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Identifying y cien

April 9, 2009

Despite my earlier enthusiasm for my shaman, I’m having second thoughts.  I don’t know if the class and I are clicking.  I am just on the threshold of two decades of levels and I feel like if I’m not “getting it” and feeling a connection by this time, it’s probably not there.  I don’t want to waste my time with trying again and again like I did with the warrior (64 levels total of “trying” – wasted.  Ugh.)

As I am searching for another class/race combo, I’m having a hard time relating to some of the Horde races.  Perhaps it’s that I’ve been Alliance too long, perhaps I just haven’t opened my heart and my mind to the Horde yet – I have found out I’m severely lacking in knowledge of lore Horde-side, so perhaps that’s part of it.  Even after reading Jezriyah’s excellent auto-biography, (that also educated me lorewise!) I was having a hard time applying it right now.  But tonight I saw un_sugarcoated’s drawing of a Troll papa holding his baby girl and it hit me what I was looking for: I was looking for a race that felt like “people”.

Because I’ve been Alliance for much longer than I ever played Horde, I do lump Horde into a very broad category (“Horde”) with lots of stereotypes attached to it (rough, violent, depraved, “bad”, uncivilized, red) and only see them in this vague bubble.  Especially since I have no other interaction with them besides running past them in Dalaran or killing them the few times I step foot in battlegrounds.

papaxhai

By seeing the Troll papa with his baby, it made him a “person” that I could relate to.  Dress that same Troll up in armor and give him weapons, he becomes the Horde that I distance myself from, but from the viewpoint of connecting to races in an attempt to play them, this is a really good way to do it.  Everyone “oooh”s and “awwwww”s and coos at babies, no matter their race, and putting that baby with a parent gives the parent a whole different side than what you might be used to seeing in battle.  It provides a jumping off point for putting yourself in his shoes, for living his life and seeing how things happen on his side and why he does what he does.

(And this, ladies and gentlemen of the readership, concludes HolyDiscipline’s 100th post.)
/confetti
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23 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2009 12:00 PM

    Grats on 100! Love the new banner! I mean I loved the old one too but… this one’s great!I feel the same as you do, except the other way around. I can’t seem to attach myself to any alliance characters. I do have 2 that I play very regularly, but I feel very little attachment to them character-wise. I only really play Alliance at all because that’s where my boyfriend finds his home.All of my Horde characters have a rich background story, and I feel so embedded in the Horde lore and feeling of a big family of rejected, misunderstood and mistreated peoples.To me, the Alliance is just boring. They hunt the Horde… but for what reasons? They’re steeped in lore too, but to me I can only ever see the Humans and Night Elves as the bad guys with superiority complexes, always holding grudges and unwilling to try to make peace.It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess! :)

  2. willel permalink
    April 9, 2009 12:17 PM

    Congratulations on 100 posts!I’ve actually played both Horde and Alliance fairly evenly, though I bet if I counted the hours up, the scales would tip in the Alliance side. But I have to agree with Brajana, I find myself thinking the Alliance are often the real bad guys in most encounters between the two. In the places where quests between the two intersect, it always seems like the Alliance is “let’s kill those Horde because we hate them” while he Horde is “we have tried to reason with the Alliance but they don’t seem to be getting the message so, although we wish we didn’t have to, we are left with no choice but to use force.” The Horde just always come off as the more reasonable of the two. At least to me.Except for maybe the Blood Elves. They’re pretty evil :D

  3. April 9, 2009 1:29 PM

    Alliance still has a distinct edge in my time played section, but I’ll tell you – Horde is catching up quickly. I think the thing that endears me to them is the same thing that has always endeared me to them – I played Orcs in all the Warcraft RTS games.>.>They each have their bad apples, its true, but while the Horde has the greatest extremes (Tauren and Blood Elf), the Alliance has a kind of creepy systemic evil.

