It should be pretty obvious by now that I’m a confirmed Alliance care bear. It’s not that I have anything against the Horde per se, I just never had any reason to persevere with a Horde character. Everyone I know plays Alliance on Hellscream EU because I play Alliance on Hellscream-EU. I never managed to level a Horde toon past level 14 because I got bored not talking to anyone, that’s just the way I roll. I happen to love Tauren with their goofy, amiable plodding and big feet, and Trolls are beyond cool, I just never had the incentive to play any of them longer than a day or two.
So luckily for me, the Single Abstract Noun bloggers’ guild on Argent Dawn EU gave me just the excuse I was looking for. I now have three Horde toons, Jessicani a fruit elf Retribution Paladin, Shasti, a fruit elf Holy Priest and Threeleaf, a cow Druid, all plodding around in their mid 20s. So here, in no particular order, is stuff I’ve noticed.
1. Tauren on My Little Ponies Celestial Steeds just look wrong. Yes, Ghostcrawler sold me a pony. No, Threeleaf doesn’t use it, he rides his Kodo like any self-respecting (and very handsome!) young cow should.
2. There are fewer douchebags. I accept that that may have nothing to do with the Horde/Alliance difference and everything to do with the PVE/RP server difference, but all the same, it’s nice to have a relatively civilised trade and general chat channel. Don’t misunderstand me, there are douchebags, but it’s more a case of one guy being a douche, rather that what I’m used to on Hellscream where trade chat resembles the finals of the Who’s The Biggest Douchebag in the World contest. There’s also a higher class of douchebag. The douche on Argent Dawn can usually spell correctly and employs urbanity and wit to mock all and sundry. On Hellscream he uses Dirge, Anal, Chuck Norris jokes and “your mom”.
3. Because of point 2 above, however, I feel I’m missing out on an important part of the whole horde culture. There is no Barrens Chat here. No-one wants to know where Mankrik’s wife is. It’s puzzling, because the morons are definitely here. I was present at Crossroads the other day while a level 80 alliance mage in the shoddiest “hey I just hit level 80!” gear you ever saw was showing everyone how awesome he was by manfully slaughtering all of the quest npcs, flightmasters and vendors, you know, because he was awesome. He wasn’t the moron, however. Oh no, he was just a guy whose parents didn’t show him enough attention when he was a child. No, the morons were the level 20 horde who thought they were going to kill him. Because he’s level 80, and the four of you all have 80 levels between you so that makes it an even fight, right guys? Guys? Oh, dead again.
By the way, it’s exactly the same at Sentinel Hill in Westfall, in case any long-term Hordies wondered. You are not special snowflakes where low-level idiocy is concerned.
4. Thunder Bluff. Best capital city. Ever.
5. Varian Wrynn may be damaged goods, but he can overcome his prejudices and be honourable, as he showed at Icecrown Citadel. Garrosh Hellscream on the other hand, is always going to be a cockmonger.
6. That massive split dividing the Barrens in two you saw in all those Cataclysm spoilers? Yeah that was caused by High Overlord Saurfangs’ third most powerful cleave.
7. FOR THE HORDE! LOK’TAR OGAR!
On another note, I’m finding the random dungeon tool to be incredibly useful at lower levels. It’s entirely possible for me to level Shasti from 1-80 completely as a Holy priest just by doing instances. The xp is good, she’s getting a level and a bit per instance at the moment, and the gear rewards are way better than quest rewards. You do of course run into the occasional cretin, like the Warlock who zoned into Shadowfang Keep and then went afk because he was “watching a movie” or the cream of the current crop, the Tauren Cat Druid I did a Stockades with the other day. This one was pretty special. The tank goes one way along with everyone else, he runs into a completely different room and starts trying to take down a room full of elites by himself. I am now faced with a choice, abandon the tank and the rest of the group to fend for themselves or follow the druid wherever he went and attempt to heal him through Stupid. Easy choice. After he died, the conversation went a little like this:
Moron: “FFS HEALER!”
Me: “Yeah, totally my fault, I can of course cast heals through solid walls, I just chose not to.”
Moron: “WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU FOLLOW?”
Me: “If you choose to run off without the tank and healer and take on a room by yourself who am I to stop you?”
Moron: “DO YOU WANT TO GET KICKED?”
Me: “Yes, please.”
Me: “Yes please. I’d love to see a dps successfully votekick a healer, never seen it happen before.”
Me: “I’m waiting”
Me: “Votekick failed, huh?”
But on the whole, the LFD experience at low levels has been pretty good. There are impatient tanks who think they’re invincible and dps whose command of the English language is restricted to their “gogogogogo” macro, sure, but by and large it’s been a pretty pleasant experience. Threeleaf is rapidly becoming my favourite character. I mean, for starters he’s a Druid and they’re just awesome anyway. Secondly he’s a big amiable cow with massive plodding hooves who just sort of bimbles around accidentally running into adventures and he scratches his arse a lot. What’s not to love?
All the same, I think I’m going to have to start an Orc and a troll too, just not sure what. Orc Hunters will never be the same for me after Flintlocke vs The Horde, Troll Shamans either for that matter.
While we’re on the subject, if you’ve not read Flintlocke I highly recommend you do, especially if you play Horde on a Roleplaying server. The Horde comic can be found here, and the earlier Alliance version (which started as a weekly column by Dave “Fargo” Kosak on Gamespy) can be found here. Mad as a box of frogs, both of them.