239: For the Horde!

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For the Horde!

World of Warcraft lets you choose between siding with the noble, heroic Alliance and the dubious, downtrodden Horde. But what kind of player would want to play as the anti-heroes of Azeroth? Jon Glover speaks with a number of Horde players about their faction of choice.

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I play both Horde and Alliance and I find that my hatred goes to the players whether Horde or Alliance that sole aim is to constantly screw with the other side for no other reason than to get the QQs. I am not talking about the raiders that pour into stormwind to smash the King (I so hate him anyway!) or face down Thrall in Orgrimmar. I am talking about the guys or gals that kill all the quest givers and flight master over and over again in low level areas just to make leveling for the other side a pain.
I do have friends and co-workers who play Horde or Alliance only and even show a bit of disdain for others being the enemy. They try to convince or shame others into changing but that doesn't work on me. I laugh and explain that I have toons on both sides so I see the whole picture and I am way better for it in the long run besides it isn't the side you choose it is the fun you have discovering what is waiting around the next quest path!

I chose Horde to try out a few character concepts that I had in mind.

First, there was a Forsaken priest, who was basically an innocent victim of the plague who woke up in a world where everything either hated or feared him. I wanted to find out how long I could plausibly maintain his good nature, which didn't turn out to be long. He ended up as a bitter hermit.

The second was a troll mage, who used soft words and the desire to do the right thing to disguise her inherently violent and sometimes downright sadistic nature. She fared much better, able to talk her way out of most situations and guilt-tripping her opponents when she didn't.

Very interesting. When I started playing WoW back in 2007, I too joined Alliance because that's what my real-life friends were. It didn't take long before I wished we would all switch to Horde, because Alliance was always getting OWNED by them in BGs.

Since then, I've started a few Horde alts for several reasons: I wanted to explore new areas, I heard more Horde players were more often older/more mature and I too have a weakness for the underdogs. Ultimately, I've never stuck with them, mostly because I find Alliance lands/people more aesthetically pleasing, plus I didn't really find Horde players to be more mature on the whole as some people had led me to expect. I'll still revisit Horde characters whenever I want to try new quests, though. I'm just glad I have so many options.

Cool article! It's great to read such an interesting viewpoint . . . I have always played horde, and have a special place for them in my heart, but do not hold any particular hatred for the Alliance. I'm a big lore-nut, and I know that despite their appearances and blood-strewn past, most members of the horde are, as you say, victims who have banded together. The level of inter-racial camaraderie and trust within the horde (for now...stupid war-mongering Grommash) has traditionally been much stronger and more strait forward in the Horde. The alliance has held together because they had to...Elves and Dwarves would have nothing to do with each other if they could help it, and humans are arrogant and standoffish to non-humans by nature.
Granted, the forsaken have not always had the horde's best interest in mind, but Sylvannas at least has proven to be loyal to Thrall. That Thrall would be so willing to welcome such a wide variety of people in harsh situations, and then have them continue to prove loyal to him, shows him to be the excellent leader that he is (His story and character are my favorite of WoW lore).
Sadly, peace is boring to most people, so that's all going to be shattered alongside the world in Cataclysm.

In the end, Horde are more interesting to me because they are NOT human. I am human every day, why should I want to play one in a game like WoW? I DO generally find them to be more mature, and though I may not find orcs/tauren/trolls/undead particularly kissable, their character and strength appeal to my heart and have created in me a loyal member of the Horde. Lok'tar Ogar! I am a nerd! :D
-Nhihira, tauren druid, of The Unbroken on Steamweedle Cartel.

Ah! The 12-year old Alliance middle-class whiner reveals himself!

Oh wait...

I really liked that article. Alot of the facts you unearthed echo my own past experiences with World of Warcraft as both an Alliance and a Horde player. My first-ever character was an Orc hunter, created when I was but a snot-nosed punk, and I was drawn to the Horde because I immediately fell in love with them as an even younger snot-nosed punk when I watched my Father playing Warcraft II. It was never a choice. The pre-WoW fluff of Warcraft coupled with the cinematics of Warcraft II and III have forever ensured that orcs will have an endeared position in my heart.