  4. April 9, 2009 2:17 PM

    Grats on the 100th post, luv!Yeah, the Horde can take some getting used to, but in my opinion, they’re just five races that have banded together to heal. The Horde is..well, pardon the pun, but..more ‘human.’ Their culture and earthen religions make them very sensible people, and one can even wonder if both the Forsaken and the Blood Elves are slowly easing into the Horde….it’s a home for those who need it. =)

  5. Jack permalink
    April 9, 2009 2:27 PM

    Personally, like any good altaholic, I have characters on both sides. I really like playing both. I do tend to like Night Elves more than any other, though.Maybe that’s why I’m more sensitive to the accusation that Night Elves are the bad guys who ruined the world in their hubris. I think Night Elves, because they have inherited the geographical center of the great Elven Empire of the past (at least, proximity to it), and much of that Empire’s cultural icons . . . I think Night Elves are often confused with that Empire.But they are no longer what that Empire was. It fell. It split. Thousands of years ago. Blood Elves are as much what it was as Night Elves. Arguably moreso since Night Elves have eschewed the practices that caused the Empire to fall, while Blood Elves continue to try and find a way to practice the very magics that ruined the world.Night Elves recognize the evil that was done by their past Empire and have sacrificed immensely to try and correct it. They were immortal! And they gave that up to save the world.Yet they’re the bad guys?Are you kidding me?I mean, don’t get me wrong . . . I recognize there are bad people in the Alliance. There have been bad leaders among the Alliance who have led their nations into atrocities.But there is not any “systemic evil” in the Alliance. Overall, they fight for homes, their families, to restore peace and they champion ideals of justice, goodness, and healing a broken world.They do not fight the Horde simply because the Horde is there. They fight the Horde because the Horde came to war against them. Sure, “the war is over.” Kind of. Neither side has totally given up hostilities. Trolls are still hate-filled and bloodthirsty, Orcs still violently claim rights to hold any land they want to expand into, Blood Elves are fascists and the Undead seem to have embraced sado-masochism as their cultural identity.Just an Alliance perspective. Seems appropriate in light of the hate.And again, I’m not saying Alliance are all perfect and Horde all evil. All sides still bear the grudges you’d expect of nations that less than a decade ago were killing each other, were at war and all the associated demonizing of the enemy that goes along with that.And all sides have a nobility to them in their endeavors, their place in the world.

  6. April 9, 2009 3:34 PM

    ‘Grats on the blog ding!I had a really hard time connecting with my shaman until about level 30 or so. (Not coincidentally, that’s about the same time a shaman learns Windfury Weapons. >.>)Poor Lil sat abandoned in Camp Tauraje for over a year, but once I finally came back to her and pushed to 30 … the lovely, lovely burst won me over. <3 And once questing became fun again, everything else fell in line. She’s my main now, and resto, and I love her to itty bitty Tauren pieces — but I don’t think there’s anything in the world that could make me level another shaman from 1-30. It’s all kinds of boring.

  7. April 9, 2009 3:49 PM

    Grats on the 100th post. The new banner looks cool. Old banner was cool too.

  8. April 9, 2009 4:09 PM

    I have a thing for Alliance… but if I were to level a Horde alt it would be my undead mage… sitting at level 2 currently. =P A troll would probably be my 2nd choice. I know a lot of people who have mage alts and really enjoy them. I have a gnome mage that followed my druid to 80, and a level 76 elemental shammy that I adore. It’s tough when you feel like you don’t connect with a character. I’m having a hard time right now because I’m bored to tears raiding on my resto druid. I finally respecced her feral and am having some fun on her again… she’s my main and I love her to pieces but this disconnect thing is really bugging me.

  9. willel permalink
    April 9, 2009 4:10 PM

    Didn’t mean for my previous post to come off as alliance hate. I like the alliance. Most of my time has been as alliance. But I always feel like there’s an unspoken current of horde hate, so I usually take their side in the alliance-vs-horde debate.

