To horde or not to horde?

I’ve been playing WoW for just about four years now.  I’ve never switched servers, never switched my main toon or done a name change.  I’ve never even switched guilds.

And I’ve never played horde.

I have three alliance toons at max level and two others that are in the process of being leveled.  All alliance.  Why is that?

First, I definitely feel like I connect more with alliance.  In all of my RPG experiences I have played human or elf characters.  I prefer my characters to look older and wise.  My rogue looks more stately and noble than sneaky and devious.  I’m not sure that you can really get a noble look from a troll or undead.

While the alliance vs horde is not really a “good vs evil” comparison, alliance definitely seems more like the “right” side in the world of Azeroth.  Again, that connects with me.

Most importantly, though, is the social aspect.  I have been in my guild with many of the same people for a long, long time.  When I log into the game, I look forward to the chat and conversation.  I know nobody on the horde side, so playing there would not have the same social aspect that I have come to enjoy.

Now Cataclysm is coming, and the entire old world is being changed.  Should I take the time to level a horde toon and see what I’ve missed?  I’m not talking about game mechanics reasons like racial abilities or the differences in trade chat.  I’m talking about the difference in zones, NPCs, and backstory.

Is the flavor of the horde side game – storylines and play experience – sufficiently different from alliance to make it worth my time?

If so, which horde race has the most interesting and rich lore and storylines?


28 Responses to “To horde or not to horde?”

  1. 1 Zeenaa
    February 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I took some time to level a bloodelf. Im like you, Im all alliance and had no friends on the horde side so I took this as a way to get away and secretly level and horde toon in my own pace. The quest line and the lore was enjoyable and Im glad I did it. Youll have a better understanding of Sylvanas’s involvment with the horde as well as how the horde view the alliance races and why. If you like to follow the Wow lore then you will enjoy leveling on the horde side.

  2. 2 Ironstyrke
    February 24, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I’m on the opposite side of the fence. I’ve played a Dranei to lvl 12 but that is as far as I’ve ever gotten on the Alliance side, while having a loremaster 80 (and a few others) on the horde side.

    I’m hoping that the hyped new functions of battle.net cross game communication once Starcraft2 comes out will allow for cross faction chat with your friends.

  3. 3 Groendell
    February 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I myself love the Tauren race (main is a druid), but they probably have the least lore thus far on Horde side besides maybe trolls who kind of get lumped in with orcs in their starting zone. As far as plot/lore goes Orc, Forsaken, or (I hate to say it) Bloodelf have more intrigue. Of course, once you get up to teen levels alot of the plot/lore starts to blend.

    You might want to check out some of the lore websites to get a better feel for which race appeals to you more. Of course, you might just chose on eye appeal alone- I mean you will be staring at the toons back for hours. Plus the way leveling is now you miss a ton of the story line.

  4. 4 enaelis
    February 24, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I’m kind of the opposite of you, my main is a blood elf rogue, and all of my characters are horde. I agree with your opinion that there is no “evil” faction, though the undead tend to dance rather close to that line. In my opinion the horde races are generally more the outcasts, with a history best left forgotten, something to prove, and something to atone for (Orcs for their past dealings with demons, trolls with the other cannibalistic tribes, blood elves to restore their former glory and get over their magic addiction (and somehow help the elves that have succumbed to their addiction) the undead… well, they’re just pissed cuz they’re dead, which makes them do mean things sometimes and make them rather callous. and Thrall, Thrall is every hordie’s hero and 1st love, we love ahh Thrall. thrall… unfortunately, now / cataclysm is a bad time to roll horde imo, apperently blizzard is going to make garrosh hellscream aka. winy angsty bitch failure, i swear, if blizz really makes him warchief i will faction change to alliance, kill him, then change back and not acknowledge his existence, EVER. but aside from garrosh, i far prefer horde, imo, humans tend to be racist jerks, and their leader is almost as bad as garrosh. other than that alliance isn’t that bad.

  5. 6 Backer
    February 24, 2010 at 10:46 am

    If you like a “noble” and “stately” character, I think you have to go with a Tauren.

  6. 7 youyankityoutankit
    February 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I’m looking at leveling a goblin on another server come Cataclysm… so I’m pondering leveling a horde dk now… just to see… and provide a little cash for the newbie in Cata..

