREEN or something (or gray..somehow more suitable.) Allow them to work and communicate together - and make them GANKABLE by either faction.

To me - that lends to the grayness that is the true lore of Azeroth. The Alliance isn't any more evil than the Horde. Both have their white hats and black hats accordingly.

Allowing some semblance of faction neutrality allows for cooperation and exploration that doesn't exist in game yet.

This would let folks that want to play cooperatively *do so*. Yet it would also open them up to retaliation by members of their own home faction. After all - while peace and understanding are furthered by cooperative action - there are those that will happily kill you and everyone with you just because you had the audacity to consort with the 'enemy'.

It's kinda elegant. In Outland, where Horde and Alliance should be working together - they *could*. Yet they do so at the cost of potentially becoming a target to their own faction.

Those of us that want a more complex environment would be happier - and the gankers - hell - they'd have more targets of opportunity.

Plenty to love and hate there in my mind.
My lvl 32 Dranei Shaman was just helped by, and helped out, a ?? Tauren Hunter in 1K Needles. I needed to farm 10 Highperch Venom for a quest, so the Tauren would let me Tag the Wyverns then he'd shoot them out of the sky. I'd loot them and he'd skin them, and while he was skinning I'd tag the next Wyvern, and the cycle would continue. Took maybe 10 to 15 minutes to get the Venom I needed, then I /bowed, /thanked the Tauren, was /bowed in return, and we both went our separate ways. Yeah, I didn't get as much XP/kill as I would have if I'd soloed the Wyverns, but I didn't care about that.
I have been in two encounters at most where an Alliance was remotely civil or likeable to me. But the jerks and idiots most of them are outweighs it. I definetly say no to this, the teamwork my faction has dictates I have no need for you.
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