Shaktiri, a longtime member of the Burning Tusk Tribe, agrees. "A lot of Alliance roleplay is more familiar to younger players, with kings and castles and that sort of thing," she says. "Horde is about proving yourself as a 'great warrior' and joining tribes and clans which are like families, with a little higher standard of maturity." That maturity, Shaktiri believes, makes for a more vibrant roleplaying environment. "Horde-side makes you think outside the box more when it comes to creating a character, Both sides have their griefers, but Horde really has more of a mature community ... and more imagination."
According to Shaktiri, the Horde doesn't just attract more creative, mature roleplayers. , "PvP-wise, I'd definitely say Horde is more organized," she says. "The Shadarim and The Sunguard have started co-hosting PvP events for horde-side, and making sure to coordinate with Alliance guilds so we have some competition!" Perhaps she's roleplaying modesty, but there's a bold claim coded into her discussion of PvP "organization": Horde players are more skilled at player-versus-player combat.
Amazingly, the numbers support that statement: At the time of this writing, Horde players make up an amazing 75 percent of the SK-100 individual arena player rankings. It's not clear that this skill transfers to PvE progression, however: While many high-profile raiding guilds such as Paragon and Elitist Jerks are Horde, a quick look at the GuildOx WoW Guild Progress rankings shows that, of the top 20 raiding guilds (again, at the time of this writing), it's an even split between Horde and Alliance.
In an effort to glean a little more info on the subject, I attempted to hunt down a few top raiders from the best guilds on their respective servers. Responses ranged from disinterest to downright contempt; apparently top-end raiders have better things to do with their play time. Certainly, it didn't help that I was hunting folks down the week the new wing of the Icecrown raid encounter opened, but I still managed to wrangle a few players, even if their answers weren't exactly what I was looking for.
"Besides the fact that Orc females are cute, I'm a notorious min-maxer, and Orcs simply have the best PvP racials," said Flaareon of Ravenholdt's No. 1 raiding guild, Shadows and Dust. It's a personal choice that makes more sense than my penchant for bald paladins. "I played Warcraft II and III, plus the Frozen Throne, so I was exposed to all possible races before starting on World of Warcraft," he adds. "I think it really boils down to your friends." Friends! Foiled again.