  10. Jack permalink
    April 9, 2009 4:17 PM

    If you’re looking for Horde that are easier to connect with, easier to see the humanity in, the Tauren are by far the easiest. They have several initial quests oriented around simple tribal life and the individuals role in it. They’re kind of neat.But I suppose you would have gone through them as a Tauren Shaman . . . Maybe the Barrens did ruin it for you? The whole “tribal member” aspect is replaced with the Orcish (and by extension, Troll) “warrior of the Horde”. I mean, not entirely. There is still the cleansing of the Pools quest chain and cleansing of Wailing Caverns that is strongly influenced by the Tauren nurturing tendency.But, yeah, the Barrens quests are mostly dominated by Orcish mentality. They have found a cause and they will fight for that cause! For the Horde! Which from a testosterone driven perspective, that has a lot of appeal. But yeah, it’s not so much endearing . . . if that’s the word? I don’t think picking up quests in Blood Elf territory will help with that either (“Kick the miserable outcasts while they’re down!” or [eerie undead voice] “Help me develop this poison.”)I will say that if you’re looking for touching stories, I think that in the Undead story line there is an undercurrent of loss, grief, sadness and how do you deal with it that is very touching. Of course, many, many of the Forsaken don’t deal with it well. Understandably. You kind of have to get past that if you play Undead.If you want to connnect with the Horde (and same goes for Alliance) and its lore on a personal level, I’d suggest participating in Children’s Week activities. I think Blizzard does a pretty good job setting up the quests you’re sent on to touch significant lore points. If you get into the role of “I am teaching this child his or her heritage . . . I am giving this child a reason to believe his or her parents did not die in vain, showing something noble in that heritage to explain the sacrifice which was thrust on this child” . . . if you approach it from that perspective I think it helps understand what is noble and admirable among whichever side you do the activities on.

  11. Skar and Co. permalink
    April 9, 2009 4:50 PM

    Grats on hitting the century mark!/ramble onI have all 10 slots on Medivh occupied with Alliance toons, I did not originally but in my quest to become “My own economy” it happened. But then again I have other servers I go to “escape” on that have nothing but Hordlies. Overall I think I do like the Alliance side better, but when I play horde I do prefer Troll and Tauren. The creepiness of the Foresaken… no that’s not the right word, the bitterness of the Forsaken just irks me. Poison this prisoner, take vengence on these people. Guess I just get an emotional backache from the 7 ton chip on their collective shoulder. Maybe it was Durotar and levels and levels of bleak landscape (last Orc I tried was in Vanilla so no hyper leveling we have now), but even with being a lore reader I could not get into the Orcs. Plus I never had this problem with my troll toons despite similar scenery… I have a couple Belfs but they are eye candy nothing more… Move along… I’ve come to grips with it so can you :)Overall I think it was the fact that I have been in the same guild since vanilla and am now Guild Leader that I just don’t have time to imerse myself in my Horde Alts as I should.But while rambling and contemplating this I think a lot comes down to… Architecture… No seriously, I think I prefer the Human, and especially Dwarf building styles… and since you spend a majority of your time seeing those buildings, and lets face it Dalaran is the love child of the Belf / Human style…Most to least favorite Architecture / Building Style:Dwarf / GnomeHumanTaurenBelfTrollSpace GoatNelfOrcForsaken (just sooooo depressing)/ramble offSkarlarth and Co.Medivh

  12. willel permalink
    April 9, 2009 5:20 PM

    I have yet to come to grips with Belfs as eye candy. I’m not sure I can :D

  13. Jack permalink
    April 9, 2009 6:21 PM

    Architecture! Absolutely. It helps grasp a civilization immensely. Every time I run Scarlet Monestary I still stop by the pools in the Cathedral courtyard and remember that first time I ran it and how struck I was (still am) by its beauty.Probably the coolest single architectural work I’ve seen in the game, though, is Blackrock Depths. It is just awesome. If that word could ever accurately describe anything it describes BRD. Absolutely awesome.But overall, I still like Night Elf architecture best. From Darnassus to the ruins of Dire Maul. I also think Eversong Woods is a gorgeous starting zone. And I love the flight over the Hinterlands with its overhead view of Trollish Ziggurats.1) Night Elf2) Blood Elf3) Troll4) Dwarf5) Human6) Orc7) Tauren8) Draeni9) Gnome0) Undead

  14. April 9, 2009 9:31 PM

    Gratz on the Achievement!I applaud you for taking on such a dicey subject and seeing your own biasness. And your right, we have done a great job at dehumanizing the Horde, and I huess now we are suppose to be in a kindlier, gentler WoW.Now if you can only get those guys to stop ganking me, maybe I’ll like them even more. :PGratz again!

  15. Anea permalink
    April 9, 2009 9:51 PM

    Thank you! I knew when I wrote this that a few people would get up in arms, but I didn’t know that it was such a hot button issue. Seeing everyone’s responses has been great though. :>

  16. Anea permalink
    April 9, 2009 9:55 PM

    That’s a great thought! I have always liked the Draenei colors that they have around them (the muted purples, blues, grays, pinks) but as far as architecture goes, I am in love with the Blood Elf architecture. It’s so huge and expansive and sweeping and have all sorts of little details that play into the whole. So different from everything else.Although playing my pally, I do have to say that I’ve come to appreciate Dwarven architecture and the solid, safe haven it is and portrays.