And concerning the PvP: in my experience it is indeed correct that the horde has superior pvp'ers. On every server I've played on with equal Horde/Alliance populations, the horde has always been the dominating force. Sometimes even when outgunned. This is, I believe, because the Horde attracts older players than the Alliance on an average.

I've always played Horde. Was probably a "play with friends" thing at first. I keep getting so close to re subscribing.

Regarding the Horde's supposed PVP dominance, I think it has become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. People interested in PVP (who are thus also more likely to be good at PVP) roll Horde because the Horde always wins. Likewise, I find that when I play on my Alliance alts there's more of a "let's just get this over with" or "just lose if it'll mean faster marks" mentality in the battlegrounds.

Hasn't this sort of article been recycled enough since the inception of WoW?

"The Horde is tribal and less familiar than the castles and knights that draw 12 year olds." Yes, the Horde is the archetypal bad guys living in a less explored side of fantasy. Does that mean they draw in older players? Not necessarily. You wind up with folks who like to roleplay something more on the fringes. And the types that are attracted to pretty elves and ghouls. I think the factions do tend to attract different types of people, but it really depends on where you're looking. There are communities on both factions that develop and attract different players, which varies from server to server.

"Horde are on average better pvpers."
Well of course you're going to see that sort of thing on the SK100. Which races do you typically see up there? Blood elves, forsaken, tauren, sometimes orcs, humans, and night elves. All races that have advantageous racial bonuses for pvp. That sort of thing attracts the players who really want to min/max.

I liked this article, I know that us horde players are rough around the edges but most are good sorts when you get to know us. This helps explain why you had a hard time getting a raider to talk to you.

A Horde player won't give you the time of day unless you have fought/healed/tanked at his/her side through many battles, its the bonds forged in battle (or those of long aquantience) that make the horde such a tight knit bunch.

I firmly believe that there is no essential difference between those who play Alliance and those who play Horde. We all THINK that "Oh, X tends to be Y while A tends to be B, and Alliance players are whiny kids while Horde are all mature brothers in arms," but really, it's bullshit.

The only real standout is the PvP thing, and that's because A.) Horde racials are better for this sort of thing, and B.) it's kind of self-fulfilling. Serious PvPers roll Horde because DUH, everyone knows that Horde is for PvP.

I don't play WoW but everyone i know who plays it plays Horde. Alot of them say they prefer the community and its not about the PvP, or they prefer the ascetics of monsters and grittiness.

I played Horde-side. I found the community to be more mature and supportive pretty much all around. And that's where I met my wife.

I mostly play the alliance, though I do have one horde priest. Other players I know IRL (Minus my brother) plays horde, and nothing is mature about the way they taunt me about how I'm a tard for being with the alliance.
That sad little anecdote aside, I really see no difference in the sides, besides what my avatar looks like and maybe racial abilities. Maturity and community only comes from the crowd you decide to immerse yourself in.

Besides everyone knows that there is no such thing as maturity on the interweb.

Interesting notion, the idea that either side attracts different people (and the idea that Alliance/Human/Justice-serving Good Guy sides are usually arrogant, eletist and nasty whilst the simple Orc/Monster/Tribe/Bad Guy side is usually quite polite and communal (which actually makes sense if you look at it narritavely))

Still don't like WoW, though

My first and main character is an Orc, mainly because they're basically green Klingons.

The only reason I went with alliance was because Gnomes have 5% increased intellect. Other than that I don't have any preference for a faction.

The words "For the Horde!" will always remind me of Warcraft 2.

Passion for the underdogs.

A very nice article. Id like to add a viewpoint from a gray-fur.

I started hordeside in classic/vanilla with my taureness hunter (Alli was my NE priest). I tried a few other realms pre BC and what I found (On RP realms) was the same. Horde was for alunts who were more serious about the game than the pretty mama's boys of the alliance.

BC and the Elf invasion of the horde changed that somewhat but its remained a more 'we dont put up with your Sh" side. Thats the main reason I prefer Horde. I play Alli now on two servers but I can only find RP hordeside, and find amazing rp in my guild Tears of Draenor (www.tearsofdraenor.net).

