Vidyala, who author’s the Pugging Pally blog (in my blog roll), wrote a rather interesting article on the allegiance of you as a player to a specific faction in World of Warcraft. This made me wonder really which faction I “ally” myself to.

I started playing WoW as an Alliance Night Elf Priest, Dranok. Then I went to a new realm about 6 months ago and decided to try out Horde on this realm (I am a sucker for trying out something I haven’t before, hence the altohlism I find myself perpetually perpetrating) and rolled a Tauren Warrior, Kruntak. Anyone who has read my blog before surely would have seen some posts on my efforts at getting this little cow levelled and geared, and I can now report that he has Main Tanked Naxxramas with my guild on Chamber of Aspects (CoA).

There is just something about the rough-and-ready style of Horde locations that pleases me. Comparing Stormwind, Daranassus, Exodar and even Ironforge to the likes of Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff and Undercity, you get the distinct impression that the Horde really are the underdogs, struggling to eke out an existence in a world that doesn’t really accept them. Blood Elves? Hrm. I don’t know. Slightly flip-flop in their allegiances maybe? A bit of an identity crisis? Personally I just think Blizzard got sick of all the complaining that Horde has no “pretty” races. But the pretty boys aside, I have always been a sucker for the underdog (even the occasional sports match I watch which has no team I support I root for the guy with all the odds stacked against him), and so I found I liked this idea of a genuine struggle in every sense of the word. No fancy towers, glittery crystals or mountain fortresses, just a valley turned city thanks to natural processes, a collection of teepees on the safety of some mesa’s or a fallen human city’s sewers turned to use by the Undead.

And my guild on CoA is also the biggest factor that decided me on a switch of faction. They are the first bunch of people I really feel … what can I say to describe them without sounding to emotionally wishy-washy? At home with? I know it sounds silly, but other guilds on Aerie Peak as an Alliance character I never truly felt as if I could relax with them.  Maybe it was the pre-conception that Alliance tends to house more of the younger, drama seeking players so I was always on edge waiting for infantile outbursts? As a kid, you always want to play the “good guys”. The impression does exists that Horde tends to be more mature than Alliance as far as players are concerned, and it was possibly this that allowed to find a better bunch of folks to hang out with. Honestly, I am still not entirely sure why it took me THIS long to find a good guild that just fits.

This all ended up with me using Blizzard’s additional services. Dranok, the Night Elf Priest, is no more. A server and faction transfer later, Krunial the Blood Elf Priest was born. The decision was not lightly made (firstly cos it isn’t all that cheap; 45 Euro in South Africa is a fair wad of cash to be spending on something as transient as a game like WoW), but I had spent a fair amount of time on Priestly healy goodness and he was just stagnating on the other realm and faction.

Making the switch from Alliance to Horde was a bit of a challenge. Going from the spangly, glittery, fluffyness of most of the Alliances cities and settlements to the more hardcore, build-it-out-of-whatever-you-can-find Horde locales is an eye opener. A Horde NPC will never tell you they are the underdogs but the feeling is there. “We are surviving, no matter the odds stacked against us”. And that is kind of … inspiring. “Lok’tar Ogar” just seems more impactful than “For the Alliance”. Not to mention hearing Sylvanas for the first time in Forge of Souls .. well lets just say that was far more gut wrenching than more Jaina tears (boy that woman needs to learn to control her emotions).

I am now fully dedicated to the Horde it seems. With a great bunch of people in a guild willing to trust me to tank them through raids, even considering there are far better geared people to do the job. I wouldn’t want to change factions again as it stands.

Worgen. Hrm. That may throw a spanner in the works, but we will have to wait and see…