Warlords Of Draenor Is A Little Bit Better For The Horde

Warlords Of Draenor Is A Little Bit Better For The Horde

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.

Warlords Of Draenor Is A Little Bit Better For The Horde

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.

Warlords Of Draenor Is A Little Bit Better For The Horde

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.

Warlords Of Draenor Is A Little Bit Better For The Horde

MMO Log One [Ding 100 [MMO Log Two [Garrison Tier Three]


    Horde garrisons may be bigger but alliance ones look so much cooler

      Bigger Garrisons mean you run further between the interesting/important bits.

      The ultimate hub is not some huge city, it's a Hut with a Bank, Auctioneer, Repair guy and Gear providing NPCs.

      I'm a Horde player to the core, and I loved the Horde garrison - the look, the setting, everything.

      But then I levelled my Alliance and made a level 3 garrison. So good. Better than the Horde one.

      Last edited 30/11/14 8:21 pm

        I hit my level 3 garrison last night and gave out a little squee :D THinking I'll need to roll a Tauren Druid though and actually complete the original toon that started me off in WoW ALL those years ago in vanilla.

        The alliance one although looking more logical actually makes you run all over the place. The main building again looks like it should inside with multiple rooms, but its actually really annoying to get to the command table. The horde one i just run straight in and to the table. The Flight Point for horde is right next to the door, the Alliance one is down the stairs and a bit further on. Over all the Horde garrison is much easier to navigate.

        Though i too am completely horde oriented i had to level some alliance toons (used only to socialise with idiot friends on alliance) simply to get the level 3 profession huts because Horde achievement is completely broken at present :s

      Ugh. So much this. I really wish I'd been able to have a BE-themed Garrison instead of the typical orcy slapdash crap. The Alliance garrisons are so pretty...

      Almost enough to tempt me to play Alliance. Until the first time you set foot in Stormwind and there's frickin' Alliance everywhere, being all... Alliancey. Eww.
      (Also, gnomes. Triple-eww.)

        The only thing that allowed me to actually play Alliance was Worgen. My male Worgen warrior makes me happy. But every single other Alliance race is just... ugh. And Alliance is just so.... good, and noble and..... stuff. Plus I have to play with all the other races too. *shudder*

        My greatest pleasure as a Forsaken player is cannibalizing a gnome after ganking. In my BC guild, all the Forsaken players would roll on who got to eat a gnome if we were out in the world and encountered one.

        Last edited 01/12/14 10:38 am

          WHOA WHOA WHOA. No love for Dwarves? Those hardy little bastards are pretty cool in my eyes. Dem Gnomes though. *barf*

            Actually, dwarves are okay. I wouldn't roll one, but I get it.

              Worgen are rad though. Nice and dark :D I just wanna get back to Horde though.

                I loved the Worgen starting area. Gilneas just oozed atmosphere. Loved the explanation of the Worgen curse and the back story.

                  Yeah totally, when you're running up the pass and the city is just fucking destroying itself below you. Goddamn that was a cool sequence.

            Dwarf meat is too tough and stoney. Gnome goes great with sweet chilli sauce.

    I'm a huge Thrall fan but even I'm bored of seeing him constantly, surprised anyone still finds it that interesting anymore.
    Personally found the Draenei story (and the Arrakoa stuff in Spires of Arak) waaay more exciting then the continued struggles of the orcs..

    I’m just saying the Horde side feels deeper and more epic. The heroic moments are more heroic.
    What's more epic/heroic then Velen's death scene? Or Yrel kicking Blackhand's arse with some help from Durotan?

      Thrall confronting Garrosh one on one and killing him was amazing. I think I actually shouted once or twice during that cutscene. That was far more impressive than say, Velen's sacrifice, or Maraad's death/Yrel's epic moment. Not that they weren't cool, mind - but the Thrall/Garry thing was a long time coming. So much history, emotion, everything.

        It's kind of easy to tell why you think that, you play Horde. Thrall is a horde guy, through through. He doesn't get thrown into the crappy neutrality role like Alliance guys (Khadgar, Cenarius, Malfurion, Tirion). Most of us on the Alliance hardly give a fuck about an orc who has played a central role for over 10 years, killing another orc who sent the world to war and more or less completely fucked over another race's homeland. Making Vol'jin warchief was really just a move to allow Thrall be in the spotlight yet again in WoD

        I'm not really angry as much as I am just sick of Thrall, and more yay Horde redemption storyline while Alliance figures are forced to take a neutral position in order to facilitate that.