Druidboyz summed it up very well here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb_QKhIViTI

I played Warcraft III and liked the Horde's campaigns more than the Alliance's (the blood elves' was my favorite).

I try and keep an Alliance/Horde balance, but it's easy to pick sides.

Blood elf for life. :)

Just love the RP.

Nice to see my home realm of "Moon Guard" getting some love.

Sachita, Horde Troll
Jeniv, Alliance human

See you all there. Rar.

I joined Horde back during launch because of the lore perspective of the Undead and all the other races in general.

Plus anyone who chose Alliance for PvP back in the day just needs to mention the Alterac Valley battleground. That damn bridge as Horde was rough to get across, while the Alliance just ran through our base to the aid station and general XD

Very nice article! I play Horde and I'll always do.I was fascinated by the Orcs from the WoW st games and their story from WoW mythology.Generally, Horde is a more warrior-like faction with great epic story , from each clan and that suits me most.Also I agree completely with Flaareon's statement about Orc racials,the best for PvP in all game.
For The Hord!!! \m/

I actually stayed away from playing WoW because I wanted to play the Alliance.. and all my friends told me not to. I asked why, so they brought up their Alliance and Horde characters.

Either they rolled their alliance horribly, or they just picked the right stats for the Horde... But MAN, were the Horde horribly overpowered compared to the Alliance characters. I've been told time and time again that the Horde does seem to have more powerful abilities than the Alliance. I played as both their Alliance and Horde, and I felt like a wuss with Alliance and like the game had no challenge with Horde.

So if that's true, why isn't that taken in account with the stat that was quoted (75% of the rank of top PvP players were Horde) instead of just "Alliance doesn't know how to play"?

In Fighting Game terms, You have to be an amazing player to take a Joke Tier and beat a Top Tier consistently. Not everyone is going to be an amazing player. That's why you have balance.

If you wanted a balanced view it'd be much better to ask average horde players and not high-end raiders - i tend to imagine them as antisocial competitive types.

Personally joined horde because i was looking for something a bit different.
My first choice was alliance but i switched to try out the blood elf when they were brand new.
I stuck with that character though and realized that the horde weren't the angry violent types I'd imagined, if anything they seemed like the underdogs and suddenly alliances flaws started showing.

Give em a try anyway if you haven't already, alliance isn't that bad but i had a lot better memories from horde :p

I've been playing since 2005, and I originally chose horde because a friend was playing horde. Every once and a while I'll try to play an alliance character, but most of their quests are just not as fun to level. I also enjoy the lore of the horde more.

Taurens are a peaceful race that loves nature and the land. Before they joined the horde they were constantly being plagued by the kolkar. Tauren quests are generally about bringing balance to the land, even if you need to kill some critters because they have become too aggresive to the rest. They are also the only horde race that can choose druid, which is pretty cool, but you get tired of cow druids after a while. Cairne Bloodhoof has been the mature leader of these gentle giants and a constant voice of reason in the horde. You generally don't see alot of hostile tauren. There are a few in Stonetalon mountains and in Thousand Needles, as well as a rogue tribe in the marsh to the north. The Taunka of Northrend are a simular race that recently joined the horde, but they remain non player characters.

Trolls are an odd bunch. If you were to ask me what their best class would be from the lore of playing trolls, I would tell you shaman. From their racials alone, it becomes apparent that they were designed to be warriors and hunters. Only one tribe of trolls joined the horde. No matter who you play, you are gonna be killing trolls a whole lot during the game. Hostile trolls are everywhere. Trolls get compared to gnomes because they don't have a main city, they are just sharing orgrimmar. They also lack a real leader and many later quests involving them require you to trek back to the lvl 5 noob village for answers. Quests involving them are witchdoctor type voodoo stuff. Sometimes they touch on darker paths of hexes and stuff like that (seriously, I collected all those animal parts so you could cast a hex that killed your prisoners? Use a knife you lazy bum!).