    But I’m 100% alliance atm

  7. February 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I think it’s somewhat well known by now that my first toon ever was a Tauren. And I did love it.

    I also really want to see the Horde questlines, especially in Northrend. Sylvanas is one of my favorite lore characters and I end up scouring WowWiki and YouTube for information on Horde-side stuff in Northrend to keep track of what going on with her.

    Like you, though, so much of what brings me back to the game night after night is the social aspect. I would be hard-pressed to spend enough time away from the guild leveling a Horde character to make it worth it.

    Maybe we could organize some guild “Horde days” in the near future. Get the officers to create new toons and sign a guild charter over there and then actively encourage people spend set days rolling and leveling Horde toons together. We can keep the social aspect (especially because we’ll inevitably be grouping up and helping each other out) and still see a little bit of the other side. Just a thought.

  8. February 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I’ve leveled on both sides, with 80s on both. I started Horde, so it was all new to me as far as that goes. But I eventually tried Alliance, partly *because* some of their questlines are the stuff of legends. (Come on Hordies, how many of you have heard of Hogger, even if you’ve never been Alliance? How about Van Cleef, or the Scythe of Elune?) Unfortunately, I missed out on some questlines that are no longer available (Onyxia attunement for example). I’m not sure the Horde side quite lives up to the Alliance side as far as quest lore goes, but … as others have stated, it’s definitely worth playing through, even as more than one race. It’s quite something playing through the Battle of Hillsbrad questline as Horde, that’s one I would certainly recommend seeing.

  9. 10 Ken
    February 24, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Definitely give it a go. I have been on WoW for several years… but all Horde toons. I recently began an Alliance hunter and am glad I did…. a majority of the quests are different and the storyline is nice and helps to fill in some of the gaps.

  10. 11 Cheres
    February 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I have an 80 horde hunter, my horde priest is 72 I think. I loved the undead storyline but the barrens made me die a little inside. Even with the extra flight paths its a massive zone.

    I think once you hit 30ish so many of the zones are shared that there’s no real difference in storylines.

  11. 12 Argathne
    February 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    To be honest Din I prefer Undeads,Trolls and Tauren. Mostly because the undead have been threw a lot if you think about it. They die to the plauge only to be ressed to serve the Lich king. But with Sylvanas’s help they break free from him……But i mean thats my opinion. The quests when leveling dont have too many changes to them. I know for a fact the majority of Northrend is the same. Just the change of having a third “Amphitheater of anguish” In Northrend. But yeah. If you do plan to make a horde feel free to look up mine on there. I wouldnt mind power leveling you a bit.

  12. February 24, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I tried leveling an Alliance druid when I first started the game, but couldn’t connect to it at all (must be the funky starting zone colours). Had read up on the basic history on the factions and it seemed like the whole good-VS-bad deal so naturally head for Alliance first; after all, who really wants to be the bad guy?

    I ditched my various level 10 – 15 night elves and rolled a tauren druid. Haven’t looked back since! For me, the background lore to the humble, peace-loving tauren really sealed the deal for me. They just want to carve out a living on the rich green plains of Mulgore and maintain the balance with the Earthmother. There doesn’t seem to be as much politics among them bovines as much as I’ve seen in night elves *COUGHCOUGHSTAGHELMCOUGHCOUGH*. I’d better stop ranting.

    Rolling the opposite faction offers you a whole new look at the world of Warcraft. The developers did FANTASTIC when they decided that both factions will have their own quests, storylines, motivation and rewards. Even better when these clash with the other faction’s.

    Sidenote: I’m still a little sad that the Horde never got to see the whole deal with Frostmourne Cavern and its history, but I will when I find the time to level an Alliance toon.

  13. 14 Egaleeye
    February 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    I tryed hored as a blood elf pally hated it now I roll a lv80 night elf and I love it tho I like thrall only good thing hthe hored getts I am porbly going to make my rogue a worgon cause that would be epic but if I don’t have the cash I will stay old school night elf

  14. 16 Thimble
    February 25, 2010 at 11:04 am

    The blood elf starting area is pretty great. You’ve got a faction to gain rep with and everything. Once you’re past there, I found that Horde and Alliance aren’t all THAT different. But if you’re in the mood to level up a new toon anyway, might as well go horde and see what all the hubbub is about.

