Thursday, January 04, 2007

Lonely Horde, Affable Alliance

The last issue of Games and Culture was dedicated to World of Warcraft, and there was some discussion of what kind of players chose to play as the Horde and which select the much prettier Alliance characters. The general consensus was the noobs and girls play as the Tolkienesque avatars of the Alliance, allured by the familiar good-guy rhetoric of elves and such, while hard-core gamers with experience are attracted to the monsterous orcs and trolls of the Horde. I was pleased by this originally because the first time around I played on the Horde. However, when I signed up after xmas on my own account, I was encouraged by friends to join them on their servers as Alliance members.

The difference in my experiences was striking. I figured my loneliness grinding away at the lower levels as a troll was symptomatic of being below level 10. As a night elf, I was quickly surprised by how much nicer and more social Alliance players are. I have grouped multiple times, spontaneously united with players to defeat a non-quest monster, and just generally chatted pleasantly. Businesslike calls for groups, trades, and tips were equally balanced by joking around and playful emotes. I am guessing that part of being a hard-core gamer is that all that sociality gets in the way of leveling efficiently and is only really desired when necessary for play.

Someone should do a study. Anyhoo, I know many of my untalkative readers are WoW players. Any comments on Alliance-Horde differences?

5 comments:

Photendoist said...

Horde avatars may be fugly, but I hear they're freaks in the sack.

Bloodyceaser2 said...

First of all, Alliance stinks....

actually thats all i have to say about that.

-Rawr, Kyle

Hardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hardy said...

Actually...

If you do your research, you would know that the Horde is BUILT for offensive power. Their natural special abilities/skills either enhances their damaging power, or heals them, or stuns any enemy around them, or make them immune to certain debuffs.

This is a VERY striking contrast to Alliance who is built more for... well... running away (Gnome), paranoia (Human), hiding (Night ELf), and please don't let me die from poison (Dwarves).

So why do all the fanatical "hardcores" go to Horde? Because they are not really hardcore... because they are simply people who would like to achieve what the game dictates as greatness with relative ease.

And the noobs, sissies, "girls", and casuals of Alliance... well, they tend to go more for the social aspect of the MMO. I'm sorry, but if being social/casual means being considered as pathetic, then maybe all Alliances should just quit, no? But Blizzard wont do that. Alliance accounts for over 55% of the subscribers. Harcores only manages 25% and the other 20% for gold farmers and frozen accounts.

People flock to WoW mainly because they want an easy game where they can achieve something with relatives ease and be social at the same time. They don't want a difficult challenging hardcore game like FFXI.

So, that's the little perspective of a veteran MMO nomad. Tehee. (^-^ )

Rytoid Primed said...

FFXI is only difficult and challenging because it's poorly designed. As for Horde being used to "achieve what the game dictates as greatness with relative ease", well, that just means those playing the Horde are pussying out, so to speak.

And besides, you got a level 60 in WoW (to bash your "manly" statement of what FFXI represents), and lead a guild called the AlterNatives as a member of the Alliance. You love this shit. Playing an MMO in order to avoid the societal aspects of an MMO is pretty eff-ing dumb, as why would anyone pay a monthly fee to be all brooding and loner-ish in a world where cooperative teamwork and relationship building is key?