Blood elves are the 'pretty' race of the horde. If anyone has a right to hate the alliance, it's these guys. The alliance used them, then imprisoned them and tried to kill them. And WHY? Because they lost their homeland. Arthas defiled their homeland, and the survivors don't get aid from their allies, they get imprisoned. Talk about betrayals. Most of their stuff is about dealing with their addiction to magic. There is some lore about being twisted into monsters by the magic too. A good chunk of Burning Crusade outlands quests deal with killing blood elves. They have a great starting area that gives you some awesome caster gear by the time you complete the ghostlands. Only horde race that can be paladin, and also one of the best caster races out there.

I've never really gotten into orcs much. They have some decent abilities and their mounts are pretty cool, but in many ways are the least interesting of the horde races. Hostile orcs are pretty much isolated to the eastern kingdoms, with the exceptions of certain cult members, but those are generally a mix of all races. There are also the fel orcs of the outlands that you get to kill. Thrall has done a pretty good job making sure that things don't get out of control on kalimdor. There is great story in the Maghar outland quest line involving him.

The forsaken are, for pretty much all intensive purposes, the 'evil' race of the horde. If you wanna play a bad guy, it's either these guys or a human. Dealing with constant discrimination with the scarlet crusade coming in and trying to re-kill them and their own deaths has made them rather bitter. Sylvanas is a pretty cool leader. Free willed forsaken are never really hostile, but the scourge are, so there are plenty of undead you get to kill in various areas of the game. Wrath of the Lich King brought us an awesome developement when we got the phased area 'Siege of the Undercity' where we finally get to purge the undercity of all the truely wicked forsaken and demons. Many quests for forsaken involve gathering materials for poison and/or distributing poison (often to prisoners).

The fiction that you are playing the 'bad guys' when you choose the horde is exactly that, fiction. I generally find that there are alot more mature players on the horde side, but that might be because who I surround myself personally with while I play. My guild has a few kids in it, but most of us are in the thirties, some in the fourties. I would say that the average age of our guild of 200 is somewhere around 29 (counting all the death knights). I am on a PvE server, which may have something to do with the maturity of players. In the end, it's all about finding people who have fun playing with.

For anyone who played Warcraft 3, the Alliance are not good. It was the humans who messed everything up, becoming corrupted and evil through Arthas. Meanwhile, the Horde embodies the always-appealing conception of the "Noble Savage" in their Tauren, Orcs, and Trolls, while the Forsaken embody the idea of redemption. Thrall and Sylvanas were good, compelling characters that were generally lacking in the Alliance campaigns.

Also, the Horde female models have hips. Strangely, Alliance do not.

PVP numbers are skewed because the undead racials used to be very overpowered in arena, and once they allowed race/faction changes, a lot of hardcore pvpers, which are the ones at the top of the charts, changed specifically for that.

When I started playing World of Warcraft, I picked Night Elves for purely cosmetic reasons. I played up to level 55, and the only thing that I seriously disliked about WoW was the community. People were immature and stupid, calling everyone else in the game "fags" and "retards," and nobody ever knew how to work in a group. I don't just mean PvP; they couldn't even keep a damn dungeon group organized.

At around level 55, I decided to try out a new class, and so decided to pick my second favorite race, Tauren. Trying to troll Durotar's general channel, I made an tame joke in our discussion about the fact that I'm gay. Nobody had any negative response. They pretty much all typed "lol," and went on with the humorous discussion we were already having. I was astounded.

I played that Tauren to level 20, and discovered that this general sense of acceptance and maturity was pretty much a constant. People on Horde were people that I could actually communicate with. I left for a year to get the shit in my life straight, and when I came back, I started a Tauren Druid. It's been about a month since I started again, and I've never loved the Horde more. I even bought a damn t-shirt.

For the Horde!

Why do I play Horde?

In my experience (those are key words there) during my time playing WoW since 2005, every Alliance player I've dealt with has been an absolute prick. Even during my time as an Alliance player myself, I hated it. So I switched to Horde and never looked back.

On the occasions that I take another look at the Alliance, I always end up disappointed in the players.