  15. 17 Vicart
    February 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I’m having a similar dilema only I play hard and wondered about having an alli I’ve decided to run a worg once cataclysm comes out I like my characters as fantasy as possible, howerver I love playing horde

  16. 18 Abdulrah
    February 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    You know I have mostly played horde. I am not saying I did not play alliance I leveled to 58 a human paladin I personally love the horde for the style of it’s characters lore personality and they show courage and trust in each other, what else that made me like horde more is it’s people that play it they can be funny mature caring and extremley friendly these are main aspects that allowed me to love horde more I think you should try it and I think you will love it. Sorry was typing on my iPod touch

  17. 19 Jovannie
    February 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I took the time to level a Belf when all my toons are Alliance. The lore really is concentrated into the first 30ish levels, then it seems to very very similar across faction. I enjoyed it though. And Horde Northrend is a bit more intriguing than Alliance.

  18. February 25, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Its interesting how many people chose to level as Blood Elf. I find their story to be thin and uninteresting. Maybe its better when you’re actually involved.

    I was thinking about going with orc, because they have the most fleshed-out storyline with the most depth.

    • 21 Snakefist
      March 2, 2010 at 10:27 am

      I had the same dilemma too, I went with orc. The storyline was both interesting and complex and really came to a head in Hellfire Peninsula where you meet Thrall’s long lost bretheren. 100% worth levelling an orc just for that.

  19. 22 Swiftsteel
    February 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    I have been playing for just over 3 years all alliance toons. Since the ability to start a horde toon on my server came to be I like you decided to explore the content on the horde side before it is lost. I am glad I did it seems to me only half or the stories are told by each faction ( winners write the history) now slot of things make sense but as well I can’t wait to get my 50 blood elf rogue to 80 and visit my friends on the alliance side. Having the lowbie on my main server helps too for financial help frrom time to time, shiny apple for sale 500 G please. 🙂

  20. 23 Steven
    February 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

    If anyone truly loves the game like some many others do. They would explore both sides of the story. I have many horde toons but I play alli just to see the story but far as faithfulness goes I’m all horde

  21. 24 Thimble
    February 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Levelling a Blood Elf just makes sense, since once you hit level 20 all the races are basically the same quest-wise, and before level 20, they have the best starting area, simply because it was developed later in the game’s life cycle. On the other hand, they don’t get to do Lazy Peons, which always makes me laugh, so there’s something to be said for Orcs and Trolls in that regard. Either way, I’d say it’s worth running a Belf through the ghostlands and such at least once, just to check out that content. I think they did a great job up there.

  22. 26 Cynthana
    February 27, 2010 at 5:16 am

    It all boils down to, as you said, how you ‘connect’ with a particular race, horde or alliance. I have both ally and horde toons, but I always prefer my first, a female undead rogue. When I started I wanted to try what I found to be the scariest creature imaginable, a beautiful zombie who would pick your pocket, stun your ass, stab you in the back and camp your corpse.

    It was the lore that sold me however. The plight of the undead may not appeal to a lot of people, but the Sylvanas lore is colorful and deeply woven into fabric of Azeroth, Northrend and the Lich King content. I just didn’t find that in the other races as much. Although after trying out nearly every race/class combo available, it is interesting to see how much you miss on the other side.

  23. February 28, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    You’ve simply GOT to try out the Trolls. By far the coolest and slickest animated combat moves in-game. Plus as a bonus, you get to reclaim their lost territory and get watch your new capitol city evolve.

    My 2 cents at least.

  24. 28 Chris
    March 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve played an undead rogue for almost two years…and would still consider myself quite new to the game. Thing is I never got past leveling another Horde beyond level 15 because I just got too bored with repeating the same thing over again!

    So recently, I rolled a nelf druid! Totally fun and it was nice to explore Alliance Territory and of course new quest lines. I still have to get used to running an instance with 4 gnomes though. Something unsettling about that. I have also announced to my guild about this and 3 of us have started an Alliance guild where other horde members can join and not lose out on the interaction. Mostly we are also keen to roll a Worgen 🙂

    My rogue will still remain as my main but rolling an Alliance char certainly helped keep things fresh.

    Let us know what your decision is!

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