  17. April 9, 2009 10:32 PM

    I’m actually thankful for the Horde vs. Alliance split. I’m glad there are people on both sides who can better see one side for it’s qualities than the other – it helps bring more to this game. If everyone was all “For the Horde!” it’d be boring. I love hearing the otherside of things, I just can’t connect with it is all.I appreciate how different all the races are, and the different architectural elements they all have is extremely interesting!I’d have to say my overall preference of races goes something like:1. Troll2. Tauren3. Dwarf4. Forsaken5. Gnome6. Orc7. Draenei8. Blood Elf9. Night Elf10. Human

  18. willel permalink
    April 9, 2009 10:39 PM

    Blood Elf is so low *snif*

  19. April 10, 2009 2:03 AM

    Grats on 100 posts!I’ve had more of the opposite issue. I really get into the Horde lore and play a lot of Horde characters, but have had a very difficult time leveling an Alliance character past 30.Reading more of the novels lately has made me appreciate some races even more. The story of Thrall… I don’t think I ever viewed the Orcs so “humanly” before, despite being a total Hordie.I suppose what you brought up is part of my motivation behind the Cultural Diversity in Azeroth series (which I need to finish… >.>)…. to let people think of these things, discuss, and maybe open their heart to another race. ;)

  20. April 10, 2009 11:36 AM

    Although I have a great love for Halflings and Gnomes which comes from Dungeons and Dragons, in WoW I find my most loved race is the Draenei. I may have rolled Gnome and developed the same love I now have for the Draenei if I could have rolled a healer.All of the races are a stereotype of some sort. Horde side I feel like I could get into a Troll or a Tauren most. I couldn’t get into the undead “race”. Orcs remind me of Klingons, which would be endearing, but when I start comparing them to Klingons I feel like Star Trek did this stereotype a lot better (okay, in it’s best moments) and that the Orcs just look stupid in comparison.I just hate elves in all their forms. Perhaps one day I will get over it enough to play a Druid. But it won’t be easy.

  21. Elgar permalink
    April 13, 2009 10:36 PM

    For me it’s never been a matter of faction or race as much as it has been class. The class/race limitation combos helped sway most of my choices. When I set out to roll a hunter, I looked at my options (pre-BC), nothing said hunter like the Night Elf to me (I know cliche). I couldn’t envision a dwarf or an orc stalking through the forests, troll however, was a close second. When I rolled priest, undead and troll seemed…unlikely, dwarf again seemed unfitting and so human it was, since I already had a NE. Mage human seemed zzzzzz, and troll seemed too stupid to be a mage? So it was gnome, but undead was the second pick there. Shaman first pick was Tauren, but I was so bored with Mulgore, I dunno, it seemed…blah to me, and so I tried Draenei and it worked much better, though I like the look of horde totems better. Druid was NE due to my turn off from the tauren, and my for Paladin, the dwarf finally found it’s place (pre-BC). By default I ended up with more alliance because in my mind it seemed more fitting. My DK is a Tauren, I love the huge shoulders and I have made a warlock who only made it to level 28, he’s a blood elf, that seemed more appropriate to me. Should I ever make a warrior or a rogue, I think that I’d choose either tauren (eek) or orc for warrior–they look sweet in plate! And for a rogue…well…maybe my inability to decide is why I don’t have one.I suppose that that’s the stereotype right there…the warrior, warlock, rogue, and DK all horde, but paladin, mage, priest, hunter, druid are alliance. The “evil” classes are my horde and the “good” classes are my alliance. Man, now I feel like a cliche!Also congrats on 100 posts!/cast Holy Nova

  22. April 14, 2009 2:35 AM

    Grats on the ton!

  23. moopocalypse permalink
    May 19, 2009 4:53 PM

    I have noticed that too. I don’t know what it is, but I am drifting further and further away from the “good” Alliance side. It always seems that Horde have been stereotyped as “the bad guys”, but it has never seemed that way to me. I don’t know.

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