Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two Sides to a Coin: Part 5 -- Alliances and Conclusions

We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.
--Benjamin Franklin

WoW has a history of using organizations that welcome all races and factions to propel an overarching story to completion.  In Vanilla WoW with the Qiraji, there was the Cenarion Circle.  In Wrath, you have the Argent Crusade, the Ebon Blade, and the Ashen Verdict.  Cataclysm has brought the Earthen Ring to the forefront, and the Burning Crusade had the Shattered Sun Offensive.

Unlike the other groups from other storylines, the NPC component of the Shattered Sun is composed solely of Draenei and Sindorei, with the Naaru as a guiding hand.  The two races which drove the major storylines of Burning Crusade banded together at the Sha’tar’s request to lead the assault against Kael, Kil’Jaeden, and the Burning Legion.

Oh, all was not Pollyanna in racial relations on Quel’Danas.  There were the digs against each faction (“…Cryer.  Oh, I’m sorry, I meant Scryer.”), which provided a look behind the veneer of amicability.  I found the selection of Scryers to spy on Kael’s forces served a twofold purpose:  while a Blood Elf could spy upon other Blood Elves more easily, at the same time those Blood Elves could also be seen to be more expendable than Draenei.

Nevertheless, the Shattered Sun could not have succeeded without significant buy-in from both races.  You had to be able to trust the person next to you to do their job, whether Draenei or Sindorei, for without that trust the entire organization falls apart.

I’ve said before that I’ve wanted to see more ex-Argent Crusader involvement in a post-Wrath world, because a group that accepts everyone allows their members to see behind the faction/race to the individual.  When you’ve fought alongside someone of a different race or faction, it is difficult to see them as an enemy.  To my disappointment, the only big storyline that focused on this came out of the Ebon Blade and the Andorhal quest chains. 

Then again, we didn’t see anything come out of the Shattered Sun Offensive, either, but you still see Sindorei and Draenei training together and chatting around Shattrath.  You can still watch Lady Liadrin come before A’dal and redeem the Blood Knights.  You can watch children of both races playing together in the Lower City (the only place you’ll find Draenei and Sindorei kids in Azeroth outside of Children’s Week).


When I started this exploration, I figured I’d get a post or two out of it, nothing more.  I sure wasn’t expecting to get five, and yet here I am.

I hope these posts have given you some food for thought.  If you are on a RP server, maybe this will provide some hooks for your toon’s backstory.  (Guilty confession:  the first time I took Nevelanthana into Magister’s Terrace at-level and we downed Selin Fireheart, she walked over and kicked his corpse.  “You always were an arrogant ass, Selin,” she said.  And I don’t play on an RP server, either.)

One thing I would encourage people to do is to give the other side a try with an open mind.  I think that if you do, you might be surprised.


  1. I really hope one day Horde & Alliance factions are dissolved and we can choose who to align ourselves with. My tongue is only partially in cheek when I say I'd rather dump Varian and work for Chromie.

  2. @Cygnia-- While I'd love to see that happen, I think that a lot of the underpinnings that make WoW work are based on two factions. If that dissolves and WoW becomes more of a sandbox, I'm not sure that WoW would survive.

  3. I don't have much to add, but I wanted to say that I really enjoyed this series for being a trip down memory lane about my favourite expansion. I really like how you put quests and NPCs into context - I could remember them all, but I had never really thought about them that much.