        Last edited 01/12/14 12:09 am

          As someone who doesn't really look that much into the lore beyond looking into who the hell the raid bosses are. I'm getting real tired of Thrall. Blizzard has this weird 13 year old boy crush/obsession on/with Thrall and his cronies and has pretty much ignored substantiating other storylines just to digitally fap over him.

          I'm not saying they haven't done other storylines, they have. I mean story progression just seems to go like this;

          Thrall | Thrall | Thrall | Varian | Thrall | Thrall | New Evil Dude | Thrall | Thrall | Thrall | Thrall | Alliance d00d | Thrall | Thrall | Thrall ... etc

          Last edited 01/12/14 11:22 am

            You mean to say that an orc that was brought into slavery, was freed, killed his master and went on to liberate entire races isn't the main character of the story and that the alliance is just a filler to provide story for said orc?

              Yes, Orc Jesus' opposition; The western pigs- I mean the Alliance are just filler content. :)

      Yeah, it's pretty difficult to get excited about Yrel though, because I mean... first time you encounter her is ten minutes after setting foot through the portal, she's a slave who's killed her captor, killing for the first time... it looks like the set up to an interesting story of personal growth.

      Literally the next time you see her, she's toe to toe with badass raidboss central characters, getting her own fucking cut-scene and you're all, "Who the fuck is this? When did this scrub buy a Boost-to-90 then get carried through heroics before I even hit 100?"
      Serious case of manufactured author-favourite. Sleeping with the director/Mary-Sue/whatever. Terrible, terrible, terrible storytelling.

        Either you've A) Forgotten or B) didn't do all the quest lines because she has plenty of development.

        You basically free her, then you help her chase after her sister, then you two invade an iron horde camp and you must inspire her to victory( this is where her path really starts).

        You then fight Ner zhul s abomination when he talks with grommash in shadow moons terrace of the stars, you fight but her sister dies in front of her. This is where she transforms and gains the will to fight back.

        You then attempt to stop nerzhul from corrupting the narru and velen sacrifices himself. At this point Yrel has proven a capable warrior and leader for the next generation where she is given the vindicator title and giving her immense power and potential for growth as velens last gift. After this you defend against the iron horde at the temple of karabor, here she powers up a bit more and starts developing her powers.

        The story goes on and on she does alot more in gorgond too and then helps in talador and only THEN does she fight with the raid boss in the Shat invasion.

        So for you to say that she goes from the first story to literal fights with raid bosses is just plain wrong in the most ridiculous way.

        AS a side note I'm also sick of fucking thrall, seriously just go away and give us a character with some balls. He should have killed garrosh like 3 expansions ago.

        Last edited 01/12/14 1:58 pm

          No, I got the quest completion for every single zone before I moved on to the next one, starting in Frostfire Ridge, then moving on to Gorgrond, then being sent to Talador/Spires simultaneously (I did Talador first)... Quests for Shadowmoon don't turn up AT ALL until you hit 100.

          So I can only assume this is Alliance-only crap, and for Horde, it's, "Hello freed slave, goodbye freed slave... hello godlike uber-Mary-Sue, glad you got your own cutscene."

          At least everyone got to see who Thrall and Garrosh were, regardless of faction. Whereas this Yrel is suddenly a major player in the space of two days, and I'm all, "Who the fuck is this? Is this that slave I rescued yesterday, WTF?"

          Last edited 01/12/14 1:52 pm

            ah yeah see i assumed you where on alliance, i didn't even know horde saw her. But then its the same as Durotan for alliance, i was basically saw him only once or twice when around when garrosh was killed and was like who the fuck is this guy he got beaten up or seemed really weak (i forgot entirely thats how little of him was shown).

            But as alliance we also don't get any of your storyline in frost fire, there are a few random lvl 90 quests i can grab if i wanted but they make no sense.

              Ah man, you don't see anything of Durotan? Do they even bother to explain that he's Thrall's dad? Or do they assume you'll have picked that up at some point? Meh. Obviously a flaw in duplicating cut-scenes across factions.

