On the Alliance side World of Warcraft's fifth expansion is all about saving the world. On the Horde side it's all that and more. Essentially the continuation of the Horde-based drama that led up to the expansion pack in the first place, Warlords of Draenor's narrative is much more intriguing on the orc/troll/undead/cow/sex-elf side of things, thanks largely to the involvement of one of Warcraft's greatest heroes, the Earth-Warder Thrall.
Those familiar with Thrall's story will know he was found as an infant, laying amidst the blodied bodies of his murdered parents, Durotan and Draka. The same Durotan and Draka we meet within the first hour or so of Warlords of Draenor's story. "I thought he'd be taller" says Thrall when clicked following meeting his father for the first time.
From there on in, the narrative is packed with little love notes to fans familiar with the fiction. At one point Thrall finds himself fighting alongside a much younger Drek'thar, the shaman who'd eventually become Thrall's own tutor. During the battle, Drek'thar gives his compliments to Thrall's teacher. "I'm sure he'd love to hear that."
I'm not saying the Alliance side of the story is boring — I'm just saying the Horde side feels deeper and more epic. The heroic moments are more heroic. The over-the-top characters (my new best friends from the Laughing Skull clan) are dazzlingly crazy.
The Alliance gets to play with some of these characters as well, but their interactions don't feel quite as profound.
Plus our Garrisons are bigger.
For my Horde character I picked an undead warrior. Undead because I didn't want anyone on Mood Guard to try and sleep with me, and warrior because I still have one more facet of the expansion pack I've yet to really dive into — dungeons. As a protection warrior (tank class), the hour-long queues my elemental shaman (damage class) was facing wouldn't be an issue.
There's only one problem. I've not tanked a dungeon in four years. As a paladin. I've never played a protection warrior. At all.
So my plan for the next week is to enter Warlords of Draenor dungeons, apologizing profusely to the other party members in advance for getting them all killed multiple times. I know the status quo is for tanks to not give a fuck, but I feel the folks I am about to subject to this deserve fair warning.
If all goes well, next week shall be our full Warlords of Draenor review. OK, fine. If all goes horribly wrong, next week will be our full Warlords of Draenor review. Until then, here is a vacation snap of me hanging out with Horde Batman.