Lore-wise, King Varian Wrynn is a close-minded prick, compared to Thrall who's the living definition of all-round good guy despite being the leader of the Orcs. Wrynn, on the other hand, is a xenophobic bastard with an unforgiving and unforgivable attitude toward the Horde races even though it's been proven that the Horde is not a threat. One example is during the Battle for the Undercity, in which he and several of his Knights attempted to kill Thrall after the bad guys were killed, his reason for this being that he wanted to end the Horde threat now and forever by cutting the beast off at the head, so to speak. He utterly refuses to understand that the Horde wasn't responsible for the atrocities committed by the rebel Forsaken who had allied with Varimathras. He can't seem to tell the difference between Horde, Scourge and Burning Legion. He is not an effective leader. The Horde equivalent of him is Garrosh Hellscream, the only Horde character I'm not too happy with.

Also, throughout Warcraft history it has been shown that the Alliance is no longer as noble or heroic as it once was. The Humans seem to have ironically taken on the xenophobic tendencies of their progenitors, the Vrykul.

Overall, I prefer the Horde due to (again, in my experience) more maturity and more interesting lore. Yeah, you get some idiots on the Horde side but overall there just hasn't been that many I've had to deal with, compared to the sheer number of Alliance idiots I've put up with during my time as both an Alliance and a Horde player.

I've played both sides and I can say this:

Alliance does not have only kids.
They are more attractive towards the COOL AND UGLY races rather than the beautifull races.
I was more likely to encounter morons on the Horde side than Alliance side when I played.

PS. It's a wellknown fact that Blizzard favors the Horde side as well. Their favorite race is Orcs.
And they have made an new uber character that I just want to dig a hole for and burry deep deep down in the ground named: Med'an, an Paladin, Mage, Shaman who has the title of 'Tirisifal Guardian'...

I can explain the PvP thing. There's probably quite a few PvP players from back in the early days of WoW, long before there were Battlegrounds or Arenas, where the primary scenes of world PvP action were either captial cities or the makeshift "arena" of Tarren Mill and Southshore. And since on almost every World of Warcraft server, the Alliance outnumbers the Horde from 3-1 to an astounding 7-1 ratio (at least in regards to total character numbers; I don't know about player numbers), the Alliance could simply "zerg rush" their way to victory, relying on overwhelming numbers rather than tactics and strategy.

To counter this, the Horde adapted. Communication, strategizing, the maturity needed to take orders as well as give them- they sprung up out of necessity. Eventually, the Horde began beating back the "lol, lets just rush em" players of the Alliance, giving equal battle with inferior numbers. When Battlegrounds, Arenas and places like Wintergrasp came to be, where either numbers were equalized or any imbalances were addressed elsewise, the Horde's tendency to fight as an outnumbered foe led to higher victories. While there are plenty of Alliance players who now use the same stratagems, the higher population simply means they get more of the "screw you guys, I want my honor kills" types who won't go along with the plan and therefore make it fall apart.

Now, as someone with two 80 Horde characters and no one Alliance side over 61 (and that one's a Death Knight), why did I choose the Horde? Because the Alliance is flat-out BORING. They're all buddy-buddy, with no real internal strife or issues to speak of. The Horde is a melting pot of wildly different people who may have no more than the goal of survival in common- and there's conflict a-plenty, with a demon-worshipping cult literally under Thrall's feet, a city full of dead people who either fear or hate the living, and a how-the-mighty-have-fallen race who hide their addiction to dangerous magic while still raising their noses at the "barbaric savages" they've allied with.

I hope for the sake of the Alliance that Cataclysm introduces some honest-to-the-Earth-Mother internal strife. Maybe Varian Wrynn will finally go completely off the deep end and cause a schism in the Alliance leadership, forcing people to take real sides and deal with their choices. Because really, I don't know how they can tolerate the whole "let's all hold hands and frolic in the park, la la la" mentality.

I liked the Horde cities better, so I stuck with Horde.

EDIT: I play both sides though.

I play on both sides, but I prefer the Alliance. The areas are much nicer.

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