                The only real bits of Horde/orc story the Alliance get to see are the intro (Tanaan is the same for both factions), Ogrim's death/Telador ending (though for us it seems like Ogrim is part of the Iron Horde, then he's suddenly dead - no context) and the ending of Nagrand - which really feels wierd on Alliance.

                We charge in with a group of Draenei and 2 Orcs, beat up Garrosh and suddenly it's just Thrall there doing everything (awesome cinematic though, will give them that) .

                I've played a decent amount on Horde and Alliance so I know most of the characters but imagine it would be pretty annoying for some of the single-faction players.

                Yeah didn't even know he was till i read this page, they literally tell you nothing, hes just a some random guy who is there and that is it.

      If you don't understand what's so epic about a quest named

      And Justice For Thrall

      then I just don't think we can be friends.

    lets hear it for low ping Aussie servers!

    Thrall is practically the WoW version of Jesus.
    Not to mention that Chris Metzin, the main story writer, voices and loves the character to death and pretty much uses WoW as his own personal fan fiction.

    Why are you playing on dude guard? bad server is terrible.

    Prot warriors are a good choice for tanking, though. (Almost as good as a DK, not that I'm biased.)
    Should be a fun ride. Tanks are given a lot more to do in WoD dungeons. It's pretty great.

    Cone attacks to face away from the party, ultra-heavy interruptible attacks to interrupt, ultra-heavy UN-interruptible attacks to save your cooldowns for, high-damage/potent mechanics adds who need to be scooped up or DPSed even by the tank, kiting the boss out of (or into) pools of goop or other laz0rs/mechanics....

    Fortunately, if you know what all of those categories are and stay mindful of what name each effect is given for that particular boss, your first few mistakes will be recoverable with even a newbie healer, and you should avoid a wipe.

    Wiping is really for consistent inability to counter mechanics, or simply ignoring them entirely without being covered in raid gear. For at least a little while (before everyone outgears the content again), we're back to the days of tanking being about watching healer mana pools and pulling carefully. It's great.

      I've been dabbling in Holy healing with my priest, and damn healing got more intensive too. Takes so much more concentration. Bugger all instant casts, knowing your abilities, rotations, etc. And DPS really need to be on the ball too. Some encounters can be hard enough keeping the tank alive/everyone else topped up without DPS standing in bad or being derphats. If DPS start being idiots, you start heading to wipetown. Then they blame the healer.

        Also pretty crazy how quickly fresh adds jump the healer. You really notice when a ranged DPSer is playing healer babysitter just in case. Makes a difference.

          Yeah, I frequent have to pop PW:Shield on myself and leg it. Not complaining though, I used to Disc heal in MoP and it was just a total faceroll. So damned easy. No wonder no one wanted to play healers, they were so boring.

            Maybe I'll be playing babysitter once I start raiding with my hunter...

              Excellent class for it, with all the hunter's crowd control and mobility.

              Nothing quite like the Shaman who unleashes a bunch of shocks and instant lava-lashes on something then runs around screaming while the tank is charging after them yelling, "GOD DAMMIT, TAUNT IS ON COOLDOWN, STOP RUNNING AWAY!"

                Oh man. Ranged who pull aggro and run AWAY like somehow they're going to lose the mob or get away. If you do manage to get aggro, run to/through the tank where viable. At the very least head in his general direction. Often he doesn't even need to target the mob you've aggroed, half the time his AoE will grab it off you, depending what class he is.

                  Exactly. I may have already blown my taunt on one of the OTHER mobs, or death-gripped a caster to get them into the party where all the fun fireworks are, but blood boils are in steady supply, and will do the job very handily if you aren't casting miniature thermonuclear explosions in a mad panic, screaming, "OH GOD MAKE IT DIE MAKE IT DIE"

    Admittedly Mike you mightn't read this, but I'll reply anyway :P

    The alliance storyline is surprisingly fun. I've just finished the awesome questline in Spires and have had a blast. I genuinely thought the different stories, the various factions you encounter and save etc have been a blast, and it's kept everything nice and varied between the main battle with Khadgar and co :) I'll comment more after lunch but goddamn I'm enjoying this expansion.

      Planned to rush through Spires just for the achievement, figured it wasn't really continuing the main Alliance story and I was so sick of Skettis from TBC :P

      Ended up seriously loving it, great side-story in there.

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