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The Real Difference Between the Horde and the Alliance

by: TJSonntag ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/18/2012 • Leave a comment

Players like to make sweeping generalities - the Alliance has more kids, the Horde has more elitists; what's the REAL difference between Warcraft's two factions?

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    First blood

    Mal'ganis The question is always the same, whether talking about wars in the Middle East or the argument your mom broke up between you and your younger brother: who started it? In this case, the answer is definitely the Horde.

    The various Orc clans, including the Warsong, Shattered Hand, Bleeding Hollow, Laughing Skull and Bonechewer, all immigrated from the world of Draenor. Having depleted that planet's resources, the Orcs were becoming desperate to solve their needs for food and water. They were therefore easily led by the demon Kil'jaeden in a plan to escape to a new world, which they would then be free to plunder and dominate as they wished.

    Unfortunately, they destroyed their peace with the Draenor co-dwelling Draenei in the process. Even more unfortunately, for the Humans who occupied it, that new world turned out to be Azeroth.

    As years of American history affirm, arriving in a new place means that you are perfectly within your rights to conquer it and take anything you find there as your own. Sarcasm aside, that's exactly what the Orcs attempted to do.

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    No one-sided affair

    Arthas and Sylvannas None of that should be taken as a statement that the Humans were innocent victims, however. They had their own issues, as the young Prince Arthas Menethil was soon to demonstrate. His personal failings colored his perception of his own worth, and guilt aside, he was also led astray by demonic forces with promises of superior power and world domination. By falling under the Lich King's sway, Arthas eventually killed his father, Terenas, King of Lordaeron. He also created an army of Undead, called the Scourge, but one of his worst deeds was saved for the High Elf champion Sylvannas who made his conquering of Quel'Thalas so difficult.

    After killing her in battle, he raised her corpse as a banshee completely under his control and forced her to fight for him. If you've ever wondered about Sylvannas's long-standing hatred of the Alliance and Humans in general, this explains it. The Undead, led by the Banshee Queen, joined the Horde with an ulterior motive. If you've played through either the Undead or Worgen starting areas since the release of Cataclysm, you've seen just how deep Sylvannas's hate runs and just how far she might be willing to go to claim Lordaeron permanently.

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    Minor differences

    River Styx So now that we've assigned some of the blame to each side, it's time to get down to the details. Dropping by the official forums on any given day will reveal a contingent of players who are convinced that developer Blizzard Entertainment favors the Alliance, and an equally-vocal sect who claims the opposite is true. Of course, there will also be players claiming that Warlocks are over-powered, so you can see how valid these arguments truly are not.

    While the Alliance had the advantage in travel across contested lands during the days of Vanilla WoW, that ended when Blackrock Mountain ceased to be the center of the world. As it stands now, it's actually much more difficult for the races of the Alliance to get around. With their two major cities located within a zone of each other on the same continent, two other cities situated on islands are the far end of the map, and the Worgen lacking a city of their own at all, the Alliance is almost confined to the southern Eastern Kingdoms. Conversely, the Horde have nearly free reign over Kalimdor and Lordaeron. Their system of zeppelins is much easier to navigate than the complicated shipping routes from Menethil Harbor, Theramore and Stormwind.

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    Getting down to it

    Goblin Even following Deathwing's near-destruction of Azeroth, you can still find quests in Elwynn Forest that deal with delivering pies and love notes. On the other hand, very little in the game is as dark as the starting experience of the Worgen as they battle for--and lose--Gilneas, along with a portion of their own humanity. When contrasted with the carnival-esque atmosphere of the Goblins, players are led to reconsider the Horde as the more serious and dedicated fighters.

    The pendulum is swinging, heroes of Azeroth, and with it swings the tide of the war. Regardless which side pulls to you and which inspires instant rage, there is truly a place for every ideal and loyalty in the World of Warcraft.

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    Resources

    World of Warcraft novels "Rise of the Horde," by Christie Golden; "Tides of Darkness," by Aaron Rosenberg; "Beyond the Dark Portal," by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden.



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