Battle For Azeroth Is More Exciting When You’re Horde

Battle For Azeroth Is More Exciting When You’re Horde

Man, why did I waste two weeks questing through boring green hills for the Alliance when I could have been exploring dinosaur-infested swamps as a mighty Cowadin? Even in the middle of the Battle for Azeroth, the Horde have it good.

I know, I pledged myself to the Alliance before World of Warcraft’s latest expansion Battle for Azeroth came out, so creating a Horde character is something of a betrayal. In my defence, there’s only so many world quests a gnome Warlock can do each day after hitting the 120 level cap before things start to get repetitive.

It certainly doesn’t help that the expansion is largely more of the same sort of gameplay introduced in the Legion expansion two years ago. Variety is the spice of life, you know.

And you know what goes good with spice? One hundred per cent grade A beef.

Image So much at steak here.

Utilising the level 110 character boost that came with the Battle for Azeroth expansion, I created a Horde character who appealed to my Alliance sensibilities. I chose a Tauren, as the bull-like race always seemed less hostile than some of the other Horde races.

For class, I went with Paladin, a holy warrior that was exclusive to the Alliance until 2007’s Burning Crusade expansion. I named her Salisbury, because I was hungry.

Image During the Battle for Lordaeron event, Horde characters get to choose whether or not to murder the Alliance using chemical weapons. I went with murder.

My original plan was to poke fun at the Horde by having Salisbury the Paladin dead in every screenshot in this post, sort of a running gag. But I ran into a couple of problems. First off, Paladins don’t die, apparently. I tried pulling all of the things without a care in the world, but the things kept dying in droves.

Secondly, I was having too much fun to let death get in the way. The Horde side of the story is so much more interesting. We get to experience the conflict between the bloodthirsty Banshee Queen (killer of the night elves’ World Tree) and the honourable Lord Saurfang, whose demeanour had players taking off their armour pre-expansion.

Image “Saurfang! Where are you? I need to make more arsehole comments about your son dying in Wrath of the Lich King!”

After the Battle for Lordaeron, before venturing to the new island nation of Zandalar, Horde characters get to go on a daring rescue mission in the Alliance capital of Stormwind. We invade Stormwind. On eagles. It’s outstanding.

Image Someone remember to drop that ring in the lava on the way out.

We rescue a pair of Zandalari trolls, one of which is a princess with some powerful mojo. On the way to the docks to escape, following a tense stealth sequence, the Horde team is cornered by Jaina Proudmore, the legendarily powerful Alliance Mage. Without batting an eye, one of the rescued trolls tells her she can either capture the party or use her Ice Mage powers to put out Stormwind which — by the way — is on fire.

Image Maybe put out your city and let us go, kay? Thanks.

As if that weren’t bad-arse enough, here’s what happens when the Alliance fleet catches up with the Horde ship en route to Zandalar. No, I won’t describe it. Watch the video. It’s worth it.

Once the smoke clears, Horde characters arrive in Zuldazar, a gorgeous, Aztec-inspired city on the Southern tip of Zandalar. It’s breathtaking, and a far cry from the dingy port town the Alliance starts off in.

Image Blizzard’s really taken the trolls’ South american flavour to a new level in the expansion.

The city, more of a temple really, is bright and colourful and teeming with life. Not just troll life, either. The place is lousy with chromatic dinosaurs. One can readily see the strategic value of making friends with these folks.

Image So many dinos.

Now all I have to do is convince the king of the land that Salisbury isn’t just here to steal the Zandalari fleet for the Banshee Queen. We just want to borrow the fleet for the Banshee Queen. There’s a difference!

Image No no no, we’re cool.

There’s not much of a difference to the Horde side questing and levelling structure, however. Hordies still pick from three different areas of their island, following the story and performing side quests to gain experience and level up their artifact armour.

Image Pick your poison.

It’s just they get to do it in a lush swamp, rather than in the rolling hills and forests of the Alliance’s island. It’s so lush. I love it.

Image I seriously have three dozen screenshots of this area.

Now this doesn’t mean I am completely abandoning the Alliance. It merely means that I won’t be playing the Alliance side any more, at least until Salisbury the Paladin hits level 120. And probably not after that, either. Look, it’s not my fault Blizzard likes the Horde better.

Image Level 111, might as well keep going.

For the Horde!


  • +1 for choosing Tauren, -1 for the beef pun 🙂

    The horde areas are cool looking but can be super frustrating because of the verticality of a lot of them. The capital city as pointed out is an awesome looking pyramid/temple. Which is a major pain in the arse to navigate because it’s always up and down stairs to get anywhere. Same with a lot of the jungle areas. And even the desert area has a ton of mountains just to frustrate travel.

    I can’t wait till flying is enabled.

  • As an alliance for life player, even I can admit the horde have it better story wise + aesthetically. The alliance areas are so forgettable and bland. Drustvar is just a brown mess. Teargarde I can’t even really picture apart from some snowy mountains. And Stormsong is very green and pretty, but reminds me of stuff we’ve all seen before.

    When I first went to the horde area, I was blown away by how interesting and detailed all three zones were in comparison.

  • Well, yeah. This is what Horde players have been saying since 2004.
    Red team is so much more diverse and interesting, always has been.

  • +1
    Levelled an alliance character to 120 and found it pretty dull. All the zones are too similar in feel. The Horde quests, characters and zones have all been far more interesting. It’s weird. Like 2 completely different teams created the ally and horde experiences and barely communicated along the way.

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